Friday, January 31, 2014

pecan lane style

There is rarely any traffic on my lane because it's just me and them, the mentally disabled bunch at the dead end where my baby brother once, no...twice lived. The slough curls around a mountain of trees, river hills above the Forked Deer reaching up to the sun and creating an entire ecosystem of sorts right here in front of my very eyes...and for most of my life! When I was ten years younger I explored every nook and cranny of it by foot or by Camry and didn't always get out of the muddy spots. Just ask Hoss! He's a dung beetle so you might not recognize him. During our one brief visit I got stuck in the mud with a Jack bottle between us and hiked all the way home. When I turned into the lane today I noticed three cop cars pulling out as I moved over and watched. The last one is married to a gal who works with me and told me it was the usual with you know who down there. Grace of god kids...grace of god.

When I was growing up the John Hughen family lived there and they had a daughter named Susan who is coincidentally ( I love it when this happens) a med tech in East Tennessee. After that came Robert Miller the rugged coyote hunter followed by Tiko and Shirley and on and on and on. Cousin Debbie and her family moved there for awhile when the boys were little. They learned to hunt here and grew up in a male sort of paradise. Over the years old timers who grew up out here during the forties and fifties would come drive around looking for their old home place or school yard. Mrs. Willa and Catherine C ran over one of my puppies as we hiked up the hill in my walking for exercise days. Pepper just rolled with it and jumped up to be his precious self again. Dusty the pharmacist brought some racoons out here one time and left them because they were crawling out of that gully behind College hill. My ferocious dog fought them to the death and then died himself from the wounds of battle. As I type, my grave wolfpack of four sit at attention in the front just daring hatchet man to attack. It's Friday and I'm tired. Any questions?

I've been told that I internalize things to a fault and that's really not true when it comes to what's important. I learned 30 years ago that issues not discussed turn into big problems down the road. For someone to call me out in love is an admirable thing because I've had it both ways. I've been told that I'm too nice, too fat, too thin (youlooksick) try too hard, make mistakes...and think too much. Obedience has never been a strong character trait post therapy. It's been suggested on more than one occasion that I need church in my life and I agree. The definition of church is a whole 'nother matter. I tend to take the Wesleyan view that whenever two or more are gathered in his name it's a spiritual matter. Most of my spiritual moments happened outside the building, proper. Like at work or something.

Now that I have the TV in my room it's a real treat picking out what to watch each day. Boogs and fam are in and we're doing the tribal thing with sheets over the doorless openings and towels stuffed under the outside ones to keep heat in. I swear I feel like Mary freaking Ingalls! Since it's Friday and I'm off a couple of days I feel some serious hibernation going on. Tapping on the keyboard and listening to a baby learn to communicate with his sister is not such a bad way to spend date night.

Hey big man....lemme' hold a dollar!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

tie a knot and hang on

In the spring of last year my cousin Mo had a yard sale that I went by to scoop up some free towels and whatnot. That haul included a picture of a frog done in counted cross stitch by my cousin Deb. Mo pointed it out to me knowing that I'd want that particular memory. I've moved it from room to room so that I can remember her. In the bathroom there is one of her first stained glass creations against a yellow wall that is stunning. She was serious about the craft that she learned from her father. Debbie constructed large church windows that had to be installed by truck and stuff and they stood in line for 'em. I am to the point now where everything I possess has a story and I like it that way.

When my aunt was dying of colon cancer I took my turn at sitting after hospice took over. I remember one day vividly when I was there and a nurse who was trying to insert a catheter asked me to hold the table lamp up so she could get 'er done. It was painful and Sister was already beginning to slip toward death. What is commonly referred to as a "comfort measure" is really something that helps caregivers deal with the messiness of death. There was morphine and pain patches which were hidden securely and only dispensed by the watchdogs. The thing that struck me was the view from that window by her hospital bed. Her house sat behind Dyersburg High School close enough that you could open the back door and listen to a baseball or football game. The saddest thing of all is that colon cancer is totally preventable by the use of colonoscopy for those at high risk including a family history which was very much there. She never thought it would happen to her, you know. She was a diva of the finest sort, a true Southern lady who was both beautiful and sweet. She married a rich furniture dealer who died early leaving her with a son in high school who had always gotten everything he wanted. Like my uncle who died early from drug and alcohol abuse, he has had his good days and bad but we've always been friends.

As I was heading out for home I ran into a former co-worker and we chatted about Medicare and her current status of needing a bone density test which was taking a little too long. Her fiery temper made her one heck of an ER and cardio nurse for years. One year we sang in the alto section at the Easter sunrise service together, our voices blending as they will do when you know the part well. Just checked in with the mother load only to be told that she'll call me back 'cuz she's on hold with a Memphis TV station wanting to get them to interview a local writer. When she did she told me the same thing about ten times and then rambled on about our roots. Daddy's go all the way back to Scotland with that Stafford thing. The Agee side hails from France. I told her I had to go so I can file my income tax stuff and she said she was sorry if she talked me to death. I dread the day that I don't hear that voice telling me what's up.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

poor idgie

She was lucky enough to get caught in the middle of snow and ice near Atlanta where that rarely happens. I think Alabama got its' butt froze all the way to Florida but that's okay. Idgie started out to pick up her kids at school when everything got let out early and lo and behold found herself stuck in a cheap motel with a four pack of Sutter and some road tripping kind of food. Including beanie weanies and chex mix. We first met, she and Mahala and I, when she was beginning her career as a book reviewer/southern gal who rocks. Mahala's entry as mascot for Dew on the Kudzu was a monkey and it was on! This woman went on a mad search for all things southern and I mean what's more southern than the evil piles of green waiting for dead bodies. Hat tip to Joshilyn Jackson for that mental picture.

It's still cold frigid enough to be nipply with a slight warmup and rain in the forecast. How do I know that you ask? Because it's what we talk about at the sawmill including families and politics and religion and whatnot. Mostly families, which is kind of ironic. We miss them when we're working and don't take the time to slow down and keep the faith. My blog friend Vicki posted a picture of her great nephew who had successful surgery for neuroblastoma today. To me, this is the future of medicine and perhaps explains why I've been exploring other options. Now never fear, I won't take on brain surgery at this age BUT I can see me in an educator or consultant role. I mean, it's time I got something out of those four years of college!Life is good right now. The financial pressure is off for the moment and I have the opportunity to make a nest for myself because I'm gonna need it. It's been a long time since I watched TV in my own bed, just saying.

If ya'll want to know Idgie go visit her over at the Dew ^j^

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

no news is good

I have a feeling the that the way that mainstream media created 2 generations of zombies was simply by refusing to place on their front pages "no news is good news." It's my mantra these days and the exact opposite of "if it bleeds it leads." There is a time and place for reporting tragic events but too much of that kind of drama leaves readers feeling hopeless. The only thing I find in my local rag that I didn't already know is the obituaries and the funeral homes are all online now so pretty soon their main reason for purchase will be gone. Well, that and the Kroger ads. When BG was working there I contacted the editor and sent a sample of my blog as a sort of example of how I write. Left my phone number and asked for feedback. Never got a call. I noticed there's an opening in ad selling which I could not do because I'm not wired like that. Neither are any of the other poor suckers who have tried it.

Busy busy and busy with lots of viruses floating around infecting tribes all over the world. H1N1 has reared its' head again as a reminder of just how short life can be when natural disasters or/or disease take over. I talked with a tough lady today that I've worked with for years and Thursday will be her last shift. She survived cancer treatment and continued to work just as hard as anybody who was the picture of health. She always talked about fast tracking to RN and I'm not sure if that ever happened but she's the kind of nurse you want on your side, if you know what I mean. Have a great time relaxing've earned it!

