Sunday, November 23, 2014

rain rain go away

I had the distinctly humbling experience of sharing an umbrella with my father on this rainy eggs and doughnuts day. It was barely raining when we went in to eat and pouring by the time we got to the home to visit Mama. They called yesterday to say that she's on antibiotics now and has a skin tear which is not unusual for her. We sat at the booth next to my high school biochemistry teacher/JFK conspiracy theory expert and he and Daddy talked football the entire time which was fun even for me. They went through the history of the SEC and Big 10 several times, including the Manning legacy that started with Archie Who? at Ole Miss. I can tell that I am becoming an elder like them because I still know what they're talking about. Mom was sitting in her wheelchair with her leg propped on the bed when we rolled in. Daddy was reading the church bulletin to her when I got back from parking and texting. She asked what was going on in Dyersburg and we both said "not a thing" which is mostly true. Our front page news lately has been the pedophile who has a dog chained to his camper and won't give it up for adoption.

I noticed that the handyman and his guy were adding quite a bit to their piles in the yard where the crazy people no longer live. You would not believe how much shit, literally...was in that house. It was built around the time mine was, around 1918 but is in much worse shape due to years of neglect. The view, however, is to die for and somebody will pay big bucks to stay there if they get it looking decent. I shudder to think about the life those kids lived under that roof. Bobby said about a year ago he went for a plumbing job and was met at the door by a pitbull guarding Jenny. She walked through dog poop across roaches on the floor and plopped back on the couch when he got in. It was the quickest job he ever did!

The Hughen family lived there when I was a kid and many more since them. Shirley and Tiko...Robert Miller the mighty coyote killer. My brother. BG and her friends. It's been around the block and there is still spray paint on the basement wall where they created graffiti as kids. There are two fireplaces which I would die for, but not sure the chimney is up to code. The entire bathroom is gutted which is okay because it was never big enough anyway. One former tenant called it the "little bathroom house."

So the holiday season is upon us and everywhere I go people ask if I'm "ready for Christmas." Meaning have I shopped til I dropped and spent money I don't have on things that people don't need. No I have not, nor will I. Black Friday is just another work day for me and so is Thanksgiving. I'm doing it for the time and a half so I can get some propane. Maybe. Hopefully.

Osar and Ryder always follow me down to the grands' house and they were still there when I brought daddy home, both of them soaking wet and thinking they were gonna lay on MY bed. NOT! I love 'em, but. Sam and Sophie don't like getting wet so much so they've stayed curled up all morning while the odd couple roamed.

Other than that? I got nothing. Keep the faith ^j^

Saturday, November 22, 2014

love you forever, like you for always long as you're living your baby I'll be. That book crossed my mind as I sit here with tears just a streaming. Mama hasn't eaten in days because it "all tastes the same" so I stopped by Java for her favorites this morning after my financial planning session. She was resting her eyes when I came in and I sat beside her on the bed as she tasted fresh chicken salad, fruit and tea. That she had to force herself to eat it makes me very sad. Anorexia is not just for skinny teenagers ya' know. Miss Smiley roommate sat there behind us and carried on until her daughter came. Then she called her by the wrong child's name. Mom insisted I take the leftovers for us and I was headed out sobbing when I ran into Aunt Granny parked at a table for lunch. She hadn't seen mom for several days so I wheeled her and the leftovers back to my mother's bedside where they shared the bounty of being Reaves sisters.

Daddy checked in to see if I was available for church duty tomorrow because we've all forgotten when I work and when I don't. Thanks to the prayers of a lot of warriors things have eased up on the finances for a few days so that I don't walk around with my jaw clenched 24/7. TMJ syndrome has never been very kind to me as a clencher, gum chewer and ice chomper. It may sound like Pollyanna, but I feel the love being sent our way and that's what is keeping me in enough faith to let the spirit work. I'm gonna' rest for awhile.

The miracles that have happened this year are abundant and evident now that we are past the crisis point of trying to keep the whole circus going. BG is working hard and looking well in spite of a sore tailbone and frequent allergy flares. Daddy is fine as long as he's got a TV and the neighbors would call us if the house is on fire...hell they would save him! James Frank could break down that door in a heartbeat. I noticed a FB post by one of my friends that a couple she knows had lost everything in fire and I had to wonder what the heck that's like. No tangible history, other than what's up in the great cloud of internet. I hope ISIS doesn't kill the web...we'd all be screwed.

