Monday, January 31, 2011

breakfast of champions

Following a solid 12 hour snooze, the old poopster woke up with two dogs and some mighty gray skies. Memories of Saturday's tease will linger for a long time, hopefully until after the groundhog does his thing. Our official hog lives in the kudzu bank next to the dairy barn. We'll see come Wednesday. Meanwhile, the little electric heated saga that is life on the lane rages on. Momma is in one of those weepy moods where she just doesn't understand why she can't fix it all by wanting to. Sometimes I understand why Daddy zones out with the TV. Just sayin'.

I don't know what to do anymore, which is always a good thing because it means you're right smack back on the bottom of the steps where your smart ass needs to be. I was just on the phone with a friend who was carless because hers is in the shop for four days now. She was PISSED, so I managed to get a hoot out of her by blaming it all on Dubya. I can't help it ya' was just so easy!

My hair is dirty and stringy and I'm sitting here tapping out thoughts that I probably shouldn't share because lord only knows who will read it and tell somebody. Fortunately, I outgrew that little southern good girl trait many years ago. I guess it's the Stafford in me, the part that has running hissy fits. It runs up the blood pressure somewhat, and ends up with a red face. The Reaves side just tries to remember the good old days before the family fortune went away. They came together, these polar opposites, in small town USA and married when there was a dream called the good times of fifties and sixties plenty. On Valentine's Day, they will be married for 57 years. Wow. That's all I can say about that!

BG is out in my car because hers is out of gas and she hasn't started that *fingers crossed* job yet. This created a huge logistical dilemma, or so Momma thought, to her getting to and from the eye doctor's office. Two phone calls and it was taken care of. Not a mountain, but to her it seems like one. I understand and so does my BG. We are her sounding boards when it all gets to be too much in her little world. We have a lunch date tomorrow so maybe that will help :)

Mail just ran. Better run out there to get my publisher's clearinghouse prize notification!

Just playin ^j^ Peace and love.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

air strikes and lost labs

I was just tickled to death today at the sawmill not to have to work my ass off and, instead, have the opportunity to see all the Egyptians raising hell with their government. According to somebody's news channel, two thirds of their population is under the age of 40. I did notice that Al Jazeera shut down hastily, so I can only figure that either the pyramids are gone or there's a new government with a more moderate Islamic tone on the way. If not, we're all screwed. Ya'll all know how a bunch of arabs can start a stink when we start walking instead of buying their oil for our foreign made vehicles.

We keep Faith in the house just about 24/7 because she is too lazy to run anywhere tends to cross the 51 by-pass on a whim, especially when she's in heat. Since southtown got flooded and FEMA took over, there's not many available males up there for her to make friends with. UPS was closed today for the Lord's day so, there ya go. BG found her wandering up at the auto shop up across the road from the pond where the scrap place is. She's kinda' pissed because she's on a cup a day. Maybe the dudes up there gave her a second helping of something. She had been ACROSS the highway, bless her heart. One time I picked her up at the biker bar right smack across from the pond. This sweet little gal all dressed in leather took her in and handed her right back to me when I came looking for my pretty brown girl. Pepper, our blue heeler was the golf course mascot back in his day. Charlie and the gang over there fed him hot dogs and let him ride on the cart up front. Sweet deal for a dog, dontcha' think? Being a heeler and all, he could smooth chase a ball on the fairway. He and Charlie were best buds.

The end of Pepper's life came when one of my daddy's friends let some really tame racoons out here on the lane and Pepper proceeded to protect our territory from the invaders. Seeing as how they were tame and used to coming up to their friend's back porch they didn't realize that there was somebody in charge out here protecting me and the BG. They clawed the hell out of his face and soon after he disappeared into the woods to die. I will never forget the day that I picked his wormy little ass out of a litter and brought him home as a surprise for BG who was away at Girl Scout camp for a couple of weeks. We were all fierce friends, even though he chased my pushmower and actually managed to pull the tires backwards out there on the sunny south bank where the yellow iris grow. Those came from my great grandmother's house on Pate street.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

walkin' the yard

By some odd miracle, the temp on my John Deere thermometer is somewhere between 60 and 70. See exhibit A on the other social network * I just about got a bad case of sun blindness walking around in the yard today. It's kinda sort like being a mole or groundhog who comes out to see what the weather's like. Way to early yet for anything to bloom, I still wander around dreaming about how pretty it will all be come Easter. That's what keeps me going right now. I hear there's snow in next week's forecast so I might as well soak it up while I can. This also means that the golf course will open, much to the delight of my friend who lives and breathes the game. Funny how that whole proximity thing worked out. Hmmmm.

Slowly but surely, the boxes and piles at my homeplace are being sorted through and trashed. I remember doing a cleanup gig post-tornado, sponsored by my employer/church at the time. What amazed me the most was walking around and poking through the paper trail that this deceased couple had left behind in the remnants of their mobile home. Everybody thinks they might "need" that particular piece of paper someday. In my experience, if you really DO need it, you'll never find it in the middle of all that crap. Burn it it or take it to the shred it guy. That way you don't have to move the boxes anymore!

It has been bittersweet, to say the least. First pass was one fell swoop of cleaning out Daddy's office so that the owners could get a grip on the finances. We sat in my kitchen going through papers with spiders and such, looking for anything that looked like something other than a hand written receipt. Daddy's dementia had been in full force for a several years, if you get the picture. You talk about one pissed off old dude, that day I could have totally lived without. I think my brother sent me up in there to do it because he knew that Daddy would have choked him. I'm a girl so he just cussed at me.

