Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things I Love about Hendersonville

Since I already told you the things I miss about my old town, here are a few upgrades in my new town that I didn't have before.

1) My awesome house. I can't say enough good things about my new house compared to my old house. It's bigger, it's brick, it has hardwood floors and a basement with
a storm room and a big back yard and a huge attached garage plus a detached garage and a carport. This was exactly the house we described when we first started listing what we wanted. Of course there are a few things we want to add (to finish the work we started in the kitchen, build a fence, add a downstairs bathroom, rearrange and reorganize the princess closet) but overall we're delighted with the house.

2) Being close to my mom. Grama is 10-12 minutes away now, compared to at least 45 minutes before (and that's if there was no traffic). It's so nice to meet for lunch, go back-to-school shopping, drop the kids off when I need babysitting, borrow tools, whatever. My grandparents live right behind my parents' house, so I can see them more too. Oh, and calling them isn't a long-distance call anymore, which saves on my cell phone minutes.

3) Old Hickory Lake. We live very close to the lake. If we walk down our street and keep going through the Rock Castle grounds, we're there. When the house was built back in 1967 you could see the lake from our yard. (If you know where I live, you know that's where my street got its name.) But now the trees are taller and they obscure the view. Last weekend we did something we could never do in Smyrna: we spent part of the afternoon at the beach at Lock 3.

The downside to living near the lake, as I mentioned on Facebook tonight, is that my dog has decided that goose poop is an irresistible delicacy. I was walking her down at the lake earlier tonight while talking to my Paw Paw on the phone. (It's his 85th birthday!!) I kept having to juggle the phone while jerking Lily's leash back because she kept finding particularly succulent turds and scarfing them up. Shudder. This is what my neighborhood looks like on any given day, so it's like a freakin' smorgasbord for my sick pooch.

4) Demo's restaurant is six minutes from my house. Yes, I timed it. We used to drive to Murfreesboro to enjoy Demo's, but now we're practically neighbors. This is Dan's favorite restaurant which is fortunate because it's also pretty cheap. The four of us can go there on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night when they have special pricing and eat for less than $25. We spend about $20 getting fast food, so this is way better.

5) Many of my other favorite restaurants are within a five to ten minute drive also, just like they were in Smyrna: Chili's, O'Charley's, Cheddar's, Zaxby's, and more. The boys are very excited because there's a Burger King here and we didn't have one in Smyrna. They've also discovered the joys of Subway, thanks to Grama.

6) Kids' Kingdom. We used to have to drive to Murfreesboro to Kids' Castle, but this park is much closer to our house. The boys spent the day there with their Grama today while I was at an in-service at school.

7) Short commute. I drive about five minutes to get to work--three if I'm running late like I was today because I remembered that I had to make a presentation at the in-service. I love how much I'm saving in gas money.

8) The Streets at Indian Lake. This mall is similar to The Avenue in Murfreesboro, but it feels cozier.
The best part is the Summer Music Series: every Thursday night during the summer they have live music on the square. Mom and I go just about every week. Dan even went with us a few times. They usually have photographers walking around taking pictures for their website. Here we are a few weeks ago enjoying the show. There's a great grassy square in the center with fountains that the kids can run in, like Aaron did on this night (in the blue trunks) while his brother looks on from the left side of the photo. In this shot, Ryan looks like he's scheming. This takes the place of the fountains at Stonecrest that the boys used to run in.

9) Within a ten minute drive there are THREE ice cream stores that I didn't have close by in Smyrna: Maggie Moo's, Marble Slab, and Baskin Robbins. I know Smyrna has a BR, but it's over by Wal-Mart so I hated going there. Marble Slab is at The Streets, which makes going to hear the music on Thursday nights even better.

