Tuesday, December 31, 2013

lunch with the girls

I rarely eat in restaurants unless I'm with my parents and they're paying. I used to go to Mexico regularly but the salsa sisters got separated and that went by the wayside about the same time my financial situation went south. I got off early today and met some women that I've grown up with and gotten closer as we age. We met at a funky little downtown deli that does a booming business with the locals. We were loud as heck and had a ball! I hesitated to take off knowing that it might be a bit of a hardship for my co-workers but we share and share alike when it comes to important things usually. On occasion, drama will rare its' ugly head when tempers are short and people are feeling self righteous. For the most part that sucks and I try to avoid the people who spew that kind of hatred disguised as love for the lord. BTW..women are really REALLY bad about that and I will be the first to admit it. One of my lunch mates is a massage therapist and she did a little probono eval of my shoulder situation. As she gave me that exercise I was mighty glad to know that our axe had been buried.

Learning self care has been very hard for me because I was raised to be Wonderwoman or someone of her ilk, and one who can fix/cure/manipulate/control any and all situations that arise. I know, it's a damn curse. Recovery from co-dependency has been an extremely long road for me, one that started 26 years ago and is never ending. I am becoming a survivalist in that when my body says hell to the naw or I'm ready to climb the water tower, I take appropriate steps to regroup and find some sort of happy place again. Which is where I sit right now. It's do or die time on this eve of a new year. Let's all hold hands and sing kumbaya.


Monday, December 30, 2013

auld lang syne

I will say somewhat of a goodbye to a very dear co-worker on Friday of this week as she does her duty in retiring to care for a sick husband and grandchildren. I had been at the sawmill for about a year when she and her hub moved to Newbern with two children. Big taught English, tennis and was a football coach revered by many. The little general came to work with us and she is one who never EVER forgot me on my birthday or Christmas. A Kentucky boy, he met little Quaker Sharry who was coming out of a bad divorce and working with the nuns at a Catholic hospital in Illinois, close to Mt.Vernon to be exact. Her parents both died with her driving miles from here to see them. There are regular Christmas visits to her sister's house but there's not many of 'em left there to gather. Susan and Rich are retired and breed golden retrievers that they treat like children.

We have celebrated their weddings, showers and his retirement with much gusto and friendship always in the family living center of Halls UMC II, the one that got built when the tornado demolished #1. My cousin Debbie helped the church members salvage the broken stained glass and make chimes out of them. I still have mine, covered in cobwebs in the kitchen door. It's almost holy, ya know? Somehow I found comfort in her choice of churches because going from a "centered down" sort of thing it was loud and boisterous...even jolly at times! Somehow, I think that's what J would do.

There are plans for a chili supper/party here tomorrow night to see the new year in but I imagine I'll be long gone when the ball drops. Besides we don't have cable, only a cheap dollar store player and four seasons of BB. Things could be worse.

See ya'll next year...hardyharharhar

Sunday, December 29, 2013

hide and watch

Thank you for asking, yes indeed my right arm is about to fall smooth off. This is not cool for one who has a nasty pretty dirty house like mine full of leftovers from the saleapaloozah that was my summer and fall. It finally looks like somewhat of a hoarder's room with a clear path all around. It is where I go to think and write and listen to music, usually all at once. If I could choose only one app, it would be a music one because a girl's gotta have her tunes to create. That is what I'm meant to do yet it took me many years to realize that art can be not just a passion but a way of life. All the sheeple that buy into the idea that if you work hard your labor will be rewarded. Trust me, this rarely happens in corporate America. They don't even give you gold watches anymore and heaven forbid you get called to a Friday afternoon meeting only to find your position eliminated. It happens all the time ya'll and though I try to remember that Big Ernie knows my heart and it's all good. Talking to my friend J this morning I got to thinking of karma and how her hub had blessed me with not only a BADASS camera but a freakin' Cadillac. We pretty much agree that it's about the journey.

My goals for the coming years are about learning to use my talent to turn a buck, so to speak. That requires a whole lot of organizational skills that I don't have. My PC is a ten year old Dell that's slow as molasses. I figure about the time I can't do it anymore, some miracle will come along and save Ms Pollyanna Poopie. And then there's the grands and Booger and whatnot. I'm jonesing to buy season 5 of Breaking Bad and still reeling from the magnificent turn of events in 4! I know Jessie and I know Walt, or people like them. The most brilliant part I thought was how Jessie knew that a meth head with a shovel will freakin' dig to China! When I was a teenager crystal meth was pure and not toxic like the way it's currently made via shake'n'bake. There were black RJS that would keep you going for a couple of days. Weed and acid. All of this was readily available in safe pharmaceutical form. Black market tactics were assumed when the DEA got to be all rough and tough. The biggest thing I remember is Qualude. I never did one but remember people talking about it. I took some acid one day and sat on the lifeguard stand at my pool job "getting into" the water. It was a turbulent time in history and the "war on drugs" has been raging ever since. It really pains me to think that marijuana for medical purposes is outlawed except in the case of marinol. I've heard it does wonders for dementia!

The civil unrest of the 60s was not only about the war but about integration and as a dyed in the wool southern girl I can say it wasn't easy. We were lucky not to have as much racism as in the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. All of this was about black people being treated as somehow "not enough" to matter. I do not believe in reparations for any of the evil things that happened in the past. All I can hope for is that this generation will lose that anger and hatred. I mean we're talking hangings, murders and coverup. Men in white sheets with torches...you get the picture? Much like GOP today they used hysteria and theatricals to prove a point and end up f**king everybody up in the process. I have no patience with anger and violence. Life is too short.

Which is why, of course, I hate wars and just wish that we would call in the troops to protect us because it's about to get ugly and they're scattered everywhere. Suicide bombing in Russia? Oh!Shit! Somebody hold me now. It's looking like things are returning to the golden calf age. Just let it be noted that I never had much money so I sure as hell couldn't worship it. The multimillion dollar O's of corporate America are the ones who would eat you alive to save their own skin. Sorry, corporate policy my ass.

In other news we visited the newly restocked with DD stuff gift shop/restaurant for yet another not eggs and doughnuts dining experience. The fried chicken thing is like to die for and gives you leftovers. I like to watch the people who come in off the road for a meal and to chill a little before heading on down the road. They seem to be getting along better with the med increase so thank you sweet baby jeebus for that. My friends Larry and Bobby are helping with the garbage situation so there you go with another minor miracle. They're everywhere if you just look. I am ashamed for the way that I previously judged people because I was judged. It's a startling thing to realize that you have re-created that pain in another relationship. As for the current state of affairs Boogs and BG are playing/giggling and I'm about to clean house, literally. The creative process is stifled by disarray.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

breaking news

I just love it when that scrolls across whatever news site I'm looking at. It usually means another natural disaster or a war game update. Oh, and then there's the mass shootings that continue to happen because while everybody's fighting about gun rights, the basic mental health needs of these folks who do them have been ignored. That's not an excuse, just reality. Anyone who has worked in healthcare knows that it's "complicated" when dealing with mental health patients, many of which have an entire family just like 'em. My neighbors are a prime example of what happens when there's no outside support. Thankfully somebody's church pitched in and they're on a schedule down there. Somewhat. The mama is in a wheelchair at age 40? maybe. Not sure what that's about because I've heard her stories enough and don't want to ask.

