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Back in the Day
Once upon a time I felt froggy and did a reformat on the hard drive of my first non-hand-me-down pc. In spite of the ease of hittin' that key to wipe it clean and the tedium of reinstalling every bit of software, that was a piece of cake compared to trying to wipe out the spy-ad-worm-virus infested Dell of my daughter this afternoon. I'm a stubborn broad, but not that stubborn. My next b'friend will either be a computer wizard or a sugar daddy who can afford to have it done FOR me.
Actually, I think I'll be a Mac geek next time around.


Congrats to Chuck, the new owner of RuralRoot . This particular online biz was born and raised in Dyersburg, traveled to Virginia and has landed back at its' birthplace.


I'm filling up a basket of stuff to iron and that made me think about using a coke bottle with a sprinkler top to wet the clothes before ironing. Prior to the steam iron and spray starch, that was about the easiest way to get the job done. I do so hate to iron. Sugar Daddy better shell out for some wash'n'wear or else make friends with the neighborhood cleaners.


I was the runner up in the county spelling bee when I was in sixth grade. *stop snickering a..hole* It was a big deal, okay? Got my picture in the paper and everything. Years later, I was a willing victim in a charity ADULT spelling bee for several years running. I never got any closer than 3rd place, but I got a nice electric grill out of the deal.


Around the time I was spelling bee almost-champ, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. I idolized those folks in the space program of the 60's....wrote 'em all letters and they usually wrote back. Oh yeah....so did Queen Elizabeth. Or one of her maidens in waiting. I hate flying now so I guess it's best I didn't pursue that career objective.


One of my grandmas was a rich lady and she promised to take me to Europe when I graduated from High School. By the time I got there all the money was gone. I probably would've been scared to fly anyway, knowing how I am. I loved her to this day just for having that dream for me.


Of all the kazillion pets I've ever had, I think I missed Nosey the beagle most of all. I was playing in the ditch the day she got run over laying right smack in the middle of the road and I saw it all. We also had a cat named Marbles and a crow named Joe. Don't even get me started, or I'll tell you about getting flogged by the chickens. Babygirl has a collage of all her pets, dead or alive, that I made for her.


My elementary school principal said he knew from the get go that I was really smart. That explained why every time he walked by my class he found me staring out the window at what was OUTSIDE. I never knew my IQ for sure. I'm quite certain it ain't what it used to be.

Back in the day. ^j^

apologies to Lightning Bugs Butt" and Old Horsetail Snake for borrowing their styles for a day. I'll get back to the whiney mode soon enough.

AP photo of the day Posted by Hello
Some critics have contended the government is trying to hide the human cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But we know the truth. Right?

rainy days and fridays Posted by Hello
Let the games commence
Okay kids...thanks to MrsMogul we have a new game for the weekend.

Whatcha do is this: Take the first few words of your last post and add "in bed" to them.

Mine was "I always knew I was different..in bed"

Hmmmmm. That oughta bring on the perverts!
I've always known I was different.......

You May Be a Bit Schizotypal ...

A bit odd and socially isolated.

You couldn't care less of what others think.

And some of your beliefs are a little weird.

Like that time you thought you were Jesus.

What Personality Disorder Are You?
Chinese Water Torture
Happy Friday from the land of the week long southeastern monsoon. My gut told me to mow that yard Wednesday, but nooooooooooo....I had to BLOG :)

Today was the last day of "Show a lab tech how terrific and wonderful they are " week and we finished off our daily vendor provided lunch-o-rama with Chinese. 180 bucks worth of Chinese. Picked up in the aforementioned MONSOON by yours truly. Note: The bags weren't too heavy but the box was about 50 pounds worth of rice and moogoo/pepper steak/sweet'n sour in those cute little carry out boxes. Sheesh. Can't carry an umbrella with that kinda load.

The lunch hour this entire week has been a festive occasion where we lingered a bit longer than normal and played "what ever happened to old so and so" with the vendors and generally hooped and hollered and had a good time. It's just like any other industry where everybody knows everybody else in the biz and has tales of old to share.

Always a generous gentleman, the guy at the restaurant pointed out that he was giving us FREE fortune cookies ( Excuse me, but aren't they ALWAYS free??). I'm the kind that will go through a half dozen 'til I get a fortune I actually like, but today that wasn't necessary.

You will find hidden treasures
where least expected.

Sounds good to me. Since I'm a greedy wench, I took another hoping to improve my odds.

It is during difficult times that true
friends become apparent.

Maybe that means that during these difficult times that are my current life, I'll find a hidden treasure of the man of my dreams who's a friend, when I least expect it to become apparent.

I know, I think too much. :)

Have a good weekend y'all...I'll be watching you from work.
I was in the 5th grade at Alice Thurmond Elementary school before I ever had a black classmate. His name was Vernell and the old bat teacher just hated the way he stuck a pencil behind his ear and looked bored to be there. Of course she also hated the rest of us too. She just hated the world in general,I think. She threw erasers at Vernell to try and get his attention but it never worked with him. Kept me in line though..just watchin' those erasers fly across the room. I was always such a good little girl.

Now, it seems odd that I was segregated at school until the age of 10. Having grown up on a farm where black and white families happily co-habited I reckon it was a non-issue for me. Son and Lockie were our closest neighbors and they welcomed me in anytime and put me to work gathering eggs from the henhouse. When the river flooded I'd shuck the shoes and go exploring in the backwater behind the chicken houses for marine life. Tadpoles are good....snakes R bad. okay? The snakes liked to slither into the chicken house and eat the eggs too.

Miss Lockie would gimme a quarter for a basketfull of eggs and I'd go back across the road to my boring old house with the bratty little brothers. Dang, I always wanted a sister. Bad. Instead, I had Margaret and Annie keeping me company and making chocolate pies to die for. Margaret's husband Nelson was Annie's brother. Me and Annie drug him out of that old shack on July 4th and took him to the nursing home in Lake County when she couldn't make the trip out here anymore 4 times a day. He died shortly thereafter, and I still miss his BBQ pit on summer holidays.