10) My new friends. Nothing could replace my Smyrna girls, but I'm slowly making new friends up here, mostly people I work with. Most of the teachers at my school are great and we sometimes socialize outside of school. In Smyrna most of my friends were moms who have kids the same age as my kids. The problem up here is that I taught at the same school my kids attended last year (Aaron will still be there, but Ryan is moving on to middle school). I can't really get too buddy-buddy with the other moms because it could get awkward if I have their children in my class next year. Plus, with me working full-time and being confined to my own class, I don't get to meet the other moms volunteering or going on field trips and things like that.

But, we've been attending church up here for six weeks now. This Sunday is the boys' last time to go to their current classes before they're promoted. After this weekend, Dan and I will try to find a Sunday School we like and hopefully make some friends through that.

I like my neighbors a lot, but most of them are a lot older than we are (parents of people I went to high school with).

I found a new vet for Lily and got her updated on shots Monday. The new folks seem great and they talked to her the way the staff at Premier did, so we liked them. (But we'll still miss Dr. Hatcher and his staff.)

I still have to find a family doctor, but one of the ones on my insurance list is a Tennessee Top Ten doctor for thyroid care, so we may have a winner there. I took Ryan to check out the middle school on Monday and gave him the tour. He says he's ready; I feel like crying just thinking about him wandering the halls of that great big building.

In short,
we're settling in and adjusting to life on the north side, even though we still miss our friends.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things I Miss About Smyrna

Other than the obvious (my friends!!) there are a few things that I really miss about my former town that I don't have up here. I present them to you now, in no particular order other than the random way my brain thinks of things:

1) Smyrna Public Library. Okay, I take that back. This first one isn't random--it's the MAJOR thing I miss the most. The one in Hendersonville...well, how can I say this nicely? It sucks. Just as an example, they only have six, SIX, Suzanne Brockmann books. Total. No mention of the newest one, Hot Pursuit, which will be released on July 28 and features my favorite female character in all of her books, Alyssa Locke. Meanwhile, down in Rutherford County, that title is already on order. ARGH!! If I still lived there, I'd have my name on the reserved list for it. Since I don't, I guess I'll be waiting a while to read it because I can't buy a new release hardcover when I'm on a spending slushie.

When I walked up to the counter at the Smyrna Public Library, it was like going into Cheers because everybody knew my name. Remember that? When Norm walked in and everyone yelled, "Norm!" Same thing, only they'd whisper, "Teble," because, after all, it is still a library. I miss Jimmy and Mel and Stephanie.

2) The Book Rack, my favorite used book store which is right off the square in Murfreesboro. I still have about $70 in credit there. I may have to run down there one Saturday and stock up on books so I can stop re-reading all my old books. Of course, in a couple of weeks I'll be too busy planning lessons and grading papers to have time to read.

3) The Parks. Smyrna Rec Park, Rock Springs Park, the library park (Old Rock School), the Soccer Park, the splash pad at Gregory Mills Park, name it, we played there. Hendersonville has a good park too, but we've been too busy to go to Drakes Creek. I really loved Rock Springs Park because it was a mile from my house, so we'd walk the dog there and back. She used to love when it had rained recently because she would jump in the creek and splash around. Now she just tries to pull me into the lake with her.

4) The Hospital track at Stonecrest. Another great walk with the dog. It's a mile from my old house, 9/10 of a mile around the track, and another mile home. Great little 3-mile outdoor exercise with the doggie. Sometimes we'd walk to the vet, get her nails clipped and walk back. Which leads me to numbers 5 and 6...

5) Premier Vet Care. I loved our old vet, Dr. Hatcher. They were SO good to Lily. Kinda like the librarians knowing my name, we'd walk in and all the nurses would say, "Oh look! It's Lily!" They always fit us in for appointments, they were never too busy to answer questions, they loved my dog, and they clipped her nails for free anytime I dropped in. FREE! Up here I have to pay $11-15 each time.

