Monday, December 31, 2012

auld lang syne

Today is the last of my three off and I must say that three days straight of 12 hours sleep has made a difference in my mood. Freedom comes in many forms and since I tend to be a wanderer at home, it's nice to just sit and chill. I will (of course) be long out of it by the time baby new year arrives so ya'll bang some pots and pans for me. I took off for some supplies early this morning and found out by accident that you can't buy beer before 8AM. That sucks for third shifters on the way home! I will never understand the "no sale from 3A to 8A thing". Like that's gonna stop people from DUIs? Ryder and Oscar followed me only I didn't know it 'til I headed home and found Oscar up by the highway. He loaded up and we looked for Ryder until we spied her running across the wheat, a huge black deer looking critter. She's a beautiful girl, but not near as smart as her mama was, bless her heart.

The sun is gone again, but was nice while it lasted. The cold that has plagued us for days is lifting away, with much sniffing and hacking. Mucinex is what we need but dang it's expensive! Singulair will have to do, and I must say it's a real wonder drug for allergy prone folks like us. One plus of the winter is that there's no spraying and dirt turning. That'll kill you when it's on all four sides! It won't be long though because I saw buttercups poking up in the flower bed. Poor confused little things.

All the Christmas stuff is piled in the now empty living room. When it got super cold I moved the ancient desktop Dell into my room, cords and all. There are two heaters going so I guess TVA will have my ass again next month. Hey..what do you do? At least now that I have a decent central unit the summer months aren't nearly as expensive. I just wish I could get a rebate for about ten years worth. When the guys came to install it, they found that the duct running from unit to house was almost closed. Duh. That says a lot about the other company that was supposed to be doing maintenance. Oh well. Live and learn. This house is three levels with full attic and basement that are never used except for storage. There's one little room in the attic that was sheetrocked at one time for the Council's son. The windows of that room overlook the eaves of the front porch and it seems like you can see forever. It has taken me about five years to get both cleaned out to where only things that are keepers remain. There are wooden work tables along the walls that Mr. Council used back in his days as a horseman. The walls are covered with sidewalk chalk art from BG's teenage days and there is a huge heavy ass wood stove that has never been moved. Hey..we can scrap that thing!!

The grands are maintaining I news is good news in my book. We talk at least once a day sometimes ten times, depending on what's in the air. Ms. Faye won't be doing it up big for New Year's so she'll probably be on schedule this week. Have I mentioned lately what an angel she is to us? Oh my goodness. Were it not for her, this scenario would not be possible. Sam is napping again on my bed, just like we didn't have 12 hours solid with him under the blanket.

Heck..I might just join him. Happy 2013 to all ya'll and your mama'n'them.


Sunday, December 30, 2012


I know all ya'll are just dying for an update on this Sunday's breakfast at the doughnut and egg place formally known as Daylight! Their day starts at 4AM getting ready for the hungry hoards who come calling for anything you can dream up for breakfast. They just got these little paper bakers hats for the kids and they're too cute. I saw a couple of girls grab them on the way out so I shared one with the little girl across the way. Cute.As.Pie. Their SS class is always there moving tables around to fit in all their crew. Sometimes I see old friends. Sometimes nobody but the beloved Seller's class. Since I was on the front end of the shuttle today I wandered in to find him hurrying her up like the world would end if he didn't "get there on time." She talks back now and tells him to give her some space. You go mom!! Slowly put on lipstick, donned gloves and put on her mink coat. Ain't nothing not styling about this lady.

Since I'm in a remembering kind of mood, I am of course eternally grateful to BF and all my other friends of the interwebs for friendship and love through the years. Miss Idgie, God love her, told me the other day that I was the oldest blog friend she has. Now ain't that something? Back in the day she started an online magazine from the Atlanta area featuring all things southern with an emphasis on the written word and story telling. Ya'll all should go see her at Dew on the Kudzu. She's a damn hoot. She used to blog about how the people at the drive in alcohol place knew what she wanted without asking because she was a frequent flyer. By golly I wish we had that here in the 'burg. Tell Idgie that Poopie sent you.

I have a puzzle that will more than likely go to the crematorium with me, handmade years ago by a sweet guy in upstate New York. It is mulitcolored and the pieces fit just right spelling out the word angel. She tends to fall over if not propped up, but I cherish her with all my heart. My friend Anita painted mugs for me with Pecan Lane on them and that is another heirloom. Notice that's not plural because one got broken ;) Risible Girl and Jenny.. I met at about the same time. Both are soul sisters as well as many more like Mahala and Kenju. Lois Twater is the funniest bitch you'll ever hope to meet. She did Second City to train for doing stand up but truth be told, she was funny as shit without it. Turkey testicle festival my ass. I had a private session yesterday with a friend in Philly who used to read tarot cards but now works with angels. She gave me one "free" question and of course it was about what to do with the parents thing. It took about ten minutes of chat for me to let go and let Big Ernie. I am a rock, for sure, but not an island.

It was cold as a you know what last night and this morning, but it's warming up and the sun feels good. I still have a couch laying in the yard like the redneck that I am, but it's too wet to burn so why bother. One of the first male bloggers I met was Follow That Star (FTS for short). He lived in Dallas and called me one day while he was on the freeway with a blue tooth. Talk about culture shock. He and a couple of other bloggers put together a site that was technically unique and quite inspirational. Don't have a clue where any of them are. Or the smartass photographer, for that matter. I met him and South Knox Bubba during the time when I was just learning my way around. They both had me from the word liberal. SKB's signature response was "Okay, then."

During that time there was all kinds of attention being paid to bloggers by other media providers. My home state picked mine as something above average and was even mentioned in an East Tennessee news outlet. That was years ago and many miles away. I've got two guys right now as my wingmen who are both bloggers and artists and they have committed been drafted to help me do whatever it is I'm supposed to accomplish as my legacy. I have both of theirs in my bookshelf, signed sealed and delivered along with a collection of sixties era Nancy Drew mysteries. Wonder what I can get for them and the stupid baseball card collection??

As I sat in the thinly populated church parking lot waiting for my parents to come out, I gazed on the stucco and stained glass and remembering growing my faith there. The rituals are not something that appeal to me now, but I still know all the words from years on end of reciting liturgy. My family has four generations of history in that place and I don't take it lightly. I hauled off ten bags of garbage this morning, piled up due to the weather. Fed Pride and took a picture of his ornery ass.

All is well.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


There are blessings to be found even in hardship, as we all know. One of the things I like best about keeping a frigid house with two warm rooms is that you can leave stuff out in the kitchen and it doesn't ruin! How's that for glass half full? The window guy is doing too little too late to help matters so we might as well just layer up and sleep in hoodies. It looks like a little Unibomber convention around here. Praise the lort, it hasn't gotten REALLY cold...yet. We had such a nice visit yesterday with our friends all huddled up in BG's room like in the old days, swapping stories that we all know and some that we didn't remember until somebody said "remember when...". Conner loves hanging with us girls because we're loud and crazy. Give him a pen and some paper and he's happy as a lark.

As we talked, I heard a real live angel story from Lester. When her brother died his fraternity held a huge benefit to help pay for the funeral expenses. She spoke for the benefit...about how much she loved her brother, but was quite nervous. A young lady, also from the 'burg, helped her through the trauma of that testimony and stood by her side as she shared her grief. That young lady died this week in a wreck on an icy road. When I heard about how she had ministered to my friend during her brother's death, I immediately made the cosmic connection. Angels among us, ya'll.

BG had an experience some time ago that threw her for a real loop. Not being in healthcare, she's had very little exposure to life and death situations. As she was traveling the highway for her job, she came upon a horrific wreck where a woman had been thrown from her vehicle and was barely clinging to life. After calling 911, she stayed with this lady as her pulse became weaker and weaker finally stopping. EMS arrived and took over and she went on down the road, still in shock but keeping her appointment. I later found out that the lady who died was a good friend of a friend of mine, and shared the story with her. She was so relieved that her friend had not died alone. Timing is everything.