Breaking Bad is becoming monotonous kind of like Weeds did after the 98th viewing so I've invested in Nurse Jackie and I'm really intrigued at how they managed to show the human side of both addiction and what healthcare demands of a practitioner. Sometimes I just want to smack that too good to be true husband and tell him to be a little rowdier but that's part of his never ending charm I suppose. Mr. Mom indeed! The nurse's aide with bunny scrubs is my favorite.

Plan B is coming together for Boogs and fam as I type. It's workable for now so we'll just go with the flow. I have to clean up the dining room floor which is something I've put off since having the huge sale this summer but it shall happen today or tomorrow to get ready for more stuff. Hey..we might find a few more have to have items! I do plan to take good pictures and give complete descriptions of a lot of my collectibles and just put them out there for perusal. Most of the people I dealt with this past summer were wanting stuff at dollar store prices. Most of the time I obliged them except when it came to furniture. I still have one bronze peace sign that BF sent so that will be in the collection.

Today was difficult for me emotionally and it was nothing but the grace of God that kept me with my head down, focused on getting through the day. My heart was elsewhere in the Cadi cruising toward an adventure of sorts. It's scary and good all at the same time which is a paradox, I reckon. Something different at the very least. Just talked to my mama and I could hear Daddy fussing in the background while we tried to have a relaxed conversation. She told him that I said to get his arse n the living room if he didn't like it. I mean gah.

Other than all that, I got nothing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

sign of the times

I was out running errands this morning and noticed a very nicely dressed young man at the intersection in heavy traffic with a bright pink posterboard sign that read "Hurt at work...lost job. Father to two young children. I rolled down the window to give him a thumbs up and told him to hang in there. His response? Please pray for me. You betcha' buddy. I can't imagine the feeling of having children depend on you for everything and not having a job to support them yet it's the same story in every city across America. Where there were formerly only homeless people out panhandling, more and more often we run across scenes of despair like this one where someone wants to work and can't find a job. It is particularly common in smaller cities like ours where the opportunities for a career in manufacturing have been cut due to outsourcing by corporate heads who are crunching the numbers all the way to the bank.

Another compliment came my way yesterday when a FB friend who never fails to poke at me about politics told me that he reads the blog and can tell what kind of person I am, in spite of my demolibtard ways. His daughter, mine and a few others were inseparable in high school. Amazing stuff, ya'll. That my words can define who I am to a reader is a blessing. I am honest to a fault and that has caused much speculation about this that and the other but ultimately I know that saying what I think and feel is a right for me as long as nobody gets hurt in the process. The US constitution says so. Same for peaceful assembly like those Occupy folks who got pepper sprayed. There is not one mean bone in my body unless I'm provoked which happens pretty often and I'm practicing the whole "act, don't REACT" thing. Success with that depends on what life has thrown at me lately.

I have made so many mistakes over the years that I could totally hang my head in shame and give up yet I never have. Nobody should, because there's only one human who ever was perfect and he had to call in everything he had to stay that way in spite of temptation. Booger and his tribe are back at their home now working on Plan B whatever that may be. They take it one day at a time. I am constantly in awe of his mama for being such a tough positive spirit in spite of all the hardships that she faces. Since her mother is gone, I'm pretty much it in the ma department and she has become my second daughter. Never saw that coming, but boy what a blessing!

The wind is whipping in from the northwest showing no mercy and it's cold cold cold. Since BG has been out, I've been sleeping in her bed which is in the back part of the house and MUCH warmer. There's still that same problem with room enough for me and 4 dogs on the bed. Oscar, who was abused once, gets really bitey if you kick him during the night. My toes have little teeth marks to prove it. He and Sammy D are always the ones who charge ahead of the pack as I yell "Get em...get every damn one of 'em!" There is absolutely zero chance of hatchet man making it into this house without my knowledge.

Stay warm. Call your mother. Keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, January 26, 2014

nowhere to go but up

I've begun to realize that just when I start to get the least bit cocky and all about myself, Big Ernie throws me a curve to remind me just what it means to be at the bottom of the doodoo pile. The entire past week is like this movie that never ended but had a few pauses where I (tried to) slept through a few things because of combustion of internal Poopie parts, mainly my brain which controls like, only everything, emotions included. A couple of days of grief work gave me the courage to make a move that wasn't really easy today involving a request for help. The grands were napping when I walked in with daddy's allergy medicine which he's been out of for three weeks. Gotta stay on schedule, ya know. Tony had breakfast duty today since I was working. There are so many angels out there that help out of love and respect for their elders. The church delivers lunch every Monday too. That's Ms Faye's day off from cooking lunch to address other issues like laundry and whatnot.

One of my co-workers busted out today and shared a compliment that she received on me from somebody else who works with us and I was floored, to say the least. She knows that my self esteem is about 1/32 of an inch tall right now and sensed that it would help. I love it when that happens :) We have kids the same age and know everybody and their mama'n'them around the 'burg. The ones we're not kin to by blood or marriage, they're friends with somebody we know. It's a blessing and a curse to live in a small town like that. My experience has been that random acts of kindness come from the oddest and least expected places. That's faith.

There's this really strange serenity that comes from the wall when you hit it. Then it's back to step one and the whole higher power deal which is a tool that saved millions of lives over the years. What originally started as an AA tool has been used in many other support groups and the old heads from AA don't really like that because they can't relate to NA and all the other A's. Whatever, I say. The dual approach to recovery includes the twelve steps and intense therapy to work with the root causes of the addiction. There is actually a group called co-dependents anonymous which I attended several times when we had an A&D unit. The really sad thing about it was that the "person in charge" was so about herself that the rest of us got lost in the process. I spent LOTS and tons of hours reading Melody Beattie and John Bradshaw books and I sort of designed my own way of coping that includes trying not to freak out when one of my inner children comes out to stir up some shit.

Other than that life is just peachy and all the critters said hey y'all. It's really hard for me to focus on the correct spelling of that particular word mean all of you because I've always put the apostrophe in the wrong spot. sue me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

lean on me

Like most co-dependents I'm always there when somebody's down or needs help and expect to be treated equally when times are hard for me. Experience has taught me that not only will people turn on a dime and push you harder when you just don't have it in your soul to keep going, but they also expect you keep the big girl panties on 24/7 even when the world is caving in. I have a Willow Tree angel with two broken arms sitting here on the "altar" to remind me that even though brokenness happens, you can still keep your hands up in the air to receive goodness, preferably with open palms. There are a lot of things on my mind right now and there's probably not one single person that I know who can relate enough, or is willing, to help me through it. I recognize this passage as one that is guided by God and for the best yet it's still heavy on my heart.

I gave up long ago on putting up the brave front because that's the equivalent of emotional suicide. That I feel it, say it and try to move on is something that most people don't realize is a big part of my personality post therapy. And honestly? There are times that I wish I had never done the work and was oblivious to feelings both good and bad. Sometimes life is easier that way, ya know? Expect nothing and you're never disappointed. In some ways I think maybe it's the reality sinking in one more time that life is not fair and in this day and time it's tough to be anybody except the top 1% and lord knows I'm not alone. Loyalty means nothing. If I had things to do over I would have given less to my job and more to my family, especially my young daughter. Instead I chose to keep on trucking at the sawmill even when she was sick or needed me. I did it for a long time until it was expected and then there was much drama when I drew a line in the sand which wasn't too long ago. Once again, my bad for not claiming it before I turned into a stark raving idiot.

There are very few times that I miss having a partner because life is full of loving dogs and whatnot. About the loneliest feeling I know is wanting somebody to hold me while I cry and knowing that there's nobody there but me and the canine population plus the bitch cat who knocks everything off of whatever surface she's prowling on. I'm pretty sure Sammy D has heart worms yet I can't afford the treatment. Hell I can barely afford my own meds even with the 4 buck list at my pharmacy. Thank you big pharm! While you've been busy protecting your patents and schmoozing the doctor offices, we're slowing dying on the vine out here. Better living through chemistry my ass.

