Saturday, February 25, 2006

Never good with Names

One very nice anonymous person corrected me on the Dan Jansen Olympic story... I had written his name as "Jennings. "

This brings up a real problem with me and names....I am horrible with remembering them!
I have a bad reputation for forgetting names or referring to people by the wrong name....especially if I get it wrong the first time.

Dan Jansen will probably forever be thought of as Jennings by me for the rest of his life! It seems to go into the long term memory bank and I can never seem to withdrawl that mistake.
Now when someone corrects my makes sense to me that I said it wrong...but I invariably have a few people/things that I continue to get wrong. (other examples include-saying cups for glasses or vice verses, saying unthaw instead of thaw in reference to frozen foods, saying stove for oven.)
Since my husband has lived with me for 31 years, he now understands most of my terminology mistakes. I consider myself educated but just like the spelling hangup I have, I also have a few other little idiosyncracies that bug me.

Jeffrey will tell you the time he was going on a blind date to one of the high school dances. His dates name was Lauren...I called her Stephanie like 4 times in about 10-15 min. Needless to say Jeffrey was kinda embarassed about his mom...
He still to this day jokes about that blind date by saying, "You know mom, my blind date .... "Stephanie?""

It really amazes me that I can remember non-relevant trivia and things of no value but can't remember some of those more important facts, (like names!)....
Even my family is sometimes amazed at the facts I pull out of the air....sometimes they just shake their heads!

Oh, well...I can only apologize for the brain lapses! Sorry Dan "Jennings"....

Friday, February 24, 2006

Happy Birthday to Michal!

Happy Birthday Michal!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Sleeping Olympic Fan

So this year I am having a hard time getting into the Olympics.

Every Olympic year, our TV is usually glued to the Games. We get that great patriotic feeling about the good ole USA and watch anxiously to see what the athletes are accomplishing. Who can forget Dan Jennings and his many falls and his compelling story to "skate for his sister"? He definitely showed that perseverance pays off and everyone rejoiced when he achieved his gold medal.

This year I am really blase about the competitions. There is no "Dan Jennings" type story. They tried to make the Michelle Kwan story or the Bode Miller story into a "we all care what happens" kind of thing, but it just didn't work out that way. They are even pathetically trying to make the Russian figure skater into a "Big Story". You know the old: "I'm old, I'm sick, I'm taking care of my sick mom, this is my third try to get gold kind of story." They barely mentioned this chick until Michelle Kwan quit.

Well, it almost seems unpatriotic to not watch the Olympics. I enjoy seeing hard work pay off and athletes giving their all.
I think that there have been moments of great accomplishments this year, but I for one have basically missed them. I am ticked off that all the good competition is on TV so darned LATE! I cannot seem to stay awake to see any of these shining moments.

I really enjoy watching the ice dancing and managed to stay awake to watch the short program. I think I stayed awake because there seemed to be an unusual number of falls...some of them pretty spectacular ones. I have missed most of the other late night competitions because of the sleeping factor. I sit down and before you know it, I am watching the back of my eyelids!

I will admit that my hubby and I are avid curling viewers this Olympic year. They put curling on TV at 8 AM and 5 PM so I am not sleeping during this timeframe! I have really been getting into the "excitement" the curlers show during their games! I still don't understand much of the scoring or strategy but they do all that yelling of weird things, look so serious, and seem to get into their games. How can you not like that? My hubby and I even had a discussion about curling around this area, and checking into this activity. On further review, that sounded like a pretty dumb idea. How cool could those curlers really be, and can you imagine me and the hubby in some curling club?? I think probably not!

Pretty soon these Olympic games will be over and we will have to wait a couple more years before we get to see them again. The TV coverage at those next games needs to do some readjusting of their lineup so we actually can get excited and watch the competition at a reasonable time. I miss that patriotic feeling and I don't want to be known as the SLEEPING Olympic Fan!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Dog's Life

Chillin' at the "grandparents" house while Mom & Dad are out of town.

Maddy...the second cutest dog in the whole know Lucy would be hurt if I said she was the cutest!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Spelling Bee

So I got several comments on spelling "definitely" wrong and it brought to mind my oldest son competing in the local Spelling Bee when he was in elementary school.

