Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The day started off good. I slept in a bit - wasn't feeling great but had an appointment with the good doctor. Time for the yearly trip that I've managed to put off so figured I could hit two birds with one stone. My doctor whom I really liked, moved on - so I picked a random one the group. A female - I'm picky about that. I've had two bad experiences with male doctors - one of which I actually walked out of the office. I've stuck to females and have found them to be more compassionate and better listeners. Big surprise there. So, I signed up for the adventure with someone new - yet female. What the heck, she'll only be seeing everything and what better way to meet someone for the first time. Ha.

I get to the doctor's office in plenty of time to fill out the "What's New with Your Body This Year" form. I came prepared and had jotted down some landmark events - 2000 Lumpectomy - yeah, noncancerous! 2003 Coccyx Removal - good times, 2003 Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism - this one gave me pause. All around, a healthy year 2008-09. I'm happy and grateful for good health over the last year.

I met the new doctor - er, really just a P.A. What do you call them? They aren't doctors - so do you call them by their first name? Or Ms. Smith? Mame seems rather formal but we are in the south so that's respectful. She was younger than me. Or at least I thought she was. I'm not good with judging people's ages anymore. After 30 everyone looks tired and a little wrinkled. I called her by her first name. She called me by mine so I guess that makes it ok.

The girl thingy exam thing - which I never really thought was a big deal went as expected. Did you know they are recommending it every two to three years now for us married folks? And cholesterol checks with blood work only every three years? Seems like eye exams and mammograms are the only fun annual physical things I have to look forward too. Ha.

Oh, did I mention that I couldn't find my insurance card? My "Get to see the doctor card for only $20" card. Do not pass go. Do not collect 100 dollars. Yes, when I checked in at the front desk, I could not find that darn thing anywhere in my wallet. It's gone. Since I've been so healthy this year, I can't even remember where I last had it. Sometimes I carry it with my license in my pocket when I need to travel light - without a purse. Oh how I hate purses but that's another blog.

The receptionist is a good friend of mine. She and I became friends in 2004 when I was visiting the doctor's office weekly - sometimes several times a week to check my INR when I was on coumadin. Well, we really aren't friends but she did recognize me so I did get a hall pass in to see the doctor - er I mean P.A. - without my insurance card. Apparently, it's like a club, if you spend so much money there, you get certain privileges - like SAM'S.

After my exam, I merrily went on my way. Thought I'd stop by Walmart to get my prescription on my way into work. Looking forward to feeling 100% myself and loving the beautiful day we were having. I get to Walmart. They rung the prescription up.

"Two hundred and fifty six dollars."
"Whhhhaaatttt?" I said.
"You don't have insurance," the woman behind the counter said.
"I have insurance."
"Great. We'll just need you insurance card."
"I can't find it. It's probably at home. But I've gotten prescriptions here before. You don't have it on file."
"No." Then the blank stare.
"I have to go home and find it?"
Blank stare.
"Really? You can't just look me up?"
Blank stare.

I leave. Go home. An hour and half later, I'm still sorting through the piles of paper in the file cabinet. Where the heck is that thing? Why isn't it in my wallet? I'm not one to lose stuff and generally, I'm great at finding things. Where is that stupid card? I call our helpful benefits person at work. No answer. I leave a message. I remember that the HR people are often scattered about and not always near a phone but usually near a computer. I email her. Within 30 minutes, our benefits person calls me back with my group number. I grab my stuff and head back into Walmart. Trip two.

The pharmacy person (person in the pharmacy - I don't think she was a pharmacist), calls in my number to verify. Turns out I'm golden but my date of birth is wrong. It was wrong a year ago. I thought that was straightened out but apparently not. Ugh. I'm starting to get a headache. Well, I guess that's not the end of the world. I'm asked to move over to the "pickup line" area.

I step over to wait in the other line. There's only one in front of me. I'm thinking that 1pm must be a good time to pick up medicine because after work the lines are usually so long.


I step up. Spell my last name. It's a common last name but spelled many different ways. I say my first name, and give them my date of birth.

She says, "45 dollars please."

"Sounds better." I said. And I briefly think of the people who don't have insurance and wonder how they get by.

I pay for the prescription and leave. I get in the car and begin driving. At a stoplight, I rip open the pharmacy bag and look at the medicine. Wait. Snap, this isn't my medicine. It's for someone named "Linda." UGH!!!! My head throbs some more.

I pull over look at the pills more carefully. Nope. Definitely not mine. Turn around and head back to Walmart. Trip three.

I didn't get into work. It was frustrating day and driving was probably not a good idea. My head hurt. My back hurt. I was going home to sit in the gazebo. Pat the dogs and cat and say a little prayer for the people who have no insurance. Grateful to have insurance even though it can be frustrating sometimes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

World Championship Hyperlite Competition

What a privilege to see a few of these championship dogs before the storms blew in and postponed the event.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lonely Pictures

I wanted to share some of the photos I took last week on campus. I don't know if we'll actually use any of them so I didn't just want them sitting around and being all lonely. The fence post is my favorite. I love the color of the grass in the background and the repetition.