The history that is our family and the others who have lived here is something that I cherish. The oldtimers are almost gone. Sounds like a plan to me.

Please, please, please! Do not go to your local ER tomorrow with a sore throat. We need a break, umkay? Peace and love. And God bless Egypt'n'Tunisia'n'them.


Friday, January 28, 2011

the wolf is at the door and other not so new news

My checking account is overdrawn...again. We are without propane because I refuse to ask my guy for any more credit. And now, it's time for the cellphone people to start calling and asking for a payment arrangement. This, my friends, is my life in a nutshell. I'm either really faithful or incredibly stupid to keep on thinking that "someday" it will be better. I have never gotten an IRS refund that wasn't spent to pay back debt before I even got it. Such is the case for 2010. There is very little food here, but then that's nothing new either. Can't cook anyway...except in the microwave. I have put up a gallant, if not quite graceful fight to stay here on the hill as long as I possibly can. If things don't change soon, I give. Most of my friends will tell you that I'm loyal to a fault, but the stress of trying to make ends meet is about to get me down and I'm too young to just give up and let the world take care of me as inviting as that prospect is. This battle is not one that I've fought alone for there have been many people there along the way to help when I'm about to go to debtor's prison or need a beer. In between dealing with creditors and working and caring for parents and kids and trying to have a somewhat normal life, I take the opportunity, when I can, to sit and count my blessings.

I have a boss who understands me, warts and all, plus a whole bunch of co-workers who surround me when push comes to shove and somebody needs a prayer chain started. That is usually the way I pray...a shoutout to Big Ernie from wherever I'm at for whoever needs it. At work we talk about spirituality and how God moves in people's lives and it's almost like church up in that break room sometimes. All of this I count as a huge positive.

My parents, bless their hearts, try to remember what needs to be picked up so as to consolidate trips to the dollar/grocery/drug stores. At times I run short on patience with that, but then I think about how much I will miss them when they're gone and it goes away. Deep breaths come in very handy. So does having a support group that consists of my BG and my brother. Together with their friends and family and sweet little Ms Fay, we have managed to give them some valuable time in their home during their "golden" years. It is the only home I ever lived in as a child, and we were packed up in there like sardines. With one bathroom. Yikes!!

I refuse to give in to the temptation to blame others for my lot in life because I have free will as an American and child of Big E and I should probably have looked for the sugardaddy model a whole lot earlier in life :) Yeah, I'd still be old and faithful, but the bills would get paid. My brother's anthem to me this past year has been about finding a second job so that I can make do. My company allows no overtime so it's hard to get ahead that way, even though it's a wise use of resources on their part. MY BF works more hours than he wants for his age, and manages his money wisely. I'm thinking that could probably be a whole lot LIKE sugardaddy with a side of goofy fun when he pops his false teeth out. Freaks.Me.Out.We share a lot of things, like being old hippies and having elderly parents and kids still in transition. His wicked sense of humor keeps me snickering and snortin' even when things look dark. Probably especially so, then. We like to explore and take pictures together and drink beer and chill. We both watch very little TV except for a dab of news and comedy or history. If I had sat down and made out a list, I couldn't have come up with a better match. Dude has made a believer out of Sammy D too.

As I was coming up the lane this morning I spotted several deer crossing from the dairy barn to the thicket by the golf course. That's their usual path and they hardly ever have to worry about traffic because if somebody comes back here, they're looking for one of us or the neighbors. Dead end road. The riverbed runs behind the neighbor's house all the way to the other end of the farm where it is fed by the Forked Deer. We are our own little ecosystem here, and that is very peaceful. My friend the canoe guy has brought some attention to the place lately and there is a lot of activity down by the farmer's market and the old water treatment plant, much to my delight. Dirt work has begun for the trails that will wander down to the river as it passes under the "new" 51 bridge where generations of homeless people slept off their booze.

The sun is out and it's warmer than it's been in forever so it's time to walk the yard and see what's up, if anything. Faithful? You bet your smart ass.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

it's a job

As we all know, the job market is getting slimmer by the day what with all the cheap labor elsewhere. My daughter, who put herself through college working third shift, has been unemployed for almost a year. Not that she hasn't tried, mind you. This gal has applied at every gas station and superstore around here and they wouldn't even consider her because they all knew that if she found a job in her chosen field she'd be history. The possibilities for change that social work represents is something that only the most faithful can navigate because you see so many sad things that can't be changed, only endured. She was offered a job in her field yesterday, and promptly embraced the idea that home care is one of the things that the future of social work consists of. We have struggled mightily with this long stretch of waiting for a miracle, and it happened right in Big Ernie's time. Thank you.

Every time I pull in the driveway I glance to the left to see if any early spring flowers are up. Snowdrops are supposed to be first, but usually the crocus beats it. We haven't seen the sun in days, but it's warming up to the fifties so I'm good with that. It gets mighty cold when you're not in front of a heater around here. Not to worry though, propane guy. The refund is in cyberspace and you WILL get paid. With interest and a chocolate cake. And probably a big hug. The finches are doing their hang on the feedsock thing. Those little birds are so much fun to watch...especially when they turn all golden.

BG has gone to pick up her Memaw from hair and Daddy has lunch because Ms. Fay is working today. All is well on the lane.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

winter sunsets

They are my favorite color scheme as sunsets go...all blue and pink and light orange. When I went to bed it was snowing and I woke up to a couple of really pretty inches that hung on the trees like glue until the sun came out. Roads were clear and work wasn't bad. See what a cheap date I can be? Doesn't take much to make me happy. Like picking up my W2. I hope the feds don't run out of cash before they get to me because I sure could use it.

