Saturday, April 30, 2011

rest for the weary

I was very kind to my co-worker yesterday and didn't make fun of her laryngitis like everybody else did. It was a standing joke about how quiet it's been up in there this week without her loud voice joining the whine of all the electronics and the obnoxious sound of the alarm when the tube system drops from ER. And for my kindness? I woke up today with her disease, dammit. Still have my voice but I can feel the heavy weight of the cold in my throat and chest just waiting for a chance to go down on my lungs. BG has been sick as well, so I suppose it's my turn. Again. Add to that near total exhaustion from two weeks of flood watching and parent keeping and it's a good thing that I'm off for two days to recover. Not that there's nothing to do around here, but it will wait until I feel better. Today is NOT that day. This will be a day of rest.

Thanks to a nearby credit union, I now have the $$ to get halfway current on the bills. I will never be OUT of debt, so I'll settle for current and a new pair of flip flops for summer. Maybe a haircut. Definitely some grocery shopping. BG interviewed for an actual social work position and will go back for a 2nd interview on Monday. Let us pray and be specific about this one because a year is a long time for anybody to be without a steady job. It tends to work on your mind and soul after awhile. Plus, we need the income. This is a good opportunity for her to get in with a facility that is rebuilding their staff from the ground up. The DON is a good friend of mine from wayyyyyyyy back in the day and she is honestly trying to straighten up a mess the way that I know she can.

Meanwhile, the rivers continue to rise. All the states that converge on the Mississippi in our little central location are fighting over who is gonna breach what levee and flood what farmland. So far Cairo IL has won a major one allowing their "fair" city to survive unscathed while Missouri floods even more. I've never been to Cairo, but I can only imagine that it's a lot like Hickman KY where there is nothing left of the formerly thriving river port but a few barges and a convenience store plus some wicked cool ancient houses.

I am baffled at the attention paid by the world to a wedding of royals in a country where the economy is worse than ours. But then again, the world needs a Cinderella story right about now to balance out the bad news like body counts. As much as I love the beach, you would not catch me anywhere NEAR Mexico right now, much less vacationing there. My current fantasy is about the homey condo where we stayed at Sandestin two years ago and the trolley that takes you wherever you want to go, even to the sand. We learned the hard way not to drag anything with us but a couple of chairs and hang out by the surfside pool with an occasional foray down to the ocean. You can buy drinks and food there so there's no need to lug a cooler. Simple pleasures. Instead, you'll find me shooting pictures of white birds swooping over backwater. And that, my friends, is a simple pleasure too.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

the egret has landed

Nothing screams spring backwater more than big white birds gliding over the fields between here and the river. That's the Forked Deer, the one that circles our farm. It is rising slowly, but that's okay. We can deal with slow. It's that come out of nowhere in an hour deal that throws you for a loop. The controlled breech of the Mississippi levee was performed yesterday to relieve some pressure and hopefully control the extent of the flooding to mainly farmland. It will mean a late planting season, but it's better than losing your house. Many of the recipients of FEMA money for their destroyed houses in Southtown last year have failed to repair and or rebuild, so the plans are to tear a lot of them down. As I was going to town the other day I noticed the COJC preacher pulling out of their lot with their two central units on a trailer. They lost it all last year too.

To me, this is the very best part of Holy Week...afterwards when the walks to Emmaus begin among believers. I have tried with every scientific neuron in my brain to "define" the holy spirit in some way that can be explained and measured. That's how we roll in healthcare...outcomes are a big part of doing better i.e. getting referrals that pay. As of this year, healthcare consumers will have access to scores of most of the nation's hospitals on everything from customer service to how nice your doctor is. And the choice will be given back to the consumer, because he or she is not bound by deals for their insurance bartered at the corporate level. Payors will more than likely steer toward the ones that everybody likes, ya know? Heads up ya'll. It's time to get our acts together and take care of folks. Something that I often do is pretend that a patient, particularly an elderly or handicapped one, is one of my parents and treat them as if. Works every time.

The weather is gorgeous today but it's sort of strange after a week in the dreary rain to see such out of control beauty. I have clematis, peonies and iris blooming as well as several bushes that I don't have a CLUE what they are. Somebody's who gave it to somebody who gave it to me. To me, that is the biggest part of having a real home...learning who you are and putting that into your environment. I used to be one of those kind of women who wanted everything to match. Now I blend patterns and love it. As a baby-boomer I am learning that it's tough being in the middle, but I have a feeling it will be even tougher to be out of it when none of them need me. Maybe that's when I'll move to the beach and contemplate world peace.