In my honest opinion, mental health disorders are a natural part of life but there is a stigma attached to getting treatment, especially in small towns. Everybody's mother will be talking at the beauty shop about how she just "went to pieces" and was away for awhile. I've considered it several times but I seem to manage with support on an outpatient basis. Plus some carefully chosen meds. And a tad of yoga. I'm kinda looking forward to the new year so I can hang my 2014 Mary Englebreit calendar and enjoy the giggles. A friend and I were talking about retirement the other day and I stated that I can't visualize it because I'm so far in debt. I fully expect to die working at that sawmill so I'm gonna seize the day right now and worry about it tomorrow like Scarlet.

Laundry and dishes are done for the most part thanks to my daughter's late night cleaning binge. I was oblivious catching up on sleep that I lost the other day. This afternoon I ventured out to do some business and stopped to pick up pecans at the bottom of the lane. There are two stuart trees there that have really been good this year but they're about done. There are the two monster trees at my parents' house that did well and we're still picking there. As I was climbing into the muddy ditch to get to the field I focused on not falling because frankly I've done some pretty stupid stuff in my day. One time me and the BG were crawling around an ancient family cemetery and I tore my hamstring falling down a hill. After that I could totally feel for football players! My entire leg turned purple but an ultrasound showed no clot..just a bunch of bruising. I couldn't sit on that asscheek for months.

Friday, December 27, 2013

'twas the day after christmas

And I was back at it with a vengeance if not a lot of vigor. This being Black thursday and all, I was tickled to death to just bypass the mall and big box stores and head on home to the lane. Even at clearance prices, I don't need anything that badly. I think I finally turned the corner with my shoulder today probably because I broke down and called the FNP who saw me two weeks ago begging for steroids. It's a good thing I'm a tough old broad! It's that time again when everybody reflects on the joys and sorrow of the previous year. BTW said FNP's office just called and said they couldn't prescribe me "pain medicine" when I clearly stated that I needed some sort of steroid to help with the healing process. Back in the day I used to get called at all hours of the day and night from work but our team has matured to the point that it rarely happens so I KNEW when I saw my friend's number on the phone something major was up at 2:15 this morning. Another poor co-worker has called in with the worst sounding epizootie I've ever witnessed and they were slammed. I told her to give me one more hour to sleep and call back.

About the time I turned over to catch that other hour, BG came in from a loooong night with friends for "old times sake" and was banging around so I just got the eff up and went to work. We had a quick strategy meeting and got the job done in no time flat. There is a certain comfort that comes from working with people who all know the drill and are willing to help each other to serve the patient in the best way possible. I remember back in the day when we were all trying to impress our respective communities and there was a new and improved customer relations tool being rolled out every six months or so. Now the focus is more on safety which is quite important. All the HR people in the world can't make someone want to do their job well if they don't want to. It's a gift, of healing and service to the sick.

I'm quite puzzled by how many corporate types fail to recognize that a customer well served will become a repeat customer. Now that we all know what's in McNuggets and how they treat their people (OH and not just them!) what is the point of wheeling through the takeout lane in a big old honking gas guzzler of a vehicle? Global warming...remember? I feel sure that there are many startup businesses in this era of save the earth consciousness who would just LOVE to get your business. And you're not supporting China! Win-win, if you ask me. But nobody did so I reckon I'll just mosey around and piddle until dark. Naps make me very cranky so I hold out for the big lay-down where there's no waking up all foggy headed and whatnot. It's time for those back to back 12 hours of snooze that keep an old girl going.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

feliz navidad

It's so amazingly quiet now at Christmas with no children around. I noticed that today as Mom and me and BG laid around in the living room after our brunch fit for kings. Daddy actually managed to stay at the table until everybody was done before he headed to "wait for" the news. I don't remember how the subject came up but mama ended up telling me how she wanted her funeral to be and it's sounding like a no fuss no frills one day deal which I like. Why in the name of Big Ernie do we have to drag it out when there's no family driving in from Milwaukee? I'm sure that having a visitation for two days probably costs more and it wears the family smooth out. Most folks only get three days paid leave and then it's back to work as usual. As for me? I want my body to go to the UT Center for the Health Sciences in Memphis which is where I was clinically trained to be a med tech. Cousin Debbie was my inspiration there!

My shoulder is only minimally better so it looks like I've got a visit to an ortho doc coming soon if I can afford the co-pay. Even with "good" insurance it costs a lot to take care of your health. My access to that insurance depends on my continued employment until I reach Medicare age which keeps moving on up. From what I hear the supplements cost about the same as what I'm paying now. But of course that's called an "entitlement" even though around 6% of my income has been taken to fund it. Bullshit, ya'll.

I've been opening my mouth writing about some things that I don't really have a clear knowledge of and there's always some smartass out there just waiting for the chance to correct somebody (me) publicly on their page. There's this whole mean side of people that can come out when using social media to demand their righteousness about every little thing from duck killing etiquette to end of life care. One of my least favorite things about the GOP spin on healthcare is the whole "death panel" talking point. This refers to a payment to physicians for helping the elderly plan for their last years in view of all the choices available for extending life artificially. Trust me, it's a good thing. Palliative care ring a bell? To see someone's wishes carried out to the letter is a beautiful experience. End of life is a great time to journal and leave memories for others. Instead, many folks spend it going through the revolving door that comes with the industry.

The hospice philosophy is one that I've held dear to my heart for many years. It doesn't have to be a particular individual or provider for the concept to be put in place. I've had many a conversation with someone who just lost a loved one and just needed to talk about it to move forward. I'm not sure how all this came about on such a beautiful Christmas day but then ya'll know how my mind wanders. I'm off to watch BB!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

all is well

Holy moly and sweet baby jeebus there's a lot of sick folk out there in spite of the fact that it's Christmas eve. Life goes on, I reckon. This was probably my 20th eve of the day for me to work since we do it all fair and rotate. Tomorrow I will be off unless somebody dies and we plan a huge breakfast feast down at the grands house. There are eggs boiling for Bubba as I type. Me and BG are totally enjoying our gift of Breaking Bad to each other. We're both like the old lady in the movie theater who talks through the whole thing telling 'em what's coming up. It's a more edgy series than Weeds and much more addictive. Why else would everybody be doing shake'n'bake if it wasn't the devil all up in there. I still get pissed when I have to go through the 3rd degree for sudafed, old school allergy sufferer that I am.

