Appalachian Lite?

So remember this post and this post a while back on some of the cultural differences I’ve encountered down here? 

DSCN2645I no longer find them so different or strange.  In fact…

I say “Appa-latch-ian” instead of “appa-lay-shun”.  I have caught myself saying the phrases “I don’t care to…” and “I appreciate ya!” more times than I care to admit.  I have even said something like “I’m going to THE Wal-Mart.”  And many, many times I have use the word “y’all.”  I’ve blessed people’s hearts and I’ve tried fried green tomatoes and soup beans.  I’ve even gone to music on the square and listened to some bluegrass.  And more times than I can count I have been accused of having a southern accent by my Yankee friends and family. {I still think I don’t have one}

Things I haven’t done… yet…

    • said “the Interstate” or “the four lane” – it’s still the highway to me!

    • attempted to make good ole southern biscuits, white gravy or fried chicken in my home

    • eaten anything pickled {ex: pickled pigs feet}

    After just 6 short months of living here I realize that I am somewhat adapting.


    I still miss Meijer!



    Words That Heal

    If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.
    ~Isaac Asimov

    I was reading this article today about how writing through a serious illness can be cathartic.  I wholeheartedly agree.

    I may have started this blog under the guise of keeping friends and family informed about my progress through surgery and treatment but it evolved into so much more. 

    I started with just a few posts that were more factual than feeling.  Soon enough I was talking about the confusion, pain, fear, loneliness, anxiety… all the things that I couldn’t say out loud when asked “how are you doing?”  Those who asked such a question received an ever cheery smile and the upbeat “I’m doing good…”, “Feeling much better thanks…”, or “Everything is going really well…”

    Truth is sometimes it wasn’t all hunky-dory.  Truth is having cancer is never ok.

    I feel like my writing through my cancer journey was honest even if it wasn’t always light hearted.  I also think that writing about it was the cheapest form of therapy I could have found {with the exception of Gilda’s Club of course!}.  It helped me organize my thoughts and feelings and really reflect… and now that I’m on the other side it helps me to remember things completely lost to cancer brain.

    I’ve realized that even though I started this blog for my friends and family, it isn’t about who reads it, its about the life I’m able to live because I wrote it.

    Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
    ~William Wordsworth


    Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls. 
    ~Melody Beattie


    Pepsi or Coke?


    At work we have two soda machines that distribute various Pepsi products.  The price for a 20 oz bottle has always been $1.25 until the most recent fill up. 

    Since then…

    The price for a 20oz bottle = $99.95

    I’ve always been a Pepsi girl but with these prices I may have to switch to Coke!

    So what do you say?

    Coke or Pepsi?


    Well It’s Official…

    I have resigned from my management position here effective July 22nd.


    There are many reasons behind this decision some of which I am not prepared to discuss just yet.  Some of which I might never discuss on le bloggy blog.

    I am not certain where I am going or what I am going to do just yet.  That is such an odd feeling.  I’ve always known where I was going before I went.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have ideas floating around… this girl has no shortage of those puppies… but so many of them are in the long range category. I just have to start doing the little things to get the momentum going.  And above all I need to follow my heart and live my dreams.  Life is too short not to.

    Stay tuned dear readers… its about to get interesting around here!

    Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.
    -Orison Swett Marden


    Saturday Seven

    saturday seven
    Trying something new today… the Saturday Seven. Just seven random things I’ve been thinking about this week most of which would not make up an entire blog post by themselves but are worth sharing or at least I think they are!  Link up if you want to play along!
    One. In honor of ones, I realized its been a while since I’ve done an update to my 101 in 1001 list.  So here are a few items I’ve crossed off and some I’m still working on… 
    • lose 25 lbs – sorry to say I’m still in the working on it phase
    • Pay off car & credit cards – working on it! Only 4 more car payments!
    • Go to a live musical – tickets bought for Beauty & The Beast at the Barter next week!
    • Local restaurants – new one to add: Cranberry Thistle, Jonesborough, TN
    • Create a calendar to track birthdays – downloaded a template to help me do this… just haven’t filled it out yet!
    • Grow my hair 5in below my shoulders – currently at 4 inches
    • Get a massage & get a pedicuredone on Feb 19th in Gatlinburg!
    • Send mail to someone once a month – April, May, June: check!
    • Read a book starting with every letter of the alphabet – new letters claimed: Bountiful Container, Outlive Your Life.
    • Read a book in one day: The Final Summit
    • Read 101 books – new to add: Wasted, The Secret, Grits Guide To Life, 33 Ways to Tell Your Fortune (that makes 17)
    • Watch 26 movies {alphabet} & 10 classic movies I’ve never seen– working on this with help from Netflix
    Two. I slept in until 8am for the first time in months. Yes, I said months. And yet I’m still exhausted… maybe it takes more than one night to get rid of sleep deprivation?
    Three.  My horoscope for today reads: “Your house of career is undergoing a slowaries-0 and profound change as you shift from one way of working to another.  You’ll have great potential and options as Uranus in your house of self combines with Jupiter in your house of money to bring a delicious set of planetary helpers.  Venus and the Sun in your house of words could help you write your future.”  This is more scary true than you know… more to come.
    Four.  Remember the apartment debacle?  I still haven’t heard boo from the management company after they swore they would “get on it” to “rectify the situation.”  This weekend will be devoted to formulating the next line of attack.  I gave them ample time to fix things. They chose not to. Now it’s on.
    Five.  Stress has been crazy lately… combined with the sleep deprivation and you get my body attacking itself… again. You can read more about that here, here, and here. Last night I noticed my parotid was pulling one of these again.  And the other symptoms of Sjogren’s are back as well… dry eyes, dry mouth, aching joints, brain fog, dry skin, fatigue.  Must manage stress to prevent flares.
    Six.  My plan for this weekend is to nap and to heal… and to clean my house and do laundry. Sigh…  where did the maid go? 
    Seven.  I made good on my promise.  I have tests and an endo appointment scheduled for early July.  Praying that the fears are all in my head and I get only good news.


    Grow A Pair

    Apparently I have.

    Grown a “pair” that is.grow a pairSo many people have told me in the last oh 8 months that I have balls and they are impressed and that I’m brave.  Even though I’ve heard it for a while now I still don’t quite understand.

    Am I really that gutsy?

    I don’t really think so.  I just follow my heart… and sometimes my head… and I just go for it and I don’t look back.  There is no room for regret.

    Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t but at least I’ve tried.  Every experience teaches you something about yourself or someone else or about life in general and it shapes who you are. 

    Life is out there and all you have to do is live it.

    One can never consent to creep when

    one feels an impulse to soar.

    – Helen Keller



    The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
    - William Jones

    DSCN2476That was the quote on my little flip calendar this morning.  Funny how I’ve had that calendar for years and years but this is the first time I’ve really taken notice of that saying.  Isn’t it funny how you can read things or hear things that hit at just the right moment.

    I’ve been doing a lot of introspection lately and this particular quote brought some anxieties surrounding certain issues to rest.  I haven’t yet made the vision boards I mentioned in my post a few days ago but the picture in my mind is becoming clearer every day. 

    Following your heart may not always be the easiest choice but its usually the best one.


    You Are What You… Think?

    I’ve been reading the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne lately – I even watched secret lolthe movie on Netflix one night when I was bored. {note: if you’ve read the book, the movie is nearly identical}  I mostly decided to read it because I was curious what all the hype and controversy had been about a few years ago.  I like to know about things rather than just object to them based on what others tell me I should think.

    Here I am reading The Secret and it seems like a simple enough principal… you get what you give.  If you give off feelings of anger or sadness you will get anger and sadness back.  Think about it… if you are feeling down and you let yourself stay in that mindset all day without trying to shift yourself to more positive thoughts… you can find yourself in a small bout of depression before you know it.

    So I start thinking about some of the bad things that have happened in my life and if I had somehow inadvertently brought them into my life.  The big obvious one of course is my cancer diagnosis.  Could I have actually put out some sort of vibe that later came into being in my body?  Could that vibe in combination with the power of “mind over matter” have contributed to it?

    Actually… yes.

