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Small World
Where in the heck have I been? I never even knew that Hunter Thompson existed until he died and the whole journalistic world was aflutter with tales of " I told ya so."

I reckon I was busy makin'a living and raising Babygirl. Selling GirlScout cookies and doing aerobics and readin' books. Lotsa books. MOUNTAINS of books.

During all of that busyness, I listened to lotsa music. Still do. Somehow, music makes the daily mundane stuff bearable and often enjoyable. It calms the savage beast in each of us.

Babygirl is Soooo jealous of the fact that I've been to a jillion concerts to see the legends.....Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Allman Brothers, James Taylor, JIMI HENDRIX... Linda Rondstat and on and on and on. It's always been a priority for me. A love, if you will, to experience the live music of artists that I enjoy.

A couple of years ago when JT was on the "October Road" tour, I bought tickets and passed on groceries for a bit. I ended up giving those tickets away to some other fans who had a great time doing the father son bonding thing.

Easy come, easy go. ^j^
For all of you with nothing better to do this afternoon, take this little quiz and see how you do. You might surprise yourself with your total lack of logic :)
In honor of Oscar night...
I have posted this *snort* classic cast pic from Cinderella as performed in sixth grade operetta style by the students of Alice Thurmond Elementary School. Of course it's every girl's dream to be Cinderella....but alas! My destiny was to play the wicked stepmother ( notice the huge hair on the far left, kids. ) We're all just 12, but I appear much taller thanks to "Chia hair".

Anna, in the pink dress was my soulmate in drama. We did plays and made programs and bored our families to death with our pre-teen acting ability. Years later, Babygirl and her friend Melissa did the same thing to ME! Beautiful Denise, far right in yellow has been gone for many years now....HIV took her life at a young age. The rest of the cast is alive and well, as far as I know. The Prince and I stay in touch. We have an appreciation of fine hops in common in addition to the hometown connections and me and his wifey being in the same field.

In college, I was Helen Keller's mom in The Miracle Worker with my Irish Setter, Brandy as a co-star. I gave up on acting then, cuz it seemed I was being typecast as somebody's momma. Can't help it.....I still want to have my day as Cinderella.


budding actors Posted by Hello
The Origin of Poop
Back in the day....there was this lil' old girl named Janie who lived on a farm. She was the first child, first grandchild ( on one side ) and only daughter. In other words, she was was just the poop. Her baby bed was in the bedroom of that log cabin she cribbed in. The wall next to the bed was, of course, made of logs.

Being an only child and all, she tended to get a bit lonely. That's how the knot in the log at HER eye level came to be known as W.I. At the time in rural D'burg, he was the only general practice doc in town and treated everything from birth to death with a bow tie firmly in place each and every work day. The Poop got delivered in a hospital.....the old Baird Brewer by a fella who did surgery in addition to birthing babies. But when the earaches hit or the measles and the mumps...you guessed it. W.I. was the man with the plan.

Poopie spent hours talking to that knot on the log in the wall just to keep herself company. When she was feeling creative, she dipped into the diaper ( cloth ) and did a little artwork all over the bed and wall and umm...you get the picture. Her momma tells it like this: " I said Help Billy! " and we dunked that poop covered kid and all her poopie stuff in the soapy water."

The name stuck. W.I. is still around wearing a bow tie, though he's retired. The log walls are still there at the crib.

When Babygirl was little, her imaginary friend was named Dickie and he did everything BAD that she was guilty of. That's a whole 'nother story though.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
In today's email, I found this which reminded me that there are other battles being fought besides the ones the MSM concentrates on. Being a stream of consciousness follower of karma, I attributed this to the fact that I'm reading All Over But the Shoutin' for the second time around, by Rick Bragg . His work as a NY Times reporter took him to Haiti for a spell and his experiences there are haunting to read.

