Monday, May 30, 2011

pregnant golf

I sincerely hope that all ya'll ate as well as I did today at the sawmill. There wasn't any BBQ but I could really care less about that unless it's hot off the grill with the black stuff stuck all over the outside. Yep...I'm a snob like that. We pooled our resources up there and ate like the champs that we are, all at one table at some point saying grace that we have jobs and play well together. The emergency department was ( of course ) packed out since all the clinics were off for the "holiday."

Me and my roomie had kinda sorta made a date to tour the bottoms this afternoon when I got off, but we ended up on the golf course with his pregnant daughter and her fella. The guys had already played 18 holes and just had to do 9 more, so they taught me how to drive a golf cart. There was probably some kind of method in that madness....time will tell. I imagine I'll be the one keeping the baby while THEY play, which will be okay. After two days in the sun at Gigi's pool I was already a nice shade of burgandy. It's a nice little course owned by the city that has been, for the most part, ignored since the country club set started playing at their high priced location some twenty five years ago. I will never forget when the powers that be of our fair city attempted to pull the public domain thing on the 75 acres from Samaria Bend up the hill on Pecan Lane to "enhance" the golfing experience so as to attract corporate attention to the 'burg. This same bunch built a superhighway right up to the front door of one of our oldest industries which now employs around 150 people. Your tax dollars at work, right? It ended up alright with the owner who just happened to be an attorney flying in at just the right moment to meet with the board and explain how this farm is his heritage and he would see them in court. It never happened, and some contractor made several million constructing the new course and the houses that surround it like little boxes. All I can say is praise the Lord I've still got my up close and personal view of farmland and history.

Every year at the end of May, the weather turns off hot and humid and stays that way until we beg for mercy and get a big fat cool front. This year? If you're a farmer on high ground, look for a bonus. That is, unless the locusts come and eat the crops. Ain't I just a ray of sunshine?

On this day, the day that we honor military folks who have lived and died to protect our rights as Americans, I say thank you for believing when I haven't. Thank you for giving your lives and your service to a greater good. As my happy friend ME says : "No matter where you go, there you are."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

land of the free

Happy Memorial day eve, ya'll. I hope everybody is enjoying day two of a three day weekend which is (alas) only a regular two dayer for me. I worked on Christmas and New Year's and somehow got picked for this one too. We rotate that shit so as to keep it all fair. When the company sold awhile back, we lost about four holidays and half of our accrued sick time. Such is life in corporate America. It makes me wonder about why our forefathers fought and died for the belief that the USA is all good and true and honest. It's a nice thought, but it went by the wayside when we sold out to the Asians.

Actually, I can't complain because I've spent two days in the water at my sister's pool and even got a new bathing suit for the holiday weekend. I hate to shop, so BG went and found me one that she thought might fit and by golly it did. Everybody up there loved not seeing me with the old model hanging down from my old ass with enough room for five homeless people to move into. Stress and pneumonia will do that on occasion and I've had plenty of both.

Today was, of course, brunch with the grands and we chose a different place that turned out to be one of those made to order breakfast places where they also sell doughnuts by the dozen for dessert. After I delivered them home and counted pills and did the allergy shot thing, I headed to the store to pick up beer beverages for my friends over at Gigi's house. There's a family whom I've known forever who still owns their homeplace between here and there, and I stopped in to visit for a bit. Darlene and Terry were there along with all of their offspring, but Frank was absent due to his son's high school graduation. All I can say is bless his heart. I'd hate to be trying to decide which way to go career wise in this day and time. They own a significant chunk of South Dyersburg where the great Forked Deer flood of '10 wiped out their family fortune last year. Easy come, easy go.

Much of our sisterhood chat this weekend has centered around love and devotion as a choice rather than a bad habit. We ain't yo' momma and you need to man up and deal with that. I was single for eight years before BE saw fit to hook me up with someone who understands who I really am and how I got here. Not that he enjoys listening to all the drama, because he's got enough of his own. He just does, because that's how we roll and misery usually does better with company. The good thing is that when we have fun, we're usually on the same middle aged laid back page. God is good....all the time.

I used to think that somebody SOMEWHERE had all the answers. It was the PC way of thinking, which we all know can be tricky. Now? I don't believe in answers except as holy replies to cosmic questions which pilgrims toss out there along the road. War is bad, umkay? Especially when it's over natural resources that are a gift and a curse, all in one. God is watching us, and he/she is not happy with entitlement, whether it's from Wall Street or the feds. Plant something. Save a river. Teach somebody to read or write. Give blood. Create a work of art. That is what faith is about to me personally...making a difference, one life at a time. I believe with all of my heart that this message would be approved. If we don't begin change, who will?

Let's sleep on it ^j^

Friday, May 27, 2011

live and learn

At some point I will understand that freeware isn't really free when they take you hostage and eff up your FB and blogging experiences. There's been a whole lot of shit crap on my my mind lately and I've been forced to hold it all in while considering how to kick a ten year old Dell in the ass and save a little bit of memory. I think I've gotten my money's worth out of it, even considering their intensive collection activity when I couldn't afford to pay. When this one dies, the hard drive will go in the story box along with the last one. For that? I thank you Michael in upstate New York. And the horse you rode in on.

For today, I'm just incredibly thankful not to be the coroner in Joplin MO, using DNA testing and dental records to identify remains from the "tragic tornado" as the MSM calls it. Browkaw is trying his best to put a happy face on the long Memorial Day weekend while the rest of us deal with the grim reality of six weeks of wild and crazy weather in the mid-south. Fortunately, we dodged a bullet on Wednesday when our Torcon was 9 and everybody was freaked the f**k out about what if. My parents lost their power before the storm ever hit, so guess who hauled them up the hill so daddy could watch TV. Three guesses...first one doesn't count. He tried to bring his pee jug with him but I drew the line. I knew in my heart he'd be back home before bedtime.

There was a rainbow that evening, after the storm passed as the sun was setting. They always amaze me, and give me hope that the promise is real. It's one of those things that I will always stop and notice, and say amen to. It was a very appropriate message considering the wrath of mother nature lately. I will never forget the day that a tornado slammed into the UMC in Piedmont AL where Reverand Kelly Clem was the pastor. Her four year old daughter Hannah was killed when the church crumbled around them during a Holy Week service. That my friends, takes a lot of faith to get through to the other side where you believe that it all happens for a reason.

Enjoy your three day weekend and please stay out of the ER. If I have to work on a holiday, I'd prefer that it not be real busy.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

american history

I got to pondering today on how much technology has taken over during the eightyish years that my parents have been alive. Born during the great depression, they were brought up in totally opposite worlds, but ended up living the same one here on our farm where three children were raised up right, knowing how cows have babies and can turn on you when you raise a red shirt to the breeze. After the thrill of wading in muddy ditches was gone, I turned to looking for reasons to get into town where all the action was. We all attended school on the street where both sets of grandparents lived. It was almost so Cleaverish as to be sickening at times ;) Both our parents worked in town so it was easier than trying to have somebody get us off the bus from Holice Powell just to make a quick scoop and deposit us at one grandma or another's place. My great grandma Ethel lived next to the school so I got to eat lunch there sometimes...always a treat with things like chicken and gravy in an iron skillet plus berries and cream for dessert. Beats the heck out of peas and carrots.

