Sunday Glory

 

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We see God face to face every hour, and know the savor of Nature.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gail

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Female Moxie

I’ll confess that I had to look up the meaning of today’s one-word prompt to be sure of its meaning: Moxie.  I may have sporadically heard the word before but it’s just not a word I use in everyday conversation. Turns out it means courage, guts, competence, determination, attitude, ability to face difficulty with spirit, courage, boldness, nerve, and fortitude.

I don’t watch much TV at all these days.  There’s absolutely NOTHING on that interests me anymore.  Well, maybe I watch The Big Bang Theory occasionally but that’s about it. That show does make me laugh and laugh hard sometimes.  I don’t even watch the news anymore (I know my mother’s turning over in her mausoleum right now— sorry Mom). The news is just depressing.  And scary.  So I don’t watch it except maybe to find out what the weather is supposed to do.

When I do watch TV, it’s usually DVDs of shows from back in the day. Shows from the 70s, 80s, 90s when TV was much more family oriented and clean. I’ll admit, I binge watch episodes of The Golden Girls and Little House on the Prairie, and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman until my husband probably wants to pull his hair out. I have the entire series of all of those and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve watched them. Dr. Quinn is definitely my favorite.  I’ve always been partial to the old pioneer/Western type shows. I’m guessing I’ve watched DQMW all the way through maybe 10-12 times? My husband says I’ve watched them so much that I’m wearing out the DVDs and will soon need a new set. I never tire of them. I often wonder what life would have been like living in those pioneer days.

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Last night, I watched the Pilot episode of Dr. Quinn (hey, it had been a couple of years since I had watched it). I think one thing I like about that show so much is Michaela Quinn’s moxie. She was a wealthy Bostonian doctor living in the late 1800s. Female doctors were quite rare in those days and not generally accepted. Her dad was a successful wealthy physician who had taken Michaela on as his partner in his medical practice. When he dies suddenly, the practice dies along with him. So Michaela answers an advertisement for a doctor in Colorado Springs. It’s the frontier, a place that is totally foreign to her. But she had moxie, and so she goes out west where she runs head-on into one difficulty after another. The townspeople of Colorado Springs were expecting a Michael and not a Michaela and are less than thrilled to get a female doctor. They don’t accept her and prefer that the local Barber treat their medical woes. Even the Cheyenne Indian chief didn’t have much faith in her and called her “a crazy white woman” because “only males are medicine men.”  It wasn’t until he was shot and Dr. Mike saved his life by performing a tracheotomy on him and removing a bullet lodged in his neck that he developed trust in her and gave her the Cheyenne name of “Medicine Woman.” I loved how Michaela had guts and courage and determination. She was skilled and confident and she persisted. Eventually the townspeople come to trust and admire her.

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I remember when I first watched Dr. Quinn when it first aired back in 1993, I identified so much with Michaela (or Dr. Mike as she was called). I graduated from veterinary school in 1985. Women didn’t start entering the veterinary school scene much until the 1970s and started dominating the profession a decade or so later. When I entered veterinary school in 1982, our class of 60 was the very first class in this veterinary school’s history to have more females than males (31 females to 29 males). I believe in 2007, nationwide, the number of female veterinarians equaled the number of males. Now veterinary school classes are predominantly female and it is without doubt a female dominated profession. The small animal practice I went to work for after graduation was owned by a male. He had one associate who was also male. I would be the first female veterinarian in the practice. And since it was the mid 1980s, I expected I would be readily accepted as a female practitioner at this clinic. I was wrong. 

I’ll never forget my first day as a neophyte veterinarian.  Feeling both nervous and excited, I walked into the exam room to see my first client— an older man (70ish maybe). I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. I greeted his enthusiastic little tail-wagging pooch, then reached out my hand, smiled, and introduced myself and told him I was the veterinarian who would be seeing his little dog. I’m telling you, the man leered at me as if I were a timber rattlesnake and backed away like I was about to spew poisonous venom at him. He shuffled his feet, snarled a bit, and said, “I want to see a male doctor.” I kid you not…. those were his exact words. His little dog had accepted me. He had not. I felt an awkward silence come over the room. I could understand if he had said he wanted to see the vet who he was used to seeing, but to boil it down to a gender issue was hurtful. But I honored his request, went and got one of the male veterinarians, and then I went into the bathroom where I angrily fought back hot, salty tears.

