Friday, January 29, 2010

snowed in

It is VERY unusual for this part of the country to get a snow of any significant depth because of our moderate temperatures. Today is a big fat exception to that rule!! Following a few hours of sleet, the snow began to fall mid-morning and is now being drifted about by high winds. My guess would be about three inches so far, but it's not over until sometime tomorrow. This could be one for the record books in the 'burg. I made it work work okay, after crawling through the passenger's seat to get behind the wheel. Since BG got a snow day, she graciously started my car for me ahead of time. It took until three pm for me to get all the ice of the back window...even with that defrost thingy!

And then..hoo boy. Mom and Dad's power went out and we reserved a hotel room "just in case." No TV for Daddy is not a happy prospect and the generator is just too much for them to handle. I think secretly Mom would like to go just for a change of scenery and some room service.

I hope that Daisy is warm somewhere and playing with a nice kid who loves dogs. That's what I'll believe, anyway. Faith and Sam are sacked out on the couch, dreaming about whatever puppies think about while they sleep. Probably food :) I'm looking forward to enjoying some bird watching, armed with sunflower and thistle for my feathered friends.

Ya'll stay safe. Wild horses couldn't drag me off of the lane this weekend.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

let it snow!

I have never, in the thirty two point five years that I've worked at that hospital NOT made it for my shift due to weather conditions. I've learned to navigate the hill at the top of Pecan Lane both downwards and upwards in my trusty old Camry. By the way....there's only two hubcaps left now and the birds up in that backyard tree don't like me parking there. Plus, the driver's side handle froze and broke off two years ago. I've managed with electrical tape on the sharp edges. These are the things that smartass redneck women do when they know they gotta because nobody's coming to the rescue, least of all the prince on the big white horse. WITH the glass slipper, of course. I remember calling my ex one time to change a flat tire for me because I didn't have a clue what to do. I will still cruise into some good old boy garage and ask them to help me air up a tire here and there. Most of 'em are thrilled!

Of course all the teachers and such are sitting on the edge of their seats praying for Snowbird to visit and give them a free day. I won't complain (much) though, because I could have been one too. In fact, I might still make it. I think I have a few good years left with the old mind if the body can just get off the concrete floors. You know...plant a seed, so to speak.

Mama and Daddy are maintaining the status quo which is a blessing. As long as she doesn't talk on the phone too long or we wear out our visit, it's all good. He tolerates the home health team, still not believing that there's anything different about their life together. You can bet your sweet ass I won't be the one to tell him different :) That sort of thing causes an immediate running Stafford fit, the one that used to terrify me even as an adult.

I'll spare ya'll the sordid details...this has not been a good week for me gastrointestinally speaking. At least I didn't throw up. I really appreciate how Big Ernie knows how much I hate it when that happens. Somebody said it's going around so you know what that means. Stock up on babywipes!

One of my dearest not-yet-met blog friends lives in Chicago and has some new twins that are adding to the mix with her older two kids. She is a teacher at an inner city school there, desperately trying to make a difference in the lives of kids who don't have the parents that she and her husband are to their four. When we first met. she had only Jack. How times flies, huh girl? Happy birthday mother f**ker! I hope you get some snow days out of this thing.

We have been slowly sifting through the contents of this house and a few more, picking out pieces with sentimental value and re-decorating in the process. I remember the joyous feeling of seeing redbirds against the snow twenty one years ago when we were getting ready for spring move-in. All I wanted was to be home again.

Thanks Big Ernie....I made it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

wheely whirly whankum

That's the term that my friend Kay used to describe her late mother's ramblings about all things not apparently relevant to the moment. It's something that most of the elderly do, mostly because they finally have the luxury of not worrying about responsibility so much and focusing on what's been good about their lives. My parents are both enjoying the hell out of it :) Every time one of them gets hurt or sick, I think about how scary and foreign the idea of living without them used to be. I remember the first time that my Daddy didn't pull off of Pecan Lane into my driveway to check on the horse. It was like clockwork, come rain or shine or foot of snow. He came on a tractor or in a truck and made sure the cows had hay. Now, my brother does all of that.