Daddy worked as a plant pest control agent for the USDA during the heyday of the boll weevil. I remember visiting his office and marveling at all those push pins where he had trapped them and there was an effort underway to eradicate. That was his DAY job. After that, he managed the farm with (a little) help from my brothers so he essentially was on call 24/7 for that. He delivered calves in the snow with chains and hauled bales of hay in the summer to fatten up their asses for sale. Mom was this and that, ranging from staff reporter for the local newspaper to claims adjudicator for state unemployment recipients. And fabulous cook! They both remained active with their friends doing their own thing at least once a week. Daddy bowled, played penne ante poker and went to fish fries and squirrel stews. Mom played bridge and went on unforgettable getaways with her gal pals. It was a joint effort, by them, to keep their respective sanities while raising three kids and making a living during the sixties and seventies. Their hard work allowed them to retire early and enjoy life a bit at a time when that was not a dream but a possibility. There were very few family vacations due to the nature of farming, and the ones we took were pure torture on everybody....especially the time I rode to Atlanta in the back seat of the white Chevy, wedged between two little brothers. I opted out on the Stone Mountain tour and chilled in the hotel room while they did the Chevy Chase vacation thing. Hey...I was a 13 year old girl and had had enough of the fam.

Mama was the one who liked to "get away" for a bit and daddy could care less, so she went without him. She saved up her quarters and bills for a long dang time to afford a trip to England with her ladies. I remember wondering why she was so upset right before she left for her dream trip, and realized that she was just afraid to leave us or, more likely, that our world might end before she got back to fix it. To this day, I think she's driving herself nuts with worry over every little detail. Something tells me she needs a timeout from reality. Come to think of it, I could use a little of that myself.

Just to let you know how thankful I am for little things, I'm jumping for joy tickled pink that I get to sleep in for an extra hour tomorrow. The bird flu has kicked my ever loving ass to the point that I crave the chance to stretch out and be still. So here's my theory. The flood of the century came and so did all the egrets and ducks and geese, just as nature intended. That's when H1N1 came to visit from some Asian country and made me sick as a dog for three months. There was a vaccine last year, but this year no go. I personally think the vaccine manufacturers totally missed the mark on flu season 10/11. I'm living, heavy breathing proof. After James Frank helped me get the mower off the fence post yesterday, I finished up the yard so that the traveling John Deere could move down to my parents' house and then back to the junction where Sally lives. If I ever get a camera that works I'll show ya'll her pic...cutest little border collie you ever saw. She's learning to ride in the truck now like a good dawg. I'm sure she'll fall out at least once, like Faith did right in the middle of Lake road from the back of a red Dodge. Oscar thought he could fly last time we went up to spend the night at the Newbern residence and still has the scar on his chin to prove it. Precious memories :)

I was scheduled for allergy scratch testing today but had to break down and take some benadryl after yard work so I'm disqualified for awhile. It's just as PA told me I might need some recovery time after the bird flu. She's younger and smarter, so I trust what she says.

Over and out kids. Remember who you are ^j^

Monday, May 23, 2011

maybe i'm amazed

I watched in horror today at a slideshow of the destruction in Joplin MO from one big honker of a tornado. Here in the the southeast, and the midwest as well, we have not had a single freakin' break from bad weather news in about six weeks. This particular tornado was so wide and on the ground so long that it took out about 50% of the town, including the hospital. I silently wondered what we would do if that happened. I mean, yeah...we've got a disaster plan and all on paper, but when something like that happens it's pretty much go by the seat of your pants. We are the only hospital in town, with the closest ones of comparable size and acuity level sitting about 40 miles away. It was a monster, even in this part of the country where tornado season starts in January and ends in December. One of the worst ever around here was in January. Talk about getting caught off guard! If you have never seen the destruction firsthand that a tornado can cause, you can't really grasp the power contained in these storms and the way that they shatter lives. With a death toll right around a hundred in Joplin, everybody and their mama is affected in some way. And it's still storming! Come to mention it, our weather's looking kinda iffy too. There have been very few nights that I can remember waking up and dozing off all night with thunder and lightning for eight hours straight like last night.

I ran into two old friend/co-workers today and we all made small talk about each others' health which is what you do when you get older, I suppose. It's either that or your golf game. I saw this totally cool piece on TV yesterday about this retirement place in Florida where everybody has a golf cart instead of a car. They get 'em all pimped out and drive around drinking wine and margaritas and visiting. That's where I wanna go if I don't make it to the beach for my last years. Fiji, preferably. Yes indeed did make a huge impact on me.

I'm jonesin' really bad because my camera is wore ass out refuses to play right. After spending some time lusting after 42 inch teevees the other day, I've decided that a camera is a much better investment and will give me more happiness than a bigger picture of Tosh's face. All suggestions from techno savvy friends are invited and encouraged, especially with best prices and customer reviews. Oh..and there's that budget of 200 bucks, firm. Gotta be able to afford a new PC to go along with. My financial widget has convinced me to do things proactively so as not to become beholden to some giant mega corporation with wild ass interest rates. I'll just save up and pay with cash.

Happy Monday to you and yours. The other shoe failed to drop and the world hasn't ended so far so it's all good. Keep the faith ^j^

Thursday, May 19, 2011

freedom's just another name for nothing left to lose

How do I love thee dear sawmill...let me count the ways. I was actually happy to go to work at the buttcrack of dawn because it's been a LONG time since I felt like doing anything other than the poor pitiful me routine. We all take our physical strength and good health for granted until something happens that reminds us that it's a gift and must be cared for accordingly. I've been very active most of my life doing aerobic exercise of some sort on a regular basis until about five years ago. Which is exactly when I started being "puny" as the old folks say. That moderate physical exercise enabled me to get by with a few evils, one of which is smoking, a little longer than most do before they start having health issues. It has also kept me from becoming terribly overweight(which is in my genes) and given me a way to move my HDL up a bit, which is something that is usually set in stone because of heredity. Both of my parents were smokers, with daddy quitting during our early childhood days and mama many years later. Neither brother has ever touched 'em. I'm to the point now to where I can actually manage one without choking to death, but I'm very aware of frequency, triggers and desires. About half of what I have been buying burns up in an ashtray somewhere while I wander off on my mission at the other side of the house. Yeah, I know. Here's your sign. That's all I'll say about that. Just assume that no news is good news and that I stay aware.

I'm all about some author friends and I pulled up to the mailbox today to find the first book published by my friend Joe, the Canadian cowboy and country singer. He and Drew have been my constant soul mates and companions while I've struggled to keep my head above water financially and all other ways. They are gentlemen with, not only talent, but the unique character trait that makes them true friends. Sometimes you don't have to touch somebody in person to know who they are. Thanks to both of you, I have remained true to my self and my values and have looked for a man who has the same qualities that you both bring to a relationship like loyalty, respect and tolerance. Ya'll all know it just wouldn't work any other way, right?

