Saturday, December 31, 2011

alfred dunner and auld lang syne

I knew the minute that my mother asked me to take her shopping with her gift cards that I was in trouble. Mom has always been a fashion plate, of sorts and takes her style very seriously, even though she can't see herself. We kept the reasonably priced stretch t-shirts that BG and Daddy shopped for weeks ago, so I owed her eighteen bucks...what can I say? With her walker and purse, she headed straight to the designer section where I had to tell her what color was what and what it matched. Gift cards and all, she left eighty bucks lighter than she started. I also know that she's an impulse shopper and once she considers what is practical and what is just "cute" she'll send me back on a mission to get some credit on that card. She called last night to say that the three items that COST her need to go back. Somebody shoot me now.

The new year will find us doing our usual eggs'n'doughnuts. They say that the first thing you see or do on that day is how the whole year will go. I'll be sure to have some kind of experience before I pick them up in the Camry after church. That loose change is being spent on things that I really need, like a new wiper. That old was has been waving at me for a month, and believe it or not, winter IS coming. The weather is so freakin' gorgeous here that it defies words. Yesterday found me relieving the shopping stress by doing some yard trimming and cleaning. The grapevine out back almost whooped my old tired ass!

For the first time in my own personal history, the holiday decorations are down before the new year and my house is on the way to sweeping in a whole new year of possibilities. In many ways, this one has been what I could mostly kindly describe as a "learning curve". Lots of transition, lessons and plenty of love to go along with the heartache. I learned long ago not to make resolutions because I'm just not made that way. Why set yourself up for failure with something like a promise to never ever. Instead, I choose to think about all of the pictures that lie ahead of me, the experiences to be had and shit to be grown. This mild little weather teaser is enough to make me believe that spring will come again.

Happy new year to you and ya'lls. ^j^

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The last time I was off for more than four days was when BG graduated from college and mama bankrolled a luxurious drunken trip to the Gulf coast for us. That was a ten day deal and worth every penny. Since then I've had my head to grindstone using a few hours or vacation time to fill out a corporately managed steady paycheck. Until I opened that envelope Saturday afternoon, I wouldn't have given you a dime for my chances of being debt free anytime soon. The girls at the bank were in awe when I told them the story at the drive through window. Erica has been my favorite there for many years! Add to that huge blessing the fact that one of BG's former employers called today with a job offer on two hours notice. She's in the shower and on the way ya'll ;)

Now ya'll remember, my life is such that I don't even have to make shit up, so it seemed all the more ridiculous when I came upon the scene of the great golf cart robbery on the way home. I passed the course manager who looked like he was in a hurry and ran across two guys guarding the now in hand cart. As the story goes two young boys...eight or nineish..arrived via skateboard and bicycle and proceeded to piddle for a couple of hours. Something got a'hold of them and they hopped into one of the city's carts and hauled ass down the hill toward the muddy field next to the Forked Deer river. That little trip stopped in a hurry when they hit the mud. These guys said that the manager was following them home and busting them out to parents. I only hope they're the kind who have a sense of humor because that is typical boy stuff. Well, except for the stealing part.

I have six days off and I've gotta say that if somebody gave me even more money to work it, I'd have to say no. Two and a half years is way too long to go without some significant break from the reality of the day job and is the cause of a lot of work related expense in the form of stress illness. This is particularly true of healthcare because of the constant exposure to life and death situations, as with law enforcement. I've seen more than my share of paramedics and ER nurses head for the hills because it just got to be too much. We are ministers to those in pain and fear, many without family to calm them. If we are doing our job right, we make a life at a time.

The weather here is nice, sunny and not too cold, just in time for some getting out of hibernation action. The camry needs a new tire which I shall shop for at my leisure and get the very best price and quality. Because that? Is the new me. I have worked entirely too hard for my country to turn into a brokeass place where nobody listens even when a kazillion people rally peacefully for a stop to the madness and get treated like shit. To hell with you Congress..and the horse ya'll rode in on. I feel a peculiar power at this point in time, knowing that both parties are scrambling to distance themselves from radicals and put a pretty face on all of it. It ain't pretty, by any means. But it can be done.

"If you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

following that star

It always amazes me how long it took the wise men to get over to where the baby was born, but then camels are slow as molasses. We gathered as a family at my parents' house today and cooked up a wonderful brunch while they were at church. We had the kind of ham that Paula Deen likes all hand cut and fried up on mama's griddle next to some country sausage that he and his buddies made. Cheese grits, scrambled eggs and biscuits rounded it out. Oh, and muskedine jelly. I watched sadly as my father ate one thing at a time until it was all gone, his OCD being to the point that everything is rote. Mama was just tickled that we were there instead of at the doughnut place :)

BG and I discussed who might need some help since we were so blessed and it only took about 30 seconds to figure out which friend needed a hand. She came in late, after I was asleep and told me merry christmas for the hundredth time as she kissed me goodnight. This morning on the way to find an iced coffee, she happened upon a comical sight when a kid in swimming trunks ran out into the street chasing three cats who had JUST HAD BATHs! The mama didn't even know he was gone, and her parting words to BG were "What was I thinking?" Indeed, sista'.

I have been given an opportunity to get my house somewhat in order so as to not have to worry about bi-weekly loan shark visits. That will happen on time and never again. God bless the propane guy, he's next. I can only count it as one MORE blessing that the temps are running in the fifties here. I'm all about saving energy and the more the cost rises, the more I look toward natural sources. To hell with a bunch of foreign oil! We don't cook much anymore because it's too much trouble to wash, and easier to snack. That saves on the grocery bill. Cheese, eggs, crackers and turkey, and I'm all set!

Bubba gifted me with a big bottle of yellow tail and my very first scratch off tickets. I won a free ticket...go figure! Like I said before...gambling ain't my thang. There's enough sunlight left to walk the yard and build a fire so that's a distinct possibility. Nothing like a yule log. I'm just sayin'

Merry Christmas ya'll!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


If I was a redneck, which is always a distinct possibility around these parts, I'd holler out "hold my beer and watch this!". I managed to get to the sawmill on time today after taking an extra thirty minute snooze on day 4 of countdown to Christmas day off. We had THE best time with the Krouser who is always great fun to shoot the shit with. As we sat there and remembered days gone by of working together with people whose names we can't even remember now, I felt at home for Christmas. Only your co-workers can get it when you mention somebody's most famous career moment. Per normal for a holiday, the ER was busy with really sick people, not just the ones who have a little ache or pain. The urgent care clinic is closed so there 'ya go.

I eased up to the mailbox, not sure if USPS even delivers on Saturday anymore and found an envelope with delivery confirmation on it. My first thought was "Damn! The dentist or the propane guy or the hand surgeon is taking me to court." I mean I always expect the worst and give a sigh of relief if there's no legal stuff in the box. Navigating the driveway around here almost requires an ATV out back and to the south side so I splashed on through the mud with dogs chasing, happy to be home. BG and I met in the kitchen and I proceeded to sort out the mail. She asked me what that thing was with the bow on front, and I ripped it open. Inside was a money order from someone who reads my ramblings and shares some of my beliefs. At first I thought it said 100 but I was all like "Who sent this?" Then I noticed the zeroes and I about fainted.

I will not divulge the amount, but suffice it say that the propane guy will be very happy and so will everybody else. BG is presently grocery shopping for the first time in forever for our household, and we have a few bucks to get clearance deals on clothes next week. I remember when the Nigerian conman sent me those shoes and electronics for shipment from my place to his and I turned it all over to homeland security. My friend the count told me when I sent it all back that I was due some serious good karma. And by golly...he was right.

I may even leave Santa some cookies and milk tonight ^j^

Friday, December 23, 2011

little miracles

Seems like I mentioned some time ago about my friend whose husband and child were badly burned in a fire. It's been a very long road from Finley to Memphis and Cincinnati over the past month. She spent most of her time by Tripp's side while Delmer was treated for burns that eventually took his young life. I did not know him at all, but I knew Hannah from our work together and she is one of the brightest and most caring nurses I have ever known. You have to be to work in the public health sector like she does now! In my wildest dreams I can't imagine trying to feel blessed in the middle of such a tragedy, but I pray that for her because she's the real deal. When she mentioned that her father was single I asked about his "status" and she told me to look elsewhere. Now that's a great friend. I love you girl and this too shall pass. Keep the faith ^j^

A new and quite intelligent earth mother friend came by for a visit yesterday and we moved from room to room trying to find the warm spot as we talked about this and that and nothing at all. A few years older and wiser, she got in the family way during high school and they wouldn't even let her finish learning and challenged her GED. That's a southern redneck mentality if I ever saw one. She now teaches organic gardening to at-risk women who have children to feed. Big Ernie fixed that little random thing because we've lived 40 miles apart all our lives and never once met until my ethereal friend came back into the picture. Sweet bebe jeebus, I love it when that happens.

Today is number five of five with one off before heading back into the fray towards 2012. The heat is on ( for a change ) and the horse is still somewhere out of the fence unless he's in the mood for a barn nap. My brother called yesterday to tell me that he was laying down in the front yard. I reckon he's enjoying his golden years. I know that Faith is. I will sleep well on Christmas eve waiting for Santa knowing that the evil ones on the payroll tax got spanked. Like my daddy says "Janie, it has always been thus and so."

Merry Christmas all ya'll ^j^

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

over the river and through the woods

It seems odd to be sitting here a few days shy of the big one and not have a worry in the world about the details of "having Christmas." I am a very big believer in that old fashioned sappy Santa Claus thing because my mama raised me to be just like her in that respect. We have gone, literally, from having anywhere from three to five celebrations of the season to our one planned meeting for a homecooked breakfast which will follow church. A part of me really wants to go with them simply because I'll never have that opportunity again. And that's the part that makes me really really sad to think about. I think I'll choose the path that doesn't make me sob my eyes out on Jesus's birthday, umkay?

