Our Sweet Sarah Beth


Darling Little Debbie


Friday, November 21, 2008

War of the Words

Those of you who live here may have seen this already, but it is my pleasure to share this with the rest of you.

Recently, McDonalds began advertising the addition of lattes to their menu. They even offered patrons a free sample. Fantastic. Good for them.
Not so good for the coffee shop next door. It has apparently been bad for their business. So the owner came up with such a brilliant slogan, he decided to post it on his large sign. It said, "Do you really want a clown making your coffee??"

Unfortunately, I was not made aware of this event until they had already changed the sign, so it was too late to get a picture.

The good news for you is, McDonalds doesn't take any crap from anybody, especially not any jabs at their beloved Ronald. The next day, this sign was proudly displayed on the corner of the highway, next to their entrance, which, coincidentally, is also next to the coffee shop entrance.

Just in case the photo is blurry, their sign says, "We're not clowning around. Free latte today." I had one. It was delicious. But I digress.

Not to be outdone, the coffee shop fired right back.

Free lattes at McDonalds but quality lattes at Strange Brew.

I don't know how many people tried the free McDonalds latte on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I drove by there again yesterday, and McDonalds had extended their giveaway. Free lattes again on Thursday! That made 3 days in a row!

Apparently very distressed by the marketing strategy of their new rival, the coffee shop owner posted a warning to potential McDonalds customers late yesterday afternoon.

We'll excuse the absence of the apostrophe since this is hilarious.

I can't wait to see what they have done today. It's freezing outside, but as soon as SB wakes up, I'm packing her into the car and taking my camer to investigate the scene. And maybe get another free latte. As a dedicated investigative journalist, I consider it my duty.


Also, as it turns out, Arby's is


If they are still hireing today, I will get a photo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Childhood silliness and my career as a neurologist

Thanks, LT, for the tag. I will now let you all in a little closer by listing a few interesting things about myself. But only because LT insisted.

1. I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid. Her name was Becca. She lived in the woods in front of my house.

2. As a child, and until very recently, I thought the lyrics to the childhood song, Do Your Ears Hang Low were "Can you throw them over your shoulder like a cotton roman soldier?"

3. I let my child eat off of the floor. Saves me from having to clean the floor. Whenever she is done eating, she lets me know by helpfully pushing the rest of her food off of her high chair tray. That way, I don't have to clean that either. And, if she gets hungry later, ta da! She just returns to the scene of the crime and presto! Her cheerios are usually still waiting for her. While I don't encourage this behavior, I really don't like to sweep. So it works out for both of us. Besides, if she doesn't eat them, they are just going to get all crunched up when I step on them.

4. I was in a Rascal Flatts video. Jack is very tired of hearing about this. You would think he would be happy to be married to someone so famous.

5. Spelling and grammatical errors drive me crazy. I realize that no one is perfect, and please do not point out all the mistakes I made in this post. What really grinds my gears is when these mistakes are made in large print, by people who should really consider how many people are going to see them. For example, when Pizza Hut advertised in large letters on their large sign : NOW HIRING DRIVER, someone should have caught that. Were they hiring several driverS or did they only have room for A driver? I was also very disturbed by Wendy's announcement that their renovations had been completed: DINNING ROOM NOW OPEN. So, instead of driving through, you could come in and eat in their dinning room.

This is the same reason why I cannot read the local newspaper. It is so full of errors that it would take an entire edition to print all of the retractions. The last straw for me was when they ran a huge headline after MSU had beaten a big opponent a couple of years ago. The title: one word, huge letters: CONGRADULATIONS. I could have accepted it readily if this was meant for graduating seniors, but it was not. As an editor, how do you not catch that???

6. If I had my college career to live over again, I would go into the medical field. I don't want to be a doctor though. I have absolutely no interest in practicing medicine. Something about jabbing people with needles and digging around in guts just doesn't do it for me. Hearing Jack's uncle's ER stories is enough for me. I am much more interested in the medical research field. Jack made a good point when he said that I could still learn all that stuff, without going back to college (and spending a bazillion dollars). He was right, and I have already started my career as a neuroscience researcher. I'd love to talk to you sometime about microglia, free radicals, cytokines and such.

