Thursday, June 30, 2011

say grandpa

BG was born during the last days of my daddy's tenure with the USDA which included frequent trips to such far off places as Miami, FL where he helped to inspect the produce that they carried on the lifeboats from Cuba. Only he worked the airport, if you know what I mean. That's where he was stationed on BG's first Thanksgiving. We took pics at the table and waved but I'm sure it wasn't like the real thing....being with your family on such a special holiday and eating his momma's dressing. Our dear friend Tim took his place as a customs agent and that was the end of the Japanese beetle, per se. The USDA went more global and he had already put in too many years to chase that dream. And why would he? He had lived the dream here on his farm for fifty years.

My mother's daddy died at the age of 45 from heart disease, something that is dealt with swiftly and at a high price these days. She still cries when she talks about him and how special he was to her and she's almost eighty. I reckon there's some things we never get over until we meet at the pearly gates, Everybody loved Harold as a person and a business owner. He treated 'em right and was always quick with a smile. He died when I was three years old and momma has told me how we used to ride down into the woods by the river in his old car with an ice cream cone just looking for adventure. I can't say that I can remember much except from her oral history of how we landed here and stayed.

Following Papaw's death, Daddy became the manager of the farm and spent many years doing his best for the landlord. He got a cut of each year's crop check and money from the cattle that he tirelessly tried to fence in with barbed wire. That's the way he was raised up....during the great depression and the grapes of wrath. Poor guy had three sisters with two still remaining who get all over his nerves when they show up and try to wipe his butt like they did when he was a 13 year old and fell out of the barn loft over at Roellen breaking both arms in the process.

My father is currently dealing with fronto-temporal dementia and my mother is blind. They are nearing their eightieth birthdays and seriously deserve a party. Maybe since we have some good AC up in here, that could be a possibility if we do our own cake and put up some curtains. Time will tell. I hear the birds peeping so it's time to get clean and prepare for another day at the sawmill which almost pays the bills.

Over and out from Pecan Lane ^j^

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a long summer's nap

Last night, I drifted off to sleep watching the rays of the sun fade through the lace curtains in my bedroom. Fourteen! hours later, I woke to dark skies, thunder and lightning. Talk about hibernation and confusion. For a change, my old body feels rested and ready to tackle the next challenge that gets thrown onto the path. Lord only knows what that will be! I've always been able to sleep in, especially when given the opportunity for more than one day. It's a natural recharge of batteries to me, while others would be in a twit if they made it past five am. I've got SEVERAL friends like that. Carry on morning people :)

Today is day two, or as I like to call it the "middle the sandwich" day with three off. Due to the weather (and my inherent laziness) my therapy appointment was re-scheduled for the AM tomorrow. BG has accused me of not wanting to go, and that's true...not because it's therapy but because I hate to travel. Back in the day I had the luxury of local therapists, except for the first year. But that was 20 years ago, before I turned into a house mouse. Looking back on that time, I firmly believe that if I had been on an SRUI at the time I would've progressed a lot faster, but that was when Zoloft and Prozac were the only choices and a lot of stigma was attached to being "weak" or "crazy" enough to need one. Thank goodness that mindset has gone by the wayside. My GYN doc is the one who finally had the common sense to put me on one because of PMS. BG has it bad, just like I did. For people who've never dealt with that, consider yourselves lucky.

Another delight that I'll miss just because money is tight and again, I don't like to travel, is a concert in Memphis next month featuring Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald, two of my favorite tunesters. I once gave away James Taylor tickets because I didn't have anybody to go with. Learned my lesson on impulse buying on that one! I suppose I should consider myself extremely blessed to be so content at home with the beautiful view, and all my doggies. VERY low maintenance. My favorite thing to do with large chunks of time is cooking...and being creative with it. There is a spinach recipe that I found online and modified with a few tweaks that people are clamoring for me to bring whenever there's a potluck. The famous cheese biscuits started the same way, by trial and error and years of doing things a little bit differently each time. BG and I were talking about my "followers" yesterday and how people kinda sorta like to read my rambling on occasion. Blogging is my short term answer to the literary streak that might eventually become a book if I ever get off my a** and do it. Yeah, I know....excuses, excuses. Hey it works for me and evidently nobody's getting a slap in the face in the process. Well, except a few politicians and other dumb folk.

Ya'll keep it in the middle of the road. Love ya....mean it ^j^

Monday, June 27, 2011

low maintenance

I tend to be that way and get easily worn out with others who are on the dramatic side with every little bump in life's road. At the risk of seeming somewhat rude, I will walk away from a bitch session after about 30 seconds because, honestly. It doesn't do a bit of good or change a thing. Venting is chicken soup for the bitching soul, but not so much fun for the listener unless he or she happens to like drama in the third person . Express the feelings, talk about them and get over it. So many people in the co-dependency recovery community get stuck in the whine stage and stay there because "somebody" did them wrong. Guess what? It happens to everybody.

We are on maternity watch for two little ones...BF's grandchild Carlee and our friend Jaiyde's babygirl who still doesn't have a name. Long story there. Definitely high maintenance but I love her dearly. My own little girl was born almost 27 years ago in the heat of late September summer, a Virgo/Libra cusp sort of gal with a heart the size of Texas and of both of her parents' character traits. She was the only grandchild for over 20 years, and loved every minute of it. My mother quit working right around the time she was born so they got to spend a lot of quality time together making little biscuits and playing nurse. Mama had this little bell she would ring for BG to come and check on her in the hospital bed. She rode the tractor with daddy and generally lived life to the fullest growing up on a farm. I pushed her hard to be things that she really didn't want to be, and I regret that now. I'm sure that it made my love seem conditional in some respects. But, like most parents I did the best I could with what I had. The marriage was unstable for many years before it ended in divorce, and then I was unstable for several more years. So was her dad. In a twist of fate, I managed to survive the financial and emotional burdens and come out somewhat intact in both sectors. Anyone who knows me understands that none of it was easy, but it was a necessary part of personal growth for me and it didn't kill me...made me stronger. My ex has finally found his peaceful spot as well, for what it's worth. He is in terrible health but six years sober and helping others to stay that way. To say that's a miracle is an understatement.