I stopped by the corporate drug store on the corner by work and found all of them hard at work serving last minute shoppers. All I got was eye drops and naproxen because I'm still not sure whether I'll survive the next couple of weeks. I'm kind of ashamed of myself for blowing money spending the way I have all my life. Had I been the thrifty kind I would still be looking at broke because I'm middle class and that's going by the wayside unless SOMEBODY gets their heads out of their asses. The clerks there told me that they will, indeed, be open tomorrow because hey..the almighty dollar matters more than family time. I would expect that in a hospital setting but not in a store. There goes my Pollyanna side all over again! I ran into Mr. Joe Hager on the way in and he told me that he and younger son will be going to Mempho to bond with the older bro and his fam. Joe grew up out here somewhere in the community of Samaria Bend and Council Rd.

There's a beautiful sunset across the lane just in the right spot where it makes winter look like a painting. I've quit trying to get the perfect shot because hey..it's my view every day and I adore it. On a side note, the garbage has begun to pile up and I could use a truck to haul it here there and yon. What was formerly a once a week deal has turned into overload. What can I say...I've had a few bad hair days this year. '14 will be better, ya'll hide and watch.

Always remember what this season is about because it's way too easy to take the frantic way out. I don't give a rat's ass what the Robertson family does because I'm not that easily entertained. I'm looking ahead to a country where folks elect people like Elizabeth Warren and AlFranken to represent them in Washington. As a matter of fact Al might be on one of the seasons of SNL that BF sent. Sweet!

Monday, December 23, 2013

as the blogfairy flies

She is a very cunning little rascal sending me goodies and surprises from all kinds of locations, never the same postmark. I feel like there's some tie to the USPS as well because everything comes in their packing material. BG had just dropped daddy off at Mozella's and was heading home to do a quick job app online. We were on the phone as she approached the house and I heard her start to stutter. "What is that?" It's something there on the porch swing. I was so excited that I demanded she bring it to the sawmill right then. As I unpacked the box giggling like a little kid, she tuned up and cried at the sight of me being so happy. This gave me the perfect chance to explain to a co-worker the whole story of BF and how it began two years ago when I was about ready to lose faith. It's been a very long road since then and we've stumbled more than once only to get right back up and try again. I suppose that's part faith and a large dose of Stafford/Reaves stubbornness.

Back in the day when doctors made rounds to see their own patients the sawmill would be virtually empty on Christmas and Thanksgiving except for the ones who were on the way to see Big Ernie. Now it's a full house 24/7! Hospitalists provide inpatient care with help from physician assistants and NPs. Truth be told? Most front line workers in healthcare can tell a new doc a world of information about a patient's history just by being there for the long haul. One friend's mom was a frequent flyer for years until she finally got her placed in a nursing home. Eight months went by without an ER visit until she was "discharged to home." One week or so and she was back in. This is not a HIPPA violation because it's a true story of an unidentified person and how they get tossed around from facility to facility. It can't be helped and it is what it is. To a point. Healthcare is the largest industrial employer for a number of states particularly in the southeast.

My honest opinion is that the state of healthcare delivery today is the result of malpractice litigation that has bankrupted practitioners who make honest mistakes. Doctors are not God!! Why should we expect them to not make mistakes when the politicians we vote for make them every damn day. Medicare has been a pain in the ass for years because of underpayment based on the DRG. Something that was invented to streamline care has turned into a five headed monster where a whole boatload of people have their hand in your pocket when you are sick. I remember when the law was put in place that prohibited self referral for doctors and money makers like diagnostics. Many a doc got rich and fat before MC finally shut most of 'em down. If I had a nickel for every doctor who wanted his own office lab I could be on the plane to Fiji right now.

Fa la la la la!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

yuletide surprise

The Cadi has either been in the shop or I've been working for the past month or so and today was my first time to pick up the grands at church in style. Daddy was tickled to death with the room for her walker in the back seat. Miss Elizabeth stopped by while I was waiting to leave them a bag of goodies. She's awesome like that! Our families have been pretty tight over the years because they owned a store in South Dyersburg that began on the corner and then moved across the road to become Pierce's Bargain Center. Honey, they had everything but the kitchen sink and then some. Mama told me when she got in that they had a surprise....how about going somewhere besides eggs and doughnuts today? Hell to the yeah! Here we all went to Mary Lou's for home cooking and personal service. She has had restaurants at a number of locations around town and her boys now help her 80 something year old self run the business. Last time I saw Ronnie we were at the class reunion enjoying the night air having a smoke outside.

We were up and at 'em early today and BG headed to church with Shannah and fam while I checked out the pecan situation. As I suspected they are every freakin' where but soaking wet. I'll give it a day or two and then start again. I'm nothing if not persistent. The arm is slowing me down on that and a lot of other things but I figure it's Big Ernie's way of telling me to stop and smell the roses. We splurged on seasons 3 and 4 of Breaking Bad as a gift to each other. Things have been so wild that I have no idea what the money looks like, only that I'm still in the black....so far. Everytime we sit down to do the book keeping something comes up that can't wait like oh, you know. Old people fighting and whatnot.

Now that everybody's tired of talking about you know who and his family, let's move onto something that is a little bit more important like the damn economy and that fat little bastard in NOK. PULEEZZZ..people. Quit being so damn righteous about having the perfect answer and compromise. It will never work if you don't. Formerly somewhat comfortable middle class people like me are drowning like rats. At this point, only the wealthy can afford tuition without student loans which is a huge debt to begin a career with, hanging over you like a little black cloud. It's not worth the trouble unless you can get a job that pays you enough to live on AND pay back to the bank/government.

I'm fully expecting for Santa to come and find me somewhere along the road this week. I've not been the best, but I've tried pretty hard to be good most of the time. Hey..I'm too tired and old to get in very much trouble! Merry Christmas to you and all of yours from me and all mine. I don't know how we'll manage it, but I'll try for a shot of both people, the cat and all four dogs. Don't hold your breath though. Peace~

Saturday, December 21, 2013

here's your card

Even though I haven't sent Christmas cards in eons I do so enjoy getting them especially when they have kid pictures! When I first "met" my friend Amy in Chicago she had only one son. Her card came yesterday featuring all four of those beautiful children...later she had a girl and then TWIN girls. Usually I get a photo card from Einstein in Washington state but I guess he's helping his mama pick out his presents. Lori is also an old time buddy with whom I've spent many hours sharing joys and sorrows. 2013 has been especially challenging for her so I wish for her peace and love. There was another one with old friends Patsye and Larry and their dog. Patsye always looks like she just stepped out of the beauty shop and he's kinda like "heh". Gotta love it!

Somehow or another Heather and Joe managed to get all of their dogs posed and looking straight at the camera complete with giftwrap background. Joe's two are huge and Frankie is just a little bitch, if you know what I mean. She's been eating gourmet doggie treats since she was born. I've spent many a Christmas with Heather and BG plus whatever guy was in the picture at that moment. None of them hold a candle to Joe. KY cousin's family grew again this year with three grandbabies born in quick succession. All of them are adorable and I know she's smiling down from heaven on this new life.