There is a certain freedom that comes with age, and I've been learning to enjoy the subtle changes that seem more of my personality now. Like not caring what other people think or say. And doing the right thing even if it pisses somebody off or breaks a "rule". Nothing makes me crazier than those kind of people who are blindly obedient to authority figures. I mean, good lord.......we live in a country where we have freedoms that others would DIE for and so many of us march along like little soldiers in an army that never questions a damn thing. "It's just easier not to make waves." I've heard that many kazillion times in my life and my philosophy remains that if it's a battle worth picking, it's on like donkey kong until the spirit tells me to go another way. If a battle doesn't get picked, it's because on my scale of 0 to 10 it doesn't even register on the radar. In other words...I don't see it as a problem.

Right now the biggest challenges for me personally lie in caring for my elderly parents without losing my mind causing them too much disruption, and paying the bills. It is a scene that is repeated times a million every day by a generation of baby boomers who have seen their parents outlive the grands by ten or more years because of the advances in technology that prolong life. It's a Catch-22. We live longer, but the quality of that life is often not good enough to actually enjoy. Our national healthcare system is stressed to the limit because of that fact. Well, that and the idiots who try to off themselves and fail. My golly, if I wanted to die, I'd get it right the first time because you get sent far far away for that shit. I've seen every dimension of life imaginable as a front line healthcare provider from pre-birth to post-death, and it never ceases to amaze me.

I'll try to get back to some lighter subjects soon like puppies or babies but it's been a long two weeks. Thanks for all of the prayers and hugs and well wishes..they mean more than you will ever know. We stagger our shifts at work so there's this guy who comes in usually right before I'm leaving on a go in early day. We've been fast friends from day one and he's another one of those like Joe and Drew who grabbed my soul and let me lean on him. His remark today when I asked if he'd missed me was this: "I looked over there and saw you and thought well she really IS alive after all!" He'll be one of the ones left behind when we all head for the hills begin to think about retirement. It'll be in good hands.

BG has been AWOL since the whole flood/pneumonia debacle, hanging out at a friend's house and digging into her new job with both hands. And this? Makes me smile bigger than I have in a very very long time.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

moving right along

Well, it looks like the party's over for me and tomorrow is another day at the sawmill. I'm finally medicated enough to make it through the day so I'll do two and then have the weekend off. It has worked out well for me, actually, to work a little and be off a little allowing me to build my strength back up slowly. I remember very little about last week, and that's probably a good thing. My new regimen includes allergy testing and a very expensive drug for asthma, but my insurance pays (for a change) so it's all good. I did indeed have a serious pocket of pneumonia, but the whole thing was made worse by my tendencies toward allergic reactions to things like mold, mildew and dust mites. Not that ANY of those things might reside in a 100 year old farmhouse!! I've got a damn towel stuffed under BG's door to catch the mold spores creeping up from the basement. She has jumped into her new job with both feet and is loving every minute of it...even when it's a little overwhelming. For her, it is a unique opportunity to help fix something that was so badly broken that all the rules went out the window and the staff is basically creating their own programs for residents. That can only be a good thing when it comes to elder care. I went down to check on "the grands" earlier today and found Mom with laryngitis and a rattling chest. Lord. Have. Mercy. We had that woman a Zpak in hand in less than two hours. If that doesn't work....we've got more!!! I've been on a total of three antibiotics trying to find the one that will finally kill this evil witch of a disease.

Corporate is due for a visit any day and I'm happy to say my yard doesn't look like Fred Sanford's garage anymore. The asparagus went to fern a week ago and I've been watching the planting going on all around me as I putter with herbs and flowers in pots. I'm a container gardener from here on out...guess I've become lazy in my old age. My friend/boss's mother is one of those elderly ladies who think you're going to the devil if you don't put in a garden. The thing is, she can't do it so she guilts her son into it! I know...I know. We would all miss the homemade tomato juice if she just quit ;)

I am still weak physically, but emotionally I've had time to re-group and get the knots out of my shoulders. The physical health will return and be stronger because of that mind cleansing. There is no doubt that I was as sick as I was, partially, because I was stressed out enough to implode at any given moment. On the up side when I checked my labs the other day, except for that pesky white count, everything was normal. As in GOOD normal...cholesterol, HDL, risk factors, etc. That hasn't always been the case, so I'm grateful for little things. It's amazing how much using olive oil can do for a gal!

Rock on ^j^

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

and on the 8th day, big ernie created fema

And he said let there be trailers for everyone! And so it came to pass that all around the Mississippi river bottoms, the people who had boarded the ark and moved to town dared to dream about returning home to where their waterlogged houses sit to begin tearing them down and start a new life. I feel for them, because I realize that three generations of my family have been raised up watching what the power of that river can do. As a child, I rode the ferry to the Missouri side as there was no bridge back in the day. Many folks who live down around there worked for years to put that bridge in place where it proudly connects our two states in more ways than one. One of the things that really struck me about this entire flood deal was when I-40 in Arkansas was shut down for days. That, my friends, is major not only for commuters, but also for commerce. A little side note to self would be to do whatever is necessary to keep THAT from ever happening again. I mean a new levee or something. It was actually the White river that was responsible for that fiasco, but it all runs together in some way or another.

And so the president came and went on Air Force One and Memphis got all the glory. It was really a two-fer type of PR deal for the prez since he got to combine his visit to BTW High school with an appearance in the "flood ravaged" town after the sand bagging stopped. Crest? Oh...that was days ago. It still looks like Dyer county is surrounded by a giant moat. I stopped by the salon of some old friends today to get my hair trimmed and ended up swapping stories with him about farms under water. We keep up with what's going on in each other's lives, even though we rarely get together. He knew all about the pneumonia and the drama and gave me the biggest old hug you ever saw. He also cut me a special deal on shampoo and conditioner because I counted it out in ones! We go all the way back to hippie high school and college days. While we were attending the local community college, several of us got parts in "The Miracle Worker"..with my boyfriend at the time playing Helen's dad to my Mom. That's about as far as my stage presence ever went. I actually took shorthand that year which is something that died a quick death once keyboarding came to be.

My parents are still determined to be independent and not "bother" me with little things and one of their joint tasks was to count out her pills. It takes me about two minutes to do it, but I imagine they spent quite a while with him reading labels and dosages and her telling him how to do what. They are, as a couple, both exasperating and hilarious. Everyone at the hospital fell in love with them.....even the hospitalist thought they were "cute". Our entire experience there was a stunning example of how the system is supposed to work. I love it when that happens. Since several of my favorites are social networkers, I will call them by name and you can smooth take a bow because I'm applauding you! SueAnn Cloar. Renee Beaver. Trish Fannon. Brandy Carlisle. Molly Miller. Sandy Thurmond. Rhonda Wells. Nicole Dennison. Ceasar Serquino. Susan Golden and Kathy George. There is no need to hide their identity because I'm so proud of them I hope they all get a bonus :) Heh. It's the thought that counts. Even Laura Clark got in on the action when she persuaded daddy to lay down, shut up and enjoy his bath. From the bottom of my heart and pneumonia stricken lung....thank you. And to their home health nurse Kristy, they're all yours again!!