I'm seeing and reading so much stuff about the supposed fiscal cliff and our response to this do-nothing Congress as a country. There is an urgency in the voice of most Americans these days. Our lives are in the balance while they play politics. Shame on ya'll. I'm not wild about the GOP *giggle* but have a lot of respect for my home state guy Bob Corker for calling it like he sees it. It could have and should have been settled long before now. I'm also disgusted with the still ferocious backlash against Obamacare, a program that will protect healthcare as a right for many who don't have it. Just look at all the GOP governors lined up to shoot it down. Whatever, ya'll. I guess your logic is that if enough people die from lack of care your costs will go down. To me, affordable preventive care is a no brainer because it allows folks to stay well so they can work and contribute to the economy.

I almost choked Ryder with the worm medicine yesterday but she got it all down, thank goodness. She ought to start fattening up now and putting a little meat on those rib bones. I just thought she was growing too fast! As I lay in the bed with the dogs this morning I spotted Pride trying every which a way to get to that bright green wheat on the other side of his fence. It still pisses him off that he can't roam like he used to. Sorry dude...crops come first. I have both ends of the church shuttle tomorrow since bro is out of town. If I was a betting woman, I'd put odds on Mama not getting out of that warm bed.

Keeping the faith here ^j^

Friday, December 28, 2012


I got to thinking about what all kinds of shit we've had happen this calendar year which is kind of hard to do because I've lost my sense of time during this dull gray end of the year slosh. I'd have to say one of the highlights was the day I had to bond BG out of the county jail over some bogus bench warrant. She was driving through town and (for once) didn't have her seat belt on because of the heavy wool coat she was wearing. He stopped her for a warning on the seat belt and let her go about a block before pulling her over smack in the middle of town and taking her to jail. Of course I got the "one" phone call so I had to leave work and round up a bond person to get her out to the tune of $237. Nobody knew anything about anything until she was served behind locked doors with a warrant for FTA to a court date where she indeed appeared and paid court costs on an 8 buck bad check some eight months before. Only she didn't have the receipt. She had paid close to 400 in court costs at the original hearing and when she returned to court for THIS appearance she had no proof that she had paid in cash so her dad had to pay it AGAIN. We're looking at 1000 bucks here already, not to mention the loss of one more chunk of what little sanity I had left. As it turns out, there was a history of missing money up in the office where she paid and somebody came in months later and cleaned house after finding that a local school system had been overbilled. I don't know who did what, but the bottom line is to save those kinds of receipts until the day you die. Hell, put 'em in the coffin with you because you never know when the law might get bored and want to dig you up and do it again. Courts need money to run, ya know?

The entire spring was focused on mama's illness and hospitalization for six weeks from a knee infection. Turns out if you get too many of those little steroid shots in your knees, bacteria can get in and run amok, which is exactly what happened to her. The bacteria had spread from her knee joint to the bloodstream and she was one sick puppy. It took a month of rehab to get her able to walk again with assistance. Daddy was on his own with Ms Faye during that time, and me and BG up the road if he needed anything. It was then that I realized how much my life is truly tied up. I know that this too will pass, and I will remember our times fondly and with humor.

Faith's puppies were born right around the time of BG's arrest and we had to literally burn the furniture where those seven pups were delivered. Great dane daddy and all, they were huge and multiple. All this was too much for a ten year old lab body to handle. Looking back, it was downhill from there. Only two of the pups are alive, and one of them is Ryder who hasn't been to the vet yet herself. We did the store brand wormer when she was a baby but she's got a whopping case of roundworm right now so we had to get the yellow syringe that must taste good because she took it all. One of my favorites there, Tina, remarked how sorry she was about Faith and sweetly told us to "take care of her puppy." You bet we will honey.

Jacob died from meningitis at a very young age. He was a student at MTSU with a boat load of frat brothers who made the journey from east to west just to honor his life. His sister just left here from a holiday visit with all ya'll. She's cute as a bug and trying really hard to be a good soon to be mama. It's been a tough year for a lot of folks.

Regretfully, this was not the year for Sugardaddy but I'll never give up hope on that one as long as love is alive. No wait..I want a Sugardaddy who loves me. There, it's an easy thing to find, right? I'm so pissed off at Mitch McConnell's old ass right now I could just spit. He and the evil one have no regard whatsoever for the struggling Americans who will suffer because of their stubborn attitudes. At this point they're not even thinking about the integrity of their own party because the GOP natives are quite restless not to be portrayed as the bad guys when we go deeper into recession. It is a literal pissing match between ultra conservatives and lots of level headed people from both parties and it makes me want to slap somebody. Note to self: Refill happy pills. Looks like I'll be sleeping on the futon in the warm room tonight because there are three lucky dogs piled up on my bed. We'll see what the night brings.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

help a girl out

The therapy by phone thing is working out splendidly except for the fact that people call and beep while you're trying to work stuff out. The only reason it works is that this guy knows me well enough to hone in on an issue and let me work through it in less than hour if need be. Which it needed be today. I found myself in tears recalling how mad my father got when I crossed his invisible line but it was a good cry. It is what it is, and his basic personality as I knew it has only been magnified by dementia. I'm sure I'll be just a little ray of sunshine at 81 myself!

I was out on the front line today and found myself telling some lady that I can't cook much because my oven runs on propane, and of course the heat is gone too except for the electric. She couldn't believe that "some people" live like that. Yes ma'am...and some of them still have collision film over their window on their ancient Camry. She wasn't snooty at all about it..just amazed. Go figure that one. The snow is almost gone, clinging to banks and trees but not much else. It's amazing what a difference it makes in the temperature of the ground and the house itself with ice against the foundation. The window frames in this house are hollow with old iron weights inside that lifted them up and down back in the day. Now they're painted over and the wood is rotting from years of west to east weather patterns moving up the hill.

I found myself remembering Old Hoss today in my phone session. When we first "met" in the blogosphere, he was living in a nursing home with his wife who was dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. Their home state of Oregon had made assisted suicide legal and he did the right thing when her time came. I remember sending her a bracelet of orange and white from a Tennessee vol. There were cookies too, which I'm sure were crumbs by the time they arrived. Several years later he took off on a whirlwind tour of the country beginning in Vegas and ending up (not in any particular order) in Texas Michigan and Tennessee. Talk about a girl not knowing what to do! My friend picked him up at the airport and delivered him to a halfway point at my other friend's restaurant/antique shop. A frantic call from his last caretaker advised me that he had been without oxygen on the plane and would need a dose ASAP. Alrighty then! I wheeled over to the respiratory therapy store on my way to Sue's and picked one up. I swear ya' took about 30 minutes to get him ready for the 30 minute ride to our house. We had a nice visit and everybody thought I was freakin' crazy for having this old codger at my house. Maybe I was.

Here's the thing. Had I not reached out and enjoyed the social part of blogging..indeed the very human source of it, I would have never know him or a whole helluva lot of other dear friends. FB I can take or leave. Same with a steady diet of spoon fed teevee programming. Since I cut the cord I've had more fun watching Redbox movies than I ever had with the background chatter. My latest favorite is searching for a friend for the rest of your life. Quite profound in a quirky sort of way. It made me think a whole lot about re-dos and what's ultimately important. Our new fav comedian Amy Schumer was in it doing what she does best.

It's ladies night. Ya'll better watch out ^j^

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

snow day

I got a friendly call from a bill collector early that woke me out of a sound sleep to find not the blizzard that was predicted...only enough snow to be pretty but not make a mess. I had two or three dogs in the bed snuggled up to me and really hated to get out of the warm spot so we laid there awhile longer savoring the opportunity to just be. It's so cold up in here I'm trying to generate heat by any means so it was a good excuse to wash the dishes in hot soap. After that I took the camera for a (quite brief) walk around the yard and marveled at the way mother nature can just put art right in front of a beholder's eye. Beautiful scenery out here ya'll. Birds and squirrels are scurrying everywhere looking for food. I haven't bought any sunflower seed so there aren't many cardinals. There is snow on Faith's grave, a gentle reminder that she is gone in dog body but never in spirit.

I threw away the grocery list when I was cleaning at mama's the other day which I think is a hoot and she seems to agree. If ya'll could have seen the steam coming out of my daddy's ears when I dared to move his stuff! I'm about the only one that it still works on but I'm learning. The old man is in charge of his destiny to a point, but it takes a village and I'm the idiot. We had a contingency plan for a move to a motel if the blizzard really came but thank goodness that didn't have to be. being in therapy again has helped my sanity when it comes to dealing with all that. I have to just know when to walk away from it, knowing that I've done my best.

