Friday, April 30, 2010

random thoughts from a tree hugger

I have to confess that it took turning forty and living in the country for me to embrace the whole eco-friendly concept of living. With age comes wisdom I reckon. It wasn't until the late eighties that I began to really understand what we are doing to mother earth with our corporate driven oil glutted mentality. To get where you're going you have to have a vehicle and that requires fuel. So does having water, I have been told is a little bit in trouble down on the Gulf coast due to a ginormous oil spill which was touted early on as "not bad" as Hoss would say. Lord knows I wish that somebody would have picked up on the concept of using less before the beaches of Destin get blocked off from happy vacationers. I've been to Gulf Shores several times and there is NO comparison.

Yesterday I went on a beer run before laying out at Gigi's pool and I noticed that the price of regular had jumped 5 cents in two hours. Today it was back down. What's up with that??? When the price of gas is controlled by some old guy who gets on a lift and changes the plastic numbers, something is really really wrong with our society. God given waterways are habitually polluted by industries that have some CEO sitting somewhere around Fiji where the water is clear and they live off of the land. I could get into that scenario, ya know? Picture "Survivor Poopie". There aren't many I could be stranded with on a tropical island and keep my sense of humor.

We are bracing for another round of the weather that bit us last weekend. I'll be at work this time so BG is on weekend duty to get the grands into their tub if a twister threatens our neck of the hood. Please don't go to your local ER unless you're sick or dying. We need some quality time to take care of the real crises that present on a daily basis.

Asparagus season has been skimpy but I didn't fertilize or mulch so I guess that explains that. The former pasture next to that bed is about to be turned into a field of corn or soybeans. I can't wait! That means the bush hog will trim the edges of my yard.

"Love ya...mean it" Murray

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

peaks and valleys

I suppose it is easy to be faithful when all is going, you know how when nothing breaks and nobody gets sick and there's no drama at home or at work. If you're like me, you tend to take that for granted and whine to high heaven when the hard times roll around again. My dear friend the "little general" has lots of quotes from her late mother that she passes around when it all seems to be like a big fat circus sans ringmaster. " Peaks and valleys" is my favorite. I reckon that's because I tend to look at the glass as half full as in "Leave room for the spirit to work." If you're not from the 'burg, you probably haven't heard that one. It was propped up on the author's casket at his funeral.

It is kind of cool how Big Ernie manages to coordinate benefits and debits. I wish more people could see things that way, but I guess that's just life. It's all about choices and living with the consequences therein. In my experience, there's always a rainbow somewhere around the corner showing up when you least expect it.


Monday, April 26, 2010

relative serendipity

Today was one of those where I had to look really REALLY hard for something to say thanks to Big Ernie for. I guess the stars are crossed or the moon is full or some such drama filled cosmic happening. About the only fun part was lunch with my writing team ;) Salsa makes everything better. And a little extra prayer doesn't hurt.

Once again, we were spared the devastation that a Mississippi town endured. If I'm not mistaken, Jerry Clower is from Yazoo City....Our sirens only went off once and it was just heavy rain. That day was spent cleaning and lounging and walkin' the yard in between squalls. Lots of mama BG bonding. That blessing is one I can still say thanks for even in the light of Monday at the sawmill.

WE haven't seen the gator come creeping up our lane lately due to the stormy and cooler weather. I've become accustomed to the sound of my father coming to see what's going on at the house on the hill. Mama loves it :) It's her woman cave time. The extra help thing is going well...a relief for everybody.

There is nothing like staring at a deceased loved one on the fly between lunch and work. Debbie Agee Tatum was an Agee to the bone, just like all the rest of that bunch. Our grandmothers were cousins which probably makes it too much to count but she was still a part of my childhood and lived across the back alley from my great grandmother Ethel. Back in the day, you know. When things were simpler.

In case any of you are considering purchasing a Jitterbug for your elderly loved one, I don't recommend their customer service. My mom returned hers WITH the charger because it wouldn't stay in and it was returned to her without the charger. Their generous offer of a waive on shipping for a new one which costs twenty bucks did not appeal to my present mood. Jesus don't like people who do that kind of business.

"Ya'll keep 'em straight out there" ......HOYT

Saturday, April 24, 2010

dodging the bullet

Today is just what the doctor ordered for us here on the farm. The seeds that were planted by industrious farmers last week are getting a good steady soaking and it's an excellent day to stay inside and piddle. I mean SERIOUS piddling :) Everyone has one eye on the radar as the monster soupy storm system that the NWS has been watching all week slogs it way through Mississipi, Tennessee and Arkansas. Nobody can say they haven't been warned about the potential for this one.

