Archive for the ‘What I am Reading This Week’ Category

The Thank You Economy

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The Thank You Economy


Gary Vaynerchuk

5 Stars!


I LOVE this book.  It is the first book I read on my iPad.  My brother Dave recommended it and helped me install it.  Thank you Dave Nelson!

In The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk discusses WHY and HOW to use social media to interact with clients and potential clients online.  I already agreed with WHY and loved learning more about HOW and also loved the so-not-me loud, intense, super high energy that the author maintained for the ENTIRE book.  VERY fun.

This is the kind of person I would love listening to for an entire evening as I sat in the back of a party absorbing information and excitement about a subject I love, in this case, online client interactions.  I am pretty sure I would be excited about any subject the author spoke or wrote about, random stuff I wouldn’t otherwise give a second thought, like…wine.  I read it twice.

My very favorite part of the book is near the beginning when Gary Vaynerchuk compares the relatively new realm of online communities to the Real Life communities our great-grandparents enjoyed.  “Social media has transformed our world into one great big small town, dominated, as all vibrant towns used to be, by the strength of relationships, the currency of caring, and the power of word of mouth.”  (The Thank You Economy, page 55)


Thank you sir, for a wonderful book.  Thank you for all the new directions to take my online activity and simultaneously a renewed focus.  Thank you for reminding me why I love social media so much.  I love tweeting and blogging, but even more than the means of communication, I love people.  As different as the author and I probably are, that is one thing we definitely have in common.

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The Referral of a Lifetime – My List

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

When I moved to Omaha, I had lots of what I thought were great ideas to make my career extraordinary.  I was resisted and smashed at every turn, which I think made  me better at career building skills.  Now that I have been in a healthy environment long enough to heal, I feel like I can come back to some of those ideas.  In a good situation, who knows how great things could be.

One of the exercises I did after reading The Referral of a Lifetime was listing 100 clients.  At the time I figured if I had 100 (random number) supporters, I could have a very solid career, and that has been true.  How much more  now in an excellent envoronment.

About the list –

These are clients I like, even ones with different primary doctors.

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Any of them I would trust to any of the other 8 GDAH doctors in a heartbeat.  That is such an awesome feeling to have that team.

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They could come or go – this is just a list of clients that make me happy now – even some that don’t have pets right now or may not again.

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I don’t know if 100 is a good number, but it is a start.  (I just counted – I listed over 100 off the top of my head on my first draft and am adding people daily.)

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I am writing this list because it is easy to get discouraged, and remembering good clients is encouraging.

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I would also include our whole team on this list.

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GDAH is my career.  This list is a GDAH list.  If I die or retire, I would want everyone I care most about to stay at GDAH.

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You can’t have favorite clients professionally.  It is nice to have that freedom in a list.

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You are on my list.  Always.

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The Referral of a Lifetime

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The Referral of a Lifetime


Tim Templeton

5 Stars!


Super cheesy. Very simple. Those are my second and third favorite things about this book.

My very favorite thing about this book is that it made me dream. Any book that can do that will hold my attention and be remembered.

This is not a sales book.

thesis generator

I put off reading it because I thought it was and then put off reviewing it because I thought you would think that it was.

This is a book about creating and maintaining relationships in a business setting. It is told as a story and is a very fast read.

I jumped into this system with both feet when I first read the book in 2005. Has it been that long ago??

photo (55)This is a bookmark Abby gave me when I first got the book. It is a picture of me drawn when Abby was 3. I still use it in the same book. It really was that long ago!

I had recently moved back home to Nebraska from Colorado and a veterinary practice I loved. This system – a business built on relationships – seemed to be in place naturally at Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital because of the good men running the place. Perhaps they had actually worked really hard at it? Maybe.

I know Dad has built his whole career around relationships, and it does seem to come naturally to him. I grew up watching Dad work and still admire how he runs his business.

But here was a blueprint! I made my list of favorite clients (Yes, YOU are on it!) – a database as recommended by the author – and my brother Dave made really cute cards with his and Sara’s dog Riley and their cat Abaye whispering to each other. Inside the card says, “Thank you for the referral! Our business thrives because of the kind words of our clients.”  This was PERSONAL.