When I was a kid, the best place in town to play in the snow was behind the high school on College street. More than one nose got broken sliding that that giant hill between the school and the football field. Fun times for several generations! My mother grew up across the street from the school in a beautiful red brick home where all of her friends gathered. Daddy took the bus from out in the county or caught a ride with somebody to that same school where they met. I'm sure he also walked five miles in the snow at some point in time.

Gotta get back under the covers ya'll. See you in the spring ^j^

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

as the snow falls

It's been looking like a blizzard coming our way for about 12 hours now with a cold northerly wind and heavy clouds hanging low in the sky just waiting to let it rip. Blizzardmageddon 2012! I think we should declare a war on weather events and spend lots of government money trying to repair the parts of our earth that are a result of being bad greedy stewards of Big Ernie's gifts. I'm gonna be really REALLY mad when a chunk of Artic permafrost from the other side of the world washes away the beach at Sandestin. Just sayin'. Our thermostat reads 55 right now and it will probably be dropping in spite of our best attempts to hang blankets over ancient windows and doors. Simply put, propane is a necessity for basic heating needs. That I owe my firstborn to the man who floated me for several years is not something that I take lightly. If so, I'd have done the BK thing a long time ago.

I love living here, and it's so handy just to jump in the Camry and make some noise on Samaria Bend Road to check on my parents. We're there almost daily now so yesterday's visit to do a bit of cooking and cleaning since their friend and housekeeper has been off. After we popped the ham in the oven with a glaze, BG and Mom chatted and did a crossword puzzle while I proceeded to clean off the bar area where they eat. I'm talking sticky like Waffle House, ya'll. I had to move all the "stuff" that was strewn from here to yon and spray it a couple of times before the big wipe off. I could tell Daddy wasn't too happy about it, but he seemed harmless enough. As soon as I lifted up the rag, he proceeded to slam back down every thing that I had just moved. Of course my mama cried and the last thing BG shared with her as we took a quick leave was how proud we are of her for maintaining her dignity in life, hard as it is sometimes. We had to go back and check on a burner about 15 seconds later and by the time we got there the alarm system was on. The time? One PM. Merry Christmas.

This whole journey with their last years seems like a blur from the time she had her last wreck due to blindness and quit driving. He was about two years behind her and spent most of that time taking her everywhere she wanted to go. From that point on when he was in a "hit and run" that HE ran from, it's been one challenge after another. As an extremely OCD dementia patient, his routine is everything. As long as he has the remote in his hand, he is master of the universe. I remember one Christmas when they called me to the mall because Mr. Bruce had found Daddy wandering and she was lost somewhere only not really. I know better now than to drop and run unless it involves EMS.

I drive through the business district of South Dyersburg on my way to and from work simply because it's easier and less hectic. Since the back to back floods, many businesses and structures have been demolished with the Hindu hotel being the final exception. The Dairy Queen is a smooth slab as is the lot on which the Plaza Food Center operated for years. Many houses have been razed and some folks have rebuilt, but not many. Without significant work adjacent to the Forked Deer it will happen over and over again.

I'm already in a rearview mirror mode remembering what I've learned this year from life in general. One small detail that occurred to me is how weather events like Katrina, Sandy and every other flood or tsunami could be so much less catastrophic were firm building codes enforced in vulnerable areas. Of course that's not a moneymaker so, there you go. I'd hate for some Wall Street bank executive to have to miss out on his bonus while the rest of us are dying out here. The 99%. Thank you Occupy...your solidarity has given me a reason to believe in honor and commitment. Thank you Mitt Romney for "not wanting to be President more than anybody I've ever seen" per his own son. If Obama and the evil one will just not hit us with less $$ in the paycheck than before this whole mess started, that would just be swell. We shall see. My most humbling lesson has been that of compassion and empathy as a way of life. My problems are just like yours and hers and his in some form or fashion. Everybody's got drama. Never in my life did I think I'd be living this kind of lifestyle as one who is not nearly as close to retirement as I'd like to be. I'm gonna have to figure out some reliable transportation to even get to that gold watch!! I have a feeling it won't be from the sawmill either.

Merry Christmas peeps ^j^

Monday, December 24, 2012

traditionally speaking

I didn't have a clue what day it was when BG woke me up on this gray foggy morning. Oh, yeah. Christmas eve! She had some morning plans so I'm here with Sam beside the fake tree listening to Paul Carrack. I was a big fan in the eighties and had forgotten how dang GOOD he is! Feel good music, ya know? I can dance to just about anything he does, occasionally shaking the bootay a bit. Not too much of course...I get winded and might throw my back out. That would be all I'd need on top of the windowless hubcapless car that brings me back and forth to this propaneless house. Feeling sorry for myself? Nada. I still feel blessed to the gills and especially so knowing that what was shared with me helped others who have much much less. Like...nothing. I see it happening everywhere...what was originally known as paying it forward or random acts of kindness.

Today I stumbled on a video of Randy Pausch's last lecture on Oprah. I've watched both long and short versions of the lecture and still get something new from it every time. Randy died in 2008 from pancreatic cancer leaving young children that he wanted to know who he was later on. He used humor and inspiration in his lecture about achieving childhood dreams and illustrated that with his work at Disney. His friends and followers watched as he withered away from the ravages of a particularly painful type of cancer and said goodbye to his family and the world. I remember reading his progress reports weekly and wondering what I would be doing with my own life if that were me. His message touched a lot of people, and changed my total outlook on life. Always look ahead. Believe that you can do it. Pay it forward.

Looks like snow in the forecast on my next day off so that window might have to wait a bit longer. The plastic film works pretty good as long as nobody pokes a hole in it. So far so good on that one. I found out from KY cousin that the mason jar on a stem is a nifty way to get by open container laws since there's a screw on lid. Kewl! Not that I drink and drive anymore. It's hard enough to maintain sober what with all the fools running every which'a'way and texting. I tried that once and almost ran into a ditch.

Since my chimney is blocked I reckon I'll have to leave the door open for old Santa. Nah..scratch that. Hatchet man might come in the night with an automatic assault weapon because I bitch about the NRA. LaPierre, my ass. Anyway, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Kwanzaa. Hanukkah. If it's your belief, embrace it and share it with others. It's the only chance this old world has of finding peace ~J~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

fa la la la la!

We made it to the family gathering this afternoon with a pecan pie and walker in tow. When we left, it was with a box full of canned goods from KY and a mason jar on a stem for me. I LOVE it! There are some things that only southern folks get. There were several generations there, some that I've not seen two or three years before they all had girlfriends or babies in the oven. My cousins and I, four girls in the midst of family history, sat back and just took it all in. Two of Aunt Granny's great grandboys founds balls and played a little soccer, then the oldest discovered a bugle. We gave 'em about fifteen minutes with that and hid all the stuff! Mo's back yard is like a little haven with live cool weather plants still thriving. A former catering gal, she knows her stuff when it comes to entertaining. Better her than me!

I had a Miracle on 34th Street moment when I passed by the front door for the fifth time to see a package laying there that was recently placed by the USPS, of course. The mailer is distinctive this time of year decorated with red and green and most definitely from Blog Fairy. I tiptoed into BG's room and mentioned that BF had flown...she was more excited than me! Inside I found the usual assortment of things I need (we know BF is a girl because no guy would ever go to that much thoughtfulness and if he did I'd be his wife Sugarmomma.) including a mousepad with a picture of Faith and her puppies. We like to have died, ya'll. Whomever this person is knows what we've been through as a family the past few years, and feels our pain. Merry Christmas BF...I believe.

I'm working one day and brother the other during Christmas so we're doing our own separate things with the grands which is not a bad thing because the housekeeper is with her own family. This woman is an absolute angel in my book for putting up with the day to day operations in a household with two very challenging elders. And she ain't no spring chick herself!! We are grateful to her beyond belief.

When I finally made it home BG and her friend were sitting at the "round table" which is really square, in our kitchen. Our friend is preggers so she got the baby bathtub that's been sittin' around here for years (don't ask) and they headed out for a little shopping to help their other friend who is having a hard time. I read in the newspaper today about anonymous local folks paying out layaways at the dollar stores for people and was amazed at how it seems to really be catching on that anonymous giving is what J would do.