I so miss having a camera and playing with pictures. Doesn't look like that's in the budget anytime soon, at least until the propane guy gets his money. And the dentist. And the hand surgeon. But, all in all...things look better. I have NO credit card debt and the two loans with a local shark got paid off when she sold her business. That was a whopping 120 bucks a month at 400=% interest. Yeah, I know. Here's your sign, Poops. There is one little payment left on the dryer and I have the title to my trusty old Camry filed away until the wheels fall off. I do need to invest in some hubcaps though, seriously. Mama would die if she knew she was being picked up and delivered in that redneckmobile.

I have the house to myself right now with no roomies other than the canines and eccentric feline in attendance. The quiet is nice...nothing but the white noise of a dollar store fan helping the new unit along to keep us cool. I was so excited about running around in the yard barefoot yesterday listening to music that I forgot to turn the key off and the battery is dead as a doornail. Meh. We sat on the porch at dusk yesterday watching the neighborhood drama as Beethoven's wife took off walking and he put the pedal to the metal down the road to pick her ass up and drag her home crying in the back seat. When I see things like that, I feel incredibly grateful for my life.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

in the network

My brother and his family are in a cabin on a Virginia bay having a very scheduled escape from reality because that's the only way it will happen when there's two toddlers involved. Last year there was no cell coverage so we tested out the sat phone/cell relay this morning just in case somebody gets in dire straits out here on the farm. So far, so good. I reported to the sawmill this morning at precisely two minutes past six AM to earn some money and save a few lives. As serendipity would have it, there wasn't an overwhelming amount of business and no impromptu IT outage, so we got to actually eat two meals and have a chance to visit. I love it when that's a good opportunity to heal wounds and catch up on life.

We're still hobbling around here...trying to determine what the answer is when there is none, attempting to preserve family history for the generations of folks who have grown up in the Samaria Bend community. Our mayor, Mozella, is the wife of a descendent of Son Johnson. He and Miss Lockye, who was from Gibson county, lived across the road from the red log cabin where I grew up. In those days, the rivers flooded like crazy and crept up next to the chicken houses and hog barns. I never gave a second thought to the fact that we were on opposite sides of the road and property line. The corp did some dredging and it doesn't flood as often, but ya' never know. Especially not with floodcopalyse '11 lapping at our doorsteps. Okay already. Let's watch something funny or watch lightning bugs.

Rumor has it that Obama is drawing down on the other side of the world and attempting to restore some sanity. The healthcare plan can bite my ass, but that's a popular decision, hon. Why mortgage ourselves to Asia just to fight a war that will never be done? Like my daddy says " It has always been thus and so." I read on the interwebs today that there's a new book telling about the rapes and mutilations that happened to Jewish women during the Holocaust. It is very controversial because many believers think that talking about that part of the abuse is a moot point, considering the trains and concentration camps and crematoriums that were a part of the whole deal. Ethnic cleansing is a very serious offense and NATO has failed to address that issue with any sort of clarity. All I'm saying is that somebody better get off of the offense button and listen to the people. We want a retirement that is something less than sending our kids off to fight battles in lands where there is none of our business other than oil. Call it a rant. I don't give a rat's ass.

My friend in the trauma unit has no brain activity which is never a good sign so we're all prayin' for the lord's will to be done however it works out. Nobody should suffer while they're dying, I mean REALLY. When I die, I trust...without a doubt, that people will be there who love me and will make me laugh. favorite movie is Patch Adams right after Field of Dreams and the Truman Show. Oh, and The Green Mile. Sometimes, you just have to laugh. I've been told it's good exercise for the abs.

In case ya'll think I'm a bleeding liberal, let me say right now that I consider Ron Paul a leading contender in next year's presidential election. His son is a little bit radical from what I hear, but dad is all about fiscal responsibility and such so that should work out fine. As long as Medicare and SS don't run out before I retire or die, whichever comes first. THEN...Poops will be pissed and proceed to have a running Stafford fit and nobody wants any part of that.


Friday, June 24, 2011

weary defined

I'm sittin' here in my office/living room with the dogs looking out at gray skies that have at least kept the heat down. Looks like there may be some rain on the way as well. Bring it on, I say. The better to take naps by :) The three humans here at Casa Poops are all carrying very heavy emotional loads right now what with the flooding and the aging parents and what not. MY BF's father is entering the world of nursing homes today as an Alzheimer's patient in a last resort to try to keep their mother's sanity and health a bit longer. We have discussed the wisdom of popping in unexpectedly to see what's up, and with five of them in the rotation I imagine that will happen pretty regularly. My parents are still fumbling along together doing the independence dance. I truly understand that nobody ever wants to leave their home, but sometimes there are limits as to what can realistically happen with aging people. Blindness, dementia and bad knees don't mix. I have given that one to Big Ernie because, at this point, it's not my decision but theirs. When somebody falls or burns the house down, ya'll be a witness that I tried to be pro-active and got shot down in a blaze of glory by two of the toughest minded people I've ever known.

Ronni Bennett is an elderblogger from way back in the day when me and Hoss first met and he was famous for being one. She had a post today by a geriatrician speaking about the small number of those specialists available to handle the aging population that is baby boomers. I believe it was 6,000 in the entire country, serving millions. There is an art to dealing with the elderly in a healthcare setting and unfortunately most of that is payment based and corporate driven. The more people with ailments you can run through the cattle call that is office hours, the more job security you have. Hospitalists now see the inpatients in most facilities and they have little access to patient history for first time admits. At one point I was pretty consumed with improvements in end-of-life care because of what I have seen as a provider. Sometimes more is better, but sometimes more just means more money for Medicare to avoid litigation. In other words, if ya'll aren't gonna have the foresight to appoint a DPA for healthcare, everything (and it's brother) will be done to save your life. Living wills are nothing new, yet most people don't have one because they think it will never happen. Guess what? WRONG!

