Friday, August 28, 2015

3-M company

Field of Dreams is probably the last movie besides westerns that Mom and Daddy watched together.  It has everything he loved like sports and agriculture and dreaming big.  When he left home for the last time, it was in an ambulance...never to return.  The flowers remained watered that he planted and will remain in his honor, though we may have to turn the light off that flag.  It's burned 24/7 since he left.  We met early this morning to pack and transport and Mama is already settled into her new place and holding court.  As moving jobs go, it was flawless.  She has TV and her phone and everything she packed so meticulously in the days prior to her move.  Clothes in the closet and earrings sorted on the dresser.  Toothbrush in place.  We seriously should do this for a living.
I was totally unprepared for the emotional tidal wave that hit when we left the house behind that truck.  Bubba and I both got pretty tore up crying over the whole deal and we agreed that this was worse than the funeral.  It is an ending to a chapter that lasted 60 years as they raised three children who were each "challenging" in their own ways.  My eyes have been almost swollen shut for days and there's not any place to stand at any of the urgent cares so um.  Crying doesn't help, ya' know?  I stopped by to see Ms Faye one last time and we lusted over the cute little cast iron cornbread things which will remain for the September viewing when otha' brother and his tribe arrive.  I.Can't.Wait.
The view down there is changing, opening up a bit more than when Daddy kept it dark and cavelike. There's a hurricane headed for Florida which is, as they say, "to be expected" at this time of year.  It's when coastal dwellers wonder what they were thinking.  The heat here is stifling but not too much humidity so it's tolerable.  Still, I stay inside when I can because GEEZ the ragweed is blooming or something.  I've considered robbing a pharmacy for prednisone.  I know a guy who crawled in through the drive in window of a local pharmacy and got busted bigger than shit.
One of my oldest friends is in town for her cousin's funeral, once again with Kay in charge.  I got a card from Claudia yesterday reminding me of the 3-M company, a Jr. High club we made up.  We were mid teens and exploring everything we were big enough to get into.  Karla Jean lived out at Viar and became the toughest broad you ever saw on the basketball court.  As an advocate for her son Kyle, Claude has tirelessly pursued healthcare options for his mitochondrial disorder.  The last time I saw her was at a funeral, Aunt Becky's I think.  ~
Either the NRA and Trump have been swallowed up by an earthquake or it's a slow news day for murder. Once again, let me claim Alison's dad as one who should be listened to because he is a moderate sort of man who's constitutional in his request for more oversight.  You never know who's bi-polar and about to blow like a powder keg.  Enough already.  That kind of crap makes me want to watch the Kardashians for escape.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

without faith

We are, of course, sifting and sorting through our collective pasts and ran across a real piece of memorabilia the other day in the form of a tiny Gideon bible with a UT orange leather cover.  Mr. Billy Yates of "this too shall pass" fame gave it to my Daddy in 1980.  I don't have a clue who the coach was then but I did notice the inscription on the front cover  :  Hebrews 11, verse 6.  "But without faith it is impossible to please him."  BG says I need a hobby so I won't think so much all the time.  She's probably right.

The local SS office had a remote interview with Mom this afternoon answering such important questions as dates of birth and marriage.  The really odd thing is that the interviewer is a former co-worker who introduced me to Mercy Me many moons ago.  He now has three little kids and a full life serving those who depend on government "entitlements" like the lump sum death benefit of 255 bucks.  You probably have to go up in there and make  a live appearance to get disability, after your lawyer gets paid of course.  I hear it takes years.  

Y'all knew it was coming so bear with me on this gun thing.  My hero du jour is the father of that young reporter who was murdered yesterday.  The NRA is a huge politically motivated organization that preys on the gutter level mentality of people who want to open carry and intimidate others.  I  believe that bearing arms is a right protected by the Constitution.  That being said, there should be routine background checks and registration requirements.  It's much easier to catch the crazy ass perp when it goes down like that.  You want to shoot ducks or pheasant?  Register that bitch and carry on.  The response from the right is that if everybody is armed, the playing field is level...kind of like in the old West.  We all know how that one turned out. There is no reason for any reasonable citizen to be carrying a long gun or automatic weapon in public. There is an entire industry thriving on our thirst for more firepower.  Enough, already.  But also? We need to kick MSM to the curb y'all.  I mean gah....

I'm off for three days so we can do this transition to assisted living.  Nerves are frayed and there have been words that were less than kind.  Three weeks ago today we buried my father in Fairview and I've yet to find his grave.  I'm just leaving room for the Spirit to work on that one.  