I am teary today partly from chronic pain that wears on the soul but also with sadness that our world can be so shallow when we have been given so much. That one family can polarize our country as much as the Robertsons really scares me because of the messages of hate that they spew. Do not judge, as my friend Judy wrote. That is for God to deal with and if you are without sin? Run on over there and cast a stone good buddy. But then I look around at the random acts of kindness that show up in life and I think to myself "self..." it's gonna' all be okay. Two years ago on Christmas eve I arrived home from work to find a huge blessing in the mailbox, anonymously of course. I remember one time talking with a friend about good deeds and I asked if he had ever done one and not told a soul. He proceeded to tell me about this widow woman's job that he gave her a break on. "You told it...God already knew" was my reply. My daddy always told me that when you pray it's best to get quiet and alone so that you can really think about both bane and blessing. Like in the closet!

I'm not a scholar of the Bible by any means. I know very little about the OT because it scares me to death and I'm more of a Jesus touchy-feely kind of gal. HOWEVER I do know that Big Ernie had ample reason to be pissed at what was going on back then. Much like now, people were idolizing things like money and power. Not a good idea when it's God your messing with. There's apt to be a flood or a fire or all of the above.

Meanwhile...back at the manger.

Friday, December 20, 2013

dashing through the snow

Uhhh...not this year. It's tornado weather for the next day or two so we'll have to pass on the snow dreams. I have made it through week two of right shoulder getting better pain thankyouverymuch naproxen. I know enough about physical therapy to keep it moving so it doesn't freeze up on me. Hey, it's my blogging hand, okay? I really need it to tell all ya'll how incredibly pissed off I am about the great pecan thefts of 2013. BG went on multiple missions yesterday one of which was to go to the dollar store about a mile up the road for Memaw toiletries. Way back in September the local newspaper where BG worked at the time ran this story about 500 pounds of pecans stolen from somebody's carport. Obviously these folks weren't your average find a tree and pick kind of people. Serious as a heart attack, they stooped and scooped and had them all dry and tidy ready to sell kind of like me.

It wasn't until she pulled in the alley next to Pennington's to unload and sell our 60 odd pounds that she realized that they weren't in the back seat of the Cadi. When she showed up with Booger she was mad as hell. James Frank and I spent a month crawling around in mama and daddy's yard picking and in one swoop some crack head got their night's fix on my dime. Poopie is not amused. Somehow I think that Phil Robertson is responsible for all this the way everybody's arguing over his rights. God fearing folk? Well, if you get into the Old Testament like most hellfire and brimstone followers do I reckon he's got Noah and Jonah on his side. Otherwise they might as well find a new job.

I don't know about you, but I'm tickled to death that the conservatives are getting what comes when people stand up for their rights. Dr.Phil would say "how did that work out for ya?"

Peace ~

Thursday, December 19, 2013

have yourself a merry little something

Well well, here it is almost ladies night and I'm sitting here thinking about going to bed before it gets dark because my body hurts dammit. I stopped at the bottom of the lane to pick up a few pecans and discovered quite by accident that the whatever in my shoulder that aches all the time is what you use when you pitch. I rared back to throw a bad pecan to the side and almost passed out in the freakin' ditch. My pecan partners cashed in yesterday and I got 20 bucks which I promptly lost somewhere up in this scattered mess of a house.

Now only those of you who read about what's going on in the holler will get this piece of mischief but it's like.......totally beautiful. Seems that some lowlife loser of a guy has been using TA for awhile and she didn't realize it until he dumped her. Mama bear promptly posted his FB link and I hit him up for a friend. He accepted first and then said "have we met?". Oh.my.god. There is much potential in this situation for book fodder which we both tend to think about as we tell our stories. And in case you think about stealing my idea...go for it. It's a free country! Duck Dynasty. Okay folks I know they've given you hours of entertainment pleasure and the parent company of A&E is doing the happy dance but REALLY?????? What slays me is the uproar that seems to be a cross between Black Friday and guns. And by the way? That's not a very safe feeling for a peace lover like me.

It's 60 degrees here but the rain, she is a coming soon. There's even a chance of severe right here on the weekend before Christmas. If it's raining tomorrow I guess I'll have to go to cousin Mo's without Mama because she can't hold an umbrella AND a walker, ya know. That's her excuse anyway. Not to sound like a Miss America contestant, I must admit that what I pray for more than anything is world peace in the sense that we all just accept each other in spite of cultural differences and hold hands as children of Big Ernie.

I'd like to teach the world to sing ^j^

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

twice a child

I got to sleep in this morning and it felt really REALLY good to do so. Our Christmas dinner at the sawmill was set for today planned to the last detail by my birth sister JoAnn. We were born on exactly the same day in the same hospital. I think she's older because she seems much wiser! The past five years with my parents has been a real struggle resulting in lots of spur of the moment cries for help or an ambulance. Mama refuses to sit in the chair and feel useless so she gets up now and then to "dust" and piddle. Without her walker. She started in on that today while Ms. Faye was cooking lunch and Daddy went ballistic like only a Stafford having a running fit can do. I had just finished my plate of delicious homemade fare when I got the call to come running. Daddy worked himself up into a frenzy and was cussin' like a sailor because she was up without the walker and is "gonna fall". His rants are becoming more and more powerful as he tries to cope with his own failing health and watch after her stubborn self. This woman who is blind is bound and determined to keep some sort of order in her world even if it means fumbling around and making an even bigger mess.

Anybody who knows the history would tell you that it's been a long ride and a constant battle of wills with my brother, daughter and I putting out fires as they pop up. At least I know not to expect wrecks anymore since we take them! That went on for about five years prior to five year segment. As their child, the eldest and only daughter, I've been given the unofficial title of volunteer fire department by my close proximity. Time and again I have found my mother crying uncontrollably over something that was either in the past or probably never going to happen. A worrywart, for sure. I was raised during a time in the south when women were just beginning to get out of debutante phase and sow some oats. Most of them, like me, got married young with all the trimmings that includes a 75 piece set of china and crystal that I never use.

I know that it's a blessing that I'm able to be with them at this time. Sometimes gifts come with accepting what is and working on a plan B all the while enjoying plan A to the hilt. My plate is full with that and more and I've soldiered on. That fall told me the other day that I'm not young anymore and it takes a body some time to heal. I got chosen picked by default today for delivery of our blessing. Most everybody was there when I got the call to leave and there will no doubt be pictures. Above and beyond the normal blessings, I thanked Big Ernie for the healing, both physical and emotional, that has taken place with our team this year. Our old friend Louise always shows up still and calls us on the 24th of every month without fail. Don't want anybody to miss out, ya know ;)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

all i want for christmas

My mood is something that I've not been able to really identify today other than tired from the dull ache in my shoulder. "The bitch" already lived there right on top of the blade and this just kicked her into high gear! I stopped to get a breakfast biscuit and some caffeine on the way to work and ran into my old friend the vet. He bought the cattle that were on this farm when that part of the business shut down. Dude reminds me a lot of my younger brother as in almost the same age and raising little bitty kids. Doc is on his second set! His family has always called FUMC home just like mine. He told me to come on in sometime with my daddy. Alrighty then, consider me invited and you didn't even have to greet me at the door. I will never forget the time Mrs. Fisher talked me into playing piano for a service and me finishing it with the melody. Joyful noise indeed!

