Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Michelle:  "Hey, sorry I couldn't answer the phone earlier, my hands were covered in chicken."

Allison:  "Alive or dead?"

Michelle:  "Chicken breasts.  The kind you eat."

Allison:  "Oh.  Well, I just wanted to make sure."

Michelle:  "I understand."

The pumpkins are ready.  Have you bought your Alleghany Co. pumpkin yet?

My husband is not home, which means I spent a significant amount of time making Thai food for dinner, and then I spent an even more significant amount of time cleaning my house, which makes me feel all fuzzy and complete inside.

Do you ever get that feeling?

Anyway, the only thing left nagging my subconscious is what to do with all the eggs in my refrigerator.  We went on the Annual Family Camping Trip this past weekend and we inherited all the eggs that weren't cooked for breakfast...approximately 4 dozen beautifully farm fresh eggs.  I've hard boiled eight.

Any suggestions about the rest?  Want some eggs?  Come on over.  Help yourself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is how rumors get started:

I've always clung to the idea of a small town, mostly due to the fact that my childhood was ridiculously fragmented from moving around all the time.  I simply adore the idea of knowing your neighbors, stopping and having a conversation with someone in the grocery store; recognizing every face that drives by you on your way to work in the morning and smiling and waving.  The south does this better than the north, I think.

But there's a dark side to this small town, Mayberry-esque world, and it is:  the rumor mill.

Too dramatic?  Oh, I think not.

Around here, everybody knows everybody...but not just that, everybody knows everybody back to their great-great's and also knows their second and third cousins...and worst of it all, if something even slightly untoward happens within a three county radius, someone who knows your husband's uncle's cousin's wife, who just so happens to live next-door to one of your co-workers, will have been there as a bystander...and will be spreading the word of what happened in no time flat.  In short, there is a "six degrees of separation" principle around here, and with each degree of separation, the story of what happened gets a little more twisted, like an amped up game of telephone.

That being said, I've always been immune to this small town rumor mill thing.  I've been secretly a little grateful that everyone I meet doesn't already know my sordid family history or who my last ex-boyfriend was (and who broke up with whom)...all they know about me so far is that I'm "that flat-lander that married Johnny Tompkins' oldest boy and works with Nash over at Twin Oaks."  I liked it.  It was nice.

Until Monday morning rolled around.

After a lovely weekend at home that consisted of a lot of lounging around and going to church, I was flabbergasted by the first co-worker I saw when she hurriedly asked me if I had been in a wreck over the weekend ("wreck" is southern for car accident, fyi).  I must have looked a little pathetic, in my very confused state.  I even walked around the vet truck once to make sure there weren't any new dents or scratches that had given her that impression.

From there, I walked into the clinic and was bombarded by concerned faces and questions, "Lori told us you were in a wreck on Saturday!"

So then I went to talk to our office manager, Lori, who told me that our groomer, Tammy had told her about it.

I walked across the building to talk to Tammy, who told me that one of her grooming clients had called her over the weekend to ask if I was okay after she heard about my accident over her police scanner.

When Tammy told her client that she didn't know anything about my being in an accident, her client informed her that one of the vets had been in a wreck this past weekend, and that the report over the scanner was about a vet truck that had been rolled into a ditch with an unconscious woman in the driver's seat with the last name Tompkins.

I'm pretty sure they don't release people's names on the radio, but that's beside the point.

I was feeling pretty defeated by all the information that was circulating around about me.  I was even questioning whether I had done anything while I was driving this weekend that would make someone think that I was driving drunk, but as far as I knew, my vet truck had been sitting in my driveway for 2 days.

So.  I went back into the clinic and told Julie, the veteran and master and commander Technician, all about it.  Thankfully, she was able to set me straight and explain to me how the misunderstanding must have begun, since she was present for the actual accident that didn't involve me at all (see, what'd I tell you?  Six degrees of separation).

Apparently, a very inebriated, older woman had been driving a corvette and rolled it into the ditch in Piney Creek (45 minutes from my house) on Saturday afternoon.

Not a vet truck, or even a young veterinarian, but a corvette.  While Tammy's grooming client was obviously confused, basing an entire rumor off of one word seems to be a stretch, even for concerned citizens that listen to their police scanners with religious impetuosity.

