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Dickie did it
Growing up as an only child, BabyGirl was at a distinct disadvantage when it came to finding someone to blame stuff on. Sometime around the age of four she found a scapegoat in the form of an imaginary friend named Dickie. Whenever she got pushed up against the wall on mischief she could blame her transgressions on him. I'd say " Sugar, who made that mess in the bathroom?" " Dickie did it" would be her reply. Hmmm. "LP! Did you eat that candy?" " No Mama, Dickie ate it." And so it went for awhile, BabyGirl passing off the blame to Dickie and me wondering if there were other personalities.

Turns out there was ONE other one a few years later. She calmly related to her cousins one night that she had a brother named Alvino in Texas. I racked my brain trying to figure out when I had given birth in TX and was absolutely sure it hadn't happened. Childbirth is one thang you never forget! Alvino evidently was a hanger on in her imagination from a trip to Padre Island when she was not quite two and was deathly afraid of the pounding surf. Imagine, if you will driving the 18 hours from West TN to Corpus Christi with a toddler in the back accompanied by a double amputee great aunt who traveled with a bedpan because she was on Lasix. Not exactly your dream beach trip. Well, kind of a BAD dream. We were taking Aunt 'Nez to see her sister in Odem and to this day I believe I earned a star in my crown on that one.

Here's the veggies of my labor today. Y'all want it grilled or cut off the cob and fried in butter?
peaches and cream
I walked into a full fledged shitstorm this morning. I realized halfwaythrough the day that I'm weary beyond words. My highlight at work was chattin' with one of the pathologists whose last day to work is tomorrow. Can you imagine that feeling? An easy going fellow coming around to say goodbye to his sometimes co-workers who appreciate his low maintenance persona. He plans to do woodworking and travel and all I could think was "You go, boy!"

The spotlight patient of the day was a gravida 8 who delivered a 14 oz child by C- section, bleedin' like a stuck hog the whole way. The nurses quizzed her on drug use , though they knew from experience that she had all the tell tale markings of a speed freak. Her partner was livid with anger over where he found himself and his latest offspring and hot tears rolled down his cheeks as he cried out to her "How stupid can you get??"

Pain begets pain and agony repeats itself in a vicious cycle. The same is true of light and hope and love. The pivotal factor is where we invest our personal power. Shall it be with grace and goodness and faith? Honesty is a good starting point on the journey.

Hot tip of the day: Peaches'n cream corn is READY according to my Dad.

That's a sweet proposition if I ever heard one. You can find me sweatin' and barefaced in the cornfield. Leave a message at the beep.
Word Game
What's your definition of quagmire?

What was your reaction to the events of 9/11 terrorism via suicide bombers?

Will you celebrate the independence of our country next Monday July 4?

Are you willing to trust the future of our country to the leadership we have ?

What are the alternatives?

Think long and hard about this one. Your next comment will be the vote your ancestors died to secure as a right for you. Are comments closed yet?
Timing is Everything
Some may say that it's location that counts, but I believe that vibes and karma transcend the miles that a crow flies. My own experiences bear witness to that belief. My marriage was a living testament.

On the rebound from a 4 year college relationship that died a slow and painful death, I took up with the first nice guy I saw about 6 months later. We lived together awhile and since we didn't fight and had fun together the "logical" next step was marriage....He was 21 and I was 23. There was plenty of camaraderie but no love, not in the true sense of the word. Very few know the true meaning at that young age. Within a year or so, I developed a huge crush on somebody else and that is when I realized what a mistake I had made. Newlyweds in a happy union don't do that.

BabyGirl came along several years later cementing the friendly but loveless marriage into a 20 year test of endurance. Over the years I continued to look elsewhere to get my emotional needs met, though physically I was always faithful to the end. I will never forget when my orderly little compartmentalized world came crashing down on me. In my early thirties I became entangled AGAIN, this time with a man who had issues of his own but who, unfortunately, was in a counseling capacity. It's an occupational hazard and he failed to recognize it until I was a goner for him. There was no intentional harm done...his boundaries simply didn't operate as well as they should to be counseling women. As soon as he realized the situation, he referred me to someone for honest-to-God therapy in a near-by city.

I was nervous and scared but warmed up right away to Lucretia and her very pregnant self. When I sobbed and cried about the pain, she simply glowed at me in her earth mother way and said "But Janie...you're GROWING! That's wonderful!". Yeah right. Since it was obvious that I was a long term commitment and she was about to spit out a baby any day, I was referred yet again, to her partner Bev. Another appointment was put on the books for a few weeks later with the new lady.

Weeks turned into months as I drove those 80 miles religiously to suffer ( or so I thought ) under the hands of the evil Bev. She whipped my psyche without mercy until she could see a smidgen of growth, and then left the rest up to me for the next two weeks. It was expensive and time consuming ...no, LIFE consuming for the better part of 2 years. Many an issue came to light on the drives to and from these appointments. When she saw that I was becoming myself, she deliberately pissed me off enough to terminate the therapeutic relationship MYSELF. Smart woman.

That was the beginning of the end of my marriage because I discovered who I was as an adult and none of that fit with how I was living my life. Definition had come to what I actually wanted and needed in a relationship with a man and it simply wasn't there, nor was it possible. The other half has to be willing to grow as well. We stuck it out much longer than we should have "for the child" and "because of the money" and "for our friends and family". Both of us were cheated out of precious youthful years to find our soulmates.

I've been in love several times since then but never in the reciprocal way that I've dreamed of. There's always a catch such as a girlfriend or spouse or location that makes it an impossible dream. A pat on the head or a friendly brother/sister hug. True and warm and real, but........

The longing has subsided at last and has been replaced with a contentment and faith that keep me company during the dark times and cheer me during the good ones. Three years ago, a guy I met asked how long I'd been divorced. " Six months" was my reply. "Not long" he said. At the time I wondered what he meant by THAT. Now I know. The healing process takes time and the more you fight it or put it off, the longer it will be until that sunny day when you can say " It is well with my soul."

"Today, I will be open to the lessons of my present circumstances. I do not have to label, know or understand what I'm learning; for today, trust and gratitude are sufficient."
The Language of Letting Go, June 17
Melody Beattie
Language barriers
Once upon a time a gal named Liza grew up on a farm and was popular in school. Her zany sense of humor and caring ways endeared her to many and assured her of a constant date for her girfriends and their latest crushes. Everyboy adores someone who will listen forver with no expectations. Her smartass father was very distant...the perfect match for a southern deb and good girl wife-for-life. There was a huge elephant in the room that nobody talked about..him. WH never had a real job as long as his 36 years lasted. He drank and drugged and generally bilked everybody out of the last dime that his Dad had worked hard to earn.

There was huge money invested in real estate and it was squandered bit by bit over a 10 year period. The old man would've wanted his bride to travel like she did. Geral loved every minute of it...and he smiled at that. WH didn't handle his father's death well. He escaped to pills and alcohol to stay young and irresponsible in his pain. Liza stayed with him as he died and acted as a go-between with the scattered family. Whaddya do? Sheesh. You work there.

Geral lived in a retirement home the last years of her life. We all still pampered her gathered around but we grumbled a lot about it.

The funeral was in October and her little cousins looked sadder than sad. Cool winds whipped funeral clothes around the legs of those who didn't want to be there but felt obligated. The little blonde girls just stood there in the cold wondering what the hell happened that they got so damn lucky. Just like the rest of us.
Geral gave up the ghost right then and there. She had always been pampered by Papa and his death at age 45 was Liza's first dose of reality. Twenty years later duty came around again.

Her grandma had surgery for colon cancer and Liza was the go-to girl. The procedure was high risk for an overweight woman of 83, and she temporarily took up camp over at the nursing home for recovery. Her girls all hovered and were there when time came to haul her back across the way for an x-ray in the pouring rain. What a load to be hauling across the pavement in a wheelchair! A few days later the fever started.

