Monday, February 28, 2011

peaks and valleys

Today is Monday, the day after the Oscars got awarded and Charlie Sheen proved without a doubt that he is the poster boy for narcissism. If anybody from CBS licks his feet I'll never watch their stuff again. I can't WAIT to see what Chelsea has to say about the whole deal. That'll be tomorrow afternoon when I get the chance to sit and enjoy the high priced DVR service. The biggest fight of my life came out when a "certain company" debited 500 bucks to cover some unwritten unsigned contract that I got put into when I complained about over billing. They were so nice, they upgraded me to DVR and everything. When I decided to change providers, they whipped out the invisible contract and took my money without asking. Subsequently they were in deep shit with the attorneys general of several states and said a great big "We're sorry" to all the folks they harassed like me. Here's the kicker...the other day was when I read on the web about the whole story, and a couple of days later I got a paper bill from collection company number 27 telling me that I should call and work out terms. You people are ridiculous. I pick my battles ya'll, and this is one I won't give on.

The much touted dangerous weather situation turned into heavy early morning rain with a little thunder and lightning. The dogs woke me up barking like hell and I got up to see a figure in the driveway lit by headlights. It was the neighbor lady and she was headed back to her car through the mud. Never heard from her after that. It happens now and then down there on the bluff by the slough. At one time, there were grand plans for a clubhouse to accompany the city golf course perched up on that bluff. The view is beautiful, if I say so myself. So is the one from behind the dairy barn. Wide open spaces! If anyone ever turns this place into something other than a tribute to what it really is, I hope I'm dead and cremated.

For two weeks, I have had the luxury of not having to freak out watch every penny that I spend. It was fun while it lasted, ya know? Everybody around here either has the flu or is recovering from it because, hey. It's flu season. Evidently the vaccine manufacturers miscalculated the strains for this year and it's something there's no cure for other than laying your smart ass down for a week and being miserable. Been there and got a t-shirt. I bet somebody in your family has too. That shit spreads like wildfire! friend the Little General is the one who talks of the peaks and valleys. Her Quaker mom always talked about that aspect of life. We have worked together for 30+ years now just like many of the others at the sawmill. I'm just waiting for somebody to offer me a gold watch and a retirement dinner. Well, as soon as I find SD, that is.

Carry on young people!~ Mrs. Frances Yarbro at UMYF

Sunday, February 27, 2011

all my rowdy friends

Any of you who have known me for very long know that I used to be a regular at that bar up in the kudzu. That went by the wayside when money got tight and I began having my dollar beer at home. I could write an entire book about what good times we've had there....a few scary ones and several sad ones. Always memorable, though even if in the same old faces every day sort of way. There have been live bands and way too much bad karaoke to even think about...grilled food, football games and pool tournaments. I was there the night that Becky and John got married and had their wedding reception in the kudzu. I didn't know them then, but shortly after Becky started workin' there and they became good friends of mine. We may not see each other that often, but it's always there just the same. I always felt safe going into that bar because there were tough guys around who knew exactly how to handle shit BEFORE it hits the fan. I made a blog/website for the place and it was wildly popular until somebody who was marrying somebody didn't want his picture on there with the ex..heh. All it took was one click to erase that entire period of history. Dont'cha just love technology?

The kudzu bar has always been a favorite birthday celebrating place for everybody who calls it home. Once my friend Yaya fell OFF the stage on her birthday while posing on the dance floor against a pole. Thankfully there was a big biker dude sitting there to break her fall a little. She wasn't right for a week or so after that. When they finally added the patio out back, we all showed up to set up the tables and chairs and enjoy the spring sunshine. Every time I went, I'd pick some kind of flower from my yard and give it to Becky to have behind the bar while she worked. This girl has the patience of Job to put up with that bunch of afternoon guys, in addition to all the other assorted folks who find their way in. Yesterday was her birthday and I picked some buttercups and a couple of budding stems to take to her. The guy who lives upstairs was working for her so she could play some more for her birthday. "It's my BIRTHDAY!" was the mantra. John kept throwing it back at her while she tried to recover from the night before. I can only assume they moved onto bigger and better times after that.

As for us here on the lane, the air is warm, heavy and tornado conditions. We are right smack in the middle of the midsouthern part of tornado alley and it can get pretty scary up here on the hill when the wind gets to howling. Since I've been here there has been only one really close call where a twister tore through the golf course and across the highway knocking out our power for a week. It didn't matter though, because the culvert in front of the dairy barn collapsed from three days of heavy rain so we couldn't get in or out anyway. Sound familiar? See....great Forked Deer flood of '10. Rains began April 30th, Southtown flooded May 4th. My friend Gigi is a real estate appraiser and she knows those dates by heart. We went to Mexico for lunch yesterday and even had a giant margarita before noon. Gotta live it up when you can, ya know?