There are projects in my head on a mental to do list but right now I don't have the will to even think about them and how long I've put those things off. More shame and guilt, no? Mostly I just feel exhausted, both emotionally and physically. My shoulder still ain't back to normal but it's much much better, thank you sweet baby jeebus. I suppose you could call this one of my whinier posts because I focus really hard on not doing that and staying positive. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes the bug. I guess I'm the bug at this point in time. Ya'll please don't get the toxic spray after...I promise this too shall pass.

Friday, January 24, 2014

thicker than water

That's what they say about blood kin which is not always true. I love my family and all but dammit when somebody stirs something up that could have been avoided? It really makes my BP go up, if you know what I mean. Considering that I'm a 58 year old worn out healthcare worker who no longer plays the martyr very well, we shall see. I'm totally believing that it's a sheep and goat decision at the gate and not mine to make. There's some faithful attitude! We managed to (finally) get the boxed up Christmas stuff onto the attic steps and I guess an earthquake knocked the door open and there went the nativity scene that's been in our family since I was a child. Well, the stable anyway! Gaga's angel now has a broken wing and I think we lost a couple of wise men too. This too shall pass*

My ex-hub and I are kind of on a mission right now which is not unusual since we raised a child and ourselves together. He was generous enough to help a girl out whose financial situation is beyond belief due to bank fees and high interest loans. Two definitely don't live as cheap as one when only one has a job unless it's like a really high paying one, and mine is not. I currently make what plumbers got per hour twenty years ago. The cool thing about being called to a vocation is that even when you're tired of the job itself, there's always a place to look where people need help. I've been watching Nurse Jackie and that cute little student and I see myself in both sides of the drama. Sometimes you just have to be there to understand. Leave room for the spirit to work, so to speak*

I remember talking to my daddy years ago about heaven and hell and all that and he told me that he thinks that we create our own here on earth according to how we treat others. I mean after all God is love right? I have watched my father give more than freely of his time for those less fortunate and most of what he did was based on his faith in works. When he was still driving he would pick up kids on a bus in the 'hoods around Dyersburg to go to camp where they saw something they never imagined...another adult giving total time and attention to them as individuals. Teamwork. He served as a Redcoat volunteer at the sawmill until some genius moved their seats over by the smaller elevator. That's when he turned the coat over to me for return because he would not be treated like that and plus there had been a couple of wheelchair mishaps.

I remember one time mama was doing the ICU volunteer thing and feeling around for a stapler on the high shelf which promptly smacked her in the head and resulted in yet another injury so she retired too. There's this award that is given every year to a volunteer who gets nominated by hospital staff to get the Gaga award for outstanding devotion to working for free just because. Sick people need lots of love, 'ya know? I talked with RW today and he explained the dual approach to addiction. Back in the day there were no high powered drugs like what is readily available from the pill mill doctors. Return visits to these practitioners at a co-pay give a legal gray area to be explored in unraveling the totally complicated thing that is prescription drug abuse. More often than not, the practicing physician is of Arabian lineage and will drop a door in a woman's face in a heartbeat. And for THIS I went to college? I think not ya'll. Keeping the faith here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the ugly cry

Even with proper meds, I've been busting out with some serious tears over the past few days. I'm grieving for my cousins Donna, KA and Deb but there are so many more layers to the grief thatit could be a salad with the peas and stuff like everybody brings to the pot luck at church. I made a major social media error which caused some hurt feelings and I've been working through that. Work is busy but less drama so that's good. We still have a live in family but they're gone a lot so there you go. There was this hideous (broken) glass top table that sat at the end of BG's bed holding the somewhat unstable donated TV and cheap DVD player. Booger has almost decapitated himself on it several times so we moved it into the diningstorage room and moved the TV up high where we can actually see. Baby steps, ya'll.

When I talked to my "here's the thing" therapist a couple weeks ago there was only one issue in my mind and that was setting boundaries in a certain area of my life where my health was beginning to be affected. Now there are yet other things on the table that bring a certain amount of closure to one chapter with an uncertain future for "chapter next." One of my oldest blog friends had a blog named just that! There was some random guy who looked dressed for official work was sitting in a truck on my lane when I passed by this afternoon. It's a great hideout for people like UPS and FedEX drivers and ATT techs who just wanna chill before they clock out. If I'm lying I'm dying! I figure he was catching up on computer work from a just completed job.

And then there's the grands, bless their hearts. The battier they get the more frustrating yet hilarious it becomes because they can finally LOL at themselves and how they act together. Just like an old married couple. It will be sixty years on Feb 14 since they tied the knot while he was home from the Air Force. Mama said she talked to the VA grandkids the other night but didn't know what they said. That's okay because they're only 4 and 2 and she's kinda' out there most of the time. I love seeing her with a peace and acceptance of the way things are rather than that two year streak of mourning her independence. There were a lot of drop and run calls during that time period.

I don't a clue what's going on in the world since Rodman went to rehab and polar vortex II starting moving in. I'm just praying my last propane purchase will last through this cold spell. There are notes over both sinks that say "WATER On!" And still, I forget. That's what happens when you go into overload, kids. My karma request is for the ability to shake it up and shake it off and step up one more time. All you hippie folks out there send me some vibes. Love ya...mean it^j^

Sunday, January 19, 2014

trickle down

I absolutely LOVE going to Cracker Barrel because it's where all the families come to stretch across three tables pushed together and catch up on life. Normally we sit right next to the door so mama can get out easily but that table was taken so I had a birds' eye view of people coming and going. The line starts to build around 11 on Sundays and is never ending until the last Yankee candle has been oohed and ahhed over.The clothing is awesome and I assume mostly American made...not sure about the jewelry and such. Mama always wants to get a GooGoo to go and today was the appointed day to get stuff done in one trip. We took a platter of chicken strips to go for the family of his dear friend Joe Mack who will be buried on Tuesday. I watched as he and Miss Reba hugged and cried together then he made his way back to me and mom in the Cadi to finish out our Sunday routine. He almost tripped over her walker trying to get to the next thing which is I don't have a clue. She gave me a totally cool sweater with brightly colored blocks and such. Not a chevron, but definitely trendy.

I spotted them coming through together, my former boss and his beautiful wife. Normally I just wave and say "hey ya'll" but I had to hug these two because life is short and you just never know when's the last time you get that chance. I hugged him especially hard because I know from experience what it means to be used up and thrown away by people you believed in. He is a member of the same church as me and so also felt the pain more than most others. I remember being an annual conference delegate and watching the CEO of our company do a 30 minute spill at the end of a service promising everybody that "we know what a miracle you are". Here's the thing about hospital administration in my opinion. Administrators should have some sort of clinical training in addition to that MBA that got them the job. If clinically trained individuals are in leadership roles there's a lot fewer emails and misunderstandings about what is happening in the trenches.

Mr. McCormick is a nurse which is what made him a strong leader in all of the clinical areas. I remember one time I messed up (before HIPPA) and asked a friend who got mucho blood to speak out for our volunteer blood program. Some harpie doctor's wife overhead this and ran straight to the top about my indiscretion. He passed it on and blew it off. That's how you lead people, not by punitive action. He saw my potential as a team member and active part of the community that we served. we had a chaplain on staff and an active volunteer service which both of my parents served in. My grandmother was the director of those volunteers and of the gift shop until right before she died. It was a horrid little place with silk flowers and get well cards but now it's quite cute.