But now what this really means is, that concerned citizen has more than likely been telling everyone all over the county about it saying something like, "You know that new vet that works with Nash that's married to that Tompkins' boy?  Well, she was passed out drunk in the middle of the day on Saturday and rolled her vet truck into the ditch!  Can you believe that?  And I always thought she was so nice, too!"

And I don't even drink.  Go figure.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering...just like everyone else.

Our principal came into our calculus class that beautiful fall day, and the words he chose to break the news to us are ones I'll never forget, "An amazing thing has happened."

Still, to this day, the way he chose to use the word "amazing" gets me thinking.  I wrote all about it in my journal from the silly, teenaged, over-romanticized perspective I always used to write about boys, my friends, and the "gross injustices" I felt put upon me by my parents, but, when I read back over that journal entry today, ten years later, just as I do every year on this date, some nuggets shine through.  Like, feeling the eerie air-silence deep in my bones at our little private school that was just miles from Greensboro's international airport.  Like, those hours in the auditorium where we all prayed, out loud in our separate groups, for our country, those that were the most affected by the tragedy, and, in my small mind, my beloved friends that were like brothers that could be called off to war.  Like wondering what all of the worlds combined voices of prayer sounded like to God.  Like, when the USAF plane flew over the soccer field at lunch time a few days later, and we all stood and stared at it, children in our school uniforms, as if a ghost had cast a shadow overhead.

There is so much to remember, so much I'd rather forget - the images playing over and over on TV today are the same ones that made me physically ill that day...and still do; the feelings of despair and helplessness, the bitter after-taste of which I can recall all too well.  It's a hard thing, this tragedy, and someday when my children and grandchildren ask me about it, I fervently pray that they will have no experience that they can call to mind that compares to that day.

I will never forget.

God bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"I see dead people."

"I have a question.  My kitten sometimes bats and chases at things at night...and I go to look to see what she's playing with...and there's nothing there.  Do you think cats can see ghosts like people can, sometimes?"

I can't quite remember what my response was.  Something like "mumble...mumble...(disguising laughter)...I don't really know."

Photo Credit

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Test your veterinary knowledge!

Ok friends!  This is it!  Your chance to "be" a vet!  Tell me what this is and what's wrong with it:

Ok, so that probably wasn't fair, but I'm sure it would have been valid on the exam for my radiology rotation during 4th year of vet school.  Was anybody right?

Meet "Turkey".  He's a pet of some goats who belong to a great client of ours.  Go figure.  I guess turkeys don't make good bedfellows for goats though, since, apparently, one of the billys stepped on this little (big) feller and broke his leg.  As it turns out, x-raying and performing surgery on a 35 pound turkey is somewhat similar to a 35 pound dog.

Turkey, Dr. T and Dr. Wilson, soon-to-be vet #4 at Twin Oaks!  Go Hokies!

 Next time anybody has any turkey problems, just let us know.  We're on it.

Monday, September 5, 2011


It's so foggy, you can't even see the mountain today.
Come, on.  Really?  I've been run ragged by on-call the past two gorgeous, beautiful, spectacular days and didn't complain, knowing that I would have Labor Day off to enjoy.  I was so looking forward to today: being productive, spending time outdoors, playing with the dogs...but no.  Definitely not.  It's too rainy for such things.

Even the geraniums are droopy today.
The only thing today is good for is sleeping.  Naps on rainy days are the greatest.

I would post a picture of me napping...but guess what?  There isn't one because I can't fall asleep.  It's ridiculous! 

So then, I drug (dragged?) my half-awake self off the couch, drank a pot of coffee and decided to go to Lowe's Hardware and do some home improvement shopping and get some little projects done around the house...but guess what (again)?  Home improvement costs money...and I'm being a super-careful budget-er lately...and I have not budgeted cute home accessories into my expenses this week.  Which begs the question, what the heck am I supposed to do with myself now?  I should have just let Jess take the day off and taken call today too.  It seems that vetting is the only productive thing I can manage to make myself do.


Hope you're having a more fulfilling labor day.  I'll be better tomorrow, I promise.