Thursday, June 20, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Eight is Great

Happy happy 8th birthday to my wonderful, handsome, sweet Jack, then and now.

Favorite Fruit

Watermelon eating contest at Berenice Gardens Farmer's Market

Winning Smile

Sister Cecelia's Komen Day wig and puppet hedgehog

Easter '08

Harvest Fest '12

Getting clean

Dry Ice Experiment

Captain Jack

Last Day of School 2013

May you always grow, but never change too much.

I read this poem this year, and fell in love with it.  He's a little young, but I cannot wait to share someday when appropriate.  At 8, I already see signs that he's not the type to set down on the stairs.  That sweet smile hides a fierce inner drive, burning bright, already trailblazing.

Mother to Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Summer Visit From the Boston Yankees

Evening boat ride (dance?) on the Arkansas River 

Cecelia and Uncle Mike - talented and handsome food scientist/chef bro.

Always Pretty in Pink Sensory Scientist Aunt Effie with Jack

Dad, Effie, Jack and C.  Enormous, priceless fun.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Day of Fourth Grade

Congratulations to my lovely, intelligent, talented daughter Cecelia.  Welcome to summer.

Face paint from beautiful future Aunt Sarah.

Lantern Festival.

Movie theater parking lot.  Style knows no boundaries.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Warm Body

Happy 5th Anniversary to MiM

Fearless leader KC talks about her inspiration to start MiM on radio rounds:  HERE.  Beautiful, intelligent, articulate.  A true leader.

I talk vehemently (well, it felt vehement, and turned into a post last Sunday night) about how important general medicine is: HERE.

Happy 5th anniversary to my second home, MiM.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ABC's of Arkansas

I was helping Cecelia with her project tonight and a guest post was inspired.  This is mainly a recording for myself and my family of this wonderful 4th grade project.  She handed me this to type yesterday, and I did over my lunch break.  Her teacher will print them in a book and she will illustrate.  Priceless treasure.  Some of the poems made me laugh.  It is wonderful overall.  If you are an Arkansas native, like myself, you will really enjoy.  If you have never been to our fine state and have the time to read, hopefully it will inspire you to come visit.  Our favorites are A, B, C, G, K, N, T, Y, and Z.  Enjoy if you desire.  The formatting was tough to regulate after copy and paste.  Hope it comes across ok.

A is for Arkansas River

It is very dangerous to swim in there

Cause if you get sucked in by the undertow

You will be as lifeless as a pear

B is for Blanchard Springs

Do you know how cool it is to be there?

But there are lots of bats so beware

There are stalagmites coming from the ground

And stalactites traveling down down down.

C is for Cottonmouth

They’re usually found in the South

Their fangs are sharper than a knife

They can take away your life

Arkansas is where they strike

D is for Diamond State

Our diamonds shine so brightly

It’s the perfect gift for your mate

If you screw it on a ring tightly

But if you want to dig for your haul

Come on down to Arkansas

E is for Episcopal

Who did know school could be cool

To go to school here would be no fool

They teach you more than just the rules

Over all this, the best of schools

F is for Fayetteville

If you go watch the Razorbacks play

You’ll really really really want to stay

Because the roar of the crowd

Gives you a chill under the clouds.

G is for geese

They are everywhere in Arkansas during 


They doo on others property

It’s a terrible pooping crime

They need to regulate their society

H is for Hogs

The mascot of our football team

Woo Pig Sooie is what we say

When the game begins to play

I is for Indians

The people who named our state

Did you know that Arkansas means South Wind?

Our name is really great

J is for Johnny Cash

Johnny is from here in Arkansas

He sang many songs like

I Walk the Line and Ring of Fire

But trust me that’s not all

K is for Kappa Village

Kappa was a Quapaw community

It was like a little Indian city

When the population declined it was a pity

L is for Little Rock

Little Rock is here in Arkansas State

This is where I live it is great

The things you can do here are filled with fun

You can rock climb and swim in the sun

M is for Mockingbird

Mock Mock Mock is all that they do

You’d better be careful

Or they’ll do it to you

Arkansas is the main place they fly

Their wings help them go oh so high

N is for Natural Resources

Oil, forests, and water too

They’re all in Arkansas and that is true

But if we aren’t careful

They’ll all be gone soon

O is for Land of Opportunity

It used to be our state logo

But when it was time for that name to go away

We decided the Natural State name should stay

P is for Pinnacle Mountain

There are lots of trails to climb

Bring your family you’ll have a great time

There are lots of bugs and room to run

There are so many trees you can barely see the 


Q is for Quick Quick

Go to Arkansas at least take a visit if you 

haven’t been at all

Quick Quick go to Arkansas

If you give it a chance you’ll have a ball

R is for River as in Buffalo River

Something to do there is canoe

It’s an awful lot of fun to do

There are lots of pretty fishes that swim

But be careful sometimes snakes fall from limbs

S is for Suck, Toad Suck that is

I know the name sounds kinda weird

It’s in Conway Arkansas

To get to go is just your luck

Make sure you stop by Toadsuck

T is for Tyson Chicken

The company was founded in Arkansas

It is the perfect snack to eat

If you are on the go

It has 100% white meat

U is for University of Arkansas

College is made to make you smart

And if you want to go

I would recommend

University of Arkansas

Before you can say tart.