After the "mission statement and vision" changed to gaining a reputation as a transplant center, the West Tennessee seven weren't part of the equation. With corporate offices in Jackson and a small hospital there fighting to survive the giant county facility, it was complicated. When Methodist Healthcare and Baptist Memorial were in a bidding war the idea was to grab up all the feeders along Highway 51 in west Tennessee. The corporate bunch went first, following by a massive sale of the facilities to Community Health Systems. That involved a six month period of IS conversion into which I was hip deep. I heard later that most of the time when a client installs a new system they pay for the installers to take it to go live. Instead (because there were so many facilities) random people from each facility were brought to corporate one last time to help decipher and standardize things like test names and billing codes. We in turn as superusers, ya know, trained everybody in the entire facility. It was something that I had no freakin' CLUE would be so stressful.

Ownership was transferred and there was almost immediately an issue that required legal intervention when the seller decided not to share blood bank records because of privacy laws. Now I'm say this from pure experience: Starting over from scratch with a patient database of blood types, problems and antibodies is scary stuff and quite dangerous. Thank goodness they got the discs needed to do a proper search until we built up our own. That was 11 years ago and I've seen a lot of things change since then. Most of it is what everybody else in the middle class deals with which is how to survive now that nobody can buy a house a car or food. Once again, I don't begrudge anybody their big bucks if nobody was intentionally hurt in the process but please don't show off your big ass cars and expensive clothes like you're somebody. It's tacky, as we say in the South. Gotta run. It's incredibly hard to get a picture of an airplane from inside the house. Later ^j^

Saturday, January 18, 2014

winter cousins

About this time last year my Ky cousin's husband was hospitalized for heart problems in Paducah which is about 30 minutes from them. I know that because they took me on a tour one time complete with beer over the coal piles and rails and the lake that is famous for that area. I watched as the dam opened and closed controlling the flow of water to generate electricity for that area I reckon. One of my favorite shots of all time is the one of a train on the bridge from an open window. We ate at the Castle and had some more beer. I got to see Eddyville live and in person! While Deb was busy trying to keep up with Ron all those miles away she stopped taking her diuretic because it makes you pee all the time. She rolled herself around in a wheelchair because of bad knees just to get to where he was because she was devoted to him. She died a couple of weeks after that right after he came home from the hospital from fluid overload. I will carry the memory of our last conversation and that visit with me to my own personal heaven.

Hospice is moving in as we speak with my cousin Donna and her hub off the coast of Washington on Lummi Island. Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder that causes liver and lung failure at an early age. Her sister Katherine died at 64 and she and her aunt Latricia are both in end stage liver disease at that very same age. Her passing will leave me as the eldest grandchild of Wilmer and Lottie Stafford from Blue Mountain Mississippi but for now, she's somewhere between here and there. Her devoted husband Michael is an artist and devoted caregiver. We should all be so blessed.

So far nobody has killed anybody else with the increased census at Casa Poops so that's a good thing, right Martha? I watched cartoons with Boogs this morning and there were cinnamon rolls which just makes everything better. Plus apple jacks, of course. The washer is in high gear and there are brooms and mops flying everywhere. It's what we do when we're tired as hell and ain't gonna take it anymore.


Friday, January 17, 2014

one republic

I am old and codgery enough to remember vividly old war stories from the two "big ones" and a lot more that were serious but not so deadly. Fighting on enemy soil is always a disadvantage which is why so many cowboys got shot with arrows and Native Americans got put in casino reservations for reparation of sorts. I remember when black Americans were segregated while us whiteys looked on and were somewhat embarrassed, at least I was. Dr. Martin Luther King is right up there with Jesus in my book and his courageous leadership led to a violent time in American politics with his murder coming not too long after those of the Kennedys. Coincidence? Hmmm..hired guns come in all forms. I do not believe that one Russian immigrant with a single weapon killed JFK on the plaza that day, from a 4th story window? C'mon. I've known too many Jack Ruby types in my life, if you get my drift. I do not completely believe that nobody in our intelligence community could not pick up on the fact that a gang of jihadists could literally fly under the border radar while on a five year mission to take down the World Trade center. Somebody knew and that and it made somebody a whole shitload of money while we started shelling out for the most expensive wars in history and then when the bottom fell out? All the wall street types grabbed their undies and ran to an island where the money was. And that my friends? Is a true story.

My friend Ms Ruth told me tales of losing a fortune during the crash or recession or whatever it was in the 80s. I was just starting my career then and had a baby and work and a husband and OMG...i don't remember most of it because it was all such a rush-up affair to make more money to buy more things. We bought a house while I was hugely pregnant because it was either that or move. It was owner financed and he even put up the down payment. Then one day when BG was about four, the old horseman's house on the hill became available so we sold at a profit and moved out to the hundred year old drafty house with character. A real "fixer upper!" And fix we did, for about six months solid before moving in. I remember painting in the cold and getting pneumonia from all the sawdust.

Our first night here was in April and I was sitting in what is now an office watching a thunderstorm roll over the young green leaves outside. Talk about your wide open spaces! The farm that I grew up knowing every landmark and nook of turned out to be where I have spent the majority of my life outside of work. Even though I'm paid a fair wage for my skills, my salary like that of all workers has failed to keep up with rising corporate profits. It's all been worth it with the inconveniences of living with no reliable help in the semi-woods. Directly across the lane I watch the sunset over the Forked Deer backwater on a pink and blue backdrop. It is heaven and I thank Big Ernie for all the lessons I've learned from this part of mother earth.

I came home yesterday with my therapy appointment about ten minutes out and started playing on the keyboard and just got, well....lost. He called me out 45 minutes later like "Sup?" I mean who forgets a therapy appointment! I assured him that the meds are tweaked and I'm good 'til next week. Lord knows there will be more drama before then. We have a couple of roommates for the time being and there's been plenty of practice so I think as long as mommy can watch movies besides Ice Age we're good to go. There were snow flurries today which didn't surprise at all because it's cold as a well digger's ass. Hope that didn't offend anybody and if it did? Get a sense of humor!

My mama and I got got talk at ease yesterday while daddy was out for coffee with "the boy" like the only one who usually picks him up for his outings. Dusty is 90 years old and has never been in the hospital or taken medicine. He's a senior olympian and retired pharmacist. One of their lunch buddies Mr.Joe died so their wolfpack is shrinking. About five years ago I spent all my spare time in the river bottoms with beer taking pictures. One day I ran across Mr. Joe and his buddy Ernest down there with poles on the bank. Ernest drove Joe around everywhere because by then he was so wore out from being roly poly that he needed a lift. I snapped their picture with the free for Christmas Kodak I got from work and it was a pure work of art. However, now that his service is upon us I can't imagine where to find it. That was a couple of hard drives ago.

I know this is rambly and not always comfortable chatter to be found here. Mom told me I shouldn't mention anybody's name on the interwebs for fear of getting in trouble, God bless her. That's all she's got to worry about except what daddy's doing when she's not telling him what to do.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

badass pope

I'm sitting here thinking and giggling about all those choir boy loving pervy cardinals getting fired from the bank of Catholicism or whatever you call it. Dude cleaned house very early into what would have been a very long term for that crew. I wish it were that simple here in the US to clean up all the filthy money laundering that banks and industries do. If a pope can do it why not a president? Oh, yeah there's that congress packed full of tea party bigoted old men and harpies who think they can run the world. Considering how people are truly suffering from the "great" recession that hasn't ended and how the upper crust live while people are dying in this country for lack of medical care or proper food I'd say it's time for a flood of Noah proportions. I don't begrudge anyone their fortune if they will just use some of it to help the least of these. It's what Jesus would do, even without a bracelet that says it.

Here's a thought. My experience has been that with things like fundraising for causes and whatnot transparency brings loyalty from donors. I've worked enough cancer diagnosis benefit BBQs to learn a whole lot about people who give of themselves for a good cause. One of the young ladies that I work with was a recipient of those funds one year after being born with a lot of health issues. This girl gives me a hug and an "i love you" every single time we meet. Her mama and uncle are old friends of mine from wayyyyy back in the day. A lot of the money raised from those benefits went to giving people plaques of appreciation for their time and effort. While I was going through history in the basement I found the one with her name on it.