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Russ and I spent our own money sending clients to the movies as thank you gifts week after week as referrals poured in. I loved it!

I was met with resistance at every turn. I was told, “If I have to hear MY hospital, MY team or MY clients one more time, I think I am going to…” I didn’t hear the rest of the rant. I was thinking, “I meant ‘my’ like ‘my friends’ not like ‘my property.’ You can’t own people! And it’s not my hospital…” When I came back around, that rant was over and a new one had begun. I knew it was the beginning of the end, but the years of resistance training – haha – had been good for me. My beliefs had been affirmed, fire tested and solidified. Relational business was the only way I ever wanted to practice.

Last week, I pulled those thank you cards out of the back of my cabinet (Not MY cabinet, but you know, the one above the desk I use. Oh, yeah, I have issues.) Anyways, I sent the first card I have sent in years to a very kind vet school classmate – Brad Peterson – who had referred a friend to Gentle Doctor who had just moved from Iowa to Omaha. Brad knows my boss Dr. Pete Bashara and me, and recommended that his friend see either of us. I got to see Brad’s friend, who is very nice, and his very sweet dogs, and I remembered how fun that was to do on purpose.

Once again I am at a great practice – one where any doctor and any combination of the team you see is going to be great. Once again, I am celebrated and encouraged with all my quirks and weirdness.

This book has been an anchor as I try to find where exactly I fit best. Career-wise I have found it, and it is good to be back in a great place. It is time to put that resistance training to good use and get back to purposely practicing as I do best. Thank you Tim Templeton for writing this little book. I love it and have read through it several times. It has impacted my career, my outlook and helped form some of my most rewarding business relationships. I will always be grateful for all of that. I think I will read through the book one more time.

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Confessions of a Surgeon

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Confessions of a Surgeon

The Good, the Bad and the Complicated…Life Behind the O.R. Doors

by Paul A. Ruggieri, M.D.

5 Stars!


Dr. Ruggieri is a human doctor – a general surgeon.  I found everything he said about his training and career fascinating.

As veterinarians, our training roughly parallels the training of M.D.’s until after veterinary/medical school.  Then we are let loose on the world and M.D.’s continue their training with internships, residencies and often further training.  A “finished” M.D. more resembles a veterinary specialist than a veterinary general practitioner.

Even so, as a general veterinary practitioner who does surgery, I related to some of the scary/exciting/rewarding tales of O.R. events, to the struggles of client communication, to how every surgery shapes you as a doctor, to the bonding with families and the grief over loss.

We deal with pets, also family members, but Dr. Ruggieri deals with people, human family members – spouses of several decades, children, grandparents…  I cannot imagine the gravity of having a human life in my hands, and often wonder how much more stressful it would be and if I would have had the fortitude to train and practice on that level.  I do not think that I would.

If by some chance I DID have the fortitude, and I got through the YEARS of training and YEARS of experience, and ended up in the surgery Dr. Ruggieri described in one of his first tellings (I will not describe it here – Some of you put your sandwich down and glare at me if I say “cat abscess.”  Geez.)  ANYWAYS, I think even if I could have and did reach that point, I would not say, “I just bought these shoes!”  I would say, “I think I am going to  be a writer!” and walk out of the O.R. and never look back.

This book is not gross.  (That story was, but it was also fascinating).

Subjects I barely have to consider – lawsuits, health insurance (MUCH different and more straight forward in the veterinary world!), following cases for years – loom around every case for Dr. Ruggieri.  The stress has to be wearing, but it seems as though the author balances the salary, the unique brand of excitement and career satisfaction inherent in being a surgeon and the chance to save lives with those very real, very prominent challenges.

Dr. Ruggieri is a highly trained, exceptional surgeon, but he is also filled with compassion.  I have trouble not calling a puppy by name as I spay her.  He has trouble not seeing a patient in pre-term crisis as a Mom of a grown family years down the road.  But he goes into surgical mode, gloves up and saves lives.  Daily.  Just reading it exhausted me.  And the stories are SO good.

Omaha has two veterinary surgical specialists, both excellent.  I scrub in on every surgery of Dr. Merkley’s that I can.  I read every surgical report Dr. Thoesen sends over.  I LOVE being around surgery.  I LOVE having completed a cool surgery.  I do not love being in surgery.  So for me, this book was perfect.  I could be in the O.R., imagine I was handing over gauze sponges, and be right in the middle of every case.