My roomie's parents are still hospitalized in a nearby regional hospital but they are doing well. Just like my dad, they were gravely ill when they hit those ER doors. It really makes me angry to witness the abuse of emergency rooms by drug seekers and dumbasses. That kind of crap clogs up the resources and throws the real work of caring for patients way behind schedule. I'm just saying. Even though I work at a hospital, I still have a hundred buck co-pay for a non-admission visit to the ER so you can be damn sure I think twice about going there for an ingrown toenail or a sore throat that came out of nowhere. I mean, really. Walgreen's has clinics for that...right Lisa!!

I will never forget how bad I felt last week during the worst of my illness as I struggled to keep up with my parents. My brother and BG were both working so I had to keep going enough to at least run the taxi. I was NOT amused, however, when she proceeded to call the real taxi company for a ride up to the hospital when I was already planning to take her up there for his discharge. One of the few times I've ever actually yelled ( well, I did have laryngitis so it wasn't too loud ) at her to listen to me as if I were the adult and she the child. I could just picture my poor little blind mother being picked up by some cracker who would take every twenty she had when she opened up the wallet. We have to tell her which bills are what.

Spring has sprung. Daddy has baby 'maters on his plants-in-concrete blocks. Over and out from the lane.


Monday, May 16, 2011

slow news day

I slept in this morning, and found myself delighting in the flawless launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, a swan song so to speak. As one of a generation of Americans who have found shock and awe in the ability to man spacecraft and shoot them into space, it was a real treat. I still have a mental picture of where I was when I witnessed the first man step onto the moon. Ya'll all know there are still some toothless people in the hills around here that insist that was a hoax and Elvis is still alive. I also watched our president give the commencement address to the senior class of a Memphis high school that formerly had one of the worst graduation rates around. To me, that is just as much a miracle as that hydrogen fueled rocket. He was supposed to tour flooded areas so perhaps that's what they did from Air Force One after Steve Cohen and the others boarded. Or maybe they just had a meet'n'greet. Cohen is the champion of lottery in Tennessee, and I must say it's a win win except when you factor in how many folks spend their government checks to play, just like in the casinos. Which are all shut down indefinitely due to the flood of the century you-know-what. I have been to a casino exactly three times in my life, twice as a companion to my friend who was a frequent patron before her hubby died. She paid and I was just kind of her sidekick. She did mention that I seemed to be snakebit, but then my heart wasn't really in it so there ya go. Reap what you sow. If it had been up to me, I'd have taken the money and run back to pay the rent!

I'm better in, for the first time since this whole ebola like illness began two weeks ago I can actually take a deep breath. Being a laboratory person and knowing about the virulence of certain organisms only adds to my suspicion that some new kind of germ warfare was released upon my body. was right about the time Osama died that it struck..coincidence? High five to the pharmaceutical giant that engineered moxifloxacin. I'm not the least bit worried about tendon damage or sun exposure, especially since it's 48 degrees and overcast here on the lane. "They" say that the sun is gonna come out tomorrow, but I'm skeptical. Doesn't matter a whit to me, as I'm housebound with the DVR and keyboard plus a couple of sleeping dogs.

All is quiet down at the red log cabin as far as I can tell. Daddy made it home and they settled into the same dull routine involving clocks, meals and the remote. I'm beginning to see how payback works where your rebellious unruly days come back to bite you in the arse. I'm glad I got it all out of my system then, because if we didn't go with the flow around here, we'd all be chasing our tails. You know what they say....the only thing certain is change.

Peace out ^j^

Sunday, May 15, 2011

phase III pneumonia

That sounds all technical and scary, but actually it's what I call a bad ass infection that I treated minimally, and it has returned to haunt me. Not that I didn't WANT to stop and eat bonbons while recovering, but life just has a way of messing those plans up in the most creative of ways. Today I was lifted up by the very same co-workers that admitted Daddy last week, and my angel on wheels, Kim. She pulled up in her jammies with the dog just to give me some samples so I wouldn't have to go to the damn drug store again. That's some true friends, right there. I knew better than to wait 'til the shit hit the fan after lunch and church because we'd all be humping it then. Day two of two was manageable once I got past the side effects of those drugs which I always forget make you want to put your head down somewhere. God bless pro-bono.

My house has been full for a couple of weeks. Part of that fullness came from a young man enjoying his leave from the Army. He will be leaving soon for point C which is a long way from where he started. The elder of the two boys, he's so much like daddy they could be brothers, and in some sense they are. I've heard "now, son" many times, but I've also seen the pure joy that they find in each others' company whether it's at the golf course or watching cartoons. All the family drama has created some new memories for each of us right on the heels of the flood of the century. In an odd sort of way, it's been entertaining watching the government manage what they put into place like flood control. Some farm land got flooded, and lots of folks lost their homes. They will all be compensated sooner or later in some form or fashion. It will never be enough to replace their memories.

I'll be resting for a couple of days, attempting to let the end of this evil disease ooze on out into the ozone. Gotta' get well so I can jump back into life as we know by day.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

learning to exhale

It's only 4PM but the clouds are gathered around my hill, bidding goodbye to this latest front..the one that is ushering in a true blackberry winter. Bring it on, I say. The easier to breathe with. My super smart PA friend hooked me up with some serious asthma/allergy medicine that has done more to solve the problem than all the other pills combined. Sometimes you have to get to the root of the problem, per se. We are all breathing sewage and mold due to the standing water, so there ya go. It's a haven for allergens! After a week off to recover, I returned to the sawmill this morning and promptly began to sneeze. Hmmmm.

Daddy made it through his pneumonia and returned home Thursday afternoon with his boots in tow. There is no way in the world to ever explain how nice it is to be able to talk to your co-workers and offer an up-close and personal view of "the patient's" current state of affairs prior to hospital admission. Occasionally a family member will know what's up and can tell it to you real quick, the condensed version of course. That includes current meds and recent diagnoses. If you wait for medical records to fetch the chart and the ER doc to read it, it's just easier...and a pure delight for them...when somebody knows what's up. My flooded out roommate is learning the drill as BOTH of his parents were admitted on the day that my own father was dismissed. Such is life in the fast lane. I read today that the insurance companies are posting record profits in spite of, or because of, the fact that most people are putting healthcare on the back burner because of high out of pocket costs even when they and their employers pay for premiums. Working for insurance....that's the term that describes most of MY generation, those precious baby boomers who saw a helluva lot of history take place while we were learning to be adults. And, for the record? That sucks. I've always wanted to just be the baby.