I ran into an old school friend and her daughter today toting a newborn named for the state in which her mama was born. When it comes to high points of a day, babies make it all better. I stopped by the dollar store in the hood to get eggs for the deviling marathon. Believe it or not, it's what I'm giving my brother as a Christmas gift. Nothing says love like boiling two dozen eggs and putting little suits on them. One of my favorite artists died today in true Blue Dog fashion leaving us a lifetime of enjoyment in the paintings he created. He's right up there with ME on my wish list.

Meanwhile I'm back into the chair yoga/physical therapy part of my recovery from extreme clumsiness on ice and loving every minute of it because you never know which day will be your last and I intend to go out laughing. My favorite current talking point is the black Jesus white Santa debate. Anybody with half a brain can understand that it was the freaking desert people. Of course he was dark! And so were those slaves you brought over here from Africa to be your servants. Rednecks, southern or otherwise, tend to make me turn in the other direction. Now, before you start the accusing about being prejudiced let me remind you that I was born into 50's and 60's in the south. I can still remember seeing a colored people only sign above our courthouse basement. My mother's family had hired servants that were a part of the family. I particularly remember Miss Rosie who wore a paper bag on her head.

The last time that I saw my late cousin Debbie was at Christmas last year when she brought me a redneck wine glass..a mason jar on a stem. We've had everything BUT wine in it and it kind of reminds me that she always called on Christmas day just to see what Santa brought. I've been needing to cry for days now not really sure why but that may be a clue. What I need is 12 hours of sleep two nights in a row. Oh, and a sugardaddy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

comedy of errors

And I thought today was gonna be boring! There was a cold fog swirling when I drove into the sawmill to report for duty. All went well until BG and Boogs got out and about and she ran out of gas at a friend's house. I struck out to save the day after she found a gas can and guess what? My battery was dead. This is why I don't even bother putting the cables in the trunk anymore you see. Single women can team up and get through a crisis just fine when the need arises. I thought it wasn't gonna start at all and after multiple tries it fired as I sang praises to sweet baby jeebus and all the wise men too. Booger slept right through the whole thing in his little carrier thingy. Actually the entire charging event found me parked too close to my co-worker's car but Shannah managed to get hers right in up that tight spot. However, the driver side door wouldn't open so I had to crawl over the console,torn shoulder and all. Meanwhile, BG is pouring gas from a can into the Cadi and getting the hell to the house just like her mama. That's enough drama for one day.

In other happy news my friend told me that she had injured her shoulder not once but TWICE and showed me some exercises to keep the muscles stretched which totally feels good. Sooner or later a laying on of massage therapist hands will be required. It's way past due, actually. I thought about the children of Newtown today and grieved that so little headway has been made in the regulation of firearms, particularly the repeating kind. Dude in CO had a shotgun if I understand correctly. While that's a legal weapon for hunters to possess its' sheer weight and limited range to target victims is somewhat less killing power than with an automatic. Or maybe it was a repeating shotgun? while I'm on the subject of spoiled rotten kids, this one that killed four while DUI better watch his back and hire a bodyguard. Keep a low profile dude because what you did was murder and you walked and even got a new name for your condition...affluenza. I can't wait to see a lawyer use that one when the parents aren't rich enablers but poverty stricken addicts struggling to make their way in today's economic disaster. Justice should never have a price yet in this country it is being "handled" by the NRA and a whole bunch of rednecks who want to squawk about their right to bear arms.

So what else? Oh...Obama's selfie. The funniest part of the whole deal was when one of the tabloids headlined that he and the blonde lady were having a torrid affair. I mean like really????? Michelle behaved like a lady and sat that one out as I would have done myself. Go for it hon, you've earned a big fat smile in spite of what this country looks like at the moment. Really? It's bigger than you and me. I'm in charge of deviled eggs for the sawmill Christmas/retirement dinner so let's all hold hands and pray that the battery holds up long enough to get 'em there.


Friday, December 13, 2013

on the back 9

My dear friend in picking called yesterday after reading my post to offer me a tree that he had in the back of his resale shop from who knows where. I stands proudly lit in the corner of BG's room which is where it will bring the most enjoyment. Now I almost feel bad about selling him that peace sign for so much. Nah..he would do the same thing! We've got tins and stuffed toys around the bottom so it doesn't glare at us like "where's the presents ya'll?" I do remember what it was like to have the pressure of shopping, cooking, working and otherwise carrying on a busy life that for one month is consumed with materialism. Just saying no is a big peace of mind though I do miss the excitement at times. When there are no kids around it's a whole different kind of deal. John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" is a funny tale of how parents of college age kids plan to scoot away on a beach vacay for the holidays. If you haven't read it, please do. It puts everything into perspective about the season.

The pain in my shoulder is now in my neck which is very not cool because I've got crap to do like pick up pecans and sell 'em for rent money. It's going up in January to cover the cost of my new porch which I thought was a really nice holiday gesture on corporate's part. I mean after all..it is a business to them unlike with me and my family who consider it a homestead. We have lived here for three generations and know every nook and cranny of this little hideaway heaven. Don't even bother trying to rob us because there's nothing left. Move along!

I read today that one of my mama's best friends got robbed at gunpoint in a nearby town and it hit home to me that meanness is everywhere and a whole lot of violent crime is tied directly to addiction. Meth and crack are cheap and toxic. Oxycontin and morphine are in everybody's medicine chest (except mine, dammit) and easily stolen by family members or caregivers who have access to those who are shut in. When my aunt died at home with hospice we had to hide her meds from the freakin' son. It knows no boundaries, ya'll. This is why the sequester type mentality that is rampant today makes me sick to be a part of the healthcare industry because it could be easily fixed but it would cut into the wallets of major insurance and pharmacy carriers that are at the top of the healthcare food chain. I would give back every free lunch I ever got from them just to see healthy options like preventive care for free.

I don't give a damn what people think of me and my opinions. I'm not much of a follower because I take the time to absorb a little bit of each and every side of a story and not lay blame. It is what it is according to my friend Sue and I would totally love for that to be on a t-shirt. Maybe Mitz and Abbey can work on that!

Love ya...mean it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

hard candy christmas

I remember my parents talking about Christmas when they were little which usually consisted of an orange, some nuts and a little candy in the stocking that was hung by the chimney with care. Mine were identical as a kid, but the amount of loot that came with that humble stocking was enough to entertain the poor children of an entire village in Africa. At the time I didn't really question it because our family was solid middle class enough to halfway afford it. My grandmother had a kazillion bucks so she spent like a maniac and going to her house was like Santa all over again. We continued to do that with breakfast until she went into assisted living, sans presents. By then she was broke!

Fast forward to 2013, the year of the most awesome pope in all time and the most evil shakedown of the democratic process in our country. Hopefully those two things will even each other out and we'll get a congress with some amount of empathy for we the people. I'm not holding my breath though. Miracles do happen, in spite of the struggles. I haven't bought a Christmas gift in several years because there's no money left after paying the loan sharks and propane guy. Now, it looks like no tree. I could really feel sorry for myself but then I think about reason for all this and the humble beginnings in that manager so long ago. And then I don't feel the least bit deprived.

