Thursday, December 30, 2010

another year....another dollar

Oh, do I hate thee?  Let me count the ways.  To say that this has been a challenging year for me personally is an understatement.  Not unmanageable with a little help from my friends, but definitely one of the rougher of my 55 chapters on the learning curve of life.  Anyone who knows me very well will understand the issues without explanation, and for those who don't.....I'm tired of talking about them so you'll just have to wonder.  One of my new learned behaviors this year has been to confront conflict head on with an assertive attitude aimed at getting past the drama and onto the real purpose of what said drama is all about.  That allows me, rather than sitting around re-hashing something fifty eight times when I can't change it, to spend my energy on looking around and ahead at the positive things in my life.  Like my eccentric yet totally loving family.  And my puppies :)  Good friends have been there through thick and thin for me, and for that I am grateful....humble, even.

I have lost me again...somewhere amongst all the coming and going and shopping and visiting and pill counting and working at the sawmill and....yadayada.  I miss taking pictures and writing because both bring me a sense of creating something that reflects what is inside of my soul.  My little perspective on life, if you will.  I guess I'll have to pull out the crayons and paper and draw a few pictures to remind myself.  BG has begun that journey as well, and we naturally have some of the same issues.  I feel fortunate to be a part of the process with her, because I wasn't real close to my mom when I first entered my "reflective" period.  I like to call it that rather than a nervous breakdown, like they did back in the day.  Yankee women go crazy.....Southerners have  a "nervous breakdown" or a bad case of  "the vapors."

There is something about a clean slate that is inviting to the weary traveler.  Even if it's just a change of scenery or a new pair of shoes or a different relationship.  It's all about the hope that is represented in experiencing something new or unfamiliar and thinking's not that bad after all.  As I sit here surrounded by what has been my home for many years, I realize that it was a gift from Big Ernie even though I don't own a thing.  When you've paid 100K in rent on a circa 1918 farmhouse, it's either true love or a terribly expensive habit.  Probably a little of both.

My wish for the new year is that somehow...SOMEWHERE...somebody will get a grip on this hate thing and call a truce, even if it's just for a day in their life.  Hatred toward a fellow man or woman is the devil's work in my humble Wesleyan opinion.  That doesn't mean we can't get mad, because remember what happened in the temple when Jesus got riled up at the tax collectors.  There is a time for anger when people are being treated unjustly and not being represented fairly while elected power mongers nitpick over party lines and lobbyists' perks.  Yep...I'm a rebel, even though I realize that I just put myself on the map with the secret service.

Ya'll have a wonderful happy new year.  I plan to do the same ^j^

Monday, December 27, 2010

remember who you are

I entered into a relationship with a therapist in my early thirties, a prime example of what happens to a nice southern girl who wants to be like her gracious mother but instead turns into a rebel with or without a cause.  There was still a high school sorority back in those days, and I passed on the first round as a 9th grader because I was busy being a hippie.  They asked me again after I straightened up enough to get through high school but by then I was like "Why?". I ran around with people of both sides of the social realm ranging from crazy rich to dirty poor.  Anyway, back to therapy.

I first met Lucretia in an old church and she was EIGHT months pregnant.  Seeing what a hot mess I was she quickly assured me that it was beautiful because my soul was BLOOMING, I believe she said.  I couldn't hear too well for all the sobbing.  And then she handed me over to her partner Bev.  During our first session ( after a lot more sobbing ) she gave me crayons and paper and told me to draw things that make me happy.  There were musical notes and running rivers and a rainbow.  A flower.  I wondered at that time what that had to do with the whole deal of me being slightly crazy but she explained that I had forgotten who I was in the midst of all the drama.  My daughter was four years old and I was a model employee/good girl sharing her raising with a third shift industrial worker.  I got together with friends, but they were mostly from work and we'd bitch about who said what or how this or that went down while we sat on somebody's porch and drank beer and or chased kids.  Everybody had them, and they all went with the package.  I realized then that I had let go of all of the old friends who used to make me laugh....and I had restricted myself in making new ones by spending all my time off  with co-workers.

