Monday, February 8, 2016

pick your battles

 I finally gave up on talking to the billing department at ATT because me and agent #1 brokered a payment arrangement including a dispute on the way the new modem hit me all at once.  PLUS, I have a UVerse account and don't even have the service.  Sounds like they might be creeping on over toward the lane!  I do so love me a good rollout of services.  I have no internet or television contract so I'm easy picking for them. Cell service with them has always been a pleasure.  Shit, I've still got a freakin' Bellsouth email address.  DirecTV and Dish are asshats with good sounding deals up front on impossible to get out of contracts.  When I switched from one company to the other, company #1 ran my debit card on file for early termination fees totaling 500 bucks.  It took my bank three months to get it back from the bastards.

Here's the way I feel about all that: If contracting for your service demands  trust on my part then I should choose how I am treated as a customer or client.  This goes not only for mega-global companies but for the Wall Street boys as well.  Certain "commodities" should be out of the financial sector, and healthcare is the most important.  Our entire delivery system is so fractured and littered with opportunistic practitioners who push pills instead of promote health.  Because it makes them more money for Porsches and expensive suits. I've watched these assholes drop a door on my face as I trudged up into the sawmill to do my job.  There's a special place in hell for you folks, just saying.

So from what I hear that's what the heroin epidemic is about, more or less.  A couple of generations of folks have been tempted by opiate addiction and once Oxy hit the street it was not affordable.  Heroin is cheap and readily available thanks to the Mexicans.  That wasn't just WEEDS they were smuggling, ya know.  The poverty of the people there has left them in harm's way of drug cartels and their violent tactics.  Next time you pop a hydro or percocet, thank about where it can lead.  Needles in arms y'all.  Sad.Sad.Sad. I remember reading the news of hundreds of immigrants from the south being captured and ransomed only to be murdered in droves.

 Meanwhile Bernie and Hillary are giving each other hell with Bill all up in there defending her which is, um.  Not cool honey.  If she stands tall, she doesn't need you to be mean to the Bern.  A hallmark of Democratic politics is a leaning to the left with a progressive slant toward a better future. I don't know about y'all but I would LOVE love love to see EW kick some corporate ass.  My favorite conservative gave me a big old "sorry 'bout mama" hug today and actually got me to crying as we talked.  It comes in little cries now, not the big ugly ones from before.  My house is looking tons better and it's a work in progress.

Faith ~

Sunday, February 7, 2016

and then she cried...

Morning came and found me sleeping off the end of an 11 hour nap.  Something got into me and I gathered up all the thank you note pile and headed to the kitchen for a session with nice cards and a fine tip marker from Curry Funeral.  I made it through floral contributions and decided that was enough of a start that Mama wouldn't be ashamed of my southern etiquette.  What I have left is the food and church contributions which will be never ending.  There is comfort in that, you know?

I've talked to either Annie or BabySister every other day for the past month which is also a comfort.  They love me through Mama and Daddy and their shared histories and never hesitate to tell me to "take care of yourself and have fun" kind of like Mom did.  That helps a lot, too.  I've moved the desk over by the big picture window so that I can gaze out over the silos and watch the scanty traffic come and go.  At the moment that includes one redneck  in a truck cruising over toward said compound of barn and  ancient grain bins.Yesterday I burned off the asparagus bed and managed to not set the field on fire so that's a good thing.  It sits right behind the propane tank, by the way.

I don't know what's next, and that's okay.  I trust that it will be "a good thing."


Saturday, February 6, 2016

walking the yard

Around here we don't have "lawns" y'all.  The current state of affairs at both my house and Casa Grands is lots of limbs down and a few green things coming up like daffodils and surprise lilies.  When I visited there this morning I actually saw a bud.  Daddy and I have always been digging crap up and moving it from yard to yard like in the old days.  I have Ethel's iris and my own assortment of spring things from where I spent the grocery money on bulbs one year.  Snowdrop is out and crocus right behind.  I stopped to give Mozella a B12  shot and we got to talking about the phlox that came from their family to each of our yards.  Daddy used to walk the yard with his mother on Pate street.  Every time he came my way, there was a meandering around the familiar turf as we identified this or that plant.  A lot of what I have in perennials came from the former mistress of this old house, Mrs. W.W. Council.

She died about ten years before Mr C got moved to something safer by his son.  Daddy and I spent the better part of six months cleaning and remodeling.  That was 26 years ago in April.  I would leave the sawmill and visit him while he painted or papered and dream about my life to come.  I wanted with all of my heart for my own daughter to experience the country life as a child.  And she did so with gusto!   Pnoler and I got a divorce when she was in 5th grade and then another one when she graduated from high school. During that in between time something happened that I can't fathom but it haunts her still.  My friends Claudia and Angie treated me with a divorce party in Nashvegas on the weekend he moved out.  At the time I was totally smitten with a guy who didn't give a shit about me but he got me out of a complicated relationship so there you go.

