Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Jewel from Kevin........

Stand by your staff

The other day, a client arrived one hour before his scheduled appointment. When he was told that his doctor was finishing a procedure, the client became very agitated and belligerent. Loud and unreasonable, he berated our front desk staff and was insulting and rude to them. He was so ugly to them that one of the young women was almost to the point of tears.
Who acts like this? How has this unacceptable behavior come to be the norm for this customer? Certainly, the customer is always right, but what if the customer is a bully, or a drunk? What if they are emotionally unstable? Witnessing this exchange, I quickly asked the man into an exam room. Noticing on the jacket folder of his record where he worked, I complimented him for his company’s reputation. I told him that I had heard only wonderful things about him and said that he must be having a particularly bad day based on his exchange with our front desk staff. I told him that I liked and respected my co-workers and thanked him for now allowing me to work with them upset for the rest of the day. I told him that I would be at his place at 1 o’clock during my lunch and that I would do my best to cause a scene and make his employees cry. I told him we would see him and his animal as quickly as we could and reminded him that he did show up 60 minutes early. The man left the room, apologized to the front desk personnel, and was a model citizen after that. I think that by speaking softly, calmly, and reasonably, we often can reach the angry customer.
Stand up for your staff. The front desk has the hardest job in the hospital. Always in the public eye, they are the first and last of your staff seen by the client. Support them, protect them, and nurture them. Compliment them when you see them doing something that you like. Nothing takes the wind out of their sails faster than when they are being reasonable and doing what you have instructed them to do and you take the customer’s side, undercutting their position. There is a fine line here, but if they are right, support them in the face of the bully or the ugly-acting client. It is clear to me that the most successful hospitals have competent, talented staff members confident in the fact that their doctors respect, protect, support, and appreciate them. Every day, thank someone on your staff for the job they do. Watch the effect it has.
See you next week, Kev

I am tellin y'all......I thought I heard harps when I read this. Ok, I'm doing it......Thanks to all the support personnel who make it happen at "our house" every day. Y'all are great and even though we have chaos sometimes, it all works out in the end.

Birthday Party

I lifted this picture off Sarah's blog. I actually forgot we even took it. The dog's name is Sissy and it was her 16th birthday. Her mom brought cake and ice cream and we had to sing Happy birthday to her.

Quotes From Steel Magnolias

Here is a list of my favorite quotes from the most quotable movie of all time, Steel Magnolias.

Truvy: In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight.
Truvy: Time marches on and sooner or later you realize it is marchin’ across your face.
Truvy: Oh get with it, Clairee. This is the eighties. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.
Clairee: All gay men have track lightin’. And all gay men are named Mark, Rick, or Steve.
Truvy: There’s so much static electricity in this room, I pick up everything but boys and money.
Shelby: Relax! You can’t screw up her hair. Just tease it and make it look like a brown football helmet.
Shelby: Remember what Daddy always says—an ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure!
M’Lynn: Drum would never, ever point a gun at a lady.

Ouiser: Oh! He’s a real gentleman! I bet he takes the dishes out of the sink before he pees in it!
Ouiser: I have got to talk to M’Lynn about her husband. He is a boil on the butt of humanity.
Clairee: Looks like two pigs fightin’ under a blanket.(observing the new mayor’s wife dancing)
Truvy: I don’t trust anybody that does their own hair. I don’t think it’s normal.
Ouiser: This is football. All people care about are touchdowns and injuries. They don’t give a damn about that grape sh*t.
Truvy: Sammy’s so confused he don’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.
Ouiser: I’m not crazy M’Lynn. I’ve just been in a bad mood for the last 40 years!
Ouiser: Yes, Annelle, I pray! Well, I do! There, I said it, I hope you’re satisfied.
Annelle: I suspected this all along!
Ouiser: Oh! Well don’t you expect me to come to one of your churches or one of those tent-revivals with all those Bible-beaters doin’ God-only-knows-what! They’d probably make me eat a live chicken!
Annelle: Not on your first visit!

Clairee: Very good, Annelle! Spoken like a true smart-ass!
Truvy: I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.
Clairee: Ouiser could never stay mad at me; she worships the quicksand I walk on.
Ouiser: A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Truvy: Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.
Ouiser: The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God.
Clairee: Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!
Shelby: I'll have some sweet tea.
Truvy: House wine of the South, comin' up!

