Archive for Personal

WE’ve Moved!

I’ve shifted most everything over to Blogger, culling a few posts along the way (mostly stuff that had no views or that I felt needed to go).

You can now read me at:

Thanks Y’all!


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There Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Me

So say the doctors. Maybe something to do with bile salts not binding together well enough, or something. Got me a prescription I haven’t filled yet cause I was too busy running around buying a new cell phone and new laundry baskets and a book I have to review for my freelance gig at the end of the month.  The upshot to two major surgical tests in two weeks is that I’ve managed to lose 10lbs.  Want to lose weight?  Have some doctor check your colon.  All that fasting will do a number on all that extra weight.  The side benefit? I think my stomach has shrunk cause I can’t eat a whole meal even if I wanted to right now.

The most exciting thing going on here lately is that my dog ate my cell phone.  I don’t know how he does it or why small electronic things taste good to him, but for whatever reason the doxie loves to eat him some electronic dinners after we go to bed.  He’s eaten three remote controls. Oh, and shoes. I’ve lost so many shoes over the last year I’ve lost count. No amount of whooping his tiny dog butt matters. He’s gonna chew no matter what.

You see, Mrs. Hillbilly isn’t much of a housekeeper. I’m too busy being creative for that.  I don’t pick up after myself well.  I mean, I do it — but it comes in bursts.  I clean the house from top to bottom before I start a big project, or at the end of the semester, that kind of thing.  And when I go to bed at night, I’m well known to leave whatever I’m working on just sitting out on the coffee table. Where the evil Mr. Dacotah can get ahold of it.  The cell phone was the final straw. Those things are expensive.  Ridiculously so.

I’m going to have to change my ways. So I bought a nice little tasteful box to put the shoes in ( cause I’m down to three pair, so I can fit them in it) and I put it right by the door.  Then, I realized that my laundry baskets caused a stain on my hardwood floor. I don’t know how or why but there’s a big permanent black spot on the floor where the laundry basket was.  This is the second time that’s happened. Time to toss them too.

Thank goodness we have a Container Store in the neighborhood now.  It solves all those “where will I put my shoes to thwart the tiny dog” problems.  Cause you know, I can’t put them in the closet where they belong. Because THAT is full of sweatshirts and other things.  Home organization is not my forte.

There’s been almost no Hillbilly news to report lately and nothing exciting in the land of Hillbilly art or blogs or anything else.  So I may slow down here until the Fall, when hunting season starts, and there’s sure to be plenty to gab about.  Hope ya’ll aren’t melting out there, now that the humidity has finally kicked in!

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Medical Mystery: No More Southern Food? The Horror!

I have thought for years that I had stress-induced ulcers made worse by acid reflux. I’ve been taking prevacid every day for the past four or five years. I had a gall-bladder removal a couple of years ago, after which a lot of the symptoms I have got better but did not go away. Thus, the whole ulcer thing. But I never got properly tested.

After having some testing done this week it turns out that I don’t have any ulcers at all! I was shocked when the doctor told me this. In fact, I nearly fell off my chair. What does that mean? Where does the continual pain come from? Why on earth would I have all these stomach problems if I have no ulcers and actually, according to the doctor, have an extremely healthy stomach for a 34-year-old woman?

The testing continues. One possibility that I have in the back of my head is Celiac’s disease, which is basically an allergy to gluten. I’m having further tests done to see what the issue is and calling my doctor tomorrow to see if they can test me for this. Things started coming together after my best friend (owner of Little Mountain Bindery, check the blogroll), mentioned her aunt has it and has many of the same symptoms. Then I remembered — crap — I have a cousin who has it! Then I googled a list of symptoms.

I just never paid much attention to my cousin because, well, she’s a little wacky, god bless her. And being a doctor’s kid, I was trained to ignore what sounds like hypochondriac babbling. And she always kind of had that tendency. Of course, now I feel bad for ignoring my cousin. That list of symptoms is strangely accurate to my situation. And my genetics just make it more possible — it’s common in women of Nordic and Celtic descent. I’m Nordic on my mom’s side and Celtic on my dad’s.

