Tuesday, November 30, 2010

this and that

We finally made it to the vet today with our latest shelter dog, Oscar. Amazingly, this network of animal lovers came together and made a visit possible when I don't have a dime to spare.  His little back got shaved so that Dr. Pierce could get a better look at the gaping wound.  There was a picture and some pain meds plus a tube of brand new skin to help him heal from whatever the hell happened.  I shudder to think about the details of that considering the shouting match I heard coming down the lane from his old home yesterday afternoon.

My personal massage therapist has been working faithfully on the neck and shoulder areas so that I don't have to beg co-workers to put an elbow to it ask for help during my days at the sawmill.  Not that I would turn it down, mind you.  It's just that we're all old and tired and corporate America just demands so darn much of old people these days.  I figure when North Korea blasts us all into the sky it won't matter much how many times I was tardy or how often I didn't attend a mandatory meeting.  Somebody needs to talk to our people about their people and figure out that the big import/export thing is screwing us into the ground as a country. Uh, and also about  our tendency to play big Ike and get involved in every border skirmish the world over.  Merry happy holiday season from Asia!  With a gift card too :)

My gifts this season will be personal and not too much out of pocket because, hey.  Ya'll know how I roll and what the finances look like.   It's time to the meaning of the season rather than spend money we don't have on things we don't need. Okay.....maybe some socks and underwear :)  And a new Mary Englebreit calendar....her art  brightens my days all year long!  As I type, there is a gentle snow falling, the first that I've seen this season.  It won't last long, and certainly won't stick but it's pretty to look at.

I guess ya'll all heard about poor Willie Nelson getting busted again.  77 years old and six ounces of weed on the bus!  I reckon the border patrol needed that score to add to their quota.  Leave the man alone, please.  His 2500 bail won't even pay the salaries of the people who made that arrest.

That's all the wisdom I've got for today.  BG and I are booked to go through my mama's "holiday/ junk room" and decorate her house for Christmas, then haul out what she doesn't want.  We're doing this room by room, treasure by treasure listening to stories about where this or that came from and trying to remember it all for posterity.  It is a bittersweet thing to say the least.

Later ya'll.  Keep it in the middle of the road ^j^

Thursday, November 25, 2010

group hug

Since I was raised up in the thankful faithful sort of way out here on the farm, Thanksgiving is a very special day to me....more so than Christmas really.  It is, for many people, a time to gloat over the fact that all the shopping will be after black friday.  I reckon that's why I refuse to put out even the first reindeer until this weekend.  I'm ornery like that sometimes.

My dear friend in Knoxville is spending the holiday in a hospital with her son, something that she has done many times over the years.  Life goes on, even when the mail doesn't run, ya know?  Special hugs for them.  And for my friends who are serving our country far away from home.  After 33 years of working holidays I can tell you that it's okay as long as you're close enough to home to score a home cooked meal, just the way you like it.

This has been a "challenging" year for me personally and all of you as well.  Everybody's got something on their plate that is causing some pain or misery and you never know who needs a hug at just the right time.  I'm a big touchy feely kind of person so I'm always up for one.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's a hug for all ya'll just because. Feeling blessed is what it's all about ^j^

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the new normal

Back in the day I was one of those demon bloggers who spent every waking minute reading about my blog friends' lives vicariously and involving them with mine.  The trail stretched all across the world, though I only met one of 'em in person.  If you remember Old Horsetail Snake, you know THAT story, god rest his soul.  One year he sent me an electric sander to finish up my kitchen remodeling job!  That was after I sent his ailing wife a UT bracelet and him some cookies to the nursing home where they lived.  After her death, he moved out and began living his life again in earnest.  It was then that I learned that people really DO care and want to reach out to others.  Unless you're a sociopath or terribly spoiled, it's human nature to want to help.

Now that my daily routine includes a sort of 24 hour call schedule for my parents, I don't find the time to write much other than a recap of the occasional peak or valley.  It happened while I wasn't looking, beginning with their multiple car accidents and various trips and falls.  And macular degeneration + fronto-temporal dementia.  It's a very difficult combination of disabilities, and proves sometimes to be a challenge for the caregivers.  But hey...we try to maintain.  The alternative isn't something that they're willing to go for right now.