Have a great ladies' night ya'll.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a silver lining

The angry black and gray storm clouds that have plagued us for a week are slowly beginning to make their way across the eastern part of the country for a good soaking. The damage from this system has been horrific from OK eastward. For an entire week we have been slammed with violent thunderstorms, hail and straight line winds with a tornado or two. This morning the thunder rolled forEVER before the windows stopped rattling. I ran for the grocery store between downpours to get mama's medicine and groceries. She and BG and I had a tearful moment that results from something my brother and I say to her in jest. That won't happen again. I'd rather be burned at the stake than to do anything to hurt my mother's feelings. Lord knows she gets enough of that. I understand, oddly enough, because I am very much like her (and her own mother) in that we've always managed to take care of ourselves and everybody else in the process. It can be a curse. The idea of letting other people take care of her is something that really wears on her mental health, if you know what I mean. All I can say to BG is watch out when I get there because I'll probably be more like daddy :)

Plans were to breech the levee this morning to release some pressure on the Mississippi around Heloise. Hopefully it will work. All families in the immediate vicinity have been evacuated and there's nothing to lose by trying so there 'ya go. The Bunge site is covered up, and a whole heckuva lot of farmland. And it will mover closer to the homes between there and highway 412, engulfing many of them. Farmers are scrambling to move their equipment and we have a temporary roommate who lives down that way. Code Orange ya'll.

What's most amazing about all of this is watching the community come together to help each other out. I mean gah....why can't we be like that all the time?????

Peace and love ^j^

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I will never forget the night of our last close call with a tornado here on the hill. That one flattened a swath of Dyer County that included the golf course behind me and many businesses, plus severe damage to the high school. One person died, at the motel across the highway from our place. Since I did a long Easter weekend at the sawmill, I'm off today and tomorrow and it's a good time for that to happen considering what's about to hit the fan around here. We are in an area where there are 24 hours of potentially wicked storms poised to hit a location where people are already scurrying to escape from floodwaters with everything that they own. The air is thick not only with humidity blowing in from the south, but a sense of urgency that is palpable wherever you go. We've been there done that, and are nervous about a repeat performance. BG and the dogs and me have a new roomie until the big muddy decides what it's gonna do. Or folks who have the power to cut levees and such. Nobody knows what to expect, and that is scary. The big flood of 1937 is the one that all the oldtimers speak of, and this one could affect a lot more people than that one.

Back in the day, it was nothing to see houses on stilts down by the river. I remember riding that way as a child to catch the ferry and was amazed at the tenacity of those people who never gave up on the dream of being river rats. The Mississippi river cuts down the center of our country with a kazillion tributaries feeding into it, ending at the gulf where I would seriously LOVE to be laying on the beach. This is National Medical Laboratory week as (none of you) we all know and it is tradition for vendors to feed the hungry lab rats. My favorite rep of all time is named Jim, with a spirit that is so full of energy and good vibes that you just can't get away from him without a strong church hug. He knows what I'm dealing with parent wise and shared with me yesterday all the traveling he and his wife did over the weekend to hook up with family members for the holiday weekend. Poor thang was EXHAUSTED. He always asks if there's a beach trip in my future because he knows that is my ultimate relaxation. Ya'll hug a laboratorian this week. I'm sure we all need it.

Lord willing and the creek don't rise, there will be more stories to tell. Later.


Friday, April 22, 2011

good friday

At right about the time that the disciples got their feet washed during the last supper, I got a call from my parents that the lights were back on and they were ready to go, four hours after checking into a hotel with everything personal item they own. I wouldn't have told them and let the night turn into a snoozefest there but J Frank called Daddy with the news so we all know what happened. I drove in my jammies to the back of a motel that faces a Kentucky fried chicken place and scooped up my elderly parents so that they could return to the wonderland grind that is their life together where I came home as a one year old and grew up. That's a whole lotta years of a family in one house, especially in this day and time.

The saga continued into today when they realized he'd lost his keys in the shuffle and left his phone charger behind. It's hard to remember everything when you're that (un) prepared ;) He sleeps in short pjs and walks around from shower 'til bedtime with his cowboy boots on. The first time I saw that figure open the door I almost fell out laughing. It's a seriously cute look for an old farmer who's all into being comfy. There are turf issues with the farm that are to be expected when one generation passes the reins to another. Daddy has always been the kind to work like a dog and not expect any more or praise for it...just keep your head down and keep going. The past few years, that particular characteristic has become very valuable as a keep-thy-sanity tool. To quote BG's entire generation: "Really??"