My mother always told me that if I ever put her in a home where they make you wear bunny ears for a group picture she would haunt me forever. I think holiday ears are optional where she is so maybe I'm still her favorite daughter.


Friday, November 21, 2014

if i were a rich man

I remember my grandmother playing the soundtrack from Fiddler during my childhood on an honest to goodness turntable which was big stuff during the 60s. She knew every word to that song and all the others that were popular in shows of that era. Uncle Jim did community theater productions of several including Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. I never acted in one but loved watching the hustle and bustle of putting together a performance. This is the very same man who took me and Ky cuz to the falling down county jail to see the inmates so we wouldn't want to end up there. He was spontaneous like that and I loved it. Where my own daddy found joy in sports and bowling, Jimbo put all his spare time into more music and remodeling houses. The one on St John is where Deb came running down the stairs and didn't stop at the glass storm door. Lots of blood and stitches.

The Troys lived a few houses down and we could walk to elementary school from there. Down the street is a house on a shady corner that belonged to Mama's friend Doris's family while the Reaves bunch lived on Pate Street along with Mrs. Norman and her crew of boys. Luigi stuck a broom in mom's bicycle just to watch her fall. What a mean one! One of the richest businessmen in town lived on the corner. There was a poorer section to the east and the railroad runs under a bridge that now carries the rich ones to school and the suburbs in their parents' ridiculously expensive gas guzzling vehicles. Some things never change.

I'm on the other side of those tracks and have been for about 10 years. My husband told me when he left I could never afford it on my own and he was right about that. It is what it is, but I've had a helluva' lot of fun just living my life on this hill. Nobody can take that away from me. My friend Kenneth lost his mother recently and shared a state sponsored advance directive than be used as a simple tool for decision making when it comes to end of life care. He pointed out that nobody ever really THINKS they're gonna die because everybody keeps saying "Don't give up!!" Sometimes you're just tired of the fight and I appreciate the lesson that working in a hospital has given me on dying well and otherwise.

Doctors are so freakin' full of themselves like they're the only ones who want to "help people." Now it's all about managed care with big insurance and giant corporations teaming up to see what type of a plan they can work with this or that one on contract. We lost two in the last year and they were brought back full force by our outgoing administrator. He's cute as a bug with a great personality and will be missed. However, I'm looking forward to a majority female leadership team. Time for a change. My college classmate Gaye is an administrator in East Tennessee that just built a new facility. The trick to transitioning is to recognize the stages of care you can provide and live within the boundaries of realistic possibility. Long ago, a packed courtroom on the square in Dyer County met with their commissioners over the sale of our locally run facility. So we were sold in a competition between two large not for profit groups who wanted to nail down the Highway 51 corridor to Memphis metro. Not long after Baptist got whacked down and Methodist University stands kinda' sorta' proudly. You see their vision went from "We know what a miracle you are" to "transplant center. It sounds like a bad John Grisham novel.

So that's how I got from there to here, sitting in a cold house but not SOO cold today (50s) thank you sweet baby jeebus. I'm working on finances and just got a friendly reminder from everybody that I owe that they know today is payday and I'm afraid to even look at what I have left. Just one day of knowing that it's nothing that won't wait makes me feel better about life. After work I walked over to see my mama and she was halfway snoozing by the fan with her birthday balloons, flowers and cookies nearby. Her eyes popped open when she sensed my presence so I sat on the bed with her and chatted while her roommate smiled at us. Poor lady sets off the bed alarm every 30 minutes.

Healthcare is a human right and to be treated with dignity at the end of life is what J would do. Not whacking somebody's head off on camera or shooting a bunch of innocents in a sectarian battle that has always been thus and so. I refuse to believe in a God who wants that for us when it could all be as simple as putting down the weapons of war and approaching a common table. Extremists of any sort have way too much power with the sheeple.

TGIF and thank you Big Ernie for this day ^j^

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

self care

Out of the blue and with finely honed ESP from the cosmos, my friend called from DC this afternoon where she's lobbying with Beyond Pesticides. Today has been pretty "tense" so I was already a blubbering mess when she called to see if I made it to the lawyer's office during lunch. Um, nope. Too busy saving lives and whatnot. Our house got full in a hurry again thanks to everybody being sick as a dog because it's only November with leaves on the ground and there's snow on 'em. Plus, some of us have no propane and sleep with dogs to keep warm. Just saying. BG has a broken tailbone due to a nasty fall from pushing a dolly loaded with frozen food in and out on a greasy floor. Plus there's the whatever the hell that is she needs steroids for. Sometimes life ain't fair and I'm proud of her for putting on the big girl panties. Her daddy is very sick and having surgery soon so y'all lift him up to Big Ernie and her too because each other is all they've got on that branch of the family tree.

