Mr. Poison Control


My son, as he progressed from being a toddler to being in preschool, decided that he would drive his father crazy.  He was greatly influenced by his sister, who was almost 2 years older, and would pretty much do what she said.  One day when I was at work and their dad was “babysitting” (why is it when the mom has them she is raising them, but when the dad has them he is “babysitting”), the two of them were supposed to be in their rooms playing.  He went to check on them, and found them in the bathroom.  They had pushed a stool up the sink and proceeded to climb up and peruse through the medicine cabinet.  They knew just what they were looking for, because somehow they had spied the baby aspirin, and somehow had gotten the lid off.  Of course Stephanie ratted Ricky out immediately when their dad entered the room, and after noticing the open bottle he realized some of the pills were missing.  Steph repeatedly denied taking any pills, and when Rick was questioned he responded “Well daddy, I had a feber!”  Yes, it was a feber, with a “b”, not a fever with a “v”…..this then led to the frantic call to poison control and the decision that he probably didn’t get enough to be fatal, but a quick trip to the doctor was recommended.

    Probably 6 months later he came to talk to his dad, who was again “babysitting’ and his breath smelled like perfume.  After much denying that he had done anything wrong, it was discovered that he had in fact gone to the bedroom, somehow gotten up to reach on the dresser, and had taken a good swig out  of a bottle of my  Bird of Paradise perfume.  First off…for those who can remember the smell of Bird of Paradise, it was truly  appalling.  I had it because it was a gift, and was in a cute decorative bottle. We were young parents without extra money for chotchkies, which according to the urban dictionary means “a small piece of worthless crap”, so this perfume bottle was a beautiful accent piece to our dresser.  How in the world this child got that uncorked bottle to his nose, and then actually drank any is besides me.  I guess it’s true when they say there is no accounting for taste 🙂  At this point there was a pattern beginning to start and action needed to be taken.  Once again another call to poison control, which led to another hurried doctors appointment, and it was decided that maybe stiffer consequences needed to be taken to avoid this happening again.  We had lucked out twice, but the next time it could be fatal, since clearly he would eat or drink anything, regardless of the smell.  He was then given some Ipecac, which is given to make someone throw up after they have ingested something they shouldn’t have.  Now, this 4-year-old had no idea what was going to happen, and he happily drank the syrupy liquid in the doctor’s office.  Within a few minutes the hurling began, he spewed on the floor of the exam room, the waiting room, the floor and seat of the car, the pharmacy floor, and then for good measure he hit my back steps and kitchen throw rug.  I will have to say, he never ate or drank anything again unless he knew it was safe.  My Mr. Poison Control had finally learned his lesson ♥


Pumpkin Sheet Cake

4 large eggs

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup oil

15 oz pumpkin puree

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups flour

Mix eggs, sugar and oil together.

Add in pumpkin puree.

Mix in dry ingredients.

Pour into sheet cake pan that has been sprayed with Pam (or brand you like)

Bake 350 degrees for 24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.



3/4 cup butter softened

6 oz cream cheese softened

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar.

Combine and beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cake.

Cancer…I HateThat Word


 “Her cancer has returned and it’s peppered throughout both of her lungs.  I’m sorry.”  Those were the words that my sisters, dad and I heard from the surgeon that beautiful July afternoon in the family conference room.   We knew that there was a slim chance that the cough that had been racking my mothers body for months was not cancer, but we always held hope.  Five years earlier we stood at the foot of her bed and heard her family doctor proclaim to us that she had a mass in her colon, and it looked to be cancerous.  My mom was still very sleepy from the colonoscopy so we were not sure she heard his proclamation.  In complete and utter shock, my youngest sister, dad and I bolted out of different doors, leaving my other sister, Kelly, at her bedside.  It was a horrible and selfish thing to do, but we needed to compose ourselves before we relayed the news to her.  She went through surgery to remove the mass, had chemotherapy and the cancer was in remission within 6 months.  We really didn’t discuss it much, because in our family you remain stoic and you “do what you have to do” in order to get the job done.  I had so much respect for this woman who gave me birth.  She went to her chemo treatments in the morning, and then went to work in the afternoon.  If there were any side effects we were unaware of it, for she never complained.  This was her private journey, and we respected that. Her only fear was that she was going to lose her hair.  I smile as I type this because she was such a beautiful and proud lady, and we were pleased that the poison coursing through her veins to kill the cancer cells, did not take her hair.  Five years had passed, with each check up bringing good news, and at the five-year mark she had won the fight.