There's an unspoken turf war going on here on the lane between a newcomer who asked permission to pick up pecans and the old faithful man who has been here every day for two months.  I explained that to new guy and asked him to respect his elder.  I noticed them out in the road chatting with each other yesterday so it's all good.  It's amazing what memories people in the south have of pecan season.  My grandfather owned several farms with trees and I remember going there as a kid to pick up.  Oh yeah....there was a little kid in the mix yesterday too, riding a four wheeler with his grandpa.   That was after the worst of the fog moved out and before it slithered back in for an encore.  I was at the beauty shop the other day and the young very feminine guy at the register hollered at his pregnant as a goose co-worker when she left in the rain: "Be careful!  Watch out for deer and drunk drivers!"  Only in the south, ya'll.  Only in the south.

I entered three photographs in the local photography contest here and they are now displayed with the hundred others at the community college for voting by the public.  I'm assuming there are no names or anything so that you judge the picture by how you like it rather than who took it.  No bias and all that.  We shall see.  I'm sure the propane guy would appreciate payment before I run completely out so the money would help with that or maybe the car insurance.  At this point, it really doesn't matter.  Come and get me, I say.  But if you put me in jail???  There goes my earning potential so you're screwing yourself.  Think about it.

Like everyone else, I'm making a list and checking it twice for Thanksgiving.  My parents and I went to the store after breakfast today and picked up a few things for our feast.  It will be an odd assortment of family and friends and that's exactly how I like it.  We might even hop on the gator and visit the neighbors.

Ya'll eat 'til you can't hold anymore.  It's the time of the year you can smooth get away with it.


Friday, November 19, 2010

the middle of the beginning of the end, and after

I distinctly remember having a conversation with my youngest brother around eight years ago, when I saw that Virginia was to be his home.  We talked a lot about the "don't own/can't defend" rule of thumb in the law, and decided that we would just roll with it until it ceased to be our homeplace.  Bubba stepped up to the plate, after much urging from all of us, and has made fantastic use of the land.  Trees have been trimmed and ponds buried, but it looks much better.  Time to move onto the next chapter.I would die a happy woman if I knew that this virtual wildlife reserve could be maintained.  The old dairy barn with the huge silos is a high point.  Where it used to be a dumping place for old political signs, now it houses farm equipment.  There's no need for much hay with no cows.  Cows are REALLY dumb, by the way.

Tomorrow is my mama's 77th birthday, bless her heart.  BG read her cards from girlfriends to her today and said they shared many a tale about the old days.  I heard through the grapevine that they snuck out at 4AM to play TENNIS?  Ha!  Busted, ya'll. The one and only time I snuck out of  my parents' house I got busted big time.  And of course, it was over some oversexed teenage boy.  When I saw the looks on their faces after I turned up okay, I was a believer.  Daddy cried when he saw me standing there making up lies to tell them.  I never forgot that, because he didn't cry much.  I think it had something to do with growing up as a sharecropper's son during the depression.  You had to be tough to survive.

"One day at a time" is a phrase that many support groups embrace and live as communities.  When we talk about stuff at work now, it's a given that somebody has some family drama going on and we just have to do the group hug thing and go on with our business.  BG first started watching Scrubs back in the day and it stuck with us.  Ditto for Family Guy and the Propane Guy.  And of course, Chelsey.  When times are as tough as they are now, laughter is the best option all the way around.  Seriously!

It's the weekend eve so I'm outta here and onto other things like warm blankets and such.  Peace out.....and call your mother ^j^

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

coyote ugly

My newest little foster dog wandered up out of the woods with a big wound on his back.  At first we figured he was an abused dog...some poor little thing like the ones who survived the house at the end of the road.....like Sable.  Sam and I have been tending to Oscar's injury as much as he will let us, which mostly consists of Sam cleaning it for him.  When I let 'em in for the night, I heard some familiar yelping in the distance across the road and I noticed that Ockie's back was bloody again.  Guess that mean's I'm sleeping on Aunt Granny's  couch again tonight and that's okay with me.

Work?  The usual chinese fire drill.  No surprises there, except for free turkey and dressing because it's almost Thanksgiving.  I'm off on the day, but nothing more.  Don't be looking for Poops out shopping on black friday.  This holiday season, my gifts will be handmade which means you'll probably get a matted or framed print of some beautiful scenic view or a spontaneous hilarious moment.  But that's only if I can save enough between now and then to order them.  Ditto for the holiday cakes of appreciation.

My  budget is at zero, which means that my mind will probably be more on what the whole Advent thing  is about.  That's not a bad thing at all, and I don't even have to wear a reason for the season pin to proclaim it.  Because, hey.  I'll be at the sawmill this year.  Hope to NOT see you there.