I got out for some air today and noticed this girl all cuddled up with her tiny dog that she adopted from somebody just this morning, sitting in the sun outside. We visited and she told me this was their first day together. Then BG told me the asshat pedophile wouldn't release his dog for adoption so he had to be put down. There's a special place in hell for that kind of person and there ain't no dogs or any mercy. Just the cold hard ground. I've often wondered about what it's like to die like a demon. I figure it's all melty and shit.

Besides the chick with the dog I've had a couple of other blessings that included chats with my brother and landlord about what's on our plate at the moment. As we all know, it's kind of like a seven layer salad and he has experience and connections that I lack. This too will change when the spirit works and I get off of my ass and on down the road. More later. Looks like I'm working every shift I can get in the near future so y'all know where to find me. Leave a message at the beep.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

too strong for too long

It happened again this morning, a spontaneous combustion type deal where I just started sobbing over the complexity of all things Poopie. The social worker at the home noticed me all teary eyed and pulled me in her office for some one on one that included a discussion of how my generation is gonna' be screwed when it comes to long term care. Her parents are in the same age group and she feels bad for all of us! Social work as a vocation has been mostly privatized and turned into a cash cow so "wanting to help people" has turned into jumping through hoops with the powers that be, mainly the government. We both agreed that Haslam, Alexander and Corker slammed all of us in the state of Tennessee by refusing to expand Medicaid. In my tenure as a healthcare provider I've seen the whole package turn from local providers to big fish eating little ones. That many politicians (see Rick Scott, Bill Frist, et al) have made millions from the industry is sickening and the biggest conflict of interest ever. Do.No.Harm.

In order to qualify Mom for Medicaid to pay for her lengthy stays at hospitals/rehabs this year I was missing one important piece of info which was the specifics of her teeny tiny term insurance policy that may or may not exist. Daddy swears it's in the safe which nobody has the combination to so there ya' go...another dead end. Ms Faye and I looked all around the area where it was last seen and found seven year old trash in an antique butter churn but no combination. Ain't no telling ya'll. He also can't find the little space heater they used in the bathroom last winter and that's another mystery. Lord only knows what goes on down there because nobody is welcome. As long as I live I will never forget sorting through his "office" when my brother took over the farm management. The floor of his little "office" was knee deep in papers and crap. It was a rocky conversion, to say the least. My brother, the owner and I sat at my kitchen table and sorted for hours.

BG and I started this morning in a cold car holding hands in prayer for strength, clarity and hope. One of our many issues is that the 95 Cadi DeVille is dead and needs some TLC. I was introduced to my friend Sara's son at Money Mike's place and he turned out to be today's blessing with his knowledge about car parts. I didn't have the keys on me so we'll have to catch up later but it's a start. I also touched base with the owner of the business where it's parked and he promised not to tow.

While I was at the home this morning I sat and talked with mom while she did work that included batting a bright blue balloon with two therapists standing close by interacting. She did well for someone who can't see and can barely stand. Watching her eyes dance as she successfully completed a few long volleys made me smile in amazement, and then the waterworks started for me. Fatigue and frustration have taken me way past the point of being sane. In her last rant, she told us that we have no idea what it's like to be separated from someone you've been with night and day for 60 years. I can't argue with that truth at all. She and Daddy are part of a dying breed that married for life and enjoyed the decades of prosperity following WWII. How sad that pretty soon nobody will be alive who remembers those times of simplicity.

She told the pregnant therapist about when I was born and she and Daddy lived at UT Martin taking turns tending to me at night because I slept all day and woke up when the sun went down. Even then, I was a force to be reckoned with.
Sometimes, the faithful just need a miracle to keep going.


