September 30, 2007

Think Pink

Tomorrow is October 1st. Actually, if you are reading this in the morning, that means TODAY is October 1st.

The beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. No, I’m not going to talk about my body parts anymore. That’s run its course.

I’ve been asked by an organization I’m in to write some ‘health’ oriented articles that pertain to women, for a newsletter. I’ve been pretty much handed the topics and was told, “Go!” Believe it or not, I can write. When I write for real, there aren’t any incomplete sentences, run ons or goofy sayings. As I’ve said before, blogging is different. I want you to hear what’s in my head.

Anyway, so I have these topics, one being Breast Cancer and the other being Cardiovascular Disease. Many of you are reading that and saying, ‘Cardiovascular disease and… women?’ Oh yes. Imagine my surprise when doing my research that Cardiovascular Disease is the #1 killer of women… beating out ALL forms of cancers COMBINED. Percentage wise, more women suffer from Cardiovascular Disease then men, so much so that the American Heart Association has started a big push for women called, Go Red.

So I called my sister while writing one of the articles and said, “Can you believe this? More women die of Cardiovascular Disease than Breast Cancer, but women aren’t afraid of it? WHAT is the DEAL with THAT?”

And her reply was very thought provoking. It was along the lines of, ‘Young women die of Breast Cancer. Most women with Cardiovascular Disease are older and everyone expects that older women are going to die, so they don’t think about it. Young women dying gets attention.”

She may be right. But… it didn’t stop me from going out and running five miles that day. My motto as of late is “I’m not dying of Breast Cancer or Cardiovascular Disease.” I want to just die in my sleep when I’m 95 having just has the best sex of my life. Ahhh… the probability of that is probably ZERO, but one can have goals, can they not?

The thought of my possibly having Breast Cancer was ‘unnerving’ as one of my readers put it. I received many email from men whose wives had been through this. And that is what one of the men, a man I have much respect for, told me… it was ‘unnerving’. That it was.

Even though I knew statistically I was fine, that even though my grandmother had it losing both breasts at around my age, I am most like my Mom who is also fibrocystic, even though I knew I didn’t hit any of the big risk factors having never smoked a cigarette in my life, only having been on the pill for a very short time when we first got married, and having breast fed all three of my sons, with Bones going for over a year, it was still unnerving.

You KNOW all these things, yet at 2AM, when you are alone with your thoughts… a little bit of doubt finds a way of sniggling into your mind. By morning you’ve chased it away, you have a life to live, you cannot dwell… but the fact is, that doubt was there for a moment and it left a shadow of itself for you to remember

And so I decided when this first started to transpire that I would blog all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. My experience was MINE and just an example. Other women have different experiences. My biopsy was for a small lump (1-1.2 cm) in an easy location to get to. I didn’t have to have surgery, just a needle biopsy, and because of its location and size, I feel certain there was not as much trauma to my body as there could have been. I know a couple women whose were a bit more invasive, but even then they said within a couple days it was not a big deal. The majority of women I know had an experience similar to mine.

And I know a lot of women who have had this done.

I don’t want women to be afraid. Get your Mammogram. If they recommend an ultrasound, do it. If they say you need a needle biopsy, it’s not a problem. Go to a place that has a good track record. Ask around. Get recommendations from other women you know or from a doctor you trust. I think faith in the hands in whom you’ve put your health in is… Big.

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be irresponsible. Taking care of your health, asking questions, taking care of YOU comes down to you. Nobody is going to do it for you. We women are typically the caregivers and that means we have to care for us too.

So… it is October. If you’re 35 years old and breast cancer runs in your family or even if it doesn’t, think about getting your baseline Mammogram. If you don’t get it done this month, get it scheduled. If you’re 40 or over, GO NOW. Get your baseline if you don’t have one, go back for another mammogram to compare to your baseline if you have not already. Schedule one. Schedule it in advance. Coincide it with your birth month. Just… do it.

It’s killed too many women I know. I’m watching women live with it as a chronic disease, knowing it will be what takes their lives. It may not be the number one killer of women… but it is the most visible.



Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Laughter A Day...

Random things around the blogosphere that made me laugh…

Jimbo over at Parkway Rest Stop and his English speaking lessons. Holy crap. My husband is from Jersey, born in Newark and then growing up in Morristown until his family migrated down here into Palm Beach County his senior year in high school. (I know I don’t write much about my husband, what he does, where he is from, etc, it seems invasive and it’s a blog about my life and should not intrude on his. Very heavy dark line in my mind where writing is concerned.) Anyway, we were newly married, having been together for about four years including dating, when we made a trip to NYC and Jersey to see family and explore the city. My husband has lost most of his Jersey accent. Every now and then I can hear it and when all the Italians come to my home for dinner, they goof on it, with the big Italian wise-guy Jersey accents. I know most of the slang, me the Navy brat, having spent my life all over and my teenage formative years in the South, where nobody said, “YO!” and Yankees were kind of viewed as foreigners… much like many people speak of illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Anyway, so I got the lingo down, I don’t use it, and my husband has lost most of his accent. We’re on some big huge highway that goes in to NYC and we’re stopped at a toll booth, and the toll woman drums up a short conversation with my husband while dispensing change. Out of my husband’s mouth came this HEAVY HEAVY Jersey accent and I sat there staring him down wondering what had happened and where was my husband. I said to him, “Who IN THE HELL are YOU?” He laughed, but the rest of the visit, it frickin’ stuck. Whenever we go back to his birthplace and we’re with the locals, this voice comes out I don’t know.

It’s like living with some character from Ghost Busters. Good Grief.

Anyway, Jimbo’s post is funny.

Then there is Erica’s post on how she doesn’t… fart. Full of fart videos, the post is pretty damn funny. You can put a post up, pouring out your heart and soul on views of life, death, and our purpose in life, and get a few comments. Put a post up about farting, and you get 20+. I find that hysterical.

And lastly, and while I’m not laughing at this anymore, I was laughing last night at Mrs. Who’s post update. It’s about those little pink lines. Those tests you pass that you don’t study for… when I first read it, I laughed at my computer in a ‘horror/happyforyou/stunned’ kind of way. Really. Heh. She’s my age… 42. Heh, again. Now? I’m just really happy for them. Seriously happy. And her NEW post with her NEW logo is here. Good Grief. I suspect the shock is off.

And I so love my new nickname Destroyer of Hope and Crusher of Dreams™; its so much 'tougher' sounding than the 'Blunt and Insensitive' I typically get!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 29, 2007

Don't Vomit on my Blog

Happy birthday to Contagion! In honor of his birthday, they are holding another blog crawl. Rules are at Contagion's HERE.


Pamibe created the banners for us. And... in case you did not know, she did my webdesign way back when, when I left my original abode at blogger. She's great!

Posted by Boudicca at 08:41 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 28, 2007

Bob the Tomato and a Trenchcoat



Anyway, I woke up this morning and HAD to get those frickin’ steri strips off that hole. I’m one of those people that will pick at things. That snowflake over the biopsy hole was making me nuts. So about 8:00AM I took it off.

Then remembered I was going running.

And realized, “Wow, if that hole pops open while I’m running… that’s going to SUCK.”

So I went into the kids’ bathroom and got a small band aid to cover the puncture wound. Bob the Tomato from Veggie Tales was the only small one we had left. So I left for the gym with a Bob the Tomato band aid stuck to my right breast.

A month or so ago, some article came out that said that on average a woman’s breasts move 8 inches when she runs. Interesting. I call bull shit on that. EIGHT inches? Please. If anyone had over a C cup they’d either have black eyes or would nearly asphyxiate during the ‘up’ bounce. But I am here to tell you, there is some movement, as I started to run I realized… “Hmm… Bob the Tomato band aids were not made to hold puncture wounds closed. That’s what those frickin’ steri strips were for… that I HAD to remove. And Bob the Tomato is not big enough to hold all the potential blood that could seep forth should said wound open.”

I made it one mile and decided, “OK. I’m done. I’ll ride my bike instead.”

I got home and showered, taking off Bob the Tomato as I do have some shame, believe it or not, and showing up to my Dr’s appointment with a Bob the Tomato band aid adhered to my right breast did not exactly exude refinement and class.

When I got to my appointment, I had to wait a bit, which kind of drew it all out even more. But once I was called back, he shook my hand, took me into the room and said, ‘It was a standard fibroid (something or other) completely benign…’ then he took that little paper shirt thing and said, “Put this on and I’ll come back and have a look.”

I stood there and said, “Wait. Why. It’s not bruised. Just close the door” and I motioned him to close the door.

Keep in mind, just two days ago, the man had my breast in his hand for TWENTY minutes and we are going to worry about a white paper shirt now? Please. I don't understand the practicality in that.

He started to laugh, closed the door and I said, “Look” and I opened the v-neck of my shirt, pulling it down, pulled aside my bra, (because you know… I’m all about refinement and class) and said, “I’m healed. No bruising. No swelling. Putting that paper shirt on is a waste… why bother? It only hurt when I went running this morning.”

He said, “You went running?! Yeah, that’s going to hurt. You may want to hold off on that a little longer…”

Phht. No kidding.

And with that he said, “OK, see you in six months”, shook my hand and I left. Piece of cake.

Only six more months until I have to expose myself again. I need a trench coat.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:56 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Seven Things

I saw this at Mrs. Who's (where she asked us to tag ourselves) and Bitterroot's.

1. Who was your first prom date?
Well I can’t put his name as it’s hugely unusual and I don’t want to humiliate him. But suffice it today, prom sucked so bad my junior year I didn’t go my senior year. I think I even blogged on it. Gah. It was awful. I tried to walk home in the rain and he got pissed and refused to let me. He wasn’t a real physical kind of guy, but he informed me at our 20 year reunion, he was so pissed that if I had really frickin’ fought him, which he really thought I would because I was always up for a good fight and never backed down, he was going to forcibly put me in his car because he was never going to let a girl/woman walk home, let alone in the rain, no matter how pissed he or she was. Perhaps I sensed it, and he was bigger than me, because I do remember backing down and letting him drive me home. We’re on great terms now… as adults, and I adore the woman he married. He’s some big time radiologist at a very well known research hospital now. Ended up being Valedictorian of our class. My dating history is filled with big brained men… stupid men need not have applied.

2. Who was your first roommate?
You know… I don’t even remember their names. I got stuck in a double dorm room with three of us, as I’d transferred my sophomore year. They were out of dorm space, so all transfers had to triple up in double rooms. My one roommate was a brilliant girl from Howard University. Obviously she was black. My other roommate, was white. I remember she talked about sex a lot and… well… I don’t remember her being infinitely classy. The two of them did NOT get along at all and fought like crazy (my white roommate seemed to start it mostly and I think she was a bigot), with my white roommate, eventually hitting my black roommmate (I think with an iron? Kind of sealed the thought of she ‘might be a bigot’) and the white roommate got kicked out of dorm living. Luckily for me, as this hellish nightmare was going on, I was dating the sweetest man who was a senior at NC State majoring in Industrial Engineering. I think my phone bill was sky high and between him and the guys from my hometown (including the guy from Prom) my sanity was saved. Ummm… if I’m considered sane. That is up for debate on some days.

3. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
I’m going to say I was less than two. TGOO and Hubba were stationed in Hawaii and somehow we had to make our way to Monterey for TGOO's Naval Post Graduate School. My brother was born there… so maybe a year old to Monterey, CA?

4. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
Ummm… I never did that. First, there was no reason. I had no real curfew and my folks trusted me. Second, I’m the daughter of a military man. There was no sneaking out and doing stuff like that without scaring yourself half to death at the thought of what would happen if caught. And third, trust was big to me. If I got caught, I’d lose my folks’ trust… that would have been the worst consequence of all and I was very aware of that. Trust was BIG.

However… I did sneak out of my friend Elise’s house!! I think I was a sophomore in high school, we slid out the front balcony, out the window, down a rain gutter. (Neither of us were very big people. I think I weighed 95 lb at the time.) We did nothing… it was just for the hell of doing it. We walked around the neighborhood and talked and then snuck back in. I remember her having me flush the toilet while she closed the window so her Mom and Dad didn’t hear…

Gee… I don’t think TGOO and Hubba knew that story. Hmm. The things you find out when you read blogs….