I now see a childlike quality in my mom and dad now that is totally endearing to me. My mother feels guilty about not being as "nice" to her momma as I am to her, but hey...that was a totally different story! I loved Gaga to death, but she went to her grave a bitter and broken old woman. Instead of looking back at all the wonderful things she had been blessed with she complained about being in a retirement home on the government's dime. Once I wrote her a letter asking just exactly what she was so angry about...perhaps the death of her husband at age 45. Or the shameful squandering of the inheritance by her baby boy. My grandfather intended for each child...there were two girls as have some land to call their own as adults. Things went to hell in a handbasket when the BB died at 36. He never had a "real" job in his life, where he was held accountable and had to earn a living. Every family has at least one like that.

I have learned to keep a pen and paper handy, because they can't go GET what they need, and so there's usually something to pick up on the way home like medicines. Or diet cokes and bananas ;) The home health nurse, social worker and physical therapist visit often and keep an eye on them. And they are at home, in their comfy chairs looking out at that familiar fifty four year old landscape for signs of spring. Not this month, ya'll. Those couple of warm days were just teasers. Daddy better record some more Law and Order!

I am often sad, when I take the time to be still and think about what it all means to be a part of this family and the heritage that we have here on the farm. We have raised several generations side by side in a neighborhood that most cities would love to have. So, in a way.....I suppose that I did get my inheritance from Papa. He's the one who recommended Daddy for the job back in 1956. And we've never looked back. The folks who benefited from his years of service are not very partial to saying thanks, so his "retirement" has consisted of a few hurried up business meetings and a fifty years worth of records to sort through. It's not for the weak at heart, I'm telling you.

Lunch today was a small group of us women talking about the past and the pains and how to deal with all of it in a positive way. It was a unanimous decision that the only way through the pain, is to face it head on and trudge (with frequent breaks) because until will never go away.

I love it when that happens.

Peace out ^j^

Saturday, January 23, 2010

pick your battles

My Kentucky cousin and I were chatting about college basketball today and how the alums of certain universities will throw all kinds of money at a coach just to get him or her and keep them, as long as they win. Everybody loves a winner, you know. UK's coach got a 1.4M sign-on bonus and 3M per year during his contract. He used to be a U of M tiger, but that went by the wayside for some reason or another. Go figure.

I attended the University of Memphis back in the day when it was still Memphis State, studying organic chemistry, quantitative analysis, sociology, parasitology, genetics and German, of all things. I was tickled to death to get a D in German and get the hell out. I roomed in this high rise dorm with a girl that I graduated high school with and barely knew. I was there for one year, before transferring to the UT Center for Health Sciences in the same town but much closer to the Mighty Mississippi. THAT dorm was across the street from Forrest Park where the pervs and drunks tend to roam all over and do their thing. I guess the cops are busy busting crackheads or something. Shelby County has a lot of issues and most of 'em don't have anything to do with Elvis or BBQ. At least they've got a shot with a new mayor, bless their hearts. It can't hurt, if you know what I mean.

Me and BG and the BF had a late night yesterday, sending our dear friend Jerry off to Afghanistan with a drunken fire and many hugs. He's a part of their unbroken circle, so he's one of mine too. In his honor (or my stupidity) I did the second Yager bomb of my lifetime. I think Big Ernie would approve. Somebody please tell me why we are taking care of the entire world when our country is falling apart at the seams. It's all funny money until the slave labor countries call in their debts and shoot our asses with nukler missles. I admire what celebrities are doing to raise money for Haitians, but I have to wonder if they do the same for their own villages.

It's all relative ^j^

Friday, January 22, 2010

hip to be square

The last concert that I attended at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis was a wonderful blend of Huey Lewis and the News and the Robert Cray Band. I read that Huey is recording at Ardent Studios in Memphis...and, well. That just made my day! Ain't nothing in this world like good music to grab a person's soul and yank them out of whatever ails them.

This gray day is coming to a painfully slow rain, just blah. Mine started at 5AM. Guess whose smart ass will be in the bed before ten? The first two don't count. I actually took a NAP today after work which is an unheard of luxury these days. It felt mighty good, so I imagine there will be an encore for the next two days. Mom and I are planning an outing, weather permitting, to the library and Dollar General tomorrow. We just might split an appetizer tray at Applebee's too!

