Saturday, July 31, 2010

kettle cooked and crown

It's 3PM on a Saturday and too dang hot to go outside so I'm in for the day. Hell, maybe for the month :) After a nice 12 hour snooze, I forced myself seized the opportunity to run some errands like the drug and dollar and beer stores. Hey...when in a state of heat advisory, it's wise to consolidate trips so as to not overheat Old Faithful. She is happy to be parked in the shade out back where the new tiki torches are placed around the half-way done patio. Thanks Gumby!!!! I enjoyed yours and Cassie's party.

I talked to an old friend while I was running errands and we caught up, something that we rarely have time to do at the sawmill. Our boss has a birthday coming up, so there's all kinds of plans in the air. She and her twin brother will be 55...which is MUCH older than me. There was a message from Mom shortly after that my cousin has died, and I was glad to know that she wasn't suffering any more. I guess that's about the only faithful way to look at it when someone has been that sick for that long. She is the oldest of the eight grandchildren on my daddy's side of the family. Also in the healthcare field, she retired after marrying and became a stay at home grandmother and step-mother. She and the friend that I was chatting with are the same age. I love it when that happens because I know that Big Ernie is watching out for me.

So far so good with the tick bite. No fever or joint pain other than the usual arthritic variety. When I start howling at the moon , ya'll remind me about it. That's a critical piece of info for a doc to have in hand when making a diagnosis. Serves me right for being stupid enough to crawl around in weeds taking pictures of wrecked trucks. What was I thinking??

It's too hot even for Gigi's pool and that makes me ill because I sure do love to float around out there. Maybe by my birthday it will be cool enough for a dip.


Friday, July 30, 2010

when it rains it pours

Aside from the fact that it's been a hundred freakin' degrees every day this week, it has been an emotional roller coaster for us here on the lane. BG's Dad did indeed improve enough to go home with a diagnosis of diabetes on top of his other health problems. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. He had a heart attack when he was 39 that would have killed most people, yet he came out of it with no damage whatsoever and only a stent. If it ain't your time...........

Unless Big Ernie sees fit to perform a miracle of a parting-of-the-water sort, my cousin who is hospitalized in St. Louis will not have such a good outcome. She had to wait so long for a liver that she was a bad surgical risk by the time they were ready for her, so now she's there to die. Her family is there with her, and we are staying in touch by phone.

BG's BF blew in a couple of days ago after a month's absence on the road. He even weedeated the woodpile, bless his heart. He turned 30 last week and I've yet to tell him happy birthday. My bad! We are grilling tonight to feed another friend and co-worker whose birthday is today. If at all possible, I'll do it without the oven. Lord have mercy....that thing takes forevah to cool down. I went up to the pond by the highway late yesterday afternoon to take some pictures and prowl around. When I got home and ready to shower off the sweat I found two TICKS on my waist, one dug in. I snatched 'em off and flushed them, but there's a little hole there....the "bullseye" that they leave. Two docs told me not to worry unless I go a little crazy in two weeks.
It's hard to believe that school is back in session already. I haven't seen the big yellow bus for many weeks now, and it just passed down the lane. Being in the band or on the football team is not for sissies because the heat during practice is brutal. It's not usually until November that you can go to a game without breaking a sweat. It's amazing how your whole world changes when there's no kid in school. In a good way, of course :)

If ya'll need me, I'll be inside under the fans sipping mint juleps drinking beer. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

it has a name

Ya'll ALL know what a procrastinating bitch I can be, so it's not a big surprise when I say that I've got bags and BOXES of stories that I've written over the years about whatever was on my mind at the moment. My budget doesn't allow the luxury of going on a mountain retreat where I throw open the windows and create like a wildwoman. It has come to me one story at a time, just like the newspaper guy said to me that it would so many years ago. He was a faith columnist for the big city newspaper and spoke my language...okay, I was a groupie. At least I was going to church, teaching Sunday school when my own daughter refused to go because they were all such disrespectful hellions. Um hmm.....slow learner, I am.

