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Who is this Gary Lindsay character?

It was September 1982 and I was a sophomore at Fox High School. I was in the marching band and had been playing the flute since I was in fifth grade. Mr. Butler, the band director announced that a marching band was coming from South Africa and we were hosting them. They were all boys and played either the trumpet or the drums. I immediately wanted to host one (keep one just sounds like they were animals or something). So I brought the note home and read it to my mother. She interrupted me two sentences in and wanted to know if they were black or white. I said what difference does it make. She said it didn’t but was just curious. They were white and from outside of Johannesburg. I can still remember the night they arrived. We were all waiting rather impatiently in the band room and it seems like the flight might have been delayed. I’m thinking it was around 10:30pm on a school night before they showed up. My family was assigned to Gary who was not a drummer but a trumpet player. I swear within ten minutes we were carrying on like brother and sister and were best friends for life. I loved calling him a dork. They spent two weeks with us. Gary brought us this copper clock that was a map of Africa. It hung in our living room for years.
It was a short two weeks and some of you know the love story with Anton the drummer so you can skip this part. I’m pretty sure I noticed Anton that very first night. Anton stayed with Scott whom I became very good friends with from this point on. (Scott is a respiratory therapist in Columbia but In high school he wanted to be a mortician. Personally I find trachs, sputum and respiratory treatments way grosser than a mortician.) Anyway Anton and I fell fast and hard in teenage love. I would learn I was the first girl he ever noticed. I had a boyfriend at the time who I dumped in a really awful way and broke his heart. If I could go back in time, I would have handled that differently.
The boys did a lot in those two weeks. They went to the Magic house, the arch, a cardinals game, and since I’m writing this in CA, I can’t remember what else.
I had a party for Gary and every single person I invited came. This included the popular boys that I had crushes on during junior high. However I still didn’t think anyone knew me or liked me. My party had no alcohol and my mom present and yet they all came. I’m sure it was because of Gary. Haha.
After the boys left Arnold, they went to Disney world and then flew back home. Within a month some of the band parents would get together with Mr. Butler to see about going to South Africa the following summer.
So in August of 1983, my sister, my mom and I went to South Africa with Fox High School band for three weeks. My sister was only going into eighth grade but she auditioned on the clarinet and was in the band as well. It was 1500 each for the trip. I raised 1400 and my sister 1300. I think we sold everything except the kitchen sink. This would affect me as an adult as I will buy almost anything off a kid selling stuff as a fundraiser. As for my own kids, I worked extra shifts to avoid fundraising. I’d rather rip my eyes out than ask people to buy stuff. However this fundraising made me appreciate the trip much better than if my dad just wrote a check for it.
Flying to and from South Africa was horrible. It took almost 24 hours and I had horrible motion sickness but it was worth it to see a different country. My mom, I and my best friend Kathy stayed with Gary. My sister stayed with the Lansom’s who lived around the corner from Andre whom my sister would eventually marry. After the first half of the trip I went and stayed at Anton’s house with Scott and Sarah. The three weeks went by way too fast and we were back home and I started my junior year. Anton would meet a girl sometime around December who he would eventually marry and have two gorgeous daughters.
Gary went to chef school and finished it and felt called to missionary work. He joined Covenent players and met his wife Heidi. Three weeks after they were married they came to the US and have been here since. They worked on the east coast but had to travel to west coast for training. They would stop in and see us each time. They were here when Kayla was born which was really cool. They eventually took jobs and settled down. They lived in Texas before this. Gary has bugged me for years to come see him and now that I have he can’t bug me anymore. Ha

Mole Moral~when your kids tell you they hope you die so they can go live with Gary & Heidi you know you have very special friends that God has blessed you with.

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Mike the Headless Chicken

This roadside attraction app is going to be the death of Emily and me. While stopping for breakfast I saw that Mike the headless chicken statue was up ahead on the road. So McDonald’s took forever to get our food and we decide to eat in the car while getting gas. At the first gas station the credit was down so we had to go to another. Then I navigate us two miles the wrong way and we have to turn around. We pass the chicken up and we have to turn around again. Then I spot a post office as I need to mail the cards (for the residents who are leaving next week) to Becky so she can give them to them for me. (I’m missing the going away party for this road trip.) Just as we dropped it in the mailbox, Emily starts screaming there is a Pokémon she doesn’t have so we turn around again. We have no increased our ETA by an hour all for this.