The guys are the salvage yard on the end of our road spotted Daisy on the fence row behind the big pond on the highway, but so far she hasn't found her way home. No beagles at the pound either. I hope somebody's feeding her and appreciating the precious way she cocks her head to the side when she's trying to understand something. Like cats.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

stealth as a virtue

I have never been much of a player, as most of you know. I say what I think when it pops into this middle aged stressed out brain of mine. This can cause men with whom I have fallen hopelessly in love to run and hide in the man cave. At least that's been my experience thus far. I've loved several of them without shame, and dealt with the humiliation that comes with having my words handed back to me thus and so.....

I think a lot of ya'll up there in Dyersburg.

Sheesh...I never thought of you as anything but a friend. and so on and so forth.

Shhh...I'm playing family man.

Fine then! I'll go live in a hotel.

Those final words were spitten out in anger at me yesterday when I confronted my Dad with his latest "trying to take care of the bills" thing yesterday. Fronto-temporal dementia is all about OCD and schedules and loss of interest in anything else other than getting onto the next item on the agenda. Wake up on the couch. Eat cereal with bananas and orange juice. Watch TV. Make sure the wife gets up sometime mid-morning and makes it church on Sunday. Get mad when kids and grandgirl come by and interrupt the OCDfest. Rinse, lather and repeat.

It hit me like a ton of bricks today that my father has never been or ever will be capable of freely showing any other emotion than anger. During our childhood, mom was the healer of all things hurtful, playing the peacemaker on a daily basis in our family of five. She worked full-time at careers that she enjoyed, made sure we all ate three meals a day and lost herself in the process. So did I. Trying to be good enough is a tough job.

Faith is a virtue as well. I know in my heart that there's a plan and Big Ernie is in charge so that allows me to sleep well at night and get up and go at it again when the alarm goes off. It gives me the freedom to run hot water in the tub and soak my tired old bones so that maybe....just maybe, I can get up and at it and still believe in rainbows. She snores on my couch while Daisy is out trying to sniff her way back home. Faith is all about keepin' on when it seems impossible to do so.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

daisy has left the building

....for now. Her little beagle self has taken to running off and this time she hasn't found her way back, though I know she will. This bitch had it made ya'll....she had been in a pen with two older dogs and smelled like death when she got here. She's eaten well, yapped at everything in sight and slept in mama's bed. I hope she gets a rabbit while she's out there. Or a squirrel. I imagine that the soft blanket in her box will look mighty good tonight.

As for me? I'm drinkin' beer, cleaning house and listening to music. When the going gets tough, the tough chill out. This has been the taking-care-of-a-village day from hell. My visit to Headlines was a nice break from reality, and I came out without a mullet so I count that as a blessing. Thanks ya'll :)

Looks like rain for the next week.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Every day is an opportunity, so to speak. Mom and I took a road trip today for a visit with an eye doctor and some exploration with visual aids at a non-profit occupational rehab facility. The doctor comes once a week from Memphis to Jackson and sees patients in two hour sessions that involve eye charts, lots of glasses and big screen readers with trays and cameras. And the best thing of all? A grant from stimulus funding paid for the entire thing. It's a special program that provides funding for legally blind individuals over the age of 55. Which I will be this September. that a reality check or what?! We had a quick lunch after locating the place, and managed to get there right on time. For two hours, I watched social work in action with several agencies operating in one facility to provide services to their clients. Very smooth operation. The support staff have been attentive and available during the scheduling process. It gives me hope that perhaps some of the money that our government is spending now is going to "pay it forward" to those in need.

Tomorrow is hairdo day finally and I'm ready. Nothing says change of mood better than a new look, even if the color is still mousy brown with gray highlights when it's all over. I get to see two of my favorite people in the process so it's a win-win. This morning's dentist's visit was a washout with a treatment plan that includes a bridge for three front teeth. Oh! Yay! There goes the new TV money :(

Daisy is back in jail the crate again because she chewed up a screwdriver and ran away three times. I think I'll let her bark it out on her own. Treats will be reserved for good doggies.