We went on road trips together, exploring rivers and mountains and campgrounds close to home.  There was more beer involved in those trips than most people have ever seen.  Big Ernie was working overtime when we hit the river.  The betty crocker type of the bunch was Tina and she made homemade biscuits on a fire just!like!home!  She was always handy to have around :)  Our boss had kids too, to we would all pile into his huge yard in the country and play volleyball.  Everybody brought something and we'd eat and talk about.....what else?  Work.  But we got to know each others' families and raised our children together, so there is a bond that can never be broken.  We have spent weekends and holidays and midnights running those halls together, sometimes quietly....but always with urgency, doing the best for our patients.  Sometimes it sucks, but sick people depend on the ones who are paid to do a job that is rarely easy but always satisfying in some sort of way.

I saw Bev off and on for two years, traveling to Memphis for most sessions.  The 90 mile drive gave me time to think about what was on my mind before I got there, and process the brain work on the way home.  It was always random....whatever memory had surfaced or boundary issue had exposed itself.  I moved on from some pretty powerful feelings of anxiety and despair to a sense of peace and balance.  I cried almost every day for the first year.  There were no meds to stabilize me while all this angst played itself out and I kept my work/social/married/mommy self going.  I began attending an aerobic class at our church led by the chaplain's wife so I went and checked it out.  It took awhile, but I finally got in shape and knocked off the baby weight by exercising.  Weight has always been an issue in our family, coming from the Reaves branch of DNA.  To look at my little momma now at 120, you'd never know it.

About that time, my marriage began to unravel.  Raising a child while working shifts is doable but difficult.  Mostly he worked his ass off and I did too and took care of the home.  And tried to remember who I was.  The country girl who never learned to embrace the beauty, choosing instead of see it as an inconvenience.  I wouldn't take a million bucks for any of it now.  At least I learned to appreciate the beauty of it and the wonder of being given the opportunity to grow up and raise my child here.  Fifty four years is a long time to be somewhere and have to let go.  So I don't think I ever will.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

the last noel

I hear it ya'll.....the huge collective sigh all over the world that the madness which somehow sprang from a simple baby's birth in a manger in Bethlehem is almost over.  That is, as soon as the dollar store clears out their stuff at 90% off.  I got everything I could ever ask for, plus more.  A nice day at work .....Mary Engelbreit calendars....aromatherapy and neck massages. Well, not peace on earth.  But that will probably NEVER happen, but ya'll don't shoot the messenger.  As Daddy would say "It has always been thus and so."   Check the good book, chapter and verse.

In case ya'll were thinking about dropping in for a visit, don't come unless you'd like a good dose of the holiday crud.  I've had it for a month ( even AFTER a flu shot ) and my poor BG has been stricken as well.  She's camped out on Aunt Granny's couch/ aka her temporary bed, with the big TV and two heaters.  And Faith.  Her royal highness Lily is perched atop two pillows watching over the whole scene with her feline paws crossed daintily in front.  Sam is snoozing on the couch beside my desk and Oscar is somewhere getting used to his new collar and licking his wound.  Just another day in paradise.  I finally took a flashlight and actually looked at my throat today and was shocked to see all those nasty looking pockets up in there.  Guess I'll have to get another Z-pack since I gave Daddy the one I had.

God is good.  All the time ^j^


Thursday, December 23, 2010

oh holy night!

What day is it anyways?  Oh, yeah.  Christmas eve-eve.  I've got tomorrow off and work on "the day" so today is my eve.  We are breaking tradition this year and going OUT to eat which suits me just fine because I usually cook most of it and that's not a holiday when you work funny shifts.  Things were fairly slow, thank goodness....only the really really ill are left in those beds on a holiday.  One of my old friends from school and church is there and I was going down the hall to find her when I came up on a code and one very distraught family member.  I watched as one employee found her a chair, and we passed her coat over the tangle of caregivers surrounding the bed so that she could get to her cell phone to call home.  She was in good hands with a nurse dialing the number for her as I slipped into the elevator.

