Sunday, December 2, 2012 it's been a while.

Well, here's the deal.  I haven't had a computer at home since October.

Yes, it's true.  (Right now I'm using ARay's work laptop, because, clearly, this is work.) 

And I really, really, like being low-tech (This probably doesn't surprise anyone.  I'm the only person I know that doesn't have a smartphone) - but it keeps me out of the loop, and we've been busy doing fun things lately!  Here's a recent "our life in pictures" post:

1.  Most recent (as in, since yesterday):

The puppies will be dewormed, will have had their first vaccinations and be ready for a good home the second week in January!!! Let me know if you're interested!!! There are 9 girls and 2 boys.

2:  Family time at Thanksgiving on the Parkway!  If you haven't gotten your Christmas card from us yet, it's coming.  Here's a preview:

3.  Halloween (yes, it's been that long since I was able to upload pictures)!  We had just 4 trick or treaters, but we were dressed up and ready!  Aren't they the cutest?!?!  We love Aunt Molly, Uncle Bud, Clay and Josie.

Hopefully I'll get back to the real world by Dec. 25 - We can't wait for Reagan's First Christmas! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend off, mommy-style.

Dude.  I still think it's weird that I'm a mom.  Essentially, I feel like I have the maturity of a seventeen year old.  I act like one too, just ask my precious hubby.  The only difference is that I have a job and when I'm talking to people about all-things-medical, I sound like a real, honest-to-goodness-grown-up (which I'm not...yet...).  Last week, I started in on my pancreatitis schpeal with a woman who's husband had been feeding her dachshund vienna sausages and bacon when she exclaimed, "Wait!  You're a doctor?  You can't be!  You're just a baby!"

I immediately regretted not putting make-up and my "Dr. Tompkins" scrub top on that morning. 

At any rate.  In between working and playing times, I'm trying to be a responsible adult and mother.  For instance, I made a list of resolutions several weeks ago (remember these?) and for the most part, I'm doing very well.  The only struggle I'm having is meal-planning.  I've successfully avoided going to the grocery store, mostly because I want to race home and be with my little bean, but considering that when I'm home, ARay's usually still working, and when ARay's home, I'm on call, very little cooking gets done.  It's not that I don't want to cook, because I really do enjoy it, but its hard to make a concrete plan happen day-to-day.  As such, I am impotently staring at my wal-mart list right now trying to figure out what I can buy that will keep so that I can cook whenever the stars align and both ARay and I are at home at the same time.  Any suggestions?

I was pondering this meal-planning conundrum last Saturday while I was working our morning office hours, when suddenly, I realized I might get a great, super-fresh meal for that night without having to go anywhere.

I got a check-in sheet that said "Chicken with wound on head."

This man was holding said chicken bundled up in a t-shirt, and as I was leading him back to an exam room, I said, "You know what I call a chicken with a wound on its head?"

"No," He replied.

"Dinner!" I responded with a laugh a gleeful look on my face.

No response.


And then..."Um, actually, I'm a vegetarian." Says the client.

Crap.  I felt like a stand-up comic who is failing dismally.  Crickets could be heard chirping for the silence in the room.  I very awkwardly scrambled back into my "doctor" mode and examined the chicken who had been basically scalped and was in shock.  I explained to the man that the prognosis for the chicken was bleak and that it probably needed to be on IV's, antibiotics, and it's head sewn back together.

"Ok.  How much will that cost?"  He responded.

I have never, ever, heard of someone willing to invest hundreds of dollars in a chicken that you could buy for $2.50 at the market.  But oh well.  I sewed up the chicken.  He opted to take it home and give it electrolytes orally.  I'm fairly certain it died.  A little part of me died knowing that I wouldn't be having roast chicken for dinner.

Ok, I wasn't really that devastated.  Actually, I'm pretty proud of the suturing job I did; I wish I had taken a picture.

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I did, however, remember to take pictures of the wee one this weekend!  The dearest hubby took us pumpkin picking and made my LIFE (I'm immeasurably fond of the pumpkin picking.  I used to name my pumpkins when I was a kid.  No lie.  Ok, maybe I still name them...).  I was so excited.  Homegirl was excited too.

And, we've started on some solid foods this week - Reagan didn't think much of the peaches, but for some reason, enjoyed gumming and sucking on this sour green apple.  She must be having memories of the millions of granny smiths I ate while I was preggers.

Have a great week, everyone!  Send me recipe suggestions!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturdays are for babies...

So, I re-adjusted to going back to work full time this past month, and now I've been spending my three day weekend off work re-adjusting to being a stay-at-home mommy.  It's a good thing.

As such, I've been busy snapping pictures of the wee one, and spoiling her with new toys.  I bought her a jumper gym today - which, I'm not sure if she's old enough for yet, but boy oh boy does she love it - and, since she's just a couple inches too short for said jumper, I finally found a use for that nasty organic chemistry book that I didn't spend enough time reading in college and for some reason never re-sold at the end of the semester...and I took it with me across two state lines and through 4 moves...what was I thinking? 

Anyway, without further ado...

everybody loves baby toes...

I'm a terrible photographer...don't ask me why I couldn't get a good photo without the crazy flash...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ok. Tell me how to get there.

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 Here's the thing.  I am so far beyond directionally challenged, they need to make up a new term for me.  Actually, I think the phrase "hopelessly lost" very much describes how I feel most of the time.  The irony is that I ended up in a profession where I have to make my way to people's farms/houses/fields-in-the-middle-of-nowhere in a "this is an emergency" time frame.  Pathetic.

My co-workers know this.  They also know that even when they give me to-the-mile directions, I will still call back to the office in a panic asking for clarification.  ARay understands my lack of navigational skills too - when I'm supposed to be meeting him someplace I've never been before, he will tell me that the event starts thirty minutes before it actually does, just so I will have plenty of time to get turned around and right myself again.

The problem is, after hours, I am the one directly communicating with the client and trying to get directions that I can actually follow.  Not only that, but around here, people give directions in a manner that I am quite unfamiliar with.  See, in the city, someone would say something like this:

"Ok, just mapquest my address and that's the quickest way to get to my place."