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LIFE With Mike the Headless Chicken: Photos of a Famously Tough Fowl

“Ever since Sept. 10,” LIFE breezily informed its readers, “a rangy Wyandotte rooster named Mike has been living a normal chicken’s life though he has no head.”

Mike, LIFE went on to say, “lost his head in the usual rooster way. Mrs. L.A. Olson, wife of a farmer in Fruita, Colo., 200 miles west of Denver, decided to have chicken for dinner. Mrs. Olson took Mike to the chopping block and axed off his head. Thereupon Mike got up and soon began to strut around…. What Mrs. Olson’s ax had done was to clip off most of the skull but leave intact one ear, the jugular vein and the base of the brain, which controls motor function.”

The rest is poultry history. Mike lived for 18 months after losing his head, finally succumbing at a motel in the Arizona desert in 1946 during one of his many appearances as a sideshow attraction in the American southwest.

Here, LIFE.com presents Mike’s unlikely story, as well as the utterly unsettling pictures that ran (and some that never ran) in LIFE. Brace yourself. . . .

This article courtesy of Time and if you want to see photos of the actual chicken click here.

 

Mole moral~ Headless chickens are creepy, almost as creepy as stopping to see the statue of one.

 

 

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I’m a doctor, not a physicist!

IMG_4059 This guy came in a kids Burger King meal at least ten years ago. It belonged to my nephew Tyler and he would push the button over and over again and the guy would say I’m a doctor, not a physicist. It drove Brian’s parents insane so they hid it from him in their house. That summer we went to Disney World with Brian’s parents and his sister and my other nephew Kyle. We took two cars and as always when we traveled we had walkie talkies so that we could talk back and forth. Yes, this was the day before cell phones with unlimited texting. As we were leaving I spotted the guy so we (ok it was me because I’m actually ten years old) snuck him out of the house. About an hour down the road we played him over the walkie talkies. It then became a game the rest of the trip to steal him from car to car and play him and annoy the folks on the other end. Ever since then he has sat on the end table at Brian’s parents house. Every few visits I would push his button just to hear him say “I’m a doctor, not physicist.”

Brian’s parents did not get to come to Emily’s graduation because his mom was in the middle of passing a kidney stone. The stone passed on Saturday and was by far the biggest one I have ever seen in my life. So they gave Emily her gift a few days later. Larry had a nice speech all ready to go and a fancy bag with gift wrap to hand to her. He said since she’s a doctor now, she gets to keep this guy and he can go with her for all her travels. She was thrilled and since she has taken a job as a traveling Physical therapist, this little guy will get to see the country. I was probably more thrilled than her because it’s the kind of crazy gifts I give and I love this stupid toy.

Mole Moral~ If your phone rings in a couple of weeks, you may not want to answer because it just may be a guy saying I’m a doctor not a physicist as Emily and I will be traveling to Gridley CA for her first job.

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Suburban Junky:From Honor Roll to Heroin Addict

A few a weeks after my five week headache, my niece Sierra told me she was reading this book about a kid from Chesterfield that becomes a heroin addict. She said it was really good and since she never reads, I decided to buy it on kindle. I read it in three days which was really fast considering I was still recovering from the headache and my concentration had not fully returned. Here is what amazon says the book is about because I do not want to give too much away:

Jude Hassan came from an upper-middle class household in suburban St. Louis. For most of his life, he was an all-around normal kid. He excelled in sports and academics, and cherished his time at home with his family. It wasn’t until he turned fifteen that things went seriously wrong. While attending his first high school party, he was introduced to pot and alcohol. Needless to say, he gave in to the pressure. A month after that, he discovered heroin. The drug had just made its way into the suburban party scene, and Jude was sure that he could get away with doing it only once. He was sadly mistaken. Within a few short months, his entire life was in shambles. His fate appeared certain, but it was just the beginning.