My maternal grandparents were wealthy and our decent spreads from home were left laying to run over to their house and see that Santa came there too! There were eventually seven of us, directly from the Reaves bloodline. My Pawpaw died when he was 45 years old from heart disease and was, from what people have told me, one of the finest men on earth. Handsome too! He did have pattern baldness which both of my brothers acquired to some extent. Oh lord...that reminds me of a funny story. I had this friend one time...a doctor...who was so vain that he had hair implants done when his obviously genetic pattern baldness emerged during his thirties. This poor guy burned off all of his implants when the pool pump exploded in his face and had to have a do-over. I still chuckle about that sometimes.

Many of the physicians that I grew up learning to talk back to were real prima donnas who were living the Kildaire life with wives who didn't work and played bridge a lot. Their practices were private and they handled it there. Now, most practices are owned by corporate groups that dictate the who-what-when-where of delivering healthcare according to reimbursement guessed it. Medicare, which will take a 27% bite out of physician payments next month if this bullshit in Washington does not cease. Don't get me started on the feds and healthcare because every ill that has burdened the fragmented system of care delivery has been impacted by chicken inspectors doing blood bank surveys. I saw it ya' the eighties. That was before HIV was discovered, remember?

What I see now, on the front lines, is a desperate attempt by many people to live forever and that's not possible. Do I wanna die now? HELL no! But if I do, I don't think Big Ernie will turn me away because I've been good and even resisted the temptation to take on a Sugardaddy. As if that would ever happen, ya'll. Really. I'm telling you this and you can take it to the bank. If my tax rate goes up AT ALL because of these asshats playing games with my life, there will be hell to pay. Now..that should get me a firm spot on the radar of homeland security and the latest terrorist network on pecan lane.

To heck with 'em if they can't take a joke.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

all is calm, all is bright

Well, actually not but 'tis the season so..factor in a thunderstorm or two and you're having a homestyle Tennessee Christmas. Not much sun in the forecast which is bad for those folks like me who are low on the vitamin D thing. At least it's not cold enough to delete the propane stash yet. That will happen in January when the snow is bumper deep on the camry which still sports only one hubcap and hasn't had an oil change since the brake job last spring. She needs new tires too but that will have to wait because I got a bad report cards from all the people that I owe who want their money. Surely to goodness if you've read this far, you know who they are.

I'm sitting back and watching the GOP sell their souls to the devil at the expense of all of us, trying out a backdoor move to play chicken long enough in the Senate to where the majority of us working schmucks pay for their perks. Read my lips ya'll: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" My next vote will be informed. One of the saddest tales I ever read was about my natureboy blogger friend over on the east coast who got hit on his damn bicycle while out exploring nature. The man was, and is, a brilliant mind with a keen focus on conservation. We could use more of that. His wife, oddly enough, was a lung transplant recipient and her donor was a tennessean. Like brother Dave Gardner always said...Ain't life strange?

I gave one of my friends his gift of a framed picture of he and his son yesterday, and he seemed speechless. Dude didn't expect to get anything from anybody just because. It kinda got me in the spirit, you know what I mean? I see this past year decade as an indicator on the learning curve that our priorities are all wrong. Punishment for minor infractions of the law fund local forces at the state level. In my little 'burg, the entire state of MO has moved over to our discount pharmacies to purchase or steal their meth ingredients. They had it first, by the way..according to my experience. That concoction of poison is just a way of saying "come on and kill me." Because I have no hope.

Many people do not understand the problems that the lack of a basic education causes. If one is inclined to learn how to cope and get past that hurdle, things work out. But a very large portion of Americans want to sit back and cry like babies about how they got done wrong. Look ya'll...if you want to see wrong in the wikipedik dictionary, look back to events like the Holocaust and other ethnic cleansing experiments. That shit will make your skin crawl!! If you're a true victim of prejudice, have at it. If not? Shut the hell up.

Only four shopping days left 'til the big day and I'm working straight through so there goes time to run to the dollar store for last minute gifts. At this point, I could care less because it's not about that anymore. It's just about peace and love.

Monday, December 19, 2011

free at last, free at last

Well, the score officially stands at 1 for that stubborn ass horse and zero for both myself and my brother. After firing up the electric wire only to have him proudly step over it toward the green stuff, we made an executive decision to let him roam. Until he either gets to the highway or on the airport runway, it's all good. The gate is open now and he comes and goes whenever he feels like it. The menu is wonderful what with all of the people giving him treats. Having a horse in your yard is not so really far fetched. My friend Sue had a swimming pool that ended up full of her brothers cows one year. Tore the HELL out of that liner getting them out, ya'll. Her young daughter was standing on the diving board in new school clothes waving her arms around to her them right smack into the water and through the fence. Pricelss memories!

Per our usual Sunday routine, breakfast will be served but at a different location. While Mom and Daddy go to church, we'll cook up the feast in her kitchen ready for their return trip to the red log cabin that we all came our home place. I remember the last time our entire family was together but it's been a long time. My youngest brother put up a tripod and shot the entire crew in front of their stone fireplace. That would be the one that caught the house on fire right before we were leaving to attend a Led Zeppelin concert. Yep..she loved me even then :) I have this ornery streak in me (see:stafford) that got a'hold of my social conscience at an early age when the law was shooting kids on college campuses for standing up for their beliefs. Pepper spray on peaceful protesters is the new age/politically correct way of doing the same. At least they're not making us cry on camera for YouTube.

My doors are locked at all times now because there are still folks everywhere scrounging around for 'cans. The hard freeze came late, even by southern standards, so they are ready to go. A few have permission....most are just checking out the experience of picking up something free from mother nature. If I

lived to be a thousand, I could never bend and stoop enough to pay the propane guy, though. I'm an old gal and did good to pick up 20 pounds of stuarts for baking and whatnot. Mama decided she wanted some chex mix yesterday so I hijacked all the cereal and mixed some up. She called me three times to tell me that she wanted her "little tornadoes" back. She has found her inner smartass, I do believe.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

deck the halls

A good 12 hour nap is all it took to make things look a bit brighter..along with the sun that is currently burning off a heavy fog. For an hour or so, I couldn't even spot the horse lurking around but now he's up next to the front porch, probably looking for some kind of food. Good luck on that buddy..even the birds are hungry around here!

Still watching, listening and shaking head in disgust as Congress messes us around one more time. Get over the pipelines and entitlements, ya'll. We are about to go belly up in a world market where there are others much worse off than us. Everyone is searching for answers from the far left to the uber-right. We elected you as a PERSON with personal conviction, not a recipient of the corporate money that lobbyists throw around so freely. Both parties do it to excess, and that can only mean one thing: Somebody owes somebody something in return.

Along with the fog, an uneasiness lies wrapped around our community as we pull together for those who are fighting what seemed to be impossible odds. My friend Hannah has kept the roads hot for a month now, traveling to see her hubby and young son who were injured in a house fire. She is a nurse, and a damn good one. High five to the McNeil family! Another friend is graduating from college today at the "big house" AKA FedEx forum. I have known Meredith since her bartending days at my brother's nightclub. Her sister and I worked weekends together and I watched as all of their girls grew from babies to young ladies with attitude like their mamas. Strong women rock...hat tip to you Meredith!!

Still no word on the cause of death for Karen Swift. It is a very tight leak free investigation, and I admire that. At times like this, there is a big temptation to repeat the same news over and over and keep the mystery alive. Nancy Grace has even gotten a'hold of it to squawk over. It is a tragedy in and of itself, and there will be no justice for those kids no matter what happened. As my therapist would say "here's the thing...."

I am remembering back to a couple of Christmas seasons where all I wanted was for my BG to be okay and safe at home. One of those was just last year. We have had many tumultuous times since then, and learned to look each other in the eye with the truth...sometimes laughing and other times just hugging as we sob for what was and can't be undone. This is the best gift I have received since her birth. Love ya..mean it.

I am listening to Christmas music, Spotify style and closing my eyes as Michael W. Smith's "All is Well" fills me with the spirit. Next up, Kathy Mattea...

Merry Christmas all ya'll ^j^

Thursday, December 15, 2011

da' mood

It is a gray day. Again. Once again I find myself incredibly grateful not to be the extreme depressive type once I'm medicated. It's hard enough to keep smiling with the celexa! Today at work was "one of those" where whatever could happen did, and then some. Thank god it wasn't really busy or we would've been sunk. I seriously love it when that happens. The horse is out in the yard. Again. What started out as an easy 50 bucks on the rent has turned into a daily job of rounding him up and waiting for the next escape. If he makes it through the winter without my brother strangling him with the wire, he's meant to live a few more years.

Mom and daddy are perking along down the road, snuggled in their recliners in front of a warm stove and some tiny trees. They have a clock that plays a Christmas song on the hour. The girls at Angel's got one too! I feel very blessed to have learned the habits and rhythms of my parents' lives while they grow old. Sometimes it seems just one more detail to take care of, but if I stop and really think about how many people would give up a limb to be in my shoes..well, I shudder. The economy is shitty. Life is hard. Once those basic realities are accepted and grieved, the healing can begin. And, yes. I was indeed a Scott Peck groupie. It's an integral part of the quilt that is my life.

Since I am so broke not much of a shopper, it is kind of a devilish gift to myself not to even consider anything other than spending time with the fam. Like Bubba said the other day: " I never thought they'd see another winter." All is well.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

if at first you don't succeed.....try, try again

One of my co-workers mentioned today, in reference to my eternal stream of bad luck, that they say when you have lots of trials, there is that much more happiness and joy in the payback that comes around. She laughingly said that it looked like my place in heaven is gonna be rockin'! I told her that I hoped it comes soon, but then I thought about what I had said and thought...well. Maybe not yet! I remember talking with my daddy about heaven and hell as a kid, trying to wrap my little bitty mind around the concept of forever. He told me then, and I still believe to this day...that he saw heaven as here on earth, and hell too. It is, quite simply, what you make of the gift of life that was given to you by Big Ernie. A grateful attitude for that life, in spite of trials and tribulations over the rough spots, is the only way I've survived this financial disaster of a life of mine. I'm a well educated healthcare professional who gets paid a decent salary but forks over much it to the government. The one that I don't much care for, by the way.

