Thursday, February 28, 2013

sharing community

Ever since I started reading a column called Faith Matters in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, I have known that I was called to share my thoughts and feelings with others who are struggling along toward the path on the journey that leads to who knows where. So many people have urged me to slow down and focus on my talent to use valuable life energy toward something that will hopefully support me in my old age. My knowledge of healthcare is extensive and has served me well while raising a child the proper way, whatever the hell that is. All I can say is that I tried to do my best to please my mother and keep BG happy all in one fell swoop. They are soulmates with BG being the only one who has spent hours with her grandparents learning to cook and farm.

A fellow blogger contacted me the other day with an offer of help and I was so touched that he was reading my words because he's right up there with old David Waters in my opinion. I met he and his wife, as with most blog friends, through others in my circle. They live on the west coast near my BFF Risible Girl, BJ and Einstein. Oh, and my cousin Donna and Morgan over there on Lummi Island. RG sent me a thinkpad and i wasn't doing too well until I found the stylus! Plus a nifty water bottle! XOXO

My friend the farmer stopped by yesterday before she hits the road on a big adventure. She has been struggling with a heavy load just like myself, and still isn't quite recovered from all those years of not giving up hope. She owns, therefore can defend. That is not my case. As a tenant I've spent 25 years paying the equivalent in rent that could have bought a nice house. And I did it all because I like the scenery and peace. This has been the longest ass winter in modern history and I am jonesing for some time in the sun. My Vitamin D level was "not sufficient". Note to self: little gel caps.

There are puppies running every which a way now and it's cold but they're in this little house we built on the front porch for the night. Anybody who has ever had a litter of puppies in the house (this would be our 2nd in a year) knows that it's a total mess that just kinda turns into last ditch efforts to save the laminate. They're eating and almost weaned so it's time for homes. I can't bear to take them to our local shelter so I'm researching no-kill facilities in the area.

Mom is working her little hiney off in PT over at the manor and daddy is doing just fine with his TV and Ms Faye. There's a whole bunch less mess without her there trying to rearrange everything and find her stuff from command central. I picked up an extra day at the sawmill to supplement the budget so I'm in trudge on mode. I will survive...or die trying ^j^

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

take another little piece of my heart

Karma has been kind of wishy washy of late, blessing us with a much improved Memaw and stirring up trouble with the old devil. It's like being in a windstorm trying to stand up and go forward yet getting blown two steps back. Against the wind, so to speak. The winds that are blowing right now are of change as we adapt to the new normal for my parents. Exactly what this is remains to be changes day by day. We had a full blown disagreement at the nursing home today over who is gonna wash her clothes. She kept wanting to add a step to "save me time" by having them taken to Ms. Faye. *sigh* Still running the world from her command central! Daddy and I read the paper to her and some cards from friends. She turned up her nose at lunch but ate it anyway. Just like Gaga, ya'll.

This is the grayest February ever on record I do believe. We had more t'storms last night and it's raining again. I had to go rescue most of the puppies from the flower bed where they were huddled and shivering. They're getting used to the crate as a bed and beginning to eat soft food. I feel guilty about the whole dog situation here because what started as some healthy well fed and cared for animals has come down to this. I didn't do right by Faith or by Ryder letting them get pregnant. Daddy says the white great dane shows up at his house too, just gazing and taking it all in. I'm thinking that there's some secret society of canines that know this house is a sweet a doggie hotel with a barn and horse. And the bitch cat, of course.

These are first days off I'd have "off" in a long stretch so it's piddle and rest time. Unfortunately, and right on target for my luck, the sound has gone out in the ancient Dell. Probably the card seeing as how it's 8 years old. At this point, I don't care. There's always radio. The house is a bit straighter and somewhat cleaner except for puppy stuff in the room we never use so I reckon that's the nursery. Used to be our living room back in the day. I was talking to the contractor who's exploring plumbing in that ancient 1918 basement and told him that the pipes were probably circa fifties or so. That's when the Councils lived here. The Mrs. planted lots of perennials that I continue to enjoy to this day. I've added my own stuff, and FINALLY burned off the asparagus bed day before yesterday. How's that for procrastination.

Our friend who is pregnant as a goose has been spending time here as we wait for the birth of her baby boy. I watched her with the puppies this morning and could tell how good a mom she is. Lola had her first taste of canned delight and immediately fell in love. Now maybe Ryder can get some rest and gain weight! I feel the presence of a whole lot of folks who are faithfully praying for my family and that is a real comfort. Guidance and compassion are all I ever really expect.

Keepin' the faith j^

Sunday, February 24, 2013

over the rainbow

CBS Sunday morning featured The Wizard of Oz today and it was delightful to watch as Dorothy turned from a black and white little girl to full blown technicolor. I found myself wondering how many generations know what a munchkin is and wonder if that will be passed on like the others. It is, to me, astounding how quickly we have become dependent on technology squirming endlessly when we're disconnected from the WWW. All of this has happened in a 30 year time frame, yet cancer hasn't been cured. What's up with that? I've read several articles about wind tower farms both inland and in the shallows. They generate enough electricity to support the area immediately around them, but so many states don't have even these alternatives. If I lived in Nebraska, you can bet your sweet ass I'd have one (IF sugardaddy comes along with investment money). There's not a whole lot of wind here in the Midsouth except during tornado season which is about to begin.