Or, if someone is feeling generous enough to give me a shortcut, they'll say something like:

"Let's see, coming from Friendly Center, just go down Friendly until you hit the light at Holden.  Turn right, onto Holden, then at the next light which is Cornwallis, turn right again.  My house is 2.7 miles on the left."  

Here's a typical "directions" conversation from an Alleghany or Ashe Co. resident:

Client on the phone:  "Well do you know where Alan Wagoner lives?  Because my place is just a couple miles up the road from there."

Dr. T:  "Hmm.  No, why don't you give me directions like I have no idea where I'm going."

Client on the phone:  "Shoot.  Let's see.  Where will you be coming from?"

Dr. T:  "Ennice."

Client on the phone:  "Well, do you know where Paul Evans' store is on 18?"

Dr. T:  "Um, no."

Client on the phone:  "You know, that brick place that Paul Evans ran?  I guess it's been closed about 5 years or so..."

Dr. T:  "Oh yeah, that little abandoned brick building?  I know it."

Client on the phone: "Turn right on the road just before it.  The name of the road is Ridge Glen but someone stole the road sign so don't be looking for one.

Dr. T:  "Oook..."
Client on the phone:  "Then you'll go a little ways.  You'll pass Anita Garbon's place - she passed away about 20 years ago, I think her granddaughter lives there now - and there will be a gate there on your left.  I'll be waiting for you in the pickup."

Dr. T:  "Is there an address I can put in my GPS, just in case I get lost somewhere?"

Client on the phone:  "No, I don't guess so.  That thing will get you turned around worser than lookin' up the directions on the dang internet.  No, you'd better just foller my directions...and you won't have no cell phone service out here neither, so, just keep goin' until you see my truck or a bleeding horse tied to a post."

This is what it sounds like when I admit defeat and call the client back because I'm lost.  Here's a conversation I had recently with a farmer's wife at midnight:

Client on the phone:  "Honey, where are you?  We thought you'd be here fifteen minutes ago!"

Dr. T.  "Well I'm a little lost.  I know where the funeral home is that you were telling me about, and I turned left at the road before it, like you said..."

Client on the phone:  "Oh!  No, dear, you were supposed to turn in at the funeral home!  Come back to 221 and I'll talk you through it."

Dr. T:  "Ok, I just turned in here at the graveyard at the left side of the funeral home, now where am I supposed to go?"

Client on the phone:  "Go straight until you get to the place where they put the cremated people.  Oh! I see your headlights - now turn right.  That's right dear, keep, don't turn down the drive, you have drive off the road to get to the fence where the cow is tied."

Dr. T:  "Wait, are you sure it's ok for me to..."

Client on the phone:  "Well you're going to have to drive through the headstones there, yes, keep coming, I promise Mrs. Henderson wouldn't have minded - haha! good thing the ground isn't wet! - Ok, keep coming up the hill, do you see the light from the 4 wheeler there?  Yes!  Now get everything you need and pass it over to Frank; there's no gate.  You'll have to climb back over the fence if you forgot something."

It's a good thing I'm not superstitious.  I also had to take a potty break that evening - I couldn't see much by the light of the moon, but I'm fairly certain the tree I peed under didn't have a grave next to it.

photo credit

Friday, August 24, 2012

Whistle while you work!

Not quite sleepy enough to get neutered yet.  We like to take pictures of cats when they're mostly drugged.
Ok, I've been back at work for two weeks now, and all told, it's going much better than I anticipated.  Every time someone asks me how it feels to be back and not have Reagan with me all day, I respond, "I'm just so lucky I really like my job."

And it's true.  Thank you Jesus.

There are several other things that get me through the work-hours without my sweet girl: first, the lovely people I work with (they smile and gush over the cell phone pictures of Reagan no matter how many times I show the same ones over and over again) and second, the ever-amusing clients I talk to daily.  Are you ready for some new work-related stories?  Oh good, 'cause I've got a couple for ya.

Sometimes, I like to pretend I'm a receptionist.  I know this bugs Tammy (our actual receptionist, who is amazing at her job), but I do it anyway.  I answer the phone and talk until someone asks me a question that I can't answer and then poorly explain the issue to Tammy, upon which, she graciously talks to the client and gets things settled like they should have been in the first place.  Maybe the most fun thing I do when I answer the phone is, when someone asks to speak to Dr. Tompkins, I say, "can I put you on hold for a moment while I go get her?"  It cracks me up every time.

Anyway, I answered the phone the other day and had this conversation:

Dr. T:  "Twin Oaks Vet, can I help you?"

Lady on the phone:  "Hi, is this the Alleghany Animal Shelter?"

Dr. T:  "No, this is the vet hospital, but we're associated with the shelter, can I help you with something?"

Lady on the phone:  "Well, I was watching this here Alleghany County Television Station, and I had a question about the show where they put on the pictures of the animals up for adoption."

Dr. T:  "Sure.  Were you interested in adopting one of the animals?"

Lady on the phone:  "No, honey.  I just wanted to know why on earth all these here dogs have a red 'kerchief around their neck.  Now, I'm 82 years old and I've had animals all my life and I have never felt like I needed to put a red 'kerchief around one of their necks.  Why on earth do you all do that?"

Dr. T:  "Well ma'am, the bandanas aren't on the dogs all the time, they just put them on for the pictures.  I guess some people think it's a cute thing to do."

Lady on the phone:  "Well I don't think it's cute, but that's just my opinion.  Of course, nobody asked for my opinion, but I just thought I'd tell it to you anyway.  Ok, that's all I wanted to know.  You have a nice day, honey.  'Bye."

Today, I answered the phone and got this one:

Dr. T:  "Twin Oaks Vet, can I help you?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "Is this Twin Oaks?!?"

Dr. T:  "Yessir.  Can I help you with something?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "Yes!  Well...first I have a question, then I'll tell you what my problem is."

Dr. T:  "Ok, what's your question?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "Where in the sam-hill is ya'lls phone number listed in this here phone book?!?"

Dr. T:  "Well, that depends.  Which phone book are you looking in?"

