My March “Parole Hearing”

jailbreakHey, y’all!
So I went to what I thought would be my March “Parole Hearing,” and it sort of was.  I mean, I got to meet with Dr. Carson, my “parole officer,” (oncological surgeon), but I didn’t have a mammogram.  Dr. Carson has me back on yearly mammograms, apparently, even though I will still see him every six months.

I’m not sure I’m at all comfortable with this.
I am of the school of thought that knowledge is power, and I don’t know if only being informed once a year, rather than twice a year, goes along with my need to know NOW!  I am so used to gearing up for, dreading, looking forward to, being a nervous wreck, anticipating, etc., this event every six months.

I guess I should be glad I only have to go through this traumatic lead-up to the event once a year now, but I’m still not sure I’m at all comfortable with it.  I should really trust Dr. Carson.  After all, he’s brilliant, and if he seems to think I’m okay going back to yearly, then I should take it as a good sign, yes?

At any rate – I have been given another six-month reprieve and, as usual, I plan to make them the absolutely best six months of my life yet!

Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts!  I love you all!

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You can take the girl out of the country…

Am I a country girl?  or a city girl?

Good question!
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lived there until 4 years old; we moved to Dayton, Ohio and lived there until I was 10 years old; then we moved out into the absolute country to Jamestown, Ohio, and lived there until my mid-20s.

I consider myself a country girl!
It started at an early age – even when I lived in the “big cities” of Cincinnati and Dayton, some of my favorite memories were visiting my Uncle Eddie and Aunt Lila’s 350 acre farm in Lebanon, Ohio.

I would follow the peacocks around in hopes that they would drop a tail feather.  I absolutely adored the morning ritual of collecting eggs in the chicken coop with Aunt Lila.  I would brush the horses, Big King and Little King.  I would watch the calves being born and nursing from their mothers.  I climbed the wooden slat ladders to the hay mow and ran deftly along the giant beam rafters in the top of the bank barn.  I took naps in the straw, played in the crick (again, creek for all you non-Ohioans), chased butterflies in the meadow, dug worms as “treats” to hand fed to the chickens, and helped move the cattle herd down the road to the alternate grazing pastures.

I started taking horseback riding lessons at six years old while we still lived the city life. 
Going to the riding stables was the absolute highlight of my week.  I trained with English tack and my discipline was hunter/jumpers.  Riding the school horses around the outdoor arena and learning the nuances of riding and how to interact with the horses was always great.  But, on the days when our riding instructor Frances Steinohrt would take us trail riding – any shred of my existence that didn’t take place on the back of my horse du ‘jour disappeared like a mere wisp.

Communing with nature from the back of a horse is the best feeling in the world.  Strolling along the trails in the meadows, your horse deftly picking its way through the brush and subsequently the wooded trails; the birds calling out; the sound of the babbling brook in the distance; wading across the river on horseback – these are some of the most defining moments of my childhood.

Once we moved to Jamestown – and specifically, Grape Grove – my fate was sealed.
Jamestown, Ohio, was a little town with one stop light smack dab in the middle, and I lived five miles out of town.  Legend has it that the crossroads of Route 35 and Route 72 was where two Native Americans cross paths.  Who knows.

We moved to the parsonage beside the little country church in June of 1974, which gave me the entire summer to explore my new surroundings and become acclimated to the country life before I would have to start at a new school in the fall.

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Grape Grove Church of Christ – our little country church were my dad was the minister for 17 years.
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Greeneview North Elementary (aka Ross Township School) – where I attended for 5th and 6th grade.

It felt like the entire world had opened up to me and there were no limitations or borders.
I was used to riding my bike up to the five and dime store up on Salem Avenue in Dayton, and that was freedom to a 9-year-old girl in the city.  I’d take my allowance and go buy a candy bar or a new stuffed toy, or a treat from my dog Bootsie.

But this … the wide expanse of the country was something completely different.  When they refer to a “country mile,” they aren’t kidding.  In linear terms, a mile is a mile, but a mile out there on my bike or the back of my horse seemed to stretch on for days!