​In a series of events that leaves you grasping for the next page, Jude spares no amount of detail in his account of his near-decade long struggle with drug addiction, and the horrors he witnessed along the way.

The book is well written and I felt like I was in the middle of the story the entire time. Maybe partly because when my headache was at its worst I would have shot up heroin if that would have gotten rid of it, partly because I have always heard one try and you are addicted, and this kid lived in Chesterfield which is a short drive from where I live.

This is a mole blog so you know this is just the beginning of the story. Last night I was scrolling through Facebook which I haven’t done much of with all the stuff going on lately.  I came across a post that said Suburban Junky made the top 500 books on Amazon, I am so proud of my husband. (Now in the book he had a friend named Rachel from high school, who after he got clean they spoke, he told her everything and they eventually married.) So I looked to see who posted this and I froze because I was so blown away. I work with this Rachel as she is a tech on women’s health who is going to nursing school. She is an amazing tech and I know she will be an amazing nurse. I will be real honest here when she was first hired I was jealous and upset. First of all, I have always been the only Rachel wherever I worked. Heck in high school of 2000 kids there was only one other Rachel so I considered myself special. Rachel also looks like a supermodel. So not only is she super nice, and smart, she’s beautiful. So after a month or so I decided yes I like her and yes I can share my name without being a green eyed idiot. I also feel like I now know a famous person as well. Who would have guessed that she was the Rachel in the book. God is always showing me his ways are better than mine.

Anyway I just want to encourage everyone to read the book and if you have middle school or high school kids, they should read it as well. One stupid decision can change your entire life and lead you down a road no one should ever have to travel.

 

Mole Moral~ Women’s Health now has a third Rachel who is an RN. (Can you believe it? We only have about 50 employees and there are three Rachel’s!) The newest Rachel received the Five Star Nurse award this quarter so she is cool to share my name as well! The other two work nights so it’s really fun when I hand my team off to nurse Rachel and then tech Rachel is the patients tech as well. Rachel’s rule the world!!

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Is this real life?

Two days ago Rockhurst University sent out an email letting the students know that Westboro Baptist Church would be protesting at their graduation. My very first thought, of course they are because that is life with moles. Someone then posted the flyer which really annoyed me. Actually that is an understatement.

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Let me start with the website, god hates fags? WTF? Sorry for the language but seriously. First all God does not hate anyone. I mean that would be super hard if he did indeed create everyone in his image. So he hates himself? And the word fag, are we back in the era that I grew up in. Last I checked Jesus did not hang out with the so-called religious people but instead all the regular normal people and it probably included “fags” but there may not be a Hebrew word for that term so it was left out. Totally kidding but trying to make a point in my CR way.

Also Rockhurst is a Jesuit University, as in Catholic. So the Catholic faith is nothing but a lie as well. Either these people are stupid or crazy but most likely both. They had wonderful community outreach and service projects. One of the best stories Emily has is when her sorority sister Julie wanted to do a planting project and out of Emily’s mouth flies “do I look like I garden?” Julie’s dad did not let her live that one down. Since the Catholic church totally believes that Jesus is God’s son and he rose from the dead, I cannot understand these people. However it should make for a great story come Saturday when Emily receives her doctorate in physical therapy.

 

Mole Moral ~ It is good to share one’s faith with others, however when you are screaming and attempting to shove your beliefs down someone’s throat the effort is futile.

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The Last First Day of Clinicals

Yesterday was Emily’s last first day of clinical’s and she chose Mercy Burn Unit to finish out her physical therapy education. It was a proud mom moment since I worked in the burn unit from 1990 until 2000. She was born in 1992 so perhaps all that time I spent there while pregnant transferred into her. HAHAHA. She had a great first day and really enjoyed it. She was able to see debridement on a brand new burn and told me she wished she could help with the peeling off of the skin. I think the nurse told her the pain medicines she was giving and of course Emily was familiar with all of them because of me. Her clinical instructor is dynamite and she really likes her. She asked Emily what her plan would be for a patient and then told her she agreed with Emily. Perhaps Emily’s presentation on burns helped with this as well as all the questions she asked me. She also met Dr. Smock yesterday and liked him as well. He is the director of the burn unit but will be out-of-town for the rest of her clinical’s.