The (not so) trusty old Camry declined to start this afternoon so my friend helped me out by diagnosing and bypassing so I could get home. And go by a new some kinda' air sensor. It's been that sort of week for me, learning in fits and starts that nothing will ever be "normal" again. I remember the feeling well when my child began to walk. I said to myself, "self" this is gonna be tough. Nothing was ever "normal" after that but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I am terribly proud of who she is as a person and I feel a bit pissed that she put in the hard work to earn a degree and can't find a job in her field. I mean, it's not rocket science. But it IS very much controlled by insurance companies and government payment. Which means that nurses are doubling up as social workers because they get paid more. That's an observation from the front lines, so to speak. In hospitals and home care agencies, the case is the same. Extend that out into for-profit long term care facilities and then you see that having someone with a specialized degree doesn't fit into the budget. That's a shame too. If there's one person in the healthcare team that can put all the pieces together, it's the point gal or guy. The go-to team member who can tie it all together and give it a shot at working. It beats the heck out of bitching your life away Sorry...I know it's a holy day.

When BG was little she had white blonde hair and a killer attitude in a cute dress with an easter basket on her arm. There was always some chocolate just like when I was growing up, and a little surprise or two. I bet she's still got 'em too. AND my asparagus steamer *ahem*. Love ya....mean it.I'm glad, in a way, that I'm working this weekend. I don't normally attend church services anyway and maybe being focused on work will remind me of how all the freaked out believers and the faithfuls waited for their answer. What happened and why? He really did all that for US???? As George would say "Oh, boy!"

If I pick up the Easter bunny on my lane I'll let ya'll know how that goes ^j^

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the morning after

It was a big fat scary storm with some pretty ferocious winds plus a hook or two but all in all we got out light. Blessed, so to speak. My parents lost their power and remain without, so we just sclepped down there to get the valuables out and move 'em up the hill to our place. They've been without TV for two days now which is a huge problem for Daddy and his OCD tendencies. Watching at my house ain't the same, ya know? As of fifteen minutes ago they are booked at the best western right next to their breakfast place. BG is in charge of that mission. Mama was all weepy about "being so much trouble" but secretly I think she's looking forward to sleeping in a big bed with her OWN television. Though she can't see, she gets lots of mileage out of books on tape or listening to a movie. Only his dementia won't allow her the peaceful atmosphere to enjoy those things. When combined with his stubborn homestead tendencies that can turn into tantrums in a heart beat so it's been a standoff on anything remotely resembling assisted living. He was diagnosed five years ago by his family practice guy who let the neurologist call it Alzheimer's and properly diagnosed the FTD that was working away in his brain. Frontal lobe. Bad news. The progress is slow but steady resulting in a decline in normal activities with an obsession on something or another.

I am torn at times between stretching things a little bit thinner just to allow them to live there, but in my heart I know it's not safe. If I didn't live a half mile up the road, it wouldn't even be possible. And we all know how expensive it is to live on Pecan Lane. Always entertaining, though. If I told ya'll what me and BG did yesterday to get Faith and her boyfriend apart I'd get arrested by the porn police so that'll just have to wait for the book. It seems that the older I get, the more random life becomes and I kinda like that. The humane society guys came and got her boyfriend this morning after he tortured me for two days with puppy dog looks wanting to come inside with the rest of my herd. Nada dude.

Somehow or another holy week has disappeared into a cloud of details for me. Work. Play a little. Eat. Book hotel rooms and empty freezers. Don't need an Easter dress because I'll be at work for the next 4 days. Work on the finances and pray. Enjoy frozen peanut pink and blue MandMs. As the story goes, this is just about the time the Jesus met with his disciples and told 'em what was going down. They all denied his words and then began to carry out his prophecies just like clockwork. The beauty of the whole thing is that he knew the ending and did it anyway.

By some twist of fate, I've been the one chosen to get the Agee cousins all back on track. I messaged a few of them and let 'em know that the long lost Nancy had gotten in touch. We're all on a mission to help her find pics of her mama. Daddy got obsessed when he was about my age with tracing his roots. There was one grandpa that he never did find. I remember going to family reunions in Tippah county Mississippi when I was a little kid and the pies were always to die for. Screen doors and a big wraparound porch. That is where my maternal grandparents hailed from, and they spent their lives as sharecroppers while raising four children during the depression. My mama's family, on the other hand, was quite well off and even had household help like Miss Rosie who wore a paper bag over her hairdo.

Like I always say bitch to ya'll....remember who you are.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

don't mess with mother nature

It has been a busy week, weatherwise in the mid to eastern half of our great country. Such is spring which is known for its' capricious nature and dangerous storms. We've worn shorts and sweats this past week and have hit the AC on more than one occasion. It's a southern spring thang, ya'll. It breaks my heart to see tornado damage because it's so random and ruthless, splattering people's lives all over the landscape like an IED. Only we don't have tanks. One of my adopted daughter's great grandma died in the last big one around here. My brother and his family live in a valley in the foothills of Virginia where flash flooding took everybody by surprise just like it did here last week. I reckon it worked its' way from west to east out into the ocean toward Europe. As for me, I'd just as soon see a big tsunami hit the OPEC countries and go back to a bicycle. That would be some real karma from believers in the new american way. Yeah I your dreams.