When Older Son (OS) was in elementary school, he surprisingly won the right to compete in the City Wide Spelling Bee. I say surprisingly because he wasn't all that great a speller in elementary school. We spent many Thursday nights studying those dreaded spelling lists for weekly Friday spelling tests.

Well, anyway, his dad and I were really proud of him being selected. We worked for several evenings going over the long list of spelling words that would be in the contest. There were way too many words on that list and none of us were really willing to dedicate long hours for study time. We talked briefly about those "trouble" words that have 2 meanings and are spelled differently.
Now days when I hear about those national spelling bee contestants, I always shutter to think about the amount of time invested preparing for those major competitions.

The big day arrived and we were all surprised how many people showed up for the City Wide Competition. OS was quite nervous but calmly took his place on the stage. They started the competition and all the participants were doing fairly well.

There was a list of spelling words in the program, and all the audience followed along with each word. You could almost tell who were the parents of each kid that got up to the podium because those parents would smile, offer encouraging expressions, or even hold their breaths. When their offspring completed the word correctly, a relieved breath was expired along with applause.

It was devastating to that first boy that missed his first word...he left the stage in tears and his parents immediately went to comfort him. (I later found out that this was our family physician's son and we have talked about how traumatic that was for his son to be the first one knocked out.)

It soon became apparent which kid was up next, and what word they would be asked to spell. As the worrying mom and study partner, I knew some of the words OS had trouble spelling. I kept thinking, guiltily, that maybe we should have studied more. I also saw how serious some of the participants were taking this little spelling bee (think national spelling bee contestants...and all those dumb questions they Definition? Does it have a different pronunciation?... etc.)

Just about that time, some mom sitting next to me says, " Boy, I'm glad my son doesn't have to spell "stationery (ary)" because he always forgets which one means the envelope and which one means immobile.
I stated in a confident voice, we reviewed those "trouble" words and my son knew that particular one...we had specifically addressed that one.
She then repeated that she had tried to remind her son that the "E" in stationery stood for envelope but he couldn't seem to remember that clue.
I looked at her in shock and said, "Oh, my gosh...I told my son the wrong definition for Stationery vs. Stationary!" (Remember when you read about me having trouble with certain word spellings....this happened to be one of my "trouble" words also.... for some reason I "thought" I had the right definition with the right spelling.)

I thought to myself... what is the chance that OS will get that word? Probably, little chance and I relaxed for a brief moment.
Then the "worried mother syndrome" kicked in... I frantically counted the number of words till "stationery" came up and just as frantically counted when OS would be up to the podium.

Words just don't cover that sinking feeling when the universe aligns just right and the most improbable event becomes reality. Sure enough, OS was going to get "stationery" for his word!!!

I sat in the stands just waiting for this big calamity, knowing there was little I could do to correct the problem....Also knowing that OS WAS going to spell it WRONG! I had coached him and knew there was no doubt. Some small part of our brain really likes to hope for the impossible even in situations we know the outcome.

OS proudly takes the podium, gets the word "stationery"...asks for the definition... and spells it WRONG!
He looks at the judge with shock in his eyes but calmly walks off the stage.....

He was totally ticked at his mom for messing him up....

Even to this day, I can recall that horrible sinking feeling....But,

I know how to spell stationery now .............

Monday, February 13, 2006

The "Big Snow"

It snowed this weekend in the east.
That statement is typed sarcastically, because it seems like no one could escape all the coverage on local and national news about the "big snow in the east."

Now I am not making light of the fact that New York had "record breaking snow"- 2o some inches.
I know that there were "blizzard conditions" along the eastern coast.
I know from first hand experience that we had 12 inches of snow that needed shoveling!
I guess it is news worthy when so much snow falls because it affects airports, jobs, schools, grocery stores (due to the stampede to get supplies before the snow), and even electricity.

We have been really lucky this year that we have had virtually little to no snow up to this point. I basically would have to say that I didn't mind this "big snow" because:
  1. It happened on a weekend so I didn't have to worry about getting to work.
  2. It wasn't too cold to be out shoveling.
  3. I had a nice neighbor that used his snow blower to help me shovel the important parts, so I could spend my time outside shoveling as much or little as I wanted on the other things.
  4. The snow was just right for building snowmen.
  5. I had plenty of firewood and a good book to read, so it was kind of cozy.