5. Whose wedding were you in the first time?
As for actual wedding party, it was my friend Sherri from college, who married a EA-6 BN. We graduated early December and they were married right after Christmas in a very nice Christmas/winter themed wedding, where I was a bridesmaid. I always hoped she’d live happily ever after. Navy wife is the toughest job in the Navy. Meanwhile, her folks were of a Protestant denomination where there was NO drinking. Holy crap. Luckily, one of the groomsman, a Naval Aviator, carried a flask in his tux. That’s back when I still drank. God love the aviators. They’re always prepared. I’m not sure where I would have hidden that flask…

6. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Loverboy. Freshman year in college… Fall of 1983? It was a blind date. It was OK, but the girl who I went with was a waitress with me (I waited tables through college) and I just didn’t really have that much in common with her and her boyfriend. I ended up seeing my blind date, who I never went out with again, about three years later, while I was partying at Seville Square. He had joined Army ROTC and was finished with college and was about to go to whatever is next, I heard later. Anyway, he recognized me in my miniskirt and flimsy top and big 80s hair (as big as my hair can get) getting a beer, as I remember it was after finals and my friends and I were partying HARD, and he said something to me about how I looked. (It was a complement with the full up and down eye thing… not very subtle. I don’t remember him being so impressed when we went out on our blind date… then again at Seville he may have been wearing beer goggles.) I was frickin’ clueless as to who he was until later. I think that was the first time I truly realized, I have a problem with faces.

7. First tattoo or piercing?
Age 12, I got my ears pierced, one single in each ear. I was living in Taiwan, so an American nurse there did it for me. I remember she numbed my ear with ice, and then put a Kodak film box behind my ear and pushed the needle through. When she heard the ‘squeeeeeek’ as the needle pushed through the waxy box, she knew she was through my ear. I still remember the sound. Blech.

No tats, but I have been contemplating getting one over my new scar on my right breast. I’ll see what the scar looks like and decide. I was thinking a lady bug. My husband will frickin’ FREAK. Heh. Hey, we all have to live on the edge sometimes… ;-) But this would require exposing my breast YET AGAIN (and I've not yet gotten a set of Mardi Gras beads for all this frickin' exposure), and quite honestly, I’m completely done with that… so I think that tat is out.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:49 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 27, 2007

Differing Definitions of "Big Ticket Items"

I got a call yesterday while driving to the surgeon’s office that I had my yearly dermatologist appointment today. I’m just hitting them all this month, properly planned mind you, it’s my birth month.

I know my dermatologist very well and we laugh… a lot. I suspect he thinks I’m a nut.

He walked in and said, “Bou! What’s up? How are the boys?”

And I replied, ‘I am losing my hair. Is this something I talk to you about? I think maybe it’s a vitamin deficiency. Maybe a trace mineral… If I take supplements will my hair come back?”

He just stood there with a contemplative expression on his face. “Why do you think it is a vitamin or mineral deficiency?”

And so I explained a current health digestive issue I have and some tests going on and he listened to me, obviously thinking. Finally he said “Bou, how much hair does your Dad have?”

Me: He’s bald.

Doctor: And brothers? Do you have brothers? And how much hair?

Me: I have a younger brother. He is losing his hair.

Doctor: I don’t think it is a mineral or vitamin deficiency. I think its something called… genetics.

He said to me, “Any crash dieting?”

I looked down at my body and back at him and said, “Phht, hardly”.

Please, I was wearing a big piece of paper. Did I LOOK like there had been crash dieting? NO.

He shook his head and said simply, “Genetics”.

Crap. I really really wanted it to be mineral or vitamin. I said, “I’m going to be a bald old lady” to which he replied, “No, but your hair will definitely be thin.”

So encouraging. Once again, some days I feel so damn sexy I can hardly stand myself.

We got to my skin and he said, “You are having a rosacea problem AGAIN.”

I looked at him, crinkled up my nose and forehead and said, “Phht. This looks GOOD!”

He replied, “Oh boy. We need to put you back on antibiotics. Look, do you have any stress in your life?”

I countered, ‘Anti-biotics. Will it make my hair fall out more?”

Somewhat exasperated but jokingly he replied, “NO. It will make MORE hair grow. Stress. Do you have stress in your life?”

Wow, that’s interesting.

I countered, ‘Well, other than the breast biopsy yesterday (which he knew about because he’s my dermatologist and white meat is sometimes exposed in his office) and the digestive issue we’re trying to track down and…”

Doctor: OK, well, beyond health issues. Any stress?

Me: I have three boys.

Doctor: I’m talking big ticket items here, I mean like death of a family member.

Luckily I said NO to that. Evidently stress has also been ruled out to hair loss. It appears it is… genetics. Health issues and having three sons are not big ticket stress items. You could have fooled me…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:41 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Mammary Mania?

Maybe I should just rename this blog, Boudicca’s Breast? I mean, could I possibly do anymore breast blogging? I think it surely must be worse than cat blogging.

I got an email from someone the other day saying something like, ‘I thought you might be interested in this opportunity since you are a Mom blog.’ I thought, “Hunh, I’m a Mom, blog? I thought I was a blog written by a woman, who happened to have three boys.” I blog on work, my kids, my life, the things I notice around me, the crazy crap that runs through my head. Now, I think I’m a breast blog. Maybe my tagline should be, “All breasts, all the time.”

So last night we were sitting at dinner and I said to my husband, ‘Can you believe it? Piece of cake. No swelling, no bruising, no pain. It must be my superior healing powers…”

This is a persistent joke between the two of us, who has the superior immune system, who has the superior genetics, etc., etc. As of now, I win the superior immune system award. Being in our mid-40s, everything else is truly up for grabs, although with my being in health purgatory right now, he may be winning the ‘superior aging race’.

Anyway, his reply to me was, “Hey, watch it, you sound awfully familiar, like some guy who had a vasectomy and thought he was all great until he over did it.”

A little background here, my husband had a vasectomy about seven years ago. I felt… more than appreciative. We didn’t want any more children and we fall amongst the blessed where we seemed to not be able to prevent it, and this was a good solution, but not something I would ever have asked of him. It was something HE needed to decide because if something didn’t go right, I didn’t want to be held accountable… I didn’t want to be a source of resentment. So I was appreciative, grateful, thankful… apprehensive as I didn’t want him in any pain. I may have had three children, but I love my husband and I would NEVER wish pain upon him. I don’t get women who say, ‘Oh he DESERVES THIS! I went through all that labor! He gets what he gets!” What? What kind of marriage is that? Not a very long and happy one… I assure you.

So, there we were with a 1, 3, and 5 year old and he had an appointment. In general, I took my little people out as little as possible. It’s a pain in the neck to putz around town with three small children. But since he was having this procedure, I decided the next day, I’d take the kids to lunch, to the zoo, putz around town ALL DAY and give him time to lounge around the house… alone… and in peace… and heal.

A quiet day at the house when you have three young children? UNHEARD OF. I assure you.

I called him from my cell at one point to find… he was at the mall exchanging something. He met us for lunch. I came home after a day at the zoo and found, he’d run errands, cleaned the house and made dinner. Holy crap. So much for lounging around the house.

The next day… he was not in good shape. He felt good that day after, but two days after? It totally caught up with him. It was a disaster.

So that was what he was alluding to when he said, “…you sound awfully familiar…” as in you only THINK you feel great…. JUST WAIT.

I laughed when he said that and said, “HOW does one OVER TAX a breast?” Hello? They just kind of travel with me. They are supported so there is no gravitational pull. They just sit there… out front. Doing nothing. Two blobs of fat that don’t do anything… they just… hang.

Needless to say, I’m still fine today. I think there may be a small amount of internal swelling, but tomorrow will be day two and I’ll know more then. But for now? Not a problem.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:34 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 26, 2007


Folks, I am so not happy that I am #9 in Google for "Do People Eat Afterbirth".

That is just a huge ick factor.

Holy crap. I think I'm going to vomit...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:04 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

That Joseph Guy

I read this last night and kept a grin on my face most of the day, whenever it popped into my head. Over at Bob’s Blog there was THIS item. Holy crap. I even read it out loud to my husband.

You can't make that stuff up... I may never look at Joseph quite the same way again.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blow By Blow on Bionic Boobs

Think. Think. Think.

By my calculations, four men who are not my husband have seen my breasts in the last year. That would be… my OBGYN, my radiologist, the breast surgeon, and the breast surgeon’s ultra sound tech that is pretty much his right hand man during biopsies.

And… maybe… I am trying to think, my dermatologist, which could very well lift that number to five. I just can’t remember whether he had to check the white meat last I saw him.

So by my calculations of four or possibly five men having seen my breasts in the last 12 months, that is probably more men who saw my breasts during my entire dating life.

Those are the things I think about when I’m alone and contemplating this whole breast deal. Things like this pop into my head, “HOLY CRAP! More men outside of my husband have seen my breasts this year than the entire time I was single and dating!”

Eh, maybe it’s a stretch… but then again. Maybe not.

So the drive by went well. It is a good sign when you walk into your surgeon’s office and realize that the doctor who referred you… his mother is sitting in the waiting room for a consult with the same doctor. I call that a good omen.

Unless of course my doctor hates his mother… but I know for a fact he doesn’t. He dotes on her.

So. That was good.

For those who have never had a needle biopsy, this is the deal. I went in, stripped to the waist and put on one of those paper shirts open at the front, I laid down and the ultra sound tech did his thing to make sure he could find what the radiologist said existed. The doctor came in, he talked to me, the nurse, the tech, he took some numbing stuff and injected my breast about five times. One time burned a bit, but I would say in comparing it to novacaine in a dental office… the dental office injection is far worse. This was a piece of cake and probably burned for all of three seconds, quickly numbing as the drug started to work. I didn’t feel any of the other injections.

He took this little scalpel thing and made an incision. I had no idea that’s what he was doing, because at this point I thought I’d watch. But then I saw what the needle thing looked like and how he'd poked a hole and how it was going to be inserted and said, ‘You know, I thought I’d watch, but I think I’ll just watch the ultrasound instead.’

The ‘needle’ has a long sleeve that comes out of a handle and there is obviously suction capability. The 'needle appears to be hollow, slightly larger in diameter than a juice box straw. Maybe twice the size. He put it in the hole, I gather as I’d quit watching for fear of barfing, and I watched it appear on the ultrasound monitor while he and the tech watched for it to appear below my fibroid.

When it was below and they were in agreement, he started the machine and the needle sliced away at the fibroid, sucking up the tissue samples and putting them into some place I could not see, but I am gathering was a sterile container located… somewhere outside my field of vision.

I felt nothing.

The doctor said to the ultrasound tech, “Look at the size. How have we done? Has it changed shape?”

And *I* said, “Yeah! I think you have half of it gone!!!” at which there was a bit of a pause in the room and then the ultrasound tech said, “Yes, you most definitely have a good sample.”

Then he pulled something out of the back end of the handle of the needle machine, inserting something else and said to me, “OK, we’re going to put a marker in there now just in case it is cancer…” and I now looked at him, my breast which only had a few drops of blood, and the instrument protruding and said, ‘Would this marker be made of titanium?’ and as he said, “Why yes, it is” and *THUNK* it was in.

In a blink of an eye I had a titanium tit, the bionic boob, and there was never any question. It was just “Yes” *thwack*. I said, “I don’t have to carry a card for the TSA guy in the airport?” and he said, “Uhhh, no.”

Then he left, the ultrasound guy put a gauze on my breast, I pressed it hard to keep it from bleeding, and the nurse came and put steri strips on it. I look like I have a snowflake on my right breast, 10:00 position.

I’ve been icing it on and off, every 15 minutes for most of the day, only failing to do so when I was out and about with my boys and the ice melted. I wore a big denim shirt today to hide any swelling or the fact I might not be able to wear a bra. Neither of those has been an issue. Bruising is non-existent I think, although my husband thinks there will be. The bonus of my having one breast slightly smaller than the other is the fact when I wore the big denim shirt and had ice on the right side… I didn’t look lopsided.

Thank God for small favors.

So. It’s done. The whole process was truly a non-event. I’m not sore… yet, but could be. The only time I got a bit nauseous was when I realized I could not watch and when I watched the ultrasound when they were trying to get close to the fibroid and I saw all the fat squishing around on the monitor. That was kind of icky.