I stopped by to see mama this afternoon after work and found her snoozing with her earphones in, listening to a book. Just couldn't bear to wake her what with all she's been through. Miss Lula said she would tell her I was there. They're already friends and roommates in the truest sense. Daddy got mad because I wouldn't take him for a visit yesterday after work and I just let him get over it. One can only do so much without going into a full fledged case of the vapors ya'll.

I feel literally as if I've been in a time tunnel like Back to the Future or something. Grieving multiple losses over a four month period is a little much even for my stubborn ass. The puppies are on the porch mostly, but fall into the flower beds onto the monkey grass occasionally. They are learning their limits close to home and mama. There is a long couch cushion there and it's feeding time on that thing. Granny would just die! I never did pay her that 40 bucks.

I'm anxiously awaiting a package from one of my BFFs who happens to be a techno wizard when it comes to internet security. Her dog Einstein has his own blog, I kid you not. If my dogs had one it would have to be a group page! She is one of the first and oldest blog friends that I claim as a sista'. To believe in someone that you have never met because of what they share is a scary experience but worth the trust. Count Zubrovka told me that ten years ago and pointed me to that road. And then? He gave me a nice ass camera to take pictures along the way. Love ya'll Z and Jana.

I am at peace again, partly because that's the only way to maintain sanity. Railing against the unfairness of life is a victim behavior that doesn't become me. On the other hand, I am tired of not being appreciated for my contribution. Once again, not becoming and not what Jesus would do. It is the Lenten season which is traditionally a time to give things up. I pick strength as something to keep and will drop the pity parties. Amen?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

you only live once

BG was telling me today that what she wants for her memaw is for her to run races down the halls of that rehab place and come in first yelling "YOLO!" She's far from it but will get there I feel sure. She and Ms Lula are getting along well and I'm sure she'll fill her in on at least one of those missing days because she lived it with her. Just one more mysterious way that Big Ernie has spoken to us during the past week ya'll. I remember the first time I saw my great grandmother crumpled up in a hospital bed with a CO2 greater than alert level and headed to ICU on a vent. I had all but given up on her when I found that, but she pulled through and continued to *kinda sorta* be nice until she died from a post op infection at 83. Peritonitis had set up in her large belly and it was a lost cause. We consulted with an anesthesiologist friend and decided to not do the vent again. That's when the asshat doctor on call showed up and pulled her morphine because her sats were dropping. Narcan, it's called. The bottom line is that he didn't want the mortality of the queen of Parkview hospital to show on his stat sheet. His noble partner who did the initial surgery returned from vacation just in time to stay with her while she died. Who's the angel in that picture?

Enough about work. The puppies are laying in the sun due on a teaser day like no other month but February can bring. I had a list as long as my arm of people I was gonna pay when the tax refund hit but life interfered with budget planning so here we are. I'm really having a hard time with trust right now seeing as how I work with a bunch of drama queens who hiss and start shit up. Thank god there's a guy or two in the mix. Saw both of them today! It's Daytona weekend which means the hell raising and wagering is about to be on until November. I always tolerated NASCAR but never did enjoy. Looks like a bore to me. I do remember the day that Big E died in that horrific wreck some years ago.

The thing I remember most about March is the day that my ex almost died of an MI at 39. I don't know flip about EKGs so my sister-in-law and the ER doc at the time had to explain the tombstones to me. He got a shot of something-ase and flew to a hospital in Memphis for a cardiac cath. The cardiologist was leaving for vacation so they didn't stent and sent him home. Over 50% of the time there was early closure following cath without stent. He ended back there three months later and did the whole thing over. At that time, the cost for both visits was about 50K. Lord only knows what it is now.

I miss Debbie a lot and it makes me sad to think about her boys going through "her stuff" saying their final goodbye. I told Mo that I would like something of hers to keep forever and until I die, to be passed on to the next generation of the Reaves family. Gotta keep this ornery tribe going forward, ya know?

Peace and love ^j^

Friday, February 22, 2013

*needs a vacation*

Hmmm. So where was I before all hell broke loose? Oh yeah..looking for a sugardaddy with a decent ride to the beach who isn't a serial killer or married, or both. Tuesday night was my first night to just kind of go to sleep and not worry about mama dying on us. Me and Sam tucked in early and went smooth to the moon in about 30 minutes. Normally when we pass out, the rest of the dogs give it up and find a warm spot. They all woke up about 2AM barking to high heaven at some figure in the front door. Turns out it was the neighbor lady wife of our bi-polar buddy down the road wanting to use my phone to call her own mama. Her daddy got a two month warning on the big C that day and she was scared to death. Asked me to take her about ten miles to her parents house and I declined but offered her a ride to her house. This poor girl was shivering from walking that quarter mile in her PJs. We loaded up in the poor old Camry and headed that way only to find hub near my driveway looking for her. He hopped in the car and I dropped them both off but not before hearing him talking on his OWN phone. Supposedly her minutes ran out while her mom was sharing the news. I asked her how he could be connected when she had no minutes and smartass replied "Verizon plan." Kiss my butt you evil one. There's a special place in hell for people like you.