Wrapping up a life well lived with dignity should be within reach for everybody. Unfortunately so much of our medical costs go to diagnosis and treatment that there's nothing left for palliative care or "death panels" as the GOP calls them. That's your fault Frist et al. Choke on it while you're shoveling coal. My interest began with a Bill Moyers piece that I watched by chance on a Friday night alone, featuring the practice of palliative care. Basically, it is a belief in non-interventional driven comfort care for a dying patient. Not a death machine. Not a handful of pills, though I certainly admire the states that allow it. My uncle had Lou Gehrig's disease and about six months into his disease, he died...which is really unusual. What I'd like to think is that Big Ernie saw fit to take him before the suffering got so extreme. Doesn't really matter what the cause of death was, ya know.

My friends are still at the trauma unit of The Med, fighting for his life. Folks from here in the 'burg have been making trips when they can and it looks pretty grim. The bar will likely be sold and some of the faithful are gathering there in support of their struggle, wishing them well. Most of us are just praying. Aren't I just a little ray of sunshine today????? I've been looking for my late uncle's kiddy wooden bat so I can smash something. Yep. It's serious.

I see a nap with my name on it coming up shortly. Loveya. Meanit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

peaks and vallies

My dear friend the little general quotes her mother on that little nugget of wisdom passed down. That's just what life is and no matter how you look at it, if you can't believe that today's problems are tomorrow's opportunities for improvement you just ain't gonna make it when the world blows up. I don't care how many cases of bottled water you've got. When you reach a peak and think the world is just all below your feet, watch out because there is some desert tromping coming right behind it and you will be singin' the blues. We are working through some, shall we say, very layered family issues here on the farm and I've heard some words thrown out there that have really hurt my feelings, most recently by my mama. I sulked for a day or two and with the help of friends realized that she's just mad because I'm still going and she's not. Can't help it. I'm a survivor at this point.

Out of the blue a totally unexpected computer downtime came at the sawmill today and took EVERYBODY off guard. Usually we have a day or two of notice before backups and such but this was major and quick. If you can imagine the sound of our PBX operator paging the IT guy over and over and over again, that's exactly how it was. We reported results and then had to catch it all up in the system. If you don't have a downtime plan, that doesn't work! Fortunately, ours manages to get us through a crunch. That's the real test. My bossfriend, her hubby and their precious puppy are on the road for his job way up north. Poor Gracey tore a ligament right before the ten hour trip then got sick from the anti-inflammatory. Plus riding to Minnesota in a car. Bless.their.hearts.

When I arrived home yesterday, the central unit had been replaced by my favorite HVAC guy and it works like a charm. Big old shoutout to Corey Jeffries and the landlord. And of course Tyler Shipley :) We proceeded to de-weed the yard while they finished up, and by this morning I was a sniveling idiot with red eyes. But hey....the view is great! My BF even cut the poke off of the top of that hideous pile so I can see the woods across the road. Ya'll remember the pile right? The one that the driveway architect left and was going to come back for. It's been there for over two years now. I got a quick inservice on the new thermostat and was told to sling AWAY from vehicles and brand new central units. Gotcha' bro.


Monday, June 20, 2011

never look back

If there is one cardinal rule of living a peaceful life it is the ability to look ahead unless there is a reason something from the past needs to be healed. I've been told by more than one person that I f**ckin' analyze them when in reality I'm just verbalizing my thoughts, trying to understand the situation. If someone has an issue that they're not willing to go through the pain to get ahead of, then that's their problem not mine. I've spent way too much of my life in sorrow over things that went wrong and I'm not getting any younger. It's time to make a change.

BG and I were just talking about the powers that be and how they're all working together to keep world peace from happening. It's the devil, pure and simple. Not Obama. Not that little girl's mom who killed her and continues to lie about it. Not even Sarah Palin, but I'd sure love to hang that one on her list of accomplishments! All of this striving and warring and killing over whose god is the right one is just want the little red guy wants. And he's winning, big time. Until we learn to make changes in the "village" one life at a time without big money at stake, we are doomed to implode and turn into some barren universe where we are FORCED to depend on each other for survival. Yeah, I know. Sounds like one of my roommates' Asian cartoons. I read today about an organization supported by the WHO and others that is in bed with the pharm industry on a world wide basis. That's some scary crap, people. Do I need to remind ya'll how much drugs cost and how hard we work to pay for that insurance? We got to chatting about medical marijuana and how many states have legalized it. She was looking at me like I was an idiot as I explained my grand scheme of turning the DEA into ag agents to help pot growers produce more for government taxation. That would eliminate an entire sector of the prison population that sure, broke a law. But they didn't kill anybody or do harm to anyone was an "innocent" victim. Reefer madness. Rock on America.

Yesterday was a good chance to unwind and watch movies and I was lucky enough to catch one of my favorites, "Sunshine Cleaning". Every time I watch it I learn a little more about life and death and how we all handle it differently. People who work in hospitals tend to be ahead of most people in that game, witnessing death at random times under sometimes ridiculous circumstances. We often laugh, just to keep from crying. But we cry a lot too. There is something very intimate about being with a person at the moment of death. Because of those experiences, I am not afraid. I've seen and felt too many angels in hospital rooms to not believe in them.

So, I'm off to see the wizard. Who wants to go?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

long may she wave

Daddy is one of those hard to buy for guys who really doesn't really want anything because he can't remember what's up outside of his rigid schedule of sleep,eat,go to church and to the doctor and put a flower by mama's table at command central. I asked him a few days ago what he'd like for father's day/july birthday and he said he needed a new American flag to fly on his pole out in the yard. Per his ritual, the stars and stripes are always lit up at night. His stint with the USAF gave him a real deep conviction about community pride. A supply man, he was stationed in the Azores first, and then in Shreveport where he and mama were newlyweds. I was conceived in Martin after he returned to college and the rest is history. It took me many years and multiple teary conversations with my mother to understand that he came from a family where everybody was kinda sorta stuck together like glue because it was the great depression and they were sharecroppers. He fell out of a barn loft as a young teenager and had to have his butt wiped by sisters while he recovered. Two of the three are still alive and kickin'.We had a nice breakfast today at our current spot and stopped by Kroger to get essentials like bananas and cereal. Oh, and ice cream and cookies for mom. They have doughnuts at the breakfast place too, and the raised chocolate glazed kind was sold out so he settled for cake and ate both of them before we got halfway home. After we got back to the red log cabin I helped him run that Old Glory up the pole to replace the tattered one. I tell him often that I love him, and there's never any sort of reply other than a left handed shoulder church hug. I figure he just never knew how to deal with girls.I have never seen my daddy cry much but one of those times was when my teenage self snuck out to meet an older boy and mama had him out looking for me. He had been running the roads for hours when he returned to find me on the couch looking very sheepish about the whole thing. That's when the tears started to roll. I was a believer after that night, I'm just saying.