The next surgery came on a weekday..emergency. Lifeless in her bed at the home Geral struggled with the pain of developing peritonitis for a week before it became a evident that help was needed. The partner of Geral's surgeon took over as Jim departed for a much needed vacation with his wild bunch of women...5 in the house and just one guy ;) As Liza watched, her co-workers came to take her grandma away for the last time. She never forgot the waves and smiles on Geral's face that day. She saw her stillborn daughter and her long lost love and she was happy to be joining them on the other side of sorrow and disappointment.

Liza spent that weekend in the waiting room of the ICU. There had been a big altercation over ventilator use and Liza's mom had stood up like a trooper and said "No more". Shortly thereafter, the surgeon du jour gave Narcan to reverse the respiratory depressive effects of the morphine. His perfect mortality stats couldn't take the hit. A student nurse called to tell the grandkid what was up. "If it was my grandma, I'd wanna know" she said. Liza walked the familiar halls to the intensive care unit.

What she found was a screaming old woman who writhed in pain. The belly was laced up loosely so that the poisons could seep slowly out of the ancient body. Heat coursed through her veins and she exploded. Her first thought was to call the chaplain. He knew her well enough to know that overraction was not her MO, and after all we can't have a scene now, can we? Another doc was called in who did his thing with the less invasive Bi-Pap. Trickle down through the cover thy ass mentality of doctoring.

That was Liza's first hospice experience. Her beloved grandma who couldn't cook worth a crap and promised her a trip to Europe that never materialized. 'Sokay though. She always loved her best.

For Kim

Keep the faith. ^j^
Last bird out of the nest.....
last bird out
is almost eaten by the chocolate lab! OH yeah. It was truly a Poopie moment as I walked out this morning to snap a shot of the last baby perched on the edge of the nest getting ready for take off. Faith the wonder-lab and Butterbean the rat terrier diva were right there with me. Baby bird got a bit flustered when the flash went off so instead of flying he kind of ummm...jumped onto the porch. Labs are bird dogs, remember? Faith was on him in a flash and I went ballistic. Screaming at the top of my lungs crazy woman stuff. Faith had him holed up in the corner of the porch when I finally managed to get her into the yard. Baby bird hopped off into the flower bed under the tree where Mama was waitin'. Fine. Crisis solved.

I decided to drop Faith off down the road on my way to work to remove the temptation to bird hunt. When I arrived at BabyGirl's b'friend's house he was peering underneath his truck at none other than Butterbean. My screaming had freaked her out so bad she had hightailed it down the road and hid under the truck! We finally coaxed her out, but she's still hidin' out there in his yard. Heheh. Don't mess with Poopie ;)

Let's all have a big round of applause for wonder woman Tamara who has graciously given me this new place to play! WOOOOOOOhoooooooo. Thanks girl!
B-whaaa-ha-ha-ha...I'm in control NOW!
Hi there. This is Poopie's new template. Well...it's mostly her new template. Since she was having issues with the old one and sucky Blogger wouldn't help her, we decided to put this one into play a little early. There is still some work to be done, so if things appear a little wonky, they probably are.

The management thanks you for your patience and for shopping at Poop Happens.

the crazy designer at CyberVassals
Why, yes i AM bored. Why do you ask?
Flight Training
I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I'm leaning on the everlasting arms
If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it ....

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
(Oh) I believe I can fly


Mama mockingbird is yappin' her birdie head like a drill sargeant out on the front porch trying to coax the babies out of the nest and into the air. She'll perch on the swing and screech out directions to them, then fly away in demonstration to the novices. It's such a typical parental scenario....and the original meaning of "empty nest" no doubt.

I know that feeling now, like so many other parents before me. While it took a bit of getting used to, I enjoy having my life to myself and I know that my BabyGirl couldn't be any happier than with the young man who adores her. I spent 20 full years teaching her to spread her wings and watch out for the perils and dangers, and now she's on her own to learn a flight plan that is distinctly hers. I gave it all I had, and that is all any mom can do.

So...what now? It's time for Poopie to change course and grow some wings herself. Many days I feel like those baby birds peering out from the safety of the nest into the big old world. I've been Mom for so long to so many that it's difficult to shift into another role full-time. But I will try, and I will give myself as much as I gave her for all those years. Because now it's my turn. And I'm ready.

Congratulations to Steel Cowboy and Cheri . His romantic self popped the question with a ring while they were watching fireworks...sigh ;) Go wish 'em all the best in their new life.

Y'all be careful and kind out there. And always keep the faith. ^j^
MIT Survey
Precious Memories
Idgie loves me too...ain't that special? My history isn't as much fun as hers, but here we go.

10 years ago
Let's see. Babygirl was 10 and me and her daddy were gettin' divorced for the first time. Bad scene. We went back for seconds which was also a bad scene.

5 years ago
This cute guy at work winked at me and had me from hello. F.O.X. ( know what i mean *wink wink* )

1 year ago
The tomato crop was good and I yearned to get back to the beach, to no avail. Work, work and more work. Somebody's gotta pay the bills, ya know?

My body clock is just totally screwed up from all this 5AM job madness. Even when I'm off I wake up at the crack'o'dawn. Sokay though..I've got my free day routine, which includes Diet Dr Pepper, down the Up blogroll and a nap with my Baby dawg.

Did the yard boy routine in my swimsuit. After the mowing ( not much there, no rain ) I played in the sprinkler as I moved it around the dead grass and flowers.

Boxers and t-shirt piled up in the bed with a book. I'm readin' this crazy tale about two guys who walked 2000 miles with no food and cussed a lot. So far, the scenery is great.

5 snacks I enjoy
Chips and salsa + cheese dip, cold pizza, cheese and crackers, viennies with BBQ sauce, cookies. Beer is not a snack Idgie. It's a joy, all on its'own.

5 songs I know all the words to
Are you kidding?

5 things I'd do with a bunch of money
Take a vaction Quit my job and pamper myself until I was tired of being lazy.
Buy some world peace and this farm.
Donate some bucks to Dubya's next arch enemy.
Give Hoss his pile so he can quit scheming and plan his trip.

5 things I would never wear
thong x 5. I'd rather wear boxers or nothing.

Skipping the 5 movies.

5 famous people I'd like to meet
Most of 'em are musicians and whackos. I've already met Jesus.

5 biggest joys of the moment
Wow...where do I begin? Daily toll free calls from bill collectors is right at the top. I've got some tiny birds gettin' ready to fly any minute and my dog snuggles me really good. My Babygirl is happy and exploring life on her own. No tornado this year. The roof doesn't leak and the car still runs.

5 favorite toys
Lawnmowers and power tools.. Woot! Blogland and all the mental exercise. Bullet Never mind, y'all. My Mama reads this occasionally ;)

Don't worry people. I'm done with the tagging thing 'cuz I've got a feeling my life is about to begin. 'Bout time, huh?
Super Heroes of the Blog World
MommaK and Aka Monty have this really freaky thing going on about creating your own blog superhero. Couldn't resist, y'all.

Sweet Thang with an Attitude
ladybug gal
She'll listen to your rants and whines and actually TALK BACK! What a woman. Don't dare step on her cute 'lil toes though. She might just go off on a rant and never return to the land-o-fun and play. Coming soon to a theatre near you...the "One Your Mother Always Dreamed About For You" starring Poopie. Buy her liquor and show her what you've got and BOOM. You can save the world together! If not, you'll have a good time trying.
Hereditary Gift
summer road to home
When I was a kid, my family called the cicadas of summer "ree a rees" because of the song that would suddenly appear out of the hot quiet of our farm on some June evening at dusk. Their calling card is a vocal announcement of the peak of heat and humidity and endless hazy days in the south. Their chorus means that the garden is gettin' close to harvest and the AC bills are quickly on the rise. Their circadian rhythym is surprisingly right on when it comes to matching the dates on the calendar. The first day of summer was last week, and they tuned up one evening shortly thereafter.

