Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the network

If I were to pick one word that has typified today's modern industrial world it is "networking." It seems to be a cliche these days what with all of the social ones and the work ones and the family ones, but still. To network, as a verb, is to keep all options open and on the table at all times with people who are your team members, whether it's siblings or your bosses. When "the network" goes down at the sawmill, all hell breaks loose...ya'll know the feeling. Plan B's look good on paper but in reality if there's no computer power or lights you have to use your brain and a pen again and mine is pretty out of shape. I've had carpal tunnel repair on one hand because that arm was going numb. It took two years to heal, but those symptoms are gone for good now. It's the other one that's giving me right one...the one I use MORE. And yes, I still owe the surgeon her co-pay. Stand in line hon.

I was standing outside the mechanic's shop on the highway this afternoon waiting for lug nuts and stems to be delivered and my friends whizzed by toward home and hollered at me. I was outside smoking bonding with all the junkyard dogs and Kate the pretty one when they passed. They called about a half mile up the road to see if I was alright and say that they loved me. That, my friends, is something finer than money could ever buy. I learned all about rotors and pads too so maybe I'll just do it myself next time. Yeah....RIGHT! We talked about the old 555 service station that my grandaddy owned downtown when we were growing up around the 'burg. It was right next to the Silver Castle and Roberts Chevrolet on the corner across from our church. We're talking mayberry, folks. Mom's family lived around the corner and up the hill directly across from the old high school. Pawpaw died when I was three so I was really the only one who got to spend much time with him. I've been told I was spoiled rotten, but I don't think that's true, do ya'll?

The hail didn't last long yesterday but the wet cold is hanging heavy around my old house. As fate would have it, BG has another job interview and is actually loving the feeling of having options. I knew that her time would come when it as supposed to. Thank you Big Ernie. We need the money. It's kind of bittersweet how I'm enjoying the process of cleaning and packing and sorting through things. On the one hand, the house looks better than it has in years and I actually (kindasorta) know where some things are. It's still dirty but at least de=cluttered a bit. That in itself makes me feel light, ya know? I used to as bad as those people on Dr. Phil and Oprah about hoarding stuff. No more, buddy. If it's not of personal or sentimental value or art, it's history. I will never forget the hot summer afternoon that I got possessed enough to climb into that hot attic and pitch boxes down the slope of the backporch roof to burn. I thought I was gonna have a heat stroke. I've spent many a day and night down in that moldy old basement scooping out shit and moving the jumk towards the steps going outside. All roads lead to the burn pile :)

I see angels in the network sense, not just because they work in lives often disguised as everyday people. When I first began as a blogger, I made friends with a very talented woodworker in upstate New York who sent me a hand carved and painted puzzle that he made. It's in a box somewhere close by waiting to be put back out once the cleaning is finished. I hope he is well and still enjoying the outdoors with his boys. I've got some candles burning so I figure we'll make it until the sun comes out again. Maybe.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

acting as if

One of the greatest things that I learned from spending several years reading recovery books is the tool of role playing in different situations. For example, if life gives you darkness light a candle and think happy thoughts until one pops up. Meet the moment for what it is and don't freak the heck out at every little thing. I did that for a long time over bill collectors and money until I finally realized that there's only one of me, I don't have any assets so give it your best shot to recover what meager amounts I owe you. This does not include my hero Butch, the propane guy. I can't wait for the day when I get to deliver that cake and a big wad of cash to his place in Gates.

For the second day in a row, I ran into an elderly patient who was making his way from point A to test B and was lost as a goose. Kinda reminded me of my own dad in many ways. He depended on a wooden cane to support himself and shuffled along slowly searching for the cafeteria. Yesterday some of my co-workers came to his aid, filling his plate and carrying his tray to the table after he paid. Today was my turn to pay it forward. I was totally amazed at how good it felt to let go of everything else but those random minutes with that particular human who needed me. He still had on the hospital bracelet from his procedure the day before and was killing time until his doctor's appointment after lunch. I wandered from there to a meeting I totally didn't want to go to, and opted out on the free pizza. Oddly enough, I knew what was going on and was kinda sorta interested except for listening to that one who talks all the time. Ya'll know the type...there's one in every workplace.

It's "double your prozac" weather again here on the lane, cold and dreary. I did see a few more hailstones fall this afternoon but then nothing surprises me any more. Our local newspaper has sunk to a new low publishing mug shots of the latest suspect both in print and online. Doesn't matter that you've not been to court yet or even had the chance to consult an attorney. I figure that's just to lure their readers into the obituaries and classifieds. Since my friend Kathy retired from there, there's not been one piece of human interest entered in print. No wonder journalists want to get the hell out of the bidness. Well, except for Anderson Cooper who does it just for fun and big money because he's got a rich family tradition to keep up. Old money dies hard.

When I was at breakfast with my parents the other day, I noticed about half of their surviving SS class sitting at a table in the back and there they were with me, paying my way. None of them stopped to speak to us, proceeding instead across the back aisle to the VIP section. Our favorite waitress has been banished to the late night drunk on Saturday crowd, probably because she's the only one who has the patience to deal with them. Last time I was in the john ladies room, the dang soap dispenser was torn off the wall by some wild ass kid who had too much at the bar. Johnny is always up front, ready to open the door and help me get them in and out. He's been there since back in the day, an old timer about my age. He takes his mama to the dollar store too.

I'm smooth out of answers for any of it. Just keepin' the faith ^j^

Monday, March 28, 2011

what goes around

..well, ya'll all know that it comes around. That's what the old folks say and I believe 'em because they're wiser than me. They lived through the tough times of WWII and the great depression at a time when real moral values were, though well intended, very troublesome to their offspring who espoused the peace and love philosophy. Like me. As a teenager, I first took a road trip with a couple of guys who are now dead (and gay as hell while they were alive). The Westboro mentality was rampant at that time so of course it was all their fault for being different. Bullshit. This was around the time that we first learned about HIV and HCV and the dangers that come with sharing needles and/or sex with people you may know but surely shouldn't trust with your health. Being homosexual was much less accepted than it is now, and the "church" was responsible for a lot of that intolerance. I mean please....we've still got local congregations that don't allow women to do anything other than bake a cake or keep the nursery because it's up to the men to conduct holy business.