I am looking forward to being holed up for the winter when it's really cold and outside when it's not. This heat is ridiculous...I mean, gah. If Al can put a name on it can't he FIX it???? No..wait. That's the consumers who will have to do that. One step and one day at a time. I am now the proud owner of three huge garbage cans to recycle with which saves me tons of trips to haul it off. What can burn, burns in the driveway. Cans go to buy one twelve pack, and the rest goes to an anonymous location. I figure that during the cozy days inside with my dogs snuggling up, I'll be able to focus on putting some order into the chaos that is my "someday" book that got formally named at the pool yesterday.

And look for spring.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the long goodbye

We have always known that our tenure here as a family was just a milliblink in the years and years of history surrounding this land by the river. By some awesome twist of fate, I moved into the red log cabin when I was about a year old. The rest is history, as they say. Growing up in the country was incredibly boring for an only girl. When we were little, my brothers and I played nicely in the mud and such but we never really understood each other until we got to be adults, talking one on one about where we've been and what our dreams are from this point on. We're all old enough to need peace of mind and a laid back lifestyle. I think they call it middle age.

Our PR lady at the sawmill sent out an email the other day saying that a reporter for the local ladies magazine was interested in writing about bucket lists. So far, I'm not doing too well since I passed on the Eagles *live* to work for the utility bill divided by two. There is something different out there for me, and it can't be all bad. I stopped by Gigi's today and chillaxed on her comfy couch while she worked. Even managed to float a little too, in between phone calls. Such is life in the fast lane.

We had one helluva storm yesterday evening and I enjoyed every minute of it except for the part where the lightning was real close. I would seriously hate to die from this old house burning to the ground after a big strike. Then the owners could plant some more crops and forget about the rest of it and that would be wrong. I've taken pictures of most all of them at some point in time. The big question is....where the heck ARE they? I never said I was an organized kind of person, okay. This too, shall pass.

We have a new minister up at the local UMC, as that is the Methodist way. Bishops just go crazy and play fruit basket turnover come January, putting the PPR committees to task. It's a connectional thing, I suppose. Keeps everybody on their toes and all. I was raised there and went back when BG was little just so she would know what our heritage is. John Wesley made us Methodist...right, Marti Ann? Every year there are huge regional conferences where folks vote on rules and sing hymns. Once, I was a voting delegate and went into the whole thing totally unprepared for the on and on and on of it. At the very end, the CEO of my employer got up and pitched the mission of that healthcare system to the membership and that's when I just about lost it. I knew better.

There was a voice in the wilderness that day...a legacy of the church proper who was miserable with the lifestyle that is required of a corporate preacher. I recognized the voice from years ago and listened to him ramble on about the hardships of raising a family when there is no homeplace...nothing but a new appointment and more fried chicken pot luck dinners on the grounds with a particular congregation. It made me sad to hear it because he told me when we were seventeen that he didn't want to go that route but he did it anyway.

I know the feeling ^j^

Sunday, July 25, 2010

asian love

Evidently someone is intent upon teaching me how to read Chinese because all those comments at my book place are in foreign little characters that I don't understand. At this point, I could care less because I'm tired and trusting Big Ernie to get me to where I/we need to be tomorrow. It's nothing that a benadryl and some new tennis shoes won't help. I've taken to walking barefoot in the mud that results from awide open stream of water dollar store hosepipe. Feels good to squish around in it without worrying about Mr. Snake biting my smart ass.

