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Barkin' at the wind
Hmmm.....Faith sez "woof". She's been a wet dawg today like all the rest of us. We're listening to the cold wind blow and being grateful for a home and each other.

Woman's best friend....God love her. One of His creatures to share life with and enjoy undying devotion and nature and goin' to sleep and wakin' up and leftovers. Only thing better would be a man in the mix. One who appreciates a good dawg and the comfort of the country.

Y'all keep the faith. Ya hear?

In most situations the cast changes on a regular basis, though not usually at the expected moment or place. Times change or terms expire and suddenly a member is off the bill. Better offer? Sometimes. Usually it’s just life working its’ magic on the players and calling them to different scenes.

Nowhere is this shift more evident than with friendship. We tend to be ensemble players in one acts all during our lives having fun and sharing sorrow with a select few at a certain point in the story that plays itself out until the grave and often beyond.

Childhood friends who remain with us until middle age or later are few and far between. I have about 4 or 5 and these are the ones that know where I came from, though not necessarily who I am today. We are bound by memories and families and an awesome kind of familiarity that includes knowing grandparents’ names and afflictions and who the first crush was.. We never lose touch, but we rarely make the effort to get together and celebrate who we were and who we are now.

There are college friends… Those who meet us when we first become who we aren’t anymore. These friends are the ones who can matter the most to a young adult. As a child, friendship is often based on parental preference or the logistics of geography. Discovery of self during the late teens and early twenties is a turning point for many friendships. Career and family and unfinished business take over as we push forward to prove to ourselves that we can be different.

Once a marriage and parenthood are a fact the emphasis shifts to common interests. We spend 10 hours a day together at work or our kids sleep over or we are patrons of the business of the other. That’s usually a 20 year haul and leaves little time for self expression or visits to the past or future of friendship.

The wise adult ( myself NOT included) will make time to retain that childhood identity while forging a new one. He or she will not get lost in the details of child-rearing or working at a career that seldom rewards. Most of us are not wise at all. It’s human nature.

Siblings can be friends, as can parents and children and cousins and friends of friends. A real friend is one who hears your heart and speaks back, no matter what the circumstance. They can be on keyboard only or by cam…..phone friends or blog-friends. Riding horses/huntin’ critters/meet you halfway or take you there friends. I-know-you-need-me friends. “I’m here” friends. Get offa your ass and be a big girl friends.

What were you THINKIN’ anyway? That’s what a real friend would say. But in the same breath, that friend would say I Love You.

And keep the faith. ^j^


cute? Posted by Hello
If only I'd known.......
Well, if I’d know back then what I know now, these are just a few of the things I would have done differently.

I would have married for love and not out of guilt. The end result might have been the same, but at least it would have been for the right reason.

I definitely would’ve been home when the babybird was sick instead of being loyal to compani(es) that never cared whether I lived or died as long as I exceeded production.

Back when I had $$, I would have gotten a massage when I needed it and taken a vacation or just bought something new to wear. I’d have gone OUT to eat instead of slaving over the stove.

I would have said “I love you” when I felt it and not been afraid.

There are many things that I’m glad that I did, and I’m thankful for those.

I gave birth to an awesome kid who remains my best friend. I grew up on a farm and she experienced the same joys. Cows, horses, dogs, birds, cats, possums, squirrels, deer, bobcats, coyotes, gardens, river, woods. Ducks and doves too. Plus an occasional wild turkey. We both have a heritage and history thanks to the Big Guy.

I did God’s work with the sick and dying and least of these when I could have just stayed within my “job description” and avoided the pain involved with loving and letting go.

I found the courage to end what was not good for me and to endure the transition period toward what IS good. I made many mistakes learning what actually is good for me….like BIG {hugs} and honesty. Like southern humor and tradition. Like family and friends and strength of character. Like silence and communion and centering down.

I discovered the joys of reading whether it’s a newspaper or a novel or a magazine like Cosmo. I learned to write my thoughts in a way that others find amusing or comforting.

I embraced opportunities at a moment’s notice that resulted in blessings beyond belief. Like Faith. I realized, after 35 years of being “churched” what Christ did for me, and I wept. I lived my life differently from that point on.

Future plans

Road trips. Books to write. True love, no fear. Grandchildren. Great grandchildren.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Sleeping with the dawg. One day at a time.

Keepin’ the faith. ^j^

Hmm..It was amusing to watch Brokaw cover the past 30 years last night and observe the change in his hair color. As a reporter of world events, he covered the biggies of our generation and did it well. Now it's time for him to spend time with the family and enjoy the fruits of that labor. Wish I could do the same on one tenth of his earnings.

