Princess Panties

Doors at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC

“Mommy! You’re wearing princess panties?!??!??” My daughter’s squeal of delight reverberated off of the metal walls of the stall. 

She stared in awe.

The overly crowded movie theater bathroom seemed to fall deathly silent in an instant.


“Mommy. They are so beautiful! I want some.” She reached out reverentially to touch them as I hovered over the toilet seat doing my business. I swatted her hand away.

“Not until you are much, much older.”

We washed our hands then headed back out into the hallway where her brother and her dad and the dozens other men were standing, waiting on their female companions.

“Daddy! Daddy!” she called loudly as she skipped happily over to him. “Did you know Mom is wearing princess panties?”

So much for the element of surprise.

And from that moment forward, my lacy underwear was known as “princess panties.”


Thursday Thoughts From The Throne #3

Black and white Gerber daisies

The nice thing about your loved one continuing to ignore your advice about going to the ER for their severe right lower quadrant abdominal pain until their appendix eventually ruptures is that in a few weeks when it is clear they will live and the post op pain subsides (you have to be nice to them until then) you will have ammunition to use for the rest of their life… if you are the kind of person who does that sort of thing.


Thursday Thoughts From the Throne #1

Thomas Fuller quote over NYC bridge

If you will recall my corny post from last month, Twindaddy of Mental Defecation correctly deduced that I had written that post while sitting on the toilet. Truth be told, I do a lot of blogging from the potty. Clearing the bowels tends to clear the mind. In the comments Twindaddy graciously offered to allow me to use “Thoughts from the Throne” which was a recurring feature on a previous blog. I love alliteration. Alliteration is sexy. 

So I am going to try to make this a recurring feature. It may not be every week, but from time to time you may see this title and I wanted you all to know where it came from. 

Also, you should know the above image was created using Pixlr. Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist did a post on this recently. I have found that it is addictive…. 

Getting the Worm

Flowers in the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Mommy? Can I go potty?” 

Her voice pulled me out of a deep sleep in the midst of a nightmare about a movie set with Nicole Kidman and a patient who ran a telephone ministry dial-a-prophetess line. The movie was to be a psychological thriller. The prophetess had just robbed me of money and souvenirs I had pilfered from the set. I am not sure what a dream like that says about my life right now…

“Sure, baby. You don’t even have to ask, you know.” I have lost count of how many I times I’ve said this to her. 


I heard her skip down the hall to the bathroom. I glanced over at the clock. 3AM. I would have groaned out loud but that would have taken too much energy.

A minute or two later…

“Mommy, I wiped but I didn’t flush because I didn’t want to wake anyone up.”

“Thanks, sweetie. Go on back to bed.”


And I heard her skip back down the hall to her bedroom.

Sleep? For me, it was gone. Just like that I was turned into the early bird. Too bad I don’t like worms.

Show Off

My son finished his piano solo at the Christmas program. Oh Little Town of Bethleham. He played every note perfectly. I was so dang proud of him! I stopped the video I was taking with my smartphone so I could clap like a crazy woman. I *might* have even shouted, “You are so frickin’ awesome!” 

All of the other kids took a bow or curtsied while the audience clapped politely. My son? He paused right there at center stage, a slow grin spreading across his face. And then? 

He dabbed. 

Yes, the boy dabbed. In the middle of the church auditorium in front of hundreds of people, he dabbed. Dabbing, the weird dance move that appears as if you are sneezing at the same time as you are trying to fly off like a super hero.

People laughed. They screamed. They cried. Some whistled. One woman fainted. Strangers were giving him high fives and knuckles as he sauntered back to his seat. Every single boy that followed after him on stage also dabbed at the end of their performance.

And so I was left wondering how on earth did I end up with a cool kid? I was never that cool. I was so square I couldn’t even dream of being that cool. I am still terribly uncool, even in adulthood. Especially in adulthood….


campfire at night
I made my list and I checked it twice. 

Three times, in fact. 

When I pulled out of the driveway, I did so with confidence that everything important was packed and loaded up in the back.

It was not until the next morning back at the campsite, as I was preparing to wash the 10K of sweat off of my body, that I realized I had not packed clean panties.


And eeeeewwwww.

Figured. My brain was mush after a full week of the new electronic health record. Hence the list. And the double checking. There was nowhere nearby to get new ones and no one to borrow from. I was just gonna have to suck it up. Maybe some hand washing. Still, soggy underwear? Ick.

Three days later….

As I was packing everything up I found where my kids stashed them when I wasn’t looking looking.

At least we had the food and toothbrushes.

Meanwhile, those stinky underwear? 




“Um, Doc, I can’t do that.” A look of horror crossed her face.

“You are here for your physical, right?” I checked the schedule again to make sure I was not hallucinating. Then, I double checked her preventive care, just in case. She was indeed due.