When Son died, his side of the road got divvied up betwixt and between a kazillion kids and grandkids. The current mayor of our little community is Mozella, one of his in-laws. The other side remains a gift for our family as long as the karma lasts.

We have to buy our homemade Christmas sausage now, but the peaches-n-cream corn is plentiful for a few days in July at about the time the tomato crop kicks in and the electric bill hits 200 and my Daddy has a birthday.

Gotta run now. The hummingbirds are circling for food and damn if my feeders aren't in the sink drying out.

The Amaryllis Tales
My Daddy and me are the type who will dig up treasures and transplant them from somewhere else to our own yards if we like the look of it or it holds a special memory. Just about every one of our perennials has a story to go along with it and most are family related.
Mr. Thomas was a fellow Redcoat Volunteer at the hospital with Daddy, and gave him a whole bunch of amaryllis bulbs one year that he had dried over the winter. Daddy shared with me and for the first few years they bloomed in my yard, though I carefully lifted them and stored them in the fall.


One particular winter, when I was still madly in love with TL , I gifted him with one of the bulbs to plant that spring in memory of his mother. On a spring visit I noticed the bulb still laying on his kitchen table sprouting beautiful green leaves. The flower garden that he had created in the shared back yard for his Mom's enjoyment had lain dormant and weedy since her death. I can be a pushy old gal when I want to be, so I cajoled him into going outside to bury the bulb. What could've been done in 10 seconds turned into several hours of us scratching in that dirt and cleaning out the overgrowth. He attacked that dirt with a hoe like his life depended on reviving that little plot of ground, and in many ways it did. He had always been a Mama's boy and her death had thrown his usually outgoing personality into a huge big depressive event. There had been one red amaryllis in the bunch, but of course I couldn't tell which one I'd given him just from looking at the bulb.

A few months later we attended his sister's wedding together and I met him at the house. I had forgotten, actually, that we had planted that mystery bulb....yet when I pulled into the tiny carport the beautiful crimson bloom was the first thing that caught my eye. Mattye's red amaryllis...blooming just in time for the wedding she didn't get to attend. She was certainly there in spirit though.


Kay is a tough broad who is my hero in the organizational department. She's a funeral director by trade and one of those who has Thanksgiving dinner in the freezer BY Halloween, or she's behind. When she called me that day I was on the way out of town to visit family. She wanted me to check her white count because she was having abdominal pain and thought she might have appendicitis. I've never much told her no on a request for anything ( nor she with me ) but for some reason I refused her. Urging her to see a surgeon soon, I left town with an uneasy feeling.

When I returned 2 days later she was in surgery after her symptoms had quickly escalated to nausea, vomiting, and excruciating pain. The diagnosis? Colon cancer. A large abcessed tumor in her colon had caused a complete obstruction. A resection was performed, and the surgeon knew just by eyeballing the tumor that it was malignant. A few days after that, I got to witness the sectioning of that tumor by my pathologist friend as he pulled on nodes and we marveled over the size of it. Miraculously it was completely self contained and sealed off AGAINST the omentum. As predicted, the tumor itself was a nasty mess of carcinoma but the lymph nodes were all clear.

During her recovery she was surrounded by a bevy of well meaning friends who cooked enough food for an army and bought her favorite things while she reeled from the shock of having cancer. Me? I brought the amaryllis bulb and planted it right beside her pool where she could see it every time it bloomed outside of the French doors. It still does....and she's still cancer free.

Mysterious ways, that Big Guy. ^j^

cat'ndog nap Posted by Hello

riverbed transplant Posted by Hello
c'mon baby
Mulch with me. You know you want to smell the stink of fresh mulch and clean it from under your fingernails. That's about as cheap a date as you'll find in this lifetime. You bring the trailer and the beverage...I'll fire up the grill and work some culinary magic.

I know where to find some good stuff. AND I've gotta pitchfork.
senior bachelor?
....ahem. The he's-not-that-into-you guy was on Oprah today which is always a joy, but this other guy, well. In the words of Bubba," OK Then". This arrogant so and so is taking apps from desperate women in their 40's to be his "old lady". He'll view your video and get back with ya later if you're one of the chosen ones.

Speaking of old ladies. Why is it that so many guys refer to their wives as "the wife" or "my wife" rather than calling her by name? Is it too much to give her a name to the rest of the world?

Poop is out of the romance mode and back to her regular old smartass self, thank goodness. I just have these spells now and then where I have to moon over whatever it is I'm missing before I put on my big girl panties and carry on.

P.S. The baby dawg's ears are both UP as I type. I'll keep y'all updated.
Dumbass of the Day
I proudly nominate Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale from the great state of Alabama. Allen sponsored a bill which would prohibit the use of public funds for the purchase of textbooks or library materials which suggest that homosexuality is normal.

When asked what would become of all the books presently in residence on library shelves by homosexual authors or with the targeted themes of presenting homosexuality as a natural lifestyle, he said :

" I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them."

One Alabama blogger has this to say about that.
What's Love Got to Do With It?
Reading "The Road Less Traveled" for the first of a jillion times turned out to be the fork in the road for me with love and spirituality. It became crystal clear to me that the Cinderella kind of love that I had always believed in was not only not REAL but impossible to achieve for a lasting period. Peck's discussions about love being "work" took away any romantic notions that I had left in the fairy tale department. The prince would not arrive with the slipper because the whole thing was a dream....including the stroke of midnight on that clock.

I suppose that is when I hunkered down into the foxhole of a bad marriage and decided to "work" on loving someone who was not capable of returning the type of love that I needed. "It's not so bad", I told myself. "There are two incomes and he doesn't hit me." It took a very long time to even put words to the dilemma, and in the end it sounded something like a chorus of this from both of us. "We didn't marry because we were in love....it was because it was the expected logical next step."

I could never envision a life as old folks together or look ahead to retirement. Even with my vivid imagination, I just couldn't conjure it up...not even on a good day. There was a child and some bills and a bunch of friends and relatives that we shared, but nothing between the two of us that was the glue that holds a relationship together. And so, it did not last.