As I suspected, the guys at the end of the road lied about their names. I was born at night, but not last night. There is this totally naive side of me that continues to believe that people are really good in the heart and do the best that they can from whence they came. I reckon they figured I'd google it and solve the whole big mystery. It's funny, remembering back to the day of the flood. It came up so quickly and I didn't get the warning until about 10am from Bubba. Looking at the precipitation maps "in retrospect", I totally understand. That's a heckuva lot of water to have end up in a very poorly dammed river system right smack in the middle of the country. I read in the big city online edition today that there is increased interest in preserving the Chickasaw bluffs on the Mississippi between Ft. Pillow and Memphis. One of my favorite guys in the whole wide world took me on a curvey ride from 51 south to Big Muddy proper and even helped me up the sandy hill to where the good view is. Yes...there were tugs in the distance and seriously tall dropoffs. Thankfully, he caught me before I fell.

I remember, quite vividly, when the only way to cross that river into Missouri was by ferry from Heloise. Now there's a huge bridge that allows for easy crossing from one state to another. Kind of like Lewis and Clark did it. Nobody on this farm has ever seen the magnitude of flooding that we experienced in May of this year. It's odd now, looking at the places where the water stood just a few months ago. Now there are big fields of corn and soybeans and cotton standing tall and proud.

As for me? I'm just tired of sweating and glad to be in a cool house.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

the waterhose and the weedeater

That I have managed to keep this acre of yard mowed for over twenty years is a testament to my total devotion toward having a nice yard. All of Daddy's people are like that, some more persistent than others. Ginner chops the flowers off of hosta because it disturbs her so, while I just enjoy the flowers and pinch 'em when they're dead. Nothing wears my patience quicker than doing the yard chores in July. The weedeater NEVER starts when I'm in the mood, because hey. That's how they roll. Then when it's time to cool off and water the survivors, my dollar store water hoses decides to get all kinky. I think I'll skip today. It's all gonna die in November anyway. Never let it said that I'm not a faithful deadheader, though.

At this very moment, my social worker gem of a daughter is at her daddy's bedside ready to demand answers on why the hell, in his high risk condition, our state insurance won't cover his treatment. He has several co-morbidities including obesity and COPD. He has managed to make his way, God willing, through six years of sobriety after losing everything that mattered to meth and crack addictions. He has done it the hard way in a take-no-prisoners group setting where the old timers understand that sometimes it takes awhile. Nobody ever stays, except the ones who are truly committed for their own sanity. I have to applaude him for that and for his big love for BG. He was my husband for a long long time and I respect what he has become. I will always love him too which I count as a big blessing. So many people are so angry with their exes.
Right cowboy?

Don't tell anybody, but I had time to put on a base coat of nail polish at the sawmill today. You know...the quick dry kind. Great lighting up in there :) As usual, it's about like Days of Our Lives which gets kind of old sometimes. I've spent thirty years trying my best to love people who push every last button I've got when it comes to spirituality and ethics. My battles are chosen very carefully now because it's not about who's right. It's about how it all works out in the end where Big Ernie makes a move and says "Surprise!"

We're on the downhill slide with this heatwave if you look at the glass as halfway to September. Which I most certainly do. Peace and love kids.


Friday, July 23, 2010

ladies night

Back in the day we used to all pile up into the kudzu on Thursday afternoon and give those guys a thrill. That custom went by the wayside when Redneck Friend got an out of town job and Yaya got a "promotion" at work. Besides.....we were tired of the same old faces telling the same old stories over dominoes and beer. Mostly it was an excuse to hook up and receive our Avon orders while blowing off some steam about life and love and the price of beans. We should probably start that tradition back up considering what I did yesterday. On the way home from Gigi's great juicefest of '10 and a few beers at her pool, I noticed a couple of guys sitting in the shade next the big pond up by the highway. Not an unusual sight.....most days there are folks out there fishing or visiting or just plain killing time. The trusty old Camry pulled smooth up next to the metal building there and parked. Mind you, I have a slight buzz so Big Ernie is really REALLY looking out for me. I wandered over in a wet bathing suit and t-shirt and snagged a beer from one of the guys. Had to ask for a chair, if you know what I mean.