There was a wave of HIV around here that sprang from the seventies and it was hard to watch. One after another, my old friends died senselessly. The one that hit me the hardest was Denise that I went to Alice Thurmond with. She had been married and had a daughter, then headed to the streets and found another one who liked to play with needles. They had another daughter who did just like you would expect from that situation and she died when A was a teenager, at her mother's house with her old friend the hospice nurse by her side. Her ex lingered in a nursing home for years, his own personal hell for infecting that naive girl who just wanted to be happy. Sometime around there, my other friend from Texas pulled a good one and died on her bathroom floor in her own puke from an overdose of pills. We were rebels together, back in the day. At the point where I said to myself "Self...there is no future in this lifestyle" the rest of them partied on and died young. The sad thing is that most of it happened because of the fact that things just were the way they were and it was pretty messed up. Like the world is right now.

The drug du jour in our neck of the woods these days is meth, and there's plenty of labs around the south to cook in. It is a very addictive mixture of battery acid and sudafed and ammonia that blows entire neighborhoods up when things get out of hand. My honest opinion is that the DEA should just shake hands with Mexico, agree not to bust anybody who grows their own and focus on the addictions that thrive at the poverty level. Might cut out a lot of government benefits if you know what I mean. Cocaine is expensive and meth is the poor man's way of gettin' geeked out for days all the while eating free food from the commodities place and paying cash for your cigs while the babies run around in dirty diapers. I know of what I speak. Yet I still believe in the goodness, the random miracle when someone who is absolutely eaten up with demons, turns around and chooses to reclaim their life. I always think of the "pigs in the pond" story from the bible when I ponder on that particular thing. Only Big Ernie could send the evil crashing over the cliff into the sea. Gotta love it.

When BG was in junior high school there was this town drunk named Walter who slept in an old building over by the Forked Deer river. He would sit on court square in the mornings with a cheap bottle of something that he had gotten from the liquor store across the street and pass the day with the other members of the "limp dick club" as my daddy called them. Most of these folks were sort of like mascots to the store owners, and they wouldn't let them in until a decent hour for what they wanted. Sometimes they paid the night before, in cash, for the next day's happy hour. And lived on the streets. One day when I was parked going UPHILL to pick BG up from school I noticed Walter wobbling down amongst all the pre-teens who were totally self absorbed and all about themselves. He fell down in the traffic and they proceeded to laugh at him and kick him when he hit the ground. I think it was at that point that I realized that our society was as effed up as a goose what with all the big corporate promises. If affluence makes you oblivious to human need, there's a problem. Thankfully, I wasn't raised that way.

There, but for the grace of god, go I ^j^

Sunday, March 27, 2011

what the hail??

It's been a very LONG time since we got a hailstorm the likes of the one yesterday. We got a light dose of it on the lane but as we traveled into town to eat at mexico, the highways and flower beds were white with the stuff. Looked like a snow plow had come through and pushed it back. Pride, our horse, ran around like he was on crack in the middle of it instead of headin' for the barn. No car damage or anything, but there is a very audible brake problem on the front left that requires immediate attention. As in ScRReeeechhhh! As we all know I am one paycheck away from poverty rolling in the dough, so I think I'll take it to my friend's shop and get it checked out. The stupid thing isn't even paid for yet and it's 11 years old. Note to self: see rainbow.

It's still cloudy and cold and the last of the last load of propane is keeping us warm. It feels oddly familiar to be sitting inside looking through the ancient windows of this old house. The woodwork around the window where my desk is has become worn and weathered from years of weather seeping in as fronts move from west to east over the river and up the hill to poopie's house. My parents and I did our usual Sunday rounds of Perkins, drug store and Kroger then back to the crib for pill counting and allergy shot. They were settling in to watch TV when I left. All is well for now.

I put on makeup yesterday for the first time in months, and realized shortly thereafter why I don't do it often. At my age with my wrinkles and bags, it only accentuates the negative, ya know? I have spent much of my life in the sun, beginning with a four year career as a lifeguard so there's significant sun damage. You couldn't have told me back then that it would do this little number on a young face. Now I pretty much just don't give a rat's ass about how i look as long as i'm clean and brushed with a little bit of Miss Athena's beads hanging from my ears. Low maint, I'm telling you. Well and maybe just a little bit lazy. Learning to chill and forget about the world has done more for my anti-aging strategy than anything. Not that I ever had one, mind you. That ain't how I roll. I had to marvel at the halftime speech given by Pat Summitt to the Lady Vols at halftime yesterday. Two words over and over and over again after asking them if they wanted to go home. "no ma'am" they mumbled. DEFENSE. REBOUND. DEFENSE. REBOUND. They did just that and won the game by playing the second half flawlessly and under pressure. Some people just work better that way. On occasion I have been known to be one of them.

Peace and love ya'll. Keep the faith ^j^

Saturday, March 26, 2011

risky business

Most weeks when the church newsletter comes I scan through to see what's up and don't know many of the folks whose names are on the prayer list and whatnot. Yesterday I picked it up and actually put on my glasses to read the front page message. And it was a good one! He cited several large successful companies who have begun to "reward" the people who make the biggest mistakes because it is obviously THEY, the risk takers, who can actually improve the quality of service. We're not talking about the dumbasses that come and go in a few weeks or months, but the ones who have been in an organization long enough to know where the weak links are and offer possible solutions to real problems in service delivery. He went on to talk about how faith is like that sometimes. It seems implausible, in times like these, to look on the sunny side. Unless you know that there's a rainbow out there somewhere and it's a promise that will never be broken. No pain, no gain.

Winter has returned to the lane, but not for long. I'm sincerely glad I didn't make it up the steps with the warm stuff. I should know better after all these years, but I'm kind of on a mission to get the house clean before corporate comes or Mother's Day, whichever is first. I was shooting for Easter, but I've gotta work that weekend. Presently Sammy and Faith are snoozing beside me, and a very MUDDY Oscar is peering out the window to see what there is to chase. Just a squirrel here and birds today.

All is well.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

snow on easter

Here in northwest Tennessee, the weather is quite unpredictable except during summer which is always hot and humid, no exceptions. We all like to say "it's not the's the humidity" and other quaint little southern phrases like that. If you're not used to it, you'll turn around and go north by late June or else jump into somebody's pool for the duration. Sometime around the middle of July the shadows begin to slant oh so slightly and the ree'a'rees start up. That's when I know for sure that fall is coming eventually. By then the lightning bugs have made themselves at home and the fireworks are over. That's prime time for reaping what you've sowed in a garden happily tilled and planted before the weeds set in. Way back in the spring!