That day, I thought back to a time when I was in the fifth grade and had decided I wanted to play a musical instrument. It was not a hard decision for me. I wanted to play the trumpet. My uncle had played the trumpet and he had told me if I wanted it, I could have his old trumpet which still sat in my grandmother’s basement. Boy did I!  Back then in 1969, there weren’t many girls who played the trumpet.  I can’t tell you the strange looks I received when I would tell a friend I had chosen to play the trumpet.  Or how many people tried to encourage me to play a “more gender appropriate instrument” like the flute or clarinet. Hearing those things made me more hell-bent than ever on playing the trumpet. And I did. My parents were all for it and supportive just as they were when I told them I wanted to be a veterinarian (my mother was just thankful I didn’t go with the tuba).  I worked hard at playing that trumpet, begged for trumpet lessons which my parents graciously provided.  I took lessons for years and I excelled. No one and I mean NO ONE was going to tell me I couldn’t do something just because I was a girl.

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Unfortunately, that first client who refused to see me just because I was a female, wasn’t the last. Despite the fact that I wore a name tag that clearly identified me as Dr., and despite the fact that I just about ALWAYS introduced myself as Dr. _____, (as I had learned in my interview class in veterinary school to always do),  I was often referred to as “the nurse,” or asked, “When is the doctor coming  in?” Or, “Will the veterinarian be examining my animal too?” My boss knew it got to me and he would try to console me by telling me it was only because I looked so young (I was 26). But I knew better. It did get better as time went on, and though it took a lot of fortitude, I was finally accepted and eventually clients started requesting “the lady doctor.”

So yeah, I identified with Michaela Quinn well and I liked her sass and spunk when she ran up against those stubborn townspeople who wanted a male doctor. Sometimes it takes just that—moxie— to survive in a typically male dominated profession.

Gail ♥

Posted in Daily Prompt, Life, Veterinary school | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Hot July Days

It’s hot here in the southeast.  Typical weather for us this time of year in good ole Tennessee.  The kind of hot and humid weather where I painstakingly use a curling iron on my hair for a little body, only to step outside where the humidity causes my curls to die a quick death, and then wonder why I even bothered. The kind of hot and humid where just walking to the mailbox makes you damp and sticky. The kind of hot and humid where my cats beg to go outside on the porch, but when I open the door to let them out, the heat hits them in the face and they high-tail it back to their comfy air-conditioned house where they flop on the cool hardwood floors.

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I went walking early yesterday evening despite the heat.  It was 7 pm and had cooled down to 90 degrees with a heat index still around 98.  Ugh.  I don’t tolerate heat and humidity well.  I’ve grown up here and I have yet to adapt to it in 57 years.  I abhor hot weather like this.

On my walk, I saw a flock of crows– okay, the technical term is a murder of crows, but who in their right mind goes around saying that? Anyway, as I walked by, a few of the crows who had been pecking at things on the ground, took off in flight.  Some landed on tree branches and some on wires overhead.  They looked down at me as I walked by and I swear those crows were panting.  They also were holding their wings away from their bodies. Yep, every last one of them were open-mouthed breathing and holding their wings open and away from their bodies.  Cooling mechanisms.  I read an Audubon article once that said birds don’t pant like dogs. I disagree.  I’ve seen it more than once.  And I’m here to tell you that these crows were panting.  Like dogs.  You can’t deny it’s hot outside when the poor birds are panting.

raven-bird-birds-bryce-canyon-87078This hot afternoon I clean out kitchen drawers and cabinets.  I clean litter boxes and scrub toilets.  I unload and reload the dishwasher and sweep and mop floors.  I cook a dinner of baked fish, yellow rice, and green beans.

On these hot days, I thank God for this.

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And this.

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How hot is it where you live and how do you spend the hot days of summer?

Gail ♥

Posted in Seasons, summer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Birthday to My Husband

Today is my hubby’s 58th birthday.  He was born exactly 6 days before I was.  About the time his mother was bringing him home from the hospital fifty-eight years ago, my mother was going into the hospital to have me.  That was back in the day when new moms stayed in the hospital 5-7 days after giving birth.

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Hubby’s newborn hospital photo.  Isn’t he adorable?  Don’t you just want to pinch those cheeks?