So far, Tennessee has no payroll tax because our sales tax is almost 10%, even on food. I see our state lottery as a double edged sword. The income boost for state coffers has been tremendous, yet our state healthcare program treats many of those who have nothing more to look forward to in life than winning a jumbo buck. All income brackets play, but the ones who really seem to get that gleam in their eyes are always the ones who need it most. I remember one time a friend took me to a casino and kept shoving hundred dollar bills at me to! I caught myself wondering if she would notice if I kept two or three for the rent ;) I have several vices, but gambling is definitely not one of them.

I have decided today that the GOP is much craftier than I give them credit for. After all this hooray with Cain and Perry and the women, now Newt Gingrich is looking like the golden boy. President Newt? Oh boy. I hope he doesn't get offended easily at state dinners. I read the first chapter of Dubya's memoir today, about the quitting. He is a personable man who didn't have a clue what he had gotten himself into and listened to all the wrong people at all the wrong times. But then again, many other presidents have done the same. I never thought I'd see the day that I failed to blame him for the wars, but considering what's happened in the meantime, I would shift that blame to the finance industry. Money makes the world go around and the devil tapdance.

Faith's boyfriend is hanging around hoping to see his honey while it's still "on". He's a beautiful red shorthaired dog with a boxer sort of face and big sad eyes. I feel sure I can get him to pose shortly. The other day there were THREE boys in the yard circling and we locked her down. One was a chihuahua, no less. BG and I tried to figure out how he would manage that one with a lab!

Peace out ya'll ^j^

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

next verse

Here we are the dark tapping away on the keyboard like there's no shopping to be done! It will be a point and click kind of Christmas with shots from the previous year carefully framed if I get my act together before New Year's. If not, Santa will be do his thing and all the children will get wired over receiving things their parents can't really afford. We did that for a lot of years...until the bottom fell out and the plastic people wanted their money. There is a local bank that I shall not name which still lists me as ass deep in debt to them over a credit card that was charged off in a BK. Lots of interest accrued over those fifteen years, ya'll. Great way to treat your locals.

The media focus here has changed from where is she to who done it. Karen Swift's body was dumped in a kudzu pile adjacent to an old family cemetery. We are small town folks around here, and it's startling when the randomness of crazy begins to seep into the 'burg. We've got enough of the homegrown kind! Meth is the drug of choice for most of the under and unemployed therefore we have to sign in with the state to buy real Sudafed. Trust me..a house will go up in flames in a hurry when you're cooking that shit. Trailers too. It eats the enamel off of users' teeth and causes them to pick at their skin constantly. Cleaning up a meth lab fire is costly and highly regulated turning into a big problem for landlords who don't know what's going on in their rentals. And just think, now the poor cancer patients in California will have to buy their cannabis from a street dealer. Shame on you justice department...I feel so safe.

My favorite place to drop in for free air is at the service station downtown next to the building I was born in, right across from the Methodist church. Daddy's office was in the basement when he worked for the USDA, before he hit the road. Every time I pull into that dark parking lot, I think about Ray and how he was murdered in cold blood by someone he was trying to help on a Sunday morning. Turned out the guy was on a rampage across several states and he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. At his own business. I remember walking out from church that day and noticing police tape...sure that it was nothing more than a broken hydrant or something. Only later did I find out that Mr. Patterson died on the concrete as we sang hymns next door.

There are bills to be paid and floors to be mopped because it's Christmas and the house must be decent, if not spotless. Pride's fence is hot again so we won't have to be herding him into the lot for awhile. I watched through the window yesterday as my brother patiently fenced him in as dark fell, just like Daddy did for so many years. It was a bittersweet moment as I watched the familiar scene being placed within my view only with a different farmer. Gawd...I love the country!!!!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

virgin faith

Our beautiful brown chocolate lab has periods just like all girls will, usually all over the floor and whatnot. We understand and follow her up the proof of her femalehood! She has never had puppies, though I suspect she had a mighty fine time with that big red dog she managed got hung up with. In all my life I've never had an experience like trying to get that shit unglued. NOTHING helped. She was just looking at me with big sad eyes like "Really, Mom?"

The tragedy that has hung in our local air since Halloween is one step closer to being explained with the discovery of a body out by the cross on the bluff, quite close to where Karen disappeared mysteriously. Her family includes four children. There will be no peace for them for many years. I have kept up with the case in Connecticut where the doctor's wife and daughters were assaulted and killed. When I look at his face in court I can see the pain etched there...everything that he loved was taken away by people who don't care about the value of human life. I still remain opposed to the death penalty, because frankly...I think that's too good for some folks. Let 'em rot in the jail if they won't rehab. There comes a point in every addict's life when he or she decides whether or not the devil will win. There will be battles after that, but they can be dealt with effectively by talking with friends and taking the "happy pills" that are cheap and effectively manage berserk serotonin levels in this crazy world. In other words: Get a life.

Looks like we have a guest on the couch tonight so I'd best be getting my smartass in gear with the cleaning. I was up early enough to catch today's sunrise and my mouth fell open as I ran for the camera and watched it come up over that ancient barn. Pride has been out grazing for 24 hours now and shows no signs of runnin' off anytime soon. If he makes it to the by-pass we're all in trouble! He'll come in a hurry when I rattle the feed bag. Just like kids, they are.

Two days off with a light agenda makes Poopie a happy girl. Let's hold that thought, ya'll. As my little buddy Tripp says "Happy birthday Jesus!"


Saturday, December 10, 2011

talk to the animals

Thanks to my tech savvy friends, my one kinda sorta day off can be spent piddling my little heart out tune by tune with Spotify. Once again, thank you DBF. My bossfriend is still running the show from home which involves at least an every other day shuttle with things printed out because she can't do it there. Her party cocker Gracey knows not to even bark at me now! We play the game with the ball where she catches it and then she growls when I try to get it back. Um hmm...very spoiled rotten doggie, sort of like all of mine. Oscar has potty issues which probably hail from his sheer torture with the repeated back injury which may or may not have been inflicted by a human. The scars are healed nicely and there's even hair growing in that spot again. One.Year.Later. He was our Christmas animal of 2010!

A few years prior, we got Lilypie from BG's boss at the time when she was just a calico kitten. Now she's a full fledged diva complete with sharp claws with which she perpetually shreds the couches. It's more fun than a post, I reckon. When she gets enough of the three dog action up in here, her kitty ass sneaks out the back door and to the barn or under the porch steps for some quiet feline meditation. One other year, Yaya gifted me with talked me into taking in a cat who had been run over whom she promptly rescued and took to the vet for "rehab." This poor cat had brain damage or something and all he did was walk in circles around the house, thus his name Circle K. Two months later we finally realized that he would never have any quality of life so we had him euthanized. The employees at the vet's office who took him from my arms were the same ones who had handed him over to me at Christmas.

There are still people up and down the lane picking up wild pecans with a view of the Forked Deer backwater at the end. Fortunately it didn't get "moving out" high this time, but we were on standby for a few days. My friend Sue says that I have a little black cloud hovering over me most all the time, and I tend to agree. My finances are like working a freakin' puzzle what with loan sharks to be paid and re-upped with and the usual things like dentists, hand surgeons and propane guys who want their money. By serendipity, I found some $$ I didn't know I had at the credit union and went to pick it up prior to the 2PM deadline when three overdraft fees were set to pounce. As I walked into the lobby of the credit union at 1:30, their computer system went COMPLETELY belly up. After about fifteen minutes they got tired of the frantic look on my clock-watching face and did a manual thingie so I could make the deadline. Ironically, at MY work today....the same thing happened with no warning. Two fun filled hours with everybody going WTF and acting like they'd never heard of a downtime plan. The supervisor, bless her heart, actually came down and offered to help us because she knew we'd be neck deep in alligators. SHE will get a thank you card ;)

I've had plenty of time to adjust to being single (again) and now that I look back, I realize that I had settled again. While my boyfriend roommate was fairly laid back, it was never about me and always about himself. Been there, got several t-shirts. We remain friends, and it makes me sad to think how compatible we would be if it weren't for that little item, which is huge in my book. I'm not a diva by any means, and remain fairly low maintenance..but geez. By the time he left, I was akin to a piece of furniture or something. No thanks for taking he and his in during a time when they had nowhere else to go. I am told that is just how he a stone. (see previous girlfriends) Pollyanna that I am, I assumed that it was different with me.

Per my stellar luck, one of my expensive ass crowns broke off in my mouth this morning during breakfast, post and all. This is especially bad since the dentist is one of the ones tapping his foot for payment. At least it doesn't show when I smile! When I look at it laying it my hand, I have a hard time imagining 1500 bucks. My dear friend Gigi, knowing that my spirits needed some lifting, gifted me with a cut and color at the home of our LPN/hairdresser friend the other evening right in the middle of her kitchen. When I told her it was "just like Steel Magnolias" Steph immediately claimed to be Truvie. Love it.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


BG and I head to her couch/bed every afternoon to catch up with each other and watch some comedy before we go to our own happy places. Sometimes we cook...on occasion a kind stranger shows up with dinner, but not often. We've been through some shit, and both of us are wore ass out. We got to chatting today about the state of the world and whatnot and I couldn't help but throw it out there that her generation has a chance to turn things around, now that we know what will always be thus and so until somebody gets pissed off to demand change. She commented that the hippie mother and fatherhood thing probably won't hurt that prospect. The ones who will shrivel up like a wicked witch under the house are the folks who have lived and died robbing others.