Mama's much better, thankyouverymuch. She doesn't really remember how she got from there to where she is, but she knows us and is resting well. Those dehydration hallucinations are some scary shit, ya'll. I saw the best and the worst of how the healthcare system works for elders up close and personal. By the time her doctor sent her back to ER twenty four hours post discharge she was still hallucinating and preaching to the choir. Following admission she ranted for a day, slept for two days and got her brain tested. Nothing remarkable there, was the word I got. Electrolytes normal? Check. Fortunately she got discharged right about the time that I got off and BG scooped everybody up for the transfer, in the trusty old Camry of course, collision film still flapping in the cold wind. We are right back where we started, only in much better shape which is a blessing.

I have seen a softening of my daddy's resolve to have his own way during this time and that is a very healing experience for me personally. Mama has deferred to his temper and stubborn ways for so long that it's second nature for her to bring up his miserable childhood as a sharecropper's son in defense. "People can learn to love, you know." That was my reply. Honestly I don't think daddy knew what to do with me because I'm a girl and didn't start taking on his farmer ways until I was forty something. He knows he can count on us though, and so does mama.

All during the time that I've been with my parents on their various journeys on Medicare and BCBS the people that I notice are the ones who make an extra effort to be nice and tell me what's up. There's nothing that will make caregivers stand up straight more than a family member up in the house. Just saying. Unfortunately that is the present and future of healthcare. Baby Boomers are aging and there's a whole shitload of us to care for. My solemn prayer is for someone to treat me the way I have treated others during my career. Please don't give me a bitch nympho alcoholic nurse.

Hat tip to all of my associates at the sawmill. You done good ^j^

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

out of the ethers

My friend Lorna and I talk sometimes about that feeling when you can just lose touch with reality and roll with the moment. Not that gardening is on anybody's mind what with the blizzards still roaming and cold weather seemingly stuck in neutral. can always dream. Following years of protecting and supporting the tradition that is Lake county she has finally found a market for her talent. Probably doesn't have a damn thing to do with the price of food, ya think? When that salt water started backing up into the Big Muddy we both had a hissy fit. To all of the corporates who have dumped toxic waste into that natural resource, shame on you. Got some pics today from my canoe guy friend shot at dawn. It doesn't get much more real than that ya'll.

Mama is finally a bit better, though not out of the woods by any means. She knows us now but doesn't have a clue what happened to the last week. I don't either, by the way. I mean I do but it's all a blur. Missing one long sleep takes a week to catch up from. She's everybody's favorite grandma up in there which is a good thing to be when you're in the hospital at the mercy of a bunch of young overworked nurses. Just saying. It's an amazing feeling just to know that they know me and our family. One old friend from their volunteer years walked with me down to her room this afternoon and she properly identified both of us so I'm thinking I might sleep well tonight. Or not. Whatever ya'll. We're trying to do the right thing and it takes a village.

Miss Lula is going home from the nursing home tomorrow. I'm working the next four days because company policy prohibits using maxed out sick time to care for a family member unless they are in your residence for at least six months. As a smartass southern gal, my tendency is to say "how niice." So much for loyalty. My brother shared with me that our county commissioners know now that they made a mistake selling our county owned facility in a big fish little fish kind of way to be gobbled up by the highest bidder in a heated decision between two denominations that use church names as part of their logo. Tags? Methodist Healthcare. Baptist Memorial Healthcare. That's only two of the non for profit giants in the West Tennessee area. From what I hear, Catholic providers are usually right up there with 'em. Jesus wouldn't like that, and neither does my mama.

I'll keep ya'll posted on the state of our village as best I can. Daddy's doing well at home with Ms. Faye cooking lunch and cleaning a bit. Seems that mama was the one making all the mess *heh* Daddy is a typical guy...give him food and let him watch TV and it's all good. Maybe someday I'll learn to just let that be a given.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

the long way home

Since I have last blogged anything beyond shit hittin' the fan in our usual fashion we've had more than our share of bad luck. I suppose it began the week after Debbie's funeral when, one by one our electronics began to give up the ghost. First it was the TV, then the computer monitor. About that time the screen on BG's phone went blank and mine failed to hold a charge long enough to carry on the extended conversations that were being held with friends and family about mama's medical condition. What we assumed would be a quick tune up in the hospital with an extended stay in a skilled nursing facility turned into a nightmarish readmission due to a low Mg level and a-fib. That was pretty much an express admission considering she was just released so here we go to a different room on a different floor to spend the night. It took about three hours of me saying "shhh" a million times and some IV ativan to finally knock her out. Right about the time I would normally be reporting for work, I wandered down to the sawmill to catch a ride home with my graveyard shift buddy. On the way up Pecan Lane we talked about where the honey holes are to fish on this place. Summer's coming.

Oh, and get this. Late yesterday afternoon we were finally home and attempting to regroup and wait on the test results to see what was up, a big clap of thunder and lightning knocked out our power. To my name, I have one tiny LED flashlight about 2inches in diameter and that's how we sat and ate gas station chicken discussing the day(s). We got BG a new phone, but both of them were dead and there we sat in the dark not knowing how long we'd be listening to the rain pelt outside the window. The lights came back on just in time for us to load up and meet the ambulance in the monsoon like downpour. Meh. A bit fat thank you to all who have prayed, called, commented or just sent good vibes because Lord knows we need it right now! Daddy is doing well with her being gone, but probably doesn't realize that things will never be the same again. Or maybe he does. He sure did have big tears in his eyes.