I've never had the money to do stuff like that, but I have honored the folks who believed in me by gifting them with other things. 'Tis better to give reasonably and not pay off a plastic debt for six months in the name of a jolly fat man who has nothing at all to do with the birth of Christ or any other religious holiday of the season.

Since I get to sleep in tomorrow, better go fluff up those brand new jammies. Simple pleasures kid. Simple pleasures.

Merry Chritmas all ya'll. Tell your mama'n'them I said keep the faith j^

Saturday, December 22, 2012

a christmas miracle

My mother loves the entire season that begins with Thanksgiving and ends when Santa and the reindeer come prancing through. She is the ultimate entertainer, always with a heart of gold and good intentions. I remember the days when she would entertain all of she and Daddy's friends and almost collapse when it was over. That was before she learned that she did INDEED have limits, because that was when she was close to the age that I am now. Lawww! She was a doting grandmother to BG, teaching her to cook at an early age by making little "biscuits" out of bread. Everything I know about cooking, I learned from either she or my babygirl. I switched to olive oil long ago not because it's healthier but it tastes better to me. If you're gonna eat, you might as well enjoy. My co-workers and I love the chicken tenders from the gas station and she'll buy if I fly so we were on like donkey kong today.

The Reaves side of our family is gathering tomorrow at Aunt Mo's place to see if we all still remember each other, pun notwithstanding. Mama's got a pecan pie and is worrying if that's enough to take. Yes ma'am. Mo's sister KY cousin and I are part of a trio who grew up together close enough in age to remember when Christmas was a multi-layered affair with visits from Santa both at home and at my grandmother Gaga's house. She had one of those tacky metal trees when she lived on Wheeler and I'll never forget the way those colored lights twirled around the bottom creating a fairyland. She still had money then, so there was stuff for everybody and their brother all packed up in boxes containing a bunch of little happys. There were seven of us grandchildren and everybody got a bunch of loot. By the time we did Santa at home and ran like banshees following breakfast and presents, it was nappy time again.

The tale of our brood is one that is lived out in American families every day. Grandpa was an honest hard workin' guy during the fifties boom. Made a bunch of money that was thrown at an addict to squander. Yet nobody talked about the secret that was their roles as enablers. During her last years we talked about it some, and she told me that she was sorry for not stopping before it was all gone. She died at the age of 83 with my mother and her sister sharing the cost of that burial. My experience with her lingering in the hospital death is one of the reasons that I believe in angels to this day.

Time to get away from reality for a bit and proceed to believe in miracles. Because like...they happen ^j^

Friday, December 21, 2012

shop 'til you drop

Since my parents are housebound "somebody" had to make sure they had gifts for each other. I was already on a mission to get a list as long as my arm done, so it wasn't really a bother. In fact, it's kinda fun shopping when you're not under the gun. She needed underwear and slippers and he got a new flag. I swung by the sawmill to pick up my ham and by then it was time to pick BG up and head to the grands. Today's project was nailing plastic over her bedroom window to keep her warmer at night. The antique 3/4 bed sits right in front of a window that is only single pane and the wind blows directly into it. I scooped her up a heater like I've got (idiot proof) and set it up in her room. NO WAY should her little self be chilly tonight. Daddy was busy watching his watch until the four o'clock news (it was 1PM) but offered his help. We said thanks, but we got this. By the time it was done I was sweating like a whore in church under the Old Navy fleece.

Anywho..still driving with plastic on the window due to uneven financial circumstances. Parts are pulled but after today nothing will get done for anybody until next Wednesday. People look at me like I've got four eyes when I tell them I work on Christmas day and have done so every other year for almost 36 of them. I remember BG crying and asking me not to "go work" on her special day. That, my friends is tough. Most of the public service sector does this so it's not uncommon...just something that has always been taken for granted by many. I pulled up to get my parents from church the other day (plastic flapping) and noticed this hotty toddy rich college age girl getting out of the BMW that daddy bought. How niiice, I thought. And I'm one of the ones who has had to put up with his bull all these years.

The TV people are about to have their device safely back and when I pay the past due, it's a whole 'nother world with one less bill up in here. I'm just praying they don't pull a DirecTV on me. That would be just about the last straw. They are vulchers feeding on a society that seeks escape in background noise. If I want to watch a movie, there's still a TV there. I don't do well with too many choices, ya know?

It's a beautiful day on the hill, cold and breezy in a holiday sort of way. I'm learning all kinds of insulation tricks like covering or closing vents and layering blankets. There is nothing in this world that will keep a girl warmer than a bed full of loving dogs. Amy told me that Sam learned to sleep under the covers with she and Sophie and he still does it with me. Some things never change.

Peace out ya'll. Only 3 shopping days left!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

the wind swept look

I wish ya'll could have seen us getting mama out of the beauty shop today when she got her hair did. Still in tight coils all over her little head, her hair got teased and styled into its' usual helmet shape. Love it! Since there's a big storm blowing through the wind is about 30 mph and cold so we had to cover her head with a Kroger bag so she wouldn't lose what she just paid for. I couldn't get it tied under her chin where she was able to see so we just tucked the flaps into her neckline and made a run for it. Daddy was following with the walker which she didn't even have to use on the trek down the ramp. All of this was made possible by the smarts of my dear brother who hooked me up with temporary window replacement so I can safely transport them. Haven't heard back from the scrap yard, but they're pulling a window and regulator for me today. Boy, the things a girl learns when pushed against the wall!

The son of the beauty shop owner stopped by to visit today letting me in on his plan to dress like Santa and deliver toys on his motorcycle. Dude definitely has the facial hair for it. I got a card today from my dear friend the supermom and teacher in Chicago with all her kiddies on front. I met her before the last three were born and we are steadfast in most of our beliefs. Her father died this year and I can tell from the pain in her words that she's one who will be standing by my side sometime soon. We stopped at Sonic for lunch today and I asked mom if we could borrow her vacuum cleaner to knock out some of the dust bunnies. She told me she'd leave it to me in her will! She's such a hoot when it comes to humor about getting old. Her best friend gave her a cookbook one time called "Being Dead is No Excuse" full of all the rich foods that show up at a funeral meal in the south.

KY cousin called me to read something from mom's cookbook, a special thanks to the ones who had helped her make "it" happen. The biggest thanks of all went to my daddy for his total physical support of the project that she had always dreamed of. And guess what? All of the proceeds went to the Dyer County Fair Association for construction of a new building. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

We have gotten to the point where there is no exchange of gifts other than whatever is necessary for the day, and I like that approach. My parents don't need anything other than a new flag and some warm pants for her. He replaced the spotlight bulb while I was there, the one that shines on that ragged old stars and stripes. As a military man, he always disposes of them properly by burning. This time, somebody will have to supervise.

I feel much better now that I'm linked back up with a counselor who knows my history. When I called the insurance people to get the whole thing started the poor chick couldn't even FIND him as a provider because she was searching another zip code. Gah. I could have taken my own life ten times before we got it all straight. Access to mental health benefits is extremely hard to come by, especially for those with no insurance or job. Of which there are a shitload right now, by the way. That is our problem, in a nutshell. Who gives a rat's ass how the past two presidential terms were all about squandering money. Most everybody agrees on that, in spite of party affiliation. Looking ahead and learning from mistakes is a natural normal part of life and we the people have a chance to be heard right now. I have never in my lifetime seen such a backlash from folks as the automatic weapon thing. Enough is enough, people. Throw some bailout money to the manufacturers who go out of business. Whatever it takes to get their collective attention, I'm all for it. As as for the Occupy movement? Thank you for being visible and rowdy proof that Americans have had enough bullshit from Washington.

Gonna get cold tonight. Time to cover up the windows with blankets like the meth heads do ~j~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

glad tidings

In spite of the fiscal cliff and all the sadness and bad news, this Christmas season has been quite meaningful for me. It is humbling to live as if there is no tomorrow and nothing else to do but wait for the blessings that come on the flip side of trials. I am blessed is many ways that I fail to acknowledge which makes me feel that I am not alone in this thing called life. I find myself hugging people for no reason other than I need to feel another soul next to my own. I say the L word a lot and mean it. Most importantly I go with the flow best as I can because worry doesn't keep tomorrow's sorrow away...just takes the joy out of the present. Quite often pessimism can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

One day this week I heard a child screaming like bloody murder in the next room and all of a sudden I found myself trying to imagine what a chorus of those scared little cries sounded like when evil came to mow them down with automatic guns. They should be getting out of school for a Santa break. Instead they are being buried along with their loving teachers. I swear to you, if that Westboro Baptist bunch shows up I will personally travel to CT and kick their ignorant hateful asses. No..wait. My brother is closer up there in VA..I'll call him!

