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poopie gets her groove back
A much gentler version of Katrina came calling around 3AM today to announce her arrival with an all night symphony of the front porch swing banging against the house. I cannot imagine the fierceness of such a storm on the coast at category 4 level considering the minor squall that spent 12 hours inland over West Tennessee. As I lay in my bed listening to the "whomp whomp whomp" with a kitten walking on me and meowing in my ear and two dogs jumping to be let in from the storm, I listened to my daughter breathe and move quietly next to me. It's been a long time since she needed Mommy, and the timing was exquisite. I said thank you to Big Ernie and drifted off until the next *whomp*.

Meanwhile, the shadows continue their slant toward autumn and the soybeans begin to turn gold on top. The cornfields look like an oversized store display waiting for pumpkins and scarecrows to fill in the gaps. The week-long county fair, which somehow mysteriously always includes my birthday, begins on Labor Day. When Babygirl was a child, we took every piece of art she ever made and my grandmother's antiques out on the chance for a blue ribbon and a 3 dollar prize. It's been way too long since we embraced those traditions.

I think that this September, her 21st and my 50th, will be different. Faith tells me so.
faith 2
it's alllllll good

So saith the bad actor used car salesman on TV. Most days, I believe the fool. Today was one of those days when I took my paws off of it all and grace came back to smack me right in the lips. I love it when that happens. * Muahhhhhhhhhhhh*

I didn't sweat once ...it's a milestone for the Summer of '05. Even though Nawlins is floatin' and Gulf Shores is sandless AGAIN, I'm grateful to be in the outer bands of no sun for a change. The seventies are good..K?

Executive decision by the management:
In the future, when I'm in a funk I will refer you to Hoss or Lightning Bug's Butt . They always make me laugh and I reckon that's what we should do since life is short and all. I mean gah...who wants to read drama and watch the Weather channel all the damn time. These guys are about the fun. Fun = good.

Thanks for the hugs and grinz to all of you. As my old friend the Little General says " Peaks and valleys."
Can't have one without the other.

Like two sparrows in a hurricane
Trying to find their way
With a head full of dreams
And faith that can move anything
They've heard it's all uphill
But all they know is how they feel

The world says they'll never make it, love says they will.

Tanya Tucker
"Can't Run from Yourself"

like a virgin
No wait...that's "like a baby". How I slept these past two days. Poops is normally an early to bed/early to rise kind of gal. All work and no play has made her a very weary girl, and the body said to her "lay the heck down and don't get up". I slept for 10+ hours both days this weekend.

Like a virgin is how I feel right now. If you're not up for gut wrenching drama, move on. It's my life and I need to share who the girl is behind the smartass who is currently jammin' to Little Feat's "Dixie Chicken".

I talk a lot about Babygirl and her b'friend because, well they're a very large part of my life that consists of one middle aged single gal who got out of a bad marriage way too late. My ex is an addict with all of the character defects that are a part of active addiction. He's a nice guy too...just one who can't deal with the pain of his reality. He is currently on the fast track to the other side and though we haven't been married for years, he is the father of my child and she is the daughter who is wrestling to accept something that she cannot fix or change. Contingency plans creep into our conversations. How to bury an unemployed drifter with no life insurance when there is only Daddy's girl to do the deed. How it is important for her to share her feelings with him before it's too late. I'm the sounding board right now, while she gives shape and form to the anger that she feels and practices turning it into something more productive like acceptance and peace.

B'friend's dad died several months ago shacked up in a motel on a crack binge at the age of 53ish. We will, more than likely, replay that scenario very soon...together, the three of us. I have lived almost 50 years trudging ahead with my chin up trying to take the high road and believing that if you do right and work hard and honor God with your life, it all comes back around eventually. Right now, all I can think is that it will be in the next life that the payback comes. I have never felt so alone and vulernable. Sometimes I think, like Jennifer wrote that doing the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about, and that scares the hell out of me. I sit helplessly watching as Katrina prepares to wipe out the Gulf Coast and the residents line up at the pump preparing to flee to a safe place. And I pray without ceasing.

Our local National Guard unit returned from a year-long deployment in Kuwait this past week. The streets and homes are lined with American flags,yellow ribbons and welcome back signs that served as a backdrop for the return of these heroes. The unit has been re-assigned as an MP group that will return shortly, this time to Iraq, home of the car bombers. Many have decided that it's time to get out while the gettin' is good and do the hokey pokey with their families and friends.

Ain't that what it's all about?
kate loves jonathan
Well, she did back in the day. Says so right there on my basement wall written with sidewalk chalk. The digging frenzy descended to the basement last night as me and Babygirl and b'friend went down to see what we could find. The force was with me for a change, so he fetched his shop vacs and spotlights and we went to work. It's a full basement with concrete walls...quite a nice place even though it's full of dirt and mold right now. It was a perfect place to put a bunch of teenagers in their pre-driving days. I was either brave or stupid enough to let the party be here most of the time as long as they stayed out of my face! The sidewalk chalk was leftover from childhood days so they graffiti'ed the place to their heart's content. Blows my mind to see who was crushing on who way back when ;) I haven't seen most of them in years.

