Sunday, November 30, 2014

homeward bound

This weekend has been a reckoning of sorts for me in that it's the first time in months that I've been focused enough on my own business to do accounting and catch up with old friends. It comes (of course) on the eve of my mother's departure from the care facility to home one more time. It's been a revolving door for the past three years with frequent hospital and rehab admissions. According to Medicare, she must have a 90 day "wellness" period in order to receive another hundred days. I have nothing but good things to say about the staffs at both facilities where she has spent rehab time. That gig, however, is up. We're back to one day at a time here at the homestead which means I'm back on call 24/7. is what it is. It's not like I have a life outside of working and sleeping.

It's about 70 degrees which is typical for Tennessee at this time of the year. Next thing you know it'll be 20 again with ice on the roads. I've been trying to get in the Christmas spirit but all in all that's kind of difficult at the moment what with everything that's going on. I've enjoyed looking at everybody else's tree online but I'm pretty sure ours will be one of those Charlie Brown sticks. Booger spent the night and I actually watched Despicable Me today while listening to him wail and fuss. Terrible almost two, if you know what I mean. Nothing suited him...nothing at all. I know the feeling well.

So, I'm sitting here with nothing to say which is not a good sign by any means. When I fail to find something to pontificate about it's usually because I'm wore ass out. Me and Daddy hauled all of mom's stuff back to the log cabin after eggs and doughnuts and even stopped to get some dilly bars so she will be set on arrival tomorrow. Muffins and Stouffers as well! She doesn't eat much anymore which is part of the aging process I suppose. Right now, I'd give anything to be on a beach somewhere listening to the sound of surf and nature. Maybe next year.

Feliz Navidad ^j^

Saturday, November 29, 2014

eldercare: a case study

Most everybody who reads here knows what a bad year it's been all the way around, including with my mother's health. Two weeks after my shoulder surgery she fell and had a spiral fracture of the femur which landed her in a touch and go surgical/post-op situation due to her congestive heart failure. A few days in intensive care corrected that to where she could be transferred to a regular room and then to a local rehab facility. Medicare pays for the first 20ish days in such a place and then her BC/BS pays for an additional ten. At that point, she would have had to pay 152 a day to remain there so she was transferred to a higher level of rehab care (technically,hospital) in another town where the Medicare co=pay of 1000 bucks was covered by the BC/BS. That lasted two weeks, but she still wasn't ready for home so she went BACK to the aforementioned local rehab for an additional two weeks at 152 dollars a day. She went home after that only to return to the hospital after two days because she couldn't walk. From there, she went to another local rehab for 24 days at 152 per day. They have enough in savings to cover this but it wipes out what they've put back for other expenses. Do the math y'all...who can afford that? Because they have an "adequate" income from my father's federal retirement, she does not qualify for state assistance with these bills. TennCare was not expanded in our state thanks to the Republicans in charge. She has been denied twice based on my father's income even though her personal income is only a few hundred a month in SS and it takes his entire income to run the household where he has remained.

Now, consider this. They pay for that BC/BS just like everybody else out of pocket which is quarterly out of their fixed income. Fortunately, it covers most medical costs in addition to Medicare, but in cases of long term care you are screwed unless you are (a)wealthy or (b)indigent, neither of which applies to her. A small VA housing supplement pays for the three hours of help a day that they have with cooking and cleaning but it took an act of Congress with a filibuster to get it. So now, she is to return home still in a brace on the broken leg with home health coming as often as possible. Back to square one, with 6000 bucks less in the bank than when she started this journey in August. Lest you think this couldn't happen to you and yours, think again.

Contrast this with my situation which is full time employment with somewhat affordable insurance premiums but co-pays that would strangle a goat. 20% of everything is a lot in this day and time and added to the premiums it shows why I can't afford preventive care, dental exams or glasses. The reason that I work is to keep that somewhat affordable coverage in case of a catastrophic illness, period. One bad run with your health can result in medical bills that will haunt you the rest of your life. And for this? We all pay much more than we can afford. I feel sure that one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in this country today is healthcare bills that are not covered by insurance. While this very industry is what pays my salary, I am quite disillusioned with the state of eldercare considering the fact that I will need it myself in the not so distant future. At 59, I can't begin to think about retirement until age 67 and then can't maintain my household on the meager SS "benefit" that I be eligible for IF there's any left. The aging of America is turning into one of the biggest crises this country has ever faced, world wars included. And all we as citizens can do is bite the bullet and let the 1% continue to trample us.

A social worker friend of mine shared with me recently that she feels sorry for my generation which includes her parents because we're in a tough position. More and more often people are working past retirement age because they can't afford to quit until something happens that forces them into unemployment and long term care options, which are few and far between. Those without families are the ones who depend most on the generosity of others to help them enjoy their last years. The EK Ross hippie in me is already planning a commune for me and mine when that time comes. Hospice is the word. It takes a village.

While my parents' situation is much better than many, it makes me really PISSEDoff..that it has come to this for them. They have worked hard all their lives, given back to the community that blessed them and kept the faith just like J would do. It's nobody's fault, it just is what it is. Healthcare is the biggest employer in the state of Tennessee and when you throw BC/BS in the mix sitting over there in Chattanooga all shiny and stuff, you can see an obvious conflict of interest. It is a story repeated time and time again in other states that have refused to accept federal funding because of conservative political views. Yet these very same people are in the bed with the likes of TVA and many more. My utility bill is 60 bucks higher this month than last and nothing was done any differently because the heat ain't running for sure. The tiny oil heaters don't use much if you leave them on but once they go cold it takes awhile to get the warmth back.

All of that being said, I feel truly blessed to be in a situation where I can help to care for my parents. My brother and daughter and I have pretty much tag teamed our way through the past six years and I can't imagine trying to handle it all alone. If you have to, just bless your heart. Ask friends to help! Caregiver burnout is common and dangerous, particularly for those who are still employed and have other issues to deal with. Every time I leave my mother's bedside she tells me "Take care of yourself, Janie." Lord knows I try. Keeping the faith here, hope you do the same ^j^

Friday, November 28, 2014

means to an end

It makes me quite sad to see that retailers like WalMart and the dollar stores threw their employees under the bus on Thanksgiving. Of course, I remember when there was a blue law and they couldn't even open stores on Sunday! Still no liquor sales on poll days or holidays in most of the south. And no beer between 3A and 7A? That one totally blows my mind. Like all the damn raving beeraholics are out causing trouble during those hours...give me a break. I guess it's to keep the "overserved" from dropping by for one last cold one after the bars close and give them time to fry chicken. Who the hell knows.

I had turkey and dressing twice yesterday and I'm still hungry for a turkey sammich but, leftovers. That was always my favorite part of Thanksgiving, if there was any left. BG learned how to brine, deep fry and smoke a bird this year thanks to her current employment opportunity. Seems like her tailbone is better even though the chips are still moving around back there. The Cadi is running fine and still sucking gas but so is the (trusty old) Camry. Thank goodness it's cheap right now. My goal for December is to get some propane before it goes apeshit crazy on the price.

I'm still pretty blown away that I miscalculated my accident date by two months but then we had a lot going on then like people moving in and out and whatnot. The other icestorm is when Shannah and Boogs fell on the ice together and he broke his ankle. How amazing that a young person's leg can heal in six weeks and my mother's still isn't mended. That's why calcium is important, y'all. Eat an antacid a day to keep the osteoporosis away. Trust me, I'm almost a nurse.