I found my friend, wan and fragile, sleeping quietly.  Not wanting to get her out of breath or tired,  I settled for a hug and a kiss while she admired the santas on my scrub top.  Her husband hovered close by and I could see it was time for me to go.  Wandering back downstairs, I grabbed my coat and headed to buy the only gift that I will purchase this year.  We started collecting Willow Tree angels years ago.  In many ways, they've been like the fruit of the spirit bracelets that I wrote about earlier because they're a great thing to "regift".  Of all the ones I've purchased over the years, I probably have no more than 5 because I feel that they are to be shared with others in true angel fashion.  Not long after I started blogging one of my buddies from up north actually made me a wooden puzzle out of the word, complete with colored pieces and a signature on back.  Those are the once in a lifetime treasures that beg a story to be told.  Back in those days, blogs and chatrooms were the only "social utilities"  Instant messaging if you were really bored or a teenager.

Yes, I know.  I'm rambling.  Because it's my b**g and I can ^j^

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

and a partridge in a pear tree

Here we are, speeding toward Christmas and, while there are no presents, there is lots of room for the spirit to move freely.  BG and I are spending the holidays together as roomies so that we're all closer together as a family in what will most likely be our last with my parents living in the log cabin that we call home.  I could go on and on about how sad it all makes me, but I'm choosing instead to think about possibilities and look ahead.  During the past week our collective emotional sum has just about popped off the charts in multiple categories.  It's what I like to call "hittin' the wall".  Oh, you know.  It's when all of a sudden you realize that you're fighting a war that can't be won, so you  compromise in some respect by going with the flow and transitioning.

We act as a partner with a local cancer clinic and have done so for  years.  Each and every Wednesday lots of people from West Tennessee come there rather than driving to Memphis for chemo and/or radiation.  I was in that rotation for YEARS until I couldn't take any more and had to opt out when the opportunity came up.  Some of the most beautiful yet painful relationships in my life have been forged with cancer patients and their families.  I see them in the offices and hospital and I know who's kin to who and how most of them are doing.  Today I ran into a older woman with whom I became friends during her elderly dad's treatment.  He was in his eighties and she took care of him AND her husband who had been diagnosed as well.  She was there today, gazing out into space and I caught her eye.  Her face lit up when she recognized me and we hugged and chatted about how long it had been since her daddy died.  BG's elementary school teacher was there, one of the "team" that got stuck with a very freaked out fifth grader when her mom and dad split up.  One of them actually cried when I told her.

As expected I didn't win any photography awards because...hey.  I've got a shitty room for improvement camera.  Very automatic, if you know what I mean.  Point and shoot.  There are so many times when my friend and I drive around looking at landscape and I make him stop so I can take a picture.  They never turn out as beautiful as the real deal, ya know?  If the bills work out next year, maybe I can swing a decent one.  I think it would be a very good investment :)

I hope your days are merry bright, your nights cozy and warm and your hearts full of love and peace.

Merry Christmas from the lane ^j^

Monday, December 20, 2010

the christmas puppy

A long time ago, on another Christmas, Miss Rhonda at Headlines suggested that I go to the shelter and adopt this cute little puppy that was pictured in the local paper.  I tried to raise the 40 dollar adoption fee at work, and several of my friends came through to meet the goal.  By the time I got there, the one in the paper was gone.  I wandered around peeking in cages and talking to the babies and I found this one.....THE one.  She was a tiny little brindle thing with sad eyes and a warm heart and I named her Hope.  Later on, her name got changed to Butterbean but she was still the same loving ornery little rat terrier mix.  She fell off the porch when she was a puppy and broke a leg, which we didn't discover until it had already healed. Because of that injury, she never quite ran straight with one leg flung into the breeze as she romped.  We buried her a little over a year ago in a somber funeral held under the pines lit by headlights.  It was bad ya'll.