When we first moved here 15 years ago, both the attic AND basement were inches deep in dirt and other assorted crap that an old horse trader can collect over 50 years time. The original wooden work tables are still there. It took me a good five years to clear out all the stuff well enough to walk. I couldn't begin to tell you how many pitch and burn sessions I've had over the years, and last night was no exception. We hauled boxes and bags up the concrete steps out to the fire pile where the wind whipped it into a burning frenzy. Burning shit is my weakness...what can I say? Thankfully there was well timed thunderstorm on the way to put it out!

My prize find was a nice battery powered radio that I'd forgotten I had which had rarely been used after I won it in an adult spelling bee for charity. I entered that dang spelling bee every year for four years and got the radio as a 3rd place prize one year. My swan song was 2nd place when I won an electric grill that is long gone. I figured that was as close as I was gonna get.

Y'all seem to be drooling over the Sour Cream Chocolate Pound Cake, so here's the recipe. Happy cookin' and don't forget to have some french vanilla ice cream on hand to go with.

If ya'll need me I'll be here listening to Rock 92.3 out of Jackson on my new/old radio and seat dancing. Now I can listen to John Boy and Billy while I'm getting ready for work! See what I mean by low maintenance?

i hate it when that happens
You know..like when the world grabs you by the gonads and yanks you back to reality. This is kinda sorta the week that won't end for the Poopster, if you know what I mean. I'll spare you all the details 'cuz I don't like to whine. Let's just say I continue to roll with the punches and laugh when I feel like screaming.

So..um. Let's see, where was I? OH. I remember. Nothing new in the weather department except for Katrina. It's still hot as hades around here and humid too! Like a sauna! Yay! (grrrrrr) I went by the "major chain grocery store" after work this afternoon and ran into a couple of buddies who work there, plotting to take out one of the busybodies that works with 'em. I reckon it's the same in every workplace. 50% of the people do 120% of the work while the other 50% do their own thing and get away with it and the suits play golf. I'm proud to be a peon though. Peons can walk away and forget it all after hours.

Gotta go check that Sour Cream Chocolate Pound Cake in the oven. One of the nurses tasted Fast Eddie's birthday cake the other day and promised to buy one at the March of Dimes bake sale for 20 bucks tomorrow.

Just one more thing. Is it Friday yet?

Over and out from Smartassville. ;)
Gone again
What a traveler! I'm away from home again today over over here in Dallas. I promise to be back this evening with smartass behavior ;)
*stealth mode*
She ain't here y'all. I think she went 'thatta way .

Poopsie said to tell you she's fine and so is Babygirl. They're digging through the attic again, reliving the past and moving toward the future. Thanks for the prayers..it's amazing to see the power of it.

be prepared
Scouting is an activity that teaches a child to become a student of nature and self-sufficiency, along with the sales skills to sell cookies and popcorn ;) My daughter's boyfriend was active in Boy Scouts from a young age and has many fond memories, including his once in a lifetime trip to Philmont that he earned by mowing yards. He has continued to live the scout's promise by having AT LEAST one of everything, sometimes multiples, on the off chance that it might come in handy some day AKA pack rat.

He also strives very hard to make things happen for my girl. One October evening around dusk he pulled out his chainsaw to cut up a downed telephone pole so that they could enjoy a nice chilly evening fire. I was at home chatting on the computer when the phone rang. "Ms. Janie..I need help!" I barely recognized his muffled voice as he struggled to tell me he was in trouble down the road. Rushing through the darkness, I searched with my headlights until I found him, trapped under the telephone pole that was crushing his thighs and pelvis. The chain had popped off of the saw and sent him head first into the ditch where the pole rolled over on him. I called my Dad and then 911. Daddy brought HIS chainsaw, which promptly got stuck in the massive girth of the pole. It seemed the only way out of the mess was to lift the pole off of him. Impossible.

We rammed a steel rod (from his truck) into the soft dirt so that he could use it as leverage to keep some of the weight off of him. Though it was a chilly night and he was wearing coveralls, there was sweat rolling off his face as I cradled it in my hands. "Hang on buddy.."

People started showing up within minutes. There were a couple of sheriff's deputies and an ambulance along with First Responders who had heard the call and a few strangers off the highway with police band radios. With that many male minds at work, the plan ended up like this: straps to loop around the ends of the pole ( from his truck, again ) A line of men to lift the pole up just a few inches so that the paramedics could shove a metal barrel lid (from his truck) under his body and slide him out when the pole was lifted on one..two..THREE! *whoomph* As soon as they got him out the pole went crashing into the ditch.

The emergency room doc had already given orders for morphine to be given en-route to the hospital for the broken legs. As he sat in on the tailgate of the ambulance checking his lower extremities, Gumbler discovered that he could move his feet. He stepped onto the road, and discovered that he could walk. He passed on the hospital visit and we headed to the house to regroup with only a shot of whiskey necessary to calm his nerves, Cowboy style.

