Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Piece of my Childhood



Every year for the past several years at this time I begin a search for a piece of nostalgia..the 1984 Cabbage Patch Christmas Album. Every Christmas in my childhood memory we listened to this cassette over and over and over again. I'm sure my parents were sick and tired of it, but I loved it. Those songs were some of the first Christmas songs I learned, and I've longed to hear them again as I have no idea what happened to the cassette (Mom probably couldn't take it anymore and destroyed it). Well, this morning I decided to do a quick Google search and found and downloaded the entire album in seconds! You have no idea how excited I am. I'm listening to it at work right now. I feel I've been transported back 21 years and I'm riding home on Christmas Eve in my tights and patent leather shoes gazing out the window and searching the sky for Santa. Or climbing out of the car at Home Depot, ready to walk up and down the rows of trees to pick out the perfect one. I had wonderful Christmases growing up, which is why I still love it so much now. I'm so glad to have these songs back to share with my own children someday soon. If you're at all interested in the songs go to http://vinylorphanage.com/?p=61#comment-9314 . And yes, the comment on the page from "Angela" is me. I hope you all embrace Christmas this year with childlike faith and entusiasm!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joy

Happiness is a temporary emotional feeling. Joy, on the other hand, is a deep, abiding confidence that God is in control, no matter what happens.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So Happy Together

Well, my two precocious little girls informed me that they are none too happy about all the blogs Mr. Mason has been receiving. They are more than a little jealous of the attention he is stealing from their mommy. In order to reconcile with them (because there's one thing no one wants, and that's to have a couple of cats angry at you) I'm dedicating this post completely to our little gray tabby cats, Maggie and Nelly. Maggie has adjusted to Nelly's arrival and she, like the rest of us, are wondering what we ever did without her. Nelly is a brain damaged, crazy cat that loves you without question, kind of like a dog. She is constantly running and climbing curtains, vacuum cleaners, you name it. Every time she moves she makes this odd little sound like a bird chirping. It's cute, but annoying at 6:00 a.m.! Here's a gallery of the girls....










Fall Into the Gap

On Friday we attended "Fall Into the Gap" sponsored by the Student Osteopathic Medical Association. As Treasurer, Ben worked hard on the event which was very successful with over 100 tickets sold! We had barbecue and beer and roasted s'mores outside next to the fire barrels. We called it an early night, though, because it was quite cold and I'm still only on one foot!

First Snow!

Last week we saw the first signs of snow on Tuesday and again on Friday! Here is a picture of the quad on Friday...just a slight dusting, but very pretty!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bulldog Baby

Remember...he was born on gameday!












Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just Loungin'


Mason in his robe from Aunt Angela. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get much cuter than this folks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern by the Grace of God

"The South--where roots, place, family, and tradition are the essence of identity."
--Social historian Carl N. Degler

Southern women know bad manners when they see them:
~~~~~~Drinking straight out of a can
~~~~~~Not sending thank you notes
~~~~~~Velvet after February
~~~~~~White shoes before Easter or after Labor Day

Southern women appreciate their natural assets:
~~~~~~Dewy skin
~~~~~~A winning smile
~~~~~~That unforgettable drawl

Southern women know their manners:
~~~~~~"Yes, ma'am"
~~~~~~"Yes, sir"

Southern women have a distinct way with fond expressions:
~~~~~~"Y'all come back!"
~~~~~~"Well, bless your heart."
~~~~~~"Drop by when you can."
~~~~~~"How's your mama?"
~~~~~~"Love your hair."

