Monday Morning Maddie

Monday, March 31, 2014

So it's been a pretty emotional two weeks with my sweet Maddie. Seemingly overnight, she was having a really hard time trying to stand up and I worried that maybe it was time to say goodbye. She's also had this cough for a while now and it just sounds like something other than allergies. She still has a strong spirit and a good appetite so I thought maybe there was hope.

I finally got the courage to call the vet after crying myself to sleep for two days and I was able to get her in Monday afternoon. I had to carry her in since she was struggling so much with simple tasks like standing. Walking was next to impossible.

The vet evaluated her and took some x-rays. The x-rays showed that she has some marked degeneration in her lumbar region but she said her lungs sounded clear. I had gone the holistic route with Maddie starting in the fall but the vet felt it was best to get her back on meds and switch her to a prescription food that was specifically for joint health. She told me to keep an eye on her cough and suggested some lozenges that would help to calm it if it got worse. I guess when dogs get older, they loose the cilia that allows us to cough things out easily.
My new manager has horses and she suggested a joint supplement that she gives her horses that's also used for cats and dogs so I headed to the tack store after the vet. I looked at Maddie in the back seat and started crying happy tears that I was going to get more time with her.
Then the vet called the next day.
She said that she sent out the x-ray to be evaluated by a specialist and that they think she has a pretty significant mass in her right chest cavity. All I heard was ultrasound, surgery, cancer, chemotherapy.
Honestly, the rest of the conversation was a blur. I just can't imagine putting her through surgery. She's TWELVE. And she's never been a particularly strong since I got her a year and half ago. Millie's going to be turning 12 soon but you would never know it. She gets around like a champ and has the energy of a puppy.
The vet said that if I do nothing, she'll get progressively worse eventually so I've decided to focus on helping her to walk better and be as comfortable as possible.
My sister said that I should expect this since I'm adopting older dogs but, honestly, I would be just as sad if I had her for a month, a year or the full 12 years.


Monday Morning Maddie

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm not sure what luck o' the Irish means, but I'm pretty sure it means, breakfast in bed.

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.

"That's just perfect"

Original Post Date, March 16, 2010

I just read about Megan Fox's clubbed thumb. Awesome.

And I already knew about Tina's Fey's scar. Fabulous.

These women make no excuses or attempts to hide their flaws. In fact, they barely acknowledge them.

I'm scarred, too.

No, not mentally. Although, God knows that's the truth. I’m referring to my physical scar. Can you see it?

That’s right. It’s just above my lip on my left hand side. I was two years old when my older sister, Lisa, pretended to be a horse and beckoned me to climb onto her back. As any self-respecting, Bonanza watching four-year old would do, she bucked this rider and I went flying into the corner of a table.

The result was a trip to the emergency room; stitches for me and an ass beating for her. Since the year was 1968, I was likely stitched back together with a rusty sewing needle and the resulting scar is my penance for acting like a two-year old.

For all the different levels of angst and insecurity I've felt over the years, I’m surprisingly unaffected by a scar right on my face. I’ve only had person ever ask me about it on a date and he blurted it out in a fit of nervous chatter somewhere between the salad and the main course during our first meal together.

I actually think it makes my face a little more interesting.

But then, I'm the one attracted to the guy with the crooked smile or the funky cowlick in his hair. And I think the woman with the space between her teeth or the oddly placed mole is beautiful in such a unique way.

Let's face it. Perfection is overrated.

And more than a little boring. So I'll keep my scar.

And my chubby dog:

And my hyperextended fingers:

And we'll be just fine.

Week from Tuesday, then?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The other day, I ran into a friend from my former (miserable) life at the hospital. She and I were both supervisors for the Eye Institute. I managed the support staff of secretaries, front desk staff and file clerks for six locations while she managed all the ophthalmic techs. After the administrator left that we both reported to (and LOVED), we had a revolving door of dopes and power hungry bitches for two years and it was nice to have someone to complain about it with on a daily basis.
I had promised that we would keep in touch and try to get together at least once every few months but that hasn't happened. But, like I explained to her, it's nothing personal. I'm an equal opportunity ignorer.
Is ignorer a word?  
Let's just say that I equally ignore everyone. Notice I didn't say "avoid". I really don't intend to let months go by but without seeing or contacting anyone but before I know it, I'm running into someone, once again, who is scolding me for not calling them.
It's odd because once I left the daily grind, I envisioned having all kinds of time to fill my social calendar with events that I would pick and choose based on my mood of the moment. Life would be grand!
Don't get me wrong. My life is pretty damn good but some days I wonder the heck I did the entire day. It's all relative, I suppose. I had stress in my life before and I have some stress now but it's at such a different level. I love that the worst thing I have to deal with is not being able to get an appointment until tomorrow to have my dog's nails trimmed.
Hey, are you free for lunch?