When the adrenaline stops pumping, you look for signs of a miracle. Normally he leaves his cellphone in the truck, but for some odd reason it was tucked into his overalls that night. Recent rains had left the ground soft enough that his body sunk into the ground rather than being crushed by the weight of the pole. I was at home to answer his call.

Mysterious ways. That's how the Big Guy works. ^j^
and the heat goes on.....
I'm too weak to lust over the front that might or might not get here. *pant* Dog days and all that. My two pooches are parked inside with me, one on each couch.

I "borried" this from Christine . Sounds like me huh?
Your Mood Ring is Purple

Clear mind
Purpose is known

Mood Ring Generator

Send cool air. Urgent. Pay you back next month.
vampire tales
Mrs. Mogul had a funny post about the "non-sterile" technique of her mid-wife who was drawing blood. That brought to mind a few of my own remembrances as the woman behind the needle. If I had a buck for every time somebody has told me "I hate needles" I wouldn't even NEED Sugardaddy or his money. I'd be on a tropical island somewhere with a drink that has an umbrella in it. Instead, I've got 28 years worth of stories about people gettin'their blood drawn and doctors who act like asses.

Once, while on call, I was summoned to the Emergency Room in the early AM to draw some blood. I entered the room with my supplies and noticed the guy was mighty still and had one sock off. He had been dead for hours and laying in a ditch somewhere and was brought in by the local law. His highness, the ER doc wanted me to put the needle into the dead guy's heart to get blood for an alcohol level. I don't do dead people, no ifs ands or buts. If the heart ain't pumping to the veins and arteries, you're on your own Doc. {Poopie} exit stage left.

Sometimes, ER patients are shuffled back and forth from X-Ray to their rooms. Another night on call, wiping sleep from my eyes, I chased down the radiology tech so I could get my blood sample before they went into the inner chambers of neutrons and gamma rays. The lady was 105 years old. No sweat, I thought. This little 90 pound lady raised up off of that stretcher and grabbed my lab coat in just the right spot where she managed to knock me down. I pried her fingers off with the help of my co-worker. Seems as if I remember a very high BUN and potassium as in renal failure, way past hope for dialysis.

Part of our daily venipuncture duties used to be walking across the parking lot to the adjacent nursing home to draw blood from the residents. One guy in particular had a real thing for "titties" and would have to be restrained by staff in order to get his blood. One day I was feeling froggy and decided to tackle it by myself. No sooner did I get that needle in his arm than the other hand came around and pinched me where it hurt. Hard. I screamed for an aide to rescue me, and luckily I got away with the boobs intact and only slightly bruised. Bless his heart...he didn't know any better *wink wink*

Pediatric patients are a special challenge because of their fear of the entire healthcare experience. I've met two year olds with the bravery of generals who don't shed a tear. I've also seen eight or ten or TWELVE year olds who could kick the ass of a wrestler, usually in cahoots with an overprotective parent. This one lovely fourteen year old nut case wearing a chic capri set had the entire lab staff as a captive audience while she pitched a big one with her Mom in the waiting room because she "didn't wanna". Mom, being a lawyer and all, spent about an hour in "mediation" and then called Daddy by cellphone to come to the rescue. Before he ever got there, the deed was done. Gotta wonder about who's in charge there.

I could go on and on, but instead I'll just offer some timely tips for the healthcare consumer in need of blood work.

*There are certain phrases that one should never EVER utter to somebody who is about to stick a needle in them. For example: "You've got ONE chance" or "I hope you know what you're doing". Note to patient...the more relaxed your phlebotomist is with you, the easier the draw will be. Threats don't make for a good rapport with the blood sucker.

*If you are a parent, please don't tell your child "This won't hurt". Ditto for "You've been bad so here's your punishment." If you can't handle being a part of the process by bravely helping to hold your child's arm and working WITH us, please step outside and we'll manage without you. There ain't nothing like the sight of his distraught Mama to get a kid's siren going, even if it's not hurting a bit.

*If you truly know where your best vein is, please point it out up front. Any seasoned phlebotomist will appreciate the short-cut and act accordingly. If you have tiny veins the magic word is BUTTERFLY. Ask for it if you are a difficult draw. It's your right. Particularly in a physician's office where cost cutting measures often don't even allow their existence in the drawer. Tell that beloved doc of yours to get off the bucks and treat you right.

*RE: Corny jokes. We've heard 'em all hon, but if you're cute and sweet we'll laugh at them again because we like you. Just don't grab our body parts and everything's cool.

Thank goodness for team players. Because of them, I live to b**g about it all.
a girl's gotta write what a girl's gotta write
Thank you for the lumpy throats and teary eyes and hand holding. Yesterday's post was cathartic and necessary and very painful, even as I re-read it with every comment. I will survive. I mean, gah..it's not like I haven't been in the Outer Mongolia of parenthood before. You young ones remember it when your sweetie pies turn into Tazmanian Devils who slam the door in your face .."This too shall pass."