Experiencing relationships that relax into a comfortable fit is not the stuff of fairy tales. We have all been conditioned to expect bells and whistles and fireworks and poetry with a good dose of butterflies to boot. After all , that's what Harlequins and hit songs and movies ply us with to keep the dream alive long enough to pair us up into helter skelter mis-matched couples of convenience.

At work today we laughingly discussed how long I've been single when everybody else has moved on to, if not greener, at least DIFFERENT pastures. Co-workers and friends who have been single for a much shorter period of time are deep into their new lives with happy oblivion. " You're too picky!" they said with cackles all around the table.

Maybe so. At least I'll know what I want when I see it. It'll probably look a whole lot like Richard Gere snatching Debra Winger up out of that factory in "An Officer and a Gentleman".
Or perhaps Larry the Cable Guy....

Because, you see. I don't believe in Prince Charming :)

the ears are undecided... Posted by Hello
Marvelous Monday
This old laboratorian got enough hugs today to make her want 'em on a regular basis. Go figure on the friends thing. When you least expect it, one pops outta nowhere to say "I care". I just LOVE it when that happens!

There are days when the paying job is just that, and the joy is in the in-between times. This was one one of those days for me. I can't explain it.....I guess you had to be there.

Guess who's keeping the faith?

I've Been Got!
I've been wondering when the famous book meme that's been around the world in 80 days would find its' way to me.
FTS mischievously tagged me today, so I guess it's my turn to spread the joy.

1. You are stuck inside Farenheit 451. Which book would you be?
Believe it or not, I had forgotten about this one, so thanks FTS for filling me in with the
note about "memorizing a book because they're all being burned." I'd have to go with him
on this one and say the Bible. Before I start trying to memorize it, I'd better read the whole
thing first :)
2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? OH yeah. It's a tie between Morelli and
Ranger in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Hot guys...each in their own way. No
wonder Stephanie stays in a tizzie all the time!

3. What is the last book you bought? I don't buy many, but I went out on a limb with this
one cuz I'm an old hippie...it was "Dixie Lullaby" by Mark Kemp.

4. What are you currently reading? "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and
"Sleeping at the Starlite Motel" by Bailey White.

5. Five books for your desert island cruise package:
"All Over But the Shoutin'" Rick Bragg
"Raney" Clyde Edgerton
"A Painted House" John Grisham
"A Virtuous Woman" Kaye Gibbons
"The Wheel of Life" Elisabeth K. Ross

6. Who are you passing this meme baton to and why? ( only 3 people )
Well, it's moving quickly on to Phyllis , Fletch and JustRose because I think they're all
pretty cool folks and my kinda people.

And yes, I know. Paybacks are hell. ^j^

room with a view Posted by Hello
Down on the Farm
I will never forget the first day that I glanced through the dining room window of my new home in paradise and saw a horse. Babygirl was 4 years old and we had moved out here at my insistence. Call it a following your roots thang or whatever. Our new old house had been inhabited by Mr. and Mrs. Council for as long as I could remember, and way before that. The wife had died about 10 years earlier and Mr. C had been batching it since then. It was a terrific challenge just to make the place liveable.....took about 6 months of heavy labor by me and my Daddy.

Imagine cleaning out the memories and trash of 10 years from an old man alone with his past. There was rabbit food in the attic, along with enough trash to fill up a dump-truck. I don't have a clue where the rabbits were. The full basement took 10 years to clear of the dirt and eclectic collections of an old horseman. The wooden work tables are still there, along with an occasional rusty horse shoe hanging on a nail. My dreams to play pool down there have materialized into nothing much more than a place to hide when the storms cross the Mississippi. Chalk markings on the concrete walls tell the tales of kids who laughed and cut-up and giggled their way to adulthood. There is a cryptic painted signature of the old man himself, dated 1960 something.

The landscape has changed a bit, because growin' shit is my passion. There's more trees and flowers, though there were plenty already thanks to Mrs. Council. Spring is prime time for her gifts....narcissus and daffodils and peonies. I've added to it over the years but I still marvel at what nature has done all on its' own. The road to home is lined with hundred plus year old pecan trees that drop a branch in the slightest breeze or hint of dampness. There's an asparagus bed, thanks to my ex. I plant tomatos every year.

Oddly enough, while the view from three sides is that of pure nature, the back side is a city golf course. There's not a whole lot of play there anymore because there's a private course in "town" that attracts the high rollers with sprawl and a clubhouse. Out here it's just hot dogs and cart rental. The late great Pepper was their mascot, in fact. Who could blame a blue heeler for going where they fed him and he got free rides in the golf cart with Charlie?

To be continued......

Lab Week Posted by Hello
Kiss a Laboratorian
Today begins a weeklong celebration of the (often overlooked) healthcare profession of which I am an oldtimer :) National Medical Laboratory Week is a time set aside to honor those involved in the work of clinical and anatomic laboratories everywhere. For me personally, it means I get to eat really good food every day at work!

Every dog has his day, including vampires! Tell somebody who works in the lab how very much you appreciate them.

brown on green Posted by Hello
you can tell everybody....this is your song
I've always been a sucker for the artsy romantic type that can create. Since I've had the luxury of listening to music all day, when I heard Elton crooning that one, it made me think. uh-oh. She's thinkin' again.


Chat got a hold of me in the early post-divorce months and kept me from dying of boredom and loneliness when I had no money to go out and didn't want to anyway. Everybody knows the usual assortment of idiot men that one meets in a chat room....90% are married and looking and the other 10% hate their mothers. And then there's the bots. Delicious Donna: I'M SO HORNY...WEBCAM UP AND HAVEN'T HAD SEX IN 3 MONTHS!!

Needless to say, there weren't many lasting relationships to be found there. There was one guy, though, that I met late one Saturday night who caught my interest. His handle was Rvrguy and he was a real smartass with a sexy style, much like myself. By vocation, he was a musician. Specifically, he wrote music for jingles...like for radio and TV ads. He laughingly referred to himself as a "musical whore". He also wrote music for the Air Force Band, which I thought was a pretty cool gig. I asked him to write me a song...just for me.