What the heck is it about Americans that we will pay our entertainers/reporters/sports figures/politicians/bank presidents/yadayada a gazillion dollars and will actually pitch in by buying tickets or tuning in and generally being FANS.

Loyalty is a wonderful thing when it is placed wisely. To me, that includes family and friends. It used to include the job, but that was long ago. Loyalties there are to the co-workers and patients now, and not to the "work".

That explains clearly why I'm still there. And keepin' the faith. ^j^


legacy Posted by Hello
There is a certain responsibility that comes along with the inheritance of heirlooms. Yesterday my family was honored to eat Thanksgiving dinner on my grandmother’s table accompanied by her silver and my wedding china. Never mind that the marriage is long gone…….it was just a “good china” kind of day. Dessert was on a different grandmother’s plate.

Each of us contributed food and we all enjoyed the company. That is what holidays are about. It’s why airports are clogged on the days before and after and gas goes up a nickel. Everybody wants to be “at home”.

My youngest brother and his bride were at home in their new home, but we talked as they were coming back over the mountain from Wal-Mart toward their little piece of paradise and their dogs. Things could be much worse. They could be in Mosul.

I’m 49 years young and still feel like a kid in adult’s clothing at times. Even considering my status as divorced mother of an almost adult and old timer in the healthcare industry, sometimes I still want to believe in magic and miracles and dreams coming true. It’s the Cinderella factor that every baby boomer female grew up with. Work your ass off and be competent, caring , compassionate and gutsy……but always believe in Santa.

And always keep the faith. ^j^

the other side of wonderful
Hmm...well. We've all been there. Bills due and no love life and just you and your principles and your dawg and baby it's cold. It's spending your holiday in a hospital waiting room counting the minutes til you can see Daddy or Grandma or your brother for perhaps the last time.

Nobody ever expects to be in that situation yet we all are at some point. That's where angels fly in and meet us when we least expect it with a hug or a smile and a whistle.

Y'all keep the faith for me. ^j^

5 day pinpoint weather forecast..southeastern edition
Locally heavy Raines resulting in a good start on duck season in NW TN and northern MS. More later as the water rises.

Turkeys are prolly under a bush somewhere stayin' dry and safe from hunters. Ditto for the doves.

My huntin' dawg is smooth asleep on my pillow looking precious and dreaming about Thanksgiving leftovers. As for moi....it doesn't get much better than sleepin' with the windows open listening to the rain fall while Faith snores softly.

Night y'all . ^j^

pray and be specific Posted by Hello
Since I didn’t get swept away for the Oprah Claus orgy today, I’m feeling inclined to count my blessings in smaller and less spectacular ways. When I pray, which is usually while I’m out walking with Faith, I always begin with Thanksgiving.

Thank you ……For the many blessings of my life that remain constant.

Like my friends…many of whom could sign up for the next Dr. Phil show with the dysfunction of the day, but who always come to my rescue.
My scattered family members who alternately piss me off and give me the warm fuzzies but ALWAYS remind me who I am.
For my vocation as a healthcare provider that routinely wears me out and rewards me and occasionally pays the bills.
Thanks for the opportunity to live the majority of MY life and to raise MY child on a small farm that is rich in history and as close to paradise as anything I’ve seen.
For the mistakes and missed opportunities and roads never taken, thank you even more….for it is only through pain and desperation that we become able to experience joy. Peaks are so much more meaningful when you’ve been in the valley for a spell.
For your CHURCH all over the world, I say thank you. Belief in You and your goodness fuels random acts of kindness each and every day, whether they are acknowledged or not and no matter what denomination or faith receives the “credit”.

Petitions are usually up next. Those change from day to day and minute to minute according to what’s up at that millisecond. Almost always these days I pray for a speedy resolution to the conflict in Iraq. I didn’t agree with it when it was started, and I hate it more with each passing day. Pacifism tends to make you feel that way, even if you’re non-partisan.
I pray for Jen and her family, whom I’ve never met. For the patient and docs and nurses riding in the helicopters that pass over low over my house. For my daughter or her friends or my writing partner or whomever is struggling at that moment. For myself…..I pray for wisdom and guidance and most of all for patience and discernment.
I pray for my friend’s daughter and her baby. For my Mom who almost died in a wreck last week. I even pray for my ex-husband.

Most of the time I carry on a loose stream-of-consciousness type of conversation with God which doesn’t “follow all the rules” according to ascetic and traditional practice. Thanks to my Quaker friend, I’ve learned to center down and become ONE with my Father. That gives the Son and the Holy Spirit ample opportunity to creep into my life and work their miracles.

