Tuesday, January 31, 2012

quiet time

I came home after work today just dying to stretch out, watch Chelsea and laugh out loud. As I topped the back steps and looked into the kitchen I noticed a munchkin size kid peering at me through the glass and remembered that BG was babysitting Junior. To him, anybody around when something needs fixing is "mama" and he kept both of us hopping until they left a few minutes ago. Cute as pie, and active as a year old child. After the third or fourth spill, I told BG that I wasn't ready for this yet. She concurred.

My brother sent me out on a photo mission yesterday at the old dairy barn which is due for some repair. The roof has fairly new tin and the beams look sturdy in spite of their age. Many of our former sheriff's campaign signs are still on the dirt floor next to the silos just waiting to be pitched on that brush fire in the making. It is quiet now, just me and the dogs hanging out listening to music with our friend out front picking pecans. The calm after the storm, so to speak.

Ya'll know I've been a Ron Paul fan for several years now and it just tickles me shitless that he went all stealthlike up to Maine while the loudmouth boys in Florida try to win a pissing contest. One poll that I took today had Dr. Paul and Gingrich neck and neck which is no small thing considering all the bullshit we've seen flung around thus far. If there is one single contributing factor to my loyalty it is the fact that he voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here we are all these years later, still there with enlistees looking at new tours when our own infrastructure is falling apart. Big military = big money. Spend it wisely, ya'll.

There is a cause up in the internet spotlight at the moment thanks to combat reporter Michael Yon concerning medivac flights and Geneva convention rules that put them at too great a risk for life saving runs at times. His current story features the death of a 24 year old who was alive but died because he had to wait for backup to transport him to a hospital. His mama is mad and so am I. Michael's agenda from the beginning has been to showcase the sacrifices being made by those who believed that our government will take care of them because they serve. There are several books, which I have not read because I've been devouring it all on the interwebs. Great work dude. They're all my heroes, thanks to your reporting.

Do no harm. It is a simple oath that all healthcare providers...not just physicians...take when being trained. It is so much about the money today that the mantra gets lost in the shuffle on many occasions. I certainly don't claim to have the answers, but I'm gonna do my part to make the world a better place, one life and one situation at a time.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

the ten thousand dollar floors

When we first moved here in '84, the extensive quite expensive renovation included carpet, paint and wallpaper which made it look brand new. BG was four years old and living in wide open spaces like most kids only dream about. Our house was the place to be for most every celebration. When she was about five or six, KY cousin gave us a Schnauzer named Max who never got his ears and tail clipped or groomed. Dude looked like a furball most of the time. He bit BG on the face his first day here because she woke him up, and it took her a loooong time to not want to send him back. I recall finding his little baby teeth stuck in the carpet. At her birthday party, she and Katie took off down the road on bikes toward the dead end looking for the then absent Max. Katie's mama and I heard their screams at the same time and we took off like scalded dogs to where they were sobbing hysterically. There had been a storm on Friday night and the neighbors were out of town so no power outage had been reported. Poor Max ran right smack into a live wire and got fried to a crisp..the girls found his smoking collar on the edge of the pasture. Oddly enough, it is from this same exact location that terrier mix extraordinaire Oscar came to be a part of our family. Coincidence? I think not.

I ripped the old nasty carpet up by hand and pitched it out of the dining room on top of the hydrangea bushes which eventually recovered. That was one nasty fire, ya'll. After that, we walked on bare wood with carpet remnants for several years. NEVER without socks. One of my father's last managerial gifts to me was new floors for this old house, including several rooms laid with laminate. I learned the hard way that pets and carpet don't mix. That was about the time somebody started noticing that he was "slipping" a little in his judgements. Mama just thought I deserved it and it might lift our spirits. Gotta love 'em. Note to landlord and designee: The 10K floors are clean for a change. Catch 'em while you can!

Walking the yard is sheer joy these days with warm sunny skies and growing things to uncover. Yes, I realize it's just January but I'm going with the card I've been played and taking advantage of early spring clean up time. If an ice storm slams us next week, so be it. Yesterday was foot massage day for mama and she loved it and reveled in the joy of being served. That's not her nature, by the way. We have steady stream of convo about what pills when and at what time when I'm the one who counts them out once a week. Her sight is long past glasses, so she gave me several pair of her old ones while we were cleaning out drawers. It is odd and poignant looking at the world through her former eyes.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

hold my beer and watch this..

My KY cousin called yesterday afternoon to report that a halfway built cruise ship for a major line got STUCK trying to navigate a bridge close to her home. Pictures and everything, ya'll. Her son is an EMT and was on the scene like he always is. Can you imagine how pissed off that pilot is! Uh, like sorry boss. I didn't know the bridge was there. Here's your sign. That's the second blow in a week to pleasure cruising as a sport considering how that Italian stallion reportedly jumped ship and left everybody behind. Oh, and by the way? Big Ernie saw you.

Today is my ideal...one in which to piddle in and out of the house with sunny skies as initiative to clean house and get my shit a little more together. It's amazing that I've managed to make it this far with my poor organizational skills. Definitely not my mother's child in that area, if you know what I mean. Even though she's blind, she still manages to know exactly how much money is in the account at any given time. Music is ranging from Kid Rock to George Strait at the moment. Great motivation!

We had some traffic yesterday afternoon when Pride's BFF came out in her new cowboy boots to feed and visit. Another friend pulled up and was amazed at how he just lays in the yard like a dog. It gives a whole new meaning to the term animal house. Back in the day we would about break our necks trying to keep him in. Slowly but surely the fencing has gone by the wayside. The problem is gonna come when the crops get planted. Sorry dude. No more roaming.