Anyhoo..that's about all I know except that the puppies are about to be relocated under the porch where they can scamper in the flower beds until we find them permanent homes. Which I sincerely hope is soon because dog food is more than people food these days!

Over and out. Keepin' the faith^j^

Monday, February 18, 2013

'tween then and now

Long story short is that the past two weeks have been enough to kill a much less smart and tough ass than my humble self. Mama went to the hospital last week and got admitted to a skilled NF yesterday. Something told me I might need to day off so TinaBelle offered to swap a day with me so we could TCB. About noon yesterday she began to rant on everybody and everything she has ever served or tried to influence. One of the ministries of our local UMC is homebound communion service delivered by volunteers following the blessing of those sacraments at the altar. I called the church today to see if there was a minister available but they were all out of town. Even hit up the Halls/Lebanon circuit.

Mama's roommate is Miss Lula who just had a hip replacement and is doing fine. BG flew to Subway to get Lula a chicken sammich with all the trimmings. Mostly it's been a long day what with mama communicating with her childhood friends and deceased family members. Since yesterday, she's not recognized anybody except her beloved L.P so far. There was a very serious but impromptu medical conference this afternoon concerning end of life care and options. Time will tell. Mom has been telling anybody and everybody what's on her mind which is good therapy for a habitual nice girl. The activities director cornered me with the 1-5 chart on how important everything is in her little world. At this point, I'd say nothing but an audience.

Daddy's kinda pitiful and I saw him cry for time # 3 today when she didn't know who he is. I'm thinking there's another bro headed this way so that we can experience our reality. Fortunately for me, my co-workers care enough for me to cover a couple of days for us to see what's up. Before I went to the nursing home this morning, we headed toward Roellen to pick up a friend for group. Cute as as a bug ya'll. BG and I spent a large part of this day with mama, helping her to have comfy jammies and know that she's loved. Both of us crawled up in her bed at one point. Miss Faye brought Daddy this morning when she was so upset and ranting like a maniac. We prayed together, all of our hands stacked on top of each other on her chest. Faith in healing.

Leave room for the spirit to work ^j^

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

eyes barely open

Okay then. The puppies will be two weeks old tomorrow and have opened their widdle bitty eyes to this big old world and are crawling around like crazy on wobbly legs. So freakin' cute! HOWEVER...our budget is already stretched so thin you can see through it so they must find homes. Soon. There will be pictures and lots of puppy pimping up here on the hill. If all else fails I'll drive to no kill shelters in our area and farm them out. BG wants to keep one she's named Lola but I dunno. That would put us back at four and it's been kind of nice with a smaller herd. We shall see. Next on the agenda is a spay for Ryder and for Lola if she stays. I'm gonna need a sugardaddy just to pay for my dogs!

Our TV is one of those old school models that has a big screen BUT weighs 200 lbs. It has only been moved once and there were almost injuries. Night before last said dinosaur of electronics gave up the ghost and called it quits. I bought it for 75 bucks from my cousin five years ago so I've definitely gotten my $$ worth out of it. I could have used the "divorce" TV that came from my friend's garage when I lost custody of mine. However, I got tired of looking at it sitting around so it's in the junk pile out back. Warm weather will give us an opportunity to finally clean it up after years of scrapping and earth moving. My yard will shrink a little to allow for a few extra rows of beans which is totally fine. I am finally to the point that caring for a big yard is a chore and not a pleasure. That's sad too, because it's always been a passion for me. One summer, post divorce, I cut the whole two acres with a push mower and never got completely done until first frost. Stayed pretty thin though!

Ya'll bear with me on this one because I don't mean to be disrespectful but sometimes you just have to laugh about it. Mom called me yesterday wanting to know how much a laptop or tablet would cost. Seeing as how she's blind and all I asked why. "For your daddy" she said. I about lost it right there ya'll. This is a man who has killed multiple cell phones jamming the chargers in ass backwards. He has very little patience with anything other than watching Gunsmoke so I said I didn't think he could manage it. "But he misses that sooo much and it would give him something to keep him occupied." Oh, lordy. She remembers back to the time when they were both online in the early days of dialup. He did ancestry stuff and she made cards. They both faithfully listened to my baby brother's weather forecast. It seems like a hundred years ago that they were independent and thriving. Caring for them has given me a new perspective on how I will act when the time comes to hand over my life.

With Debbie still on my mind, I just remembered my favorite memory ever when she took me to see Phantom at The Grand in St.Louis. Jimbo had just died and we had two boys with us when the snowstorm commenced and I begged her to pull over and spend the night. What fun we had,lol. Among the kids was their exchange student, of which they had several. My least favorite was a spoiled rotten ass from Russia who spent all his money on Levis. She chastised me for not remembering that her youngest was at home with his daddy.