Here's the deal. I am really REALLY mad about random things when I see injustice being done. One of those issues is the mandate by the DEA to close down the medicinal marijuana shops in California even though it is legal in their state. These people are growing their own stuff, marketing it and are paying taxes on their sales. WTF????? If we had taken it on as a cash crop the Mexican drug wars would have never happened. Why? Go figure. All of the poor people everywhere want to live here because we have rights...except they don't. They are at the mercy of government officials who want to be able to show their faces at church and the country club. Oh, and on Fox news. My daddy was an employee of the USDA all of his life, raising cattle and farming on the side. In his prime, he plotted the progress of the Japanese beetle across the cotton fields of the southeastern United States. The last five years before his retirement at the age of 55 he got shipped to Miami to meet the boat people coming over from Cuba. Talk about culture shock! My buddy Tim who inherited that job is permanently stationed at the Memphis airport doing whateverthehell that step toward retirement involves. He's a new grandpa, by the way.

Gotta strand of lights to fill in that gap on the tree. We also picked up the usual and are mighty glad to get that out of the way. I woke to a surprise snow this morning and really enjoyed the visuals on the way to work. All is well for the moment. We'll see how that goes, umkay?


Monday, December 5, 2011

acting as if

When recovering from most any sort of drama or trauma one of the key factors in a successful path is the ability to "act as if" everything were okay when really it all seems to be going to hell in a hand basket. It's called gratitude. Now, not to the point where you ignore obvious problem spots in relationships and personal growth, but a more positive orientation toward change. For the past ten years, money has been just one of the many problems I've wrestled with as a single woman with an adult child COLLEGE EDUCATED child in today's economy. Now, two years after her graduation, the lender who put her 25K in debt is hounding not only her, but me. Because I have a job and she doesn't. Because I was a REFERENCE, not a co-signer...mind you, they call me five times a day and sent me letters in both my married and maiden names telling me what's up. Their way of getting to her is by hounding me. All I can say is good luck peeps...unless the sky opens up and rains down on her with a job, we're ALL out of luck. That's how I have to look at it to stay sane.

Some of you may remember when DirecTV ran my debit card to the tune of 500 bucks for early termination fees when I had not signed a contract with them. The bank made them give it back (three months later) and they've been on my ass ever since. That has been on my credit report for six years now and I don't care, because sometimes you just have to stand up and say hell to the no! Other companies do it too, but now they are required to explain a little more clearly that signing a carbon copy when the installer drops by is a "contract." Plus, consumers have become much wiser following years of terror led by big finance. Several of my older co-workers are staying on because the economy is so bad that what they had left after the crash isn't enough to live on. Millions and millions of hard earned dollars frittered away by company CEOs and fund managers living the high life. It has happened before, and more than likely will happen again before the end of time. Greed isn't something easily controlled.

The owners of the place where I live are very wealthy people and much of it comes from the finance industry. Over the years I've wrestled with the right and wrongness of me paying out the ass to live in this old house just because I like the view while they're off sailing somewhere. The heir apparent one who got stuck with the whole deal when daddy retired is somewhat more interested in the history and land conservation than his father ever was. When I first moved here the fences were falling down and it was no big thing to be out chasing cattle in the cornfield. After daddy retired and my brother took over, he slowly but surely began the process of crafting the place into a masterpiece of well drained and soon to be irrigated cropland. He grew up learning the lessons that taught him how to take over when it got to be too much for daddy. And boy was THAT a tough transition! Remind me to tell ya'll how many boxes and garbage bags I hauled out of his office that day...and spiders too.

The rent went up and I get a small break for taking care of Pride which also involves a lot of fences that don't work. He had a live wire around him for a few years but he knows it's dead now and just steps right over it to plod down our driveway toward the lane. We don't even notice anymore, rounding him up with treats as we head in. The wind is howling now and fortunately the expected flood won't happen. I mean, when I heard that there were flood warnings again, I was like "Really?" The end of the lane is covered but that's normal for a heavy rainfall. The poor old Camry with one hubcap has some mighty rusty rims ya'll.

I've been listening to music and decorating my little smartass off for Christmas. As if by ESP, Pride just stepped into my point of view through the living room window, bending his head toward the northwest wind and grazing like there's no tomorrow. He's been alive for about 30 years and it's worked for him so I should probably act like him.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


I discovered after checking the calendar today that Advent has commenced which might explain how I came up with the spirit to put together mama's old tree in the living room/office. One strand of lights is either bad or not plugged into the rest of them correctly so there's a bit of a gap in lighting, but that's okay. We pretty much roll that way most of the time. It is what it is in this day and time, and I choose to look ahead.

The predicted monsoon began this morning but so far hasn't been very heavy. We're hoping that the tributaries don't all get crazy like they tend to do close to the mighty Mississippi when it gets full. That's when the trusty old Camry fails to navigate and old Poops needs a tall truck to get to the sawmill. Plus, you've got your grands sittin' down there on low ground with no access to emergency services when the water is up. I don't think they could go in James Frank's boat this time!

Daddy skipped his doughnut fix today because he got a bellyache last time from gobbling down all that sugar on top of a full breakfast. I failed to notice a familiar white truck in the lot what with all the scurrying in and out in the rain. As I was seated across from them I glanced up to see a dear friend finishing his breakfast. We caught up on our families and his golf game and he was on his way to the airport in Memphis to deliver a son to a plane headed back to the army. C looks (and acts) a whole lot like his daddy ;)

There are three sleeping dogs on the loveseat beside me. I haven't seen Lily in a couple of days which is okay. Her ornery kitty ass wears me out when she's mad at BG which has been a lot lately. She is strictly outdoor trained, but when she's in that mood the towels in the bathroom close (with no doors) are her anger therapy. YUK! I'm sure old Pride is in the barn staying dry and just waiting for somebody to dish out the sweet feed.

I finally found the nativity scene buried in boxes of treasures from days gone by. All the pieces came from family members, mostly my ceramic crazy Gaga. There is a pre-school era pine cone tree, sprayed green with a star on top made by none other than babygirl. It makes a nice transition from the pine cone turkey into the Christmas season.

Faith. Hope. Love.

The greatest of these is love.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

okay then

When I first started blogging one of the most followed bloggers in my state was a guy known as South Knox Bubba. An employee of some big bank related corporation, he was, and I presume still is, a liberal like myself and quite vocal about politics and local news plus big orange sports. Dude's blogroll included too many links to click, but I always enjoyed visiting there for my daily dose of "kickass." Bubba got "outed" to his employer and lost his job because of it. This was during the time that big banks were handing out money to everybody and their brother even when they knew we couldn't pay, so his political views didn't set well with corporate. He wasn't Dooce by any means, but close. It is because of him that I am aware of the corporate greed that is rampant in East Tennessee. See: BCBS mansion in Chattanooga. And like TVA...ya'll better stop me now because I'm about to rant.

There is rarely anything more interesting than the obits or somebody's kid playing soccer in our local paper. Yesterday while slaving away at the sawmill browsing their online edition, I noticed a piece about our local power board calling TVA to task for putting a large surcharge on our utility bills, which they must pass on to customers. It began in April of '10 I believe, and is significant enough in the summer that I have to split my bills to be able to pay, which they allow twice a year. Executives of this giant company who have charged out the ass to "recover costs from flooding, twisters, ash spills, yadayada" were awarded nice bonuses for the holidays, and that just sucks a big one right now, ya know? In an economic atmosphere where solid middle class citizens with good jobs like myself have to borrow from friends to survive, something is wrong. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really good with finance, but I've worked long and hard enough to be able to get a decent raise when that kind of shit is going on. I am eagerly awaiting TVA's reply to our locals. Make it sound good, ya'll. Umkay???

We made mama Staff's cutout Christmas cookies last night and the table was still covered with flour and sprinkles when I headed in to start the great cleanup. Conner and his girls came over and we whipped up the butter cookies and iced 'em. Anybody who feels froggy might want to try this simple recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 cup AP flour

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift flour into butter mixture and stir well. Chill dough for one hour.

Roll out thin on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for six to eight minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Remove to rack for cooling and decorate to your heart's delight.

The tree still isn't fact the floor hasn't even been swept. We're waiting for the repo man to show up any day now for BG's car. But you know what? I believe.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

in all things, moderation

That sounds kinda biblical which is unusual for me. My cynical brand of spirituality tends to lean toward the left which is more of a peace and love conservationist sort of world view. I mean gah...they've been telling us for years what a shame it is that so much of mother earth has been destroyed in the quest for corporate products. As a baby boomer, I saw the good times that followed WWII and the spending orgy that has become the collapse of our American economy just for a buck. Rather than using natural materials that profit the citizens of OUR country, we spend a brazillion bucks doing a big dance called the import/export biz. Once again President Clinton, I'm sorry that was your legacy. I'm sure it seemed right at the time.

My therapist has this phrase that I love which begins most every sentence in which he offers gentle advice. "Here's the thing" he says. He takes what I've rambled onandonandon about, knowing our history, and helps me to more clearly see options to get out of the mess, no matter how bad it is. It is a fifteen year relationship that has bound our family together following some mighty big drama. No wonder I'm single! Nobody wants to be effin' analyzed all the time ;)

The latest roommate at Casa Poopie has moved into a house and is somewhat settled so it's just me and BG plus the critters. The heat is working now but we're praying that propane guy doesn't lose patience being quite conservative so as not to freeze pipes in January. I have exactly four dollars and 34 cents in my checking account and my first retirement payment didn't show up at the bank today. If ya'll are the prayin' sort, please bump that little request up to the top of your list for just one night. That would give me some relief until payday.

BG went to visit the grands for lunch today and left early because he was in a mood about their chatter during the news. Whatever. If mama wants to talk it's her house too! My brave little toaster of a social worker daughter stands up to his ornery ass too, unlike me. Even in my forties he could bring me to tears by ranting at me like a running Stafford. Gah. I turned out okay and all, geez. He never understood why "my generation" didn't like the Vietnam war. As a veteran of the Korean war and poor sharecropper's son he didn't understand why it was wrong because our country said we were in danger. That was the beginning of the military orgy.