6) Stonecrest Family Physicians. Speaking of the hospital, I miss my former doctor, Christopher Thompson (the one on the back, right of the picture in the link). Even though we had to wait a long time to see him, he was a good doctor. He'd tell it to you straight if you needed to lose weight, lay off the caffeine, lower your cholesterol, or whatever. He wasn't perfect, but he was familiar. I didn't have to repeat my entire medical history to him every time I went in there. He treated our whole family (Dan and I for ten years, the kids for the past four), so he knew us all really well. I don't want to start over up here with someone I don't know.

7) Thurman Francis Arts Academy. Although I enjoy NOT watching the boys suffer through three hours of homework every night, there are certain aspects of the boys' old school that I will miss: the arts curriculum, the music, the dramatic productions, the dance performances, the "insular society" that you get in a magnet school, a select group of teachers. The varying ability levels in the boys' classes this year were so different from what they're used to. It was an adjustment, but they did great last year. I wish they were in the same school K-8 like they would've been at TFAA, but Ryan will go to middle school this year. Ugh. Nine days from now. Mommy is SO not ready for that.

8) Blue Coast Burrito. But we're getting one up here soon, so I can cross that off the list in a few weeks. The new one has the sign up and they're hiring/training staff. It won't be long until I can enjoy a fish taco or peasant plate again.

9) Starbucks. Okay, so there's one in Hendersonville, but it's farther away. It's right smack in the middle of Main Street and I never go that way. I want one near me like I used to have. Isn't there supposed to be a Starbucks on every corner of America by now? I'm pretty sure that was in the Constitution or something. I'll have to look that up.

10) My fenced back yard. Someday we'll put up another fence (see: spending slushie), but for now I have to walk the beast on a leash every time she needs to tinkle. She's not getting enough exercise, which is really not good for labs. They go a little loco when they don't get enough running time. I walk her around the neighborhood, but it's not enough. She needs space to stage her daily "crazy puppy freakouts," where she runs at top speed in circles, smiling gleefully, darting around people and stationary objects in her frenzied attempt to break the sound barrier. Right now she's performing these in the basement rec room and it's just a matter of time before something (or someONE) gets broken.

Okay, enough whining about what I don't have. Sometime soon I'll post some of the positive aspects of my new town and my new house. Right now I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.

And craving a fish taco.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Got Books?

Some of you might be looking at that column over there on the right and saying to yourself, "What's up with Brewer re-reading all those books?" No? You haven't noticed that I've been re-reading all my old favorites? You don't sit by your computer awaiting the next installment from my ultra-chic and fantabulous life? You're just not that into me? Well, too bad because I'm going to explain anyway.

See, I'm a teacher. And it's summer. Know what that means? No paycheck. For the upcoming '09-'10 school year I'll have twelve-month check distribution, but that wasn't an option this year. So, what did we do? We bought a house and several new things to go in it. We're smart like that.

Ordinarily this would not be a problem but in this particular summer Dan didn't have a paycheck either. Long story short...we're on what my friend Kathleen calls a "spending slushie" until I get my next paycheck in mid-August. It's not quite a spending freeze, but it's darn close. With very little money in the budget for extras, and knowing I just spent money on my new Miche bag (which should be here soon--I'm so excited), I just can't justify spending money on new books. So, I've been reading a bunch of older well-loved titles.

Mom just bought Finger-Licking Fifteen and let me borrow it so that I could read something written this year. What are you reading now? What else have you read this summer?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You thought my hair was short before...

Actually my hair used to be really long...until May 4th. I haven't had it cut since then. Until today.

See, when I went to get it cut before I asked for a chin-length bob with a few long, wispy layers around my face and side-swept bangs. I even took pictures with me as an example. The stylist, however, had a different interpretation of a bob haircut. I think she gave me a Jim. I have no idea what that means, and apparently neither did she. I ended up with a crazy shag cut with choppy, chunky, very short layers (we're talking two inches long in places) all over my head. It was, well, weird, but a lot of my friends liked it when I flipped it up in the back so it was okay. Whatever. It's just hair. No big deal. That is, until I got the bill.

