Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Since we are heading south early tomorrow morning, I wanted to take a moment and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I'll post some photos when we actually get a chance to take some! Here's an oldy (2 years ago), but goody to tide you over...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all who read this blog! I began my day this morning with an 8:15 am page from my partner asking what to do with a patient who just couldn't understand why her gallbladder couldn't be taken out today even though she had suffered with it for 10 years and was certainly NOT an emergent/urgent operative candidate! Being somewhat disgusted with this ungrateful and downright rude patient, I got out of bed, showered, and headed out to the hospital four rounds in a less than cheerful mood...
I guess God had some things in store, because rounds totally changed my outlook on the day! While all of my patients were kind and doing fairly well, two really touched my heart. My 86 year old patient for 2 months now smiled and proudly told me she was ready for dinner and introduced me to her grandsons who were visiting. While this doesn't seem like much, one has to undertand that this lady rarely talks and certainly has NEVER smiled in the time I've been seeing her! The second patient was even better. He received a tracheostomy from me last week, though I know that in his heart he didn't want to have it. This morning, he was wide awake (a first in the last 10 days) and smiled when I entered the room. I asked himif he remembered me (he was sedated the first time we met) and he smiled and nodded "yes." He shook my hand, gave me a thumbs up, and clearly let me know that he was grateful for his trach and the opportunity to begin weaning off the ventilator. His gratitude for something so small was truly amazing and rewarding. It obviously changed my outlook on the day!

Since Thanksgiving is a day of recognizing all that we are thankful for, I decided to take a moment to count my blessings. Here are the things I am most thankful for...

1. God and my faith...
Without these I wouldn't be where I am now!

2. My husband, Adam.
Adam is my biggest cheerleader and has weathered the storms of my training and establishment of the new business with extreme patience and love.

3. My family.
I'm blessed to have wonderful parents who have supported me in many, many ways and are in my business with me every step (even when it's not going perfectly). Their company and support here in Tennessee have been invaluable and for that I am truly grateful! My grandparents have also been wonderful in their support of me. Their words of encouragement and visits are well-appreciated and certainly do not go unnoticed! Leslee and Trey are the best siblings an older sister could ever hope to have and I'm so glad that we are blessed with a closeness that most siblings never can understand. And obviously, I'm thankful for Joey, Job, and the rest of my extended family as well.

4. My friends.
Tiffany, Sarah, Jennifer, and Dinah are the best friends I could ever hope to have and I'm truly grateful that God placed all of you into my life. (And while I don't see or talk to Teah, Cynthia, Miren, Maggie, and Blerina, as often, I think the world of you all as well and am honored to have all of you in my life!)

I'd venture to say that most of you who read this blog are truly the people in my life that make every day another adventure and truly a blessed existence! Thank you for being a part of my life and once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bears, Bears, and More Bears

See the little cub standing up? Bear Family Photo.
(Unfortunately of their backsides!)One on the roadside and one in the tree!
It's not every day that you see a bear blocking traffic!
Adam proud of his find...

After I finished a case and rounds, Adam and I decided to go explore a part of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park where Mom and Dad had recently seen several bears. So, we headed out towards Crosby, TN (just outside of Gatlinberg) to see if we might just be lucky enough to find a bear or two. We turned into the park onto a gravel road and crossed several 1 lane wood bridges. About 1.5 miles down this simple drive, Adam spotted some movement about 1oo yards away, across the creek, and in the woods. We pulled over and were excited to make out the figures of 4 bears! Since they were across the water/rocks and very far away, we got out of our car to shoot some photos. The bears seemed unbothered by our presence and began to come towards us (slowly of course). We retreated quietly to the car and sat patiently hoping they would come closer. Well, they did! (One even blocked the road for awhile!) We watched a Momma and her 3 cubs forage in the leaves for food. 1 cub stayed close to the Momma, while the other 2 headed up into the trees...wayyyyyy up! The cubs in the trees were eating little "round" objects (nuts, buds, ?) and shaking them down for the others to eat off the forest floor as well. Overall, we watched them alone for about 15 minutes and then were joined by several other cars. Several unintelligent people got dangerously close to the bears and kind of ruined the beauty of the experience. Overall though, Adam and I feel very blessed to have enjoyed these animals alone together in solitude for many minutes! Here are some photos I managed to take before my camera battery died... (PS If you click on the photos, you'll be able to see the bears much better!)

Thanksgiving Preview...

Waiting on Adam to join us...The cooks...

