Thursday, December 18, 2014


There's nothing that does a soul more damage than being outed on multiple issues by someone you thought was a friend. Which only goes to prove that friends come and they go and often they really don't have your best interests at heart. To minimize someone else's pain is about the harshest thing that someone can do even if they're not a friend. To be told that you're having a pity party is even worse. I have to own the fact that I've not always made the wisest decisions with my life but then again who among us will be the one to cast the first stone? Not me buddy. I am not one to pass judgement because it ain't my job. That one belongs to Big E. If I am to believe what I'm told, I do no more than anybody else and have no reason to feel overwhelmed at times. Okay then. Once again, that's between me and my God and my flimsy boundaries.

A patient and I had an off the cuff conversation today about faith and keeping it even when things look dark. We told each other Merry Christmas and both of us knew that it was heartfelt. He warned me that he was a tough case but that faith thing we had going on worked out just fine. I have found that those with the strongest faith are doubters at times and that's what strengthens belief in good things coming out of the darkness. A watchful waiting for something wonderful is what believing in Christ is all about, and at this time of year it's hard to maintain that mindset when it seems to be all about what you're gonna receive. Expect nothing, as my ex used to say.

BG is at the Urgent Care seeking further treatment for what's got her skin all torn up again. A friend took the spare out of the Cadi trunk yesterday and put it on only to find that it, too, is flat. We shall carpool until the debt is whittled and she gets a decent job where caustic chemicals are not a part of the daily workflow. There were more cards in the mail today from friends and family and they are now on the tree along with favorite ornaments. When I came in I noticed Sophie limping so I guess she hurt her leg out playing today. She just crawled off my bed onto the doggie pillow on the floor nearby. All of our furbabies play musical beds especially when things are quiet like now. Quiet is good, if you know what I mean. I can enjoy it a lot more than I did in my younger days.

This too shall pass as Mr Yates and my parents always said ^j^

BG Update: As it turns out, she has Flu A in addition to everything else. Dayum.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I'll not bore you with the details but let it be known that today was one of the most painful in my life as I knelt and drew blood from a seemingly endless parade of sick people the cutest two year old you ever saw. Or, sometimes not so sick. The traffic that clogs emergency rooms nationwide is nothing more than a hit and miss sort of "we caught it this time" but...December is a notoriously dangerous time for the blood supply because everybody's so "busy" and whatnot. I was in line at the dolla' store today with this gal who was crazy excited about slipping a roll of Christmas wrap into the car for his presents. Dontcha' just love Santa? By the way, our blood supplier Lifeline Blood Services will be drawing donors in a mobile unit on December 27th at none other than the sawmill. Y'all put it on your calendar, umkay?

So we got a holiday card today from the Deak family which loves dogs as much as we do and they get into sharing their pics. Ho.HO.Ho. I noticed on the way home that the streets are salted in anticipation of freezing rain. Is it spring yet, I mean REALLY? I know...I know. As my mama would say "don't wish your life away!" It's kind of amazing how many people fail to heed that until it's too late. The lady who was mama's roommate at one of the homes passed yesterday and I was sad to hear it even though she seemed pretty miserable most of the time. When it's your time, let it go. That's true faith. BG and I had the talk today about her inheritance if I kick the bucket anytime soon which, as we all know, can happen just like that. I told her to check with HR on that and call Kay. I have to do some advance work on the donation thing but it's something that I feel strongly enough about that I will indeed follow up with my regional medical center in Mempho. Just a ray or two of sunshine peeked out from today's gray clouds but at least it wasn't raining. I see a very early bedtime coming on if you know what I mean. My one snippet of news today consisted of a tip that this will be Letterman's last Christmas show and that made me sad too. He is my original comedy crush along with Steve Martin and Cheech and Chong. Heeeey man! Sammy just took off running so I guess the wolves are at my door again. I'll keep you posted.

PS Dear Republicans in charge of accepting Medicaid expansion: Do it and help people not industry.