Monday, January 18, 2010

thou shalt not dooce me

Oh Lord, ya'll. Today was one for the history books, and the one that shocked me into reality that I am an "elder" in the healthcare profession. Oh yeah, I know that our administrative team is full of youngsters climbing the corporate ladder. And I know that our little lab family has gained and lost many a phlebot and tech. But dammit...oh, never mind. Let's just say we saved a life and leave it at that. I think I have some kind of post traumatic stress disease or something. If I had a buck for every time I've participated in THAT fire drill, I could retire to Fiji and never look back.

Daisy has taken to following any person on foot or in a vehicle who leaves my house which presents a problem. She picks up scents and trees things and does that annoying beagle bark every step of the way and I have to chase her ass down. No more, sista. Three of us chased her across a ditch and she had her first ride in the trusty old camry's back seat with the window down. I think she'll learn to like it like Faith and Sam do. Hopefully she won't fall out on her head or anything.

Me feet hurt, which serves me right for wearing new shoes to work. As Lori would say *meh*.

Over and out from the lane. To be continued............

Saturday, January 16, 2010

out of limbo

My dear friend and co-worker Sue is liquidating her antique business and will soon close one of the most popular eateries on Highway 51, the Main Street Tea Room. She and her husband George built the business together going to estate sales and cleaning out attics. The last Christmas that he was alive he bought some old woman's entire attic full of Christmas trees for the shop. They were everywhere!! Following his death two years ago, she realized that it was too much for one person to handle and slowly came to the decision to close and move into the next chapter of her life. We've been holding hands most of the way, so I know that it was a very hard decision for her to make. Life goes on, in spite of itself.

I was pulling into a friend's housewarming party this afternoon, laden with "stuff" to take in, and the neighbor decided to go all bad cop on me about parking in front of his house. This, I did not need at that particular point in time, if you know what I mean. Poops lost her cool and slammed a bag of ice into the sink while calling him several nasty names. I guess it was better than smacking him in the head with it. Dude was waiting for his mail and was afraid I had blocked the access for the postal truck to his box..I saw the mail run right before I left, and was tempted to go out and get it for personal delivery at his door. Yep....I can be a real bitch when you push me.

Elsewhere in our hood, trees are slowly disappearing as pasture is turned to farmland. My brother used to live close to the Mississippi River and remembers how depressing it was there in the winter with no pasture to break up the monotony of dirt. The farm actually looks BETTER in a lot of ways because the fencing is ancient there are very few tree lines affected. My cousin-in-law Ronnie took his beagles out to hunt rabbits and invited Daddy to go. That lasted about five minutes and he was ready to go home. But that's a whole 'nother story.

I have read and listened, like most, about the recovery relief effort in Haiti, my jaw dropping at the horror being faced by these poor folks who have already seen so much misery and pain. There are no words for something like that. Yet, there is a spirit among our country men and women that will fully embrace such a natural disaster and forget about themselves for awhile to help someone in need. I only wish we did it more for our fellow Americans. Big Ernie would like that too.

This week has been a spring teaser, warm enough to not wear a coat everywhere but not to do much outside. I spent the balmiest afternoon picking up limbs yesterday and having a little bonfire by the swing. Yes, I am sore and out of shape. This too shall change.

Ya'll enjoy the rest of your weekend. If you need me I'll be eating breakfast with the fam at Mel's Diner, or as Daddy says "The place where all the guys in overalls eat."


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

little pleasures

BG and I tend to be the type of housekeepers who let it slide for a few days until the whole thing seems like a mountain so we just ignore it some more until it really IS a mountain. To keep from climbing steps to the basement, I had my washer and dryer put in the kitchen twenty years ago. As you can guess, the dirty clothes end up in piles all over the kitchen floor. We've been working hard at changing that habit and lo and behold! When I walked into the kitchen today, there were no dirty dishes visible and the floor was bare. Praise the Lord and pass the Michelob...I think I love that girl.