Now that I've permanently scarred my knuckles tearing off that formica, I'm tackling the wallpaper+paint+wallpaper on the kitchen walls in preparation for painting. My cousin came to visit me at work today and we about peed in our pants laughing over the length of time our kitchens have been destroyed. She told me how a young friend was coming over to teach her how to tile and I begged to get in on the free lessons. His parents are currently remodling a church building as their home, stained glass and all. Their living quarters are complete and now they're tackling the sanctuary/great room. Gotta love it. Nobody else wanted it, and it was their dream speaking to them in very plain language.

Just a reminder from the blood bank lady. If you are healthy and eligible to donate blood, now is the time that the routine of blood donation gets lost in the shuffle of vacations and back to school and the oppressive heat. People don't stop needing blood in spite of these distractions. Every eight weeks you can give the gift of life to someone by donating. Why the heck not?
i love you forever, i like you for always.......
After five years of marriage I found myself wondering if I would actually ever have a child. Having been off birth control for a couple of years with a “let’s see what happens” attitude, it dawned on me that “it” might not happen. Following an endometrial biopsy that showed no ovulation, I was told I would have to take a fertility drug. Within a month, I was pregnant as a goose. Nine months later, a happy healthy girl named Lauren came into our lives and nothing was ever the same.

My first experience with “letting go” of her was when I returned to work six weeks later. I left her in the hands of a capable home daycare provider and returned to the job that was necessary to pay half of the bills. Her dad worked night shift, so we passed her back and forth and shared in her care during the early years, never finding much time as a family.

The day that I turned her little four year old life over to a kindergarten teacher, I wept all the way to work. She did fine and flourished due to her extensive pre-school experiences. The years that followed were filled with flurries of activities like Girl Scouts and church and sports. One or both of us was with her every step she took.

Her dad and I divorced when she was in the fifth grade….at about the worst possible time for a child’s self-esteem. Though we got back together a year or so later, the trust was gone and we all knew nothing would ever be the same again. We held it together….barely, until she got out of high school and then we all knew it was over.

I have thrown up my boundaries and claimed separation from her many times since that first parting at the age of six weeks. After all, I had a life too and she would eventually leave the nest. Then where would I be? During her fifth and sixth grade years, we were best buds and all her friends loved me because I was a “cool” mom. By the time middle school rolled around, she hated the sight of me.

And so it went, with me caring way too much and her not enough until she approached the age of 16 where she needed to buddy up again to be able to drive. The day I sat on the front steps and watched her drive away, alone, I experienced what I thought was the worst pain possible for a mother. Before she left, I pinned a tiny guardian angel onto the dash of the car, just to remind her of Mom’s abiding love.

High school was, all in all, an okay experience for us. She wasn’t that great a student, but then neither was I so I understood. She shunned the frufru social activities and chose, instead, to spend time with her friends. Our house was the place they all hung out because the atmosphere was informal and inviting and so many of her friends had a poor relationship with their own parents. While I was not permissive by any means, my philosophy was that “kids will be kids” and I’d rather have them at MY house than out roaming the streets. I often looked the other way to allow them to experiment within a safe haven. Every teenage drama of suicidal notions or abortion or legal trouble was brought to my doorstep to listen to through tears and sobs and give non-judgmental advice or just a hug. I did not want to know some of the stuff that I knew…it would have been easier not to.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief that high school was over and helped her focus on which direction to go at the local community college. We were dealing with the financial fallout from the second divorce, and there was just enough money for her to attend there and live at home. After two and a half years there, she is still without a degree and struggling to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life.

Though my daughter only lives a quarter mile away from me, it might as well be 1000 miles at this point in time. We are both struggling to restructure the relationship that we once had into something workable for an adult and her mother. Often times, this struggle finds us right back where we were in the middle school years with me crying because I’m not much a part of her life anymore, and her reacting defensively. She feels like a failure because her friends will be graduating from college next spring, and she is still searching for that magic moment when it all falls into place and she knows what she’s gonna be when she grows up. Whatever it is, I know that she will do it with grace and dignity and a loving heart.

As for me, I just want my friend back…the one who lived through the struggles with me and looked to me for wisdom and comfort and made me giggle. Anybody seen her?

puppy sugar
a day off with poopie
As you all know, I dearly love my job ( wink, wink ) however, I do also dearly love a nice day off which I am currently enjoying. No makeup, no bra and no schedule. Since the heat index was a tad under 100 this morning, I ventured out to mow my dead grass/seedpods/dirt/molehills for the first time in weeks. Not that it needed it, mind you. Just because it’s there.

I’m proud to announce that I won the war of the formica and both countertops now stand buck nekkid waiting for my next burst of energy to cover them up with something pretty. Don’t mess with Poopie when she’s on a mission, I’m just sayin’.

Many of you already read the dispatches from writer Michael Yon on his website. Michael was interviewed by a Boston radio station by phone from Mosul the other night. I listened to it here this morning, and I recommend that you do too. Very interesting stuff, regardless of your stand on the war itself.

I met Vicki some time ago, through Hoss and Blogging for Books, and I have always admired her style. She is a therapist, but will be the first to tell you that it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be! She has an excellent idea for a new online therapy group for those of us moms who find ourselves in the difficult position of letting go of our daughters to let them live their own lives. Go here to check out her ideas. I jumped right in and will be posting on the subject sometime this week. Thanks Vicki!