I think as a medical professional, or even more as a lay person – you will love this book.

The Happiness Project – 5 Stars!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The Happiness Project


Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun


Gretchen Rubin

5 (Gold) Stars!


(Note to the author even though I read that you do not read reviews of your own work, and besides, I am a pretty small fish, but in case  you do read this…Reading this review may contribute slightly to your overall happiness.  I love this book, and I love your writing!)

I love this book!  I am currently reading it for the second time.  Then I am reading “Happier at Home,” also by Gretchen Rubin.  I also read Gretchen Rubin’s column “The Happiness Project” in Good Housekeeping.

In fact, check out page 112 of June 2013’s Good Housekeeping in which an interview BY Gretchen Rubin WITH Susan Cain is printed.  You might die of happiness.  So maybe don’t read it.  If you do, be careful.

This book was a gift from one of my Real Life favorite women, my sister-in-law Cara.

The author took one year to focus on researching happiness and boosting the happiness in her own personal life.  She focused on one aspect of happiness every month.

It didn’t hurt that she also has – I assume, based  on her own descriptions – a sweet, sexy husband and two wonderful daughters.  “Me too!  I think I will like this book!” I thought.  I also love the cover.

When I read the book for the first time two years ago while we were on our Nelson family vacation in Colorado, I looked up at several points during my reading.  In the distance was a beautiful mountain range.  Next to me was my Mom, one of my favorite people in the whole world, and directly in front of me on the deck were my niece and nephew playing.  It was such a peaceful time, one of the best weeks I can remember.  But it SO clashed with how my life at home was going.

Benjamin Beaver

Benjamin Beaver was carved right into the logs of the cabin where we stayed…along with his footprints.

Every time I looked up from my book I would think “Life should not be this hard.  I should not be this stressed all the time.  Everything in my life is so good.  Well, except for work, but I love veterinary medicine.”  At the time, I only worked one day a week, and had for several years, but I hated it, and I was miserable the rest of the week too.

It wasn’t that being on vacation was more restful than Real Life.  It was just such a stark contrast to Real Life that I hadn’t realized how anxious I had been all of the time for a really long time.  I knew life would not always be a vacation in the mountains.  But I don’t need the mountains.  I don’t need vacation.  For me, my family and a good book are about all it takes to make me wildly happy most of the time.  And for that whole week, away from work, I was wildly happy again.

Two months later, I quit my job, started my dream job, and have been wildly happy…remember, my idea of “wild” is family, a good book and being mostly content most of the time – ha!…I have been wildly happy ever since.

I would like to think – in fact I KNOW – this book was a part of the kick in the butt that got me here.  I also know that life is a lot more complex than that.  Life circumstances, family support and my own decisions all helped lead me to where I am today – I promise if that major life change had blown up in my face, I would not ever blame a book or an author or even Life or family – I took some pretty big risks knowing I was deciding to take them!

That being said, “The Happiness Project” was part of the beginning of a new chapter of happiness for me.

THANK YOU Cara for the book.

THANK YOU Gretchen Rubin for writing it.

I LOVE this book and will be forever grateful for this part of that turning point.

And now, two years later, in a happy and stable career situation, and with life overall just really good again, I can read the book a second time from a healthier place and say “Some of these things would be really fun to try.”

And so I will.

The first time around, thinking of starting my own unique happiness project from scratch was just overwhelming.  Yes, because of Life, but also because I like boundaries, rules, lists of things to do.  An open-ended happiness project would not work for me.

I have decided this time around, I will do a year long happiness project, but go literally by the book, starting with Month 1, in which, for part of the month’s focus the author dealt with clutter.  This has always been a struggle for me, and always makes me happy when I have clutter under control, so I will start here and see where the year takes me.

May you always be surrounded with as wonderful of family and friends as I have, may you always have the courage (or insanity) it takes to make the Big Changes and little changes that need to be made, and may you have a book as good as this one  to inspire you and the down time to step back from Real Life and read it.

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

by Susan Cain

Five Stars!


I absolutely love this book.