My aunt granny fell last night and broke her pelvis which is very VERY painful and she ain't no spring chicken. Visiting her today and looking at all the tags and stickers that are involved with identifying one patient caught me off guard, because she's my family. She looks very frail lying in the hospital bed, but managed to holler out to me as I left to tell her "sister", my mom, hi. Looks like granny will be laid up in the bed awhile, but she'll get up again. She's too stubborn not to, right girls?

Lots of drama in the workplace which shall remain undiscussed, but it's hard to concentrate in an atmosphere where people are at each other's throats. The best thing that I can see about the whole thing is that some face to face communication has and will take place that needed to happen long ago. And that we can look at it as a test from Big Ernie. Amen?

Things are quiet with my parents for the moment. Mom and I will be taking that postponed road trip next week to check out visual aids and cellphones in the "big city." I am very impressed with the way the home health team has jumped into action here and involved a social worker in the care planning. She even wants to visit the place where we're going next week to see how it works so that she can help other clients.

I pulled into my driveway and spun around toward the back entrance , and something hit me. The japanese quince in my front yard usually starts swelling with buds at about this time of the year so I put it in reverse to see if they were there. Uh hm. THAT made me smile :)

Ya'll keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the middle of the end

I suppose if my life were a book, it would be close to the end of the story about how my family has lived and breathed this farm for54 years. Mama and Daddy brought me back to the 'burg to get born at the Baird Brewer hospital on the corner of Main and McGaughey, right across the street from the Methodist church. Daddy was a graduate of UTM and worked in the basement of that hospital as a plant pest control expert for the USDA. There was this old black guy named Herman who ran the elevator from the basement plum up to the next floor where they did surgery. I think they sell insurance up in there now.

The church across the street is where I pick my parents up two Sundays in a row and then off one. BG does every third. Bubba gets 'em there and we pick them up for breakfast at Mel's Diner. They know the drill and the waitress is to die for cute in a real country girl way. They help us clean up messes and get the eggs just right and even cook waffles and grits to go with the biscuits. And they're cheap! These folks will definitely get a cake in December.......

As is usual for the days of my life, when I went to grab the camera for the gorgeous pink and gray sunset, the batteries went dead. I hate it when that happens. The shadows were out of this world!!!!

Hope your monday was a lot less of a monday than mine was.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

paperless pay

My company went with mandatory direct deposit a couple of years ago, but we always got a stub once every two weeks telling us what we earned and exactly how much goes directly to uncle sam for the privilege of working for said company. That went away last month, and now we have to log into some big freaking payroll site to see what we have to live on for the next two weeks. You grocery money and gas to get to work and back home. Very convenient for the employer. Not so much for the employee. I show up when I'm supposed to...often a little bit late but full of good intentions to save the world make some sort of difference in a life when the opportunity presents itself.

The federal taxes totally piss me off because I suspect they are being passed onto persons of interest who have something to gain from keeping the whole thing going. This is not the america that I grew up believing in. My parents were raised during WWII and Korea. I was born during the post war boom when anything was possible, Ward and June Cleaver style. When we went into the jungles of Vietnam, I was totally against the whole thing. Just like when we went to Iraq. My motto is pretty much about taking care of the homeland and leaving the idiots alone to do their jihad thing. You wanna blow yourself up? Have at it dude. Just don't take anybody else with you because that is just wrong.

Our country's presence in other lands wreaks havoc with their status quo. Why do we have to always play Big Ike and bust up in there with our soldiers? Most of the ones who sign up now are doing it for the money and/ or love of country. Or because they have issues which compel them to kick somebody's ass. If I thought we could kick their butts, I would sign up myself and sleep on a cot. I don't think that this particular conflict can be won by sending more troops into the caves of Afghanistan to find some evil dude who hates western ways. It has always been thus and so.

BG is cooking some supper and the dogs are quiet. What more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

hit me again

It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so full of anger and hatred and haphazardly spill it out all over other people....especially the ones they love. I'm not saying that I don't get mad, but when I do I get it out and over with and don't hold a grudge. Heck, by tomorrow I've slept and I've even forgotten what it was about. Life is way too short to hang onto negative feelings like a baby with a blanket and whine.