Obviously Fast Eddie is way over 16 ( notice the lovely silver hair ) but he ACTS like a 16 year old ;) He doesn’t read b**gs…or even e-mails for that matter, but I will be sure to pass on all of your hearty birthday wishes next time I see him. I’ll have to point and click for him, bless his heart.

I left a little piece about court square fellows over at the Dew yesterday. If you’re interested in reading southern stuff, that’s the place to be these days. Idgie makes sure there’s never a dull moment below the Mason Dixon.

I’m currently working on a list of things that Sugardaddy can buy for me, whenever I find him. So far I’ve got : a Nikon D70, a yearly trip to the beach with all the seafood I can eat, and a full body massage by the cabana boy. I'm sure I'll come up with more. I'm just a spoiled rotten gal waitin' to happen ;)
they say it's your birthday
Here’s a picture of one of my many bosses with one of his many bosses doing what they do best….chopping up livers or something. They are forever more cuttin’ something into little pieces for a closer look.
adorable and work gal
I heard that today is his birthday, but you never know. He’s slippery like that.

He’s a great friend…like family, so I can roast him without fear of a whoopin’. There’s been many a time I’d like to box those ears and call him shorty. He can be quite demanding with his tabbing and such. Most days though, he’s just whistles and goes about his business, oblivious to the drama that is a job-full-of-high-strung-hormonal females who watch his back and love him to pieces. If only he had a good agent, we’d all be stars in CSI/Dyersburg.

Boss adores his only child, a babygirl….and hunting any damn critter that moves, ‘specially the flying kind. He has sisters that creep into conversations when you least expect it, and a great love of eating fish and Mexican. And dessert. His grandma said" no meal is complete without something sweet and a cup of coffee."

Happy 16th birthday, Fast Eddie. ^j^
don't count your raindrops.....
before they fall. What a TEASE! That promising cool front that had me so worked up yesterday has turned around and gone backwards from West TN in a big round bump. Dang. I guess I scared it away with my lusting yesterday. Heh. What the heck. The guys seemed to enjoy my first erotica ;)

And then there's the price of gas. SHEESH. Will this never end? I struggle to keep enough petrol in my tank to get back and forth to work to earn money to buy more gas to get back and forth to work, yadayadayada. It's a vicious cycle, and gives true meaning to the phrase "enjoy the journey" because, well. Maybe this really IS all there is! It now makes me physically uncomfortable to see some big honkin' SUV or truck guzzling up the precious liquid that is making somebody rich.

Yesterday somebody said the dreaded "R" word. Recession. As in we are "headed for one". I don't know about y'all, but I feel like I've been right smack in the middle of recessionville for several years now. If this is just the beginning of it, I'm in serious trouble. Anybody wanna be my roommate? I'm taking apps right now as long as you have a job to pay your half.

Enough rant....it serves no purpose and makes me feel hopeless, which is certainly not my nature. I guess I need to go read Hoss's daily piece so I can snort beer out my nose.
I see you, yes you. Easing ever so slowly thru the mid-section and tantalizing me with heated breaths that come in urgent puffs. I have never wanted anything so very badly in my life, yet you creep along at your own pace enjoying my anticipation and relishing the extent of my desire. The sweat rolls off of my face as I wonder with bated breath when you will reach me and bring some relief to my longing. Oh yes, yes YES!!!!!
Come to mama, darlin'........
I was a lifeguard for 50 cent per hour, back in the day. My job consisted of working on my tan while I watched idiot kids do stupid things in the water and keep them from drowning their dumb asses. I was expertly cross-trained to flip burgers and make change for candy and generally be a baby-sitter for kids of "members".

It didn't matter to the management that I didn't have anything past Advanced Swimmer in Red Cross lessons...hell I was afraid to even jump off the board to the instructor treading water below me. I just never trusted 'em to catch me. Ya know?

I suppose that's the whole point of learning to swim. When you get dumped into the cold water or actually find the courage to jump, you damn well better know how to get back up to the surface and get some O2. I was entrusted with lives when I had never even officially learned the correct lifesaving moves to keep them safe. I was just a kid myself. If one of them had grabbed ahold of my neck in panic , we'd have both gone under.

Lifeguarding is a vocation forever. Sometimes you see someone thrashing in the water, gasping for breath and you think you're ten feet tall and bulletproof. Gonna be a hero and save the day. Truth time comes when you feel that it's you or them going down for the third time, and you choose yourself. What good is a dead lifeguard?

It's a delicate balance, this thing of saving souls and lives. Sometimes love and courage simply aren't enough to save the day, without grace. Prevenient grace, like what I've been blessed with. Nobody has ever intentionally hurt me, to my knowledge. If they did, I write it off to personal pain and unresolved issues of their own. Painful stuff has happened with me as a witness and a player in the game of life, and I count myself fortunate to have been there, tears and all.

Gratitude. It's the end result of eons of whining and pity parties and self flagellation. It begins with anger and ends with a whimper and an outstretched hand, reaching toward another who wants to experience the joy and peace of self-responsibility.