Happy Father's Day to you and yours. I hope that everybody got a call from the fruit of their loins on this special sunday. All it takes is a phone and the faith to say "i love you".

Saturday, June 18, 2011

the people inside my computer

My absolute HOOT of a friend named Lois called us all that back in the day, and I can all bloggers can. That was before social networking was every day's business and she was trying to get trained as a funny gal at Second City. She made the most hilarious video of the Annual Turkey Testicle Festival in her Illinois hometown and sent it to Leno when they were showing viewer videos. Her language is about as salty as mine, and we see no harm in that as long as nobody gets hurt. Of course, it's terribly hard to see your "group" get called down and laugh at yourself sometimes. I'd like to smack the people who got all mad at Tracy Ferguson. Get over ya'lls bad selves, folks. It's a JOKE. That is one thing that I admire about Jon Stewart...he doesn't cull anybody when it comes to making harmless fun. Even presidents and christians'n'stuff. Laughter is the best medicine by far.

I'm celebrating my weekend off with a shot of Petron which I've never had before in my life. And it was dang good, by the way. Thanks BF. I bet he read the post about how he brings good spirits up in the house when he comes off the road. His work crew could be part of the extras in Weeds and he spent about six months living on a ranch close to the border so he knows his stuff. Welcome back Gumby!

It's cloudy and not a hundred today so I'll be staying home to clean this nasty a** house. Besides, my main pool buddy is out of pocket staying with our friends at the hospital. They got to meet the guy who scooped him up off the pavement and flew him to the trauma center, which is pretty neat I think. Five years ago we had to wait 30 minutes for a chopper to come from Memphis. Now they're based here in our hometown. It's one of those things like don't think much about availability until you need it!

Happy father's day to all of you who have helped a child to grow stronger and wiser by following in your footsteps, whether they're your own kids or somebody else's. It takes a village.


Friday, June 17, 2011

the dark place

Ya'll know the one. It's where everything seems bigger than life like a cartoon but not funny right now. Maybe later...that's happens a lot :) Having spent plenty of time there myself I try to understand when somebody else is stuck there kinda' like in purgatory. I remember the pain, always, when I begin to get the least bit cocky with my smartass self lest I dare to think that it's all about me. Because, well. It's about ALL of us, ya'll. Fortunately I was raised in an atmosphere where a respect for the rights of other races was instilled in my soul at a time when not many southerners bought into that philosophy. I mean, my grandparents had household help and played bridge. Yikes!

As an elementary school student I watched the county kids vacate every October to pick cotton while I sat there (a county kid, but not the cotton picking kind) wishing I was outside. My principal Mr. Bruce said that I had one of the highest IQ scores he'd seen, but that I wasted it by looking out the window at what was going on outside. I managed to not study much at all and still be an average student which is all that's required. Greatness comes later in some form or another. It may not be at all what you studied for or were good at but inspiration which eventually reveal your "inner" occupation. I'm not sure about mine yet..I mean I don't know how I'll make time to build a nursery and write a book plus turn this farm into a place on the national historic registry. Maybe I could consolidate all that. But knowing me, I'll procrastinate until it's the night before some big deadline and there I'd be freaking out. NOT the least organized, ya'll. I seriously need a personal assistant.

My psychoanalytical side knows that procrastination is often a passive aggressive move, but with me it's really not. I've just lived long enough to realize that taking on too much can be hard on an old gal and doom every piece of the plan to fall like a house of cards. When the time is right, I'll know. One of my co-workers remarked at the time clock this afternoon that "I'm sick to death of a week by the time friday comes!" Amen, sista.

One of my greatest guilty pleasures is watching Weeds and slapping the furniture over whatever Botwin's crew has going on. I was curious about the creator and googled her the other day to find that she's a very talented woman and mother. I can't help it ya'll...there is something so hilarious about Kevin Nealon that I just can't stop laughing. He's one of my SNL comedy crushes. All the men of my dreams are funny guys now.

My wild single life, per se, was spent mostly backed up by a caring eccentric bunch of folks who hung out in the kudzu at the bar. I've been in there at every time of the day or night, and always felt at home like somebody was watching my back. My favorite times were when I'd go there after work and throw back a few with my friends while catching up on gossip and bar drama. There was only one single time when I thought things were about to go up like a gas fire, and it was on a weekend night and the owner and bouncers snuffed it out quickly. Terry and Bev were there for years after Geno gave it up to do farming and stay closer to home. Beverly sings like an angel,doing great covers that span a wide vocal range. She eventually got tired of the bar life and left it to Terry and the karaoke people to carry on. One night this week, he went airborne and had a terrible wreck, landing him in critical condition at a trauma center in Memphis. Things are still looking grim, and all of his friends and family are worried not only about him but her as well. There have been a lot of great friendships made in that place....the ones that last a lifetime.

Over and out from Pecan Lane and TGIF ^j^

Thursday, June 16, 2011

i want my life back

I remember almost losing my freakin' mind when we gained a late twenties guy as a roommate and had to find a place for all his stuff. And in my extreme state of agitation at times, I uttered those very words, with tears and sobs. He lived here for many years and it was close quarters to say the least, but we had some damn good times. He's a boy scout so there was always a fire and the yard was taken care of. I'll never forget the night he called me from down the road, trapped by a utility pole in a ditch. I could barely hear him, but I scurried on down there in the dark and I'll be damned if he didn't have everything the EMTs used to save him in the back of his Dodge pickup. He also brought home good whiskey at times, which is about as often as I need it. At times. There is still a row of frosty shot glasses in the freezer.