This post is a little late. Two weekends ago, we were fortunate to have Trey, Grandmother, and Grandaddy to come to visit. Trey had a break in school between his OB/GYN rotation and his Surgery rotation, so he flew down to Maryville to spend a long weekend with the family. We really enjoyed seeing him and Grandmother and Grandaddy. Since he will not be able to come home for Thanksgiving, we decided to have an "early" feast at my house. With some creativity, we merged our two dining tables into one large table and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Here are the only pics I took...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grotto Falls and Our First Smokey Mountain Fall!

Part of our drive through Wears Valley. Adam and I at Grotto Falls.
(You can actually walk behind them!)

Me on the "wrong" trail.
Adam and I on the trail.
Adam on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Since the weather report promised a beautiful day, we decided to make the most of it today! I got up early (ie 6:30am....on Sunday), made rounds at the hospital, went home and quickly changed into church clothes and grabbed Adam, went to church, came back home and changed again, had a quick lunch at Sonic, and headed out to Gatlinburg. We decided to try the Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail driving route to enjoy the fall leaves. Off of this road is the Grotto Falls trail, which we decided to hike. (We also hiked for about a mile to discover that we were on the wrong trail...then drove to the correct one!) The hike to the falls was 2.8 miles round trip (plus that "wasted" mile) with a 560 ft elevation gain. Overall, we didn't see any animals but the falls were really beautiful! We then went back into Gatlinburg and had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, which we both agreed was highly overpriced and over-rated! We then made a relaxing drive home through Wears Valley. Overall, it was a fabulous day full of beauty. Unfortunately the photos just don't do the mountains justice...they were amazing!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun...

Front porch with the pumpkin I hastily
carved and the large candy tub...
We gave out almost 2 tubs worth of candy!
Wide angle of the porch...the skeleton on the left "talks."

Adam and the giant pumpkin at Maple Leaf Farms.

Me at Maple Leaf farms after the corn maze.

Over the last couple of weekends, I either been on call or forced to stay in town to operate during weekend hours. As a result, we've been limited in our Halloween activities though still managed to have a little fun! Last weekend, I had the privilege of operating from midnight Friday into Saturday morning (emergency) and managed to get home at 4am. I slept quite a bit to recover Saturday, but managed to get up in time to catch the 4th quarter of the GA/LSU game and finish the evening by going to the Corn Maze at Maple Leaf Farms. It wasn't scary, but it was a gorgeous fall night lit by thousands of stars! We completed the maze in about 90 minutes and came home ready for bed. Sunday was spent at the hospital operating in the morning and napping during the afternoon!

Tonight, we handed out candy to about 70 kids! Adam and I quickly carved a pumpkin, decorated the porch, and enjoyed handing out tons of candy... Here are some pics of the last week or so. Hopefully, we'll be able to take some fall "leaf" pictures this weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Adam and Mom!!!

Close-Up of Adam's cake...
Bad photo because of flashing police light...
but certainly something to remember!Adam with his cake and remote-control helicopter I bought him.

Today was Adam and Mom's birthday! While Mom, Dad, and my grandparents toured the mountains, Adam and I enjoyed a much needed night together. Adam chose the dining venue...Little Caesars (at least it was cheap) and enjoyed a "mummy" birthday cake. (He asked specifically for a cake with vanilla buttercreme icing, so the "mummy" cake seemed perfect!)Since Adam loves "scarey" things, we decided to go up to Oak Ridge, TN to a "haunted" cave called Cherokee Caverns. While it wasn't really that frightening, it was really beautiful. The hanuted experience in the cave has been going on for the past 20 years, but is being closed this year. Sadly, they are terminating the experience because of tons of vandalism incidents which have destroyed many of the cave's formations. Sad.... We enjoyed the experience and are happy to have had the opportunity to participate in the "Haunted Cave!" Here are a few photos of Adam's cake and Adam on his 36th!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here's a Nice Bear for You!

No Zoom Needed for this Fellow...
Here is a bear for those of you who know about our bear watching. He was on the side of the road right before entering the Cades Cove loop. Since there wasn't a pull-off, we only watched him a few seconds then moved on. I took this shot right as we went by him and as you can see...he was very, very close!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Laurel Falls and Fall Decorations

Adam at Laurel Falls. Both of us at the Falls.
Adam with some fall decorations.
Me at the Falls.
Cute "Rafters" at the Aquarium...