BG was born with dark hair which promptly all fell out and came back white blonde...taking forever to grow past wispy. All these years she's been various highlighted shades of her natural blonde until yesterday and she decided to do "something different". Like red! It looks great on her too. I do good just to run a brush through mine and get Miss Rhonda to trim it every couple of months. Miss Clairol is my weapon when the grays get to be too many. I rarely wear makeup, and only minimal jewelry. Vain, I'm not. Probably why I was single for so long :)

I'll give ya'll a tornado update later. Keep the faith ^j^

Friday, February 25, 2011

world government 101

It seems that we have run out of things to declare war on, so the countries that make up oil rich, dirt poor areas of the earth have decided to raise hell and take back some of the riches from the ones who live in palaces and keep them in their places by force. Right on ya'll. Your region has us by the balls because of dependence on foreign oil imports to keep OUR economy going, yet the citizens of those countries rarely see any of the wealth...only the powers that be get to savor the golden touch. Basic infrastructure in these countries is usually held in place only by military that is backing whoever is in power. If it's the people themselves, then so be it. Most of them have spent their forty years in the desert with some oversexed greedy dictator running their daily lives. I's biblical and all that. What is happening in Libya is atrocious and beyond any sort of humane attempt to keep order. I give applause to the leaders of those nations where peaceful protest was met with civil obedience. There is really big change in the air, and it would behoove everybody to just get their finger off the hot button and listen to the other side. Otherwise, we're all screwed.

Speaking of the devil, he hounded me and the BG all afternoon yesterday. Here's the short version of a very long day: She's got the flu, missed work, went to urgent care, got turned away because she owes money, went back to a car with a dead battery....and called me in tears. We got her hooked up with a new provider and our dear friend bought and installed a new battery in the old Neon. While they were gone a constable stopped by to serve a civil warrant on a matter that's already been resolved and I thanked him kindly for not shooting me and doing his job nicely. I've dealt with so many freakin' a**holes over the phone during my extended poverty struggle to repay old debt that I appreciate somebody who doesn't threaten me. I mean, come on. If the person says I ain't got the bucks, give 'em a break before you haul them into court. All that does is make money for lawyer mills and force the poor dude who's trying to hold down a job and stay sane to do something stupid. Like borrowing more. At a higher interest rate.

I have learned the hard way that accounts with variable interest are terribly expensive for the consumer. Fortunately I live in small town southern USA where folks will still do business on the honor system and let you pay 'em by the month. Otherwise, I'd have already been in jail or something. That type of kindness is one of the greatest joys in life to me. A break that somebody who CAN gives you, just because it's the right thing and they know you're struggling. Doctors generally do not extend this type of courtesy, even the ones that I work with....with the exception of one dear man who has the seniority and the good heart to make a bill from his group disappear in a flash. When a co-worker will do that, he or she is a good friend as well. I mean, they get the insurance money, gah.

The two boys are presently scruffling all over the floor seeing who's the baddest in a fight to the death. I love to watch them play like reminds me of being a kid. Faith just lays on the couch and watches them with one eye cocked appreciating that Sam has somebody to bother besides her. She is slimming down (on a diet) and getting around better thanks to pain pills. Labs and their hips are notorious for gettin' into middle aged trouble. When the weather breaks and I get some new shoes, we will walk the lane until it gets too hot and then we'll ride. At one point I walked 2.5 miles a day to the golf course and back. That was a looooong time ago, back in the aerobics days. Now, I just prefer to stroll and enjoy the sights, letting the dogs do their criss cross the road thing.

Peace and love. And, of course, rock'n'roll.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

i've got people

One of the coolest things about living in a small town is that everybody knows everybody else usually through either work or relatives or social events. What's not so cool is how the gossip mill gets to churning when people are bored or something and have time to speculate on the actions of others in a somewhat *cough* negative fashion that gets carried straight to the church prayer list, complete with altar call. Because, hey. We all know that Big Ernie doesn't listen if you're not sittin' in a pew, right? The small midsouthern county that I call home was established on the banks of the Forked Deer, Obion and Mississippi rivers. Hale's Point and Little Chicago and all that. And then there's always our neighbor to the north, Lake county. They've got the big lake that was formed by an earthquake and is now being drawn down so that the wildlife can die. It's gonna take a whole helluva lot of pea gravel to fill in between those cypress stumps, I'm just saying.

Humility is still my middle name considering how pitiful I was just twelve short days ago. I try to stay that way, ya know? I certainly don't have all the answers and don't want to. That's what bosses are for. And ya'll all know that bossy, I'm not. What? Well, perhaps just a little. And only when asked to.

Time to order pizza for me and the pitifully ill BG. Misery loves company I reckon.