Armageddon may be just around the corner, but I refuse to buy into that mindset. For whatever time I have left here on mother earth, I will try to take each day as it comes and find something beautiful and not be left behind. There's this guy who has a whole 'nother life doing impersonating Elvis and he does maintenance at BG's new job. I've seen him bars and such but never entertaining the seniors with his moves. That's on my bucket list now. Faith is headed to her home away from home and the boys are hanging around here keeping me company until I decide to turn in.

Last time I looked Louisiana is busting levees and opening floodgates in an attempt to keep from dropping off into the Gulf like a big chunk of mud. I'm expecting a tsunami before it's all over. But only if the New Madrid fault decides to shift and create another Reelfoot Lake. That was in the 1800s, so we're probably due for an earthquake of "epic proportions" as the MSM sez.

Time will tell ^j^

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

reality lessons

This past month has taught me a lot about the importance of being self reliant and organized when the shit hits the fan. A whole helluva lot of other people have learned that lesson too, with the flooding and whatnot. I'd say the whole ball of wax is right about Vicksburg today and about to do a big muddy swan dive onto the beach. It's been an experience for sure, and I had to giggle today when my brother posted a Jon Stewart video poking fun at all the media wannabes' in hip boots. It is a historic day in our somewhat rocky political past, with me hating on Dubya at every turn and him trying to believe that the GOP intentions to do anything but farm out defense contracts. He remembers the kinder gentler days of Republican leadership when Chevy Chase was mocking Gerald Ford for falling down the steps. One thing I totally respect about Comedy Central and Saturday Night Live is that they don't cull anybody when it comes to being the butt of a joke. Laughter is the best medicine and our country desperately needs it right now. It's still cool to be a farmer and a builder, even more so now that we have this huge mess to clean up. Like I said, I'm glad to live on a hill.

There is rain coming but nothing considered to be significant in the whole scheme of things and I look forward to the cooler drier air behind that rain. Hot + Humid is not good for recovering pneumonia patients. I dropped Mom off today to visit with Daddy since he decided to play nice and not insist on taking a taxi home in his hospital gowntail. All I can figure is that BE knew it was time to knock some sense into his orneriness so we can all regroup. I have spent the afternoon watching two little kids explore my house and play with their daddy. He's part of the package deal from Bradley where nobody has a place to call home until the mud clears. Gracey is two and Bubba is 14 months. They picked up old wooden dowels and proceeded to spar after they had their mac'n'cheese. It's a whole 'nother world that I had forgotten about, and sometimes it's a blessing to be reminded how beautiful and dramatic that childhood can be. The best part of all it? The giggles.

I've been watching Farmer Joey's folks on their rigs all day long doing what farmers do in the spring. I totally adore the way those John Deer tractors match the tiny yellow flowers in the barn lot. This is the first year that the former pasture turned field will be planted. Maybe the peaches'n'cream corn will be out in there somewhere. Would that be sweet or WHAT? My new philosophy on life is one that I wish I had learned many years ago. It is what it is. Deal with it. All of the wailing in the world won't change what is real. And only faithful people look to that and expect something better. I'm one of them, believe it or not.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

okay, then

That's what the author of one of my first "favorite" blogs says for most every occasion where words just can't seem to explain it. That, of course, would be the world famous Randy Neal in East Tennessee. He's a democrat, a UT fan and a real smartass like myself. Poor dude got "outed" and lost his job somewhere along the way but he bounced back quick. It was through HIM that I met the smartass photographer with whom he grew up. Fletch was his name. A real snob of a artist, if you know what i mean. He lived in the Smokey mountains for a long time and then moved to Florida, I guess so he could take wave and bird pics. Haven't heard from him in years. Grumpy old man.

I woke to a frantic call from my mama that daddy was trying to leave the hospital AMA so I ran out to see what was up. Of course, he couldn't get far, but with that stubborn streak of his and feeling a little bit better...who knows! I asked the nurse to request something for his "agitation" and she quietly agreed that it would make the world easier for everybody. When I left him, the aide who has been there as long as me was gettin' stern with him and about to do a bath. She definitely won't take any of his crap! Mom decided to stay at home today since her presence seems to suggest the idea "it's time to go home" which is not an option. BG got lucky on day two of new job as it was camo day and she had spent the night with Mr. Ducks Unlimited himself. She will be staying with mama the rest of the week while we're in transition.

There is still water every freakin' where you look around these parts, but the big wave is headed south to the delta. It will be months before things return to "normal" and as my friend the canoe guy pointed out in his update, the landscape will be different once the water is gone as in new sand bars and lucious growth of vegetation where the water stood. I prefer to think of the great flood in that an opportunity for growth, while still realizing the grief involved for families who have lost their homes. Sometimes you have to make a mess to clean one up.

The laryngitis lingers...going on one week now, but it seems a wee bit better. If I could keep my butt parked on the couch watching Rachel Ray and Chelsea instead of running interference at the hospital it might make for a speedier recovery. I'm off all week on sick leave and have been there three days straight with daddy. We decided today that it's best just to let him snooze and "wait for the news" which is all he ever does anyway. Mom is adapting well to being semi-alone with Ms. Faye and BG doing staggered shifts of hanging out and helping. It's a good time for all of us to take a break and re-group.

The dogs are keeping me company as always, snoozing and snacking and curling by my side. They do so love their mama! In a scene that reminded me of "Home Alone". Faith has been visiting with the goats and donkey and should return today. Maybe there's a rainbow out there somewhere in the 'hood.

Love ya...mean it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

ask and ye shall receive

It's been two years since I've had a vacation or even more than three days off in a row so I've been kind of on the ornery side lately due to burnout. And yes, I have even whined which is so not me. The irony is in the fact that I got what I needed in the form of a badly needed sick leave for several days. My friends at work pitched in, knowing that I've been stretched way past any normal person's limits for sanity of late. That's worth more to me than any % of raise that I will ever earn. I've got your steroids, and your albuterol nebulizer and your heavy duty antibiotics so I'm good to go. At this point, most of the infection is at bay...fever gone and such. Now it's just a matter of slowly regaining lung function. Which will include exercise in the near future. To hell with being old and sick. I won't ever say that I'm going to quit smoking, but I can tell you that I have learned not to smoke out of habit anymore while doing ten other things. If I want to smoke a cig, I sit down and do it. Otherwise, it can wait.

I took Mom up to the hospital this morning to sit with daddy and managed to get his face and head semi-clean with a partial shaving. His remark was " It's been a long time since anybody shaved FOR me." At this point with his dementia, hygiene is not on the top ten things he ever thinks about. That makes me sad, because he's never been that way before. He is weak and frail and very very sick, still. I told him I loved him when I left and he thanked me for the shave. Everybody on that nursing unit just thinks that they're the cutest little old couple they ever saw:) Some of their friends from church and the volunteer organization are streaming in to visit, so it's kinda like an adventure for both of them.