Feliz Navidad~

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

the good old days

There was a time not too long ago when the sawmill was a happy place, perhaps led a bit toward the productivity side but there were parties and lunches with the CEO and whatnot. An investment in the community if you will. That is what was promised when the huge Methodist Healthcare System sold our West Tennessee seven in 2003. We are among the top three largest and it would have been "no sale" without our local facility in the deal. We were actually making money whereas several of the smaller ones were glorified emergency rooms. They owned the one in Fulton before us, and announced that it will close in early '15. As a (non)investor, I get emails about divesting this or that property and all of its' employees. The one in Newport AR was a recent subject. I don't know about y'all but I take divest to mean "we're done with you people." The land grab that has been healthcare growth over the past 20 years has been based more on diagnosis than healing and has caused many a local place to shut down. They have put a lot of money into the facility and have a brand spanking new MRI scanner and invasive cardiac cath lab for which two administrators fought. We are nothing more than a ham and pie to corporate. I'm not saying this in a mean way really...just stating the obvious that those who want to heal and make sick people better will allow room for dignity amongs't the current business climate. I can personally name a hundred of them.

I am a multitasker by nature, due to an extremely high level of co-dependence with that job. I was raised to believe that when you do a job well and the cream will rise to the top. That's where the "when bad things happen to tired people" comes in. I look around me every day and see people who have been there as long as I have and in some cases longer and we all have the same look. Burnout is common in hospitals and other emergency type work situations. First responders are particularly prone to PTSD. I saw that experience through my daughter's eyes as she told me about finding the wreck lady all laying on the highway not moving. Anything traumatic..any sort of loss of innocence can set one up for a rapid spiral into hell as it is grieved and let go.

The first promise that was broken happened to be the chaplain one and he was outta' there in no time replaced by local community volunteers. A core group of us had been schooled on IT conversion from one system to another over a four month period. I was told later that normally the IT company did installs but since it was such a huge deal they used employees and yes I was one of them. My friend was our only internet person so there we went to Jackson and wrote code and attached numbers along with reps from all the other newly acquired facilities. The company came in and tried to reign in the chaos from "superusers" and very confused employees. As with all things healthcare the transition had to be validated to meet standards. Honest to god, I had to get legal involved in order to get our population's blood type history from MHC. You know, HIPPA and all that. Yeah, we know what a miracle you are.

This is cathartic for me in that I've been there done it all with healthcare ownership and policy. What started for me as a job close to home has turned into a building full of stress and overwork at the age of 59 with a bad shoulder and touch and go parents, close to home BTW. I don't ask for any kind of recognition for what I've done because that's not what life is about. Anonymity is what's up when doing the next right thing. Just ask anybody in line at McDonald's or Chick Fil'A. If strangers can buy each other breakfast, and feel good I'm down with it. Maybe someday the owners will pay their employees a living wage.

As you all know some anonymous angel of a blog fairy took me to raise a couple of years ago. There have been times when I've felt sure I know his or her identity but it's been hard because the postmarks are from every freakin' where. While I was being surprised with gifts and things that I really needed somebody got the joy of watching the story unfold and didn't take credit for it. I imagine it's a big warm fuzzy feeling like a Hallmark movie or something. I'm damned sure that bitch who clicked her boots at me yesterday wasn't the one.

I remembered my passion for hospice today when I ran into a friend whose father is on the roller coaster like mama was. Once an elderly patient enters the healthcare system there is a huge network of Medicare days vs. non-Medicaid expansion ( yes that means you Haslam) and you have facilities that rehab them for a few weeks and toss them back into the home to ER cycle. That's where the $$ is, especially if you have a supplement. My parents have both and mom has used up her "days" for a bit until she has respite time. Alrighty then. I can certainly tell I won't have a place to go. That's why I plan to live in a commune in Virginia like EK Ross.


Monday, December 15, 2014

nothing is easy

Oh was Monday with a capital M. Fortunately I am wired to multitask even though my pace ain't what it used to be. Otherwise, I'd be ass deep in alligators most days. I visited my brother at the fuel center as I picked my way through after work errands. He showed me a plank that was pulled from the original wall in the bathroom at the former residence of the "special" people. That house was built the same time as mine in 1918ish and the board had labels written in calligraphy with four names, presumably for the clothes or towels of the people who lived there. More research to do in all my spare time!

I saw a brief patch of blue sky today but otherwise it's been cloudy and gray for days. Unaware that rain was on the way I left the window down on my car so umm..yep. The wolves are at my door again and not giving me much breathing room so I'm trying to take that one day at a time. BG dropped my debit card in the parking lot of the dolla' store and by the time she retraced her steps it was gone, most probably picked up by the shady bitch standing nearby smoking. She called me and I immediately reported it lost to cover my next paycheck because people can do all kinds of creative things with a number. Later, the store manager called to report that the card was found in a buggy, which she did not use so old girl must have tried to shop a bit on my dime and got declined. I know you don't care honey, but you have NO idea how hard I'm trying to keep this boat floating. While at the grocery/gas store I noticed all kinds of ladies dressed up for their Krogering experience hauling out hundreds of dollars worth of food and poinsettias and whatnot. Most of them drive huge SUVs and I had to wonder at how the "other half" lives. Being the childish one that I am, I actually made a face at the backside of some diva stuffed into jeggins and sporting an attitude as her boots clicked in front of me. Even though her looks were striking, I'd be willing to be her husband ain't happy. Just saying.

