Tuesday, September 30, 2014

the itch

BG and I are both in red whelps and drippy sneezes due to the heavy allergen count at present. Still no rain since the corn got shelled so there's that PLUS the dust and goldenrod. On top of that it's still hot as hades except for early in the morning. Officially autumn rolled in a week ago but the temps don't realize it. Our agricultural zone is famous for having seasons that mix the best and worst of each other as they overlap on the pages of a calendar. The sawmill is busy and getting more so by the day. Thankfully my shoulder is healing well and it's not too hard to function for an 8 hour day. As for more hours than that? I'm way too old for that kinda' stuff. We have folk who do back to back shifts so they can have more days off but I know this old girl and I'd never hold up. Even if I did I'd sleep the whole time I was off!!

I'm headed to class in a bit to meet up with Lorna and my other Co.Starters friends for a brainstorming session. The ideas that I have are still in the "concept" stage with nothing even resembling hands or feet but I'm trusting that it will come. Chris is an excellent teacher and the curriculum is well written. The other class members are all idea people like me but some are much better organizers. It should be really interesting to see if I can break through the procrastination barrier. Mom is headed home next Monday for a trial run after six weeks away and we're all still wearing our case manager hats daily. I've asked a CNA friend to help us out with figuring the logistics of her next chapter in life. If she can't manage there, it's back to the manor for more therapy.

I'm totally out of the loop on ISIS and the mid-terms and I prefer it that way actually. The trolls are still hitting me heavy when I dare to bust out with some halfway liberal and I've been called a socialism lover on more than one occasion. Like I care, right? I totally forgot to record my prospective new favorite show so there will be some catching up to do later. Honestly? I don't see how people have time to watch much TV unless they're retired. I didn't even watch when I was off work, choosing the innerwebs instead. Booger just rolled in all grumpy and whatnot and I can honestly say that I understand. He's talking to TT in Jordanese as I type.


Monday, September 29, 2014

making magic happen

The ceiling fan in my office has a really long chain for the light since I am vertically challenged and it stays off most of the time except when I'm up in here scheming. Several months ago I taught Booger how to pull it and make the light come on. Since the baby gates have come down he's spending more time in here with me digging through the treasures and generally being busy. He never thinks about that light chain until somebody picks him up and it comes into his view. Then, by golly, it's on. At least ten times, I'm just saying. Every single "on" of that lightbulb gives him a sense of wonder. Through a child's eyes, indeed.

The weather is perfecto and the leaves are beginning to change and fall. Once upon a time I was hell bent on raking and mowing until it was all neat and tidy. No more of that nonsense! Ryan has cleaned it up really well and it's time to let winter do its' thing so we can have new growth. According to planting cycles next year should be wheat and beans and that I can live with. Much less dust, ya' know.

I've got homework to do prior to tomorrow's class and there is Mama's discharge looming in a week so BG has flown to Martin to visit Memaw and the caseworker called Boss. That should be interesting, no? Daddy is lonely and I can't help that and mostly I think he just misses her at bedtime. We are plotting to make her a little apartment and line up some help for bathroom duty. Home health will resume (without Cindy) and life will go on as we've always known it until something else changes. I think her gettin' out days are over, if you know what I mean. That's okay though because she can hold court in that living room that has been her pride and joy all these years. It's good to be queen.

As I drove home from the sawmill I passed Nicki's house where she and the dog take regular exercise up and down Troy. Yesterday Daddy and I spotted her in orange spandex and looking pretty good...not even carrying that poor little ugly dog. Last week BG and I saw her talking to the monkey grass or so I thought. Lauren told me she was just talking to herself. Bless her little heart. Right past there is the entire block owned by the United Methodist Church, my homies. It has grown over the years as benefactors who worshiped at the corner of Main and McGaughey left gifts and whatnot as stewards will do. Over the decades I remember many a stewardship campaign to raise big bucks for generous salaries and building projects. It is my anchor and a place that I carry in my heart every day, John Wesley style. I like to think that even though I did not tithe with actual dollars I gave of myself freely to others in service. Here's the thing y'all. If you believe at all in what Jesus lived and died for then you know he was really adamant about reaching the "untouchables" of his time and showing them IN LOVE how to turn their lives around. That's a far cry from exclusion bigotry and hatred for those who have different lifestyles. I can tell you for a fact that this country is ripe for the picking and foreigners are moving here in droves with cash to get in the game. That doesn't make them wrong...just different. As in Hindu! My favorite Jeebus is the mad one in the temple with those evil money changers. Get 'em JC!

By now I should know that plastering demolibtard messages on my FB page is like picking a fight with my favorite trolls. They mean well and truly believe what they espouse but geez..give a girl a break. Our rain never materialized so it's still *cough* dusty as hell. I managed to halfway burn the box spring that's been laying in my yard since before surgery and I think one more bonfire will take it down to the springs.

I might be a redneck.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

back on track

I now realize more than ever what a luxury it is to walk around barefoot with no bra. I did that for several weeks while I was in recovery from surgery. The last time I visited the surgeon prior to my return to work he was amazed at the range of motion I had. Little did he know I had been out of the sling for a week or more working it around the house. I knew if I kept it still the whole time it would freeze up and I'd be in much worse shape than when I started. There was additional damage besides the original tendon rupture and lots of arthritic deposits on the bone to scrape off prior to putting in an anchor for sutures. At least it wasn't a broken bone! Those take forever to heal. There are days when there is very little pain if I remember to take the naproxyn before it starts. That's kind of hit and miss these days. After my FNP visit it cost a hundred bucks to get me restocked on everything I was out of, and a couple of those were the 4dollar deals. One third of that amount was for an albuterol inhaler which increased in price steeply a few years ago due to government mandated requirements to rework the delivery system so as not to damage the ozone. Hmm..so I pay out the wazoo for a medicine that I need because the environment is so polluted? Something wrong with that picture for sure. I wonder if the Koch brothers run into that kind of thing.

BG has a new job in the kitchen of a local eatery which is right up her alley because she's all about some cooking and cleaning. She described the fresh salad making process yesterday and I was impressed with all the steps to produce those washed and spun greens. This is the gal who spends 90% of her viewing time with people like Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey. It's common for us to go on a mission when the groceries get thin and create something wonderful out of nothing. My mother is the best cook I've ever known particularly with southern dishes and she passed that on to both BG and myself. Cousin Mo is also a killer cook and has the presentation side down to an art. Here's the thing about that: there is very little $$ in owning your own restaurant and the hours are horrendous. There's a little burger shack on my way into town and they're cranking out steamed minis like there's no tomorrow. It's hard work in a cramped space but they are loyal to the dream and that's what it takes.

Just got off the phone with a "new" friend who is networking to find a job in healthcare. As she pointed out it's a profession that will always be there most especially with baby boomers coming into their golden years. I've always thought that description of getting old was kinda' corny and the longer I live the more I see that it's anything BUT golden for a lot of folks. I suppose that is why my heart is deep into the areas of end of life care and advocacy, not just for geriatric patients but for anyone who needs help navigating the system.

Today is eggs and doughnuts with Daddy and then laundry and dishes. Hopefully there will be some energy left for sweeping the dust bunnies out toward the corn stubble. Still no rain so far, which will be a blessing when it comes and cleans the air a bit.


Friday, September 26, 2014

parental therapy

I just got off the phone with mom and she was all teary about how daddy is lonely (which i told her) and she needs to get able to walk or do PlanB because they need to be together. Over the past five years my brother and I have explored every viable option regarding their living arrangements and they could have been in a safe place long ago except for that Stafford temper. He got a man's word 60 or so years ago that he could live here 'til he died. What 83 year old man still has a gator to ride around in and visit the neighbors? It was his last purchase from farm money and he's enjoyed every minute of cruising up to see Mozella or down to visit with Gerald. He brought me the mail almost the entire time I was off for surgery and we sat on the porch for about five minutes which is maximum attention span for him. OCDHD is a terrible way to be.

The farmers are shelling and hauling like a mofo out there and I'm thinking a nice wheat crop will be pretty and green with snow on it after the dust settles. Yesterday they were on the east side and I could literally smell the chemical being thrashed about in the air, even inside the house. These types of toxic farming practices are what has been sold by Monsanto et al to the American farmer for decades. Eventually, with these practices...all your customers die off and cash flow stops. That the GMO stand around here is going for fuel makes it even more pitiful. Cattle feed, I could live with. Best case scenario would be fresh food for all. Consider this if you will. American history was built on agriculture in the form of producing home grown meat, veggies and fruit. As a farm girl I tried not to think about where the ground beef came from because it's pretty sad and I do so love me some bacon. Our farm has a huge dairy barn with silos where the cattle were milked and the grain was stored. The hogs were slaughtered I feel sure. Probably a whole lot of doves and quail as well. The low slung barn which once had "bitch" spray painted all over the new tin roof is now home to farm equipment and shiny again. Thank you!

My brother and his wife dreamed of having vineyards and punkin' farms and all sorts of cool stuff on the hills over there but so far nothing but kudzu and poison oak is visible with a stand of goldenrod here and there. That will be on tomorrow's dance card if we don't go to the hospital to see mom. Time will tell. As I mentioned yesterday I ran into the sneaky communication bastard yesterday at the clinic and he charmed me with his stories of double triple open heart surgery. Since he can't drink anymore maybe he can be my DD. Sorry...I had to.

