Category Archives: Roadblocks

Mass Update Followed By Mass Confusion

“Hello. This is Nurse Ratched from Dr. Hemnhaws office. We have the results from your mammogram and ultra sound.”

She’s not really Nurse Ratched. She’s actually pretty nice. Well, at the beginning of the conversation she’s nice.

“Everything looked fine. But Dr. Hemnhaw wants to know if you’d like to see a surgeon.”

I thought you just said that everything looked fine?

“Yes, I did. But the doctor wants to know if you’d like to see a surgeon. Just in case.”

Just in case what? If everything looked fine, why do I need to see a surgeon?

“To make sure everything IS fine.”

But the mammogram, which was a special diagnostic mammogram, said that everything was fine and the ultra sound that they did just to make sure the special mammogram wasn’t lying said everything was fine. Why does the doctor think I need to see a surgeon?

“I didn’t say she thinks you need to see a surgeon. She wants to know if YOU want to see a surgeon.”

Why would I want to see a surgeon if the tests say I’m fine?

“Just to be sure.”

Be sure of what?

Nurse Ratched is now becoming a little ratched-a-fied.

“To make sure it’s nothing to be concerned about.”

Is Dr. Hemnhaw  concerned?

“Listen. I’m just reading her notes. It says that the mammogram and ultra sound were normal. That the patient needs a follow-up in one year and then Dr. Hemnhaw wrote, ‘Ask if patient wants to see a surgeon.'”

Well, I’m not a doctor. Shouldn’t a doctor determine whether I should see a surgeon or not?

(Exasperated sigh heard over the phone. Make that, over both ends of the phone.)

I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m just trying to understand. The diagnostic mammogram was fine. The ultra sound was fine. But the doctor, with the medical training I lack, wants to know if I want to see a surgeon. Does she want to start up a blog?

(Ok. I didn’t really ask that last question. But I wanted to. I asked this one, instead.)

Could they tell what the mass was?

“It doesn’t say. It just says that everything looked normal and to have a follow-up in a year. I just need to know if you want to see a surgeon or not.”

Uh. Well. I’m going to go right out and get my medical degree.

And then?

I’ll have to get back to you on that.


(To the dear, sweet bloggy friend – you know who you are – who helped me decipher my doctor’s question: Thank you. A million thank yous. You put my mind at ease when the nurse/doctors couldn’t. This blogging community is amazing. I appreciate all of your concern and well wishes. Thankfully, all is well. But you already knew that, didn’t you? You’re all the best! The absolute best readers a girl could ask for!)


Filed under Observations, Roadblocks

May You Rest In Peace, Sweet Boy

This is not supposed to happen to MY baby girl. This happens to you other mothers out there. Not that I wish it on you. Of course not. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. But I’m just as bad as you teenagers out there. Thinking you’re invincible. Thinking that you’re so grown up. Thinking life won’t throw you devastating curve balls.

A sweet, kind, funny, adorable soul left this earth tonight and he was just 17. A senior in high school. His whole life ahead of him. And my daughter loved him. With all her heart. Her first “true love.”

I’m shocked. This CAN’T be happening. This happens in the movies. On TV. To other people. Not me. How do you help your daughter through something like this? I want to fix it. Rewind the tape. Stop all this from happening. Why? Why? Why?

I’m angry. How dare you take a piece of my daughter’s heart and then steal it away, never to give it back? How dare you treat your life so carelessly? Life is a precious gift. You threw your life back at God’s face. My daughter will never get to say goodbye, tell you how much she loved you ever again.

I’m scared. I want my daughter even closer now. Why do our children have to grow away from us? Make decisions that are risky, wrong, damaging? Why can’t we keep them close? Help them with EVERY stage? Keep them from every harm. Ward off danger. Wrap them in bubble wrap. Hold their tender hands always.

Go. Right now. Kiss your children. Tell them you love them. I don’t care what age they are. I don’t care if they pull away from you ’cause they’re at that embarrassed stage. You squeeze them. You hold them. You guide them. You play with them. Each minute with them is a precious gift. Don’t you ever forget that.


Filed under Roadblocks

The Grass Isn’t Greener. It’s Just Different.

A close friend was going through some struggles in her marriage. And if you believe in coincidences, a blast from her past appeared unexpectedly. They ran into each other at a sporting event. She was with her husband and 2 other couples. They chatted about old times and he encouraged them (a few of the people in the party, including my friend)  to stay in touch.  Well, she did. One thing led to another and they were about to do something they probably shouldn’t but she stopped.