Our friend had a babygirl today and my BG was in attendance for the festivities. Scheduled sections are the way to go, I'm just saying. Especially for younger moms who tend to freak! Thanks to that Covey came out lookin' like a little porcelain doll, a little over six pounds and surrounded by glowing family. I just love it when that happens. BG mentioned to me that she had to stop for a funeral procession on the way to the hospital, and remarked about the circle of life. Yep. I love it when that happens too.

We've got another roommate now, as BF is on the road most of the time with his job and our friend is homeless for now. Damn floods! Looking north, I'm saying that we've probably been pretty lucky all in all. Even my old tried and true river friends tell me that after a flood, you don't really know all the "spots" anymore. Anywho, it's still crowded and chaotic at times, but we manage as a family to take care of our own and each other. That's really all that counts in the long run. Mama and Daddy'n'them are hanging in there like the troopers that they are. I remember thinking this time last year that they would never spend another winter there. Boy was I wrong!

We have lived in a rather odd stewardship of this farm for over fifty years, never owning anything other than crop or livestock shares, but allowing my father to pursue his dream as an ag-master on somebody else's dime. And have a full time job with the USDA too! Plus raise three children who didn't kill each other! Their third grandchild was born this past fall, a pretty little girl who resembles his mother and brother. They are far away and busy as a Chinese fire drill. This Sunday is the day that we honor our fathers for being there for us, warts and all. If yours is no longer living, just know that I'll give my own and all the other great daddies out there a hug from ya'll so they will have plenty.

Shout-out to Terry and Bev and all of their friends and family....."Keep the faith" ^j^

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

follow the yellow brick road

Only people who have seen or read the Wizard of Oz would know that's another name for skipping along the road of life with all kinds of scary critters to get in the way. Just fifty years, there will be very few who know what a munchkin is. How sad. What is even sadder is the state of our economy and politics in general, world (non) peace notwithstanding. I tried to imagine a million soldiers at war for ten years giving their lives so that we could take this country and hand it over to the bad guys. I don't expect a full troop withdrawal. What I do expect to see is more of our service people stationed in our country protecting their own citizens and families than defending foreign countries because there's oil there. To hell with that excuse. An orderly drawdown of troops implemented by wise people who aren't worried about their income from defense contracts should do the trick. Just think..all that defense spending would go to US HERE!! Win, win, if you ask me. If somebody wants to plot and scheme to blow us up from halfway across the country, it will happen anyway so why not tighten up those borders and find out who's in charge where. We've got Canada to the north and Mexico to the south so I'm thinking I'll head north. Because, well. Ya'll know I hate to sweat.

Society has always been littered with pits of evil and destruction. When a human spirit is tortured or denied the basic right of being loved unconditionally there is sure to be a snake around somewhere, I'm telling you. The media have become the ones who strut around on multi-million dollar contracts telling us their version of the story. There's this guy at work who has a bumper sticker that reads: "I don't believe the liberal media." does that mean you believe Dick Cheney??? Puleeeez. One of the defining moments of my political roots came during Terri Schiavo's fight to end her life gracefully and peacefully on her own terms. Her husband knew how she felt and tried to honor her wishes but her parents did not. Bill Frist, former Tennessee politician and healthcare tycoon, jumped out there into the fray and urged the country to believe that if she were allowed to die, it would be murder and that's just wrongwrongwrong. Especially when if affects your own bottom dollar, right? He's one that I can't wait to see at the gates when the sheep and goats get separated. I'm just sayin'

Another, oddly enough, was the whole Katrina thing. Sure the people knew there was a chance of flooding and they chose to live there but REALLY????? I remember watching in horror as our country found out in bits and pieces what kind of chaos there really was going on down there and Lord have mercy. OH. And, you-know-who was on a golf trip or at an AA meeting or something. No. I don't "miss you yet" The key to being a successful leader, to me, seems to be surrounding yourself with people in whom your trust is safe and working across party lines to accept differences and enhance strengths. Democrats are masters are figuring out social programs to fund, they just tend to farm them out to untrustworthy people. Republicans are security aware and could use that to our advantage if they'd stop trying to conquer the world.

The flooding of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers this year has devastated the heritage and livelihood of many who live along that route. One of my old shuttle buddies sends me pictures of his beagle Snoop every time they go out camping. This beagle has his own personalized life jacket. I met him in Arkansas last year when I picked Tony and Bob up from their great adventure. Even got to share a cold Budweiser with them while Snoop slept in my lap in the back seat of a Dodge truck with the windows open. Good times :)

There is a peculiar peace that comes with trusting Big Ernie to have it all planned out so that all we have to do is show up. If I had a penny for every time I've tried to make something happen that wasn't meant to be, I'd be in Fiji. And with my luck, there would be a freakin' volcano!


Monday, June 13, 2011

always save for a rainy day

That is one adage that it's taken me a long time to learn, most especially in the retirement area. During my peak earning years I couldn't afford to contribute to company sponsored plans which is all good because the market collapsed and all that investment went by the wayside. An entire generation of this country's tax payin' hard working people. I read on the WWW today that the average college graduate ( two thirds of them ) will still be paying off government loans when their own children make the decision about higher education. In my experience, it hasn't helped me to earn any more than if I had learned to do graphic art and had a good agent instead. I mean really. I have borrowed to live for my entire adult life, and I see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. The allure of steady work at reasonable wages has lost the people of this country, replacing them with a whole bunch who believe that somebody owes them something for nothing. I'm not talking about your hard working third shift mom who does the graveyard shift and gets the kids to school on time. I'm speaking (without malice, of course) to those of you who choose to live off of government programs rather than do an honest day's work for decent pay and benefits. And not send your cash back to mama'n'them to pay ransom to the cartels. Get a freakin' grip, ya'll.

There is a duct taped leather edition of the bible laying on my desk, a Mother's day gift from back in the day. Being the realist that I am and wanting to have a nice snot slinging kind of funeral, I have a running list of songs to put on my CD. If I listed them all here, you would say " This girl needs some medication" so I'll spare ya'll. Trust's all over the place. Musical multiple personalities, and you can just call me Sybil.