We are in a place right now where Americans have had their voices heard and everybody knows that the gig is up when it comes to big government. All you have to do is look at the response to Hurricane Katrina and know that we are not prepared as a nation to defend ourselves. Because everybody's fighting some battle somewhere else on our payroll, risking their life, to defend our honor and what we believe in. That does not includes oil spills in the Gulf, by the way. Shame on your BP.

I guess that's the extent of today's ramble. Peace out ^j^

Monday, November 28, 2011

just another manic monday

Oh boy. Today was a fast paced payback for a four day weekend from start to finish! My boss is still laid up in the bed with a broken bone on the mend. I made a couple of housecalls today delivering time sheets and whatnot so that she can at least steer the ship by remote from her home setup. She's in such pain that there's nothing much but going from chair to bed with her for a good while. Sometimes, you just don't have a choice except to be still.

The sawmill was buzzing as the weather changed from cold rain to snow coming down in big fat sloppy flakes. Of course this thrills my propane challenged self to no end. We are about to go all out redneck and cover the windows with blankets that won't come down until March. Take THAT big oil! I refuse to stack up more debt just for the luxury of staying warm when there is a kind hearted soul out there who kept me that way last winter and never got paid. This too shall pass, Butch. Income tax time is coming up buddy! If I can't occupy Wall Street the least I can do is to occupy my own domain with conviction. As BG says: "It's hoodie time!"

Monday I hate to leave thee behind. Yeah...right.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

good karma comes calling

Well I'll be damned if the karma from my brush with a Nigerian con artist didn't show itself this week, one that I thought would be spent wondering how to pay the rent. That's still an issue, but at least the mood is a lot mellower and there's some team building going on as I type. Plus a damn good chapter in the book. We are women, hear us roar. BG is on the way for eggs and doughnuts while I play hooky from the real world for one more day. Sweet.

Pecan poachers pickers have left the lane because it's cold and wet and they have actually cleaned out what's there until a hard freeze. My neighbor told me they had 300 plus pounds. It's good exercise too! Straw bale gardening has been the topic of the many conversations that I've shared lately, and it appeals to my hippie side on many levels. Great way to keep weeds out and recycle our precious environment.

I haven't watched any news for three days so I'm smooth out of touch with what the candidates are or are not doing. I will say this...if my income tax refund is not there on the spot, I will occupy DC live and in person to throw a hissie fit, also known as the "running Stafford" variety. They are not pretty, ya'll and I reserve them for special occasions. I've learned to be a pick-your-battle kind of gal and if it doesn't promote justice and growth, it doesn't register on my radar. Simple country girl philosophy is a great tool for navigating life.

As Ike would say "Peace out!"


Saturday, November 26, 2011

the next chapter

I'll be damned if I didn't sit down to bitch and whine about my lot in life on Thanksgiving just like it wasn't still the season. Luckily life distracted me with other things and that never got published for the whole world to say "aww, poor baby". I do so try not to be mama taught me that there's always an element of faith in making change of any kind. Our last roommate is a distant memory except for a stray athletic sock or golf tee. There is a transitional thing going on here now that I'm totally in love with. Kinda like an extended slumber party where she runs for grub.

We finished off the rest of the leftovers last night and our bellies said thankyouverymuch. After one day of sunshine the rain is setting in again for the weekend. I bet mama will play hooky from church tomorrow. And we all know she'll get fussed at by Mr.OCD....sigh. She's learned to take it and roll over for some more ZZZZs. She has earned that right. She was always very active in our local UMC and helped to establish an outreach ministry to the elderly where members served communion to them in their homes. We would pick up the "blessed" sacraments and knock on doors to visit and pray with them.

Daddy has already passed out in the choir once before but their little community of believers caught him and I hauled 'em home. Every time I drive by there on Sunday morning if there's an ambulance I wait for the phone to ring. We're had more than our share the past few years. And, invariably, it happens on a holiday. We have spent one Mother's Day and two Easters in the ER, not to mention numerous emergency trips by one of us to put out some small fire like missing pills. They are still determined to do some things for themselves and I respect that. Their friend Ms Faye comes most every day and is like an answer to prayer for the perfect companion.

Though never one to rush the Christmas season, I'm anxious to get the nativity scene and advent wreath in place. The practical side of me knows that there will be nothing under it. But my spiritual side takes over and says that it doesn't matter.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

turkey talk

It is two days before Thanksgiving and here I sit in shorts and a t-shirt planning what to cook. Only in the south! Since my bed was also inhabited by two dogs and one BG, I got up early and hit the floor running to the dollar store for my one outing of the day. Stopping by my parents' house to pick up a few pecans was the last task on the short list. I'll soon be boiling a whole boatload of eggs to devil because my brother wants his "own" stash to take home. Mom decided against the sweet 'tater casserole this year since most of it ended up on the walls last year due to mixer problems ;)

I am so thankful to be here..right now..where I am, in a country where people can say and do most anything they like and not be persecuted. Pepper spraying peaceful college protesters is not on the list, by the way. I dared to share my disdain for that big noisy news channel that all the conservative people like and boy did I take a facebook beating! Sorry ya'll. I'm so sick of all of it I could just go up to the mountain top and never look back. News isn't all bad, as evidenced by the kinder gentler type of reporting about human interest and peaceful solutions. But of course there's the old saying "If it bleeds, it leads" so there you go. Back to the money thing again!

There is some kind of huge front coming through today that will drop the temps about twenty degrees and hopefully knock the rest of those pecans down. They're still hanging in there swinging in the breeze taunting me. After the next hard freeze, I'll start shaking them. It has been amazing to watch all the locals come around just to re-visit the joy of 'can picking. There is NO POSSIBLE way to do it and look like a lady so you learn quickly to sit and crawl in a circle. Those picker upper thingies are for the birds, too.

Not much has changed. I'm still broke and tired and sometimes lonely. But, in spite of that I am filled with gratitude for all the many blessings that are a part of my life. I have a good job working with people who love me and a family that is still standing even though some of us are miles apart. Every day I make a new friend or see some old ones, and that bond is what keeps me going when all of the others are stretched past their limits. I am particularly thankful for the native Americans who extended their friendship to a bunch of determined sea travelers all those years ago and joined them at the table when the crop came in.
Thanksgiving is about recognizing and celebrating the bounty that is a gift from Big Ernie. Sometimes it's money...and sometimes it's just the moment.
Happy Thanksgiving all ya'll ^j^

Monday, November 21, 2011

holiday cheer

My worldly friend is still somewhere on a beach so I took on her shift for one day of the rotation. It worked pretty well today, giving me some sleep-in time following several 5AM days. What I've discovered about swinging shifts is that it's hard to adjust, especially for elderly people in their golden years like myself. And to top it all off, our boss has a broken bone and is laid up in the sawmill! Her dogchild Gracey Lynn came to visit the first two days but she's due to go home soon.

Before work, I went to the funeral home and viewed my dear friend's daddy. She wasn't there yet, and I met a couple of family members that I didn't know were. That's the cool thing about funeral always meet somebody new, kinda like at a family reunion. I ran into a Lake county cuz the other day and he's planning on a big holiday party for the whole clan. Only his wife doesn't know it yet!

In a bizarre twist of events, my massage therapist responded to a text message that my back was a mess and the bitch was acting up big time. That was an answered prayer if I ever got one. One of my favorite Melodie Beattie stories is about when she was rock bottom wore ass out and called a friend to see her through it. That friend showed up with a bottle of oil and massaged her feet until the ugly cry went away. Hmm..that sounds biblical.

My goal of having the dining room clean by Thanksgiving is within reach but for a good floor mopping. Nobody wants to eat here so we'll haul it all down to the red log cabin and let Mama cluck over the whole deal. Why? Because that's what families do.

And for that? I am forever grateful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

one story at a time

If there is one pivotal figure in my desire to write it is newspaper columnist David Waters. When I was in therapy I read his columns faithfully (print edition, by the way) and was captured by his ability to tell someone's story and preserve the dignity and pride involved with overcoming obstacles in life. The one time I was a church delegate to my conference, I remember seeing him come in and cover the entire political process that is involved with being denominational. Mostly he wrote about the pain and suffering of Memphians who rose above it all to become at peace with themselves and the world. He covered efforts by local congregations to help those in need close by, and that was...and is..something that is a part of my soul. When I gushed like a groupie that he should "write a book" his response was that he was doing exactly that, one story a week. Faith matters dude.

So far I've gotten away with not turning the central unit on and bundling up instead. Those itty bitty electric heaters keep one room warm which is all we need. Well, actually two of 'em. The rest of the house is like ice! I refuse to flick the switch until it gets into the twenties and stays there. That's the good thing about living in Tennessee I reckon. I have a feeling that this winter will be my last here on the hill with snow blowing through the pines and drifting across the road. Karma is nudging me to move on and take care of myself instead of everybody else.

I called my friend Vick today just to let her know that my heart is still broken and she was sitting in the oncologist's office with our girl Paula getting things checked out. They both love me and can't wait to be in the book.

Happy weekend ya'll. I'll be saving lives for the next few days in preparation for my long holiday weekend. And yes, I am thankful.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

oh happy day

My habit used to be sleeping away days off, staying up late prowling around the house and sacking out for at least twelve hours. Now that I'm a permanent early morning person at the sawmill, I hit the hay pretty dang early, especially since it's darker longer. This morning BG and I set about the task of delivering mama to hair and back and stopping by the frame shop that my aunt and cousin used to own. While they did their business, I went through the metal detector at the courthouse and slid upstairs for that official copy of the divorce. The farm research wasn't in the stars today because it's gonna' take more than one of us to figure that puzzle out and Bub is working. After we dropped her off at Angel's we stopped in on a dear friend and her beautiful babygirl. Ten minutes of laying on a quilt urging that precious bunch of innocence to roll over was better for the soul than most anything I've done lately.