Later on, our friend Conner brought a little stuffed pound puppy as a sympathy gift, and it became Sam's favorite toy.  Fast forward to this year, about two months ago at the beginning of pecan season.  I kept noticing this little black and white dog following the pecan man around when I came in or out.  Babygirl had seen him down the road with some people who were just sittin' in the road like it was a normal thing to do.  Dude turned out to be neighbor's cousin.  One afternoon BG noticed that he had a big chunk out of his back with an open wound.  Very clean it was done precisely and painfully.  Pretty soon he started hanging on the porch and in the yard with Faith and Sam and decided to become one of us.  We had already called and reported possible animal abuse but I contacted them again and an investigation was started.  Thus began the adoption process for Oscar, or "Ockie" as he is now known.  That was my great grandpa's name....the one who worked for KW Rogers and walked to work from Pate Street.

My sweet mama gave me the adoption fee as an early Christmas gift and it was only then that I saw the connection to pound puppies and faith for me and mine.  Sam is a Memorial Day dog, by the way.  His mom and grandpa brought him out to "play in the country" and he's been my faithful guardian ever since.  Ockie's wound is almost healed (again) and he and Sam love too play, giving the ever large and lazy Faith a chance to nap some more.  Poor girl couldn't retrieve a bird if her life depended on it.  Seriously.

I am thinking about things differently this season, obviously.  Making the commitment to not spend money that I don't have has put me in survival mode, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I just hope it's not a train!

Peace love and rock 'n roll ^j^

Sunday, December 19, 2010

a very poopie christmas

Okay, ya''s the deal.  My parents are elderly and trying to make sense of all that comes with aging.  My daughter and I are, in partnership with my brother, keeping the boat floatin', so to speak.  We are part of the home health team that gives them the opportunity to stay in our homeplace which is a red log cabin across the road from from Son Johnson's spread.  My brothers and I waded through the muddy backwater of the Forked Deer back before the corp dredged and channeled it.  It's all been good until the hundred year flood with the headwater hit.

These days, I don't pretend to have many of the answers because I am frankly bewildered about what's up in our world.  We have abused it, no doubt.  The silent pleas of my generation to "keep it green" have taken hold of our kids giving them a stubborn resolution to leave the world a better place because of the space they took up and the experiences they've had.  Generation X is our last hope to find some sort of method to the madness, and that scares the shit out of me sometimes.  But not often.  I believe that my beliefs have made a difference in the lives of a whole bunch of newbies in the adult world, and I wouldn't take a do-over if the price was 1.85 trillion in the currency of whatever bank holds the note right now.

I hope that each and every one of us experiences a miracle during this holy season because believing is what it's all about.  Not just in baby jesus and the wise guys but something that is much broader in scope...sort of like world peace.  That can only happen with an attitude of tolerance.  Last time I looked, that wasn't very common.  I guess you can blame that on the era in which I grew up because the war in Vietnam was raging and everybody was really pissed about the way our soldiers came home all geeked out over trudging through the jungle with agent orange and heroin to take the edge off.  I feel sure all their mamas missed 'em on Christmas and their birthdays.

It is exactly T-5 days and counting until Santa comes and I still haven't managed to get the house clean.  There's a tree and some decorations but that's as far as I've gotten.  Let's just call it a stress free hannakahwanza with a side of the jolly old elf and his flying reindeer.  Hug your family and the dogs.  Give everybody some sort of treat.  After's the day before the day before the winter solstice and full lunar eclipse!  That can only mean one thing, for sure.

Spring is on the way.

Friday, December 17, 2010

driving miss janice

My mama quit driving about five years ago, and that's when she lost her independence, so to speak.  From that point on she was dependent on daddy or one of us for a ride.  She had totaled three vehicles because she couldn't see oncoming traffic at the busy intersections from home to town.  A couple of years later, my daddy did the same thing in a six month old truck.  That was the end of life as they knew it.