See, I spoke with the owner of the salon before I went there and she quoted me a ten dollar price since I was donating the hair to Locks of Love. I paid extra for the blowout because I knew I'd never be able to style that cut without some assistance. My bill was $30 and I tipped $7 (I KNOW I shouldn't have tipped her for a bad cut. I KNOW!! But I'm such a wuss I did it anyway) which brings us to a grand total of $37. The charge on my credit card was $67. Now, I'm a forgiving person, generally speaking. I'll tip after a really bad cut but NO WAY was I paying that much money for it.

So today I finally decided to put on my big girl panties and go back to the salon to straighten this matter out. I was nervous because I hate confrontations. The salon owner looked up the transaction, found the original receipt, and said that they only charged me $37. I showed her my bill. Long story short--after a lot of back and forth, we called the credit card company and they said I had indeed been charged too much by the salon. The owner said that the only way she knew to handle this was to make the original stylist cut my hair again at no charge.

I politely explained to her that I would never let that skanky 'ho near my head again, only I was a little classier about it. By then two other stylists had come over to see what was going on. One of them, a sweet girl named Shannon with big blue eyes and really pretty hair of her own, said, "I'll cut it for her. " When the owner explained to her that she'd be working for no pay, Shannon said, "I'll take one for the team. She was wronged and we need to make it right." Then the two of us sliced and diced the hair cutting ability of the other stylist for the next fifteen minutes while she fingercombed my hair and tsk, tsked about the job the other lady did on me.

We agreed that we the scraggly ends of my hair needed to be cut off so that the bottom could grow out fuller and the layers could catch up to grow into the bob I originally wanted. So now I have a much shorter 'do that my husband says is just like me, short and perky. If I curled it, it would look a little like Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, only blondish. I wish my hair was still long like Amy's. And I wish I had Amy's hot little body. Dang, you could bounce a quarter off that butt.

I'll post pictures when I get really brave. Or a butt like Amy's.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Money, Hematomas, and Treasures

Just in case you were wondering...

  • Mom found her money bag this morning. It was with her camera, which she realized was missing yesterday and assumed was gone forever along with her money. YAY!

  • Even though my stereotactic biopsy was two flipping weeks ago, I still haven't healed completely. I now have a hard, painful, golf-ball-sized lump in my breast that the surgeon's nurse thinks is a hematoma. I have to wrap myself up in an Ace bandage like a freaking mummy and alternate heat and ice to try to shrink it down. Which is just peachy, because I do so enjoy cutting off the blood and oxygen supply to the middle portion of my body. Feels like a frickin' corset.

(And when I say "f-ing" words in this blog, I'm thinking the really bad one in my head. Sue me.)

  • Most of the leftover garage sale treasures were picked up today by a charity. Dad got another truckload of stuff to take to some of the young people who work with him. Now I only have one and a half garages filled with stuff. Some of it is going on Craig's list to be sold and the rest is going to the women's shelter.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Remind me to never do this again

Well the garage sale to end all garage sales finally ended yesterday. Hallelujah amen.

We got rid of a bunch of stuff, even though my carport is STILL full of crap...I mean treasures. Dan and the kids and I did fairly well. We made enough to pay for our lawnmower repair, Dan's repair kit to fix his own garage sale treasure (don't ask--this will have to be its own post), and my new Miche purse (with the Jayma and Pink Zoe shells, which I adore and they're not even here yet).

Mom did not do quite as well, unfortunately. She made quite a bit of money, then promptly put her Ziploc bag of money down somewhere and never saw it again. We've looked through the trash, the cars, both garages, and it's nowhere to be found. Poor Mom.

I'm never, ever having another yard sale again. When you take our proceeds and divide by how many hours of work went into the sale, I think we made about thirteen cents an hour. However, if you consider the fact that I was prepared to chunk all our stuff at the Goodwill donation center and get nothing for it, I guess it was worth it. But, mark my words, we're NEVER doing this again.