My tree has lights but is still crooked and no ornaments. The old me would have insisted on doing it all at once. The new me says "whenever." It's a hard candy Christmas around here but I know Santa is watching me and making his list. the one gift that I have purchased is for my daughter and partner in crime. I just hope she doesn't get the mail and find it first.

BGs peanut butter balls were a hit with Daddy so she's the official maker of them from now on. I forgot and delivered all of them along with the chex mix so I didn't get get a taste. The highlight of my day was a shared video from a friend of her mother getting trapped in a ball pit at a grandchild's birthday party and not able to get back out. Heeelarious!

I'd have more to say but honestly? I'm wordless. Keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, December 14, 2014

up on the front porch!

Yesterday was a long one because of the non-stop pain in my shoulder and upper arm. When I was visiting Mom she told me that "they" say it's a new ailment that is caused by looking down at a smart phone. Hmm..never thought about that! The pain is centered in the back but has moved thanks to another MFR treatment. I figure after a couple more the bitch will be pushed out of my fascia and laying dead on the floor with retro music playing softly. I can't find a comfy way to sleep so it was a fitful 12 hours up in my bed full of dogs. Plus Boogs was here and screamed a bunch. Terrible twos and all that. BG said he even woke up several times during the night which he never does out here. I was smooth asleep when all four dogs started raising hell and I popped out of bed to see what was the matter. Peeping out the window I saw two figures unloading a Christmas tree from the top of a Jeep. These two turned out to be none other than the MFR therapist Gay and my cousin Sandy! They even brought a stand and some personal ornaments, one for each of them. Wanna' know the real karma in all this? We gave away our fake one so Booger's family could have two!! That one was a gift from an antique/junk shop dealer with whom I did business last year. I see a circle going on there, don't y'all?

I always have church duty with Daddy but today was a late service and they gave me the first Sunday morning off I've had in forever. He and Tony will hold down the fort and go to Daylight afterwards, I feel sure. There he will have the "skinny".. wheat toast, scrambled eggs and bacon which he eats one thing at a time and then moves on to the next. My new favorite is cheesy hashbrowns made by Jennie. I have spent many a Sunday morning in that place joined by farmers, the entire Sellers SS class and random kids with wide eyes at the pastry counter. It is where the paper gets read and sports gets discussed and people know you and your order by name. They ask about Mom every time we go.

Speaking of Mom, we perused the cookbook yesterday for party mix and coconut balls and ended up making peanut butter ones. Mama used to host this Christmas extravaganza for their friends every year and cooked for weeks prior to, putting each candy in little tins for the big night. She even gave everybody an ornament! I remember one year it had to be canceled because her potassium dropped out and she was having muscle contractions. Just thinking about all that hard work makes my muscles contract! Her home has always been seasonal and beautiful. There was usually a live tree and it often got planted in the yard which is why there's a ginormous pine grove where the garden used to be.

I'm done with bitching about the politicians because nobody listens anyway and the ones who do are the very same ones who want to argue on a party line. I am a liberal however, that does not mean I'm a Dem. I prefer the term progressive, if you will. I could probably get into a little GOP stuff if they didn't all walk around like they're mad at the little people and want them to stay in their place. And as for you 50 something Dems who were involved in that spending bill deal? Thanks for trying. The rest of you can go to CitiGroup hell in a handbasket.

Gotta' wait for help to get the tree up...and some lights. Love ya'...mean it ^j^

Saturday, December 13, 2014

and so it goes

Well kids, here we are two weeks before Christmas and I still have no tree much less presents to put under it but that's okay because it's not about all that. Considering what Congress did with the spending bill I'd say we have much bigger fish to fry than Dirty Santa and ugly sweaters. I would love to say "this too shall pass" but I don't think it will plus it's gonna' get a whole lot worse unless the GOP implodes. Here's the thing I don't understand about all that....we are already trillions in the hole so what difference does a bit more make when there are people starving because their benefits have been cut. I talked with a friend the other day who is on disability because she is a brittle diabetic to the point that she had to have a kidney transplant. She receives disability which is rightfully hers and her food stamps were cut by our fat cats in Congress hidden up in the farm bill that graced Monsantao Merry effin' Christmas all y'all scrooges.