I picked the right field. Aerospace doesn't have blood or fat or tissue.

I get the results on Friday at 2:15. I had hoped to just call in for the results, but the nurse told me I had to come in. Great. Of the entire process… I will admit… that is the only thing I am nervous about. There is a 96% chance that I will sit across from him and he will say, “Bou, it is benign.” But that 4%... well… I’m just not thinking about it.

The rubber is meeting the road at this point. And I know I’ll be fine and the doctor knows I’m fine, but my blood did run a bit cold when he said, “OK, we’re going to put a marker in there now just in case it is cancer…” All senses were definitely functioning on overdrive.

That’s the deal.

Oh, as for the hair, it’s just above my shoulders. It’s cute, which bugs me. Puppies are cute. Those mini-coup cars are cute. Forty-two year old women should not be cute. But unfortunately, that’s what happens when you’re 5’2” and not very big and you get your hair cut kind of short. You get cute. Kind of like being four years old and getting the pixie cut. But not. I’ll get used to it. I’m just not looking forward to hearing the “I like your hair! Its cute!” tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll keep a running tally.

And my doctor was right. It took about 20 minutes with him in attendance, thirty if you include the pre-op stuff and the post-op stuff with the tech and nurse and me.

Bottom line... I'd do it again in a heartbeat and knowing what I know, would have not the slightest bit of dread, fear, or trepidation. NONE.

And I'd probably do the haircut too. ;-)

Posted by Boudicca at 08:40 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

September 25, 2007

Haircuts and Drive by Shootings

Tomorrow is my drive by shooting. (I call it that as he said this entire procedure takes 20 minutes.) 10:30. I’m going to time this guy, just for grins. I want to know if it really takes 20 minutes. I’m not going to tell him I’m timing though. I don’t want him to rush it. I mean, he is about to punch a hole in my breast. He needs to take his time.

When we made the appointment I said to my husband, ‘I think I have something planned for that day… I’ll cancel it, but I… can’t remember’ whereas he replied with the husbandly shrug and a “Phht, don’t ask me…” I come and go. If I had to wear an ankle monitor he’d still not be able to keep up with my comings and goings.

I got in the car and called VW saying, ‘I have it done on Wednesday at 10:30… but I think I have something that day…” to which she replied, “Well, it’s not with me!”

I got home and saw on my calendar, “Heather. 9:00” and thought, “Who in the hell is Heather?” And then it hit me. Heather. I’m getting 4 inches cut off my hair at 9 and then going for my drive by shooting at 10:30.

Sounds like a fun day, huh? I’m really excited about the hair cut… the drive by shooting is blog fodder. No pictures. Heh. I told my husband, "We should take a picture of my right breast so we can remember what it looked like before the imminent puncture wound.”

He looked at me, stoically, then shook his head. It was the ‘what am I going to do with you’ expression. It usually comes right after a *blink*. Heh.

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Life Imitates Film

I had Webelos yesterday, just the standard three in our den in addition to Ringo and Bones attending just so I could keep an eye on them.

I have to say, those three Webelos frickin’ wear me out. By the time we’re finished, I need a damn nap. It is 20 questions fired at maximum speed with every conversation taking place at a word per minute rate that I cannot even calculate. We have to meet once a week now as they talk so much that it takes me forever to get through our project.

I know. You are thinking why not tell them to shut up. But they have been in school all day where they’ve had to sit still and be quiet and I don’t want Webelos to be an additional hour of that. So I bring great snacks, let them wander some and let them talk, as long a we take turns and its on topic, and I just hear… way too many stories about home.

This lesson was on first aid. We’re going for the Readyman badge, on our way to achieve the Arrow of Light, the only badge you can wear on your Boy Scout uniform from Cub Scouts.

I now know that one of my Webelo’s grandfather was an A-7 pilot (I knew this as I actually know his grandfather) who had to eject once and broke his back. I did not know that detail.

I heard stories of traffic accidents of puking of poison scares… of everything... concerning nearly every member of the family.

Slowly, gently, I’d pull them back down to the topic at hand as I discussed how to stop blood flow in an emergency, when to move an accident victim (only if their life is in danger such as if they are in a fire) and so on. With each of these topics, I’d get the ‘what if’ scenario.

“What if their head was almost cut off?” Reply: Well, chances are they’d be dead. Next question.

“What if there a bad guys waiting for you outside the fire and when you leave…” Yeah. Fun.


So we got to the part on mouth to mouth, and I explained what all had to be done, using Bones as an example. Mr. Drama loved that, as I laid him out flat and showed how to open the airway. He lay there acting like a fish out of water.

After letting Bones get up and play, we went through the explanation, everything in the Cub Scout manual, the opening of the airway, the pinching of the nose, and then I got to the part where you are mouth to mouth with the non-breathing and…

Little 10 year old Joshua looks at the other boys and says quietly to them, “This is the part where you hope it’s a cheerleader.”

Gah! He DID NOT just say that! NO! I had visions of The Sandlot where that little boy, who was probably about 10, fakes drowning so the pretty young blonde lifeguard could give him mouth to mouth.

Good Grief.

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Job Perks

Good grief, it is love bug season. Jimbo has written of these nasty but harmless little bugs and it made me laugh. Northerners don’t get lovebugs. Those of us in Florida do and they, although harmless, are a real pain in the neck.

You know you may be in central Florida during lovebug season when you get into your hotel room, on the fifth floor, and you notice a lovebug circling the light.

How in the HELL did that bug get INTO the hotel and ONTO the fifth floor and INTO my room?

They must’ve been a hitchhiker which means I carried that sucker into my room with me. Or someone else did and it was roaming the halls until I opened my door.

As I was riding home I noticed one in my car. When I got gas, I had some sort of mental lapse and left my door open while I pumped. One of them made their way into my car. If one can find its way into my hotel room on the fifth floor, then surely one can just fly through an open car door.

So here I was barreling down the turnpike at 80 mph when I realized I had a lovebug in my car, and I rolled the window down hoping it would get sucked out.

I told my boys these stories and upon hearing the fifth floor hotel room lovebug story, Bones said, ‘Well? Did you kill it?’

Me: NO! I don’t kill bugs. That’s why I have a husband and three boys. I don’t kill bugs… It’s a boy-Mom perk.

Bones, looking at his brothers: Girls don’t like to touch bugs and they definitely don’t like bug guts on their hands.

Me: Right. Besides, that’s what I have y’all for.


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September 24, 2007

Wounded Warriors, Their Families and The Haley House Fund

In my other life… the life I have lived for years that does not include my family in any way, a life of volunteer work that I do alone, traveling sometimes to parts of Florida or even to Washington DC, a life that sometime encroaches on the most important life I have which is with my family but one I still find important enough that I have not curtailed it… I am fortunate to hear people speak that I wish others could hear.

I have heard POWs from Vietnam, soldiers who have served or are still serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, scholars on Native American languages, survivors of the Bataan Death March, soldiers who rode with Patton, women who served in our military when women could only be secretaries or nurses, and numerous other speakers… that I could never do justice.

This past weekend was no exception. And as I sat enraptured by Dr. Steven Scott, of the VA Center Polytrauma unit in Tampa, speaking on Blast injuries, pouring forth for us on the history of war injuries through time, changing with each war, explaining to us how the injuries at the beginning of this war having started five years ago, are different from the injuries our medical personnel are seeing now, as he explained about rehabilitating the ‘wounded warrior’ and including the family in the process, I kept thinking, “How do I blog this?”

How does one blog not only the vast medical information, but the stories of hope and of the tenacity of our wounded warriors and their families as they make their way on their new journey through life, one altered greatly from one they had envisioned in days past?

How does one blog of the great love and care of the medical staff who wants to see success, who wants to see a wounded warrior independent again, who wants to see the family be able to cope and see them all come together again, not as a scarred family unit, but as a fully functioning family unit?

How does one blog the stories that made tears well in my eyes with pride and compassion for what was put before us regarding not only our brave ‘wounded warriors’ but of the courageous acts of their families?

Of all the talks I have heard, Dr. Scott of the James A. Haley Veteran's Hospital in Tampa, Florida was probably the most tremendous. His love for our men and women in combat, his need to care for them, the wonderful things he is doing with his team, the compassion he has for the families… it still leaves me breathless.

Polytrauma. From their site: Polytrauma care is for veterans and returning service members with injuries to more than one physical region or organ system, one of which may be life threatening, and which results in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairments and functional disability. The Tampa VA Center is one of four in the nation that is a designated Polytrauma center. One of its specialities is the Spinal Chord, Traumatic Brain and Blast Injuries Program.

What they are doing there is amazing.

And if listening to Dr. Scott was not enough, if hearing what he had to say about the Tampa VA center and the tremendous progress that is being made in the medical field for our wounded warriors, the next day I had the privilege of listening to the ladies of The Haley House.

The Fisher House gets full quickly and due to space constraints, I am sure, space is severly limited for family members. So if a Wounded Warrior’s wife is staying there, his mother and/or father may not be able to. If his/her mother is staying, his/her girl/boyfriend may not be able to. So that leaves the rest of the families finding places to stay, families that may not have the financial capabilities. Families include boyfriends and girlfriends… families are the support system.

It was a need that Dr. Scott and his staff saw and it was a need they took care of.

He told a story of a woman who helped inspire them to create the Haley House, a girlfriend who would come in when the doors opened to sit at the bedside of her wounded warrior and would leave when visiting hours were over. Her boyfriend could do nothing but stare at the ceiling for three weeks, having paralysis. She held his hand every day, never left his side, talking to him, bringing attention to the staff when she saw changes, the biggest change happening on the third week when he took his fingers and formed the word LOVE, letter by letter. And somebody on the staff noticed… this young woman was sleeping in her car. She slept in her car every night, having no place to stay, and during the day, she never left his side.

And her love and devotion were part of the inspiration for the Haley House… a fund established to help the families as a supplement to the Fisher House.

I listened to the most amazing women speak of the courageous families and what the Haley House Fund does. It is a fund… a local hotel with a discounted rate for Haley House families, puts the families up, with the Haley House Fund paying for the accommodations. A private Haley House Room has been established for those families, making available to them a washing machine and dryer, a family room, kitchen, and various items that you would typically have in a home, including toys for children.

I sat aghast as they told us that the location of the hotel that supports the Haley House must always remain secret for the safety of the families.

For the safety of the families.

It took my breath away. In some ways we have come so far and in other ways, things have not changed. Sad does not even begin to describe how horrified I am to know of the security measures that must be taken at the Fisher House, as they were described, and the secrecy of the Haley House.

But the tremendous revulsion I felt towards that was soon overshadowed by the tremendous good works of these wonderful volunteers who greet each family with a hug and help them on their journey with their ‘Wounded Warrior’, assisting in rehabilitating the families as well.

And the one statement that still leaves me choked, was when one of the women said to us, “The Haley House has enabled nine of our ‘Wounded Warriors’ to die with family at their side.” It is going to happen. Our wounded will come back and some will not survive and the thought of their dying without family by their side closes off my throat. The Haley House provides a way for families to be there through rehabilitation and in some instances… at the end.

For the next two years, the organization I am affiliated with will be supporting the Haley House Fund. The Haley House Fund motto is, ‘No one left behind- including families.’

I still get choked up when I think of the stories… but the dedication of the men and women who are helping our ‘Wounded Warriors’ and their families, cannot be done justice with words.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:28 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Questions I Ask Myself

I was wondering today if... the current President of Columbia University would have asked Adolf Hitler to speak in 1938 or early 1939.

I suspect the answer is yes.

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September 23, 2007

It's Not the Size of the Boy

It’s the little things that make me laugh.

I’ve been out of town for the last few days, out on business for a life I have outside of my family. It’s some volunteer work I do and it takes me out of town a couple times a year.

So I walked into the house, walked into the kitchen and noticed my stoneware loaf pan sitting on the counter… empty, but looking like it once contained blueberry bread. I shouted out to the boys, “Y’all made blueberry bread and there is NOTHING left?” to which my younger two responded, “Ringo ate most of it...”

Ringo was not home. He was at a friend’s home. However, Ringo was hungry for blueberry loaf bread on Friday night, so he took out TGOO’s recipe that he’d received a couple months ago and made a loaf. My boys knowing how to cook is very important to me. If they are going to be perpetually hungry, they better know how to feed themselves because continual short order cook is not on my job description. Ringo pretty much ate the loaf alone.