Obviously, there’s no telling what it could be — but if it is Celiac’s, then I’m going to have to completely quit eating southern food (no fried chicken, no biscuits and gravy, no fried okra). The consequences of this are just about more than I care to think about at the moment. The lack of fried chicken and okra and 10,000 southern-food things in my life will be a serious issue for me. I’ll never again be able to eat my beloved shrimp etoufee at the Oyster Bar. Or, oh my the horror, any cobbler of any sort!

I love me some good southern food, by god. I’m going to try not to stress out about it until I know for sure. In the mean time, I’m going to just hope that modern medicine will figure out it’s not Celiac’s and I don’t have to consider giving up southern cooking!

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Sick as a dog

Ever since I got home from the big fourth weekend (and prior) I’ve been suffering with my regular stomach ailments. It’s bad enough at this point that I’ve finally decided it’s time to see a specialist.  I’m going in for tests on Thursday, which I have to prep for all day tomorrow. This means I don’t get to eat anything tomorrow. Just clear liquids. Weee!

So you probably won’t see much of me here for the next few days. I’m too bad off to sit at this computer for very long, much less long enough to write a full post.  I’ll be back as soon as my stomach has been tamed by modern medicine.

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Mrs. Hillbilly goes to the Hills to Work

I’m off to Louisville for ten days to grade your snot-nosed over-achieving high schoolers’ AP exams in English Literature.  I’m sure it will be riveting and amazing.  I’ll post an expose of working for Educational Testing Service when I return (and try to finish up those movie reviews I never finished!).

In the meantime, I wish you all a happy early June!

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Orphan Story#1: The Phalanges

Note: Yes, I do really write “serious” stuff. I just don’t write about writing much. It’s so . . . meta, or something.  I also don’t share my writing on this blog because that’s too meta too.  If you want to read my best work, you’re going to have to buy the journals where it shows up (or the book, maybe, eventually).  However, I’m realizing that there are some pieces of “creative writing” (whatever that means anymore) that might fit for the blog. Below is a snippet of a piece of writing I’ve done that fits nowhere. I can’t seem to squeeze it into anything larger and it doesn’t really work on its own for something a literary journal would take. So I’m presenting it to you in the hopes that it might lose its orphan status by getting a read or two.

Orphan Story#1: The Phalanges

I was born into a house where my father’s huge textbooks lay on every surface. Later, when we moved to Little Rock for Dad to attend Medical School, they transformed into medical books. One room of our rent house was devoted to ceiling-high stacks of back issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association. I started reading at two years old, through a combination of memorizing my favorite stories and a little instruction from Mom. I was completely familiar with the notion of careful word choice by the time I hit kindergarten, because Dad used me as a study tool for his anatomy class. This had the effect of my deciding that there were correct words for certain things, that most people just got them wrong, and it was my job to correct them when it happened.


I went to kindergarten at Fair Park Elementary on the edge of the Hillcrest neighborhood in Little Rock. By then, Dad was already in Gross Anatomy II, so I’d already spent a semester memorizing the medical terms for my body parts. I suppose to test our cognitive skills, the Kindergarten teacher had each child stand up before her and recite the names for certain body parts. She pointed to my forehead and said, “What’s that?”

 “My cranium,” I said.

“No, your forehead,” the Teacher corrected me.

No, it’s my cranium.”

The teacher ignored me and moved on. “What are these?” She waved her hand in front of my face.

“Phalanges,” I said.

“No, fingers. Those are your fingers,” she insisted.

“No they aren’t. They are my phalanges. And those things at the end of my feet are phalanges too.”  The teacher stared at me, incredulous.

“Do you have a dictionary?”  I said. 

My mom got a phone call at work later that day and I got my first academic victory. Mom had to explain I was using the scientific terms for bones, since my father used me as a living dummy to study for his anatomy class. The teacher didn’t quite know what to do, so she looked it up. When she discovered I was right, she just let me say whatever came out of my mouth in reference to body parts. It’s a good thing we didn’t do the Human Body for our class play, because I would have refused to say breastbone and insisted on saying manubrium. I was that sort of kid.


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