I was a bad friend declined to get back out yesterday to go to my friend's visitation, so I dropped by during lunchtime to pay my respects. I found her hubby standing over the casket with a couple of tears running down his face, heartbroken at the fact that his beloved Sally was gone. We talked for awhile about the end of her life and how hard it was for all of her family making decisions about care. He mentioned one doc in particular who helped them to see, clearly yet gently, that there was no use in keepin' on with the interventional stuff. He wasn't even her normal doc..just another in in the group that was treating her and was on call. This nameless faceless hero did something that most physicians have a really hard time with, which is telling the truth about the patient's prognosis. For one thing, they've got a god complex out the wazoo, most of 'em and it kills their souls not to be riding the white horse. And there's always the opportunity to fail to recognize quality of life because it affects their finances. I'm not saying all, by any means. There are certain times when we must remember "do no harm". Ya'll would have nightmares over some of the crap I've seen.

On a happy note, one of my kids is in labor as we speak, headed toward a C-section with Georgianne on the other end...nah. Out the belly! I find it oddly comforting how Big Ernie saw fit to bring her on so we all wouldn't be so sad. She has an older cousin, a boy, who will show her the ropes and toughen her up while the rest of 'em are making her a princess. Doesn't sound like a bad life to me. Welcome to our world girlfriend....and good luck.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

important documents

We all know that you have to keep on your person certain pieces of paper that keep us out of trouble out there in our lives. Gotta have insurance on your car(s) lest some drunk sumbitch with NONE does not. If you don't have health insurance (which, by the way, many people do not) your life becomes one big chinese circus trying to figure out how to get the care you need to stay healthy enough to do the job that pays the bills for the life you live to get up and go to work again just to survive. A true vocation is a blessing because at least you don't HATE what you do. It would just be nice to get a few more perks for being loyal. I'm just saying.

Which brings me right smack to the state of our union country. You don't have to be a nuclear physicist to figure out that we got lost along the road to imperialism, as Don Henley calls it. Sammy D's grandaddy made me a copy of the Long Road Out of Egypt CDs and I listened to them until they wouldn't play anymore. Then, I bought my own. I've always been a sucker for the Eagles. Uh, and owls. Last night we were sitting around on the couch in the warm room surrounded by puppy love and my friend accused me of totally leaving him out of the storyline on the rescue. Truth be told, he's the one who scooped him up off the cold wet pavement.

It's snowing again and I'm not the least bit amused. In the southeast, we are accustomed to mild winters since we were bitty babies and this past couple of years has been rough. I know....I know! At least we don't live in New England. Or Haiti.

A funny thing happened the other day. I sent an email to one of the ministers at my home church to thank him for a personal favor, and it got returned as in "no such address". I took it straight out of the church bulletin too. It's kind of sad to see what's happening there right now with the older generation that includes my parents dying out. There was some major money that kept the business of that church going, paying apportionments and funding high salaried preachers and associates who pretty much turned their lives over to the congregation. In my opinion, that's not what a real church is. A living church is one that shows tolerance and patience for those who can't help it, and expects a whole lot from the ones who can. I was never a big financial donor, but I was there doing stuff to work off my tithe so I figure me and Big E are even. I'm even optimistic that I will be a sheep :) If not, I'll sure go down trying.

At this point in my life, I'm ever so grateful for comedians and their writers because I sure do love to laugh my smart ass off. It's the best medicine, hands down. BG and I were sittin' in the warm room this afternoon and Lily was curled up on the barstool that we took from Bubba's club as a "happy". My precious daughter walked by and knocked that cat smooth off the stool....and she managed to hang on with her claws! She was pissed though. Ya'll do all know the pissed off cat look, right?

And yes. It's still snowing.


Monday, January 24, 2011

the inevitable

My partner and myself in crime on this end of life care thing have been sort of stunned at the death of our old church friend. Way back when, we dressed up on Easter and went to vacation bible school and learned to be good little southern Methodist girls, in the Wesleyan way of course. It was at that church that I became one of those girls who COULD have been. The leadership never fully embraced the vision of women as people of Big Ernie except for teaching SS and singing in the choir. Oh...and frying chicken for the picnic and keeping the nursery. Sally's mother Miss Betty was the nursery keeper for an entire generation of kids in this town. All three sisters are redheads and love animals thanks to their mama'n'them. When I went to visit PL during girl scout cookie season one year, there were a whole bunch of dogs and cats up in there. That's the way they roll. Mr.PH let us use his warehouse down on Cedar to store all those cases of cookies. Being the county chairman is NOT something I would ever do again. Reverse bucket list, if you will.

Sally is the middle of the three girls. I haven't seen much of her lately what with work and all the drama that is my family. I did see her on Christmas eve eve when she was spending time at the sawmill. HIPPA be damned, I found her and snuck in to give her one last hug because I just knew that chances like that aren't to be wasted. She told me she loved me...but then she loved everybody. Like a child, Sally spent most of her life looking for special moments and living them with every ounce of the magic that she believed in with all her precious little heart. "Precious" seemed to be one of her favorite words.

