One of the fun things about WordPress is that it tracks all sorts of interesting stats about blog traffic.  Among this information is a list of terms that have been typed into search engines that have resulted in hits to this blog.  Some of them are not surprising, and some are just plain odd. 

For instance, recently, someone came here after searching for “food for a good attitude”.  I’m not really sure what they were looking for, but one possibility is that they were researching foods that cause one to have a good attitude.  I know what gives me a good attitude:  coffee.  I also know what gives me a bad attitude: lack of coffee.  Pretty simple.  Other food items that give me good attitude are Godiva key lime truffles, bacon, mayonnaise, and Square Donuts.  Foods that give me a bad attitude are Hamburger Helper, beets, and diet salad dressing.  Or perhaps, the searcher was looking into methods of positive reinforcement involving rewarding good attitudes with food.  While I am highly motivated by food, I’m thinking it might be a dangerous proposition to try to withhold my coffee—especially if I’m already in a bad mood to begin with.  I’m pretty sure that would be counter-productive, and might even result in an episode of Rescue 911.

Another person got here by searching for “pic of a foob being giving out to people”.  I’m not sure that I understand what that means, but I’m picturing some sort of disaster response team handing out cases of bottled water and foobs to tsunami victims.  Maybe that’s where The Foob is—he’s decided to go on a mission trip.  Okay, probably not.

There was a search for “Dr Birhiray”.  No great shock there.  But it does make you wonder if that was Dr B googling himself to see if anybody was writing about him.  If so, I’m sure he was pleased to see all the nice things I’ve said about him, and the fact that I’ve never written about him turning into The Hulk like Dr Haerr. 

Finally, there was a search for “bald head sweating from cancer”.  I know all about having a bald head, sweating, and cancer, not to mention the three of those together.  In fact, I spent last summer completing an extensive research project on the topic of bald, sweaty, cancerness.  This was a total-immersion experience, where I actually lived as a bald, sweaty cancer girl for several months.  Amazing, I know.  But it’s really the only way to get a truly authentic experience. During this time, I became fluent in cancer-speak, with a special emphasis on the breast cancer dialect.  I also learned the ins and outs of cancer culture.  I hope to apply this experience in my work as an ambassador on behalf of the Cancer-American community.


Flashback Friday: Convoy

truck001.jpgLooking at this picture, you might think that I would write a post about Dad, my Hee Haw bib overalls, or the family garden.  (After all, we were on a vegetable theme on Thursday)  However, that’s just not the way my mind works.  When I looked at this picture, one of the things I noticed is that we’re sitting on the hood of my dad’s Ford Courier. 

Those of us who lived through the 70’s no doubt remember the movies Smoky and the Bandit, Convoy, and the whole trucker craze.  It cracks me up to even type that, because only in the 70’s could truckin’ have been glamorous.  I’m pretty sure that unlike other things that eventually come back into the realm of cool, truckin’ won’t.  Now, I’m not hatin’ on truck drivers.  However, the one thing that really made this whole thing a big deal back then was the CB radio.  Everybody and their mama had a CB, including my dad and his Ford Courier.  Why?  Well, because it was cool, that’s why.  I mean, we probably weren’t going to need to find out where the smokies were on our way to the dump.  But, doggone it, we had our CB just in case.

But CB’s were cool, and truckers had cool handles like Rubber Duck and Spider Mike, and they said stuff like, “Breaker 1-9, Pig Pen, got yer ears on?”  Plus, having a CB meant that you could (*gasp*) actually talk to people in other vehicles!  Within a certain distance, of course.  These days, that’s no big deal at all.  Shoot, you can talk to people in other vehicles on other continents if you want to—courtesy of the cell phone. 

So, I’m afraid that trucker culture probably won’t be coming back in vogue.  But the CB radio, like Hee Haw and my dad’s Ford Courier, will always be loved here at the flashback.  So the next time you call me, feel free to use a trucker handle, like Big Nasty or Widow Woman, and I’ll say, “What’s yer twenty?”

