Tuesday, October 26, 2010

calm after the storm

Man....it was a real leaf blower around here the past 24 hours!  All is quiet now following a morning of driving ran.  I'm grateful for it, even if it is too late for the summer crops.  There's always winter wheat, followed by wheat beans.  It's an unbroken circle here in the land of pecans.  If you can believe it, I didn't find out until the age of 50 what the term "wheat beans" means....I thought it was something in the organic section of Kroger.  For real.

As our luck usually runs, the plans that BG and I made to meet up and go to the funeral home together got sidetracked by her stoooopid car that hates to run.  She called later on to tell me that she had been a part of the funeral anyway, by accident.  She finally gave up and drove BF's big old redneck truck into town and was the first to pull over for the procession carrying our dear friends to the graveside service. Now THAT is karma.  Babygirl took Faith and Sam home with her so that Oscar could have some room to breathe.  Sam has been pestering him non-stop since he showed up.  I think it's a guy thing.

Some kind phantom chopped the asparagus for me and I'm bewildered but glad.  Now maybe I won't catch anything on fire when I burn it off :)  My lawn yard which was nice and neat a week ago is now ablaze with orange and red leaves knocked off by the wind and rain.  We are just at peak in what I thought would be a really boring leaf peeping season.  Hey....what do I know??

It's porch and Mich time kids.....remember who you are ^j^

Saturday, October 23, 2010

google hates me

I mean seriously...I had to give them my cell number to get up in this place today and I know everybody's just dying to know about Suzy's birthday party up in the kudzu last night.  Last I saw her, she had done several 'jager bombs and had a shiny pink happy birthday hat to boot, surrounded by a whole bunch of cool people who love her.  Me and Aunt Gina went to Mexcio and ate like little piggies afterwards. Girl power!

Went by to visit my old friend the financial consultant yesterday only to find that my retirement with company #2 is on a restricted distribution kinda deal where you can draw a monthly benefit at 55 but can't roll over into something liquid.  It's the COMPANY that sets it up like that for their employees so they can borrow from it to finance the whole corporate thing.  And that, my friends, is a not for profit healthcare provider with the name of my church on it.  To hell with 'em.  When I get a terminal illness (which is the only exception) I'll take it run to Fiji for my final days and curse the local government officials who made that decision when the ones who knew what was up were ignored.  It was all about the money, which was about 10M over market value.  All just to make a point, a dot on the map of hospitals up and down Highway 51.  It's not their fault really.....the mission statement changed and all.

We are under a really dangerous fire watch situation here with heavy wind.  Please ya'll....do NOT throw your damn butt out the truck window tonight on the way home from your local karaoke bar.  I will hunt you down like a dog if your burn up the 'burg.  I'm listening to Lady A and remembering how much fun the summer of '10 was up at the pool with my sister friends and their kids.  It's odd to think that back in May we had more water than could be traveled through and here we are watching dust devils chasing tractors.  Looks like this farm is ready to go to sleep for the winter.

"Carry on young people"   Frances Yarbro

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the end of an era

I spent today cleaning up the bathrooms and floors (with a little help from my friend) at Dyersburg's first nightclub formerly known as Century 21.  Back in the day it was a happening disco inferno place owned by a couple of high rollers who bought a shiny ball and hung it over that still beautiful wooden dance floor.  There is a primo stage, a kickass light system and some great memories up in there.  I wore my Backroads Tour t-shirt in honor of Layne Wrye's performance there with a whole lot of talented country pickers.  It's in the washer now along with the shorts and shoes that I wore while cleaning my way through the nasties.

This place has always been an event.   Prom queens have been crowned on that stage...for real!  Many a talented musical group has packed up their shit and unloaded for an evening of  great music dedicated to fans who want a night out with some serious fun.   At last count, the property has changed ownership about...ummm...a kazillion times.  Three generations have grown up within those walls, listening to music and partying with their friends.  When BG was a teenager, it was an alcohol free environment for she and her buddies to dance and socialize.  Much later on, I tried my hand at food service and failed miserably but had loads of fun with the bands who made live appearances on that stage.  In between , there was a whole lot of DJ action going on.