Southern women know their summer weather report:
~~~~~~Humidity
~~~~~~Humidity
~~~~~~Humidity

Southern women know the joys of June, July, and August:
~~~~~~Summer tans
~~~~~~Wide brimmed hats
~~~~~~Adorable sandals
~~~~~~Strapless Sundresses

Southern women know everybody's first name:
~~~~~~Honey
~~~~~~Dahlin'
~~~~~~Sugah

Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts:
~~~~~~Driving Miss Daisy
~~~~~~Steel Magnolias
~~~~~~Fried Green Tomatoes
~~~~~~Gone with the Wind

Southern women know their religions:
~~~~~~Baptist
~~~~~~Methodist
~~~~~~Football

Southern women know their country breakfasts:
~~~~~~Grits
~~~~~~Country ham
~~~~~~Mouth-watering, homemade biscuits

Southern women know their p's &q's:
~~~~~~"P"ecan pie (pronounced "puh con" not pee-can)
~~~~~~"P"ralines (pronounced "praw-leens" not "pray-leens")
~~~~~~"P"unch

Southern girls know the four deadly sins:
~~~~~~Bad hair
~~~~~~Bad nails
~~~~~~Bad manners

Who knew that moving four hours north of my hometown would prove to be such a culture shock? While I moved into the rural southern mountains, this move has also brought me in contact with individuals from many other areas of the country. As a result, I've also encountered many hostile opinions about the South. Why I didn't encounter these same feelings in Atlanta, I'm not sure. I remember when I began my first job, my co-workers were surprised that I was actually from Atlanta, they were all from other areas of the country. They obviously found the South agreeable enough to move here. Perhaps its because this area is much different than the city. I will not deny I have met my own challenges here, but I feel they are the challenges of a rural area, not necessarily a Southern area.

One thing that I've found completely shocking is the absolute bluntness of those from the North, initially perceived by me as rudeness. But in my innately Southern quest to understand and be nice to people, I've learned that rudeness is not their intention. They were just raised differently. For instance, if someone from the North visits your hometown and did not enjoy it, they will not hesitate to tell you so. If a Southerner visits the hometown of a Northerner and did not enjoy it, they would still find something nice to say about the town. We do this not only because we would not want to hurt someone's feelings, but because we understand that the only thing worse than insulting one's Mama is insulting one's home. In the South, we value manners, family, God, education, genteelness, fashion, beauty, the arts, football, food, and laughter. Of course, these are things that everyone enjoys, but in the South we create a way of life around them.

I also understand that this is a generalization. There are many nice Yankees out there. And I'm not saying Yankees aren't nice (this is my Southern manners coming out, I don't want to hurt feelings). They're just different. I'm learning how to look past their mannerisms and find the goodness within. And, sadly, not all Southerns are nice. But, an exception does not make a rule.

Many people think Southerners are prejudiced. But I wonder how many of them have thought about the prejudice against Southerners that has been bred in them through history, movies, and television. How many of them had preconceived ideas about the South before they ever visited or met someone from here? I'm sure many Yankees have encountered hostility from some Southerners, and I'm not excusing this. But how would you behave towards a culture that characterizes you as slow and dumb? A culture that has determined that just because you were born in a certain part of the country, that your "simple" thoughts are somehow not as valid? I'm not sure this attitude is any better than judging someone based on the color of their skin. Just like I have put myself in the shoes of those from the North, I wish they would also put themselves in some Southern shoes. And since our weather is so warm and fabulous, feel free to slip on some strappy sandals.

Diagnosis...we're still not exactly sure

Yesterday was quite the busy day. I was hoping Thursday night that my foot would magically heal overnight, but when I got up at 4:00 a.m. and attempted to bear weight, the waves of pain and nausea made it quite clear that wasn't going to be the case. My ankle felt absolutely fine, but my foot was in extreme pain. The next morning, Ben went to school to take a test and I remained in bed. This was one of those times when being married to a med student really came in handy. By 7:30 a.m., one of his professors Dr. Wieting had written me a prescription for crutches and x-rays, and I didn't even have to get out of bed! I couldn't drive since it's my right foot, so after Ben took his test he got crutches and breakfast and came home to pick me up (after I had spent about two hours trying to get ready). We went to the hospital for several hours where I got my x-rays, then he dropped me off at work where I stayed for a few hours until my appointment at the med school clinic. So, I saw Dr. Seaman at 3:30 p.m., and the good news was the x-ray showed only soft tissue swelling, the bad news was the x-ray was mostly of my ankle, not of my foot. So, he ordered another round of x-rays. Yipee. After getting my very stylish air cast and prescription for some pretty potent pain meds :) :) we were on our way back to the hospital. Luckily this time we were in and out. At home Ben made sure I was comfortable with my foot elevated and plenty of pills. By this morning my foot felt a lot better. Dr. Seaman called this morning. He got one of the ER physicians at the hospital to look at my x-rays and he didn't see any fractures (he was specifically worried about my 5th metatarsal where most of my pain is). We will still have to wait for the radiologist report on Monday to be sure, and there's still the chance of a hairline fracture not showing up in the x-ray, but I do feel a lot better. Today I could even allow my toes to touch the ground to help my balance! Ben has been doing a great job cleaning the house and making my meals, which is pretty stressful considering he has a test next week. Hopefully the bone is just bruised and not fractured so I can have fast healing time! Now, I'm going to lie down. The Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen is making me pretty nauseous, so I'm going to take the suggestion of WebMD and lay with minimum head movement. The joy of drugs, you trade off one pain to get another. Thanks for all of the concern!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Jackie O