With all the bitching about Black Friday backtracking into Thanksgiving night some good seems to have come from it. From all reports crowds were lighter today because all the good stuff got gone last night so it was just your usual not insanely cheap but affordable sales which is not a bad thing for the economy. When the big box stores advertises cheap TVs you can be sure it's not worth the hassle to be first in line. Evidently BestBuy's website went down today which is what scientists would call "unfortunate" for their sales. I could care less.

My nativity scene is out, the one that consists of my parents' stable and baby Jesus plus various and sundry other players. Every year I add something different to the crowd around the manger because that's how I view the meaning of the Christ...inclusive and always adding new believers. My Jesus does not discriminate because of race, religion or lifestyle nor does he endorse war or killing of any kind. All that stuff is just the devil.

Merry Hannukawannza ^j^

Thursday, November 27, 2014

like a good neighbor

Cousin Mo pulled off our Thanksgiving gathering today and our doorman was none other than Curtis their fellow resident. I've seen him many times but we've never been formally introduced until today. We visited and unloaded food until everybody their bearings and then Ron said the blessing over four generations of my family. Can you say "thankful?" Indeed I am. The three remaining elders were gathered at the table and we fixed their plates out of respect and necessity. Since I was working this was a perfect plan even though it was the first of several stops for the rest of their clan. We were blessed with a slow day at the sawmill and enjoyed the slower pace. Like..a lot. Everybody is just about worn out with the hustle and bustle. Several are planning on hitting the stores at the appointed hours for "doorbuster" specials like the eight 100 buck TVs at WalMart. Count them, eight. They'll be gone before the door shuts the first time. That is not my idea of fun.

I stopped by the mayor's house (of Samaria Bend) to give her a B12 injection which is a job I've inherited since her old friend Sally died. Every time I walk into her cozy little home and hug those bones I know that it's all got a purpose and the plan is there. At 92, she is the oldest living resident of this farm with my parents right on her heels and Gerald right behind them. At one time my Ky cousin and her family lived in the house that is being remodeled now and I'll never forget her walking out of my yard and into the field years later bawling her eyes out in order to let go of the memories. Her only granddaughter was at lunch today and I swear this child is a carbon copy of Deb at that age. Sweet as pie and so are the others. Boys will be boys but their daddies keep 'em toned down on the rowdy. I couldn't take my eyes off her most of the time and felt a spiritual bond with her that promises to carry on. One day, she'll remember me as Aunt Poopie.

We got the Cadi fixed and BG is out rounding up stuff for dinner number two with the Boogs family. It's good to be a two car family again. I gazed out over Mozella's land from her home on the hill and remembered years upon years of Forked Deer backwater creeping toward Samaria Bend Road and often over it like in the famous back to back spring floods. I found myself telling once again about the scariest moment of my entire life which was riding in the back of a crackhead's pickup truck through the mud and water and getting slung around like a doll. There was a baby in the back seat, by the way. I was ready to jump and told BG so when we suddenly hit pavement. You can't make this shit up. I'm thankful for so much these days because my priorities have changed from struggling for survival to trusting Big Ernie to take care of it. And that is what faith is all about.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all y'all and your mama'n'them! Since I don't watch television all...I had to depend on the innerwebs to keep me posted on the violent protests across our great nation over the death of Michael Brown and his killer's acquittal by a grand jury with (so they say) a first year law student as prosecutor. Now I am inclusive to a fault but I fail to see where the militarization of our local police by the government has a damn thing to do with killing poor Afroamerican kids being shot by cops who are scared to death of their jobs. Or maybe it does, I don't know. One thing I know for damn sure is that looting and rioting never solved a freakin' thing and this comes from one who witnessed a lot of protests against the Vietnam war and our alternative lifestyle, us hippies. Kent State comes to mind. Everybody involved was white on white and these students were killed because of their political views in the course of non-violent protest. Now THAT is bullshit.

Our country was a hot mess then because somebody made a shitload of money by sending our soldiers (drafted) to a foreign country because of the threat of "communist" power. Maybe I'm simple but I don't understand how that's not what we've done with selling our souls to them for electronics and well made cars. They have manufacturing plants in our countries employing workers in Smalltown USA who crank 'em out with less carbon spewing into the atmosphere than ever. Well, except for all you soccer moms with the ridiculously huge SUVs. We picked up the pulley for BG's Cadi today and Little Robert is set to put it on in spite of all the grief she's gotten from the shop foreman. We busted up in AutoZone and ran into none other than Mr. Van Zandt at his side job. His MIL is 86 and drives a Cadillac too. You should have seen us out there in the rain at Triple T taking phone pics of all those pulleys.

Please stop the violence. It doesn't matter if it's fires and looting or shooting by fucked up kids who never had a chance. The availability of firearms is a disgrace to all of those who have been killed with them. Before you bring up knives, I will refer you to the epic failure of our mental health system and how sometimes people suffer such pain that they just need somebody to make a difference, one life at a time. Yes, racism still exists and it's not all about not being white but intolerance of different lifestyles. Shaming is something Jesus definitely never did in my book. I'm thankful for this outlet to express my soul and appreciate every single soul who's along for the ride. Love ya...mean it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


There have been several in my family that are always observed, one of which all of our family sitting together for a Thanksgiving meal or Christmas breakfast prayed over by my Daddy before we hit the kitchen. Mom is one to make the occasion special so there's usually holiday themed napkins and centerpieces plus her specialties in the old farm dishes that my brother will inherit. Always, deviled eggs and asparagus casserole. Dressing and ham. The rest varies but it's always good. Christmas consists of cheese grits, scrambled eggs and bacon and sausage plus biscuits. No gravy...ever. When we were kids she always made cinnamon rolls for early snack while we enjoyed Santa. Later the serious cooking began. As the years have passed we have taken over more and more of those traditional meals but always in HER kitchen and seated at THEIR table. Not this time.

The care facility is already decorated for Christmas since they had their dinner last week. The cute admissions girl was on a ladder trying to straighten the lobby tree when I passed through yesterday. There is nothing like traversing the halls of a place like that to make you pace yourself and give the residents and staff space to do what they do. BG has headed to the place where the Cadi was parked two or three weeks ago to try to get to the guy who said he would fix it for her. Carpooling has been a necessity that we're both tired of. Even though the Cadi guzzles gas, it gets her from here to there and back and I miss my (trusty old) Camry. You can hear it coming half a mile away but it does the job. I was shocked to find out today that the accident I thought happened in February was actually in December of last year, the one that tore my shoulder in half. I was way off on my recollections but then it's been a crazy year and one in which I've often not even known my own name much less what I had for lunch. It is what it is and I own that. Just had a chat with mom's occupational therapist about the plan to get her on the road to home in a week or two. We shall see if that's in the stars.

We stopped by Kroger to pick up my allergy meds this afternoon and everybody looked all business and on a mission to cook Thanksgiving dinner. There were several obvious out of towners wandering around looking all citified in the parking lot of a small town grocery store. It sits across the highway from Wallyhell which I haven't visited in many years, nor will I ever again. It's not worth the hassle and guilt on my conscience for their work practice to fight the crowds for 20 cents off.

Gobble gobble!

Monday, November 24, 2014

home for christmas

Today was mama's umpteenth visit with the ortho doc and she's still confined to wearing the brace on that broken leg. According to today's most recent x-ray technology the fracture isn't healed which isn't surprising considering she's 81 and never liked milk. I feel her on that one...i can't stand it unless it's chocolate or boiled custard. The visit was short and sweet and thank goodness it wasn't raining this time. There was a young family sitting across the waiting room with two cute little girls arranging seats for their family. As we were leaving Cody wheeled Mom out and I asked the Timberlake lookin' daddy to get the door for us. He then proceeded to put the wheelchair in my backseat and I told him he was today's hero. Indeed.