Back to Easter, then. Mama has told me many times about the sunrise services at her Methodist church when HER grandma brought her beloved parakeets in so there could be birds chirping as the sun rose on the sacred day. If I'm not mistaken, there were doves sometimes too. Maybe I'm confusing that with the weddings I've been to. She loves to talk about how I went to church with my pj bottoms on under my fancy dress because I failed to change out. "Just don't bend over!" she told me. Right....with all those easter eggs waiting to be found? We hunted at home in the yard before church, at my grandma's house after church and a couple of times at school or somebody's party. I probably never found too many because I tend to be on the lazy side.

Every Sunday morning before church, we had cinnamon rolls with icing because they were quick and easy and lord only knows it's a chore to get three kids ready for services. That was, of course, back in the day before anybody could wear pants except guys. And little boys wore shorts and cute jackets on the special day. I went to vacation bible school, but I don't ever remember them going with me. We had snacks in the old fellowship hall, down at the basement level of the original part of our church. When BG was that age, I tried to pitch in and help but all the artsy craftsy soccer mom types wouldn't invite me to play so I taught their kids in sunday school instead. That's a whole 'nother story about entitlement and the evils thereof. During that time, there were many wealthy people keeping the whole deal going but they have since died out and most of their kids are scattered across the globe. It was a very active congregation that paid apportionments and good salaries. But you know what? They did very little to help those in the neighborhood, outside of contributions to a mission in another county.

It's usually always nippy on Easter Sunday so you better pick something to layer over that little sleeveless sailor dress mama bought for you. And have a backup plan for those shorts on the boys. I mean...for real. This year it's later in April so maybe we can go without coats for a change. Here's a story for you, and trust me. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Several years ago when mama was still driving and daddy went ahead in his truck so he could practice with the men's choir, she had a major accident pulling out from their road toward town. The car was totaled and she had airbag damage all over her little body. We ended up in the ER ( I was at work ) with her favorite preacher coming in to say "Surprise!". That was his Easter message to the congregation, and she got it even though she never made it in her finery.

Another year, she fell and broke her arm while cooking supper for daddy on Easter night. I may be blonde at times, but that little connection didn't escape attention. There was an ambulance and a long time in the ER with a lot of intensive aftercare. She hasn't been able to walk right since then. My mother always made holidays special no matter what the occasion because she just loved to entertain. She never sat down until everyone else was fed, and spent hours fussing over food and decorations to make it oh-so-special. I go the here and there route with decoration that usually includes whatever color candle holders I have and some tea lights. That's all it takes for some atmosphere.

Lord only knows what's gonna happen THIS year when the stone is rolled away from the tomb. I'm thinking on the positive side of things, which is just my nature ^j^

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

super powers

I've never really gotten into that kinda thing, but my BF loves the animated ones, especially the shows with an Asian theme. But then he plays golf too which means he's sort of on the zone out side of things, which is fine because I am too. He makes fun of me because I go into this trancelike deal where I'm staring out the window at the scenery whizzing by. I absolutely LOVE riding and hate driving with a passion. We're a good match in a lot of other ways as well. Sunday afternoon we went down towards the Big Muddy to party with his family at a fish fry. I brought BG a plate home and she was, frankly, amazed. She said to me "These people don't play!" We rode around and looked at backwater and just let the wind blow through our hair. The youngest of our group went wading in the road where it went underwater and later did belly flops into a big huge ditch that will soon have snakes in it. Ewwww and Yay!! The house that some of them were born in is right across the road, still occupied. Good times down at Bradley :)

We had another crisis yesterday afternoon with a maternal meltdown in more than one house just because it's so hard to keep on keepin' on. My mother is blind and needs someone to read things to her. My daddy is a dementia patient so that's like, um. Not much help. Any of us would gladly sit down and read to her if she would only ask, but there's that pesky independent trait coming out again *sigh* BG told me that when things get bad enough with me she'll just put a pillow over my face. I trust her to pick the time. We are all frustrated, she with her job search and me and my brother with a constant feeling of "what's next" as we juggle work and a little bit of fun into the mix. My usual cure is a couple of nights sleeping 12 hours straight (unless the dogs see something they want to chase).

When I asked my friends to pray for me and send hugs yesterday I was feeling the sort of pain that will bring you to your knees. The immediate response was like little pieces of angel dust falling on me and I was able to stop wailin' and get on with things. I hate nothing worse than going to work the day after a crying jag. Like Mr. Yates always said "This too shall pass."

Love ya..........mean it ^j^

Monday, March 21, 2011

a new kind of feeling

Never in my wildest dreams (as an adult) did I think that I would get to this point with my parents. It never crossed my mind that somewhere down the line they would be still living in that red log cabin where they set up housekeeping 55 years ago. As I sit here typing, listening to Pink Floyd and actually enjoying it, I wonder if I will fight as hard to retain my independence as my mother and father have. Because of their refusal to delegate and simplify, they spend every ounce of energy fighting to keep things the same. Same ways of doing everything, from buying meds and groceries to paying bills. They finally turned over the checking account to my brother and an accountant, but there are still bills coming to them personally that they don't understand and refuse to deal with by closing credit card accounts that they do not need. People on fixed incomes don't need that crap, and when they don't allow us to SEE what is going on, it all turns into a clusterf**k. Their income is plenty to maintain their lifestyle until they die. Why complicate everything??????********#&)

And that new feeling? It is resentment for putting my life on hold for the past few years to allow them to stay at home. It is a 24/7 on call schedule with my brother, my daughter and myself in the rotation. If one of us is working or out of pocket, one of the others jumps into the car and gets it done. We are never ALL out of service at the same time. Ever. For those times, there is angel doll Miss Faye who comes to cook and clean and drive their cab, all for a very modest price. My mother, in particular, is so afraid of running out of money that when I suggested that she get Miss Fay to read to her from the newspaper or church bulletin she proclaimed that she "couldn't afford to pay someone ten bucks an hour to read to her." Why not? That's what she misses the most.....the stories and news that she herself once wrote as a reporter for the local rag. Bad bad daughter, right? Nope...just someone who doesn't have all the answers. And feels guilty for that first burst of negative emotion about where things are with our life.