We chatted about this and that....exchanged aliases and such. Since the camera is always in my purse and I never miss a photo op, I took the opportunity to explore the interior of the former home of the Detail Doctor. I'm not sure who's occupying it now because they seemed to be fibbing about their names. Anywho. I gave the one who's always there a cig in exchange for the beer and was on my way home to Pecan Lane. Slept like a baby ya'll, for twelve hours.

I don't often ask for prayer, but right now would be a really good time. BG's daddy is in the hospital and not doing real well. She's trying to process that along with my parents and their situation. It's not easy for any of us. Please remember us when you shout out.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the cowboy and the biker

I first began blogging after my sister-in-law showed me how to do the whole thing. She's a computer wiz to be reckoned with. I guess that's why she and my brother get along so well....they're both wired that way. Like many immature bloggers, I spent hours and days ranting and whining about this or that. It was a way to vent without getting in trouble as long as you don't use real names, ya know? That's why I created the names that have become familiar to the people who read and know where I've been with my life over the past seven years. The very first blog friend that I made turned into a fairy blogmother of sorts, who mentored me to get the crap out so that I could begin to create something different for myself. During that time I met many many people online who had interesting lives and lots of wise things to say. There are three men who have stuck with me the entire time, and one of them is a dung beetle somewhere. The other two are alive and kicking and they know who they are.

There was this real nature type guy in PA who got hit by a freakin' CAR riding his bicycle and had a very long recovery. We've lost touch, and I'm sad to say that it's happened with many others. The mostly risible girl and her sis have been there all of those years. Precious girls, I'm just telling ya'll :) Some of us went through the death of some very dear parents with the bird lover from Michigan and marveled at Kenju's wedding creations. There was one very snotty smartass photographer who moved to the beach and became a recluse. I could go on and on....

Ya'll remember who you are ^j^

Monday, July 19, 2010

friends are family that you choose for yourself

Oh lord, ya'll.....where do I start?? Nah...I'll not bore you with all that and skip to the high point, like when my car started acting all ugly. Here I am, getting through the week on a loan from one dear friend and the trusty old Camry decides to give me a reality check. When it's a hundred freakin' degrees and I ask my nice co-worker to drive it around the parking lot and see what the heck HE thought. Could be plugs or wires, he said. If not, I'm headed to yet ANOTHER friend's shop tomorrow afternoon for a look see. I'll be damned if I give up easy on a car that Toyota had to put a new engine into for free. While still in warranty!!! Oil gel...bad deal for a lot of people. I was one of the fortunate ones that didn't have to pay out of pocket for repairs. My car has never had a name but I think she is officially dubbed Old Faithful after all this time. Ten years and almost paid for, with only minor cosmetic flaws ;)

I don't have a truck so I haul all sorts of things in Old Faithful like dogs who hang out the back windows and muddy bricks from whomever's house they are at and want 'em out of the way. For the patio-in-progress out back, you see. And my parents, bless their hearts. They're just so tickled to get out of the house they could care less what the ride looks like, long as there's air. She could sure use a detail job, though. Maybe for my birthday :)

Next week is Yaya's birthday and she'll be as old as me for a couple of months when I jump ahead again. She's a lifelong friend, along with the girl at work who shares her extra stomach pills with me and the other one who picks up my pantiliners on a megaworld run. And then there's my salsa sister who has chilled out enough that we can act like real sisters and call it like we see it with each other. Hefier oinked at me when I ate the whole granola bar!

There is no way I could ever attempt to remember all of the kindnesses that have bestowed upon me by good decent folks who care about me and want to do the right thing. When you live on the edge like I do, that is worth more than twenty zillion cousins and the in-laws. Perhaps it is the shrinking of that family circle that makes me appreciate those who choose me instead of have to put up with me because we're blood. We get along on holidays and all, but...well.

Probably the two best friends that I have at this moment are my daughter and my oldest brother. We are working in a somewhat haphazard fashion to enhance the quality of my parents lives as they age. Daddy got new jammies for his birthday so he'll have clean ones for our next sleepover. The current didn't go out during the most recent storm, but the cable did so that was a whole 'nother story about losing the remote in a fit of exasperation. I found it under his chair.