BG suggested that maybe Mahala was my BF. Obviously she hasn't been reading about HER finances over there in the holler. We are sisters in distress valiantly fighting to keep our heads above water as the economy whips the shit out of us and our efforts to earn a living and make the world a somewhat better place for having lived. I'm listening to Christmas music and waiting for the afternoon sun to continue my mission. There are tons of nuts still in the trees and I can't climb OR smack with the bad shoulder so.....BG busted her butt last night so we're about in the same shape. Viva Aleve!I'm betting that old Santa will turn up whether I have a tree with presents or not. He always does if you belive.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

biofreeze dreams

My shoulder still hurts and if I were one to use prescription pain medicine as directed, I would have begged somebody for some yesterday afternoon. By six PM my ass was in the bed with dogs after watching a Breaking Bad marathon of season 1 episodes in BG's room where the TV is. She and her buddies made candy and a huge mess which she is cleaning up right now. As I was coming in this morning a hearse pulled into the lot right as I turned to park in back and I thought to myself "self, this is what happens when people die." Some of them die in there but many more die at home with hospice or home health care to aid struggling baby boomers caught with the double burden of aging parents and post WS crash adult children still at home. With lots of student debt and nothing but minimum wage available. I got what I signed up for in college..an affordable post secondary education that helped me to get a steady job which I still hold. That's not the climate today in job markets and it can be really disillusioning for those who learned too late that a college degree doesn't mean shit in this economy. That makes me sad.

After work I cruised by Casa Grands and daddy met me at the door with his jacket on, ready for his chiropractic appointment. Those fit very nicely into his tidy little schedule. Walking the yard, I spotted many more down and a warmer day tomorrow which happens to be mine off so there you go. I'll probably have to adjust my picking position thanks to this pesky shoulder thing but it can be done if one is persistent and faithful enough. Just slow down and enjoy the ride gurrrl. We still have ice on the ground a week post which is pretty unusual in Tennessee. Normally except in mountainous areas, it's invisible in a couple of days. I like it that way.

The setting sun is shining in my face as I type and look out over the snow covered yard of a house that I've lived in for 25 years. The winter before we moved in was dedicated to reconstruction and I couldn't WAIT to move in. There was a deep snow that January and I really noticed cardinals for the first time in my life. I was 33 years old and neck deep in the most incredibly painful grief work. When I shared the experience of my grandmother's death with my first therapist she told me that sometimes "grandma's ghost" hangs around for a while. This is the very same woman who gave me the backbone to continue be bold and spiritual, no matter what others think. Even men.

Tonight is Booger night so I imagine we'll have something to watch like Elf. We're still looking at tree options and counting quarters. No lights to be found which probably means they were on the damn tree when I torched it. I've had so many fires the city folks don't even bother to come over and stop me. It gives 'em something to look at from the golf course!

Merry and bright!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

if it ain't broke

Okay then, there are no broken bones in my shoulder just a big old mass of sprained out the wazoo muscles that hurts like the devil. Since I was going to the FNP this morning we maximized the trip and took Daddy to get his ears looked at. As we suspected they were full of wax and he told me it has been 30 years since Dr. David did that in his office. BG drove both of us there since I was afraid of having to make a sudden move with my RIGHT arm. I hated to do that to Tracie with his ears but I didn't know what to do! I'm almost a nurse, but not quite.Normally I can take pain pretty well until it gets to this level. Muscle and joint injuries take time to heal just like broken bones. As I put my arm out to break the fall yesterday, I heard a pop when it hit the ground sort of like when I tore my hamstring. Me and BG were exploring the small family cemetery down the road and I attempted to crawl down a very steep uneven hill and did the splits all the way to the road. It not only popped and tingled but also turned my leg black and blue for weeks. Getting older hurts, no matter what they say. My bossfriend was good enough to let me take the day off for healing purposes and I totally adore that about him. As long as there's not an orange alert or something he can make do with the staff that's there and I admire that leadership trait. Also I have very good friends there to help with my share of the load. I'm trying to keep the arm moving somewhat so it doesn't stiffen up on me. Flexaril helps with that.

I find myself thinking about the oddest things like how we used to actually TALK to each other before the smartphone, particularly in places like waiting rooms and such. Daddy couldn't even hear himself talk when we first went in so it was pretty quiet. On the way out he chattered his schedule with happiness and joy. We still don't have a tree but that's okay. It will happen when all the planets line up just right even if it's on Christmas eve. I'm funny like that! I bet I could get one super cheap plus half price lights :)

Happy holidays to you and yours from me and mine ^j^

Sunday, December 8, 2013

snow day

As if Friday's ice wasn't enough (but thanks Big E for the six hour delay)we got another half inch or so last night. We all woke up around daylight following an early bedtime. Boogs and his mama piled up with BG and I took the dogs. Mom knew last night she wouldn't be attempting church on the ice with a walker but daddy was determined he was going. That is, until every church in town put out a notice that services are cancelled due to inclement weather. Okay then, watch some more Gunsmoke.

We still have no tree since I burned the ancient silk one in a fit of pyromania after last year. It's live or nothing! The ornaments are here and there in boxes and baskets in the office/living room that has no place to sit. It's pretty impressive in here now considering what it looked like in late summer when pickers were weaving their way through the piles. Looking back on that whole adventure makes me smile remembering all the folks I know who just enjoyed the heck out of being here on the lane. It is a remarkable place with a premium view and in the snow it is gorgeous. I've not been feeding my bird friends which I shall fix as soon as we get a thaw. Also on the list is a trip for daddy to unblock his ears. Bubba swears it's wax but I think he's just being ornery..nah. Not really, but he CAN be ornery on occasion. It's called a runnin' Stafford fit.

Pride came thundering over the ice toward me this morning when he saw the hay I was putting out. His mane is frozen with little icicles on the edges. Old dude has seen a lot of winters from inside that fence looking up toward my kitchen window as if to say "feed me". He is an ornery ass as well. Usually when I approach with food he turns his butt toward me 'til I drop it. I think he knows I'm a liberal.

^j^ Peace and love.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

the high road

There's a funny thing about interpersonal reaction whether it be with friend or foe. As a believer one is constantly facing that fork where you do what is peaceful and loving even if it means walking away. Which I can totally do so don't get me pissed off on FB with your diatribes about how everything is Obama's fault. And no, I still don't miss Dubya and apparently nobody else does either. His lovely wife Laura was guest speaker at a conservative west TN bible college where the faithful attend because mama and daddy said so and it's paid for. My friend Cathy got a ticket for her birthday! I just looked at her like "yay!" and said I think I can pass on that trip. If it was Elvis, maybe. You know he's still alive and living at Graceland. I wonder if all those tourists still come? Choosing the high road is really important especially when faced with decisions that affect others like as an elected leader or a parent.