Being a multitasker, I've got Dixie Lullaby by Mark Kemp started as well. If you're a 70's music buff, he's your guy.
Papal Reflections by a Methodist
Please y'all. Somebody get a grip .
Been around......
But always come home to the country :)
bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

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Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.
THIS is amazing....in a very eerie sort of way....

via DrudgeReport
one day at a time
Today was one of those days that I actually listened to the Big Guy's voice. My favorite patient of all time, Ms. Olive was in the house. She's the British WWII bride of a US serviceman with a spirit that gives me hope and faith.

Her adoring husband has quite the sense of humor as well. He beams when she shows out for her admirers and enjoys every second of that spunk of hers.

I first met this lovely couple on a day at work when I went to do something I really didn't wanna do. The fringe benefits were astounding, in more ways than one. They blessed me with their love for each other and became lifelong friends to me in the span of 30 minutes. And besides, the attending was HOT :)

When Mr and Ms Olive win the lottery, they're gonna buy me a car or something. She told me that today. She also sent{{ hugs}} back to that hot attending from diagnostic days gone by. If I ever see him again, I'll deliver.
text message
^j^ Can you imagine the possibilities if we voted for Prez by text msg like American Idol? 06 for the incumbent..text the word VOTE to 5716 for more of the same war'n killing and control freakisms.

Of course that would leave all of the non-cellphone/pc users out of the loop in the electoral process that is the USA ( kinda like when the dems don't have a viable candidate)

"Wait! Where's my charger????? I gotta vote. "

"Gimme that 'puter kid....it's election day!"

If you don't get through, keep trying.

Standard text messaging and landline rates apply.
True Love reluctantly comes back to work.
The L Word
Being a gal who's emotionally transparent ( aka, honest ) I find that this is not something that men embrace. In fact, most of them run from that kind of honesty like they've been popped with buckshot in the ass.

Here's the story of my life with guys. I like 'em and I tell them that and they say "that's nice...I like you too". Then when I say the other L word, well....you know. Run for the hills. It's too: messy/intense/time-consuming/you-name-it.

According to the experts like the "He's Not That Into You" guy and the "LoveTactics" guy, I'm way too easy and can't play the game. I have to disagree with that. Transference and projection aside, I'm a picky old girl who knows what she wants. When I recognize it, I blurt it out...even when it scares the crap out of me to do so.

Needless to say, this MO has dropped me on my smart ass many a time. I'm a lifetime subscriber to "til better to have loved and lost.." Something in me just won't quit with that nonsense though. It's like I honestly believe that a great fella will fall in love with me and it will be a forever thing.

Go figure.
I kid you not,this was the name of some fool I ran across in a chat room one time. If there's anything that gets folks riled up more than politics and religion it's NASCAR.

On the 3rd anniversary of "The Intimidator's" death on the track, we find Hendrick Motorsports winning Daytona with Gordon ( panties or not :) It looked like Tony Stewart was gonna have it in the bag but NOOOOOOO.....Little E made a run at the end as did a couple of others.

Maybe Gordon's distraction from the divorce recovery is over. Number 24 sure showed what he's made of today.

Not that it matters to me, mind you.

Could it be Deep Throat II ?

Thanks to Drudge for this little morsel for thought on a Saturday evening.
CSI Tennessee
In a bizarre case that resembles a TV whodunit, former Medical Examiner O.C. Smith is on trial for staging his own attack. Ordinarily, this would be a case of forensic scientist gone bonkers.

In this case, however, the future of others is at stake depending on the outcome of Smith's trial. Anywhere from 40 to 50% of Tennessee death row cases were convincted based on Smith's testimony as a pathologist. One of those is Philip Workman .

I am morally opposed to the death penalty. Deal with it, OK? In my mind, there is no way that it is "right" to execute someone no matter WHAT they did. Keep their butt in prison forever. In the long run, that costs less than all the legal wrangling to get out of a death sentence. Especially in a case like Workman's.