This evening we went to my brother in law’s home for dinner. My son had been at a friend’s home, but I know that Mom and she feeds the boys when they are there. We had been in my brother in law’s home for not more than 15 minutes when my son said, “Mom, do you think I could have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

I said, “It’s not my home. Ask your Aunt, I’m sure she’ll say yes. I don’t know what they have here…”

My sister in law? Holy crap, she was ecstatic my son would ask for food and more than wanted to feed him. She has a four year old daughter. This ‘boy eats all the time’ is a novelty to her. Next thing I knew, she has made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cut like a big heart like she does for her daughter, and he had a big glass of lemonade and a banana.

It was 5:00. Dinner was less than an hour away.

The kid put away the food at dinner like he always does. I will say, that my sister in law gave him such a big piece of cake for dessert, he ended up throwing part of it away.

Now, I know to most of you who were either a pre-teen/teenage boy or who have raised them, this increase in caloric intake is no surprise. And it’s not to me either as I fully remember my brother eating a lot of food. But what is surprising to me is how much he eats and how he just doesn’t look like it.

He is 12, but doesn’t even weigh 80 pounds and he out eats boys in his class that have 40 pounds on him. My son has not an ounce of fat on him. He shot up this summer and he is LEAN and the eating machine. Good grief. And I know… its just beginning.

It just makes me laugh when he has friends over that have a full head on him in height and 40 pounds and they still eat like birds and my not even 4’8” 75 pound boy eats twice what they eat and then says, “Please, may I have some more?”

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September 21, 2007

Breast is Best

I had my meeting with my surgeon today. The biopsy is Wednesday and quite frankly, I believe we all are viewing this as a necessary formality, we being my husband, the surgeon and me.

I think he said this, almost verbatim, ‘Bou, I am 95 to 96% certain this is not cancer. But… it only takes 20 minutes for us to be 100% sure, so why not? Its not like its brain surgery.”

So we’re going the ‘Why Not?’ approach and he’ll punch a hole in the upper right quadrant of my right breast on Wednesday at 10:30. It’ll be a drive by biopsy nearly. Local anesthetic, he’ll poke it, take what he needs, close it up, and I walk out. Truly 20 minutes. How cool is that?

When we got up to walk into the exam room from the doctor's private office, my husband stood there for a minute and said, ‘Do you want me to stay?’ (As in, stay in the office, not come into the exam room.) I looked at him and said “Hell, no. You’ve seen it all. Come on in and watch!”

The doctor started to laugh and I just shook my head and said to him, ‘He’s seen it all and if there is a lump that can be felt, I’d have been surprised if he didn’t find it. Please.” It was just kind of funny… but sweet. Not sure what to do, trying to maintain my modesty, but in all honesty… modesty flew out the door upon the birth of the 3rd child when there were so many people in the room (as in medical staff... strangers) we nearly needed stadium seating.

On a funny note…

I am constantly looking to my universe to give me hints as to what I should do. I know. Odd thing that is. But its like I look for signs that I’m taking the right path. I found someone today who knows this surgeon and verified he is really good. Another data point... data points are good.

Today while sitting in the school clinic, I was speaking to the school nurse and a Mom. We were discussing my appointment and the Mom said, ‘Oh I LOVE that surgeon! He is wonderful! He has this wonderful accent. He is Syrian…’

I said, ‘Syrian? Are you sure?’

She replied, “Yes. He has the dark skin and the accent…”

I said again, “Really? Because… I thought he was Jewish. My OBGYN is a friend of his. I think they are Jewish… are you sure he’s not Israeli?”

And she sat for a minute and then said energetically, ‘YES!!! He is Israeli!”

I just sat there for a minute not knowing what to say. I said to my husband when I got home, “Ummm, isn’t thinking he is Syrian when he is Israeli, kind of the same as telling a British man you thought he was a German Nazi?”


Anyway, I can’t quit laughing about it. But it is true, he is an excellent surgeon. He passed muster with my husband. That was big…

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September 20, 2007

Funny Men

I was at school the other day waiting for my boys to get out of band. One of the Dads is a buddy of mine and a former Marine. He came in all sweaty from being at the gym and running. I was asking him about his gym in case I ever have to leave mine. And the following conversation ensued, to the best of my recollection.

The Dad: How often do you work out?

Me: Almost every day.

The Dad: Really? But how much cardio do you do a week?

Me: Mmmmm, since I lost my job and school started, about 5 hours.


Me: Yup. You’d think I’d be really skinny.

The Dad, eyebrows raised: Yeah, no kidding. And you’re not. (backpedaling here…) I mean, you’re not fat, but you aren’t skinny either.

Me: Nope. I like to eat. (I didn’t bother to tell him about the dozen little chocolate doughnuts I’d eaten the week before over a two day period. Because really, that was an anomoly. Besides, that might make me seem like the crazy lady… not that I’m not… or that he probably doesn’t already know considering he’s good friends with my husband.)

The Dad, not thinking before he spoke again, which all men will identify with: Wow. Can you imagine how HUGE you would be if you didn’t do cardio for FIVE HOURS a week?

Me: Umm. Yeah. You’re not the first person who has said that to me…

For some reason, this entire conversation seemed hysterical to me. I keep laughing when I think about it. He’s so damn funny. Blunt. Never thought anything of it. Cracked me up.

And for some reason, today's song to run to, just seemed that much more appropriate. All the words don't fit but the chorus, "I'm a Hazard to Myself" sure as hell does. (It's Pink's "Don't let me Get Me", the link to the vid.)

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September 19, 2007

An Open Letter to Britney Spears

Dear Britney,

I must say, I’m just as surprised as you that I’m writing you this letter. You see, I am not into Pop Culture at all. I don’t watch TV, I don’t read People magazine, and in general shun the pabulum that the media likes to push down our throats as news. The goings on of the bad blonde girls on the West Coast do nothing for me.

I’d like to say it’s an intellectual thing, but honestly, I find it all just too boring and I have a life I like to lead. I’m not a voyeur, I prefer to live than watch.

However, that said, this latest fiasco on that awards show could not even escape me, no matter how hard I tried to keep that rock over my head. The rock was just not big enough this time, I fear. And as I perused the internet for my news, hunting and pecking as I do to avoid that which does not interest me, over and over pictures of you surfaced.

I will tell you, I did not watch the video. The pictures were enough of a horror show. Or rather, should I say picture, as in singular, as I only saw one.

My horror though, is not of that of the average American's, though, hence my open letter to you on my blog.

You see, Brit, if I can call you Brit, I really don’t care what you do with your life, whether you choose to wear panties or not, if you like having the photographers snap pictures of your hoo hoo, who you do and when, what drugs you do or don’t do, how much you drink, or even that you have so little shame and self respect that you would go on national TV wearing boy shorts and a top.

Oh, why am I tip toeing around this? You went on national TV wearing black sparkly panties and a bra. Wearing the bra could be questionable as it appeared you were falling out of it in the picture I saw.

And before you think I might be jealous of your body after having two children and under 30, whereas I’ve had three and am over 40, I’m sorry, but that’s not it. You see, I work out a lot and quite frankly, other than the stretch marks and the scars from some surgery, my body looks better than yours. Cardio and crunches and not consistently partying with high calorie alcohol really does wonders.

Do I think you’re fat? No, I do not. I think you look like a very average young woman who has had two children. You actually look better than probably 90% of the young woman your age, who have not even had children, if you consider today’s statistics cited on obesity.

You are 26; I had to look that up on the internet. Not even 30 and you’ve already had two babies and close in age at that. I know that stress.

We have something in common, sweetie. We’re both Moms. I know, we are in different phases. You are looking forward to the first time you hear the words, “Mommy, I love you” given with peanut butter and jelly coated kisses, while I’m nearing the words, “Mom, can I have the keys” while I wonder what type of girl he’s kissing.

But I have been in your shoes… the shoes of early motherhood and I know, it’s a tough gig. It truly is enough to drive one to drink.

Ahhhhh… but here is the catch here, girlfriend. Mama to Mama… to be a good Mama… you don’t. This is going to be a tough one for you to swallow, but its time you heard it from a Mom who’s been around the block.

It’s not about you.

It’s about the little people.

You are their mother. They will love you without question. It is the purest form of love you will ever experience in your life. In spite of yourself, they will love you. Unconditional love.

I think it is time you must ask yourself; do you care that your children will know that most of the world has seen your hoo hooo? Do you care that your children will see pictures of you later in life, clad in black glittery panties and a bra two sizes too small?

Does that truly not bother you? Because I think… that it should. Don’t embarrass your kids, Britney. Be a better person and let them be proud of you. Nice girls don’t show their sexual parts in public and good mothers don’t either. Money can’t buy you class, but maybe it can buy you the help you need to see how to be a better Mother.

You’re the only one they’ve got and so far, it looks like you’re blowing it.

The little people deserve better than that.



P.S. I liked the little black sparkly panties and bra… there is no reason to give them up. Just wear them behind closed doors with your lover of the day or under clothes. That’s where they belong.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:49 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack


In honor of National Talk Like a Pirate Day...

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September 18, 2007

Not Keen on the Beans

Gotta love the first few months of school. Colds… stomach viruses… lovely.

My eldest son got sick on Saturday night with a cold and stomach bug. No biggy… entire puke episode was ONE. You can’t beat a stomach virus like that with a sick. It’s the kind you pray for, in particular as there was no changing of sheets and washing of towels involved.

At dinner a couple nights ago, Bones said to me, “I hate green beans. I hate them so much, they are making my stomach hurt.”

Drama King.

An hour later I got, ‘Mom. Those beans made my stomach hurt! I hate Beans!”

I ignored him. To know Bones is to know that sometimes dinner brings with it some sort of drama.

That night about 9:30, I could hear Bones in the bathroom. I rushed in to find the poor kid puking dinner. Actually, as I rushed down the hall, phone in hand as I spoke to poor T1G, I slid in a small pool of puke, only to find myself standing in front of the bathroom, watching Bones, and stammering to T1G, ‘OH! I gotta go! Bones is puking! Bye!”


He had it all over his hands, all over his face as he’d been sleeping when it started. I hate it when that happens… puking in your sleep. My kids seem to be the master of Sleep Hurling. I only remember doing that as an adult… when drunk.

Anyway, I quickly got next to him, grabbed tissues and started to wipe his nose, rub his back, and speak quietly to him, telling him it would be OK, when he looked at me with bug eyes and said quite loudly, “WHAT DID I EAT?!!!”

I looked in the toilet and said, “Well, Dude, that would be spare ribs and steamed green beans.”

Bones: It was the beans! It was the beans that did it to me!

Great. I have spent all these years fighting over getting them to eat steamed green beans and we have now just taken a HUGE step backwards. Now every time I serve them, it will not only be, “MOOoooom. I Haaaate Those!” it will be, ‘Mom! NO! Green beans make me PUKE!”


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September 17, 2007

Expecting Benign Intervention

I got a call from my doctor today, my OBGYN who I trust implicitly. I’ve been going to him for 16 years. My husband knows him and trusts him. He’s the man.

Evidently what my breast radiologist told me was not 100%. He didn’t lead me astray; he just didn’t tell me the entire picture, the entire picture being that the cyst that is growing now has irregular edges. I told my OBGYN, “This changes my thoughts on all this…”

When he called me he apologized for taking a couple days to get back with me, saying, ‘Bou, I’m sorry. It was Rosh Hashana, I was out and I know this is sensitive…” and I replied, ‘Don’t sweat it. I knew it was the Jewish holiday and I’m NOT freaked about it. Not at all… statistically, I am fine. I know what’s going on.”

And with that, there was a pause and the reply of, “Well, statistically yes, but I don’t like these edges and neither does the radiologist.”


I’m still not panicked, but I’m definitely sitting up straight and listening. The breast surgeon’s office opens at 9. I called at 9:03. His take on things could still be even different than my OBGYN’s and my radiologist’s. He does this enough that he may still take a wait and see approach. I just won’t know until he sees the plethora of films and reports. Then of course if he does give the nod it needs to be done, it could be done via ultrasound and the hole punch or it could be surgical, depending on location.