Another pecan picker just wandered up over in Pride's pasture. Those ancient trees were loaded with wild ones. I walked the yard yesterday afternoon, soaking up the sun and noticing that crocus and buttercup as well as snowdrop are all in bloom. Life is good here on the hill.


Friday, January 27, 2012

where's my refund?

About 90% of the people I know are not so patiently waiting for money from the feds that was used interest free all year via this willy nilly sort of tax code that allows corporate gains (ya'll know they're people, right?) to be taxed at the same rate as the income of the middle class. Like me. And you and your mama'n'them. Being the southern belle that I am, old money is revered and treasured because it was earned mostly by people who had the spirit of, um. Capitalism? It's nothing new , just the devil in another pair of sheep's clothing. The older I get, the more I appreciate the barter system. It's when you get the pharisees up in there doing the tax thing that the trouble starts. Infrastructure, my ass. Makes me want to kick over a damn table and do what Jesus would do in the temple.

I have been following a reporter named Michael Yon since the beginning of the "war on terror." An self-professed adrenaline junkie, he has been an embed in countless military operations all over the world. With a particularly unbiased political view, he has managed to capture the spirit of those who serve our country with respect for the horrors that they witness just doing the job of being a part of our armed forces. Many people forget how many other countries have sent their folks to protect and defend, only to be shot at and rallied around like trophies. In that part of the world, it will never change. Like my daddy says "it has always been thus and so." Now that's biblical if I ever heard it!

The GOP is giving me some really big giggles these days because, really? What have they got. One is brain dead and the other is your mother's worst nightmare. I'm hoping Ron Paul will bust out and do a third party thing. Choice is good, umkay? It's early yet though. I will hang onto my smartass redneck vote until I'm sure I've been heard by somebody other than the MSM.

Have a good weekend, and call your mother when you have time. You know she needs to hear our voices ^j^

Thursday, January 26, 2012

one of the flock

I haven't thought of Old Hoss in months now, filing his memory away with others who have influenced me in some way or another to be who I am today. The tenacity of this gentleman was amazing, even when he found himself in ill health. His last swing across the country started with a bloggers convention in...you guessed it..Vegas. Then he went hopping from town to town with his oxygen and guardian angels at stops along the way and spent some quality time with us. When I first "met" Gene his wife was dying of Lou Gehrig's and they were in a nursing home together. Following her death, he went out on his own and became quite the famous elderblogger. Nothing on weekends usually. He was too busy bird watching or speech writing or hell raising. I miss you buddy.

It's now day 2 of a protracted soggy gray cloud with intermittent rain. Maybe sitting in front of this energy efficient squiggly bulb will give me some SADD relief. However, a nice beach visit would probably do just as nicely. We'll see if there's any left after paying all the people. We are falling into a natural rhythm around here with our work shifts overlapping just enough for the moment. We are both single and about to become equal roommates financially. To say that I am mighty proud is an understatement.

I used to have these really bad anxiety attacks, mostly when I was in the "oh shit is that what that's about!" stages of therapy. The day I knew I was losing control was when my family and I were riding across a bridge in the gulf and I grabbed the steering wheel, freaked that we were going over. Celexa took care of that and most of my other worries. When I find myself burdened now, I try thinking about myself as just one of the many sheep wandering around lost looking for some affirmation for SOMETHING to believe in. We are bombarded with so much bad news that it's easy to just sit down and cry. One of our county's largest employers today announced a planned shutdown in May affecting some six hundred workers. God bless China, right?

I have never claimed to be the right one. All I have ever expected was to be treated as an equal and have my opinions respected. The hate mongering that is a part of US politics in today's techno-advanced world is absurd. How about spending that money on some food and healthcare for the underserved, ya'll? As a believer, one of the greatest sins to me is greed, because it is all about self preservation. That is what I enjoy so much about Colbert's persona. The arrogance is just flaming and crazy funny. Might as well laugh, huh?

Sometimes, it's good to be an old fart. Right Hossie?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

it's a stretch

Meanwhile, back on the hill I've enjoyed an entire day of spa like pleasure in my own home accompanied by three dogs, one cat and a come and go BG. And of course, music. My ethereal friend donated a yoga mat and blanket and I'm hooked. Get thee away from me naproxen! This old girl is ready to bust out and live a happy stress free life. Um hmm. I even got home delivery of lunch and necessities so it's a successful day off with no (not much) contact to the real world. Life is good.

I called mama while daddy was out to lunch and she sounded incredibly relieved to be alone with her thoughts which included how to get her high dollar meds from the internet pharmacy that is pimping for the federal government and their retiree program. My father served in the Air Force during the fifties and then proceeded to be an ag specialist with the USDA until he retired at the age of 55 to become a full time farmer. The maps in his basement office tracked the progress of Japanese beetles on the cotton crop all over the country. With push pins, no less. No computers...technology of the day included hand written reports submitted to the feds by their postal service. Stamps were probably about a nickel then. My intense passion for green comes straight from him. Mama could care less about working up a sweat in the yard following the patterns of seasons that come and go like clockwork.

Mama taught me how to cook and thanks to her I can do something with just about anything in the frig and a few spices. Lately, I use EVOO and real butter to sautee what I really want rather than throwing something together that is unhealthy and easy. Dollar General makes a brazillion bucks off of mac'n'cheese, I'd be willing to bet. I love green onions, Duke's mayo, asparagus and parmesan smeared all over an Italian loaf and broiled. Maybe a little ham or turkey. Yum YUM. Tomato basil jelly is also good with all that. I watch people when I'm shopping, seeing what they toss into their carts and more often than not they are cheap choices that fit on their cards to feed a house full of folks.