Ya'll say a little prayer for us here on the lane ^j^

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I suppose that I owe him a favor, the one that sent me packing to therapy all those years ago. Fortunately I ended up right with whom I needed to be at that point in time...which was Beverly. She challenged me to stop adoring and trying to fix people and to search inside of myself for things that bring me joy as an individual. Like flowers. And music. And photography.

I drove through the 'burg several times today and couldn't help but notice that things look really tired up in the outer parts. Court Square proper is torn all to hell in the midst of some new project. Last time I looked, Nathan Bedford Forrest was still standing proud and tall. Early voting has started and my mom and daddy want to go vote so we're gonna do that one day this week. I sort of like the idea of exercising a true American freedom with the ones who raised me to believe in that sort of thing. You know. Back in the day.


Friday, July 16, 2010

the money pit

I live about 1 mile from our homeplace and pay out the ass for the privilege of being close to my parents in case somebody loses the remote or their mind. Dude raised the rent on Jan 1 of this year which just about busted my budget out of the water, what with the poor insulation, crappy windows and high utility bills. That was my daddy's legacy to it on the cheap and reap what you sow. I reckon it's a throwback to growing up during the great depression as a sharecropper's son. Frontotemporal dementia and blindness from macular degeneration add to the mix that is our reality. They're not "ready yet". Go figure that one.

I respect who they are and how they have lived their lives. Tomorrow, my daddy will be another year older and that's really close to 80. He doesn't care about birthdays or holidays anymore....just about the remote and controlling his universe. Mom cries a lot but won't give it up, even though she knows that it's not safe for either of them to be alone together. Somehow or another, I've turned into the bad guy in all of this and that? Breaks my heart. Once a man, twice a child.

I remember when he used to go bowling and play penny poker with his buddies. He has given himself away over and over again during an entire lifetime, trying somehow to find happiness. Mostly that was in the yard or in the fields, mending those barbed wire fences by hand and chasing cows through the cornfield. There was little time for things like bonding with our family. He never once laid a hand on me, but I remember him chasing my brothers around and around in the yard with a belt just waiting for one of them to stop. Mom slapped me smooth across the face once. That was the extent of my abuse, and I definitely deserved it for being a smartass.

We are one dog up tonight with Meko boarding while his family vacations in St Louis. I think she likes baths, so it sounds like we're headed to the tub in a bit. All's well that ends well.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

specimen requirements

As fate would have it, my heroes co-workers made some mistakes and now everybody is in an uproar about how the sawmill will continue to operate without them because we all know that there are no mistakes allowed in delivering healthcare to us here in the great US of A. It is a right that we work and pay health insurance premiums out the butt for. That would be fodder for greedy malpractice attorneys, and Lord knows we don't need that kind of trash up in here. It's what is wrong with our country today. Corey B. Trotz and Morgan Law, my ass. Johnny Cochran too.

Over the years at the sawmill, I have noticed that most people don't expect to die in the hands of folks that they don't know and trust, yet that's the way it goes day after day. A patient without an advocate is lost as a goose in our system of feeders and referrals. That scenario is definitely not why I got into the field, and probably explains why I'm not particularly fond of "futile care" to save a lost cause because insurance will pay if you upcode. There is a kinder and gentler side to that coin which seldom gets noticed when money isn't involved.

Against all odds, I ventured up to Gigi's pool this afternoon for a cool dip with Conner and his clan who are STILL celebrating his 7th birthday. There was a domino game in progress on the table poolside, Bagina kicking Blanca's ass because that's what she does with the game. Playing with the big boys does eventually pay off, especially when you know the rules.