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

give peace a chance

I was getting on the elevator today when I spotted an elderly man with bags of who knows what.  He broke the news to me that some guy went postal in VA and shot a live television reporting team, evidently over an old grudge about his termination.  Between the time he got canned and today, sounds like dude has been simmering and plotting over his "mistreatment" by the former employer and was all tech savvy so as to record it and then when the cops moved in on him he offed himself.  I totally understand having a death wish....many folks kill themselves slowly by lifestyle or whatever and often quickly with a weapon.  But WHY in the name of God, do you presume to take innocents with you?  You..with the gun and the power and the anger. These people did nothing to you.  All you want is to go down in a blaze of glory much like radicals everywhere including the jihadists we fear. Those who would say that it was racially motivated are way off base.  This is insanity in its' purest form and there is no protection against that other than taking down evil as it appears. The last picture taken by the photographer was the face of the man who murdered him.  You can't make that shit up, and if you do it's gonna' be a Lifetime movie.  Somebody wanted to be on TV again, and he was until all his feeds got shut down.  Go internet people, go. Homeland security has to start somewhere.

My brother did a remote feed from VA to a talk station in Memphis and I ended up listening to some bank lady talk about credit scores and home loans and it wasn't all boring.  I can't believe that I'm almost 60 years old and have no assets other than the clothes on my back, plus a few antiques.  I stopped by to hug my retiring co-worker this afternoon and she told me that if it weren't for hubs, she couldn't take that step.  I guess that means I'll die trying. After that I did a couple of errands and ran by to check on Mom who was holding court with not one but TWO visitors.   And then?  I became the devil again by phone.

It's pretty and there is a nice breeze.  Bye Felicia!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

september song

It's that time of year folks, and next week it will be my birthday month....the 60th one!  I've been looking for the autumn clematis to pop open a few white blooms and today they're showing up.  It is a fast growing ever consuming vine that will eat the nearest object just like kudzu does.  I planted the original right in front of the propane tank and it's casually draped over the end for effect.  Only two of the original three fence pieces stand.  I tore the backside off and sold it during one of my manic cleaning episodes.  I did get a few custom made by SEM frames out of it and returned the favor when he got married this year.

Daily, a new revelation appears to me as part of this new chapter.  I  have a frog boyfriend who sits with me while I potty, peering through the foggy windows.  There have also been one very dead coyote and a brazillion butterflies which is such an August thing.  I've always hated the month because of the heat and humidity that can be had, but it does comes in handy for farming.  I heard there was an earthquake 25 miles down the road and also where they're fracking in OK and TX.  What do you people not understand about "unstable".   Everybody in Henning thought the prisoners had taken over.   Today's Bernieism: De-privatize prisons.  

Tomorrow afternoon we plan to honor a team member who has been there longer than me and has helped me to cross the nursing/allied health barrier and understand case management.  When DRGs became the payment method, everything started being bill at a set rate per hospital stay.  If you get well quick and go home, they make money.  If you stay there and become a repeat patient you start costing not only money but quality of life.  The legal and ethical implications are astounding when you think about the ethics of do no harm.  My research for hospice included a lot of picking Kathy's brain.   It's her turn to rest, and I'm ecstatic for her.  

I remember the day before Daddy died I was at work and more than one person said "Why are you here?" Honestly I would have rather been anywhere else but there, but my father lay very ill and needed me.  When we hit the ER on hernia night, I knew it was over.  The most annoying thing of all was that whiny ass drug seekin' bitch next door wailing because the healthcare professionals have her number.  Honest to gawd, I saw her family and thought bless y'alls hearts.  In the end it was, as we say in healthcare, an "outcome" reasonably expected for such a severe illness of such an elder.  He lived a good life and was loved and respected by many.  

That being said, I am so excited about the new Mama that I could put it all over FB and then people from the internet would find her.  Tommy is gonna' rig up the house phone with Jitterbug and other nifty tricks.  During the past five years, more or less, Daddy had been intermittently septic resulting in multiple falls, both on and off concrete.  He continued to drive the 'gator until last year when it went to "winter at the Junction."  His favorite thing was to drive up and visit our mayor, Mozella.  She and Gerald are the elders now, along with Mama by proxy.  For a long time my motive for staying where I am has been to care for them.  That reason is about to be taken out of my hands.  It's what faith does, when you believe that God is good.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

road kill

I went down to help Mama go through some things yesterday and ran across a dead coyote with his eyes all bugged out right smack in the middle of the road.  His belly was swollen but he hadn't been there long and when I  came back by I snapped a shot to send my brother.  At first he thought fox but was Wile E Coyote freshly hit.  I bet it was that hoodlum down at the end.  This is why I can't live in that house because he would run over my dogs and I'd go to jail for murder.  See?

 It's been probably five years since I've set foot in Walmart and I begrudgingly did it today because I needed things that you can't get at Kroger or the Gentral'.  There were 98 TVs on the wall and all I could hear was the theme from House of Cards only Frank wasn't on the screen.  Football was!  My purchases included a DVD player, new remote, memory card reader and 3.00 reading glasses.  Oh...and a case for the newest badass phone.  They called wanting my damaged device and for me to pay my bill but I've been a little busy so they'll just have to value me as a customer enough to allow time.  I just now did a little thank you  note writing because I feel bad about not being truthful with my Mama.  They will get done, just not in her time.  