All is well with me because it's Friday night and I survived 1.2 weeks back at the sawmill. Sometimes reality is the best medicine for dreamers.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

creative things

Nothing unleashes the creative beast quite like a good teacher and a shitload of post-its and highlighters on a mission. Unfortunately seating was cramped over at the country club where our governor held court so we carried on without him. I met a couple of really cool new people who are students as well and it looks exciting. Homegrown is the way to go when talking about community resource investment. Those banks in the Caymans don't give a shit what's going on in the 'burg. I figure before it's over he'll show up just to get me off Corker and Alexander's asses. That we have turned down 100% federal funding for healthcare in one of the poorest states in the nation is, as my friend Sally says "unacceptable." If you've ever been in therapy that's called a boundary issue. Davy Crockett was cool and all that but TVA has pretty much torn up the beauty of East Tennessee. My favorite vacation memories are of raft trips on the Ocoee River near Cleveland where Olympic races were held. We're talking DEEP back woods y'all.

The odd couple that were my neighbors during my first round of being single were also anesthesia experts who were different as night and day and I had to deal with them at work. Russ was a big old guy who drove a hog and James H the ultimate pretty boy/drama queen. To be fair, it was complicated and I dealt with it until one day in surgery when I was delivering blood PB handed me the rent check and said "thanks for last night." WTF? He and my sis-in-law X2 are still good friends I believe. After that was the big emotional fight between me and the big guy and my attempt to walk out of a "very important meeting." Almost got fired that day but by golly, right is right. None of that ended well for anyone concerned. Bossfriend and I were somewhat represented by one of the group at meeting #2 but got slaughtered prior to that. Sacrificial, I'm just saying.

There is a fine line between being perfect all the time and just doing the next right thing. Life is short and then you die and the truly faithful among us will focus on doing something better for our fellow peeps than use them as bait for more money. Not that I'm passing judgement on other folks' views...far from it. That is just what works for me, ya know? There was this wonderfully hot mess of a guy who used to sing HIS song at Bev's on karaoke night. Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn. He was sad and bad but when he sang that particular tune we all shut up and enjoyed it because he owned it. He later burned in a housefire. I have spent more than my share of nights in bars with people that I count as friends to this day. I've seen many of them die a slow death from the effects of addiction, often in multiples. It makes one think if there are any brain cells left. We are all survivors if there's something to be believe in.

So..the shelling of the corn is creeping closer to Casa Poops which means the air is on H and a new filter standing by. I saw my favorite FNP today and ended up next to one of my brother's sneaky bastard friends in the waiting room. I was out of every med I've ever taken including the BP one which is why my eyes are swollen. Well, that plus the allergens. Steroids I covet thee!

Gotta call my mother ^j^

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

team building

Well well well...as it turns out I have been schooled quite well in the couple of business ideas that are on my white board at the moment. Last night's class helped me to discover what I already know which is that I'm an idea person and not one who gets off on details. I identified a somewhat successful work relationship that has been based on just that concept. It was my pleasure today to re-visit the halls of oncology which will be my home again for a week or so. None of the old timers that I remember are there, just more and more new cases of cancers caused by our toxic environments and or genetic mutation. Thank you big pharm, Monsanto and ConAgra. Unfortunately there are a lot of cases involving damage to vital organs like tissue and bone marrow which require treatment like transfusions. Which is like, my other job. The day one. I saw an couple of former co-workers, a mother and daughter pair who are traveling the same path that I am with my mama. It was fun visiting with the radiation nurse who used to do cartwheels down that very hall prior to the busy environment that it is now. I noticed cards about a monthly support group which is something I pitched 20 years ago to no avail. Times change. There are new docs and new apps and all sorts of scurrying about. It will be interesting to see how this whole thing works out to say the least. I've been waiting my entire career to have a doc respect my opinion.

Since this guy is long gone I can share a story about him. Dude was a surgeon who didn't realize he wasn't in "big town hospital" and did routine vascular surgery on every aneurysm that showed up in our one horse town. His wife was very ill so work was all he knew. One night there was a triple A that ruptured and we went through something like 80 units of blood products. Our supplier was in Memphis at the time and orders could only be delivered by Greyhound freakin' bus. Everybody and their relatives were up in there trying to donate blood to save this guy's life and I made the executive decision to use a different type of product that we had plenty of. Dr. Badass said hell to the naw because he wanted what he wanted and my superior at that time (also a doctor) told me to do what the man said which I knew was totally unsafe. We kept him alive long enough for him to land in Memphis where I got a call after a long sleepless night asking WTF we did to this guy's blood type. My response was "what the man said." Hey..we know what a miracle you are.

I love it when drug reps bring lunch and we discussed kids and treatment options while making our way through the day. This guy was cute as a bug and hung with me and the new doc while we ate lunch and discussed opiates vs.THC for end of life care. The physician quoted addiction rates for both plus alcohol and has his coffee brewed by a new employee, I kid you not. I figure he's all about it for dying people but not so much for 18 year olds. On that? I agree. and just so y'all know? I'm listening to Christmas music and mama is working hard at the home. Bubba said she kind of fell apart when they left yesterday which means we need to just let it be until we can bring it on back to the farm.
We still have corn across the road and down the hill so tomorrow is my last chance for a shot of the dairy barn surrounded. I swear, I hope it's gone when I get home from my FNP.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

don't stop believing

Like a whole bunch of other folks who were young in the 80's I listened to a whole heckuva' lot of Journey and swooned over Steve Perry's falsetto impressions 30 years later while listening to cover bands like Primal Heart out of Jackson. I'm still sittin' here singing along with Darius and making notes on my unofficial white board prior to tonight's class call CoStarters. Lorna and I are determined to get our respective dreams off the ground if we have to blow the damn hot air into those balloons ourselves. She told me the oddest story yesterday that gave me chills and that "walking on your grave feeling" all at once. She lives on a family farm as well and hers has a pecan orchard. It's a huge ordeal to keep the whole thing cut and baled so that the nuts can be harvested and the folks she had lined up flaked out on her so she had to call an old timer to cut and haul it for himself. Ever since then she's been working at it with a push mower and I'm saying this woman is several years old than me and even more determined. Yesterday morning it was cooler than usual and she was out there getting at it when a strange car stopped and a woman stepped out as if she had a question. Lorna turned off the mower and walked toward this ageless faceless precious thing who asked if she could pray for her because she had noticed how hard she was working. Her touch, gentle on the hand arm and face was followed by a heartfelt promise that God knows how good she is and how hard she tries and it's all about to come to fruition. Said Archangel Michael sent her. I love it when that happens.

I totally overbooked myself for today by planning a "quick" 2 1/2 hour trip to Martin to see Mom with the fam followed by two hours of class so I figured Mom would understand my newfound interest in taking care of Poopie by not making the trip, and she did. Poor thing is so tired from therapy she can't talk anyway. Bubba left she and Daddy to themselves to catch up on church, the State Gazette, and the status of corn shelling which is currently HIGH GEAR. I'd say by Thursday it'll be a done deal and I can see the woods again. The sawmill was quiet today following an extended period of mania brought on by umm..not a full moon or Mercury in retrograde. I reckon life just cycles like that with peaks and valleys around every turn in the road.

Airstrikes are happening and ISIS wannabes' are coming out of the woodwork. I really think we give these asshat terrorists too much press, including the homegrown good old boys in our own country like Fred Phelps. They are all on an ego trip wanting total domination and there's no fix for that for bi-polar drugs. A little haldol never hurt anybody with the tendency to hear voices and kill. That the Climate march got little or no coverage by the MSM is more proof that "if it bleeds, it leads." What is about our morbid fascination with all things gory? I think it's creepy. Like my mama always said, if you can't say something nice......


Monday, September 22, 2014

rock me mama like a wagon wheel

There are things that I see at times which I've not noticed before because I had my blinders on. The type and extent of um, how you say.....selective blindness has a lot to do with trust and lack of experience in certain situations. Once I am smacked in the face with a lesson I will probably make the same mistake a few more times until ultimately, it schools me in reality.. For all of the pain that I've experienced because I've allowed others to control my destiny and my life, there has been an element of willingness most every time. Until my mind hears the "click", that is. Once that snaps, it's all over but the leaving. I've left a lot of people at the train station emotionally because they have done things to intentionally (or not) hurt me in the course of sticking to their own agendas. As we all know the biggest problem for those of a co-dependent nature is that we are not strong enough to be assertive particularly in difficult situations. Looking back over the past five years I can honestly say that I should have quit giving all of me to those who demanded it a long time ago. Like the man said, I did it to myself. My standard response over the past five years to being over stressed has been to cry in spite of SRUIs and phone therapy. I won't dare go into all of the issues involved but trust me, they are layered out the ass and cover every area of my life. It's my choice to finally grow up and be who I am no matter what anybody else thinks or wants.

I was kind of shocked yesterday to see a random angry post by someone on another person's wall, both of whom I know. I sent the poster a private message asking "why the rant?" and got told in no uncertain terms that if I had the nerve to ask that question then I didn't know jackshit. Alrighty then. Please see previous paragraph concerning lessons learned. Had I not asked, I wouldn't know the history so there ya' go. Lemonade out of a lemon! Kimowasi planted a Darius Rucker seed in my mind when she went to his concert in the Garden and I'm glad Hootie left the Blowfish for this new career. Her friend Jennie P and I have been brainstorming about job opps and that may be something that gets incorporated into the business plan at some point. There are so many young people with educations that this job market simply does not place value on. If the world is gonna' be saved, they're the ones to do it because most of them have a good set of skills that we baby boomers taught them to go along with all that book learning. Well, except for the Koch brothers' grandchildren. A bachelor's degree means nada in today's world unless you have the family $$ or Sugardaddy to back it up.