Over and out hippies. Poops is headed to the shower and bedtime with the dawgs. Keep the faith Fast Eddie.....this too shall pass ^j^

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

just another day in paradise

Since it's so freakin' hot and humid outside I've been entertaining myself by putting names on a list of people who might be willing to volunteer be paid minimum wage for their hours at a rural health clinic. Overtime costs big bucks so we would need some dependable souls to carry the torch. Of course we might also accept donations from the various apportionments of all those congregations who tend to favor local missionary work. There is plenty enough to keep us busy at home without going out to meddle in someone else's business and all their jihad ways. Stock up on viennies because the end is surely near! Don't forget the bottled water either.

Still packing and consolidating here on the lane. BG is back at the hotel with her perky voice booking baseball tournaments all the while saving the world, one life at a time. One of my most vivid memories of picking her up after work was when she was at the middle school up on College Hill. Traffic would be backed up to the Methodist Church with busy parents picking up their kids. This one particular afternoon I was stalled down at the bottom by what the used to be the wading pool, when I noticed some very mean children kicking at a drunk guy as he staggered up the sidewalk toward their school. They all snickered and had a good laugh at how they were so much cooler than him. His cold body was found in an abandoned building that used to be something big and important. Greenberg's maybe?

I think the cool(er) spell is over and I seriously hate that. Nothing makes my heart sing like walking the yard without breaking a sweat. Smears my makeup and all that, ya know? The field corn is way past picking so there you go....just another day in paradise. I do have leftovers from last night so I surely won't starve. I did my recycle duty and delivered four bags of cans to the place by the pond and got ten bucks and some change for my next purchase. Nobody can say that old Poops doesn't do her part to save Mother Earth.

I'm just saying ^j^

Monday, July 12, 2010

double rainbow

When I see a sight like that headed to the sawmill early on a Monday morning it can only mean one thing....Big Ernie listens when it matters. We brainstormed at Gigi's pool yesterday about who could play what role in the formation of a local rural health clinic. These types of places are not funded very well, so they depend on volunteers to keep the whole thing going. I would assume that corporate big bucks would embrace such a plan since it cuts their bad debt by 3/4 and gives families an opportunity to heal themselves. I know...I'm such a glass half -full person. Poopie Pollyanna is my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

A multidisciplinary approach to healthcare delivery involves much more than diagnosis and treatment which is where I've made a living for over thirty years. Well, kinda sorta. Most of the big money goes to nursing because they're all in demand and stuff. More beds = more nurses. I snuck in to visit my dying cousin in the intensive care unit today. Her husband sat at her side, a retired CRNA, computing her score on the liver transplant list. She was a nurse back in the day too, down in the big city dialysis unit, That was way before universal precautions was second nature to us. I kid you not....I once watched my lab supervisor perform an autopsy with a cig hanging out of his mouth while he sawed. That one never made CSI.

Sawmill? Always some sort of fire to put out. Too many women up in that place to even think straight. Have I ever mentioned how I seriously hate drama? Yep...I thought so. We always seem to roll with it though. A big shoutout to whoever is in charge up in there because I get to sit down now and then. And, as Martha would say:" That's a good thing."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

little moments

Gigi knows that I'm not one of those lay around and soak up rays kinda girl when it's July in West TN. We've worked our way from late April 'til now with she and her pool friends helping every day that they show up to experience the feeling of floating in cool water. Her man has this grandchild, who shall remain nameless, that taught herself to swim today in that pool today. She's a survivor, no doubt. Calls me grandma for some odd reason. NatBug started that one....I guess I looked like one to her, ya know?

Homeland security issues are heavy on my mind today. My parents are both elderly with multiple disease states wearing on their earthly bodies and that sucks without someone in-house to monitor assist with their ADLs. They seem afraid to pay for that lest they need some longterm care in the future. If it were me, I'd say to hell with it and stay at home, no matter what the cost. But then what do I know. I'm just an overaged hippie who believes that access to not-for-profit healthcare could be a reality if enough people pitched in. Sort of like the Canadian model where money won't buy you the latest technology like fancy radiology shots and non-emergent invasive procedures. If there is anyone to blame for the failure of healthcare in the US, it is lawyers who make a good living off of suing healthcare providers. Shit happens and people die. Most of them need an advocate of some sort to guide them through the maze that is our system of delivery. There's not much compassion involved when it's about the buck.