Seasons greetings from Pecan Lane ^j^

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

girlie stuff

Needless to say anything outside of the dollar store price range is pretty much not in my budget.  A few weeks ago an old friend called to ask for a referral to a local real estate agent and I hooked him up with a friend of a friend.  Much to my surprise she sent a gift card to the smell good place as a thank you.  Haven't done my nails since Gigi's pool closed and they're feeling nekkid so I stopped by the infamous Headlines salon to pick up a bottle of OPI.  Which resulted in new shampoo as well.  And then, I went to the mall store to use my gift and my friend who works there showed me a killer deal on candles so I'm good to go. Sometimes you just gotta say to hell with it and retreat.

Back in August, one of my co-workers sent out a request from the local women's mag for gals with "bucket lists"  and I stuck my hand straight up in the air saying "Pick me!"  Following an hour interview and one more for photos Kathy Krone took the story of my mother, myself and my daughter and blended all of us together in a piece that I felt privileged to be a part of.  We are spread across Dyer County, but still maintain that bond where somebody knows what everybody else is doing most of the time.  Like today is mama's bridge day, for instance.I know from personal experience how much is involved with keeping elderly parents in their homes, and it saddens me to think of how many other families don't have the means to do that. My folks are not well off, by any means.  But what they make pays for them to stay at home with daily household help.

One of the things on my "bucket list" was an entire day at a spa with a full body massage and mud.  Haven't gotten to the mud part yet, but I have been blessed with a friend who likes to keeps his hands moving so my neck and shoulders get a good workout.  That will save me thousands on neck surgery alone :)  Gotta get to the kitchen and start on the cornbread.  My friend Kay had her dressing in the freezer by Halloween ( of course )  so I'm way behind.  If I start washing dishes now, I might get the cornbread cooked by Thanksgiving.

Gobble gobble, ya'll.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the box box

Don't ask me what I was thinking ya'll, but once upon a time I collected boxes.  Each of them was unique, unless they came in a nest which they tend to do, especially at the dollar store..  Over the years kids drag them over to somebody's house and the dog chews one up.  Nothing is forever, least of all collectibles.  I treasure every single piece of post WWII fabric and every stick of antique furniture because they are relics of my upbringing, little pieces of memory that provide comfort.  Add a candle to it and you've got atmosphere!

It was Monday, all day long at the sawmill.  The sun wasn't even up when I pulled up next to the rail and jumped out of dragged my old tired ass out of the trusty Camry with two hubcaps, two almost flat tires and never more than a quarter tank of gas.  I had a good weekend so it took until 2PM for me to wear out.  It's amazing what restful sleep will do for a body.

Most of the boxes are in piles now, waiting to be put into another box until they get to wherever they end up.  At this point in time, I don't have a clue.  But I'm sure that Big Ernie does.

Ya'll say your prayers and call your momma.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

do no harm

Working in the field of healthcare has given me a keen awareness of who's in it for the money and who really enjoys "helping people."  Obviously, I'm not in it for the money because I never have any.  What is amazing to me is how far the professional fee write off thing will go with people that you know and respect at times, and at other times it's all about keeping the big fat boat floatin'.   There was this one guy, in particular, whose daughters went to church with BG.  He did some nerve studies in his "mobile lab"  to prove that I had carpal tunnel syndrome so that the surgeon could fix it.  That's how insurance rolls, ya know.

Anywho....I was still on basic then because it's all I could afford and the deductible was a thousand bucks so guess who got screwed.  Umm...I'll give you a hint.  It wasn't him.  I sent this man a personal letter asking for some forgiveness seeing as how times were hard and all that.  My reply was a phone call from a particularly nasty collection agency whose agent told me "Look....lady.  I'm a bill collector.  It ain't my job to be nice."  That went auto draft quickly.  Sheesh.  I survived a Chapter 7 bankruptcy following the divorce and remarriage.  That was back in the day when credit was king and the cards mounted up over time.  As did the car payments and what not.  And the price of beans.  Coming back from that is akin to digging a hole to China with a tablespoon started in the side yard like BG and Mary did that day long ago at the age of eight.  That wasn't very long after she pinned her cousin to the ground on in the yard and I had to break it up.  

The difference now is that many provider practices are owned corporately and ya'll know they don't play when it comes to money.  I'm just sayin'.  My company will write off deductibles for me if I require treatment there, but in the doc's offices you're on your own with insurance that is deducted by payroll.  And now you tell me that won't be tax free anymore?  Oh, please.  Let's all go apeshit crazy and take our country back from big business and support ourselves instead of the rest of the freakin' world.  Homeland security?  Does that phrase ring a bell???