Finally....a way to lose weight I am familiar with!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New talent

Girl found a pair of skates in her closet today and had to try them out. I couldn't find her knee pads, so we just pulled a pair of soccer socks up really high. She fell once in the driveway, but once she got her "sealegs" she was fine. We made about 3 trips up and down the street with her holding my hand, then she was fine on her own. Another milestone.

My Hero

Here is an excerpt from a blog written by Kevin Fitzgerald, D.V.M. He is the boss dog of exotic animal medicine at Alameda East ( of Animal Planet Fame). He is also a stand up comic in his spare time and has made the rounds of vet meetings as the "entertainer". I have had the chance to see him several times and participated in a small group that he led once. He was really earthy and friendly and seemed genuinely interested in giving out the knowledge he has accumulated over the years. Anyway, he has been writing a blog about his thoughts pertaining to practice and the personal investments we all have to make. I tried to just link it here, but for some reason it wouldn't work. I just copied and pasted it.....there is more than one way to skim a blog! ( He is damned cute too with all that silvery hair, huh?)

"Do something little
As teenagers, college students, or veterinary students, we are alone with our dreams. Usually we share them with only a few people, but our dreams drive and guide us. They help shape us. More often than not, we create the future we want to face. Our dreams can also cause us some worries. I remember thinking as a student, “Will I get into veterinary school?” Then after I did, I remember thinking, “Will people come to me? Will I be a good veterinarian? Will I be competent? Will I make a difference?” We all embark on our adult lives hoping to do big things, achieve something great, make our mark.
After 25 years in small-animal practice, I have learned that life isn’t about doing something big. So what is it about, you ask. Life is about doing little good things every day. It is about thanking your staff, being patient with your clients and listening to them (even when they are annoying), and calming and being gentle with scared, sick animals. It is about smiling at people. It is about being civil. Little kindnesses are so easy to do—so simple—and they cost you nothing.When was the last time you made someone’s day with a compliment? When did you last help someone solve a problem that had nothing to do with you? When did you last give someone a second chance? (Wouldn’t you like one once in a while?) Life is not at all about doing something big; life is about stringing together fine days of quiet, gentle, good things. That is the secret of being useful, of being kind and helping others. It really isn’t very much about us. It is about linking together a life built of little kindnesses and of service. Get involved in the local science fair, referee girl’s basketball, or volunteer at Career Day. Get out there and do something little. You won’t believe how good it makes you feel.
See you next week,
About the Author

Kevin Fitzgerald, PhD, DVM, DABVP

Jumping the Shark?????

Yesterday, I heard the term "jumping the shark" again and I still didn't know what it means. Thanks to wiki, I now know that it means "the defining moment in a tv show, music, book series, etc., when you know that from that point on, it is all going downhill.". The specific reference to the shark is from the episode of Happy Days where a leather-jacket-under-life-vest wearing Fonzie waterski jumped over a penned up shark. How lame was that? I remember it vaguely because I had pretty much stopped watching it by that time.

The latest "shark jumper" that I regularly watch is CSI. When they wrote Sarah Sidle out, I continued to watch, but really lost interest. Then they shot Warrick in the season finale, which just chapped me good. Now I heard yesterday that Billy Petersen who is the STAR of the thing is out too in the 10th episode this season. It is pretty much over. They would have to bring in some really big name to cover that. ( Maybe Kurt Russell?) Billy said that he will be back for guest appearances, as will Jorja Fox, and that fans will be happy about what happens to those characters. I sure hope so because they have been killing me with the last two seasons.

Beer in Da Rear - finished product

Ok, here is the tipsy chicken. I had to truss the legs with a rubber band because there was a huge gaping hole where the beer can was and it was a bit embarrasing for the poor thing. It looked like there was more "hole" than chicken. It looks like it would be best right out of the oven, but I figure it will be passable after re-warming.


Ok, y'all know that when I am stressed out, I cook. Lemme just say that I have already made a Lumberjack breakfast this am, washed all those dishes, and now I have a pot of beans on the stove and a "Beer in the Rear" chicken in the oven. I was thinking about making some cornbread dressing to go with the chicken, but I don't have a bell pepper and I can't do it without that . Big Daddy had to go to work for a few hours, so I am here with our guests on my own. Kids wanted to go on to camp today because they both had field trips, so I got up at regular time and hauled them into town. I did make one stop in town to get two essentials - cat litter and limes. I have GOT to totally dump the boxes today because there just comes that point when you HAVE to do that. That Bob really can stink up a box. The limes, well I need them to make my favorite diet coke/rum/lime drink. I think it is called a "Cuba Libra". I'll probably need one before this day is over. I may have it before lunch at this rate.