In true catering diva fashion, my cousin has arranged for us to have Thanksgiving at the the home where the Reaves sisters live for now. She has introduced me to the residents and staff and I'm quite impressed with their mad skills in the rehab department. Plus it's just a hop skip and jump from the sawmill and I'll be working. Surely nobody will require a blood transfusion at the particular time when my family is gathering. Hmm. 5% of the population folks. Closed on Thanksgiving but providing blood for those in need year around. The American Red Cross is one collection agency that should never have been in the business considering their history with regulatory violations years ago. Community blood centers do it in a much more efficient manner and share when there's a need. Lifeblood of Memphis attempts to provide for all the bloody trauma that is Metro Memphis and imports a large portion. Roll up your sleeves, people.

We have Boogs while his mama works and he's waiting for TT's special supper and a bath while his big sister sits with hair color on her head in the kitchen. Never again for this old gal. Gray is the new sexy, if you know what I mean. My poor friend Cari had her dressing made and hauled it in a crock pot to school today only to have the damn thing turn over in her car on the way. I've done it...I swear.

Today I am thankful for the peace that comes from knowing that prayers are answered and Big Ernie is good.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

rain rain go away

I had the distinctly humbling experience of sharing an umbrella with my father on this rainy eggs and doughnuts day. It was barely raining when we went in to eat and pouring by the time we got to the home to visit Mama. They called yesterday to say that she's on antibiotics now and has a skin tear which is not unusual for her. We sat at the booth next to my high school biochemistry teacher/JFK conspiracy theory expert and he and Daddy talked football the entire time which was fun even for me. They went through the history of the SEC and Big 10 several times, including the Manning legacy that started with Archie Who? at Ole Miss. I can tell that I am becoming an elder like them because I still know what they're talking about. Mom was sitting in her wheelchair with her leg propped on the bed when we rolled in. Daddy was reading the church bulletin to her when I got back from parking and texting. She asked what was going on in Dyersburg and we both said "not a thing" which is mostly true. Our front page news lately has been the pedophile who has a dog chained to his camper and won't give it up for adoption.

I noticed that the handyman and his guy were adding quite a bit to their piles in the yard where the crazy people no longer live. You would not believe how much shit, literally...was in that house. It was built around the time mine was, around 1918 but is in much worse shape due to years of neglect. The view, however, is to die for and somebody will pay big bucks to stay there if they get it looking decent. I shudder to think about the life those kids lived under that roof. Bobby said about a year ago he went for a plumbing job and was met at the door by a pitbull guarding Jenny. She walked through dog poop across roaches on the floor and plopped back on the couch when he got in. It was the quickest job he ever did!

The Hughen family lived there when I was a kid and many more since them. Shirley and Tiko...Robert Miller the mighty coyote killer. My brother. BG and her friends. It's been around the block and there is still spray paint on the basement wall where they created graffiti as kids. There are two fireplaces which I would die for, but not sure the chimney is up to code. The entire bathroom is gutted which is okay because it was never big enough anyway. One former tenant called it the "little bathroom house."

So the holiday season is upon us and everywhere I go people ask if I'm "ready for Christmas." Meaning have I shopped til I dropped and spent money I don't have on things that people don't need. No I have not, nor will I. Black Friday is just another work day for me and so is Thanksgiving. I'm doing it for the time and a half so I can get some propane. Maybe. Hopefully.

Osar and Ryder always follow me down to the grands' house and they were still there when I brought daddy home, both of them soaking wet and thinking they were gonna lay on MY bed. NOT! I love 'em, but. Sam and Sophie don't like getting wet so much so they've stayed curled up all morning while the odd couple roamed.

Other than that? I got nothing. Keep the faith ^j^

Saturday, November 22, 2014

love you forever, like you for always long as you're living your baby I'll be. That book crossed my mind as I sit here with tears just a streaming. Mama hasn't eaten in days because it "all tastes the same" so I stopped by Java for her favorites this morning after my financial planning session. She was resting her eyes when I came in and I sat beside her on the bed as she tasted fresh chicken salad, fruit and tea. That she had to force herself to eat it makes me very sad. Anorexia is not just for skinny teenagers ya' know. Miss Smiley roommate sat there behind us and carried on until her daughter came. Then she called her by the wrong child's name. Mom insisted I take the leftovers for us and I was headed out sobbing when I ran into Aunt Granny parked at a table for lunch. She hadn't seen mom for several days so I wheeled her and the leftovers back to my mother's bedside where they shared the bounty of being Reaves sisters.

Daddy checked in to see if I was available for church duty tomorrow because we've all forgotten when I work and when I don't. Thanks to the prayers of a lot of warriors things have eased up on the finances for a few days so that I don't walk around with my jaw clenched 24/7. TMJ syndrome has never been very kind to me as a clencher, gum chewer and ice chomper. It may sound like Pollyanna, but I feel the love being sent our way and that's what is keeping me in enough faith to let the spirit work. I'm gonna' rest for awhile.

The miracles that have happened this year are abundant and evident now that we are past the crisis point of trying to keep the whole circus going. BG is working hard and looking well in spite of a sore tailbone and frequent allergy flares. Daddy is fine as long as he's got a TV and the neighbors would call us if the house is on fire...hell they would save him! James Frank could break down that door in a heartbeat. I noticed a FB post by one of my friends that a couple she knows had lost everything in fire and I had to wonder what the heck that's like. No tangible history, other than what's up in the great cloud of internet. I hope ISIS doesn't kill the web...we'd all be screwed.

My mother always told me that if I ever put her in a home where they make you wear bunny ears for a group picture she would haunt me forever. I think holiday ears are optional where she is so maybe I'm still her favorite daughter.


Friday, November 21, 2014

if i were a rich man

I remember my grandmother playing the soundtrack from Fiddler during my childhood on an honest to goodness turntable which was big stuff during the 60s. She knew every word to that song and all the others that were popular in shows of that era. Uncle Jim did community theater productions of several including Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. I never acted in one but loved watching the hustle and bustle of putting together a performance. This is the very same man who took me and Ky cuz to the falling down county jail to see the inmates so we wouldn't want to end up there. He was spontaneous like that and I loved it. Where my own daddy found joy in sports and bowling, Jimbo put all his spare time into more music and remodeling houses. The one on St John is where Deb came running down the stairs and didn't stop at the glass storm door. Lots of blood and stitches.

The Troys lived a few houses down and we could walk to elementary school from there. Down the street is a house on a shady corner that belonged to Mama's friend Doris's family while the Reaves bunch lived on Pate Street along with Mrs. Norman and her crew of boys. Luigi stuck a broom in mom's bicycle just to watch her fall. What a mean one! One of the richest businessmen in town lived on the corner. There was a poorer section to the east and the railroad runs under a bridge that now carries the rich ones to school and the suburbs in their parents' ridiculously expensive gas guzzling vehicles. Some things never change.

I'm on the other side of those tracks and have been for about 10 years. My husband told me when he left I could never afford it on my own and he was right about that. It is what it is, but I've had a helluva' lot of fun just living my life on this hill. Nobody can take that away from me. My friend Kenneth lost his mother recently and shared a state sponsored advance directive than be used as a simple tool for decision making when it comes to end of life care. He pointed out that nobody ever really THINKS they're gonna die because everybody keeps saying "Don't give up!!" Sometimes you're just tired of the fight and I appreciate the lesson that working in a hospital has given me on dying well and otherwise.