I'm over it ya'll. As my internet boyfriend says, we can't go back and undo the Asian connection. They own us lock stock and barrel and it's time to either put on big people panties and deal with it or cast a vote, preferably both. Not that at matters, but at least you can say you tried. Mine's wide open and I wonder who's gonna come after it? I believe in the process if not the system, ya know?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the things we do for love

Well, I guess some folks would say "sucks to be you" right now. Just yesterday I was told by an informed source that the roommate who left on his birthday with a bottle of high dollar whiskey was seeing someone else the entire time he lived here. I knew it, of course, but didn't feel like dealing with the drama at that point in time. When his father died and I sat in the back row all alone while he and the fam' snuggled up and reconnected I said to myself "Self...something ain't right here." Beginning of the end, so to speak. Total disrespect by someone who slips in and out of people's lives at whim using them as he goes. My bad for allowing that to happen here on the hill.

I'm up later than usual, working an odd shift that ended early thanks be to the gods who oversee patient census. More and more the trickle down effect is hittin healthcare providers as in: unless you're really sick or blown up, most people can't afford the bill. If I had a buck for every drug seeker who has shown up in our ER over the years, I'd be in Fiji at the moment writing that book while accepting a fruity drink from the oh-so-attentive hot as hell cabana boy.

In typical Poopie fashion, I watched Tosh instead of Obama because really? All I want to do is have fun. Political speeches unless delivered by Stewart and Colbert are not much fun. God bless all ya'll. It will be what it is. I totally respect those two gentleman for doing what they do even though they're close to the 1%. Ditto for Chelsea and her entire bunch.


Monday, January 23, 2012

things that go bump in the night

Well, we dodged a bullet on last night's storm. As a matter of fact I slept all the way through thanks to the magic of benadryl. Safe.Effective.Cheap. My kinda drug! Right after I got settled I saw a big ass truck pull up in the driveway and it was a former roommate returning some stuff that was mine ours and theirs. I was tickled to find my warm house shoes that have been missing for a year. We sat in her floor and went through what left when she moved out and back to the farm over a year ago.

I made a run down to mama'n'them's to count pills and check on the state of their union. Daddy was in a mood because he's killed both remotes and can't do what he wants with the TV in a split second. Ritual is his best friend, and he hates the commercials. The skies are gray again following a morning of sunshine and it's still peeping in and out. Nice day to burn some shit if the wind dies down. More than likely a home manicure will win out on that little deal. My ethereal friend dropped off a yoga mat and blanket so I'm free to stretch my little shoulder out and work on "the bitch" as I call her. Her best friend is naproxen.

The dogs are out digging for whatever critter is in the dirt out there...wet and muddy and not even allowed on my bed until they dry off. That's what the doggie beds are for ya'll. I love you, but....

Peace and love.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

organization is the key

The key to what? Most people it's one of the first habits that successful people adopt to keep their shit straight. Seeing as how I've failed miserably at both success AND organization, I'm mighty proud of the state of my desk at the moment. Who would have thought that my mother's bright yellow keyboard for visually impaired typists would be a lifesaver for me as well! The bills are all in one pile and the organizer is open to the current week. Income tax filed and accepted this time. My to-do list for days off is to get my parents' prescriptions straight and my head, not necessarily in that order. After an intense neck massage and two days of a tens unit, my upper half is sorta wobbly and tender.

One of my old work friends met up with us for lunch the other day and the talk turned to our parents, naturally. Hers live behind her house and have help. Pretty much the same as our situation. Were it not for those two factors, the whole thing simply wouldn't work for either family. Most times, it doesn't and the elderly are forced by disease or finances to leave the homestead. I thank Big Ernie every day for every exasperating minute I've experience during the past five years with them. Their 58th anniversary is on Valentine's day. Gotta love that kind of devotion.

Living in tornado alley, I learned at an early age that it's never too late or too early for severe weather in this part of the country. Equal proximity to cold air masses sliding in from the east west and warm soupy globs from the gulf can get very interesting, even in January. One of the worst that I remember was in late January and it demolished the Methodist church in Halls. There are stained glass chimes hanging in my kitchen...a testament to the power of hope and rebuilding crafted by church members to raise money for the new one.

Quite a few people have lost their lives here lately due to twisters. The storms always fire up in Missouri and gather steam crossing the Mississippi to smack us from Boothspoint all the way to town. The high school was almost destroyed once, as well as one of the bigger industries. It's totally random though, which is scary. The worst was about (uh) six years ago when a big one ripped across the hill where the cross overlooks highway 78 and tore out big sections of nice housing, plus another Methodist church. Almost 20 people were killed and countless others lost their homes.

My most vivid memory is of the night when my brother and his girlfriend were working for Memphis station watching the radar as one headed for my house. They called the old landline and I was oblivious, drinking beer and cooking. Hmm. We headed for the basement but never quite got down there before it hit. Curiosity is one of my weaknesses, so I tried to open the back door and couldn't. About that time, total blackness.

One of them called back and said that it had wiped out a motel about a mile from my house after roaring through the golf course and Thompson's hill. We were pretty freaked and once it died down a little, jumped in the car to drive to SOMEWHERE other than here. Driving in the dark is eerie enough but imagine seeing live wires hanging down as you dodge the trash trying to get out. We made it, of course. And I went back to a dark house where I stayed for one night and then parked in other people's houses for a week. And it rained and stormed every damn day of that week too. If you don't believe me, ask Tommy. He was broadcasting by generator for the Jackson station that was his employer at the time.