Meanwhile, back at the flood......The Mississippi has reached its' crest which means it won't go up, and it's gonna take weeks for it to go down so that all the little ones can do the same. This presents the secondary danger of flooding which is disease transmission with all that stagnant water sitting around like a swamp. It makes me incredibly glad to be living on a hill with a pump. Farmer Joey and his crew have begun to clean up the mess from the storms AND the flood so they can plant this year's crop. He will be one of the ones scrambling to do whatever can be done by the Mississippi whenever the water recedes. And it will, of course. If not, we've just got a new lake! Even Memphis is freaking the heck out what with backwater extremely close the Mud Island condos and business. Some of my finest concert memories are of the ones I attended in that amphitheater. James Taylor. Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Following the opening of the FedEX forum as a concert/bball hall, the smaller ones like Mud Island just couldn't compete. Another smaller venue at the Memphis Botanic Gardens has become a hot spot for civilized crowds and excellent music and seems to be picking up a lot of momentum. Live at the Garden.....check it out. For me personally, if I'm going to pay to enjoy a band, I'd like to do so in a less stressed and populated place than where the Grizzlies play. The Auditorium North Hall was another gem, with a balcony from which I saw the Allman Brothers and Steve Martin with an arrow in his head. MANY years ago ya'll.

Per the usual weather pattern in Tennessee, we have gone from cold and rainy to hot and humid. There just doesn't seem to be enough in-between around here and it's hell on the allergies. Which is why I will spent most of this week inside with the air blowing wide open. I see more allergy shots in my future as well. It's the price you pay for living on a farm!!!

Keep the faith ya'll. This too shall pass ^j^

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mother's day memories

Our house has been the refuge this week for part of a family that has been left homeless by the flooding. It worked out well, because we couldn't have made it in and out through OUR road without that big truck that one of 'em drives. It never ceases to amaze me how Big Ernie works those details out in the most amazing ways without a bit of help from me. After work on Friday I could see that the funk I had wasn't improving so I headed to the urgent care again and left with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Plus laryngitis. Since it was getting a little crowded around here I packed up the dogs and some undies and went to spend Mother's day eve with BG at HER temporary home away from home, the BF's place out in the middle of nowhere. It's a peaceful and idyllic scene with goats prancing around the lot, keeping company with a donkey. Unfortunately, Oscar didn't realize that donkeys don't like to be chased and he almost got his little terrier ass kicked to high heaven. I don't even know how he managed to wiggle through that wire, but he did it once and didn't try again. BG and I celebrated our night with pizza, a movie and beer and I passed out early with Faith snoring next to me. Didn't even have the desire to paint my toenails.

After sleeping in, I talked to my brother and he covered church/Perkins duty so I could rest a bit more. Something kept telling me to "go home" and I rolled BG's not too willing butt out of the bed and we loaded up and headed for the lane. We had Mother's day breakfast of Sonic to go and headed out to visit Mom on her special day. She had also decided to sleep in and skip church so she was delighted to have the company. I stopped at the red rose bush by the porch to pick her a bloom, something that we've always done to celebrate a mother who is still alive. About that time my brother rolled in with Daddy in tow, fresh from Perkins with blueberries dripping off his chin. He had trouble getting out of the truck and walked into the porch post trying to get in the door. Hmmm. Bubba left and BG and I began to help mama with HER mother's day feast to go from, know where. Just like she likes it, her favorite namesake waitress had hooked her up with an omelette and cheesy grits. Daddy took a little bit too long upstairs changing so I went to check on him only to discover his frail little old body wedged between the bed and dresser trying to put his socks on. Burning up with fever and breathing heavy like. So, here we all go to the ER, breakfast untouched. We got in quickly and were greeted by some of my very cool co-workers who listened to what we said and treated accordingly. It was all good until the SWAT team turned up in the trauma room across the hall with a homicide suspect who had slit his throat. I kid you not. I peeped through the door of daddy's room watching one of my lab homeies delivering red tag blood so that dude could be stabilized enough to fly. The whole process took about 30 minutes and he was airborne.

Turned out that Daddy has pneumonia too and he's about 23 years older so he got to stay the night at the hospital. And let me tell you right now, that was nothing short of a miracle. He got a breathing treatment and some IV antibiotics so he felt just enough better to proclaim that he was going home We wrestled and argued for what seemed like eternity until Big Ernie tapped him on the head and the nurse hit him with some valium. To help him breathe, ahem. When BG and I left the hospital to take mama home, he was happily perched in the bed of our newest nursing floor, grubbing on catfish and greens with our personal nurse friends taking care of his ornery butt. We even brought him bananas and cereal for tomorrow's breakfast.

There is this seriously wicked looking fern growing on the edge of Gumby's porch that I've been lusting after since last year. As a Mother's day gift to myself, I sat there this morning watching the goats and the donkey and dug up some of them to bring home to my house. Just imagine all the memories that will grow along with them.


Saturday, May 7, 2011


I find myself full of words bouncing around in the old noggin but no voice to speak with so I'm learning the joys of temporary sign language and listening. It's a perfect opportunity on Mother's day eve for me to pay tribute to my one and only, Janice Ann. She grew up on Pate Street next door to her maternal grandparents Ockie and Ethel with her parents Geraldine and Harold. The eldest of three, she had a sister and baby brother. When she was a teenager, they lived right across the street from Dyersburg High school on College street and their home was a convenient hangout for all the kids. Just a half block from downtown where my grandfather owned a service station and real estate business, they were the perfect beaver cleaver lookin' family. Both girls went off to college and returned with husbands in tow. Janice chose to marry Billy after a long courtship and separation due to military duty. I was born just a year after that. No rest for the weary! They packed me up and moved the whole thing back to Dyersburg from UTMartin after Daddy graduated with a degree in agriculture. When I was somewhere around a year old they moved into the red log cabin that we still call home. My Pawpaw recommended my daddy as farm manager to the folks who owned this piece of land, and he turned it over to him. When I was three, Pawpaw died and my mother's world has never been the same since. To this day, and she is 78 years old, she cries when she talks about him and how close they were.

Janice Ann quickly became a farm wife and mother, jumping into the whole grow/plant/can thing to make use of the bounty that my daddy's yearly garden produced. We laugh now when we talk about those hot summer nights when she listened for jars to pop before heading to bed on a a school/work night. It wasn't funny then. There ended being three of us as well, with two younger brothers following me into this world. They got the full dose of growing up boy in the country and I just pouted a lot and tried to learn how to have a social life that far away from town. She taught me the joy of cooking, and the thrill of experimenting to find just the right recipe. Most of hers were handed down through the generations and passed on through her friends to be used in her weekly newspaper column " Houdini in the House". After that she went to work for the state of TN as a claims adjudicator for unemployment benefits. She walked out of there one day after working with the public for years and never even earning SS benefits for herself. Around the age of 50, she said to heck with it because her health was beginning to suffer from all the stress. She was there and willing to keep my daughter when she was born, and to begin handing down to her all of the traditions that we had begun as mother and daughter. Looking back, that was a huge blessing. I never took her for granted and cherished the time that she allowed me to be with my friends to keep my sanity.