It clouded up and rained today which is good news for us parched southerners. Lord knows we need to make some bucks off of this farmland while it's rich with nutrients from the great flood of 2011. Maybe I'll get a bonus for living here :) Contact was made with a guy who has worked with our family before and he's aware of the issues. Mom and Daddy are right up there on top, if you know what I mean. The way I see it, I've got to work another ten years to even approach being able to retire drop dead on the concrete and I'm really pissed that I'll be stepped over by other lab people who will benefit from the market void that will appear when we all say to hell with it and move on. When you're talking pecking order, the ancillary department folks are at the bottom of the food chain and take a lot of abuse from self serving higher ups. My theory is this: If you choose a career in healthcare it should be to help other people. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

cheese grits

My mama's favorite thing for Sunday brunch is eggs and grits with cheese on top. It's a poor substitute for the real deal which is a garlic cheese egg combination baked in the oven. To die for, ya'll. My grandmother used to make it for Christmas breakfast, and we always have it as well. It's an excellent side dish for most any meat, particularly shrimp or pork. Our new breakfast spot hasn't been doing full breakfast very long so they didn't have the microwave kind and had to cook the ones in the pan that takes 20 minutes. And then he burned 'em! Thank goodness there were four of us there to keep the conversation flowing so that Daddy didn't die of starvation pitch a fit to leave. He told us about how Ms. Mary Lou used to run the Coffee Cup restaurant next door. He planted cotton in the flower bed up front because it was a hangout for he and his coffee drinking buddies. She and her sons have fed several generations around here.

It's been a whirlwind of a weekend with swimming, breakfasting and swinging by to see a couple of old friends. One is having an open house to showcase the work of the people who transformed her old house into a fairyland, a la Oprah or Extreme Makeover. It is beautiful beyond words and I'm so proud for her. I told her if it was me I'd park it on one of those beautiful new sofas and watch some serious TV. After that I dropped by to see some friends at the funeral home and ran into some others I'd forgotten were friends. That's always nice, and it always seems to happen at the funeral home, ya know? To me, a visit to the funeral home or house to pay respects is something that a true friend will try to do just because you've shared parts of your life together.

My brother has informed me that there's new AC in the works so hopefully the utility bills this summer won't put me under like the last two years. When the utilities cost as much as the rent, it's time to do something. My next request will be paint and window repair. And gutter cleaning. There are honest to goodness little trees growing in my gutters. Sheesh. The corn and cotton are green again after a brief rain yesterday. It's cloudy still, so it's not blazing hot for a change. It will be back though. After all....this is summer in the south.

I read an inspirational article this morning about a man who was doing cleanup duty at Ground Zero and pulled a flag out of the rubble. He kept it in his shed for many years until running across it again. When he found it, he began a mission to visit other places of destruction and at each destination, the people of the community added patches of some sort to the tattered flag. It is a true work of art that typifies the strength of the American spirit during hard times. I've got a feeling we're gonna need that for a long while. When I think about all the affluence and waste that I have seen in my lifetime, most of it in the name of getting more "things", it makes me terribly ashamed that I didn't become more environmentally aware earlier. I'm sure I'm not the only one who weeps.

We are facing important family matters every day now, but I try to look at most of it as time spent with my parents, knowing that I will miss them terribly when they're gone. In many ways I admire their tough spirits for hanging onto the homestead as long as they have. They are remarkable people, and a tribute to what the post WWII generation is all about. Their code of honor and belief in what this country stands for has remained steadfast, even as the government that they believed in crumbled into financial ruin and became owned by world banks. Sound familiar?

I love the wastefulness of Sunday afternoons. Reckon it's time I got up and did something self indulgent like a hot epsom salt soak. ^j^

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

if you build it, they will come

I suppose it's just the simple country girl in me that has always gone for the guys who make you laugh and enjoy snorting right along with you. Tears streaming....table slapping! I remember watching Archie Bunker and Meathead putting each other down and laughing at what was the real world at that time. That was many moons ago before we got to where we are now. I'm not real sure where that is, but we're all in it together. One of the most memorable movies I've ever seen is, of all things, Waterworld with Costner trying to save everybody who's floating around on junk pieces of tin. I hope I'm up in heaven playing a harp before that happens because I'm just not a survivalist. Think the guys in "Deliverance" and that's me in the wilderness.

Anyways, back to the corn. It's all in front of my office window, pretty short and dry but coming up nicely. No rain in the forecast and yes indeedy...still hot. I hear the north is getting a break soon, but not so for us poor southerners. We plod along with our grapes of wrath looking fields and a firm belief that God is good and will bless us if we just take care of ourselves instead of selling out to some country with slave labor tactics. Not that people don't grow stuff and appreciate nature in other regions of the world, mind you. We've just depended on it for so long and survived on it when the war was over all the while being raped, pillaged and burned by the yankees. I can't help it. Sometimes the Scarlett in me just pops out of nowhere!

One of the hottest topics in today's news is Obamacare in court. A federal mandate that if people do not purchase insurance, they will be "dealt with" at the government level. Okay, then. Here's the deal ya'll. Our country did a massively stupid thing by buying into the whole "we can live forever" philosophy that has kept healthcare providers and their vendors rich for years. The ones of us who have worked during that time retain jobs because we cannot afford to pay out of pocket for healthcare costs. The rest, many of them deserving disabled souls, have been funded by state and federal government dollars. The opportunities for abuse in privatizing contracts in that area was demonstrated by the number of Tenncare fraud scams that sprang up, many of them masterminded by a member of the Ford family in Memphis. The pharmacy piece of that package went entirely to entertain his friends and cronies. Same with the daycare money. Gone. Poof. Yet the people in Memphis continued to elect him, even as Maxine was falling off the bar stool in a Nashville hotel. Shame on you! Ya'll are better than that.

I have this on and off again admiration for Ron Paul that is tempered by seeing his son in action at the state level in Kentucky, one of the poorest states in this nation. Dr. Paul has pitched out the theory that the two party system is really nothing more than two teams funded by rich people who do whatever they like with our lives and make money off of it. I tend to agree with him on that point. Fiscal responsibility is a cornerstone of his platform. I have learned the hard way that plastic purchases and buying on credit are not smart. What I'm wondering is this...if China calls in our debt and we don't pay up, will they just nuke the whole country and take of the world? Nah. They need us just like we need them. Nobody over here could ever do electronics the way they do and we've got the cool tourist attractions. I'm just saying.