After that we visited the loan shark shopped around for a lender so that yesterday's check at the grocery store doesn't bounce. While standing at the counter watching old girl take care of a million things and flirt at the same time, an old schoolmate walked in and she was GLOWING. We hugged and she proceeded to tell me her story. My age and single, she is a prison guard about 30 miles south of here. Her financial situation was so bad that she had to LIVE at work because she couldn't afford the gas. Last Sunday and Monday, she said...the walls began to close in on her and she prayed for Big Ernie to just get her out of that situation whatever way he saw fit. Two days later, she won 150K on a five dollar jumbo buck. As you all know, Tennessee has a lottery which is supposed to be used for education but, in fact keeps the state government floating. Kay said that when she went to the bank all the people there wanted to touch her for luck. Her kids got an early hoho of several thousand, and mama's loans got paid off. She told me that if anybody ever told her again that there is no God, that she'll tell that story. Amen, sista'.

It's cold here now and the colors are absolutelyfreakin' beautiful! Time to hike out there and channel my frenzy with the camera.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

making nice

Here we are a month after the smooth roommate departure and I'm sittin' here looking like this still shaking my head over my total vulnerability from start to finish. Looks like the old adage about not knowing someone until you live with them is true. There were parts of me that totally felt like shredding the clothes that were left so that he would have to buy new shorts for the golf course next summer. But then, I'm better than that. Mama raised me that way, ya know. I have learned that healthy anger is best felt and expressed or else it turns into a big fat messy blob turning inward on the soul. There will be a fire, but not with clothes. It will be a to dance around in anticipation of a new chapter in life with lessons learned tucked firmly into my brain for the next round.

Thunder and lightning rolled in during the night and knocked out power on the lane. When I woke up sometime later still in the dark, there was an electric company truck in my driveway to the rescue. And I didn't even call them. How's that for service? Thanks to them, I'm able to rise and shine and enjoy a day away from the sawmill tapping on the keyboard. I guess that makes the TVA's ridiculous surcharge somewhat more bearable, but still not fair to the 99%. It has rained without ceasing for over 24 hours now, typical dreary November weather. If I could buy some serotonin and snort it, today would be the day. If I had the money, that is.

My friend is on a plane headed to Puerto Rico as we speak, on a mission to finish an August vacation that totally got slammed by Hurricane Irene. I expect a beach picture in the next day or two to remind me that there still is a world outside of the 'burg and hope for the weary. My last vacation was two and a half years ago and a distant memory. Maybe someday, when sugardaddy shows up.

Today's agenda also includes a visit to the courthouse to do some research on the farm and get a copy of my divorce decree. As it turns out, when you get ready to draw retirement $$ proof of marital status is required and, of course, I don't have a clue where it is. That's how I roll, but I'm trying to do better...really.

I will let ya'll know when this, too passes. It might take awhile.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

pecans and poop

Mama played hooky from church this morning so I checked in on her sleeping self after I counted pills. She had not slept well because of the incoming cold front and arthritis. After eggs and doughnuts, Daddy and I hit up the drug store for a giant heating pad and some naproxen. We also got her a Hoops and YoYo singing card and candy for her birthday. The pajamas will come later, before the 20th when she turns 78. Her bed is an antique high rise model with the legs cut off ( I kid you not ) so that she doesn't need a ladder to get in it. I sat on the side of her bed in the dark and we talked like we rarely get the chance to do, catching up on her state of mind and theirs collectively. So far, so good. She just hates getting up early and I figure she's been a loyal Methodist all these years and that's good enough. Besides, they don't even like the preacher.

The wind is quite gusty which is knocking off a few more pecans from the old trees. The little ones are everyfreakin' where but the big ones haven't fallen really well yet. That takes a hard freeze to snap 'em out of the hull. There are two places locally where pecans are cracked. One just cracks and bags and is downtown. Those willing to drive a few more miles to the Lowrance place can enjoyed cracked AND blown nuts. Much easier to pick out!

I find myself in a place where, honestly...I don't know what the hell to do but punt. Two of the most important people in my life have chosen not to support me right now and that really hurts. All my girlfriends can say is "bless your heart." My friend Sue mentioned one time when some catastrophe or another hit that I "had a black cloud over me." Snake bit, for sure! I was telling someone the tale again the other day about the Nigerian con man who had a bunch of shit shipped to my house to use as a drop off and mail point. That deputy honestly didn't know what to think when he saw it all laid out in the living room like dinner on the grounds. He told me to keep it. Like a dumbass, I sent it all back on my dime. I'm STILL waiting for the karma on that one. Prince Fred, as he was known, got really pissed and threatened me at work over the phone. I told him his stuff got sent back and deal with it.

Then there was the time that Old Hoss came to visit and we got stuck in the mud and I left him there to die with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Actually, I hiked two miles to call a wrecker. Dude who could "barely walk" was angrily hoofing it toward my house when we returned. Then my late precious puppy Butterbean got sprayed by a skunk in the field and Hoss wanted her to ride in the cab. I hung onto the outside of the truck and up the hill we went. He paid for the wrecker, BTW. Always a gentleman, that guy. I'll spare you the narrative about his emergency oxygen fix in Covington at Sue's tearoom.

My mother's favorite story is about how, as an infant, I decided to get artistic with the contents of my diaper on the wall. That, is where the nickname came from ya'll. What a legacy! My first blog was all about the poop and there was plenty of it. Shit is my favorite cuss word, followed closely by freakin'. Mama would die if I came out with the F word. That was my auntie's favorite guilty pleasure, coming out with it and to hell with you if you can't take it.

That's about it. Life on the lane is pretty much rinse,lather and repeat these days. And you know what? I love every second of it, drama and all because it's my life and the choice is my own whether to throw my hands up in despair or laugh about it and move on. I choose to move on.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

'tis the season

Well..well...well, as Oliver would say. Only followers of The Big Show would know what THAT means. Here we are just prior to Thanksgiving and already Christmas has arrived. In fact, it came right after Halloween! Of course, I only shop at the dollar store so they start early to keep the Asians manufacturers busy. This old gal won't be buying anything this year other than stuff to make things, pictures or services from locals. Big Ernie would like that, I think. I just hope nobody gets killed trying to get their layaway out of wallyworld.

Occupy any street has turned into a huge messy problem for politicians and police all over the country. Scientists would say "too bad." The governments of every other country in the world have dealt with it and survived. Even a perv football coach and his harem can't compete with them for attention from folks like me who are sittin' back and watching the GOP hang themselves. At least Rick Perry has shot himself in the foot early on. That's a relief!

All I want for Christmas is world peace so it's a sure thing my stocking will be empty. On the other hand, I have found a personal peace and that's good enough. When the end of life becomes a reality instead of an abstract, peaceful moments are like gold. Next month I will begin drawing (early) a small portion of a pension that I earned from a company that employed me for twenty years. It is pledged to paying off the propane guy at last and I'm sure he'll be delighted with the cash he thought he would never see. Bless his heart, ya'll. He showed up on Christmas eve one year to deliver gas when my dumbass let it run out.

Little groups of people with buckets are appearing on the lane, looking to scoop up pecans and either sell them or eat them. Many come just for the experience, ya know? The man who passed out while picking last year won't be back...he's quite ill. Maybe I'll take him some to lift his spirits! This is the first year I haven't been out there amongst them hauling burlap bags and buckets full to be cracked and blown out. I'm reserving my energy for the Stuarts.

It's all good around here, in spite of the recent drama. Everything happens for a reason, and this too shall pass if you leave room for the spirit to work.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

ladies night redux

Ya'll...I dearly cherish the memories of days when I would hook up with girlfriends on a Thursday afternoon and drink dollar beer until somebody got stupid. However....I am eternally grateful to be at home with my dogs and not headed that way. I love the quiet now with very little noise except by choice like music or a favorite talk show. It's just who I am now, and I require that re-charge time to be able to (somewhat) function without heavy meds. From where I sit at the top of this hill on a pecan lined lane, I can see the other side easing toward me and mine. I also continue to marvel at the ways in which people are put into our lives for one reason or another but not forever.

I was naive when I first became a single gal, and did a lot of stupid things looking for men in all the wrong places. Many were attached and I didn't know it. All of them had issues that were complicated as hell and not acknowledged like those proverbial elephants in the room. That, I quickly found out, is a non-match for a thinker like myself. I kept my heart close for many years, not daring to really care because of trust issues. But this one...I thought was different. And it was, for a long time. When the relationship started going south, it escalated like a damn freight train and ended up with a lot of hurt feelings, mostly on MY side because I'm such a good little martyr. There were heavy end of life family issues at play and history got delved into...a history in which I had no part but for the last year. Because of the tales I've heard about Snuffy, I thought it was much longer :)

Long story short is that I know how to pick myself back up from the pain that is handing your heart to someone and having it squarely returned. Been there, done that, got a yearbook or two. After a lifetime of settling for male attention and being used as a sista' friend, I choose to be the princess for awhile...even if I have to make my own crown!

Peace and love and rock'n'roll ^j^

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

love the one you're with

According to my ethereal friend CKH and her psychic Lorna, there is a lot of energy bouncing around the cosmos because of the upcoming full moon and the 11/11/11 thing. According to the way MY life is going, I'd say there's some Mercury retrograde action up in there somewhere as well. I mean dayum...give a girl a break! Not to bore anyone with details I'll just say that one straw would probably break this camel's back right now so I'm laying low keeping up with Herman Cain and old Linds'Lohan and feeling grateful for my infinitely small dramas.

The sawmill is adjusting to our "new normal" which has just now trickled down to the healthcare industry. Last time I looked, Greece was still standing and broke as hell. Welcome to the club ya'll. It is what it is so put on your big girl country panties and deal with it. Those poor brave souls who've been camping out all over the country have finally brought some reasonable answers to the eternal question of how to put some money back into the federal coffers. One suggestion that I've heard tossed around is a sort of transaction tax on every deal made in the markets. A very MINISCULE amount, by the way, of .03ish% which is negligible when calculating the huge amounts of money spent on trading and speculation. You play, you pay. It's that simple. Of course the GOP is firmly against this because, well. You know how they are! Dems aren't real wild about it either because a lot of them are rich as hell. Sounds like a plan to me.