Mama is wore out from therapy at the "new" home where they work you so you can get back to from whence you came, which in her case was flat on the bathroom floor with a broken femur. I'm working through the pain of using my shoulder more and more without much problem. I've been told it takes about a year to recover which I totally didn't realize but whatever. It is what it is. We'll be road tripping to see the patient tomorrow afternoon and I should get back just in time for class. As for the headlines, Congress is out (AGAIN) so they can all hit the campaign trail before the mid-terms. I don't care, I mean it's not like they've accomplished a damn thing. Do nothing...how would you like for that to be your legacy? ISIS wants us all to feel unsafe in our bedrooms which is pretty bizarre considering they have to get past my dogs. It they're going to come and behead me I'd just as soon not know ahead of time. Just saying.

Evidently I have a style that is recognizable now because a cousin/friend told me the other day he's got tales that need to be told. Don't we all honey! He is one of two attorney cousins who live large and belong to mama's side. Don't ask me to diagram it, I just know my kin. The other dear one is a former car salesman who kept me in Camrys from the first year they came on the market in '84. I was a pregnant cow with BG on board when we bought that first one in April. I've never looked back at American made in the vehicle department. There is just no comparison in my book. In other news, my melungeon friend Mahala who lives in the 'holler in North Carolina got rid of a giant pain in her ass at work and she's probably STILL doing the happy dance. Joe is the cheesecake king of Canada and fairy blogmother is helping to cure Alzheimer's. All is well with the world.

Call your mother. Pay it forward. Keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, September 21, 2014

prideful memories

One of the guys who works on this farm had a friend with a 'tween age daughter who began coming out to visit Old Pride several years ago. Each time she came around either with mom or grandma she brought a new tool for grooming or training. The top of the concrete basement steps is where she kept all her stuff and we provided bags of sweet feed and hay. What I saw as a nuisance because I had to chase his ornery horse's ass back in so many times, she saw as something to love and look forward to. She never rode him because frankly, he just would not have it. When she heard that he died she sent me a message and hasn't been back since because as she told me "it was just too hard." I know the feeling. Yesterday afternoon she came to pick up her stuff and we visited a bit. Becca said she's getting a new horse at her grandma's and had to get a saddle. Now, there are not one but TWO saddles and a boatload of ropes and bits down there so I told her if she thought they were worth messing with, she could have 'em. You would have thought I gave that kid a million bucks! she hauled it all out to the car and sent me some pics showing how nicely it all cleaned up. I love it when that happens, and I knew there was a reason I held onto that stuff. The barn still stands and his body is buried under the corn. Pride died during the second of two long ice storms/ freezeouts we had during the winter. Rest in peace buddy...here's an apple.

I heard the funniest tale yesterday which my mother swore me to secrecy on because she doesn't like folks all knowing her business so I shall change the names to protect the innocent in this little tale of rebellion. During the forties there was no such thing as girl's PE until the new football coach brought a wife in who was the one in charge of making sure those girls worked up a sweat. She made them wear uniforms (bloomer like things) and one feisty young lady refused to wear it which resulted in her being told to run 10 laps around the football field. She turned her back to the teacher and muttered "bitch" under her breath, or so she thought. Teacher heard what she said and hauled her ass up to the principal's office. She was told to go home for lunch (across the street) and bring her daddy back to choose punishment. All the class people were just freaked out because she was such a "good girl" and never talked back. Her daddy and the principal stood outside the office and told jokes while she was in there worried about getting her ass whipped. No wonder she adored her daddy.

We are fractured now, our family. Each time someone dies or leaves, there's a hole in the fabric that is my heritage. I treasure the ones who survive with me as keepers of our mutual history and I have become to believe the Hindu thing about cousins being siblings. We are all related somehow. During their fifties and sixties my parents did the full family tree business and it's here in a box somewhere. Mama has meticulously kept scrapbooks for all of us during our lives and their home is filled with them. The house is a log cabin with red siding on the outside but clearly visible original logs in the living room. Very cool house! I've slept in every room of it except the bathroom, that very same one that all five of us used. Lord.

I slept in again and it felt good to wake up without an alarm. There was late night benadryl and I thought that was perhaps why I felt so bad but nooooooo...now there's a sore throat to go along with the runny nose and fever blister. My body is a hot mess of post-op asthmatic weepy and sentimental jello right now. Mercury must be in retrograde. I have a full week ahead of work and other projects so today is it in the relaxation department. BG and Boogs are gone with her dad to eat breakfast at the greasy spoon downtown. Jordan is still talking with "emotion" as they say, but not any words that I recognize.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I just saw Farmer Joey drive by so it looks like corn shelling weekend is about to be on. Good riddance, I say. Maybe I'll breathe a little easier! I'm thinking I should have grabbed some of those stalks and headed to the farmer's market this morning only I slept until nine. Remember, I'm still in rehab. Tina Belle gave me a latex band to exercise with and I will eventually work up to weights. I just got off the phone with my mama and they're working her like a trojan horse trying to get that leg in shape and I see a long nap in her future and a lot of phone calls on the jitterbug. Baby Sister called this morning for an update and didn't even know what was up because Mr. Baby Sister has been quite ill. We all live it because it's what you do if you believe in love.

When I was 29, against all odds, I got pregnant. Dr. Eloiett told us about sixteen weeks in that he saw a girl and by golly that's what got delivered by Dr. David on September 22, 1984 a couple of hours before midnight. Mary Stuart asked me after twelve hours of active labor if I desired some quick action with forceps and I agreed. Let's do this thing! Thankfully there was no brain damage but there was evidence that she had been in distress in-utero for several days. The pains started about 36 hours prior but were erratic and I still have the paper that the timing was written on somewhere in one of these piles. I didn't get much of a break at the sawmill during that time tromping up and down the halls with a phlebotomy tray on my hip and being all wonder woman. I needed the job to support our pre-bust two vehicle lifestyle and all that designer baby stuff. When she was four we sold the house on Tickle and moved to Pecan Lane. The rest is history, as they say.

My hubby worked third shift and mine were variable so my mother helped with babysitting a lot and even kept the two year old for a week while we went to vacation on the Ocoee River a couple of times. It was during that time that BG got chicken pox or maybe it was mosquito bites. She rode on the tractor with Daddy as a four year old and witnessed him running over our dog Joe. She tried to show out on the horses as a 13 year old smartass and got Heifer impaled on a rusty barbed wire fence. Then there was this other time when she almost tore off Allison's leg on a four wheeler with Hottie Josh from Mississippi. You don't know these things unless you've lived them together. Somewhere in the basement of the that house down the road is spray pain graffiti that was done in the mid 90s. If I manage to get there I'll surely post a pic.

I'm seeing a Mississippi theme going on in my universe right now so we'll put that on the story board and see what happens. And..of course. Keep the faith ^j^

Friday, September 19, 2014

wesley's wolfpack

Aldersgate was the place where the father of Methodism felt his heart warmed for the first time in the presence of other believers. BG and I were talking about that as we sat at the round table (which is oblong) and did a recap of our day(s) that have included work for me and transport for Mom to the new rehab place. Reports are good and she seems much happier according to Bubba who did the run in an ambulance convoy. It'll do us all good to hit the road for visits. I wouldn't mind living in Martin..it's a primo college town close to the KY border. My parents went there, and so did BG. Looking back at her tenacity to graduate as a commuting student while working the graveyard shift is a real sign of grit, determination and Red Bull. She went immediately to work for the private mental health industry and burned out within a year. This, I totally understand. Our fractured delivery system for mental health is privatized out the ass and just as in other forms of healthcare, insurance dictates what service is available. My brother and I have differed politically on a lot of things and Obamacare was one of them. That is until he broke it down in dollars and cents how much he is paying for minimal coverage of his young family. I was stunned at the figures and we discussed the option for his type situation to require only catastrophic coverage rather than planABC. Whenever there's a choice of plans, money is being passed under the table. We talked about TennCare which he compared to it and I had to disagree again. That plan was solid from the get go, crafted under the leadership of Phil Bredesen. It was when his democratic thug buddies started raiding the coffers (as did big pharm) and ran it dry. There was a daycare piece that was abused as well. FORD family. Tennessee Waltz..Google it.

I was gonna grill some burgers today but it's hot and asthmatic out there so we'll just fry 'em in an iron skillet. We still got corn and the beans are tall and this morning I had a surprise when five white tails went prancing right in front of the trusty old Camry with one hubcap. I had the time to stop and take phone pics knowing all the while that the moment couldn't be captured. We watched each other for several minutes and they headed back toward the river. I took that as a sign from Big Ernie that it's gonna all be okay one way or another. And if it's not, it's out of my hands.

More multiple murders by daughter raping idiots in FL and honestly? That kind of shit makes Fiji look better every day. Or Belize!! Not that entire familicide is abnormal or anything. I truly believe that the deviant behaviors that we see are a direct result of past abuse. That's not an excuse, just an explanation. My own father was abused by an alcoholic who used he and his sisters as hired help for sharecropping. Out past Roellen, I believe. He walked to school a lot and usually through at least a foot of snow. At an early age he learned that he was funny and that is what my mama loved most about him. He's an ag man, the guy who tracked the Japanese beetle all over the southeastern US. No wonder he still tries to spray every little bug and weed to death. After Monsanto and them took over the world he got shipped to remote places like Miami Beach to inspect the boat people and their stuff. I will never forget the awe in his voice as he described their desperation to get away from Cuba.

Which totally brings me back to my history with Cuban pathologists like Dr.Inclan and Dr.P. I'm pretty sure they were boat people at some point only they proceeded to make a shitload of money for their wives who never worked and lived in fancy houses. AP was my first boss and the most charming ever until the one who walked in after Sonia's tragic death. She was an Egyptian and I will never forget the smoke and ritual of her funeral. I cried like a baby because she was the first breath of fresh air up in that place for a loooong time. We attended church together at FUMC which is where the service was held. Most of the important parts of my life were forged there like choir with Mark and Donna and vacation Bible school with all the moms who gave up their time to help kids make macaroni Christmas decorations and eat crackers and juice.