To me, control as an issue, is a profound manifestation of something seriously missing in the faith department. At least that's what I got out of two years in therapy with some pastoral counseling. The way I understand it is that if you run up across a brick wall doing something or fall in a hole or something, that's a signal to go in a different direction with things. Proactive in a karmic sort of say, ya know? Pavlov's dog proved without a doubt that if there's a treat, the trick will be performed over and over again. But what about pain as a teacher? KY cuzin told me the other day about a mouse that got caught in her trap one night and was still alive when they dumped the garbage the next day. Had a big fat neck like he'd been eating REAL good.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to the porch to work on my toenails. Pool season will be here before ya'll know it!


Friday, March 18, 2011

friend of a friend

Sometimes, when something happens that is just totally bizarre and that thing becomes connected to another event...and then another, I begin to think that Big Ernie is talking to me real serious like. Last May, BG was sittin' on the porch at Vick's house when they heard a car crash. She told me about it after she got home and I said "That could have been you!". The next day we found that an elderly woman had been killed in a collision with a friend of ours. Highway 104 is notorious for its' hills and twists and a lot of folks have been killed there, yet it's the only straight line into Trenton from the 'burg. Bikers adore it, and I respect that. As for me, it just makes me nervous as a cat.

As it turned out, the victim was the aunt of one of my co-workers. We talked about it for awhile and then it all kind of went away. Our friend entered rehab at a facility that she still calls home on the banks of the Tennessee river. She attends meetings regularly and hangs out with sober friends. Though her ex has custody of their daughter, she sees her whenever possible and they have an understanding about her care. And now she's been indicted for vehicular homicide. As I talked with my friend at work about it this morning, I shared with her how hard my other friend is working to stay straight and keep looking ahead. That her own father died in a car crash a few months later doesn't help things. Don't you just KNOW she blamed herself?? My work friend shared with me that her cousin had initiated prayer for her when she heard what happened. That is what you know who would do. Tsk..tsk. There's that old testament thing again and it's eastertide so let's keep it light and faithful, umkay? Eat some chocolate eggs or something. Hey I know...go to the mall and get your picture made with the easter bunny!!!

Rock on kids. I'm off for the weekend and loving every minute of it.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

word picture

Sometimes I think that my stubborn refusal to slow down and pay attention is my own fault, but then again I'm doing the best I can so sue me. The first one to debtor's court gets one of my dogs or a piece of vintage china. If things get bad enough I'll put the first only born up for bids with the gypsies. I can see her being one of their kindred. She has never lived away from the farm and at least I did that for ten years before I came back with her in tow. I don't regret that decision, even though it's been an expensive proposition to maintain, especially as a single parent. Houses built in the early 1900a tend to be a bit drafty. I spent the first ten years here cleaning out the basement and the next ten on the attic. Since then, I've been concentrating on the yard and living floor. The laminate floors which were my daddy's last attempt to keep us here, are cleaner than they've been in years. It's outside weather for doggies during the day so there's my plan for mother's day falling into place. Unless I have to work.

Faith is in up north for a sleepover and "the boys", Sam and Oscar, followed me all around the yard as I looked to see what's up. Beethoven is cranked up because it's pretty outside but I can outblast him with chick music when I really want to. All of the doors are propped open so the dogs can run in and out at will and I'm wearing shorts. No hint of asparagus yet, but it's been much more of a normal spring weather pattern so that's not a surprise. The redbuds just turned a little bit purple this afternoon and the hosta are peeking out. There's a pretty stout wind so it's probably not a good fishing day but you never know what might happen by sunset. Besides, you can't get to the really good sloughs right now because of the backwater. Gah.

I saw one particularly disturbing interview today with a firefighter in Japan who had left his family to go to work and returned to find their home demolished. Wife...son's family, gone. It is a marvel to me how many of us will do that for a cause if we really believe in it and don't just have to have the money to pay bills. Many Europeans live this way but then there's that pesky keeping up the royalty thing just like over here. I mean, for real. We'd all just die if we didn't have TV. Mine is on the way out, one more time. I figure as long as I pay the home internet bill and can check the weather at work, it's gonna be alright. I'll miss Chelsea and Jon Stewart but they live in the web too. Winter is over and it's time to to outside and play. It was at about this time of year when my ex had a full blown widow maker heart attack at the age of 39. I remember watching the playoffs with him in the hospital. Funny how the things that come back to haunt you are that simple. He is a good man and a good father doing his best to stay straight in a world where it's very tempting to say screw it and escape reality. His reality is trying to help others get straight, and I totally respect him for that. It ain't easy.

There is a hero in everyone on this planet whom nobody knows about because we are busy chasing customs, tradition and law. Greed is rampant, and the trickle down effect has been that we won't know what to do when we're up shit creek and have to survive. I used to actually TRAVEL with a box fan because I had to have the noise to sleep by. That got given up many lenten seasons ago. Now I don't travel unless somebody agrees to drive. I hate that crap! Definitely not good at navigation here. The spirit of Mrs. Council is riled up slamming doors with the wind so I reckon it's time to go admire her flowers that come back every year. The peony babies are showing where they're not covered in pine needles. One time me and daddy burned that pine bed off on a still spring day and it became my shade garden. It was eaten up with poison ivy and virginia creeper, and still is. Several of the pines have gone by the wayside, but there are still enough there on the line to block that strong wind. If I were a bettin' gal I'd say don't light the burn pile today because the odds are bad.

I hope ya'll got pinched today, is all I can say.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

little miracles

Ya' was my Monday payback and I walked up into some real drama this morning before the sun ever came up. Way before. Can't talk about all that because of HIPPA (shhhhhh) but it's one of those moments I spoke of yesterday about courage and honor and life changing moments. My boss and every boss over her stood together in alliance and did the right (and legal) thing. I have a whole new respect for the entire bunch of them.

I haven't even dared to peek at my bank balance the past day or so because it's gettin' kinda slim and I don't like bad news, so there ya go. That normally happens right before payday around here. BG is exploring job opportunities and has a good shot at a good chance in her field. My play money check arrived today and I got to the bank JUST in time to avoid overdraft fees. That shit just makes me a** draw up. I wrote an apology to my dentist friend and sent a check, and will appeal to my local federal credit union for a loan to pay the propane guy and hand surgeon. They've been really patient too. Got notice from the company that raped me sold me a nebulizer knowing that my insurance wouldn't pay that I owe them almost two hundred bucks. The NP quoted me a price of 86. What's up with that????????