After that we formed a little carpool thingy where we can get them to doctor's appointments and church and such.  Their friends still come all the way out here to pick them up for lunch and or chiropractic visits.  When they first got help up in the house, there were two very lively ladies that sang and even danced with Daddy.  They didn't come very often, but when they did it was an event.  My friend had just bought a restaurant up the road and he began delivering lunch to them every day because he's that kind of guy.  When the restaurant closed and the ladies quit, it was time for Plan Fay.

Fay is a friend of Aunt Bea's ( yeah, for real )  who cooked at the restaurant.  She is a warm loving soul from the old school where precious people like Mama are appreciated as the breath of fresh air that they are.  She still drives, so she can help with transportation, cleaning and meals.  In other words, she is the ONLY thing keeping them at home right now, and she's loving every minute of it.  Angel stuff.....that's Miss Fay.  BG and the critters have moved back to the lane temporarily while we all try to work through it.  The other day when Mama was so weepy, she talked about losing this farm as a place for us to call home.  I feel really blessed to have been here for 55 years, and I'm going on faith that it will be the way Big Ernie intends, without my help.

One week 'til Christmas.  Ya'll better be good ^j^

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

auld lang syne

Lord have mercy ya'll!  Is it just me or does time fly by at the speed of light??????  Or maybe just the drama filled days and nights run together somewhat.  Could be.  This has been an incredibly tough month on the home front and I can truly say that I'm  really quite ready to be done with it, Christmas and all.  Most of the jollies this season have kind of rung a sour note considering what a clusterf**k my life is right now.  Again, I'll spare the details.  Sometimes it just seems to be a bit much.  One friend told me today that Big Ernie never gives you more than you can bear.  I reckon he's got great expectations of the old Poopster 'cuz things have been piling on pretty quick and hard.  That's what I get for being a smartass like my daddy.

The one event that I distinctly remember like it was yesterday was the hundred year flood that began on Monday, May 4th.  I had worked during the heavy rains the previous weekend that moved from west to middle Tennessee with a vengeance.  Nashvegas was flooded which resulted in a big gush of headwater with nowhere to go but into the other mud filled Tennessee rivers in the northwest part of the state like the Forked Deer that surrounds our farm.  Bubba called me around 10am to give me a heads up on the rising water so babygirl and I headed to town for flood party supplies.  Our trip out was through shallow water that I've seen many times before on that stretch of Samaria Bend.  We did some errands and came back around an hour later to find the road impassable for my trusty old Camry.  About that time Clara came driving up in a county work truck with her mama  Mozella and Thelma up front and James Frank ridin' in back.  We were desperate to deliver lunch to Mama and Daddy and get on up the hill back to our safe haven. I sweat to you, that truck floated and I spoke in tongues.  Pretty soon Mr. Autry up at the cycle shop where we parked our cars called to say we needed to move 'em.  That's when we caught a ride in the back of the crackhead's pickup while the baby in the back seat cried his little lungs out.  Dude had the nerve to throw all of us around like rag dolls when he mudded through the cornfield over to the golf course road.  We were about ready to jump when the truck hit pavement and we headed down toward the DEEPEST part of the water which was at the end of the hill.

When we got to the other side in one piece, there was this huge crew of people on all sorts of transportation like golf carts and gaters and boats... OH MY!  We moved our vehicles and got Heath to take us back where we came from but by then the water was bed deep.  After that, nothing but a tractor could get in, and that was only for a day.  Fortunately, my brother is a smart sort who knows a lot of people so he devised a way in and out using the landing at the airport as an entrance to our farm.  Mama and Daddy were down there on the other side of the water, after all.  During that week James Frank ferried my daddy to the by-pass for his doctor's appointment.  Mozella's house almost got flooded, but not quite.  And my parents managed to survive on groceries from the Plaza, just like they have for years.  As for me?  I moved to Gigi's couch so I could get to work.