Monday, November 17, 2014

and then it snowed

I was all looking forward to the pre-dawn meteor shower on my way to work and found that mother nature blessed us with an inch of show instead. After I got the car thawed out and headed to the sawmill I did notice a few stars but no shooting ones. This old gal stepped very lightly down the icy back steps toward the ancient Camry that takes me every freakin' where. Thank goodness I had a can of spray de-icer for the windshield. What I would give for a carport on a cold morning! We had a staff meeting and everybody showed up so the bosses were pleased to have everybody and their kids'n'them being briefed. It was short and sweet which is how I like it. Since me and BG are sharing a car she made a run to the dolla' store for TP while I was being schooled. Oh, and picked up a sleeping Boogs at the sitter to deliver him to his sister on the couch where they have heat.

We, on the other hand, have an empty propane tank and a few electric heaters. After the meeting I wandered over to see Mama and found her sleeping soundly so I just let it be. BG picked me up back over in the freezing cold parking lot, childless but loaded with paper and BCs. We had to get gas and a bite to eat but it was so cold we sat in the car at Merry Castle waiting for our triple castle burgers and watching folks smoke on the back dock of the furniture store across the parking lot. I visited an attorney today and will see another one later and hopefully have some sort of idea where my life is headed in the near future. Lord knows it could get worse but I choose manifestation of angels and fairies. And rainbows, by golly.

I've been on a wing and a prayer for about five years now, trying to keep the world twirling when in fact, that is not my job but Big Ernie's. I'm sure y'all know by now that co-dependency is my addiction which is sort of a false self-hood living through other people and their issues instead of pursuing your own dreams. It sucks to be 60 years old and just now starting that journey. I mean...what if ISIS or the fools in Ferguson kill us before the job is done? That is where faith in beliefs comes together with what J would do. These punks are jerking us around thanks to MSM and an addiction to drama. Same for Kimaye and all the rest of them. Get over it.

How in the hell did we turn into a nation that spends more money on sports branding in a year than we spend on making the world a better place. One of the original sins is greed and I've seen more than I care to remember during my time as a US citizen and inhabitant of mother earth. And licensed healthcare professional, BTW. In the great state of Tennessee, home of the Great Smokey Mountains and lots of orange and white. In my next life, that's where I'll live if it's not Fiji. Rough math puts the Atlantic coast within a few hours of that vicinity. I could live with that vs. 12 hours to Destin.

Keep praying y'all. And be specific ^j^

Sunday, November 16, 2014

something more

I found myself praying to Big Ernie today to just set my heart still and give me the will to let go of the whole thing. All of it. That's another step 1 for this recovering addict. As my friends remind me on a daily basis I'm quite fragile right being all post-op and broke and what with the Grands drama for which there is NO easy answer. My pride allowed me to ask for help today from a couple of friends who quickly told me that they didn't think I was worth consideration. Well, one of them did. The other one hid behind his wife. The sawmill was steady (again) what with the same staff and usual mayhem. Kay fed me pizza for lunch both days and I love her for that. I bleached the counters and went on my way to home with BG at the wheel. We had to return Tammy and I met a couple of real angels up in there, one of which is Susie. We talked so long I forgot that I had friends meeting up at my place so we had to scurry. Bought some mini- Hempz lotion in spite of being broke. Sometimes girls just need a random happy and all it takes is some lotion and pizza.

It was cold and gloomy in the 'burg today and I wandered across the parking lot to find my mother sitting in the dining room listening to the Oak Ridge Boys and tapping her foot. The preacher was absent but they managed without him, if you know what I mean. Tony brought Daddy for a visit after church and Daylight. Cousin Mo is planning a gathering around Thanksgiving if there's room for all of us somewhere there. The logistics of taking everybody out would be staggering to say the least. We are a shrinking tribe, if you will. I live on a farm owned by some really rich people of whom the next generation has no emotional attachment. My parents have a lifetime dowry to live in our homeplace but once they are gone, I'm on my own with the 'tweens and I'm not feeling really optimistic about that unless they get a little less spoiled rotten. This chunk of land could be farmed organically and preserved. The barn and silos were built in the 1920s after my house and the one where the people don't live anymore, thank you sweet baby jeebus. Walking into that place makes you want to take a shower. The local law should be sending me personally addressed "i'm sorry" notes for not taking that welfare check to the next level. This idiot had speakers on the front porch that shook the windows in my house and it was all crazy shit and the kids would be running around trying to play with the caged pitbulls. Jenny had a couple of surgeries and she and the kids had quality time picking up nuts on several occasions. Terry was just always sketchy and off his meds. Poor kids.

If it snows and ices I'm gonna be pissed because it ain't even turkey day yet.