The down side of the snow was that it interfered with the Jam Session that the O-Bros had planned for the weekend. The youngest son was unable to drive home from college due to the snow. I was really looking forward to the family being home and one of my all time favorite things is to listen to the boys jam.

The middle son came for dinner on Sat. prior to the "big storm". He actually was pretty funny to listen to because he HATES weather forecasters. I think he was really looking forward to the brother jam that was cancelled almost as much as I was. He was preparing for the forecast to be totally wrong this weekend. (Per middle son, the forecasters are generally wrong regarding snow predictions.) Well, the forecasters actually got it right this time!

"Big snows" usually cause people to reminisce about other big snow storms. We always talk about the huge amounts of snow we got in 1996 (31 in.) and in 1999 (26 in). These both resulted in about a week off of school for the boys. I was amazed that so many of their friends were still able to get to our house just to hang out even though most sane people wouldn’t dream of driving unless it was absolutely necessary.

I also remember the advice that our neighbor gave us about snow and snow blowers when we first moved from Texas. Not knowing how severe the weather gets in our new state, my husband asked the neighbor if he should buy a snow blower while it was on sale.
The neighbor proceeded to say, "You don't need a snow doesn't snow enough for one." Let me tell you that not long after one of those "big snows", the neighbor has since bought himself a snow blower! ( This is one of those pieces of advice that you just can't help but continue reminding said neighbor about!)

I guess some things rarely change so we will still watch the forecasters predict the snow and wait to see if it actually snows. If we do get that “BIG SNOW”, you can only hope that one of your neighbors helps you shovel with his snow blower!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


So my mother has been reading my blogs and asked me if I could take criticism well.

She said she has been enjoying my entries but has wondered as she reads along: "Does Tina know she is spelling 'definitely' wrong or does she really not know how to spell it?"
Her further thought was, " I can't believe that girl doesn't know how to spell 'Definitely' ." Being my mother, she explained that she thought I was just too smart not to know how to spell it, but she keeps seeing it spelled wrong. ( You know how mothers are....they always think their kids are smart, wonderful, kind, compassionate, good spellers, etc......)

I guess I could just lie and tell you that it was a typo... I could say that I was so into the writing process that I didn't realize..... OR I could tell the truth and say," I know I spell 'Definately' wrong but just can't seem to get it right!"
Yes, I know that I just spelled it wrong , but it is almost the right way for me because I have spelled it this way many more times than I have spelled it right!

It falls into those words that I just have trouble spelling....along with separate, beneficial, envelope, capitol and probably many more!

It actually pisses me off that I can't get 'definitely ' spelled right... I really like to use that word!

So.... to my Mom, who is an excellent speller(!)... thanks for the info and the gentle criticism....don't get upset when I continue to spell it wrong.... I absolutely, certainly, positively, unquestionably, without doubt, undeniably, categorically know I spell 'definitely' wrong.
{Thanks to the thesaurus for words I could/should use in place of definitely}.

Spell checker has ruined us all!!! Too bad I haven't figured out how to spell check in these blogs.

P.S. I was feeling the pressure to spell all my words right so I DID spell check this entry....The really funny part was that I misspelled separate the first time I wrote it (I usually end up spelling it 'seperate' instead of the right way....I'm sure if you keep reading, you'll see it spelled wrong for yourself!)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Ode to Uncle Gary

Today is Uncle Gary's Birthday so Happy Birthday from your brother, your sister-in-law, and all your nephews!

It's hard to describe all the great qualities about Gary. There are many stories that could be told about him. His brother could definately tell some secrets on him because they have a wonderful, close relationship...even if they talk in shorthand. I have heard phone conversations between the two of them that last all of about 3 minutes, but much gets said in that short time.

Most of the boys' friends have had the opportunity to meet Gary at the OBB or at the high school talent shows. He is always the life of the party. He also plays a mean flip cup!

One "Gary" story that makes me chuckle was the time Uncle Gary brought one of the infamous Lorobi's Pizzas to JMU for Tommy and his friends. He was bringing this pizza as a surprise from WVA because everyone knows Lorobi's has the BEST Pizza ever!