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "In this damn Alleghany County Phone Directory!  I've been looking for the dad-blamed phone number nigh thirty minutes!  When I didn't find it, I had to go search for one of my damn receipts from you all 'cause I couldn't find the number in the phone book!"

Dr. T (pulling out the phone book):  "Ok, lets see.  In the alphebetical listings, the number is there under 'Twin Oaks Veterinary Hospital' and in the business listing the number is under 'Veterinarians'."

Elderly man (yelling into the phone):  "What's that you say now?  What page are you on?"

Dr. T:  "Um, well, it's listed on page 49 and page 96."

Elderly man (quieter now):  "Well I'll be durned.  There it is.  Been there the whole time."

Dr. T:  "Yep.  Now, is there something else you needed?"

Elderly man:  "What?  Oh, yeah.  I need to make an appointment to board my cat.  Well, it's not my cat, I don't even like cats - it's my wife's cat."

Dr. T:  "Ok!  Tammy can help you with that, can you hold for a moment?"

PS.  I read this today.  Nearly peed my pants from laughing.  Read it, you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"A good wife always knows her place."

You may have been wondering how my somewhat ambitious resolutions have been going.  For this week at least (a.k.a. my last week at home before I go back to work), I've been doing quite well, and feeling pretty proud of myself.  I've even accomplished a few of the projects I had on the list for August, which is a bonus, considering that I get this sinking feeling knowing that once work starts back, I'll never be able to do any projects around the house ever again - at least until Reagan hits high school.  This probably isn't true, but I still keep having a sense of foreboding anyway.

Oh well, I can always hire a handyman.

At any rate, getting up around or before 6am has actually been a blessing; I can definitely see how adding that extra hour and a half to my morning will make me feel a lot more grounded for the rest of the day, and seeing as I had been used to getting up around 4 every morning to feed Reagan up until a couple of weeks ago, sleeping until 5:45 feels great, especially since Reagan doesn't really wake up until 6:30 nowadays.  There is that moment, however, over the course of the day that I do feel like going back to bed - upon which, I fix myself another cup of coffee and find an activity that will keep me going until the exhaustion passes.  Today, that moment struck early - at about 8 am - so I took a couple more sips of my favorite brew, and decided to take a quick shower while Reagan was playing on the bed.

Now, I really just think I had my mind on other things, it wasn't like those first few days of motherhood where my mind left me altogether (one morning, I came rushing into the living room in a panic and kept asking my mother where "the other one" was.  She responded by telling me that everything was ok, she was holding a sleeping Reagan, but I kept screaming, "but where's the other one!!!?!?"  Apparently I had dreamed that I had twins and that the second baby had rolled under the bed and I couldn't find it.  I even went back into the bedroom and searched under all the sheets and pillows before I finally woke up.  It was terrifying.).

No, what I was thinking hard about this morning as I hopped into the shower fully clothed was being a "Good Wife."

(Yes, you read that right.  Fully clothed.)

I had been dusting ARay's nightstand and found an article from a 1959 edition of Housekeeping Monthly that I had totally forgotten about.  Way back when we were engaged, I showed it to my betrothed after I received it as a joke from someone at one of my bridal showers; I still think it's hilarious, so I'm going to share it with you today:

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 "The good wife's guide"

1.  Have dinner ready.  Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return.  This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.  Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself.  Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

3.  Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him.  His boring day may need a lift and it's one of your duties to provide it.

4.  Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

5.  Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.

6.  Over the cooler months of the year, you should prepare a light fire for him to unwind by.  Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.  After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

7.  Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.  Minimize all noise.  At the time of his arival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

8.  Be happy to see him.

9.  Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

10.  Listen to him.  You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

11.  Make the evening his.  Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you.  Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

12.  Your goal: try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

13.  Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

14.  Don't complain if he's home late or even stays out all night.  Count this as minor compared to what he might have been through that day.

15.  Make him comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

16.  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

17.  Don't ask him quiestions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity.  Remember, he is master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.  You have no right to question him.

18.  A good wife always knows her place.

...I have only one thing to say about all this.  Where is my "good wife"?  I need one more than ARay does!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back on The Juice

I cleaned my coffee maker last night in preparation for starting my new, "going-back-to-work" resolutions this morning.  I feel like I'm a college kid again, getting ready to go back to school after a busy summer - except - much to my inner-child's chagrin, I don't have a good reason to buy school supplies this fall.  Bummer.  I can't wait for Reagan to start school so we can do the annual Wal-Mart school supply run together...if we're feeling adventurous, maybe we'll even go on tax-free weekend.  Oh man, the excitement is brewing already.

Anyway, I have a whole slew of new resolutions in anticipation of going back to work.  Just a couple of days ago, I was talking to my mom about how I'm feeling a little bored, how I'm ready to be doing something more, to which she replied "oh man, I was bored way sooner than you are.  I'm really impressed, honey, I figured you'd get tired of this stay-at-home-mommy thing a lot earlier than you did."

In reality, I'm not tired of it at all.  But thanks, mom, I didn't realize how boring the early days of my life were for you (just kidding, I know they were the best days you've ever had).  Quite the contrary, if I could strap Reagan to my back like a little injun and tote her to work with me every day, I absolutely would.  I'm sure someone could give her a pacifier if she fussed while I was doing surgery with her hanging around on my back.  Maintaining sterility wouldn't be that hard, surely.

Well, I guess all my dreams for our lives once I go back to work can't come true, but some of them can, and I've been working on them this week.  I'm going to post a list so you can know and be my accountability partner.

First, I plan to get up when ARay does (around or before 6 am) and get the house straightened up and do my "housewife chores" before Little Miss even wakes up.  Today, I was spared the trouble of my alarm going off because Little Miss was rearing to go at 2am.  I don't think she slept more than 45 minutes straight from 2 until 6...and incidentally, neither did I.  Thankfully, the timer was set on the coffee pot and the gorgeous smell of my hazelnut brew staved off most of the grumpiness.  Did you know, according to recent Alzheimer's research, adults should get no more and no less than 7 hours of sleep a night?  Getting any more/less increases your chances of getting the disease later in life, so my new resolution may save me from a terrible fate when I'm older.  Unfortunately, I'm accustomed to 8-9 hours of sleep in a row...fortunately though, Reagan has been working toward a 7-8 hour night for a few weeks now, so I'm going to consider last night an outlier and look forward to tomorrow.