The Plaza is gone now, just like the Dairy Queen.  Tucker Tire came back home to roost and they've got a brand new wooden fence around all the tires so that it looks a little more presentable on the way to the new and improved downtown 'burg.  There's been crews on that courthouse yard for almost a year and it still ain't done.  When you first come into town, if you take a left down toward the river there is a farmer's market.  That was the first piece in a new vision of this old town and there have been other improvements as well.  Some people say the Forked Deer is just a muddy old ruin....a relic filled with sewage from our wastewater treatment plant down on the banks.  As I remember it, it was a safe haven for a teenage girl who needed to get away from it all.


Monday, December 13, 2010

room for the spirit

Sick again.  Meh and bah, ya know?  I swore on my mother's cookbook back in July that I wouldn't whine when it got cold so I'm shivering quietly.  At least I didn't get stuck on the freakin' highway for hours.  My weekend with BG was nice and low key and enjoyed by all.  I had forgotten what it was like to have all those people and dogs on one couch together.  Warm!  That's what it is.  I missed the office Christmas party and managed to get all entwined in some family drama in spite of my intentions NOT to get outside again.  I'll spare the details, but there was a sudden rescue by myself and BG and one very unhappy cowboy standing there in his boots and short pajamas when we whisked her out to "make cookies".  She brought her phone and purse so I knew she was serious.

We managed, with the help of her walking stick and sheer grit, to get up the snowy stairs and into the warm little den.  Three generations of Reaves women sat huddled together with one very sweet chocolate lab and talked about our realities.  Fronto-temporal dementia is very rare, thank god.  Less than 5% of dementias are of this type, formerly known as Pick's disease because of the pick like bodies that are deposited in the frontal lobe of the brain.  Hallmark symptoms are OCD behaviors with a surprisingly sharp memory and a good dose of ritualistic behavior.  In other words, they're control freaks.  My mama is legally blind and can't walk well so she depends on the "keeper of the world" over there with the remote in his hand to guide her through their last days.   It's enough to make somebody say the "F" word, if you know what I mean.  Her friend who died last week is the one that got her to saying "shit".  Aunt Granny is the one who drops the F bomb on occasion.  Heh.

As Mr. Yates would say " this too shall pass".   And as Old Hoss would say " and so it goes".

Merry Christmas from Pecan Lane ya'll.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

fruit of the spirit

My dear friend and salsa sister Miss Athena is a high school secretary/everything during the day and an artist at heart.  Her handmade jewelry is crafted with flair and a hint of the deep spirituality that lies within her heart.  It is a totally inclusive and loving heart, with a take no prisoners attitude when it comes to life in a modern high school.  One of the first of her pieces that I wore was a bracelet given to me by our other salsa sister called Fruit of the Spirit.  Each stone is a different color representing a passage of scripture.  Since it was given to me freely, I didn't hesitate to wear it for about a year and then pass it onto Yaya one birthday up at the kudzu bar.  That MIGHT be the one where she fell off the stage, but I'm not sure.  I'll have to consult redneck friend on that one!

I have given this bracelet to many people, including my babygirl.  She wore it all through the grueling college years when she was working third shift and commuting to school to become an unemployed social worker.  Times are hard for everybody, especially young folks who didn't get a foot in the door before all the jobs went away.  That being said, there are plenty, like her....who are willing to do most anything as long as it's enjoyable, helps people and isn't about the almighty dollar.  That's what WE as a generation got caught up in....the big ride towards a fat retirement that is all of a sudden vaporizing in front of our baby boomer eyes.  I did not expect things to look like this when I was her age.  There was a glimmer of hope then with the booming economy and easy credit.  Jobs were plentiful, especially in healthcare.