I think I learned to really love animals through this family. They showed me that pets are family members and need to be protected just like the kids and such. When you're all sprawled out on the couch with a pile of puppies and people that you love, everything seems like it's all good. This doesn't apply to hawks owls, as I found out yesterday. Those talons are sharp when a bird gets the energy up to use 'em! My friend Claude works for this place where people bring all sorts of critters in. She knows the law and the proper way to rehab an animal. Thank goodness she was there yesterday when the owl was sitting on the dryer in a box waiting for his chance at freedom. Didn't even have him long enough to give him a name. might have been a girl!

We're keepin' the faith around here. Believing that you are doing the same ^j^

Sunday, January 23, 2011

meanwhile, back on the hill.....

My day has consisted of breakfast at Perkins, sans my mama and a very intense networked attempt to figure out what the hell to do with an injured screech owl. My friend and I were headed home last night and picked him up off of the road with a bleeding beak. He never tried to fight me as I gently tucked him under my coat for warmth. The nice man from the wildlife place that came by to pick him up today said that he looked in pretty good shape. He'll probably get rehab at Reelfoot and live to screech again! I love it when that happens.

We went exploring yesterday for a photo shoot on the old 51 bridge that runs behind the kudzu bar. The view there is really fascinating when considering the history of that part of town. Back in the day, Dyersburg was known as "Little Chicago" because of the rampant corruption and crime. Being on several rivers didn't help matters. This particular bridge is an old iron one that is impassable for vehicles but makes a nice little hike until you get to the part of the woods that doesn't have a clear path. The new and improved 51 bridges are visible with traffic whizzing by on the way to work and church and whatnot. Covered in snow it was a beautiful sight.

Everybody's watching the Bears, so I guess I will too. Peace out people ^j^

Saturday, January 22, 2011

somebody remind me July. When I'm sweatin' my smart ass off and bitching about it, that I was truly chilled to the bone on January 22, 2011. My background noise in the "office" now includes an electric heater placed close to the desk. I mean..for real. You have to know your priorities and the keyboard is definitely one of them for BG and me. Our local paper is advertising for a reporter and daddy suggested that BG might like it. She looked at me all stunned like and said "I can't do that!". I certainly couldn't at this stage of the game because you have to drop everything and run here there and yonder on a moment's notice and that..well, it just makes me tired. I have enough of that in my life already.

I'm not so patiently waiting for my W2 so that I can get back from the feds the money that they used interest free to send our economy to China fund the war that I'm very much against and such. Sometimes I dream about what I would do for a living if I didn't HAVE to work. Over the years this composite self has become visible on a farm where there is potential for serious preservation of American history. In 1917 a man who had made tons of money off of WWI government contracts bought the place and made it into a huge showplace of a farm complete with mail order chickens! He was from St Louis and the farm has stayed in his family ever since. My house was built in 1918 and the other one on the lane, shortly thereafter. The houses were residence to the folks who managed the farm. That's why there's a little side porch overlooking the fields. Somebody had to call everybody to dinner.

The lane is snow free now, but the ground is white with brown criss crossed crop lines visible. The dryer is squeaking (go figure) and the dogs are all sacked out. BG is there as well. It's just that kind of day, if you know what I mean. Guess I'll go wash some dishes to warm up my hands and get the blood pumping.

Remember who you are ^j^

Friday, January 21, 2011

slip slidin' away

What can I say? There's snow in the Southeast this winter and we just ain't used to dealing with it. Why...back in the day it would snow on Easter sometimes and we'd have to put sweaters over our new dresses to go out and find those eggs buried in the buttercups. Ethel used to take her parakeets to the sunrise service so that they'd all sing with the choir, or so I'm told. She was a stern woman with false teeth that she clicked relentlessly while dialing the rotary phone with a freebie plastic thing from some furniture store. In her younger days, she was an honest to god telephone operator when they had to plug the wires in on the bank of party lines. I have one picture of her at that age, and she looks eerily like me except with a smaller waist. There is a handsome man leaning over the place where she worked and a few other odd folks with period hats and dress. I need to find that thing and remember who I am, ya know?

Things are stable at Casa Grands for now. We said we'd never see another winter out here together but by golly we've got a good start on it. The propane tank is empty again *sigh* and we've resorted to heating a circa 1918 house with electric space heaters. TVA loves me and Butch never did get the cake I promised him for Christmas two years ago. As a matter of fact, neither did my friend the attorney. Both of 'em are just good old country boys who are suckers for nice girls who try real hard to take care of things like history and their mamas and daddies and the birds. I do so love me some pretty birds. Especially ones that sing.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

monthly planning

Okay ya'll. We all know just about how organized I am, so it's a stretch to think that I can actually accomplish something that resembles a long term goal. Old Poopie has always been the the "ideal" gal....the one who who will dwell on a concept until it becomes a dream and not in tune with the current corporate image of a good American. Can't tell you how many times I've done that. There is no big money to be made from the majority of my bucket list ideas, but then again...I'm a senior citizen now so I probably couldn't manage to spend it all before I pass on over to glory anyway. I guarantee you a whole bunch of it would be spent on beach time in some form or fashion.

I find it oddly comforting that from where I sit, there are no answers and the black and white stuff kind of all turns into a gray area. It saves a whole helluva lot of energy not to feel obliged to run the world and leave that to Big Ernie. My cousin is in town staying with her mama and she dropped by to visit. There is nothing more spiritually cleansing than sharing family memories with the ones who were there and remember who wore what and how the whole thing went down. I'm fortunate to have close relationships with most of my family...a luxury that many people can't seem to find time for. I say you make time when it comes to that.