One of her greatest sanity keepers was the bridge club that played on a regular schedule year in and year out as long as I can remember and still TO THIS DAY meets every other week. She was always involved in the community and was a fierce advocate of the Dyer County Fair Association, something that she and daddy did together and involved all of us kids in. If there is one gift that I could give my mama this year, it would be the ability to let go of being sorry for things and live in the moment. She spends so much of her time feeling bad that other people have to help her that she robs herself of the joy of being served by those who truly love her.

Following retirement she became a volunteer with our local volunteer blood service organization and at the hospital. She was always the one who kept up with the family crises in the ICU waiting room, ushering worried relatives in and out during visitations with patients and picking up the fried chicken sacks left behind. I still miss seeing her little gray head poking over that desk when I walk down the second floor hall.

This one's for you mom....for all that you've accomplished and stand for and for the love that you've managed to spread around our little earth while you've been on it. You are my hero, my friend and always my advocate and that's my definition of a perfect mother. Thank you for sacrificing yourself in ways that I will never know so that I could have what I wanted and didn't need and for teaching me to be honest, fair and always reliable. Those traits have served me well.

Friday, May 6, 2011

leave a message at the beep

Some say that I'm a little rough around the edges, bordering occasionally on plain old outspoken and honest. I try to do that in nice ways with a bit of humor but sometimes you just have to come right out with it because...honestly. There are folks who just don't get that they're idiots. What are you talking about??? I didn't do THAT! You're just wearing your feelings on your sleeves and all so get "over it" is what I was told today when I confronted a particularly passive aggressive co-worker on sending someone to fetch me from lunch to do something she could have easily done herself had she not been brain dead at the moment. Or maybe that was the point...just to piss me off. News worked. Pin that little gold star on your labcoat and wear it proudly biatch. You broke me today and from now on, my dear, you a a big honking zero in my book. I'll not be mean or even unfriendly. You'll never even know you've been blasted into outer space. We never talked much anyway because you repeat yourself fifty times a day telling the same stories over and over again. That gets filtered out quickly what with all the white noise and other activity like laughter.

The Zpak didn't seem to be helping much, and laryngitis has set in so while I killed time waited for the Dodge ferry to take me home for the weekend, I swung by the urgent care to let nurse Jane have a look. I was only off for four days following the February funk, and have been hittin' it non-stop ever since then so I was kinda compromised going into this one, which is a real doozy. Long story short...pneumonia. The past three years have been a never ending trail of stress, worry and hard work with no break at all in the routine. The budget lack of funds would not allow it. Finally my BG has a job and will become a paying roommate again, just like back in the day. We are each other's heroes at the moment, and that's a damn good feeling. Only she and her BF and I know what we've been through together as a family. I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Guess you'll just have to read the book.

Physical and emotional exhaustion are a dangerous combination anytime, and particularly so when your physical health begins to suffer. In my younger days I learned early to not be TOO much of a go-getter because that lowers the bar where you have no wiggle room. Being too productive leads management to think that normal performance is slacking. I refuse to be the poster child for that myth any longer. I I had a do-over, I'd spend less time trying to climb the corporate ladder and more time with my sick child and husband or caring for myself and my parents. Maybe next life.

The Mississippi ain't done yet but the Forked Deer has halted so there's that good news. Tell that to all the folks in South Dyersburg and from Big Boy Junction on. Their news isn't nearly as good. While I've had just a tad big of inconvenience with transportation, these people are literally losing all that they have, including their ways of making a living. There will be FEMA trailers and money exchanged, but that doesn't replace the homestead in anybody's heart. Our mayor was on the national news today with the chicken store in the background as he remoted from the scene of last year's total devastation. Which is exactly why nobody has built back there...once bitten, twice shy.

I got a shot in each butt cheek and enough pills to last through my three day weekend and beyond. Over and out from Pecan Lane. And happy Mother's day to everybody who has ever known the joy of being one in some form or fashion be it mentoring or by blood or even by adopting a pet. Wherever mama is, that's where we call it home.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

i got nothing

For the third day in a row I have been ferried across the deep to my trusty old recently paid for Camry with a semi-new engine and low mileage for an 10 year old. In a hilarious repeat of last year, we took first heed and moved all the low riders up to the highway in front of some very nice guy's automotive shop. Stopping along the way for basic necessities like beer and chips, I make my way down 51 by-pass marveling at the size of that skinny ass little Forked Deer river that I ran away to as a child. I actually FELL into that nasty water trying to get into a boat one time. Luckily Mr. Snake didn't bite me, but I scurried out and got over that love affair pretty quick except from the banks.

It has swollen again, this time with no outlet to relieve the spread so it's probably here to stay. I saw an aerial photo of the Mississippi and the tributaries today compared to what it usually looks like. All I could say was "damn". It is being dubbed the flood of the century with records being met or smashed at most every port from north to south. Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee have blown levees and there will probably be some more of that going on before the heaviest of the load slides toward the gulf. All I can hope for is that the mud that will be deposited there might actually cover up some of the oil left by BP and we'd all have a merry christmas. BTW....nobody's forgotten that corporate.

Over the years I have learned about the power of rivers and their value as transportation, especially in earlier days before there was instant communication. By the time those poor people got the letter with the warning, they were already drowning. At least we know now how to use and appreciate rivers as the natural wonders that they are, not just dumping grounds for waste that comes from life in the fast lane. My friend John is one who, along with his partner Mike, has studied the rivers of America for years, and they have have participated in many re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It is from these two, particularly John and his native american spirit, that I have learned to respect and revere the river's gifts. You can buy a man a fish, or you can teach him to catch his own.

Adding insult to injury, the mighty funk that my co-workers and BG have had landed squarely in my head and chest on Sunday and it's been a nightmare trying to breathe this week. Finally got a Zpak yesterday and I already have a nebulizer so there ya go. Thow in a little mucinex and self medication is a helluva lot cheaper than a visit to the urgent care. There is rain in the forecast, but nothing serious so the swamp water will probably just sit there lookin' like that for about a week or more. Mama and Daddy have both made it out in trucks for the weekly appointments and I've got that father son team hauling me and mine so as not to miss one thrilling minute of life at the sawmill. That would be bad, umkay? I got the most inspirational text from my daughter today just at the moment I needed to feel validated. I may be imagining things, but my sickness seemed a little bit lighter after that. Well, of course the Zpak helped too ;) It's all uphill after the second dose.

One of the oldest blogger lines in the world is "I got nothing." It was a way to check in with buddies and let them know you're still there but don't feel particularly wordy. I am, to quote Ronni Bennett's phrase an elder blogger. I caught the end of the Yahoo and chat phase and moved from that to a daily posting kind of deal with limited copyright. And that is where social networking began for me, for real. While BG was busy ICQin' everybody and their brother, I was doing the mommy thing. Late bloomer so to speak. She learned to keyboard in elementary school and it was a high school course for me called typing. Lord....what a difference a few years can make!