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hey, Mom, I agree with what Winnie the Pooh said, “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”  

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.

"How to be an effective communicator"

Original post date: July 23, 2009
I spent 8 hours today in a management training that focused on "What is takes to be an effective leader in our organization." One of the things that I value about working here is that there are opportunities for growth in different areas based on your track record and your willingness to learn and not based solely on your education level. Just before lunch, there was a moderated panel discussion with 4 leaders from different departments in the hospital.

- Panelist A studied in the Phillippines and is the manager of the Histocompatibility & Immunogenics Laboratory and the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. Yeah, I have no idea what that is, either.

- Panelist B studied in India and is the VP of Radiology Services.

- Panelist C has worked in healthcare and is the manager of Accounts Receivables and handles billing for 300 physicians.

- Panelist D has worked for the institution for 33 years and currently manages the Supply Chain Services department.

Each panelist was presented with questions that focused on their role as a leader and their role in employee development. Some answered with very succinct responses, some were a little more philosophical and one made no sense at all. It was obvious that he has advanced through the system based on his longevity and ability to adapt to the changing environment and not because of his education.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not an education snob. C'mon, I don't even understand what Panelist A does. Personally, I don't hold any advanced degrees (which I'm reminded of by one doctor who is an education snob-"I have my MBA. Do YOU have an MBA??) and I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I take pride in my communication skills and my ability to interact effectively with all different kinds of individuals but I don't thumb through my word-a-day calendar to enhance my vocabulary before meetings and I don't try to use convoluted analogies to make a point.

Let me give you an example:

Question 1: What do you see is your role as a leader in the organization?

Here was his response: "It's like when you plant a tree or flowers and those flowers or trees, too, are out in the sun. Some trees will only grow in certain climates but others will grow in any climate. And flowers, too. You need to provide that climate so they'll grow. I also use the motivitators that the system has in place." (No, not a typo. He said motivitators.)

Uh huh, uh huh, I see...

Question 2: What systems are in place to help you be an effective leader?

"I can't just do it all myself. Take my shirt for example. It doesn't just wear itself. It's made up of a series of seams and stitching that make it stay on my body. Do you see what I'm saying?"

Uh huh, uh huh, I do....

Moderator: "Okay, thank you all for your responses. Do we have any questions from the audience?"

Yes. What the F#$! is that guy talking about?

Our meeting was held in Shaker Heights, which if this sounds familiar to you, is the name of the city that President Obama held his town hall meeting in today after he visited the Cleveland Clinic. Yesterday, you may have caught a reporter asking the President why he chose to visit the Cleveland Clinic. He floundered for a moment before he said that the reason he chose the Clinic was for its "doctors unique focus on patient care and affordable services over profit."

Let me clarify this for you. It's bull. I work for the OTHER large healthcare institution in Cleveland that shall remain unnamed. The Clinic does not have more affordable services. In fact, dollar for dollar, a great majority of their services are higher priced than ours. What attracted Obama was the model that the Clinic employs regarding physician salaries.

A number of healthcare institutions work on an incentivized model of compensation for their physicians. What this means is that a physician will be paid X number of dollars as a base salary and has the opportunity to earn additional money based on surgeries, higher numbers of patient visits, etc. The perception is that this type of model encourages unnecessary tests and procedures soley for the benefit of the physician's bottom line.

The Clinic has all of their physicians on a flat salary but don't think for a second that administration doesn't know dollar for dollar where those doctors stand at any given minute of the day. Meet your productivity or lose your job. Which is better? I really don't know. And I could give you a long dissertation on the state of healthcare but I'll save you from that.

Instead I'm going to prepare for my staff meeting tomorrow by deciding what kind of flower I am and making sure that I wear a blouse with seams. I want to be sure that I motivitate everyone because I know that some of them are unedumacated.

Don't adjust your TV

Friday, March 7, 2014

Yes, you're in the right place!
I'm in the process of trying to simplify my life and my blog is part of that. I've had the same template for about 3 years and it was time for a change. I still need to play around with it so I can add/delete some things.
What do you think?

All hail the King. Cake, that is.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Did you guys every hear of a King cake?
I walked into the kitchen at work this morning and there was this odd looking cake decorated in Mardi Gras colors.