Anyway, the chicken is in the oven - Here's a picture of it as it was before it went in the oven. It is smelling good in here now. I will take some more pictures of it when it comes out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dance class starts again in two weeks. This time she will be taking Lyrical/ballet and a combo tap/jazz . We will be burning up the road between the Y and Collierville two days a week. Gonna have to do a lot of extra planning on dance days to be sure she gets there with all her clothes and shoes and hair up etc. Just look at that face- it is definately worth it - she loves it so much!

One of my favorite pictures

Here is one of my favorite pictures of the kids from what seems an eternity ago. I think Boy was three and Girl was about 16 months . It was really just a few short years ago, but it seems like a lifetime. I am so glad that we have digital photography and "blog diaries" to keep up with all the memories for them. I think there is a way that we can get the blog made into a CD to keep for them. I need to find out how to get that done.

Aren't they just precious?

This may be one for the cookbook

Tonight I had to rush around doing last minute clean up for the impending arrival of our houseguests tomorrow, and make something to pop in the oven for dinner tomorrow night. Well, this one may make it to the cookbook. So far I have about 60 recipes to put in, and I need about 80. This one may be so good it can count as two. At least what I licked offa my fingers was really tasty.

Obviously, the picture above is NOT of the dish I made because mine is not cooked yet, but I googled chicken, spinach, and cheese and came up with that picture. It may actually look like that when it is done, at least I hope it does. "Chicken Florentine" usually is a combo of pasta, chicken, spinach, cheese and cream sauce. Mine had all of that, only I used "Dreamfield's" Carb control pasta and made the sauce out of sour cream and cream of mushroom soup with a little saute'd onion and garlic added. I used Monterrey Jack cheese to sort of bind it all together.
I took a picture of it , but with a white lasagna pan and white cheese, it was sort of , white. I'll shoot it again after it is baked.

Big Daddy cleaned the bathrooms and vac'ed the back of the house, then swept the front of the house and made sure the kid's rooms were clean. He even striped the boy's bed and washed teh sheets and put them back on. Pretty good if you asked me.

Now all I have left is to finish up the laundry and make a list for the store tomorrow.
Tomorrow promises to be interesting at the least.

Anybody want a Free kitten?

They're ugly, but we like them.
A good samaritan picked up these 10 "kittens" on the side of the road where their mom had been hit by a car. Oddly enough , they have all survived and now are waiting for a spot for a soft release by the "real" wildlife rehab folks. We have permits to treat and hold them, and could do the whole thing if we had a good place to release, but we don't. Hopefully we will be able to get them into the rehab soon and get them out on their own.

Test post

This is just a test......dumbo Lauren can't figure out how to get to the blogspot, so we had to do a test to show her how it goes into the email. I think she has worms in the brain.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Clean up day

We had a major cleaning day here today...and we ain't half done. It sort of started with the need to move Boy's things around so that a wheel chair could access it. Our Aunt who had a stroke recently and now uses a chair is coming to visit and his room doubles as a guest room. He had so many pieces of furniture in there that there was NO WAY she was going to be able to get in and out.

We started by moving out the big buffet that he had in there holding his million and one movies and assorted books, toys, papers, and accumulated detritous that little boys treasure. When we moved the bed, it was horrible. It took him an hour to clean that stuff up.

Then we moved the entertainment center from our bedroom into Girl's room to try and get some of her junk off the floor and out of reach so it wouldn't be so convenient to leave it everywhere. I already gave away her big dresser and nightstand last week, so she had space for it. Baby Daddy had to do some cleaning out of his own and he was the deeper of the vac. He bought the Dyson, so he feels like he is the most qualified to use it. Roll wid'it I say. Needless to say that snowballed into a major re-do of everything in her room, so much so that I may not have to do the big paint project I had planned in there. ( pictures above) I am going to do something to cover that "hole" behind the TV, but otherwise I think it looks pretty good.

I ran out of gas about 2 pm and had to just quit. Everything was pretty much done in that part of the house by then. I still have to clean the hall carpet because there are some stains on it from cat puke. One of these days we are going to have new flooring back there.