V is for Valleys

There are lots of valleys in Arkansas

Many animals live in them

Like Bobtailed bunnies and birds that caw

Eating flowers down to their stems

W is for Water

There are lots of bodies of water in Arkansas

Like the White River and the Buffalo River

But that’s not all

Mississippi River and Lake Ouachita too

The very last River’s name is Arkansas

X is for XOXO

There is lots of love in Arkansas

We care for each other, we care for our state

So if you come to Arkansas don’t bring any hate

Y is for Yarnell’s Ice Cream

Yarnell’s ice cream comes from Searcy

They make sweet treats for kids like me

Last year it almost got shut down

Thank goodness that was turned around

Z is for Little Rock Zoo

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my!

Giraffes and Elephants and Monkeys

Parakeets, Penguins, and Parrots too

Those are some of the animals at the

Little Rock Zoo

Monday, May 6, 2013


Yes, bro, it does remind me of The Breakfast Club.

Friday, May 3, 2013


I love eggs.  Call me Elizabegg.  It's apropos.

I used to do hard-boiled eggs on toast.  I did that for years.  Kids like scrambled eggs better.  So now we do scrambled eggs on cheese toast in the morning.  Cheese is variable - sliced smoked Gouda is wonderful on the weekends but really sliced sharp cheddar will do in a pinch.  Add a bit of salt, Arkansas honey, and Louisiana Hot Sauce or diced red pepper and you are done.

I've never really liked fried eggs, until I read Catherine Newman's recipe for vinegar eggs.  Google it - you won't be disappointed.  It's amazingly wonderful in its simplicity.  Cook toast, make fried eggs (I'm becoming an expert, despite having never liked fried eggs before this recipe), deposit eggs on toast, and make sauce with shake of salt, grind of pepper, tablespoon of butter, and tablespoon or two of vinegar.  Sherry vinegar imparts a wonderful smoky taste.  But good luck finding it!  I finally found it at a grocery store in Crested Butte, CO.  Before that, I used a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a tablespoon of basalmic.  A little sweeter, but still oh so good.  When the butter and vinegar hit the hot pan and mix to a tangy, frothy goodness pour over your eggs and enjoy.  Five minutes to heaven.  Eggscellent.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Winding Down

Today I:

Read and released a record 170 plus blocks.

Unsuccessfully downloaded latest software on my Zeiss microscope camera.  I've got a help desk number to tackle in the a.m.

Successfully completed Her2neu Dual ISH training.  I guess that's not CISH.  Or FISH.  It's DISH.  I imagined counting too many copies of the offensive, aggressive gene on a satellite on my roof, beaming into space.  Watching the latest movie releases while staring at colorful breast cancer nuclei.  Chromogenic antibodies - anti-goat, anti-rabbit, anti-mouse - floating in the ether.  I passed with flying colors - 92%.  Isn't that an A minus or a B plus in my previous life?

Had sushi dinner with my fabulous friend Laurie.

Worried over my sciatica from my recent running injury on the beach last week (large spinal tumor?  Metastatic disease to the spine?).  Ran at 5:30 a.m., pre-conference.  The tide was too high, the sand was too soft.  My foot is still numb.  At least I can finally sit still without agony.

Comforted my son who had a busted lip bicycle injury.  Hugged my daughter to sleep - she has as much difficulty as I do winding down.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Topic Week at MiM

Yippee!  It's been a long while.  Topic week again over at MiM.  You can read my post about being imperfect here, if you want.  Strange that I was able to keep that topic from stretching to novel length.

There are going to be a ton of great posts this week - guests and regulars.

I also posted this over at MiM.  Forgot to provide link here.  Good potty humor.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Fainting

After my comment on MiM mail last night I got mail from a reader who wanted to know more about my experiences in passing out.  I've got volumes in that category.  Here is what I wrote back to her.  

Thanks for your e-mail.  I was always a fainter.  I fainted every time I got my teeth worked on - pulled, new braces, etc.  It was crazy.  Oh and in college when I got my belly button ring (long gone era).  In med school blood draw lab, I did fine when I drew my partner's blood (first, quick and well) but when he was sweating and sticking me multiple times it was just too much and the next thing I knew I woke up on the floor in the arms of a nurse.  I wasn't the only one.  

I sought advice from my sister, a PA in anesthesia (physician's assistant) who is much tougher than me but had similar issues early in the morning before surgery, before I started clinicals.  She learned that was when she was the most hypoglycemic and started keeping small juice packs and sugar candy in her backpack or scrub coat pocket.  I emulated and never once passed out during an early surgery.  I found it pretty easy since the patient's head was all draped and you only saw the one part you were working on - I could mentally separate it from the person and pretend it was arts and crafts.  Which is how I got through autopsies, too.  

I know a guy that got queasy and had to leave the room after watching his first pelvic exam.  If I remember correctly he was the president of our class and is now a cardiologist at Duke.  So it happens to the best of us.