Here's the thing ya'll...we spend so much time and money on things that we don't need when in fact we should be practicing survival techniques (sans guns). I remember sitting through this incredibly boring seminar on nuclear fallout and how to be a first responder like people who work at hospitals. Meanwhile, Iran sits over there enriching out their ass and sucks up to Russia and Israel according to who's pushing the buttons. I could worry about all that because god knows it's a big hot mess, but I choose not to. If we all blow to high heaven today I'm good and grateful for the life I've enjoyed. If you are financially blessed, please feel free to surprise some struggling writer with shit for a life like BF has done with me. Or just a mother trying hard to feed her single parent household on a minimum wage part timer's salary. They don't choose that life, you know. It has been done to them in the spirit of capitalism. Not victims, but a logical explanation for our current economy.

I finally found the nativity set neatly wrapped and laid in the barn for Christmas 2013. The angel that Gaga made has a broken wing but she's still up in the picture along with Mary and Joseph and sweet baby jeebus. My mother loves Christmas like a little kid and makes the whole thing fun for everybody. They have a living room fireplace and she has spent many Christmas eves covered in a blanket on the couch right up front gazing at the twinkling lights and remembering holidays past. Now their tree is a mini one from the grocery store. Times, they change.

I've rarely given myself the luxury of playing instead of working for the man. I used to love the Christmas season back when it was all full of materialism and greed. But you know what? I love it even more now that I'm broke.

Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 6, 2013

sleighbells ring

Not on this lane, no not at all. Just the trusty old Camry chugging up and down the hill in an inch of slush pulling at the bald tires. The ice storm of the century turned out to be nothing quite as bad as expected, probably because the bulk of it didn't start falling until after day light this morning due to a strong southerly flow keeping the cold front at bay. Kids and teachers got a snow day and even my bank was closed when I stopped by the ATM. Hey, it's Friday and everybody deserves the afternoon off on occasion to get the weekend started in style! As for me and mine, I scooped up six movies that are mine 'til Tuesday so that should be about all I need. Well, that and a beer or 8.

My sister-in-law commented on a piece about black Friday madness and brought up what I think is a valid point. If consumers will fight over the toy du jour, how will they act when it's something they really NEED? The kerosene line yesterday proved to me once again that survival goes to those who learn to adapt and change according to whatever power is in force at the time. Zombieland will be no fun, I'm just tellin' ya.

Speaking of healthcare, which I always do...a piece that I read today was about how the governor of KY is trying to rein in old Mitch McConnell before he can totally destroy the success that is Obamacare KY. This state is among the poorest of the poor and healthcare options for the un or self employed have been totally absent. Thanks to this progressive state for agreeing to expand Medicaid and accept the fed's dollars in order to serve the people who elected them. That's what's up ya'll. Oh, and term limits, just for good measure.

One thing that I must admit to is that I've been spoiled to working one day less a pay period than most folks. Sick leaves and an upcoming retirement are the real challenge right now but we're planning a big Christmas get together with lots of surprises and great food. We haven't all been together in months! Shoutout to bossfriend and Marfie as they recover and prepare to come back into the fold. I've been promising my lawyer friend's office staff a quadruple chocolate pound cake for three years now and I used to be faithful with them until life got in the way. I'm at a peaceful place for the moment and cooking makes me happy.

One more thing guys, and I know all you "close friends of mine" in the banking industry are snarling...student loan debt from the past 20 years has become an anchor on the neck of our entire economy, mostly because they've been tied to financial institutions that are too big to fail. If that debt alone were forgiven, this economy would be booming in three months. Of course that's over a trillion and the other side would go wah-wah about doing THAT creative paper work. It's very simple: If you are not making a hefty payment on a student loan then there is $$ for goods and services that weren't affordable. Easy as pie, kids.

Nobody much came around today unless they were like really sick so we had time to breathe and laugh at Ellen and Gladys who loves Jesus but "drinks a little...just enough to keep her blood thin." Looking back at 36 years of a career that has seen good times and bad, I can't say I'd change a thing except for taking night call for 15 years. That shit is for the birds!

And remember. Don't eat yellow snow!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

end times

I never have any bread or milk anyway so nobody had to worry about fighting me for it at the store. My sole purchase to brave the big ice storm has been a can of de-icer for the car. So I can get to work early icy morn, unless of course I slide off in the gully like my grandmother did. I kid you not that Monte Carlo went driver's side up when she took the turn too quick. Or she may have been lighting a damn cigarette and not watching, who the hell knows. That was her last drive, BTW. Daddy pulled it out with his tractor and that was that. We all made extensive shopping trips with a detailed list of just what she wanted after she got too feeble to go. I remember taking her to Wallyhell the Christmas before she died and I obediently threw stuff into the buggy as she went down her list of kids and grandkids. Underwear and socks mostly and this was before they had those rider deals. I pushed her 5 miles around that megastore.

I stopped by the locally owned pharmacy by the sawmill today seeking GENERIC claratinD with honest to goodness sudafed in it. The price was 38 bucks for 10 so I went on down the road to the giantmegachain where I was greeted by the most precious sales girl ever named Magen. When I told her what I wanted some pharmabitch from behind the counter asked me what my symptoms were, since I was obviously a meth addict. I pointed to my nose and swollen eyes as if to say "i'm dying here girl" and she dropped it. I hope she knows that Santa's watching her ways with customers. Magen, meanwhile will be mentioned in an online survey for her cheerful and helpful attitude even when the Burt's Bee's lotion wouldn't scan.

Boogs was here last night and still in bed with TeeTee when I rolled out today, though I didn't know he was still here. I went in there looking for something or another and found him cradled in her arm like the baby that he is, both of them sleeping peacefully. The temperature yesterday was high 70s and it's been steady dropping since the rain began this morning. It's been reported that this storm named something with a C will bring Jim Cantore to the 'burg. Good luck with finding a hotel room dude. My brother is a meteorologist by profession. Nothing like starting the day with Tommy's weather report!

Gotta go find the nativity scene so we don't miss the whole meaning of the season ^j^

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

don't mess with mama

My friend Linda and I have dealt with the same issues over the years concerning care of elderly parents. Her mama, bless her heart, is 94 years old and has lived in a nursing home for 5 or so years. She tried living with family and it just didn't work, especially when Aunt Linda took on the role of mother to a bunch of kids. Her mom loves the place...it's been her home for years. She was even their beauty queen one time! About two years ago some genius at the state level started looking at the pre-admission processes and grandfathered in a bunch of current residents. Ms Mamie was one of them. Fast forward to now and the state is cutting funds for nursing home residents if they can a)feed themselves and b)walk. Never mind that they can't get in and out of a shower without help. Medicare and private insurance together can cover a 30 day stay for rehab with the goal of going home, if there is one. It's more of a money maker if you can get 'em well and out and it happens a lot. HOWEVER, there is very little funding for long term care unless you were rich and could afford a long term care policy. Very pricey!