United we stand. That's the phrase that politicians and policy makers have spouted for years when it suits their needs. The gun lobby is right up there with big pharmacy and insurance when it comes to political clout. Meanwhile, people go without basic healthcare and get shot with weapons that shouldn't even be available. God bless the USA, huh? I am watching closely to see who shows character in this fiscal policy planning. As far as I can tell, unless something gives the 2% raise that I received for the past year or two will be gone due to a payroll tax increase. As my mama would say "how niiice". Meanwhile they're telling me that the benefits that I'm being taxed to finance will be reduced. Hmm. Makes one want to be self employed, ya know?

So anyway..we all know it takes a village like Hillary said. When I heard that she passed out I understood why after hearing the scathing report about state department security for the ambassor. But seriously? It's no ONE person's fault...none of it. Not even Dubya! There's a restless spirit circling the globe begging to be heard. It is a dream of being kind to mother earth and being rewarded in return. Such a simple concept. My friend the organic gardener gets that and has devoted her life to advancing organic farming practices with an emphasis on the gulf coast and damage from the oil spill. Genius, she is.

The barnwood frame business is officially launched with the creation of a gift for my brother and his family. The print is one that my parents purchased on their only trip to visit, and the frame is from wood all over this farm. Most of the buildings are gone and I'm salvaging what I can during the "deconstruction." Mama's buying me a window for the Camry as a holiday gift, bless her heart. "Janie! That's just not safe!" Like, uh..nope. Maybe a load of scrap will pay for a driver's side door handle for the new year.

I'm outta here kids. Mommy needs some R&R with boyfriends James Taylor and Paul Carrack. To you and yours I wish all the gladness that is your holiday season, whatever way you choose to celebrate. After all...It's 'Merka and we're a melting pot ^j^

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I remember almost twenty years ago when I talked with a friend about possible divorce and she advised me to NOT leave this farm because it's my serenity. I'm glad I listened to her because it's been a huge blessing in spite of the cost of living perched on a hill in house that's almost a hundred years old. Um hmm. No wonder there's a pine grove to break the northwesterly wind coming across the fields. That was a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Council as well as the perennials that come back year after year and bloom like crazy. His autograph is on the basement wall along with BGs and about half of her junior high class. Yep..I was a real party mom who didn't know my limits even then. The good thing about all of it is that I am friends with all of them in a way that a mother never can be to her own as a teenager. The way I see it, my role as parent was done when I got her raised up so why not be friends and teammates now? Geez, man. It beats trying to stay afloat by yourself! There is a wishy washy third roomie who is about to be history unless some fat $$ show up quick. For the first time in a long time, there's not even a piece of bread in the house. Just ketchup and mayo. Oh, and a gallon jug of pickles.

Flu season is not a real happy time in the medical sector and I will never understand why people want to run out and spend money just to find out they've got the flu (which they plainly do) and expose others to it in the process. Stay your nasty ass self at home and don't come back until it's done. Seriously. There is no treatment other than let it run the course and rest. Period. Tamiflu sometimes works, but mostly not. The key to avoiding it is to avoid exposures. As a society we are trained to jump right on the hamster's wheel whenever there's something that might require common sense and rest to heal. Viruses are mean ass bitches, ya'll. Antibiotics don't help so don't expect a shot either.

As of today, both our city and county school systems have received bomb threats requiring police intervention to investigate. To think that some idiot got his jollies using all that manpower just to play a joke is sickening. What if there were a REAL freakin' emergency??? I refuse to say that I have no faith or hope, but I do believe as my friend Chuck said that "America is broken." It is do or die time for we the people and I feel the stirring of a peaceful revolution, one that demands respect and justice. For people to be finding places to turn in their guns is amazing. While everybody poo-pooed the Occupy movement and said they were much ado about nothing, I respect their method of showing us just how we as a society have been screwed by speculative trading of not just mortgages but commodities like grain and oil. And then there are the big banks. I kid you not, I've got one after me for a measly sum, relatively speaking, and they just refuse to give it up even though the debt is ten years old and has been returned to them from a collection agency. I would not dare name names though...just think Jimmy Fallon.

My brother's border collie had her first litter last night of eight pups so he's a grandpa and loves it. We went together last January to pick her out at the breeder's house and she's a sweet and gentle as Bandit was rowdy. I can't believe it, but people are still trying to unload give me animals when you can barely walk around now. At least the furniture is moved out of the maze like pattern that we walked ever since picking it up at bossfriend's house.

As for me and mine, it's a hard candy Christmas as Dolly would say. And that's alright, because baby jeebus would love the simplicity of it ^j^

Monday, December 17, 2012

talk therapy

Thank you very much Dr. Freud and every other great thinker who instilled within me the desire for self preservation when the old noggin' feels like it's jelly. Yesterday was a meltdown of epic proportions whereas I began to rant and rave like a crazy woman and proceeded to call my therapist. Thank the lort' he called me back and got that authorization number. I've known for quite some time that I'm in wayyyy over my head baggage wise what with my personal fiscal cliff and the grands. I have lost myself again, and I swore I'd never do that. My bad.

There's a whole lot of therapy going on around the world right now while we try to even comprehend how babies and their keepers can be gunned down that quickly. As with 9/11, I see a yearning for the families of these martyrs to be heard and held in their grief. That the GOP is finally shutting the f**k up for two minutes makes me sure that there's a Santa. Get over the damn line ya'll. It is not about you, but we the people who pay your salary. Hunters have nothing to be worried about in this conversation. It always has and always will be a basic right to hunt for food and defend yourself at home. A souped up automatic weapon isn't required. Just ask any guy who bow hunts. Additional munition rounds, not necessary unless you're planning on mass murder. Any questions?

Personally, I see this as a sign from Big Ernie that we've got our priorities all wrong kind of like when he smacked down all of those heathens that worshiped idols. One of my high school friends wrote a book about Rahab putting her own personal touch on things and it's a must read. Said her experiences with the publishing industry are not good but she's more of a drama queen. Bless her heart, she jumped right out of that car to help put out the fire in the pasture when I burned off the asparagus. We went to see RENT together. She spent time with her sister and slept in BG's' bed. Haven't seen her since.

My point? Sometimes I don't have one and just feel like having a debate for the sake of sharing ideas in the hope that somehow peace will come to us as Big Ernie's gifts of faith. There is no right/wrong/black/white in my world...only gray and the pastels. And maybe some hot pink and turquoise on a special occasion like ladies night out. Chatting with the counselor today on the phone (love that concept, by the way) I found a place where I was ready and willing to stop enabling a situation that I know is not safe and is killing me slowly and not very softly.

Feliz Navidad ^j^

Sunday, December 16, 2012

god is great, beer is good and people are crazy

Today was a real trip getting from church to doughnuts due to the temporary plastic window thingy protecting my mama's hair from blowing away. This was AFTER I hauled off a week's worth of garbage, counted pills and ordered new scripts. Daddy got a call from the pharmacy telling him he had a new bottle of something he still has plenty of and got kinda pissed because I wouldn't go back to town after 12 and pick it up. Hey...I'm learning to just agree and do what I know is best. You can't argue with somebody like that and expect to have peace. Just ask my mama.

KY cousin told me that I didn't really have to have anything but the glass from a scrapyard to solve my little problem so that's good to know. My buddy will fix it for cheap so, there ya go. Come on payday! Mommy needs a new pair of shoes parts for the Camry. Actually, on the wish list is a right rear light cover, knocked out innocently by a friend at 4th of July party years ago. I told him never mind and love ya. I'm learning though. Scrap yards, even if they have to pull it, are the way to go. Those cars are wrecked and the parts can be perfectly good to keep a girl going to the sawmill and back. We also need a driver's side door handle, lost to some freakin' ice storm or another Oh, and an oxygen sensor. Not sure whether in or out. That's about it Santa.