We shut the lights out around four and headed onto our real lives where there are dawgs to be fed and jobs to be shown up for and family members who need our attention. If I had my druthers, it would be a grocery store because there's not a one in the southern part of the 'burg and I just refuse to drive to corporate alley unless I'm starving.  There's no Dairy Queen anymore...just the Dodger store and their delicious deep fried menu.  Their beer cave is fully stocked with 'Natty light and Bud in cans, but no Mich Ultra.  Only in bottles, which tend to clutter up the environment.

Anywho...I seem to be particularly blessed these days with lots of extra hugs so I'm happy about that.  Stay tuned later for live pictures from the used-to-be-a-bar.  I'll for sure get a shot of the car hanging from the ceiling before the fat lady sings.

Monday, October 18, 2010

cornbread and chicken

It's what's for dinner!  Well, plus a side of mini fried green 'maters which sizzle up oh so nice.  I've been plucking the last of the season off of daddy's big ass single plant in the concrete block next to his US flag with the light on it at night, always. Finally got some canola oil today at the dollar store so it looks like a go.  I splurged and bought some brownies for my sweet teeth.

Here is my life in a nutshell without points and bullets:

 Aging parents who are trying their best to stay at the homeplace 'til the clutter is cleaned out.  One is blind from macular degeneration, the other has frontotemporal dementia. Home health and hired help make it all possible so that my brother and I can be gainfully employed.

One grown daughter who worries about the whole deal and searches for an answer just like her mama.  We tend toward the faithful side of things, always searching for an plan to make things better when there doesn't seem to be a prayer in hell for any of us.  She has a very cool BF who adores her....always a plus.

Interests which range from music to photography and back to the written word.  Very cheap camera with limited capabilities.  No working CD player other than the ancient PC and the trusty Camry.  Two and a half dogs, no cats and a baby snake in the horse trough.  One very sweet friend who smokes cigars and likes to snuggle. Not sure if he trusts me to be sane yet.  Time will tell.

Anti-anything that has to do with war but respectful of those who serve the least of these even when it isn't in their job description.  Old hippies tend to be that way.  I reckon we still belove in peace and love.  I'll go to my grave wondering what this whole hate your neighbor thing is about.  Jesus wouldn't do that.  Look it up in the good book.

A long term job career with a company that has changed ownership twice during my thirty three years .  Each time that we were sold to the highest bidder, benefits for our employees were reduced.  I stayed close to home, but most don't.  They will travel where the money is which is kinda' sad to me.  Just think about all the good that could be done in a single community if there were purpose, leadership and direction without the dollar sign involved.  One can only imagine.

A spiritual outlook on living life that has absolutely nothing to do with organized religion, orphanages in other countries or apportionments and everything to do with meeting the need locally.  Likes participating in  games of skill, but hasn't played any of them in eons due to cloudy memory and sundowner's syndrome + the day job.  All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl, right?

Cornbread is done, chicken is almost there.  Over and out from Pecan Lane ^j^



Saturday, October 16, 2010

we've only just begun

I can't help it ya'll, I'm a sucker for sweet moments and today was one that will be on my personal memory card forever.  A whole bunch of people who love each other ( and a few who are bad sports ) came together to celebrate the marriage of our friends.  The weather was perfect, the flower girls typical three year olds and the bride and groom radiant as they contemplated their honeymoon in Greece in spite of all the drama that was involved in making it happen.  Game point for true love.

On the way home, I noticed a few missed calls and gave my mom a ring to check in.  She told me that my brother's beloved dog had been run over and killed.  She was upset, and of course he's pretty torn up.  I remember the day we went to pick Bandit out of a litter of muddy border collie pups and he picked US.  Little dude just crawled out with his steel blue eyes and said "pick me!".  The rest is history.  Daddy always had border collies when we were growing up to help with the cattle, and never was able to keep one from bolting either.  It's their nature to chase things and they're pretty damn quick about jumping in front of vehicles sorta like young deer.  I passed two on my way up the lane toward home this evening.  They didn't seem very scared, pausing to let me slow down to take in the wonder of the moment.  Youth is like that sometimes.

The sawmill was decent today......steady but manageable.  I took the opportunity to visit an old friend's mom  and had one of those "this is why i love healthcare" moments.  We talked about her next step which will be assisted living and she's okay with it.  That made me smile, knowing that her son has spent a lot of time with her lately and that it is a huge decision to give up the family home.  It's the hardest part of growing older.