We chatted daily for almost a year, when he was in the mood and not doing "headstands in shit". There was a common love of James Taylor there as he was just beginning his October Road tour and he made me some CD's of JT's older stuff and sent them to me. He never hit on me but made jokes about "secks" sometimes. We made plans to meet for lunch and it never happened. Mostly we just kept each other company now and then online and bitched about work and love.

He had been dating a woman for SEVEN years and still couldn't bring himself to get married. Something wasn't right about the whole thing, he said. She just happened to be at the "wrong place at the wrong time" meaning, I thought, that she was the cause for his divorce 7 years before and that he would feel guilty leaving her with that history.

As I continued to heal and he continued to be busy, our contact got more sporadic until eventually he was just never there. On the rare occasion that I got an offline message from him, I'd reply by asking how my song was coming along.


After six months of NO contact, imagine my surprise when he called one night with a "story" for me. His old g'friend had moved out of town to take care of her elderly parents. Shortly after that he met a lady on the other side of the country through a fluke of cybermagic and they had clicked. He flew.....she flew.....families met. And they were getting married and he was moving to California. I listened to him carefully tell his story and the tears started to flow. Here was a man I had actually never met, not in person. But I knew his soul well enough to cry tears of joy for the miracle he was sharing with me. I asked him to stay in touch. "I'll try" he said.

I've never gotten my song. ( No...Janie's Got a Gun is NOT about me!)

But hey....smartass.

You can tell everybody, this is your post.

If there's a better feeling than having the weekend off after the week from you-know-where, well ... I can't name it. Even the cooler temps and rain can't dampen my sheer delight at not being at WORK. Simple luxuries like the time to leisurely catch up on blog reading are the ones that mean the most to me!

Lurking in my brain are some very good intentions for these two days off. I doubt they'll ever materialize though. A sloth by nature, I rarely get motivated to do much of ANYTHING around this old house unless there's a warning from the Health Department that my rating is below 60 in the kitchen. The bathroom has been stripped of wallpaper for 6 months now waiting for some paint. There's a book ( OH yes, and YOU are in it!) to be written.

Hmm..I think I'll go back to bed. ^j^
Keepin' the Faith
All things finish themselves according to the Big Guy's plan for those with faith. I'm feeling like SOMEBODY ain't listening to the Big Guy on this Iraq thing. The mental pic of Jihad dancing around the bodies gives me chills that won't go away.

What will it take to end this stupid political war mongering? Hmm. A bunch of pissed off mothas' saying no more. Bra burning time y'all. Run nekkid in the streets and say hell NO.

I could link from here to eternity and it wouldn't make a damn until America wakes up and does something besides chase the buck.

Growing Pains
They say that when the trials become fierce and the pain escalates, that personal growth is taking place in its'purest form. Don't ask me who "they" are. My mother knows them quite well but has never put a name on 'em.

BabyGirl and I are on a learning curve these days with our lives. She has just enough of her Daddy in her to run and hide from her painful feelings until the truth shows itself in some startling manner. Right now, she's in the anger stage of the grief process with letting go of him, and I feel her pain. When I was in that stage, I took it out on her many times. She was just a kid and didn't deserve or understand it. Neither did I.

The plain truth was that I was letting go in love by facing the truth about my life and my marriage. None of it was about love or devotion. Most of it was about control issues. I felt the pressure, the entire time, to be the strong and stable one who kept the family together. Guess what happened when I let go?

Yeah. I felt guilty for a long time for cuttin' him loose. I watched him slowly wither and die and turn into someone I didn't even want to recognize. And I eventually discovered the joy of just being me and not the keeper of the world.

There comes a point where you just say "I'm over it" and you mean it. I pray that she gets there sooner than I did.


come to bed momma Posted by Hello
the dam breaks
But not without a little forewarning. I knew a complete meltdown was surely coming after I tripped over the dogs and fell flat on my butt the other day and dissolved into tears screaming "Leave me the F**K alone!!!" They did. Faith hid under the azaelea bushes for an hour and I got my SRUI refilled the next day.

The complete meltdown came this afternoon at work. I casually brought up my checking account online to see how I was faring until payday, and I saw RED. Hmm...how did that happen? Four checks on their merry way back to the recipients when I KNEW that couldn't be. Okay...be calm. Check the numbers..Do the math.

It took about 15 seconds to realize that my car insurance payment had been debited twice and I was, indeed, in the hole. Not to get dramatic or anything, but I must say that I have learned to be pretty vigilant about pennies and nickels during my post-divorce financial adventure. It's been a daily struggle to keep the boat floatin' around here by myself and a hundred bucks worth of bank fees to ME, is like 10K to some high roller. I heard the crack and the trickle and knew it was on.

By the time I got bank lady on the phone, the tears were already spilling out and the dam was feeling the stress. When I talked to the insurance agent, it was a damn full blown crisis. "Sniff. BawwwwwwwwwW!" *whimper* Unlike some women, I just HATE to cry. I've never manufactured a single tear to get my way or manipulate somebody. There is simply this button in some remote lobe of my brain that, on occasion, says "OKAY......enough is enough" and then it's all over but the weepin' and wailin'.

Insurance man and bank lady worked out a deal between themselves to keep me solvent 'til payday. I will see the sun set this evening and rise tomorrow, albeit with puffy eyes.

And finally...the mower is working. At.The.Moment.

Anybody need their yard mowed at a reasonable rate by a smartass country girl looking for extra work?


narcissus Posted by Hello
Terrific Tuesday!
Jerry is a field engineer for a couple of the analyzers we use in our lab. He's close to retirement age, I imagine...and lookin' forward to days on end of fishing and playing with his grandchildren. The nature of his job is to walk right smack into the middle of hell-in-a-handbasket and make things right.

One of his tricks is happy naming the days of the week. When I answered the phone this morning, it was...of course...Terrific Tuesday. "Couldn't be better if I were twins!". He brings Elvis doughnuts when the situation demands it and always has a smile. I have NEVER seen him in a bad mood. Besides Tuesday, we also observe Marvelous Monday, Wacky Wednesday and Fabulous Friday. I guess he rarely comes on Thursday 'cuz I don't remember the name of that one.