Let's hope and pray that being aware and alert is enough. It's really out of our hands, ya know?

^j^ Note to self: She was in Memphis, he was in Jackson.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

here's your sign

Here's what happens when you get to file your income tax early and are already in the process of dividing up the money by creditor. If you are me, you glance over to where the well organized pile of returns lies to retrieve last year's AGI. Impressed that I didn't have to take the attic apart to find it, I was on cloud nine. Until it got rejected today. And why you may ask? Because the number I entered as my e-sig was for 2009. Duh..no help dumbass. Now I have to pay them for the filing just to get that magic number. I hate it when that happens.

Today's weather has been one solid gray blanket of chill tucked firmly around the 'burg. I didn't even mind being at work because I knew if I had been home I'd be piddling away time like it was nothing. My bones are aching soooooooo bad for some warm sunshine to heat up the earth and begin crop-o-ganza 2012. What I need, according to Ky cousin is some seed catalogs to drool over. Her father was a big gardener and was into landscape design so he came in handy during their many moves. I remember how they used to walk their yards in the northern part of our county...just a block apart...at sunrise with coffee. Just to see what was new in the beds.

I can't freakin' WAIT ^j^

Friday, January 20, 2012

full circle

It's been forever and a day since I've had a beer up in the kudzu. On the way home today, I noticed that the proprietor and the manager Becky were on duty so I stopped by to chit chat and catch up on life. Rick rolled in with lunch and we visited while they ate. About that time a few guys strolled up for their afternoon libation and we visited as well. I haven't seen Rodney in six months and he looked quite good for someone with full blown lung cancer and liver mets. He was talking about the Alaskan cruise he's been wanting to do but then there's always something coming up like his son's wedding and whatnot. If it was me, I'd smooth be on the way and check up on the ship's captain to make sure he's not buzzed and gettin' laid at work. I guess you gotta go somehow.

The old W2 was in my box today so that's on this afternoon's to do list. Since it was payday, I splurged on lunch in mexico with my dear friends after stopping by to buy some new electrodes for my tens unit. The bitch lesion in my upper right shoulder MUST die or I need muscle relaxers. Hopefully we can work this thing out. Dogs napping? Check. Cloudy skies? Ayep. Feeling blessed? You betcha'. And for the record? It's not Obama's fault any more than it is Dubya's.

Over and out from the lane ^j^

Thursday, January 19, 2012

you might be a redneck

I could have slept in today, but the dogs woke me up with the rising sun wanting to bond a little. Well, the boys did. Faith just slept on like a log! Today is hair day so I killed some time until the appointed hour to pick mama up with her fresh do and head for the doc's office for a blood test. The back seat was full of groceries and after I dropped her off at the house, I headed to the gas station up the road to get "a few" beers. There is a dollar general beside it across a heavily traveled two lane with eighteen wheeler traffic. As I slowed down to navigate the turn following two of them, she appeared in my rear view and proceeded to lay on the horn and otherwise cuss me to high heavens. This bitch was MAD!! It was a hooptie car with some guy sitting in the other seat snickering while she ranted and raved in the road. I was kinda sorta stuck with the trucks, so I eased to the right into the parking lot of the DG where said crazy bitch was still pissed and slamming on brakes and whatnot. I've seen days where I would have walked right over to the crack headed ho and say what's on my mind. Today wasn't one of them, by the way. I mean really? There's no hope for stupid, especially in the south.

I'm still in the beginning stages of the project, but it looks like this could be book year on the lane. In the past I've written pages upon pages of stories and emails and saved them all in a box for "the book" but I don't think that's the way it will go. My aching joints are screaming for something new and more user friendly for an old gal. More later and thanks coaches!

I'm in my own little world right now and that is exactly where I need to be at the moment. Everything happens for a reason. Life is hard. Once you accept that simple truth? There's a lot more work to do. Hat tip to Scott Peck...and he thought he could never make a difference.

Holla back...We're headed outside to enjoy the sunshine ^j^

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

all my rowdy friends

Talk about some peace and love ya'll, I'm just rolling in it because I'm off for two days (unless somebody dies or breaks a hip) and I am ready to play. I stopped by Gigi's house to deliver her Christmas present..shushh. Last year it was March before we did that! She was sprawled out in her office in fuzzy leopard print PJs working and welcomed the break to have a couple of beers and catch up. Not much drama on her end but ya'll know how it goes around here sometimes. Sue was right...there's a little black cloud right smack over our heads.

My brother brought sweet feed and apple treats this afternoon so his orneriness will have something decent to eat. He's pretty much grazing every day, watching the golfers and enjoying life. We should all be so blessed. This blackout thing today has really caught on just like OWS did and I hope that Congress is watching and listening to these two or three generations of uncensored web surfing. When the ability to intelligently search the web for the opinions and experiences of others is compromised, there is no freedom at all. We were there about twenty years ago, remember?

The more I hear and experience concerning veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the more I am convinced that PTSD is the cause of ALL our problems, not just theirs. Each and every person, according to their raising, expects life to be a certain way. So many families in this country are fractured now from poverty and crime. Children born into this cycle don't have a freakin' chance unless someone steps up and out and grasp their hands as a mentor. I have never understood the mentality of thinking that if you have to take an antidepressant to keep the old serotonin level even that you're crazy. Life is 24/7 stress on a bad day and pretty constant on a good one. There are years of scientific research backing the successful use of SRUIs to treat mood disorders and they are quite affordable. At the end of my first week, I remember thinking to myself "this is what it's like to feel normal."