I didn't have time to check the weather yet but somebody at work said "snow" and I cringed. The funny thing about hospitals and snow is this, though. When the weather is nasty bad, you find out who REALLY needs medical attention. The revolving door people stay home at home doing whatever they do when they're not visiting us taking up valuable time and resources to feed an addiction. That is true of every hospital in America and the only way out of the dilemma is to cut it off where it the doctor's office. A lot of futile end of life care could be avoided by honest conversations too but physicians are afraid to tell patients and families that there's nothing more to be done humanely. Do no harm, ya'll.

Happy Fat Tuesday and a very reflective Lenten season to you and yours ^j^

Sunday, February 10, 2013

many layers

That could be lasagna or cakes or personal issues right off the top of my head. Which is what my layers are about right now. Debbie and I have rarely gone more than a week without talking to each other and I'm already itching to pick up the phone and call her. We talked the afternoon before she died and I probably won't delete that call for a while. I am just now free to let the tears flow and let go of the pain what with all the hauling and running thus far. Mom skipped church because of a predicted monsoon (which happened, by the way) around church time. That didn't stop the rest of the SS class from getting out, mind you. There they all came while we sat in the middle of the tiny dining room doing what we always do, out of habit. They don't even have to ask what we want. I ran into a good friend who manages the firearms at the local wallyworld and she had been at work. Said she gets overtime for putting out Valentine stuff. I would take it girl! Pills are counted, eggs consumed and light turned on the the rain. It's odd how daddy's light on the flag ritual goes because it's usually off at night when you would think it should be on? I don't ask. He argued with me today about what time mom got home from the funeral so I finally just gave in and said "fine." Never argue with an ornery old man by the last name of Stafford. You will not win.

I feel the spirit of a tough woman on my back now which is a good reason to look forward and believe in good things. Spring is coming, and we'll walk the yard together looking at what's coming up. She will kick my ass when I try to be a titty baby and give up, because she never did. As drained as I am now, all it will take is a couple of good nights' sleep and resurrection of my inner DGR. Watching the four generations of our family mix and mingle has been a blessing. It's nothing unless there are kids around, ya know? They are the future, bless their hearts. It won't be easy and simple like it was for us. And it's all Dubya's fault. When Hillary is elected Deb and I will have a toddy together as well. I can't believe we spent ten years discussing that shit on a phone!

In the words of the great Billy Yates..."This too shall pass. Leave room for the spirit to work." Amen, ya'll

Saturday, February 9, 2013

the family way

As sad as it is true, most families don't ever really all get together unless there's a funeral. I have a pair of black pants that are 20 years reserved for those occasions. This morning found me searching for the iron (never did find it) and donning the black pants again, this time with a tiger print sweater, also old. By the time mama got dressed and we made it to Newbern, visitation was in full swing. Got more hugs in two hours than I've had in a year's tme. Mom and I sat with Deb's husband Ronnie who had come in this morning and had to leave shortly thereafter. Deb's grandchildren were running around winning hearts and behaved like perfect gentlemen. The music was done beautifully by Mo's youngest, the only one who really got the Godsey music gene. Aunt Granny taught him as a child to play piano, just like she did me. Only he's MUCH better! Debbie always laughed when she talked about the theme from Exodus being the only piece I ever mastered. Uncle Jim taught me too, and my lessons were in the morning before school before I was even awake good.

I pray that she knows how many people loved her and the spirit that she shared with everybody that was a part of her life. I saw in-laws and outlaws and a lot of long lost cousins. Her body was donated for research so there was no coffin and that was weird but cool in its' own way. Her preacher from KY came down and it was obvious during the first prayer why she was so crazy about him. Never much of a church kind of gal, she was drawn to the charisma and friendship of he and his wife who told a story today about Deb's 50th birthday. All the girls loaded up and went to pick her for a McDonald's trip to celebrate. Only they had on their housecoats and slippers and curlers in the hair. And then they made her pay for her food in pennies!

Everybody is sick which is typical for February. So are the various types of buttercups or whatever your neck of the woods calls them. To me personally they are the ultimate happy flower coming soon after snowdrops and along with crocus. Next should be quince. Pics at eleven.


Friday, February 8, 2013

the jury box

As usual, I was just under the wire reporting for jury duty this morning. The chimes of the courthouse clock were ringing right when I passed the metal detector. I shouldn't have rushed because ten or so people showed up randomly during the next 30 minutes. By the time we were all put in groups there were attorneys pacing outside the door waiting to do their thing. Since I didn't get there early I got stuck with one of the seats in the jury box giving me a bird's eye view of what a juror would see. Hmm. Indictments were issued not too long ago and April will be the next batch. Other than that, the grands are done. It's an interesting lesson in law 101 for a newbie like myself. Unless I know your mama'n'them I'll make a kickass juror. Or unless some high paid attorney gets up in there and starts defending assault rifles. Ya'll know how that would go over with this old gal.

After work, I scooped my mama up and hauled her in the no window car over to cousin Mo's house for a visit with her grieving sister. They are so freakin' CUTE huddled up under blankets on the couch together, giving each other hugs and drying tears. In a really odd sort of way, Debbie's death has drawn us all closer together as we watch our family fade into the next chapter. Her obituary listed me as her cousin and best friend which just about made me lose my breath.