Remember my sort of new rule?  Always judge a book by its cover.  The cover of this book is a beautiful, soft, cool grey.  It reminds me of our sweet little hairless rats, Fuzzy and Wuzzy.

Fuzzy Rat

I realize that authors do  not always choose their cover designs, and I realize that better people than I say NEVER judge a book by its cover, but perhaps some great mind chose this cover on purpose as a kindness to introverts who would be reading the book.  A beautiful soft cover (I imagine the cover designer thinking) would be comforting as we introverts sat in the corner and read our book about introverts as the world carried on around us.  (It was.)  My theory could be true, because…

According to the author, introverts are highly reactive – things in our environment affect us more starkly than they do others.

THAT was the first big point from the book that I have had to ponder.  I had always defined introversion as drawing strength from internal sources and extroversion as drawing strength from external sources.

Still true, I believe, and I believe the author would support that definition, but she also cited some very compelling research that supported the idea that introverts tend to react more  strongly to their environments than extroverts.  It makes sense.  Introverts often need peace, quiet, time to recharge.  Extroverts often need interaction, people, friends around.

Study of one…

  • I am easily overwhelmed in a crowd.
  • I want to punch the big screen TVs in our church lobby every time I see them.
  • I love music but need to either listen to music or concentrate on a project.
  • I close my eyes when I am talking to clients on the phone so I can focus more intently on exactly what their pets need.

I am an introvert, and I am highly reactive – very sensitive to what is in my environment.  It has been interesting to think of introversion/extroversion from that perspective.

Introverts are great.  We knew that, right?  We are people lovers, we are excellent leaders, we are often amazing speakers and we are thinkers.  Thank you for saying all of those kind things Susan Cain.  We knew that, and it is not always obvious to the world.  It is not like we are going to yell it on a street corner!  We are just going to continue loving people, leading, speaking, thinking and living our lives.

Extroverts are great too.  We knew that too!  They are some of our favorite people.  Without the “other half” we would not have a fun, exciting, balanced world.

Stretching beyond your comfort zone – as an introvert or an extrovert – may sometimes be beneficial when it involves something that is very important to you, but do not stretch yourself too far outside of your comfort zone, and do not be dishonest with yourself.  Be true to yourself and your strengths.  This is a HUGE relief to read after a lifetime of being told to step outside my comfort zone.  Don’t.  Unless you need to and then get back to where you are most comfortable, because you were created to be you, so be you.

If you are an introvert and you love what you do but it has extrovert requirements, find ways to recharge during the day for your own long term well-being and in order to continue to do your life’s work well.  Since reading the book the first time (I read it again to write this review, which made me want to read it a third time) I have made conscious changes in my work day in order to continue to have the energy to do what I love and need to do – work with my veterinary team and client families to protect and restore the health of pets.

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I get to work a half hour early whenever I can.  Not to work, just to sit.

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I chose a desk that faces the corner of the office.

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I spend much of my lunch and break time alone.

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I color between appointments.

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I took on much of the social media portion of the business because I love social media and because I believe in the company, but I have found as a wonderful side effect the ability to invest hours researching and creating, which is healing and restoring down time that balances well the rigors and emotions of the rest of the work day.

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I LOVE spending my days with my coworkers.  I LOVE spending time in exam rooms with clients.  I love meeting people, talking on the phone, consulting with experts.  All of this, as much as I love it, is as physically and emotionally draining for me as I imagine it is charging for an extrovert.  It is difficult to explain what a to-the-core people person I am when I need to spend time away from people in order to be with them again.  Even to me it sounds strange.

Susan Cain says it is not.

And for that – the validation of me as an individual – and the validation of introversion as a trait to be celebrated and nourished, I am most grateful.

Thank you Susan Cain.

AND thank you to Rebecca Tudor, veterinary surgical specialist, for introducing me to this wonderful book.

I think that whether you identify yourself as an introvert or an extrovert, you will enjoy reading this book, and it will stretch your thinking, in a good way, not in a beyond your comfort zone way.

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116 Comic

Managing Your Day-to-Day

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Managing Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind

Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Five Stars!