How is it that some people can deal with the shitstorm that is life at work and never get ill about it? It's genetic, I feel sure. Probably a recessive trait that I didn't get. I wish I'd had it today when the interfaces were dead as a doornail and we did manual data entry all day.

I thought Mercury had gone direct?! No, that was my carpal tunnel syndrome :)
Thank Your Fairy Blog Mother Day
Don't feel bad. I didn't know today was the day either until I visited MommaK at Petroville . On this special day, each and every blogger is urged to remember the ones that started him or her on the path to blogging as a lifestyle.

The original culprit in my road to blog was none other than my sister-in-law Yvette. She's a web design wizard and reporterette extraordinaire. An amazing woman who will be my baby brother's partner for life. Thanks girl. See you in July...I'll buy the beer!

Shortly after that I discovered, quite by accident, Inside My Head , a touching and hilarious account of Jennifer's life. She's a doll and has encouraged me when I felt that I couldn't write another word.

Soon , I began reading The Raven's Gazette by Alan. He's got zero patience with urban sprawl or GOP politics and a huge love affair with nature. Life as a newspaperman has given him the words to say exactly what he means. And mean it. He's the cutest tree hugger you ever saw.

My friend Phyllis is a Random Southerner who has listened to me whine about my love life and inspired me to care about much more than that. She's a smartass, like me. Bad :) We both love Hugh Laurie and books.

That led to daily visits to Deb and SK Bubba and, well...the rest is history.

These are the people who got me started and held my interest long enough to turn reading and writing into a love affair with folks all over the world.

Get on out there and give YOUR fairy blogmother a big old {{{{hug}}}}}

what are they? Posted by Hello
Country Girl Will Survive
I am a great believer in setting "short term" goals, aka a list of 2 or 3 things that need to get done sometime in the next week, if the spirit so moves me. That way I don't have to beat myself up with guilt over not completing some gargantuan list of piddly little things that won't make a damn a month from now. Perhaps it's the" sometimers " disease kickin' in where you have to write it down to remember to do it.

One can get a nice warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment from setting short term goals vs. seeking great dreams of fame and glory. This approach definitely does not work for the late twenties or early thirties bunch with designer vehicles, clothes, and children. For an old smartass like me, though...it works just dandy.

My goals for today were as follows:

Wake up in time to get to work at 6AM. done

In addition to meeting my short term goal, I also washed the car, got the tiller running ALL BY MYSELF and planted 5 tomato plants. Plus, I got to watch Oprah and play with the dog.

The way I see it, from here 'til bedtime , anything else I happen to get done is just gravy.
Low Tech Blogger
Umm..that's "piecester" to you Hoss :)

I must admit that I am quite ignorant about the processes involved in creating a web page of any sort. I know there's a template and a domain and all that stuff, but if it weren't for the automated toys, I'd never get a thing into cyberspace. One of my old friends calls me "electronically innocent".

He coined that phrase after I had an exciting encounter of the Third world kind with an internet con man that I met in a chat room. This fellow, named Prince Fred, sweet talked me for nights on end during the days when Yahoo chat was my addiction. He'd throw up that falling hearts wallpaper and tell me how precious I was and how he wanted me to be his princess...yada yada. Finally ( I know mother, it was stupid ) I gave him my mailing address so he could send me a surprise. A few days later I received a basket full of edible goodies with a teddy bear and a mushy card from an internet florist. How sweet, I thought. Who the hell is THAT from, Babygirl wanted to know. Hmm..

Just a few days later the Prince decided that I could save him a few bucks on his little venture ( he was from England and visiting Nigeria??) so he told me he'd be sending some "things" to my address in the mail and for me to hold on to them so that I could ship them to him. He emailed me a pre-paid UPS shipping label to an address in NIGERIA and that Friday the packages started arriving.

First came an extremely nice cellphone outfit. Then a digital camera. Then a bunch of shoes from a department type store. Size 13 flip-flops plus two pair of tennis shoes. I was getting a little freaked out by then, so I called the companies to tell them I didn't order this stuff and why was it here. My credit cards were not used, and it was all ordered by internet by "Fred". The told me just to send the stuff back. Fine then.

The stuff kept coming.....all day long! That night one last company called just to confirm the whole deal before they shipped. When I told them what was going on and asked them not to send me any damn thing, they politely agreed.

The trouble started when I told "Fred" that I was onto his game and to leave me the heck alone, the stuff had been sent back. To say he was pissed was an understatement. He threatened me by instant messenger AND email and then I was really scared.

Thinking I needed a little law enforcement intervention, I called the local sheriff's department to come out and look over the loot and hear my story. The guy said this was a "first" for him. Great. He told me since I didn't order the stuff I wasn't liable and could keep it if I wanted. NOT. I shipped that crap back out as fast as I could to the companies involved and said good-bye to THAT adventure. The UPS guys got a real kick out of my little dilemma.

About a week later, I received a call at work from an AT&T operator called an "internet relay call". It caught me completely off guard and I didn't have a clue what it was about. Turns out the "internet relay call" is a service that was set up for deaf users with an operator as the intermediary. The deaf person puts the call into the operator by computer, the operator calls the recipient, the deaf person types and the operator relays the message on the phone and then types back the reply to the deaf person. Pretty clever huh?

After I got rid of Fred by not replying ( except for 'LEAVE ME ALONE!') I spilled my guts to this operator asking what was going on. She explained to me about relay calls and how they're usually used for fraud. She gave me the email addy of a Secret Service agent to tell my saga to. HOOO boy.

Turns out this was a Homeland Security issue and the Secret Service had recently taken over these duties. I sent the email with the shipping label as an attachment. I told the entire story. And I never heard another word.

Except from Fred. He did one more relay call to work just to "touch base". I declined and bowed out of that little learning experience 15 bucks poorer for the return shipping charges.

I couldn't make something up like this if I tried. True story! And the moral of that little fable?


I always think of her around her April birthday, remembering the day I passed on the chance for lunch at the lake in lieu of the paying job. If I could go back in time, I'd pile up in that Caddy with her and the girls and make a day of it. After all, it was a gorgeous spring day and just another Wednesday at the Cancer Center for me.