Anywho....back to the bracelet story.  BG spent the night here so she could go to a dirty santa party with her girlfriends.  Before she left we were sitting at the kitchen table ( of course ) and she removed the bracelet from her arm and placed it on mine.  It's been a long time since I felt that much joy welling up inside of this old heart.  I cried...she tried not to.  It was one of those moments when you know Big Ernie is real and good and listens to your prayers.  For those of you who were in on that little prayer chain, thanks.  You can go to bed knowing that you were heard.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

deck the halls

Most of the stuff that I dragged down from mama's storage room to her dining room table got sorted through and returned upstairs, with a bit more order.  Fine with me.....we'll do it next year.  I remember distinctly when I began the de-cluttering of this old house and I burned several fires off of old wrapping paper and boxes with mouse turds in 'em.  Oh...and rabbit feed bags.  WTF?  I guess Mr. Council raised bunnies up there or something.  There is one sheetrocked room that belonged to their son back in the day but there's no power to it and it's so hot or cold up there you can't stand it for long.  Ancient fiberglass insulation strips hang wickedly from the high beamed ceiling in the center.  Very little is left there now except for china and toys.  Yes...I was THAT serious.

After that I began on the basement and that took about five years to get all the mud and crap out.  The dryer vents down there so you can just imagine what it looks like at night.  Scary!  Back in the day BG and her friends partied down there, discovering puberty and obnoxious behavior.  Go figure that MY house was the one they always picked.  At least I had a place to put 'em.  One guy had to have stitches in his head after whacking it on the entrance to her room from the basement.  Fun times, huh Moody?

I picked my parents up this afternoon and went to the funeral home for the umpteenth time this year.  I can personally tell you that nothing will make a girl sadder than seeing her mama cry over her dear departed friend's casket.  Nothing.  There is something oddly comforting about funerals around Christmas to me because they are so "out of character" with the season what with the sadness and all when we're all excited about new life in the stable.  In a way, I suppose that's what it's all about.  Even when we're sad about leaving the earthly life, there's always hope that we'll meet again.  Like on the road to Emmaus or that room with many mansions.

Peace out ya'll.  If anybody shoots any mistletoe, send me some.  I'll pay you with a chocolate cake.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

state of mind

As my old friend Mr. George would say "Oh, boy."  Some people see the valleys of life as something to be attacked with a vengeance, just another hurdle or dare waiting to be taken.  Unfortunately, I'm not one of 'em, these days.  Life has taken on such a surreal pace that I keep looking for the pause button just to get a break from daily drama.  I was sort of quiet today at the sawmill, thinking about the deaths of Elizabeth Edwards and our dear friend Miss Ruth.  Ms. Edwards seems to have more than her fair share of bad karma, thanks to the MSM smearing her bad news all over freakin' everywhere.  Miss Ruth?  Her life will never make CNN, but she damn sure made an impression on me and my family.  Rest in peace ya'll.

The more December days that pass, the more I realize that all of the futile time, energy and money that has been spent in the past on the holiday season is nothing compared to the times we spend together as a family when we get the chance.  Sometimes that's waiting on an ambulance and sometimes it's sitting quietly with a box of kleenex.  What matters is that we are there for each other come hell or high water....literally!!  There are boundaries as to what can safely be put up with before a full blown clusterf**k comes to be, but normally those are the turning points and decisions are made that have been put off for ages.  That's been my experience, anyways.

For those of you who are of the spiritual sort, I'd like to ask a favor.  There is a person whom I love that is deeply troubled with life and searching for direction. Please pray for this soul and for Big Ernie's will to be done.  That's all I want for Christmas.


Monday, December 6, 2010

life therapy and neutered dogs

Oscar got snipped today and the discharge orders were something along the lines of "limited activity".  Which is impossible for a young terrier with a rowdy Sam around, if you know what I mean.  I reckon I'll just let 'em play and medicate the poor baby wild thang before bed.  Which will come early, by the way.