The debate is raging now over guns and mental illness and all I can honestly say is that they don't go together well. The healthcare industry has all but made it impossible to get mental health treatment unless you have either insurance or current charges hanging over your head. This morning's daily rag listed a roster of secret indictments and a roundup of about 40 who were making and selling everything from meth to morphine. Meth they can make, but really? Some doctor somewhere is prescribing the oxycontin, morphine and whatnot. Go after them and there's your victory in the war on drugs. It's way too easy to obtain controlled substances when a shady physician is running a money mill.

Rather than looking toward Christmas, I'm patiently waiting for the new year and dreaming of less stressful times just because a page on the calendar of my life is turning. There won't be any resolutions like diet or exercise, only a sincere desire to live life one day at a time and enjoy the ability to do so. There will be a book up in 2013 of some shape form or fashion because I promised my mama. She was a copy writer back in the day for a local newspaper whose ex-publisher spares no chance to smack me on FB concerning my left winger political views. If only he knew how close I am to the center.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

creative thinking

Sometime during the night, the not very elaborate setup I had with a roll of plastic over the window secured by bricks managed to crash to the ground (windy!) and I woke up just in time this morning to get it covered back up during a nice cold shower. With no shoes, just socks. I was in serious get 'er done mode. After the rain passed I took her out for a ride and came home to do a little bit better job involving scissors and electrical tape. The bits of blue construction tape are still all around the damn thing, a memory of our light green garbage bag experiment. Too thin! Next Friday is payday. Maybe I can make a trip to the junkyard.

The entire world is chattering about the shootings in Newton, and rightfully so. We have become our own worst enemy in many respects, and availability of assault weapons is just one factor. Our emphasis on money and power is atrocious and makes me sad to be an American. We have failed our citizens miserably in providing basic tools to detect and prevent such incidents simply because of the freedoms guaranteed by law. Almost always, the perp in this type of case is considered to be of ABOVE average intelligence. To me, this means he's got lots of smarts to team up with the "voices" that drive him. Add to that family drama and available weapons and you've got yourself a deadly problem. I would like to address my biggest concern about people like Mike Huckabee who have taken this tragedy and attempted to further their own agendas like "returning god to schools." Here's a news flash for 'ya buddy.....Big Ernie has been there all the time with or without public prayer. Kids and teachers take him up in the buildings every single day with them, praying privately for a good day and blessings. To use this incident as proof positive that we should go twenty years backward in education policy is absurd and not very Christ like. Just sayin. We don't have mandatory prayer in my workplace either, but you can bet your sweet ass I send them up daily for our patients, my co-workers and their families. That's the cool thing about being a don't have anything to prove except faith itself.

It's umm...9 days until Santa comes? I've lost track of time with the "seasonal" things getting lost in a blur of bad luck and trying to survive. It's only been a week since Daddy had his little heart spell yet it seems like a month. He called yesterday after I got hunkered down wanting to go get bandaids for his head and I gently reminded him that the doc said to leave uncovered. I didn't have the heart to get back in that windowless car and burn gas going to the dollar store just because he was bored. I'm patient, but there comes a point when you realize you're an enabler and refuse to play any more. I am most definitely there.

The ancient pecan trees are swaying in the wind. Had there been a crop, this would have been the end of it but even the squirrels are having a hard time this year. I reckon they'll have to settle for acorns. The wheat is absolutely gorgeous and a welcome reprieve from acres of corn. Maybe some of that straw will go towards next year's garden. I am determined to grow much of my own this year simply because it's cheaper and I'm all about cheap these days. Home grown is much healthier than processed and does good things for the environment. It's a no-brainer if one is willing to get a little dirty, which I totally am. One reason I never paint my nails is because there's always a little bit of mother earth under them ;)

Peace and love ^j^

Friday, December 14, 2012

in a blaze of glory

This year has been one filled with violence worldwide, sparing no particular region or people. The phrase "guns don't kill people, people kill people" rings very hollow today considering the massacre at that elementary school in Connecticut. For those who hang on to the right to bear arms, I ask you: What if that were YOUR child killed by a lunatic with an automatic weapon. THEN would you advocate reasonable gun control? For some God forsaken reason every nut job who offs himself these days makes a public spectacle of the whole deal and takes a shitload of innocent people with him. Notice I said HIM...because it's never a woman doing all this random violence. Usually the shooters are young guys who have issues that people are afraid to address for fear of crossing some politically correct line or betraying "confidentiality." Mental health providers are free to break that trust if and when they feel that a life is in danger, including that of the client. Yet that still didn't stop the guy in Aurora from doing his deed. They all have names now. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Paducah. While mental illness is always present, the easy availability of assault weapons is like a siren song for these guys. I'm not talking about gun owners with valid permits who store them responsibly. I am addressing automatic weapons in general which have absolutely no place outside of law enforcement or the military. Sure, some of them are stolen. But a lot of them are purchased legally and with the state's blessing putting money into somebody's pocket who doesn't give a shit about human life, only the almighty dollar. Many of them are smuggled across the border as well. The end result is a society where random acts of violence are escalating at a record pace and we are becoming desensitized to the point that it seems like yesterday's news.

Big Ernie is blessing us with warmth still which means we don't have to cover the absent window yet but rain is in the forecast so that's at the top of the list. I'm off the weekend and not that tired for a change. Could be because I've been in bed by 8 every night this week! Maybe I can get something accomplished during the next couple of days. Or not. I stopped by Money Mike's store on the way home and he presented me with his wish list that included 15K in cash and a gold chain. Obviously his Hindu mentality doesn't connect with Santa Claus or my budget. I plainly explained to him that even BG will not get a gift, much less his silly self. Ya'll hug your babies tight and seize the day. You never know what tomorrow will bring.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

hold my beer and watch this

My cousin who lives on an island off the Pacific coast was kind enough to make a monetary offer to keep me online for a couple of months. Time differences included, the entire process turned into a two day affair of the provider not having any real people to take a call from someone and her attempting to pay online only MY card number was the one on file and I didn't have enough to cover it. She called shortly after that to tell me she thought she had effed up so we've been on a mission to keep me from being overdrawn. This was my first experience with wiring $$ and will be the last because that is a very expensive bank charge. But you know what? I'm feeling blessed just to not be below zero.

Meanwhile, nobody pissed me off at the sawmill so it was a good day that didn't require pharmacy intervention other than the usual. That's always a plus, no doubt. Mama summoned me to count her pills after work so here I went with the front air conditioned trusty old Camry down the road to find the home health nurse with lots of questions about this past weekend's cardiac event. Pills were counted and hugs exchanged and I headed up the lane with the temporary fix of a garbage bag and duct tape flapping in the breeze.

I thought today about how much I have changed over the years as calamity has hit and run through my life. There was a time when the most important thing on my agenda was being nice like a good little southern gal. Needless to say that didn't last long, if you know what I mean. My parents came from entirely different backgrounds, hers privileged thanks to the post WWII economic boom and his a stark study in share cropping. Daddy was a peripheral figure in my life as the lone girl, never one to be very sweet or express emotion to me. To this day, he won't say the L word but I throw it out there anyway.

So last I heard WA cousin was sitting in the ferry line waiting to get back to the house with her artist hubby. I lost her somewhere up in that transition. S'okay. I always know she's there. I priced a window and motor for the one that got killed yesterday and it looks like about 130 bucks. I absolutely refuse to give up on that kinda' new motor that Toyota was forced to give me following the gigantic oil gel settlement ordeal. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Merry Christmas ya'll ^j^

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

peace of mind

Today was one of those where I never much looked up except to see somebody else with an attitude wanting to hassle the blood bank lady. She is, by definition, almost psychotic from the emotional wear and tear of the past few years. If you are a young whippersnapper buck who dares to be rude to said pushed into a corner and weary post menopausal woman, you will be ignored. Got it ya'll? Quitting time was within sight and BG called to tell me that the wonky window in the trusty old Camry had fallen INTO the door and shattered. I went postal! That was about the time I started crying and asking Big Ernie what in the hell it is I'm supposed to be doing because this sure ain't it. I have literally turned my life over to the situation as is which is totally not acceptable nor safe for any of us. One day at a time ya'll.