The cyst is smaller than I thought. I read the reading incorrectly from the ultrasound as I was watching. That’s good news. It’s about 1.5 cm, instead of 2, having grown from just under 1 cm in 15 months.

I can’t feel it. It’s too small for me to feel with its location. Trust me, since they told me it grew, I’ve looked for it about 20 times a day. My OBGYN assured me I didn't miss it on any self exam. He'd not be able to feel this either.

It doesn’t show up on a mammogram. It’s not got any calcification.

This was strictly caught because I always have an ultrasound to coincide 6 months after my mammogram, due to the ‘nodular tissue’ I have in my breasts. I alternate... one mammogram in the beginning of the year and an ultrasound six months later... a mammogram six months after that... and ultrasound following... you get the picture.

So. Do I think I have breast cancer? No.

Am I freaking out? No.

Am I worried? No.

Will I be diligent? Absolutely.

At my age over 30% of women have these fibroids, of those 95% are benign. I know that’s where I fall… within the 95%. But it is irresponsible not to be diligent… too many people depend on me.

I’ll be blogging this not as a catharsis. I’ll be blogging this because I think people need to know the importance of staying in tune with their body and not skipping mammograms and listening to your doctor when he says, “I think you need to get breast ultrasounds with your mammograms every year.” All these things go together, my friends. These are all tools in the toolbox… mammograms, self exams, ultrasounds, biopsies.

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. I’m sure my saga will move right into October. My appointment with the surgeon is on Friday at 1PM. My husband informed me tonight at dinner that he’ll be coming with me. It’s being taken seriously on all accounts. We shall see… we shall see…

Posted by Boudicca at 06:13 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Making Mom's Job a Bit Easier

So my son tests very well on standardized testing. How well? The ninety-ninth percentile well.

In so doing for 6th grade, last year's test, he was asked by some group affiliated with Duke if he’d be interested in taking the SAT or ACT in December or January, just to see how he’d do. When I got the notification in the mail, the first thing I did was laugh at the thought of my under tall, late growth spurt 12 year old, walking in to take the SAT with a bunch of 16 and 17 year old man/boys, not even thinking about the woman/girls who’ll be in there.

For some reason I had to laugh.

But my 2nd thought was more along the lines of, “If the testing done at his school is not showing us exactly what he knows, why not figure out where he really does lie?”

He’s not going to do well. Please. It’s a test to get into college and he’s a kid who just truly loves to read and has great comprehension. But maybe it’ll show me that he’s more at the 9th grade level or maybe that he’s just one step ahead. I have no clue. But it will be interesting.

He came home from school and I pulled him aside. He has always tested this high… always. His brothers do not. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it in front of them, in particular as Mr. T is so competitive. So I said to him alone, ‘I got a letter today asking if you’d be interested in taking the SAT test in December or January.’

Ringo: Melissa Oglethorpe got one of those.

Me: She did? How do you know?

Ringo: She was IMing me and she told me.

Me: Is she going to do it?

Ringo: Yeah. In December.

Me: well… its up to you. What do you want to do?

Ringo: I want to take it. I’ll find out where she’s registered.

And with that he walked away. I think he’d have been nervous if ‘Melissa Oglethorpe’ had not already greased the skids for me. Melissa who is one of the top brains in his class, blonde and legs up to her neck.

I call this… “The power of the girl”.

I found out later that night that Son#4 qualified too and had signed up. If Ringo had known that, he’d have signed up as well. “The power of the friend”. Hopefully Son#4 and he will get the same time and place for testing. They’ll feel better going in together.

Posted by Boudicca at 06:51 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

September 15, 2007

Birthday Gift Thoughts

As most know, my birthday was last weekend. (Thank you Writersblock! Heh.) I always come up with a short list of things I want as my husband and boys get stuck. I’m not very materialistic, I don’t do clothes and shoes, and they find it hard to shop for me.

Well, my husband does anyway. The boys, left to their own devices, I just don’t know. It could be a wild ride.

I never get exactly what’s on my list. There is always some sort of variation, which lends itself to their creativity. For instance, I asked for the ceramic frog and was also blessed with two tiny ceramic frogs that are probably supposed to be ‘ribbiting’ but looked to me to be hurling. Then again, that may be because I’m a Mom and I am very familiar with that wide mouthed look, although usually it’s at 3AM next to my bed. Pizza or chocolate cake seemed to be the favorite ingredients… neither coming out of white carpet very well.

Sometimes my husband just listens to what is going on around me... without my knowing it... and adds to my list.

I came home a few weeks ago, having ridden my bike (one I had in college) around the neighborhood, which is five miles. My husband and two of my boys were sitting on the couch watching television. I walked in, hot and sweaty, looked at them and said, “That bike seat is 20 years old and has lost its cushion. It makes my hoo hoooo fall asleep.”

I got a collective, *blink* from the three of them with Mr. T chiming in with a “Hoo hoo? What is that?”

Me: It’s the un-weenie.

To which I got another collective, *blink*.

Let it be known I live with that a lot here. The four of them and me… we don’t exactly always think on the same plane.

Anyway, I got a new bike seat for my birthday. It says it’s made for a woman, which does lend me to wonder what the big difference is for bike seat padding. An ass is an ass, right? But it is very nicely padded, the bike seat that is. Not that my ass isn’t but evidently it’s not padded enough to make up for the fact that my 20 year old bike seat has lost its cush.

I also asked for an iTunes card. Just $20 or so, as I won’t spend the money on myself.

The day came and there were boxes and boxes that evidently came from my favorite clothing store, J.Jill. Since I have found this store, my husband has been in frickin’ heaven. He doesn’t have to think at all about what he wants to buy me. If he walks in the store, he knows anything he gets me will make me happy, the stipulation being, it must be on sale.

I don’t pay full price for clothes. No.

Unfortunately, my husband has the rationalization that if it’s on sale, then you get to buy MORE. Which is fine. Really. Until I get the credit card bill. Gah!

And on a side note, you know you’ve been married a long time when your spouse can hold up a shirt and say, ‘No… this one is too small’ or ‘this is it…’ as of all the boxes I got, NOTHING was the same size yet everything fit except one shirt. He frickin’ NAILED it.

Anyway, the boys were upset I didn’t get the iTunes card. I looked at the boxes, all filled with clothes I am in love with, and thought, “This is more than $20 worth of clothes…” And after I opened them, my husband said, “Just buy the tunes you want. Forget the gift card.”

I only wanted five tunes. Yeah, I made out…

It is not lost on me, however, that my husband buys me clothes whenever he can. I won’t. I just won’t. I walk into a clothing store and I think, “I don’t have a job and we need to pay the electrician for the generator hook up.” Or “I got clothes for Christmas and my car needs new tires.” So my clothes start to look pretty well worn, not to mention I am the anti-fashionista. I still have sweaters in my closet from the 80s, as my sister can attest to, much to her horror. I’m happy to bum around the house in jeans with holes in them and my granddaddy’s old flannel shirt, three sizes too big for me. (I’ll leave the house in the 80s sweaters, but not granddaddy’s flannel shirt. I have standards.)

My husband, meanwhile, always looks like he stepped out of GQ.

So I don’t shop. He does. I am t-shirts and jeans/or shorts and he’s Mr. GQ. It is amazing to me at times how we hooked up.

A friend of his owns a shoe store and said to him a few weeks ago, when this friend found out I refuse to own more than one pair of black sandals because in my mind, “Why in the hell would I NEED more than one pair of black sandals?” he said to my husband, “We should switch wives. I would save so much damn money.” In his friend’s mind and that of the friend’s wife, this is not normal for a woman not to want to own many pairs of sandals of the same color or to not clothes shop.

I have said to my husband a number of times, “Do you know how many men would KILL to have a wife who doesn’t shop and isn’t into clothes?!” He always laughs and says, “Yeah, right.”

But then I was thinking today as I had to return the item that didn’t fit, “Do I fully realize how many women would KILL to have a husband who begged her to buy new clothes and shoes and even went so far as to… buy them for her?”

Odd how people hook up. Funny. But odd…

Posted by Boudicca at 07:28 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

Estrogen in a Sea of Testosterone

Ringo has two boys from school that he hangs with most. He has a lot of friends at school, but only two that he considers close friends. Their Moms had both done something for Ringo, had him over or had him go out with them, so I decided a couple weeks ago to have both boys spend the night.

The whole ‘two birds/one stone’ thing. The one boy’s Mom doesn’t cook. At all. So I made sure I made a homemade apple pie for after dinner. TGOO asked me if I was trying to be the better Mom through food. I said, “Hell yes.”

I may not have the newest gaming system here and we may not own a boat, but I can cook.

Anyway, we were all sitting around having dinner, Ringo and his two buddies, my other two sons, and my husband and I. I said to the boys, “So, what are your interests now that you’re in 7th grade. What do you think you’d want to do for a living if you were to decide right now?”

Ringo said, ‘I’m going to own a car dealership.’

How many kids come up with something like that, huh? Own a car dealership? I’m sorry, but I think that’s bizarre. But I’m not telling him that. If he wants to own a car dealership, then in my mind, he’ll own one. But talk about thinking out of the box. Holy crap.

His buddy Shane said, “I’m going to design cars…”

My knee jerk reaction is to scream, “Don’t go aerospace or automotive! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!” But instead I said, “Hey, that’s cool. You’ll need to go through engineering. Make sure you’re studying your math and sciences and art classes may be a good thing too!”

I got to the third buddy, Daniel, and he said, “I’m going to be a cop.”

Oh his Mom is going to stroke. Both his folks are engineers. His Mom is a mechanical engineer and his Dad is an electrical engineer. Both work for big fortune 50 companies. Engineering is a good stable SAFE job.

Note the caps on the word SAFE.

Engineers don’t typically get shot at, deal with drug runners, or come across murder scenes.

Nope. Nope.

And their son has decided he wants to be a cop. And that’s kind of a tough thing to swallow right now even more, as in Florida we’ve had what I think as a rash of law enforcement shootings and not as in the law enforcement officers shooting, but being shot at and dying. Its absolutely gut wrenching awful.

So I said, “Really? I didn’t know…” and he replied, “OH yeah, that or a Navy SEAL.”

I did a *Blink*.

I swear to you, I could feel the hum of testosterone emanating from around that table. It was me and my husband and five boys. And they want to own a car dealership, design cars, or be a cop or a Navy SEAL.

I might be really really wrong. I might be seriously off base, but I just suspect that if I had had five girls around that table, the life choice selections may have been a bit different. Just a little…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:37 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Darwin's Frog Puke

Status on the garden. The boys gave me a cool ceramic frog planter for my birthday as I’d requested. They also gave me these two tiny ceramic frogs that aren’t really planters as they are so small, but they have their mouths open.


See where this is going?

I decided to put the little ceramic frogs inside other planters, hanging over the edge, and to plant one little sprig coming out of their mouths so they look like they’re hurling. I’m going to try to get a like plant of what it would be hurling to sit underneath it so it looks like it’s thrown up a lot of plant.

I have too much time on my hands.

I suspect over time, this will become the garden from hell.

As of now, the squirrel is gone. I think it’s not dead, just pissed as there is no food. I decided when the birdfeeder got low on feed, not to replenish until fall as the winter migration starts. For awhile I had one squirrel and a stupid frog living in my birdbath.

The suicidal orchid has opted to stick around.

A couple of these plants are growing like frickin’ weeds, which leads me to believe… they just might be. Weeds… that is.

Meanwhile, my hanging plant, that was some sort of thorny rosey thing, has decided to go yellow on me and die. VW was here yesterday and said it is not getting enough nutrients and I need to feed it.

Mmmm. I decided it doesn’t need to live that bad. She told me that she had a friend that used to have this beautiful garden she marveled over. When she said something to her friend, her friend informed her if the plant couldn’t hack it, she threw it out and bought new.

That’s my new theory.

Forget the garden from hell. I have Darwin’s garden.

So the rosey thorny hanging plant is history this weekend while I find something to replace it as well as I’ll be buying a plant for my new frog planter and simulated plant puke for the little frogs.

Looks to be a cheery weekend!

Yes… I’m sure pictures to follow.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 13, 2007

Mornings Suck

I’m not a morning person. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Mornings are good for two things and they both involve a bed.”