While we were in Wisconsin this summer, I was reading Veterinary Economics with my family. Mom, Amanda, Dave, Sara and Cara were all reading books. I looked over the top of my magazine to ask what everyone else was reading, and Dave, who maybe should have known better than most of the rest of the group save Mom, was the only one left in the room. Everyone else had wisely tucked their books under their arms, grabbed their drinks and sprinted in different directions. They knew I could not catch them all. I guess I kind of have a reputation for stealing books.

So I stole (borrowed) Dave’s book, and it was GREAT! Really, I stayed up one night past midnight to finish it, because it was that good, but mostly because I knew I could not help stealing it again during the day while Dave probably wanted to read it, and I wanted to stop being a jerk.

It’s books, people! Not hard drugs. I can totally handle it.

The book was written by an amazing group of creative minds. I have pages of quotes, website links and new books to read, which is the most exciting thing of all about the book – where it leads next! I already had the books on writing by Stephen King and Ray Bradsbury on my list of books to read, and both authors were quoted in this book, which was neat.

Stephen King said that it helps him to have a routine about writing. He takes his multivitamin and gets a drink (tea or juice) and sits down to write at the same time every day. That COMPLETELY freaked me out all week. I yelled as much to Russ. “DID YOU KNOW,” I yelled (sorry about the caps – I really was freaked out, and really did yell), “that the next time you walk by someone and you are too close not to smile or say hi,” I paused here to say “You know how sometimes you walk by someone and you are too close not to smile or say hi?”

“Hmm,” Russ said, which let me know he totally was following me.

“THAT GUY YOU THINK IS NORMAL COULD BE AS NOT NORMAL AS STEPHEN KING!! Russ, Stephen King takes a multivitamin! Like someone you think is a normal guy!” At this point, I believe Russ stopped following me, but even if he did not get it, I was completely freaked out. I LOVE when books rattle me that much, and this one did.

It also inspired me to do the things I do better, which I also love. My job is not officially creative – maintaining health and treating illness – but it is always good to get a new angle on things. And really, SOME parts of veterinary medicine are done better when creativity is involved. And other things I love to do – mainly writing and creating stuff for social media for work and fun – those things DO have a creative element, so I felt that there were many direct applications from the book right to my life.

The book dealt quite a bit with managing the powerful monster that is email. It made me appreciate how much creative professionals have to deal with urgent and disruptive issues communicated via email that I just do not need to deal with on such an intense level. So much of veterinary medicine casework is hands on and needs to be resolved either completely or to an acceptable stopping point that I do not deal with the ongoing open projects that need immediate attention from me on near the level that creative professionals do.

I LOVED the chapter on multitasking. Summary: Don’t. It is not possible. If you think you are good at multitasking, you are probably just more skilled at switching quickly between projects than other people are, and you would still do better overall if you did not do that.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year has been to ONLY single-task, and it is HARD! I think my quality of medicine has gone way up, and my overall enjoyment of life in general has gone way up. It is still a struggle, but I try to completely finish one case before I move on to the next – not possible if you have multiple sickies to care for (though I can still work on completing one task or block of tasks before moving to the next), but it IS possible (but very difficult!) if you have one complex medical or surgical case and then another right afterwards. The upsides are that the pet who needs you most has your complete attention while they need it and receives better care, and once you have finished a case, it is done and you can relax or focus on the next pet.

Also, at the end of the day, you can do medical role call (Everyone okay?) and if no one woofs or meows at you because they are all home recovering, all better or transferred to the emergency hospital for continuing care, you do not need to stay into the wee hours finishing medical notes and trying to remember what you forgot, because you got everything done before each pet left. SO cool.

Now, on to other areas of life – giving my daughters my complete attention when they need it, eating a meal and doing nothing else, cleaning one thing then the next. Hard stuff people! Even though that is the chapter that resonated with me the most, it is also the one I will need to reread the most. (I am buying my own copy of the book Dave!)

I also loved Gretchen Rubin’s advice to write every day. I have loved following her discoveries on happiness as she writes about them, and just think she is an incredible person. So if she says to do an exact thing, I am most likely going to try it. Five days in. So far, I love it. I missed you, writing!

Great book. You will love it.

Thank you Dave!

I have four more “already read” books to review and many more to read! Next on my reading list is every book mentioned in THIS book and the new list (YAY!) of leadership books recommended by Tom McFerson and the others in the June Veterinary Economics issue.

How Are You?