Every week we hear of an incident of a prisoner set free after years of incarceration because of new advances in technology like DNA testing. Witnesses lie and have brain farts. DNA does not.

Governor Bredesen has delayed the execution of Workman and asked state medical examiners to review Smith's testimony which was used to convict Workman. Considering the circus that is this case, I'd say that was a very wise move on the side of caution.

Smith's trial resumes next week.
There's a wise old saying about one's parents that you "marry one of 'em and turn into the other one". The reality of that cannot be fully appreciated until enough years and therapy have passed to be able to see in reverse and forward simultaneously :) While most of us consider ourselves grown up at 21 or so, some never seem to get there. Some days I don't even WANT to be there. It was much more fun bein' a kid.

This Anna Quindlen piece gave me the opportunity to muse about what kind of mom I am. I remember when Babygirl was 6 weeks old and my leave was up, returning to work and leaving her with a baby-sitter. Some mothers have a choice......financially, I did not. It was a no-brainer for me and not something I thought a lot about. At that point in my life, I was capable of handling most anything ( or so I thought ) and you damn well better not get in my way. Ahh...the arrogance of youth.

Her Dad and I worked different shifts so we had very little family time but she enjoyed lots of individual time with each of us as we passed her back and forth. During her early years, she was a joy and a pain all at once, and I felt guilty about knowing that. Not only was she the only child, she was ( and is ) the only grandchild. Talk about a recipe for the "I'm the Shit" syndrome!

She entered the real world via kindergarten at the tender age of 4 while Mom cried her way through the rest of the day at work. All I had thought about up to that point was how much money we'd save on daycare. There were flashes of insight early on that should have told me it would be a bumpy ride.....like when the pre-school teacher suggested I read "The Strong Willed Child ". OH hell.

Like her Mother and Grandma before her, Babygirl tried real hard early on to do good in school and be everybody's friend. She tried during the social 5th and 6th grade years to play the game and keep up with the well to do friends with whom she had gone to church and school. It was financial chaos for us, but we managed. During the hellion middle school and early high school years, she withdrew from me and I became "the enemy". Those were the darkest days of my life. Literally.

Just as friends had predicted, when driving time came around she sucked back up and went through the paces to get into her own zone with a car and the freedom to explore her somewhat limited world. She stubbornly refused to be a part of anything that smacked of "socially acceptable" like high school dances or sports or sororities. She was a modern day version of ME as a teenager !

I'll spare the details, many of which I didn't find out until she got older and bold enough to tell me. You see, that's how we are. We talk and say dirty words and generally let it all out. And that's a good thing, in spite of what soccer moms and cotillion queens will tell you. We cry and we bond and we accept each other, warts and all.

Sometime ago, my own Mom told me that I should be "less of a friend" and more of a mother to my child. When I look at who she is today, I'm proud to say that I've been both and it shows. As she enters the workforce next week, we'll be carpooling and will have that in common as well as home life. One of my co-workers told me today that she could sense the "spirit" in my daughter during the pre-employment process. "She'll be an asset", she remarked.

And that, my friends, is music to a mother's ears.

fennie and harold Posted by Hello
This is a story about hope and faith and love featuring two lucky folks who lived long and happy lives in spite of the diseases that they encountered.

Fennie had sickle cell disease . She lived to the ripe old age of 47 thanks to blood donations. The last time I saw her was when I dropped her off in the project after this banquet honoring donors of the blood that had kept her alive for all those years. When we first met, she was a surly angry gal with an attitude. We all brushed it off and came to love her and her bad veins. Years of being stuck with needles will leave you with hard to get blood for lab testing. Originally from Chicago, she had nobody to mourn when she died, save for her church family and those of us who loved her in spite of the attitude. We were the same age...and I have very little tolerance for bullshit so we got along just fine.

Harold had leukemia . He was a bit older and a smartass like me :) His wife was by his side every step of the way on the journey that was the disease that took his life.