I’d get it printed on a t-shirt, but I’d hate to wear it only to have one of my boys say, ‘Mom, what’s the second thing?’ It’s bad enough that my eldest thinks people only do it like dogs and my 2nd son is fascinated to know anything and everything does it, including Meerkats. My 3rd son is still Clueless in West Palm Beach.

Clueless is good.

Caffeine is one of those things I am realizing my body does not tolerate. To drink a cup of coffee means I’m destined to be sick as a big dog for hours and hours.


It is hit or miss and I’ve yet to solve that puzzle as to when it will hit and when it will miss. Solving that puzzle would take much stress out of my life. The puzzle solving has been about as successful as this:

“OK, last week I drank coffee and ate a scrambled egg and was sick as a dog. Three days later I had a cup of coffee and a piece of dry toast and was fine. That must be key. Coffee… dry toast. But… then yesterday I had coffee and dry toast and was sicker than I was when I had coffee and the scrambled egg. Is it the egg? The coffee? The moon is blue and it’s raining in the Mojave today?”

Who knows. So I just try to stay away from coffee.

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. In general, I think caffeine is bad for the body, and that would be EVERYONE’S body, not just mine. I see America jumping in line for caffeine by the cup making Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks seem like the American equivalent of an Opium den. You can get it in a tiny can, buy it in your water, and it’s just a matter of time before you can snort it.

I truly think it is that bad in America… the caffeine addiction.

Not that I don’t have my own addictions. Trust me. I’m an endorphin junky. No addiction is better than the other. Some people need to practically mainline caffeine, I get mine with a 5 mile run or anything else that could get me that rush.

The caffeine addicts will still be moving and grooving at 80. I’ll be in need of a double knee replacement.

But as I get older, I’m definitely feeling the need for that chemical boost. And I’m oh so wistful that my body can’t hack it.

It’s becoming a choice for me in the mornings now, “Slog through the morning until 10:30 or drink a cup o’ Joe and be awake, but sick and confined to the house”. I hate to say it, but sick and confined to the house is starting to win.

I’m just not a morning person. This 6AM crap is totally kicking my ass. There are morning people and there are night owls and I’m a nightish owlish kind ‘o gal. I function best getting up between 7 and 7:30, going to bed at 11. That one hour earlier of 6AM is enough to make me fumble through the morning for HOURS and HOURS until something suddenly breaks free in my brain. It can be 10:30 in the morning before that happens.

If I get up when my body allows, I’m good to go nearly immediately. And really, 7:30 is optimal.

I don’t know how I did it with small children. Mr. T was farmboy. That kid was up at 6AM every morning and God forbid we went to Pensacola, which is a different time zone, and the boy would be up at 5. The mandatory time changes always kicked my butt. I would dread them WEEKS in advance. I hate looking at the clock and seeing 5AM. Hate it.

The big event in my life was when he turned four and I realized I could put him on the couch with a sippy cup of milk, turn on the TV and go back to bed for an hour. I’m surprised that I don’t have that infamous date written in a baby book somewhere.

Oh, but that would require a baby book. I’m not that organized. I have pictures in boxes, not pictures in books. Yeah, I’m the suckiest Mom is sucktown.

So it is 8:30AM as I write this, having been up since 6AM and having done nothing but iron some shirts, fix lunches, get the kids off to school, catch up on the news, read a chapter out of another Janet Evanovich novel, and realize I’m pissing my day away because my brain is still in some funk, so I’ve elected to go the way of the java, and hope I don’t get sick, having bet on toast and peanut butter as an accompaniment.

Mornings suck.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:07 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Dollars to Doughnuts

I think everyone has a food they have issues with. Issues in this case would be defined as an inability to stop from eating it. Some people claim potato chips, others claim cookies, while others have issues with ice cream.

Mine are those little tiny doughnuts covered in chocolate. One bite and they’re gone. I can shove a whole one in my mouth if I need to, but I do prefer to savor them, so I do it in two.

Our Publix makes them. I’m sure all grocery stores carry them.

I cannot have them in this house.

First, chocolate is on the list of things I probably should not be eating. I have some other health issues going on that have put me in ‘health purgatory’ besides the homemade implant/bionic boob scenario. Fatty foods, cheese, chocolate, caffeine, and the list continues of things I have no business eating.

At all.

A few days ago I walked into Publix to do shopping for dinner and I must’ve been hungry and… well… lonely as you know, the house is empty. So what’s a girl to do? I dropped one of those containers of chocolate doughnuts into my basket and thought, ‘I’ll just have one and I’ll let the kids eat the rest.”


Hold that thought.

Five doughnuts later I realized, “This was a mistake. I cannot have these in our home.” So I went running. It was to alleviate the guilt.

The next morning I had my standard fare of egg and toast with a big glass of water and thought, “I need to just have ONE doughnut.”


Hold that thought.

Five doughnuts later I realized, “This was a mistake. I cannot have these in our home.”

Do you sense a déjà vu? Me too. I went running. To alleviate the guilt.

I think there needs to be a name for those of us who eat and run. I mean other than, “Burning the candle at both ends.” Bulimics eat and hurl. I eat and run. I think saying, ‘I have the runs’ just doesn’t cut it.

Truly, only on a bad day do I eat and run. I’ve gotten better at NOT doing the eat something like a bowl of ice cream and then run five miles. I used to do it all the time.

Now, I evidently only do it when there are small chocolate covered doughnuts in my home.

That’s easy.

No more little chocolate doughnuts.


Posted by Boudicca at 08:06 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

Incomprehensible Thoughts

There is a little girl in band that I’ve gotten to know. She’s one year younger than my eldest, 6th grade. I’ll call her Ashley.

Ashley didn’t want to keep playing the trumpet, but her Dad has pushed the issue. She and I had an argument about it last week. I laughed and I laugh now… I argue enough with my 12 year old boy, I don’t need to argue with an 11 year old girl. She sees no value in continuing with music. That was the basis of our… discussion.

I remember when I met her Mother. I used to run the school/church spaghetti dinner. We used to joke that the resident Prod ran the Catholic spaghetti fundraiser. Her Mom and Dad immediately jumped in to help me when I called for volunteers and they asked to take charge of garbage. That is a big job when you’re feeding 800 people spaghetti.

They had their daughter late in life… I think Ashley’s Mom is probably eight years older than I. It may be more.

I remember when Ashley’s Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago. It was a sucker punch to all of us, but she never let it change her attitude about anything. She showed up to every event, chipped in to help, and has been upbeat… continually. Upbeat even when I know she’s not feeling it.

When her hair grew back in, she and I had a long conversation about it. She told me she had wondered if it would all come back… but it did, the same color and texture, unlike my other friend who is fighting stage 4 cancer, when her hair came back crazy curly.

I’m not sure what pulled me to do it today. I was sitting there waiting for my boys and suddenly felt compelled to ask Ashley how her Mom was. I’ve never told Ashley I knew her mother had been sick. She and I have never spoken of it.

But today I asked.

And today I found out its come back and metastasized to her lungs. She was in remission for three years… maybe two and Ashley was told this weekend that it has returned. And I found out this is not going to her be second bout with breast cancer, but in fact, her third. She was diagnosed the first time when Ashley was three.

I must’ve hit at a time when Ashley needed to get it all off her chest as I heard everything… information that Ashley has heard, but is unable to process. I know too much about breast cancer. Ashley is just now learning. At 11. She is being forced to learn at that young age, how awful this can be, what happens when it spreads. My fear from some things Ashley said casually is that it is far worse than a spot on her Mom's lungs.

And I know that is her mother’s fear because… her mother would know.

I spent the entire time listening to the little girl, talking to her about the great doctors her mother has, but knowing now her Mom is not curable, but living with a chronic disease that will kill her mother eventually. All the kings horses and all the kings men… cannot fix her mother.

And I sat there, keeping the good face when inside I wanted to cry again, as I watch yet another woman die from this disease.

And as I kept the good face for Ashley, I wondered if she was in fact keeping the good face for me.

I call tomorrow for my appointment for my biopsy. I’m ready to have the hole punched in my right breast, but I’ll probably still say no to the titanium. I’ve been dragging my feet as I know I do not have cancer and that 95% of all fibroids are non-cancerous. I know that over 30% of all women my age have these types of fibroids. But I won’t be dragging my feet any more as although I know I am fine, my boys deserve to have a doctor say I’m fine. It’s not about me. It’s about my boys. I have a lot to do left in their lives. Their formation into young men contributing to our society is far from over.

And I pray for Ashley and her Mom and Dad. Some things are just incomprehensible to me. What they are going through is one.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:19 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 11, 2007


Don Simmons has been on my mind today.

9/11 seems very distant to me on some days. Six years, much has happened.

But to the people who lost loved ones... it feels like yesterday. Always.

And I cannot even imagine the feeling of those who live in NYC. I watched on the news as I was running in the gym today, watching the people of NYC. I remember Thanksgiving when we went to see where the Towers had stood, walking by the bronze plaque with the names of the firefighters, how choked up I became, unable to breath as the emotion of... everything... pushed in on my chest.

It was as if I could feel the souls. I could feel the grief of everyone who walked by there. I didn't know what to expect when I insisted we pay our respects. I've been to Pearl Harbor. It is solemn. I think I expected that it would be like I felt whenever I've gone to visit the USS Arizona.

But it wasn't like that. Not at all. It was a million fold worse. And it is not to minimalize the loss of life at Pearl Harbor. Not at all. But the emotions I felt at NYC were swirled with remembering the day myself, and knowing the stories of those I know who lost loved ones, and... well I guess it is a loss from my generation. It is something I lived through, although not there, I lived through it.

I never tire of hearing people tell me where they were. I want to hear it. It makes me feel like we're not forgetting.

Because I know I'm not. It feels distant at times, but the pain is there, and I'm not forgetting.

And today again, I remembered those lost on that day and I remembered again... Don Simmons and his family. We must never forget.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

... and Some Say Her Heart Grew Three Sizes that Day

Bones said to me today, ‘Mom, are you still laid off?”

Me: Yup. It’ll be awhile.

Bones, wistfully: Mom, what do you do all day? Do you sit at home just waiting for us to come home?

He said it like his heart was breaking for me. You had to see it. As if I am lost without them...

Me: Oh no, dude, I’ve been at the school, running errands, cleaning out the toy room, going to the gym, doing grocery shopping and laundry. I’ve been busy. I promise.

Mr. T: Good thing that Dad still has his job, huh?

Me: yeah, good thing. But if I were the breadwinner, trust me, I’d be out there pounding the pavement for a new job.

Bones: Breadwinner? Mom, you are the breadwinner; you’re the one that cooks all the food.

Me: No, I mean, Dad is the breadwinner. He makes the money to put the food on the table.

Bones: Yeah, but that’s no big deal. YOU’RE the one that decides what to cook. Dad would be OK just putting butter and bread on the table.

Me: *Blink*

Bones: You know, there are probably families like that. Just throwing bread and butter on the table. But YOU cook for us.

Can I tell you my heart grew so big I thought it might burst from my chest? Today I’m glad he’ll probably be the one picking out my nursing home… Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Journey Through a State of Flux

This work thing… this state of flux. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

I went in yesterday to change my passwords. I keep up with the calendar to make sure I don’t mess up and lose all access to my systems. I lost one yesterday. They changed their security rules, moving to a tighter time to have to continually change the password, and I missed it by 10 days. I was so pissed. I said something to my tech lead and he said, blank faced, “Don’t sweat it. There’s no money in that program. Everything got pulled. None of us will work it.”


My boss kept saying, “We’re trying! We’re trying! We’re working on the money, but its all being held up!”

And I said, “Hey, whatever, I signed up to substitute teach…” to which I got heads popping up out of cubicles and one huge collective, *BLINK* from every man in the room.

Me: Hey, cut me some slack. I’ve never NOT worked before. I’ve always had a paying job or little people at home. I can’t do this stay home thing and not work.

Everyone kind of nodded while still giving me the open eyed look as if I was insane.

I continued, ‘I just signed up for the course the county requires for you to sub. The byline is something like, “Surviving the classroom”. I want to hear what they have to say…”

What they have to say.

I went to sign up for the course, a two night six hour course where I gather we aren’t all getting permits to carry concealed… you know… just in case, when I said to the woman as I filled out the form, “I’m looking to sub for math, high school in particular. What kind of demand for that is there?”