7. In the midst of my neurolgy, business office manager and motherhood careers, I have also taken on another time consuming task within the last year. I am an organizer of a state wide group currently lobbying our state government to give parents the right to make their children's health decisions for them. If you live in Mississippi, unlike every other state in this country, you don't have a choice regarding your child's vaccinations. You have to get all of them. I'm not one of those fringe people who think vaccines are the devil and nobody should get them. I think the vaccine program has saved lives and protected many from disease.

However, I also think the current schedule is overcrowded, and my inquiries into the processes of the brain confirm my suspicions that overvaccinating children at such a young age can be detrimental to the development of their brains. I also think that there are several vaccines on the schedule that are not necessary, like chicken pox and hepatitis B. I realize that not all kids who are completely vaccinated according to the current schedule have adverse side effects, but a lot of them do. Not all people who smoke get lung cancer, but a lot of them do. I just think I should have a choice in deciding when my kid gets a vaccine and which ones she gets.

So I met with my state representative and talked to my senator by phone last week, and I have another meeting set up for tomorrow. So far, the ones I have talked to have been very supportive of what we are trying to do. We wrote a rough draft of a bill last night, and we already have someone to introduce it in January.

If this issue concerns you in any way, please feel free to talk to me about it. I'd love to hear your opinions on this issue, and I am not afraid of or offended by people who disagree with me. It actually helps to hear your concerns, so fire away.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Last weekend, Jack and I took SB on our yearly family vacay to Rosemary Beach. This year, we invited another family, the Johnsons, to share in the fun, the babysitter and unfortunately, the stomach bug. That's right. Our friends loaded up their SUV with two kids, a ton of luggage and one highly contagious strain of vomit.

To be fair, this bug has apparently been making the rounds through our church nursery, as three other families with small children have also been sick in the past two weeks. All of us have kids in the nursery together at church. Dang kids, always ruin everything.

Thursday was completely uneventful: the trip, the unloading and unpacking, the grocery shopping and settling into the house. Friday was fantastic. The weather was perfect, and we spent the morning at the beach. Naps, showers and photo shoots that afternoon, and the adults had a fabulous dinner and night out on the town on Halloween while the babysitter wrangled the kids at home.

We returned to a quiet house, which remained quiet until 1 am, when the fun started. Our friends were up all night with their 3-year-old, who quickly passed the virus to his father, who ended up in the hospital with severe dehydration and other complications. We didn't get much sleep, and at 4 am, a knock on our door announced that an ambulance was on the way to pick up the dehydrated father.

Did I mention that the mother of the sick kid was pregnant? Yeah. She got sick the next morning. They offered to get a hotel room in hopes of keeping the virus contained, but we knew it was probably too late. Jack and I escaped with SB and the babysitter, praying we would be spared, although we knew we had already been exposed. We went to the beach, the outlet malls and the pool- anything to keep us out of the house.

But of course, the damage was already done, and SB woke us up around 12:30 that night with a stomach bug all her own. We spent the rest of the night between SB's throw up sessions cleaning sheets, changing and washing clothes and trying to sleep a little too.

Early the next day (Sunday) we decided to bolt for home before we got sick too. We both felt fine, but we knew it was just a matter of time. We said goodbye to our friends, grabbed the babysitter and ran. The trip home was a nightmare, as SB screamed all the way, save the hour and a half that she slept.

We finally made it home, just in time. Jack and I spent Monday and Tuesday in the bed, sick, as the virus claimed its final victims. I called our precious babysitter yesterday to check on her, certain that our sickness had fallen upon her. I could not believe it when she told me that she had been spared. This feat is even more amazing when you consider the fact that she is the church nursery worker, and she has been keeping all these kids that have been spreading this awful virus for the past 2-3 weeks.

It's no wonder this thing spread the way it did, considering what a loving mood SB was in that weekend.

At least we got some good pictures out of the weekend, which you can see here, you know, if you care about that sort of thing.