We first met through her son Terry Lee. He had been my friend for many years and the family kind of took me in as an honorary member. His older sisters saw me realistically...a sane woman who loved their brother for who he was with no strings attached. Not so secretly, they wished that he'd reach out and grab the good stuff instead of chasing a ghost of a woman with anger and manipulation boiling out of every movement.

Mattye had a cancer that smacked her upside the lungs and adrenal glands. Everybody passed it off to her working so hard to take care of the yard and the house and her hubby, but she was wearing down and it caught up with her quick. She signed up for the chemo and did a few weeks of it. The oncologist told her she'd be mowing the yard again in no time and raked in the bucks with his hedging.

God works in mysterious ways sometimes. Three months after her diagnosis, Mattye threw a clot and it was all over for this life. We've talked quite a bit about Terry and the girls and the whole thing since then. Her hubby is still lost without her to take care of him in his old age. I'm believing that she's happy where she's at in that big ole' heaven where her mowers always run and the garden grows real big.

my day Posted by Hello
the gods are angry
The lawnmower gods, that is. Evidently I have failed to pay proper homage to them because I am now taking a break from PUSH mowing my acre here in paradise. Um hmm. OH yes! I do have a nice riding mower, but for some odd reason I can't seem to keep the belt from popping off of it for one single entire day.

As I was rounding the corner in the back pushing with all my might I caught a whiff of the most horrific smell ever. WTF could that be???? And then I glanced up and spotted the garbage bag containing the dead Easter bunny laying on top of the roof to the basement. Yowza.....he's been up there for several days. And why, do you ask is he on the roof? Well, I thought I had the situation all neatly bagged up and put away until the baby dog showed up at the front door with a rabbit's foot in her mouth. It didn't help her luck any either....she still got spayed this week AND is recovering from a broken leg. Anyhoo, later on I'll drag that bagged up bunny down and burn him and that will be the end of THAT tale. Maybe.

I know...you SO want to be me. It's called poopie envy.
Sensory Overload
I sat on the porch yesterday afternoon drinking in all that is the decadence of spring at full throttle and I let my mind wander and just be. It is incredibly easy to believe in a God of goodness and mercy when surrounded by that kind of beauty. The cloudless sky was brilliant with sunlight and framed with new growth in every direction. The trees are fully covered with green and there is always a breeze stirring things up to produce something new and different. No stagnant weather patterns here!

That will come later on, when summer or winter have made their home and routine becomes a way of life. For now, and in the autumn, there is a sense of " anything goes" in the air that promises just enough of a change to energize the soul and feed the spirit for the hard times that are sure to come back around.

Out there, the doves coo and the hummingbirds buzz and dive just for the thrill of the sport. I can gaze at the wonder of it all and say "thank you" for the experience with no fear for my future. I can make a list and check it twice, but I can rest assured that if I don't get done, well. It's okay. Everything comes out in the wash.

Check back with me when the temp hits 95 and the humidity is 100%. I'll probably be in the house runnin' up the utility bill to stay cool while watching chick flicks. Middle aged southern gals don't do well in the heat...know what I mean?

Blogging Forward
I have been tagged by Follow That Star as part of Blog it Forward Day. Y'all bear with me since beer thirty on a Friday afternoon for the HTML impaired is a scary time! Gotta share the joy, though.

Inside My Head
Jennifer is one of the first bloggers I met and is as much as part of my day as the dogs and my Diet Dr. Pepper. She continues to amaze me with her wit and wisdom from North Carolina.

No Direction Home
is an art journal by photographer Fletch. I can't describe it y'all. You gotta to see the pictures he's got....home base is the Chattanooga area.

Old Horsetail Snake
lives in a retirement home in Oregon and can get a giggle out of me on even the darkest days with his schemes to build "his pile". Prepare to snort and snicker.

Oh...and by the way FTS. I first found you through Risible Girl by way of her post on the oversized dress. She's another daily delight :)

Have a good weekend....and keep the faith. ^j^
Friday Cat Blogging

bernie says hey Posted by Hello
99% match
I always look at the pictures that e-desperate2bcoupled.com sends in my email. Today's top pick was a real macho lookin' guy who lives only 45 miles away! Sounded like an interesting fellow with many of the same interests. Importance of appearance? Medium. Importance of intelligence? Low.

Oops! I'll just blame it on the programmers/matchmakers. At least I don't pay for the crap.

Just keepin' the faith here and appreciating the rainbows where they happen.

well then...
that settles that. MSM reports that the Dems are "demonizing Tom DeLay for political purposes". Whew. I can sleep soundly once again knowing that he's an innocent bystander in the ongoing drama of life in the USA. . Sheesh.

foam flower Posted by Hello
Mercury Goes Direct
According to the stars, that bad boy planet moved out of retrograde TODAY. All I can say is....it's about damn time. My lawnmower's broken. My washing machine is broken. And my heart is laid wide open just on the verge of gettin' broken again.

I slept away my day off in lieu of the list up to my elbow. My body needed the rest, and I listen to it these days more than ever. My house is a nasty wreck and the yard looks even worse than the carpet.

Only solution to the whole mess that I can see is a sexy hired hand to help with the chores and romance me by moonlight.
There is absolutely nothing {aside from falling in love} that will cure a control freak quicker than becoming a parent. Thus speaketh a recovering one. I remember in the labor room as the pain intensified thinking that perhaps this was an omen. "Wait...I changed my mind!" The OB just chuckled and hit the epidural one more time. I ended up not feeling my legs for about 24 hours.

Prior to the blessed event, my life was somewhat orderly in that.. well, there was work. And then there was what I wanted to do when I wasn't working. That September the whole picture changed dramatically. MOTHER got added to all the other roles I played, and it seemed to be the most overwhelming. Who else can talk on the phone, type a report for work, cook supper while overseeing the birth of kittens on the kitchen floor, wash clothes, do homework, yada yada. ALL at the same time. Good thing I only had one!