I wish I had forsythia/quince/buttercup/bradford pear raw cam up here on the hill so ya'll could see how freakin' beautiful it is. Sometimes I need a little reminder of the reason I've struggled so hard to stay here as long as I can. Can't beat the view from the porch. I'm just saying. The swing on the porch is a little bit high where you have to do a little jump to get your butt up on it and it takes forever for it to stop. That's because it dumped me smooth on the wood last fall when a couple of the rusty links broke off. I was kinda dauntcy for a couple of days. That was one the Little General's momma's terms. You'd have thought they were southern!

Last wednesday my friend Conner and I had an impromptu service in the kitchen where I wrote down what I was giving up for Lent and burned it in a leftover aluminum ashtray from Bubba's club. Obviously there are things that I could give up to enhance my financial situation but most of them have gone by the wayside already...things like clothes and healthy food. I was sort of thinking real hard about the sacrificial thing and decided to start with things that are pretty easy to let go of. Pride. I've ever had an arrogant day in my whole life! Greed. This has been a biggie for me, because sometimes I resent the fact that while I bust my ass trying to make a living for myself other folks bankroll their kids until they're 30 in an upscale Snooki sort of way. Because it's cool. Fortunately I've never really had the devil in me to latch onto that that particular sin. I grew up with two parents who worked until they couldn't work any more to support our family. We always worked as teenagers to earn our first vehicles or something that we wanted. I was a lifeguard at the Moose every summer so I got to work on my tan and get paid fifty cents an hour for chasing brats and frying cheeseburgers on a griddle when I wasn't sittin' in the sun. Good times. The labor board eventually made 'em pay up back wages to all of us underpaid overworked teenagers. Heh. Good times, right?

I'm not sure that Conner understood any of it because I sure didn't at that age. They made me go to church and bible school enough as a child that I got the basics and began to form my own belief system. Big Ernie says you can do that, ya know. When I see those idiots from the Westboro clan I think about the movie "Deliverance" for some odd reason. It has nothing to do with the dirty teeth or guns....but the pure walking and talking persona of evil. any form, for any reason, is not a reason to be mean. Take an extra Xanax for cripes' sake. My theory is that all the people who are consumed with that kind of anger will turn into tasmanian devils and just whirl each other over the rainbow to a happy place. Then we'll all be in better shape.

Peace and love ^j^

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

good job

After sleeping in until almost noon, I began to see what had happened in the world while I was out. Japan is still there and suffering tremendously. Gas is still sky high. Stewie is still my hero :) I ran across some raw dash cam video of the extended chase by north MS and Shelby law enforcement chasing the guys who escaped from a La prison. My brother shared it and I was totally amazed at the precision with which law enforcement from two states worked together to catch these fools. They had tied up a parks and rec worker in a building in Madison county and stolen his truck. They had already killed a man in Alabama. Bottom line was, they had nothing to lose so it went on FOREVER until three cop cars converged on the truck and smashed it then one guy took off running into the woods with a very fast dude on his ass. He lost that one. Now they're both in deep shit and a whole lot of folks are breathing easier. Thank you public servants.

We have very little violence in our community and most of it is totally random like where people are at the wrong place at the wrong time when something bad goes down. Like my friend Todd who was shot and killed as he went to get the mail at his own home. Or Mr. Patterson who was kind enough to give an out of towner sunday assistance with his tow truck, and ended up getting knifed to death at his own station before the escapee from OK went his merry way. I was at church across the street when that happened and I will never forget walking away from that day changed forever. How, I'm not exactly sure. Perhaps a loss of innocence.

I have trouble with the Old Testament sometimes because I just cannot imagine a god who would do that many bad things to people because I'm the peace and love type that believes if you try to do right it's all good because...hey. Nobody's perfect, at least not any of us. That standard was set by somebody much more humble and wise. I particularly love the rowdy part where he turns over the tax tables and gives the government grief. The lookers are already predicting some kind of doom soon because of all the bad things that are happening. I prefer not to think that way simply because I believe that Big Ernie gives second and even third chances to turn around and make amends. Only we the people can do that by changing our priorities and showing some respect for the gifts we were given like our earth. So far most countries are sucking at that about like we are.

I've been in sort of a protracted funk mode because, well I won't bore you with the details. Ya'll probably wouldn't believe it anyway. I read an eloquent piece yesterday written by a young mother in Tokyo talking about how she has psyched herself into not being "scared to death all the time when everybody says you should be." I think about how, in the past, people in other parts of the world have been separated because of a lack of technology and news traveled really slow back then. I remember sitting in my parents' living room on the floor, watching the Vietnam war become a reality on a black and white TV. Another "changed forever" moment.

The sun still isn't shining, at least not here. For those of you who see it today, give this message: "Poopie said please shine over the hill on Pecan Lane."

Monday, March 14, 2011

old home week

Today dawned started off with a torrential rain that started last night and took just a short break before startin' up again with a vengeance. Needless to day I was THRILLED to hop out of bed on my day off at 7AM to take Daddy to the doctor. And for bananas and mylanta. I dropped him off in front of the busy office and literally ran through the rain for the 'nanners. I've learned now that the safest way to keep from going crazy in a doctor's office is to have a book at all times allowing me to go far away to another place and time and pass the minutes that often turn into hours without wiggling or watching CNN on the lobby television. I noticed a tall black man approaching me as I read "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett and looked up to find my neighbor Clara's boyfriend who thought I was somebody else. He called that name but I recognized him from one July 4th BBQ up at Mozella's house and we chatted about life for a minute. Later, after Daddy shuffled over to the lab to get his Vitamin D checked ( why at age 80? i'm silently asking ) his phlebotomist came out to give me some hugs. We used to work together at the sawmill and she was one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to call co-worker. Drawing blood doesn't usually pay too well considering the things you have to go through and put the patient through just to get a specimen. Especially in a hospital. Our phlebotomists are the face of the clinical lab to most patients so if they're grouchy or hurt, there ya go. The "scores" plummet. And now, these scores will affect how healthcare providers receive insurance dollars. Hmmm....makes ya think.