Well, since it was a surprise, Tommy was not at his apartment when Gary arrived. Gary knocked on the apartment door, wearing an old man's mask and a Lorobi's pizza hat. Justin, Tommy's roomate at the time, didn't even blink an eye about the mask and proceeded to say something about them not ordering pizza. I don't know what I find funnier, the fact that Gary would pull a trick with the mask and Lorobi's hat OR the fact that Justin blithley opened the door to a masked pizza delivery person and carried on a normal conversation.

His nephews definately like jamming with him while he plays the drums and tailgating with him at WVU. We all love doing some " front porch sittin" at his house and all the great get togethers in WVA.

We all love Uncle Gary because he enjoys life, loves his family, and is just an all around great guy! So Happy Birthday!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

BRA and Bloggers

Since I have started blogging (thanks again to Cara), I have relayed my enthusiasm to all I meet.
I am thrilled that my sister, Neva; my friend, Mary Ann (although she says her internet has been down and she hasn't had time to write more than her initial entry); and now my niece, Melissa are all beginning bloggers, like me.

As Justin's Uncle Bobby stated in an email to me, he claims he is a BRA.
That would be Blog Reader Addict. I think my husband might fall in the category now too. I know I get a huge kick out of reading everyone's entries and I wait anxiously to see how many comments I get on each of my entries. I think that is really the fun part of blogging.

I think that Cara has made this blog thing look easy because her blogs are always interesting, funny, and easy to read. I have found that it is more difficult to do than it looks. I'll keep trudging along with my little blog and hopefully i'll get better the more I write...

I still find it funny that I am actually writing...I hated writing in school and am still the world's worst procrastinator when I have to write letters or emails or thank you notes.

So here's to all the BRA's out there... I am not just a spokesman but I am a client too!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A visit to the old job

So I went to see my old coworkers at my previous job today.

They all asked me if I wanted to come back and work there again....the polite answer to that question is "NO, but thanks anyway."
The not so polite answer would be, " Not NO..... but H*#* NO!"
It was really hard work, on your feet alot, and always under time pressure.

I am sure my boys are happy that I no longer work at the OB-GYN office. I was told by one of my offspring that if I left any more brochures describing STD's and how to prevent them laying around (ie on his bedside table)...THAT WAS IT!!!! You gotta love medical brochures....

Since I work for a neurosurgeon now, the focus turns to any back or neck complaints. Whenever my family mentions the occassional ache, I do become the "20 questions girl."

The questions always go something like this:
Family member: "My back has been aching a little today."
Mom: "Does your leg hurt or just your back?"

FM: " My neck feels a little sore."
Mom: " Does your arm hurt or just your neck?"

After the appropriate question & answer period runs it's course, I usually just advise, " Take some advil and call me in the morning." ( I know it is a cliche but advil, rest, and heat do work wonders!)

I am soo family members usually try to avoid mentioning minor aches and pains to me to avoid those inevitable questions.

If they forget and mention that small ache, they don't even pause to let me ask the questions anymore....they just say,
" NO my leg/arm doesn't hurt and Yes I'm taking advil!"

Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why I like watching House

So my son, Jeffrey, turned me on to House on Fox TV and I really get a kick out of that show.
I have to admit that when I first started watching it, I "didn't really get it." I think it takes a few times watching him, to begin to understand some of the finer points in the show.

Being in the medical profession, I am constantly amazed at some of the situations you encounter. Sometimes it is the patient that can surprise you and sometimes it's their family that can surprise you.

(Ok, No groans from my family when I start talking medical stuff. They have listened to alot of medical stories over the years. {Remember, that topic "I know somebody who died like that??...."} Well, anyway, it's sometimes easy for me to forget that they are not in the medical realm and really don't want to hear gory details while eating their dinner.)