Doctors are so freakin' full of themselves like they're the only ones who want to "help people." Now it's all about managed care with big insurance and giant corporations teaming up to see what type of a plan they can work with this or that one on contract. We lost two in the last year and they were brought back full force by our outgoing administrator. He's cute as a bug with a great personality and will be missed. However, I'm looking forward to a majority female leadership team. Time for a change. My college classmate Gaye is an administrator in East Tennessee that just built a new facility. The trick to transitioning is to recognize the stages of care you can provide and live within the boundaries of realistic possibility. Long ago, a packed courtroom on the square in Dyer County met with their commissioners over the sale of our locally run facility. So we were sold in a competition between two large not for profit groups who wanted to nail down the Highway 51 corridor to Memphis metro. Not long after Baptist got whacked down and Methodist University stands kinda' sorta' proudly. You see their vision went from "We know what a miracle you are" to "transplant center. It sounds like a bad John Grisham novel.

So that's how I got from there to here, sitting in a cold house but not SOO cold today (50s) thank you sweet baby jeebus. I'm working on finances and just got a friendly reminder from everybody that I owe that they know today is payday and I'm afraid to even look at what I have left. Just one day of knowing that it's nothing that won't wait makes me feel better about life. After work I walked over to see my mama and she was halfway snoozing by the fan with her birthday balloons, flowers and cookies nearby. Her eyes popped open when she sensed my presence so I sat on the bed with her and chatted while her roommate smiled at us. Poor lady sets off the bed alarm every 30 minutes.

Healthcare is a human right and to be treated with dignity at the end of life is what J would do. Not whacking somebody's head off on camera or shooting a bunch of innocents in a sectarian battle that has always been thus and so. I refuse to believe in a God who wants that for us when it could all be as simple as putting down the weapons of war and approaching a common table. Extremists of any sort have way too much power with the sheeple.

TGIF and thank you Big Ernie for this day ^j^

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

self care

Out of the blue and with finely honed ESP from the cosmos, my friend called from DC this afternoon where she's lobbying with Beyond Pesticides. Today has been pretty "tense" so I was already a blubbering mess when she called to see if I made it to the lawyer's office during lunch. Um, nope. Too busy saving lives and whatnot. Our house got full in a hurry again thanks to everybody being sick as a dog because it's only November with leaves on the ground and there's snow on 'em. Plus, some of us have no propane and sleep with dogs to keep warm. Just saying. BG has a broken tailbone due to a nasty fall from pushing a dolly loaded with frozen food in and out on a greasy floor. Plus there's the whatever the hell that is she needs steroids for. Sometimes life ain't fair and I'm proud of her for putting on the big girl panties. Her daddy is very sick and having surgery soon so y'all lift him up to Big Ernie and her too because each other is all they've got on that branch of the family tree.

I got out for some air today and noticed this girl all cuddled up with her tiny dog that she adopted from somebody just this morning, sitting in the sun outside. We visited and she told me this was their first day together. Then BG told me the asshat pedophile wouldn't release his dog for adoption so he had to be put down. There's a special place in hell for that kind of person and there ain't no dogs or any mercy. Just the cold hard ground. I've often wondered about what it's like to die like a demon. I figure it's all melty and shit.

Besides the chick with the dog I've had a couple of other blessings that included chats with my brother and landlord about what's on our plate at the moment. As we all know, it's kind of like a seven layer salad and he has experience and connections that I lack. This too will change when the spirit works and I get off of my ass and on down the road. More later. Looks like I'm working every shift I can get in the near future so y'all know where to find me. Leave a message at the beep.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

too strong for too long

It happened again this morning, a spontaneous combustion type deal where I just started sobbing over the complexity of all things Poopie. The social worker at the home noticed me all teary eyed and pulled me in her office for some one on one that included a discussion of how my generation is gonna' be screwed when it comes to long term care. Her parents are in the same age group and she feels bad for all of us! Social work as a vocation has been mostly privatized and turned into a cash cow so "wanting to help people" has turned into jumping through hoops with the powers that be, mainly the government. We both agreed that Haslam, Alexander and Corker slammed all of us in the state of Tennessee by refusing to expand Medicaid. In my tenure as a healthcare provider I've seen the whole package turn from local providers to big fish eating little ones. That many politicians (see Rick Scott, Bill Frist, et al) have made millions from the industry is sickening and the biggest conflict of interest ever. Do.No.Harm.

In order to qualify Mom for Medicaid to pay for her lengthy stays at hospitals/rehabs this year I was missing one important piece of info which was the specifics of her teeny tiny term insurance policy that may or may not exist. Daddy swears it's in the safe which nobody has the combination to so there ya' go...another dead end. Ms Faye and I looked all around the area where it was last seen and found seven year old trash in an antique butter churn but no combination. Ain't no telling ya'll. He also can't find the little space heater they used in the bathroom last winter and that's another mystery. Lord only knows what goes on down there because nobody is welcome. As long as I live I will never forget sorting through his "office" when my brother took over the farm management. The floor of his little "office" was knee deep in papers and crap. It was a rocky conversion, to say the least. My brother, the owner and I sat at my kitchen table and sorted for hours.

BG and I started this morning in a cold car holding hands in prayer for strength, clarity and hope. One of our many issues is that the 95 Cadi DeVille is dead and needs some TLC. I was introduced to my friend Sara's son at Money Mike's place and he turned out to be today's blessing with his knowledge about car parts. I didn't have the keys on me so we'll have to catch up later but it's a start. I also touched base with the owner of the business where it's parked and he promised not to tow.

While I was at the home this morning I sat and talked with mom while she did work that included batting a bright blue balloon with two therapists standing close by interacting. She did well for someone who can't see and can barely stand. Watching her eyes dance as she successfully completed a few long volleys made me smile in amazement, and then the waterworks started for me. Fatigue and frustration have taken me way past the point of being sane. In her last rant, she told us that we have no idea what it's like to be separated from someone you've been with night and day for 60 years. I can't argue with that truth at all. She and Daddy are part of a dying breed that married for life and enjoyed the decades of prosperity following WWII. How sad that pretty soon nobody will be alive who remembers those times of simplicity.

She told the pregnant therapist about when I was born and she and Daddy lived at UT Martin taking turns tending to me at night because I slept all day and woke up when the sun went down. Even then, I was a force to be reckoned with.
Sometimes, the faithful just need a miracle to keep going.


Monday, November 17, 2014

and then it snowed

I was all looking forward to the pre-dawn meteor shower on my way to work and found that mother nature blessed us with an inch of show instead. After I got the car thawed out and headed to the sawmill I did notice a few stars but no shooting ones. This old gal stepped very lightly down the icy back steps toward the ancient Camry that takes me every freakin' where. Thank goodness I had a can of spray de-icer for the windshield. What I would give for a carport on a cold morning! We had a staff meeting and everybody showed up so the bosses were pleased to have everybody and their kids'n'them being briefed. It was short and sweet which is how I like it. Since me and BG are sharing a car she made a run to the dolla' store for TP while I was being schooled. Oh, and picked up a sleeping Boogs at the sitter to deliver him to his sister on the couch where they have heat.

We, on the other hand, have an empty propane tank and a few electric heaters. After the meeting I wandered over to see Mama and found her sleeping soundly so I just let it be. BG picked me up back over in the freezing cold parking lot, childless but loaded with paper and BCs. We had to get gas and a bite to eat but it was so cold we sat in the car at Merry Castle waiting for our triple castle burgers and watching folks smoke on the back dock of the furniture store across the parking lot. I visited an attorney today and will see another one later and hopefully have some sort of idea where my life is headed in the near future. Lord knows it could get worse but I choose manifestation of angels and fairies. And rainbows, by golly.