BG is off to see the wizard about a possible part time gig because well....we managed to save the car but it'll come around again this month. And the phone bill. Those people don't play. She's been doing the bulk of the housework but that won't last so mommy's getting in gear today with dishes and laundry, killing time until a meeting this afternoon. Our ex-roomie is in town for a couple of days so she's been eating him up like "a fat baby loves cake." Poor guy drives a truck full of migrants from job to job all over the southeast and even has to roll 'em out of the hotel bed after they've had too much tequila. Which is often. It's good to see him again, I must say. Dude has been a part of the family for ten years now and I don't think that will ever change.

This weekend was a wakeup call for me personally. I realized that I won't be able to do my job, physically, at the pace that I've always kept up. Being one of the "horses" makes one a valuable employee but not necessarily an essential one. I have always been one to jump in there and pull part of somebody else's load on a regular basis. It shows in my health, both mentally and physically, and I'm the only one who can fix that. Since there is no Sugardaddy on the horizon, I'm exploring options for other less physically strenuous ways to bring in some income. Like with the arts. I've always been a bit timid about pursuing that because I have a fear that it would become less of a passion as a job than as a happy place. Once when my thespian friend Debbie from Texas came to visit, we hatched this elaborate plot to co-write a book if I would do the tours. Too much of a homebody for that!

I ordered my friend Drew's book a couple of weeks ago and it had not come so I wrote to ask him about it and he put me a signed one in the mail. When I pulled up to the mailbox, the original book was there so now I'll have two copies. He said to put one in the bathroom :) He and Cowboy Joe have been a constant source of support for me during the hard times of the past few years. We all met up back before FB when blogs were followed religiously. That was when I met Old Hoss and my fairy blogmother and lord have mercy how many others. Most remain friends to this day, even though we're scattered everywhere and have never met in person. My buddy Lois Lane calls them "the people who live in my computer." Now that girl is a pure hoot! She once did a video at the Turkey Testicle Festival near her home, I kid you not.

I read that today is Albert Einstein's birthday so I suppose we should all go out and do something brilliant in his honor. I'm not so sure what I'll manage to pull of that even approaches brilliance, but I sure do try.

Pi R square. No. Pie R round :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

who let the dogs in

That would be me, of course. They've all been waiting for me to go to bed since I got home from the sawmill this afternoon. That will happen pretty soon as I have cab duty for daddy's visit to his geriatric care specialist PCP early tomorrow morning. Always a pleasure up in there what with the friendly overworked staff. You see, this is how it rolls these days in healthcare. Your PCP sees you in the office and gets a brief history and a few tests to see exactly what's up. They prescribe meds based on what they see and you go back every three months, if you're alive, to get prescription renewals and/or an order for another examination. At many hospitals, these PCPs opt out on hospital visits so that they can enjoy quality time with their families. That's where the hospitalist comes into play. Normally he or she is from another part of the globe who came to our country because it pays better and you can afford a nice house and a Mercedez. Also, the little wife doesn't have to work but can stay put raising children and being a homemaker. As we southern girls like to say "how nice". Not a good time to be a middle aged smartass gal trying to make a living in the clinical lab, if you get my drift. Those concrete floors are hard over a prolonged period on worn out tennis shoes. One of my girls told me this morning that she had given her hub notice that in two years she'd be outta there. Run, girl....RUN!

I hear the helicopter going over, transporting a patient to Jackson which is where they all go now because it's stupid to fly Shelby when Madison county is just a few minutes away. Considering all of the devastation in Japan, I'd say our infrastructure is about as fragile as theirs when it comes to search and rescue. And I wonder silently when our time will come. Our country's economy is in the shitter and I don't know who to blame for that except for the devil. Ya'll know the dude shows up when you least expect him. I saw it in a movie once, and even read it in the bible. I better get offa' here so I don't get dooced or anything. That would be a travesty.

More rain in the forecast I hear, which is typical spring. Wouldn't it be cool to save all of that up in a barrel and dump it into those irrigation thingies on farms during the summer? I mean gah...if we can send a man to the moon and save other countries on China's dime, why not give it a shot. It worked back in the day.

Where is your nearest river? Claim it and clean it up in your spare time. There's more important things than work if mother earth is to be preserved. Gotta let the dogs out. Neighbor lady just cruised down the road and they're all in a twit.

Love ya....mean it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

roll over beethoven

The crackhead extremely strange disability recipient who has seizures of grandure always picks the first warm day in spring to move his shit out to the porch and jam. This is the one whose cousin buddy almost slung me and BG out in the mud from the bed during the "big one", with his infant in the back seat. Ya'll get the picture. We heard they were leaving shortly after Oscar came to live with us with that gaping hole in his back. He had followed the pecan man around for weeks just to have some company. BG spotted the wound first and after we watched and nursed and such, he got a lot better. Then one night, he and Sam went out for their nightly constitutional and he came back with an identical wound, fresh. Same spot. Talk about some ritualistic nightmares. Anyway, it all turned out good and Oscar sleeps with whomever has room at that point in time. Now we've just got to get Beethoven out of there before somebody gets hurt. One night there were six cop cars up in there at the dead end because he "didn't want to" go to the hospital after losing it. His woman has been around a few times asking for use of the phone or a spare key, which I certainly don't have. There are three small children who are rarely heard playing outside even though it's the perfect spot to run and squeal.

There are times when I feel really sorry for me and mine and how life sucks a big fat one on occasion. But not many times. Most days I'm grateful for the goodness and light that blesses me each every day and take Xanax occasionally to deal with the sad and evil parts. Most every single day, some angel comes along and reminds me that life is, while oftentimes hard and filled with sorrow...that it is the journey that counts. Life is a highway and all that. I walked into our almost clean house this afternoon and could have cried just because I didn't have to sweep the floors. Faith's body makes a really good foot rest for a tired old gal like me. She's big enough to provide back support as well! Bless ALL our hearts ^j^

It's almost 6:30, which means 7:30 in real DST so there ya go. I'll be up and at 'em dragging my old smart ass out of the bed before any sort of decent time . As fate would have it, I have fallen in friend with a guy who loves nothing better than spending weekend nights here so he can be closer to the golf course. Those people start early, if you know what I mean. He lives in the flats close to the Mississipi..born and raised there where his daddy helped to construct the big bridge over to Missouri from Tennessee. Back in the day, there was nothing but a ferry at Boothspoint. I'm proud to say that I've enjoyed many a beer with people on the banks of rivers and such. Can't beat a cold beer and a fishin' pole. Once upon a time my husband's friend Gene and he set out into the riverbed in somebody's boat and a gun or two. And probably some beer. The boat had a motor and Geno proceeded to jump a log pitching his weapon into the snaky bottoms of Forked Deer back water. I think there was a metal detector involved, but I'm not sure. Get back to ya after I check with CNN.