All us old timers at the sawmill took a moment to remember Marshall Nash who passed today. He and Diane and RoRo were all family and we did our jobs as best we could with what we had. Great healthcare delivery requires a certain ability to nurture yet set limits because of the constant stress. Being with peeps who are suffering and sick is not something you do for the money. It's a calling and one that too many people get burned by when entering the wall street rat race that is today's market. I'm considering a run for governor since everybody is scared of Haslam's shadow but my 80 year old mother reminded me that it takes money to get elected and he's already a millionaire. As SKB would say "Okay, then." Bless all our hearts.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

tweakin' meds

I told BG the next time I decided there was non $$ for crazy meds to insist that I get my old ass out to some street corner and do what must be done to come up with the money. I was without TWO antidepressants that I've been on for years for the entire four days we had no water. No wonder I was a raving lunatic by the weekend! Here is the reality of my situation. I enter into the eve of a payday with a full half of my earnings gone from borrowing to keep the boat floatin' which includes some pretty pricey options like PD and title lenders with outrageous interest rates. I'm smart enough to know that those are not viable options for the long term and I am mad as hell patiently waiting for the US government to return my tax dollars which will be late this year because the asshats shut the whole shooting match down. Two weeks late, as a matter of fact. Be sure and thank your Republican congressmen and women for that and a lot of other cuts that are beginning to be felt mightily. Booger's mama is a prime example of how non-violent drug offenses can be used to fund the local court system and law enforcement and make it hard for someone to raise a family even if they try really hard working part-time for minimum wage which did NOT go up from 7.35 in TN. In premise, I agree with the logic of the particular program that she and BG are a part of which makes it an ongoing recovery and not just a detox. That way when life starts playing hardball with you, you've got tools to prevent relapse. It's a community in many ways that is open to everyone who needs to work some steps or just talk. I always say "If the step fits..."

Work was busy again so I was sort of stunned when I answered a call from the Shelby county area code and my long lost dear friend Paula was on the other end. I knew the voice and her face came to me soon after. We did a quick FB exchange and promised to catch up later. She, as a nurse and me the lab tech served a whole lot of cancer patients in our day and I will never forget the people I've met along the way. I stopped by the gas station on the way home and the lady who asked me to take off the hoodie the other night was standing there obviously not remembering me. I was so tempted to tell her how wildly popular that story was...cuz I'm just mischievous like that. When my friend Sue saw the picture she was like "Really, girl?" She always has makeup on and nice hair while I'm the slovenly one who won't take the time and then wonders why I'm all single and morose. Bah!

For a brief moment this morning I thought to myself "Self, you can do without internet for a bit." I was due to be turned off today if payment wasn't made yesterday (all 42 bucks of it) and I lost the bill so I spent 30 minutes on the phone with my customer service professionals this morning who couldn't find my account with my name, SSN and address because I didn't have the number of the line that nobody calls because it's computer only. Get my drift? They finally found me and found that I had a payment option but would have to pay the 30buck restoral of service fee because it was, after all, cut off. Fine month. I'll deal with it then. I talked to BG shortly after and she assured me the service never went away because she was busy filling out job apps. Hmmm. Anyway, too many things like career options and entertainment for a network deprived bunch are on the table to let that one go. I don't miss cable a bit. Web access is a whole 'nother matter.

I went through a couple of years there where the weight just sort of fell off of my formerly chubby frame and people started to think I looked "sick." I never really tried and only ate and drank what I really wanted and enjoyed. My tastes have changed since I quit deep frying everything like we southerners tend to do, and when I eat something like that I can tell my body doesn't like it. So I listen...and I do much better as a grazer having a bite of protein here and something sweet there with a few crackers and a beer. Or five. It depends on what day it is, you know.

For the first time in a month my shoulder doesn't ache all day and all night and that's a blessing just to have some downtime from constant pain. The "bitch" as I call that knot in my right shoulder blade is working against whatever I managed to do with the fall and I think she's about to win. We shall see.

Y'all be careful out there ^j^

Monday, January 13, 2014

credit where it is due

Once again I find myself grumpy and tired and it's only Monday...meh. And of course it's a rainy gloomy day as well which just screams seasonal affective disorder. I can't really put a finger on why I feel so irritable except that I ran out of happy pills last week and I'm currently getting back to therapeutic level. Add to that the pile of bills in front of me with payday not until Friday and that could be a factor as well. And well, there's my perpetual state of singlehood which is probably a good thing when I'm in this mood 'cuz I'm liable to run some keeper smooth off the property. The key word here I believe is "struggle" which I do on a daily basis just to keep my head above water. Most folks my age are happily snapping pics of their grandkids and enjoying semi-retirement while I'm trudging along just to make a living.

The washer ran non-stop all weekend and we're still not done. Four days without water during a cold snap means LOTS of dirty clothes. It looks better though, and I'm determined that pretty soon my office will be a place where I can not only compute but visit without having to round up a chair. The cutest chair that I own sits beside my desk and has the antique fabric and batting literally gnawed off one arm by baby Ryder two springs ago. Sophie's thing is flip flops and we now have exactly one pair that hasn't been chewed to bits. I used to know how to have entertain myself when my soul needed a boost. Somehow or another I lost that ability during the past year and everything just seems to be a chore with nothing much to look forward to but more of the same. BG told me if I'd quit the artificial sweeteners in diet cola that my aches and pains will be substantially less. It's worth a shot, even though I became a Tab addict at the age of 15.

Ahywho, the cutest baby ever is here so I'll just settle on letting him entertain me with his howls and giggles. Later!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

let's give 'em something to talk about

Thank the Lord and pass the sunscreen it's a beautiful day on the lane where a couple of young men are either making some pecan money or exploring the haunted dairy barn. Either way I figure it's good that they're outside while their mama works. Sister and Boogs are watching Elf and trying to catch a nap. TeeTee just got home from lunch with her dad and I'm still full from Mary Lou's southern feast on daddy's dime. We went to two different dollar stores to find what we halfass needed and I smooth forgot about Walgreen being on every corner. Note to self! They love riding in the Cadi and it certainly has more room for her walker.

I told my Aunt Virginia to call while she was in Washington but haven't heard from her so I figure they've been busy bonding and such. Donna and I had our last meeting at Mexico for margaritas and lunch. She is, of all my cousins, the one most like me in spirit. A gentle soul with a liberal point of politics she spent 30 years on her feet serving passengers in-air for Delta. When she got older and not quite so cute, they canned her. When things were the darkest around here money and problem wise she dug deep into her pockets to send us dinner at Lupo's. She paid for three months of internet service so that I could continue to write. Mama told me she never saw such a sad little girl as when Donna first saw me, the NEW baby. Love ya...mean it.

I stopped by Money Mike's today and chatted with my friend Sara waiting for beer thirty which is after 12N in Tennessee. You know it's church day. Beer sales are also not allowed between 3 and 7AM because I'm not sure why. Nobody that has money to buy it is up at that time of day except for shift workers. My brother used to work at a liquor store downtown when there was a cluster of them and the street guys would hang around until 8AM so they could get their bottle of cheap wine or whiskey. There is only one store there now since urban sprawl happened and downtown got abandoned. It is pretty though because several owners of the historic buildings on court square have done renovations to improve the total look. A lot of money went into fancy street lights and sidewalks, from a grant I believe. There are very few retailers there now but lots of law offices and banks. This bohemian couple named Jorge and Fire had an art studio upstairs in one of them. Tennessee's oldest hardware store sits lifeless with broken stained glass where Forked Deer used to be. Meanwhile, Stephen Fincher's office sits to the left of a beer garden that never got used because the churches run our local politics and they said nay to alcohol sales at a bike show that brought huge revenue into our area. Lots of money to our tax base. Of course the churches aren't taxed so they didn't care that it was a major economic faux pas for the 'burg. The man who was behind all that still uses south D'burg as home base for his motorcycle business known as Boss Hoss. See what I mean?