At least until next year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's Your Passion?

I told my boss yesterday that I have to take a couple of days off during the first week of school to have surgery and I'm still employed, so life is good. Let's just hope I heal quickly over the weekend, because I do NOT want to take Monday off too. Surgery is scheduled for August 6th, so if you wouldn't mind praying for me, I would GREATLY appreciate it.

I'm a little bummed mixed with relieved this week that I'm not in Washington, D.C. for RWA National Conference. I'm relieved because, with everything else going on around here, there's no way I could've fit that into my schedule. We've spent the last three days setting up my classroom and setting up for this giant yard sale that is taking over my house. And it's supposed to rain tonight and on and off Thursday and Friday, but I'll think about that later.

I'm bummed because I haven't written anything in a while. A Loooong While. I even had to let my RWA membership expire while we get our financial house a little more settled. Recently a friend asked me to critique her first three chapters and wanted me to tell her if she should quit writing. Ugh. Might as well ask me if she should quit breathing. See, if you're a writer, you have to write. It's not an optional thing. If there's a story rolling around in your head, you have to get it out on paper (or computer screen) or you'll go mad. That's where I am right now.

What with selling one house and buying another, moving, going back to teaching full-time, being a mama of two rowdy boys and a rambunctious lab, playing Bejeweled Blitz, living in two different counties, and the general chaos of my life in the last year, I have not had time to write anything more than this blog and lesson plans. I need that outlet to keep me relatively sane. Thus, my current level of crazy.

If there's something you love to do, make time for it. I'm going to try to remember that, too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm Over Myself

Thanks for the kind words for my pity party, but now it's closing time. Party's over. You don't have to go home folks, but you can't stay here.

Yesterday I had a lovely day of demolition, installation, shopping (five trips to Lowe's!), Starbucks, and take-out food. I met Mom at Lowe's at 7 a.m. for a sidewalk sale. We'd met Keith, the lighting department manager, earlier in the week and he showed us some of the things that would be marked down and told us to come back early Saturday. I got track lighting for the bar in the kitchen, a "Tiffany-looking" floor lamp for the den, and a ceiling fan for my bedroom, all for what it would've cost me to get just the floor lamp at regular price.

Then I came home and watched my dad, mom, and husband take down a cabinet in the kitchen and demolish the soffit above it, right down the the attic floor joists. The man who lived here before us put those cabinets up to STAY. I've never seen so many nails in my life. I wasn't allowed to do anything but watch and fetch things, so I went out back and spray painted the chain for the swag kit for the dining room chandelier. (Back to Lowe's for spray paint.)

Then Mom and I started looking at the ugly, cracked fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen and wondering what we could do about it. We figured, we're going to have to repaint part of the ceiling anyway, might as well replace this fixture while we're doing it. (Back to Lowe's.)

We didn't like any of the fixtures there that would give us the same amount of light as the fixture I already have, so Keith is going to help us out with that on Monday. Poor guy. Then Mom said, "I have another little question," and Keith said, "The answer is, 'The parking lot is that way.'" I think he was ready for us to go! We ended up with another ceiling fan for Ryan's room at a deep I'll do anything to get these women out of my store discount. I love Lowe's. Which is a good thing, because I had to go back again to get ceiling medallions to put above the ceiling fans because I refuse to paint another ceiling when it still hurts to lift my arm over my head. There was another trip to Lowe's in there somewhere, but I can't remember what it was for. Oh, Mom and I also went to Ace Hardware and Starbucks.

Dan and I were up until two this morning putting up the dining room chandelier and the two ceiling fans. Well, Dan was up. I fell asleep in Ryan's bed (he slept in his brother's room) and only woke up when I heard Dan drop something so that I could hand it back to him.