Hearing their song reminds me that it won't be long until me and my Mama will "see fall" for the first time. Our unique gift has been poo-pooed by family and friends over the years, but we still maintain that it is a precious blessing. While the heat rages for weeks on end and pools and ice cream freezers are used daily, we watch each and every early morning and late afternoon to see what we know will surely appear. My mom isn't an outdoors person at all and she will be the first to admit that. She asked me yesterday to go out and take a picture of that "daisy out there in the yard". I searched and all I found was a bud but nothing blooming. She said "Lord, girl they're everywhere." It was the black-eyed susans she was talkin' about ;) My love of nature came directly from my Dad and I cherish it. But about this time of year, I start lookin' for fall even though there's not a cool front in sight. The air is still and stagnant and begs to be washed clean with a good dose of thunder and lightning.

Seeing fall is tricky business when the temp is 95 and it's an ordeal just to get into an overheated car to go somewhere. I guess that's why we use it as a survival technique to see ourselves through the dog days. It's a subtle change in the shadows and the way that they fall through the trees and across the grass and it is a glorious sight. First there will be fireworks and watermelon and lots of flags. But sometime shortly after that the promise of fall will appear, briefly at first and then lingering a bit longer each day until finally...FINALLY, a front will make its' way across the country and the air will clear a little and we can survive another day that is summer in the south.

I'll let you know when I see it. ^j^
A couple of very fine pieces of writing that took my breath away in totally different ways are here and here (thanks Mike) .
Eminent Domain
I reckon y'all all know about how our conservative Supreme Court justices sold us out. If you don't, google it. If you don't care, go read some fluff. Poopie's got a personal story to share on this civil rights issue.

I live on a nice farm right outside of a small rural town. It's like umm..a bunch of acres of paradise that I see as a blessing each and every day. Lookin' out my kitchen window I can see the municipal golf course which backs up to cropland. Every dang developer in the area would give their right nut to buy this place up and divide it into little pieces of surburbia. They've tried, many times.

About 12 years ago, the evil wicked city alderman whom I shall call Dickhead decided that our local government should take about 100 acres ( upon which I live and breathe and say thank you, Lord ) to expand the golf course in order to attract industry. Never mind that there was a private contractor with a brand spanking new golf course on the drawing board in another part of town. This was all about him and what he wanted. Politics and power.

The evil one didn't do his homework, as politicians are apt to do. Enter stage left, the owner of said property who inherited the place a gazillion years ago and kept it all those years because he loved the scenery. It was his home away home...his legacy. The evil one probably overestimated his own importance when taking on an attorney who felt a bit threatened by what he heard was going on in his neck of the woods. That lawyer got his pilot to fly him from the north to the south and he stood next to my Daddy at the local board meeting when the issue popped up on the agenda. He took the floor and explained that it was his property and that no government in HIS lifetime would take away the dream that he had so carefully protected and passed onto his children. Case dismissed. Politically incorrect.

Sound crazy? This could happen to you, thanks to those in power in the USA right now. God bless Sandra Day O'Conner for being the courageous hold out for us peons. It's time to make some noise, people.
You can tell 'em Poopie sent ya. ^j^
Friday Bird Blogging
These babies will be leaving the nest soon!
baby birds
My Kind of Meme
Roxanne at Medley of Life tagged me with a very different kind of meme that I can really go to town on since I love music so much. It's a song dedication game and she dedicated Tennessee Waltz to me. Here's my dedications below. Play if you like, and if not...that's okay too ;)

Mississippi Queen by Mountain to Roxanne
Wind Beneath my Wings by Bette Midler to Jennifer at Open Book
Centerfield by John Fogarty to Follow That Star
Rocky Top.. to the entire Rocky Top Brigade
I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me to Michael at Blogin Idiot
Fathers Be Good to your Daughters by John Mayer to Hoss and Paul
Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson to Idgie at Fried Green Tomatoes
The Rose by Bette Midler to Deb at Sugarfused and JustRose at Anonymous Rowhouse
Life is a Highway by Tom Petty to Steelcowboy
Give Peace a Chance by John Lennon to Mona at want peace?
The Long Run by the Eagles to Interstellar Lass
Celebrate Me Home by Kenny Loggins to MommaK at Petroville

Gee that was so much fun I think I'm gonna play again later! Y'all watch out...there's a musical dedication coming your way ;)
Surprised and Delighted
Those are the words used by editor Jim Prince of the Neshoba Democrat to describe the community's reaction in Philadelphia MS to the swift trial and sentencing of Edgar Ray Killen. Being interviewed on NPR today, Prince expressed a desire for the Neshoba area as a whole to "get back to normal" now that the work of the judge and jury is done. He also praised the number of young people who have been involved in bringing long overdue closure and justice to this horrific tragedy. Amen to that.


The hoopla over South Knox Bubba's being "outed" last weekend has been followed with more ridiculous jr-high level finger pointing by the other local newspaper. This post shows you what the guy's really made of. If you'd like to take a virtual float on the Hiwassee River visit Fletch at No Direction Home (links upper right on SKB site)


Tamara at Cybervassals has sent some samples of my free gift in progress, and I'm delighted. Can't wait to share it with all of y'all. It's as exciting as gettin' a new house or something!

My four day week turned into a three day one when I scored another extra day off tomorrow so I'm doing the happy dance about now. WOOhoooooooo. Remind me how much I enjoyed it when the bills come due ;)
early morning corn 2
The view on my way out....Is this Iowa or Tennessee???
Thus far I've escaped pigeonholing myself as a mommy/work/photo/political/ranty-for the-cause/comedienne blogger. I ditched the stats awhile back and read the numbers on the once a week email report when I sort through the forwards and spam that fill up my mailbox. Not much personal stuff there.

Sometimes I wonder to myself "If I had a life would I be doing this?" Probably so, but not as much. The part of my soul that pours onto the keyboard every day is just a tiny bit of who I am..the part that I feel brave enough to share. I wonder if the pseudonym and the links were gone if anybody would still be there. Maybe it's all just a big conspiracy by Dell and Bill Gates to keep us tappin' out the words so they can get rich(er).

I need a change, and Tamara has promised this blog a new look. I played a word game at her place for a few weeks and for some reason she decided to gift me with her talents. I think she recognized an HTML impaired writer when she read one ;) Y'all go tell her thanks for lifting Poopie's spirits. She's a sweetheart.

Now if I could just find somebody to do my hair and give me a massage.

P.S. I kicked his butt to win it,too.
My Hero
The Big Guy works in mysterious way sometimes. My TV is rarely turned on but last night I pushed the button and who did I see? Robin Williams performing his portrayal of Patch Adams in the movie by the same name. I've seen this flick a hundred times and I sob every time those kids come out of the shadows with their red noses on. Sick people know who their advocates are.

Belief in this kind of advocacy can only be a gift of mercy for a soft-hearted front line grunt in the healthcare field. My professional training was clinical in nature, but over the years has evolved into a much more touchy feely proposition. Defining and measuring and testing is all well and good, but where is the human aspect of this whole deal? As an old-timer to the biz, I began exploring the possibilities about 5 years ago. Being witness and comfort during the deaths of many patients over my long career has given me a unique perspective on the process. And it IS a process. While sudden tragic death is what captures our attention, chronic disease is slowly taking the lives of the majority. It's a fact....we will all get sick and die. If you don't believe that, you're in denial. If you don't believe you will be asked to minister to someone else who is dying, you're being selfish.

There were several things that changed my perspective on end of life care. One of them was watching a Bill Moyers piece about palliative care that my mom taped for me. I watched it, alone, on a Friday night waiting for time to pick up my then 15 year old daughter. I was a woman on a mission for a couple of years. My favorite Christmas present ever was a copy of Dying Well by Ira Byock. His work brought to fruition the Missoula Demonstration Project in Montana. In a nutshell, that project is about neighbors caring for their own during the last months of life. Byock is a physician who learned through the experience of caring for his terminally ill father that it is a special time of passage for friends and family when things shared = peaceful passage. Honesty, pain relief and community are essential for a "good death", not only for the patient but for the loved ones surrounding him or her.

Doctors, for the most part, don't want to deal with it, especially the old school types who want to be the guy in the white hat. I have jousted at the windmills that are corporate healthcare and I gave it up long ago. Something told me that this was a battle that would be fought one patient and one life at a time in a world where $$$ is the object of the game.