I rode to the wedding with a carload of women that I have come to love over the years.  It dawned on me that our common bond is, essentially, my daughter.  And that my friends....is what life is all about.  We seized the moment to rock and chat on Vick's porch just old the old buddies that we are, each of  us a woman who has seen hard times and survived to laugh again.

I don't know about ya'll, but I'm feeling truly blessed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

little moments

Heather and Joe's wedding is on Saturday and my poor BG started out the week with a full blown case of whatever her skin breaks out with this time of year.  With no job.  And no insurance.  Luckily she has friends in nice places and sought treatment so that she'll be cleared up enough to enjoy the cut with highlights, mani and pedi that her BF is paying for.  All I could say was "awwwwwwwwwww".    That Brad Paisley song always reminds me of them, because she's about as clumsy and mixed up as I am and he still adores her.   She's headed now to get all Bon QuiQuified at the world famous Headlines salon.  Heh...right Chucky?  I beweave in ya'll :)

We did a blow in and blow right back out lunch with the grands following HER big day at the beauty shop that seriously reminds us all of Steel Magnolias. Never a dull moment around here ya know?  BG did the grocery run and I'm in charge of JC Penney tomorrow to buy Daddy some pants that will stay up.  Like they say, it takes a village.  All the chatter around town today is about the sudden death of a teenage boy who took his own life.  He was a seemingly happy normal kid who cried out for help on Facebook before he did it, according to the tale as it is being told.  That's scary stuff....something that BG is a champion of as a social worker.  She stated that looking for that sort of thing was the first thing she learned during her SW classes.

The weather here is perfect and breezy, not nearly as dusty since most of the crops are gone, yet still no rain.  It's a beautiful day in my hood to take pictures what with the colors showing out and the nice temps.  Sounds like an afternoon plan to me.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

mining faith

The IT department at work will probably turn me in for what I did today considering how much of their bandwidth I took up watching those poor guys shoot up out of that mine in Chile.  It was worth it.  It dawned on me how much time and energy is spent on blame and anger when a group united to a common goal can figure out how to git 'er done.  That's somebody's Daddy down there!!  My hat is off to whomever contributed to a very precise yet painfully slow rescue for these workers.  What they pulled off makes the response to BPs oil spill look like recess during kindergarten.  I'm just sayin'.

I spent my last shift with someone today who has been sometimes a pain in the ass but always a ray of sunshine when I need it most.  She's related to half the world either by blood or personal experience and has a story about most all of it.  This chick babysat three dogs and a cat while we cavorted around on the beach a couple of years ago....and survived the big fat honkin' storm that knocked down the corner pecan tree.  Love ya....mean it.

The dogs are all settled in their respective corners of bliss.  It took long enough, but they finally realized that a double bed ain't near big enough for all of us to get any kind of quality sleep.  Which is exactly what I'm about to do.  See ya'll on the flip side.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

down to the short rows

For those of you not from the southeastern US, that's a phrase that refers to cotton pickin' time when you can almost see the end of the season but for a few stray bolls here and there on the ends of the fields.  It's all done by heavy machinery now, but back in the day there were real live people who depended on the cotton crop for a living.  When I was in grammar school, the county school system let out in October just so the kids could help their families and see a bit of history in the making.   I grew up surrounded by it, and once-upon-a-time my 'nother brother lit the other brother on fire in the cotton filled trailer.  We also had cows born on Christmas and rode in the back of a hay trailer while our daddy steered the tractor.

I've been listening to all this chatter about the mid-term elections and wondering how in the world we can possibly tell the sheep from the goats at this particular point in time.  Voting on party lines has always been a lost cause, and the free range candidates fail to make a good show because they don't have the bucks to pay lobbyists finance a campaign season where the media has totally taken control of our minds due to dirty ads.. The majority of their pieces are about fear mongering because "if it bleeds it leads."   Honestly, I don't care who started the damn war.  Let's just get it over with and move onto happy hour. Several of my friends have kids who are serving in Afghanistan now that the focus has magically shifted from Iraq to the caves.  I feel for them....just like I was indignant over the whole Vietnam thing as a young pup.  War as a commodity is an incredible waste of human lives in my humble opinion.   We are a prime target for the countries with very scary nuclear capabilities because we have been chasing the wrong tail just to satisfy our national pride and Wall Street.  Enough is enough, umkay?