It was a great day and a great way to get my mind off my drama. Now, off to church...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bitter with a side of Irony

For those of you who watched West Wing, you might remember that whenever they had to deliver bad news to the nation (or things that they didn't want lots of media attention about), the White House staffers would make the announcement during that kind of dead air zone on Friday afternoons. They called it taking out the trash. Well, I have some trash to take out this afternoon.

Looks like I'm going to have surgery. And, the news just keeps getting better...I'll probably have to miss the first few days of school.

My attitude right now kind of sucks, so I'll apologize in advance. I feel guilty even complaining because at this point they don't really think it's cancer but just suspicious cells that may or may not be precancerous. Some of my friends are breast cancer survivors who have been through much worse than my wimpy little procedures. First of all I'm very glad that I have insurance. I'm also grateful for early detection and all that, but right now I'm just pissed off that this is going to mess up the beginning of my school year. I don't have tenure, so I really don't want to have to ask my principal for time off during the first week of school. I'm sure she'll be okay with it, but I hate having to ask. After all the chaos of the last year, I want a smooth start with my new class. I want to be able to experience the first days of middle school with my sixth grader. I want to take my third grader to school with me on the first week. Instead, I have to be cut on and stressed out and I'm bitter about it. I'll get over it later, but right now I'm going through an angry phase.

Here are the details: the surgeon said that there are atypical cells present and they're in an atypical pattern. If it were just one or the other, they'd probably take a "wait and see" approach, but that's a whole lot of suspicious-looking stuff going on at once for them to feel comfortable waiting. The radiologist said that even though he got a lot of tissue, he's concerned that he didn't get enough for a representative sample of what's going on in there. The mammographer thinks that they're not seeing everything on the pictures.

The surgeon is going to perform a lumpectomy, even though it's really not a lump, but an area of microcalcifications. Then they'll send it off to pathology and see what we're looking at. Best case scenario, it's nothing and we continue to watch it closely. Worst case scenario: it still looks like suspicious pre-cancerous cells, but they've removed the lesions in question. Then they'll probably want to check the lymph nodes, maybe cut a little more, and watch me closely.

The really ironic part is that I just donated my hair to Locks of Love on May 4th, and now I'm facing my own breast cancer scare. I click the Breast Cancer site to donate mammograms to underprivileged women every day, and here I am. My sorority's national philanthropy when I was in college was the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I'm used to being on the giving end of the "find a cure" team; not the receiving end. Now I just found out today that my brother might be sick too. Ugh. This sucks.

Okay, I'll get over my little private pity party tomorrow. Today I just needed to roll around in my angry little bitter mood just a bit more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Fun Continues

Mom and I went to work in my classroom today because if I had to sit around my house waiting for the doctor to call I would lose my mind. We painted a bookshelf with some "oops" paint from Home Depot (only $1.00 a can!) and reinforced another bookshelf and stayed busy while waiting for the phone to ring.

So after a while my doctor called, but I still don't have a definite answer. ARGH! She said that the tissue samples they took from me are "most likely" benign, but the radiologist is "concerned" about the shape, size, pattern, or something about the tissues. He thinks it might be some kind of something or other that might indicate precancerous cells. She used a really big word and I didn't have my medical thesaurus handy to translate.

I have to go see a breast surgeon specialist at another hospital tomorrow morning (after stopping by the other hospital first to pick up my films) for a consultation. She will compare the biopsy with the mammogram films and decide whether or not she'll need to perform surgery to excise the lesions.

Gee, a breast surgeon who makes her living performing breast surgeries. Hmmm, what are the odds that she'll recommend that I need one of those? I wonder.

Anyway, keep those prayers coming while the fun continues. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Eggplant Parmigiana, Anyone?

Okay, so remember that bruise I had back in May from the dunking booth at the school carnival? Well, now I have an even better one, but I can't show it to anyone. I'm telling you, it's the most amazing shade of deep purple I've ever seen. Not the band, Shelby, my skin. More specifically, my breast.