Remember who you are ^j^

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

flumageddon and mammography

I was officially "diagnosed" with pneumonia on Saturday Feb 12th and today was the very FIRST day since then that I've woken up and thought to myself "Self, you're gonna make it." I have never had it before and don't even want it again. Ever ever. There are about three days that I don't remember except for chills and aches. The ten buck per pill antibiotic was strong enough to take the rest of the sap out of me so there ya go. Big Ernie was watching out for me in that I had only a few days to work during that long stretch. Ya'll, I was pitiful. BG has never seen me like that of course and she was worried to death I was gonna croak on her or something and she'd have to pay the propane guy. Everybody at work just looked at me (from a distance) and thought bless her heart. I therefore have one official afternoon left to enjoy feeling good before I go back in the am.

I've caught up with Mom and Daddy over the past few days, and run a lot of errands. One of today's to do things was to go to none other than the sawmill and get a mammogram done. They have really outdone themselves to make it a more pleasant experience and I was impressed. I saw a bunch of my co-workers, but from a different a patient. They were attentive, friendly and efficient and not just because they knew me. Many of us pass each other 10 times a day in the halls and don't know what the other one does exactly. It is a real learning experience to jump through the hoops. Their bosses will get a big fat thank you note from me. That always makes everybody happy :)

It's chilly, but the dang sun is shining and that's all that matters. If I never see another gray day it won't hurt my feelings. Okay with old man winter. I can see things greening up around here with fields of winter wheat growing well. The rest have been fertilized, and the plowing is partially done. For the second year in a row I'll have soybeans up close and personal to the asparagus bed. No problem last year, though I thought the pesticides might get it. Lots of green blades are spread around, with an occasional flower. Typical early spring in the South. The kudzu is sittin' there waiting for a chance to cross the road by the dairy barn.
Did ya'll know that stuff blooms????

When things are this peaceful I will often worry myself to death over what crisis is gonna hit next. But then, I think back to all the supposed "crises" in my life, and laugh at the shallow nature of some of them. That is how we learn, I suppose. One chapter at a time. That is how we roll here on the lane. BG and I were talking yesterday about my buddy Drew's book that has a poem about Butterbean in it. I thought she was going to cry right there! We talked about self-publishing and editors and such and I saw it as maybe just a little more possible than before. One of my oldest and most theatric of friends wrote a book once about Rahab and got into a tiff with the publishing company. I have a signed copy of that book and will treasure it until I die. Same with the Clyde Edgertons.

I'm outta here to enjoy 1/2 day off. Ya'll play nice and call your mother.

And keep the faith ^j^

Saturday, February 19, 2011

just like towanda

During out years together as roommates, BG and I have made a whole helluva' lot of Thelma and Louise type moves just to keep the boat floating. Living together as adults has been an entire new set of challenges, but also a unique opportunity to blend our character strengths and bring out the best in each other. She is loyal to a fault, and so am I. Our little family on the hill has changed members over the years, but we're still here together after 22. We've survived tornadoes and floods and snowstorms. We have buried cats and run over deer and lost beloved dogs to the wild. There were two horses for a long of them died several years ago leaving things wide open for Pride to be the lucky one. Nobody ever rides him....he just adds to the scenery and enjoys his treats. He does get exercise though because the dogs will chase him from one end of the lot to the other just to see him kick. Things have been particularly rocky and broke-like for the past year around here financially. A new job for BG meant waiting a month for a paycheck. The folks with the note on her car were getting a little antsy about their money. She got a call yesterday that somebody would be here today to pick it up. We passed briefly in the doorway yesterday afternoon, and then went on our separate ways.

It took until this morning for it to dawn on us that her IRS refund had landed in my account yesterday. There was just enough to cover what she owed, but she had only 25 minutes today to get the money, wire it to them and get a clear account so the repo dude didn't sneak in during the night and rob her of that valuable Dodge Neon with 150K plus miles. I got stuck in line at the bank behind some dimwit chatty guy visiting with the teller. What the hell! Did these people not know I was on a deadline?? We met up at the wire office, me with a big wad of cash and she with her contact info. Uh, well almost all of it. She had forgotten to write down the account number so that resulted in MORE phone calls to said company to retrieve that info. By then she was afraid to go back home anyways, because the guy was already on the way with a tow truck. Lovely. It all ended well, of course....because they do not WANT your old ratty vehicle. They just want your money, and will get it by judgement following repo and auction. Been there, done that, got lucky.

In case you were driving down highway 51 south yesterday and saw some crazy broad wandering around the carwash on a cellphone, that was me. The sonofabitch took my eight bucks after I sat in line for 30 minutes so I proceeded to pitch a hissy fit with the attendant who was 60 miles away in Martin. Yeah, go figure. He asked me if I would put the traffic cone up and gave me a free super deluxe wash so I was happy, all in all. I don't fuss about much but when it comes to taking my hard earned money...I draw the line. If you want me to be a repeat customer, treat me with respect and cut me some slack now and then.