I see clouds and that might mean rain.  I swear to Big Ernie, if it does......I'll dance in it.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

falling leaves

The lawn bigass yard is finally trimmed and ready for winter except for raking a few leaves when they decided to drop.  We are in October and still at 90 which is very unusual, and very very DRY as well.  My inner pyro has had to really give myself stern warnings about the burn ban, as much as I like to fire one up.  One time I burned up half the pasture when I was burning off the asparagus bed.  Me and a friend chased it with rakes until it got to the road and stopped.  Good times!!

I made one of my frequent trips to the dollar store today, this time for my parents.  When I left Daddy was pulling a huge pecan limb behind his gator with a wire.  Only he had run over the wire and was trying to re-group.  I stopped to help him and he was happily hauling to his pile when I pulled out of the driveway.  I think that's where I get the pyro tendencies.  And the stubborn attitude.  Yes I know my momma raised me to be a southern lady, but I can get seriously riled up when I'm mad.  It's good for the soul and all.

The scruffy little dog has become mine unless someone claims him.  Which isn't very likely....ya know?  I think he was one that got dumped on the side of the road at the place where they like animals.  Last night he joined us on the porch with Faith, Sam and Cletus in attendence.  Cletus is a rhodesian ridgeback and HUGE.  Thank the lord Frankie wasn't there because she would have been totally freaked.  Frankie and Cletus' mom and dad are getting married next Saturday and it will be beautiful because the heifer said so.  Right girl?

I have teevee again after a two week fast and it's nice to be able to watch my cartoons again....that's about the extent of it.  What would I do without my hero in Arlen????  My personal (very patient) propane guy will get paid this month for gas that he delivered a long time ago, and he hasn't even threatened me with court.  That's a good neighbor, right there.  About to begin drawing some well deserved retirement bucks to help with the bills, I found myself needing a copy of something proving marital status.  Now who in this world keeps their divorce decree?????   I had my lawyer friend's paralegal digging through files but she could only find number one.  Thank goodness BG has them in a box of family history that I passed on to her.  What a legacy :)

Ya'll smile like you mean it  ^j^

Friday, October 8, 2010


Usually it is only by pausing to look back that I see the work of Big Ernie in my life as the current  plan comes together.  The past month has been a blur, but I am slowly processing what all of it means and counting my blessings.  For so very long, I wondered why BE didn't see fit to bless me in a nice relationship with a guy who is polite yet rowdy in my kind of way and who appreciates me for what I am.  I totally believe he was holding out to see if I would settle like I've done so many times before.  The timing wasn't right what with BG and BF and the grands and money problems and such.  We have re-vamped our routines into a new normal that is comfortable and light with most of us on the same page.  That, my friends, is a blessing in itself.

Last night me and a couple of girlfriends were sitting on the porch with candles and beer, attempting to solve the problems of the world.  This little terrier looking dog who's been roaming the road ended up on the porch and I fed him.  And then he got a bath.  It struck me as we were sitting out there that it was just about this time last year when we buried Butters out in the pine grove, sobbing our little hearts out to Eva Cassidy singing "Over The Rainbow."  He has a big raw patch of skin on his back that looks like a fresh wound but it doesn't seem to bother him and anyway I'm "almost a nurse."  We're still thinking on a name.

I've had multiple neighbors at the end of the lane ranging from an odd couple pair of anesthesiologists to my brother and two of his wives with others scattered in.  Today at work, we interviewed a young lady who used to live there with her parents and visit our yard with her girls.  They loved seeing the kittens under the porch!  I've sat in on a ton of interviews, but this one was a love at first sight kind of thing. It dawned on me later that maybe that was a blessing as well considering all the drama we've had up in that place lately.

Corporate has been here touring the farm and taking care of business.  He comes once or twice a year, usually during planting or harvest to see what the plan is.  It is totally amazing to think of how many years my Daddy attempted to keep the thing going and they never had a clue what was going on with their valuable family property.  All that is different now, which I also count as a plus.

Ya'll be thinking about a name for this precious dog.  Marisa's suggestion was Scruffy, but it's still up in the air.  Keep the faith ^j^

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

hump day flu shot

Heh.  That title ought to take the search engines on a wild ride!  Back when I gave a rat's butt about who was reading my blog and from where, I checked one of those meter things that showed you what search phrase resulted in direct hits to my websites along with IP addresses. The most popular one by far?  Funeral clothes!  Go figure that one.  I've been without sat TV for almost two weeks and still don't miss it.  Sorry ya'll.  I think I'll just pay out my contract and call it even.  Honestly, the only thing I miss is the comedy stuff like Chelsea Lately and Scrubs and Comedy Central.