BG and Faith are spooning in her room, dreaming of whatever makes them happy. We have had a tough week in more ways than one, especially the BG. Let's just say we both learned something about life and work. Sometimes it's hard to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. She has taught me more than anyone else in my life to enjoy the ride! My dear cousin and co-worker died early this morning. She and her husband were nurses at the sawmill when I first started there, and we have seen a lot of stuff over thirty something years. Life has been a uphill battle for both of them since the death of their son. Rest in peace Deb ^j^

My "home office" is shaping up with the addition of a couch from my aunt that is the perfect spot to sit and watch a movie on the little TV mom and daddy gave me. The computer is kept busy most days by a job hunting masters' degree seeking BG. At night, she lets me have it to play with pictures and such. Sam has taken over the loveseat so there you go.....everybody has their own spot.

Ya'll watch out for tornadoes and keep the faith.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"our" week

Today marked the beginning of not only National Medical Laboratory Week, but a celebration in honor of those who volunteer at the hospital like my family members have done over the years. Daddy nearly tore his thumb off with a stretcher and Mama got bonked on the head with an electric pencil sharpener and there you go. No more volunteering :) They have been faithful with their lives not only at the hospital but all over their church and community, taking food and well wishes to anybody in need. Daddy used to love driving the bus for kids to the Union Mission summer youth camp. Both of them served with me on the board of directors for our local volunteer blood organization. They send cards. They call. And you know what? A whole lot of that love is coming back to them now. That gives me faith that there's a plan, in spite of us and our controlling ways.

BG and I did some serious bonding this weekend involving lots of naps and TV and food. We tried TWICE to watch the movie Brothers and just couldn't deal with the desert violence so we tuned into the Simpsons on more than one occasion just to lighten up. I'm gonna assume the movie has a happy ending and leave it at that. What I don't know won't hurt me.

It's warm.....and very dry for spring. Crops are planted and need the rain to get a little growth spurt. The sometimes on again off again roommate was in the basement and stepped on a snake which he just insisted on putting in a cooler and scaring us girls with. Ya'll know how I feel about that. Send 'em all to Afghanistan and let the taliban hold them hostage.

We're laying low around here, hell bent on some introspection and personal growth with a side of clean house. The name of the game these days is downsize, simplify and pray for some sort of non-partisan sigh of relief that the worst is over for our government. I must say that after what I've seen during the last nine years, it couldn't get a whole lot uglier. Maybe worse, but certainly with more dignity.

Ya'll have a wonderful week and remember to hug a laboratorian or volunteer. We have feelings too ^j^

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

let's pretend

That is Conner's favorite game, hands down. "Hey..pretend like you're the nurse and I'm the doctor!". Oh I know that one! I can trace my way down the corporate tree right to all the fine print and there are many bosses to whom I answer. Sometimes, that seems kinda hard to keep up with, but I always try to do my best on any given day...Lord willing and somebody doesn't fall. Years ago I would bring work home with me and do it on off time, longing to be the best and brightest in my chosen field. None of that matters anymore. The things that I've learned up in that place are enough drama to keep a writer going until the cows come home. The way I figure it, my ship is about to come in.

It's already hot as hades here and humid too. If you wouldn't mind Big Ernie, let's have some more spring before we jump headfirst into kudzu season. This time last year we were preparing for a trip to the beach where we celebrated BG's graduation and friendship in general. There will be no official vacation this year so I'm celebrating this afternoon as a mini. My feet need work before I hit the pool, and Gigi has hers open. Let the games begin!

I'll share my vacation pics.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

remember who you are

I used to spout that at BG and her friends whenever they left the house to see what they could get into. What I meant by that was "okay, i know you're gonna drink and smoke and chase boys but do it with dignity." They usually did, but I'm finding out more and more that went on that I never had a clue about. Sheesh. Since then, I have managed to forget who I a person. The nice laid back persona that got discovered in my thirties has turned into a worn out middle aged single mom. While I once could afford myself the dream of being able to retire and enjoy some golden years, now I just see me working there until I drop and they replace my body with a younger one who will work cheaper. No...I'm not having a pity party either. That's just the laws that govern the workplace. Most people are beginning to see some sort of recovery on their retirement bucks so that the end is once again in sight. My retirement from my second employer can kick in this year and I'm going to take the few bucks I get and have fun with it. Not, like fun. But something special for ME every month. I do so hate to not have toys.