My friend the eagle scout used to quote this commercial from a Memphis media station featuring some shyster used car salesman saying "It's all good." In our world it was, because it was totally about our time spent together roaming the farm on a four wheeler with our brown labs. This guy actually cleaned a freshly killed dove on my back porch (with no window) so I could see what hunting was all about. Needless to say, that didn't last. Once he and his son spent the night so they could duck hunt in the bottoms the next morning. There was all kinds of tales about broken ice and turkey tracks. I think it was Christmas and I had to work at the sawmill.

Ya'll mostly know that cynical spirituality is a pretty smart theme to embrace. If we insist on demanding that there are a brazillion different gods to which the rules of EVERY religion are unbendable, we will surely get an old testament kind of whipping from BE for not obeying the top ten. Thou shalt not and all that. As for me and mine? We believe the hymn of promise. I can still do the alto part to this day thanks to Mark and Cooper and all the ones before them. Miss Charlene, bless her heart, talked me into playing the piano at church when I wasn't EVEN ready for that kind of thing. Usually I sneaked into the sanctuary sometime when I had a spare minute and played from the UM hymnal that was perched on the music stand.

On a happy note, BG found her car key in the back hosta bed after a week of vehicle sharing on a budget. I think she was so damn bored that she looked one more time just to get out of the house. All's well that ends well, I say. My long lost cousin from Kingsport called this weekend to say she's coming back to Tennessee and she's so tickled she could just die. According to her, Florida ain't all that when it comes to planting cool weather bulbs like the ones her mama used to grow. Madeline was a nurse, and my mother's inspiration to begin nursing school at UT Martin as a high school grad. I've got an assignment to find out birth and date deaths for all the relatives on the Agee side. That should be a marvelous adventure considering how much I love my cousins. It's a curse, believe me.

My best friend got a cheap diagnosis of the state of my lawnmowing problems which is a very loud and vibrating push mower and a weedeater that still works. Plus Daddy's John Deere for those pesky summer flareups of orchard grass. The pile still stands as a monument to dude's tenure here as the dirt mover when he spent an entire month carving out a driveway from decades of buried gravel. When the time came to repair that levee that last May's epic flood blew out, the job went to somebody else. Daddy told me about how Son Johnson shared with him his days helping to build the haunted dairy barn and the silos that have towered over the farm since 1918 and the heyday of this little piece of earth's history. You can't make that shit up, even if you try.

The sun has decided to come out and blaze the falling horizon of this current cold front that passes almost always across the Big Muddy to parts unknown. No couch fires tonight, and not anytime soon considering the amount of rain that could fall. Not to mention the deadly threat of tornadoes. If I'm not here tomorrow, either the big one got me or ATT caught up with us.

Time will tell ^j^

Saturday, April 16, 2011

faith's boyfriend

Living in the country for an animal lover means that whoever turns up at your doorstep needing food or help gets it if they're nice. Must have doggie manners. Our chocolate lab, Faith, is eight years old this year and (to our knowledge) has never been bred. She has bled all over the house and furniture on a regular cycle, but we're careful to keep her in. She likes it better that way, on the couch snoozing while the younger boys romp and run. A couple of days ago a quite handsome red pitbullish male showed up and she has steady been courtin' him from first glance. Not that Sam and Oscar will let that happen...oh no. They've run offense the whole way protecting her like a good sibling will do. She is so dang cute out there flashing her tail around. Poor dude just looks at her like he could stay forever. He didn't eat what we offered, and has no collar. If I were a bettin' gal I'd say he belongs to the folks down the road from where Oscar roamed into our lives.

So...back to the real world. Things are about as tight as I've ever seen them financially around here, and per our usual chinese fire drill lifestyle, bad things have happened at precisely the worst minute possible. Like the lost car key, for example. BG lost her one and only last weekend and it has yet to surface. Locksmith is no help, dealer in another town. We've shared the trusty Camry for the past week, but something's gotta give. She is still jobless, and not for lack of interviews. Every time she does one and doesn't get the job, I see her spirits sink a bit lower. When I first got out of college there were jobs every freakin' where, particularly in healthcare. Now...well, ya'll know the numbers. Fifty percent of this country works while the other half can't or won't work and receive government benefits of some sort. I try very hard to keep my spirits up so that we can find a solution to this whole thing together.

I'm out of the loop on politics and gulf wars so don't ask me any questions about the current stats or state of our collective unions. That is, not unless you have a real love of Comedy Central like we do around here. Hey...whatever makes you laugh, ya know? I've managed to find help for my next canoe shuttle gig so I'll get to see Snoop the wonder dog again. He's a beagle with his own life jacket with his name on it. Uh huh. Had me from hello.