'Tis the season to get a flu shot and I stuck my arm up there real quick like when the rolling nurse cart came by.  It's a must for healthcare workers who get sneezed and snotted on all winter.  What I would really love is a big fat shot of decadron to take care of the allergy fit that has been precipitated by cotton pickin' time in Tennessee. It's amazing to watch, but the harvest is bad news for allergy sufferers like myself.  Pretty soon it will all be in the bag and our landscape will take on that eerie winter look of bare brown ground.

Things have been pretty hectic, in a relaxing make-you-tired sort of way.  BG's BF is in town for several days and they came out to watch the cotton pickers roll behind the barn yesterday evening.  My brother came by to ride a few rows with Farmer Joey and we babysat for Bandit his (very well behaved) dog.  First thing I did was let him out of the truck to run with my babies!  He loved every minute of it too.

No news is good news, or so they say.  Let's hold that thought ^j^

Friday, October 1, 2010

angels among us

I just finished bushhogging  the lawn   bigass yard up here on the top of Pecan Lane with the mower that gets hauled from here to the junction and back many times during the growing season.  This was the final cut for summer of '10 and consisted of a whole lot of dust and seed.  To say that it's dry is an understatement.  Think grapes of wrath and all that.  As I was making the loops on the rider, I remembered my first summer as a divorcee when I pushed a Wallyworld special every single day and never got the whole thing done. Of course I was much younger then.  Somehow or another I turned into a senior member of life and can barely manage to keep up with what time I go to work, much less do yard work with any sort of enthusiasm.  It ain't fun anymore.  It's a chore and I can't afford to pay somebody to do it so there ya go.  Maybe with a little help from my friends?  I am being pro-active by using my mother's day weedwhacker and pushmower to clean out the flower beds and fence rows.  I smooth ran over the front daffodil bed leaving bulbs shining their bare butts to Big Ernie and everybody.  I'm over it.  Time to move on.

The wonder of Facebook never ceases to amaze me.  My hefty little niece got born around 4AM and my KY cousin called me with congrats around eight because we all know that corporate America doesn't allow social networking on the job and Poops doesn't have a smartphone. Because, well....it's not in the budget.  These days I'm doing well to have a turkey sammich for dinner and Diet Dr. Pepper to jumpstart my day.  I live in an almost hundred year old very poorly insulated farmhouse with nice floors and high utility bills because my beloved parents are a mile down the road and they need me.  None of this matters to the landlord because he is strictly business and could care less about our legacy here.  No thank you to my daddy for all of his years of loyal service.  It's a blessing, and a curse all rolled into one, a paradox if you will.  Babygirl is happy and healthy.  There is a new woman named Peyton born into the next generation of tough Stafford women. Life is good.

We have a semi-annual uniform sale at the sawmill where you get a discount and can do a handy payroll deduction to buy work duds.  I wandered through the racks this morning and didn't see much except for some shoes I'd like.  These year old Nikes are NOT cuttin' it on the concrete up in that place, ergo mats or not.  I'll put that one on the SD list for sure :)   We've had lots of docs in and out of the lab this week which is sort of unusual.  Nobody much darkens the inner sanctum of where the tests are run except for techs, phlebotomists and a few nurses.  It's really rather comical to see a doc's face when he has an "ah-ha" moment as he or she understands how something is really done that they have always taken for granted.. like blood tests on which they base a huge part of their decision making process.  Of course every time the boss's boss shows up we're eating donuts or something equally decadent in our break room.  He rarely sees the hustle either.

I think one of the reasons that our profession has failed to attract new students is just because of that fact.  To most patients, everybody is a nurse.  They never see us......only the phlebotomists that we train OTJ and watch walk out the door for other employment.  If I were one who needed a lot of validation to feel important at work, I'd have been gone many years ago.  Almost was a few times.  But, something always kept me believing in what we do there as a team and a family within the laboratory walls.  Most of us have been there for 30+ years and there is nobody to replace us when retirement comes, if it does!  I'll probably drop dead in the hall and some cute little blond x-ray student girl will step right over me.  I'm kidding...okay?

And as for the ones who've come and gone?  They'll always be a part of the journey.