In this picture, we were all fellowshipping over good food and talking about how giving blood can change a life. They both cried when they spoke about how they were alive that day because of the generosity of other people with their time and blood cells. The gift of life.

That night, when I took Fennie home, she asked me to call her when I got to the house....just so she'd know I got here okay. You can bet I did.


Mary Englebreit's art ....makes me happy. Posted by Hello
Will Blog for Beer
Well, actually will blog or else. My sister-in-law the Reporterette references one of our fav writers commenting about bloggers and their impact on today's world, politically and otherwise.

If you stop and think about it, blogging is kind of like one big group therapy session on the keyboard.....and that's a good thang. I was telling a co-worker today about firing off an email to the CEO of my ex-company, now that I finally could without fear of retribution. It's probably lost in cyberspace, but I sure as heck felt better.

That's what a blog is all about. In these days of fast paced lives and keeping up with whoever you're keeping up with, free expression is a first amendment right that we should not take lightly. Maybe someday I'll find a more productive way to express than opening my big fat mouth. Probably not though. It beats going to confession. ^j^
I have seen the enemy.....
As I was settling into my seat at a meeting yesterday, one guy said to another " I thought about you this morning." The recipient of that remark is a native of Lebanon . He quickly responded ( not angrily at all ) that of course Syria was the only country who had a dog in that fight. I heard and respected the opinion of one who's "been there done that."

Today, I hear yammering from those who don't have a clue. The whole paranoid state of the world is focused on the Middle East vs. the US and we just sit here adding insult to injury and playing 5th grade school teacher to a bunch of bullies who have always hated each other. IT IS NOT OUR BUSINESS.

All of this began, I suppose, when some Islamic terrorists decided to hit us where it hurts on 9/11. Point taken, Jihad. The problem is in our response. It was too little too late and we still walk around playing big Ike in a maelstrom of hatred and violence that will set our country on it's well coiffed head if they have their way. We thought we were untouchable, and it was a huge shock to find out otherwise.

This isn't WWII folks. This isn't even Vietnam. This is 2005 in the US of A and we better be watching our OWN backs instead of meddling in everybody else's business. Securing our own borders is a much more fiscally sound and secure ACTION than chasing terrorists with car bombs halfway around the world is a REACTION.

Do the math. Your reservist child/coworker/friend is pulled away from the family to fight an unwinnable war against an unidentifiable enemy who bites the bomb screaming "Allah!" at the same time. The priorities and motives are different for each soldier. One with everything to lose and the other with his own suicidal agenda.

i TOLD ya'll.....
that i'm just a lil' ole country gal.....92% Dixie. Check yourself out.
heart shaped cookies
From me to ya'll. Made with REAL butter and topped with sprinkles and lots of faith. ^j^
for more...check out Studio Zubrovka

teaser Posted by Hello
Blog Fight
It's ON! Glenn Reynolds takes on Bubba while a ladybug crawls across my computer screen. YOW.

More later on Bloggers for Bredesen.
Musical Meme
This afternoon while on the road to do my ( way overdue ) grocery shopping, I popped a homemade CD from my KaZaa days into the player which could only be named " My Favorite Feel Good Songs". This electic mix of tunes spans the generations and musical styles that kind of give a thumbnail image of little ole' me. Besides, it was time to give John Mayer a break :)

I Can Only Imagine.....MercyMe

Dust in the Wind.....Kansas

The Water is Wide....James Taylor

Roll With It.....Steve Winwood

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Lookin' For.......U2

Wake Me Up Inside.....Evanescence

Get Over It .....The Eagles ( best boogie song, hands down )

Learn To Be Still.....Don Henley

My Sacrifice.....Creed

I'd Love to Change The World.....Ten Years After

Go Rest High on that Mountain.....Vince Gill

The Dance.....Garth Brooks

Silver Threads and Golden Needles.....Linda Ronstadt

OOPs..almost forgot Put Your Lights on....Everlast and Santana

What would be on yours?