I've been on a wing and a prayer for about five years now, trying to keep the world twirling when in fact, that is not my job but Big Ernie's. I'm sure y'all know by now that co-dependency is my addiction which is sort of a false self-hood living through other people and their issues instead of pursuing your own dreams. It sucks to be 60 years old and just now starting that journey. I mean...what if ISIS or the fools in Ferguson kill us before the job is done? That is where faith in beliefs comes together with what J would do. These punks are jerking us around thanks to MSM and an addiction to drama. Same for Kimaye and all the rest of them. Get over it.

How in the hell did we turn into a nation that spends more money on sports branding in a year than we spend on making the world a better place. One of the original sins is greed and I've seen more than I care to remember during my time as a US citizen and inhabitant of mother earth. And licensed healthcare professional, BTW. In the great state of Tennessee, home of the Great Smokey Mountains and lots of orange and white. In my next life, that's where I'll live if it's not Fiji. Rough math puts the Atlantic coast within a few hours of that vicinity. I could live with that vs. 12 hours to Destin.

Keep praying y'all. And be specific ^j^

Sunday, November 16, 2014

something more

I found myself praying to Big Ernie today to just set my heart still and give me the will to let go of the whole thing. All of it. That's another step 1 for this recovering addict. As my friends remind me on a daily basis I'm quite fragile right being all post-op and broke and what with the Grands drama for which there is NO easy answer. My pride allowed me to ask for help today from a couple of friends who quickly told me that they didn't think I was worth consideration. Well, one of them did. The other one hid behind his wife. The sawmill was steady (again) what with the same staff and usual mayhem. Kay fed me pizza for lunch both days and I love her for that. I bleached the counters and went on my way to home with BG at the wheel. We had to return Tammy and I met a couple of real angels up in there, one of which is Susie. We talked so long I forgot that I had friends meeting up at my place so we had to scurry. Bought some mini- Hempz lotion in spite of being broke. Sometimes girls just need a random happy and all it takes is some lotion and pizza.

It was cold and gloomy in the 'burg today and I wandered across the parking lot to find my mother sitting in the dining room listening to the Oak Ridge Boys and tapping her foot. The preacher was absent but they managed without him, if you know what I mean. Tony brought Daddy for a visit after church and Daylight. Cousin Mo is planning a gathering around Thanksgiving if there's room for all of us somewhere there. The logistics of taking everybody out would be staggering to say the least. We are a shrinking tribe, if you will. I live on a farm owned by some really rich people of whom the next generation has no emotional attachment. My parents have a lifetime dowry to live in our homeplace but once they are gone, I'm on my own with the 'tweens and I'm not feeling really optimistic about that unless they get a little less spoiled rotten. This chunk of land could be farmed organically and preserved. The barn and silos were built in the 1920s after my house and the one where the people don't live anymore, thank you sweet baby jeebus. Walking into that place makes you want to take a shower. The local law should be sending me personally addressed "i'm sorry" notes for not taking that welfare check to the next level. This idiot had speakers on the front porch that shook the windows in my house and it was all crazy shit and the kids would be running around trying to play with the caged pitbulls. Jenny had a couple of surgeries and she and the kids had quality time picking up nuts on several occasions. Terry was just always sketchy and off his meds. Poor kids.

If it snows and ices I'm gonna be pissed because it ain't even turkey day yet.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

powerful vibes

Miracles blessings and gratitude. These are the things that have helped me through the past few days. I see the fear and fatigue in the eyes of others and know that I am not alone. Sawmill was busy again and we knew the lull wouldn't last long, didn't we? There's no shortage of sick folks, ever. At least we haven't had an Ebola patient yet! The Cadi is dead in the water (still) up in Triple T's parking lot so the BG and me are sharing the trusty old Camry for now. She picked me up after work today and we stopped by the home to see Mom and Aunt Granny. I've figured out that when two of the family members show up at once she sees it as an intervention to keep her there forever. Gots'ta have that nerve medicine when in strange surroundings with other folks. She hates it and wants to die, so she is killing herself slowly by refusing to eat. There is no more helpless feeling than seeing someone you love do that to themselves. It's not the home really...she just doesn't want to eat. BG has never seen that side of her and neither had I until recently and it makes me more determined to not die like that. She misses Daddy and we all work and he's in his zone and it's just a big old mess. They want to go back to the way things were and that won't happen. I can totally relate.

It's cold and the roads are already salted for tomorrow's precip which may or may not be icy. I'll be saving lives and whatnot and again on Monday and until I drop and they step over my cold dead body. We've been wanting to watch Tammy since it came out in July and last night was pure theater in a warm room with several dogs and a mother daughter combo bonding at our best. I'm pretty sure I missed not only my pap smear appointment but also my release from the ortho doc to "full duty." Hey..I've been busy. Don't voicemail me about a blip on your calendar. To get the pap smear that I really need due to HPV cervical dysplasia,I have to come up with a 40 buck co-pay plus pay the reference lab. At this point, it's nowhere near in the budget. Finance talks will continue until I'm able to maintain some liquidity.

The project is limping along, mostly because I'm worn the hell out with life and can't see the forest for the trees. I did get a Kickstarter invite to check out an opportunity for food blog but I'm kind of leery of that sort of thing because it's kind of the net equivalent of giant publishing houses so we shall see. The talent is here, it's up to me to make it work for my benefit. Lorna told me to "tighten it up" and she's one who knows. I should have one more meeting with our teacher to hammer out the details. And to think a Republican governor made all that happen.

Peace, love and rock'n'roll to all y'all and your mama and them ^j^

Thursday, November 13, 2014

manifest this

Except for people who read this blog, very few know the true extent of how trying this particular year has been for me and mine. It started off like any other year except during late January BG moved away for a spell and Shannah and Boogs moved in. Thank God for her Subaru during the twin ice storms because I wouldn't have been able to get out if not for that vehicle. The first one in February was navigable but that freak one in March just about did us all in. That's when I fell for the 2nd time trying to thaw out my ice caked car by hauling buckets of water out in the dark. Risky business but ya' gotta work and I tried my best to get there but umm...I made it the next day. Over the coming months BG came back and the others flew all while I was walking around like superwoman with a torn subscapularis tendon. The surgery was done in August and we all know that it "gets better" but you're never the same again after that type of injury. About two weeks into recovery, mama broke her leg real bad and has been in transition ever since. I spent this morning filling out an application for state aid to help pay for her current home.

During the time I was recovering from surgery I was introduced to a class that would give me some guidance in defining my goals other than work 'til you drop. I'll still do that, mind you, but I need the distraction that comes with having a goal. I have abandoned so many over the years and said coulda'shoulda'woulda' when I might be in a different place had I gotten out of my comfort zone. Instead I have sat here on the hill looking out over acres of cropland and trees and learned to let go a little memory at a time. Last year's sale of the family heirlooms was fun but just the beginning of the sorting that was to come my way soon. There is organized chaos now rather than the hoarder look that was 2013. Cleaning out cabinets has been big and whenever the food shows up here again, it will be kept neatly and taken care of. We have this new "chef" at the sawmill who reminds me of the soup Nazi in how he controls the serving line. We're used to scooping up our own and he's all about portion size on what is much better but much more expensive. Breakfast is the only bargain there and we're grateful to have it back.

The ancient windows that face northwest are not in good shape and will soon be covered in something as I retreat to my space heater area which includes my room and the bathroom. The aging Dell will soon follow because my fingers went numb this morning while I was checking in with Facebookland. There was snow south of us and of course that really made for a mess on I40. One more reason I don't live in Memphis, y'all. There is this one particular troll (you know who you are) who baits my cousin on a regular basis because he is a liberal conservative and not Tea Party nuts like her. This gal is so black and white you can read her rants like a newspaper and with lots of ~~ in between. I learned early on to ignore that kind of shit and have a conversation with somebody who is open minded. Everything that I post is not pro-Dem. The things that I write about and talk about are what is important to me as my beliefs dictate. I have never pretended to have the right answers, just mine.