I chatted with a co-worker today about being "emotionally abandoned" in our younger years. In reality, my parents gave me the very best of what they had been given and it turned out much better for all of us in the next generation, with a lifetime in paradise as a bonus.

I'm sure that my daughter has felt emotionally abandoned in her lifetime. But I know that I did my best, and she's on homeplate now. Faith 1-Babygirl1. Tie game.

Batter up.
"......is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." Dinah Maria Mulock Craik , 1859

During my attic ramblings I ran across the above passage, scribbled in long hand by myself who knows how long ago. The only reference I had noted was that it was from "Best Loved Poems of the American People", published in 1936. A bit of googling found the original author who was Ms. Craik. The words are actually excerpted from a novel that she wrote in 1859 titled "A Life for a Life."

How true her definition of friendship rings with me! A true friendship is worth more than most any relationship I can think of...your relatives HAVE to love you but a friend chooses to. Friendships start in unusual ways sometimes, and prove themselves with the test of time. One pair of friends in particular comes to mind.

He and she were both in bad marriages when they met, but their love and devotion for each other became evident fairly quickly. He moved out first, and went through a bitter divorce. About the time that she was preparing to leave her marriage, her father became gravely ill so she was forced to stay awhile longer. When her father died, her husband was the one who stood with her at the graveyard, rather than the love of her life. He and I went to the cemetary together, and he pretended to be with me so that her husband wouldn't become suspicious. I have never in my life seen a man more miserable than he was that day, not being able to be with her and console her when she needed him most.

Both of their divorces are ancient history now, and they both stuck to me like glue through my own. His father has died in the meantime, and she stood by his side the whole way. The day that he died, I would not normally have been at the hospital. Due to a scheduling change, I walked into work right at the moment when he needed a friend most. I called her to get there as quickly as she could, and I stood at his father's bedside until she arrived. His mom got there first, and he had to take her in and tell her the news. Since then, they have grown in love and dedication to each other and settled into a comfortable life together. We don't see each other often, but our friendship is forever based on what we've been through together.

There have been good times too...don't get me wrong. But the true test of friendship comes when times are hard and loving is work. And for that gift, I am eternally grateful.
i found him
Noooooo....not Sugardaddy ;) I found the soldier on my bracelet James Herrick . It was like walking on a grave visiting his virtual spot on the Vietnam memorial wall and reading other remembrances. Perhaps he is one of the guardian angels who watches over me day by day?
sister angie
Meanwhile, the hunt for Sugardaddy has been called off and I will soon become known as Sister Elizabeth Jane. I will wait until the heat eases before I don my habit.
Speaking of religion,I left a little remembrance about revivals over at the Dew today. I haven't lost my religion YET, but I might before I get that formica off. Sure, I could replace the plywood countertops, but I'm operating on principle now. The dang stuff needs to come off. I'm bullheaded like that sometimes. Besides, I like the nice distressed look of the wood left by my pounding.

Faith is laying on the floor beside me in front of the box fan, dreaming happy puppy dreams with her ears flappin' in the breeze. Butterbean has the couch nailed down, and I have another day off tomorrow. Life doesn't get much better in the midst of dog days!

Smile y'all. It makes everybody wonder what you've been up to.
blogger is hungry
That's okay that my post got eaten :) It was mostly fluff anyways, except for the part where I said this woman deserves to be heard.

And the other part, where I said "I need a vacation."
a woman's perogative
The kitten's name has changed again. She is now known as Princess Cali which suits her much better than Hope. Check back tomorrow and she might be Stripey Sue. Who the heck knows around here.

All I can really speak about with any authority is the current temperature which is H.O.T. Even the kudzu is drooping. The rest of it is just dead as a doornail. Speaking of which, check out my friend Zubrovka's cemetary pics. He's a mighty fine photographer, even if the subject matter is a bit less than jovial ;)

There are mysteries galore around the b**g world. Has Mike moved and left no forwarding address? *gasp* Will FTS survive multiple (nasty) spider bites to live his dream? What will Romani's kudzu monkey be named?

It's all in a day's reading, I say. As my old buddy Hoss would say..." Tune in tomorrow to see who makes their pile."
Photo   4

Y'all don't forget to whistle while U work. It makes somebody happy when you do.
Dog Days
The angles of the shadows have become distinctly late summer, subtly softened during the early morning and evening hours. It is the beginning of the end of this growing season. Cottonwood leaves are the first to begin the change, and their show is not very exciting. Green to yellow to dirty brown , then drop off in dusty piles in September.
The hounds roll around on the cool spots of the yard, stirring up dust with every lethargic movement. I have given up the ghost on the watering, except for the azalea bushes that always come through for me if I show them unconditional love during the drought.

It is an in-between time, much like November and February. If the old wives tale about “fogs in August=snows this winter” is true, it should be a doozy because we’re eight for eight already. I’ll call y’all to come and pull me out of the kudzu covered hill when I slide into the ditch on my way to work. No excuses like being halfway across the country or anything. I’ll make hot chocolate and it’ll be lovely.