Here's the thing ya'll. God is so good to have given us this beautiful earth and the chance to be in harmony. Why do we have to mess it up with bitterness and hatred? Because it feeds somebody's ego or pads their pocket. And Jesus wept.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

true love

If I had a buck for every time I've given my heart and soul to a man who used me for undying adoration and an ego fix, I could immediately retire to Fiji with money left over to pay St. Peter at the gates of heaven because that is most certainly where I will go. All my friends were happy to see me back at work and I got to show off my scars and range of motion. Yesterday afternoon was my initial call to the local EMS inquiring about cash pay arrangements for Mama's transport in the morning. I told that month old story condensed to about five minutes about 18 times. At one point I was at the desk and flowers arrived with me just knowing they were for me! As it turns out it was Miss Anita's birthday eve and her bestie decided to start a day early. She was happier than anybody to see my faithful self show back up. They all wanted a Booger update and saw his latest pic looking all innocent and devil child at the same time. That little dude is tough to catch as fast as he moves. So, my brother is the original cheapskate who has his first buck framed and he challenged me to get a good price on the ride for Mama. The deal we were blessed with was about 1/3 as much as we expected. God is good, all the time.

So back to the adoration freak in me. I've done it time and time again, projecting my need to be loved onto various and sundry people...some of them men, who just don't feel the same. Usually there's a wife, character defect or some sort of trigger to that type of unavailability. Could just be me looking for a loving father figure, who the hell knows. At any rate, it's caused quite a bit of pain in and of itself but someone using that kind of knowledge as a weapon to cause hurt just seems pretty much evil. To be fair, none of them have ever felt the same way about ME so it was just me doing what I do best...playing the victim. I own that and say a hearty goodbye to the entire deal. Life is too short to spend with people who won't meet you halfway.

The leader of my class who just happens to be one of my best friend's sons has hooked us up with a terrific learning experience and a chance to network out the ass. As we all know, that's what's up besides ISIS and Joan Rivers' doc taking a selfie while doing that secret biopsy. Puleeez Louise. Wonder what the Kardashians are doing these days? Until Wednesday I can sure as hell stay in touch with 'em but it's just not the same without Chelsea after. Um, I mean lately.

Currently I'm listening to Del Rea Watson sing her heart out thanks to a hattip from my benefactor Count Zubrovka. Very tribal and quite spiritual which is what I need to get out of my stupid head and onto the yellow brick road. I'll text ya' when I find the wizard.

Still keepin' the faith here. Hope you are doing the same ^j^

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

how i spent my summer vacation

Today has been a number of things beginning with a nap until 8AM snuggling Sam'n'Sophie. There was this "little black cloud" over my head that refused to go away knowing that it's the last day of a long and painful recovery from something that started in early February of this year. The SOB still hurts but I'm learning to do pressure point holds on the tender spots thanks to Gay with the magic hands. It would help if I had a decent bed but it's seriously kind of a princess and the pea type situation...only with dogs on top.

During one of my trashing sprees lately I threw out all the ugly underwear which ended up being everything. Time for a dolla' store stop for new cotton briefs! Mama is worried to death about going to Martin with only two bras for a week and I keep telling her that's my reality too. She finally realized that if she transfers to a higher level of care for a shorter period she will get home quicker. That's the way it's supposed to work, anyway. I can't believe the drama involved in making that one simple decision *sigh*. My friend Chris is also a writer and he penned something in the pre-dawn MN hours of today about his mama memories that made me cry. He's the very same one who plays devil's advocate every time I get too liberal for my own good. I shared it with his sister and watched her face as she read those words about her OWN mom. She had seen babyman's latest pic on Tori's phone. It takes a village of phones and data and the big guys know that. Right Josh?

It's turning into that gray time of year where it's either gloriously beautiful or sucks when the clouds hang around for days. I'm still in the GMO corn box that would poison Shoeless Joe if he dared to show up for a dream. Soybeans are way behind and not even tinged with yellow. My acquaintance Neil claims that global warming isn't real and it's been proven a million times over by such reputable conservative pundits as um..I dunno. He's about to be on the short list too. Do not copy and past your version of history on my wall. Anybody who doubts climate change should take a look at Arizona right now. I mean seriously???? But of course all the border freaks just say it's keeping them illegals out but when it rains it pours. Just sayin'

So, it's official. Back to the sawmill with my lazy ass self. Let us pray ^j^

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

when it rains

Literally, in my life it pours. I'm not sure if it's me against the universe or just Big Ernie telling me to change my ways but I'm kind of miffed at how things keep coming back around to smack me in the ass. Probably the biggest problem is that I focus on things like reading and writing and trying to change the world rather than budgeting and planning. Reacting to the situation has become normal for me and that's not at all a good way to be. I feel like I'm being tossed around in a vortex landing on my feet just long enough to gather my composure before I get sucked up again. I have one more day of freedom and will spend it more than likely arranging for my mother's transfer to another rehab facility. She was hysterical with worry when she called me last night asking for "my opinion" which she already knew. I think most of it was her worrying about the devil in the details when, in fact, that's all taken care of. I'm so glad for the therapists who have shown me how to not do that. It is, however, part of the beast that is my procrastination. Some would call it passive aggressive behavior...I just call it the hamster wheel. Since sick leave is specifically for recovery I don't feel too bad about not accomplishing anything. Like my friend Kenneth said "nobody has shoulder surgery for fun." The fact that it was an acute injury that went on way too long is my own fault. So are a lot of other things and I own them. My doctor's excuse for back-to-the-sawmill is hanging on the refrigerator and I have yet to visit the nurse who will clear me for duty as there has been no return call. Always with the process.

At this point, I have about 15 rings going in the circus that is my reality. On one stage there is me trying to enjoy my golden years and running around in a circle while the next one displays addiction and betrayal. That one is usually running neck and neck with the eldercare piece. I don't even care about politics anymore unless it pertains to independent thinking outside of the two party system. I don't care who's kicking ass in football or who's doing who unless it affects me. I suppose the word for my current mood would be "grumpy" like the cat. Me and my cousin Mo are staying connected on the Reaves sisters and their status and we just had a long talk that she had to interrupt when she hit Monteagle. Wise move! Millette is a poet with a beautiful soul who is my only surviving blood sister besides Neely and Kristin. According to Money Mike, cousins are siblings you know. That pretty much eliminates the trauma of being a middle child.

Due to unforeseen circumstances my class won't begin until next week but I'm still full of ideas. What is totally amazing to me is that so many elders are dependent on Medicare for their needs and it's a huge rip-off. Providers are often paid pennies on the dollar for providing services because of the standards set by CMS and big insurance follows their lead. This setup has resulted in a fractured system that rarely serves the one who paid for that all their life. Usually, it's about the buck. I visited one last loan shark today and was delighted to find my beautiful friend behind the desk. There's a great big old story of murder and intrigue up in there but I'm saving it for the book.

Gotta make a benadryl run...goldenrod flapping in the breeze!

Monday, September 15, 2014

start the car

Jude Cole was a not so huge hit that I loved for just one or two songs back in the day. Same thing for Jonny Lang. Lie To Me was and always will be one that just makes me wanna' shout. Once my friend took me to a concert in Tunica where Jonny opened for Buddy Guy. Talk about your bluesfest! The casinos there are always hosting musical guests to attract business and a lot of times the tickets are comped as was the case with us. Not there we're high rollers or anything, but I know somebody who is.

My myofascial release session went long today because Gay knows the bitch is giving me fits and I have to go back to work. Her exposure has increased dramatically lately which is amazing because I was one of her first and only clients for a very long time. She treated me for free because I have a "big mouth." What??? MFR treatments are especially cool for post-op patients because of the gentle stretching techniques and long holds. If you imagine every cell in your body being held together by fascia and think about how it gets all bunched up and injured, the whole concept makes perfect sense. All I know is that it helps me. ALOT.

We had a "team meeting" at the home today about Mom's next few weeks and the options were laid out as clearly as they can be in a healthcare setting. She is informed of the choices and it's her decision...my job is done for this day. After that I pushed her chair up to the beauty shop so she could get her hair did and there will be therapy this afternoon. All in a day's work for a lot of folks. Once again I say to all of you who work with patients and their families thank you for being so kind. For the ones who aren't, just know that I can easily find your boss's number and that could be your own loved one being dealt with. Make it real 'cuz Big Ernie is watching.

A severe something alert just beeped on my phone so I reckon we've got boomers on the way. The other night we got several inches of rain and spots like Frayser in Memphis looked ready to float. That was once a thriving bedroom of community and now it's mostly poverty and gangs. Time marches on as they say. My youngest brother and I are both fiercely loyal to the concepts of freedom and common good and both of us just kind of said "meh" about the whole damn world. Maybe it it's all just rigged and our vote doesn't count. It certainly doesn't seem that way.