Tasty Thursday – The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra

I ran across an article online today about the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra.  These folks play music on instruments made from fresh veggies.  Of course, since fresh vegetables are pretty perishable, new instruments have to be constructed each time the orchestra plays.  Kind of reminds me of something my brother-in-law, The Carnivorous Preacher, would do if he were a vegetarian.  The Carnivorous Preacher is famous not only for being able to make music with just about anything, but also for his penchant for creating things—most notably things made from the inedible parts of deer.   I’m sure that if there were a local group that got together and made music with hooves, hides and antlers, he’d be all over it.

Back to the Vegetable Orchestra.  At their website,, you can hear samples from their cds—yeah, they actually record this stuff.  Mini Me and I listened to a couple of clips.  One sounded like knapsacks full of angry monkeys, tied to 15 cranky toddlers, being chased through a pudding swamp by an elephant with PMS.  But, hey, if you’re into that sort of thing, and you’re planning to be in Vienna in May, there’s a concert scheduled for the 10th.  Go for it.

Or perhaps you’d prefer to just make some soup, instead.

Tortellini Vegetable Soup
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
1 cup each frozen corn, sliced carrots and cut green beans
1 cup diced uncooked potatoes
1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups frozen cheese tortellini
Salt & Pepper to taste 

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute the onion and celery in oil. Add the broth, corn, carrots, beans, potatoes, and seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add the tomatoes and tortellini. Simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until tortellini is heated through. Makes 10 servings.


I have some bad news… 

The Foob is missing.  I think he may have run away.  Like a little prosthetic hobo, with all his worldly possessions bound up in a bandana and hanging from a stick over his shoulder. 

Oh, Foob!  What have I done to make you want to leave?  Was it because I wouldn’t let you blog on your own, despite the fact that you have no hands with which to type?  Did I not do a good enough job removing all of the orange M&Ms from your dressing room candy dish?  Were your crown and scepter not adequately polished?  Perhaps your latte was too weak.  Or maybe you’re still harboring a grudge about being left home on Christmas Eve.  Sure I’ve got that new foob, but he doesn’t mean anything to me—I swear! 

Come back, Foob.  I promise things will be different this time.

Survey Says….

I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting the results of my not-quite-scientific research project: The Most Insensitive (or just plain stupid) Thing Someone Has Said to Me About Cancer.  We’ve got some doozies in the bunch.  A couple of them made me say to myself, “Dang!  And I thought I’d heard some rude comments!”  You’ll notice that I’ve organized the responses into four categories.  Those of you who are looking for the right things to say to the cancer girl in your life might want to make a note to steer clear of anything that would fall under these.  Otherwise you may one day see some stupid thing you said posted here in a future installment.

It’s all about me ~

Sure, you’ve got the cancer, but what about my needs?

After someone had gotten their income info for tax season, they said,  “I made less money this year compared to last year—-it must have been all the days off I took to help you I didn’t realize I lost that much.” (Needless to say for the $ amount they said  they would have had to help me for the equivalent of 60 days. And I know they took off like 5-6) 

One of my friends, who I love dearly…once said to me when spouting off about her mid-life crisis “You don’t really know what it’s like to feel old and like you only have SO many years left to do the things you want.”  She said this to me, sitting on my couch as I stared back at her with bald chemo head. 

After I’d been through two lumpectomies, chemo and a mastectomy, a lady I know found a lump and had a surgical biopsy.  She found out it was benign, and when I saw her, I said, “That’s great news.”  “Yeah,” she replied, “but I just hate to have a scar.”  Okay, let me get this straight: you don’t have cancer, and you’re complaining? To me?  About a scar on the breast that you still have?

With friends like you, who needs Adriamyacin?

When I was first going through chemo, one person said… (they had just heard I was diagnosed) “I can’t believe you have cancer… I would think you would look sickly and thin and you don’t, in fact you have gained weight. You should really try and eat healthy now that you have been diagnosed that will make a big difference.”  Breast cancer or no breast cancer no woman ever wants to hear that she’s gained weight!

“You look really great, you must not have had the real chemo.”

“At least you caught it early.”  Really?  My surgeon said this thing has probably been growing for over 5 years.  Or did you just mean before it killed me?

I was just glad when people said s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g.  What I hated was the crickets chirping in the background uncomfortable silence when I told people that I had been diagnosed. 