Savor the details.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The year was 1987. My younger brother and I were carpooling to the community college we attended. We were both studying art. We were carefree and young. I was driving - which was unusual but my brother wanted to cram for an art history test during the 30 minute commute to school. It was a sunny day, the air was light and cool for fall. The windows in our truck were down and the air was blew in.

We were laughing and joking about the test he was about to take. My brother pointed to a painting in the art history book and commented on it. I looked down to see the photo when I looked up, the truck in front of us is less than six feet away. I stompped on the break petal. It was too late. Tires screamed. The words, "DODGE RAM" came at me fast. I couldn't stop in time. BLLLAAAAMMM! I hit the truck in front of me hard. A loud crunch and then it's very quiet.

I looked at my brother and said, "You ok?"

"Yeah. Wow, dad's going to kill us."

As if choreographed, we both turned to look out the windshield and out stepped the other driver.


"Sweet Mother of God," my brother murmured

"We just hit Jesus! I can't believe it."

The other driver looked just like Jesus. He had the long hair, scruffy beard, and a rather old, worn look about him. He's now at the side of our truck. "Are you ok?" I am speechless. All I could think of is, "Of all people, I had to hit Jesus. How much time in purgatory am I doing to have do for this one?"
I pulled myself together. "Yeah, I'm fine." I distracted myself by unbuckling and getting out of the truck.

When I walked around to the front of dad's truck, I don't see too much damage. Whew, a sigh of relief. Looking over to Jesus' truck, I saw that the bumper was now nearly off. It wasn't in great shape to begin. It looked like it was held on with bailing wire. Apparently, this isn't his first blow.

I walked back to our truck and begun digging through all the farm receipts in the glovebox, looking for the insurance card. Found it. We exchange information. Someone calls the police. I am put in the back of a squad car. The kind policeman filed the report. I am not ticketed. We were late getting to class.

I learned a few things that fall day.
1. Never look down at books while driving.
2. Most teachers are forgiving and will let you make up a test.
3. There are no door handles inside the back of police cars.
4. My parents valued us more than a hunk of steel. They weren't mad but happy no one was hurt.
5. Jesus shows up in unexpected places.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is the Grass Always Greener?

We've had some centipede (or maybe bermuda?) grass creep into our lawn. It looks fine in the summer time but come winter it goes dormant and turns brown. BLECK! That's when it looks horrible with the fescue which stays green all winter long here.

A few weeks ago Superman sprayed those patches with Roundup (top photo). The grass turned brown and died. So, last weekend he tilled up the dead grass and seeded fescue. We've gotten a little rain so it's coming up nicely. Maybe this winter the grass won't be greener on the other side of the fence?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just the Bee's Knees

As I was running around like a crazy person taking photos for the annual report, I spotted this little one resting the Lantana plant. On my wish list - a macro lens to really get close on these critters. Savor the details.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Follow Your Passions

I'm used to sketch all the time when I little. My younger brother was my drawing partner. I remember saying that I just, "needed to draw. " I'll admit that I was an addict by the time I was seven years old. Doodling on paper whenever I was given the opportunity. I remember dad saying once that if I could just draw anywhere but his farm receipts, he would really appreciate it.

Our folks would take us to the art supply store and let us pick out something new - a Indian ink pen, special drawing paper or a white eraser. Then when we got home, my mom would often sit with us and draw for hours at the kitchen table. I loved that she took the time to draw with us; to share our skills and learn from each other. Isn't that what it's all about?

When I was 10 years old I entered one of those drawing contests. You know the kind of contest in the back of a magazine where you had to duplicate the cartoon and send it in? I think the contest was actually promoting an art school. Never mind what it promoted, I was set. Pencil in hand; I perfectly reproduced the pirate "Skippy." No problem. Sealed it up and sent it in. Six weeks later I received a check in the mail. I had won $25. I was so excited. We were taken out to buy more art supplies with my winnings.

High school came and discussions about my career goals began. I had an appointment with my guidance counselor to talk about the career direction I wanted to follow. He asked me what I was interested in. I said I wanted to to do something creative. I wanted to be an artist. He said, "I should choose something I could make a living doing - like my older sister who was studying accounting. Now, there's where the money is." A little taken back and perhaps a little deflated, I went home that day and told my mom about our conversation. She said I could be anything I wanted to be and to not let the counselor discourage me. "Follow your passion and your work will never be work," she said to me.

Mom's advise has been ringing in my ear lately. "Follow your passions." With technology and computers, I've gotten away from my fine art side. Sketching has been replaced by other hobbies such as gardening and photography. It's no longer a craving of mine...something I need to do to make the day complete.

This flood of happy childhood memories rushed in when I found a 50 sheet pad of drawing paper on sale at Target last week. It was like I was seven again, back in the art supply store. Excited to go home and try out the new paper.