It's hump day kids. As Mahala would say "hump it like you've never done before."


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

art therapy

For the first time, our friend Conner is doing a sleepover with BG and the rest of us critters. We've already done face painting on the porch and I got to be the angel and him a monster. I think BG was Sam the dog. He is an angel in and of himself, with a handicap physical challenge that would make most families give up...but not his. His mama and BG are buds and I was there when he was born and it all got kinda touchy. We have watched him grow from a tiny little boy who needed growth hormone to a happy healthy seven year old boy who is somewhat spoiled, like most only kids. His smile is like the sun....beaming out from a face where his eyes can't make out details but his soul can feel love. He has helped me to understand the blurry world in which my own parents live, dependent on the good will of others to see them through the pearly gates to the room with many mansions. These two, dear Lord, have earned that and an extra bathroom or two. Plus a hot tub. They have spent their years here on earth doing no harm (except to themselves occasionally) taking every opportunity to serve the least of these whenever the need arose. There have been family issues that it's taken years for me to understand, most notably the difference between the family structures of my parents. We're talking old school. I'm sitting at the desk that Gumby finally decided to will me looking at a picture of my daughter and my nephew meeting for the first time. There are many years between them age wise, but I know with all my heart that they will be life partners and carriers on of the family tradition. What started at Samaria Bend ended up on Walton's mountain. I think I'll settle for that and be blessed.

And yes, it is still hot as hell and it makes me quite bitchy. When your groceries thaw in an air conditioned car on the way home, it's time to take a chill pill. We've got air blowing in every room and it's a handy way to dry something quickly if you know what I mean. I saw an old friend and former co-worker at the store today and she promised to buy me lunch soon so we can catch up. That's the best offer I've had since the salsa sisters last gathering.

I'd send a pic of the face painting but my camera's broken and I'm too lazy to use the phone so there you go. Just know that I'm lookin' positively angelic at the moment, and that I don't claim a bit of credit for it. It's just how Big Ernie rolls. I'm wondering if Hoss is still alive as a dung beetle somewhere waiting on royalties for all the times I've quoted him. Knowing his ornery ass, probably so. You've got to admit, that's not just your ordinary every day experience a few of us had with him on his farewell tour. Right?


Monday, June 6, 2011

life is what you make it

I was (notsomuch) looking forward to a 2 hour drive to spill my guts during an (albeit) paid for therapy session today, especially with the heat and all. I mean the worst thing ever to me is getting back into a hot dark colored car after it's been sittin' in the sun. I used to park under the trees at work until they were cut down to make room for MORE parking. My guy totally understood and probably enjoyed his hour off to catch his breath. We are now re-scheduled with somewhat more of a game plan. As a consolation prize, we're headed to the pool for some girl time. Sometimes you gotta' pick your therapies wisely.

I read with great sadness today of the death of my fairy blogmother's beloved father. She was always a daddy's girl, from what I have read. He was a teacher from what I gather, and made a great impression on who she is today as a writer, woman and friend. They live in different states so her visits have been spread carefully among time spent with her husband and kids who have moved out of the nest. She has been a mentor to me of sorts, urging me on when the muse seems invisible and sharing her moments like they were my own. Jen...great big bloggy hugs from TN to you and yours. Love ya....mean it.

Gotta vacate the premises and head south to the pool. If Sarah P tweets or posts that I've libeled her political presence and is going to sue, tell her I'm ready to lawyer up.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

with a capital H case ya'll were wondering, it's still hot as hades here. There is a slight breeze which might lend itself to waterhose play. Always look for rainbows in any given situation, that's our motto here on the lane. It beats the heck out of crying and being scared. Week two of our new breakfast destination turned out as well as it did the first time with some donuts to go for my daddy who couldn't wait to get home and eat one. He's funny like that. If it was me, I'd have eaten that sucker first!

When I was a freshman at Dyersburg State I promptly enrolled in every psych class I could take and was treated to a historical perspective of the human mind by a guy who remains a personal hero along with the funky english teacher who made furniture from logs and the hot chemistry professor. My true inspiration was the woman who taught drama. There might be some kind of psychobabble slip there, but. Hmm. I went on to the big state university to be trained as a medical professional and have (attempted to) pay the bills doing that for 34 years. No wonder I'm tired!

I'm not too upset about having no camera since it's too damn hot go outside unless you have to. It's funny the things you remember. Once upon a time my brother was on an advisory panel for a national farm equipment dealership. They sent out a crew, complete with photographers on ladders and gophers with water bottles in the dead heat of August for this particular shoot. My crazy old ass climbed up onto a green and yellow tractor in that heat and sweated with pride at being the farmer's daughter. As I sit here gazing at the circa 1918 dairy barn across from the window, I can only imagine the energy that was bustling around here during the twenties before the company that owned it went belly up. We have pics from back in that day, but they're few and far between.

Ya'll do whatever it takes to stay cool. Lord knows we don't wanna sweat anymore than we have to ^j^

Friday, June 3, 2011

if i were a republican

Ha! I knew that would get somebody's attention in a "when donkeys fly" sort of way. But for's already that time again and I've seen Mitt and Sarah enough to know that the GOP has not a clue how to compete against President Obama, even though he is wildly unpopular, even with the ones who voted him in. I, by the way, was not one of them. I abstained from casting a vote in that particular race as I choose to have my ballot counted toward something new and different. What I've seen is more of the same, only with democratic overtones. And of course, right when they're revving up to push the dynamic duo into next year's race, John Edwards gets told that he's violated federal law by having a mistress. Really? Don't tell me he's the first politician who ever got caught with his pants down. Me thinks there is somewhat of a political motivation to that move as well. In the interest of equal opportunity let's also remember those who stalk young men in restrooms.