“Well. I wasn’t expecting to have to do… that.

“Technically, I can’t force you to do anything. It IS your body, after all.” I shrugged, trying to use my body language to convey that I was not trying to pressure her. 

“It’s just,” she leaned forward and whispered, “I didn’t shave my legs.”

“Look, I haven’t shaved my legs in ages, either, so you have nothing to worry about.” I lifted a pants leg to show off a bit of scruffy ankle. “See? No judgement here!”

We both laughed.

She got her PAP done.

A Day of Patient Comments

carvings, Field Museum in Chicago

She looked me up and down disapprovingly. “Doc, that scarf. You need more color. Too much black and brown today.” 

Several hours later, a different patient… Same scarf. “Doc, you look so gorgeous! I adore that scarf!!!”

“Doc, we love your butt! We could just eat that butt up!” From two grown women in with their elderly mother. 

“Oh, Doc, I know it’s a benign skin lesion. I’ve got another one over here. I just wanted you to hold my leg like that. Made my day. My year! I might be old, but I’m not dead…”

“Doc, I am glad to see you don’t drive a sissy sports car!” Yelled across the parking lot by a patient as I was getting out of my big black pick-up truck.

“The only good thing about coming to the doctor is that I get to see you!”

Pan, at On The Road Cooking, asked about best patient one-liners. These are a few. I’ve done a bunch of other posts over the years with funny things patients say. While some of the things may seem shocking to you, I am used to it. Provided they are not being ugly, I just let it go. 

Fiction Friday will start next week!


hissing cockroaches
I was asked by dfolstad58 from Life and Random Thinking what irrational fear I possess. As it turns out, I have two.

The first is that I am afraid someone will think I am stupid. It is a deep seated childhood thing that is not going to go away. I am starting to find my peace with that.

The second is cockroaches. But not just any cockroaches. BIG cockroaches. The picture above happens to show a cluster of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. In the Southern US we have a cockroach that is a bit bigger than this. They can grow to be the size of your big toe fist foot and they don’t hiss. 

They growl at you.

Now, as you are no doubt well aware, cockroaches are disgusting, even nauseating. They crawl around in sewers, feeding on rotting, fettid debris and God knows what else in your walls. I take one in my house as a personal affront, an assault on the sanctity and cleanliness of my home. This is a big problem because I happen to live in an old house with tons of cracks and crevices and detritus…. a veritable cockroach heaven.

The worst part about a roach of this size is that they squirt and crunch when you step on them. I cannot stand the squirt-and-crunch from any insect, but especially not from a giant, growling cockroach. Fortunately my kids are big enough there is no risk of one of them getting carried off at this point.


What does an independent, resourceful woman do when she spies one crawling across the floor? 

Her floor? 

First, I let out a good long shriek. I do not know for sure if cockroaches can hear but I like to think of this as a stun tactic.

Then, I grab a glass and turn it over on top of the bastard. Once one of the beasts escaped by throwing itself against the side until the glass toppled over, so for good measure I pile on a couple of good, thick medical school textbooks or perhaps A through J of one of those old encyclopedia sets. You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

And finally? 

I wait. I wait for someone or something that can take it from here. If I shrieked loud enough at the first sighting, often help has already arrived. If I am alone, though…. Sometimes, that wait can last a very long time. Days, in fact. 

In case you were wondering, these cockroaches don’t just give up and die…. Oh, no. I have even had one trick me by playing dead for a few days only to scurry off lightening fast once I removed the glass and tried to sweep the carcass up for disposal. Sneaky buggers.

So there you go. My fears. The fear of being labeled stupid and the fear of cockroaches. I am not sure which is worse…..

The Crevice

Chicago Sky

I am not entirely certain why he comes to see me every year for his physical.

Each visit is exhausting. I make a statement, he argues. I argue back. He has said that he considers himself to be smarter than any physician. I try to show him why he is wrong.

Thrust. Parry. Stab. Duck. Turn. 

I felt I had managed quite well this time, getting through the visit without bloodshed. I was quite proud of myself. 

Relief flooded over me. 

“Well, I am done here. My medical assistant will be in in a few minutes to take you over to the lab.” I smiled to myself as I picked up my computer and started quickly for the door hoping to get there before he said anything else.

“Hey, Doc!” I could sense a sort of glee in his tone.

I cringed inside. I turned around and smiled at him, hoping to show that he was not going to get to me. 

“Yes?” I asked, keeping my tone even.

“I just wanted you to know that you have something stuck in your teeth when you smile.”

I ran the tip of my tongue over the teeth. Sure enough, I could feel a big chunk of the breakfast sausage I had snatched from my daughter’s plate on the way out the door that morning had lodged itself between two teeth in that sneaky crevice right at the gum line. 

Damn it!

He had struck the final blow. 

This time.