Okay then. that explains a lot.

Ready Aim Fire! Posted by Hello
Dearest Cupid
I'm figuring that since I've not heard from you in several years, you've forgotten where I am. Well, actually...it's been many years.

That's not to say that I haven't fired a few arrows myself. It's just that they seldom hit the guy's heart in just the right spot to produce flowers or candy or declarations of love. It seems to work much better when YOU take aim and shoot him for me.

So, well, umm....this year, I'm leaving it up to you. I know there's some guy out there somewhere who thinks I'm "all that and a bag of chips" and just needs a little nudge from you to get real and gimme his heart. And the other parts too :)

Hey..you know me. I'm easy on the eyes and not at all a nag. There's that big ole heart of mine that tends to seek the middle ground every time. ( well almost, except for the war) I can tell a mean joke without losing the punchline, I know my NASCAR drivers, I'm an excellent cook and, though kinda blonde, I'm quite intelligent.....but not in an intimidating kinda way, of course.

I'm kind to animals, kids and old people. My sense of duty to the downtrodden and mistreated is what one might call "rabid", yet I have a soft old soul that longs to be loved and appreciated. I'm honest to a fault. Good mother. Great friend. Ex-good GIRL.

My dream date would probably be on the beach somewhere watching the sunset with some good food and plenty of brewskie cuz I don't dress up much, if you know what I mean. I'll settle for whatever you cook up for me though. If I have to dress up and be a fox, so be it. I can play that one too.

ANYWAYS...see what you can do, K?

I'm just sayin'.....

Kisses from Poopie ^j^

Banana moon
Long time ago, I remember going somewhere in the car with Babygirl in the back in her car seat. She'd been going to pre-school at Ms. Carol's and learning about all kinds of stuff. It was night time and she was watching the darkness go by from her perch.

"Banana moon!" she said. Silence. It was one of those comments that kids make that you hear but don't hear until much later. It wasn't until, on yet another night, she said "Ball moon" that I got it. Pre-school astronomy from the back seat of a Toyota.

I still get it 17 years later. Especially on cloudless pre-spring nights like this one.

All in a day's work
Here to nail you with a global vision and commitment to quality.
Does anybody know how many ZEROES there are in a trillion?
Faith takes a nosedive..
Ever since we've had the beloved choco-lab, Faith, Babygirl's b'friend has been her favorite guy. She's done a few practice rides in the back of his truck out here on the farm. Yesterday was her in town debut. Being the anxious girl that she is, she was just a teeny bit too close to the side. When Gumbler tapped the brakes to sit her down she lost her balance and went tumbling out onto the busiest piece of asphalt in our little town. YOW. Poor baby was concussed overnight and has a nice asphalt scrape on her face, but seems fine today. Except that she's having her first period too!

Sometimes it just doesn't make sense to get outta bed.

Today was one of those days, kids.

My good buddy JOHN, of Courtesy Call fame, found me at work and proceeded to pound me without mercy on my shortcomings as a human being in the great debt pool of life. Luckily bank lady was in a kind mood and explained my situation in a much kinder manner. ALSO luckily, I work with folks who love me and will gather round for a group hug in a heartbeat....ditto for the prayers.

I've become a master at finding those little bright spots in an otherwise stress-filled life of work and no play. And it saves my sanity. That and the thought of tellin' JOHN's momma how mean he was to me :) I feel sure she'll kick his butt.

Keepin' the faith here. ^j^


eye candy Posted by Hello
Lazy Girl
Uh hmm..too lazy to get back out and go to church to get ashed with the masses. Instead, I had my own private observance.

Early December, my Mom and brother delivered an amaryllis to me. It finally bloomed a few weeks ago in all its' beautiful red glory. TWO bloom stalks that have slowly shriveled and dried. The bulb will go in the ground, but the dried up foilage got burned to ash and marks my forehead.