Yep. I'm definitely in a rambling mood.  Watch out world ^j^

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

holy war

I haven't been on a soapbox in a long time....well since Dubya left the big house.  It was in pretty bad shape then  and the transition to Obamaland hasn't been a piece of cake either.  But my thoughts today have nothing at all to do with party lines or loyalties.  I let go of that piece of the dream after the rally...you go boys!  The whole mess is simple or as my Daddy says: " It has always been thus and so."  If you look back through your bible or koran or whatever you choose for worship there is surely to goodness something to do with being nice to others instead of persecuting them for their religious beliefs or sexual preference.  What was that cute little book about lettin' go of the small stuff?  

It is indeed biblical the way I see the tribes railing at each other today insisting that each and their allies and allies grandmamas are W.R.O.N.G  Sheesh.  I believe that Big Ernie addressed that kind of stuff back in the first part of the good book when he got mad after people ignored the ten big ones.  I'm sure it still totally pisses him off, so I try to be good on the basics.  The rest is just details.  I will never understand how we have to make it all complicated and something to kill each other over.  Our society AND others have raised a generation of people who will never know the Wally and Beaver and Andy Griffith type of existence that I was raised in.  Not that it was all gooey goodness of figuring out who you are as a woman, an american and a hippie in a world where you're expected to be a "nice girl."  Ya'll all know how that one turned out.

Personally, I don't see why anybody would not want to get along and work together toward some kind of common goal, preferably at a local level where the community's needs are met by locals who have nothing to gain but the satisfaction of sharing with their neighbors.  It may not bring world peace, but it will surely bring a whole hell of a lot of peace to a few lucky neighborhoods.  I grew up in one  just like that and so did my daughter.   I do not believe in racial and ethnic parity because in my mind that takes away who I am as a person rather than a percentage of the total workforce.  No apologies...that's my view as a woman who has supposedly gotten some benefit from the ERA and the tail end of prosperity in our country.  The people cannot speak because their elected representatives make it hard to choose between the urgent pleading of an unemployed worker and dinner with a lobbyist.  In case you've never thought about it...that's YOUR money they're blowing on entitlements.  Money that they use all year long interest free.

I am one pissed off American right now because I remember the good times and I want them back in some form or fashion for my grandchildren.  I suppose that is what we do as elders......keep the stories alive to be passed down through the years.  Lordy...I sound like my mama.  And that ain't a bad thing, by any means.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


For some unknown reason, both Blogger and Google decided to kick me off and make me figure out how to get back in.  As my old friend Risible Girl would say "meh".  Their instructions for password recovery stated that it they note suspicious activity the account is disabled.  All I can figure is that some smartass in Nigeria was trying to hijack my many daily ramblings and make a fortune off of my still unwritten book.  In case ya'll didn't know, Nigeria is a hotbed of people with nothing else to do but sit around on PCs and aggravate the rest of the world.  Been there done that with Prince Fred.  Anybody remember THAT story????

My Monday off was a busy one beginning with a trip to the doctor with both parents.  Mama's stitches aren't healed well enough yet to take out, so there's another trip on Friday.  Plus one next week to the gastro buy.  Getting old is not for sissies, I'm just saying.  After some errand running, I cooked for my brother's poker club and had my first experience with turnip greens.  Shewwwweeee!  That is my Christmas gift to him every year and I was first set to serve them on the day the hundred year flood hit back in May.  That would be May 4th, to be exact.  I will never forget that day as long as I live.  South Dyersburg still looks like a ghost town.

And so now....I must go find my missing phone.  If ya'll have my number, call me a few times :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

colors galore

I was wrong when I thought that the leaves here had peaked last week.  Pecan Lane is still awash with fall colors basking in the cool windy sunshine of today.  A hard freeze is predicted for tonight, which will make allergy sufferers like myself breathe a lot easier.  The air is crisp and clean....something that I only dreamed of back in the sultry days of July.  Today is my one and only official play day with a weekend full of sawmill ahead.  All I can say is I hope ya'll got a flu shot.  'Tis the season and it's not too late!

Sam and Oscar have taken up with each other like true brothers and play endlessly, their nails clicking on the laminate as they scuffle around seeing who's the alpha for a day.  Don't tell anybody, but I saw the pecan guy down the road raiding my favorite trees and he was BENDING over at the waist which resulted in a 911 call last week.  I didn't have the heart to ask him to use that picker upper thing.  Mama's head is much better after a visit to the beauty shop to get the blood out of her hair.  She does look a little like somebody hit her in the face with a baseball bat though :(  I'm glad it doesn't hurt as bad as it looks.  The 14 stitches will come out on Monday when she visits her regular doc.