Expect nothing. Each person on this earth is given talent and a brain to use that talent to prosper. If you choose to waste it or claim that "it's somebody else's fault" then you are doing exactly what Big Ernie asks us not to do. I look at people who have been through generations of abuse both physical and mental and our government is supporting them when a good number could make it on their own if they had decent paying jobs. Granted, there is an entire generation on the tit of entitlements but they'll just have to man up.

Seek help. The pain and anger that you feel now and then are symptoms that you are human with emotions that should be dealt with one on one in a safe setting preferably by a trained counselor. PTSD is real and not just soldiers suffer from it. Most mental health clinics are so understaffed and overserved that folks get lost in the shuffle. Early intervention is the only way to really make a difference in the cycle of abuse and poverty that is rampant in our country. Oh, and to all those who support the NRA? That includes filthy rich kids who steal guns from their parents and kill school kids and movie goers.

Be kind. You never know what kind of burdens others are carrying and pretty much what Jesus said to do was to help a brother out in His name. Not for glory or attention or a front page article about paying it forward but by walking into places that are less than desirable according to society and being peers with those less fortunate. Everybody's gotta eat and have clothes or it's not humane. Miracles are what happens when you least expect them. Everywhere I turn there is somebody suffering and it's hard to set boundaries when you're as CoD as I am. However, I'm learning really quick because I'm all I've got except for Big E and the angels.

Become faithful. Whatever it is that you believe in, live your life according to those particular standards. If something feels wrong, it probably is and usually turns out badly. Often it seems that hardship multiplies when you are at your weakest which is what's happening with me right now. I still believe that there's a plan and I will carry on to the best of my ability while remembering numbers 1-3 every day. It's my only sanity in a world that looks pretty bleak at the moment.

Express gratitude. Did you go hungry today? Did somebody you love suffer and die? Are you able to see and walk and experience life? Those things are taken for granted way too often and watching my mother's decline in health has really brought that point home. I'm grateful for so many things I can't begin to make a list but I never was good at memes anyway. Whatever your crisis du jour is, this too shall pass if you only leave room for the Spirit to work.

Do no harm. If you can't help someone out, at least don't do anything that is hurtful or demeaning. One of the things I detest about FB is the way folks use it as a whipping post to try and control the net. Healthcare is all about the $$ and our priorities are totally backward with big pharm and diagnostic services raking in the cash. Preventive care including pap smears and mammograms should be free. It saves money for the company in the long run, if you know what I mean. Farming and consuming organically are the only healthy way to live in this age of Monsanto Madness. Cut it out with the big ass luxury vehicles when a Prius would do just as well. I mean's like more than I paid for my first house to buy an SUV. Infiniti is three times that amount.

Believe in karma . For every kind and true thing that I've done for another traveler, I've been repaid in some form or fashion on my own journey. Much of my misery is of my own making because I'm a lazy sort who tends to procrastinate. In spite of that, I've been blessed in a lot of ways with talent that I feel compelled to use in a positive way as soon as my fingers thaw out.

Grace is everywhere. You just have to let it happen ^j^

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I was loving still being in the bed when it got light this morning, but didn't last much longer because I had lots of shit to do things to accomplish. First of all I had to sheepishly return the pork loin to the freezer while daddy waited for Mary Beth on TV and then something else and then lunch with the boys. He growled at me when I asked if I could have one of those 8 six packs of toilet paper and I took it anyway. Geez man. No wonder Mom has nerves on edge 24/7. She got her hair did at the home yesterday and looked like her old self. There was an admission and care plan meeting combined which was nice of them to arrange knowing that I am off not.too.often. Maybe tomorrow can be Poopie day.

Everybody's all doing their Christmas shopping and getting ready for the holidays and all I can think about is scraping up enough to pay propane guy off and buy ahead. It's about to be like REALLY cold for a long time. It's a tough decision when it comes down to either cooking or running the central heat. I like not having the forced air much anyway...much better healthwise. It's about to look like a gypsy camp up in here again. I ran into a friend's sister today and she reminded me that I wasn't the only one who got hurt during the freak March ice storm. Angie shattered her leg and had two surgeries but will still never walk the same. Just bless all our hearts. I see tiny bits of progress and honestly? I'm so used to being slammed on a daily basis that I can appreciate random rays of sunlight.

As I was wandering through the dining hall communion was being delivered by a volunteer with Bellevue in the background on the big screen. The United Methodist in me quickly tried to remember if it was first Sunday! For all of my prideful moments of thinking that my way is always right, I have just as many humble ones when I just don't want to be in charge of anything but myself. If it's a stressful thing, it needs to be put back a notch and allow some time for spiritual recharging. I now have on my "altar" another Lowell H cow plate, this one with a winter scene. My mother had it filed in the drawer next to gaudy Christmas sweaters. For her to be such an freak organizer, I can't understand how I turned out to be the polar opposite. My baby brother is the same way, like a kid chasing butterflies most of the time. Middle child is all business.

My ethereal friend and I had a lengthy phone conference yesterday which helped to solidify my list of priorities at the moment. I have a business project with the potential to make decent money not just for my family but for the community. Mama told me today she wants to "see" the book before she dies. Yes m'am. If I don't die first.

Happy huuuuump day from Pecan Lane.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

the mailman

Since today is a national holiday he was off and I happened to run into him at the dock all looking hot in his cowboy hat. Normally he's out in the van delivering the US mail to the only residents left on Pecan Lane which include me, four dogs one bitch cat and a babygirl. Not real sure what he was there for but I grabbed my beer and went home. There is a new Mike up in there and he didn't have any girl help today that I saw. He and Money Mike are from the same village in India and he's kinda' slow on the register. They prolly' all miss Jelly. His new store is called Vape'n'Smoke which is probably better than spending your whole check on cigs. As Nancy said "Tobacco?" Let's do some edibles and get out of the barns of Kentucky and North Carolina. Times change and terms expire.

Here's the thing about the TN lottery. I've heard enough whoo'hoos in those stores to make a girl sick and have seen very little return on that investment in terms of education. A junior college opportunity looks good at this point unless you count on it for an opportunity to get a good job. There are NO jobs other than entry level at minimum wage. The sad thing is that it takes two of those to make do. The really cool thing about blogfairy is the she's totally random and believes in miracles like me. I guess I got greedy when she showed up and everybody knows Jesus don't like that. Or Buddha either. It's all good. Big Ernie loves us each and everyone.

I delivered mama's wheelchair and walker today in the ancient Camry only to get outed on stealing the sliced pork loin and honey buns from their freezer. Corporate wants their heirlooms for the museum so I reckon I'll pack em' all up and put them in the shack. No seriously cute chair though. That's got Ryder's teethmarks on the arm and will go where I do. They can take it out of my 26 years of rent to live in paradise. Don't own? Can't defend. Work was a nice break for a change and not so busy. Everybody had time to shop the jewelry sale and enjoy not being slammed for a change. It was an extremely rare day that I enjoyed and I totally look forward to sleeping in.

Peace out ^j^

Monday, November 10, 2014

tell your story wisely

One of the things I learned in therapy is that family secrets don't stay hidden very long, in spite of hushed tones and little white lies. Everybody has, at one time in their life, done something absolutely stupid for no other reason than that they could. That one things leads to another and before you know it there's a full blown circus going on with no ringmaster. You might as well lay it all out on the table when the time is right and ask for forgiveness because it's a helluva' lot easier than asking for permission. Shit happens.