I witnessed a scene the other day between a manipulative 14 year old girl and her yet-to-catch-on-to-the-game Mom and I remembered myself turning my soul inside out to try to understand MY 14 year old. The girl was about to do something a tiny bit unpleasant which she thought she could whine her way out of. It was obvious that the dance between mother and daughter had been rehearsed on many occasions with Mom attempting to cajole and bribe her into it and daughter steadily dramatizing the sitatuion simply for the sport of watching her mother jump through hoops.


I remember a time in my life that I thought being at home with my child would be the best for both of us. The feeling passed when I failed to adopt the frugal lifestyle that would entail. Do I have regrets?

Not really. She grew up and left the nest anyway ( well, kinda. ) My only regret is that I didn't pay more attention to myself when I felt pulled in 100 different directions. I allowed myself to feel guilty about not being the best I could be as a mother and a wife and a medical technologist and a friend when, in fact, I did just fine as all of the above. I simply wasn't perfect. But then, nobody is.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
Talk to the Animals
I think I'm gonna be sick. I just bagged up the very dead Easter bunny that the dogs were munching on ALL over the front porch. EWWWWWWWW. If there's a critter within smelling distance ( specially a dead helpless one ) they find it and bring it to Mama. Mama would prefer flowers or wine actually.

Faith the choco lab had Babygirl and me in stitches the other day with her cattle herding. When we pulled into b'friend's driveway with Faith in hot pursuit of the car, we all spotted the visitor. "There's a cow in the yard" I said. "Hmm..yep" was her reply. "Grandaddy says they'll go back where they got out if we leave 'em alone." This particular calf is an orphan who's been mooching off of a beneveolent foster mother along with two other babies. As soon as Faith spotted that calf, it was ON!

She chased that poor thing all the way to the ancient barbed wire fence and the calf was bustin' a gut to get through. He gave it up after a few barbs in the face and took off running around the corner of the pasture to graze in solitude. I've heard of labs retrieving a lot of things, but never cows. As for rat terriers and bunny guts, well that's just grosser than the cat chomping a mouse on the kitchen floor.

How did I end up in this zoo anyway?

tree peony Posted by Hello
Walkin' the yard
My Daddy and I have this ritual that usually begins in spring and runs until the heat gets too bad in August or the flowers are all gone. Either at my house or his, one of us will mosey out to where the other is working diligently on some kind of yard project and we begin to wander together. It's something that he used to do with his Mother when she was alive and the tradition was passed to me since my own mother just "isn't much of a outdoors person." Her words, not mine.

Today was Daddy's turn to walk MY yard when he drove up and found me raking and burning to get ready for the first serious mowing. He brought me the premier edition of Nelson County Life , a newsmagazine being published by my brother and his wife in Afton, Virginia. We talked about his and Mom's upcoming flight to visit the new home of Rural Root for the first time in May. And then we moseyed.

The horse stood rather impatiently at the gate while we examined every flowering thing in the yard and a few that are barely buds. We are of the ilk that transplants living things from other folks' lives and turn those memories into our own perennial reminders of days gone by. Each plant has a story and each section of the landscape has plenty of conversational potential. Moles? He's got a mole trap that works like a charm. "You better contain THAT bush to where you want it, or it'll take over the whole place!" Smoke from my many little fires wafted through the air as we made our way to every spot we were drawn to. The bluebird house on the fencepost. The wildflower bed in front. The asparagus bed.

I could've cared less about watching things grow until I hit midlife and it dawned on me that it's a pretty cool hobby, and one that is as naturally in my blood as being a smartass. The farmer's daughter finally found her groove.

And just think.....it's only April.
Aged to Mediocrity
As I watched Dr. Phil jump into the fray today with a 14 year old girl and her tormented family I was glad that gig is over for me. This poor girl was oozing pain and tears and tormenting everybody around her in a cry for help. She claimed that the reason for her misery is that she wants her older sister's "perfect life." Babygirl couldn't have used that excuse for she's an only child, yet her misery was palpable from the age of 12 to about 16. The harder I tried to fix it, the more miserable we both became.

When I was growing up as the oldest sister to two bratty younger brothers I soon modeled my life in typical "oldest child" fashion. I tried to be perfect and to be everything to everybody and in the process gave myself away to the world and became who "they" wanted me to be. The first time I read a Melody Beattie book and discovered that there was a NAME for co-dependency I cried like a baby from relief. I thought it was just me.

As years have passed I've relaxed into who I am and can even embrace the parts I don't particularly like. I'm a slob and a pack rat and very disorganized. I don't like filth, but clutter is A-OK with this old gal. I cry easily because I am acutely aware of my emotions. This can be a definite drawback at work or when trying to explain something rationally. It comes out like "muahh...sniff..snort..wahhhhh." Bosses don't understand that stuff. Especially men. I have very little patience with whiners and martyrs and all of the other assorted pains in the ass that life presents, but my empathy is boundless for those who touch my heart. I can spot a manipulator a mile off yet I am still quite slow to judge. It's not my place. I'm really short but I've discovered that the view from down here is divine.

There are many things about me that make me glad to be Poopie, like my tendency to be easily amused. I can find humor in almost anything. I can be one of the guys or one of the girls just as easily and I've spent a lot of time that makes me feel good being Mom to kids who don't have one they can talk to. Though I've given them plenty of cause for heartache, my parents are proud of me and we enjoy each other. I support my co-workers ( except for the whiners :) and generally do my part to keep the boat floatin'.

Almost everywhere I turn there is a friend or some kind stranger willing to help me with what I need at the moment whether it's lawnmower advice or insurance or movie and book tips. My daughter is real and happy and healthy and enjoying her young adult life. My dogs are spoiled rotten and they love me to pieces.

I have one word for the hodge podge of things, good and bad, that are my life.

Success. ^j^
All this attention to the Vatican sent me on a trip down memory lane to visit my favorite Catholic of all time. Any other fans out there?

first iris Posted by Hello
Things are definitely looking up. I just saw my first hummingbird :)

while i wasn't lookin' Posted by Hello
Hump Day
Picture this, if you will. Jumping into the shower at the crack of dawn I barely get out in time to ferry my sometimes roommate/daughter/co-worker/carpooler to work..cuz OF COURSE our hours never coincide. A big storm had just hit as I was drying off and by the time I got to the porch there was thunder and lightning and buckets of rain. POURING. I make a mad dash for the car and the mud grabs my sandals and *whump*...down she goes into the mud. Did I mention the rain is of monsoon proportions by this time?