It has gotten to be the norm that media and politics centers around what is bad about the other guy, and not what YOUR guy (or gal) has on their track record that might qualify them to actually change something for the good. It starts at the organizational level of every group from class officer all the way up to president of the US. Some time ago our financially well off church was paying a very large salary to a senior pastor with lesser amounts going to the associate and minister of music. It was a status symbol, as such, or a reward for the ones who had done time within the framework of the political structure of the UMC. I always wondered why they didn't just split the money equally between the two pastors and make them partners instead of having one in the power position. Over the years I have been at odds with some of the "official" stances of my denomination, most notably with gays. I was there when our friendly little congregation ousted a perfectly nice openly gay gentleman who came to worship with the rest of us sinners. I was appalled, to say the least.Passing personal judgement on others is, in my opinion, one of the biggest sins there is because when you do presume to be as powerful and wise as God and that's just blasphemous. We do not know where the other person has been, what they have been through and witnessed and how that contributed to who they are today. There are a lot of dirty little secrets that never get told and stay locked in the closet with all the other skeletons. It takes a lot of courage to deal with the pain straight up and say goodbye to it rather than denying that it exists. I'm just sayin'.

We got a shot of freon yesterday that has cooled things down a bit but it's still like an oven outside and the air is so thick with pollen and ozone you can see it. Not a pretty picture for early June. My Pollyanna side insists on believing that this will be the worst of it early on and the rest will be more "normal". As if there is a normal anymore. At least it's cool at the sawmill, so much so that we were wearing jackets until this week. I'm glad the boss held out and kept those thermostats low when we were freezing because it's too hard to get corporate to crank it down when we hit the hot'n'humid parts. I'll be there with bells on all weekend to serve the sick and downtrodden, and the idiots too. Such is life on the front lines.

Peace out ^j^

Thursday, June 2, 2011

the road less traveled

I was a big fan of that book, and of others by Scott Peck and Melody Beattie. To me, they were pioneers of actual success stories in the struggle to overcome addictions and pain. A kinder, gentler version of Bill W. I once went to hear John Bradshaw speak during the time that I was in therapy and I was totally amazed at what one can learn about personal motivation and success just by honoring your own spirit and helping it to grow. It seems like I've spent most of my life being something that everybody else wants me to be ( or that I think that i SHOULD be ) and you tend to lose focus on that inner peace thingy when that happens.

Wife.Mother.Friend.Employee.Maker of brownies, whatever it is we jump and run to please the people that we care about, often ignoring our own mental health in the process. Men don't do this, by the way. In their other brained sort of thinking, they do the caveman thing to work and provide and the rest is just the details of how soon to get out there and play. I must say that the ones who make time to be a real part of the family and help with kids and the household should be applauded. It's tough, especially when life is as stressful as it can be these days with the "almost" depression that we're experiencing. The one income family is becoming a part of the distant past and that is scary. Of course if all the ones who have shared with the have nots, it wouldn't be that way would it?

Due to vacations and such, I'm working a bit more than usual so it's a good thing I'm almost over the pneumonia. The heat is oppressive, about like our usual late July stuff. Looks like I'll just have to get myself over to the pool tomorrow after me and BG do some housecleaning. I've missed having her partnership on that! We're about to crawl out of another valley together which is nothing new around the lane. Have drama, will travel. That's us. I'm looking for somebody to sponsor a team in the humane society four man scramble coming up so all donations will be gladly accepted. Hey...they helped me adopt Oscar and Sam.

And the truth shall set you free. I'm not sure who said it, but by golly it's wise beyond belief. I sat with my mother and aunt today admiring a copied black and white photo of my mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. Four generations in one snapshot, and my own mother was a babe in arms. It was very obvious in that photo where all the boobage in this family came from ;) We are doing what all families should do as they approach the time when the elders are moving on and giving the current generation their heritage. I treasure every minute of that, and my daughter does as well. We.Are.Family.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

hit me again

I am to the point in my life, all things considered, that nothing much surprises me anymore and the only sensible option is to roll with the punches. Things have, in somewhat small increments, eased up on the financial front but it wouldn't shock me in the least if something happened in 30 minutes to change all that and put me back at square one. Like my friend Sue told me at the casino one time: "You're SNAKEBIT woman!" I'm one of those whom bad luck and cosmic challenges seems to follow around like the little lamb traipsing behind Mary to school. If I had back all of the pointless energy that I've burned off ranting and raving about it and feeling sorry for myself, I could become Wonder Woman and just fly off to Fiji. I did several hard years of personal talk therapy in my thirties, and have been pretty faithful about ducking in and out of the therapist's office when something major comes up that I need some navigation advice on.'s really out of character for me to let a streak of stress build up to this point before seeking help. Appointment is made for next week. Wish me well.

I've spent several fun-filled days with my sisters and various members of our blended families. Yesterday afternoon was my first post-flood river tour, in the backseat of a convertible with my hair whippin' in the wind and a cooler keeping me company. The three of us girls headed to the river to tour Gigi's homeplace at Tennimo near the Mississippi and Obion rivers, calling it a "redneck ride." It's mostly passable now, but nothing there except for acres and acres of mud waiting to dry up. The destruction of numerous dwellings and structures, as ordered by FEMA, has begun. It is beyond sad to see that way of life disappear. Generations have had communities along those rivers, using them first for transportation and later for commerce and raising families in the communities nearby. As my good friend John Ruskey of The Mighty Quawpaws has noted, it's like the water rushed in and changed the flow of everything, rearranging the wetlands and creating new habitats. That's nature for you.

The grands are still there in their recliners and we're still counting pills and going on grocery runs, trying unsuccessfully to consolidate some of the details because really? It's just like a freakin' Chinese fire drill or trying to herd cats. If I make it 'til the therapist visit without hurting somebody, it will be a miracle. Let us pray and be specific on that one.

It's hot, and getting hotter by the day. All ya'll surely know how much I hate that sort of thing. The pneumonia recovery has creeped along through the worst of allergy season with weekly shots looking like something in my near future. I took them for years and was never sick much at all during that time. I guess they've worn off, huh? And so it goes :) Also see as in paragraph 1:slow learner.

The world continues to twirl in spite of natural disasters, rowdy Middle Eastern crowds and Snooki losing her license to the Italian police *sigh*. They were your ESCORT honey, not bumper cars. It's just like Mr Yates says....this too shall pass.