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Dr. Phil Zeltzman DVM, DACVS, CVJ recently wrote an article for ImproMed titled “How is Your Attitude When You Show Up for Work?”

While I agreed with his main point – of course we should have a good attitude – I disagree with what he said about asking and answering “How are you?”

The sad truth is, most people don’t really care how you’re doing when they pop the question. It’s a habit, a ritual, a social convention, rarely a true invitation for you to share your misery.  So at the very least, if you’re having a bad day, fake it. Say something non-committal like “Good, thank you, and you?” or “I’m fine, thanks, how are you?”


If you ask such an intimate and personal question as “How are you?” you had better be ready for the whole story.  If you do not want to know, do not ask.

Is it wrong to say “fine”?  Absolutely not.  You may need an opt-out answer.  And sometimes we really are fine.

Perhaps we need safer greeting options.  If we want our greeting to serve only as a morale booster, we should nod and say “hey” with a smile.  Or wave on our way past the front desk.  Or something.

But I think we should be checking in with each other, really asking “How are you?” and letting our coworkers decide how much they would like to share.

It is a dangerous question, and yet one worth asking.  Whether the interaction is going to be a kind exchange of pleasantries, a door to a deep unveiling or something in between should be completely at the  discretion of the one asked.

This is a tough career, people.  We have difficult cases.  We have clients who need us.  We have patients we love who insist on being mortal.  We have Life.  We need to be looking out for each other.  Be brave.  Ask the question.  Be braver still and answer.  Your team needs you, and you need them too.  It is a question worth asking with empathy and worth answering with honesty.  We are far more likely to reach and maintain a good attitude by taking care of each other than by faking our way through a difficult day alone.

Happy Memorial Day and…Squirrel!

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Happy Memorial Day to you and your families.

THANK YOU to the men and women of the United States military who have kept and continue to keep us safe and protect our country. Thank you Dad and Dad-Finch.  Thank you Grandpa Rasmussen and Grandpa Everingham.


View Down Our Street Where Flags are Lined Up Three Times a Year

I love our neighborhood.  Reason #93 (or so :)) – The neighbors who have lived here since the homes were built in the mid 1940’s put a small flag out for every neighbor who wants one every Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day.

This year, Russ and I helped.  We also put a flag in the yard of the new bike shop on the corner to say, “Happy Memorial Day.  We are so glad you are here and hope you feel like a part of the neighborhood.”  The shop owner drove by and waved, which I think meant, “That is exactly what I thought you meant, and thank you.”

Here are some pictures from the week…


Robins' Nest that Abby Found at the Park Near My Work

Baby Gizmo - Puppy at Our Neighbors' Movie Party - Doesn't she look like Joy??

Tucker Dog at Movie Night

Oscar Dog at Movie Night

Baby Gizmo and Tucker Dog are new friends.  Oscar Dog and I are old friends.  His family is Jeff and Lu and their son and their cat – five of my very favorites in the whole world.  Oscar and Henny Penny Cat are also patients, something, surprisingly, they have never held against me.

Squirrel! Black Squirrel playing on our fence

I commented from the Aksarben Farmers’ Market yesterday that if I can focus on the babies or dogs in a crowd, I can relax.  Otherwise, I get antsy, and I need to be at the edge of a crowd if possible.  Vernon asked if I have a social anxiety disorder, and I said I probably do, though it has never been formally diagnosed.  I do okay though.

On a related note, Lu laughed that all of my pictures from Movie Night were of the dogs.  But I otherwise acted Almost Normal.  I love people!  Just more than a few strangers at a time gets overwhelming!  I spent much of the evening talking with a friend of Lu’s who raises African Tortoises (How cool is that??) and also Gizmo’s Mom, who it turns out, loves super cute black Lab Something puppies as much as I do.

Pictures from Work…

These pictures are from the @GentleDoctor120 twitter account. Dr. Bashara let me start it for the team, and it is very fun.  Because Dr. Krapfl and Angie are also involved, there is helpful medical information in the twitter stream as well!

This is Trudy, the Super Cute doggy of my coworker Koni

This is on the white board at work.  Every day we add things and every day we change the border.  Fun!

Positivity Corner

Here are a few pictures from my parents’ backyard. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful??