Second, I am doing to start making to-do lists again.  In college, I stuck to these with alarming tenacity.  I even kept a ledger and balanced my checkbook religiously every night.  Woah.  It's time to get back the organization I lost the second I stepped onto the Vet School campus.  I started a new list when Reagan and I came home from the hospital and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it contained all the projects I hadn't accomplished in the 2 years I've been living here already.  Again, unsurprisingly, those projects didn't quite get finished in my time at home as a new mother (who had just had abdominal surgery), either.  Oh well.  There's always room on August's list.

Third.  I'm going to plan our family suppers ahead so I can spend less time at the grocery store/cooking and more time with ARay and LittleRea.  This means I'm actually going to go through the grocery store fliers on the weekend and go shopping weekly instead of grabbing something to fix on my way home from work every day.  This is something I've never done, and it's going to be interesting to see what kind of plan-ahead meals I come up with.  Ideally, I'd like to have dinner prep started in the mornings when I'm up at the butt-crack of dawn.

Fourth.  We're going to take loads of pictures of Little One.  My mom never did this (she never had the benefit of a digital camera, either) and these memories are ones I don't want Reagan to miss out on.  Photodocumentation is such a gift.

Haha.  We like to take pictures of Reagan when she's doing something she'll be embarrassed of when she's older.  First nose pick, 7/31/12.
Fifth (and most ambitious)!  I'm going to start exercising again.  Back in college (this seems to be the a recurring theme - I was super-busy in college, but apparently I had my act together) I would go for a run daily, somewhere between a 3 and 5 miler.  I wasn't training for anything, or trying to impress anyone with my jogging skills, I was just trying to keep my body and my heart healthy.  Unfortunately, my bum knee, getting older (and more arthritic) and going to medical school crapped on my dreams of ideal physical fitness.  SO!  I'm going to spend some quality time with Reagan in a jogger while I trudge up these mountainous roads or on the back of my bike while pedaling hard on the parkway and do something good for me that will make me feel good.  There.  It's in print (sortof) and other people know about it, so now I'm going to do it, for realz.

Phew.  I think those five resolutions are enough for anybody, so I'm going to stop there and get going on some of them.  I can't wait to launch myself into the exhausting and what I'm sure will be the uber-rewarding task of being Dr. Mom/Wife.

Ready, set. Go!

Look at those cheeks!  When she sleeps, I swear she looks just like ARay.

When she's smiling, I can't help but imagine she looks just like me. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So, I've told you our birth story, but what I can't explain to you is what comes immediately after - the thing every other mother in the world already knows - that split second, the instant your baby is born, the rush of feeling and sudden understanding of rightness in  your soul; that yes, this is the person you were destined to love for as long as you have breath.  I don't know if fathers feel the same thing, but even if they do, I'm sure it's not something they could explain either.

I didn't know I could have two soulmates.

 Today, right now, I can't believe how quickly the past eight weeks have gone by.  Even more, I can't believe how much our baby has grown.  It's baffling to me that she doesn't spend weeks and weeks as the tiny little helpless thing she was on that delightful day she was born...our adorable little girl is fast becoming her own person, and it is fantastic.  I can't wait for the days and months and years to keep coming so I can watch her become more of herself, but, oh Lord, it's going to be hard to let her grow up and not be able to cuddle her close and meet every single one of her needs forever.
But for today, I am going to savor every second of cuddle time with my Reagan and her squeaky little post-bath laughs and remind her that she is so loved.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Annnd...we're back!

Ok.  It has been a long time since I posted last...actually, I'll be surprised if anyone actually reads this since I've basically abandoned the blogging principle of "if you don't blog at least 4 times per month, nobody really cares about your life anymore."  I'm ok with that - the act of blogging today is a signal to myself that the I'm emerging from the warm, fuzzy, sleep-deprived, cocoon-like state I've been in for the past 8 weeks.  I'm reaching out to the world again, and it feels good. has come to my attention that people are in the practice of writing their "birth story" and posting it for people to read...I've read a few, and they are alternately hilarious, heart wrenching or happily sweet.  I read most of these birth stories before I actually had Sweet Baby Rea (for those of you who are unaware of this reference, it started in the town I was born.) and I'm pretty sure they are meant to bring women who have had babies closer together (as in, "Oh, that same thing happened to me!") and bring tears of terror and feelings of paralyzing dismay to women who have not had babies (as in, "Holy shit!  That's going to happen to me??!?!).

I think now that I've experienced this "birthing" thing, one can expect to experience some degree of both camaraderie and terror over the course of the event.  For me, the "course of the event" occurred over two days - ARay can tell you exactly how many hours I was in labor - I've heard the figure and I have chosen to have no recollection of it.

Not that it was horrible.  I still find it crazy that people are designed to enter the world this beautiful and miraculous way.  However, I still would like to give Adam and Eve a verbal lashing (while I was in labor, I felt more like throwing feces at them) for eating that dadblasted apple and making me experience the backlash of it (for those of you who are unaware of this reference, it started just after God created man).

At any rate, here's the abbreviated story.  Little Miss Reagan was growing like a champ en utero.  At 38 weeks, when I was measuring 41 weeks and my ultrasound showed that homegirl was likely to weigh 9+ pounds at term, my OB exclaimed to me, "You know, you really don't have to give it the 'old college try'.  I can schedule a c-section today if you want!"

Um, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dr. V.  You didn't freak me out at all.

Of course, having performed countless c-sections on dogs, cats, pigs, cows, sheep and goats, I had no desire whatsoever to have the same thing performed on myself.  So we scheduled an induction, which, I knew about too, having given the experience of supplemental hormones to dogs in labor (perhaps unsurprisingly, none of mama dogs ever gave me any indication of what to expect).  On Memorial Day, when my friends were eating hot dogs and corn on the cob, I was on an all liquid diet, hooked up to an IV with copious amounts of pitocin ("pit" as it's lovingly called by the L&D nurses) and alternately reading The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe while reminding myself to breathe through the contractions.