There were multiple old sheds that eventually were torn down but I still have pictures of poke berry bushes framing weathered wood.  Gumby was the hired hand on that one and helped me scrap out the Bizzle house too.  Back in the day there was a motion activated dog named Rex after the crackheads stole a bunch of shit.  One entire wall was covered with license plates from various states.  It was his haven when he needed to get away and putter.   There was one room filled with things like the wedding dress in a cedar chest and a lot of our family history.  Plus a lot of junk....just saying.

I noticed a snake skin hanging off the curtain rod at Mama'n'thems and Bubba reminded me of the time she found a live snake in the kitchen drawer.  I would have had the big one for sure.  The ladies are staging and sorting today so I visited early rather than late.  Y'all won't believe how pretty it is when that line of buttercups blooms under the pines.

the new normal

It feels very peaceful to have a free weekend.  For years there has been something to do on days off, after work and whenever one of the grands had a crisis, which was pretty often lately.  I'm just now realizing that reality.  Oh sure, I have about 100 thank you notes to write but that will come with time.  Yet another person asked how mama's doing and I had to tell the story again.  At least I know that people care!  As an introvert I require a fair amount of time to think too much reflect on life.

Tiffany's angel up at the wreck site has lost her wings but is still standing in the mud where she died.  It's obvious that somebody is tending that little corner, most likely her mother or sister.  The door and window guys are almost finished on this floor except for the one window that got shorted on the order.  Thus, a piece of plywood over BG's absent one.  Plus, the frame on one of them is rotten so there's a big hole around the bottom that lets cold air in.

Some local scammers are calling me with an offer for a free Bahamas vacation. If I knew who to tell I'd report them.  I could care less about the Bahamas when there's Okaloosa in my future.  I'm headed shortly to get my hair did at Headlines which is owned by my dear friends.  Ever since they opened, except when I was dead broke, they have taken care of my head and kept me up with who's doing what.  Nothing like a salon for gossip.

Flu season is here officially so the sawmill is ramping up with masks and whatnot.  I visited with a patient and his daughter yesterday who knows the story of  how Oscar was abused by the neighbors and came to live with us.  Katie is still mad over that!  They have a new Jack Russell puppy and he was giving me tips on how to "train" a terrier not to be spastic.  Good luck with that one y'all.

Going with the flow ~

Thursday, February 4, 2016

cards and letters

One of our vendors and a fellow Methodist dropped in today with an extremely tall new sales rep who, as it turns out, played pro basketball.  Dude had to duck to get under the door frame.  George gave me a huge hug and we chatted about his grandchildren.  It's the little things, y'all.  Every time I turn around somebody is just finding out about Mama or sending me well wishes and that is such a comfort.  What a tribute to her life! The cashier in the cafeteria asked about her yesterday and was mortified to hear that she had passed.  I felt bad for her, really.  Everyone knew and loved my parents from their years as volunteers there.  Those careers ended when she dropped something on her head outside ICU and he tore his hand up pushing a wheelchair.  Plus, he got mad when their station got moved.  That's my daddy!

Heather and I have been trolling South Walton and she booked us a place for vacay this morning.  Lord willing and the zombies don't come I'll be on Okaloosa Island in about three months.  The Emerald coast is what's up kids.  There's a bunch of mud at the bottom of Alabama that shifts when you cross the state line to FL. Mighty Mississippi I reckon or maybe FloriBama is tipping point for white sand and clear water.  All I need is a swimsuit and comfy shorts.  Low maintenance, no?

Window guys came and went today and got almost done.  I haven't been to the basement in six months but I bet there's light down there for a change.  My father's legacy to the family that he served was to go cheap and repair what can be nailed, wired or bolted together.  I found some peace with his situation this week in the form of a phone call from a healthcare provider whom I trust who just ALSO happens to be my late cousin's husband.  He explained to me the timeline of Daddy's acute illness and how it was discovered and it was good for my soul to know that standards of practice were followed.  

This is Go Red month aka American Heart Association fundraising bonanza and my bossfriend gifted me with a red dress pin this morning.  She even stuck it into my badge for me because I was too lazy.  Gotta' love it.  Mitzi Lou was there when I arrived today and we talked about what's up with her mama which is about where I was a few weeks ago.  I can certainly relate.  Freda mentioned to a new employee the other day that we have all grown up together and are now doing the same with growing old.  

My favorite line of the day : " is what it is."  