Wow! I'm rusty. Oh so rusty. And it doesn't come easy. But I'm giving it a whorl - following my passion.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And Then the Bottom Dropped Out

You know that saying, "the bottom dropped out?"
Well, that's exact what happened yesterday when Superman was carrying the 50lb. bag of dog food into the garage. He was standing next to the container which we normally transfer the bag of kibble into when the bottom dropped out of the dog food bag. What a mess. It spilled everywhere - over the stairs and onto the garage floor, under the steps, on the steps. It was colorful. The garage isn't the cleanest so I didn't want to just sweep it up and kick up all that dirt into the dog food. So, we picked up every piece of kibble a piece at a time. Do you know how many pieces of kibble there are in a 50lb. dog food bag? I do! I could win that one at the family reunion guessing contest.

How is it that I have the hardest time opening these bags? That silly little rip cord that you are suppose to pull to open the bag never really works and I always get out the scissors. Maybe I'll just hover it near the container next time and see if it opens itself magically again.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blue Mohawk

This took some effort. I like the color but it wouldn't look good with my complexion. Ha.

More Tattoos

I saw quite a few tattoos today. Some of them were very detailed.

This one gets an A for creativity. Do you suppose all her shirts are laced in the back like this?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shock, Horror, Disbelief

I remember where I was on 9/11. I think most people do.

I was sitting in a co worker's office. We were laughing and talking about upcoming jobs when someone interrupted the conversation - something about a terrible plane crash in New York. We flipped on the tv they had there. The reception wasn't great but that sinking feeling we had was. Shock. Horror. Disbelief.

I walked back to my office several blocks away. When I got in and turned on the computer, the news was all over the internet. It wasn't an accident. It was a terrorist's attack. We were all dazed. Hushed tones sprinkled with tears spread throughout the office. No work was done that day. We were told to go home early. People prayed. I called my parent's back in the midwest and told them that I loved them.

Take a minute today to remember those lost on that terrible day eight years ago.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You're a Chicken!

Why are scared people called "chickens?" Why not ostriches? After all, they put their heads in the sand.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Here's a picture which has an action in Photoshop applied to it - called "70s" This effect seems to fit this particular image.
And below is the original for comparison. It is very vivid. I normally leave my camera on the vivid setting for that extra punch of color. But sometimes, it's just too much color.

Monday, September 7, 2009


This is why they call it a Butterfly Bush.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Katydid It

Is that a big leaf? No, it's a katydid. I hear these every night but never actually see them. This one was on the porch. Savor the details.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Overnight a group of toadstools popped in the backyard. I love how they look fluffy like marshmellow cream.
Now all I need is a little gnome to take up residence.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Prairie Dog

This prairie dog is so chubby that she has cleavage!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Panning is moving the camera in the same direction as your moving subject, while taking photos. The background is nicely blurred and the subject is reasonably focused. Oh... and you need to slow down the shutter speed on your camera...otherwise all action would be frozen, in focus, and clear. And that's not what we are going for. Clear as mud?

Here are a few photos from the park. I need more practice. Can I rent a munchkin to take to the park so I don't get "the look?" (see post below).

First Amendment Rights

It was a gorgeous day here. Highs in the 70s, low humidity - not typical for the south in September. I was itching to get outside so I picked up the camera and I headed to a nearby park over lunch. It's a pretty park - sunk down low from the street. You feel so removed from the rush of the everything. I easily fired off 100 shots of the playground equipment and the interesting rock structures.
Then the atmosphere changed. The children from a nearby school spilled into the park. Recess time! And I thought, "Awesome! I can get some action shots. I want to practice panning the camera and this will be great!" As I stood, snapping photos, shooting with a 300mm lens, most the kids didn't even notice me. This was GREAT!

What I didn't realize was how nervous I was making the teachers. As I moved past them, I stopped to chat briefly. I was asked, "What are you taking photos for?" And I said, "Photography is just my hobby." "You aren't with the paper?" "No. It's a hobby." "You aren't with the school system?" "No, it's just a hobby." "Do you teach photography?" I chuckled at this one. "No, it's just a hobby." A battery of questions - with the same response. I was getting irritated and for no reason at all was starting to feel uncomfortable.

When I turned to continue on my way, I couldn't help but think, "What has this country come to? When someone with a camera (a CAMERA for Pete's sake) can be thought of as "suspicious."

The teachers, however, may want to divert their attention to the drug dealer hiding in the shadows of the park. You know... to question his hobbies.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

View from the Driver's Seat

On the way home tonight, this VW was in front of me. I chuckled at the size of the fin! I mean seriously, could it get any larger? I wished I had captured the license plates which read, "MY DADDY." I guessed that the man driving was in his 50s.

Then further on down the road, there was this trailer. Initially, the custom paint job is what caught my eye and ALL that type. I deal with too much copy on a daily basis so I could relate to the custom paint shop's pains. It was very detailed...er except for that little typo. Well, it's good to know I'm not the only one who makes spelling mistakes.

Go Speedracer Go

This family was at the park last night. In my rush, to get to the dog park before the sunset, I walked around them. I turned to glance back and this is what I saw. Such a sweet picture that I just had to share. Savor the details in life.