That was all well and good because I still had an hour to kill. I came home to scrape off the mud and put on the real clothes and shoes and makeup for my next trip into town one hour later. Fine then. I made it to work.

As work days go, it wasn't a bad one. I've seen much worse in my illustrious healthcare career. Nobody bled to death or called me a witch. Now comes the next phase of operation "Transport Poopie and Babygirl". Time for Mom to go home and Babygirl with 4 more hours on HER shift. Hmm. Do I really wanna make another trip to town today???? Nah. My gracious co-worker friend offers not only to give me a lift home, but to make a pit stop for toilet paper.

Did you know that the hose that runs from the back of the washing machine to the water can get a hole in it? Me neither. Home at last, I wandered into a kitchen with the floor covered in water. Dang. Was it raining THAT hard? A little investigation paid off in the form of being sprayed in the face by aforementioned hose before shutting the water off. As soon as I pick up all those towels, the floor will be clean as a whistle!!

Where is Duct Tape Man when I need him? Heh. If this were a Monday, I'd be crying. Since it's Wednesday, I think I'll just keep the faith. ^j^

on the way home.. Posted by Hello
Quiet girl? Yeah right.
News Flash
You do not have to buy software to make a living will. Nor do you need a lawyer.
Reflections from the front porch......

You can't save anybody but yourself.

A sunset is at its' finest when it melts into that orange purple pink blob. It is best shared with someone. Ditto for starrry nights, thunderstorms, snow and breakfast.

There ain't nothing like a redneck bar. Nice weather is heck on their business.

Kids have as much trouble letting go of you as you do of them. They need help with it with an occasional kick in the arse out into the world.

Asparagus grows really fast in April. So does grass.

A real friend is a friend forever, even if you go for years without contact.

Pets are a lot of trouble, but they're worth it.

When it seems as if you're least able to keep the faith, it becomes a gift.


backwater Posted by Hello
Daylight Confusion Time
I don't know about y'all, but this spring forward and fall back stuff messes me up every time. It's like a small dose of jet lag that hangs around for a week or so. My first and only time to fly was a number of years ago. Leaving West Tennessee in a freak March snowstorm, imagine the sweat popping out all over this old gal when I walked into the terminal in Miami. Hola! I did fly one other time....with my brother the pilot in a helicopter with no doors. Didn't like the no doors thing at all. Or the fact that he couldn't hear me saying "Get me the hell on the GROUND" without pushing that thingy with my foot.

Having DST lag and all, I laid down this afternoon and really listened to the birds singing. They're all happy about spring and stuff. Me too. I went muddin' in my Camry to try to get some riverbed shots, but alas. The Forked Deere backwater was still a bit much for my car. People without cellphones shouldn't get stuck in the lower forty.

Just wait 'til I get on that 4-wheeler :)
Blowing smoke
Like the rest of the world, I've been on Pope watch this past week thanks to MSM. I'm glad to say that since reading The DaVinci Code, I kinda sorta understand the way things work at the Vatican. According to the SBC and the COC us Methodists and the Episcopalians and Presbyterians are all about the same as Catholics anyway. NOT the chosen ones, any of us.

I never did understand the whole big deal about denominations. I mean....if you're a Christian, then it's about Christ. Period. All the rest of it is Pharisees and Saducees stuff. The law. Humph.

John Wesley had his heart strangely warmed one evening. During his ministry, the quadrilateral came into being. I kind of like the whole itinerant preacher thing. Too much time with one flock breeds dependence on the leader.

That's where listening to angels comes in.


worth it Posted by Hello
Slow Learner
I guess you had to be there. To appreciate the irony of the whole thing. Me'n the dawgs went over to my favorite spot for a sunset with the camera. Little Butterbean is still hoppin' on 3 legs and Faith is...well. Always curious.

This particular spot is where you can watch the white tail of deer prance across the wide open green below if you're lucky. Babygirl hit a stray one crossing the road back in the fall that knocked her silly. I mean, geez. One never expects Bambi to come racing across the road in front of you.

Faith took off like a shot after those deer and ruined our moment. The cows were just standing there lookin' stupid and saying "Muahh" like they always do. Got some good pics though.

I was winding it up and heard Faith barking her chocolate head off back over in the field behind me. Oh SHIT. It was her and Pepe LePew facing off again. "Faith....come HERE!". Not. "NOW". Not.

You know the rest of the story. Skunk dawg, next verse.

Thank goodness I still had one bottle of peroxide put back and learned from my past. No chain this time...just a firm grip on the collar and the hose.

She's under my bed now sleeping it off.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
lookin' for rainbows
I found myself searching the skies for one today as the the sun made its' way through the dark rainclouds. Of course they're never there when you look for them...only when you least expect them.

It was a day in April..not sure which one. Ms. Ann had been hospitalized for end stage lung cancer over the weekend. Her daughter Kay and I had always been close friends, and in this experience we became even closer through that process that breaks through from denial to reality. This journey began only 6 months prior and was filled with chemo and sickness. We camped out at the hospital all weekend and talked quietly while the end of a life came nearer. There was an "angel sighting" over the doorway of her room that weekend as breathing became shallower and time came to a standstill.

April showers....well. You know. On my way to work that morning the rain was blinding and I was soaked. Pulling into the parking lot of the hospital, I looked up and spotted it. A rainbow stretching across the top of the building. I knew, then, that this was the day.

When my shift was over, I found my way up to the room where Kay and Ally were resting on the cot. The three of us lay there together in the dark quiet, softly talking about this or that memory. Enjoying the comfort of silent camraderie.

In that silence, it was easy for me to hear the sound of a last breath.......and then none.

"I think it's over girls."
Lucky ME! Just when I think that life couldn't possibly get any better, I find myself the big winner.
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