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

the sound of silence

It's never completely quiet around here due to the constant hum of my mother's ancient Dell.  However, there are no power tools or hammers going so I'll take it.  Not that I'm ungrateful or anything...we just need breaks  from constant activity which is something contractors are famous for!  All doors are installed and a few windows.   I picked up a few paint chips but wasn't really in the mood because I'm easy like that.  Give me a neutral and I'm happy as a clam.  Gone are the days of getting off on decorating.  Mo can help me with that as soon as we have a viable plan and clean floors.

Heather is booking us a beach trip as I type that that's lifting my spirits by the minute.  It's been forever since I've had anything much to look forward to but more of the same.  To those who have not experienced caregiving in some form that might seem strange.  I remember it being that way when BG was a kid too. We are forever putting off enjoying the moment until that time when we have reached a goal like " being done."  In true unbroken circle fashion, it's never really a done deal.

I am taking deep breaths and reminding myself to keep doing that over and over but it comes more naturally now.  There is severe weather in the area and my teacher friend in Jackson spent her last 30 class minutes in the hall during a tornado warning.  It's sunny and windy from the south here, reflecting that activity our way.  It's supposed to be an early spring according to Phil and the buttercups are out so there you go.  Global warming.

So, how about Iowa kids?  It was no surprise that Trump and a few others went by the wayside but the rest of it was very heartening.  If I were to be a conservative, which on occasion I can be, Rubio would be the one for me.  I mean, we need a cute president right?  As a hardworking taxpayer/socialist I'm elated that Bernie is kicking ass and taking names.  He and EW have been my ticket all along.  Her home state has one of the most successful health insurance plans in the country for which Romney took a lot of credit.  I figure she and Bernie together can send Jamie Dimon to China on a slow boat.

Gotta' go round up some beads. It's almost Ash Wednesday.  ^j^

Monday, February 1, 2016


Anyone who has ever negotiated with a two year old will tell you straight up that given viable choices ( and not too many ) decision making is simple and much easier than the "because I said so" tactic.  This why I've been eyeing the GOP just to see if they can come up with a non-idiot.  Rubio seems like the one in that respect and I've been watching him for over a year.  I still consider myself a progressive and will vote that way but sometimes you just have to look at damage control to keep sanity.  If the clown car takes off, we're done for as a country.  I chatted with a friend who is in my state congressional district about you know who with the storefront office on the square and he said he seems to be unbeatable BUT his term is up this year. A Democrat would only receive around 30% of the vote regardless so we talked about less toxic Republican options.  There's one to watch, even though Fincher has his finger in every farmer's field in West Tennessee.

My house looks like something from a TV reality show combining hoarders and remodeling.  The yard is scattered with trash because honestly?  I pretty much gave up until there was some action toward improvement.  My view inside hasn't changed in 28 years except for an occasional coat of paint with me behind the brush.  The ancient ex- front door was propped up on the porch and blew over during the night so there's glass to step over.  It's a hot mess, I'm telling you.  The plan is to bring a trailer up here when it's over and clean UP!

Still, I am numb.  A friend at work told me that she didn't realize how tired she was until her husband died after 7 years of caretaking.  That's about where I am so I'm not pushing. The tears that would normally be flowing right now of anguish and loss were shed over the last six months because when Mama left that house, it was over in her book.  She liked MR and all, but that was home to her.  I remember her  soulful cries over losing both her house and husband in six short weeks.  I had to stay away for awhile because I was pretty much the devil.

Once it happened, she adjusted quickly only to break her wrist two weeks in. That meant limited mobility for six weeks and then she was able to use the walker again.  I'll never forget watching her trudge across that steep hill to Daddy's grave so she could "see" the stone.  It took KK and me both to get her to the graveside in a wheelchair at his burial.  Things went well until that Sunday in church when she fell and as Dr. A said, the death knell tolled.  A broken hip at 82 is like a death sentence unless you are basically healthy, which she was not.  CHF was an ever present reality and she was in renal failure.  Repeated anesthesia is hard for anyone's body, but especially the elderly.

Her spirit remained until the end.  Daddy was pretty much asleep after hospice began but she was in and out of consciousness sometimes in pain and often running the world.  We gathered as a little tribe during those final days to help her figure it all out and I'm not sure she ever did.  We know for sure that Ativan was a bad choice and Dilaudid was good.  Valium works just fine too.  As the infection worsened her body couldn't fight it off, even with top gun antibiotics.  It was then that it became a wake of sorts. The three  people that could calm her better than anybody else are Millette and T and precious Dell and they have the same effect on me.

The ugly cry has commenced and it feels good to let go.

With faith ~