I try very hard not to wish my life away or look too far into the future. After all, you never know which day is your last. If this turns out to be my last one, then I have no regrets. Except for spending a lot of it in meetings ;) Typical Monday.

But then there was the validation of doing a job well and helping to save a life. And the sound of quiet on my front porch swing with the sunset in front of me and the breeze stirring around me. There was the radiant smile of my beautiful five year old friend Raylyn, across the table at me, during meeting #2. She starts kindergarten tomorrow and is going to Six Flags for her very first vacation ever this weekend for her birthday. In my next life, I want to be five forever and have her spirit!

Yes, indeed, my life is blessed. I will leave you with one big question that is burning a hole in my soul right this moment…………

Is there any easier way to get d#*%!m hundred year old glued on formica off of a counter top than with a hammer and putty knife, popping it off in little pieces????????????

I am seriously about to lose my religion over this one. Where is Nate when I need a handyman?

Oh, and by the way YES Hossie..I did learn to play the piano, though not very well. My masterpiece was the "Theme from Exodus". My family never lets me live it down!
treasure hunt
Yep...I'm still alive ;) In odd twist of serendipity, Babygirl decided this was the weekend to go through the attic. When the temp is 90+. I didn't last very long, but she and b'friend went at it like fiends. They pulled stuff out and asked me questions about pictures and knick knacks and what nots. We marveled over what we found tucked away in the upper level of heat.

We are pack rats, and we come by it honest. I spent a couple of days last fall pitching gift boxes out the attic window to burn...about 15 years worth. Now at least you can walk up there, and we use bags for wrapping. We broke open the footlocker that I took to college with me in 1976 and it came down to the living room to become my coffee table. All of her dolls and toys were there, along with every single handmade anything that she ever crafted as a child. Some were gnawed around the edges by mice, while others remained as if freshly created by a 5 year old.

She was enthralled by the collection of old stuff that has been handed down to me through the generations..pieces of this and that with history that I can relate to her. Mostly it was an easy yet intense period of (re)discovery for both of us. The only tears came when, while going through her baby clothes, she found a tiny T-shirt that says "Daddy's girl" on the front. He is lost to her now, and she struggles with that now and again. So do I.

We pulled out the dress she came home from the hospital in, a blue calico print so tiny that I can hardly believe her seven pound self ever wore it. There was a Teddy Ruxpin and Popples and several Barbies. A Strawberry Shortcake thermos and some Madame Alexander dolls. The things that mean the most to me, like her Peter Rabbit cup and saucer and bowl are sitting around the house as part of the current decor. Some day they will be passed to her own child.

My history was there as well, preserved carefully by my mother and stored away. I have a stack of newspapers to sift through and remember...one date July 21, 1969 with the headline: "We Made It! We're on the MOON." There is a December 1963 edition of the Saturday Evening Post with Norman Rockwell's rendition of JFK on the cover. I found a couple of volumes of Rod McKuen's poetry and letters from high school boyfriends and my own dolls from my babygirl days.

I love this letter written by my grandmother to my uncle on the day I was born, and also his reply. I was the first grandchild on that side of the family so I was Ms. Thang for a while.
letter from gaga

Does anybody remember the POW-MIA metal bracelets we wore in the early 70's? Each one had the name of a Vietnam soldier missing in action or being held prisoner of war. I wore that thing religiously every day for months with this name and date of disappearance: LT. James Herrick Jr., 10/27/69. I wonder if he made it out of the jungle alive. That could explain a little about my devotion to non-violence.

What's in your attic?
*sigh* It's true. A hardworking girl owes everybody and their brother. Here's the short list:

The propane guy...God love him for delivering on Christmas Eve
The ex-dentist with the spoiled rotten kids
Dell Financial Services (aka sharks)
A couple of opportunistic credit card companies

That's about it for the debtors. Here are the in kind contributors who made it all possible for Poopie to live wild and free:

K and Ms.Ann and Claudia who financed my divorce
My brother Bubba, bless his heart
Santa Claus,who caught my rent up
The pharmacists who let me slide so I can afford the co-pays on my meds
One very funny eagle scout who stays in touch consistently
Dr.and Mrs. Kent who never turn BabyGirl away when she's sick
The grocer who never says no

I have a job...have for a very long time. One with benefits like health insurance that I pay dearly for and such. At the age where many are making retirement plans and enjoying security, I have no retirement $$ and no partner to share the load with. It's just me and the critters for now.

I suppose when I balance the assets and debts, I'm a little bit ahead of the average joe. Nobody ever said it would be easy. I always keep the faith anyway.

friday cat blogging
on guard
Bernie peers over the edge of the porch lookin' for the new kitten. Her name ended up being Hope! Thanks for all your suggestions.
okay, i'm over it
I wore my Sponge Bob scrubs today, and that always lifts my spirits and gets me out of the rant zone. Below you will find old Bob jumping up and down on my chest. That's the closest you'll ever find Poopie to HNT unless it's in real life.
Yesterday when I stopped at the store on the way to work, there was a big old black hearse pulled up to the gas pump. The driver got out, all decked out with a tie and everything and I halfway expected him to tell me to get in the back. Instead, he asked for directions to a local street with a familiar name and I shoulda known it. I had NO idea where it was...told dude to go in and ask the store manager. Go figure. The homegirl had an attack of sometimer's.