I look like I shoplifted a tiny little eggplant home in my bra.

And this was after I iced on and off all day yesterday. The swelling is ridiculous too. I kinda wish I could keep that part, if only it didn't hurt so much. And if only it were symmetrical. Sigh. Unfortunately, those of you who have breastfed will relate to this, it feels totally engorged and ouchy and icky.

But it will all be worth it if I hear good news tomorrow. If you have a minute, would you please say a little prayer that I will?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'm back from the hospital and thanking the makers of ibuprofen for their little orange pills. Ow!

This was not a pleasant procedure, but at least it's over. I was a little shaky when it was finished, both from the epinephrine/lidocaine injection and from the muscle aches from being forced to lie completely still for 45 minutes with my breast in a vice and a giant needle sticking in me. They gave me some peanut butter crackers and sent me on my merry way. I was fine when I was driving home (with an ice pack in my bra). It didn't hurt until I got home and the numbing meds started to wear off.

I have to do the ice on/ice off thing until I go to bed tonight. Otherwise, I am under doctor's orders to do nothing all day. I'm actually fine with that, since I hurt too much to do much else. I just wish I'd gone to the bookstore first. I'm rereading a bunch of my favorite romantic comedies--nothing too emotionally charged because I can't handle tears right now.

Dr. King and Kim (the mammographer) were really great. Kim kept patting my back and cooing over me. I resisted the temptation to ask her to pet my hair and sing me a lullaby, but just barely. They inserted a tiny little titanium clip into my breast to mark the spot where they removed tissue. (An entire petri dish full!! Like I had any tissue to spare!) I asked them, jokingly, if I would set off the metal detectors at the airport now. Do you know how hard it is to lie perfectly still after you tell a joke and everyone else in the room is cracking up?

After the procedure I had to lie on my back while the doctor applied pressure to my breast. It was very strange lying there on a table, shirtless, while I man who is not my husband held my breast very tightly for FIVE FULL MINUTES and chatted with me about the world's worst movies of all time and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Bizarre. Just for the record, Dr. King gives that dubious honor to Planet 9 from Outer Space. In case you were wondering. I still think it has to be The Two Jakes, mostly because Dan made me go see that movie when I wanted to see something else and because I've never seen Chinatown.

Anyway, the radiologist was pretty sure that I'd need surgery, but I don't know what he's basing that on. I should hear something from my own doctor on Thursday. Until then, I'm supposed to take it easy, not lift anything over five pounds, not walk the dog, or do anything strenuous. The doc said this would not be a good time to take up jogging.

Well, it'll be a challenge, but I believe I will follow the doctor's orders.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Wee Little Whine

Why, yes, I would like a little cheese to go with my whine. Thank you for asking. I'll use it to sedate myself in the morning.

Tomorrow I'm going to the hospital to have a stereotactic biopsy. Go ahead. Click on that link and see what fun I'm going to have. I'll wait.

Doesn't that sound like fun? My favorite part is this:
At most facilities, a specially designed examination table will allow you to lie face down with your breast hanging freely through an opening in the table.
Um, hello? I don't want any part of my anatomy "hanging freely" to be poked and prodded or, in this case, squished into a pancake. And that whole "automatic, spring-loaded needle" or "vacuum- assisted device" part? I think I just got a little light-headed, and I've never had a fear of needles. I have blood drawn every six months and it's never bothered me. But this? This bothers me immensely.

Okay, yes, I'm grateful that we have technology that allows doctors to detect abnormal cell growth and remove those cells for testing. And, yes, I'm glad that this type of procedure has saved countless lives through early detection. And, yes, I'm lucky to live near the state capital, so I don't even have to drive far for the procedure.


Wah! I don't wanna go.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Back. Deal With It.

Now that I'm back in my old hometown I feel it is important to warn the residents of a few things about myself.