I've been thinking lately that while life's been good to me and all, that maybe I'm not listening to the voices or seeing the doors that are there as I stubbornly try to do things my own way. That is what I adore about the arts, the fact that talent is a gift and to deprive people of the spirit within that gift is a waste. Some of the most moving moments in my life have been "aha" moments when I finally get the beauty in something that I didn't see before. My short term goal is to do the best I can to honor those to whom I owe money, and to spend more time exploring.

Peace out ^j^

Friday, April 15, 2011

att loves me, yes they do!

Why? the ripe old age of 55...I have become addicted to having internet access to carry out my daily duties like bill paying and writing my little heart out. Our service went out last weekend, and the repair guy said we were hit by lightning and had to run a new line (which is still draped over the muddy driveway). Sometime during that period, BG made a phone call and a payment to what we THOUGHT was the dsl service but was, instead, my cellphone. We got reconfigured and all that jazz after the repair guy came, thanks to a delightful tech support person who chuckled with me through the whole thing. I think he was happy to have someone who knew halfway what he was talking about, ya know. Most of the time it's some kid or somebody's grandma who can't see the screen. The next day, it went away again.

We tried calling after getting a message that the ginormous company needed to speak with us about an "urgent matter." Okay...we paid the bill. What's up? That led to several lengthy trips around the voice mail track until I got stuck with "the bitch". Since I didn't have the paper bill (threw it away after it was paid) and didn't know the secret code and there is NO ss number associated with my LONGTIME account, nobody would tell me a thing. I mean not one damn thing, like "hey lady, your payment went to the freakin' cellphone bill!" First time I've been totally current on that one in a loooooong time. So, I go to work and check the balance online and lo and behold, the internet bill was unpaid. I hate it when that happens. Thank goodness it's payday is all I can say. I've been having keyboard withdrawals and my great American novel is suffering ;) Not really. Actually I just need to leave behind my FB fascination and write the damn book. Told ya'll I'm a procrastinator.

It's the weekend, and I couldn't be TGIFer. Very long week in a lot of ways.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

houston, we have a problem

I remember watching the launches back in the sixties and seventies and thinking how cool it must be to go out there in space where we don't have a clue what's going on beyond big mother earth. I fell out of love with that deal when a crew died in a flash fire during a simulation. Nothing is worth that, I said to myself.

As usual, spring in Tennessee has produced some really odd weather including floods of epic proportions local interest around the 'burg. I headed out from the sawmill yesterday intending to stop at the dollar store for hair color and instead found myself navigating the mighty floodwaters on Forrest street. It was a freakin' downpour, ya'll....about three inches in two hours. Most of the ditches are clean today :)

I've been interweb deprived for a couple of days which can be a good thing as long as you're not making your living that way. Hit the high spots out in the yard with daddy/bubba's mower and we moseyed on down to see the huge pecan that fell into Pride's remaining pasture. He's old and he needs shoes but loves those apple treats to death. We're making progress on the visit from corporate. I'll let ya'll know how all that goes.

On a lighter note, I have been booked to shuttle two riverguys and their faithful beagle Snoop back from Memphis after they float past the Chickasaw bluffs in Lauderdale county toward Mud island. Memphis is notorious for spinning things off of Beale street and Tom Lee park. The island is an absolutely beautiful venue, weather permitting. My husband and I sat through a rain storm there watching my beloved JT live and in person. I literally shivered all the way back to Dyer county.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

sisterhood of the traveling couch

It's been an interesting weekend in a totally spontaneous kinda way. BG and I went to visit Gigi for her birthday and found her at her niece's yard sale making half price deals with five year olds for glitzy flip flops. She is pretty sad right now for reasons that shan't be discussed due to the sisterhood oath. We sat out there on K's front porch in the spring sun and talked about choices and options and how some things never change. At our age, it's time to find somebody compatible and get over things that don't work. Life is too short to not be treated with respect. I got a ride along the river at sunset to top it off, so I was one happy chicklet.

It's almost 90 degrees here so, of course, I'm sweatin' like a whore in church. We've hauled furniture today, following a pleasant but predictable breakfast at Perkins with the grands. Bound for me, I managed to miss seeing my youngest brother during his whirlwind trip for his buddy's funeral. We were all in the back of the house watching TV and making chicken and dumplings so there ya go. He finally gave up, but we talked as he was driving north the next day. He'll be back, with a wildass three year old boy in tow sometime this summer. BG is ready to play, no doubt.

The couch and love seat started out as one of the older sister's and was passed onto Gigi sometime later. When SHE bought a new one, it went to Lisa. And now they're in my house and *ding dong the witch is dead* the oldest nastiest piece I had is in the firepile. Change is good, umkay? Got a new phone and I am learning what's up with it thanks to my tutor. It doesn't flip, so that's something I've got to get used to. That and not butt dialing. Plus the itty bitty keyboard.