I passed out - almost anyway - needed cold washcloth and head between legs - during the bone marrow because that is an archaic, painful as hell procedure - the patient was prone and miserable, and moaning, and I was 8 weeks pregnant, so low blood pressure already - BTW, do you know your blood pressure?  I have very low, good blood pressure, and I think that is sometimes the culprit of the passing out.  At the private institution I work at now, patients are sedated for marrows, thank goodness.

Gross anatomy - if you still do that these days I hear it is going by the wayside - will be a nice segue to test your waters.  I might encourage you to try to volunteer, if you have time, watching a surgery or a birth or an autopsy or something during your first two years - so it is less stressful since it is not your grade.  Your being a med student will gain you access to many different areas and if you do need to leave the room no one will remember in a year or two.  It happens to a lot of people.

Remember even the toughest cops lose it (vomiting, etc.) during particularly nasty crime scenes.  That's what got me in the crime lab the first day - all those dead bodies and blowflies.  The stench and the bad karma was overwhelming.  Peanut butter crackers and M&M's restored me to a normal state, and I was able to continue.  

Once I had a mole removed by my family doctor, right before I started med school.  I passed out.  I woke up so embarrassed, especially having just excitedly told him about my new adventure.  He told me a story that made me feel much better.  "It's an evolutionary behavior.  Soldiers that passed out on the battlefield were assumed dead, and passed over.  When the battle was over they woke up and lived.  You should not be ashamed."  True or no, that was one of the best things I could have heard.  Made me proud to faint, ha ha.  And put my head in a better state around it.

Good luck, R -  Keep me posted when you get there.

Best, Giz

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Drilling update - I'm Sweating Now

With the four year replacing all the brick on the entire hospital plan, the drilling is quickly becoming the backdrop to my job.  On loud days I use my earplugs.  This week, insult was added to injury.

I arrived at work Monday morning and noticed that it was a stuffy 74 degrees in my usually chilly lab office.  I cranked down the temp on my thermostat, but a couple of hours later I was sweating and found the temperature had creeped up to almost 78.  It didn't help that I was drinking my mid-morning coffee.  I called the head transcriptionist and she called maintenance.  They hemmed and hawed and talked about needing to do some duct re-working/this might take some time/there is no quick solution.  So I propped my door open to get some hallway air.

I got hit up for directions twice.  The cacophony of a screaming child from the lab waiting room/ED overflow 10 feet away competed with the brick drilling noises that seem to miraculously find their way into my office from 16 floors above, as if they are right next door.  I saw the guys from maintenance puzzling over a large set of hospital blueprints they had pinned against the wall by their hands.  A woman stopped in the door of my office while I was dictating a long, complicated colon cancer case.  She hovered, holding up a large piece of paper, undeterred by my attempt at focusing on my task.  I finally paused and glanced at her to acknowledge her nonverbally. "Do you have any scotch tape?"  I mumbled no and shut the door as soon as she walked away.  I don't like to lie.  But I felt justified, in that instance.  My thermostat reading dropped down to 73 with the door open, but at quite a cost.

Two days later and still no action - I borrowed a partner's fan and plan to buy my own this weekend.  Luckily I am cold-natured - I can't wait to see what happens when my hothead part-time partner arrives tomorrow to occupy the office he houses next door to mine - we are the only rooms in the lab that are affected by the faulty ducts.  They say they are working on it.  They say . . .

Hopefully the massive thunderstorm/temperature drop tonight will help.  But it's Arkansas, so that fix will be very temporary.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Conquer Me - Blues Traveler

I remember buying a J.Crew shirt just like hers based on this video.  Minus the midriff action.  I was too conservative for that.

But I love this song.  I like to think that the singers of my favorite songs are singing just for me.  This one is a good example.  Harmonica?  He can blow.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Here's to Baby Goats

Baby goats can rescue us from our worst pre-teen moods.  Even I had no idea they were so other-worldy beautiful.   This one is two weeks old.  Cecelia wants to take her home if she will stay like this forever (wish!).  Nice segue into my next chapter book choice - one of my faves - Tuck Everlasting.  We got three chapters in tonight.

Brave minds wrestle alligators.

Experienced magicians are sometimes surprised by brother-sister bonds.  I was lucky that both of mine were chosen to be in the 20 minute kid section of the two hour show.  I won't subject you to my multiple videos - saving that for future embarrassing high school graduation and rehearsal dinner moments.  Not that I am attached to either one of those happening.  Jack chose not to chop off his sister's head.  After he decided not to subject his own head to the guillotine.  Cecelia stole the audience when I encouraged her to go for it "I thought you loved me, mom!!"  Here is Jack, reveling in the late night after magic show dinner.  The magician Maxwell Blade made him look pretty awesome.

Here's to a wonderful Hot Springs weekend with Alligator Farm, fish, and Magic Show.  Much gratitude to our sponsor.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Comfort Me - Feist

This is dedicated to Amber's sister-in-law's children.  They are on my mind tonight.  May she rest in peace.