Anyway...back to the planning. It's January with snow and ice in the forecast and the trusty Camry sits (with one hubcap) out in the elements with no cardboard over the windshield. I did manage to remember that you need gas to thaw that sucker out in the mornings so I'm good to go back to the sawmill one more time, lord willing and the creek don't rise! My friendboss loaned me a movie about a puppy named Hachi and I loved every minute of it, sittin' on the couch with my own dogs and sobbing while he walked the tracks looking for his friend. Dogs are cool like that. Cats? Not so much.

Today's point of interest is the fact that Daddy is out of bananas and breakfast is coming tomorrow in spite of the winter weather advisory. My dear BG is out picking some up so that he doesn't have to endure one single morning without 'naners on his cereal. I just hope he has milk and orange juice because I'd hate for her to have to go back.

Love ya....mean it ^j^

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

this too shall pass

It is gloomy and cold and I'm nice and warm, surrounded by my family of dogs, cat and BG....all in their own perches, of course. As the dryer squeaks in the background, I sit here waiting for something...not sure what, in particular. That seems to be a habit that we learn as adults, putting life on hold and not fully experiencing the moment because there's something coming up and we might be late! Oh.My.Goodness. as we say in the South. Hey...I'm learning, umkay? I was always the second latest to family gatherings, followed by my youngest brother who will be late for his own funeral. The older one is as punctual as a drill sarge.

Something deep inside of my soul has shifted somewhat, assuming the position that I refuse to give more than honor and a good memory to tragic things. If only the MSM could learn to do that! I don't even watch local news anymore because it's all about who shot who or who's messing with politics in Memphis and I don't even live there. Truth be told, I hate to GO there. Everything is an ordeal and I'm spoiled to the easy way of living in a small town. Following college graduation, I had a job offer at the big teaching hospital there and got as far as getting the U-Haul loaded then got a gut feeling it was the wrong thing to do. So here I am 33 years later at the one and only job I've ever had other than babysitting and lifeguarding. Oh...and selling shoes. For someone in my field, the small town hospital is the way to go for keeping up with work skills and technology. In large hospitals, techs are isolated to one part of the clinical lab and don't have a clue about the other departments and what tests they do. I can honestly say that I still use most of what I learned in school, and then some. I could have made a lot more money working on travel contracts but that would have been difficult to do with a child at home. Plus, I'm just a homebody at heart. I like to go on vacations but I'm always ready to get back to my real life. I'm either terribly lazy or learning to be content. Ya'll be the judge.

So....I'm thinking I might need some vitamins or some B12 shots or something to give me a little energy, and then I remember that my body is much older than it used to be and starting to wear out. Fortunately, I've had relatively minor health issues thus far, and I attribute a lot of that to staying active. Like to the point where BG has accused me of being ADHD. What she doesn't know is that it just takes me longer now to get my shit together. But I'm learning to be organized, from her and also from my boss. If I can ever afford new tennis shoes, I'll feel a whole lot better. But then I think about the cobbler's son who had no shoes..........Folks have been telling me for years that I should be "doing something" with my artistic side, meaning learning to make money off of it. I've struggled with that off and on over the years, afraid that something that brings income or is seen as a job somehow loses the joy from within. It takes a very disciplined person to make a living like that, and disciplined I am definitely not.

Hump day's coming up. Keep the faith ^j^

Monday, January 17, 2011

keepin' the faith

If I were the least bit ready to end my life like on purpose or would have been the day to climb the water tower. I seriously hate winter around here because it's always raining and dreary. Since I'm not a duck hunter there's no upside to that for me personally. My car is ten years old and still not paid for but almost and I give a big fat hat tip to TMC for making engines that run long after you've replaced them for oil leaks. It's got three bad tires, no driver's side door handle and the brakes squeak. I have hauled about a ton and a half of garbage from up here on the hill to anonymous dumpsters all over the 'burg through the years. Sometimes I burn, but never EVER when the fields are dry. We all know where they ends us up at...with rakes and middle aged women doing fire duty on the lane, just like back in the days of the Ferguson farm.

Me and my friends watched a movie this afternoon about having babies which is pretty right on since it seems to be in the cards for all of us this year. JA was actually the one who first uttered the phrase that will be, if not the title, at least an interesting chapter in the book. Let's all think positive that I don't get hit by a tsunami or a volcano before it happens. You never know. I don't think the sawmill is earthquake proof either.

You can't make this shit up...the experiences of a life lived freely and fully. I thought today about the random violence that has silenced great voices in American history. If I were a writer for NCIS I'd probably be rich by now. Instead, I choose to write about hope and faith. Not much money in it...but it helps me sleep better at night so I can get up and do the right thing on another day. This is how we learn and grow and make life better for others. Peace and luv ya'll.


Friday, January 14, 2011


When I first began blogging, it was like a whole new world...a venue, if you will, apart from the bots and horny people in chat rooms looking to score. I met exactly two real live guys who remain my friends to this day, and the rest were history. I poured my heart in a daily diatribe against all things greedy and mean and somehow managed to find my inner writer along the way. No subject is off limits in blogland but the names are always changed to protect the innocent. I'd hate to give the lawyers something to chase after because they should be preserving the state of our union or something equally as admirable. In my opinion, that doesn't mean suing people who do the best they can with what they have. Sometimes you're the windshield? Sometimes the bug. Malpractice law is the biggest joke in this country. Many claims are legitimate, but most are all about some quick cash to raise the crackheaded kids. Remember Johnny Cochran et al? Yeah.