Happens to the best of us when we've slept since then.
chilling moment
This morning I just happened to be reading Drudge Report when a link caught my eye about a journalist being murdered in Iraq. I followed the link to read his op-ed piece in the NYTimes July 31st edition, and from there followed the link to his blog. That journalist was this man . He is dead, most likely because of what he wrote. He had recently reported that the Iraqi police force is infiltrated with extremists, among other topics including the power shortage in the country. He reportedly traveled without security the majority of the time.

The last blog entry informs readers about the New York Times piece and is dated August 1st. I don't know why, exactly, but this stopped me in my tracks. Perhaps it was reading the last words of someone who didn't know they were about to die a violent death. Maybe it is because I shiver every time I see the numbers climb of service men and women killed in action there, with no end to the slaughter in sight.

I reflected, not for the first time, about how change occurs within a country that is in "civil war". Change will only occur successfully when the citizens of the country themselves desire a change. It cannot be forced or man-handled unless the people living there are united in a common cause. This is not the case in Iraq. Far from it.

If we can be honest about ourselves about our motives in being there, which are mainly financial in nature, then we are at least beginning to see things clearly. This is not a humanitarian mission to save a bunch of poor souls from an evil dictator. The evil dictator is long gone, yet the violence continues to escalate because HE WAS NOT the enemy. The enemy is Islamic extremism, which is continually breeding and multiplying in the area as a result of our presence. There is no Hitler of Mussolini or other evil one who has all the power. It is insidious and undefined and bred into an entire generation of believers.

I ask you, if the world's oil supply did not sit largely in the Persian Gulf, would we have a dog in that fight? Probably not. I have other questions as well.

What are we doing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?

What alternatives to oil are being pursued? ( ethanol, for example )

Do Americans really believe that what is happening in Iraq is a productive solution to the horror that we experienced on 9/11/2001? Before too long, the death toll in Iraq will surpass the toll of that day. More dead Americans, not to mention the Iraqis who have lost their lives by gettin' with the program that we represent.

I am sad, for many reasons, most of all that the powers that be in OUR country seem to not hear our voices any more clearly than those in the other countries that we seek to protect. Would it not be wiser to take care of our own for a change?

I say very little about this, because I don't want to be construed as being un-patriotic or un-appreciative of what our American troops are sacrificing. I simply want it to stop. Now.
same song second verse
An automated reply to my smartass comeback to the Senator/dr's brush-off to my concerns about Terri Schiavo's rights.
frist letter 2
I give. It ain't about what I think,obviously.

ADDITION: The first letter I received from said idiot is posted here . How interesting to compare the two.
it's all relative
I always wished that I had a sister. Brothers are okay and all….mine have been there through the toughest of times with me, and the younger years were MIGHTY tough. They tormented me beyond belief as little boys will do when bored out of their skulls in the country. They are 3 and 6 years younger than me, respectively. Sucked to be me at age 13. I’m just sayin’.

My girl cousins became my sisters over those years of non-negotiable family time. Holidays were where we strutted our girl stuff. The closest of these to me were Deb and Mo, and they still are. We’ve all been married and divorced and lost and married and….well, you get the picture. The bonds have survived the funeral homes and the doling out of the heirlooms. Sandy and Ninky were girls there with us, though a bit younger.
me and deb
I remember a particularly hilarious time when Deb and I ganged up on the younger generation of Mo and Tom to make them our playthings. It was New Year’s Day at Gaga’s house and we felt compelled to entertain the masses. The lil’ kids were too little to object, much. Sooooo…..we put an oversized diaper on T to make him the “New Year’s Baby” and a Dixie cup on Mo’s head to make her the princess. Princess of what, I’m not exactly sure, but she needed a part. Boy did she play it well!!

Each family member plays a role in the drama that is kinship and heritage,often times not by DNA but via shared experiences and a choice to love and remain connected. I consider myself fortunate to have the memories. I’ll do my best to keep them alive.

Gotta run! One of the cats got locked in the attic when I went looking for Dixie cup pictures ;)
Don't tell a soul. My boss, who is one month and 7 days OLDER than me, turns 50 tomorrow and I'm making the cake right now. Shush. I told you not to tell ;) Should I be nice and make it all pretty or put some kind of trick candles or a rubber snake on it?

Here is a picture of us and some other girls actin' the fool when we were half the age we are now. Doesn't seem like we should be half a century old. Hmm...how did that happen? Anyhow, she's older than me and I so respect my elders.
chubby cartoon
That's her in the middle and me perched up on the back. Don't ask what we were doing...Let's just say it involved lots of wine and Chubby from the Little Rascals.

Happy birthday Freda Lynn! And I know, payback is heck.

Check out my piece on my favorite bar over at Dew on the Kudzu . It'll make you wanna cry in your beer.
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