Those of you who know me well know I LOVE Jackie Kennedy. There are many ways in which I try to emulate her. I wear pearls as my signature jewelry item (and mine are fake, just like her signature three string pearls), I send out handwritten notes on personal stationary, I try to be the perfect hostess, and I try to choose a classic way of dressing that is stylish yet timeless (that is a work in progress, it's harder than it sounds). There are many many ways in which I will never ever be like her. She was always graceful in walk with her shoulders back. Well, I inherited my fathers gait, and while it's great for a man it's less than attractive on a woman. I've tried very hard to change. I've even walked over and over towards mirrors. It doesn't work. My shoulders also slump. I think I inherited that from my mother, who was never proud enough of her 5 feet 11 inches and therefore always slumps (and just in case the height wasn't enough to make you hate her, she's skinny like a supermodel too). Jackie spoke in a quiet soft voice that made gentlemen have to lean in to hear her. If you've spent .7 seconds with me, you know I'm LOUD. It's another thing I try to change. In college I decided instead of fighting it I would just channel the trait into becoming a speech communication major. I never made less than an A. Go figure.

So why the sudden dissertation on the strengths of Jackie and the weaknesses of Angela? Because tonight I had another reminder of why I can never be like her. I arrived home after nine tonight from an SAA meeting. I got out of my car (and I would like to insert here that it was raining all day and the ground is quite slippery) to walk to the trunk to get out a bag and WIPE OUT! You know those times when you fall when you just don't know where you lost your footing or how, but suddenly you're out of control? Well, I slipped on the ground, twisted my ankle, and rolled a little ways down our front hill with the contents of my purse strewn over the lawn. There was searing pain through my ankle and foot. I managed to drag my body to my purse, fish out my phone, and call Ben who was inside. When he came out the door his response was not, "Oh my goodness, poor baby, are you okay?". Nope, it was "Why in the heck are you laying in the middle of the yard, get up!". Now I ask, if I had been able to get up, why I would have called him? He also said, "You are officially the clumsiest person I know." OUCH. I'm pretty sure Jack never said that to Jackie. He really shouldn't complain. He hasn't taken me to the hospital for my clumsiness nearly as many times as my college roommate Elizabeth did. The UGA Health Center knew us well! Anyway, he carried me in the house and did some manipulations on the ankle. While I have complete faith in him and know he would never do anything to hurt me, in the midst of the pain in my ankle I found myself screaming, "Please don't!! Remember you are not yet licensed to practice medicine!" He keeps telling me how dramatic I am, but how can talking about how bad something hurts if it really hurts be dramatic? So, I cannot put any pressure on my ankle AT ALL. Ben, being the clever boy he his, devised a way for me to get myself around the house.

Used to be a bar stool...now it's my walker.



















So I'm in the bed, and I ask Ben to bring me orange juice and my computer so I can blog and he said I was PUSHING IT!



















He brought the orange juice, but do you know that he refused to bring me to my computer so I could blog? He said I am way too addicted to blogging and he refused to be an enabler.
This is me, devastated, desperate, and begging!














So, I did what any dedicated blogger would do. I got my stool/walker and began the slow trip across the house myself to update the blog with the night's adventures. I do know Jackie was determined to get what she wanted, so here's an A+ to me for stubbornness.