As that day and the next dragged on, ARay would happily watch the monitors and exclaim, "Oh!  That was a big contraction on the graph!  Did you feel it?"

No honey, I didn't.  Thanks for letting me know.

I would watch the clock and wait for the designated times where the nurse or doctor would check my cervix to see how I was progressing (no one tells you how much that's going to hurt, either...except for me - see, I just let the cat out of the bag!  oops!) only to have a sinking feeling when they would smile while shaking their heads, saying "Still only 3 centimeters, honey.  Don't worry, I've seen women go from 3 cm to 8 in an hour!  This could still happen today!".

To that, I say: bullshit.

For everyone, labor is different.  I happened to be a pansy when it came to the pain and one-on-top-of-the-other pace of my measly contractions.  I demanded an epidural at 3 cm even though the nurse said it's usually done when women are between 4 and 5, and subsequently fell deeply in love with my anesthesiologist.  At this point, I was pretty much positive I was going to end up having a c-section and could have cared less about making it to 4 centimeters.  As it turned out, I was right, and I still thank Jesus for showing us that we can put drugs in the epidural space and make people feel like a million bucks.

The one pervading theme of my labor and delivery was unexpected.  See, the History channel was having a 3 day mini-series called Hatfields & McCoys. Of course, my husband would watch it at night while I was trying to get comfortable in that ridiculous labor and delivery bed (no one tells you how horrible that thing is either, so there you go, another cat let out of the bag).  I kept thinking that maybe bringing a baby into the world amidst the sounds of West Virginian hillbillies feuding and killing each other was less than optimal, but, as it turned out, everyone in the hospital was watching it.  The nurses would come to check on me during commercials, and sit on my bed and watch the next segment with us.  My doctor had intended to come check me at 7 pm on the 29th and get the c-section train rolling, but instead, we all watched the last installment of Hatfields and McCoys together, and for that reason, our little munchkin entered the world at 10:44 pm on May 29 - almost exactly 45 minutes after the show ended.

The scrub nurse recommended that we change her name to Hattie Mac in honor of the miniseries.

I seriously considered it.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Last weekend, my gorgeous friends and family threw two baby showers for little Reagan...and I think homegirl is going to be seriously impressed someday by the generosity and love of this community of far flung friends and close family that is welcoming her with open arms.  Not to mention, my nesting heart is filled to bursting when I open her closet doors (which I do on a more-than-once-daily basis) and see images like this:

Or, when I peek in her room on a bright spring-almost-summer morning and see all the pinks and greens that I love:

Both showers were filled with home-made touches, amazing food, and so much fun and should definitely check these out if you plan to throw a baby shower anytime soon.  Pin-worthy, for sure.


And if Kayla and Ali had a blog I would post theirs too - the shower in Sparta was was equally as beautiful and lovely.  I (we) couldn't have felt more special.

So many thanks to all! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

You have to eat this.

The original recipe for this was on, but I basically didn't follow it at all because I don't like canned salmon, capers or celery. 

Salmon Salad:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Salt, pepper and sprinkle garlic powder on one salmon filet.
Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of salmon.

Roast in the oven for 12-16 minutes depending on the size of your filet.

While still warm, shred filet (discarding skin) and mix in a bowl with one sliced green onion, 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Serve on a bed of spinach and arugula with a side of sliced tomato splashed with balsamic vinegar.

Eat this today.  You will thank me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

In the house of Tompkins...

As I think most all who know me know already, I'm a generally handy person.  There isn't a moment since ARay and I got married that I don't thank the Lord for this fact.  My husband is good for a great many things, but, as he will readily admit, handiness around the home is not his forte.  As such, my nesting instinct kicked in pretty early during this pregnancy, and so,  I mastered the art of finagling large pieces of furniture by myself and had the crib put together by the time I was 6 months along.  Last week, I googled "how to install a light fixture" and found out where the central breaker switch was in our house.  I've become good friends with my level and learned that following the directions the first time is better than just figuring it out on one's own.  Oh, and if you need to mount a flat screen TV on a wall, I'm your go-to girl.  Handy things to know, yes? 

PS.  Having an extra person around while you're installing said light fixture and/or TV is a preferable option.  Or you could just grow a 3rd arm real quick.

Anyway, I'm nearing the home stretch when it comes to the nursery, all that's left is to complete a collage on the wall where I hope to hang 3 generations of needlepoint (as soon as I can sit down with Granny B so she can give me a needlepoint lesson), and to put our baby girl in the crib I so carefully constructed.  The rest of our house, however is a different story.  Spring is coming and I am dying to do yardwork, but 8 months of baby belly is not conducive to bending and hauling yard stuff.  I wish I could put harnesses on the dogs and get them to do something constructive for a change....

All that being said, I thought it might be nice to post some pictures of dear little Reagan's room!  I can't wait until she comes so I can post pictures of her...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Emergency calls

Client:  "Hey Doc - I've got a yearling longhorn bull that broke a horn and I need your help."

Dr. T: "Ok, go ahead and bring him in and we'll lop that sucker off and get him fixed up."

Client: "Welllll....I was kinda hoping you'd help me fix the horn.  I saw some stuff online about rebar and cast material that looks like it'll work."

Dr. T:  "Oh.  Hmm.  I've never done that before or seen it done, so I guess we'll just have to figure something out."

Client:  "Just google it.  I'll be there in about an hour."

Client:  "Yes, um, is this Dr. Thompson?"

Dr. T:  "Close enough, yes.  What can I do for you?"

Client:  "Oh, I just have a question.  My cat really needs a bath.  What can kind of shampoo can I use to bathe him?"

Dr. T:  "Ok.  Is this an emergency?"

Client:  "No ma'am.  I hate to bother you about something like this, but my cat really needs a bath."

Dr. T:  "Is your cat just dirty or does he have a wound or something you're trying to clean?"

Client:  "Well, that's kindof a long story.  You see, my son ran him over a month ago, and he did have some places that came up and busted open with pus an all, but I don't think he has any wounds anymore."