I like watching the way House deals with some of his patients. Many of the themes of the show happen in real life. One example of that is how often patients don't tell you the truth.
In the show tonight, the patient lied about medication that she was taking and she had lots of complications from that omission.
I have had patient's lie about EVERYTHING (ie. drugs, symptoms, alcohol usage, allergies, prior treatments and the list goes on...). I even had a lady lie about needing to take a pregnancy test, because she didn't want her second husband to know she had had a hysterectomy. {I thought it might not be too long before she had a third husband with thinking like that!}

I haven't really figured out if they mean to lie or they just don't remember things. I really can't understand how someone can "forget" to tell the doctor that they have a pacemaker (or have had heart surgery, or are diabetic, or have cancer, etc....This list also goes on and on regarding omissions that have actually happened with patients...).

Anyway, I like how House "tells it like it is" to his patients. He doesn't sugar coat anything. I have often wondered how it would feel to tell that patient that forgot to "share" important medical information, "Are you an idiot? That lack of information could kill you!" House manages to get away with NO bedside manner. His lack of finesse is humorous to me.

I also like watching House because they do "talk medical stuff" and because it does bring home the point that medicine is not an exact science. Patient's sometimes forget that doctors don't always know exactly what is wrong with them.
WARNING: Quit reading now if you don't want free medical advice.....
My advice, for what it is worth, is to write your medical history down and keep it handy when you go to the doctor. Listen to your gut instinct and ask questions if you aren't sure what the doctor is recommending. Doctors are not Gods....even House "knows somebody who died like that....."

If you don't watch House...give it a can be kind of addicting...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Washing my Car

Just a quick thought....I was out yesterday while it was raining...getting the aforementioned haircut...and noticed how dirty my car was.
I had the brilliant idea: "since my car is already wet...I could just rub a cloth over it and take care of some of the dirt." ( I had used this same theory previously when I cleared snow off the car and my husband asked if I had taken my car to the car wash.)

Well, by the time I got home, it had quit raining but was still cold, wet, and threatening more rain.
I began the process of "washing" my car and while I was doing this, my husband said, "You're an idiot...Nobody washes their car when it is raining and cold outside."

The next thing I hear is a male voice calling from the street saying, "Excuse me, but would you like to buy some frozen meat. " After the no thank you...not interested line...he says," would you like to wash my truck next?" (This said with a smirk. ) He drove off with a chuckle after I related that my husband thought I was an idiot....

So I now realize that it doesn't really work that well to just "rub" dirt around on your car...
I am a perfertionist and just couldn't stand those "oil" spots on my white car. I proceeded to actually use soap & water and drag the hose out to rinse it off...

By the time I was done, it was truly raining...not quite "cats & dogs raining"...but enough for someone to think...What an idiot!

I can only use as my defense that I get it naturally....I have fond memories of my dad out in the rain, "washing" his car.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

All about the Haircut

It 's haircut time.

Men have it soo easy when it comes to haircuts...they just go in, sit in the chair, say "cut my hair", pay and leave...end of story!

It is never easy for the ladies.
The questions are unlimited:
Do you need just a cut?
A shampoo, cut & blowdry?
All over color?
Straightening?....and so the questions go....

There is also the problems of where to go to get the haircut and who is actually going to cut your hair. It doesn't seem like it should be so difficult at times, but there are so many variables to that ultimate haircut experience.

If you go to a "salon"...your gonna pay and pay BIG. The Salon experience of appropriate atmosphere with quiet music, drinks provided, massages with the wash also add up to big bucks...Some salons charge seperate for the wash, the cut, the drying of the hair...not to mention that it may take weeks to get an appointment. How can you say, "No I don't want my hair dried...I'll just leave with it wet "?....This is after you already owe them major bucks just for the wash, cut, and color.

If you go to the "haircuttery" you may also pay and pay big in a totally different way. It never fails that these bargain places (including beauty schools) have some pretty inexperienced hairdressers and you may come out of them looking a real sight!

