Giant donut


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Greetings from Topeka, Kansas

These two buildings are across the street from one another.

Which does a better job of displaying God’s love?






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Frivolity at the Family Practice

I’ve been going to the same family practice for primary care issues for over ten years. Evergreen Family Health is located in Williston, VT and isn’t really all that close to our house in Richmond, but we started going there years ago when we did live much closer.

We get along pretty well with an Evergreen PA (physician assistant) named Molly and so we always ask for her. She does a better job and takes more of an interest in our health than a lot of regular doctors do.

Today I went in to talk to her about the buproprion prescription she’d started me on a few weeks ago. When I walked in to the waiting room, the receptionist handed me a laminated form and a dry-erase marker so I could fill out why, specifically, I was there and if I had any questions. I assume it’s a way to jog people’s memory so they don’t get halfway home and then remember that they needed to get refills on their prescriptions.

I tend to have an imbecilic sense of humor when afforded the opportunity. Thus, today when I looked at the question “Why are you here today?” I wrote down “Buproprion medicine check,” stopped for a second, then added “Cha-Cha lessons” on the second line.

Last time I wrote “What is the capital of Burkina Faso?” on the line that said “Do you have any questions you’d like answered today?” Tip of the hat to my Blacksburg High School acquaintance, Christian Rojas, who had an obsession with the capital of Upper Volta (now called Burkina Faso) and wound up getting a question on his physics final exam demanding that he plot the vector from Blacksburg to Ouagadougou.


When Molly came into the exam room, she had a medical student with her, a family practice intern who, as she put it, would be “all baked in about six more weeks and ready to go out into the world.”

Molly asked if it was okay for Kyle, the intern, to meet with me. I said “Why not?”

She said “I told him ‘this one’s a bit of a challenge.'” Then she glanced down at the laminated form and saw what I’d written and said “Annnnnd there we go!”

Not sure what it says about me that they use me for training family practice interns in what “challenging” patients are like. But hey.




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Iced Tea

Tropical Spice chai tea

I’ve tried in recent years to avoid pounding the caffeine as much as I used to. I gave up coffee altogether a few years ago but still drink green tea and the chocolate chai tea latte at Starbucks and have a Diet Coke or a Coke Zero now and then. So, no, I’m not totally abstaining, but I’m trying not to flat-out pound the stuff either.

The other day I had the urge to make a pitcher of brewed ice tea, using the Tropical Chai Spice Tea from Upton Tea Imports. I drank about half of it the other day and just finished the rest. Now I’m wishing I had a lot more. There’s something about the first day warm enough to open all the windows that just calls for a cold glass of iced tea, caffeine be damned. (“Warm enough to open all the windows” is Vermont-speak for 60 degrees Fahrenheit.)

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My Prediction for the 2014 Atlanta Braves season

No one asked, but I’m going to go on record here anyway since today is Opening Day (at least as far as the Braves are concerned): the Braves will finish with a winning record, but only just, and finish 2nd in the National League East behind the Nationals. I’m thinking something like 84-78 would be about the best possible outcome. 81-81 wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’m mainly praying that the Braves don’t finish below .500.

The Braves’s starting lineup is decimated. The outfield has forgotten how to bat. Their catchers can hit, but are defensive liabilities. First base and shortstop are good. The bullpen is excellent if no more injuries mount up.

If it weren’t for the absolute detritus that makes up the rest of the National League East (the Marlins, Phillies, and Mets are even worse than the Braves), things would look even more bleak.

C’est la vie. I’m still looking forward to listening to games. (I have the MLB At Bat app on my phone and tablet so I can hear games with the Braves’ announcers calling the action.)

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The Great Silverware Wormhole?

Does anyone else have silverware in their silverware drawer that you have NO IDEA where it came from, that doesn’t match the set(s) that you normally use?

Silverware!We realized today that we’d accumulated quite a bit in our silverware drawer, tucked in at the front where it was sort of a nuisance when you reached back to get to the actual organized silverware in their individual little knives/forks/spoons compartments. I hauled it out and Carole found the Ziploc bag in the basement where, over the last 18 years, we’ve been tossing other excess silverware whenever the amount in the drawer got to be too inconvenient. And wow, there’s a lot of it.

We washed it all on a sani cycle before sorting it out, with the thought of throwing some away and donating some of the rest to whomever takes excess silverware (Goodwill, I guess), and it really was something to behold. Maybe four or five spoons that are in that mess are there because they fell into the garbage disposal and got battered around a bit before we could intervene, but the rest is just accumulation from God knows where. Eighteen years’ worth.

If anyone’s missing any, it’s possible that yours fell through a wormhole and wound up in our house. If that’s so, perhaps you got our missing socks in return.


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Kitty Anxiety and Prozac?

IMG_3394We brought home a long-haired black kitty and a short-haired black kitty from the shelter last June. They had always been together, at their previous home, at the shelter, and then with us. I think that they may have been abused at their original, pre-shelter home.

The short-haired kitty, whom we named Marie, has started climbing into laps and being affectionate, but is still skittish. The long-haired kitty, whom we named Jacqueline (Jacquie for short) though, is still extremely skittish, and runs like hell and hides whenever we come into the room. We made her a special “cat cave” under a table with blankets and we almost never disturb her in there. We know safety is important to cats. But here we are, 9 months later, and she’s really basically just as terrified of us now as she was when we first brought her home. We’ve tried using a Feliway diffuser in the room, and that didn’t seem to help either.

I asked a tech at our veterinarian about this over the phone today and the vet tech said “Sometimes we use stuff like Prozac. We can go over it in more detail when you bring her in for her shots on Monday.”

But that said, has anyone else out there had any issues like this, and used tranquilizers or anti-anxiety medications or Prozac or anything? Did it work? Was it a long-term thing or a short-term thing?

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