Guilty dogs

I bought a few more towels the other day, and when I got home, I dropped the bag in the kitchen floor and sprinted to the bathroom. I returned to the kitchen to get my towels out of the floor, and this is what I found. 

That face... Have you ever seen anything cuter? The answer is no. You haven't. He obviously thought he was going to be in trouble for snuggling up inside the bag with my new towels. That's his "I did something bad" look. Even if I was mad at him (which I wasn't because I was going to wash the towels before we used them anyway), I couldn't have stayed mad at that face. 

I sometimes wonder how I'm going to love my children more than my Oscar Bob. 

In other news, Grayce (all 80 lbs of her) jumped on our bed a couple of days ago and broke it. Seriously. My side of the bed, too. Matt "fixed" it, so I'm just waiting for the frame to give out in the middle of the night and cause me to have a heart attack. I wish I would've taken a picture of the whole fiasco, but I didn't.

God bless her. It's in those Weimaraner genes to be a terror. I love her though. I'd love her a lot more if she'd stay off my bed and quit getting into the garbage. She's currently licking the coffee table. Why, you ask? Because that's what she does. Why not?


Honeymoonin' (Part 1)

I've changed my mind. I'm dropping out of medical school, and Matt and I are going to live in a tent on the beach in the Mayan Riviera.

After our wedding, we spent two nights in the cutest little beach house ever. We had intended on relaxing on the beach Sunday before our flight to Mexico left early Monday morning. However, due to the inclement weather (to say the least), we camped out in the beach house and watched NFL. Not exactly what I'd had in mind, but it was relaxing. The storm settled down enough Sunday afternoon for us to drive to the nearest Domino's. (Seriously. Apparently married life is exactly the same as our pre-married life.) I stayed in the car (again... inclement weather), but Matt told the Domino's guy that we had just gotten married, so he threw in a couple of free chocolate lava cakes. Highlight of my day.

 Of course, Tropical Storm Lee peaced out about the time we were getting ready to leave, so I got a few pictures around the house.

I imagined having a late-morning breakfast and coffee in this cute gazebo outside our house. Too bad that was left to my imagination only, since Tropical Storm Lee rained all over that parade. Literally.

Welcome to Mexico!! (Notice the sunshine.)

Our resort! So beautiful. Ahh... Can I go back??

Our room..

This made me a little giddy :)

So when we got to our room, there was a sign on it that said "Happy Anniversary." I laughed, and I told Matt, "Happy 2 day anniversary!" Our personal concierge was quite distraught over the fact that our banner didn't say "Honeymooners." I told him to please not lose sleep over our door banner. It was really okay. It was changed the next morning. Haha. Poor Roberto. Stressed out over door banners.

Honing my self-timer skills before we headed out to dinner our first night there.

One of the 8 restaurants. We ate in this one by the pool our first night. 

 Kobe beef. D-lish.

Breakfast in bed... Livin' the dream, folks.

Beach time!

The water was beautiful and clear, and there were white angelfish swimming everywhere. The fish kind of freaked me out at first. (Confession: I am afraid of fish. Really, really afraid of fish. Go ahead, laugh.) Once I realized that they weren't going to bite me, I was okay with them. Well, mostly okay anyway.

Blue skies. In sharp contrast to West Florida.

This picture doesn't do the beach justice. The sand was almost white and so silky and soft, and the water was a turquoise blue. One of the largest coral reefs in the world is right off the coast, so the reef breaks all the big waves. There were barely any waves at all. 

The second night, we ate at a Japanese place, and it was one of our favorites. Apparently, I'm the village idiot because I didn't know that rubbing Buddha's belly was good luck. Between rubbing his belly and all the rain on our wedding day, we're pretty set for some good luck, and I think I'd like to cash in on that good luck on March 16!! (Matt was a little too enthusiastic about rubbing the giant Buddha belly if you ask me...)

Me not knowing to rub Buddha's belly...