That's about it for hump day. I have a date with mama tomorrow and one with old friends for lunch on Friday so there's enough reason to get up and go. Besides, I'll be asleep by ten at the max. With three dogs, as usual.

Such the party animal ^j^

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

here for the party

I knew the very first time that I saw Gretchen Wilson riding a four wheeler in the mud with camo on that she was gonna be the next great country chick. Women all over the country identified with her kick ass attitude and I was one of them up in a bar dancing on the stage with my girls and drunk as hell. The bar in the kudzu was my favorite spot for many years...a short drive from home and lots of friends to watch my back. One poor dude had to drive me home at my request and he told me to "get my head in the right place." Wise words, brother. He and I normally meet up at the funeral home or sawmill and that is also one of those relationships that never changes. How are the girls? And mama'n'them?

In the heyday, the place had three people deep around the wall and more than the occasional brawl. I met some of my best friends there, like Gigi and my redneck friend from Gibson county. Well,okay. Maybe MORE than one redneck friend from Gibson county :) I remember going there with my ex and the shipped in corporate guys would trade their wives at some random table in the back, keys and all. I didn't have a freakin' clue what was up until he told me. We didn't do that down on the farm.

I wouldn't trade those days for anything, all the while knowing that Big Ernie was allowing me the chance to get out there and raise hell as a single woman. It was a long time coming and a whole lotta fun, right Yaya? More and more, as I sit back and reflect on life, I see that there is a plan after all and all I have to do is show up and do my best. That sure does take a load off of a weary old smartass country girl.

Keeping the faith ^j^

Monday, January 16, 2012

and the list goes on

Oh boy, I do so love me some Mondays full to the brim. Sawmill, errands, back to sawmill and home to three wild dogs running at full speed in a circle around Pride. He's on a hunger strike because we're out of sweet feed. That two year old senior diet stuff got rained on and flipped over! When I'm 30 in horse years, I hope karma gives me somebody who cares.

Still warm here, which is a big huge blessing for those of us who are living check to check. The southern realist in me knows that it's just a teasing game with mother nature and we WILL have snow on Easter or before. Maybe that little dab of propane will see us through after all. My friend at work gave me the biggest most beautiful hug ever today and told me how much she loved me. My words to her were something like "yeah and if it wasn't for bad luck...." She just grinned and reminded me that things are looking up. And you know what? I believe her.

Errand time included a visit with yet another friend of the good old country boy variety. Ya'll know the one who has been there done that with you and still lets you come in and chat on a moment's notice. It's really kind of nice how you can hit the high points in ten minutes and know that you were heard. I may have to get the Cake Boss on all of the favors I owe to patient kind souls who care. Yours is coming propane guy. If I'm lying I'm dying!

By total chance I ran into my brother/landlord designee at the store today and we exchanged reports on how breakfast went yesterday. We work together with BG to handle most any crisis, in spite of ourselves. Hey...it's what families do and I feel blessed to be a part of a team rather than doing it all myself.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

i love it when that happens

Anna has always been a part of our lives in one way or another. She and BG and their teenage accomplices managed to raise nine kinds of hell and never get in (serious) trouble. She and most of the others have kids now but they're still MY kids when push comes to shove. She and baby daddy have been together for years and have worked their way from poverty into a comfortable lifestyle with a back yard for Conner. They are planning a June wedding and I was blessed with the honor of snapping an engagement picture right smack in front of the barn where they have fed Pride over the years. That is a humbling thought.

Politics is still off limits here because there's nothing to talk about anymore. Arrogant entitled assholes living off of the backs of American workers have killed the spirit. Or have they? Occupy isn't over yet, ya'll. Consumers will more likely buy American when they can afford it and it should be thus and so. Listen to me sounding all biblical and stuff. I still recall the happiest day of my life as when I walked out of bankruptcy court free from 30K worth of plastic debt. American dream, my ass.

Had a bunch of company yesterday with friends hooking up and others meeting each other. My earthmother friend should be on the Gulf Coast by now teaching Katrina ravaged neighborhood gardeners how to grow their own food. How many years ago was that anyway? I will never ever as long as I live forget seeing the mass chaos that followed that one natural disaster. Sure, they knew the risk and lived there anyway. But it was home.

Thanks to my editorial boyfriends I've got a mental picture of what my book might be so that's half the battle. The biggest thing is just getting my AdHD ass to sit down and focus. Let's pray and be specific on that one,'Umkay?

Over and out from Pecan Lane ^j^

Friday, January 13, 2012

swift justice

I'm not real big on dealing with the law so I try to stay clear and keep my t's crossed except for that pesky seat belt thing which is probable cause for a pull over. That also includes that absent driver's side brake light on the camry. BG is driving the Neon quite slowly because it needs brake shoes and wobbles like a sumbitch. Anyhoo...this friend of mine had some luck yesterday that sounded like something that would happen to me! She was cruising through the 'burg to run errands and lo and behold wasn't strapped in for the first time in forever. The girl is a FREAK about it. The officer stopped her and issued a warning ticket and she went on her way for a few blocks before the lights came on and he came to get her again! Poor thing didn't have a clue what was up.

She was arrested and booked into the county jail still not knowing what the charge was on the freakin' bench warrant for her ass. Um.Hmm. As it turns out, she had moved and didn't receive a notice for a second court date on a civil matter that had been paid in cash to a clerk's office. Paper receipt? Gone with the wind according to said office. Bond? 237 bucks. Another court date...more fees. I mean, really? She made it to work on time too. Meanwhile, the meth madness continues around these parts, unscathed by every law enforcement agency's attempt to kill the demon. And we still don't know who killed the lady out there on Halloween.