I gave up on raking leaves in the fall many moons ago because the winds up on this hill usually take care of it for me.  Yesterday afternoon I went over to Gigi's newly acquired property to help her get it in shape for rental.  She picked the perfect job for me.....raking leaves in the small fenced in back yard.  Neither she nor her son had noticed that there's a poison ivy vine as fat as a snake crawling upward into the biggest tree on the fence.  I did what I could with it, but that's gonna take a chainsaw to fix that little problem.  My sista, as I call her, is a master at finding good properties with potential and adding her magic decorative touch to them.  I've been sorting through and doing a little renovation myself since BG moved out leaving me with her room to use as a den.

The squeaky dryer will buzz any second now.  Ya'll give somebody a hug like you mean it. Best therapy in the world ^j^

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

hump day friday

I get to sleep in for the next two days in a row and I just can't put into words how very delicious that sounds right now..  After all, I'm a senior citizen now, ya know?   Too bad I can't retire yet.  Thanks to wasteful government spending and bad management that will be at age 67 or when I drop dead on the ergonomic mats earning rent money.  Whichever comes first.  My little general Yankee friend and I were discussing election results today at the sawmill with an emphasis on the huge GOP victory party up there in the House.  We both agreed that it didn't matter WHO is president right now, even if if was Jesus..the people will flip flop according to what's going on with the economy and whatnot.  Healthcare is a biggie. Insurance premiums went up ( again!) and there still seems to be less benefit money available for preventive medicine than for big bucks medical specialists and high tech testing.  Personally, I believe that our country could benefit to a less top heavy sort of federal government with a return of responsibility to the individual states to care for their population.  The cost of healthcare delivery in the south is wayyyyyyyyy up there due to the high poverty level.  Poverty = unhealthy eating habits and bad karma on the home front.  The fed now totes most of the note for that, without regard for all those people who live in less populated states.  Maybe that's what the whole Civil War was about, huh?????

It was a humbling experience, once again, to sit at my mother's side in fast track and observe her treatment at the hands of my co-workers.  I had never met either of them, but they got that head wound stitched and moved us out of there in two hours, just in time for the news with daddy.  BG tag teamed with me on that one, and delivered my entries for the local photo contest to the chamber office while I watched the suturing.  I wondered, after the fact, if everyone who comes in there feels that comfort level.  I reckon that's what we work toward as a team.

Our local paper puts out a quarterly women's magazine, each time with a different theme.  They ask for volunteers to tell their stories and the bucket list one caught my eye thanks to our company PR gal.  A very kind and insightful reporter took some pics and talked with us for awhile and the work was absolutely what I need to feel right now.....a huge group hug for me, my momma and my babygirl.  BG called me this afternoon to tell me that Gail and Oprah were camping out.  What .A. Hoot!

"Ya'll be careful out there."  Hill Street Blues

Monday, November 1, 2010

crisis mode

It's amazing to me how quickly your sense of time changes when there's an emergency in the works. I've called 911 twice in a week, once for the pecan man who fell over picking up nuts and today for my mother who just umm...fell over and busted her head open.  Daddy called me and said I'd better come on because "mama fell."  When I got there she was still on the floor and Ms. Faye, lord rest her soul, was cleaning the blood off the carpet.  It's been a little over two years since the last ambulance run there, when she fell and broke her arm on Easter Sunday trying to cook supper.  There is nothing more emotionally painful than watching a parent get battered and bruised just by trying to keep on keepin' on.  She feels terribly sad because she can't do the things that she used to love, like reading and watching TV.  I can't imagine losing my sight so it's hard for me to relate.  Mostly I just try to get her to verbalize what the realities are so that we can identify what can be changed and what can't.  Macular degeneration is on the "can't fix" list.  So is the frontotemporal dementia that daddy has.
It just doesn't seem right that you work hard all your life and that's what old age hands you to deal with.

Like much of the nation, I was mesmerized by the rally on Saturday, loving every minute of the comic and musical relief that was markedly non-partisan and inclusive up to its' ass.  But then again, that's how I roll.  I heard one conservative complain online something to the effect that America is stupid to listen to a comic and a clown stand up there in Washington telling us how to think and feel.  Hmm.  Isn't that what they've ALWAYS done up in that neck of the woods???  I cried when the Four Troops sang the national anthem.  And I laughed myself silly with every jab that Stewart and Colbert threw at each other because it is all so very true.  The country that I know and love has finally grown a pair and said heck no to partisan politics.  I did NOT vote in the election, nor will I because I feel that the choices put on those ballots, sponsored by two equally greedy parties, are not what I believe in.  To hell with 'em. And the horses they rode in on.

And for the record?  I vote for peace, love and rock'n'roll.