Yesterday was warm and I ventured out on the porch with a brew just in time to hear the neighbors screaming mother effer at each other down the road. I'm over all their drama so I promptly called the law to have them cruise by. They wanted to know if he "has a gun." Ayep..I've heard him firing off his anger over by the river bed. He hid while there were there and there was a welfare check/head count on the kids and it was done in two minutes. The kids had come out and were jumping on the trampoline and squealing so she didn't waste any time walking smooth up to my house with all THREE kids to tell me that he wasn't even there and it was the kids playing. Right. BG came home about that time and spotted him scooting around the house like the schizo he is. If I turn up dead, please tell the law that he's a person of interest. The little girl's eye caught mine at one point while I confronted her mom with what I have heard and seen, and I know that she recognized me as someone who can't be fooled easily.

I am so glad to not be in the middle of whatever the name of that blizzard is that I could cry. I just hate to see all those poor displaced folks get slammed again. I mean, really? Of course it is winter. If you choose to live in the northeast, snow happens. Down here it's twisters and floods.

Peace out ^j^

Thursday, February 7, 2013

at a leisurely pace

After work I went to pick my mama up from Aunt Mo's house where she was "sittin' shiva" as Albert Brooks would say, with her sister Aunt Granny. There were picture albums laying around looking to be picked for Deb's slideshow and all seemed well by the fire. Granny's youngest grandson, the only musical one in the bunch, is a pure joy to have around. With that many old people we need all the hands we can get! His sister and BG were born a month apart and played together as kids just like their moms. It's amazing how you are shaped by knowing a person, blood kin or not, merely by how they lived their life. It is the legacy that we leave for an honorable life and doing good with what is, after all, just a gift. There are many ways that Deb made an impact on me as a woman, and most of it had to be with toughness. She loved the growth cycle in a "look at what I can do" way and often orchestrated entire flower beds to be hovered over by she and her father who lived around the corner.

The funniest thing I ever was was when they were living on York street and Jimbo brought Buddy a damn HORSE on a rope across the street for Christmas. Bud climbed up on that horse and the saddle flipped sideways. What a hoot! He drove his grandaddy to Union City for radiation treatments for prostate cancer when he needed the help. We all helped to care for him in his final days. Debbie got her strength from her mother I believe. Jimbo was like a best friend she hung out with. With that strength comes a great propensity to not focus on self care and I've got my share of both. She used to bitch at me constantly about being spontaneous as in drop and run to the lake or river when they loaded up a boat and headed out. That lack of random adventures has made Poops a dull girl and that must change.

I got her version of tough love on more than one occasion and occasionally deserved it but mostly not. Her values were different than mine when it came to child rearing and such. The energy that attracted so many to her as a friend was a thing of beauty. We had some wild ass parties in our thirties and forties when the kids were little and we could still not give a care because we had the rest of our lives and life was good. The train ran right smack through their backyard on a daily basis. It's funny what a girl remembers.

This weekend we will travel back to Newbern next door to the old home place where Jimbo lived and died. Only this time we'll be paying respects to his daughter and best friend. I find comfort in the continuity of that. WouldaCouldaShoulda.

Big hugs just because I need 'em.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

with a heavy heart

A couple of folks sprang for pizza today and we were just finishing up when I spotted my cousin Mo and her son in the waiting room. I figured they were getting blood drawn and I'd stop by to visit in a moment. I could tell by the look on my friend's face when she fetched me that the news wasn't good. When I got there, she was red faced and crying telling me that her sister, my KY cuz died this morning. It took about fifteen seconds as I circled her neck to ask "Debbie what?" By then we were both a howling mess and took it to another room so as not to startle anybody. Nic had both of our backs as we heaved with sobs over losing OUR sister, not just hers. Since I never had a sister in the house, I adopted my two cousins as sisters. We're all very different but alike in ways that count like loyalty to family and friends. Both of them adore my mom just like everybody else in the world.

I went by to tell her the news and sat at her feet like a child with my head on her lap while she rubbed it. She felt my pain and I felt hers. And she declared "...i just don't know what.." Every time Deb and Ronnie came for a visit they brought canned vegetables and stuff for daddy from their huge garden. She was particularly close to her own father who died at about her age and was just inducted into the Band Leader's Hall of Fame or something this past weekend. Debbie's hub has been quite sick himself and I think the added burden of caring for him was too much with her own health problems. She always told us she would die by 55. Only a year off girl..not bad for a flute player.

A broken heart is something that eventually mends and forgets the pain of loss and suffering. Knowing that each day may be our last is a good enough reason to just dispense with the small stuff and tell it like it is. That's something that I had come to respect about her over the years..she told it like it was, period. We were in band together with Jimbo and while she was a talented flute player I was the dork who couldn't play anything but the chimes but loved hanging out in the percussion section...always had a weakness for drummers.

My fondest memories are of camping with she and her family as a child and then again as an adult with our own kids. A very talented framer and antique collector she was always up for a yard sale with a treasure. Our grandmother's dining room table and chairs were supposed to go home with her next time they brought a trailer. In the blink of an eye ya'll. In the blink of an eye. We talked almost daily and yesterday was unusually light and funny as we discussed Ronnie's latest PT result and what was on the dinner menu. This woman could COOK dude! And she learned a lot of it from my mama.