It had a note on it saying, "Look out for the baby inside" and I thought that was pretty weird.
My first day, as I was being walked around and introduced to everyone, I met a guy named King. Well, King is quite the foodie and he offered me one of the cinnamon buns that he had made. I was in cinnamon bun heaven! King travels around the world as an engineer for us and is currently compiling recipes that he's gathered over the years for a cookbook. Occasionally, he'll make one of those recipes and bring it in for people to try.
So, OF COURSE, I assumed "King" had made the cake for Fat Tuesday and scribbled this little note on it to be silly. Well, I couldn't have been any more wrong.
Apparently, the King cake has a long standing tradition in New Orleans. Some say the tradition of the wreath shaped cake to honor Christianity's Three Kings goes back to old world France and Spain who then spread the tradition to the Americas. The mardi gras colors are represented in purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power.
A toy baby (to represent the Baby Jesus) is placed in the cake and whoever gets the piece with the baby will have good luck. As long as they don't choke on it.
The tradition was started in our office about 10 years ago by someone's wife who happened to be from New Orleans and thought it would be a fun thing to bring in. The baby recipient is kept secret until the cake is gone. The "winner" is ensured good luck and has the lucky honor of buying the cake next year.
For the record, I didn't get the baby but I think I'm pretty lucky to be part of such a fun group anyway. 

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.

"Do you smell that?"

Original Post Date, September 28, 2009

I stopped wearing perfume a few years ago. It wasn't really a conscious decision. I ran out of a fragrance I had been wearing and the prospect of picking out something new was too overwhelming. You know I'm incapable of making decisions. And a whole bottle of perfume is a big commitment. You know I have trouble with commitment.

The last fragrance I wore was chosen by a man I was seeing. We had gone out a few times when he said to me, "I have to ask you something."

"Okay, go ahead."

"I don't want you to get mad."

"Well, gee, when you preface it like that, I guess I'll do my best."

"I would like to take you perfume shopping."

"Oh. So you don't like my perfume?"

"Um..honestly, sweetheart, no, I really don't."

"Oh. Okay. Well, what is it about it that don't you like?"

"Well, you kinda smell like an old lady."

"Oh. Like Bengay and urine?"

" cheap and overwhelming."

"Oh gosh, well, when you put it like that, how could I be mad?"

And honestly, I wasn't. It amused me more than anything else.

So I've been thinking about my whole dating life or lack thereof. Maybe it's not as black and white as boy meets girl. There might be something to the olfactory angle. Just maybe I should be thinking of it in a more primal way like animals do. Let's analyze this.

Animals rely on pheromones to attract the opposite sex and signal mating readiness. Researchers studying animals have shown how pheromones work, tracing complex neurological paths to stimulate parts of the brain that are deeply rooted in instinct.

A male hamster smeared with vaginal secretions from a female hamster will attract male suitors. Queen bees ensure their royal status by excreting chemicals that sterilize the other female bees around them. A female boar, after one whiff of a particular secretion from a male boar, will immediately assume the mating position. It usually takes me two lemon drop martinis.

I remember back in the late 80's, a pheromone perfume was introduced to the market that claimed to attract the opposite sex. Of course, when I was in my 20's, it didn't take much to attract the opposite sex. Guys wanted the hot girls in Jordache jeans and girls were eager to expose their boobies to boys wearing pink T-shirts under Armani-like jackets a la Don Johnson in Miami Vice.

The existence of pheromones as sexual attractants in humans is debatable. Some theorize that they don't exist at all or that they exist in the young but weaken with age.

I think we've all come to the realization that I'm a sucker for a pretty face. And that these pretty boys don't serve me well in my quest for a long term relationship. So I'm going to do my own clinical trial on the pheromone phenomenon. I will act as both investigator and participant.

Phase One: I'll place another personal ad online but this time, I'll seek out the successful and stable; yet sheepish and insecure, regular guy. The one who has a 4 bedroom house in a subdivided neighborhood in the hopes that he'll meet Miss Right and fill those bedrooms with the pitter patter of little feet. He's the one who's worked his way up the corporate ladder and defied the theory that only attractive people get ahead.

Phase Two: When we meet, I'll hug him hello and casually spray him with pheromone cologne. By the end of the night, I'm hoping to feel enough tingly tinglies for me to want to see him again.

Phase Three: The protocol will mandate one spray and one lemon drop martini each time we go out. Bowling and/or a night of Dungeons and Dragons optional.

Conclusive evidence of the existence of pheromones as sexual attractants will be proven when I order a second lemon drop martini.

Be sure to stay tuned for the published results of this study.

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