BG went gathering at the food store yesterday and prepared the most delicious dinner I've had in ages. Through all of this drama we have depended heavily on pizza and burgers which gets old quick.  There are veggies and a little bit of everything including (meunster) monster cheese.  She's house hunting and I'm attempting to put mine in some sort of order.  Like she said "All you're doing is moving stuff around, Mom." And she's right!  That's what a piddler and sorter does.  And then, we purge.  The dishes have been piled up for days and I finally power talked myself through them before dinner yesterday.   This old girl is smooth on a mission to make a comfortable nest.  

Speaking of which, Mom has some pieces that my late uncle made for Aunt Granny coming to the home. Jimbo was quite the craftsman in many areas.  Her bed will be by the window facing Lake Road so she can see the world going by as she makes HER new nest.   It's a bittersweet process and one that I'm glad we have the opportunity not to rush with.  That house is so full of memories just from the 59 years they've been in it raising family.  The noise level was always on max when Daddy was there because of the TV.  Now, it's quiet often as I pad around the old homestead gathering something else for her to sort through.  We have major piles people!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

unbroken circle

In the continuation of life and death with visions and totems leading the way, my friend Lorna mourns the death of her mother.  Their family is large and well organized with adult grandchildren taking most of the planning because she's got grandchildren of her own in house...aka Jasper and Gracie.  We met through a mutual friend who just knew we'd be a thing, and she was right.  Our shared heritage of agriculture and the Mighty Mississippi was a springboard for a long and  rambling history of Lake county as told to me by not just her, but lots of other folks.  A port sits there now for transport of *goods*.  There are a few to-die-for fish houses, but not many.  Lorna has been actively involved in preserving the heritage of her family farm in this atmosphere of dog eat little farmer.  I admire her spunk and intelligence and my heart breaks for she and her family.

Meanwhile, down at Casa Grands, Mom is busy packing and sorting and actually looking forward to moving day.  The really cool thing is that we don't have to do it all in one day, and I thank corporate for that gesture.  I'm off today and it looks like I'll be in my new jammies until bedtime.  It's just that sort of mood, ya' know?  BG went shopping and hit clearance at Old Navy bless her heart.  We need retail therapy sometimes, and I do so hate to shop.

Today's happy happy happy! is about the Americans who took down that terrorist on a train.  Kick ass and take names, guys.  This kind of bravery accomplishes more than twothree wars over oil.  Desert Storm, remember?  I'm way behind on YouTube watching and got treated to Listen!Linda! during class yesterday.  I haven't laughed that hard in months.  Meanwhile, the whole world is Feeling the Bern and I am in freakin' heaven.  Think outside the box folks!

My procrastination has been deadly but I am keenly aware of limits right now, especially my own.  Much of my time over the past years has been spent working around work and then you go there to see your family.  The kindnesses that were shown to my family by co-workers will never be forgotten and soon will be broadcast if I can just get gear to do it.  Today might not be that day.


Friday, August 21, 2015


Process improvement is something that has been a hot topic ever since ISO and all those other early versions of do more with less came about.  My husband, at the time, was poster boy for the LEAN process at whatever Excel Polymers was named that day.  Theory was that the front line workers know where the flaws are in the production system and you should pick their minds for weak spots in the chain.  I will never forget the night his friends brought him home after a night of presenting, drunk as a goose on free Crown.  I am not that girl.  

The class I've been in for the past few months is something akin to that sort of process improvement.  We have identified goals for each of the respective teams and looked at the roadblocks and assets that we are dealing with in getting there.  It was fun until my daddy hit the door as a patient and then I became painfully aware of "opportunities for improvement" most of them involving continuity of care.  My father had surgery three times in a month after presenting in an ER that served us both well.  I reported for duty after that all nighter and it took a week to get right.  By then he was at the SNF with a wound vac.  As a veteran healthcare provider I was fortunate enough to be his advocate and even then, shit happened.  Hey.  We all make mistakes.  

That reminds me of the time 'Noler had the widow maker and got activase in our ER then was flown to Methodist North, the closest cardiac center.  By the time he left in the chopper, his EKG was normal thanks to the quick and on the fly diagnosis of  Dr. Hayes and Christy.  He was 39 at the time.  BG was in middle school and I slept in ICU waiting rooms for several nights and even in the stepdown window on second pass.  The cath was not performed until the next day because he was loaded up with anticoagulants and no stent was done.  I think the cardiologist was headed out on vacay.  Weinstein?  Anyways, without a stent early closure is about 50/50 on caths and that is exactly what happened.  Second time around we were back at North getting a stent and watching March Madness on the hospital TV.   That was in 1995ish and each admission was around 20-35K.  That would be a bargain these days. 

It really bothers me that folks live the lifestyles that they do and expect to live forever.  I'm not the healthiest person in the world but Lord knows I try to eat healthy when the budget allows..  Now that the weather is moderating, I'll be walking more and slowing down...maybe planting some fall crop.  Mom is excited about the move and that makes me smile.  Our mission for tomorrow is to find her hand stitched quilt upstairs in the cedar chest.  She's gonna' need it at the home.