I was thinking back on to my first day there. I was working on my BSN and had a choice to do 80 hours with management or 140 hours in a clinical setting. (I was already a RN and that’s why I had a choice.) Even back then i had no interest in management so I chose the clinical and was placed in the burn unit. A nurse named Gere was my mentor and I will never forget my first day, walking in and saying I was with Gere. The person responded with “the nurse” and I wanted to say “no the housekeeper” but I actually had a filter back in the day so I kept my mouth shut. My very first day they flew in a 90% burn and I spent most of the day watching what all went into an admission on that big of a burn. I finished my degree in March of 2000 and then applied and started in the burn unit of August 2000. I was thinking about the people I started with and almost every single one of them stayed with mercy so I am not the only one with twenty-seven years experience! John and Rosina went to the OR. One Mary went to cardiac rehab the other to cardiac cath lab. Lisa went on to case management. Jessica did one day in the OR and eventually ended up over in the burn clinic with Diane who just recently retired. Sue went to the JFK clinic. Jeff went to Epic and Jay went to work in one of the doctor’s office. And my two besties Tricia went to NICU and then interventional radiology and Sue is in the PACU so I get to talk to her a lot. My other bestie Lisa left to take raise her kids and came back five years to the burn unit. She tried talking me into coming back but my time had been served. I must mention Tracy who was there when I started and still works there. It’s hard to believe it has been twenty-seven years since I first walked into the burn unit but it was a life changing experience and I learned so much from my co-workers and the patients. I would do it all over again in a heart beat.

 

Mole Moral ~ All those years of talking about how people were burned and how to prevent it must have paved the way for Emily to think it would be a really great place to work as well.

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Postponing the fifty mile ultra marathon

I’ve been waiting a while to write this blog because honesty it sucks. However, I have known since three days after I came home from the hospital I was going to have to postpone my fifty mile run. Today was my first training run since February first and there is no way after not running for five weeks I could jump back into it and do forty plus miles a week. That would most certainly lead me to an injury and a visit to Dr. Larkin. I have not seen him in over three years and even though he is super easy on the eyes, I still do not want to have to visit him.

I thought I would be a lot more upset about this than I actually am. The first time I said it out loud, I almost broke down into tears but after that it hasn’t been an issue. I guess the main reason is because I had no control over getting a headache. If I had to postpone because I was just lazy and didn’t do the training it would be one thing but a medical condition makes it much easier to cope with.

Last week I started looking up fall races and I was getting highly discouraged. There was one that said the trail was marked with markers on trees. I immedialty eliminated that one because I have zero GPS skills and would be lost out on the trail for hours until a search and rescue team came and found me. A lot of them were like up and down mountains (I’m exaggerating a little) and I am not ready for that kind of craziness ~ yet. So I finally found one in South Dakota at Custard State Park. The park is located right by Mount Rushmore and The Crazy Horse Memorial. About twelve years ago the girls and I visited it with Brian’s parents. It seems as if Brian went fishing in Canada that year and skipped it. So I am totally excited he will get to see it. Devils tower is two hours away so I am already planning the insane road trip. I priced to fly out there and with it being 800 a person I said we are driving. My goal is to find some other places to see on the way back. I am so looking forward to this adventure because if it is half as crazy as our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary we will have a blast.

I fully believe everything happens for a reason. Perhaps had I run in Springfield I would have fallen and broken my ankle. Another thought I would have had a heart attack and drop dead. Or even worse someone coming to watch me would have been in a car accident. This change allows Brian and I to have another vacation alone with just the two of us. We have only taken one by ourselves a couple other times the entire time we have been married. Yes I will admit and say I am really excited about this. Now to stay injury free and start training. The two bad things about starting over is I already did the first eight weeks or so and they were hard. I am not looking forward to that and now I get to run huge long distances in the summer. Due to a lack of winter, I am afraid this summer will be unbearable but whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. So official training starts the first week of April and until then I will be trying to build my stamina back up. After five weeks my cardio has shot craps and todays four mile walk/run was hard.

 

Mole moral ~ What you work at, you get better at. What you don’t work at, you get worse at. (Pastor Tom Noblitt on marriage)