Unlike the rolling hills of the eastern portion of the state of Ohio, southwest Ohio is very flat (until you hit Cincinnati). 
Most days you could see clear past Ritenour’s farm all the way to the end of the road, which was literally a mile away.  And you could hear everything — the screech owl pair that lived in the old, abandoned one-room school house just past Watkins Road; the mower running all the way down at the cemetery across from Thompson’s farm, and combines – lots of tractors and combines – all hours of the day and night.

And the smells are some of the most near and dear to my heart.
The smell of a hundred worms on the wet pavement after a storm is a smell I will never forget.  People make fun of me because I can tell you the difference between cow and pig poop just by the smell.  And, I’ve always said, my favorite smell in the world is my dirty horse.  There is nothing like that smell anywhere.

In my early 20s, I moved back to the “big city” of Dayton, Ohio, went to college, got a job, reveled in the fact that I lived less than a mile away from the Dayton Mall. 
Heck, I even lived in New Orleans, Louisiana for a year in 1989-90, before moving back to Ohio.  Columbus, this time.  I lived with my parents, who had retired to Columbus while I was in New Orleans; got married the first time and bought a house with my first husband; got divorced and lived with a really cool co-worker and roommate, Heidi, up in Dublin, Ohio; and even purchased my own home back in Columbus and lived the single life there for several years.

But once I got up on my own two feet again, there was no way to ignore the tug of the fresh country air.
In 2005, I bought myself a little 5 acre farm up in Morrow County, Ohio.  There were no farm provisions at the time, but I managed (with the help of a couple friends) to build my own pasture fences, install gates and water troughs and a run-in shed for the horses.  I turned an existing tool shed into a chicken coop and was happy as a lark.  I knew it was official when I bought myself a brand new John Deere tractor to keep up with the grounds on my little slice of heaven.

I would wake up in the morning to my horses staring into my bedroom window from pasture 2.  And, just like the morning routine with Aunt Lila back when I was little, I would go outside and gather the fresh chicken eggs every morning.  My two spoiled hand-raised peacocks would trounce around the yard and make the craziest noises.  I rode my horses up and down our unpaved road and across the expanse of freshly cut fields (with permission, of course), and watched as Amish buggies would pass my little ranch on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, a year later, cancer struck me for the first time and I lost it all. 
Lost the farm and my car and my truck and my tractor.  I had to find homes for all my horses and chickens and cats and rabbits.  It was awful.  But, that’s one of the things about the disease – it just doesn’t care!

Since that time, I’ve been back in the city.  Columbus, Ohio, to be exact. 
City life absolutely has its conveniences, as I am well aware of still today, where I live a little over a mile from Polaris Fashion Place (mall) in north Columbus, Ohio.  We have shopping galore, convenience stores on nearly every corner, and every type of restaurant imaginable.  And it’s nice.  I’m close to my office and my Mom and my nieces, and it is nice to be able to make a Taco Bell run at all hours of the night whenever the mood hits.

But, am I a country girl or a city girl?  Maybe a little of both.

 

And because I don’t like people – I give you St. Patrick’s Day animals!

 

 

 

 

 

I do not own the copyright on any of these pics.  I found them randomly on Google!  Don’t sue me!

Finally Friday – March 16, 2018

 

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Today I say goodbye to my temporary home in Pittsburgh.
I have spent this week working in our firm’s Pittsburgh office and have really enjoyed it.  The people here are really nice and it was good to be able to help a new attorney set up his practice.

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Oh Hilton Garden Inn – you were so good to me. 
My temporary home for this week was the Hilton Garden Inn on Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh.  So close to food … so bad, and yet so good!

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Market Square

I may have actually gotten in a little exercise this week.
I parked Penelope in the hotel parking garage on Sunday and I hadn’t seen her again until this morning when I checked out of my room and took my luggage out to her.  She will make sure I get home safely this afternoon on my drive home.

What’s on tap for the weekend?
Well, I get to see my dogs, who I’ve missed a whole bunch.  And my nieces and my mom, of course.

Friday – obviously I’ll be driving Penelope home for 3 – 4 hours this afternoon.

Saturday is St. Patty’s day – so Luck o’ the Irish to everyone!

Happpy-Saint-Patricks-Day-Glitter

Sunday – emptying out my suitcase and doing laundry!  Oh boy!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weird Wednesday – March 14, 2018 – Weird Pittsburgh

Weird Wednesday – Weird Pittsburgh
Now before all you Burghies go getting offended, “weird” in this instance means “different than what I’m used to.”