The only thing that I ever promise God is that I will be true to myself and try to appreciate what He has given me and “grow it”. That means pickin’ my battles carefully and using His resources wisely and doing the kind thing for His children, which includes dawgs and snotty nosed kids and old people who don’t remember who they were.

And keepin' the faith....of course. ^j^


on a mission Posted by Hello
Everything is a process. Learning and growing and changing into what today and tomorrow require us to be. Looking back in the journey is only as therapeutic as it need be to show us who we are and how we got to be that way. The rest is up to each of us as individuals to be living in the moment kinda kids.

Faith and I sat on the porch in the dark this evening and listened to some ducks go over quacking their little selves to death. “Bird!”. She listens while she holds her teddy bear firmly in those jaws and knows what bird means because it’s in her breeding and she’s touched and felt many of them here in paradise.

IF we have heavy December rain, she might get a workout in the back 40. In the meantime, she’ll be sticking with Mom every minute of every day.

this morning when i was buying breakfast at the gas station a guy told me to be still and shh...picked a lady bug right offa my shoulder! knowing that they're good luck, i can only beleieve that things are about to turn around for old poopie. ^j^

he's watching! Posted by Hello
box of chocolates
RUN…Forrest, run! There is something in each of us that believes in what Forrest does. He hangs in there. He loves Jenny and Cap’n Dan and Bubba no matter what becuz they’re his friends.

Forrest keeps moving because the alternative is to sit still and feel sorry for himself and his circumstances. Been there, done that and it doesn’t work out.

I’d much rather sit at the bus stop and talk to some aging stranger about life. Watch an old movie or call up a friend just to hear the voice and keep the faith.

essence Posted by Hello
Ya'll come back, ya hear?
Good southerners always say that, plus thank you. Notes are optional, but appreciated like all get out. The handwritten stuff is much more meaningful than email or voice message. Touch surpasses that by a kazillion.

Happy Thanksgiving ^j^

the book Posted by Hello
Well well WELL...we all knew there was bound to be a how-to book out there somewhere! I do so love this pic sent to me by my dear email friend that I've never met, BONEZ. I think it captures a certain essence of femalehood. ^j^

In My Daughter's Eyes
OLD SCHOOL My daughter refers to me that way all the time in a loving and awe-struck manner. That means that she is quite jealous that I saw Jimi Hendrix,Elton John X 2, Led Zepplin and many many others live and up-close in all of their deafening glory when I was a teenager.

It means that she is well aware of the battles we fought to get to where we are now, and is ashamed of being a typical teenage bitch at times. Okay well….most of the time for about three years!

Her respect for me is unwavering for taking the leap to get out of a bad marriage, even though we have struggled financially ever since. Her expectations of a relationship are colored by that experience.

It means that we can talk about everything openly and honestly, even things like sex and politics and euthanasia. We don’t always agree, but we never condemn.

It means that when she is troubled, she turns TOWARD me instead of the other way. She looks into my eyes and sees that no matter what, Mom loves her and cherishes who she is.

Cooking well, loving fiercely, defending the underdog…..these are all traits that she saw and learned from me even when I was tired or lonely or broke. Or all of the above.

In short, it means that she sees me as a successful parent. And for an old school Mom….Well, that rocks. ^j^


falluja  Posted by Hello
Same Song, Next Verse
Six months later, we see the conflict in Falluja erupt again. Only this time, the insurgents have had six months advance warning to scatter, regroup and reorganize their terror tactics. President Bush has made the rounds to visit the injured now that there is no campaign at stake to suffer from the “negative connotation” that might be given to his presence there, per an NBC reporter. Supposedly the military were called off of the rebel stronghold six months ago because of fears of instability within the Iraqi government that might endanger the election that STILL hasn’t happened. More realistically, it was because we were ill prepared to deal with them. Images of corpses swinging in the breeze still remain fresh.

And now, the Sunnis don’t even want to vote. There’s some real strategy,huh? Back off and give the enemy time to run and hide and scheme while the campaign is rolling. Then come on with big ammo and piss off the clergy so that an election two months from now will be even LESS likely to happen than the first one.

According to Rumsfeld, the casualties…….both American and Iraqi will be light. That is because most of the rebels have departed the city leaving booby traps for our advancing Marines and snipers to pick them off. Grenade launchers. Lunatics with a hatred so great that they are consumed with martyrdom in the name of death to the westerners. The only difference now is that Iraqi National Guard seems a bit better equipped to help us help them.

