Monday, November 28, 2011

just another manic monday

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

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

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


Sunday, November 27, 2011

good karma comes calling

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

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

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

As Ike would say "Peace out!"


Saturday, November 26, 2011

the next chapter

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

turkey talk

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

holiday cheer

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

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

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

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

And for that? I am forever grateful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

one story at a time

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

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

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

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


Thursday, November 17, 2011

oh happy day

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

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

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


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

making nice

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, November 13, 2011

pecans and poop

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, November 12, 2011

'tis the season

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, November 10, 2011

ladies night redux

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

love the one you're with

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

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

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

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


Sunday, November 6, 2011

with a little help from my friends

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

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

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

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

Keep smiling ^j^

Saturday, November 5, 2011

eatin' beanie weenies

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

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

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


Thursday, November 3, 2011


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

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

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

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

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