Now tomorrow after work I have to go to the grocery and then come home and do all the stuff that didn't get done today. Thankfully, they won't be here until sometime Tuesday, and I might beat them here. No idea what I am going to cook for them, but at least the kitchen is already cleaned and ready to go.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is the incredibly lovely and talented "Clairesse". Lovely when she is clean and clipped, talented at eating, leaking urine, digging holes, and tracking in mud. She's in the neighborhood of 10 years old or so now. We aren't sure exactly how old she is because she came from a rescue ( that is a shout out for Miss Alli's Rescue) and her age wasn't known, but I thought she was about 6 or 7 then and that was 4 years ago. Time flies. Of course, she stepped right into the footprints of the fabulously unforgettable Ellie Mae, so we have had a pretty seamless era of white standard poodles in our family. In fact, I don't think Boy remembers that Ellie and Clairesse are not the same dog. Girl can see pics of Ellie and think that it is Clairesse. "Claire" is not as social as Ellie was, but with her history and behavior now, I think she was probably a puppy mill dog. She is never more happy than when she is in a pen full of dogs.

Bummed after shopping for SCHOOL SUPPLIES

How many crayons does one kid need? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that they are $.30 a box at W*&%mart and we have a case of them now. It is hard to stomach how much stuff we have to buy just to start them off in school. Girl had to have 24 glue sticks. Boy had to have 12. There were more ziplock bags on their supply lists than I use in a YEAR.

Of course, there are new backpacks to find and Girl had to have a new lunch box because her old "new lunchbox" didn't match the new backpack. I can't even tell you how long this discussion went on in the middle of Target this morning. The "old-new lunchbox " was bought in MAY of this year to be used for summer camp. But now it doesn't match and is no longer needed. Problem is, I sort of understand where she is coming from because I like my socks to match my shirt . It is a 70's -80's thing I guess. Needless to say, she now has a lunchbox and backpack with the same colors and pattern as well as a new charm bracelet and a bunch of other stuff that was NOT on the list. I just can't resist when she says, "Mom, just let me 'splain it to you." Believe me when I say that she knows how to get ANYTHING she wants!

Boy has not bought a back pack yet because I am going to get him an industrial strength Tony Hawks one that MIGHT hold up a little better than the ones he had last year. He had one with Darth Vader on it last year and Darth looked rough in no time. Ol' Darth really got beat up on the bus and at the Y.

After the Walmart trip, we were hungry, so we went for some dinner at the Catfish Company. We were going to Hazel's, and I had my WOW in my purse for the FGT's, but Hazel's was closed. Not so sure why, could be a regular thing.

So it was catfish. Much to my delight, they have FGT's too , so I got to have them anyway. I had no qualms at all about taking out my jar of WOW sauce and plopping it right there on the table. The server had a fit saying how much she loved Lulu's. She had never had the WOW, so I gave her the rest of the jar - there was only a couple tablespoons left. I'd have never given up a whole lot of it to a stranger! I bet she is one happy little FGT eating camper tonight. I have a reserve jar at home, but when it is half gone, someone better be planning a trip to the coast. It's good on fish too, and probably chicken or okra ....or just on a spoon! There were some people there from our old church, so we got to visit with them and show off the kids, so it was a good, down-home night.

After we got home, I got two boxes and began divying up the school stuff. Only thing I still need is Boy's backpack and Girl's jumbo package of multi-colored construction paper. I'll get those two items tomorrow and be DONE with it !

Big plans for tomorrow include: moving furniture around so that Aunt Faye's wheelchair will be able to roll around freely in here . Next week is going to be an adventure with them here, but it will be good to see them. We don't see much of Norm's family and I know he wishes we could visit more often....but it is a LONG way up there!

Equal time

Ok, since Lily got her own photo post, Bindi wants one too. Bindi is a 2-year-old brat of a dog. She's a miniature australian shepherd and exhibits all the quirks that come with that. She is a difficult dog to live with, but she does have a few good points too. We love her a lot and she is quite lovely, even though she does have a bit of a weight issue. Anyway, here she is.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dedicated to Lauren

This picture is posted especially for LAUREN because she probably can relate to it, especially today. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

The Lovely Lily

This is my little old Boston Terrier , "Lily".
She is 11 years old now . Isn't she just gorgeous?

Funky Friday

Today was a very strange day.........

It all started off with the kids fussing and generally acting up when we were getting in the car, then I forgot the bank deposit at home. I also left my breakfast on the kitchen counter, which made me a little crazy by the time I got to work.

The day was not busy with out-patient appointments, but I had a cryptorchid surgery and a spay to do and about 20 "drop-off" things to handle.