Over and out from pecan lane.

Friday, March 11, 2011

happy thoughts

I have never EVER in my 55.5 years of living been so extremely grateful for a sunny day. Without an earthquake. The first thing I thought of was that movie with Tea Leoni where the whole world washes away and she just stands there waitin' for the waves to hit. Dyer county is close to the New Madrid fault which was the cause for the formation of Reelfoot Lake. Tourism has been the only blessing for the small towns of Ridgely and Tiptonville which depend on the lake for income. There is soon to be a port there. We shall see. As young children nobody had much of a place to swim so we went to the beaches there. There was a tall tower to dive from, and more than one person either hit the water moccasin bed or broke their neck trying it out. Not me buddy. You won't catch me swimming with the snakes!

Things are down to a dull roar here, with an opportunity to tap-tap-tap and do a little yard roaming with a beer. That is my idea of the perfect day off. The house is, though not spotless, respectfully clean thanks to teamwork by me and the roomie. The warm sunshine has drawn a number of cars to the clubhouse at the golf course and this afternoon will be primo for the lucky ones who carry their clubs at all times. The water continues to creep up, but I'll take that any day over a one hour quick rise like last year. It makes me giggle to think of me and BG and James Frank all riding through the muddy water in Clara's county truck with our flood provisions of food and (lots of) beer. We still talk about driving down the runway at the airport to get home.

Not much else, except keep the faith ^j^

Thursday, March 10, 2011

lunch with the girls

Mama gets her hair done every Thursday at Angel's, for as long as I can remember. When she and daddy could drive they managed to get her there but it's been a regular route on our pickup and delivery schedule for the past few years. Every third Thursday I'm off usually, so we took the opportunity today to round up Mom, Aunt Granny, Babygirl and myself and head to Applebee's for some giggles. They love to tell tales on each other when there's an audience, each of them proclaiming to be "the good child". Granny told Mom today that their father thought she was gonna be a boy because she had found it in a letter. Cracked.Me.UP. They chatted about filling their new old cars up with kids and doing stupid shit like driving on the sidewalk while the patient fifties era policeman silently shook his head. Kids will be kids, ya know? I can remember things being that innocent at one time in my life, an experience that the GenXers will never know. How sad.

I gave up the tanning bed years ago, but I'm seriously considering a session or two just to get some sun. I mean, for real? I can't imagine what kind of terror it must have been in those mines where those guys got trapped. It messes with your mind, kinda like ICU psychosis or something. Daily savings time starts this weekend, OF COURSE, because I have to be at work at 6AM. Boo..hiss. Everybody in the 'burg but me is going to see Kid Rock in Memphis. I'll be snuggled with a dog or two going to bed an hour early. Gigi offered me a free ticket to see Lady A tonight, but I don't even have the gas money to get there. Oh, well...

Water's still rising, and I sure hope the local levees got repaired right last May after "the big one." My friend lives down the the flats of Bradley close to the Mississippi and and he has a contingency plan to stay here if the water gets over his road. About a half a mile from the river proper, it can get there real quick. I remember, as a child, seeing houses on stilts down there where people would be stranded for weeks without a boat. They call it the BIG muddy for a reason.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

oh my, where do i begin......

It's rainy and gray. Again. This winter has given me a whole new appreciation for the evils of SADD. One can only go so long without some vitamin D to boost the ever delicate immune system into overdrive for the last dredges of darkness. Sheesh...I'm starting to sound like Stephen King. Anyway, you get the picture, right? Days on end of cold rain with just a brief peak of sun amongst it all. At least it's not snow. Right ya'll?

Well thank goodness somebody else effed up and took some attention away from Charlie Sheen. I read today where a sales executive with NPR got caught saying what he really believed on tape and now the whole powers that be with that firm connection to Congress and the funding therein are "outraged." Bullshit. This man was set up by someone who makes a living off of ruining other people's lives. What the guy said, basically, was right. Public broadcasting does not NEED to augmented by federal dollars because then Congress controls the lineup. And we wouldn't want that would we? There are enough people out there who are well enough off that public radio and TV can be supported without government control. Until they cut the internet like in Libya, we'll all be raising hell. I'm curiously watching to see what the allies will do with this one. No fly seems to be a good start to me. It beats the hell out of pulling bone tired soldiers out of caves in Afghanistan and sending 'em to hell in a handbasket. See how things go with the past of LEAST resistance. That's the peaceful old hippie coming out :)

Gas prices are ridiculous, as everyone knows. The reason that this happens...according to reports I've not because the supply is really threatened but the unease that comes with knowing that "other arrangements" might have to be made. The traders get nervous and go all bat shit crazy trying to protect their turf and kingdoms. Whatever. Remember Wall Street ya'll. Eventually, shit rolls downhill. Ain't that right?

Peace out ^j^

Saturday, March 5, 2011

almost famous

It's a long story involving an entire cast of West Tennessee musicians dating back to the 1970's. Our dances were held usually at the American Legion building down across from the First Baptist Church. Yeah..I know. Irony at its' best. My good buddy Gary was in a band that featured several local guys and they usually rocked us into the night. Being a hippie and all I rarely hit the floor, choosing instead to chair dance. I still do it today! There was this one guy from Memphis with whom some of the locals played and he was just the hottest stuff around, even then. Dude went on to be a member of Survivor, then not a member, then touring local clubs like my brother's on the cheap. They still managed to afford a bottle of Gentleman Jack after the gig, though. The local guy went on to marry a couple of local girls and now has a teenaged son and is married to a successful caterer. I ran into she and her sisters and Mom at mexico and the oldest said she was surprised I remembered her. How could I not??? I remember calling her for a character reference 9 years ago when I first met this guy doing musical headstands in a Yahoo chatroom. It seems they had worked together in the radio jingle business for a few years.