Now before you start howling about "entitlements" and "people should work" let me point out that my daughter worked the graveyard shift to put herself through college with an hour commute each way and gas at 4 bucks a gallon. You can be sure that a large piece of that 25K in debt went to just getting to class while the Arabs were yanking oil prices around. Following graduation in 2010, she worked in her chosen field for about a year and has worked minimum wage jobs ever since. Currently she works in the kitchen of a local restaurant for 7.25 doing what the cleaning ladies at the sawmill call "man's work." At one point she had food stamp assistance (when unemployed) but now that she's making a non-living wage, that is gone. What is the incentive to work when assistance is tied to not working your ass off for an amount that you cannot survive on? Unfortunately, she's not the only one. The entire group, including those who have entered the job market since she did, is saddled with enormous debt and a lackluster job market. My raise this year at a job with a 37 year tenure was 10 cents. Other licensed healthcare professionals got even less. Remember that when you bitch about how long it takes to get through the ER or doctor's office. We have created a monster and it is healthcare, or the lack thereof. Thanks Lamar and Bob! We didn't need that federal money anyway because party lines are what's up, right?

Our governor, on the other hand, has seen to it that every high school graduate will be guaranteed at least two years at a community college which is a much wiser use of lottery $$ than what's been happening. He was also the creator of the Co.Starters program which was a real treat for me and a few other local small business wannabes. I may never make it to the roll out stage but I've loved every minute of the learning experience. If more people would produce and buy locally, our country wouldn't be in the economic shape it is now. Let's all learn Chinese because we're going to need it.

My goal for today is to make some party mix at my mother's request. We had a three way conversation the other day with her calling out ingredients to Ms Faye for her to write down. I think there are coconut balls in the future as well. Those are Daddy's favorites, you know. All of these recipes and more will be in "the book" which is slowly forming in my mind and on paper. Yesterday my ethereal friend and classmate Lorna (or Lorena as spellcheck does it) gifted me with some arnica products and even rubbed that bitch shoulder down with the oil. She also brought a vintage iron skillet from her collection which puts my count at 2. Little things make me happy! In return I gave her my daddy's ag books from UTMartin where he was a member of the first graduating class of agricultural science majors at that campus. My baby self lived there while he was finishing up after Air Force duty.

I'm just grateful not to be at a crowded mall full of screaming kids scared of Santa. How about you?

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Since I'm not a follower type of gal, I don't get the way so many folks listen to talking heads. The news that we have access to is tightly controlled by corporate entities that serve up entertainment funded by advertisers with big bucks. You want a Christmas movie? Gotta' have Hallmark. MSM doesn't dare go there because too many sheeple are busy recording criminals minds and survivor type shows for their viewing pleasure when not "busy." They also check the obits online and shop at Amazon rather than buying something unique and handmade. I'm not being judgmental, just realistic. It is what it is and will be what comes.

I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with ATT representatives in Atlanta who kept me from losing my internet service tomorrow plus gave me a discount for the next year. The realist in me knows they just want to sell me a new phone and UVerse but I straight up told her I was in a contract with you know who, and it ain't the devil but starts with the same first letter. Both of 'em, by golly. One of these days I'll get out from under that and spring for Netflix. However, that would require something more than the 10 year old Dell desktop that is pieced together in front of me.

My shoulder is aching and has been for several days now. I had a treatment this afternoon and continue to stretch because my lord, I thought I was all healed up from invasive surgery four months ago. I had my spinach cooked and everything but after some money laundering business and the treatment I just had to pass on the sawmill Christmas party. Nobody wants to watch an old gal do yoga while eating and visiting.

My doctor friend passed on over to heaven like we all knew he would but he sure as heck wasn't alone because there was a boatload of people praying for he and his family. BG worked with him too when she was a unit clerk and had the same kinda' sorta' admiration that I did for who he was. He had a terrific loyalty to one particular pathology group where his friend was an owner and that caused all kinds of drama back in the day. As fate would have it, that group is back in the fold because the younger members of the old timers pulled out. Seems they want the elders to retire and let them have their share. Work guy got shafted on that one, BTW.

So I'm missing chicken and dressing and baked pineapple and all things lab and dinner. I'm okay with that because I know there will be leftovers.

Love ya...mean it ^j^