In October of this year Linda and her family were notified that the previously "grandfathered people" had to be re-admitted with a whole new set of standards. This poor old woman who draws only 700 bucks a month (which goes straight to home) and now they're taking away her medical insurance. This is bullshit, people! To not set up Obamacare exchanges is one nasty thing, but kicking old people out on the street or into the home of unprepared relatives sucks a big fat one. The first assessment was done by someone with as we say in the south "poor people skills." It is the right of the resident and their family to challenge the decision which was send her home to a decrepit house that's not fit to live in or on somebody's couch. She cannot be alone. She is 94 freakin' years old! This makes me so mad I could slap my grandma. She probably would have slapped me back. I know my mama did!

If you are a resident of this state and didn't realize this, join the crowd. Until it became personal to me through the staffs of numerous long term care facilities I never gave it a thought. When it's your mama and daddy you have to sit down and pay attention because now YOU are the adult and it is scary as shit what with all the damn republicans running around hatin' on the ACA. Admit it asshats...if it was Romneycare you'd love it. The next step in their process will be a hearing by phone and possibly an appearance before a judge. And this is justice? Kiss my ass governor Haslam. You are nothing more than a younger version of Lamar and Howard. Okay, onto happier thoughts.

There's a guy who looks like a hippie on a mission picking up pecans up front because let's face it ya'll...they're free and I'm old and mama taught me never to waste the gifts of mother nature. Fo freeee! The cold front is making its' way through and I'm just believing that we really are prepared for it in spite of sitting on this hill with two uncovered vehicles and a shitload of pecan branches just waiting to snap power lines. It's a scary ride down the hill to the bottom of pecan lane.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

it's a merkel, dammit!

I'm happy these days, much more so that I can remember for many years on end and amen. Listening to my favorite tunes and chair dancing with a random slap or two on the desk that has never produced one cent for all of my creativity as a writer and photographer because I'm an "idea person" and can't figure out how to just cut down the list of things to do and do them right now instead of two weeks later. I know, it's a real curse. I could have been featured not only on Hoarders but Pickers this past year. And now Iceocalypse '13. I mean really? I'd rather have freaking snow because it's not so slippery. The first time I ever visited a Tunica casino was after a horrific ice storm between there and Memphis. I was stunned at the damage there and also in KY where my cousin lived. I sit here with two old people down the road who depend on me, four dogs, a special family next door and a shitload of friends all over the world. And you know why? Because of the WWW dammit.

We got the Cadi out of the shop today thanks to Heath and William and it has gas, new alternator, belt and battery. We shall see. Meanwhile the trusty old Camry has only four tires and an iffy battery. Looks like we'll be riding in style over the next week. I heard that my friend John is finally waking up so that's a good thing, as Martha would say. There was this lady who scolded me one time for saying the "F" word on FB just because it wasn't "acceptable". Fuck that! I'm not sure but I think some Christmas angels came to see me at work today. And you know what? I wasn't even surprised.

Monday, December 2, 2013

playing to the crowd

There is something distinctly cowardly about only putting things into words and not taking the time to make eye contact and share thoughts. It ain't a race, ya'll. We're all gonna turn into zombies anyway so we might as well just slow down and enjoy the ride. It's a guilty pleasure for me to pour out my heart and know that there are people who read those words and are reminded to think of a different way of life besides the strict orderly one that most people live. Peace and love, ya'll.

Work is work and nothing much to report there because, as we all know, HIPPA provides for strict patient confidentiality. You even get a paper that says that! We're in our own little groove now getting ready to let go of one of our own and not real sure what's on the other end. It's what happens when as they say in all those corny board meetings "The rubber meets the road" that matters. I believe I'm a part of a team with those kind of players most of the time, and I'll take most over never. Nothing is perfect and according to my friend Mahala who named one of her superiors Bossholio, things could be a lot worse. The cadi is still in the shop and my benefactor John is as well. Following extensive surgery to remove a goiter (not my employer so there!) he's struggling to recover from being in OR for so long. Happy thoughts and hippie music dear friend!

There's a miracle in progress around here and all I can say is thank you sweet baby jeebus because I was about to lose my everloving faith in humanity. As a matter of fact there are LAYERS of them and that's always a good thing. I had thought about doing a post about ten things that you don't know about pecan picking but there's that pesky list and number thing and I'm an out of the box kind of person. You know those things that hardware stores sell that look like a great idea to pick standing up and just tapping the ground with the rows of metal. Unless you have no leaves or gravel (good luck with that) they're more trouble than they're worth. One of my random observations over the years has been that the drainage ditch is a honeyhole for the nuts. This is the very same ditch that you wouldn't catch me in on a dare during snake season. Just saying.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

a day in the life

I was out like a light at 6PM yesterday and didn't roll over until daylight this morning. Promptly rolling out of bed and assuring BG that this isn't Monday so she doesn't have to take me to work. Instead she and her friends went to church and out to lunch which I think is pretty cool. I'm pretty sure it was Booger's first time at both church AND straw! Meanwhile, I joined my parents' neighbor JF picking up pecans. Even though it was early it was quite warm. After that big arctic front moves through, I'll be more than done with it. I had forgotten how the motions involved aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome and *achoo* allergies.

Still no TV except for movies and the damn dollar store player isn't worth the 30 bucks I paid for it or even the CLEARANCE price of 14.99 that I noticed today. meh and pffft!
At one time we had three!! My friend John is still critically ill and I'm worried for him in a prayerful sort of way. The growth in his neck was huge and it took a lot of hours in the OR to get the job done. No trach though, yet. That's a good thing! I am determined to look on the sunny side until the next tragedy slaps me silly.

So back to the subject of nuts. We managed to fill the huge burlap bag about 1/4 full and it already seems heavy. I've been unsuccessful in rounding up a kid to climb the trees so there are still a bunch left waiting for the wind to blow. I took Money Mike a bag and he frowned at the quart size. Okay dude....there will be more! His business is an eclectic mix of the hood and highway traffic which was formerly a poorly run-by-remore ownership kind of deal. Mike is there and so is his brother on the camera somewhere else, constantly watching for the ones who think that you can steal and get away with it.

Eggs and doughnuts were finished and enjoyed when I spotted a familiar face beaming at me from the door. "Hey" she said with a wide grin on that exquisitely beautiful face of hers. When she told me I saw it, but we have never seen each other outside of dirty and sweaty or on the river. She, her husband and my ethereal friend Lorna are beach soulmates. Their store is a potential gold mine in both location and history and the kitchen is red and white and all happy. BG worked there once and learned to scoop crickets and minnows.

Today is the first Sunday in Advent and I can remember lots of years when that included a centerpiece of wreath with candles to be lit one a week until Christmas day when the Christ candle is lit. As a child all I could think about was what I was gonna get and all the good food. Now as an adult with some childish ways, I realize that the majesty and glory of what happened is beyond description. Epiphany is important to me now in more ways than one. I learned about it one Sunday evening in the chapel of my home church and it stuck. Besides, it's a good reason to stretch out the joy. How many times have you found yourself "Wow, I'm glad that's over!" Celebrating the birth of the child who would change modern society deserves to be an enjoyable season, not a lot of financial stress.