When good faith...does the right thing or what they BELIEVE to be the right thing then the law should honor that. Predictably for me, this does not include mentally ill people who buy guns legally and proceed to kill innocent folks with 'em. But that's a whole 'nother chapter about how people are too bored or tired or just fed up to pay attention and watch out for that crazy sumbitch who likes bullseyes. I'm just saying. Sarah Palin...go open a fish store or something. I'm tired of your stupid ass already. Dancing for the Stars is about as low as you can go.

My friend Sue had a knee replacement done a couple of weeks ago and seems to be recovering nicely with a little help from her friends. She is a mentor to me, of sorts. Ten years older and much wiser, she shares my love of comic relief and understands why Chelsea is totally "screamin'" hilarious. Once Katrina hit, we were over it with federal emergency response. Helloooooooo.......where did the dam(n) money go? The way I figure it's gonna go down is like in that movie with Tea Leoni and Morgan Freeman where we all just get washed into the muck by a big wave. I just pray that somebody's holding my hand when the wave hits.

Call.Your.Mother. And don't forget the clean underwear thing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

one step forward

It was a real reality check having to go "back" to work after a three day total escape...but the day wasn't bad for a Thursday that acts like a Monday so I'll take that and run with it. Usually it only takes a day or two of real gut clenching action here on the lane to wear me down, even after a rest. What I have found works absolutely great is two days of 12 hours. After that, I'm good to go. My house should be spotless and in Southern Living by now considering how much time I've spent on it this year, but it's finally all coming together where things are where they're gonna be and the open floors can be mopped more easily. Except for the dang dining room! That's been a tornado struck lookin' thing since last summer. That will be the last and most painstaking arrangement because I plan to cook for Mother's day lunch. If I'm not working, of course :)

Things are quiet with the grands now. They seem to have reached an unspoken compromise something like " if you don't mess with ME I'll leave YOU alone. Works for me. Daddy is retreating more into his own little world with TV and rituals at every turn. But at least he doesn't pester her as much as he used to. Better living through chemistry!

I inherited her PC which consists of a tower in worse shape than mine and a keyboard with big fat black letters on yellow pads. Hell YES it's much easier to see, especially when you sit in the dark a lot like me. I'm a candle fiend so most of the time there's one burning on the desk in lieu of an energy saving bulb. After innocently starting a FB smack down after commenting about my curiosity about what President Obama would say in his address, I tuned in to see what he had to say. Tastefully done, in my opinion, it was a combination of celebration for the people who were wounded or died and an urgent plea for the rest of us to shut the f**k up and move on to something more productive for our country. I agree with that point, ya'll. So they had T-shirts? Big freaking deal. They were red white and blue for god's sake. Some folks just don't know when to quit.

Flu season has begun with a whimper according to our testing, but there's plenty of sickness around that they just didn't make a shot for this year. Everybody that I'm around....including work people...has suffered through the month long ordeal with it. Add a montezuma's revenge style stomach bug about halfway through there and you get the picture. Not a bunch of happy campers. People who NEVER call in sick did over that evil gastrointestinal thing. Yikes! Back in the day, a lot of our patients were mostly well and just there for sudden illness. Now it's much more the revolving door type atmosphere where they have multiple visits on Medicare before they die. Some are young and some are old....but most are chronically ill. We still have our share of drug seekers, but a more sophisticated method of weeding them out on the front lines has just about cut that crap out. Now all the clinics get them.

Over and out from Pecan Lane. Ya'll be careful out there ^j^

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

brain dead and bullet proof

Three days away from the sawmill have given this weary old soul a chance to recover from the "real world" for now. By last night I had cabin fever bad enough to venture out for fiesta fajitas. There is still snow, but very little and it's cold as crap! With apologies to all ya'll up in the north, let's get on with it and have some spring. Always the optimist, I glanced over at the flower bed facing south and there was the green top of a crocus poking up. Yeeeeeeehawwwwwwww. Being off, I've had the opportunity to observe various "heads" talk about Arizona. To my utter dismay, there are still those who are claiming this tragedy a win for their particular way of thinking.....which is typified by the Westboro bunch. This, in particular, scares me for us as a country. There are crazy people everywhere who are ready in their twisted little minds to go down in glory. It's not a whole lot different than jihad. Only this time it's us against us.

Enough drama, umkay???? As mama would say "Happy thoughts!" I find myself day by day becoming more thankful for the lessons that I've learn and continue to learn from my family, BG in particular. We started this journey together a long time ago and it hasn't kicked our asses yet. The bond between she, my mother and I is one that will always remain, with memories of making little biscuits and playing nurse. Lucky for me, she quit work soon after BG came and was a constant presence in our lives. Now we are working together, the three of us, to find some sanity in this whole "who's gonna live where" thing. If I do have to move? At least I've got the attic mostly clean.

Peace and love ^j^

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

view from the hill

I sit here in my "home office" so to speak, looking out on a cold windy January day with some leftover snow. Don't let anybody tell you that the big blackbird kill over in AR got most of 'em.  Not by a long shot.....our fields are covered with them!  There is a brave cardinal here and there, a bright red piece of magic against the snowy background. Karma visited and I have enjoyed two scheduled days off to celebrate the inside warmth with my BG and all the critters.  Yes, there are four of them again.  One cat and three dogs, go figure.  Lily has her bluff in on all of them but Sam and Oscar still try to mess with her on occasion.  Sharp claws guys!!