My parents are doing well and easing through the transition to more frequent in-home care. My run today consisted of bananas for a week, allergy shot and pill countout. "The ladies" as we call them, will start next week. This should be an interesting experiment, to say the least! Daddy stops by often on the gator and almost scared the bejeebus out of me yesterday when he snuck up behind me in the kitchen while I was doing bills. As he rides around and looks he is remembering what he did to make this farm what it is today. It makes him proud, if I say so myself.

My spring planting is complete, with a tub of basil and some cherry tomatoes. Back in the day I would spend a whole paycheck at the nursery buying crap that dies at the end of the season. You know, like ANNUALS. Duh. I can't wait to see how this 'mater in the concrete block thing goes. We could start a fad or something! Asparagus crop has been pretty light so far with only one good batch and that's promised to a certain group of gourmets known as the wild meat bunch.

While I was down sick I watched "Precious" and like to have died over myself laying there being all pitiful over throwing up and look at what she went through. The evil is out there in soooooooo many places. But you know what? Like my daddy says: " It has always been thus and so."


Monday, April 12, 2010

back in the land of the living

Oh, Lord ya'll. I have never been so glad to NOT be sick in my life. The whole 48 hours that I had the queasies all I could think about was how in the world to people on chemo manage that as a lifestyle and still work. Seeing as how my resistance is at an all time low due to exhaustion and lack of fun, I guess I'm lucky I bounced back in four days. Ebola virus, I'm telling you.

My yard is now mowed for the first time this season so I feel better...not quite so cautious about stepping on mr snake. BG got back from her wonderful experience trip to Chicago with the Ebola virus. Daddy stopped by for a visit this afternoon, giving mom a chance for some alone time. We are almost settled with the arrangements for some extra help for them, and that makes me feel better too. They need a lot of attention, and the three of us can't do all that and work too. He showed me a new way to grow tomatoes using groundcloth and a concrete block. I'll let you know how that works out ;)

In typical Tennessee spirit, the weather has gone straight from cold to summer, but thank goodness the humidity is still low. That's the deal killer for me when it comes to summer. I wouldn't last a week during July in Mississippi without having a serious case of the vapors. But then again, that's what I've had for almost a week now! Be glad you missed it.


Saturday, April 10, 2010


That word as a loosely defined term could include any number of experiences during the course of a litetime. Each time one of those milestones is reached and hurdled growth continues toward a little bit wiser self. I remind myself smiling of my couple of attempts to drink whiskey like a grown man and proceed to moan and spin. Didn't take long for me to catch on , ya know? That's why I'm a beer drinking kind of gal who dreams of someday singing like Gretchen. DO NOT laugh :)

This entire past week has been a rite of passage for those of here on the farm. My youngest brother and his family came for a visit. The tractors and buckets and endless fires send up a smoke signal of sorts, marking the ending of the beginning and the middle of the end. Only my baby brother would get that, by the way. He was struck by the changes that have been made since he was last here. It looks different, and in many ways better. So far I haven't heard anybody mention missing a cow...especially bubba. I was struck down savagely by the ebola virus something or other that I've only had one other time in my life and it all came back to me really quick like. BG took care of me, and now she's stuck in Chicago sick herself. Big hugs hon...I feel your pain.

In sawmill news, people continue to come and go, sometimes for a specific reason...sometimes just because it's time. I'm talking not just patients but caregivers. Our company takes the mission of providing community healthcare very seriously, and they have worked hard to repair a somewhat tarnished image here in the 'burg. I pray that the movement forward will continue because the way I see it, bottom line is take care of your own around here when disaster hits.

Ya'll keep on keeping on. It's about all we can do ^j^

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

my father's daughter

I'm the only girl and the oldest in our brood of three. We are all a curious mix of both parents, expressed in oddly familiar ways within our individual relationships. While we have been terribly disappointed and royally pissed off at one another, we remain in touch because of our bond with mom and daddy. It makes me very sad to think about siblings who lose that bond when their parents die, or before. When I was growing up, having little brothers was a pain in the ass, but as I got older I found that they can be mighty handy to have around for a single smartass farmer's daughter. Thanks guys!

I have a new/old couch that sleeps better than my bed so I camped out last night, much to Faith's delight. She had the whole bed to herself! Vet visits are on the agenda soon....I've seen both a tick and a mosquito in the house. No snakes yet, but when I see one you'll hearing me screaming like a girl all the way out there in Oregon. Hate 'em.