The sawmill was buzzing today and it just about wore me out to creep toward quitting time. Lots of transition coming up there, as usual. I know in my heart that new tennies will make all the difference and that's on the short list for my next windfall. The meager pension is at least paying half of the rent, if not the utilities so things are looking up. There are a couple of guys braving the cold to pick up pecans today, bundled against the biting wind. And Faith's boyfriend showed back up after a long absence.

She's snoozing on the couch with a pain pill and could care less.

Happy weekend ya'll!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

in the cosmos

Talk about some karma, ya'll. One of the last things that I babbled about was how people sit there and blame each other for things going wrong when there is always an element of human error. I was faced with a young lady today who had been somewhat "coached" by others to be indignant about an honest mistake. She had her own reasons and story for why she was so agitated but damn. Give a girl a break,ya know? I explained to her my history and qualifications and fessed up to a similar error myself not too long ago. Shit happens. Deal with it. The petty politics of the local office doesn't contribute a damn thing to the goal that we strive for....customer satisfaction.

Yesterday had one of those "this is what it's all about" moments with a former customer's wife coming by to let us know that he had died peacefully. It was then that I realized how easily we become a part of the life of someone else just by being compassionate. She seemed composed, but then she had been watching him slowly die for six months. "He never gave up hope" she said. I wouldn't either dude. Here's to you and your ornery Vietnam vet self!

Big round of applause for Mitt Romney and his NH showing. I don't know about ya'll, but I'd be watching over my shoulder for Ron Paul or Huntsman. Or both! I'm just tickled not to have to listen to much of Palin and/or that other girl that looks like Jesus just came down from the heavens every time she talks. Rick Perry is my favorite to bash though..."It's cuz I'm from Texas ya'll!" Uh. Yeah, we saw where that one went. I read the part of Dubya's bio where he quit drinking and I decided right then and there that I liked him much better as a party animal.

It's not cold yet and there is still propane in the tank. He got a check which was promptly cashed and I vow to catch up soon. Two jobs are better than one and refund time is coming, if the government doesn't go broke before then. I'm rearranging my bedroom to feature an altar with a southern view for my new money tree. Everything on that side of the yard is positioned just right for maximum light. Thus the forsythia and quince that will get bitten.

It's hump day people...'Nuf said ^j^

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

never know 'til you try

After a slow beginning, my resolve for the year 2012 is beginning to take on some steam. The very reason is not quite clear to me because I'm really BAD about putting things off when they seem to be too big for the moment. The plus side to that slow journey is that I've had plenty of time to discover talents and flaws that will guide me through the rest of my earthly life. The faithful side of me believes that what comes after will be better because I took the time to find out who I really am as a person. It never ceases to amaze me how little self reflection some people are willing to do. It's easier just to blame somebody else.

So that is why I am content with my legacy and committed to finding ways to make the world a better place "one life at a time" as Lorna says. A pecan farmer like myself, she's been there/done that just like me and has learned to toughen up when it comes to leaving things better than you found them. Really? It's the only chance we have to give our kids and grandchildren half of what we have enjoyed. Several of my friends are big river people as in "carve your own canoe and teach kids after school". There's not much money in it, but it is a venue for teaching otherwise doomed to failure kids how to explore and do something with their lives. In most rural southern counties, it is a serious problem. Local business has shriveled up to the few lucky establishments who have family money to keep operating off of. Otherwise, it's dead as a doornail. Most of our industries have either drastically downsized (sold out to China) or been sold off multiple times. Or both. The friend who gifted us with Sammy D is one that will forever more be the poster child for how corporate America treats their hard working middle men. He is currently living his dream, watching sports and drinking beer in his own bar. You go boy.

Somebody looked ahead and told me it's gonna get really cold soon but then it's January and we've been blessed so...at least there are the dogs. Right now the boys are scrapping on my bed while Faith lies to my left slowly drifting off. She'll be snoring real soon. Pride is still wandering wherever whenever he desires and hasn't caused a problem yet. It's amazing how much time and energy we have spent over the years to keep him fenced in when all he really wanted to do was his own thing. I have seen that with my parents as they've learned to rely on others for their ADLs, thanking us the whole time for giving back to them for our raising. At times, I am humbled to tears by that.

The sawmill is still running and I'm on a five day before daylight streak. For me, it's easier to just get up the same time every day..except on days off, of course! I realize that the physical demands of cheap tennis shoes on concrete floors won't take long to catch up with me, so I'm exploring some opportunities myself. BG's schedule and mine are in a nice tandem where I have time alone and so does she. Our favorite thing to do together is huddling up in her room with all the dogs and watching comedy. Sometimes beer is involved. Always, we laugh out loud.


Monday, January 9, 2012

southern exposure

Against all odds, Oscar got a bath this afternoon but only because I needed one too. Presently, he is laid out on my bed covering the top layer of warmth with his almond and shea butter scented body. This, is why we wash blankets every single day. Faith and Sam pretty much groom their short haired selves in the winter but not the wild man. BG brought all three of 'em up to mama's work today on a road trip and we did puppy sugars through the open windows of the not quite yet repossessed Neon with almost 200K miles. The good news is that she's back at work where she got laid off a few months ago.

I tuned into the GOP debate on Saturday just for kicks and was treated to about fifteen minutes of Santorum whining before I switched over to something funny and mindless. That boy needs some boundaries, which is something the big networks don't provide for entitled candidates. It is absolutely amazing to watch the grand old party piss away their chances to do something good by coming to the table in compromise and figuring out how to fix this whole gal'durn'mess. That's what Doris says about any situation that seems like going to hell in a handbasket. Don't blame the Dems for this one ya'll.