Then Bonnie brought out the flat iron she had bought at lunch and worked on my rat's nest of hair. Actually, for my hair it looked pretty good today. The curls were relatively controlled for once and about the right volume. I hated to mess it up, but we HAD to try the thing out! I don't guess it looked too bad, just very different! It only took about 5 minutes to do it, so I might be able to swing it at home. I looked on ebay and found a professional flat iron and bid on it. Never know, I might just take up a second profession in hair styling. Actually, if I don't do my bleach soon, people are going to start to talk. The dark roots aren't as noticible when the hair is springing in all different directions!
The family is at the YMCA for "fun night". I didn't leave work until 6:00 and had dogs with me,
so I came on home. The peace and quiet is kinda nice actually. Oh well...they just walked in! So much for that!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kids Practicing "Glof Ball"

Happy Wednesday!

A day off during the week is a GREAT thing! It'll be even better once school starts because the kids always want to stay home on my day off when they are out of school. I don't mind really because kids need down time to "be bored". These two need the rest, I think. They stay so busy at day camp that they are exhausted every night. They help me ( although reluctantly) with chores when they are here and we usually try to do one fun thing and I let them help me make something they want for dinner.

Today our projects include:

1. Cleaning out Girl's dresser to discern what we have and what we need to start school. Thankfully, we have a LOT of hand-me-downs from my niece which we can wear this year, at least until it gets cold.

2. General clean up that I do every day off.

3. Figure out a way to use all the tomatoes on the counter top before they go bad.

I have already started some of the tomatoes in the dehydrator to see how they taste as "sun-dried" tomatoes. I cut them into thin slices, the put them on the dehy trays and sprinkled with a sea salt/garlic/italian seasoning mix and stacked 'em up and turned it on. I had a few jalapenos from the yard, so I seeded those and put them in on a separate tray. In about 10 minutes it was smelling like a pizza parlor in here. Of course, the yield of all 6 trays will likely be less than one sandwich bag. Lotta work for little reward, but if they taste decent, we can get more tomatoes and start a batch every day til the tomatoes run out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday at 5:38

Products Reviews...........for lack of anything more interesting

Ok, so I am going through a phase right now where I am REALLY hungry several times a day. I don't know why, but I am and it is hard to control. Therefore, product review today is going to be for sugar-free, Aldi gelatin cups. I think the name of them is actually "Fit and Active", but we just call them jello cups. I think I qualify to review because I have had three of them today- two with in the last 10 minutes. Flavors are black cherry and orange - at least that was what I had. There may be others that I have yet to discover. The texture is a little bit more rubbery than Jello brand, but I don't care. They taste pretty good, and for only 15 calories, they really fit the bill for something to put in the pie-hole when you really want a jelly doughnut. Not the same, but it can get ya through.

I was in a rush ( as usual) this am when I left home and forgot my tea bags, so I had to stop and buy me some tea. I had to stop in for my salad anyway, so it didn't matter. I bought two bottles of "Gold Peak Iced Tea" , unsweetened ( dammit). It is in the cooler section where the single soft drinks and snapples are kept. I got it to work, filled my big cup with ice, added the sweetness trio, and a wedge of lime , then poured the first bottle in. After a quick swirl with my finger- it was ready. I was pleasantly surprised. It really tastes like real tea and not some crap from a dry mix. The label says it contains " water, natural tea essence and natural tea concentrate from tea leaves, caramel color, and phosphoric acid. Hmmmm. When I make tea at home( or at work for that matter) , I use water and tea. I add my chemicals in the form of sweetener and acid in the form of limes........

Guess I should go ahead and get ready to leave work. I'm sort of excited because I am going to Vitamin world after work to get my colon cleanse stuff. I am always looking for an exciting project, and this happens to be the one I'm excited about right now. Call me in a few days - I might have changed my mind!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Backyard plans

Ok, so I got the porch painted and cleaned up. Now we have a few other little "things" we want to do to make it into a kid-friendly place to hang out.
1. Add more lighting so we can actually see the kids in the pool after dark.
2. Build a "Fountain ala Lulu" - shouldn't be too hard and recirculating pumps aren't too expensive
3. Build a Tiki bar structure to double as a puppet theater. Both kids LOVED the puppets at the library and at VBS .
4. Build a fire ring ( like the picture) . Looks like all we need is some blocks, a shovel and some elbow grease.

Can't wait til this one gets to video

The movie is "Space Chimps" and my chirren are begging for it. I bet it will be cute the first time we see it, the hundredth time, not so much. Thanks to Drake and Zeke for talking it up for weeks and making the children want to see it.

I'm waiting with baited breath for " Beverly Hills Chihuahua."