Educated on the benefits of patting the golden abdomen...

Oh, [sigh]. Writing this post makes me want to go on a permanent vacation. Not that Jackson, Mississippi isn't smothered in luxury, but I do prefer a place with an ocean view.

To be continued.


A follow-up on my green thumbs

Green thumbs? Not this girl. I really tried. I had a couple of plants, and tried so hard to keep them alive. (Click HERE for part 1 of this story.) My prayer plant lasted a few months, and then it began to deteriorate. I watered less, I watered more. I moved it to another room where the sunlight hit it in the morning instead of the afternoon. I loved that plant and its green patent-leather-looking leaves with purple undersides.

However, no one told me that "root rot" existed until it was too late. Root rot? Who has ever heard of root rot? To quote Wikipedia, "it is usually lethal, and there is no effective treatment." No one told me to take it out of that basket thing where it could drain. My uncle did tell me not to overwater it, but when it started to die, I thought maybe I didn't water enough. Wrong. I watered too much, and it couldn't drain, and my roots were rotting, so I hastened the plant's death by watering more. Not watering my dying plant was just too counterintuitive for my black thumbs, and I couldn't resist the urge to water. Ahh! So I drowned the prayer plant. RIP.

That gerbera daisy only lasted one season, but I don't think they're the kind of plant that lasts for years. As if I really know. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

However, my aloe plant LIVES ON! Not only has it survived, it has multiplied! I need to get a bigger pot. So this post was not actually intended as an obituary to my plants, but to share the excitement of using my aloe plant.

Recently, I was cooking dinner, and I took a pot out of the oven. I set it on the stove, and I left the kitchen for a minute. I returned. Apparently the oven mitts lying next to my fresh-out-of-the-oven pot did not serve as an adequate reminder that the pot was fresh-out-of-the-oven hot. I grabbed the lid with my bare hand. I'm glad my mother wasn't in the room. I lost my religion for a second.

I remembered my aloe plant. I broke a piece of it off and held the gooey goodness to my finger. I wasn't impressed, so I put it in the freezer for a minute. Ice cold gooey aloe. From my very own plant! It was a little silver lining in having burned flesh. It almost made me feel better. My finger pain went from a 9 to an 8. Maybe a 7.5. I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Anytime I do anything remotely self-sufficient (which is not often), I think of Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a child, I wanted to be her. Including living in a dugout by a creek. But that's beside the point. I grew something and used it!

Anyway, I got a little thrill out of using my aloe plant. It lives. It has purpose. If you get burned, you know who to call.

And just because you read this ridiculously long post about my plants, dead and alive, you certainly deserve something a little more amusing.

Tomorrow's Friday! Hallelujah! 


The list

When I pack for anything, I make a detailed list of what I need before I start packing. Then I usually call my mom, read it to her, and ask her what I forgot. (Hi, I'm 25 years old, and I can't pack without my mother's help... so what?) I check things off as I physically put them in the suitcase. Then I pack the list itself so that I can make sure that I come home with everything that I took. I do this whether I'm going somewhere for 2 days or 2 months. I am the least obsessive-compulsive type person you will ever meet, and the only reason I go through this ritual is because it is necessary. I'm a terrible packer. Too many times I've gone to the beach without a bathing suit or to camp without a hairbrush. I don't know what my problem is. I can remember minute factoids about obscure diseases, but I can't always remember to pack my toothbrush.

After we got home from our wedding and honeymoon, I found a list that Matt had made before the wedding. I think it's hilarious. The simplicity of his list bewilders me. What is the point of such a list? "Travel?" What? See, under "Wednesday," I would have written "shorts, flip-flops, tshirt, sunglasses, white shorts and blue halter top to wear for dinner, light brown sandals, pillow/blanket for car, car charger for phone....." You get the point. He writes, "travel." Then Friday is also funny. Just in case he would forget that Friday night was our rehearsal dinner, he wrote that down. However, the best part of the list is Saturday's section. It perfectly illustrates who Matt Newman is. He doesn't write "wedding." (I guess he decided he could remember that on his own.) He does write down that he needs to bring an Alabama polo to wear that morning while watching the game with his buddies. Typical.