Friday, February 18, 2011

this one's for you

I'm not dying anymore, but got mighty close and decided when I finally got up from the fog that life is way too short for worrying about anything other than doing the right thing and enjoying what you love. So many times we put off what makes us happy and fail to really experience the joy because there's : no time, no money, too much to do, the dog has fleas, etc. ad infinitum. I'm not in charge anyway, and my virtual effect on the twirl of the globe outside of trusting Big Ernie is next to nothing. Oh sure....there's that free will thing where you have to choose A or B but I've always been a "none of the above" type gal expecting a chance to say my piece about how things could be.

I worked for one day post-crud and have two more off to recover before the weekend with no computer system at the sawmill. As my mama would say, "How niiice." It makes me want to do a George Carlin standup routine about how the whole deal works when that happens. Can you say clusterf**k? If everybody did upgrades and backups like these folks, nothing would EVER get done in a workplace. The bright spot of my visit to the urgent care was watching Sesame Street with the two year old whose parents were visibly worn by the wait. Wanda Sykes was on there! Caught my attention because she could be funny reading the phone book. Thus far we have been through only one box of Girl Scout cookies but more are on the way at 3.50 a pop. Back in the day when we were cookie chairpeople, there was always a contest at the mall to see who could eat the most of them in a given period. My boss at the time actually WON, but he was a big guy so the others had a handicap going in.

One of our local social service agencies used to host an adult spelling bee every year to raise money for groceries. I entered that sucker probably five years in a row and never came in closer than 2nd. Since the newspaper hyped it really big, their editor and several other employees were always there to kick my ass. Come to think of it, I only made runner up in the county bee back when I was a sixth grader. The winner and her loving husband remain my friends to this day and we all share this unspoken bond that is an old friendship sprinkled with hippie karma and expensive shampoo. They are one of the few couples my age who are still married to the original spouse! That's amazing in itself.

Spring has sprung as evidenced by the annual spreading of the fertilizer yesterday. It will be asparagus season soon and I've yet to clean off last year's stubs from the bed. The dogs are loving it, spending every minute outside roaming and chasing squirrels in a pack. This has been a long hard winter in more ways than one and I'm glad to see it go. Once again, please remind me in July that I said that.

Peace and love ^j^

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

life after near death

Okay, so I'm putting a dramatic flourish on the whole thing, but by golly I can. Though nowhere NEAR death, there were a couple of times that I would have asked you to just shoot me and get it over with. To hell with a bunch of suffering. I have developed a theory during my years in healthcare about the human spirit and the will to live. Most patients, no matter how miserable they are here on earth, will struggle through the dying process reliving moments and visiting times long gone. My uncle was only 54 years old when he died from prostate cancer, and he made platelets for two days solid with his hands...fighting to stay alive in spite of the pain. Death is very hard work, not only for the patient but for families and caregivers. To deny that it is happening is, while normal, not the healthiest thing in the world. Then again, it takes time to fully absorb a deep truth like that. Chronic illness gives one the luxury of tying up loose ends and mending relationships if everyone is on board. Sudden death is just the opposite. With one the grief process is already in place before death actually happens. With the other? Expect to go through it after the fact.

For me personally, therapy was a way to say goodbye to all of the unresolved grief in my past ranging from grandmas and favorite uncles to life changes like lost love and missed opportunities. It gave me plenty of chances to see that event "A" which I always thought just was, is usually related to response "B" which comes out of nowhere like a blindside hit. My ex told me repeatedly that I think too much, which is probably true because that's how I'm made. I remember reading Psychology Today as a college student and thinking that there was a theory of behavior to explain just about everything which seemed pretty cool. Not that it's a good or bad thing, just something that fits the dynamics of a particular situation. Science majors tend to be that way sometimes ;)

It's more than a tease now, ya'll. There are yellow and white crocus and buttercup buds peeping out and the heat is O.F.F. Okay Mr. Groundhog, I take back all of the nasty things I said about you two weeks ago. The snow wasn't bad, and this weather is worth shivering through it for. Film at 11.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

post pneumonia delerium

The fever broke sometime over the weekend during a couple of sweaty sessions complete with trembling and begging for mercy from Big Ernie. Since I am rarely ever sick, this was not one of my favorite experiences. About the best thing I can say about the whole deal is that I didn't throw up, which totally freaks me out. I should have known from the get go that the big fat honkin' fever blister last week meant bad news. I just didn't know HOW bad. After begging for mercy asking for permission to take an afternoon off and gettin' shot down, I soldiered on through the end of the week. Occasionally management fails to notice when the horses need water. By Saturday I was full blown miserable with a suspiciously low O2 sat and nurse Jane hooked me up with some things that helped. Like a double breathing treatment and high powered antibiotics. I've never had pneumonia before...don't ever want it again. She said she thought I had the flu, and that it hit there and stuck like glue. Probably because I never got treated for the LAST round of funk and ya'll know how that shit multiplies. When it comes down to groceries or healthcare, a hungry stomach usually wins out.