"Ya'll keep 'em straight out there" Hoyt

Thursday, April 7, 2011

no more walks in the wood

At one point in my life, after my childhood friends and I grew apart, I became a single woman for not very long and then became a wife. We partied a lot, and generally took our time thinking about kids because, hey. They do tend to interfere with be more important than anything else when you're trying to raise 'em up right and still have a life and remember who you are. Basically, I turned that over when BG hit about the seventh grade and began to run interference. She would totally kill me for telling the stories so I'll just have to tell you in person. My own mother's comment to BG when she was a teenager was "Call your memaw if you need help climbing out the window!" Payback....meh.

There are so many people with whom I've shared some part of my life and become close to that sometimes it boggles my mind and makes me wonder how in the world I was ever so blessed. Well, we all know it's BE's hand in the whole deal. I shake my head slowly and smile when I think about it. He knew all along and all I had to do was show up. When I heard that Japan got hit with another quake today I pondered on the fact that sometimes it just all seems too much. These poor people are struggling with a total collapse of infrastructure and keeping taking hits. It's gonna take a whole lot more than prayer chains to fix some help from the rest of the world. They've got the money to take care of it so why not help? Instead of throwing more grenades and building robots to clear the way for military vehicles. Co-op can be a wonderful concept when there's no greed involved. I know...I know. Always the dreamer.

Anywho...back to the lost identity theme. When your child makes friends and enters society it's prime time to make friends with THEIR friend's parents because you're all in it together through some capricious leap of fate. That's how I became a member of Vick's family and a lot of others. We raised our children together and did the best we could to make sure they didn't get dead or in jail without bail money. We went to school plays and games where the coaches were, for the most part, all about the glory with our kids on their teams. I can remember one in particular and without revealing an identity let's just say he coached women's v'ball and b'ball. I despised this mofo so bad that my friend BIG john sent me a card with his picture on the front of it, giving me best regards. That's about the time we began to play the fruit cake game, but that's a whole 'nother story. My old butt showed up bright and early at 6AM this morning and I'm about ready to chill.

I know, I'm zigging when it's time to zag. This smartass knows her limits. Ya'll smile and say hay to somebody new. It never hurts to try to do WBEWD. Or Allah. Whomever you believe is the great one spirit that unites us as members of society as long as it doesn't involve killing innocents in a civil war or starving children. When that time comes, I choose to support my own rather than money grubbing sheiks on the other side of the world. What about our stewardship to the heritage of our country and mother earth? Did Al Gore and the green thing suddenly become a fairy tale? I am ashamed to see what is happening in Congress right now as the GOP stupidly refuses to cut defense military spending so that we can improve our own infrastructure. That is precisely why a team of jihad idiots managed to hatch a plot to bomb the shit out of our weak spots, the financial industry. And war.

One of my favorite songs of all time is the title track on The Eagles "Long Road out of Eden". There is one particular guitar solo that sounds like gunfire that just makes me shudder when I hear it played. Very few artists can manage to entertain and make a statement at the same time. Hat tip to you guys. I got it.

It's foot washin' time. Need I say more?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

the long road home

Well, the tornado didn't get us but UConn won so it was a mixed blessing sort of end to the whole stormy monday thing. I so wanted to see Butler get to go to the prom! UConn wins boring. Kinda like the lady vols except that it got unboring for them with Notre Dame. I would seriously hate to be any one of those girls in orange who had to take that beating from Pat. I do so love me some basketball. I could care less about most other sports but roundball just seems to take a lot of spontaneous decision making and, of course, I like that. Under pressure, remember?

I spent a couple of hours today moving old records from point A to point B at the sawmill and I was amazed at how much paper weighs when you're hauling it IN BOXES down a hill on a cart. Only one minor injury though, and that corner of the lab looks a whole lot better. Even got a free carb filled breakfast for free! I was also amazed at how much stamina I have now as compared to ten years ago...and not in a good way. My muscles are sore from yard work and other such activity so I hope the BF comes by for my neck massage appointment. Maybe after a few holes of golf?