    You see when I was in college I was assigned the task of tracing my family tree along with any associated diseases or conditions.  Many of my classmates found strong family histories of heart disease… I found that the majority of my ancestors had cancer.  I even said to my mom while working on the project “Well, it looks like I’m destined to get cancer at some point in my life!” as a semi-joke.  Guess what – I did.My Post Ablation Nuc Med Scan

    Do I believe that my thinking and saying I would get cancer actually caused my cell mutations?  No, not entirely. I also tend to believe that things happen for a reason {beyond our understanding} and I know that what I went through made me who I am today.

    But what could happen if I decidedly focused on the good things in life? Things I hope for or dream about… Rather than the twinge of sadness that happens when someone else gets engaged or pregnant, what would happen if I could truly feel happy for them and for my future self in that role?  Rather than feeling the weight of a debt, could I convey the feeling that I have more than enough to sustain me?  I look at it as a form of prayer… asking and believing you will be provided for… or giving thanks for what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t.

    It’s an interesting theory and one definitely worth a try.  I might even try making up a vision board or two so I can keep my focus on accomplishing my dreams.

    So what about you?  What positive dreams are you shifting your focus to?


    I’ve Got A Feelin

    June 12th, 2009 – …My doctor was nearly certain - in fact said he would be "very surprised"- if my full pathology came back as anything but benign. 

    We were both a little shocked when I went in to have my stitches out a week ago Friday and found that "Bob" had been sent to the Mayo Clinic for a second look. He said he would call me as soon as the reports from Mayo came back...

    So that is basically how exactly 2 months after my 30th birthday, I got the phone call telling me I have cancer”

    Today marks 2 years since I heard the words “You have cancer…” over that phone line.  2yr cakeIt’s a day I will never forget...  A day that changed my life forever.

    It seems like a lifetime ago but at the same time I know I’m not at that magical 5 years = cancer free mark yet.  It is probably why I have been dragging my feet to find a new endocrinologist and have my testing done.  I know I need to do that.  I know.  But I’m scared that there will be news I don’t want to hear.  That and Endos are notoriously prima donna like so meeting yet another one isn’t exactly high on my list.  I will make that appointment. I promise.

    So how am I celebrating 2 years of survivorship?  I don’t know yet.  I’m thinking of sleeping in, reading a good book, watching a new movie, and heading down to get a Peanut Butter Dream to stick 2 tiny little birthday candles in. 

    I’ll light those 2 little candles.  And while blowing them out I will make a little wish for all the dreams I’m holding in my heart.

    Because as I said one year ago today

    “Today is a day to celebrate every moment, to appreciate the little things, to stop and smell the roses, to live life to the fullest, to shout it from the rooftops! 

    I am here, I am healthy, I am loved, and I have a very long life in front of me.

    For today, I am pushing all of that away and am remembering that today is worth celebrating because life is worth celebrating!  Life in all its ups and downs is simply a gift every single day. 

    Today Every day is my most precious gift”



    How We Gonna Pay Last Year’s Rent?

    Ok I know I’m in nowhere near the predicament that the characters in RENT are facing, {eviction} but this whole renting debacle has this song running through my head.

    So in an attempt to clear up some of yesterday’s drama, I did a little digging today.

    Today it all started with a phone message response from the management company stating that my apartment had been re-rented on April 10th

    {Insert confusion here}

    The persons in office at my old complex had stated it was re-rented right away as in fire escapeJanuary or FebruaryBig difference in the refund coming my way between those two timeframes. So my next step was to call the apartment complex directly and get the exact date that my exact unit had been re-rented. 

    The story?  Well someone had put a deposit down on my apartment fairly quickly after my move out… and then at last minute pulled out of the deal. {jerk} So my apartment had been “on hold” for this person who then decided they didn’t want it and the complex then had to try to find another renter. {double jerk}  They finally did find another renter who moved in on April 10th not in January or February. {dangit}

    I’m still a little peeved at the management company for not informing me of this little fact because I’ve been paying $$ when I should be getting $$.  And I will still be writing a strongly worded letter if the situation is not resolved very quickly.  But for now, I am just very happy that my obligations have been fulfilled and its one less monthly debt to concern me.  And let’s face it, there are many other things I would rather spend that $710 on! moeny fan


    Caught Red Handed

    Not sure if it has been mentioned on le imageblog or not to date but when I moved from MI to TN I had to break my rental agreement.  Said rental agreement stated I had to pay through the end of my lease term or until my apartment was re-rented, whichever came first.