Really? I'm not bitching to much because every small town in America is suffering the same fate unless they get populated with new generation green thinking younger folk. Unfortunately they are outnumbered by gas guzzling big ass honkin' SUV driving soccer moms and football dads raising kids to be just like 'em, all from money earned in a corporate ripoff of the rest of us working stiffs. It makes me sick enough to SPIT. I got the ugly wave the other day from one of those women in a Yukon who was just pissed as hell because I was wore out and took her turn at a 4-way stop. Get over it honey.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

of bridges and rivers

Our top stories today include not only Chris Christie being "shocked and disappointed" not to mention humiliated over the actions of his staffers about which he knew nothing because he was too busy running for president but also the poisoning of a major water supply in West Virginia by some chemical whose properties are, at present, unknown. My question is this....if there isn't a clear MSDS description of said chemical why the hell is it being used???? Every workplace in America is required to have that information readily available for everything that might even be slightly toxic, right down to hand sanitizer and lotion. This is not acceptable. Talk about your infrastructure fuckups! Add this to our bungled responses to several recent natural disasters like Katrina, Sandy and all those wildfires and you've got yourself a country that can't even take care of its' own. As if anybody in the political world cares about that. My biggest disappointment has been that the Democratic party (including our POTUS) has not stepped up to the plate and taken advantage to the worst ratings in history for the GOP to make things better for us. Shame on all ya'll and your mamas too. McConnell Cantor and Boehner can be had if you just make some noise.

Our pump got repaired yesterday after four waterless days so my work is cut out for the weekend what with dishes and laundry and floor mopping and. Yikes! I better get busy. It's much warmer so I'm able to move around and keep warm rather than burn that precious propane. As I was leaving to go pay the loan shark bills I passed a FedEx truck turning onto the lane and thought for a minute it might be BF using that carrier rather than her standard USPS. I reckon it was crazy meds for the guy down the road!

See ya'll when I'm able to see the floors and counters ^j^

Friday, January 10, 2014

connectionally speaking

I've been a lifelong Methodist since the age of 2 being raised up in the First church at the corner of Main and McGaughey in downtown Dyersburg proper. I went to school in that sector for ten years and then moved out onto the 51 by-pass glass and maze thingie. We had color coded maps to find our way around. In short, it was an introduction to higher education for those who could afford it. Neither of my brothers chose to get any sort of education post high school other than specific vocational type things which have served them well. I I could have a do-over, I'd forget the whole I want a degree thing and learn to build canoes like my friend Ruskey. His life has been a whole lot less stressful than mine, if you know what I mean. Vocational education has gone by the wayside and that's a damn shame because somebody's gotta be able to build the boat when Big Ernie sends another flood.

Much of my stress is self induced in the form of not being able to set boundaries when my internal signals say STOP or you will implode! A lot of that is being a woman and I do honestly believe that we make things way harder than they have to be. There is no white picket fence or romance. If you find yourself lucky enough to spend time with someone who loves you for you, helps to raise your children and contributes to the finances, you've done well. The rest is just details. The idea that there is only one life partner for everybody around is ridiculous and has provided a healthy living for many a divorce lawyer and his two families. Smartass and realism...a very healthy blend.

So I had two hours on the phone today with different folks from whom I needed advice and they came through for me big time. The one guy knows my entire history and reminds me of Just Call Saul in some strange way now that I've seen the entire sad story that is you know what. What intrigues me is the purity addictive something in that pure a form is when you've got shake'n'bakers with no teeth smoking the poison off dollar store tinfoil and peeing in the street. I do believe that Heisenberg's formula is what circulated in the sixties and seventies when the purity was there before greed became a big factor in recreational drugs. And then there's prohibition of "gateway" drugs like pot which are so much healthier when homegrown instead of carried in the damn gas tank of a smuggler's vehicle. Dammit people! Our coasts are falling off into the ocean due to global warming and tsunamis and what the hell are we doing? Watching CNN looking for the latest political fuckup. Give.Me.Strength.

So, my therapist said "here's the thing." He listened to my issues which were much clearer than in a LOOOOONG time. After that I talked with an old friend whom we came to know as the first youth pastor at said home church on the corner. When BG was about two years old my daddy told me she needed to go and I agreed. Her father was never a part of it much because he was raised up in the way of the rod and wrath of the Old testament You know like "you gotta be perfect" before you show up in God's house. Now I don't know about ya'll, but that's not what the whole thing is about to me. Do I believe that Jesus is the son of God? Mostly definitely...and so am I. Well, except for I'm a girl. But you know what else, sometimes I think that being a Christian isn't the only answer. Being a believer in a higher power can be. Peace and love to all of my friends. I'm headed to the shower in the very near future and that's a good thing as Martha would say.

Breaking! My 87 year old Aunt Virginia is visiting her sick daughter on Lummi island off the coast of Washington accompanied by her grandaughter-in-law. There's a ferry and the whole deal. Her sister Kaffy, the bossy one, told her not to wear high heels!

Thanks KWC for hearing me and responding in kind ^j^

Thursday, January 9, 2014

more than one way to thaw a pipe

We are three days and counting with no water at Casa Poops and there ain't enough hand sanitizer in the world to fix that. Therefore, I went to bed sick at 5:30 yesterday and got up in time to get my stuff together for face washing and tooth brushing at the sawmill. The head cold I've carried for almost two weeks now is not getting much better since the steroids ran out and my shoulder is acting up again as well. If it weren't a freaking WEEK until payday I might go see the doc and get more meds but hey. That's how it rolls here in the land of the free. It's like these things are happening to show me that my place is not here for much longer, which we already know. As much as I'd like to think of living my life out here on this farm, I know it's not realistic. Don't own= can't defend. End of story. It makes me really sad to think of our family's years on this place becoming dust in the wind like all memories.

I think a lot of the pain that I'm feeling now is grief for Faith and Debbie both of whom were lost to me in a short time. I remember our last conversation when she told me about gaining 40 lbs of fluid while her husband was hospitalized and she quit taking lasix because she was on the road with him. She described to me how she had to wheel herself around in a chair at the hospital to get to him because of her CHF. Her son and I both told her she was messing with fire so she decided to double up on the meds and stay put rather than go in herself. She was all superwoman like that. Not me ya'll...I'll whine and cry my way right into a sickbed if you'll let me.

I sort of look at the sorting and selling and cleaning of the past year as a rite of passage to wherever the next place is on my agenda. I can feel myself being led rather than digging in on one particular scenario of how things will go because Lord knows we can't predict when something's not gonna go as planned. I'm the poster child for that idea!

If you smell anything skunky it's probably me because daily baths require an extra effort right now.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

flirtin' with pneumonia

The cash flow situation around here is such that BG and were forced inspired to go pecan picking in 25 degree weather this morning. Both of us are sick so it didn't last long but we managed to scrape up 25 bucks worth. That will cover necessities for the day. Her work schedule is rather wonky at the moment so we never know who's coming or going when. The water is still frozen and according to the handyman it will probably be Thursday before it thaws. Then we gotta look for leaks...oh joy! Most of the plumbing is in the basement so I think it's the tank or pump itself that are frozen because the basement isn't that cold. The temperature down there stays pretty steady no matter how cold or hot it is which can be a real blessing.