And...come to think of it...Jackie did sprain her ankle while participating in one of the rough Kennedy tag football games at Hyannis Port, so hey, maybe there's hope for me yet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy One Month Birthday Mason!

Happy one month birthday to our nephew! The above is a picture his mom sent me last night, he's laughing up a storm!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mr. Mason


Couldn't you just eat him up?!?!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Auntie Ang and Uncle Ben, Round Two!!

We are so excited to announce that we are going to be an aunt and uncle once again! Ben's twin sister Lauren is pregnant and is due in May! I think Ben is hoping for a nephew he can begin training him to be Georgia's next quarterback. We are definitely going to have to set aside some money to invest in his or her Georgia wardrobe since Ken went to Auburn! We want the red and black to outweigh the blue and orange! Whether boy or girl, we are praying for a happy and healthy mommy and baby! Here's the most recent picture of our new little darling....

Let the spoiling begin!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saints in Sin City

Last week Ben went to Vegas to attend the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Convention, and I went to Vegas to attend the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association (AAOA) Convention. The AAOA is made up primarily of the families and spouses (although membership is open to anyone!) of osteopathic physicians. The purpose is to promote and support the osteopathic profession. For more information, please click on the link to the right of the page, or www.advocates4dos.org. You may remember that last year I was SAA (Student Advocate Association) president. Well, the SAA is just the student level of the AAOA (and if your eyes are glazing over at this point with all the abbreviations, I'm sorry). I remain on the board this year as immediate past president, and was thankful to have the opportunity to attend convention this year, as I attended it last year in San Diego. It is a fantastic opportunity to connect with physicians and students and their families from all over the country, in all specialties, and in various levels of their careers. It provides a fantastic networking opportunity as well as an outlet of support from an extended family. One of Ben's professors, Dr. Wieting, took him to the PM&R (physical medicine and rehabilitation) dinner one night as this is a specialty Ben is interested in. Dr. Wieting's wife, Shelley, is our SAA advisor and a past president of the AAOA. They took several of us to dinner the first night we were there. The second night, Ben attended the PM&R dinner while I attended a dinner for the SAAs sponsored by the Family Physicians Auxiliary. The third night, Dean Stowers took ALL of DCOM participants to dinner. The last night was the AOA/AAOA President's Reception. All in all, we had a good time, but we just don't know that Las Vegas is our kind of place. There were plenty of neat things there, but it was so expensive and if I'm going to spend that much money, there are other places I would rather be! Here are some pics, for all of our pictures click on the link to the right entitled "The Photographic Album" and then click on the first album AOA-AAOA Convention.



At the Knoxville airport before a very long day of traveling.
In the limo on the way to the hotel.
Myself, Cat, and Anna working the AAOA booth in the exhibit hall.
The DCOM SAAs, our advisor Shelley, and current AAOA president Linda Adams.
The SAA dinner at The Grande Lux.
Fountains at the Bellagio, simply spectacular.
Ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio.
This guy changed his facial expressions!
In the Bellagio.
Doc giving a toast at the dinner he gave.
The entertainment at Doc's dinner, he's been there almost 30 years! Here he's playing Rocky Top. Not my favorite song, but cute nonetheless.
Shelley Wieting and Dr. Wieting, after he was just elected to the AAOA board, the first physician!
All of the Tennessee delegates at the AAOA Convention.
Cat manning our sales booth at the AAOA convention.
Ben working the DCOM booth in the AOA exhibit hall.
Cat, Anna, and I styling with our balloon hats outside the Bellagio.
Ben with his puppy dog hat.
Ben with the dragon at FAO Schwartz. He wants to have children simply so he'll have an excuse to purchase items like this. When I asked him what he would do with an enormous dragon, he replied, "what wouldn't I do with an enormous dragon!"
I decided to play one penny slot in Ceasar's just so I could say I gambled, and I won $54! Yippee!
The awesome band at the President's Reception.
Anna, myself, and Rhonda at the President's Reception.
Ben and I.
One of the views from our room. This is Trump International.
This is INSIDE the Venetian. It was a little weird to walk through at midnight and feel like it was daytime.