On a brighter note, the screeching squawking dryer that we had to run only when nobody's watching TV or trying to hold a conversation finally said to hell with it and quit for good. Presently, I hear the very quiet swishing of a new one "burning off the new smell" as the delivery guy put it. In case you wondered, that was not in the budget either. Whatever. We shall overcome and all that, right? This one even has a handle and doesn't require pliers to pull the door open. Low maint? You bet your sweet ass, I am. Being the realist that I am, I figure something will happen to the trusty old Camry next and that will be BIG bucks. Tires are bald, needs an oil change and tune-up. Oh, and there's that really redneck no hubcaps thing. Well, there's one.

All of this just goes to prove that my priorities are all in the wrong place, as people will readily tell me at any given moment. "You make good money!" they say. What's the problem? Hmmm. Beats the hell out of me. Could it have something to do with this raging quicksand pit of recession that is eating everybody's lunch, and not just mine? We live in the greatest country in the world according to everybody else. WTF is up with working your ass off for 34 years just to live paycheck to paycheck? It's enough to make me pick up a sign and join the protest if it ever happens here. Which isn't likely because the CIA and Homeland security would never allow it. I work in the healthcare industry and see, on a daily basis, the fallout from insurance companies and big pharmacy ripping off consumers and partying on the profits. Congress can't touch that, because they can't learn to get along and get past who's in charge to see who really needs a change. Like me and you. Not the "disabled" people who spend their checks often times not so wisely or the rich ones who have everything that they need. Just us...the working schmucks who bankroll the entire thing for them. Before ya'll all go ACLU on me, let me say that there are many very needy and deserving people who draw a check every month because of some disability or another. My problem is with how this extends into the courts where sleazebag lawyers fight the SSA so they can earn their cut to make the Mercedes payment. And how perfectly able bodied folks sell their food stamps for fifty cents on the dollar to people who wouldn't eat without them....but don't qualify themselves. Give me a card, man. I'll show you some savvy shopping.

Yes, I'm rambling again. Instead of being grateful to be a United States citizen with all the perks I'm pissed off at the way the whole thing works. Nobody listens to my voice, or anybody else's for that matter. When the president pitches out a plan to reduce astronomical debt by saving a trillion over ten years, that is laughable in my book. There is no way in hell that the national deficit will ever become history unless everyone is willing to give up something. And that won't happen because the greed factor is way too strong and has the old devil on its' side. Somebody's family would be mighty disappointed not to have designer clothes and frequent vacations.

Enough with the bitching, already. Maybe I've purged enough to be able to be faithful again. Time will tell ^j^

Monday, February 14, 2011

feed a cold

Reporting to you live from the sick ward, is none other than the old poopster surrounded by boxes of kleenex, faithful nurse dogs and one cat who wouldn't feel sorry for me if I dropped dead right there in front of her. It's a feline thing, for sure. I don't remember much about the weekend other than the fact that BG was there the entire time making food runs for both of us because we're out of groceries. I dragged my smart ass up to the dollar store awhile ago to get some snacks and felt like I'd been hit by a large mack truck by the time I got back in the house. Normally I'm flittin' around like nobody's business. This evil bug which we shall call a karmic kritter, has been a blessing in that I couldn't flit if my life depended on it. I give. I'll lay down and watch TV with today's nursing staff.

Mom and Daddy are headed out to their anniversary date to have lunch with her class. That makes me grin just thinking about it. All the flower vendors in the world are on a one day high vowing not to turn away a single customer....but you might have to pick it up yourself! I've always thought that getting flowers when you least expect them is the coolest way to receive. Works for me every time, but then I'm low maint like that. I saw a hallmark commercial the other day with a quote that I really liked. Valentine's Day is the day to say I love us.

Thanks to my gracious friend I have two days to get back into shape before I report for duty again. The temps are headed up to the sixties and I'm happy as a pig in mud about that. Nothing is more miserable than trying to stay warm when you're sick. The codeine is about to kick in so it's time to scarf some spinach dip and channel surf for awhile.

I hope that you and everyone you love has a warm and caring day. And no,O'Reilly, that does not include you or little miss Palin. See...even sick as a dog, I can get riled up ^j^

Saturday, February 12, 2011

timing is everything

I'm not one to suffer often because I'm just one of those who would rather feel good and keep going if I can. Which is what I had to do this week with the evil bug lurking within. I decided last night that since the IRS and Big E saw fit to send me some money, I needed some treatment because I don't EVER remember feeling this poorly. I hopped up slid out of bed this morning and headed straight to the urgent care where they took some of my money but I was treated well. The pharmacy was another story. The antibiotic, because my deductible hadn't been paid, was over a hundred bucks. And I have INSURANCE. If things don't get better, I can use the handy dandy peace pipe thing. When she said "pneumonia" I said to myself " Self. Damn, no wonder you're so pitiful." It seriously makes your whole body hurt.