Out there in the big old scary world of death and dying and suffering there are those who give of themselves because they feel called to reach out to another human voluntarily to ease their suffering. Risible Girl is one of those. Go give her a hug and ask her about hospice. She's got stories to tell.
All good things
must come to an end *sigh* My three day weekend is almost over and I have to report back to the salt mine at 6AM tomorrow. At least it won't be a Monday. I've had more than one tap on the head by the magic wand of the good karma fairy during the past 24 hours. Thanks y'all...you know who you are.
My baby birds have started whining for food just like kids will do. Still cute, though. I'm keeping one eye on the cats and the other one on Mr. Snake to make sure they don't become a snack before they learn to fly. Momma bird is busy diggin' worms or whatever they eat and giving me the evil eye every time I pass by. Little does she know that I'm tag teaming this thing with her.
here lies Hossie..RIP
I noticed today that the Miss America pageant can't find a network to broadcast their little shindig. Alas, another tradition bites the dust ;) Hopefully the drivel that was the televised pageantry of duct-taped boobs and vaseline lips won't be replaced by Miss Tiny Tot in Fru Fru dresses. One never knows about the mentality of our country today, but. That would just be WRONG wrong wrong. Speaking of TV, mine hasn't been on the entire three days off except for Letterman and SNL. Could be cuz I'm glued to this keyboard. It's so much more entertaining and mind expanding than reality shows and CSI in every city on the map. Gimme my weekly fix of HOUSE and some Comedy Central and I'm a happy camper.

In case you're wondering about the lovely picture above, it's my gift to Hoss who's been dead for several years and didn't even know it. I reckon that makes him a vampire.

Y'all keep the faith.
Sisters in Snark
I found this at Idgie's and it seems we are two of a kind. Of course we already knew that didn't we Idgie?

You Are a Snarky Blogger!

You've got a razor sharp wit that bloggers are secretly scared of.
And that's why they read your posts as often as they can!

What kind of blogger are you?
Waxing Paternal
I gotta tell y'all, reading everybody's Father's Day posts today has been a very moving experience for me. My own Dad hugged me extra hard when he thanked me for his post and all your lovely comments about him. I fried him up some of his favorite chicken livers and we hung out the newest bird feeders I got him. One was for hummingbirds and the other one was this little sock thingy to put thistle in for the finches. VERY cool idea.

What struck me the most was the wide scope of gratitude that folks have for the men in their lives and their contributions to parenting. Muzikdude wrote about a mentor who gave him the love and guidance that his own father could not. Vicki is gracious enough to recognize the parenting skills of her EX husband and share them with us. Deb brought tears to my eyes with the poignancy of being without her Dad. And over at Petroville MommaK's hubby is a guest blogger who did a mighty fine job! Sigmund,Carl and Alfred linked to an article that simultaneously brought tears of grief and joy. It's a must read.

So, since we've all got the warm fuzzies, I'll share a picture of my dog doing what she loves best...riding in my lap with her ears in the breeze!
butterbean's ride

Happy Father's Day to all of the great men in my life!!
Yo' momma
Before it's all over, we should expect to see that malicious threats against Tennessee liberal bloggers don't pay. Check it out at South Knox Bubba . His traffic might top Michele's this weekend :) heh. OK, then ;)
walkin' the walk
I had noticed Robin's smiling face several times before when visiting Mike and I decided to wander over to see what she had to say. The honesty of her post touched a heartstring and gave me the desire to share on the subject as well.

I was raised as a member of the Methodist church in my small town. My Dad was raised Southern Baptist, but joined my Methodist Mom when the time came to do the family thing at church. My brothers went as long as they were forced to, and I stuck with it until I graduated from high school. From that time until my daughter's 1st birthday, I rarely darkened the door of any church. Her arrival into my life was a cue for me to give her the foundation that I had been given, and we began attending the same church that I grew up in. Her Daddy refused to accompany us, and so it was a girl thing between us. We did Vacation Bible school and Sunday school and everything you can think of as she grew up among friends and relatives. When she stopped attending in her early teen years, I continued to sing in the choir and teach Sunday school to teenagers who were still being forced by their parents to come. This group of kids was notorious for making SS teachers cry and quit with their lack of respect and intolerance of others. The ones who actually WANTED to hear what I had to say didn't have a chance because of the idiocy of the rest of them. I stuck with 'em though, until my non-attending daughter got out of high school. My routine included choir practice and socials and hours and hours of committee meetings ( Methodists are notorious for that! ). I guess you could say I was doing all the right things to be a good Christian.

A few years ago, I was a delegate to the annual conference for Methodists in my area. It was rude awakening to say the least when I observed the goings on of the official body of "my" church. At that time, one big issue in question was whether to ordain homosexuals as ministers. The hatred and bigotry that was spawned by those discussions at a national level turned my heart cold. Shortly after that, I began to spend my Sunday mornings in bed with a book and I've rarely gone back to any particular building to spend time with my God. The way I see it, He is with me wherever I go and hears my soul whispering praise and petition even without the dress up clothes and pot-luck dinners and tithes.

In Matthew 25:34-40 Jesus pretty much tells it like it is about how to live your life when the question comes up "What Would Jesus Do". I've got a feeling there are gonna be quite a few surprised Christians when the sheep and goat separating is all said and done. They may find that their support of organized religion and soul saving didn't take the place of those simple instructions to welcome strangers, visit prisoners, clothe the naked and feed the hungry and thirsty.

Take the money and the building out of it and what have you got? Just you and your God on a personal level. Your life is a gift from Him. Living your life as a ministry to others is your gift in kind.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
Okay, so I lied..
Only you don't KNOW that I lied unless you read last night's post which got deleted this morning. After a commenter mentioned that I sounded like I "needed a hug" I decided the drivel I had posted was entirely too bitchy whiny ranty melodramatic pitypartyish unbecoming to an awesome woman such as myself. So there, am I forgiven for lying?

I'll make it up to ya with a couple of stories shared by co-workers that had me giggling before breakfast so hard I couldn't stop.

Story # 1 goes like this:
A couple of work folks went out into another part of the workplace to double team something. One of them is a fairly new recruit, we'll call him New Guy. Cute as a bug and a wicked sense of humor. He and his female sidekick rounded a corner to be greeted by a terrifying sight! There is a QUITE middled aged and QUITE large lady who works in the area who has recently begun to forget that middle aged large ladies shouldn't "put on the dog", so to speak, when dressing for work. She's showin' up most days in extremely short skirts over her extremely large behind and thinking she's hot stuff. ( don't ask...I don't have a clue why this began ) Anyhow, New Guy and Sidekick came up on her backside which had the short skirt du jour tucked INSIDE her black pantyhose in the back with a nice large purple thong showing through. Seems she had gotten twisted on her last bathroom visit and her precious co-workers had failed to tell her she was inside out. New Guy looked away ( very quickly and in disgust, I must add ) and whispered to Sidekick "Somebody needs to tell her what's up." As in the entire back of her skirt. Far as I know, nobody ever did.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

A couple of the girls were sitting around last night when the phone rang with an outside call. Blondie answered with "Hello. Hello? HELLO! " She proceeds to overhear a 15 minute one sided conversation from some poor fool who didn't know her phone had dialed into a live audience and it went kinda like this...on speakerphone ;)

Poor Fool: "You didn't gimme enough damn money to get the bathin' suit I wanted so I had to switch the price tag to git it."

Her Old Man: *silent*

Poor Fool: "Well, I'd rather be broke with some weed than broke without it. You can be damn sure I'll spend my last 20 bucks to git me a sack"

Her Old Man: *silent*

Poor Fool: "I reckon I'll be broke 'til I git my hydros again."

THIRTEEN minutes of this stuff and the girls were about laid out they were so tickled. Finally, Poor Fool discovered "somebody" was on the phone and ended the show, presumably broadcast from the trailer park.