So far Daisy has chewed up a box of matches and a couple of shoes. I brought toys home today from her Aunt Freda and she loves to make 'em squeak. Lily still despises her :)'s tough when the queen has an unruly canine subject around. She's got the other two trained to be afraid but not this one! That's why she's staying up on TOP of the furniture. Cats. You've gotta love them.

It is cold, and that's an official complaint from one who never fails to enjoy crisp weather. Teens without the wind is crisp. With 20 to 30 mph gusts, it's insanely frigid which is something that us southerners don't experience very often. Ya'll remind me of this post in July when I'm bitching about the heat.

Over and out from the lane.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

a perfect fit

In spite of some spontaneous early morning yapping and a near death experience with the cat, Daisy has blended quite nicely into our little family. She crates at night and we go with the most convenient option in the morning. If it's an early day, I let her out to stay awhile and somebody else will put her back in the crate. Our other roommate lost his grandmother this week so we've been doing a lot of soul searching and memory swapping. Until I started sharing with him, I had forgotten about being with all of my family members during their deaths at the hospital. What some people see as a lost opportunity, I get to experience as part of my job. That's a perk, even though it's a tough one to swallow sometimes.

I passed the home health nurse on her way to mom and daddy's as I neared my lane. She is SUCH a sweetheart, and there's a social worker as part of the team who will help mom to deal with her frustrations, which are many. Enough to kill a goat, as daddy would say. I feel much more at ease knowing that there is a permanent healthcare professional involved in their day to day lives. I can pick up bananas and orange juice all day long, but I am biased and they need total objectivity for the best care.

Daisy has settled on the couch after taking every step right with me after I got home. It's a cold week already with a good chance for our first real snow. Gee, I can't wait to clear the car off before work! Sugardaddy better have a garage.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

i will not complain about the cold

I swear, that's what I said back in the sweaty days of July. It's hovering around twenty and I'm not complaining yet. A cold day in fleece beats a drippy summer sweat any day in my book. I used to hate winter because I was cooped up inside all the time. My older wiser self has learned to enjoy that rest while dreaming of spring and gardening. And crate training a one year old beagle who's been penned for awhile. Yikes! What was I thinking?

Lily has been traumatized by the new kid. When I opened the door to let her in yesterday and she spotted that third unfamiliar nose at the door, she took a giant leap backwards into the bushes and went straight to the top of the redbud tree. She's hiding out somewhere behind the couch right now plotting her revenge.

Daddy and I went to Mel's diner this morning where the cast is usually the same each Sunday at eleven. We saw the couple who had a deer hanging off the back of the truck two weeks ago....and the hay man who is there every week. With the sale of the cattle, that chapter of the farm will end....the one where there have always been cows roaming around and giving birth during the coldest months of the year. There will be no need for hay then so that will disappear from the landscape as well. The one thing that will remain constant is the Forked Deer river which lazily curls around the farmland.

I've been out more in the past week than during the past six MONTHS, visiting with friends and just hanging out. My bedtime comes so early I usually have to leave before I turn into a pumpkin but at least I'm making the effort. Sugardaddy sure ain't gonna come knocking on my front door.

Ya'll try to jump into Monday like it's Friday. Let me know if it works and I'll give it a whirl.

Peace out ^j^

Saturday, January 2, 2010

new dog in town

Right on schedule, Daisy the miniature beagle was delivered to us at a family gathering today. She stayed in a crate for about four hours so she was ready to RUN when we got home to the farm. I can tell she's gonna love it. Where she lived in KY, she was penned up because of heavy nearby traffic. Out here...whoo boy! She can chase those rabbits to her little heart's content as long as she avoids the mailman. She's a year old and quite beautiful :)

Faith and Sam initiated the meet'n'greet when they realized there was somebody new to play with out in the yard. After much butt sniffing and several growls it was all good and they're buddies. Sam is gonna LOVE having a friend that can run as fast as he does. Faith is getting older and prefers the couch or the porch. Kinda like me.

I hope all your resolutions resolve themselves and that all your dreams come true for this brand new year. I'm feeling empowered by the sight of my new calendar.