Everything I know about fish medicine, I learned from helping Dad with this pond

This is what Mom and Dad do when they find out a ground hog is living under the shed. You see why I am the way I am?? They named him "G" which Dad and I both find hilarious.

This is the view that would be lost if the field behind Mom and Dad's is developed, which may occur soon. To the right of the picture is my high school Millard North.

Websites I am Reading this Week…

I Miss You When I Blink

Thank you Dr. Roark!

The Bloggess

Dr. Grumpy in the House

Veterinarians Behaving Badly

New Games I Have Found…

Logo Quiz

(Thank you African Tortoise Farmer!)

Draw Something

How sweet is Russ? :)

I would have added you to my Draw Something group if I knew how.  I think I am “Finch93” if you would like to play with me.  It is super fun!

Happy Memorial Day!

Read New Books But Keep The Old…

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

…one is silver and the other gold.

Or something.

I LOVE books.  Remember when Veterinary Economics published that article by Tom McFerson, 25 Books for your Summer Reading?  And someone said something like, “Of course you can’t read ALL the books…”

That was fun.

Where is that guy?  I heard he was publishing a list of 25 more books.  I have been kind of lost waiting.  You do NOT want me to come up with a list!  You think THAT list got random?  Mine would be crazy random.  You would be whispering, “This is SO not focused on veterinary medicine…”  So in the meantime, while we wait for THE list, here are books I plan to re-read this year.  They are some of my very favorites.

The New Testament


Some years I try to read the whole Bible.  Having the NIV One Year Bible version has made that very fun and easy the past few years.  This year, I am going to take a break from the Old Testament, and I will tell you why.  There are two  details of minor stories of the Old Testament, that if you read them when you are already sad will sucker punch you.  Not that they should not be in there or that God condones evil by any stretch, but I just don’t want to read those two stories this year.  But I will read Esther.  I love her.  And the Psalms and Proverbs.  And…the New Testament.  See?  I told you, random.  Maybe in my crazy tangents, sometimes there are big important things.  These next ones get randomer though…

The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn


I found this collection of newsletters years ago and I just love it.  I don’t know if it is the Kristin Fuhs-size family of the author or her fun, chit-chatty tone, or the fact that when I found it we were broke new parents looking for fun, free stuff to do, but I still love flipping through this book.  It’s pretty worn.  I don’t think I’ve read it cover to cover since I got it.  Fun.

Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley – The FlyLady


Great tips for the domestically challenged (that is, me) with some really profound wisdom when you read through it a second time.  Here’s hoping that is true the third time as well!

Bread Machine Magic and More Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway


Fun books, great comments and awesome bread.  Not a cover-to-cover stay up past bedtime with a flashlight sort of read, but definitely two of my very favorite books.  Thanks Mom!!

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew


We got this when we started gardening about eight years ago, so we didn’t realize it wasn’t a normal way to garden.  I LOVE Square Foot Gardening and am anxious to start again this spring.  We took 2011 off because we missed Ebony Dog and how she would run around (never through!) the boxes while we worked in the garden.  See?  Back to pets!  I CAN focus!


Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult:  Canine and Feline, Fifth Edition, edited by Lary P. Tilley and Francis W.K. Smith, Jr.

So I haven’t read this cover-to-cover, but I have wanted to do so since the first edition came out.   And now I have my own copy!  Woo!  (Thank you Veterinary Practice News!)

Skills for Communicating with Patients, Second Edition by Jonathan Silverman, Suzanne Kurtz and Juliet Draper

This was one of the “25 Books” and the one I found most helpful.  I plan on reading through it again this year, and tracking down and reading the companion book, Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine.


This is going to be fun!  I also still have that whole spin-off list you helped me make last year, and two books I read and loved last year to review – The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk (Thank you Dave!) and The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin.  (Thank you Cara!)

And I will read some fiction…and your blog posts…and of course, newspaper, journal and magazine articles.

Oh, and Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, which Mike Falconer recommended.  (Thank you Mike!  And thank you for helping me with the Twitter and Facebook buttons!  I almost have them figured out!)

Tom McFerson, I LOVED your list!  Thank you so much.  I  can’t wait to read your next list.  But until then, I think I will be able to keep myself out of trouble.

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