The cough began early spring of 2001.  My sister and I are both nurses, and we tried in vain to talk her into getting a chest x-ray.  She was being treated  for asthma and bronchitis by the same family doctor that had diagnosed the colon cancer years earlier.  What was he thinking?  Could he not make the connection between the cough and a possible reoccurrence of the cancer?  Why would he not refer her for a chest x=ray?  She was in charge and while we made our concerns clear to her, I think her feeling was that if he didn’t mention it, then it wasn’t necessary.  To this day my sister still carries the guilt of not making her go for an x-ray.  I tell her repeatedly that you were not going to make her do anything, and I think she knew in her heart that her cancer had returned.  The thinking is “If they don’t tell me I have it, then I don’t!”   She is finally hospitalized with “bronchitis” which leads to a collapsed lung.  Her doctor attempts to put in a chest tube at her bedside as we rush to the hospital.  It is apparent as I enter the room that there is a problem with the chest tube placement, as her face, neck and upper chest were swollen, and her the tissue under her skin felt  like rice krispies.  We then literally bully her doctors associate to release her so we can transport her to Springfield where her care will be taken over by Dr. Hazelrigg, who had previously performed chest surgery on my dad. We had total faith in him, and at this point we would move heaven and earth to save this wonderful woman.  She is admitted and many tests, CT scans, MRI’s and consultations are completed.  It was decided that exploratory surgery would be completed and a date is set.  I can remember so clearly sitting in that waiting room, watching families go into the consultation room, only to exit the room in tears.  I said to my sister, “I pray the nurse doesn’t come out and tell us to wait for the doctor in that room!”  Shortly after the words left my mouth, the nurse came out and we were herded into that room.  The door was quietly closed leaving us in stunned silence wating for the confirmation of our fears that had plagued us all spring and summer.  Dr. Hazelrigg enters the room and the rest is a blur….”There was too much cancer to remove….”  “We just closed her up…”  “Take her home and make her comfortable….”  “I’m sorry…”  My mom was 63 years old, she was my rock,  how could I live without my mom?  We put on our brave faces and go to take her place at her bedside as she slowly wakes up from surgery…..not knowing there would only be 6 weeks left ♥

My mom in the red holding my nephew.

My aunt Lois, her sister,  next to her.

Sorry Bambi


 Today I did it….I interrupted the fall hunting schedule….I also probably interrupted the fall mating season….Yep, I did it all by myself….I maimed and probably killed Bambi with my SUV.  I am buzzing down the interstate at dawn this morning, minding my own business and BAM there she was.   Followed by a BAM, CRUNCH, SLAM, and she was history.  When I left town this morning, for my 30 minute commute to work, I noticed quite a bit of fresh blood on the pavement on the same interstate, closer to home, and knew the likely hood that one had been killed during the night.  I remember asking myself “I wonder what it feels like to hit a deer,” since I had never hit one in the 20 plus years of commuting.  Little did I know that 20 minutes later I would answer my question.  I had never stuck anything of that size, even though I did take out a family of opossums crossing the road in the dark years ag0.  I didn’t feel bad because #1…they are ugly prehistoric mutants and @2…they should have crossed the road faster!  Actually, I’m kidding, because the sound of my tires running over each body was very disheartening.

So here I am, after hitting this beautiful creature, continuing to drive to work, not knowing what to do next.  It was dark, and I could not think of a thing I could do for the deer at this point, so I drove well below the speed limit for the next 5 miles to work.  I knew there was damage to my SUV, because I could see my left headlight now hanging down the side of the car.  I prayed that it would just hang on there and let me get to work, which it did.  I pull into the parking lot with the dawn lifting, but still dark enough that I couldn’t see exactly how much damage there was.  I was able to tell that there was a gaping hole where my headlight was, and I decided that couldn’t be good.  I then tried to make all of the calls to the appropriate people…insurance, county police, state police,  body shop, my sister to see if I could borrow one of her cars when mine goes into the shop, my daughter so she can bring in duct tape when she comes to work, insurance adjuster and that was just the beginning of my adventure for the day.

We then ventured out in the daylight, armed with duct tape to survey the damage in the light.  Holy Mother of Pearl….it was much much worse in the sun….I just stood there with my mouth open and stared.  The headlight was still hanging, the area surrounding my tire was gone, my front quarter panel was squished up and bent, my fender was messed up beyond repair and who knows were my fog light went to….so my co-worker Rick went to work and taped everything down, weaving wires and shoving plastic, and taping..taping…taping.  I was surprisingly strong until the saw the bits and pieces of fur embedded in the grill, then it was time for me to have a seat.  By the time we were done, we had been joined by 2 other men, and the three of them looked the vehicle over, each shooting me an estimate on what they think it will cost to fix.  I needed to go back to work and take 2 Tylenol………………………………….

Reflecting on the day I have come to many realizations…

1. My car is drive-able and fixable.

2.  I didn’t get hurt, other that some powerful ribbing I took from my co-workers.

3. I didn’t hurt anyone else because it happened so fast I didn’t even apply my brake lights.

4.  I got to add another thing to my list of thing I haven’t done yet in my life.

5.  Poor Bambi…she thought she had out-run the amorous buck and the sneaky hunters, only to get picked off on the interstate.

6.   If I hear “doe a dear, a female deer” one more time, I’m going to scream………♥