About mid-day I started feeling wonky and it got busy and I had a list of appointments a mile long after work but as it turned out all of it went in another direction and I'm glad because i feel umm, flu-like. Now I had my shot and I so trust big pharm to get the strain thing right this year after EVERY freaking body got it and they said oops. Medicine is not an exact science or baby jeebus y'all. Clinicians are human and make mistakes just like everybody else. In my well educated position as a healthcare provider, personal injury lawyers are right up there with big pharm as the reason that we struggle with the system today. Men and women who love the practice of medicine have been forced out of business by the price of malpractice premiums. There is a difference between making an honest mistake and being negligent. Do no harm has gotten lost in the entire concept of CYA.

Golden is the word to describe my view from the office window. The huge maple out front is on fire with yellow and gold and the one I don't know what it is has turned red. It's about to be winter in a hurry, not for the long haul but definitely for a few days. And you know what? It's time because it's almost Thanksgiving. I'm so tired I could probably fall asleep in this chair but my life is filled with blessings beyond belief simply because I have lived humbly most of the time and with a do no harm attitude. The only times in my life where I felt separated from my god were when I put other things before spirituality. Once you believe, everything falls into place as Big Ernie intended. Daddy is doing okay or I would have gotten ten phone calls. He's obedient about checking in when he leaves with a buddy. Ms Faye keeps him fed and picks up after him. Her job is about to become a piece of cake!

The house seems kind of empty without Mama barking orders from her recliner but it's not a bad thing. One of my to-do things this afternoon was to meet a buddy at the cemetery where he was burying his own mother, an old time bestie of both my parents. Sorry Doug...I didn't make it but you were in my thoughts. His father Neil was a prison warden and died at a young age from a massive heart attack.

So, no class today either due to everybody is chasing their tail and trying to make a living plus having sick mamas and stuff. Sometimes life ain't fair, but it is what it is. We just gotta' keep the faith ^j^

Sunday, November 9, 2014

runnin' on empty

I't's a beautiful autumn day on the lane, the second in a row before the typhoon induced polar vortex hits later in the week. I went to scoop up some of mama's clothes yesterday and sorted through them at home last night. While Daddy was at church this morning I finished the deed including cleaning out the freezer and bringing home the last of Carney's pimento cheese plus ten boxes of frozen honey buns. You can never have too many, ya' know. Wheelchair and walker are in my back seat and the trunk is full of odd crap from the haunted house down the road. I swear I heard the ghost of Mrs. Ferguson up in there.

Daddy and I walked in this morning bearing giftsclothes and such and found mama sweating it out with her cold blooded roommate. She's got her own fan now, BTW. Kaffy had already been there with some chocolate and Mary Lynn was visiting when we arrived. I'm not sure what this particular sound is about but it might be a bed alarm. Somewhere over the rainbow plays pretty regular, if you know what I mean. We passed through the dining room just in time to hear a young gospel choir praise God to the heavens led by a young man with a talented voice who was channeling the Lord. Daddy even managed to get excited over that! Jacko the bird wasn't in his usual perch but right around the corner visiting with his bestie. They have conversations all the time. Hateful bird wouldn't talk to me at all. We saw Aunt Granny and she wanted to know why we were there. Her table mate is a lady with whom I used to work at the Parkview hospital.

One of the oddest things I've found is my grandmother's bank book for an account that was closed in 1984, the year BG was born. I'm not sure what was up at that point except that her youngest son had died in 79 and left her with nothing. Mom and Aunt Granny helped her to live on whatever kind of retirement she had which I'm sure wasn't much. They did it out of love and guilt and honor and a whole lot of other reasons, but mainly because she was their mother. There were many reasons to be bitter about how it all went down, but there's one in every family so we might as well get over it.

There are only two more weeks of class left and I'm sure I'm invested in From the Back Burner for the long haul. We shall see how long the 2005 Dell sporting Windows XP delivers. If I was a betting gal I'd say a complete crash is imminent. Small business development and education have been key issues for our governor. An option for a two year paid for ride is pretty sweet. Meanwhile Stephen Fincher continues to make millions from big farm deals and has a storefront office on our court square. You know...right there next to Monte's beer garden and the oldest hardware store in Tennessee the Forked Deer. Yeah..we're all about the river history aren't we? Y'all know that's how Reelfoot Lake happened after the big earthquake and the Mighty Mississippi ran backwards. Economic activity has picked up tremendously there due to the construction of I-69. At one time a proposed route went right by this farm.

I'm worn out but it's a good kind of tired like when you get things accomplished instead of running in circles and falling into a hot mess. As long as mama's happy, everybody's happy.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

sharing the love

Yesterday was another challenge with mama's transition and it took the whole village to talk her out of wheeling that chair like a bat out of hell toward home. As it turned out, she thought she was in Memphis and was gonna' have to travel there three times a week for therapy. I have a clue or two of what that's about, and also the hallucination on her hospital room wall of Curry Funeral Home as a restaurant. Oh, and then her friend's funeral procession. She called Daddy at three AM to help her to the bathroom thinking she was at home. That was AFTER she hung up on me for telling her to hit the call button. At that point I was too tired to care and popped a couple of benadryl expecting to sleep in but NOOOOOOOOO!

Boogs spent the night and woke me and TT up about 6:30 wailing that pitiful cry that comes with being almost two and spoiled rotten teething. I took that opportunity to cut and run to see how mama was and was amazed at the difference Ativan can make. All of the moving around and transferring of the past three months have taken a toll on her mind which is rippling outward until she figures she's there for awhile. After that I went pickin' in the attic of the companion house on our lane and found nothing much but a beautiful view and a lot of trash with maybe one or two pieces that could be usable for DIY. There are holes in the attic floor which quickly became evident as I cleared a path. There's crap up there from one renter who left 20 years ago.

After that Juanita brought Miss Mary out to meet our mayor Mozella and they compared ages...96 and 92, husbands and lives in the space of 30 minutes. Make new friends, but keep the old as the old Girl Scout song went. I remembering seeing Earl dying of pancreatic cancer there and it wasn't pretty but they were together. She ended up calling for my former EMS brother to send an ambulance and she got two of 'em! Miss Mary loves me like her own and my favorite thing of today is the picture of her four year old self at the Chicago peony market surrounded by blooms.

Y'all help me to lift up and I will do the same for everybody else. Keep the faith ^j^

Thursday, November 6, 2014

the eagle has landed

On a scale of 1 to 10 the stress factor of my life these last five or so years has been a solid 13 which plays hell with your serotonin. The beginning of that era was when my father did a hit and run crossing the by-pass after taking mom for her hair appointment. She had given up driving after totaling her 3rd vehicle on that very same route from home to town. He could no longer drive after his hit and run thanks to the doctor and policeman who saw what a mess he was. Luckily, that went well and he threw the keys down and got over it. That situation morphed into the three of us locals doing grocery runs/hairdos/church delivery and pickup and much much more! For a long time mom's bridge buddies picked her up for lunch and dessert, the ones who still drove that is. She didn't play because she couldn't see but she was a straight up bridge fool back in the day. To her the best part was making special treats for the players and whomever hosted that night (which then turned into day) tried to make Martha Stewart look like a slouch.

The past few years have been filled with more and more medical problems for mom due to osteoporosis and CHF. There was a broken foot from the last wreck followed by sepsis from cortisone injections in her knee followed by dehydration followed by a broken femur. Each incident required one (or more) ambulance transports and multiple transfers from facility to facility depending on insurance. At 81 it seems her medicare days are running out so it's time for state assistance. BG was off today so we tag teamed to get her across the parking lot to the new and improved care facility. As we were leaving we ran into Aunt Granny wheeling around in her chair trying to find her room. The staff couldn't have been nicer and it was a very relaxed atmosphere right down to the talking bird named Jocko in the lobby. There was a kid sitting there looking bored waiting for her mama to get off work while a couple of residents fed Jocko. I honestly felt like she was home.