Aren't you glad I lied? See...honesty is not always the best policy. Unless it's funny.

friday bird blogging
baby chickadees

I'm a fairy birdmother!
this too shall pass.....
That's a wise old saying from one of the oldsters in my life which I frequently bring out when I'm in a funk. Thanks for all the support and encouragement, y'all. It has passed once again and Poopsie is on the prowl for some good times. I will reach a milestone in September of this year....the big five OH. Instead of dreading it, I'm looking for some celebratory activities. True to my stream-of-consciousness nature, I heard a song at work the other day called It's a Great Day to Kick Somebody's Ass and the guy's voice and style reminded me of John Prine who will be in the neighborhood during my b'day month. Might have to find some lucky guy to squire me to that event at the Orpheum. About the next best thing would be seeing Little Feat.

In other news, I have baby chickadees by the front door with their little mouths wide open and eyes shut tight waiting for Momma Bird to feed 'em. I'm hoping to get a picture before they fly away. The goldfinches are lovin' me and my non-stop supply of thistle seed above the birdbath oversized bowl for the dog's water. ( thanx, Jen ) I may make an appearance at Friday Bird Blogging after all.

I'm still calculating a chance to get some beach time soon, and that involves much optimisim on this broke old gal's part. I hear that my favorite haunt on the coast at AL Gulf Shores State Park hasn't recovered from Ivan yet. It might take a while.
a watched bird never lands
Here for the Partay
MommaK posted this today and of course I had to stop by for the celebration. The author discusses how much personal journalism has grown in the past year due to the weblog. That got me to thinking about stuff. Hmmm.

There's an entire language based on the weblog phenomenon, much of which I still haven't learned. I had heard of "trolls" before, but had not witnessed one in action until I paid a visit to Catawampus and got a load of this . I guess some folks don't have enough to do so they cruise around criticizing other people's viewpoints and lifestyles. Ashley the troll sounds like a grade A lunatic who needs some serious therapy and an ass whoopin'. I've got a feeling Kim would give her one in a heartbeat :)

Other words that come to mind are post, internet PIECE ( just for you OHS ), linkage, and blogroll just to name a few. I've looked on as several bloggers fought what they felt was an "addiction" to it and faithfully promised to post no more yet ended up on the keyboard the very next day. I'm a firm believer in never say never, ya know? I see nothing wrong with spending my free time reading and writing as I see fit. I don't see it as an addiction, but a creative outlet.

HOWEVER...there is one drawback. For me, anyway. The other night I had ,ummmm, shall we say a nuclear meltdown in the emotions department. Again, no details but I will say that I was hysterical in a sobbing kind of way that I haven't known in a long long time. What I really needed was to be held while I sobbed, but I was alone with the dog and her arms are too little to be of much help. I called my boss to let her know I was temporarily insane and couldn't come to work the next day, and she graciously offered to come just sit with me until it passed. I called an old friend that I haven't spoken to in 3 years but who, for a six month period after my divorce, was my lifeline. Also gracious, he didn't have a clue where I was coming from because he doesn't know who I am anymore. I wanted to be, more than anything, understood.

My point is this. Our deepest fears and innermost feelings are revealed here day in and day out in such a way that we actually know each other better than we know many of the people in our "real" lives....in fact we actually dissect our REAL lives here and read about those of others. WE empathize and comfort and share as if in one huge group therapy session of I'm OK...You're OK. But it's all after the fact. When the world closes in on you and you feel like jumping ship, nothing can take the place of a real live person holding your hand and telling you they love you.

I hope someday to hold the hand of everyone of you that I've met here and tell you how very much you mean to me and how much you've helped me to keep the faith. ^j^
Daddy's Girl
young daddy
Father's Day is coming up and that makes me think about Daddy stuff. There are some distinct things that I think of when my Daddy comes to mind. One of them is his humble retort to the query "How are you?" His usual response is "tolerable". Translated that means =tolerable well=could complain but won't. Life has been good to me. Able to take nourishment. I've slept since then.

He's given back most of the goodness, and I think that's why he's so content to hang out with the cattle and nap in his vibrating recliner. As far back as I can remember, the man had two jobs and three kids and a whole bunch of stuff to do. The day job was with the Dept. of Agriculture in the Plant Pest Control division. Off the clock, he lived a farmer's dream as the manager of our place. He delivered calves in the dead of winter with a chain and his own brute strength. We rode on the hay trailer when he went to put the bales out or to pick 'em up after they were cut and tied. He and the vets vaccinated and castrated and got their asses kicked by every animal around here.

The later years of his career with the USDA turned into a travel event where he went to Miami and other ports of entry to inspect luggage for incoming pests, but that wasn't his style really. Mostly he just loves to hang around home and commune with nature. Back in the day, he served our country with the USAF in the Azores as a supply man. His service didn't end there, though. After he took the gift of early retirement, he continued to serve others.

For years on end Daddy drove a hot van to pick up kids to go to Mission Camp in the summer. For two weeks straight every June he would follow his route and listen to the kids ramble about what they were looking forward to that day. At the end of it, he'd pick them up and take them home with new memories. That got to be a bit much for an older guy so now he just fishes with 'em and leaves the hauling to somebody else. His passions have been many and I know a lot of them. Reading. Growing shit. Singin' tenor in the choir to the glory of God. My BabyGirl. His bride of 51 years. Volunteer service at the hospital and with literacy clients. His deep fried taters'n'onions are a legacy at cancer benefits around here. He's a kazillion gallon O negative blood donor.

Daddy never quite knew what to do with my girly self, so he left that part to Mom. It was only as an adult that I came to truly know him. When I got old enough to appreciate the patience that is planting and growing we began a different sort of relationship based on faith. That bond still remains and greets me every day as I walk the yard and keep on keepin' on.

Cuz I know he's proud of me, no matter what.
Down and Dirty...from down on the farm
Photo   1
My old friend Zubrovka lost his Dad early this morning. His message to me was that it was a peaceful passage with family nearby. Amen to that.

JustRose met a blogger friend for the first time yesterday and is compiling a list of others she'd like to meet in real life. Fascinating idea.

Arlene gave the Southeastern US a much needed soaking while I "parallel tested" a new method at work.

41 years later.... What took so long? (registration required)

As for Poopie, I've got vertigo so bad I'm holding onto the walls to stand up straight. So, umm. I think I'll lay down it down early tonight, regardless of chores needing to be done. After all, tomorrow's your Monday and my Friday.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
HIPPA Violation
Being the demure, innocent and once-bitten-twice-shy Southern belle that I am, it's a highly unusual event for little old me to make an advance toward a member of the opposite sex. A couple of years ago I was walking down the hall at my workplace and glanced into the rooms as I ambled along, as is my habit. It's a cool sort of public relations thing to smile and say "Hey y'all" when you walk by....patients love it and so do I. As I passed one particular room, I did the hey ya'll thing and then stopped dead in my tracks and said to myself " Did I just see what I thought I saw?" A few steps backwards confirmed the presence of one HOT lookin' guy surrounded by doting parents. Hmm..

I rambled on down to where the nurses were and inquired about said HOT guy only to find that he was single. I know...but it was a need to know thing in order to provide care, okay ;) I gave her my phone number and she slipped it to the slighty woozy post-op HOT guy with a brief explanation of "She'd like to talk to you." Fine. I'd shown that I was confident and could play the game.

Amazingly, hot guy called a couple of days later. He was sort of housebound due to his surgery and asked if I could come by HIS house for a drink. SURE... except that I had plans for a Passion Party ( aka sex toy meet'n'greet ) at my house the very next day. Could we make it for Saturday, I asked? No prob. Directions were given and chat was light.

Arriving at his house that day, I was greeted by a nicely tanned not very sick looking fellow in shorts and a tank top who invited me in and made margaritas until I was silly. We talked for hours and I heard all about his Navy adventures and his ex-wife doing him wrong. Since it was time for the dressing to be changed on his arm, he politely asked if I would help. (OH baby....yes!) I followed him through a bedroom to the drawers where he had the stuff he got custody of in the divorce, consisting of a tube of Neosporin and some stray Q-tips. He dug out some gauze from his hunter's first aid kit and we were in the bandage changing business. Sitting on the bed. With me carefully unwrapping that co-flex and admiring the biceps. Ahem.