Cousin Donna is on a roll with keeping me on the WWW which tickles the shit out of me because I do so love to type. My very first PC was a second hand deal bought from the local community college by my parents. That's the one that BG used for school and games and I mostly just rearranged cords on. Back them ICQ was the big thing and I caught her emailing some 24 year old guy when she was 16. He apologized profusely and said she had lied about her age. Right. I bought a Dell after that and wore that sonofabitch out. The hard drive is still in my mommy box just in case some Indian feels like helping me clean it up. It's history, and I refuse to let go of the importance of the past. Currently I have my mother's PC complete with sight impaired keyboard which really helps, truth be known. I figure I'll be blind early on like her so we better get this shit done while we can.

I know that I am past the point of being able to control the whole deal. Right now, I'm just looking for direction and asking questions, with faith.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a funny thing happened

I had resigned myself yesterday to being out of the loop for awhile due to non-payment for DSL service to the lane. Yes, I know that's all very old school but what do you do when you're broke and lonely? I will never forget pleading with an internet provider during a flood to please give me service because I was stranded up on this hill. Um, and yes. I did have a cellphone but it wasn't smart. That was when our neighbor James Frank took Daddy in his boat up to the highway so he could go see the doctor. Only a neighbor would do that sort of thing. I thought about my neighbor who died over the weekend and how she was desperately looking for a high place to put her horses. The water stopped just short of drowning them and kept me landlocked for three days with about two cases of beer and lots of snacks. Then I had to move to Regina's couch because of access to work. One week later when the water went down, everything was covered in mud as I traveled back home. That is when I learned what a headwater can do.

The levees that protected the farmland here blew, one big one and they had to be repaired to prevent future flooding. It took a year or more, all the while my driveway was being dug out by the very same contract person on a mission. Unfortunately his drive didn't match the job as quoted. Thank you dear brother of mine for finally flattening that big ass pile of gravel so I can see the wheat field. See how low maint I am ya'll? Melody Beattie is a personal hero to me, one who was once herself an addict and discovered that when you're clean from drugs there's something else that rears its' ugly head and her name is co=dependency with a capital C. The words jumped back out at me today as I read. Martyr. Needs to be needed. Low self esteem. Often becomes an addict because of the emotional pain. Fear of loss of control. I have been all of those at some point in my life.

Beattie took a tool from the founders of AA and ministered to an entire generation of people who were looking to get out of the hole. What hole?? It's the one we just keep falling into even though we know it's there under our feet. Pride (not the horse) before a fall. That's a thought that I carry with me at all times and act accordingly. Because you know what? If I don't, it's back in the hole.
Anyway, I started to say that I heard from my "elder" cousin today and she offered to help with the cost of staying somewhat online. Of all of the grandkids, she and I are the most alike....hippieish and rebellious yet tender hearted, sometimes to a fault like me. We both like to rock, by the way.

For the first time in forever, I can honestly say that I'm at peace with what is. I am not the master of the universe, nor do I want to be. I just want to live my life quietly and gently. After all, it's a gift ^j^

Monday, December 10, 2012

timing is everything

Today was a go to the doctor one for mom and daddy so BG picked 'em up and we all met when I got off. Their GP is a real sweetheart who understands the elderly and those who care. Mom mentioned to him how she feels like paying cash for that last year of healthcare education has turned out to be worth it. The doc shared that many of his patients have no family or friends at all to help carry the load. Daddy cracked a joke about what "the other guy" in the fight looked like to make light of his numerous facial abrasions. We are headed to the cardiologist for follow up on that little heart scare before he freaks the f**k out and gives himself the big one. Lord,have,mercy. He tried to wiggle out of it but the doc won in the end. See ya in January dude!

It's cold now and that's okay. My breathing is much better even when my fingers are freezing. The interwebs will be gone after today so don't expect much Poops 'til the bills get caught up, if ever. Maybe by then I'll be wireless! Still looking on a deal for a Nook to replace the one that Ryder chomped on. I can tell Michelle misses it! We had a budget committee meeting today and found that I am not YET in the hole which is a miracle because you just never know these days what with the fiscal cliff looming and all that. There is a part of me that wants to be a liberal Republican so bad that I can't stand it, and all that party keeps producing is idiots. This year's campaign was a farce of epic proportion. Rick Perry? Ya'll please! As Mahala would say "Sweet Bebe Jeebus." My friend at work and I were chatting about that very thing and our conversation turned to all doom and gloom and a loss of humanity. That's when I walked off and found something to do. He's cute as pie but worries wayyyyyyyy too much.

Surely I'll manage a FB post from BG's phone or something between now and then. Ya'll know I can't do without. Right?

Kiss your your parents....keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, December 9, 2012

after the fall

When I went down to count meds yesterday at the grands, Daddy decided to go visit our mayor Mozella and take some candy and a strawberry pie. I dropped him off on my way home and he walked back to the house about 1/4 mile away. I called Mom after a decent amount of time to ask if he had made it back. Not yet, was her weak reply. About 30 minutes later I got a call from her saying that he had fallen on the way home and "wanted me to look at him." BG and I loaded up and went down the road to find him bleeding literally from head to toe. Numerous abrasions from head to toe. Said something about chest pain and nausea, but it passed. I got to thinking about that chest pain this morning and scooped him up for an ER visit where he was told that according to cardiac markers, he had indeed had a mild heart attack. His response? I'm going home. He did allow the testing to be done and sign the proper papers for AMA discharge so I'm out of it. You cannot MAKE somebody accept treatment, and obviously he was ready to go to the house come hell or high water. Case settled. I wasn't real thrilled about being there anyway...just doing my duty. I did manage to throw out a few things like "you're so stubborn" which he took with a stoic face and a determined will to not give in. I know the look and know when to give up.

It's still warm but by tomorrow will be about 30 degrees less so. I can't complain because it is, after all, December. Here's hoping that the two little oil heaters that BF bought get us through. Propane guy is still wanting to know how long he has to wait for his $$ and all I can say is "bless his heart" for not turning me over to an agency like everybody else has. I was particularly touched when I thanked my friend the hand surgeon for not doing that very thing, and she responded that she knew what was going on with us. 'Nuf said, and bless your heart too girl!

We just learned that our neighbor died today following complications from surgery. She was younger than me, and a very nice lady. My memories of her include she and her husband standing on the other side of the flood water in a golf cart during the BIG one. Rest in peace, Donna. My brother and I have talked more the last two days than we have in weeks so I don't feel alone in this. BG is primed and ready for whatever needs to be done. Her favorite thing is to lay on the couch in their living room covered with an afghan. She stayed with Mom while me and his orneriness were gone this morning.

One of the biggest blessings of being in healthcare is that one becomes, not complacent, but realistic about quality of life. There are so many rules and regs governing the industry that it can turn into one giant gigabyte in a computer rather than humanity. Many of those rules and regs are set by the Medicare people who are demanding more for less with some added quality. As a side note, many of them are politicians who know absolutely nothing about how the whole thing works. The so called "death panels" that the right wingers are so eager to pounce on are actually a good idea when considering how much of our GDP is spent on diagnosing, treating and sustaining life in order to avoid lawsuits by sleazy ambulance chasers. End of life care counseling is something that has never caught on because A. Doctors can't get paid for it and B. They normally hate to be the one bearing bad news. It takes a certain type of practitioner to understand the challenges of a geriatric population, of which I will be sooner than later. If I were not my parents' advocate, both of them would have had heart caths in the past year which is an extremely high risk procedure for the elderly.

I do have the tree up, finally. It seems way too quiet around here without Faith but the other three make up for it, especially Ryder. This dog is only ten months old and HUUUUUGE per her Great Dane paternal genes. Those toes are webbed though, and she has her mama's pretty brown eyes.

Keep the faith ya'll. Give somebody a hug. Lord knows we all need as many as we can get ^j^

Friday, December 7, 2012

deck the halls

It's beginning to look a lot somewhat like Christmas up here in the office/workshop. Mama's twenty year old fake pre-lit tree has given up the ghost on lights so I had to go to the dollar store and put down three times what they cost last year just to make merry. One of the two strands I picked up yesterday didn't work so I had to go BACK to the DG today to swap it out. Three bucks is three bucks, even if it is made by slave labor at some dingy basement factory in Asia or India. The manager was busy checking in the drinks and new girl didn't have a clue about swapping out something even so I stood there in the 'hood with my two dollar mops waiting for her to get un-busy. My old self would have said "eff this" and come back. Not today, ya'll. Hell to the naw!