    Guess who has been paying the tidy sum of $710 every month since I moved out in addition to my current rental fees?  Moi.

    Guess who’s apartment was re-rented “right away – in January or February” {quote from the apartment complex office staff} but who has been paying the $710 every month because the management company did not inform her of the re-rental? Moi.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, guess who is owed some big time buckaroonies back in le bank account.  MOI!

    I am too tired tonight to compose a lovely “I dislike you very much” mail this evening but you can bet your bippy the aforementioned management company will be getting a piece of my mind tomorrow!


    Only Hope

    There's a song that's inside of my soul
    It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
    I'm awake in the infinite cold
    But You sing to me over and over and over again

    So I lay my head back down
    And I lift my hands
    and pray to be only Yours
    I pray to be only Yours
    I know now you're my only hope

    Sing to me the song of the stars
    Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
    and laughing again
    When it feels like my dreams are so far
    Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

    So I lay my head back down
    And I lift my hands and pray
    To be only yours
    I pray to be only yours
    I know now you're my only hope

    I give You my destiny
    I'm giving You all of me
    I want Your symphony
    Singing in all that I am
    At the top of my lungs I'm giving it back

    So I lay my head back down
    And I lift my hands and pray
    To be only yours
    I pray to be only yours
    I pray to be only yours
    I know now you're my only hope

    written by Switchfoot

    sung by Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember


    Let’s Try Something New: SOCS

    I’ve seen a few bloggers do this (Jenn, Dutch, Fadra) so I thought I would give it a try… and who doesn’t need a good brain dumping now and again, eh? Here goes…
    Ok so I’m hoping my timer actually works because I dropped it just as I was about to begin typing.  Plus it’s ancient and I never use it anymore because I have the handy one that comes on my stove.  I guess we shall see! 
    Today I’ve been up since about 5:30am – yes it is a Sunday and no I did not have to work.  I tried to go back to sleep, it just wasn’t going to happen today.  So I got up and made some quiche and then started my day…
    If you didn’t know, it is national Cancer Survivor’s Day and I donated my FB status to SU2C/Livestrong in honor of the day.  Then I decided cancer needed just a bit more a$$ kicking and I made up the team logo for the 3 Day and flyers for our upcoming event Grillin for the Girls.  Take that cancer! And as my lovely cousin so wisely put it in her status: Suck it cancer!  And now it is not even 2pm and I feel like I’ve been very productive – GO ME!
    What else is on my mind… oh let’s see… a little thing called GRAD SCHOOL.  Do I want to do it?  Do I not?  And if I do, what for?  How can I make that happen with a FT job?  And then there is the WHERE question… perhaps the biggest one of all…
    And with that my friends we have the buzzer… hmmm maybe my brain needs more than 5 minutes to fully dump?  Or perhaps I just need more practice… either way – Happy Cancer Survivors Day to all my fellow survivors out there!  Oh and if you didn’t know… yesterday was Hug Your Cat Day.. so make sure to hug your feline friend!

    This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

    • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
    • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw
    • Link up by clicking on the button below! 


    I Surrender!

    Nothing like getting a piece of mail that makes you feel like a criminal within the first sentence.  I recently received a letter from the city clerk’s office in my former place of residence and the very first sentence was this:

    “We have been notified by the Secretary of State that you may have surrendered your Michigan drivers license...”

    Is anyone else a little put off by the use of surrendered there?  I read that and at first I thought I was in major trouble and started racking my brain trying to michiganfigure out what I might have done wrong!  Then I read it again and realized they were just referring to me handing over my MI license when I got my new TN license and were wanting to confirm that I wanted my voting privileges revoked. 

    Thank you state of Michigan for temporarily freaking me out!