And she looked at me and said, “Oh! Probably we could get you to teach! They BURN THOUGH math teachers.”

Me: Umm. Yeah. No thanks.

I don’t want to make teaching a career. Teaching is a TOUGH career. Engineering is easy in comparison. I go in, use my brain, I leave. Sometimes I leave on the brink of comatose as I’m so mentally worn, but the fact is… I leave. And it pays well. I do nothing at home. For the most part, I’m not emotionally attached.

Teaching as a career? Low pay. Emotional involvement. Lesson plans. Grading papers. I see hours and hours and hours of OUT OF CLASSROOM time. Not to mention, I don’t want to be mentally and emotionally spent, only to come home to my three boys who require me pretty much in top form from the time they come through the doors until 8PM.

Teaching is a tough job.

But… I also am seeing something I don’t get with my current job. Making a difference. Teachers make a difference. They can light that spark. They are helping young people on their path to their futures.

I don’t make a difference. At all. I’m a whore. If the price is right, I am yours tonight. I work for engineering companies that will let me go in a heartbeat. Close a plant site? Thousands of engineers laid off. Lose a big government contract? Bye Bye. Outsourcing to a foreign country is the way to go? Seeeeee ya. So I will bounce from place to place making my hourly wage and be completely unappreciated and make no difference and at the end of the day I have the cash to pay for my property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and kids high school should we opt for private.

I’m a whore. I just don’t do my work on my back. I do it sitting on my ass.

But I think I am slowly getting to the point in my life where I want to make some sort of difference and the money is not the driving factor. It is for now, don’t get me wrong, the older your kids get the more expensive they get. But I can see as my kids age and I wonder, “Hmmm… what is next” that teaching could be it. To finally make a difference somewhere. (Excluding the difference I make with my children. I mean in the world… I fully appreciate what I do at home. Fully. So don’t be taking any of this post the wrong way with comments of “Bou! You are making a difference to your boys!” I get that. Trust me.)

I don’t know.

And no, I could not teach for the general populace. I’m putting my name in to sub for a couple private schools here and eventually one of the elite magnet high schools. Kids who Care, as a friend of mine put it. That’s what I want. Calculus down to Algebra for kids who WANT to learn.

I was sitting with my older boy helping him with his Pre-Algebra homework the other night. It was lengthy and he was lost, but by the end the light had come on. He got it. (Whether he still has it is another issue…) Anyway, my husband was listening through the entire thing, watching me, watching my son. My husband struggled in math. It was not his forte. He did, however, make it through calculus.

The other night on our date he said to me, “As I watched you teach our son, I finally got it. I finally got it all. Everything made so much sense. I remember struggling so much in Math, but the other night, I could actually see it and it all made PERFECT sense. I can’t believe how hard I always thought it was…”

I’d love to say it was the way I taught it. Trust me. I’d LOVE that. But I think there is a neurological maturity that comes with math. I really do. That is why I’m not a big proponent for Algebra in 8th grade for the general populace. It is too soon and it’s going to turn kids off to math. But… nobody consulted me and what in the hell do I know because after all, I’m just a stupid mathematician. I told my husband, years of brain development and analyzing in life, watching and learning as he’s lived, has probably matured his brain to think just a bit differently than he did when he was 14 and took Algebra the first time. He thinks I’m right.

It could be interesting though, trying to get that light to flicker in someone’s head as they just try to grasp a new concept. Watching their face change as they realize they understand. Seeing Math isn’t scary… its just a way of thinking and its not hard, it just takes practice and patience.

So we will see where my journey will take me. I told the guys at work that I don’t want to teach for a living. Not now. I just need some control. Waiting on this company to wait for another company for money, it is too much of a state of flux for my personality. Making a decision to do something like subbing, gives me a feeling of being in control.

Even if it is a false sense. None of us are really in control… are we?

Posted by Boudicca at 09:03 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 09, 2007

The Bionic Boob

I had some tests run last week. Results? Nothing really bad… but not really good either. I’m in like health purgatory. Love that.

I go every 6 months for either a mammogram or an ultrasound. I have what they call ‘dense breast tissue’ and so the ultrasounds help see any abnormalities that the mammogram can’t pick up. This time last year my radiologist found a fibroid. (I go to a radiologist, not an imaging center.) So he told me we’d get a measurement for it and we’d just keep an eye and see if it grew. It was big then… about 2cm.

This year it grew.

Which I completely knew it was. I was starting to refer to it as my homemade implant. Women pay good money for breast implants. Hell, I grow my own.

So he tells me I need to think about having it biopsied, even though he feels certain its not cancer. I wasn’t and still am not worried about it at all. It’s not cancer. It’s a stupid fibroid that is going to grow and grow and grow until one day I’m a 36C on one side and a 36H on the other. My right breast will drag the floor to my side as I walk.

Kind of like a knuckle dragger, but not.

He handed me a pamphlet and said, “This is the new procedure. Read about it and think it over. Your insurance doesn’t cover it, but think about it.”

I took the brochure. This new procedure doesn’t just turn my right breast into a pin cushion, it suctions that fibroid right out of there. SLUUUUURP! and its gone.

Sounds scary to me. I’m OK with the fibroid being there, as long as its not cancerous and as long as it isn’t really going to turn the right side to a 36H because, really, the thought of calluses on the my right breast from it dragging the ground, truly is more than I can take.

I grew it. It’s benign. It can stay.

But I figured I’d read it over anyway, and there were pictures which I did not need to see. Its unnerving knowing someone is about to suction something out of your breast, let alone seeing some woman getting ready to have it done to her. Blech.

I read further down and it said that after it was done slurping out the cyst, it would leave a titanium implant in its place so that the spot can always be found. Great.

How about we skip the slurping and the implant and just leave the fibroid.

My husband came home and I told him the news, which he listened to quite intently. This is about how the conversation ensued:

Me: So I have a choice of a needle biopsy or this fibroid slurpy thing where it sucks it right out at the same time its gets the tissue biopsy. Our insurance doesn’t cover the slurpy thing.

Husband: I think you should look into the new procedure anyway. Find out how much it costs.

Me: Well, I don’t want that one. They leave a titanium marker and I don’t want one in my right breast.

Husband: Bou, people have titanium implants all the time. Titanium hips, knees, oral implants. It’s no biggy.

Me: I DO NOT want a Titanium tit!

Husband: *blink*

Me, waving hands in the air, probably grabbing my right breast in demonstration: No. No. No. They can leave the fibroid, everyone knows where it was then, I’m not carrying a card with me so every time I get on an airplane, some one has to know I have a titanium tit before I go through the metal detector. NO.

Husband: OK then.

I have a friend at the kids’ school who had the old fashioned needle biopsy done on Thursday. Her sister was there while we were talking saying, “Wow, I don’t know why they call it a ‘needle biopsy’. It’s like a hole punch! You should see the size of the hole she has!”


Just what I wanted to think about, moving past my right breast being a pin cushion, and instead having a hole punched in it. Lovely.

I figure we’re pretty damn close to the point where if I get murdered and my body is found without a head, my husband will be able to ID me. He can look for the Orion’s Belt scar/star cluster on my stomach from gall bladder surgery, the stretch mark simulated Raisin Bran smiling sun navel as a result of three pregnancies, and a hole punch in my right breast.

Some days I just feel so damn sexy.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:05 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

September 08, 2007

Not Top Choice for a Husband/Wife Espionage Team

My husband and I had another date last night (Friday night). Holy crap, I think that’s three this year, a new record for us! Son#4’s Mom, a dear friend of mine, has had my three boys over twice in the last six weeks to spend the night, so that’s where this ‘date’ thing has been coming from.


So we were in the car coming home from school yesterday and I told the boys their Dad and I were going to dinner and a movie.

Mr. T: What movie are you going to see?

Me: I get to pick, so we’re seeing No Reservations.


Bones: Mom, why? You know you can see Shoot ‘em Up instead, right?

Me: Yeah. Hold that thought. No thanks.

Shoot ‘em Up. Right. The anti-chick flick.

My husband and I were at dinner, finishing up when he said, “What’s the name of our waiter?"

Me, rolling my eyes: No clue.

Husband: Damn. I don’t remember either.

Me: We are NOT a good team when it comes to this name stuff.

Husband: No, we’re not.

Me: And to top it off, this half of the team barely remembers faces; that makes it worse. We suck. By the way, the boys thought we should see Shoot ‘Em Up.

Husband: Really? And who’s in that?

Me: I can’t remember his name. Some guy who used to be a Country Western singer.

We got in the car, where I had the movie page. I broke it out and said, “Oh, here it is. Clive Owens.”

Husband: Country Western singer? Clive Owens is a British actor!

Me: Are you sure???

Husband: YES! He does those BMW car short movies.

Me: Hunh. I wonder where I got that from.

Anyone want to help a girl out and tell me how in the hell I thought Clive Owens was a CW star? I thought he was on Hee Haw. Ohhh! That would be BUCK Owens. (Thank you Google.) Lovely. I’m so much like TGOO sometimes it truly is scary.

The movie was a chick flick and we did enjoy it. Its probably rental quality, but it was a night out. I will say that I think that Catherine Zeta Jones is probably one of the most beautiful women in the world. As far as Hollywood women go, I think CZT tops them all. She is just gorgeous and if I were going to come back looking like anyone, I’d pick her.

And I was looking at her hair, and she doesn’t look like she’s going to be a bald old woman. Not at all.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:57 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 07, 2007

Small Town Heroes

Many years ago, our news station did a short bit on school zones and the speed limits. In this newscast, they took a beach ball and threw it in the street in front of an uncoming car, simulating a child running out to get a ball. (No child was used.) It showed that if the car was going 20 mph, the speed limit in the yellow blinking light school zones, the car had time to stop, however, if the car was going even 5 mph more than the 20, the car could not stop and it would hit the ball.

They were really hammering home that 20 mph was THE speed limit for a reason and that any deviation upward from that could be dangerous. And as Morrigan said when I spoke to her about the speeding in school zones, ‘There just is no reason.’

And she is right. There is not.

I am a FREAK about school zones. I hover between 18mph to 20, never over, constantly watching my speedometer. There just is not a reason to speed. There are children involved.

My children go to a small school in a sleepy small town, where everyone knows everyone. I think it could be likened to Mayberry. In front of the school, there is probably only a couple hundred yards of ‘school zone’. I’m perpetually amazed at the people who cannot bring themselves to slow down, the extra minute at the most added to their drive, by obeying the speed limit.

Obviously, the local police department feels the same way.

At the end of last year, they put a young motorcycle cop during yellow blinking light hours, to pull speeders over and ticket them. We’ve been watching him now for a few months, including last year, and he’s pretty serious about his job. Of course two questions came to mind when I first saw him. One, does he shave? And two, am I old enough to be his Mom?

Mr. T is a patrol this year and he’s been working the Kindergarten in the afternoons the past two weeks, putting him within visual distance of the young motorcycle cop.

As we left yesterday, one of the last families to leave as I had work at the school, we sat waiting to turn right to leave the school while traffic eased by, the young motorcycle cop pointing his speeding gun at various cars. I can spot someone he’s going to catch immediately and its become sort of a game with the boys and me now.

A blue truck, doing the 20 mph, was making his way past when a white pick up came barreling up on his tail. I yelled at the kids, “Watch this! Watch this! The guy in the white pick up is about to get NAILED by the cop. Ooo! Ooo! Watch!”

And 2 seconds later, BAM!, he tagged the pick up truck, jumped out in the street, waved the blue truck on and got in the face of the guy in the white pick up and told him to pull over. Holy crap, the young motorcycle cop was PISSED. I mean totally frickin’ lit.

As I said, we’ve been watching him do his job for awhile, spotting people he was going to pick off for months, but he has never been pissed. He’s been straight faced, irritated, matter of fact, but NEVER pissed.

Looking at him as bent as he was, thoughts of, “Does he shave yet?” and “Am I old enough to be his Mom?” were completely replaced with, ‘Holy shit, I’d not want to tangle with him.’ He scared the crap out of me.

And I was stunned by how absolutely pissed he really was.

Finally from the back of the car I heard Mr. T say, “Wow! Did you see that! He got the guy you said Mom! And I saw him ARREST someone earlier today!!”

Me: What? Arrest? While you were working the Kindergarten line?