I'm sooooo not a nurse, but I managed and left shortly thereafter. Considering our wonderful rapport I called the next week to invite him to dinner. Left a message which was not returned. Okay then. Couple of weeks later, I made a CD of old hippie songs and sent it to him with another invitation. Nada. Months later, I visited the church that he attended and was greeted by him at the door. No recognition to my "Hey...remember me!" The preacher was dynamite though :)

Maybe he didn't like the way I couldn't play the game, huh?
Imperfect Storm ( Blogging for Books entry)
The wind from an approaching cold front grabbed the loose tin on the dairy barn roof and slapped it against the concrete. It was a familiar sound to Liza as she ambled down the lane with Faith at her side. She used to listen to music when she walked…….now, the only sounds were of a small plane coming in for a landing nearby and the tinkle of Faith’s tags around her neck. Faith had found an ear of field corn to play with during the trek and was playfully jerking it back and forth by the husk. At six months, she was a good size dog but still had plenty of pup in her.

Liza’s thoughts of the cooler weather tumbled back to another time when the forces of nature had turned her world upside down. She had never been afraid of storms…..far from it. She reveled in the excitement and electricity charged atmosphere of a good storm. Her brother Harold had been a weatherman as long as she could remember. His wife Anetta was a reporter also and they worked weekends at TV stations in neighboring towns.

On this particular Sunday evening, Liza and Lacey had been listening to music and doing their usual girl thing. About 9:30 PM, the phone rang. “I’m watching the radar and there’s a tornado headed straight for y’all” Annetta said grimly. Liza hadn’t even bothered to notice that the winds were tipping the treetops over and the lightning was ferocious. “Okay” she said. “We’ll hit the basement”.

Lacey grabbed the cat and called for her Mom to hurry. “ Just a minute” she screamed. Liza was attempting to open the back door to peer outside at the weather. She tugged on the door with all of her might, but it wouldn’t open. Then it struck her that the pressure from the passing tornado was keeping it shut.

Immediately, the power went out. In the darkness Liza found Lacey and a candle. They were headed toward the basement door when the phone rang again. It was Annetta. “ The tornado has destroyed the motel across the highway. Casualties are reported” she said. “Are you okay?” “Yes, we’re fine” Liza replied with a growing sense of dread about what lay out in that darkness. In the total blackness she could hear the wind howling and the rain pelting her old farmhouse.

Lacey was pacing back and forth in the darkness. “Mom…I want out of here!” she cried. “OK sugar….let’s get to the car”. They made their way through the pouring rain to Liza’s car and cranked it up. The headlights shone against the dark farmhouse in a ghostly fashion. As the car moved slowly down that lane, she deftly dodged the debris that littered the flooded road. Turning onto the main road from the lane, they spotted power lines hanging low in a V overhead. “Mom! Please don’t go under there…..I’m scared”.

Liza replied calmly to her daughter. “We’ve come this far baby, we’re not turning back”. She prayed as she eased under the dangling wires and kept her eye out for debris. It was like running an obstacle course in a car! Relieved that they were not electrocuted, Lacey calmed down. “Mom….LOOK!” she said. There were limbs across the road every few feet. It seemed that they were totally alone in that eerie world. “I want to go see my Daddy!”. “That’s where I’m headed” Liza said.

Pulling onto the highway, they eased through the rain toward the spot where the motel sat. It was demolished! There was no sign of rescue activity yet, but they kept moving. No traffic anywhere….just two scared gals running from the darkness of the country toward something! Lumpy was at Noler’s house waiting for Lacey to get there.

Liza tried numerous streets to get to her ex-husband’s house. Every route that she chose was blocked with huge downed trees across her path. Navigating in the dark slowly and carefully, they finally made their way through to where Lumpy waited. Liza began the trek homeward in shock at what she had seen.

When she returned to the darkened house, she entered slowly and lit a candle. Then she sat down at the kitchen table and began to write:

"Dear Fred…I was so afraid I would die tonight and never get the chance to tell you how very much I love you…….. "

The week that followed was a Murphy’s law mixture of bad happenings. That night, after writing the letter to Fred, I laid down in the hot dark quiet and slept fitfully until time to go to work. The town in daylight was worse than I expected and there was very little electricity for the first two days. I was promised that mine would be back on by Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon came and went and found Lacey and me emptying the entire spoiled contents of the refrigerator into garbage bags to haul off. I cried and sweated and ranted, to no avail. After being told that they had “no idea” when the power would be restored, I began looking for a place to stay. Ann graciously offered to share her palace with me…that’s how I referred to her beautiful house with a pool area dubbed The Garden of Eden. The lines of thunderstorms and heavy rain continued to cross the river in wave after wave and more tornados were spotted each and every day. Following Tuesday night’s gully washer the old concrete box culver collapsed under the road and there was no way to get home even if I DID have power. A large portion of the downtown area of the closest large town was demolished by another tornado.

Eileen, my co-worker was leaving town for a week to visit her kids so she offered me the use of her house in the country, with yet another pool. The only time in my life I’d lived, albeit temporarily, in a house with a pool and it was a non-stop week of thunder and lightning! Since the road was caved in, Daddy had to take me through the muddy fields to get my clothes …enough to last for who knew how long. Finally I was settled somewhere. The phone, which had continued to work during and after the storm, went out on Tuesday. Sheesh!

On Wednesday I got the news that the phone was back in service. By Thursday there was power restored and the road repair was promised by Friday. Friday morning my mom called with this little tidbit: “Well..there’s good news and bad news.” “What now?” I asked. “The road is repaired and you can get through to the house. BUT..the road crew cut the phone line while they were working”. I was so ready to get home and settled I could have died, but not until everything was cool. “I’ll wait, I said.”

Saturday brought a funeral to attend, an old friend’s Dad. Since I was not expecting to need anything but scrubs for work, I had to go buy something to wear. The muggy heat and humidity dragged on through that day as well. On Sunday,I was finally able to go home to a cool house, a phone and a tree laying across the roof. I didn’t care, cuz I was home at last! That old redbud tree laid there for a couple of weeks until Brian and Sanner came with a chainsaw to help me out. Sanner and I met in a WooHoo chat room and became fast online friends. Brian was her much younger mischievous hubby who always kidded about me gettin' nekkid for him. There was never a dull moment with those two and we chatted daily. When Sanner wasn't man-hunting for me Brian was begging to come over

"Zat the BIG tree you were talkin' about" asked Brian. "Dang. I thought I was gonna have an adventure on my hands. That ain't nothing". I replied " Well it is to me....so fire up that chainsaw!" And that he did. The three of us had that tree down to firewood in no time flat and then started moving around the yard mowing things down that I'd had my eye on. Single gals have to take advantage of a man with a power tool wanting to show off, dontcha know? With their good deed behind them, the happy couple took off for the SuperStore to shop.

The kindness of people often amazes me, and this crisis was no exception. Before packing up a week's worth of stuff to carry home from Eileen's I pondered now to repay her kindness. All off a sudden it hit me, and off to the local nursery I went.

When she returned home from her trip, the planters and pots around her porch were planted with flowers of faith and hope.
I became a mother at the ripe old age of 29. I noticed immediately that my energy level couldn't begin to match that of younger mothers yet I was grateful that I'd had some adult years to play and explore life without the responsibility of a child. The timing seemed right. My (then) husband worked the graveyard shift for years so it was a pass-the-kid back and forth affair much of the time.

One of the first lessons I learned about parenthood is that a mother's love for her child is fierce and leaves the heart wide open to all sorts of excruciating pain. To love unconditionally like that is an invitation to have your soul trampled on when the going gets tough.

There have been plenty of those tough times, but they've mostly been outweighed by the good ones and the joy of watching a life unfold that is a distinct mixture of two parents who couldn't be more different. When the marriage ended the separate relationships between that child and each parent continued in the spirit that we intended.

Becoming an adult is a scary thing for anybody...I remember it well. It still scares me to think that I am responsible for ME. Navigation of the passage from know it all teenager to I don't have a clue young adult is tricky business. The longed for adulthood that seemed so far away suddenly catches up to you and BAM...you realize that life is what you make it and not what Mommy and Daddy want you to be. It's a gift and a curse all at once.