You must have done something~Because otherwise, why would you have it when I don’t?

“How did you get it?”  I kid you not. And this, from a woman with a master’s degree who once called herself my friend.

Upon hearing about my diagnosis, a woman pulled me aside and told me all about how she’d just read on the internet how deodorant causes breast cancer—the implication being that I have only myself to blame.

More than once I was asked, “Do you smoke?”

Should I make fried chicken, or pot roast for your funeral dinner?

It wasn’t what was said but what wasn’t said.  The looks I got from some had already written me off.  Their face said loud and clear, “Ah, she was such a nice person too.  I really liked her”. 

When a co-worker of my husband heard about my cancer, he said to hubby, “Oh man.  There’s not really anything they can do for that, is there?”

From an acquaintance: “So-and-so told me you have breast cancer.  My aunt had breast cancer, too.  She died last year.”

The one that sticks in my mind is an encounter with one of the facilities staff who, after I told him about my diagnosis, asked me, “you aren’t going to die are ya?”  This may sound strange, but up until that point the possibility of dying had never crossed my mind. 


Flashback Friday: The Year My Mom Saved Easter

 When I was a kid, the Easter Bunny would always leave a basket of sugary goodness for me on Easter morning. He’d also hide eggs around the yard for me to find. Well, almost always. One year, I awoke only to find that there was no basket. Heartbroken, I went to my mom, who was still in bed and lamented that the Easter Bunny had forgotten me. Mom, who was clearly as shocked as I was about the situation, instructed me to go back to my room and shut the door. She was going to call the Easter Bunny, and make him come back to our neighborhood.

Yeah! You go Mom! You tell that Easter Bunny he’d better get his cotton tail back over here and bring me some chocolate!

I wasn’t sure why I had to go back to my room. Maybe so I could get dressed in my best double plaid Easter egg hunting suit. Or maybe because my Mom was going to tell ol’ E.B. about himself in language not fit for my tender ears. But sure enough, in about 15 minutes Mom came and got me and said that the Easter Bunny had brought my basket.

Good old Mom. Caring nurturer, keeper of hearth and home, kicker of no-good-slackin’ Easter Bunny booty.

Tasty Thursday: Baggity Bag Bag

This Tasty Thursday’s post doesn’t involve a recipe.  Instead, I want to talk about my grocery shopping companions.  No, not Mini Me and the Hubster.  I’m talking about my reusable shopping bags.  Now, you may be thinking, “Moody, I can’t believe you manage to remember to take shopping bags with you to the grocery store.”  Well, I do, and I’ll tell you why.  Because my loathing of plastic grocery bags is more powerful than any cancer drug-induced memory loss.  It’s not so much the bags themselves as the sheer quantity of them that was sending me over the edge.  Sure, you can reuse them sometimes, but the supply far exceeds the usage.  This is because the average Stuffmart employee uses 47 bags to bag 26 items.  “Ooh, that looks heavy, better double bag that…oh, hey meat, better triple bag that, wrap the bag around, tie it in a knot, and drop it in another bag….shampoo, that needs its own separate bag…better put that gallon of milk in a bag, or two, ‘cause it’s heavy…”  It just never ends.  And so, my utility room was being over run with plastic bags. 

Then, one day, when shopping at my favorite grocery store, I noticed the reusable bags.  Sturdy, big enough for a good amount of groceries, and only 99 cents.  I decided to get a couple.  You know what?  I LOVE these things.  I now have three of them, and they will hold most of my groceries.  Although, the baggers still ask me if I want my milk in a separate bag.  I’m not sure what’s up with that, because friends, if a gallon of milk gives way, ain’t no little namby pamby plastic grocery bag gonna contain it.  Another thing I like about them is that unlike the evil plastic bags, they are not painful to carry.  Ever almost amputate your hand trying to carry all of the groceries in one trip?  Not with these puppies.

One more thing…if you’re still thinking I’m crazy, consider this: those plastic bags are made from petroleum.  Price of gas got you down?  Hey, maybe there’d be a bigger supply if so much petroleum weren’t being used for all these stinkin’ bags.  Just a little food for thought here on Tasty Thursday.