The way I see it this is a time of reckoning in which we have opportunities to meet half-way and compromise on things instead of killing each other and the earth. Well, unless the NRA has anything to do with it! God is so good in so many ways that I know he's just shaking his head at us idiots running around chasing golden calves. Just bless all our hearts. And keep the faith.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

talk to the hand

I just got off the phone with brother concerning our expectations for the next two (cash paid) weeks of Mama's care and we have two goals which are the ability to get from chair to potty or bed with minimal assistance. That's about all Daddy can offer. If that doesn't happen we move to plan B. The emotional roller coaster is quite tiring for everybody concerned. Daddy and I ate at eggs'n'doughnuts silently savoring the loaded hashbrowns and Skinny. The TV overhead was announcing the story of the latest ISIS beheading of an aid worker and I lost my appetite for all of it. Should've just gotten a caramel long john instead. After that,of course, we had to stop by the DQ for dilly bars before we checked in at the home. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes as I watched them coyly try to catch up with me standing in the door like the invisible kid. They do so love each other in spite of all the bickering. I talked with their HH social worker the other day and she has discharged him from their care because he finally got the message that she'd keep coming around bugging him unless he played nice. Cindy will be retiring soon and head up north to spend time with her family.

I go back on Thursday. To say I don't want it is an understatement because I feel like this entire 7 weeks has been a clusterfuck. Maybe doing lab tests will give me enough structure to get out of my own head and back in the game of life. I feel like a spectator and have tne entire time. This old gal don't take well to infirmity which is something I reckon I took after both parents. My dear friend Cathy B was so afraid before I got cut that I'd be out doing something stupid like clearing a fence row or some such. I'm doing good at this point to get my hair and the dishes washed. It was quite cool this morning but warmed up quickly so that by the time I picked Daddy up at church he shed the jacket. I even saw a cute pair of leggings on a way too big butt up at the chicken and gas store. It's almost hoodie time in Tennessee!

UT got a whipping on the road yesterday so there's that to ponder if you care...I certainly don't. Somewhere in some psych textbook there is an obscure name for the condition of being the only girl of a football fanatic father. Let's call it the Poopie syndrome, shall we? Mostly it consists of a strong dislike of any type of sport whether it's golf or football or tennis. I do love roundball but only at the high school and college levels. After that they start beating their wives and shit.

I just tore a gash in my knee on a plastic tub full of winter clothes so I suppose it's a sign to get offa' my ass and do something besides taptaptap. I did go out yesterday and get some beautiful shots of the farm to add to our collection of Pecan Lane. Hopefully the corn shelling will be quick and painless and once again I can see the chicken cross the road.

More later....

Saturday, September 13, 2014

icing on the cake

Well HELL my birthday week ended up with a bang and the accusation by my father that I'm trying to "send mama off somewhere." Holy freakin' moly! As you may or may not know I've spent the past five weeks acting as advocate during her latest healthcare mishap that started with a bad leg fracture, surgery and several days in ICU. Touch and go, if you will. She went...and moved to a room for a couple before going to the skilled nursing home for rehab. Eight weeks non-weight bearing of which 30 days is paid for at that particular place. Hmm. So we started researching another facility that would be paid for by their insurance supplement but it's an hour away. I've been playing phone tag with them all week trying to get a consult set up and it's on for Monday. The decision is a financial one that she must make because it's her $$ and her life. Once again, thank you sweet baby jeebus that she has those options. I finally had to tell her that when she cries all the time it makes us feel like we're doing the wrong things with her care. Daddy came off of it after my brother explained it all AGAIN and now he's just sad. I would be too I reckon.

I have never actually blocked or unfriended anybody on FB before choosing instead to just unfollow so as not to hurt feelings and whatnot. Most folks are respectful when it comes to differing political views and such so it has to be something pretty deep to piss me off. That has happened (for the 2nd time) and I am not amused. End of story. BG just filled me in on recent happenings with a young mother that we know and I cannot imagine what it's like to live with that kind of drama constantly hanging in the air. Thank you for THAT as well Big Ernie. My own personal brand of drama is quite enough.

Unless the class folks take installments that looks like it's out of the question as well. I'll show up and ask, because it never hurts to! I feel like I've done a Master's level thesis on geriatric care during the past five years which should serve me well as an advocate for others. My organic gardening friend Lorna is working on how to market her super duper methods of sustainable agriculture which is a topic that is very popular these days. It will be interesting to see how all of this shapes up.

The cold front has dropped temps by about 15-20 degrees and left an autumnal chill in the air. Ryan did my yard for the last time yesterday and chopped the asparagus off for me with a weedeater so it will be easier to compost. The house is manageable now with a clear path and somewhat organized piles of treasure. I see a huge sale coming on. The sacks of books that weren't bought will be donated to the library, never to enter this house again. Downsizing...that's what's up.

Peace out ^j^

Friday, September 12, 2014

against the wind

Most of the time, that's how I feel about trudging onward when adversity comes to stay for a spell. My entire sick leave has been spent sleeping and multitasking. There are certain behaviors which I must own in order to get past, and I'm working on that. Still, I am perpetually surprised at the capacity of some to smack a girl when she's down. Me and Big Ernie had a chat about it earlier and he told me to let him have it. It's cooler now and the sun should come out tomorrow (tomorrow!tomorrow!)if the weather person is correct.

The loan check did finally arrive yesterday 7 days after the postmark and I was tickled to see the cute mailman pull up in the yard to deliver it EXCEPT...he had me sign for a registered letter from the IRS reminding them that I still owe then 900 bucks and some change. I say take it out of the salaries of Congress and we'll call it even. The GOP won again yesterday with their unanimous defeat (by filibuster, of course) of Common Cause. I hear a lot of bullshit about how the Dems get all their PAC money from labor organizers so what's the difference, they say. ONE HELLUVA lot asshats! I read a piece yesterday by Michael Moore who is not to happy with our POTUS right now that said, in effect, that perhaps bin Laden won after all. This is what I say about ISIS and that whole argument: Drone the holy shit out of 'em but no more boots on the ground kind of crap. It never ends well, if you know what I mean. One more life lost because of these idiots would be too many.

Just like clockwork, my duties as a case manager for Mom have kicked in and I'm fielding calls from a teary woman who got told she might go to a town an hour away. We specifically did not tell her prior to the evaluation because of the way she worries and frets over every little thing. Somebody spilled the beans this morning without giving us a heads up so there you go. I explained it all in a calm voice giving objective options A and B and the price of each. The rest is up to she and Daddy. BG just went to Hastings to try and sell some of these bazillion books and they only bought four at a whopping price of 4.75 in store credit. So much for that idea! I guess it's time to crank up the antique sale once again. You can't take it with you.

I've cried every day for a week over one thing or another and sometimes multiples. I watched the memorial video from the DHS Class of '74 and sobbed all the way through. Lots of deceased schoolmates. I'm a tender hearted soul anyways and all it takes is a day without a happy pill to send me into the ugly cry. I have five days between me and real life and I'm not feeling real prepared. On the other hand, maybe a routine will be better than a 24/7 piddle and nap fest. We shall see. There is a dog bed that laid in the flower bed for six months and I pulled it out and cleaned it. Now all four of them take turns napping at the "special spot" in my bedroom floor. The other three are...you guessed it. On MY bed.

My brother,daughter,mother,father and I have just finished a conference call of sorts on mama's "situation" and there's a lot of angst and drama floating around not to mention self pity and fear. I'm just sittin' here saying "ohmmmm" and taking deep breaths.

Ya'll help me keep the faith ^j^

Thursday, September 11, 2014

lest we forget

I had intended to post a piece that I originally wrote in the days following 9/11 and decided against it. Why? I'm not really sure. Maybe it just didn't seem "enough" to just remember the day that our security changed forever in a blinding crash of aircraft on metal. It is obvious that the jihadists carefully planned for YEARS under our radar how to hit the country where it hurts. I have no doubt in my mind that the third plane was headed for DC and that those passengers and crew are heroes. The response was immediate and fierce once the shock wore off. It took days, weeks, months and years to piece together the lives that were affected that day. Ironically the one that I was chosen to write about by DC Roe was a former Goldman Sachs guy who had been put in charge of the Port Authority. This man was kind of a poster boy for what they hate about us...western ways and wealth. It was eerie researching the life of a dead person but I learned a lot about what a highly educated and devoted family man he was and felt like he was my friend. There are images burned on all of our brains from that terrible time. The one that sticks out in my mind most is of the weary firefighters carrying their beloved chaplain out lifeless. Another thing I distinctly remember is the outpouring of people wanting to give blood when there were no survivors to receive it. Where are all these folks when they can donate every 56 days? A ton of blood got wasted because it wasn't needed.

Between then and now we have lost a whole bunch of soldiers to death and PTSD and have not treated them very well when they came home. For a veteran to have to survive on food stamps and not receive care from the VA is a telling sign of what our governments thinks of those who served in a war that will never be won. Our military response to that day of horror was misplaced and poorly fought because of a timid approach that seemed "politically correct." It could have all been done quickly and with a lot less bloodshed. Sadaam Hussein and Osama are gone but there are generations of fighters who hold the same beliefs. We will not change that no matter how hard we try. That our country is buddying up with Saudi Arabia does not bring much comfort at all. They do that sword on the neck thing too and never bat an eye.

They say that the lessons you need to learn most are the ones that keep coming around and I can totally agree with that in my life. There is a story in recovery circles about a man who kept walking into the same hole every time he passed it until one day he walked AROUND the hole. There's a lot of perspective on life up in there. It makes me uncomfortable to think how stuck on the almighty dollar everybody is even now while most of us are struggling. Capitalism? Imperialism? Republic? I don't give a rat's ass what you call it, the little guy always loses because most of the financial sector is manipulated by politicians or those who pander to them. I'm not a wizard with finance, but I don't blow a lot of money either because I work too hard for it. My arm is still sore and I'm pretty sure it's gonna' stay that way so I might as well get used to it and pass the naproxen. I'm about to line up every bill from here to the kitchen and throw a dart to see who gets paid.