Left my camera at home today, intent on enjoying the babies at the pool with their respective lifeguards on hand. Two Scoops learned the hard way to jump OUT from the board rather than to the side where the other kids are. Once he tried it, he did a hundred times and busted his belly with every single jump. That, my friends, is a real leap of faith.

Gotta go cut the grass mow the yard while I've got a John Deer rider parked in the yard. Every two weeks has been sufficient this summer and I like that. Nothing a smartassed country girl can't handle with a pusher and weed whacker at her disposal during a drought.


Friday, July 9, 2010

another million dollar rain

Evidently Big Ernie feels kinda sorry for us here on the farm because of that big bad flood episode and he has chosen to bless us with nice steady rains at the most opportune moments to revive thirsty crops and put some sort of promise toward this year's harvest. We had one two weeks ago and we are currently watching the second one of this day play out. Lily is perched on my desk, peering out into the drips, hoping to catch a glimpse of her nemesis "that bird. " I have this seriously cute chair next to the desk and usually she curls up there against the pillows and keeps me company. When she's not out prowling, that is.

The sawmill has been busy as a one-armed paper hanger this week. It happens every time after a holiday weekend!! I'm being very responsible *ahem* by actually paying bills when I get paid, as far as the money goes which ain't far when the electric bill is over three hundred. Today's nice person was the lady at the office who let me split it in half and pay the rest NEXT time I get paid. The dentist and hand surgeon are wanting their piece of me even though both of them, whom I used to call friends, live a much more lavish lifestyle and could extend professional courtesy to the point of taking assignment. To be fair, they probably don't know I'm in a "situation" due to BG's recent lapse in employment. Hey....she was paying half the rent and that hurt! Things are back to somewhat normal now, for us, which is robbing Peter to pay Paul but somehow finding the money to do it. Many people have it much much worse, but it is disappointing to say the least that we both earned bachelor's degrees and still have to struggle to make ends meet. That is the NEW face of America, I believe. Either you are living in poverty with government assistance or so rich it doesn't matter....and the rest of us foot all the bills. Enough said.

I'm watching as Ron Paul sneaks his way into the next presidential race, a bit quicker and more determined that he was last time around. Time will tell. Unless Obama pulls a big fat rabbit out of his hat, his days are already numbered. Sure, the oil spill wasn't his fault. But the federal response to this disaster, particularly in terms of unbiased media coverage, has been a travesty. I heard one coastal Louisiana fisherman lament that the bayou where he used to fish is eerily quiet now due to the loss of wildlife. The dead zone, so to speak. You'd think they would have learned something about public opinion from Katrina.

There are so many things going wrong that it is sometimes really really difficult to see the silver lining if one doesn't stretch the envelope and reach for faith. But I refuse to turn into one of those old curmudgeonly types who gripes about how the world's going to hell in a handbasket. There are too many little moments that make it all worthwhile. On the entertainment center behind me, as I type, there is a picture of my then three month old nephew meeting his grandaddy for the first time, his own father's arms encircling him. In this particular shot, he's a dead ringer for me when I was that age. The caption on the bottom of the frame says it all:

"Faith makes things possible, not easy."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

dog days

They are officially here on Pecan Lane. My babies won't even go out until after six, and then only to potty. The heat kicks their butts, just like it does mine. I "saw fall" yesterday in spite of the ninety plus temps in the form of a change in shadows due to the longest day being over. I inherited the gift from mama, one that has kept me sane through many a hot'n'humid summer in the south. First sighting is almost always the week of the 4th or soon after, accompanied by the song of katydids.