Here are some things I have encountered in Pittsburgh so far this week that have differed from what happens in my normal world:

  • I nearly died a couple times on I-376 when people actually stop – I’m talking dead stop; from 70 mph to 0 mph in mere seconds – on a 6-lane freeway to let cars merge onto said 6-lane freeway from entrance ramps and rest areas.  Are you kidding me?
  • The CVS across from my hotel closes at 7:00 pm.  I guess I got spoiled by the 24-hour CVS a block from my hotel in mid-town Manhattan.
  • A cash-only restaurant.  Right in bustling Market Square, mind you!  You don’t see that much anymore.
  • The aforementioned banana crisis!

Will report back if I encounter any more weirdness while I’m here!

 

Funny Family Sayings

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All children when learning to speak often get the words wrong or syllables in the wrong order, or “their tongue wrapped around their eye tooth,” as my dad would say.  Normally, the child eventually learns to say the word or phrase properly and goes on with their life.

Not in our family.
We still to this day rattle off misspoken phrases from our childhood and call things by whatever name we fumbled as toddlers.  It’s an immaturity thing that we – as adults – still use these words and phrases in our everyday communication, but we don’t care!

Here’s some of them. 
(Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.)

  • “There’s a piss meecing.”  (There’s a piece missing.)
  • “I’ll do it my own self.”  (I’ll do it myself.)
  • pie-yoo  (pillow)
  • Mimi (Tammy)
  • “That yellow bread with the green things that poke up.”  (Garlic toast)
  • “The white stuff that goes round and round and little balls pop up.”  (Cottage cheese)
  • Ock-ee-butt (Redi Watt – the name of a local power company’s mascot)
  • Cock puss (peacock)
  • “Oooohh they’re going to get in trouble … they’re driving in pairs.”  (Upon seeing two people in the car up ahead.  It is believed she got it confused with ‘driving impaired’.)
  • “We’re driving in circles, I just know it!”  (Because most overpasses look the same and she thought we kept driving under the same one.)
  • “What’s your name, little girl?” asked a parishoner walking up to my niece in church one Sunday morning.  To which came the reply, “Dammit Tammy!”   (sorry Tam – couldn’t keep your name out of this one!)
  • Herk-a-mot-o-mus (Hippopotamus)
  • Hair Pork (Airport)
  • Short Jack Coppers (Long John Silvers)
  • Com-pit-ter (computer)
  • Slum gullions (Johnny Marzetti)
  • “Sitting there with my teeth in my mouth.”  (Not paying attention or basically not doing anything useful.)
  • “Mom, can I ‘duh’ you?”  (One of them asking permission to say ‘duh’ to her mother after her mother said something stupid.)
  • Lap dance therapy (lap band therapy)
  • Tiggy (TG&Y – the name of a southern general goods store)
  • “We love Tim because he first loved us.”  VBS Bible School Daily Bible Verse.  (1 John 4:19 (KJV) “We loved Him, because he first loved us.”  I could never figure out what my sister’s husband (named Tim) had to do with any of it.)

Song Title and Lyrics

  • “If you like peeing in the garden.”  (“If you like pina coladas” – with greatest apologies to Rupert Holmes.)
  • “Ohhh Olive….”  (“Who are you” The Who)
  • “Rocking in Atlanta at Taco Bell.”  (“Rocking in Atlanta at Tattletales” – from “Girls, Girls, Girls by Motley Crue)
  • “Virgin, virgin.”  (“Urgent” by Foreigner)
  • “One wing girl.”  (“White Wing Dove” from the song “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks)
  • “Bald-headed woman.”  (“More than a woman.” this only works with the Bee Gees’ version.  The Tavares version actually sounded right, I guess.)
  • “No time mal-oo-gas”  (“No time for losers…” from Queen’s “We are the Champions.)

Movie and Television

  • Da Wizard Da Boz (“The Wizard of Oz”)
  • The Princess the Diarrheas (“The Princess Diaries”)

Learning to Read

  • Fried Shrimp House (the sign outside Friendship House retirement home)
  • Catholic Doctor (street sign Charters Drive)
  • Ped-a-strain (pedestrian)
  • Spat-tool-uh (spatula)
  • Man-your pile (manure pile)
  • Fffff-bih (FBI)