The wisdom of a smelly fart


There it sat, balanced on the tines of his fork that abruptly halted on the way to his mouth. Glinting, shining in the sun’s rays from the kitchen window, the tiny, round shrimp caught my eye in all its glory. Why the pause? Dragging my eyes away from that magical round of shrimp to glance at my son’s face; pensive, seeming to contemplate the food on his tines as I was.

“Yeah,” he said, “I turn 27 and all of a sudden, my wake-up farts are baritone. Just like that. Baritone…”

What? I’m supposed to offer up a bit of profound, motherly wisdom to explain away this sudden departure from his physical norm. My mind, still on the shrimp, let itself offer up a few shallow, inconsequential reasons that I rejected as far from profound or wise. ‘We’re Polish’ or ‘when you gain weight these things change’ didn’t cut it. He’s only one-quarter Polish and skinny as a rail. I failed. I said nothing.

“…and they smell bad!”

In a flash, the magic was gone. That glinting, glimmering circle of shrimp completed its journey. Chomp. Chomp, chomp. Gulp. Gone. I had to say something.

“Eat anything different lately?”

I felt absolved from the need to impart wisdom and was thankful to kick my mind into some sort of working order enough to spit out that question. Talking about farts, smelly farts, at the dinner table…


Ah, free to return to the memory of that shrimp. I got to thinking: For most of my life, I’ve said I did not like shrimp. I wracked my brain, but could not remember why I didn’t like shrimp. I just never eat it.

“Hey, remind me. Next time you order shrimp, let me try one. I don’t remember why I don’t like shrimp.”


There. That was profound enough.





This golden girl’s saga continues…

Suffice it to say that it was a bit premature to feel better about this whole Obstructive Jaundice/Gallstones mess that I found myself in. (Read What healthcare system? and Life goes on for this golden girl to get the full story.)

By Sunday, my tolerance for the lack of forward motion dwindled to nil. The surgeon’s nurse didn’t call me back with the answer to the question about taking the gallbladder out before having an ERCP.

Deflated and angry, and feeling worse every day that passed, I vented in the only way I know how: I wrote. It took a bit of searching to find places on the UAMS site to communicate, and stumbled on two. One was a form found by following a bunch of links through the physician referral section, and the other a “comment” email address.


Life goes on for this golden girl


Diagnosed on February 29, and still, nothing has been done. I’ve called myself “the golden girl” for the past week, jokingly. Despite the obvious yellow color, I’m not overly sick; just uncomfortable now and then. And tired.

I figured I’d hear something on Monday. For me, Mondays are productive. I get organized, I tie up loose ends, I plan out what to do when. Mondays are also the busiest days of the week in the office, so the day flew by. It wasn’t until the day was done that I realized UAMS didn’t call and didn’t schedule the ERCP. It wasn’t until Wednesday that I had the time to call the surgeon’s office.

The sweetheart of a nurse was surprised when I told her I was still sitting and waiting. She’d call down there, then call me back, and she did a few hours later.


What healthcare system?


Take a ride with me. I’m going to tell you the story of my latest bump. I’ll get over my angst about ranting over a personal problem, something I find a bit uncomfortable, because I know with certainty that my experiences aren’t unusual.

About a month ago, I ran through the drive-through of a local fast food fish place after a long day. I ate about half of the fish and cole slaw and went to bed. A half hour before the alarm went off the next morning, I was in the bathroom, sending that poor excuse for a meal down the drain in a projectile manner. Convinced I was dying, I called in sick to work and went back to bed.


A day with Odin


It’s a breath of fresh air and a sight for sore eyes to see the white fencing that runs across the front and lines the driveway. The short drive up to the farm is all uphill and the place feels like it’s much closer to the sky, leaving behind the small city’s noise and hubbub.


Not only on Sunday


There is a charming little town set up on the outskirts of the city as a museum to preserve the history of what life was like “back then.” The buildings are a collection of structures brought in from many little towns – a cabin, a general store, post office, jail, a train depot and a few outbuildings. Striving for authenticity, the display is today’s interpretation of what life must have been like; with a few “holes” filled in with much more modern items (dollar-store throw rugs, color photographs, manufactured dolls) than would have been found in the late 1800’s, Still, when I toured the little town with my camera clicking away in November of 2009, I was caught up in the charm and the respect for the people who put the display together, all the while battling the incongruences in the back of my mind.


Ah, it’s a new day

New Year's Day Sunset

Is it a good thing, or a cause for worry? Every now and then, I’ll tell someone that I can’t remember if I had breakfast, let alone what I ate, so don’t bother asking what I did the other day.

On one hand, that’s good. My sights are set to forward, tally-ho, gung-ho and all that look-out-here-I-come bull-in-a-china-closet mentality at its best. If my feets are a-moving, that’s a good sign of life and I don’t look back.

(Have you ever tried to type while peeling a Cutie mandarin orange? Me neither, so give me a second to … Oh, now that is good. Was good. Where was I?)

On the other hand, I’m at the age where memory slippage just might be a concern. I’m all for trying things once, with some things earmarked quickly for the Never Again category, and memory slippage would be at the top of that list. The second thing, following closely behind forgetfulness, is getting so caught up in the drama of the day that The Moments fly by without notice. Not good. Not good at all.

Every day holds many of those moments that take your breath away and make all the rest of the crap worth enduring. And, if you forget, no problem. There’s more, many more moments ahead. You just have to recognize it for what it is, kick yourself back into life and pick up where you left off.

(That second Cutie was just as good as the first, and quite the ray of sunshine to my tastebuds.)

So there you go. It’s a new day.