Dr. T:  "Ummm. Ok.  Had he ever been seen by a vet for his injuries after being hit by a car?"

Client: "No ma'am.  Actually, he ran away a couple of weeks ago, and I thought he was dead.  But then he popped back up and now he's living in my bedroom.  He really needs a bath."

Dr. T:  "Huh.  Ok.  Well any gentle pet shampoo will work, but you'll need to make sure there are no wounds anywhere, and if there are, they'll need to be cleaned and shaved.  He may need to be on antibiotics."

Client: "Oh, ok.  I can do all that.  I just needed to know what kind of shampoo to use."

Client (hysterical):  "Oh!  My little dog is just shaking and drooling!!!  Please help me!  Please, Please!!!"

Dr. T:  "Is this Kristen, by any chance?"

Client (hysterical):  "Yes!  How did you know???  Please come over and help my dog!   You must not have examined him good today when I brought him in for losing his hair, because now he's so sick!!!  You need to come over here!!"

Dr. T:  "Ok, Kristen.  Calm down.  You need to tell me what's going on.   Rascal was fine when you brought him in today, he had a flea allergy.  We treated him for fleas several hours ago and he was doing fine.  Now, what exactly have you done since you brought him home?"

Client (hysterical):  "Oh he's so sick!!!  You need to be coming over here this MINUTE!"

Dr. T:  "Kristen, if he needs to be seen, you'll have to bring him to the office.  Now, what have you done since you've been home?"

Client (hysterical):  "I can't bring him in!  I'm too worked up to drive!  You have to come here!!!"

Dr. T:  "Calm down and listen to me.  I can't do anything for him at your house if he's really sick.  You need to tell me what happened since you've been home." 

Client (hysterical):  "Well you told me, you know, that he had fleas and that fleas lay eggs in the house and that I needed to vacuum and wash his bed and all.  But I couldn't bear the thought of those fleas being in the house, so I went to the store and got some Raid."

Dr. T:  "Ok, Kristen, did I say anything about using pesticides or a flea killer?"

Client (hysterical):  "No.  Well, no, I guess you didn't.  Anyway, I soaked his bed and his playpen I put him in during the day and all the other places he likes to lay with the Raid.  I just couldn't stand the thought of those FLEAS!  PLEASE come help my little dog!"

Dr. T:  "Kristen.  He's having a reaction to the Raid you sprayed everywhere.  You need to give him a bath right now."

Client (hysterical with voices in the background):  "A BATH!??!?!  I CAN'T DO THAT!!!  I need help!  You need to come here and give him a bath for me!  I can't!  I can't!"

Dr. T:  "Yes, you can.  He's a three pound maltese.  You can put him in the kitchen sink and give him a bath.  It will be easy.  You can do it.  Just put him in the sink and turn on the water."

Client (hysterical with voices in the background):  "I CAN'T DO IT!  YOU NEED TO COME HERE!!!"

Dr. T:  "I hear people with you, is someone else there I can talk to?"

Client (hysterical):  "It's just my husband and daughter."

Dr. T:  "Can one of them give him a bath?"

Client (hysterical): "No!  Well, I don't know.  I don't think so.  What kind of shampoo should I use??"

Dr. T:  "I don't care.  Just give him a bath.  Give him a bath right now."

Client (hysterical):  "I can't keep holding him when he's like this.  I'm putting him back in his playpen."

Dr. T:  "NO!!!  You just sprayed that with Raid!  You need to wash EVERYTHING you sprayed with Raid and GIVE YOUR DOG A BATH RIGHT NOW!!!"

Client (hysterical):  "I can't do it!  I can't!"

Dr. T:  "Ok.  Kristen.  Bring him in right now and I will bathe him.  There's an emergency fee."

Client (hysterical):  "I can't afford no EMERGENCY FEE!  I TOLD you, I got ROBBED last week.  That's why I couldn't pay for the office visit when I came in earlier today!"

Dr. T:  "Alright.  I'm done with this conversation now.  GIVE YOUR DOG A BATH.  DO NOT PUT HIM ANYWHERE YOU SPRAYED RAID.  Call me if there are any more problems."

Client (hysterical):  "Oh, gosh.  He's going to have to stay in the garage.  He doesn't like it in there.  He'll cry all night.  Will he be ok?  Oh, gosh.  I'm going to have to call my groomer.......RANDY!!!  Call WANDA!!! *Click*"

Client (hysterical):  "This is Kristen!  You know that new puppy I got?  The one that has the heart murmur and the open fontaneeel?"

Receptionist:  "Hi, Kristen.  Yes.  What do you need?"

Client (hysterical):  "It's busted open!  Her soft spot is swollen up!!  Her head is going to explode!!!"

Receptionist:  "Ok, Kristen.  Bring her in and one of the vets will take a look at it."

Client (hysterical):  "I can't!  I hurt my back and can't drive!   They'll have to come here!!!"

Receptionist:  "There will be a housecall fee, Kristen.  But Dr. Wilson will come see you now."

Client (hysterical):  "Her head!  It's swelling!  It's all red!!  Hurry!"

Actual problem, according to Dr. W:  a very small blood blister on top of head where a barrette was placed too close to the skin.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tough stuff....

So many people, in tears, say, "I could never do your job."  And mostly it's because I've just euthanized their beloved pet.

It sucks.

However...(there's always however)...

If you can't find joy in the sorrow, smile in the pain, love in the loss, humor in the small're right.  You could never do my job. 

There is peace in the idea that, I can prayerfully ease the pain and suffering of something that cannot speak for itself, an animal who has no capability of allowing the "natural" process of death occur because there is that stronger than steel bond that ties themselves to a person who wills them to keep going - a person who will pay me hundreds of dollars to give them just a few more days.

There is magic in the thought that the tenuous life of a pet, regardless of how many weeks, days or years it graced the earth, can change the soul of a person forever.  Magic, I say. 

I've been there.  I've had beloved pets too.  I know exactly how it feels to make a decision to allow them to go, and maybe that's what makes my job a little less tough, besides the understanding I have of limitations of medicine.

I always say, "I know how hard this is.  No matter how much time we get to spend with them, it's never enough, and I know you love Fluffkins very much." 