40 days. ^j^
Courtesy Call
Last night while I was fixing lasagna, I inadvertently answered the phone without checking the caller ID. Bad move,Poopie. I purposely do not answer toll free numbers because they are either a}spam/sales calls or b}bill collectors. Over the years, I have made the acquaintance of many an idiot this way.

Guess who it was? It was JOHN who gets his jollies and sense of accomplishment from insulting the downtrodden. His little piece of the action involves a 1500 buck credit card that hasn't been used in 3 years but continues to accrue late fees and interest and therefore continues to haunt my middle aged single and broke self.

JOHN's tactic was fresh and exciting! Instead of humbly asking for a check by phone, he put his whole soul into performing as a badass for my benefit. Here's a sample:

JOHN: Hey! I'm calling from XYZ agency regarding your ABC account.

me: Yes...well my accounts are being managed by a non-profit debt consolidation agency. Would you like their number?

JOHN: What a loser! Aren't you ashamed of yourself that you can't be financially responsible enough to take care of your own debts???

me: Not at all JOHN. I'm in a pinch and it's the only way I can handle things right now. Trying to be debt free, you know. At least I'm not filing BK.

JOHN: Hey, grab that checkbook and let's set it up right now. How much can you pay?

me: nothing, John. ZERO. Here's that phone number.....

JOHN: That's a shame girl. I make 80 grand a year and I'm able to buy nice presents for my parents ( I kid you not ...he said this )

me: Congratulations to you and your parents. I know they're proud of your honorable profession serving mankind and all. I bet there's a Nobel peace prize in it for ya.

JOHN: Well at least I'm able to pay my bills. *Snarl

me: M#*her F#*...

JOHN: Now now, there's no need for potty mouth.

me: (click)

Moral of the story: Be careful who you kick when they're down. What goes around comes around back atcha.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
Firefighters Cavort
As if we don't already have enough worries already what with insurgency and privatization now there's this .

Having received a few "oral reprimands" myself, I can honestly say I feel their pain.
Preachin' to the choir
About 6 or 7 years ago when I was a frustrated Sunday School teacher to 16 year olds, we got ambitious and took a road trip on Easter. I got the keys to the church van and we headed to the cemetary.

The point? He is not here.....He is risen. We landed on my Mom's family plot and sat on the grass and talked about death and Jesus and all that. Then we went back to the church and listened to the awesome music and pomp and circumstance of the day.

This was a group of kids who had caused countless others to lose their religion. They were obnoxious, no doubt. Mostly I think they just wanted somebody to do something besides quote scripture. You know...somebody who felt their pain and walked their walk.

Even now, at the age of 20 or 21, I think that's still what they're lookin' for. I reckon that's all any of us can ask for. Helps us to keep the faith. ^j^

Thanks Christine!

You Are 27 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Age Do You Act?

I found this *mildly* addictive game over at Hey You called Stack the Cats . For Tetris freaks it will ring a familiar bell in the old addiction center of the brain.
Live from work blog
Mornin' children! Because Poopie is a front line worker in healthcare, Sundays are a usual part of the work routine. Today is particularly slow allowing me the luxury of catching up on my blog reading and gettin' paid for it :) Sweet.

Sooooooo.......if any of you need your lab work done today, just send me a comment and I'll check you right out. How's that cholesterol looking? Are you pregnant? What about a blood transfusion? We can handle all of your laboratory needs! My co-workers today include the eternal sunshine of Timmy aka Katie Beth's daddy. Tim has blue eyes that more than one patient has noticed. He also works at his family's hardware store and will be bringing me new handles for my storm doors which Faith the wonder-choco-lab has managed to destroy. Pays to have connections that keep you out of WalMart, ya know?

I really don't mind weekends at work because none of the administrative types are around to hassle us with meetings and forms and other such nonsense. We just do the work and amuse ourselves. Many a sordid tale has been shared over the breakroom table during a weekend meal.