My sister, Neva tells a good story on how you may pay big at these bargain places. She went to a beauty school to get a "touchup" on her hair color and "her bangs trimmed". She had gone to the school for a couple of was to save time and the other was to save money. Her dialog with the hairdresser went something like this:
Student hairdresser (SD) as she was rinsing the color solution off: "Ohhh....Um...Ahh..."
Neva: What do you mean OH and Ahh????. (This said in a high fast voice.)
SD: No looks fine....I think the color looks good..(They must be taught to never revel horror or say negative statements.)
After determining that her hair was in fact ORANGE...and after the consult with the instructor at the school....and after Neva said "You WILL fix my hair...NOW!!!" And after the instructor said it was closing time and they wouldn't be able to do anything about it today...but would be glad to take care of it tomorrow. She ended up walking out of that school with ORANGE hair!
Well, tomorrow was graduation day for her daughter....and Orange hair was not going to cut it!!!
After frantically calling all over the Chicago area at 6:00 Pm to find someone to fix her hair...she resorted to the rash statement, "I AM HAVING A HAIR EMERGENCY... I NEED HELP NOW!"
When she walked into the hair place that had taken pity on her...the hairdresser took one look at her and immediately called a conference with about 3 other hairdressers to consult about how to fix her hair. In the end, after many hours of work on her hair...all was well. ( One of my favorite things about this story was that about a month after this occurrence, when Neva went to make another appointment...everyone in the shop "Knew" her.....they all said, "Oh,'re Neva...we heard about you.")

So where does that leave you when you need a haircut...the salon ??? or the haircuttery???

Once you find a good hairdresser, it is golden!!! Trying to find a good hairdresser is the problem. I used the same hairdresser for several years and recently she moved to Florida. It was a sad day... I am still looking for her replacement....without too much success, so far. Partly it is my fault because everyone knows that any hairdresser worth anything is always busy. I always wait until I can't stand my hair one more minute to get it cut....not by choice but it just always creeps up on me that it is time to get it cut. I want that instant gratification to get it cut immediately! One of my friends was telling the story about "losing" her hairdresser because he commited suicide. She said she felt really sorry for his death, but she said she was having a hard time not being mad at him for making her have to pick a new hairdresser. Women definately get attatched to their hairdressers!

I got my haircut today. It is just "OK" so I guess I'll keep searching for that new hairdresser.
Everytime I complain about the haircut experience, my husband's response is:
"The difference between a good haircut and bad one is.....5 days."


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why I hate hotdogs

Most everybody in my family likes hotdogs...some more than others.
We always have hotdogs for the annual OBB (Owens Backyard Bash). Some might call them world famous Owens hotdogs because we make them the West Virginia way...with chili and coleslaw.
It is kinda funny to watch people at the OBB "dip" their plates. (That "dip" terminology is totally West-by-God-Virginian, by the way. For all you non- hillbillies that means means fill your plate up with the various items to be served.)
Some people eat the hot dog chili on their plate as an entree, some eat the coleslaw as a side, but the ones in the know always eat West Virginia style hotdogs with chili and slaw...AWWH YEAH!

(Just for one of those weird facts to insert here cause that is how my mind least 120 hot dogs were consumed at the last OBB....and that's alot of hot dogs!!)

Well, even though we make a mean hot dog...I don't do hot dogs!

When the boys were younger and all of them were playing organized baseball, we spent untold hours at the ball field. When I say untold hours....I mean untold hours! Think about it....3 different baseball team schedules plus one husband that was always at the field umpiring (hence the GR8UMP moniker).....

That boils down to quite a few games to practice for, to be played, watched, or umpired. Sometimes we would literally be at the field everynight and all day on Saturdays. My best days were when it rained or when all three (4 including the ump) had a game at the same time. When that happened, we only had to be there for a couple of hours versus all day. The trade off was that I did lots of running between fields to see each kid play and I usually only got to see a few plays per kid. That was ok in the overall scope of things.

Now the only thing available to eat at the ball field was pizza or HOTDOGS!
They didn't have hotdogs with chili and slaw...only ketcup when you were lucky. When you are hungry and have been at the ball field all day...even a plain hotdog looks good.
I shudder to think how many hotdogs our family consumed during our baseball days! I think we singlehandedly kept the snack bar in business! I was thinking the other day that we were at the ballfields from the time Tommy played t-ball at age 6 through Michal playing high school baseball.....with Jeffrey thrown in there too.....that is about 13 years! I think I overdosed on hotdogs!!!

My family still loves hotdogs....maybe it is nostalgia of their fun baseball days (and they really were a lot of fun)....but for me....our baseball days are WHY I HATE HOTDOGS!