Of note, turns out the Sunday "swim" was a bust. Something about a tropical storm...

PS: I did not marry Matt for his spelling abilities. His math skills are much better.


Mrs. Betty

I did a rotation in a clinic back home last fall, and it was one of my favorite months. I met one of my most memorable patients who told me a story I'll never forget. It's a story about the kind of love I pray that Matt and I have for each other until we're old, gray (or bald), and taking full advantage of the Senior Discount at McDonald's. I thought about this story and this patient recently, and I wanted to share it. I don't do it justice, but I'll try.

I met a lovely 82-year-old who told me to call her Mrs. Betty. She showed me the bite on her foot, and I went over the medicines she needed refilling. Somehow during our conversation, she began to tell me about her husband, Ed. He called her Mama.

Back in May, Ed and Mrs. Betty were watching TV when Ed said, "Hey, Mama, what size ring do you wear?" She told him she wore a 7, and he laughed and said, "I thought you had little fingers!" She promptly informed him that a 7 did not mean she had fat fingers. She was average. Then he asked her when her birthday was. "You know it's November 12." Ed said, "I'm not gonna forget it this year, Mama." She wondered what he was up to, but she didn't ask. That was the end of that conversation.

Two weeks later, Ed went out to his garden. He didn't come back. He died right there, doing what he loved to do. A few weeks after the funeral, Mrs. Betty was going through the table drawer next to Ed's chair. She found an envelope with a note, written in pencil in his handwriting: "Mama, I ordered this for your birthday. I know I won't be here. I love you, forever. Love, Ed." Inside the envelope was a picture of a ring and the phone number of a jeweler. Mrs. Betty called the jeweler, and they told her that the ring had already been paid for, but that they were told not to ship it until the end of October so that it would not be there before her birthday. Sure enough, a couple of days before her birthday, the mailman knocked on her door and handed her a small package.

I sat on a stool in that exam room, close to Mrs. Betty, listening with tears in my eyes. Mrs. Betty cried as she pulled that envelope out of her purse with her beloved husband's handwriting on it. She cried as she opened the box and showed me that beautiful ring. "Edmond & Betty" was inscribed on it. "Isn't this the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?" It absolutely was. She cried as she told me that it wouldn't fit on her swollen finger right now.

I am not a pretty crier. My face turns splotchy and red, and it stays that way for hours. I left the exam room and found my attending. He said "What's wrong? Are you okay??" I skipped the formal patient presentation, and I said, "Mrs. Betty needs to tell you a story. It's show-and-tell, and I suggest you bring a box of Kleenex."

She let us take a picture with her, and it's one of my favorite pictures from medical school. She's showing off her ring, and it's precious. It just reminds me why I want to do this. I love people. I really do. People tell their doctors everything (more so than I ever knew before I entered my 3rd year of medical school!), and I really think it is such a privilege to be that person that people trust with their health, their lives, their secrets, and their stories. I can't imagine another job. I won't post my favorite picture because of privacy issues (even though Mrs. Betty said we could post in on a billboard for all she cared), but I do have a picture that I will share.

Isn't that the most beautiful story ever? There's no way Ed could have known that he would die. I can't remember exactly, but I believe he had an arrhythmia or something similar. Sudden. He didn't have cancer. He wasn't really sick. He just somehow knew in his heart that it was his time to go, and he wanted to make sure his wife, the love of his life, had a happy birthday even though he would be gone. How thoughtful and loving and wonderful is that? I just think it's one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. What a lucky woman Mrs. Betty is! Ed loved her so very much, and he went out of his way to make sure she knew it--even after his death. If only all of us could be so blessed.

For the record, Mrs. Betty is the only patient who has ever made me question whether I'd rather do geriatrics or pediatrics.