Thanks to my friend Idgie at The Dew, I know that kudzu does indeed bloom and I have seen it. It's about that time again so I'll be scanning the underside of that big hanging blob of it by the dairy barn for purple flowers. I spent yesterday afternoon floating in the cool water at Gigi's pool. That fountain thingy really works! Today it's laundry time here at Casa Poops. Maybe a little watering if it doesn't rain. Other than that? Life as usual.


Monday, July 5, 2010


I rarely hear from my fairy blogmother like back in the day when we were both writing our fool hearts out about life and angst and raising children. Her writing inspired me to keep on with my own, and I will never forget that. She shared her raw feelings of fear and disappointment with a circle of folks who felt her pain and shared her joys in that totally acceptable sort of way that blogging offers for writers. She commented on a post that I seemed not too shaken about my possible departure from the farm. Truth be known, my heart is breaking with every single heirloom that I touch. I watch the generations who have been here for years and years and wonder to myself if some rich mofo will ever come up in here and develop it into a subdivision. Lord have mercy, I hope not. I don't own it, but I doubt seriously the owners would go that route because they've already got more money than Big Ernie. Still, it is sad watching my parents try to take care of themselves with their respective "challenges" trying to retain dignity and grace. I don't offer suggestions anymore on anything but healthcare. It's their decision about where to stay.

Our mayor's family got together for a reunion this weekend at the homeplace down on Samaria Bend and I stopped by to visit for a few minutes under the cool of their shade tree. We were still talking about the big flood and how Clara drove us through the water in the drifting work truck while two high strung women as co-pilots told her how to do it. BG said I was speakin' in tongues that day. That will be one to tell the grandchildren :)

As usual, the sawmill was a freakin' zoo with all the doctor's offices and clinics closed for the "holiday". Which was observed TODAY because that's the way the US rolls. Whatever. It was payback for my three day on Memorial Day weekend. My friend, the future soldier, says that I'm a glass half full kind of girl. I guess it takes one to know one.

I suppose that I've been in denial for a long time about our future here...praying faithfully that it will work out for the best. I can't say that I miss the cows one little bit, and the scenery has improved a lot. Every time a barn goes down in rubble, I know that we have the history recorded and that nobody can take those memories away. We are family.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

chuck's ashes

It is biblical I suppose, the dust to dust thing. Whenever I think of that passage, I am reminded of Kansas and their famous tune about the wind. Earthly bodies are a birthday wrapped present from Big Ernie and those of us who appreciate the gift are blessed beyond all imagination. I first began to talk with Chuck up in the kudzu when his mother was dying of cancer and he was terribly upset about the whole thing. I would be too, ya know? He worked as a tool and die man for most of his life and had one wife who stood by his side the entire way. He will be remembered fondly by many people. I hope that I can say the same when my time comes to be separated amongst the sheep and goats.

Sometimes I whine here, but mostly I do a running dialogue about my day to day life. Now and then someone cares enough to stay in touch. That means the world to an old girl who is tired as hell and ready to give up at times. Let's pray that I find true love before that happens. It would be a shame for me to go to the grave without ever knowing what it feels like to be "the one" to somebody besides my babygirl. I figure he's out there somewhere because that's the way karma rolls.

I've been cleaning and packing because my time here seems to be up. This house, built in 1918, is poorly insulated and high dollar maintenance. My current bill from Dyersburg Electric System is three hundred plus just for staying cool. No pool pump or water. Nothing but air and the washer and dryer plus a few light bulbs and a fan or two. Oh yeah...and that upper back neck massager thing. I wish I had known about that before I signed up for carpal tunnel surgery and a bridge while enrolled with basic insurance. My bad.

Bubba and I went down to the river the other evening to check out the levee repair and I was impressed with the progress since the big flood busted it out and the dozier guy went into the woods to haul dirt and sand out and began building it back. I was totally amazed, to say the least, but then I'm easily amused. Country girls can be like that on occasion.