I have spent years in this house trying to find a spot to discover my inner organized child, and the living room is perfect now that I've gone through tons of shit a lot of our family's trashy treasures.  I keep something that catches my eye or reminds me of Mom because I never want to forget that part of our life in the red log cabin.  As children, we never failed to get a good country meal every  night, even though she worked long hours and so did Daddy.  As much as we despised it then, we were forced to sit together with moody siblings and play nice.  Agriculture was a huge part of our lives so we were all active doing things at the annual county fair.  My brothers and I were landlords of a strawberry patch one year at 25 cents a quart and made a killing......enough for me to put down on a car.  That took gas that cost 35 cents a gallon.  And then I walked five miles in the snow :)
The primo view on this farm is from the hill behind the 1920's dairy barn with silos.  From that point, most of the acreage is visible sleeping quietly under the snow right now.  But not for long, ya'll.  The first flowers....snowdrops....usually pop up in late January.  After that will be the quince and the buttercups.  Hey, is that faith or what?  Growing up as a farmer's daughter has given me this sort of keen awareness and appreciation for all seasons.......except that part of summer where you sweat like a hog for two months.  That I could live without.  Maybe it's just a reminder to us from Big Ernie about how how it is in hades.  Who knows!
I am playing more and exploring what makes me happy which is long overdue.  A lot of things have contributed to that, but mostly it's just laughing more and getting pissed off less.  It doesn't change a thing.  Another thing I learned from the steps?  It feels damn good to let something go and find peace with it.  

Here's to us and all ya'll and their mamas'n'them.  Bless our hearts!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

a new kind of fear

I don't remember when or where I lost that feeling of being safe and secure as a citizen in our country.  It probably was right about the time of the big Watergate scandal where I was, as a teenager, dismayed to witness a sitting president impeached for lying through his teeth and covering it all up.  Woodward and Bernstein remain my heroes to this day.  I also distinctly remember the murder of JFK and my fascination with the Zapruder film years later.  These events, coupled with my dislike for the Vietnam war served to help me form a somewhat healthy "distrust" of authority especially where constitutional freedoms are involved.  Big brother and all that, ya know?

I read in horror today various accounts of how some deranged radical thinking idiot on a mission to make a political statement gunned down innocent people in broad daylight at a public place, killing many.  Thank god a couple of guys had the guts to tackle him before he took out anybody else.  The incident has spawned much speculation about what effect the state of our two party system (and all the hatred and corruption that lies therein) has had on the increase in political violence in our country.  There is seldom a kind word spoken over the party line fence and never much room for compromise. This is wrong, folks.  Our elected representatives are not the college football team to be worshiped and franchised.  They are accountable to us for every vote and every day that they are in office.  Yet they do not represent us, per se.  They represent THEIR party.

There are so many things wrong that it's easy to eliminate what I think are the biggest temptations for lawmakers to remember from "whence they came."  Lobbying by paid employees for profit driven corporations is something that I've never approved of.  Like....duh.  Who isn't gonna give the contract to the sleaze who buys him a hooker and a steak????  Puleez, ya'll.  Remember who you are, umkay?

This war is all about oil and always will be until we cut our dependence on the asshats who sit over there and jack with the price while they blow themselves up and take our service people with them.  Wrap the damn thing up, already.  There will never be peace in those lands and if there is it certainly won't be by the hands of the US military.  It will be because they choose it for themselves.  Our homeland security is seriously lacking because all of the resources are being used to fight over there.  Sheesh.

Within our country, I see areas of great need reaching from food pantries to healthcare.  Instead of sending money to other countries to build churches, why not spend some of that dough on improving the 'hood that you are in, thus being Jesus to those you live around?   As a member of the UMC, payment of apportionments has always been both a thorn in the side and a blessing to me.  A paradox, if you will.  Sure, you help do bible school for kids in Africa, but what about the ones in your town or neighborhood?   Just a thought.  How about all ya'll healthcare professionals getting together across denominational lines and putting together a faith based health center for the uninsured?   I marvel daily at the fact that so many elderly people have no family to care for them and are institutionalized in places where money is the bottom line.  I could go on and on, but I won't.

Gotta get out the snow shovel ^j^

Saturday, January 8, 2011

wonders never cease

It has been a week of reckoning around our little 'burg and the surrounding communities with several deaths, some of "natural causes" and one not the natural way.  BG and her friends lost one of their own and they mourned as a group for a second time this year over a the loss of a road dog and bud.  These kids took turn being DDs and sneaking out and doing lots of things that teenagers do and managed to get caught a few times.  In my heart, I know that is what made the difference in a few of them.  She told me after the visitation that she saw his death as a message from Big Ernie to her personally....and to all of them collectively.  Amen, 'sista.

Today is my 4th and final weekend in a marathon that included both Saturday holidays.  It can really screw you up on a weekend when you're rotating them.  My check was a tiny bit more which made me think about why....and remembered the weekend shift diff.  Sweet!  Now I'm back to every third until somebody retires and then the whole deal changes again.  Yadayada.  We were unhurriedly productive today which is exactly the way I like it.  We're there to do a job.....not commit suicide by working our middle aged selves to death.

I haven't had a vacation in a year and a half and I'm beginning to feel deprived and all that.  Strong willed smartass southern gals can only keep their sweet little heads up for so long before it's time to "go away" as we call it.   I need beach almost bad enough to walk there and sleep on a bench.  Nothing sounds better to the old Poops right now than laying in the sun and sipping a cold one with good friends by my side.  That could be because winter is only three weeks old and there's a snowstorm coming.  It's pretty and all but, hey.  One nice one is enough for me to ooh and ahh over and take a pic for the calendar.  Let's get on with it and onto growing season!