Baby brother is packing and heading toward home to help bury his mentor in the news business. I didn't realize that D was that much older than me, but then his brother and I graduated together so there 'ya go. There were hastily made plans for household help put into place so that he can make that memorial drive back to where it all started for him. All I want to do is hug his neck and talk. Really. It's been a year and one child's birth ago since I last saw his face. We rarely talk because hey....none of us has time for long chats. It's always rushrushrush....gogogo. What is really prophetic about this, is that yesterday as I was writing about him, those plans were falling into place and I didn't know it. Big Ernie, ya think? BG is having a ball wrapping up little easter candies in tissue paper and tying them with ribbons for the bridge club ladies who are meeting at mom's today. She can't play anymore, yet still joins them for lunch and dessert at someone's house. Best as I can remember there's always somebody who doesn't play that gets called the dummy. That definitely ain't her though ;)

I see doors opening now that I never thought would ever open, simply because I have hunkered down and worked hard and believed that it pays off in the end. To me, personally, that is faith. So what if I'm not rich and pampered? They're miserable too, seeking more and more to feel less and less. My thoughts and feelings are my own, and not filtered to reflect a loyalty to anything other than what I believe is good and right. Some folks would be freakin' amazed to know what some of those things are, or maybe not. I'm positive that nothing in me is politically correct. At least I live in a society where I am allowed to express my opinion and not be in danger for doing so. That's worth a whole helluva lot, ya know? See: Egypt, Tunisa, et al.

The dogs want out and the sun's shining. Check ya'll later ^j^

Monday, April 4, 2011

barkin' at thunder

The boys are running around like kids on the last day of school because they hear (and feel) the massive storm system that is moving through. Faith is afraid of it so she's snoozing through the whole thing with BG. My youngest brother is a weather man at heart so I'm sure he'll call me if he sees anything on his home radar in Viginia! We used to have a dog named Hanibal who had seizures and stuff because he got run over as a puppy. I guess he was my first "rescue" after my friend Mary Gwyn offered him to us. Hanibal was an outside dog because we never had any other kind...dogs in the house were a no-no. Every time it thundered he would sneak through the door as someone was coming or going and head to a corner of the laundry room and promptly roll over on his back and stick his paws up in the air. Couldn't pick him up or budge him, until the thunder passed and then it was right back outside with him. Poor baby...traumatized. The first time I saw a seizure happening in my yard I freaked totally out and called Daddy. He assured me it would pass, and it did. Not sure whatever happened to him but he was found in a culvert one day and that was it.

We had a good weekend at the sawmill, all things considered. Yesterday afternoon a couple of the housekeeping staff came in to do their thing and we actually had time for a meaningful conversation rather than dodging each other to get our work done. One of them has been in that department for 24 years and has meticulously planned her "early" retirement next month at the age of 62. I was totally shocked that she was THAT old even because she looks about fortyish. The other guy has been there just as long, but transferred from his old department to one where his personality really shines. I love it when that happens. We go all the way back to when a pair of anesthesiologists lived down the road from me. One of 'em cut the screen off the front porch so he could get his harley up in there to polish it. Yeah...they were an odd couple for sure.

Round one has passed to the north and the next wave is headed across the river. While I have a healthy respect for the power contained in a line of thunderstorms coming across there, it always fascinates me to watch the patterns. I guess my brother instilled thestorm chasing thing in me. We have a full basement which is often scampered into used for safety from possible tornadoes. If you've never seen the destruction in person that one of these storms can cause, you wouldn't understand. It's just unreal. A few years ago during the last "big one" my friend's grandmother got blown into a field almost a mile from her house. So did her uncle. And the house was destroyed. You can still see paths in the tree lines all over the county where they have roared through and ripped out trees.

Gotta get with it on the housework because I am almost there to what I consider cluttered but respectably clean. What better day to finish the job?

Peace and love ^j^

Sunday, April 3, 2011

and the plot thickens

Media usage is a serious issue in today's world, and when you consider the mentality of all the people USING said media as a basis for their personal opinion, well. That just pisses me off. Sure, that kind of shit makes money for big companies that are making bucks off of under the table deals with politicians, but damn. Does nobody remember what happened in the temple???? I am not a flaming liberal by any stretch of the imagination. The liberal left can make me just as nauseated as the idiot book burners on occasion. But somehow? I find that moving a little bit left of center presents a kinder gentler vision to a group of hysterical scared to death people. I mean....what do ya'll think? Is it just little old me up in here? Liberals are notorious for funding aid programs that are easily accessed and farmed out to middle men, just like in the GOP. Only they put a kid's face on it instead of a gun. Neither vision is real, in my eyes. There is the "thus and so" that my daddy taught me some time ago which is purely biblical and that helps to know that we've always been fighting. It's what people do right? He also taught me to pick my battles wisely.

I don't know. Maybe it was the one LSD experience I had as a teenager while I was lifeguarding kids at the moose lodge pool. Yeah...stupid, I know. But that water was freakin' beautiful!!!
I had taken my fill of picking up paper after snotty kids whose mother's let us be the babysitters while they tanned. I worked there four summers, each one with a different crew flipping burgers and taking turns in the sun. We occasionally snuck into the lodge to see what was there better than burgers and to raid the bar use the restrooms. Good times...stupid teenagers! They are all still dear to my heart.