Ours was not a relationship where we said the L word a lot but knew that it was there, an unspoken bond that was part sister and part keeper of the faith. When her father died, I was seated like one of the "girls" next to Aunt Granny. The entire church was filled with folding chairs in the aisles to boot. I'm saying...he was an icon. Deb's service won't be all uppity like that I'm sure because that's not her way either. I will miss her honesty and humor...our political rants together and discussions about work and grandkids and stuff. Familiarity with stories so there's no explanation needed. The kind of stuff where you "had to be there." There is nothing like that feeling.

Rest in peace Debbie ^j^

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

budget planning and whatnot

I am determined to get out of this fiscal mess because it's NOT that bad compared to others who own tens of thousands. The problem is getting to a payday with everything current so that the service charges don't take a large chunk of it. It reminds me of that old song "nothing from nothing leaves nothing." Got my taxes filed and guess what? The good old US treasury is running late on returning that interest free loan. Before, online filing has always been a sure fire 10 day wait. Now it's three weeks? Puleeez. And yes, I still think it's all Dubya's fault. To think that our economy was based on the war effort and cannot survive without Big Ike invasions is a scary thought. At least following WWII there was a boom of prosperity. All we've got is a country that is killing young people with student loan repayment even while they have no jobs because of, well. You know the drill.

Didn't watch the SuperBowl but did see the farmer commercial several times and it warms my soul. Not sure it's gonna sell a lot of Ram trucks because most of the ones I know drive Chevys or Fords. But it was a well crafted tribute to a lifestyle that I have called my own for 57 years. The problem with farming as an industry came when the government started paying folks NOT to grow certain things to get subsidies. Way to support your homies, right? And then of course there's all that lobby money floating around financing GMOs and such. That is not my daddy's way of farming, ya'll.

Meanwhile, the puppies are crying a lot less as they grow and Ryder is getting her strength back. They're camped out in the living room (used to be office) floor on yoga blankets. One of the biggest reasons I'm looking forward to warm weather is to get this damn Dell OUT of my bedroom, wires and all. It's finally clean and has decent furniture and the potential to be my haven following months of huddling next to an electric heater. As my mama always said "One of these days you'll look back and laugh."

All i quiet on the grands front but KY cousin's dream kind of startled me awake yesterday. Gonna go check on them after while when BG returns. She's job hunting like a mofo and there's just nothing here. The little old 'burg is dead as a doornail like the rest of the employment market. We're getting a Cracker Barrel soon and I figure there will be a stampede for jobs when the door opens. It's quite foggy out giving an extra air of dark heaviness to this day on the hill. I can barely see the silos through the mist.

Losing faith has never been an option for me because I'm just a Pollyanna that way. There have been times of doubt and fear and downright mental breakdown, but never a complete loss of belief in a higher power that has my back. My friendboss quotes her daddy as saying that "the cream always rises to the top". We all try to remember that as we struggle on through a life full of inequality and greed.

Young people! Carry on.

Monday, February 4, 2013

whiney puppies and jury duty

Always on the lookout for BF, I pulled up the other day to find a summons for jury duty instead. Lucky me! It's the first time locally so it should be interesting. I had federal once in the month of December and never once had to drive to Memphis thanks to a particularly icy spell. I'm sure I'll get some crackhead related offense that I'm very prejudiced against and I'm off the hook. Tough love, ya'll. There is a certain person in our neighborhood who literally scares the crap out of me. He's the poster boy for mental illness on a disability check. There is a wife who is quite slow herself and three children who witness a lot of things that they shouldn't have to see. We have considered calling DCS but hate to be the one to start the ball rolling in that kind of situation. They are all victims of his rage and control and I'm afraid for my own safety. That's why I lock 'em up tight. He showed up screaming at her in the driveway the other day in his freaking UNDERWEAR. Sheesh.

The puppies are growing and Ryder is becoming comfortable with motherhood. Now the huge task before us is to find homes for these seven darlings. If they eat anything like her, it will be an expensive proposition until they're gone. I will never forget the wonderful feeling of having the last two boys scooped up by a little girl and her mommy. It's the circle of life, you know? Tried to pawn one of them off on mommma and she said nada. Sammy D was supposed to be daddy's dog after his border collie got drug down highway 51 behind his truck. That was the beginning of us questioning the safety of his driving. We already knew that mom's driving days were over following two wrecks with totaled cars. Yeah, Toyota loved them to pieces. Daddy's final day behind the wheel was one I'll never forget. My brother called me at work and asked me to go check out the "hit and run" that daddy was involved in. I left work and went to the scene which is the same place mama had two of her own wrecks. I saw the truck directly across from me as I crossed and calmly asked where he was going. "To Angel's" he said. I told him to stay right there and I would pick her up. By the time we got her home and settled and answered all the cops' questions it was obvious that he had caused the wreck. The officer on duty asked me if he was "okay". I told him no, that he had dementia and could he help a girl out with that little detail. He obliged, and so did their family physician. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't easy but it's done.

I picked the first buttercup of '13 and though tiny, it's beautiful sitting in a blue vase on the window sill. I read a post written by a favorite friend today and found myself agreeing with him that the best of days are over and this hardship will continue for as long as WE live because nobody can get off their own party's pity pot enough to think about the overtaxed people who support their lifestyles. There will never be another Mr. Smith, circa Jimmy Stewart. Those folks don't exist anymore. I'm glad the Ravens won BTW. As for Beyonce doing the sign, I missed that completely.