By nature, I am fiscally conservative because I have to be right now to survive. I see all kinds of opportunity to create program that would help folks navigate their way in life by bartering and trusting that Big Ernie will provide. That does not include entitlements for being repressed or discriminated against. A couple of generations in this country are living off of the middle class right along with the filthy rich. In the words of my friend Sally, "This is not acceptable."

Still mild here but I think the big freeze is coming because it always does. Last night there were five of us in the double bed...a mother and a daughter and three dogs for warmth. Guess you could call it a three dog night.

Peace and love ^j^

Saturday, January 7, 2012

you snooze, you lose

I should have set the shot up from my back porch yesterday when I saw a wrecker easing up the hill in the hay field. He was getting ready to haul out the old tractor and baler that caught fire in the fall. The bales are still scattered around the black carcasses of metal and they have become part of the daily landscape. I remember the day it happened and I ran out with my camera to catch the fire from a distance. Ya'll...it was huge. All that fuel went up quickly and the operator managed to jump and roll to safety. Obviously not his first rodeo. This same guy and his female rake partner cut all the hay around this farm and others nearby. It is sold or bartered with now since there are no cattle to feed. Sometimes, I miss their mooing, ya know?

It is cooler today, but still on the mild side for the dead of winter. My spring bushes have already been tricked into putting out a few flowers which will be promptly frozen to death sometime in the near future. The asparagus bed is halfway chopped/burned with a couple more months until it shows signs of life. The rest of the stubble will go up in flames before then. It is a much easier to maintain now that the ancient wire fencing is gone and a bean field sits next door. Slowly but surely, the remnants of my daddy's 50 years of fencing are going by the wayside in favor of wide open spaces. I like the new look, even though I miss the familiarity of the old wooden sheds that once stood in my yard. With fences, of course. Pride is still roaming and loving it and hasn't once attempted to cross over to the golf course. He just stands there eating and watching those crazy people swing sticks!

The crossroads atmosphere is more apparent than ever in my life here...fifty seven years in one place is a long time and I will never leave it behind emotionally. This farm has provided for my family during that time, and provided my father with the ideal farmer's job...managing the place for many years with minimal financial risk. The day the checks stopped coming for cattle, that deal was over and the reins were handed over to my brother. He grew up knowing every hill and slough on this farm so it was an easy transition. His border collie, Sally, is a year old now....we picked her out last January and brought her to the condo/doghouse behind his home. The polar opposite of his previous wildeyed boy, she sits quietly in the bed of his truck and enjoys any and all attention. She'll be a good mommy.

It's quiet here now, with BG at work and only the hum of the washer and dryer. I am still in PJs and thus missed the money shot over there when the tractor got hauled. That's okay though. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, and you can't catch it all on film.

Peace and love ^j^

Thursday, January 5, 2012

never too late

My mother has always been the feisty kind who insists on trying her best to right somebody's wrong when it comes to customer service. That is precisely how the three of us, including daddy, ended up back at the same old physician's office complex where they first started five years ago. No longer the hub of action that it was during the turf wars, it is quiet and the employees are not overworked and seem pleasant. The halls were mostly empty, and the doctor was on time and friendly. I recounted to him how one of the former practitioners there who was revered as a "saint" went off on me one time at the hospital when he was exhausted from being up 24/7. He is the very same one who cried when my uncle died of prostate cancer. They were both 54 at the time. That this shining example of what a doctor should be decided that I was safe to let it loose on might just have been a blessing. It helped me to see that we're really all in it together and the ones who really care will stop and talk with you about it. The brand new hot headed urologist (who eventually became a close friend) had me in tears one weekend while on call demanding something that wasn't on the stat list. But. He found me and apologized, and when he left it was with an understanding of just what technology he was working with. Very rudimentary dude, as in test tubes and water baths. Boil for x number of minutes and read on a spectrophotometer. Write on a piece of paper, carry to the chart. It sounds old school but that's how it was in 1977. Look Joe..you're in the book!

A writer, even then, I tended to do daily hand written journal entries, sometimes in a blank book, and others in the margins of self-help books. Were it not for the wisdom of Melody Beattie et al, I would never have realized that co-depency is a real thing and it can be acknowledged and healed. I remember the very first time I read the words "Life is hard." Such a simple truth, yet one that we spend ooodles and goodles of time railing against with much drama and whah-whah-whah. Like Sue says: It is what it is."

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it ^j^

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

*somebody hold me*

I'm about as tough as they come in middle aged smartass women because my life is a freakin' train wreck waiting to happen most of the time. Occasionally I get pissed off, when not in training for dealing with 24 hour bullshit like being off for six days with only a few hours here and there to keep me grounded in real life. That's the thing about about going somewhere when you're off. It provides a chance to really disconnect and see another world. Most of my time off was spent cleaning and watching TV which was just fine with the old poopster because it HAD to be done or else the landlord was going to kick us out. Nah, not really. But with four pets in the house, you have to stay on top of things. Which we normally do not. Ever.

This past year has presented me with challenges that have been not met with a whole lot of enthusiasm which is not like me. I believe it's because there are so many layers of drama around that I've let my boundaries get loose and get absorbed in people's petty little attitudes instead of confronting them head on. And by then I'm really mad. That's when the ugly cry breaks out and my eyes remain swollen for a full 24 hours after. Fun times! At this particular point in my life I feel betrayed by several people in my life, not because they have intentionally hurt me but because they have used my easy going nature and avoidance of drama to let things go on longer than they should. One particular hurtful incident involved a former co-worker who asked specifically that I not know what was going on in her personal life because I would "gloat." Oh.My.God. Please see above life referenced as "train wreck". Do I look like that kind of prima donna?