There is a lot going on around here emotionally and it's not all bad.  As a family, we are drawing together to remember our last times together as we know it.  Any of you who have gone through it know that nothing will get the snot slinging and boo-hooing going on faster than going through old stuff and sorting out the trash.  When I left that attic room, it was empty except for letters, papers and pictures.  That will come later.

I haven't heard anything about the photo contest.  It's usually in the local paper who the winners are.  I imagine that my propane guy (bless his HUGE heart) would like for me to win so he can have some money for keeping me and the dogs warm.  Uh...and the dentist too.  I've got this almost flat tire that I air up every other day and so far I've only had to ask for a ride to work one time.  My luck will probably run out now that it's cold.

The chat at the sawmill turned to gift buying and wrapping today and I wasn't the only one who hasn't bought anything, much less pretended to wrap.  I will just give all my special people a big hug and tell them I love 'em.  Maybe make some cookies or something.  You never know around here.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

i'll be home for christmas

I sit here deliberately typing my thoughts with the sound of a home cooked by BG meal and I can hardly believe my luck.  This chick has watched enough food channel to cook for all the president's men on a moment's notice.  That's the way we roll in our respective kitchens.  Mama  is our inspiration, with a side of Paula Deen and Hell's Kitchen.  We enjoy blending things and seeing what this or that herb will add to a dish.  There are certain staples which we find almost impossible to deal with so the staples list looks like this:  pasta, rice, veggies, olive oil, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, salted butter, half and half, eggs, bread, italian seasoning, fresh garlic and onion, bread crumbs, fresh chicken or fish, asparagus, when in season of course.  Lemon juice and chives.  Salad dressing.  Filtered water or fruit tea :)  A bite of something sweet and brush ya'lls teeth.

When I went down to check on the grands this morning and count pills, they were doing their usual thing with Bonanza and the clock.  Mama and me cried a lot....about family concerns and worries.  An hour upstairs turned into an almost empty attic room where my baby brother lived, back in the day.  That's where the big attic fan was when we were kids.  There's a bunch of empty boxes to burn and a few cherished family heirlooms to share before it's all said and done.

I feel sorry for people who are expecting kids right now because the world isn't the peaceful place it was when I was little.  Back then, most businesses were family owned and operated and nobody knew China other than that place on the other side of the world where they work cheap.  American workers took the union route and essentially pissed off good jobs with a decent wage just to have a paid advocate.  I think that's called lobbying, but I could be wrong.  The sometimers' strikes a bit more often these days, but I still hold true to my core values and beliefs.  Big Ernie is good and Noah had the right idea.

Happy holidays, ya'll.  Keep the faith ^j^

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'tis the season..

We sat, my mother and I, in our rockers in the den enjoying the quiet after our storm.  She has always been one to do Christmas....or ANY holiday for that matter, up like the special day that it is.  We had sugar cookies as kids decorated by hand for every kid in the class and she made us help! was fun.  Even after I became an adult, she could never quite understand why everybody doesn't just lay on the couch, watch the fire and enjoy the tree.  To her, it is a magical time when anything is possible.  I remember one year specifically that it snowed and my daddy went outside to make sleigh tracks for us to find.  Amazing stuff when you're not quite sure you  believe anymore.

I hauled down most of what was in the room that even looked like it had a red or green spot on it, and then we rested and chatted about what we had accomplished.  "It's only the first day of December, you know"  she said to me.  "Yes ma'am" was my reply.  We don't get to talk much what with daddy all up in the picture so I treasure the quiet times that it happens.  Her wisdom and unwavering faith give ME personally, a reason to believe.  Not just in Santa Claus or fairies or the Easter bunny.  I believe that if you live a good life and pay things forward, karma will always come back around and getcha'.  She gave me Oscar's adoption fee as an early gift, and I trekked back up the hill with her old silk tree in the back seat.  It will be beautiful when decorated with my favorite ornaments, some of which were handed down from her, just like the magic of advent.

I believe ^j^