I read an interesting piece today written by a man who has been blogging and everything elseing for a long time. His post offered up some dos and don'ts of network etiquette, with particular attention to facebook use. I enjoy it, yes. And I check daily and post anything that's really cool about my day. But not what I'm wearing or that kinda stuff. His point is every internet user's life there comes the day when you have done the unthinkable either in a drunken stupor or out of simple anger and stupidity. Been there done that and fired off a thousand lousy emails to leave an electronic trail. But I learned better. Having the power to hurt someone or otherwise negatively impact their emotions by writing typing like a madman is something that many folks never recognize. It can hurt. Bad. I choose now to tell stories with a more positive slant, just because it makes ME feel better. The past few years of my life have been a constant struggle to keep things in the middle of the road as a single woman. It's time to turn the page.

If ya'll never hear from me again it's because there's this big honking cold front blowing in and there might be a twister or two. Not supposed to get here until early morning so don't wake me up if I'm dead. Umkay? It's my day off and I intend to sleep in with my doggies. It's what we do when I don't have to go to the sawmill. Leave a message at the beep.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

bird peep

Right before sunset or early in the morning you can hear the birds clearly and distinctly call out to each other, checking in and out in style of the walton family and heading on their merry way to a good night's rest somewhere up high and a full day of flight training for the little ones. One can only assume that the baby owl we rescued scooped up off the road lives to give delight to people at Reelfoot. If I had money to spend, Lake county would be right where I'd put it. The port will be a huge boon to the local economy, until they start spilling caustic shit up in amongst the cypress knees. One of my childhood friends died after falling out of a boat while duck hunting up there.

Against all odds, Big Ernie saw fit to bless me with another little miracle today. I'll spare you the details, but it just exactly offset the bill for my brake repair so I can pay the rent for April. I was speechless, to say the least. Which is not something I'm learning more and more to be. My voice has been listened to for almost fifty six years, and not much that I ever said has stuck with anybody other than my daughter, and that's not a bad thing. BE put us together for a reason, and so far we've managed to build on the situation and grow that thing.

Tonight is you-know-what night so watch out wildcats. Give 'em hell.


Friday, April 1, 2011

it's the little things that count

Yesterday was errand day and today is all mine to blow at will. Per my usual ADHD behavior pattern there are no less than 10 projects going at the moment, including this post. Sometimes it helps to clear the cobwebs away so that the real cleaning can be done. There's plenty of it what with the mud and whatnot being tracked in by several humans and lots of four legged creatures. Sam and Oscar have muddy paws while Queen Faith reclines somewhere soft with her new purple collar and pink bandana. Those colors look great with chocolate brown.

Another poet friend of mine has self published his work and I am promised a signed copy when they arrive. He knows how sweet broke I am so he graciously offered it as a gift. My friend Mahala who is hidden in the hollers of North Carolina is wrestling with the same issues we have here on our farm, including elder care and trying to stay sane when the whole world seems to be wanting their money. Her writing is hilarious, especially about the "fictional" people that she works with and her somewhat gypsyish background. Melungeon, I believe they're called. Check her out. And read back to see how she got to where she is today.

All of the old windows are open to air out the house but there's still a definite chill because the sun refuses to come out for more than two minutes. Bound for me to be stuck at the sawmill this weekend when it's 75 and sunny. I've got two cookings to do as well, one for my mama's bridge club, a delicious triple chocolate fudge bundt cake, and another for my brother's poker club. Deviled eggs and green beans for ten guys! Who loves you brother?

Always vigilant on the search for cash, I have decided to get a friend to sell my old vinyl LPs online to collectors. NOBODY has a turntable anymore and if they did they wouldn't use it because of the quality of sound available otherwise. They reflect who I was musically during the seventies and eighties which was all OVER the dang spectrum. I loved every minute of those days before becoming a mom when we all hung out and partied together. It seems really tame compared to what partying consists of now. Once when BG has to work and my other daughter's first serious boyfriend died of an ecstacy overdose in CA, I went with her to his funeral at the tiny chapel in Obion. We sat with my sister Jane who shares my birthday along with her twin sister Judy. The sad thing? His friends didn't report it in time to save his life.

No news is good news so I reckon it's a good day to be alive and kickin'. We did yardwork and burned some shit last night which always rekindles my spirit. Asparagus is still slow because of the cold snap, but should burst forth real soon. April is when you get to pick twice a day! I'm not planning a garden because I usually give up in the heat of July and let the weeds take over, which is typical me. I do so hate to sweat, which is an unfortunate trait to have when you live in the south. I learned from my friend Idgie at the Dew that kudzu actually blooms which I never knew after growing up surrounded by it. It's called a "pile", those big nasty places where you can dump bodies during the summer and they won't be found until first frost.

Look ahead people. It's the only sane thing to do.