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was to be part of a CAP inspection the next day. HOOOO boy. What a day. The lab, when last inspected two years ago, had no deficiencies. We expected to breeze in and spend the day patting them on the back for their wonderfulness. About 30 minutes into the thing, over a table PILED high with manuals, we realized that past inspectors had not done these people any favors by being either blind or lazy. We ended up being the bad guys and citing them for just about everything imaginable, which we definitely were NOT in the mood to do. And they were not receptive to our "constructive" learning process.
Very long day.

Now, roll up your sleeve. This won't hurt a bit :)

Feedin' the need
I am such a predictable little addict that it's pathetic. Every year about this time, without fail ...spring throws out a teaser day. On this day, no matter what's on my agenda, I follow the same routine time after time. There's a monkey on my back, after all. The order of things is not always the same ( that'd be obsessive-compulsive :) but all the chores get a turn.

The activity commences as I stroll around the yard and notice a rake leaning against a tree. Pin oak leaves, the last to fall....are always everywhere in February because I ran out of steam at the end of the autumn chores. I walk past the rake then turn around and grab it to make some piles. Along the way I stop to inspect the now visible green shoots from the gazillion bulbs I've planted over the years....hyacinth, buttercups..but no tulips yet.

I admire the crocuses and pick the first daffodil as a celebratory gesture to myself. Inspection of the buds on all of the flowering bushes is next. After I light the piles of leaves, my wandering takes me out to where pecan limbs are scattered all over the massive yard, dropped from the hundred year old trees in the wind and ice of winter. I pile these up and head off with clippers to give the monkey grass a haircut.

From experience I know that inevitably a late February ice storm will drop more limbs. A freeze will get many of the buds that are straining for warmth to burst open. Another day will find me raking and burning again to finish up all the little piles as the dogs run through and scatter them. But then, one day.....it will happen for real.

The redbud trees will turn purple and the forsythia yellow. Red and purple and yellow tulips will appear and will be joined by a parade of narcissus all in a row across edge of the lane. Robins will work the yard pulling up worms and bluebirds will hatch from their ancient house on the fencepost. There will be fresh asparagus for those dearest to me.

I will then be a prisoner to the full force of my addiction! The smell of mulch will permeate the air as I begin to actively seek the high that comes from growin' stuff. The frenzy continues as I hit the nurseries and spend the grocery money on perennials and dirt and hanging baskets full of color. Even this, though, will not fill the void. I will not be satisfied until the mower is in operation and the tomato plants are in the ground. Only then, will I rest easy, crack open a beer and fire up the grill.

Hello. My name is Poopie. And I'm a gardenoholic.



The view Posted by Hello
From my front porch and the bedroom window that I sit and blog beside, this is what a winter sunset looks like. It's the first one I've seen in way over a week and today's is a special treat because I enjoyed a walk through those woods with an old friend who loves the place like I do.

We have explored it in every season together, on four wheeler and on foot.....with dogs and without them. Today we heard hawks screaming from the bare tree tops while Faith the choco lab puddle jumped.

The 1100 acres that constitute the farm are mostly flat land bordered by the Forked Deere River. The lone elevation to the place is on the lane leading to my house. At the end of the dead end lane behind the only other house is a field edging the woods that top a hill. Climbing that hill reveals a huge drop to the slough from the river below. Farther through the woods, the slope becomes more gentle and walkable as one enters the bowels of the woods.

In the spring, the paths downward are lined with staghorn ferns and wildflowers. My daddy and I once went in search of the ferns and dug up a few that still remain in our flower beds. There are grapevines as big as trees hanging from the even BIGGER trees and choking them in some spots. Down near the slough the mud remains from the winter flooding that lured no ducks this season. It will flood again in the spring...you can bank on that one. Some spots you're lucky to get beans planted by June.

There are wild turkey..I've seen their feathers and droppings down near the river itself where they play hide and seek with the hunters and predators. Coyotes howl by night and occasionally venture up to the edge of my yard. Deer regularly pass over the lane from one feeding spot to the next.