I was awakened this morning by what looked like a local call so I took it and she asked to speak to BG. Since she's waiting on a call to start work, I passed it on to her and it was a freakin' bill collector for Verizon which she hasn't used in over 5 years. How appropriate on the day after Net Neutrality awareness. She and daddy are going to see Mom this afternoon and attempt to explain what's going on with her care status. I just don't have it in me anymore and it's her decision ultimately because it is a financial one. Once again, I am thankful that she at least has options.

The sun is trying to peek but won't have much of a chance as the cold front eases southward. It rained hard all night which was great for sleeping and even kept the dogs inside. I finally gave up on hauling the garbage and burned it in the driveway but there's a mess of aluminum out there to scoop into trash bags. The rain put out fires in both front and back last night. The yard will get mowed one more time and be left alone 'til next May. And our trek toward autumn continues.

Keep the faith ^j^

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

yes i can

I've already started giving myself daily pep talks now that I'm one week away from real life smacking me in the face. As if on cue, I'm waking up a bit earlier each day so that by next Thursday hopefully I'll hop out of bed bright eyed at 5AM. Let's hold that thought. My class starts Tuesday and I'm looking forward to meeting other movers and shakers in the area to discuss business and what we have to offer in West Tennessee. I've been googling out the wazoo if you know what I mean. My sincere hope is that these folks will light a fire under my procrastinating ass because I know I've got it in me.

BG cooked an absolutely to-die-for birthday dinner of steak and shrimp parm with cream cheese and herbed mashed 'taters plus corn AND crescent rolls. We always have corn and get told about it the next day by diverticulosis. The devil's food bundt cake had REECE's cups in it! There were flowers and presents and lots of good family time with Boogs and his bunch. I can honestly say that I felt the love. We're heading into a stormy few days here on the hill and there's always a hot humid wind blowing our way which always spells thunderstorms. I've been on the phone this morning with a couple of people who know about eldercare options and one guy who works for a government agency which I shall not name was quite rude and dismissive. The other was a helpful young lady employed at a rehab facility. Guess which one cares more about the client? Today is when net neutrality is front and center seeking an awareness of the fact that without internet access we are all pretty screwed, Facebook notwithstanding. It looks to me like (she says in Emily Latella voice) that we could just all share the interwebs and get along. Well except for that pesky provider profit deal, it would work. Never mind.

Now that I'm one year closer to 60 I feel an even greater urgency to define the rest of my life as something that will leave a mark. Looking back on the history that was my growing up and coming of age I see an early trend of civil disobedience with which I have had a friendship for most of my years. My moral compass is pretty rigid and the few times that I've strayed from what I know to be good and true I suffered for it. My ex-husband told BG not too long ago to just "do the next right thing" in her life which is a pretty good rule to live by. It's kind of like a paying-it-forward sort of philosophy. Remember, it's all small stuff unless your ass is in a crack or there's an ISIS warrior with a sword over your head.

We have somewhat of a plan going on here with the Mom situation which shall remain to be seen prior to Tuesday. I'm glad I know which questions to ask because it's such a complicated maze of benefit co-ordination that no elder could possibly make decisions unless they are broken down to the simple level of pick A or B. That $$ is a factor seems unacceptable to me but whatever. I am their advocate along with my brothers and my daughter and we will do the next right thing.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


The buzz around West Tennessee is that the body of Holly Bobo has more than likely been located after a multi-year search which has resulted in the arrest of 4 people so far. That was BEFORE they found the body, by the way. Communities around here are very tight knit and there has been a grass roots effort to find out what happened that day when she was forcibly drug away from her home. It does not bring her back but does serve somehow as a reminder that if you don't give up justice will happen. I could say the same about the efforts to uncover the killer of a woman here named Karen Swift but that doesn't seem to be happening. Ditto for the guy who was found by the river. I have a healthy respect for law enforcement while also realizing that it can be rife with small town politics.

So it's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to. Sitting here looking at all the personal birthday wishes on FB is humbling in and of itself. Add to that the fact that I'm currently working on my mother's "case" because her insurance benefits for the home run out next week and you have a hot mess of Poopie. Even with all my contacts, it can be frustrating to say the least. My parents are fortunate to have what they have but it can go in a heartbeat when providing care at two different places. As "they" say, it's complicated. I've only cruised the news so far but it sounds like Citizens United will get another look. Praise sweet baby jeebus! One of my conservative friends promised no trolling my demolibtard posts on my birthday which I thought was pretty special. It's the little things, ya' know?

Me and the dogs watched the super harvest moon move across the sky last night and it was spectacular to see as the shadows moved through lace curtains. The corn shelling has commenced so there's that to breathe for another month before I can get off benadryl. Singulair is a must have all year round because of the fur babies and hundred year old house. And then there's Queen Lily, the damned bitch of a cat who gets in a mood and drops a pile just for spite. On towels!!! Kitteh' is gonna' find her ass outside if she doesn't play nice.

One of the things that I had planned to do while off was work on continuing education which I must have to keep my state license. Many states don't require certification for lab folks choosing to hire based on ASCP certification. I pay $50 a year for the privilege of working....well, more if you count the gas! As I sit here I'm doing chair yoga and stretching trying to get that "trapped" nerve in my neck loose. MFR in the coming days should help. That bitch feels like she's in a mood again.

Love ya....mean it ^j^

Monday, September 8, 2014

cleared for takeoff

I saw something yesterday about patience and unexpected things and said to myself "Self..you should just wait for things to happen." And by golly they did! I was sitting on the porch working on my feet when I heard something loud roaring up the hill between the cornfields. It turned out to be a guy on a motorcycle and he veered into my driveway pulling off his helmet to reveal none other than Shannah's brother Mike. I have no idea what kind but it was big and heavy and loud and he managed to talk me into riding bitch down the road. He gave the helmet to me and off we went with him going "slow" because I was scared to death. We passed all the neighbors and I waved totally sure they didn't have a clue it was me under that helmet. Clara and Mozella were pulling out just as we rounded that corner looking dressed and ready for something. Mike asked if I was scared and I lied and said no and he just went on and on about the freedom of it. I reckon.

I had to get up for a reason today for the first time in awhile and ended up, after a visit with Cousin Mo, at the surgeon's office. He said I'm doing better than he expected with the stiffness and also said that the pain I'm feeling now is more than likely from a pinched nerve in my neck. Oh.My.Lord. Will it never end? As it turns out the biceps was separated from the shoulder by the time he got to it in the OR. Glad I didn't know that all those months I kept on going like a big girl. I imagine Gay with the magic hands can get that worked out eventually. There is an involuntary jumping in that shoulder still which is also tied to CTS and neck tension. No matter what the cause, that rotator cuff had to be fixed. Mom sees him this afternoon and we are looking at options for the 2nd month of non-weight bearing recovery.

Mayhem and evil have spread from Ferguson to other cities with nearby Memphis the scene of a horrific slamming attack on innocent mall workers and visitors by a gang of about 100. This mall was where I shopped when I was a Memphis State student and it still serves mostly a quiet community. That is until the heatherns show up to act like FOOLS. I don't know who in the hell told ya'll it's cool to run in a pack and hurt people but they were wrong and I hope every one of your asses ends up at 201 Poplar.

In case you're still worried about Ebolageddon! take a look at Enterovirus 68 which is sickening kids all over the Midwest. It is a rare but very serious virus that starts like the common cold but progresses quickly and is highly contagious. Let's just all hit the hand sanitizer as we pass it. A lot of lips are flapping about those who fail to vaccinate their children and rightfully so (polio,mumps,etc) but this is something from which there is no protection, only treatment of symptoms. You cannot "cure" a virus. The belief that every illness requires an antibiotic is the reason for multi-organism resistance to them worldwide.

The cicadas are still roaring and it's seasonally warm but cooler air is on the way this weekend and I'm ready. I have a little over a week to prepare for my return to the sawmill and while I've not accomplished anything but healing, it has been good for my soul to just hibernate. By nature, I'm not a real social person unless you happen to show up on my porch. I will look for any excuse to hang at the house on the hill. Plans are to be a DQ ice cream cake and go to the home to celebrate my birthday tomorrow with the one that birthed me. I'm looking ahead to 59 with a big dose of realism and cautious optimism, if you know what I mean. Ya'll have a birthday cocktail for me sometime this week!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

chasing jordan

Babyman and BG have a standing date for Saturday night since his mama usually works. She sleeps over and then they come out to see me in the morning. She had a couple of errands to run so I kept him and we went outside to play because it's soooooo super pretty today! He has a swing hanging from tree right by our front porch and loves it for about five minutes, then he's ready to hop out and explore. We walked around the yard four or five times not in anything resembling a straight line and he picked up sticks and rocks along the way oohing and aahing over every discovery. Most of the time when they lived here he was easy to corral with baby gates but that's over and he's now on a 24/7 run for his life. No fear, I'm saying. None whatsoever! I had to steer him out of the taller grass because I have a feeling Mr. Snake is lurking out there somewhere still.

The DHS Class of 1974 had their 40 year reunion this weekend and I've enjoyed seeing all their phone pics. My cousin Debbie was in that class along with Yaya and lots of other buds. I can't believe it's been a whole year since mine. PT today has consisted of picking Booger up mostly left sided and pushing that swing a little. The garbage is still all over the back patio area. I built that entire space myself, brick by brick, and added flowers over the years to what was once an ugly weed infested corner with a barrel grill. Mr. Snake loves it because there are plenty of vines to slither around in.

So, the queen of comedy will be buried today following a New York funeral. Thanks to the wonder of telecommunications her life and that of billions others will be preserved digitally until ISIS kills the interwebs. The drums of war that are beating there now is a sound that is chilling to me mostly because the radicals are targeting us for being um, I'm not sure what exactly. Infidels? Greedy westerners? Christians? Whatever the reason for their violent hatred they know no limits with their barbarism. Jesus wept and so did Allah.