I pretty much fought tears all day so it was fortunate that Seth Rogan's twin turned up with doughnuts of I would have been a complete mess. Nothing calms your nerves like pure sugar! Several of my co-workers asked about Mama and a couple of them went to visit her that first night when I was setting a boundary of sorts. I was running out the door today and thought I heard "good luck with your mom" and turned around to say huh? That's not what it was at all and I'm over that. For the nurses and RTs and EMS and every other kind of healthcare professional who have treated my mama like your own and helped a girl out? Thanks to you, no harm was done.

Keeping grace and faith close by ^j^

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

terrific tuesday

Our Siemens buddy Jerry used to bounce into the lab every time with a smile on his face and some saying in honor of the day. Dude would don his plastic coat and put on gloves and proceed to service the innards of several analyzers of human body fluids. He always made me smile and there was an aura about him that just made me keep the faith. I remember the day that Al died in our ER after having a heart attack over at the competition's building where he was on a service call. It's one of those things you don't forget, even as a seasoned professional. Cash and Steve are favorites as well. I could go on and on but....

Mom is in the ER again, this time without me because I'll be there at six AM so why not just stay in touch via phone. After telling her PCP yesterday that she was NOT going to a nursing home, she said a whole lot of nasty things to me while I was waiting for EMS in the rain. They denied mental status change which is pretty ridiculous since she's been unglued since day one from her last discharge. Daddy could care less because he's got his TV and schedule and all that. My dumb ass forgot that you have to go to your actual precinct to vote on election day so a guy at the chicken store directed me to the Fowlkes Fire Department where I was greeted with lots of "Vote Yes" on amendment 1 signs planted at the back of the dolla' gentral. The sad thing is that so many voters are so uninformed that they can't begin to understand what they're voting on. I went out on a limb and voted for a Green candidate just because all the rest of 'em looked strictly partisan or unheard of. And of course I went indie on Governor. Not to any type of state use of lottery funds other than for education. That was the deal, right Steve? Somewhere between here and there, I lost my faith. If I had to describe my current mood it would be one of transition which is basically what life is all about and we tend to spend more time fighting to stop change rather than embracing it as the next phase of growth. I set a boundary sitting out there in the rain last night waiting for the ambulance to arrive with the sounds of our clusteryeling still ringing in my ears. No more enabling of an unsafe situation for my parents. As their advocate it is my job to stay sane enough to help make rational choices.

So with new vendors come new friends and our universal favorite is Matt the pathology IT guy. He's funny in a Seth Rogan kind of way and brings candy! We're busy as a cat covering up poop and flu season is upon us all. Wonder if the dolla' gentral sells economy packs of masks? There is alcohol based hand foam everywhere and I like that new piece in the infection control biz. It's way too time consuming to do the happy birthday handwash every time you touch a patient. Gloves are good too. Always! If #ebolageddon has taught us anything it is the importance of hand hygiene. There are some damn nasty bugs out there in the world, and a lot of them are treatment resistant.

So, the GOP kicked ass yesterday and I totally wasn't surprised what with all this bringing prayer back to school mentality that espouses one point of view. Ditto for abortion. I think the next big uprising will be the state of Kentucky considering the fact they put that old fart back in office because there is a large "politically challenged" segment of voters there. That kind of shit can backfire on you.

That's what's on my plate. How about yours?

Monday, November 3, 2014

just another manic monday

Once again, the vision has changed. In addition to my own failing eyesight, plans change willy nilly and often much to our collective chagrin. Mama had a doc's appointment this morning and everybody was working plus their 85 year old driver had pneumonia so it got rescheduled to right when I got off. Actually BG was off by then too but ...oh, it's a long story and I'm tired. My brother and I picked through three floors of garbage looking for something more interesting than an empty beer bottle. Think the worse episode of hoarders ever and mulitply by ten and you have the picture. How? Do people live this way? I'm a packrat and all but dayum. At least there's some future purpose to my piles! This place is like nobody ever heard of trash bags bad. It will be beautiful when it's clean and the location is to die for. It could honestly be the old clubhouse that Harry dreamed about on the ridge close by. There is an drawing of the plan hanging in the shack. I have two large chunks of crystal that came one of a pair of bathroom lamps. It was that family's little home away from home and they partied down with the best of this community's finest and richest. Law and banking were lucrative professions.

Co.Starters was good to be back into even if I did have an ink pen explode all over my hands. My right thumb looks like I just voted in Iraq. I will indeed vote tomorrow on several issues and candidates. Most people have me pigeon holed as a demolibtard but they underestimate the power of a pissed off middle aged woman and a whiny do-nothing Congress. They've done a lot of filibustering and name calling but that's about the size of anything important being accomplished because it's all Obama's fault. As much as I despise Dick Cheney, I don't blame him at all for what happened in the Middle East because greed is one of the seven deadly ones. I reckon sloth would be mine. I'm not so sure about the POTUS. Big ears maybe?

I feel like I'm coming apart at the seams on days like this where it feels like a trudge to get through all the things on my "to do" list. When Mama and I were speeding cruising toward Dr. H for a little head and neck check and med reconciliation she mentioned that it had been two three months since she'd been out in the 'burg. I must say that I appreciate his skills with the elderly and his nurse is cute as heck. Dude actually earns his medicare $$ by listening to the patient. Well, it also helps to have an "almost nurse" patient's advocate ready with a roll call of meds and discharge orders. Before her last hospital visit she told me that she appreciates all that we do. Then yesterday she wished she was dead. *sigh* Anywho, Daddy is being much nicer because he's afraid we'll commit him to a psych unit if he doesn't quit yelling and help a girl out. The biggest challenge is getting her to give up worrying as a hobby. I'll probably be the same way when my world shrinks to the size that hers has.

So, since the family silver is actually plated, I guess I'll just keep looking for SD. All I can say is he better tolerate sloth.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

the plot thickens

I went to bed at 7 last night and set the alarm for 10AM, just in time for daddy pick-up. I was still VERY deep in REM when he called at 7 this morning to come tend to mama. Seems she had broken her ankle or something. Okay, then. As it turned out I was able to twist it every which'a'way and there was no screaming in pain like 10 on that face scale thing. Was there a fall? No. When did it start? Um, yesterday. What we have here is an 81 year old women who is almost completely blind and can't walk because of a broken leg. And my OCD father is her caretaker other than home health and you know who between jobs. "Something's gotta' give."

I'm not alone in this by any means. Lorna and I were chatting this morning and decided that healthcare is about to become what it's meant to be which is preventive care but NOOOOOOO. Insurance,pharm and diagnostics don't get paid as well when people are healthy. The true public health crisis at this point is access to afford preventive care in a learning environment. Hell I pay for dental insurance every year and can't afford the co-pay. Something is wrong with this picture, ya think? Why not teach a child how not to become diabetic in middle age? What about birth control and early abortion as an alternative to having kids because the check is bigger. This is by no means a racial issue but one that all Americans are dealing with at a time when the fat cats are sipping dirty martinis and Congress is chomping at the bit over mid-terms.

I feel very vulnerable right now, like almost beaten down but not quite yet. It would probably only take a miracle or two to keep me believing but I'm mighty weary. I hauled this end table up from the attic yesterday and knocked some of the mold off of it for a special project. If not for me? Somebody else will want it. I have no answers or solutions to our problems. All I can do is roll with it and keep the faith.