I chatted with the people at the pecan place about prices and availability and how it's a good thing this one air headed customer married a rich man. I should have thought about that long ago!! This place made a killing off of the corporate Christmas gift that all 500 of us got at the sawmill. Daddy let me in yesterday evening to take a shower and I was surprised that he didn't rush me out the door, instead showing concern that we're "roughing" it. He has a chiro appointment today and mama's got hair because the weather forecast for tomorrow includes ice pellets again. Yay! The ramp up to Angel's is not very forgiving when there's ice and she sure doesn't need a broken hip just to get her hair did.

Meanwhile, the rest of the nation deals with arctic cold and busted pipes just like me so I'm surely not alone. There are plenty of others living in boxes by underpasses trying to stay warm. I burned another section of the asparagus bed this morning in anticipation of spring and enjoyed the heat while it lasted. One of my most vivid survivalist memories is of the failure of internet service during one of the floods. I had no TV and a dumb phone at the time so I was kind of stuck up here with nothing but a cell phone. I tried to describe to somebody at ATT how the web was my LIFELINE at the moment and then felt silly about the whole thing because's only been in the last 15 years that we've had that luxury. That was the time we hitched a ride out in the back of the crack head's pickup and he almost slung us out in the field on the way across. Then we went through several feet of water to get to the trusty old Camry. I swear ya'll, I was ready to jump if that truck had not hit pavement when it did.

If I were a player in the Hunger Games, I'd be out by the 2nd round most likely because I'm just not that tough. I certainly hope I'm gone before it gets to that! Today will be one to piddle and wander and make more trips for water to flush the toilet. Fun times man. Fun times.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

polar vortex

That's the buzzword for Hercules the great which has turned the US into one giant deep freeze. It's okay to leave the mayo out overnight, if you know what I mean. My water comes from a well with a pump that I have always previously guarded with a heater during the winter months. I failed to set it up ahead of time or I would have noticed that the wiring is frayed and disconnected and I have not a freakin' clue how to fix it. I think with some heat it would be okay in a couple of hours. So I wait for Bobby the handyman to show up. There will be pictures if he does. BG went to the grands for a shower and I went for a dump and while we were there it was discovered that one of their refrigerators was dark so I took the bulb out and found that wasn't it. Daddy argued with me that it's fine since there's ice so I left it at that. Oh, and Mom sent home one of her bras with me because it's "tight on her." Lordhavemercy!

I was on a mission to get that dining room floor sanitary until the water went out so I reckon it's plan B until it flows. I would be ashamed for anybody to even see it at this point. Needless to say, Swiffer is my friend. That was a new invention when I began as a blogger and I remember entering a contest at the Swiffer Mom's site for something or another. I won a couple of books by great authors and even won a website design by the lovely Tamara that served me well until Poop Happens moved onto the next chapters on Pecan Lane. Thank you for believing in me...everybody who ever has offered encouragement that what I write matters. It's therapy for me and it someone else gets a point that makes it a win-win. I do indeed encounter a number of folks who want to get nasty and slam me for being a demolibtard. Whatever. There will always be haters.

It's an Alicia Keys Whitney Houston kind of day around here as I try to pull together some soft of plan for the next week financially. There is gas to be bought to go to jobs that will allow us to pay some of the bills but that's 10 days away. But you know what? I've been here before and made it just fine with a little flexibility and letting go. We got a very unexpected gift on Sunday that brought tears to my eyes and got promptly paid forward to a friend in need. That's how it works, ya know? To whom much is given and all that.

Stay warm and tap your brakes ^j^

Sunday, January 5, 2014

sittin' here lookin' like this

My dear Yaya and I used to throw that phrase out when one would call the other with the question "Whatcha' doing?" like women do a lot. My favorite story involves her cat 'Putin (short for Rasputin I think) would get in on the action and got stroked while we chatted. I babysat for him one weekend and never saw the cat all weekend. He hid in the laundry room until I left. That's where all his 'chit is like food and litter. That was not long after Mocha died and I thought I'd have to bury my friend soon after. It would be years later before I experienced that deep of a big old chocolate lab loss. Chocolates are just special, is what the vet used to say. She was a young and vibrant and very pregnant lover of animals who went to work for a veterinary urgent care in a bigger town.

I noticed in the rainy gray of today that this town and the scenery is more depressing by the day. Every time I drive through Southtown I'm struck by the power of a simple river like the Forked Deer when the land isn't properly managed as a flood plain. In the future it will be, following back to back flooding that destroyed the entire neighborhood except for a couple of businesses, some houses and a church or two. I hope I'm alive to see the finished product but I will always remember my childhood there and all the memories that I carry. I've given some thought to blogging around town and telling about the landmarks so we'll see how far I get with that between trying to sell the family silver to eat and dealing with the head cold from outer space while Hercules barrels into my face from the northwest. Winter, she is here.

Horner's garage is up there before your cross the first bridge into town that runs over the river proper down by the water plant. The kudzu bar (well, it used to be) sits between the two bridges and has been my haven many a night when I was still a going out kind of gal. Now all I wanna do is go home, and that's sad. But hey, I've got stuff to do like mop floors and photograph collectibles one more time. What's left now all has a meaning of some sort. My ethereal friend suggested making an altar of sorts consisting of things that make me peaceful and happy like the angels and the tiny little Buddha. Mary Engelbreit art smiles at me above the desk and BF's bronze peace sign is on my bedroom door. There is a sign above the desk in rust and brown with cream lettering that says Keepin' the faith. It was a gift from my brother and his wife before they left for VA. Little things that mean a lot. That's what life is all about.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

deep freeze and liberal jesus

It's no surprise that it's about to get colder than it's been in eons and I'm feeling pretty blessed to have that high priced propane. Today is rather warm and beautiful, the kind that teases us into thinking that it will stay this way. Nope. I wonder where Jim Cantore will land this time? Ours will only last a day or two and the warmup will be quick but not so for the rest of the country. Bless ALL their little hearts I say! I don't normally get into online political discussions unless some troll comes snooping around baiting me with right wing nut case conspiracy theories. I stumbled into one on a friend's page today and the guy who dominated the whole thing obviously had everything typed up ahead of time and just pressed "send". After spending say umm...about 30 minutes comparing President Obama to Hitler he bowed out after spewing forth a bio his vast knowledge from police work, world travel and uber intelligence including 3 degrees. Now I've been in a lot of discussions and never ONCE felt compelled to throw my BS.MT. out as a badge of honor. Which is my point entirely. I told this guy what I thought and a couple of others backed me up. That's what's great about America and makes it to where his smart ass won't be the next Hitler. Bernie Sanders! Clone thyself!!!!

Both parties are guilty of spending too much time, money and political power on making things happen that have absolutely nothing to do with the wishes of the people who elected them, usually along party lines. I was, and remain, a not very big fan of the Dubya era for reasons that everybody understands. One of the things that I rememeber from that time is Terri Schiavo and how her parents and sibling went all the way to Supreme court near'about to keep her on life support while her poor little husband just tried to do what she wanted. As you may recall GOP corporate healthcare ho CEO Bill Frist got all up in the middle of that. Unfortunately the 13 year old brain dead post TandA girl has no advocate other than the ones who want "reparations" for their suffering. I think the hospital legal counsel was wise in agreeing to let Mama assume care for the child after a certain date because they don't agree with her definition of "life." If it's mechanical forever, you're dead. Some people just don't get that it's not ALL about them. We call it "futile care." and don't play the race card ya'll. It's not becoming!

I find myself still identifying people by race or ethnicity not out of disrespect but to help me remember who's who and from whence they come. The cultural barriers between people of the globe and a smartass redneck farmer's daughter country girl are more than could be numbered. Just just say it's a brazillion and leave it at that!