One of the perks of being a much more relaxed and happy person ( today, that is ) is that I can pay attention to situations and people closely enough to see the humor in most anything.  Maybe they'll hire me as a writer for "Scrubs", ya think?  I guarantee you I can cast the entire show with my coworkers.  Heh.   Ya'll don't tempt me.

We went south a little ways yesterday to pick up Bubba's new border collie pup, eight weeks old and raring to go.   She is one of a litter from the same mama that Bandit came from. One eye has a black ring, and the other is surrounded by solid white.  PRECIOUS.  We took her down to the junction to her new home and got her settled in with toys and a heat lamp and some nibbles.  It was one of those journeys that I will remember as long as I live, and then some.  They were all so squirmy and jumping around that it was hard to tell boy from girl much less remember which one he had picked.  A lone pup had one steel blue eye Bandit's color.  We considered him and finally settled on the girl, immediately thinking about names.  His friend at the UPS store got an impromptu visit and ya'll listen.....I know dogs aren't allowed in banks but this was so cute.  Just this once :)

I found....quite by accident of course, that if your DSL provider is also your cellphone provider and you are behind on the phone bill, they will hijack your internet service until the other is paid.  Why else would my sullen modem suddenly jump to life and shout for joy following payment!  Rejoice!  The outage was probably Big E's way of telling me to clean up the damn house, girlfriend.  You will never find a sugardaddy with all that dog hair and dust bunnies.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

back to basics epiphany

Anyone who has ever worked the steps, for whatever reason, knows that making amends is way on up the list of things-to-do with an issue.  Many people look at that as one of the hardest steps because you actually have to say "i screwed it up"  and come up with a well intentioned way to make things right.  It doesn't always mean that the hurt will be fixed or the money will be repaid, but is instead a way to move on from the burden of carrying that shame around.  I remember distinctly reading back in the day about how co-dependency is something that permeates every pore of every person's life in some way or another.  That was when I was working very hard on recovery.

Over the years, things have spun out of control a gazillion times and I have not been faithful with working those steps like I once did.  Many people think that once you make it through the twelve, it's over and you're cured.  NOT!!!  They are a tool to be kept in your pocket and referred to daily, sometimes on multiple issues at a time.  It's the only way to not go crazy, for me.  Which is exactly what I've been doing this past couple of years.  There was a point where I just threw my hands up and said "Okay, Big Ernie....I give."  Trying to be caretaker to elderly parents, work full time, help a struggling adult child, ad infinitum, I simply didn't have any more answers, which is unusual for me.  For those not familiar with the lingo, that is steps one and two.

I have whined and cried and made excuses for being where I am financially, all the while knowing that I am broke because I am still "making amends" to people who have given me a chance in the past.  These are the ones to whom I feel an intense loyalty and a solid desire to repay.  That does not include the evil DirecTV, by the way :)  Attorneys general for all fifty states can't be wrong about a company.  The list is endless of who I owe, going all the way back to my friend's loan for a divorce eight years ago.  Her mama would be proud of that little gift, in spite of all the hard times that it caused.

Today is gorgeous, not too much wind and not too cold.  I stopped by the feed store and got some sunflower for the birdies while mama sat in the car with her newly coiffed head peeking over the dash.  Daddy's  OCD symptoms have progressed to the state where he sees every offer she makes to take cookies home or something turns into a battle of the wills.  I left some there in the tupperware box while he counted down the minutes on his phone until news time.  Seroquel can only do so much.

Ya'll have an epiphany of your own.  The wise guys would love it!


Monday, January 3, 2011

let's do lunch

Adding insult to injury at the sawmill this most recent holiday, our corporate IT department decided to do a year end back-up during the wee hours, with a downtime set to expire at 7AM.  It's a little complicated, but we manage most times, even when it's busy.  It's perfectly normal for us to experience a few issues following a downtime but THIS time, it sat in computer limbo until today.  As we say in the south " how nice."  Happy 2011 Poops!  I spent the better part of the work day calling various IT guys and gals knowing that everybody is a little bit slower on New Year's day what with the partying and all.

Take me for instance!  I was in bed by 8PM.  Any questions?  My brother dropped by awhile ago to pick up the rent shoot the shit and we talked about going to pick up his new little girl puppy on Friday.  Breeder says they're eatin' good and ready to go.  It just melts my heart to see that love develop between a pet and their best friend.  I guess I have three best friends, which is never too many.  I don't count Lily the cat except when she's in the mood to cuddle.

Mom is downsizing  in the cabin, finally cleaning out crevices and corners that haven't been touched in years.......all thanks to Miss Fay.  She has moved from the passive crying afraid-to-be-a-burden state into full fledged entitlement.  I only hope I can do it quicker when I get there because she sure did spend a lot of time being miserable just because.  She is 77 years old and just last month decided that it's okay not to care what people think!!  She just called right up to the furniture store and asked the nice man to come out and help her move some stuff.  She's in a mood.  I'm just saying.

In a way, I think it's her method of letting go of life there.  She's always been organized to a fault, until her eyesight failed.  In her day, she was a newspaper columnist for a couple of locals and then moved on to a tenure  with the state in the unemployment division. For some odd reason, social security wasn't deducted from her wages so she now draws less than 500 dollars in benefits.  Without daddy's federal retirement, they'd be screwed.  She is sending boxes and parcels of stuff up our hill for quick perusal as to sentimental value or yard sale potential and we trash the rest.  Plain and simple.  That's the new "peace and love" ya'll.