I will spare the details and leave this post as a confession that no matter how old they get your baby is still your baby and can leave your heart feeling like it's been punched full of holes and left to die. And that, my friends, is when the wisest thing of all is to let go. In love. ^j^
Not to belabor the point. BUT, if you haven't checked out the photographic gifts-to-us from South Knox Bubba and Fletch you're missin' out on some fine vicarious travelling.
Sneak Attack
Shhh....y'all be very quiet and sneak on over to Christine's place . She's recovering from surgery and I think it'd be SO COOL (like her) if when she came out from under those pain meds she had a lot of good wishes being thrown her way. She's one awesome lady. Remember. Sneaky,sneaky.
I am meeting the intent of Laura's meme, if not quite playing by the rules. I've learned my lesson on passing the fun torch. Linkwhorage aside, here are my reflections on her question What five things do you miss about childhood most?

Neverending time...
I've written before about how, as a kid, summers lasted forever and Christmas took eons to roll around again. Back then, life consisted of a series of singular important moments that seemed much more like separate still shots than the movie that is my life today. Within the space of one day there was possibility for magic and miracles with very little sadness. My life loomed before me full of promise and adventure. Somewhere around the age of 12 or 13 I lost that, and I don't know exactly why or how. I remember watching the war on Vietnam reported on the black and white TV and knowing then and there that I had lost that cocoon of innocence which had protected me as a child. The image of the map of that faraway place on the TV is burned into my brain.

Makin' cookies...
Another vivid memory that I have is of killing time on a rainy Saturday afternoon while watching Shirley Temple movies. Out of boredom I would whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch or some sugar/butter cut-outs if it was around a holiday. We had cookie cutters in every shape imaginable from Christmas trees to hearts. The icing was separated into bowls and colored different hues with food coloring. Sprinkles on top were optional. There were no frozen pizzas or french fries back then, either. I first made a pizza in about the 5th grade.....from a box....by Kraft, and I fell madly in love. Our fries were hand cut from real 'taters.

Family reunions...
My Mom's family mostly lived around here, and we gathered often and heartily...especially on holidays. Her parents lived in a very cool house with a huge backyard where there was a picnic table and plenty of room for kids to run. Pitchers of sweet iced tea and platters of fried chicken sat atop a red checked tablecloth waiting to be devoured. My daddy's extended family lived in Mississippi so once a year ( in the hottest part of the summer) we would travel there to an old country house where I remember lots of old people and the best pies I ever ate. Lots of fried chicken there too.!

The river...
The farm is bordered by a river that snakes its' way all over West Tennessee. I could walk a mile down the gravel road and find myself right on the edge of a whole 'nother world. Once I found an old canoe next to the bank and fell into that muddy snake water trying to get into it. From that point on I stayed on land and pondered life under a canopy of beautiful trees . The old river was bad to flood us right into town for a couple of weeks every year and I remember when the Corp did some dredging and channelling later on that cured that problem but changed the face of the river forever. My oldest brother spent hours with those guys and their heavy equipment, enthralled by the whole operation.

My pets...
I can never EVER remember being without a critter of some sort to keep me company. There was always a stray cat or two and usually one or two dogs to play with. My brothers and Daddy adopted a crow. I starved my pet rabbit to death through neglect. The sound of cows mooing is like music to my ears, still. I never cared much for the chickens, especially after I got flogged and saw a couple of 'em get their heads chopped off. Those suckers would flap and run around headless forever it seemed. Didn't care for the piggies either....they stunk and snorted and were generally just gross. Riding horses was fun but I never really lost the fear enough to enjoy the experience fully like some folks do.

This is where ( one of the many times ) my parents were right ON the money, telling me that time would pass more and more quickly the older I got. Things may not have been so simple for them back then, but for me life was easy and comfortable and loving. There were very few problems, and the ones we had we just didn't talk about 'cuz it didn't solve anything in the long run. We just got up, faced the day and savored every minute of it. Daddy had a huge garden every year and Momma spent summers sweatin' in the kitchen cooking up the produce and canning it. When we got dirty, we took a bath. When somebody died, we paid our respects in person and mourned for a respectable period of time. All the neighbors knew and loved each other and existed happily integrated during a time when blacks and whites were worlds apart in "real life".
cutest and sweetest
I realize now that my childhood was full of lots of good things that many kids didn't have and that I was blessed in that respect. For some reason that brings to mind a line from the Eagles song Get Over It...."i'd like to find your inner child and kick its' little ass". We all came from somewhere with good and bad in it. As adults we can choose to take what we were given and become something worthy or we can whine about where we've been. I choose the former.
Laura posed this question...What do you miss about childhood? I'm gonna sleep on this one and get back to y'all. Off the top of my head I'd say not much except being taken care of by Mommy and Daddy and believin'in Santa and the Easter bunny with a healthy dose of Prince Charming in the wings.

So sue me. A girl can dream, right?
sunset swing
Stop the Presses!
My perpetually smartass commenting ways have caught up with me and now I must digress. ( Damn, I've been DYING to use that word!) 'Ole Hoss called me on a wishfully thought comment to his piece yesterday saying that I was gettin' MARRIED! Truth is, I'm not even engaged. Double truth is I don't even have a boyfriend. So, umm. I guess this little personality capsule of me isn't quite true and you can't call me "Honest Poopsie".

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

I swiped this from Fast Eddie who seemed quite in tune with the sexually exciting possibilities of being a JFK kinda guy.

HOWEVER.....if I ever get married, or even have a boyfriend for that matter. Y'all will certainly be the first to know ;)

That is all. Over and out.
Brain Fry
Too tired to write, but not to read. Posts that made my day....

The Empereror and Ideal Wife by Phyllis (previous chapters archived and funny as HELL. *snort*

Musings on Reefer Madness by Steve

Kids Can Rip your Guts Out by SteelCowboy

Make Others Laugh When you Feel Like Crying by Hoss
Dear boys
I don't understand the game, y'all. Or perhaps I'm just too content with who I am to play it. Then again, maybe I'm afraid of having my heart handed back to me one more time politely and neatly in the "gee you're a SWELL friend/co-worker/person in my life" fashion.

I do appreciate those sentiments guys, honestly. It is what's built my self-esteem to the towering level at which it stands now. But hey...I'm 49 years old and single and that dog don't hunt for a princess in search of the magic she's never known but still believes in.

I'll drink beer with you and burp like you and even tell you straight up what's on my mind ,if I think you can handle it. If not, well I just keep my mouth shut....or try to, anyway. I ask you to respect me for the effort, even when you don't agree with what I say. Your victories and sorrows are mine too, so excuse me when the tears spill out and define me as the human that I am. Not weak or manipulative or even hormonal. Just real.

What you see is what you get, and you can believe it when I surmise that you've not known many others like me. I simply don't know how to play. The rules become much simpler when dealing with a woman like me. There is no wondering or second guessing my motives. The words that I speak or write are from a soul that has been to hell and back and still manages to whisper and smile and enjoy the day because you are a part of it.

I used to try too hard. Transparency can be both a curse and a blessing, especially in a world filled with players and emotional cripples. There is an entire industry built on the rules and regs of "catching" the man of your dreams. "Don't return the calls or emails too soon." "Remain elusive so that the hunter can catch his prey." "He's just NOT that into you." 49.95 plus tax

These days I don't try at all. I just trust the Big Guy to tell me when to show up. Nine times out of ten the legs haven't been shaved and the hair is a mess. But ya know....that's just who I am, simplicity and all. Take it or leave it. Just be very gentle with it.

Cuz we're all keepin' the faith.
you've got mail
If anything can go wrong with the old Poopster, it will. I think it's called Poopie's law or something. One of my co-workers who was hitting the wall every which way she turned one day said to me "I feel like I'm having one of your blog days." Heh. Today was no exception to the law.