Let's all remember that our country and our world are suffering in many ways and that the only real avenue for social change is one day at a time. It's a slow process, but in the end good vs good will always beget good. How do I know that? Because my Daddy tells me it has always been thus and so.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

deja vu

Exactly one year and a handful of hours later, the mighty Forked Deer is scheduled to crest just as it did on May 4th, 2010. I love these seasonal reminders that mother nature is totally in charge, in spite of all our planning. It can be scary, but not if you have faith. The way I look at things, I figure I'll survive as long as Big Ernie sees fit, and hopefully die with a smile on my face. When I came in this afternoon there were markers in the ditches to guide me out in tomorrow's early morning dark back to the sawmill. My brother and I were discussing the irony of blowing levees that protect government subsidized farmland that they were built to protect. That's job security for the corp, building and blowing and patching. Meanwhile, the rest of us deal with the consequences. New Orleans will more than likely feel the effect of this downward spiral of water in a way that's not too good considering what they went through with Katrina. I'm not blaming Bush or Obama or anybody in particular. I just think that we all ought to have better sense than to buy into that nonsense. Was there a part of me that relished picturing Osama gettin' a bullet in the head. Hell yeah. But do I think it will solve the problem of terrorism? Not a snowball's chance. The problem with terrorists is that they are followers instead of thinkers. They band up on a single cause like 'death to america' or make your wife your slave and off with your head if you don't agree. Big Ernie does NOT like that ya'll. There will be much amazement when you find out there's no virgins in the fiery pit. Take that Westboro bunch that acts up at military funerals. Fiery pits, ya'll. Better get ready.

This flood is different in many aspects from last years' in that the Mississippi is full to the gills and whatever local flooding of the tributaries that takes place will pretty much sit there until after the crest and slow fall of the big muddy. Skeeter city. A barge hit the bridge crossing from Tennessee to Missouri today and it got shut down for an inspection leaving lots of commuters wondering if they can get to and from home. My friend at Quapaw Canoe sent out an email today cancelling all river activity with his business for the month of May to try to let things settle out a bit. He'll be happily carving away the whole time, I feel sure.

We shall see.


Monday, May 2, 2011

voices of reason

I totally believe that Big Ernie sends angels in people's souls to minister to others according to what's up at any given moment. Right now I am wrestling with all the emotions that come along with caring for and saying goodbye to elderly parents whom I love dearly. One of mama's friends from the newspaper days called me today to ask if she had an audio book of a certain title. She said she thinks she'll like. She went on to threaten to kick my ass if I don't do something with what I've already done over 7 years as a blogger and photographer. Ahem. I guess I got that! She's married to a local cop who is an old friend of my brother from his tenure at the PD. Gotta love that kind of karma, right Linda?

I'm sick.again.Meh. It has rained all frickin' day adding insult to injury with all these swollen rivers. There's a good chance that by Wednesday it will all be over but the cresting so we'll see how that goes. We've been watching the entrance to our lane which is one of the low spots across the road from the water. All the ditches are full and it's STILL pouring. If I have to walk through the mud to get to work tomorrow I'm gonna be super pissed. Really.

The first thing I saw on TV this morning was the big announcement from Manhattan. The more I thought about it, the madder I got. The wars that we are currently in are not against individuals who contain all the evil. To me, it's like with Sadaam....the politicians think that handing up a trophy will get America to buy back into this big fairy tale where China owns us. That ain't gonna happen ya'll. Not with this current generation at the helm. The business of war has always provided riches for those who had access to materials. Back during WWI this farm was bought by a man who earned a fortune selling army rain gear. He turned into a giant showplace of a farm and even had catalogs for the chickens that were shipped from here. Thus, the huge barn and silos. Daddy told me that Son Johnson helped to build it in 1921 and said he got too scared by the time it was finished to work. Had to stay around the bottom. Both of my brothers have climbed well as BG and several of her friends. And of course some kind soul climbed onto the tin roof to spray paint "bitch" all over it. Hmph.

Anywho, I don't want to dwell on the Osama thing but it's over and let's let that greedy money mongering mentality that Wall Street so embraces die just like all of those poor people did that day. As for me, I took it as a sign from BE that he (or she) ain't happy with us and our values one bit. At a time when we should be helping people who are suffering from natural disasters in THIS country, we are pouring more money into other countries and fighting their battles. Funny money...but money just the same. We pay taxes for that, remember? Speaking of rich, I'm so glad the royals are hitched I could just bust a gut. One more day of that hype would have sent me to bed for a long time.

Here's my solution, and I have to dedicate it to Miss Doris who first penned the epic "how to get the jihadists crazy" She proposed that we put together the worst group of sopranos around and torture them with arias. could work. Then, we quit buying internationally (thank you NAFTA) and grow/make/sell to our neighbors on a local level. Farmer's markets everywhere do that, and look for ways to enhance the natural resources of the surrounding areas. Ours is beautiful, and the Forked Deer is damn close to it! Some kids on a mission went to work on the trail Saturday and couldn't find it.

Hey....China will get over it because they get to sell us high priced electronics again, right? That, my friends, is where we make up the national debt to them! Genius, huh? Ya'll can write me in anytime. I admire people like Ralph Nader who kept running just because even though he didn't had a snowball's chance in hell considering all the money involved in a presidential election. If you don't make a big mark while in office, in a kinda sorta positive're just a part of history that everybody looks at as like "oh yeah, remember him and what he got nailed for by the opposing party?" Enough already.

That's my rant for the month and I'll return to regular smartass programming whenever I feel like it. I'm telling ya...don't piss me off.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

water water everywhere

Phase one of the evacuation of the bottoms proper has been accomplished in one week. I've heard it called the Mengelwood flood of 2010. That's where the old cemetery is that my friend the count has photographed so often. His family owns a large piece of the rich big muddy farmland that is currently flooded out the wazoo. If you ask me, it's Hale's Point that's the problem here. All three of the major rivers in the western part of Tennessee converge at a single spot in Lauderdale county where the Forked Deer and Obion join at the Mississppi. The same thing happens in Paducah with the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers hooking up for a giant wetlands project waiting to happen.

We went out early this morning toward the giant kudzu piles that eat up the landscape between the Mississippi and Chisholm Lake. Let's just say there won't be much crab legs and steak going on anytime soon because the only people we saw were in a boat going to check on their house and take pics for validation to the insurance companies that they pay each and every year. The rest of 'em are just screwed. Our water is up in the ditch toward the only road out of here so we're watching the landscape with every trip out. I'd certainly hate to get stuck here on the lane and have to miss my 5 day week at the sawmill. That would just be WRONG.

We saw a wild turkey up close today, something that is a normal sight to me around here but only from a distance. The rising water flushes them and all the other critters out toward civilization. The deer are running too. I noticed a lost armadillo road kill, most surely an AR/TX immigrant with a persistent natural prone to wander to the more temperate spots. Poor dude will never know how freakin' HOT it can get here in July.

All is well. I'm outta here ^j^