Citizens of the great state of Mississippi made me proud to be a southerner yesterday by voting against the anti-anyabortion/birth control/in-vitro piece of legislation up for their perusal. In sports reporting terms, it was an "upset" with polls and pundits predicting that Gov. Barbour's hesitant endorsement of the definition of Personhood would end in a landslide victory. How much is THAT like playing Big Ernie???? Hat tip to the Methodist church for letting their united voices be heard in a very SB state.

And it's hump day ya'll. Can you hear me giggling?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

with a little help from my friends

It's Sunday guessed it! Eggs and doughnuts all around following a fall-back extra hour of sleep which will take a few days to recover from. Mama said they started changing clocks at 6 last night and it was a huge ordeal. BG called me this morning to ask what time it is because evidently our cellphone carrier doesn't do that for us. How DARE them! This is the very same company with which I am about to barter mightily since they have instituted free mobile-to-any-mobile and I have continued to pay for high price minutes because why? It's just too damn much trouble to find the time to sit down with 'em on the phone and do the math. That could probably explain why I'm broke all the time.

We babysat last night for six and three year old little girls who had us both giggling in fits before it was time to go home. It was amazing to watch them settle down in our quiet floor and take to the art supplies. And then giggle some more :) Their grandma bought them a four wheeler and they like to ride here in the woods. Beautiful spot, if I say so myself. I used to go riding with a friend who had one and we took our labs with us running behind and ahead like dogs will do. Beau outweighed Faith by about twenty pounds so he was always ahead lumbering through the dirt toward another swimming adventure. He was one of the in-between guys who just didn't think I was worth the trouble. Looks like I've got another one of those to add to the list. Live and learn ya'll.

Not sure what's in the news because I'm on strike from the mainstream. I refuse to be spoon fed by institutions of higher reporting who slant their stories Well, except for HuffPost. It's just too much "me" to not devour and feed my inner liberal. Speaking of which, the dog of the lady who went missing around here was reported poisoned early last month, which just came out in the local rag. Might be a red herring, but you never know. There's a guy who has been charged with that poisoning and one other in their neighborhood.

In spite of all my pollyannaish positive thinking, winter is on the way because November is the gate through which it passes. Maybe after a couple of days of sub-freezing temps I can handle cleaning out the freezer (on the back porch, of course) that got unplugged in the summer with DEER meat in it. YUKKKKKKKKK!!!

Keep smiling ^j^

Saturday, November 5, 2011

eatin' beanie weenies

There is a heavy fog hanging over the lane this morning, slowly being burned away by a weak sun. As it melts, the colors become visible from the office window where I find myself pondering again. I seriously need to quit thinking so much. Sometimes I'm really envious of those who don't question things and take it as it comes. I suppose it's my inner scientist that tends to pick things apart and analyze like Dr. Drew.

Not only is the lady still missing, but a bridge jumper did his swan dive off the Missouri side. We don't have many jumpers around here...though I have sat on the giant span and let my feet dangle off thinking about how tempting it would be to somebody who has no faith or reason to hope. Which is a whole helluva' lot of folks right now. I've seen worse financial times in my life as a single gal, but this is certainly a second dip on my personal recession. The thing that's so bad is that our future hinges on keeping a car that is about to be repo'd so that BG can find a job to make money to pay off the loan. Does that make sense? Unfortunately, yes. She ran out of gas on the way home and drug me out of bed to scoop her butt off the side of the road. Gotta love eternal parenting. My borrowing power has been reduced to those friends who know I'm good on a loan whenever the ship comes in. I just hope it doesn't hit the bridge on the way to shore!

So. There ya go, ya'll. I could lay down and choose to give up right now and let other people take care of me because I'm old and tired trying my best to make it in a very tough world. Like my daddy says " This too shall pass."


Thursday, November 3, 2011


If I had to pick a certain day that typifies my warm fuzzy feelings about autumn, today would be it. The colors are stunning and the weather is moderate, even in the rain. While the sun glinting through leaves can be a glorious shot, sometimes the muted painting like effect of a cloudy day photo captures a mood just perfectly. Gray really rocks as a background.

I was busy being productive doing my ADD walkabout yesterday afternoon and barely noticed that the hay baling crew behind our house had started back up. All of a sudden I saw this thick black cloud of smoke billowing from that ridge and ran to find that the baler had caught fire and the tractor was next! Luckily Tommy jumped and ran because it wasn't his first rodeo. Occupational hazard, ya know? We see him at the doughnut shop during the summer between jobs. The fire department showed up pretty quick since they're close and that field borders the golf course. It took 'em about 30 minutes start to finish and there's not much of a black spot. The wind was blowing toward my way so I was LITTLE bit worried.

Since we have no teevee, I've been spending more time online and otherwise occupied with the quiet.. which is a very good thing, as Martha would say. The early darkness gives a nice excuse to say goodbye to what was and sleep for a solid eight hours. Otherwise, there's the movie thing. If we had any! Right now I'm seriously on a mission to figure out how to make it through the winter on a 25% tank of propane. Something tells me I'll be spending time elsewhere.

We are a small town bunch of folks here in the 'burg. There is a local middle aged woman missing who has two small girls at home waiting for word of her whereabouts. I don't know this family, but my heart goes out to all of them no matter what happened. Random crazy shit like that is what makes us think of ourselves as victims of evil. That, is probably a reasonable assumption considering all that devil talk we grew up hearing in the south.

Big Ernie is good..All the time ^j^

Monday, October 31, 2011

the lonely tree

There is a single tree remaining in the field that runs from my lane down towards my parents' house. No telling how many rings are on it, and it has been trimmed time and again to allow room for farm equipment to maneuver around it. With the upcoming installation of an irrigation system, that tree is destined for the paper factory prior to next summer. I've seen many of these systems in the bottoms, gleaming in the sunlight and inching around giving the crops a drink. Now I'll get to watch one live and in person make its' way slowly up and down behind the homestead and back towards Pecan Lane.

Evidently I am caught up on ZZZs because I woke up WITHOUT an alarm before the sun came up today. Most of my pictures are made in the afternoon because I'm just not organized enough to have the camera with me *at all times* like a good photographer will. With two days off and time to burn, I see some serious picture taking around the corner. Yard play too! On this Halloween day, I am grateful beyond belief to not have a child who expects to be hauled around to the neighborhoods where they have good candy. Been there, done that many many times. We never have trick-or-treaters out here on the lane, and only once has the yard been rolled. You know who ya'll are too. I see on FB that you got it back this weekend!

The TV is officially gone and I didn't even know it for three days. Take that MSM! As long as BG has episodes of Family Guy to watch, it's all good. There are dishes and clothes to wash and dogs to be fed. Ya'll be sure and check your candy for razor blades and other such nonsense. And for pete's sake don't let the child molesters in the neighborhood creep up on you. Ahh, for the good old days.

Over and out and BOOOOOO from the lane.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

and then it snowed

Holy moly ya' it not bad enough that the country's in the freaking toilet but NOW there's a n'easter reminding the Yankees that they may get the good stuff during summer while us crackers sit down here and sweat buckets but by golly it NEVER snows in Tennessee on Halloween. But one time that I remember, it did drop an inch or so of wet heavy blogs on the interstate between here and St.Louis on that very day. We were on the way to see Phantom at the Grand Theater on my Ky cousin's dime. We had both of her boys plus a Russian exchange student who didn't know quite what to make of the whole deal. Not sure where her hub was, just absent.

Anywho, we left late in the day and by dark the snow was so heavy that she couldn't see to drive. She THOUGHT she could, but I pitched a hissy fit with the three teenage boys in the back and told her to get a room. Right.Damn.Now. There was a dim light in the foggy flakes near Cape so we pulled up in there and everybody said "go figure." We made it to the Grand next day just in time for me to ooh and ahh over the kind of show I had never seen but her dad, my uncle Jimbo loved to his marrow. Surrounded by thick velvet curtains in that historical place was magic. I swear to this day that his spirit was with us that night when nobody killed each other and we just went to bed. He had died two years earlier from early onset super progressive prostate cancer. And the feds say that PSA isn't a "good" screening test. My Ass! By the time he knew he had it, there were bone mets with elevated enzymes found on a routine blood panel. If the PSA test and less invasive procedures like today's biopsies had been available, perhaps he would still be alive. Oh Lord...I don't know if we could handle him the mix of old people we've got perking right now. They are a hoot, pure and simple.

Then there was the year my mama actually made me a costume as a hay bale out of a box covered in burlap and straps, stuff with cotton. Even had a little cotton covered hat and I proudly won first prize at the Alice Thurmond elementary contest. Ahh...those were the days. Later in life all of my work buds would get together and dress up and get drunk all the time eating seriously unhealthy food that was somebody's specialty. Everybody hung out in the kitchen for some reason :0

Over the years, I have loved a whole boatload of people that I work with, many of them in a love/hate sort of way. You guessed it! The ones with the hook that got me every time was some evil hearted self centered guy who loved being adored. least I can admit it. I say "I love you" easily and freely and hug a lot. When I am your friend in the truest sense, nothing is too much to ask as long as it doesn't involve money ;) Thanks to Big E, I've got friends who do have a little extra. If the politicians don't spend it all before tax refund time, my friends will be repaid. Think about that when you vote.

Meanwhile, please don't let cops give war vets concussions with grenades. Just saying.


Friday, October 28, 2011

research rocks

Even on a day off, I woke up at six thirty AM eager to join my brother on a fact finding mission about our farm and the history. The heir and owner is retired now and has taken an interest in preserving the history that is his heritage. On his last trip he and my brother visited with the neighbors to pick their brains, and we did the same today following trips to the funeral home, library and courthouse. We smooth forgot that the horse had broken out during the night and was grazing in my yard. It's okay...he never goes far from the sweet feed.