When I talked to Mama later yesterday she was much better thanks to a little "nerve" pill and a visit from her dear sister and namesake niece. I know now that our lives shifted that day she fell into the new normal, whatever that turns out to be. Temporary and rehab are the operative words here to keep the whole deal from going back to status quo and imploding. I feel her spirit in that red log cabin every time I walk in the door and look around at her life as displayed. There have been hundreds of family gatherings and parties over the years hosted by my mother who, while is definitely not Martha Stewart, a close second in the entertainment business. This is the woman who would host a yearly Christmas party for 50 and make ALL the food herself plus give everybody a handmade ornament. No wonder I have issues.

Mama's big getaway from real life was playing bridge. Their club met (and I guess still does) every other Tuesday for some serious card playing and gossip. Carney, Ms. Ann, Ruth and Billie were all players over the years. Lois B and Peggy Bruce. Jeanne Mallard. I can't even begin to name them all but they are a part of her history and of mine. My grandmother Gaga played bridge too and was a garden club member in the Summer Hill area. This means nothing to folks outside of Dyersburg but the world to me.

Gotta run...Babyman is pitching lucite balls at the cat!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

falling leaves and memaw tears

Something (more than likely Big E) told me that I needed to go by early this morning and check on my mama at the home. When I walked in the room, I spotted her sitting in the bed with tears streaming down her little face. I know the look from years of meltdowns so I proceeded to try to get it out of her what was upsetting. It took about ten minutes to get "I'm tired/lonesome/feel cruddy". I do not envy her at all because aside from the physical limitations of her broken leg there is the fact that her eyesight is gone so she feels even more out of touch with the world. This is the point at which quality vs quantity of life come into play for the elderly. We have tried everything under the sun to help her be able to see and it's just not gonna' happen. Her joints are bone on bone due to arthritis and osteoporosis so that each fall is another step down the mobility ladder for her. She told me this morning that she's not "used to" being helpless and I can testify to that! She has always been the ruler of our family universe even when we left the nest and established our own lives. It literally breaks my heart to see her this way but I try to keep my big girl panties pulled up for her sake. My prayer is that we can get her situated at home with enough help to keep she and Daddy safe. She has 10 more days at the home.

Finally, the heat has turned into more fallish type temps and I noticed on the lane that leaves are blowing steadily. It is a beautiful time of the year on this farm with tons of color and wildlife. There are enough dried corn stalks out there to decorate every yard in the USA so that's not in my plan for the yard. At this point I'm just trying to get the garbage carried off and the back porch sprayed with a water hose. It's amazing how fast those chores pile up when you're a one armed bandit and a girl on top of that. It's quiet here now except for the whir of the AC and clouds are moving in promising a 50/50 chance for rain. Sophie Bear, Ryder, Sam and I slept in past daylight this morning and now they're passed back out. BG is snoozing so it's just me and this living room/office full of STUFF to do something with. At times like these, I feel sort of helpless myself though it's not as painful for me as it is for some. I learned long ago that it is what it is and I can't change much of it. I can, however, pay attention to my own future and find a way to market my talents.

There is a hymn that I used to sing in the alto section of FUMC called "Majesty and Glory". The music is so moving that I never once sang it without crying. That mournful Hallelujah section is in direct contrast to Hezekiah's upbeat song but there is a time and place for both in worship. I can honestly say that most of my "aha" moments as a Christian have happened outside the walls of a church, proper. The church is where the people meet the road, so to speak. Who is my neighbor? It's always helpful to have a group of spiritually rich people to call friends because when the chips are down they can smooth help you to focus on one day at a time. There is a UMC ministry in nearby Lake County which serves the most destitute of families in several surrounding counties. It's from there that kids get Christmas presents and shoes for school.

God bless Joan Rivers (again) and call your mother ^j^

Friday, September 5, 2014


That little acronym has meant nothing to me for the past six weeks because one day has morphed into another with nothing to do but heal and pay the loan sharks. Oh, and visit Mama at the home. Notice was officially delivered (with no fanfare) to the neighbors so I'm kind of looking over my shoulder to make sure they don't go ape-shit on me. I haven't seen the 3 kids in forever and am not even sure they still live there. DCS may have swooped in and done their thing for all I know. I'll feel a lot better when my only neighbor isn't one who tends to go on regular bi-polar rages.

Today is fair day and I've seen lots of selfies of my favorite kids heading that way. One more thing to be grateful for? I don't have to darken the gate. Nor do I have to go to the Christmas parade! Or the "fall festival" as the Halloween carnival is now politically correctly called lest we be pagans or something. So as it turns out Joan Rivers is bigger than either Elvis OR Jimi Jamison. I've always loved her, well except after she and the daughter got all up into the E Network. Didn't care for that too much but I'm just an old woman so there you go. My stand-up friend Julie Scoggins did a tribute to her in North Carolina yesterday giving her props for blazing the trail that is women in comedy. Most of my favorites these days are women like Tina Fey, Chelsea, Loni Love and Amy Schumer. None of them take themselves seriously at all and will not blink when delivering a totally hilarious punchline.

Per my usual tendency toward procrastination, I'm tapping on the keyboard rather than looking for opportunities to "improve myself." I called the loan place yesterday with a cryptic message to "send check ASAP" when they get my signature two weeks later. My hero Bernie Sanders is asking not to cut the USPS because outside of pricey FedEX and UPS, the little people need a way to communicate by snail mail on such important issues. Of course I could have just driven 80 miles south to pick it up but I'm still in a sling. Kinda' sorta'. I do know this: without that additional 11 days I would have been mighty unprepared for real life.

Mama missed my call last night as me and Sammy D were turning in to watch the sunset and she called back later to check in. She said to me "You have something coming up, I believe." "The 7th?" She loves to mess with us like that. I feigned disbelief that she didn't remember the date and we then went through birthday months for all three kids. When I hung up, she was crying and that broke.my.heart.to.pieces. I've always dreaded the day that I have a birthday and there's no parent there to celebrate my life. Mama is one of those who makes everything special and even at almost 59 I'm not ready to be an orphan.

One of my fondest wishes has come true and I haven't seen an ice bucket challenge in days. I guess everybody is busy trying to tell the POTUS how to crush ISIS. My suggestion would be to team up with Al Qaeda and kick their asses. When even the jihadists feel threatened, there's something menacing that needs to be dealt with. The fact that so many ISIS fighters are from other countries is even more frightening. Like the guy who worked for Delta in MN. Um, yeah. My mama's friend Miss Doris suggested back during the "Iraq skirmish" that we just send a boatload of screeching sopranos over to sing them to death.

In spite of the fact that last year was a record season for pecans, there are some to go around again this year. Not every tree by any means, but several. That can mean only one thing which is a steady stream of random travelers looking to either make a buck or experience nature on the lane. Neither works for me anymore and there is a big fat sign that says private and posted so you poachers enter at your own risk.

Other than that? I got nothing.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

danger zone

Because the USPS took 7 days to deliver the paperwork for a loan, I am now in the red once again. Or maybe the internal mailperson just took their time taking it to the box. Whatever the reason (surely not because I'm a poor money manager!) I'm wrestling with the OD demons again. My bank loves me and my overdraft limit because they make big bucks off of it. I don't say this with pride, at all...it just is what it is. Over the years a handful of people have helped me out financially and those folks will forever be in my heart. Some I have repaid, while others have said "don't bother" and consider it a gift. There is nothing like walking around knowing that you owe good people money. I have always been an impulse buyer going to get something that I need at the last minute and thus paying more. I don't squander on fashions or night life. I went for three years without cable because it wasn't in the budget. I drive a Toyota Camry (god love 'em) that is 13 years old and has only 107K miles, which translates to about 50K actually because the block was replaced right before the warranty ran out. Google "oil gel settlement"

I must say that I've had more than my share of folks wanting to discuss politics lately whenever I post something they don't agree with. There have only been two times that someone deliberately smacked something up there that they knew would piss me off and both times they apologized and never did it again. I believe what I believe and for what little it's worth, that page represents me as does this blog. There's this one dork of an acquaintance who sent me daily anti-Obama texts for years before I actually had unlimited data. I just quit looking, if you know what I mean. There is healthy discussion, and there is mean spirited dialogue. As much as I despise McConnell and Boehner I don't waste my time dissing them. That's what HuffPost is for!

I am tentatively scheduled to go back to work two weeks from today. My shoulder still hurts but is getting better with moderate movement. Nothing fancy like weights or anything, mind you...just stretches. I have not driven which is kind of a deal because I have no handle on the driver's side of the Camry and it takes two hands to open it thanks to some ice storm or another years ago. One of my co-workers has recently found a new love and I have to say that helps me believe on so many levels that I thought I had given up on. He is a smart and good lookin' guy with a strong sense of honor. His laid backedness is one of the only things that has kept me sane in a workplace full of women. Dude was the one who pointed out to me eons ago that having a blog that is a high # hit on Google means you're good at it. Big hugs and a great future to you two!

I think the best thing about being off the grid is that I've had time to catch up with folks when they're in town. Well, that plus the freedom to manage my mother's stuff by phone and catch-a-ride with BG. The home just called to let me know mama has lost 9 pounds since she's been there but she was above normal when she went in due to fluids and surgery. Her appetite is picking up and she seems to be thriving. They are a top notch facility when it comes to elder care but like most places they are converting to all rehab and no long term. The theory behind this according to CMS is that it's cheaper to take care of patients at home than to pay for nursing home care which is true if they have somebody to help 24/7. It's totally a catch-22 and I feel for those who have nobody in their corner.