ONLY 12 reported casualties following an 8 hour gun battle. Are those numbers “acceptable” in the game of war? It’s out of our hands America. Let’s just pray and be specific. ^j^


uh huh.... Posted by Hello
The Centerpiece
My table in the dining room is ready for Thanksgiving. There's some wooden pilgrims and a coupla candles on a battenburg great-grandma tablecloth. In the center of a lovely dollar store plate sits a creation scavenged from a wonderful day with my friend on the 4 wheeler. There's a turkey feather and some grape vine tied with ribbon. It was a gorgeous day that I'll never forget as long as I live.

Faith went with us. She loves to run and we ran her lil' puppy self to death. For a dawg who sleeps half the time, she sure kept up. She treed some squirrlies and sniffed a bird or two with their guts hangin' out. It was a momentous occasion for a huntin' dog and her momma.

Her mama just happens to be looking for love. She thought she'd found it.....but, ummm. Well we all know how that goes. Maybe next time. ^j^

What did I miss???
pardon my jaded attitude.....but tom brokaw just reported that last month was a coup for new jobs and the stock market is lookin' up. not that any of that affects lil' ole me.....you see i'm an old timer. in fact, i'm the poster child for old timers.

the orignal company that hired me 27 years ago has been sold twice. both times, i lost benefits that i had accrued through continued employment with said healthcare companies. serving patients, working while i was sick.....you get the picture. no matter what, i showed up and did my best and in the end, i was sold out.

i don't watch the stock market anymore. during my divorce i used my retirement $$ (with penalties ) in an attempt to support myself and my daughter. and i'm fairly well paid.

what about all those folks who work for minimum wage and switch jobs twice a year? what about those who aren't able or choose NOT to work and are depending on tax dollars from my hard-earned income ( about 25% last time i looked ) to live and receive healthcare and continue on their merry way?

i'm partially at fault, you see. instead of playing the rogue and working on contract for big bucks plus housing, i've chosen to continue my servitude while the cost of living eats me up. literally.
that's because i have a home and a community and a family and friends that i enjoy and want to stay close to. i wasn't "born" into money. i paid for most of my college through loans and student jobs and my parents mortgaged their souls for the rest. 27 years later, i make half per hour what the plumber or electrician brings in. not to even mention the politicians and lawyers and physicians and other successful "business" people.

i watch the ads on tv for furniture and clothing sales in my area and am aghast at the thought of finding 20 bucks to buy something at wal-mart. how did i get here? hmmmm.....

it's a long story. i did it for love and because i deserved better. i did it to show my daughter that marriage is not about having a roommate who doesn't love you. in short, i stuck my neck out and got beheaded.

there was a time in my life when i lived way beyond my "means". i'm not talking yachts or diamonds, but i spent more than i made and lenders made that possible. then, just as soon as it became unmanageable they turned into sharks that have bled me for years and continue to do so.

the little guy.....the old timer. God rest our souls. we're supporting the deadbeats AND the rich ones. and amazing as it seems, we still seem to be able to smile about all of it and whistle while we work.

y'all keep the faith. ^j^

fuzzy Posted by Hello
Friends With Benefits
"When I was a boy".....and only white men voted, things were much simpler. Boss Crump reigned and a favor begat a vote. We all went to bed after casting our ballots and woke up to the answer, which nobody disputed.

A democrat was a democrat and a republican was a republican. Nobody crossed those lines....not even when the other party's candidate seemed to be a bit more sane. Projections would have been absurd. It ain't over til the fat lady sings to us.

Ahh...but things are different these days. There is a megabucks industry dependent on voters for their big salaries and celebrity status. For the first time in history, voters have seized their hard earned right to speak their peace ( all of 'em....regardless of gender or ethic background or age ) by voting.

The only thing scarier than wondering if your vote counts is not knowing how much of the latest Al Jazeera broadcast you actually saw. He probably said something about yo momma in the un-edited version. Hmm....sounds suspiciously like Watergate with those missing minutes.

"They" say that bloggers have influenced this election tremendously. I'd have to say that's a truth....because blogging is a freedom that we as Americans are fortunate to have. Ditto for peaceful demonstration and pursuit of happiness.

The thing that bothers me the most about this country and its' citizenry, is the sense of entitlement that many seem to have. Feed me...gimme a flu shot....make MY vote count....make it go my way. Make other folks live by MY rules and punish them if they don't.

Friends with benefits.

Y'all call me this weekend and tell me who won.

And keep the faith. ^j^

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