Yesterday's rain clouds are moving out and the sky is a gorgeous blue background to all of the gold and red leaves that hang from every tree and vine. It's almost time for the annual cuttin' and burning of the asparagus with a dose of natural mulch for the winter. Today was payday so the propane guy gets something to let him know I'm still kicking, and the rest goes to who knows what. Probably whomever leans on me the hardest.

I still have a few hours of playtime before hitting the bed with the puppies to rest up for my weekend at the sawmill. Per trickle down economics, we are down to seeing only those who are REALLY really sick because nobody else can afford to come and visit what with the price of co-pays and such. If I visit the ER and fail to be admitted, my co-pay is a hundred bucks deducted through payroll deduction. Hmmm. Not unless I'm bleeding or dying ya'll.

Always remember who you are, and keep that sense of humor close by. It has proved invaluable to me as a sanity aid.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

when all else fails....

Turn to music...that's what I do when it's nasty and wet and a SAD afflicted old gal gets stuck in the house. At least it's not cold yet! Me and the doggies are curled up respectively in our nests letting the time pass by slowly. There is soup in the crock pot simmerin' and I'm listening to Adele trying to remember who I am. All the energy involved in the drama that is my life sometimes just needs to be cached by an intense hibernation. It's the girl cave theory ;)

There will be no political views expressed here today because I'm just sick and tired of all the talk and no action. If just a few of them would stand up and listen to us rather than the money, there would be no problem. The power and the greed and the self righteous attitudes are not what Big Ernie likes to see. I always think about angry Jesus flipping those tables over in the temple. Um..hmm. Watch out ya'll, there will be a day of accounting for lifetime achievements. Just saying.

"Keep the faith somewhere, my day will come. Love owes me one." Ronnie Dunn


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I never did jump on the Apple wagon even though my brother and friends did early on and have remained loyal fans. BG, of course, learned to "compute" on the model that was sold to millions of schools in the eighties. I have a very deep respect already for the writer of the Steve Jobs biography because some of the stories I've read capture the essence of a driven man. In everything from work to diet, the man was obsessed with doing his thing, whatever it might be at the time. Kind of like a four year old on a mission to do things his way...and a whole lot like my daddy at this point in time. Dayum ya'll, his OCD wears me the eff out so I can only imagine why my poor mama takes nerve pills and cries sometimes. She is learning, at the ripe old age of 78 years to finally stand UP to her man. It ain't pretty but I silently high five her every time she does it.

It's kinda quiet around here with minus one roomie. Can't say that I'm not enjoying it a little bit, either. It's bad enough when you're married to one who treats you like crap but hell to the NO on putting up with that shit when you don't have anything to lose. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes the bug. In times of trouble, you know who really cares.

The forecast is for an all day rain tomorrow which will suit my plans for sleeping in just fine. I can feel the need for a twelve hour nap coming on pretty quick. Hello Comedy Central, that is...if the teevee people haven't cut me off yet. Except for chosen shows, I rarely watch the MSM choosing instead to get my news from the web and my laughs and sobs from favorite shows and characters. More time to explore and play.

Speaking of which, the colors are kickass and time is wasting. Ya'll remember who you are. It's the only thing that keeps me sane at this point.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

water cooler conversation

If anybody had told you I'd be having a chat about the GOP presidential nominees today, I would have said "you're on drugs." HOWEVER..there is a very sweet co-worker who is so republican conservative that I couldn't help but ask who his fav is. We both think that Ron Paul makes the most sense with only one major policy disagreement in my book. He likes Santorum (gag) because he's a pro-marriage and family man and we both shook our heads over Rick Perry, bless his used-car-salesman heart. And then there's Newt and the new girl. She makes Palin look like a brain surgeon, if you know what I mean. He likes Cain a whole lot and my jury is still out. He has a teenage son and two cuter than pie little girls who pose for Christmas cards every year. That group is an eclectic mix of men and women who are working for the corporation, just like we are but they take the liability because malpractice reform is an oxymoron in today's world. Don't get me started on lawyers.

Elsewhere in my limited scope of vision, things are lookin' up in a "better than the valley" sort of way. Big Ernie delivered an answer to something bigger than me today in a most surprising way. No...sugardaddy didn't pay off the propane guy so save your applause for the next act. Instead, he gave me my babygirl back one more time and promised to watch over us and we dig through this life we've created together and move toward the next chapter. There are no jobs here except for factory work and some ag and construction, thanks to our proximity to the Big Muddy. The small town conservative mindset here has failed to foster economic development. Churches run our local politics and that's a very narrow view. There has been some interest in developing the area adjacent to the river downtown. There is a farmer's market and progress has been made on hiking and bike trails. It will take a lot of volunteer effort to preserve that history. I hope that it happens.

Mama'n'them seem to be maintaining, which is always a blessing. They'll have to catch a ride to breakfast with Tony next Sunday since I'll be at the sawmill. I wonder if he finds the doughnut sacks in his floorboard too. There's a special place in heaven for folks like that, ya know?

Indian summer is about to come to an abrupt halt tomorrow with a soaking rain and cooler temps. The colors still haven't peaked yet but the camera is ready complete with charged batteries. BG is out on the porch working on a shot of a gift from my dear friend Anita in Utah. One Christmas, I sent her a box of pecans in various stages of harvest from shells on to roasted with my mama's secret recipe. She repaid the kindness by hand painting a couple of mugs with a scene of our lane covered in snow.

Thanks for the karma. God is good ^j^

Monday, October 24, 2011

it is what it is

And to tell you the honest to god truth, that's a very simple and valuable truth. It took me a long time to quit the whining and put on big girl panties. It was like every time horrific happened I just wanted to curl up in a little ball and give up like a woosie. If you have ever witnessed a running Stafford fit, you know that not to be true for very long. Country girls will survive and all that precious stuff! I won't ever forget the first time I saw Gretchen muddin' on a four wheeler singing Redneck Woman. In spite of all the proper southern raising, that's pretty much me.

My friend came out today for a pro-bono installation of mama's sound system. I must say, it beats the hell out of my ten dolla wallyworld shit. The new handyman came around and fixed some windows and the back door today so we're ready for winter. Except for the propane thing. If any of ya'll believe in the power of good vibes, send that one out into the cosmos, umkay? Sorry Count...we couldn't figure out your old school gift. But it's the thought that counts! The battery charger went mysteriously missing about a month ago and I found it today under the couch cushion. Big Ernie is good ^j^

Thursday, October 20, 2011

trickle down to humanity

We've all heard about the trickle down effect where shit hits the fan and it takes some time for it to make it to the bottom of the food chain. Thus far, Americans have been able to squeak by while the politicians and CEOs duke it out over severance packages and what to bitch about next. For twenty odd years I've watched as corporate entities took over our world and told us how it was gonna be. At first they put a pretty face on it with lots of emphasis on customer service and "growing" ideas to boost production with a smile. If I had a dime for every time I acted as goodwill ambassador for my company, I'd be retired by now. Healthcare is a service industry manned by clinical people who are paid like the middle class folks that we are, and a whole boatload of support personnel who do everything from housekeeping to food service to clerical. Many of those people whose jobs do not require a degree or certification make little above minimum wage yet the work that they do, particularly in the HIM and pre-cert areas, affect the way we get paid by insurance. I have never understood why it makes more sense to not use an LPN with experience to oversee that whole admissions/orders/coding thing rather than having someone who doesn't know shit from shinola doing a computer search for a code that works. An outdated one, I might add. Anyway, the point is that the non-depression has finally found its' way into the medical arena because nobody has the money for a co-pay. That, is sad.

Because healthcare service is a basic need like police and fire protection, we have come to expect that it will always be there and that our jobs which allow us to kinda sorta afford insurance will help us pay for it until we drop dead at work from sheer exhaustion and somebody steps over our bodies to pick up the ball. Since my roommate decided it was a little too tight around here, I have found myself once again attempting to finance a household on one salary. It's doable most of the time thanks to generous friends who help me in a pinch. I've come to recognize that most of my income tax refund (if there is one) will be used to repay those people. My borrowing options at banks is zilch because of a poor credit rating that can't be improved because I can't get credit. Ahem. Whenever I get turned down, regardless of the hit to my score, I silently thank Big Ernie for keeping me from going any further into debt. Living on cash is where it's at ya'll. Not speculation, or predatory lending.

My ex and I filed a BK in '95 that was entirely plastic debt. Vehicles and bank loans were re-affirmed and paid as agreed. Within six months I had another card. That was around the time that the financial free for all started for the American worker and I quickly learned that banks and their fees are the devil unless you've got big bucks to deposit. I, by the way, do not. That is what Occupy Wall Street is about to me....a unified cry for us as a country to get away from living that American dream of the fat cat 80's. Need I say NAFTA? Sorry Bill...I'm still a fan.

Bless their hearts, my brother and his wife gradually helped me to get back to the basics of being a steward of the land and appreciating the value of an honest barter. Hey..if times get really tough I'll trade one of the dogs...nah, the cat...for some flour! With my luck, that'll be the day the propane runs out. On Christmas eve with snow on the ground. My friend Sue's remark about the latest drama: "You have a black cloud over your head." No shit. But this too shall pass.
On my way to clock out I noticed an obviously mentally challenged patient sitting in wait for some sort of test and remembered the dude who cried because he had no shoes.

If I were still a bar hopper, this would be ladies night up in the kudzu. I wouldn't trade anything for the time I spent up there bonding with my BFFs and watching the world go by. It was an integral part of the single life that I'm glad got put behind when it did. One can only take so much bad karyokee before deciding to stay at home and play in the yard or cook. The only other bar I've had the guts to walk into alone is a mile to the south of me and one of the owners is a nurse that I work with. In both places I know that somebody always has my back.

The big chill hit us yesterday and it was one of those days that look the same from dark to dark with gray clouds hovering and cold rain falling. There was a little thunder and lightning to start with, then the ugly day. I guess if I were an optimist I'd look at it as a good opportunity to make chili or something.

Please help me keep the faith. Catch you on the flip side ^j^