1) I sing in the car. With feeling. I used to stop whenever I pulled up to a stoplight because I didn't want the people in the car next to me to see me belting out a show tune and think I'm weird. Then I thought, "Wait, I am weird," so now I keep right on singing. And I don't mumble the words or make any attempt to appear as if I'm not singing either. I rear back, open up, and let it fly sister. I sing it loud and I sing it proud and I don't care who knows it. Oh, and I've been known to tweeze my eyebrows in the car too, but I don't get to sit in the car rider line these days. Deal with it.

2) I talk to my dog. In complete sentences. When we walk through the neighborhood we're carrying on a conversation, you're just not advanced enough to hear her side of it. But, believe me, she's talking back to me. It usually goes something like this:

Me: No, Lilly Belle, we are most definitely NOT going to jump in the lake.
Lily: But, mother, the water looks so very cool and refreshing. I would very much like to go for a dip. (while pulling my arm out of the socket to get to the water)
Me: No ma'am. (jerking the leash and trying not to go for a swim myself) We. (jerk) Are. (jerk) Not. (tug) Going. (pull) For. (jerk) A. (jerk) Swim.


Okay, I haven't fallen in yet, but it's probably just a matter of time.

3) I've been away from Hendersonville for twenty years, so I keep running into people from high school that I don't remember. If I do remember you, it's probably because you fall into one of three categories:
a) I only remember your name because you were popular and everyone knew you but I never really liked you.
b) I actually did like you in high school and I probably would've hung out with you if I hadn't had a job and a boyfriend and a 4.0 GPA to maintain.
c) I actually did hang out with you in high school and just lost contact with you when I went away to college and worked three jobs, had a 3.93 GPA to maintain (stupid B in math), joined a sorority, got involved in the drama department, met a man, and married him.

I have a terrible memory for names. If we went to high school together and I don't remember you, I'm not going to pretend that I do. I'll simply say, "I'm sorry but I'm a moron. Who are you?" Because I hate when someone pretends to remember me and we're standing there talking and I'm thinking, "This person has no clue who I am. Why doesn't he/she simply admit that he/she doesn't know me from Michael Jackson's cat?" I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I didn't go out and party much in high school. I worked. I studied. I visited my boyfriend. I read a lot. I wasn't a snob, but I didn't hang out with a lot of people. Deal with it.

5) I love garage sales and Goodwill. If you come to my house and say, "Oh, I used to have a (insert random household item here) just like that," then the chances are good that the item is the very same one you used to own. I'm cheap and proud of it. Deal with it.

6) If you knew me in high school, then the odds are pretty good that you knew my high school boyfriend too. I have not had contact with him in many, many years. I have no idea where he lives now or what he's doing with his life. He was my past. My husband and kids are my present, my future, and the center of my universe. Just so you know.

7) I teach at the same elementary school I attended. Yes, it's strange. Even stranger, I had the kids of former classmates in my room this year. Rest assured that I'm a great teacher, but the fact that I knew you twenty years ago will not affect my relationship with your child, unless you were a butthead to me back then. Just kidding. Your kids still have to do their homework. Deal with it.

8) My parents, grandparents, and brother's family all live in town too. My mother doesn't drive the "Hippy Van" anymore (may it rest in peace), but she still has spies all over town.

9) When I left Hendersonville in 1987 I weighed just under one hundred pounds. I won't mention what I weigh now, but let's just say it's considerably more than that. I'm just telling you so you won't be surprised when you see me at the grocery store you won't do a double take and I won't have to see the "Wow, she's really let herself go," expression on your face.

10) I do not put on makeup and get dressed up to go to WalMart. If I run into you there, I will not be looking my best. I do clean up fairly well when I put some effort into it, but you will not see that best effort at Wally World. Deal with it.

Okay, so to sum up...I'm back. I don't embarrass easily, so don't waste your energy laughing at me.