And, depending on the what diagnosis we've arrived up on for Fluffkins, there's always the discussion of "Am I doing the right thing?"

When it's something like feline leukemia, like my patient last week, that discussion is a little bit easier, more concrete. 

When I asked the owner of the cat with leukemia what she planned to do with the body afterwards, noting that the ground was frozen and it would likely be difficult to dig a grave, she responded:

"Oh no, I'll be fine.  I always have two cat graves and one dog grave dug at all times.  We have a little family plot back behind the house."

See what I mean?  Humor in the small things.

Friday, February 10, 2012

So, I've been thinking...

Thinking is really dangerous for me on a day off.  Just like every other third Friday, have been mindlessly roaming around the house, doing an occasional chore in between reading chapters of a book that I've read a million times, listening to the windchimes outside, watching the dogs play in the front yard.  I have a strict rule against thinking on days off.  It allows the hours go by in a restful, lovely cadence.  My no-serious-thinking policy also allows me to rekindle a sense of wonder at the simple world I live in - just a few minutes ago, I discovered that Gidget had carried a stone the size of a baseball into the laundry room through the dog door and was playing hockey with it.  The industry of small creatures never ceases to amaze me.

I had her in mind as I sat back down on the couch, having drug (dragged?) the quilt from our bed into the living room and made myself a little nest.  Little Trippers the cat was purring on a pile of unfolded laundry beside me, watching the book resting on my belly randomly bounce up and down as Miss-Tompkins-To-Be enjoyed the effects of my once-every-other-day glass of sweet tea.  He reminded me of the shelter cat that has recently taken up residence in the office.  Shelter cat is the sweetest thing - I go in and talk to him at random moments during the day, whereupon he kneads with his little paws and purrs in response.  Every once in a while, I'll sit with him in the treatment area and he'll watch the goings-on perfectly content in my lap.  Thanks to me, he's grown accustomed to the sound of a can of cat food's no wonder people overfeed their pets with random junk - just the look a cat/dog/horse/emu/whatever gives you when you offer a treat makes you feel like you've hung the moon.

Anyway, while reading I wondered aloud to Trip - first, whether someday he would get over his loathing of other cats and let me bring another one home?  Then, whether my husband would get over his loathing of all cats and let me bring another one home?

Then, I had an amazing idea.  What if I brought the shelter cat home, made peace with Trip, and then just made ARay believe that no, it's not two cats living here, just one!  I mean, they're both orange and white tabby cats - who cares if one has long hair and one has short!  He'd never notice!!!

Then I rembered...

How would I explain that Trip grew back his fourth leg?

It's a conundrum, really.  I'm open to ideas.  Shelter cat is a neutered male that's front declawed, thus definitively ruling out the possibility of his being an outside cat, even if the dogs would allow such a thing.  I think my pregnancy hormones have created a love for him very akin to what I felt for Gidget when she first came here.

I need help.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The internet makes me paranoid...

Everyone at work has been under the weather lately, out of sorts, etc., and I was terribly proud of myself and the little munchkin I carry around for not getting sick...

And then...I was on call this past weekend...and a doozy of a weekend it was, too. 

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had the creeping suspicion that something was not quite right.  By 3 o'clock, I felt like my enteric world was crashing around me and when I looked in the mirror, I saw this horrible looking shell of myself, complete with dark circles under my eyes, droopy hair and manure/blood plastered clothing.  Gross.  By 9:30pm I was sure that I wouldn't survive.  At ten, after 12 hours of work, I dragged myself through the house, hit the shower and then meekly and thankfully said hello to my pillow and lay next to my oblivious, sleeping, dear of a husband who had been out of town all weekend and who was out like a light before I even got home yesterday.

This morning, I knew.  I woke up, fed everyone, and promptly went back to bed.  As of right now, I have successfully eaten 12 saltine crackers and am shocked that little munchkin-head has had the energy to kick the tar out of my already unhappy intestines this morning.  After I get through with this, I'm going back to bed.

So, that was likely more information than you cared to know.  But all that background information was necessary because, I the only one who has strange dreams and thinks unusual, yet seemingly clear thoughts when she's sick?  I mean, don't things just dawn on you that you never imagined before when you're under the weather?

Ok, for instance.  I dreamed that instead of giving birth to a bouncing baby girl, I dreamed that I birthed six beagle puppies and quite enjoyed myself.  The delivery room was full of friends and family and I was playing scrabble the whole time I delivered, I think.  I remember saying to my mother, "what's the big deal about all this childbirth stuff?  They're so little, I didn't even feel a thing!"

I blame this dream on the c-section I had to do last night.

Ok, second for instance, how is it that the internet knows me so well?  I mean, I truly think the internet is stalking me - every time I get on Facebook, I see ads about maternity scrubs and babysitters.  When I'm looking through websites on Google, even on the computers at work there are websites that pop up and ads that say things like, "Did you remember to take your vitamins today?  Check out Walgreens..." and actually, no, I didn't remember to take my vitamins today.  Thank you, Google, for reminding me.

I don't really like it.  What happened to the simpler days, you know, back when the computer was mostly for playing Tetris and Solitaire and composing documents without having to use white out and typewriter tape?  For that matter, why do we feel the need to be accessible every moment of the day, have phones that not only allow people to find us when we do not want to be found, but email, text, tweet and God knows what else when we could be doing something more edifying - like reading a book or taking a nap?  I think the world was a lot more peaceful back when...back before the internet knew I was pregnant and had forgotten to take my prenatal vitamins.

However, my point is basically moot.  I am a glaring hypocrite for writing this blog while at the same time wishing I could throw all of my phones in the yard and allow them to become play toys for my overly-destructive dogs.  Not to mention, some good things come out of the internet, after all.  

At any rate.  I blame all this on being sick.  I'll less philosophical tomorrow, I promise...but that does not mean that I will answer my phone if I don't have to.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I know she understands me...