Propane guy and me talked straight up and I told him a check was in the mail. He told me that I'm not the only one struggling out there, and he is too. I feel so badly for letting that go because he cared for me out of the goodness of his heart with no contract just because I was a customer. Maybe if I ask 'em to give him a key to the city of Gates he'll forgive me! Things will be better this year I do believe. I won't say they couldn't be worse or then the aliens will come and shoot us all down and we'll have to live on ships like those people in the Kevin Costner movie. And yes, I'm rambling, because it's good therapy.

I finally have something to look forward to with the film debut of Stephanie Plum and Chelsea's twice weekly appearances in addition to late night. I also will be going on a real vacation somewhere, even if it's only for a three day weekend. Communing with nature is very effective in reducing stress. I used to be a big time walker, plodding up and down the lane and golf course road in numerous pairs of tennis shoes that have long since hit the landfill. That's also a plan since I get off early consistently now, and the days are will be getting longer. I do fine unless it's below 40 or over 90. Then, it's too easy to stay comfy inside.

I've been mulling over the other person's sentiments and it came to me pretty quickly that it was projection...what SHE would do if she were me. That took me from hurt to acceptance so it's time to go find a teddy bear or a dog and snuggle up. Eff 'em if they can't take a joke. Right ya'll!


Monday, January 2, 2012

peaks and valleys

My vacation is tripping right along toward day last so I'm already in training to head back to the sawmill, as in getting my mind in the right place. I love the people and I love the work...sometimes it's just too much with all that other stuff on the plate. Today is really the first that I've had to sit and enjoy the quiet hum of electric heaters running up my TVA bill. Tennessee Valley Authority is the one, ya know, that tacked on a "surcharge" to the local utility company's service to us. It started out really small...a few dollars that nobody would notice. That was in April '10 or 11. Last month, thanks to my frugality and warm layering, we did quite well except for that damn surcharge which was a full FIFTY damn percent of the entire usage. All of this while their execs got nice bonuses. REALLY?? They said it was cover the "repair" costs for all the acts of nature this year. Bull.Shit. I hope Dyersburg Electric and their ever so gallant attorney get somebody's freaking attention over there in the east. What part of hell no do you not understand???????

I was really happy to see all the Verizon customers smack 'em down on that little "convenience" fee. Ya'll gonna charge us to pay our own bill? I think not dudes. ATT already has free mobile to any mobile and when you're using a phone as your only link to others, that counts for a lot. Not everybody is on your network, asshat. Hmmm? Wonder why! One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that righteous indignation is catching and eventually collective voices will be heard. If not in this life, then the next. Lord...I sound like a preacher.

The horse just flew by the front window down the gravel drive expecting to be fed, I presume. Somebody will come along and do that. Faith is still kidnapped and I'm beginning to miss her terribly. She is such a calm influence in the midst of those scruffy boys and the crazy ass calico. Her highness Lily will sit on a dresser and clear it off one item at a time in less than five minutes. We find stuff everywhere that we never even knew we had.

I should be celebrating...and in many ways I am. I found, to my great relief, that I'm not to be a grandma yet. Timing is everything, ya'll. Not that I really believed that dipsticks from the dollar store could malfunction. Sometimes it comes in handy to have technology. Most businesses are closed again today taking advantage of a holiday weekend stretch. As Martha would say "That's a good thing."

Ya'll say a little prayer for us here on the hill. Challenges seem to keep on coming and of course we all know that's how we grow courage. Yikes! Somebody hold me now. Some days, I just want to be the baby again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

and then there were three

Alas! The doughnut shop was closed for the holiday so here we all go to Perkins for eggs and whatnot. Johnnie and Janice were there, other than that it was an entirely new lookin' crew. Our waitress, bless her heart, didn't realize that Mr. Billy needs extra napkins and the damn check with his food. His entire face was covered in blueberries and powdered sugar. The conversation ran from misplaced items at home to how sad southtown looks. Every single time we drive through that once thriving neighborhood, I wonder at how two years of flooding cleared it out commercially.

Faith was missing this morning and BG just happened to see a text from her BF that he scooped her up at 3:30 in the morning while we were snoozing soundly. So much for homeland security! Of course he does have a key. Anywho, her brothers are enjoying their nappy play times while she's out with her daddy playing his games. I am well into day four of vacation at home and loving every minute of it. It shows in the way the floors are not all yucky anymore.

STILL people are picking up pecans. We found James in mom and daddy's yard with his butt in the air and his eye on the papershells. The season usually goes through January at least. Maybe by next fall I'll have the energy to make my fortune and run off all the poachers. Or, maybe not. I am all about the experience of seeing who shows up and what their story is. Mr. Barch has been very sick and didn't participate this year....first time in forever. My friend and I found him passed out in the field last year and the ambulance crew couldn't talk him into going in. Dude jumped in his bigass truck and did a U-turn in my front yard headed to the house. The paramedics followed him to the highway!

During breakfast when I expressed to my mama just how exasperating it can be to keep up with her meds and the little details for the bridge club, she reminded me that it was payback for when she raised me plus two bratty little brothers all the while working fulltime and being the poster girl for farmer's wife. I find myself migrating toward the talents and interests that she had like writing and leaving behind the dream that healthcare can ever be anything but money driven. I gave it my best shot for 35 years but the body is tired and the spirit is weak.

Faith. It really does matter ^j^