Stepping over and around hundreds of downed dead trees I wondered if any of the "bumps in the night" that I hear out here was one of them crashing down. And of course, if no one is there to hear it...does it make a sound?

It has been a veritable paradise to grow up in, return to and raise a child in and explore as an adult with the capacity to appreciate the splendor. Yet it is not mine. As my grandma used to say " It's only borrowed from God" for a bit.

Thanks Big Guy. ^j^


pucker up Posted by Hello
Live like you were dying
Imagine, if you will. Knowing that you have exactly 2 months,10 days,12 hours, 40 minutes and 7 seconds left to experience life as you know it. You'd be the lucky one, for sure. There would be plenty of time to prepare yourself and your family and the finances for the big event. Time for sky divin' and rocky mountain climbing and 2.7 seconds on a bull.

One day could be devoted to the finances of the whole deal. Talk to an attorney after rounding up the paperwork that constitutes the monetary value of your life...your estate. Retirement accounts, life insurance, property..tally it up and pass it on over. You won't need it and the heirs will just blow it. You dig up a living will and state purposefully what you want in the end, with witnesses to back you up. You appoint someone you trust to make sure it's done that way in spite of heroic doctors and stuff-that-happens to get in the way of what you want for yourself and your family at the end of your life.

After all that's done, it's play time. Why the heck not?? Play bridge. Eat what you like. Talk, cry, hug, call, touch, stay awake. Read, write, laugh and speak. Say all the things to all the people that you never had the courage to say, like "I love you" or "You pissed me off when....". Sing your freakin' heart out.

The diet is out the window and your pride is waning, so what the hell. Kiss every baby you see and feed the birds. Sleep with the the dawgs. Watch the sun rise and set all in one day and gaze at the wonder of it.

We don't have that luxury, of course. It could be tomorrow or next week or next year. It could be on the eve of the next milestone or on a holiday or a birthday or a weekend. That's all up to the Big Guy and goes according to His plan. That's FAITH.

HOPE is about ridin' the bull and jumping out of the plane or climbing the mountain. It's about grabbing onto what makes you smile and/or cry and hangin' on for dear life. It floats.

According to statistics we're right where we were before even though the speaking skills improved a bit.

Y'all can put your valentines in my white paper sack on my desk. The one with the red construction paper heart on it.



'tis almost the season Posted by Hello
Developing promises
Here you have it, in Dubya's own words. Laura looked mighty proud when he winked her new job at her.

Keywords to watch for in the coming term: fill in the blanks as you see the story unfold.





Faith based






Tools and resources

Healthy growing economy




No child left behind



Good stewards

Liability reform

Clear skies...safe and affordable energy....alternative energy

National Institute of Health


And of course, computerized healthcare for all. Take that Al Gore.



no sun here! Posted by Hello
Groundhog Day Eve Reflections
Remember the movie with Bill Murray where every day he woke up and it was the SAME dang day again? I can relate...heh.

This week's "hump" day will be spent as part of a survey team for the College of American Pathologists . As part of the healthcare accreditation process, each clinical laboratory must be inspected either by the CAP or the JointCommission on Hospital Accreditation . Usually a peer to peer survey is much more desirable than having someone who doesn't know beans about the lab coming in and picking apart your world. ( see FDA and chicken inspectors :)

I have participated on many of these teams in the past, and I have also had the pleasure of being grilled by "peers" who have personal issues that go with them on their road trips. Objectivity is the key to a successful survey. There is a checklist of questions that are rather easy to interpret but the trouble usually comes when someone thinks that since it's not done THEIR way, it's wrong. Lord help us.

This time the trip will be short and sweet.....only 40 miles away. We have one novice on the team who tends to turn a simple statement into a 30 minute tirade no matter what.

Y'all pray and be specific.

And keep the faith. ^j^
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