She has a loving husband. Beautiful children. Comfortable home. Good job. Loving friends and family. She was so embarrassed and upset that she had been tempted. But things weren’t as perfect as they seemed in her marriage and she started listing all of the cons in her relationship with her husband. The magic is gone. He doesn’t appreciate me. His priorities always take precedence. And on. And on.

I asked her to look at the pros. But all she could think of was the excitement that this ex was providing. She was so caught up with the magic she couldn’t see why they had ended it so long ago. And I told her; The grass isn’t greener. It’s just different.


Some varieties need more attention, more water. They need to be cut more often and edged a certain way. Others are less needy. You can skip watering and let nature take care of it. It doesn’t need to be weeded or fertilized. There are so many varieties out there. You have to decide which variety is best for your lawn, where you’re living and how much time you have to devote to it. You make your decision and then work with it.

I’m so glad my friend decided not to go back to her ex. She’s making it work with her husband. But recently she told me that when I told her about “the grass not being greener” she was just listening politely to me. She didn’t really get it. It didn’t hit her until the ex said something that dragged her back to reality. It brought back all of the reasons why they had broken up and she didn’t want to deal with such a high maintenance lawn.

She liked her life the way it was. She was familiar with this variety. And while there was some weeding to do and she never could quite get which fertilizer to use when; it WAS a beautiful lawn.

(The topic for this post was inspired by MamaBlogga’s Friday post.)


Filed under How We Roll, Roadblocks

Help! I’ve Been Splogged!

I kid you not. Splog is a legit blog term. It’s a spam blog. And it. Could happen. To you! Bwaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa….

Seriously. I’m not sure how I found it but one of my snazzy posts that I created for Country-Fried Mama’s new meme (Mmm, Mmm, Memory) was snatched up by a stealthy splogger (try saying that fast five times). This splogger copied it and pasted it and posted it on her site. Granted she gave me credit by adding my site address to the end. But it was a bit unnerving to see it posted there. And there were many others, too. Maybe yours.

I’m perplexed. Flummoxed, even. (I just had to throw that word in there. A friend of mine used it in a sentence and a fairly famous radio host accused her of not knowing what it meant. I think *he* didn’t know what it meant.) So, I’m flummoxed. Stealing other material seems like such a nasty thing to do. Didn’t you have a rule-following English teacher in high school (me) that beat the definition of plagiarism into you (see previous post here)? I suppose by definition you haven’t plagiarised if you gave me credit at the end. But it still feels creepy. And it can’t be right.

How common is this? Has it happened to you? Now I’m going to be looking over my shoulder every time I press the Publish button.

How I hate it when my rose-colored glasses get a smudge on them.



Filed under Plagiarism, Roadblocks, Soapbox

Tunes for Tuesday – Sometime Around Midnight

It’s raining here. A melancholy song for a melancholy day.

This is my new favorite song. (Don’t get too attached. My favorites can change hourly.) Not only do I love the sentiment but I love the musicality of the song. It builds with the emotion of the words. You can feel the desperation of the narrator. I realize there are so many characteristics that make a song great but this song reminds me of a classical symphony. Words aren’t needed to feel the emotion of the song.

“And it starts
Sometime around midnight
Or at least that’s when you lose yourself
For a minute or two” – The moment before the surprise. Everything is quiet and then it hits you.

“But you know
That she’s watching
She’s laughing, she’s turning” – You see your crush, an old lover. The one you regret breaking up with or the one that broke up with you and you’re left wanting.

“The room suddenly spinning, she walks up and asks how you are” – Heart pounding out of your chest. Your chance to say everything you’ve replayed in your head over and over.

“And so there’s a change
In your emotions
And all of these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind” – But you’re overcome with feelings for this person all over again and there’s hope you can set it right.

“And she leaves
With someone you don’t know
But she makes sure you saw her, she looks right at you and bolts
As she walks out the door
Your blood boiling, your stomach in ropes” – A kick in the stomach. You’re left where you were just a short while ago. Only worse.

“You don’t care what you look like
The world is falling around you
You just have to see her
You just have to see her” – But you don’t care. You’re filled with regret and longing and pain. You wonder what you did wrong. What you could have done better to make sure the relationship survived. And you have nothing.