The snow lingers, but there are folks on the golf course taking advantage of the sunny day and it will be busy over there tomorrow as well. The air is crisp and clean and inhales much more easily than the indoors artificially heated kind. Immunity from the flu shot only lasts about three months and my warranty is out on that last dose from October. I blame it for that two week spell with no propane! Nah. It's just one of those things, especially when you work in healthcare. BG has taken my mama shopping, bless her heart, and is picking up some tennis shoes for both of us so we can keep walking long enough to make enough money to almost make ends meet. Meanwhile Verizon rolled out their newest toy yesterday and I thought I was going to choke on the amount of money some people paid for them. But hey...if you've got it, might as well have fun with it, 'cuz you can't take it with you.

I used to think that if I won the lottery I'd give a whole bunch of it to charity but the more I see about the way some charities handle their money with big money salaries for executives, the more I'm inclined to give locally, like our community cancer fund. They cook BBQ and fried taters and make a big deal out of selling it once a year and it's a wonderful thing because they all actually know the patients who are being helped with their money.

The tussinex is calming down the jitters from an albuterol breathing treatment so I'm ready to lay my smart ass down and watch movies. Ya'll enjoy the sunshine if you have it, pretend if you don't. By tomorrow I'll be roaming the yard with the camera looking for buds so watch out world.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The thing I adore about winter sunsets is the way blues and pinks and oranges all melt together into one big beautiful blob against a white backdrop dotted with trees and fields. Agriculture is big business and in this country it doesn't pay to get into it unless you mortgage your first born to the devil or inherited it. That's why so many family farms exist today....because the generations before them believe that they are worth saving and even championing. To hell with feeding the rest of the world. Buy from the locals or grow your own. It's the american way. Really. I grew up watching the Andy Griffith show and I know as well as I'm sittin' here that Aunt Bea and Andy's philosophy about life is right. And yes, I also watched the Waltons. I rarely told my brothers good anything much less "g'nite". It was their mission to torment me, you know. It's in the little brother handbook.

I have a temp and a real woozy head thanks to the latest bug that chose to strike during snowmageddon week of '11. Yesterday's round did a number as far south as Tupelo MS where the gal at Backyard Burger said she'd "never seen such." Memphis traffic was one big fat clusterfuck chinese fire drill and I thanked Big more time...that I chose not to live there. Two years in college was plenty for this country girl. My dorm was across the street from a park where pervs and drunks hung out and I was scared to death every time I hopped out of my car to run inside. I should have known when I threatened to quit during the last quarter what I was getting in for. My mama, bless her heart, hopped in her car and drove 80 miles to inform me that I was full of shit and this WOULD happen in two months. Heh.

Like many around the world, I have watched with intent interest as the younger generation in Egypt expresses their frustration with a government that does not respond to the needs of their citizens in very basic ways. I admire the restraint of the military in seeing that this is a win-win if everybody can just get along and not burn the whole continent off the map. There is always room for change, and this generation of youth has seen both the best and the worst of what our world has to offer. I remember visiting the library one time looking for another book by Elisabeth K Ross and the young man behind the desk suggested "The Wheel of Life". This book was a memoir of her experiences with hospice care, including an HIV group home in Afton Virginia. It wasn't until my brother decided to move there that I realized the significance of that little nudge from the cosmos. That's what we both called it when we were in therapy with the little bulldog. Cosmos. Karma. Ya'll get it.

Things are coming along on the lane in spite of sickness and snow. My federal tax dollars are scheduled to hit the bank tonight and they were delighted to cover my overdrafts because that's more money for them. Kinda sorta like a payday loan. As soon as I have a free moment the first one to be paid will be the one with the gangster style interest rate. They don't get a cake like Butch. I still owe the lawyer one too from Christmas. Oh well....gotta go grocery shopping first.

Happy ladies night! I feel a good hot tub soak coming on.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

mediation with a side of mini-blizzard

I'm not sure what the actual technical and all legal like term is, but the way I understand the concept it's about letting by gones be by gones and looking ahead. Imagine my chagrin to find myself playing judge Poopie yesterday with my parents. I was sitting on the floor cross legged listening to both of them hurl insults at each other ( no dirty words ) and essentially find the spot where they were spent with the fussing and ready to settle down to their respective routines. As always, it's a 50/50 deal. Several months ago, daddy was ready to say to hell with it and give her a divorce if that's what would make her happy. At this point, I don't think a visit from JC himself would do the trick.