I've been busting a gut around here this weekend trying to get my act together since, being the procrastinator that I am, the act was about to come unraveled if I didn't pay it some attention. I do SO hate to shop, but there are certain things that you just can't get at the little grocery on the way home so I headed to Wally World early this morning with my list. Nice quiet time. In and out in 20 minutes flat. Am I good or what?????

After piddling a bit more and gathering up the mess of branches I created yesterday, I got to looking for umm...that peach mango body spray? Nowhere to be found. Nor the flea collars for the cats. Uh. Okay. After checking the receipt I found that I had made it home without about 20 bucks worth of stuff. Evidently the lady left one of my sacks on the little wheel thingy.

Back to the super store I go, only now the whole damn world is there and it's 90 degrees and I hike a mile into the customer service desk. Which has a line 15 minutes long. Good thing I've got a long fuse :)

If this extreme heat is any indication of the rest of the summer for us Southerners, all I can say is Bless our Hearts. I passed on attending a distant relative's funeral today simply because I could picture the sweat pouring in that packed little funeral home and I do NOT look good dripping in sweat. Plus I was busy getting-my-act-together. So, uh let's see what's left.

The things I hate the worst, naturally!! Washing dishes and vacuuming.
I think they can slide a few more days............................
black eyed susan 2
It remains to be seen
if the forsythia that I whacked up today survives. It's an old one that had become tangled with lots of dead wood. I've always wanted a chainsaw, but frankly am afraid of what I'd do to myself with it. Instead, I go wild with the manual lopping and chopping when I'm in a mood. Today was the day. Also worked on some trees but there's a limit to what a short gal can do :)
My mower now rides like a dream and turns on a dime thanks to BabyGirl's b'friend/my neighbor. All those trimmings will make a nice fire when they dry out. This lil critter was not a bit of help, but she had fun chasing the horses....thinks she's SOOO bad.
Meanwhile, over on the other side, I've got some little green maters just waiting to get big enough to slice up and fry. My Daddy's rule is you can't pick a green one to fry up until there's a ripe one somewhere. That's HIS rule though.
first maters

I'm highlighting my own hair while I type (half nekkid,of course ) and thinkin' about firing up that grill.

What are y'all doing?
Bits and Pieces
Things that made me ponder on a Saturday morning:

Ruth poses some interesting questions about disclosure by paid political bloggers.

Michael Yon explains how MSM reporting works in Iraqi war zones.
Piano Lessons
My aunt and uncle were both trained musicians ....she a vocalist and he an instrumentalist and composer. Though I cannot for the life of me tell you if it's something I wanted to do,I took piano lessons from first one and then the other of them beginning at around the age of 7. Jimbo was also the music teacher for the public school system at the time and he would breeze in singing "Good morning Mrs. Green's room!" in that falsetto that I adored.

My younger brother and I would be dropped off at their house on my lesson morning and Bubba would snooze while I practiced my "pieces". Then we and my cousin Deb would mosey off to the elementary school around the corner for another day in paradise. They moved away and my lessons changed location.

Ms. Fisher got my fingers next, but by then the world had a hold of me and my Mom let me quit when it became too much of a battle to keep up the discipline. In high school Unk took me in once again when he was band director and adjusted his expectations accordingly. I was a hanger on with the marching and concert bands and did one big solo chimes performance to satisfy that silly "must play an instrument to hang around" rule. It was awesome, if I do say so myself:)
jason's piano

Music is something that you never forget, kinda like riding a bicycle. As an adult with a hankering for a creative outlet, I dreamed about having a piano of my own again. I wanted to play. Bad. Jimbo went with me to check out an ancient one that had been left silent a year or so earlier. Buck and MJ had lost their only child Jason to the ravages of leukemia but had held onto his precious piano for a respectable period. They were ready to move on and get the elephant out of the room, so to speak.

My ex and SEVERAL other men moved that puppy into our house and I got it tuned. From that point on, the keyboard became my creative friend. Whenever I felt the Spirit move, I'd pull out that UMC hymnal and play my little heart out. "Hymn of Promise" "Give Thanks" "Sanctuary" "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing"

I could play the ones without umpteen sharps or flats pretty well. Still can. There is one, though, that still brings tears to my eyes every time I let it fly. It's a bluesy type of tune that speaks to my soul when it's just my alto voice and God and the piano.

I think I'll tickle the ivories this weekend.
Friday Cat Blogging
bernie in deep thought
Bernie in a reflective mood(probably thinking about how to get to that bird's nest!)
Kiss my Grits
Wanna know your southern sign? Go ask Idgie .

Here's mine.....

GRITS (Aug 24 - Sept 23) Your highest aim is to be with others like yourself. You like to huddle together with a big crowd of other Grits. You love to travel though, so maybe you should think about joining a club Where do you like to go? Anywhere they have cheese, gravy, bacon, butter, or eggs and a good time. If you can go somewhere where they have all these things, that serves you well. You are pure in heart.
I feel the EARTH MOVE under my feet!
That ain't just a Carole King tune today along the New Madrid fault. I was at work still trying to wake up to the day when this little 4.0 quake rocked my world. Better than a double cappucino to get the adrenaline going!

Six am is usually a quiet time around our workplace while we concentrate on the monumental task at hand. Two other co-workers and I were silently going about our business when the building started to shake and there was a loud BOOM. More shaking. Another boom. It was over in 10 seconds. My first thought was that a large vehicle had run into the building....or that it was my first earthquake of any size. Bingo. We immediately got calls from the upper floors asking if we felt "it". Ayep. Sure did, and we're appropriately freaked out!

The epicenter was about 8 miles north of town where the trembling lasted another 30 seconds after the big stuff. Research quickly showed that it had been only a month since a quake of comparable size hit an Arkansas town on the other side of the Mississippi. They've been telling us since 1812 when Reelfoot Lake was formed that we're due for another big one. Yikes!!!

Nothing else in my day could top that all-shook-up feeling...not even having my keys locked in the car.

Word to the wise: If you like stories about folks named Poopie, check out Paul's work at Writing From the Hip . The man can tell a mean tale :)
Birds of a Feather
fatass swinging

The heavens finally opened up with some much needed precipitation around this dusty old place. The murmur of the slow and steady downpour is exactly what my soul needs today...the ultimate in soothing background music for an afternoon at home.

As a farmer's daughter I remember watching my Daddy stand at the window during week long deluges and run up his blood pressure while fretting over when it would stop. This late spring dry spell is unusual for our area, and there are still fields unplanted because the rains haven't come at the proper time. The bottomland, which was too muddy to navigate about 3 weeks ago is ( up until today ) too dry to plant. Such a delicate balance to sustain healthy growth.

Life is much like that in its'seasons of new birth and active growth followed by the maturation of summer. The autumn is bittersweet in the combination of blazing beauty during the throes of death. Winter. Well, it can be the most beautiful of all on a cold and clear starry night. I have often wondered why the transitional pleasant seasons couldn't last longer. But then again, sameness and constancy, even if "perfect", would become less of a treasure and something to be too easily taken for granted.

As a younger woman, I sought perfection. Stuck in the cultural divide between June Cleaver and Gloria Steinem I struggled to find my identify and define myself. If I called in to work because my child was sick, I had to face the wrath of my boss and the loss of a day's pay. When I spent time furthering my career I felt torn and pulled away from that special angel that God had trusted to my care. I loved to entertain in my laid back sort of way whether I was partying with my adult friends or a gaggle of 4 year old kids. One of the warmest kudos I ever received was at BG's 12th birthday party when my Mom looked around at those gawky pre-teens hugging all over me and said "These kids really LIKE you."

I realize that it's not all about me. That's a relief in an odd sort of way. Those of you who are there know what I mean. The pressure to perform and achieve is gone and has been replaced by an in-between spot. One of those seasons where all that's needed for a growth spurt is just the right amount of rainfall and sunshine. And the faith that it will be provided.

There are eggs now in the nest that is fashioned from bits and pieces of the nature that surrounds me and Momma bird. She peeks at me as I look in on the progress of the little family hanging by my front door. She hasn't chirped at me yet, but when she does I think it will sound something like Keep the Faith.

Wish us Volunteers a happy birthday y'all.
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