Daddy has always had osteoarthritis, as long as I can remember anyway. He used to get gold shots and such and is still on meds for his aging joints. My knee went out the other day, and I've developed a nice big fat case of sciatica from walking funny. Fun times, huh? Mom is stooped over from osteoporosis and can barely walk. She is blind. Yet, they are both aging gratefully for a life well lived with few regrets. Mama talks about them sometimes...her father's early death and her baby brother's wild hairs. For the most part, her memories are good ones of family and friends and a safe neighborhood. She never had a pet though. How sad ;)

There is a line of thunderstorms moving across the big muddy so I think I'll head to the porch to watch it blow in. Something about that just makes me feel spiritual.


Friday, April 2, 2010

the easter chicken

Back when I was a kid, it was not uncommon to go out and buy something tiny and colored that was alive, like a chick or a bunny. They usually lasted about three days until somebody forgot to feed them. It was fun! New life is always fun, no matter what species you're playing with. Yesterday I looked at things from the point of view of my tiny nephew with the glowing eyes and big grin and caught myself acting all kinds of fool. I love the freshness of pure play with no agenda, and kids and old people are about the only ones who do that. He plopped his little butt down on the porch in front of Daddy and proceeded to munch on an apple like he had been there all of his young life. It makes Aunt Poopie proud:)

For the first time in a very LONG time, I am worried about our safety as a nation, simply because anarchy seems to be in vogue and you can't fix stupid. A house divided will fall, and unless Congress backs off on the partisan shit we're all screwed. Cool it already's not about your party or your income. There are people serving and dying in other countries because they believe in what we stand for. Instead, we dish over money to drug czars and take in the poverty that results from that action. What the hell ever happened to Mr. Smith?????????

NAFTA was the death of this country as a place where honest hard working people could make a decent living supplying the needs of their own. Instead, corporations continue putting plants in countries where the people are poor and work cheap. Like you know where. Bullshit. That's what I say about it. We must all become more self sufficient in ways that count, like preserving energy and going green. Our government pays the American farmer NOT to grow things because they import them from somewhere else cheaper. You won't find me suiting up to fight the feds or even pretending to threaten to. I'm the silent one you've got to worry about. The one who listens to news and discusses politics and knows who a candidate is as a person, not just as a member of a party. You can call it the poopie party, for all I care. We are the ones who have worked all our lives only to see what we have worked for and been promised disappear into thin air when a bunch of bankers got rich and moved to Fiji with their girlfriends.

Enough with the rant. Ya'll go hunt some easter eggs and don't forget to feed the pink chicken.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

last call, second verse

Healthcare and emergency response practitioners tend to band together as a sort of impromptu support group for each other. What we do for a living is tend to the needs of the sick and dying and scared almost to death. When you are in our care, nothing matters except for saving your life or making you feel just a little bit better about things. That includes big hugs for family members in times of crisis and a cool head when all you feel like doing is falling apart because life is just so DAMN unfair at times.

Yesterday there was a final memorial service held in Memphis for the Hospital Wing crew that died last week in a crash. This past weekend was filled with visitations and services for all three, and I can honestly say I have never seen such an outpouring of emotion. These three crew members had worked in emergency medicine for years in different jobs so their paths crossed with many others and the pain was felt collectively all over West Tennessee. This morning, another one of our emergency response team went down, a victim of a massive heart attack who was brought to the very ER where he had transported so many others. The entire place was stunned, with his death coming on the heels of last week's losses.

I kiddingly call my workplace "the sawmill" because sometimes it seems that way...but then most jobs do. The rent goes past due or the baby cries all night and all you want to do is run away and sleep. Burnout is common...i've had a couple of big doses of it but came out of the valley of no return :) Big Ernie reached over and swooped me back up just in time because my job wasn't done. That's all I can figure, and it seems to be the faithful way to think. Many times we get complacent and forget the bottom line. Tomorrow is not promised nor will it ever be. That's why you better say it like you mean it and do it when the spirit moves. Walking the walk, so to speak, is the only way to really experience life. That includes heartache and rough times. I can honestly say that if it weren't for the support of my co-workers, I would have lost my mind many years ago. Well, hell. Maybe I did!!

It is Maundy Thursday which, to me, is a special time. It was then that a tightly knit little group of disciples met for the last time with their leader as true followers. They scattered and lied and did all sorts of vile things, especially that one guy. I can see Christopher Walken playing him in a movie...seriously. I appreciate all of the people I've known and loved ( and sometimes even hated) along my road. They have made my cross much easier to bear.

Keep the faith ^j^