It always comes back around to being blind and dependent on others when that was never her style. Like her own mother, she was determined to live her life and enjoy every minute to the fullest. Her true vocation was writer for local newspapers, something that she kicked ass with back in the day of high society weddings and yummy recipes for showers or the fam. Everybody knows and loves her because she's just so dang good at heart. When she was still active on the church council, she came up with a homebound communion ministry that still exists today. I'm not sure what committee that happened on, but I was a faithful servant for many years. That's my kind of spirituality. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, they will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary on Valentine's day. If I had a chance for a do-over, I couldn't even approach that kind of total devotion. I fell kinda like Lucy dispensing advice for 5 cents at a roadside stand.

It snowed again. Caught me totally off guard yesterday morning when I headed out to work and noticed the rain changing into big fat wet snow that piled up quickly on the trusty old Camry's windshield but rainex wipers did the trick. Not many wrecks this time because there was no ice and the streets cleared quickly. That's what nice about a storm that starts in the morning after you're where you've got to be for awhile. By the time schools let out at noon, it was all over. There is nothing worse than waking up to a car covered in crap that is still falling! For those of you who like me, don't have garages, high five. I guess it's time to pull out the cardboard for cover because there's another one coming.

This little composition has taken three days to wrap up because I just didn't feel finished with it somehow. You know, like it's the great american novel or something ;) Ya never know! For me personally it's just a really good form of therapy where I can share the things that are issues in my life and try to get a laugh out of them now and then. It beats crying. I'm sitting here with the chest cold from hell watching my three beautiful babies prance in the snow like little kids, running and playing like nothing else matters. That, and mucinex, makes me feel better. A little.

Snowball fight. Ya'll are it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

head bonk

One of the traits that my poor BG inherited from her mom is a lack of grace. Like me, she's been running into things and falling down on a regular basis all her life. Door frames. Steps. You name it, we've hit it with some body part of another. The steps to our basement are really old school with the steps to the ATTIC running right over the top of them so as to create a rather small space that can't be navigated unless you duck when you're coming up. One of her friends went to the ER after he busted his noggin wide open running up the steps. That was one of those "way too many kids to be safe" party that I hosted for the unruly teenagers, if you know what I mean. least I knew where they were. And so did their momma and them. There are still proclamations of teenage love smeared all over the basement walls with colored chalk.

Since we've been conserving propane using electric heaters lately I can't remember to unplug the kitchen one before I hit the microwave, which results in total darkness in that part of the house. The other night I found myself in that predicament and headed to the dark basement with a candle to flip the breakers. Hitting the main didn't work, which I discovered only after trekking back up the steps and smacking my head on the spot that's always been there. Duh. I was stunned but determined to get the power back on so there I went again with the candle to flip the switches one by one. Fine then. Back up the steps and *smack* again in the same spot. To say that I cried like a little kid is an understatement. "Mom! Does it hurt THAT bad?" Nah...I just needed to cry, was my reply. heh.

I also have whatever the virus du jour is after two weeks of relatively snot free living. It snowed and is cold, again. And it is Saturday which is a day of rest for me and the dogs. Maybe a little laundry, but other than that it's all about me. And them.

Somebody pass the kleenex please and thank you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

playing for pizza

I have to hand it to our bosses because we always get some free food at the sawmill when we most need it, like today. Cracker crust pizza is one of my sinful weaknesses. I've been, as my friend the Little General would say "dauntcy" which means all dizzy and whirly and nauseated. I skipped the BP meds today and didn't have that problem. Probably time for a new assessment of that situation considering some pretty significant weight loss. Drugs are bad, umkaaay?

BG is loving the job thing and invited me in today to see her coworker's chiweenie?? Cute as hell, ya'll. Wrapped up in a Christmas blanket like a baby. I held her and she gave me many many puppy kisses. Sometimes M and F bring Gracey Lynn around and we always get to see her when we stop by their house. Princess, plain and simple. I took Faith over there one time to see if she would do the lab in water thing at their pool and she patiently waited on the hot concrete for me to give that one up and head to the air conditioned house. Back in the day she would swim like hell walk all dainty like in the mud to fetch sticks. Labs just don't do summer well when they're in their golden years. Neither do some people. I guess it's all how if you're wired for fun or not.

Yes, indeed the old poopster is rambling.'s Friday night live. I can do that in America for now.

Faith ^j^

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I haven't laid eyes on my sister Gigi since before Thanksgiving, much less since Christmas. We went out to eat with Momma one day and that was fun. Once the pool shuts down life on her little plot settles down to a dull roar. Some of the best times and friendships of my life have been forged in the beer soaked sun of that little garden of eden. My friend the undertaker funeral director used to have one that had a freakin' FOUNTAIN in it. Talk about some serious chilling! There were plants everywhere and just right sun. Once when I was a "displaced" tornado victim she let me spend a couple of nights in the palace while she was gone on business. I'm talking to-die-for with tile floors and a whirlpool and the whole deal. Shortly after her girls left, she downsized. I still miss that house girl!