To the gates of hell! That's where Papa Joe is gonna' follow ISIS and I say go for it as long as it doesn't involve sending more troops. There was a rumor yesterday that Betty White died which I thought was a cruel joke considering the fact that Joan Rivers is umm..not doing well. Anywho, I still have two weeks to dream about beaches and sugardaddies and whatnot. The class that I had intended to take will be NOT taken due to cashflow problems but that's okay. I've still got my story boards and where there's a will there's a way.

Peace out ~

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

divided we fall

Most people who take the time to really know me realize that I am what I refer to as a "conservative liberal." I hold dear to my heart the principles of non-discrimination and equality for all. That does not include the right for those of you (in Ferguson and beyond) who decide that since you're all hip hop cool and shit you can raise hell for a week stealing from your NEIGHBORS stores. I am all about some diversity but there are limits to what I can condone on my dime. I believe that people should be able to marry regardless of sex because it is a civil union and why the hell not. With many benefits tied to marital status, it's obviously a ploy by the radical Christian right to ignore that fact because they interpret the Bible a different way. What I find hilarious is that most of the high profile homosexual political busts have been of these very same members of the Republican party. Dems love their women, just saying. I deliberately stay out of the fray on political threads because anyone who gets that pissed off about someone's disagreement with their point of view isn't worth my time. Trolls, I say.

One of the biggest opportunities for this country at the moment is to move away from corporate spending in politics on both sides. Notice I said BOTH because they all do it. We are not entirely to blame for that because the excessive amount of money on the tables of DC is tempting to anybody. That's where the devil comes in and fools you into thinking that the almighty dollar is worth more than the trust that voters put in you. I believe that climate change is not only real but past the point of saving because of our greedy ways. A friend and fellow blogger is touring Canada right now and said she actually cried as she stood on an iceberg thinking about it melting away. Cut carbon emissions and overturn Citizens United. That's a start in my book.

Churches are tax exempt allowing them to have free reign over money that I feel could be used for church-like things such as homeless shelters, wellness centers and feeding sites. How about my entire generation of baby boomers about to become old people? Who's gonna' take care of us?? My parents are firmly supported by the cloud of witnesses at their home church and I think that's a glorious thing. They have been loyal tithers their entire lives both financially and talent wise. Their congregation is one that was populated by a lot of big money over the years but most of that is moving into the hands of children who are scattered all over the world. At one time the senior pastor made more than I make even now after 37 years in healthcare. I do not begrudge that, but if church finances are to be exempt from the tax code, their functions should stay out of government. Kinda' like if you don't vote you can't complain.

The death penalty to me is nothing much better than ISIS lining up soldiers in a ditch and executing them. Nobody has that right...NOBODY. It has been proven that it does not deter violent criminals because they ain't scared of shit. Usually they are victims themselves of violent and abusive backgrounds and get caught in the cycle of mental illness. It's random and it's scary. My friend Kenneth tells a story of his early days in mental health where a former client and partner in crime kidnapped him with a freakin' bow and arrow! Who does that???? That was when he left the field and became a scientist of a different color. His little Mama is in the same home with Aunt Granny. We dropped off my own mother's clean clothes this morning just in time for a bath. There will be more therapy and she's getting out of the brace a few times a day so that's a relief for her.

As for my shoulder, it hurts. I'm not overdoing but trying to get prepared for real life and I honestly thought by this time I would be pain free. Naproxen and ibuprofen do it, but still. Sure does suck getting old! We both see the surgeon next Monday so we'll see what's up then. Hopefully my 2nd post-op visit is included in the hundreds that I owe his group after insurance. Then there's radiology and anesthesiology and all the other ologies' to pay. Fee for service, that's what it's called. I read an excellent piece today on the cost of healthcare in the US and surprisingly insurance companies make very little with top dollars going to (you guessed it) pharm and medical devices. While I realize that someone's cancer may be cured miraculously or grandma may walk again? If I'm not using those dollars I shouldn't be subsidizing everybody else. In healthcare jargon it's called "case mix" and you damn well better keep the frequent flyers balanced with the big one time spenders if you care to turn a profit. And yes...it's all about the profit. There have been major changes in healthcare law during the past 10 or so years with things like HIPPA and whatnot. The thing is that any kind of government mandate costs money to implement. Thus, higher costs. Not many people in Congress have the medical knowledge to set those kinds of rules.

Here are some things that I see as positives...examples of a reckoning of what is important right now. Awareness of the dangers of processed food is growing by leaps and bounds and Monsanto is about to become the dumbass kid with a mustache drawn on for graffiti. Farmers' markets, sustainable agriculture and anything organic is hot and will remain so because this generation is keenly aware of how we failed as consumers during the past 30 years. During the 80s I spent like there was no tomorrow which led to BK court on 30K worth of plastic. While I may never be completely debt free, it won't be because of that. Hmm, what else? Love thy neighbor. I find that one easier to do now that they're not on my doorstep once a week wanting to visit or having cop calls at all hours of the day and night. Golfers have actually told me that they can hear them screaming over by the slough next to the course. Yikes! Honor thy father and mother. Do your best to reach out and be a Samaritan to somebody.

And keep the faith ^j^

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

bigger than elvis

Trending today? None other than the late great Jimi Jamison lead singer for Survivor and Target among others. I was in high school when Target first started playing dances and I remember the night a couple of my friends hooked up with band members then spent the night at my house. That was 42 or so years ago I suppose. Most folks know Jimi from his Survivor days with hits like Eye of the Tiger. He was out of sight and mind for quite a number of years until coming back out to begin a career headed for Europe so my brother and his partner managed to snag him for a show here in the 'burg. Their club was the original disco ball dance club and had a wonderful stage. The lights and sound people were there ALL day getting just the right nuance for the show. I hung around until dark and was in the kitchen when a limo pulled up and he and the band walked right past me as I scrubbed sinks or something. I was supposed to be the cook but mostly I just tried to clean 30 years worth of grease off the kitchen. The place was sold out and beyond packed and I've never seen such a party in D'burg. Bubba would walk past with trays of jello shots saying "party time!" and loving every minute of it. My friends Gregg, GMan and Rick were the openers and did a fantastic job of whipping up the crowd. When it was all over the band marched up to the VIP room to fetch their bottle of Gentleman Jack and pose for my camera. Yes, that club was heaven for a groupie like me.

The first long weekend of the first week in September is over with Fair Day on the horizon for school kids this Friday. That's where you can buy a bracelet and ride until you throw up fried twinkies. I've never liked carnival rides even at parks. Man was not meant to be mechanically slung around like that! The worst thing that can happen during fair week is rain and it's looking like a monsoon is on the way at the moment. BG is out seeing to details of her new job and I'm here looking like this. Have I mentioned how I'm gonna miss 12 hour naps? We're in a holding pattern with my parents at the moment. She will be released around the time I go back to the sawmill and we're just looking at possibilities for the moment. One thing I know for sure...there must be help and lots of it. I'm doing some homework and leaving room for the spirit to work, as Mr. Yates would say.

In other news? I don't have a clue. Somebody text me if the world is ending ^j^

Monday, September 1, 2014

walking across egypt

Happy labor day to all ya'll and your mama'n'them. I'm tickled to death to be at home instead of at the sawmill like I usually am on "holidays." We've already been to the home to see Mom and walked with her on the way to the beauty shop where they sing while they curl. Gotta' love these folks...the ones who do it because they connect with the elderly. She'll also have therapy today so no holiday there. I talked with a friend yesterday about nursing home to home options and found out about an opportunity I had never known about that their supplement will pay for. How's that for a miracle? Vicki has been driving to Mempho for five years for her job as a cosmetology instructor to high school students. She recently landed a gig close to home and I'm so happy for her. She and Chucky have been lifelong buddies of mine and except for a few cuts on the side in somebody's kitchen, they have coiffed me and the BG for 30+ years. They will both shudder when I show up to get rid of my Pink look.

So my hero Marti Ann came and brought her dog yesterday and we caught up with everything in about the space of two hours. I can honestly tell you that she is the reason that I am tough and tender enough to be a strong and principled woman in today's world. She taught me to do dance aerobics when were young'ens and that went on for many years. I was probably the only student who snuck out for a cig during training. There are certain songs that I will always associate with that class: Danger Zone and Call Me Al are just a couple. Her family lives all over the place so we used to keep their dog Taffy when they hit the road for holidays which I cannot fathom. Taffy would be the one that the twins put in the dryer, poor baby. Sweetest.Dog.Ever. Prudence has that same soul that just kind of hovers over her. My pack of Alphas just about gave her a nervous breakdown. We share the heritage of the UMC and a love of the arts. She and Sally are the ones who introduced me to the Southern Festival of Books which is held every year in October. That was when I fell in love with Clyde Edgerton because he could play music too and is totally easy on the eyes. I still have my copy of Larry Brown's "Joe" published before he died at 55 and Lewis Nordan's "Music of the Swamp" minus one corner that a dog chewed off. My copy of Alton Brown's "Feasting on Asphalt" featuring good friend river guy John Ruskey is there on the shelf as well. All of these are ones that have made the cut as I sort and toss. One year after the sale of a century out here the piles are much more manageable but need to be worked with. I could make enough at Hastings on used books to buy season 2 of House of Cards! Hmm..what else? "Dying Well" was written by a doctor about the illness and death of his father and his role as advocate and son. This is one of those books in the meme about what changed your life that I will always count. Ditto for "On Death and Dying." I see it as a passage because I've lived long enough and seen enough things to know that some things? Are worse than death.

Keep the faith ^j^