Happy Friday morning, friends.  I'm here, smelling my half-pot of decaf brew - the half-pot that I will probably decide I don't really want anymore after it's done brewing.  Maybe it's just the smell I like.  I don't know - do babies smell en utero?  I don't think so.  The baby book says I should be eating good-for-me things like bananas right now because homegirl is developing her sense of taste and she can taste the stuff I'm eating (weird) but so far the munchkin is only going to like clementines, ice cream and pasta.  I think I can accept this because in no way shape or form do I want a freaking banana.  Plus, she kicks more when I've just had some ice cream, so...double bonus.

Anyway, I had planned to be gone by now this morning on a mysterious shopping trip.  I still don't know what I intended to buy when I announced to ARay last night that I would be needing my car for the day.  When I think of it now, I envision things to purchase like:  a new car, a live-in maid/nanny (although I don't think you can find those in the mall), plane tickets to Venice, and the good green curry from the Thai restaurant 45 minutes away from here.  Ok, so only the curry is mildly attainable, which saddens me but oh well.  It's my day off.  Magical things happen on such an elusive day like a day off.  Today,  I could conceivably see unicorns romping around in the front yard with George and Bella (and Gidget, who is in much trouble after crapping on the carpet that I wish I had the maid to clean for me).  I could read Pride and Prejudice again cover to cover and it be just like the first time I ever read it.  See, I can dream unattainable dreams on a day like today and imagine that they could come true.  It's a delightful thing.

It makes me think of the people who dream unattainable dreams every day.  They think of them as reality, and I know this race of people because I take care of their animals.  They are the people who say things like:

"Oh, Sophie and I discussed her staying here tonight after her surgery is over.  She's ok with it, and I know because she blinked twice at me after our little talk.  That's her way of saying 'I understand.'"

"I'm not even going to worry about the surgery, Doc.  I know you can save Sugarplum.  I mean, yes, I know you just told me that she has a bleeding splenic mass and could die on the surgery table, but you're going to be successful in surgery because you have to.  There is no other option, because you understand that if Sugarplum does not live, I will not be able to live, and the thought of that will haunt you forever.  Or Sugarplum would haunt you forever.  Whichever."

"But Dr. T, the lump on kitty only popped up last night!  There's just no way it's an ulcerated malignant tumor!  You're crazy for saying it's probably been there for longer than I knew.  There has been a place on  her that started bleeding and smelling really bad for the past few months, but it was just a rash, not a tumor!  AND I have been putting burnt motor oil on it and bluecoat spray!  That's what my brother's uncle told me to do - he said it would cure her rash!" 

"What do you mean that cow has had a dead calf in her for three or four days???  I check my cows EVERY NIGHT, doc.  I would have KNOWN if she was in labor.  You're plum crazy wrong.  She wasn't supposed to have her calf until FEBRURARY anyway!  Don't tell me that I don't know what's goin' on with my cows."

"Cheeto is a BOY??  What do you mean Cheeto is a boy???  I told you, Cheeto is a GIRL.  I don't care if you went in to spay her and she had no uterus and it turned out that she had testicles instead.  Cheeto is the prettiest, lovie-est, sweetest little girl cat that ever lived!"

So I'm going to live like my clients today and believe that my cat understood me when I told him, for the millionth time, "Do NOT eat the fern!  It's toxic!  You're just going to puke it all up in five minutes anyway!"  instead of simply choosing self-preservation after I chucked a pen at him while he munched on the leaves and thus ran under the dining room table to hide. 

...and I'm going to believe that I could just walk onto the lot at a Jeep dealership and I could get a Rubicon for free.  Yep.  Unicorns in my front yard too.  I believe.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What they say vs. what they mean

It's Saturday afternoon, and I'm not on call, which means I'm prepping myself for a gorgeous afternoon of: falling asleep to a movie, hanging out in bed with little Trippers and the Gidge, eating ice cream for supper and not feeling bad about it, and thinking about which names baby girl will not blame me for when she's all grown up.  I'm pumped.

In the meantime, I feel like it's about time to play a rousing game of "What they say vs. what they mean" since it's been about a year since we've done that last, and incidentally, it feels like it's been about a year since I posted last.  So, without further ado:

1.  " Doc, I got this here rabbit dog, and I've been worming it with that there panasonic wormer you gave me for my other dog, but she's still got these short little worms comin' out."  Supposed meaning for "panasonic wormer" - Panacur, which doesn't treat tapeworms, which is what that there rabbit dog was suffering from.

2.  "Hey now, you think you could teach me how to do that pregnancy checkin' on my own cows?  I really think I could palpitate if I knew what I's doin'."  Supposed meaning for "palpitate" - palpate.  As in, rectally palpate cattle.

3.  "Oh, don't worry.  My I'll pay my bill, I mean, I've known Mash forever and he said there's no problem with me charging that $200 to my account.  I'll pay it here next month or the month after that when my disability check comes in.  I'm on a fixed income, you know."  Supposed meaning for "Mash" - Nash, as in our boss and the practice owner.  Oh and Jessica loves the "I'm on a fixed income" excuse, since, as a general rule, everyone is on a fixed income - we all know much money we'll have from month to month, but it's up to you to figure out how to manage it, not our office manager.

4.  "Yes ma'am.  I've got a llama that is having difficulty breathing and I was wondering if you could see her tonight.  I can bring her right in."  Actual meaning for "bring her right in" - walk llama into a mini-van and drive 45 minutes up the mountain.  If the makers of the Honda Odyssey only knew what their vehicles were capable of, they would be advertizing this mess.  Not only that, but the transport occurred on New Year's Eve, and there was a traffic stop just outside Sparta as you came down the mountain to the clinic.  I can only imagine what the good law enforcement officers of Alleghany Co. thought of 3 people and one llama comfortably seated in a minivan.

photo credit
5.  "What on earth can I do about little Fartkin's bad breath, Doc?  I've tried everything.  I've been looking for those little greenthings that are supposed to brush their teeth, but they ain't at the dollar store."  Supposed meaning for "greenthings" - Greenies!  Gidget received her first fan mail after she fell off the front porch and got lost before Christmas.  When we were reunited, we were both happy, I because you just don't take away a 5 month pregnant woman's dog, and she because she got a whole box of Greenies from an old friend who does PR for the company.  And they really do freshen her breath.  No kidding.