Ya'll have a great day. I'm off and loving every minute of it!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

super what sunday?

My father is about as rabid an SEC athletics fan as any old Tennessee man you'll see. They have an entire room decorated in Vols orange and white, the one that used to belong to BG and before her little old me. I was rascal enough to sneak out the door once and off the roof once and only got caught once so there ya go. The worst was when I had to come in and sit to wait for my daddy to return from looking for me. He walked into that house with his head down to give mom the news and there I sat looking all sheepish. And you know what he did? He cried. I never did it again after that because of that look in his eyes of hurt and betrayal. He's a hard working man and mom is the same type. Watching them age is bittersweet...a lesson in patience as they become more limited in their life choices and more defiant about their choices. So be it ya'll. I've found peace with that one.

Still haven't called my therapist yet, the one who says "here's the thing" and helps me to understand the whole process that is my life. I can guarandamnteeya' it's a good thing that I think too much. Otherwise I'd have been left in the dust a long time ago because I am definitely not much of a survivalist. That's why I've never been allowed to have a chain saw or other dangerous item even though I've begged. "You'll shoot your eye out cut your hand off! I think they are all afraid that I'll have one too many and start playing safari with it on a ladder. Orders from BG are no more fires until we get a new hose. Period. I'd hate to burn down that beautiful barn! The driveway is a bunch of mud and puddles in back and to the south. I figure this will be my last full year on the hill so I might as well leave it cleaner than when I found it some 24 years ago.

As for me, I'm sitting here looking like this as Yaya would say..listening to chick music like Ronstadt et al and remembering who I was a young woman. There was a love affair that broke my heart to the point that I went into a rebound marriage. He did finally be honest and tell me to go home and not live the rat race in big old Memphis because of him because it wasn't there. He didn't last long in Shelby either. The U-haul was loaded when I changed my mind and headed north to the small town hospital that hired me at 4.92 an hour. A bargain? Ayep. Homegirls make great employees.

Since that time I've skipped school plays and doctor's appointments so that my absence wouldn't affect my work performance. My first supervisors were a couple of guys that everybody loved but we didn't quite understand the strange one in charge of our mostly women team. Talk about some cat fights ya'll..we were all on the rag, statistically speaking, about half the time. Some how SC managed to weave his magic amongst all of us so that we kept the boat floatin' for a very long time. When he left employment one person applied for the position and that would be my friendboss. We've weathered a lot of storms together over the years and I wouldn't have her job for any amount of money in the world...ever! In case you didn't know, the ratio hasn't changed much. Our group consists of mostly women, still..and a couple of guys who provide balance. Sometimes you just gotta tell stupid jokes and get through the day. I feel that I'm part of a great team where I work because I communicate effectively and in a problem solving kind of way. You treat me with respect, and you'll get the same back. The worst verbal lashings that I ever took were from prima donna GPs back in the days of call and whatnot.

I stopped by the grands to count pills today and found them both nodding off, full of eggs and doughnuts and delivered safely home by Tony D. We're on rotation with the after church pickup. His ex's family brought him there and he's been a shining example of what I think servanthood is about. The ancient Dell sounds like it's about to explode so I should probably install this memory that's been laying around for a freakin' year. Or not, because it sure is pretty out.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

change of direction

Ryder has figured out that this having babies thing is physically taxing but she has figured out how to keep them warm and fed. Faith would be so proud of her for that! I can hear them whimpering in the next room as I sit here in the warm spot. They have a heater too of course. Sam and Oscar act like nothing's any different in their spoiled rotten worlds. And Lily? Would somebody just help me string her up? Just kidding queenie. As animal people go, I'm about as dog as can be with only a splash of tolerance for the regal ways of a spoiled cat.

BG babysat this morning and brought Carlee bug by to give me a hug and a quick "i love you". One of my favorite pics is of she and I sitting on the floor on July 4th looking like a couple of kids that got caught stealing cookies. Her mom is one of our dear friends and I know his mama'n'them so there you go. Instant family! My parents are maintaining and I've (once again) turned it over to the big E for guidance. Remind me of that next time the phone rings.

When I first started as a blogger, they were for the large part, a personal place to rant for many people. The blogs that survived and did well financially were not the do-it-yourself kind that I began with. I read random ones, usually filtered by some techno wizard that diverts traffic from a competitor. I know, I need to just shut the f**k up. I am so tired of drama and the people who stir it that I could buy a, legally of course. But that's not my way. My way is the one that considers blessings and avoids conflict because life is too short to be mad. Seriously.

I've met so many people around the world as a surfer of the web. And yes ya'll, I realize that Al Gore didn't invent it. He is originally from the Tennessee town of Carthage over in the middle. Got a big sign out proclaiming that as his homeplace. The humorist in me wants to wonder exactly where our president's sign would be. Just saying :)

I'm watching the jumping of ship and soldiering up in this administration and thinking that surely the GOP teeth clinching and bible slapping right wingers are gonna all die someday and there shall be peace in the valley. There goes that Pollyanna thinking again. Whatever. It keeps me looking ahead.