“You know that she’ll break you in two”- Deep down you know that the relationship is toxic. And you’re left to wrestle, all over again, with regret and love, infatuation and pain.

Regret in a cherished relationship. An unfortunate universal theme.


Filed under Music, Roadblocks, Uncategorized

Polly Meets a Hacker

Oh good! You’re all still here! I know it’s only been 24 hours but boy, did I miss you all!

My husband calls me Polly – as in Pollyanna. (But you can still call me Jane.) I truly am a glass is half full kind of gal. I had a root canal a few weeks ago and while the dentist was explaining the pain I’d be in afterwards and how to take the pain meds; I zoned out. I didn’t have any pain or indication that there was even a problem before the root canal. Why would I feel pain after? Oh sure, I expected maybe a little from the injection site for maybe a day. But two weeks? Aching, pounding pain (with no swelling, so don’t worry – it’s not infected). I truly didn’t believe that would happen to me. But I digress…

So I’m very trusting. People talk about identity fraud, how they can’t sell their house, evil computer viruses and I’m sympathetic. But I know that’s not going to happen to me. Did I mention computer viruses? Yep. It happened to me.

Trying to spruce up my home page for this blog I thought I’d try to find a banner that would match the fall season, my new year. I googled “free banners” and found a great looking website with lots of free stuff to make your blog look spectacular. I oooed and ahhed over lots of pretty pictures and finally chose the red Japanese Maple leaves (my favorite tree). Did you see them? If you see them again on a site that offers free stuff click that little x at the top right corner of your screen as fast as you can! Get out of there, woman! Because I’m here to tell ya, I got way more than I paid for.

I used to teach at a school that had a laptop program for its students when having laptops in schools was in its infancy. I taught a seminar at a statewide conference teaching other teachers how to use laptops and the internet in the classrooms. This seminar covered projects, cheating, testing, internet safety and yes, avoiding the dreaded computer virus.

But I was dazzled by the pretty pictures. And did I mention they were free?

I can’t believe I was duped. But as a friend of mine pointed out, how was I to know? There are plenty of other free things out there to download that are perfectly safe. Things that people share out of the goodness of their hearts or egos – but free, nonetheless.

But this is what I don’t get. Why in the world computer geeks out there (don’t be offended – I was once a geek, too. Apparently not anymore, but still, I’m very familiar with the symptoms) create these nuisance viruses? I get wanting to hack into banks, government secret data bases and credit card companies. That criminal behaviour I understand. I don’t condone it, of course, but I get it. But where is the thrill in crashing some stranger’s computer and not even get the satisfaction of seeing the pain you caused – watching me scream in slow mo “Noooooooooooooooooo!” Frantically trying to click an x, a cancel, pressing the escape button over and over and over, shutting down the computer. Getting on my knees praying to the heavens “Please God! Please, I promise. Church EVERY Sunday, I’ll be a better mother – no more Spongebob or marathon xbox sessions so I can have more time to check on my favorite bloggers out there. A homemade dinner (no boxes or mircrowaves) every night most nights.” Holding my breath, covering my eyes as I push the button to re-boot the computer, still praying promising everything I can think of to anyone that is listening and then another slow motion, “Noooooooooooooooooo!” Only softer. Because at this point, I know I’ve been beaten.

It wasn’t a pretty site. And Mr. Hacker? You didn’t even get to witness it. The guy at the computer store won’t even try to identify it. He would try, if I wanted to. But it was going to cost a little more just to satisfy my curiousity and frankly, I don’t want to know that badly. I don’t want to give you the satisfaction of naming your silly, little virus – ok, not so silly. But why? Where is the pleasure in being mean to people you don’t know, have never met and will never see? Ever?

Have I learned my lesson? I actually just snickered out loud. I know myself too well. Nope. I’ll probably still trust too much. Still count on all my stuff being safe on the hard drive – no need to back things up.

And I’m back. On my husband’s laptop. Our, I mean, the kids and my dinosaur hard drive will be back tomorrow. Clean. Healthy. Empty. We’ll spend the day reloading programs. Mourning the loss of all the things I didn’t back up. Did I mention that I never thought this would happen to me?

And you’re still here! Thank you for still visiting my blog even though I was AWOL. After a healthy diet of this for the past three weeks I sure missed you all! I’m going to get a refill on my tea and catch up with all that I missed!


Filed under Roadblocks