Anyway, back to Gigi. I was making a run to the dollar store and pulled into her driveway on the way home with a couple of beers. She and her BF were watching a movie so I caught the last thirty minutes of Joe Black. A nice transition from work to home....Brad Pitt with highlights and a tux. This gal actually had me a CHRISTMAS present that she had saved until she saw me again. It was a bag of goodies that included homegrown CDs and pretty lights. And some jewelry. I was stunned what with all the big fog that has been floating since ummm....about ten days before the "big day". That was when my world changed abruptly...ONE more time. Hey. I'm all about the journey. Old hippies are like that.

The roads were salted again today for about the fifth time thus far. I'll pass on the complaints considering what a clusterf**k the rest of the country is weatherwise. Just our luck to get a blizzard when Al had us all convinced the glaciers are melting. Just kiddin ;) I do think that the bizarre changes in climate are connected very closely with our lack of respect for the environment and nature, all in the name of money for giant corporations who operate from some distant city. They could give a rat's ass about your community or you. That is one very cool thing about working in a rural healthcare setting. Everybody and their momma'n'them knows you so there's a big opportunity for ministry to those who have shaped your life.

I think it's Thursday...yeah. Ladies night. To celebrate I'm going to watch every single show on that one channel that has all the funny ones. Or maybe I'll just catch up with Chelsea and Nancy Botwin. I'm telling ya'll...there's a book up in there somewhere.

Peace and love and keep the faith ^j^

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

cold and clear

That's the current weather status on the lane which tickles me to death because it doesn't include ice this time. All I can say about you northerners is "bless ya'lls hearts." From what I've seen on the TV and interwebs, you might as well get those salt trucks in gear because the Super Bowl is an American tradition and Steelers fans are about to die for this one. If somebody doesn't watch out, a dang way overpaid relative of Gloria Vanderbilt might get smacked in the head over that one. At least TEN times. Oh, please. Close to the fire? You get burned. One of my brothers got hit in the head with a beer bottle one time when there was a riot of sorts in a local bar. He was just there having a drink against the wall like he always did and *BAM* all hell broke loose. I think his cranium still has a scar from that one. Said it was like a gas fire or something.

As predicted, Pecan Lane Phil did not see his shadow today. We had a three dog night up in the bed last night, snuggling for warmth and body heat. Faith usually takes the end of the bed and
Sammy D slips up under the blanket next to my butt. Oscar just finds a comfy spot and hangs his cute as hell little schauzer lookin' head over whatever body part is sticking out. Kinda reminds me of sleeping with a pile of puppies which is a little bit like heaven.

A dear friend of mine has written a book of poetry and self published. This gives me inspiration to do what I know is meant to be in my life. Many years ago, I was an avid reader of a columnist who wrote about faith matters for his local newspaper. That was back in the day when we rushed out to actually BUY one on sunday morning just to see what's up. I sent him a groupie type email once, telling him how his stories had touched me and asked him why he had never written a book. His response to me went something like this " I write my stories one day at a time. That's my book."

Makes you think ^j^

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

conspiracy theory

Just got off the phone with my youngest brother, the one who is my soulmate in spite of the physical distance between us. We covered most everything from the WTC and Pentagon bombings to infant vaccines and the powerhouse that is drug companies who push them. My kinda guy, ya'll. The worst fight we ever had in our entire lives as siblings was when he supported Dubya back in the day. Now, not so much. I voted for Kerry, but couldn't bring myself to cast a vote in the last presidential election. It's not so much that I didn't like him (which I'm still on the fence about, by the way) but that I didn't....and still don't, believe that voting for a party rather than a person is the way to save our country. There is too much room for greed and corruption and lobbying bribery. And they may shut down ATT and Verizon, but there's a whole helluva lot of small ISP providers that they can't possibly pull the plugs on all at once. Regional coverage, if you will. It truly bothers me to think this way, but sometimes you just got to roll with it and on past it to happier things.

Today is one of those happy days. In typical Pecan Lane fashion, BG managed to make it to day one of work on time (almost, there was that pesky empty gas tank) and I stayed here to meet the plumber who quickly found out that the septic tank is full. Meh. He left the cap off so that I can use some water, and the rest will be dug up sometime or another. Little things. That's all it takes to make me smile :) Her job is in healthcare, which is not surprising but certainly a challenge right now. You GO girl.

Today's weather looks like a backdrop for some scary black and white movie. It's warm though, for now. While the northeast gets slammed again, this time we're only getting rain and wind. And cold again! I'm pretty sure my groundhog won't see his shadow, or the dogs either for that matter.

Momma is in much better spirits today, thankyouverymuch. It just kills me when she gets like that because I feel like I should have the answers and well....I just don't. All we can do is keep on plugging and enjoying the happy moments when they see fit to pop up.

Keep the faith ^j^