So for six days, I tease hubby that I am married to an older man and that he robbed the cradle.  He just rolls his eyes at me because he’s good at that.

It was hot as blazes today as it just about always is for our birthdays.  After all, it’s July and we’re in Tennessee.  Even early this evening as we were driving to the restaurant for his birthday dinner, the thermometer in his truck was reading 99 degrees.  And it felt every bit of 99.

We had a nice dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse, one of our favorite local places to eat. He got steak and I got Parmesan Crusted Chicken. He wouldn’t let me pull out my camera to take pictures (he gets all embarrassed over things like that) and I don’t have a smart phone or I would show you how delicious it really looked.  I guess I’m forced to show you the mouth-watering menu pictures.

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After dinner, we had cake and ice cream with his parents and his sister.  Hubby makes the BEST homemade ice cream and last night he made homemade strawberry.  Boy was it good.  It went good with the cake I made from scratch bought at Publix.

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I’m telling you, no one can make homemade ice cream like this man can.  It was just right. Perfect.

Happy birthday Rick.  I love you.

Gail

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Grit for Avian Species…. To Feed or Not to Feed?

When I was growing up, we had a blue parakeet named Dickie Bird.  He dearly loved my father and when my mother would let Dickie Bird out of his cage at night, he would immediately fly to the den because he knew my dad would be sitting in his favorite recliner chair.  Dickie would usually land on the frame of my father’s glasses where he would stay happily perched while he visited with my dad.  If my dad happened to be holding a glass of beer (and he frequently was), Dickie Bird would land on the rim of the beer glass and yes, that alcoholic avian would eagerly try his darndest to sip that beer. Sometimes he would grab a sip before my dad could stop him.  And before you feel the urge to send me angry emails, don’t worry, my dad didn’t allow him to imbibe.  Dickie Bird lived many long and happy years. I remember my mother cried like a baby the day she found that little bird crumpled on the bottom of the cage barely breathing— his little body just worn out from old age.  I was just a little girl but I remember my mother’s grief like it was yesterday.  What a sad day that was for our family.

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I remember my mother would periodically buy a box of bird grit (also called bird gravel) and we would put this grit in the bird-cage.  It looked like ground up oyster shells and teeny tiny pebbles and that’s because it was.

You see, birds can’t grind up their own food since they don’t have teeth.  They have a muscular stomach organ, called the gizzard, which does the grinding for them.  In the wild, grit is obtained by the bird ingesting very small pebbles or sand in the soil (the size of the grit ingested depends on the size of the bird).  This grit collects in the gizzard where it stays a while and aids in the grinding of the food so that the food can be easily digested. Grit also supplies necessary minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine, etc.

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Feeding grit to captive birds is a controversial topic. Avian experts and avian veterinarians often disagree on whether or not grit should be fed to captive birds.  Most feel that grit is not necessary if birds are fed a properly balanced diet.

Unfortunately, overfeeding grit can be a problem.  Some bird owners get separate dishes for grit and fill these dishes up to the top and so the bird eats way too much of the grit which can cause some serious problems.  Overeating grit can lead to inflammation of the digestive tract and impactions of the gizzard which lead to digestive blockages. Some bird experts/veterinarians feel grit is beneficial in helping to grind up the food and aid in digestion.  I had cockatiels for many years and I was a grit feeder but I only offered them a tiny, tiny pinch in their food once or twice a week.  My cockatiels were happy and healthy and never experienced any problems and that was good enough for me.

Any bird owners out there who have opinions on feeding/not feeding grit?

Gail ♥

Posted in Animals, birds | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sunday Glory

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True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance.  It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.  ~Charles Spurgeon

Gail

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Savage Sport

I can’t think of a better definition of Savage, than the “sport” of bullfighting.  I know some people won’t agree with me on this, but in my opinion, it’s pure animal cruelty and it angers and disgusts me.  The poor bulls don’t stand a chance from the moment they enter the ring.  It always ends the same way for them— a bloody, painful death which leaves them vomiting blood and gasping for air from the stab wounds to their heart and lungs. Make no mistake about it, it’s a brutal death and there’s a lot of suffering involved for the bull.

I honestly don’t know how people can sit and watch this savagery and call it sport.

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This is how it always ends for the bull…. a brutal death.

 Photo Credit:  © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Gail

Posted in Animals, bulls | Tagged , , | 8 Comments