Today, Adam and I went on a short/easy hike up to Laurel Falls. It was a pretty overcast and misty day, but the walk was definitely cool and "fallish." The falls were flowing nicely and were as beautiful as always. We then went to Gatlinberg for dinner and snapped a few photos of the fall decorations...which are amazing by the way!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Little Miss Rose...

Rose having a ball! Rose laughing...

Well, here are the photos I took during Dinah and Rose's visit. We were just too busy to take more as that would have required me to quit talking for a few seconds! We had dinner at the Apple Barn and then walked around the area to enjoy the crisp air, fall decorations, and more conversation...not to mention to expel some 2 year old energy!

Photo-less Update

Well, I don't have any new photos to place at this moment. Dinah and Rose came over to visit last weekend and we had a fabulous time! (One photo of this visit coming soon...) We ate well, drove around, and most importantly...just enjoyed catching up on all we've missed these past several years! Adam has been working out of town for the past 2 weeks, so I haven't gotten to see much of him at all, thus no new pics. He comes home today and hopefully we'll be able to get out a little tonight and tomorrow and take a few photos together.

As for jobs, Adam still has the bad travel gig for now. We're hoping something better will come along (one thing is pending now, but no news yet) as I HATE him being gone all the time! I'm still doing a lot of sitting around the office, but hoping that picks up once my cosmetic privileges are granted (first week in November). Until mid-October, I can't really advertise...which is killing me. Anyway, we're hanging in there and just praying that things turn around very soon. On a high note, the contractors started the interior build-out on my office this week and should finish it within the next 12-14 weeks!

If you still read the blog, send us a comment... We'd love to know how many folks still look at it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lake Chilhowee and Bear Hunting

The "Cool" Adam
The 3 black spots are the bears!
(Sorry the lighting was so bad...)

This weekend we relaxed quite a bit and did some exploration of the local area (by car of course). We went out to Lake Chilhowee on Saturday and out to Cades Cove on Sunday. We got to see a moma bear with her two cubs, which was truly delightful! A large bear also ran across the road in front of us when entering the park. Here are some random photos...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Village People Concert

Killing time waiting for the concert...Can you tell how much my husband was looking
forward to seeing the concert?

Village PeopleYMCA!

Tonight Mom, Dad, Adam, and I went to Knoxville to the Tennessee Valley Fair with the primary purpose of seeing the Village People. We did our research and knew that these dudes were the "real" ones and looked forward to a great concert. Unfortunately the Village People dudes showed up, but they didn't bring a band with them. They simply sang to tracks! Let me tell you...Village People without a band is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter! It was a real disappointment to say the least... Here are a few pics taken before and at the concert. Enjoy...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Abram Falls Hike

Today Mom, Dad, Adam, and I went to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and hiked to Abrams Falls. It was a hot, humid, 5 miles hike up to some beautiful 20 ft waterfalls. As luck would have it, we didn't know that we should have worn our swimsuits as there was a great "pool" for swimming. Tonight we are dead tired, but glad we survived the hike and the ensueing steak dinner! Here are a few photos...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tubing the Little River

Between round one and two. Posing on the river.
Flotaing along.
Adam floating near the rock wall.
Notice the creative putting style...
Move over Arnold Palmer!

Today was a beautiful day, so Adam and I decided to go inertubing down the Little River just 20 miles from our house. We needed some sunshine and some time outdoors, so this seemed to be the perfect escape. Since both of us are a little adventurous (maybe too adventurous), we chose the "adventure" route which is on a rough portion of the river. There are multiple sets of rapids on this course, and all were healthy in light of recent rains. We did the 90 minute flota twice. I managed to get "dumped" 3 times, while Adam only had the privilege to experience it once. Needless to say, we are both bruised up (mostly on the shins) and pretty sore! Despite the rough water though, we had a really good time and it was nice to relax for a few hours without worrying about work. We ended the day by going into Gatlinberg for dinner and 2 rounds of mini-golf. (We each won one game.) Now, it's time for bed! Here are a few photos of our day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cades Cove

Nice mountain views...Horses...
Large black bear crossing the meadow.

Well, since moving here we have enjoyed our drives out to Cades Cove for some "bear-hunting." So far, we've been 3 times since moving here and have seen a total of 5 bears! We never seem to remember the video camera or our good camera. We always have our "versatile" camera, which takes average photos during the day, pitiful photos at dusk (which is when we always see the bears), and useless photos at night. Here are a few pics of tonight's trip which included 1 bear, tons of deer, and some tame horses...