Yesterday's mail had a sympathy card in it from the vet's office staff that treated Faith. You could tell the ones who really knew her because their comments were all about "what a sweet girl" she was. There's an ache there, to hear her nails clicking on the floor feel her breathing next to us. I've got a feeling she and Butterbean are prancing and playing in doggie heaven. My call to the local authorities regarding my treatment by the smartass cop has not been answered so I'm assuming it's not meant for me to bitch about that one any more. Back in the day, I notified the local police chief of my unhappiness with a certain little law enforcement issue involving my (guilty) daughter and her friends because the entire procedure was conducted illegally by some idiot off duty cop who had a thing for her friend. I got a letter back and she went through local "intervention" with folks who didn't have a clue about how kids roll. But my voice was heard, by golly.

The grands are floating along, but not too safely. Daddy picked up new meds yesterday when he and Dusty were out so I returned today to count 'em out for mom. I spent the entire time there trying to explain to her that she didn't need to worry about what "twice a day" means because I'm the pharmacist. Lord,have,mercy. I feel sorry for BG if I'm that much of a micromanager at 80. I'm tough, but really? I'll give it up and let her take over when it's time. Time will tell.

Things are beginning to gel in my mind about what direction I should take with my artistic pursuits. My biggest cheerleader planted the idea of a coffee table book and so it shall be. The market seems to be there and I've just been sidetracked by trying to make a living and whatnot. Time's a wasting and I'm not getting any younger. There are stories to tell.

Happy weekend ya'll. May all your holidays be bright ^j^

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

let it snow??

Even for Tennessee, the temps are way above average which is, for me personally, a blessing. Now that I have my allergy med, it's all good. A penny saved is a penny that goes toward another bill. Picking which one is the hard part! Certain ones like phone and electricity have to be before a cutoff date with occasional payment arrangements. The loan sharks don't play either. The really sad thing is that my lifestyle is very doable on the salary that I make IF...and it's a huge if...I didn't owe so many short term lenders. Sadly, I'm not the only one living that way.

Following another twelve hour nap, I finally feel like a human again. When the body gets that tired, it means to lay your ass down and be still. My ADHD makes that difficult sometimes, always finding something that needs to be done or piddled with. I know..they make a pill for that, but it's too expensive! Sometimes, you just gotta laugh at the absurdity of the whole deal to keep from crying. We've been watching IFC since the package went away and I'm really impressed with it as an all purpose entertainment network. Cash Cab is my favorite.

The grands are hanging in there for now but I don't see it lasting much longer. She has fallen a couple of times lately and the med situation is kind of precarious so we'll see. As much as they want to stay home, I think she is realizing that it's not safe and that's really sad. Christmas is her favorite holiday and even as an adult she could barely sleep from excitement...always on the couch in front of a fire. For that reason? I'll do my best to make sure this one is the funnest ever!!

My favorite Christmas memory is looking out the window of the log cabin early in the morning and finding sleigh tracks which were really made by my daddy with a lawn chair. Right at the age of not really believing, I was a born again Santa's gal for a couple more years.

Never look for miracles. They will find you if you just be still ^j^

Monday, December 3, 2012

a long winter's nap

I slept until noon today waking now and then to watch the sun climbing ever higher as I snuggled with the dogs. Ryder is as big as a person so it's a good thing the bed is large. BG remarked that she had never seen me do that. My response: "I've never been that tired." Fifteen hours ya'll. And you know what? I just may do it again tonight.

The finances continue to look bleaker by the day but I'm trying to learn how to handle them in "real time." Sometimes, when you're sitting in the bottom of a real big hole, that seems impossible. I can promise one thing: If I ever get out, I sure won't go back to it. Predatory lending practices in times like these are rampant and are more and more being relied upon as a way to make it from check to check.

I'm sitting here calmly believing that if the GOP doesn't play nice during the next few weeks, we're all screwed. In a country as broke as ours, who gives a rat's ass if billionaires pay more tax. Many of them came to have that money from Wall Street and we all know how that worked out for the middle class. Most baby boomers never recovered the money that they lost from investments toward retirement when the whole thing went belly up.

I'm sick as a dog...all swollen lymph nodes and achy body. No fever yet so hopefully it's not the flu. Had the shot, but that doesn't always work! A quick trip to the pharm for allergy and thyroid meds and a few groceries and we're all in for the day. My room is clean for a change so maybe I can get that tree up. I just know it will lift our spirits.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

small town glory

It was day three at the sawmill but I managed to get away in time to slip into the funeral home where my buddy was laid out for a viewing with a packed out house. As I made my way through the crowd I spotted two of my favorite guys all decked out in suits ready to do what guys do when burying time comes. I hugged them both in a way that required no words and moved on toward his family. As I walked back out to the Camry, I thought about the irony of parking in his employer's lot next door for this final visit. He looked nothing like the guy who has sold me every appliance I've owned as an adult and always had some glasses on a string around his neck. Yes indeed. Rodney will.

We are still kind of bummed around Casa Poops. I found myself searching "chocolate lab" today just to see a face that looks like hers. Yeah, I know. I should probably get a grip, and I will after the wounds have healed a bit. Her death was just the straw that broke this camel's back. The dynamics of every part of my life are changing and right now all I feel that I can do is rest so that the next hill will be within reach. We had a lively conversation at the lunch table about politics and priorities and as usual, I was outnumbered. And not because I'm a crazy left wing liberal. Just because I don't see socialism in our president's plan for our country. All it took to get that little item out in the open was me bitchin' about how the GOP had better do something quick in the House because the cliff is looming. Give and take, ya'll. It's called compromise.

We also discussed the fact that global warming and climate change have been proven and preached for years yet so many have chosen to ignore the warnings that our infrastructure is not prepared for rises in sea level and other effects of said environmental changes. Two words on that ya'll. Katrina and Sandy. Oh..and while we're at it, let's kick BP's ass one more time for poisoning the gulf. Those folks have more money than God and to keep that cash flowing, they will suppress evidence that their product is at fault for anything. Hell..give me a bicycle. I used to have a neighbor who rode one to work every day.

I saw a large contingency of one local church congregation today during my in and out at the FH including my best friend's mother. She and Daddy are the same age but she looks a whole lot better than him! My horoscope in the newspaper today said something about the long awaited result of this epic struggle that is my life and a love interest. If I can scrape up the energy I'll be sure to step up that hung for Sugardaddy.

Over and out. Feliz Navidad!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

chillin' with faith

Proving what a sappy ass that I am, Faith's mug is still staring at me from the desktop of an ancient desktop Dell while I sweep and clean in preparation for the great Christmas extravaganza on Pecan Lane. It's legal now that the page has turned on our calendar. I got another lovely donation today, this time a stereo so that I can do pure radio and not have to think. I think if I hear Kenny G one more time at work I'm gonna round up a flashmob! First Sunday in Advent...Mama remembered that for sure. Baby Jesus and his crew are assembled in the kitchen/laundry room/round table meeting area. That way we're always being watched over.

Ryder has a boyfriend, the very same red dog (with tail) that courted Faith earlier this year. I'm praying that it's platonic just because it's the season for miracles. He's out on the porch right now like he lives here. Nada. Only if you stay outside dude. We are seriously on a budget and struggling to scrape something up for ourselves. Next item on the agenda is to get granny's hand-me-down couch out to the burn pile and start a new life with a clean futon.

BG and I were talking awhile ago about how much we would love some tacos from our favorite place and she mentioned that her friend didn't even have food to feed her kids tonight. Gives a girl a whole new perspective, ya know? Continuing to thin out the herd, I dropped the new kitty named Debree at her new home where she promptly got fed turkey and held like the baby that she is. Poor thing spent all her time here in the tree hiding from the dogs and Lily.

Mixed blessings. Peaks and valleys. Why is it so hard to accept that sometimes life is just hard even when you're a good person? Somewhere along the line I was taught just that as a truth. When I think about how much money that Chiefs player made on the football field and look at how it ended, I think hmm. Like Mr. Billy always said "Leave room for the spirit to work."

And for you dear Rodney? I always know that you will ^j^