For me these types of people are the ones who so very little faith that there's something better than staying alive past the time Big Ernie intended. My parents at 80 and 82 are a miracle of how well our society has cared for that generation post war. And now, "the state" is kicking people out of nursing homes into the homes of untrained family members who work their asses off because of this shitty economy. Healthcare shouldn't be that way, especially for the elderly. They deserve to have people pay attention to their needs and be heard. I'm getting there in a hurry and I'm really not afraid because I figure that what I've done in my career has helped a whole lot of folks when they were sick or down. I'm about to get back in the selling business now that inventory is manageable. I still have way more "things" than I care to carry up the road I'm on which is who the hell knows. I take it one day at a time ^j^

Friday, January 3, 2014

the saga continues

I've lived long enough to know that where there are peaks there is sure to be a valley or two waiting around to happen when you're still on a high from that last peak. That is precisely what happened during the past 24 hours as I struggled to stay warm and get the Camry in motion. I called roadside assistance this morning after BG dropped me off at the sawmill and waited 30 minutes for a dispatch person to take my call. Good thing I wasn't stranded on the side of the road freezing to death. Anywho, the local provider good old Patterson Brothers service station sent a guy with a super duper booster to get my car down to their shop where it was determined that I had to have a NEW battery at $138. Okay then, add that to what I already owe Peter Paul and the Virgin Mary and you've got a huge overdraft situation looming within the next week and the eagle shit just last night. O.M.G. How much worse can it get you say? Hmmmm. Never say that or Big Ernie will flat show you in language you understand like locusts and floods and whatnot. If I can we can somehow make it until BG's first check and the tax refund maybe it will return to regular crisis mode rather than orange alert.

The most ridiculous part of all this is that I have a good job and make decent money yet I struggle to keep up because well, you know. I'm not in the 1%. Now mind you I don't begrudge you CEOs your million dollar bonuses and tropical vacations but could you please just pay off the national debt with all the money you've made from corporate tax breaks? That would solve this country's entire dire situation in the course of about a week. I know it sounds like a bizarre notion because's your money and capitalism has allowed you to become rich beyond imagination. The trouble is, the more you have the more you want. How about them Koch brothers and Alice Walton? High five to Jamie and the bunch at JP Morgan. Hat tip to CITI and WAMU and all the others who bankrupted this country. Just remember when you get to the pearly gates and the sheep and goat sorting starts, we tried to tell you.

Prednisone is one kickass medication when you have a muscle injury like mine and also have the beginning of the epizootie that often results in pneumonia. Our friend at the urgent care clinic cares enough about her patients to hook a girl up even with no insurance and limited funds. Heck I may not even need the physical therapy that I wrangled an order for. It will have to be pretty bad pain to go through all the paperwork it takes to make THAT happen. Just saying. I still can't hook my bra but hey, baby steps is all I ask for at this point.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

dead batteries and cold hands

This will be brief since we are, once again, propaneless and it's cold as shit up in this office. That hundred gallons of gas went like wildfire at 2.20 a gallon. About a month, and not with very cold temps which are, shall we say, imminent. As I left for work today I was whipped with a windy heavy sort of snow that looks real cool in headlights. The snow was brief and not much ado but the cold has been bone chilling with a strong north wind. My trusty old Camry has done way more than a person should reasonably expect even if she is a Pollyanna. That's why today when the battery died AGAIN at the sawmill I wasn't what you call "surprised" by any means. Lots of women would just tap their toes and hit hubby on speed dial for the big save. Plan B for single women means smoking a cig with another friend while you attempt boost #2 and discussing how bad it sucks to be solid middle class working folks who don't have a chance in this economy. "Who needs a man." sometimes I do because hey...I'm just a girl and I don't know guy stuff. Don't even WANT to. All I can say about this weather is that duck hunters have to be the craziest people on earth.

BG was at the urgent care getting a TB test and ear check so she scooped me up and we finished the daily rounds which included a stop for epizootie meds and deli meat. I noticed this morning that the vent air seemed cold but brushed it off as maybe "not real." When we got home today it was very real and the side porch door off the dining room was standing wide open. A nippy 46 degrees the thermostat read! I quickly called propane guy only to be told this horror story about how he can't even get any because it's being "allocated" to drive the price up during the dead of winter. Now I don't know about ya'll but that sounds like something Jesus wouldn't like. Anywho, he said he was rationing it himself to his many customers wanting to stay warm and maybe or? Maybe not. We shall see but I can tell you this. If there's no heat, I won't be leaving BG's room except to pee. Hey..I might even get me a bedside jug like daddy uses.

BG did orientation for a new job today so there's a positive. Thanks to my friend John she has a car to drive to said job. I can always take a cab to work if need be what with all my extra money just begging to be spent. It's at times like these that I just want to give up and cry like a baby. Sometimes I do, and in a lot of cases that's what it takes to awaken the resolve to begin again. Believing in the impossible when nothing seems the very least reachable. Goal setting. I don't have a clue where I'm going but I feel like this is my year to shine. And shine I will, in spite of every flat tire or other smackdown that life hands me. Because that's what faith is about.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a new year dawns

So far it has consisted of waking up without a BC in the house and a locksmith on the way. The Cadi started doing strange things yesterday like honking the horn at will. So BG was up in there crawling around looking for the fuse and accidentally locked the keys in I had already lost the other set so there ya go. Moody came on out and met with her Dad who shelled out the cash. It's been a long time since I've seen a guy with a slim jim in action! They adore each other in that father daughter sort of way that all she has to do is cry "help!" I had a father like that as well. He was short on hugs and i loveyous but always helped me out when I was in a jam. Ain't nothing like having a relative with a tractor when you live in the country during winter.

My friends in Halls are trying to get settled into a routine that works for all involved including one very strong willed very sick man. I'm working in her place tomorrow so she can get a handle on it. Friday will be her last day with us at the sawmill and I'm dreading it already. She's been my early morning partner for many years. I had to laugh when I figured out that autocorrect is calling her Harry when I send a message. Damn autocorrect!

There is a lone pecan picker out in the chilly sunshine up front just enjoying the ride. BG sold what we had yesterday for about 25 bucks, enough for a New Year's eve shirt that we can both wear. There is propane for the upcoming deep freeze unless it lasts a long time in which case I'll be having to sell my first-born again for heat and groceries. However, in spite of the ever changing list of hardships that crop up I believe that I'm where I'm supposed to be at this point in time. When my parents are gone, that will be a different story. They're far from gone, happily sniping at each other from recliner to recliner about stupid little stuff that doesn't matter except to them. It is, however, much better since he can hear!

I woke up this morning to a very sore shoulder again. It hurts like the devil trying to get it stretched out enough to get dressed. The injury has given me a whole new perspective on why my little mama moans and groans when getting up on her shaky knees to grab the walker. After many years of crying and grieving for the loss of life as she knew it, she's found a new peace with books on tape and telephone conversations with long lost friends. Both of which drive him crazy, by the way. Heh.

2013 started on a couple of very bad notes for me most notably Faith's death in November of '12 and continuing with my cousin Debbie's sudden death in the winter of 2013. There was a lot of stress with the grands and even more at the sawmill and I kind of lost it there for awhile, trying to process the losses and keep my head above water. BF sent me the first package of '13 shortly after that which included a mouse pad with pretty girl's picture on it. I will never forget the very first card she sent on that Christmas eve and the explanation was one that speaks volume about philanthropy. "I have been financially blessed and I feel compelled to share." What a wonderful place this world could be if only everybody had that mindset. I mean, you can only spend so much money here on earth. The rest of it goes into an estate that will hopefully allow the executor to pay all the bills. End of legacy.

Everyone has a special something in their soul that begs to be recognized as a talent. I believe that if one is open to the universe and the whisperings of Big Ernie, anything is possible. Change is inevitable and a sense of social justice is necessary for us to even remotely begin to help each other out. There is evil in the world but there is also a ton of goodness and faith. The beautiful thing about faith is knowing that in the end, it is as it was supposed to be. It's what you do along the way that matters.

Peace ~