Anyway, none of them are famous that I know of except the Survivor guy who goes on tour in Asia and dyes his hair black. I think he's had a lot of plastic surgery too. Gary and the two Tommys went on to become middle aged adult members of ass kicking bands and they love every minute of it because music is in their bones and their souls. Only a few people can be superstars.....the rest of us have to settle for personal best. I saw some really great talent up in the place that my brother had and he booked most all of it. He just has a knack for that sort of thing and had the misfortune to get in a pissing match with the town's only former legitimate nightclub owner prince of the bars.. Easy come, easy go. At least he got off his ass and opened the downtown club again...that's the one with history and atmosphere.

On a side note, I have managed to slip my Kentucky cousin's opal and garnet ring onto my left hand now that I'm shy a few pounds. And because it's cold. It'll never fit once the heat is on and my knuckles swell. Which won't be long if I know Tennessee.

Friday, March 4, 2011

walkin' the walk

As most everybody knows, I'm not an active church attendee. I do pickup duty for my parents at their UM church home, which rules out the only service that I'd like to attend, so there ya go. Sermons there tend to be very biblical which is fine and all, but there is very little testimony as to real life challenges in our community. Like poverty. And meth addiction. And all the evil things that Jesus despised. The difference with him though, is that he knew when somebody was a player and somebody was just doing the best they could with what they were handed. That's why he healed so many sick folks! Kinda like our exchange preacher from the UK who was also a physician. Now THAT guy could preach.

It's Friday afternoon and looking pretty rainy for the weekend which isn't a bad thing. It makes me want to lay down and watch movies instead of doing yard work. I'm still post-pneumonia which feels really great compared to what it was, but still not at full steam. Plus it's spring allergy season, dammit. It doesn't look like treatments are an option due to shitty marginal finances so we'll just have to run the fans and deal with it. Every once in awhile somebody reminds me that if we didn't have three dogs in the house that might help. Not an option, people. In nasty weather, the babies come in. They even have their own love seat!

More and more, I find myself turning to music for a hit of calm to my soul. I've always loved it, all genres. BG gave me an MP3 player a couple of years ago and loaded it with good stuff but I couldn't keep the damn thing in my ears. What I need is a Bose system *cough* right after I pay off the propane guy with my right arm. Hey...miracles happen, ya know? That's where Sugardaddy has always been the comic relief in my struggle to survive financially. There's a whole lot of stuff on the bucket list if he decides to make me an offer.

While I am horrified at what is happening in Libya, I am silently grateful that our government has (so far) not attempted to play big ike and go rushing into yet another war that has nothing to do with anything other than oil. I am also sorry for their loss, but extremely disturbed that public sector employees are not being really graceful about living on the terms that the rest of us deal with. New flash...he giveth and he taketh away. If you've had free insurance while you were working full time, you are a throwback to the seventies and eighties which is when the whole healthcare industry went to hell in a hand basket due to fraud by providers with highly paid O's. I heard that new Blue Cross building in Chattanooga is to die for.

In the ninties, I was a consultant for several POLs, or physician office labs. These folks actually thought that they could MAKE money by ordering unnecessary tests in the office setting. The trouble was, not just any animal can do that kind of stuff. One guy I worked for wanted me to show him the numbers that proved why he wasn't making money off the lab. When I showed him how much he was paying to run the lab vs how much Medicare money he was getting, he still didn't get it. Dude eventually killed himself sometime after he landed his private plane on a highway by Kentucky Lake. Oh boy. Here is the bottom line with healthcare costs: The people who are making decisions about how federal healthcare dollars are to be used are NOT healthcare professionals but politicians who are being tempted by the devil big insurance,pharmacy and medical equipment providers. OH yeah, I know there's a law about that. But..uh. For real?

My brave and faithful BG has been making the most of her most recent layoff by cleaning house and cooking which I could totally get used to. She said not to because there's always another job down the pike that is a little better than what you left. I admire that spirit, because today it is not easy to find something worthwhile, even with a college degree. Until somebody decides to give her a shot, those student loans will remain unpaid. And we all know what THAT does to the US economy.

Peace out ya'll. It's time for musical therapy ^j^

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

backwater sunset

Last week's heavy rains did a little flood number on the Forked Deer that has rendered the riverbed fishing spot unreachable by anything other than ATV. Unfortunately, that's not in the budget so I sit on the front porch and watch the colors blend and prance through the stained glass window. My Kentucky cousin made it from pieces that her father had left over and gifted me with a masterpiece. I took classes from her at one time but never did learn the patience to do anything bigger than a suncatcher. Copper foil is quick and easy. My one attempt at a window turned out pretty well in shades of purple and green.

The Lenten season is almost upon us which means that all the Catholics and college girls are going buck wild with beads and titties and such. I can honestly say that I'm proud to be an American but a little bit unsettled by the way things are going. Last time I heard, my two best friend's sons were back on US soil after participating in a giant clusterfuck called the war on terror, for good money, if you live to spend it. *somebody* said that if we don't secure the oil wells over there in Libya that gas will be 7bucks a gallon by next year. That will pretty much screw us as a country, considering how our transportation needs are met by foreign energy. It ain't worth it ya'll.

Got called into the sawmill early this morning due to an emergency so I'm about ready to lay this old smart ass down. I mean, it's only hump day. Good thing I turned in early LAST night. Ray looked pretty perky when I went by to visit, with her great-uncle by her side. There were IV's and stuff but she didn't seem to mind it much. That's what happens when your mama's a nurse and your daddy don't rock'n'roll. Love ya....mean it.

The really hard part of faith starts after the resurrection where believers walk together on their road and compare notes about where they've been. Often, there are tales of pain and persecution for following the collective dream and standing up for what seems right at the moment. I've never personally been thrown into the lion's den like back in biblical days, but I can certainly relate in a post Y2K fashion.

I heard about Jay's death today and was sad to hear it, but not surprised in the least bit. When you do that much self destructive shit for that many years, it will catch up with you in the end. His dad, of all people, was on the local board for volunteer blood donation in our county. Gotta love that sort of devotion to a cause.

It's dark and the coyotes are probably about to bust out in song full howl so I should get clean and pile up in the bed for a long winter's nap. Film at 11 ^j^