Mr. T: Yes!!! I watched him pull this guy over who was really speeding and he took out his handcuffs and ARRESTED HIM. We were cheering him.

Me: Wait. He drives a motorcycle. Where in the hell did he put him?

Mr. T: Oh he called someone because a police car came and took the guy away.

Good Grief. I can’t imagine how fast that guy was going to get arrested by that cop. People KNOW it is a school zone.

But suddenly it started to make sense. At 2:25 he arrests some total jerk barreling through a school zone, I have no idea what happened, if there was an altercation or what, but it put the young motorcycle cop in a seriously piss poor mood and then come 2:50 the white pick up truck, speeding, and set him off again.

Once a year for a weekend, I have to do some work for the school that puts me in touch with the local police department… as in they have to kind of hang out where I am. I’m hoping that the young motorcycle cop gets the duty that weekend.

I want to shake his hand and thank him.

My kids and I think he's a hero.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:41 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

September 05, 2007

Pea Soup, Small Male Parts, and Sports

Coming home from school today I heard Bones say to Mr. T, “Shut up, Small Dick!”

I almost choked.

In the rear view mirror I said, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” and proceeded to do my best imitation of the Exorcist, complete with green goo spewing forth.

I couldn’t believe it. First Mr. T says the phrase “Sex Slaves” and now Bones was calling someone “Small Dick”. It had to be that stupid movie. I’d had it and my husband was going to hear all about.

There was much commotion going on in the car about ‘Small Dick’ when I said, “Where did you hear that from? Where!” to which Mr. T replied, “Madagascar. That movie, Madagascar.”

I was stunned. Speechless. Has Hollywood no shame? Sure, it is not exactly a star on our parental record that my 8 year old saw Balls of Fury, but Madagscar? I was reverberating so much, I’m surprised I wasn’t coming apart at the joints.

Finally I heard Ringo utter one word from the back of the van, “Spaulding.”

“What,” replied I?

“Spaulding,” came the response.

I countered, “What do you mean Spaulding?”

Evenly, Ringo said, “Spaulding is what they said in Madgascar. Not the other word. He dressed a ball up in a grass skirt and gave it spiky hair and called it Spaulding. They thought it was the other.”

This makes sense as Bones and Mr. T have watched this movie too many times in the last week. It’s one of Bones' favorite movies. “Shut Up, Spaulding” is evidently a line.

And so what apparently happened was, my 3rd grader heard Spaulding in the movie, not getting the joke with that from the Tom Hanks’ movie, something the filmmakers threw in for us adults, and not knowing that Spaulding was the name of a sports company, Bones tried to assimilate what the character could be saying and the best Bones could come up with was, “Small Dick”.


Posted by Boudicca at 08:31 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, TGOO

Today is TGOO’s birthday. The big 6-7. The man I am beginning to resemble more and more every day. Heh.

When he was a kid, he played the trombone. Its been one of those eye raising things with us, as Mr. T had NO IDEA his grandfather played trombone as a kid, yet it was the ONLY instrument Mr. T has wanted to play from the beginning.

Of all the people in both families, Mr. T is most like TGOO. I think he resembles him from his childhood pix. I have often said to him, ‘You are so much like your grandfather…”

Finally I realized, my 10 year old son was looking at a 66 year old man and thinking, ‘I am?’

And my Dad looks damn good. Let me tell you, when his beard is trimmed close and he’s in his kilt, he could give Sean Connery a run for his money. But to a 10 year old boy, he doesn’t get the whole age thing. He knows his Big Daddy is in great shape and says all the time how lucky they are that their grandparents are so young.

He gets that.

So finally I said, “When your Big Daddy was in his 20s and 30s, he looked like a movie star. Paul Newman.” That got me some raised eyebrows, mainly because he has no clue who Paul Newman is, but he knows that movie stars are good looking. TGOO, Paul Newman, Mr. T, all have some seriously blue eyes.

There are a few other things in which he’s like TGOO. He’s very orderly and precise. He has a knack for numbers. He does not suffer fools kindly. But the funniest thing is he laughs at himself when he knows he’s going to pull one over on someone. He absolutely amuses himself and will bust out laughing before he can pull a joke. It is a damn riot. TGOO is the same way. He’ll laugh himself silly.

Then again, I’m that same way, so Mr. T could have gotten it from TGOO through Me. Like father like daughter like grandson.

So… Mr. T decided to play the trombone. We were all kind of shocked, as I said, as TGOO had played it and we’d never told my son. Of all the instruments to choose from, Mr. T picked the one that was way too big for him. And he HAD to play it.

Imagine my surprise tonight, when we logged onto Skype to telecom with Hubba and TGOO and there TGOO sat with a trombone! Hubba bought him one for his birthday! That absolutely cracked me up!

He gave us a demonstration and he truly does… well… suck, but with time he’ll master it like he has the other instruments, bagpipe, fiddle, flute, piano, and now trombone. It'll all come back. Like riding a bike.

Happy Birthday, TGOO. We love you dearly.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:02 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 03, 2007

I'm Not Hear No Evil, Unfortunately

My boys wanted to see Balls of Fury in the worst way. I told my husband, “Fine, but I’m not going. YOU take them.”

He tried to convince me it was going to be like Dodgeball, but I knew better. (I laughed hysterically at Dodgeball, which is completely unlike me as it’s not my type of humor.) I’d seen the previews about Balls of Fury and the only thing it had going for it was Christopher Walken.


So he took the boys and a couple of my eldest’s friends who’d wanted to see it to.

We were at dinner tonight with my father in law and his best buddy, Joe. Sitting around the table the boys decided to tell me the ‘highlights’ of the movie.

Mr. T said, “And in this room, it was full of sex slaves…”

I almost choked.

Me, looking at my husband: Wait. Did I just hear my 10 year old son utter the words, “Sex Slaves”?

My husband, grinning: Yes. You did.

I kept staring at my father in law to see if he heard, but he was focusing on his food. Thank God he hasn’t gotten his hearing tested yet…

Posted by Boudicca at 08:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My Hair Needs Instructions on Where to Grow

I’m not obsessing about the fact that I’m eventually going to be a baldish old lady, but it is definitely on my radar.


Maybe I’m obsessing just a bit.

I was getting my hair cut a few weeks back when I said to my hairdresser, “My hair is getting thinner. I can tell. I’m going to end up with Poofy Hair.”

Heather: Well, that doesn’t typically happen until menopause. What about your grandmothers?

Me: Great. I have 10 years until the estrogen is gone and the testosterone rules and I lose my hair. My grandmothers had Poofy Hair. It hid their scalp. It’s like a bubble of hair to hide the fact they essentially have… no hair, or not much. You know what I’m talking about.

Heather: Bou, that was the style…

Me: WAS the style? Please, my grandmothers were not old when they died and they pretty much JUST died!

Heather, playing with my hair: Well, you definitely won’t be able to wear your bangs like this. Mmmm. You’ll have to…

Me: Have them Poofy! I’m going to have Poofy Hair!!!

Heather, grinning and laughing: Yeah, you’ll have Poofy Hair. I was trying to avoid that… but yes. You will.

I can see it coming. I can see it coming like a big frickin’ Mack truck with all the lights on and the horn blaring.

And I’m not even going to have the frickin’ AWESOME white hair my maternal grandmother had. Who knows what in the hell I’m going to have. It’s a crap shoot. Stupid genetics.

My mother still is not really graying and she’s 66. I have a bit of gray, but there is a possibility I could end up with my Mom’s hair, which would be GREAT except hers is thick like carpet. Shag rug thick, my Mom’s hair is. Morrigan has tons of hair like that. They grow hair like gardens grow weeds. Like Georgians grow peanuts. Like athletes grow foot fungus. Lots and lots of it.

Mine is not. I don’t have a lot of hair. So it will be easy with dark dark thinning brown hair to see my white scalp. Great.

More than likely it will end up in the middle probably like my paternal grandmother’s hair which was gray like a brillo pad. Not that beautiful white stuff my Nana had. Holy cow, I loved her snow white hair.

So in my head I have this… thinning hair with a combination of brillo pad gray and dark brown and white scalp.


Maybe I’ll create a woman’s version of the man’s comb over. I’ll start moving my bangs back further and further until they start at the middle of my head.

Maybe not.

And to top it all off? A couple years ago I found frickin’ WHISKERS on my chin. Well, I found one, but now there are three. I keep plucking them out. I don’t want them there.

But then, to add insult to fereakin’ injury, I pulled one out last month that was GRAY!! Good Lord. I almost stroked. I had a GRAY HAIR ON MY CHIN.


So this is what I’m thinking. In about 10 years, maybe 20, I’m going to be bald and have a gray beard.

I will go from people telling me all my life that I look just like my Mom, to suddenly looking just like my Dad! NOOOO!

Can you tell my birthday is coming up? Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:15 PM | Comments (31) | TrackBack

September 01, 2007

I'll Take the Grunt For 30 Please

Sweetthing had a post up about how she read about a guy in a gym getting tossed out for grunting while on his bike. (It kind of sounded like he was fantasizing...)

I go to the gym anywhere between two and five times a week. Twice a week is weights and cardio and the other times are cardio only. I have never heard anyone grunt in the cardio room. Not that it would bother me, I’m pretty tolerant. But in the weight room, yes, I just expected it was somewhat normal and it’s a gym. People are working out.

So back to my tolerance. Let me set the scene for yesterday’s run.

There is a couple that works out when I work out, and they are Asian. They are brilliant and cultured, both of them having their doctorates, she in Chemistry and he in Structural Engineering. I love talking to them as they have been to fascinating places and just put a lot of thought into what is going on around them. They love to truly immerse themselves in different cultures in history, Mayan ruins, and what not. Fascinating people. They are my parent’s age and are very proper and very… clean and orderly.

The machines are all side by side and the husband was on one, then there was an empty machine, and then I stepped on the next.

I was jamming to my iPod, 10 minutes into, picking up a pretty good pace, starting to break a sweat, when an elderly man came and stepped onto the machine between the husband and me. I thought nothing of it.

Five minutes more go by, I’m going at a pretty good clip, probably 8 minute miles, and he’s doing a slow slow stride, when I smell something.


I caught my breath and thought, ‘What?’

About 30 seconds later I caught the whiff again and this time I thought, “Oh no. WTF is that smell….”

I do have respect for other people. I can be rather blunt and insensitive at times, but I never intentionally go out of my way to hurt someone. So with this smell I thought, “Good Lord. Incontinent? Shit? What is this?”

Out of my peripheral vision I notice the man adjusting his pants and I think, “Oh it is him, he is realizing he needs to excuse himself, he’s going to leave…” but he doesn’t. He stays.

Thirty seconds later, the foul odor wafted its way to me again and now I’ve got two thoughts, the first being, “Dear Lord, I hope it’s NOT ME that smells so foul! Why would I smell like this?” and the second, “Oh My God. I might hurl…”

Trying not to attract attention to myself, I put my nose on my shoulder and inhale and yeah, I’m sweaty and gross, but not foul. I pulled the collar of my tshirt up to my face, as if to wipe sweat, and it is definitely not me. There is not ‘gastrointestinal urinary tract’ smell about me, just plain old ordinary sweaty.

And then I notice the husband is off his machine, drying his face with a towel and leaving. He’d been working out for about 45 minutes, but still, I wanted to stop him later and say, “Were you finished, or was it… The Smell?” I will never ask though. It would be gossipy and rude.

Again the foul odor comes into my realm and now it is definitive. The man next to me smells of a combination of incontinence and feces and I cannot run like this. So I turned my head slightly to the right, at an angle away from him, as if I’m watching another TV. I looked like a damn idiot and after a few seconds of it I realized, “I cannot run like this for the remaining 15 minutes; I’ll get a crick in my neck!”

So 17 minutes into my run, I hit stop, and went to ride a bike. I just couldn’t.

My husband said he’d have stopped immediately. I just really really wanted to get a full hour of cardio in, and I really thought I could do it even with the smell, but the smell won.

Gah! It was probably one of the worst gym experiences I’ve ever had… truly.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:29 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Time Marches On, Preferably with a Pigskin

Wow. It’s that time again…

… time for the SEC to start eating their young.

Feels like just yesterday they were at each other. Time moves so quickly…

Posted by Boudicca at 07:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack