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friday's critter
born actress

Princess of quite a lot

window dressing 2
one of those days
...that you wish you could frame and keep with you forever. That's how beautiful things were weather wise in my neck of the woods. The sticky thunder and lightning that put me to sleep late last night turned into a humidity-free breezy Thursday that began at 4:30am and only got better as the hours progressed. Even though I stayed up too late and yawned all day, I couldn't wait to hit the road when I got off. The dogs scampered off ahead of me and explored this and that while I took it all in. The sky was a clean and clear blue framing the rich green of the trees and the abundant goldenrod and morning glory. There was a nice breeze...a cool one from the northwest brought plenty of sneezes during the day but felt like a big hug held for a long time after the heat we've endured. I was so looking every which way that I almost walked into the ditch a few times. The trek down the hill is effortless, almost like gliding or skating. Mimosa trees to the right across the lane from the barn are missing their frilly pink poofs these days, but that's okay. The pecan trees are loaded. Their limbs are scattered everywhere thanks to Dennis and Katrina and Rita. Some evening very soon we will gather them up and celebrate the season with an all night bonfire.

This is the view after topping the hill on the way back up. the walk I have walked this path a thousand times before, and the beauty of this welcome home never ceases to make me say "thank you Lord...I am blessed." The upcoming sunset looks kickass. Gotta go catch it in all its' glory from the porch. Later on me and Butterbean will turn in early and snuggle. Four thirty comes mighty early for an old gal.
after the fall
The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they keep moving for the faithful. I find absolutely no delight in the fact that Frist and DeLay have been caught redhanded with their paws in the cookie jar. I say flush the rest of 'em out and let's get on with the future of our great nation.

The latest news reports say that umm..well. That "skirmish" over in Iraq is nowhere near a nice tidy conclusion. Poops will spare you the body count and simply quote one of my favorite wise people: "Cut your losses and git her done. Take care of your own. Remember who you are. Keep the faith."

Yesterday's picture du jour was created by none other than Babygirl. It now sits on the piano in a frame as a testament to her talent and our life here on the farm. Helluva view. Wish you were here.
woods 1
what's a b**g?
Back in the day when I was Yahoo ho, my friend JL told me I should b**g when I talked about wanting to be a writer. I had never heard of such a word, but it sounded dirty ;) That was enough to pique my interest when my sister-in-law showed me the way to share my thoughts. One of my very first stories was a hilarious tale about meeting the law at the door in my underwear. After sharing that virgin post with a few friends and my MOTHER, I was soundly chastised for telling all to the world where IP addresses can be tracked effortlessly, even though the content might be purely fictional and I'm probably not a threat to homeland security. More likely, internet pieces are a form of entertainment and a clearinghouse for aspiring artists and honest folk. You know..the ones who love their grandkids and friends and chocolate and such. They're the same ones who can leap tall buildings and cry crocodile tears over our losses and triumphs. They are us.
lauren's farm in pastels
A b**g is a place to go when you want to whine,rant,cry,laugh or just share your day and your feelings. A forum for free expression where, thank God, there are no enforcers other than the occasional brain fart on a server or provider when you need to get YOUR message out. To whom?

For me it is the ones who faithfully read my words and live their lives a bit differently because they heard what I said. They nod, and share our world with their significant others. We pat each other on the back and remember birthdays and holidays. When one of us disappears for awhile, there is a welcoming party waiting at re-entry.

Are they real? You betcha. Even the 13 year olds typing out their angst about you- know-who is sooooooooo cute and doesn't give them the time of day. Pardon me while I pare down the blogroll to the ones who care about me. That should cut about 40 off the list.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
man slave
Nobody but another struggling single gal can tell you the feeling of joy that overwhelms one when a guy says to you: "I'm yours for the day. What do you want done?" Such was my good fortune on my day off today when Babygirl's b'friend offered his services. We moved boxes to the attic and moldy furniture to the dump. He and LP put the screen back on her bedroom window. I no longer have a dead dishwasher sittin' in the yard.( No fear though, Idgie I'm still a redneck ;) We accomplished so much that I feel like dancing!
Here you see his Eagle Scout self exploring the farm on a 4-wheeler with Faith. That dawg ADORES her daddy.

This is the guy I told you about who had all the fixings in the back of his truck to rescue his own self when the telephone pole rolled over on him. What a guy! Can you tell I'm low maintenance by how grateful I am for the little things?????

Speaking of Faith, the poor girl is having her bi-yearly period. Here you see her on Midol being pampered by all of us. That teddy bear WAS her baby until she and Butterbean fought over it and pulled the stuffing right out. She doesn't much go for the diaper thing so I reckon we'll be cleaning up blood spots for a couple of weeks.

It's okay. I think we'll keep her. ^j^
because i got high
My apologies to Afroman ;) I just had to use that title to describe my ride up-up- UP in a bucket truck with a hydraulic lift. Think telephone and utility worker folks that you drive by every single day doing their thing high above the ratrace. I had a chance to see how one of those things works,up close and personal. The controls are inside the bucket and the boom can be extended as you rise up and down and swivel around. I remember, as a kid, daydreaming about being a bird and making my home in a treetop somewhere. This was the closest I've ever been to that dream. Awesome...and made much more so by the fact that I was in control with the switches at my fingertips. Reminded me of a carnival ride at my own delicate speed.

I'm not usually one to love being scared to death. I hate roller coasters, but I love whitewater rafting. While I have a healthy respect for the perils of Mother Nature, nothing is more enjoyable to me than a good old fashioned thunderstorm. The couple of times that I've flown were fun, even considering the no doors on the helicopter thing. Poops has always had the tendency to shy away from adventure because of that old demon called control, which is rooted in fear which is ...well. You know. Scary.

So much of one's life is spent playing by the rules and being politically correct and standing for nothing but being on the safe side or in the majority. That's the one good thing I can say about being middle aged. They can kill me, but they haven't eaten me yet! The faithful part of me says that there must be something I've been put here to do that I haven't accomplished thus far. Could it be learning to trust again?
silos 1
My afternoon brought the unexpected pleasure of some relaxed nature time with a good friend. Though the humidity was high, skies were overcast and brisk winds ahead of Rita cooled things off. It has been unseasonably hot here lately with highs in the mid 90's, which seems oddly out of place against a backdrop of defoliated cotton fields and nut laden trees. Our walk took us down the lane that is my private driveway with cotton fields on both sides and hundred year old pecan trees touching hands over our ramble. I know the size and shape of the nut on every different tree along that route. At the top of the hill the dairy barn that "was" serves as a storage place for hay to feed the cattle this winter. How convenient that the hay field is just on the other side of the lane from the barn! The silos stand empty, a tribute to their once important purpose when the farm was young and they were a necessary part of the self contained agricultural operation known as Ferguson Farm.
silos 2
Soon the Virginia creeper will take on a crimson hue. The elms show signs of gold here and there. Goldenrod is everywhere. Dogwoods are hinting at burgandy. Hummingbirds search for feeders that were taken in and cleaned weeks ago. Crows make racket over the bounty that is theirs.

The trek back up the hill (always harder) took us over the ditch and through the remains of a corn field strewn with free squirrel food to stuff into our pockets. More cotton. Some wild roadside asparagus that has survived the ages since it was a cash crop. We sat in the swing on the front porch listening to the leaves rustle on the redbud tree behind us. It was then that I realized that the story of this place must be recorded by someone before it's too late. And that someone must be me.

That is my goal now. Having lived many of my years in a place that most folks can only dream about as a getaway from "real life", I feel called to tell the story in such a way that future generations might appreciate what was and hopefully can always be. I have the info, thanks to my historian Dad. Now all I have to do is 'git her done.

Goals are good. My oldest friend Kay, the ultimate funeral director, is so organized that she always has the cornbread for her Thanksgiving dressing cooked by Halloween. She sent me an e-mail today to let my un-organized self know that it was in the oven. Heh. Joke's on her. Mine's already in the freezer ;)
hurricane poopie
Ain't it just like a woman to be so unpredictable? Jim Cantore standing there in Houston with 40 mph winds looking disappointed. Hmm. Just goes to show you that nobody can predict what the weather will do.

Rita seems to be a typical gal, picking up speed and backin' off to re-enforce the lessons learned via Katrina. I'm smiling just thinking about all those who've picked up and taken off for a few days. If I could afford the gas, I would too.

It makes me think. About how prepared we are to care for each other. The ARCthrives on that spirit of reaching out and touching others which we all embrace. It's a huge organization, not unlike the federal government, with high salaried executives at the helm. Local citizens serve on the boards of directors and get their pictures in the hometown paper handing over big checks to smiling reps.

In the wake of the WTC bombings, the ARC collected tens of thousands of units of blood knowing that most of them would go to waste 42 days later. Someone didn't tell the whole story. This organization does a much better job of serving people regionally. Less red tape, so to speak. The one that I work closely with weathered that storm by giving this reply: "Come back when the crisis is over. There is always a need for blood donors, 24/7/365 days per year."

That's a hard concept for many. God bless the ones who get it.
friday spider blogging
it's hard being butterbean
I mean,really. Imagine the pressure of being this charming all the time.
retardo-dog Kinda like being Oprah or Dubya or Hillary, I would think. Damn paparazzi.

I celebrated Babygirl's 21st birthday by having the annual "oil change and lube" that women do. Around 8:30 I was gettin' my boobs squished in radiology. There was a short break for breakfast then on to the Pap smear. I figure it's best to get all the deeds done in one day when doing preventive maintenance. Now we must be computer literate to visit the doctor, you know. I spent 15 minutes in the "computer room" doing my history concerning surgeries, allergies, sex and the lack thereof. Dr. J asked if I exercised, like on a treadmill. I silently wondered if mowin' an acre with a pushmower in 95 degree heat qualifies as exercise. That all important HDL came up, as mine is quite low. According to "them", the only thing that will raise it is exercise and alcohol. He suggested running from bar to bar.

My old friend Deb in Spring, TX sent me a message late last night that she and hub are heading for high ground around Austin. A local minister wrote a letter to the editor here about how all these hurricanes are Big Ernie's wrath on us for being such sinners. Personally, I think it's Big OIL telling us to downsize the gas guzzlers and float a few more rivers. Subliminal, of course. You know who wouldn't have it any other way :)
Twenty one years ago tonight, I was (thankfully) not timing the contractions during the second of my third day of labor to deliver one ornery little shit named Lauren Elizabeth. Two days worth of irregular contractions at home, and still no kid to show for it but I had a few pain free hours.

On the next morning, a Saturday, I said to hell with it and went to the hospital up the street where I worked in the lab. It was time for the show to get on the road, so to speak. From 10AM until 10:04PM on September 22nd I labored to birth that child. My epidural worked so good I couldn't feel my legs until the next day. Meanwhile, out in the waiting room, there was a pizza party going on. My co-worker Linda Mc didn't tarry very long when she came in to draw my blood. Poopsie wasn't in good humor at all. The doc stuck with me the whole way.....never left the place. The way she put it to me, straight up, was like this: "You can push for 30 more minutes or I can use these forceps and git her done." Guess what I picked? Strong women know when to say when.
monster for sale
The little monster finally got born and we survived to enjoy the mother daughter thing, Girl Scouts and all.

I could tell some tales on her birthday eve, but I won't. Instead, I'll just tell you how much I love this young woman and respect who she is. A softie with a big heart for the elderly and animals and her mom and her dad. Ditto for the other loves of her life, which includes her doting grandparents, her b'friend, three cats and two dogs and a brazilian friends. Great cook. Internet guru. Mighty fine artist.

Max was the first to call her LP, and it stuck through the ages. Here's to you, Babygirl. My birthday wish for you is for passion in whatever you do and peace to go along with it. Mom loves you to pieces. ^j^
the heart of the matter
Listening to Don Henley sing just a bit ago about forgiveness, I found myself in awe of the way that artists can touch our souls at just the right time in the sweet spot. A turn of the word of a click of the lens..notes put together with lyrics that speak directly to someone's heart. Each of us has a gift, given by God, that can be grown into something beautiful if we only have faith.

I caught myself thinking about my failures. Normally I don't dwell on that kind of thing, but hey..I'm weary. Most of my life has been spent giving and reaching out. That can leave a girl all used up if she's not careful. The decisions that I've made concerning my life might seem trivial to some, but to me they were major and well thought out. At one time, running away was the most attractive option around. Several years ago I got on the "get the hell outta here" bandwagon and searched far and wide for a new job in a new place where nobody knew my name. There were offers. Many of them consisted of more of the same corporate madness in a different locale. A few were about big money on the run. Nothing grabbed me where it counts enough to leave paradise and my family. My heart will always be here on the farm where I've spent the majority of my life and raised my child.
Failure is relative, just like success. The guilt and sadness over a busted up marriage morphed into a steely resolve to hold out for what I deserve. I have made peace with my weaknesses and learned to embrace them as part of who I am. It's much easier to say "when" after you learn that life is short and then you die. Arms not held out for a hug and honesty not shared in all its' ugly snot slinging glory are fear in action. I'll never be guilty of that. Even if...even if.
sunday stuff
broke it
Does anybody have a pair of goats for sale cheap? I've decided that's the only way to keep this yard mowed since I can't manage to make one complete round without breaking the riding mower. Oh sure, I can push. But I prefer not to, ya know?

Some of you are already acquainted with the work of the lovely Tamara at Cybervassals . She re-designed my site for me after I won a contest she was running. Well guess what??? She's got another one going, and the competition is fierce. She gave away one to the 500th commenter, persistent TED and has promised the same for commenter number 1000. Free=good...right? Go and see for yourself.

It's almost pecan season around here, and the crop looks good. My lane is lined with pecan trees on both sides and I am a fool for pickin' em up. I guess it goes back to a childhood fondness for Easter egg hunts or some such nonsense. I don't bother with the small wild ones, but the larger thin shelled ones get scooped up and taken to Pennington's for cracking. My favorite thing to do with them is to roast 'em in the oven. Here's the recipe.

4 cups pecan halves
1 stick butter
2T A1 sauce
2T Country Bob's sauce

Melt the butter and add the sauces to it. Mix in the pecans until they're all coated well. Pour onto a large baking sheet and bake at 325 for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Salt liberally before and during baking. Spread on paper towels to drain, and salt again.

I've had men ask me to marry them for making these things..unfortunately they all already had wives ;)

Duh huh! Y'all be careful out there. Tomorrow's Monday, ya know.
crossing over
The main road leading to the lane where I live crosses over a busy four lane US highway. There is a little turnaround in the middle, two lanes on each side of it running north and south. It's the sort of deal where you have to size up all four lanes before making a dart across the first two lanes to the island in the middle. The safest thing to do would be just to wait until there's no traffic coming either way and make a run across all four lanes, but that usually isn't possible. Traffic is usually flowing at least 60 or 65 mph and there are no lights for miles in either direction.
My mother, bless her heart, has totalled TWO cars there by pulling into oncoming traffic. Miraculously she wasn't hurt either time except for bumps and bruises from the airbag deployment. Babygirl wasn't so lucky.

When she was learning to drive I about lost my nerve as co-pilot everytime we pulled up to this particular spot. In the early days she simply waited for a clear shot. Later on she got braver and would jump the first two lanes, land in the middle abruptly and then floor it to make it across the other two. One day during the spring of her senior year, she was carless and caught a ride home with a friend who hadn't been out this way very often. I was doing my Wednesday routine at the Cancer Center, which is always an adrenaline filled day of endurance. Lovingly dubbed "the chemo factory" by us workers, it is an offsite clinic for patients to receive treatments locally instead of travelling to a city 80 miles away...not unusual to see 70 patients in a day.

I answered a line that was lit up for me, and the voice on the other end was hysterical. It was BabyGirl's friend Les and I could barely make out what she was saying. All I could make out were the words "wreck" and "hurt" between her sobs. I finally got it out of her where they were and I was off in a shot. When I arrived I couldn't find Lauren anywhere and Les and the driver were wandering around like idiots wailing and such. Frantically, I searched the area around looking for my daughter, and found her already loaded up in the back of an ambulance with a neck brace and collar on, her body covered with blood. The paramedics reassured me that she was okay, but would need stitches and some x-rays of her head. Everything looked so dramatic that Les decided she probably needed to be transported TOO ;)

It all ended well, in spite of Lauren's many stiches in her scalp and her goofy concussion like behavior for several days. Turns out the driver, unfamiliar with the danger of the crossover, had just run across all four lanes and never looked for oncoming traffic. The car was T-boned right behind the back seat where Lauren was sitting. She did NOT have on a seat belt ( yeah, duh..i know ) and the impact threw her all over that backseat. This was the second car that THIS young driver had totalled, but her sweet mother was only worried about the welfare of my child, one of her favorite kids.

That was only one of the many hair raising adventures I had raising just ONE teenager. I feel sorry for y'all with more than one!! I'll share some more joy later on in another post...involving the law and such. Yowza.
good lookin' man
I got the scent of one as a gift from a dear friend. It smells like heaven, whenever I light the wick. I did exactly that before I crawled into the bubble bath. Sucks to be me, huh ;)

I've read and heard a lot about homelessness and displacement during the past week or so. I can't say that I know the feeling, really. The best years of my life have been spent on a farm that I don't own and could not ever afford on my salary. My time here has been a serendipitous gift. Forty nine years in paradise isn't something to be taken for granted. With that kind of background, I can go anywhere the Big Guy tells me to go with no regrets. september evening
The oddest thing happened on my birthday last week. My old buddy Mary Elizabeth turned up, pregnant as a goose with chittlin #3, for a glucose tolerance. Seems her beautiful self has gestational diabetes and Katrina left her unable to return to her former life in 'Nawlins. Her hub stayed until the hospitals closed and his gig was up, then he followed her and the kiddos north. Small world, huh?

I have a long way to go on the home improvement myself. There is very little carpet left but some nice hardwood waiting to be refinished. Two rooms worth of walls are kinda sorta stripped and spackled begging for some paint. And in the midst of all that, boxes sit here and there full of memories, treasures and somebody's EBay dream. I reckon we ain't sure if we're coming or going,like everybody else these days. That's what chaos does to the comfort zone. It shakes us up in a way that makes us get real in an up close and personal fashion.

It helps us to keep the faith. ^j^
ahh...the fifties
Coming around my way this weekend. Can you hear me breathing easier and picture Poopsie working on her platform out on the porch? I thought so. My hero du jour was Jeremy who came out and replaced the fan motor on the central unit very quickly. He gets cookies.
autumn clematis
My Mom and Daddy gave me this autumn clematis for my birthday several years ago. The propane guys plowed it down to a nub last winter when they changed my tank out, yet it came back full force. That's what I love about nature. Plant a seed...do the pruning and expect miracles. Ain't life grand?
poopie for president
One of my favorite characters on SNL was Garrett Morris doing the news for the hearing impaired. While googling it, I found a couple of links to hypersensitive folks who took offense to his comedy. Which reminds me of Our Top Story Tonight

LIGHTEN UP AMERICA! If you honestly believe that it's all about you, you're missing the other 9/10 of earth's population and their perspective on things. Global is a real hip term these days, right up there alongside territorial and patriotism.

EVERYBODY'S HUMAN. Well, all but the one Guy. He did a big bloody sacrificial thing so that the rest of us schmucks would not have to spend our lives worrying about not being perfect. He honestly doesn't care about the commandments in the courthouse or the prayers at football games...Scout's honor. His priorities tend towards serving the least of these and having a mad fit when the tax collectors get rich at our expense.

CALL YOUR MOTHER. Alas, I am remiss. It seems that I think she will always be there when I have a question about who's kin to who or what amount of this goes into that recipe. Same for daddies and all their wisdom. What are we thinking??

QUIT YER BITCHIN'. For every yelp you let out concerning your agenda, there is a cosmic force that multiplies the counter-yelp about why you are wrong and they are right, bless their hearts. Save all that energy for action when the playground bully hits your best buddy in the nuts. That's what known as "kick ass time".


I am all about fixing up the inefficiency around here, so I refer you to Paul for further instruction on downsizing child slavery in the sales market and thus increasing times a bazillion your quality time with your kid. His proposal also makes you really popular with co-workers and relatives who want to write one big check and say AMEN.

That's enough campaign rhetoric for one day. Election day is three years away. Who knows where we'll be by then?

Keepin' the faith, most likely. ^j^

I am normally a rational thinker...the calm in everybody's storm, including my own. There is a part of me that wants to say to hell with that and believe in magical powers and dreams come true. So, I read my horoscope like I used to read Cinderella. Today was to be the best of the best! Ten out of ten in Love, Work AND Communication. My rising sign lied to me. Go figure that one. I mean gah, Mercury ain't even retrograde or anything. You're fired Virgo ;) Poops needs some glass slipper kinda action. It could be a boot or tennis shoe, mind you. But it needs to be about me.

Does that sound selfish? I suppose it does to some people. Relationships were the topic over at Staircase 365 today, and that kind of math sounds good to me. There have been a few relationships in my life, non-romantic ones, where her 80/20 rule was a two way street. Friends, family and co-workers. My life has been blessed with many people who have loved me and acted silly with me and made me smile and it was all a reciprocal deal. We have cried and talked about peaks and valleys and pain and joy. We have kept the faith together and demanded accountability and even understood the silent eye-rolls. I have never had this kind of relationship in the romantic sense. Ever.

What does that say about me, I wonder? Am I too picky? Surely I could have been hooked up a hundred times by now if only I were just looking for something to fill up that gaping hole in my soul. That's not the case, though. I did that for awhile, and it was quite hollow. Personally, I'd rather be watching Oprah in my jammies or mowin'the yard than playing games with men who get an ego boost from my attention. Being a meet-you-half-way kinda gal, I tend to back off when my admiration is not returned mutually at the 50 yard line. Thrice bitten, very shy I suppose.

I believe in fate. I believe in miracles. And I believe in what my gut tells me even when the odds seem overwhelming. In other words, Poopsie keeps the faith that Prince Charming will drive up in that truck and take her away to the next chapter. Or perhaps meet her halfway down the October Road. ^j^
do you ever wonder.......
..how all the pieces fit together in the puzzle that is your life? I certainly do, particularly when the hard times roll and it seems like random nonsensical violence and hatred are the order of the day. "In my head" I have always believed that there is a reason for everything. Heck I've even been privileged enough to see why certain things happened or didn't happen in my life. The movie that I watched today gave me a much stronger heartfelt feeling to base those beliefs on. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is based on the novel by Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie. I was mesmerized from start to finish. Speechless. And moved beyond belief. I realize I'm the only person on earth who hasn't either read or seen it..what can I say! I'm woefully behind on doing things that are soul food just for me. Once again, I feel secure in the belief that there is a plan and all I have to do is show up and participate. I also found another favorite quote from the character "The Freak": " A stranger is just a friend that you haven't met yet."

It was Marathon Meeting Monday in my neck of the woods. Yada and yada and so forth. 'Sokay though...it keeps my feet off the concrete floors a bit longer until I can get some new tennies to keep on trucking. I'm still enjoying the afterglow of celebrating my birthday all weekend. Saturday night's party ended on a teary note when four year old guest Gabby fell and busted her head on a paint can in the kitchen, requiring her first ever stitches. She was very brave, according to her Mom. Hopefully next time she comes to visit the horses, we can have a blood free event!

Y'all keep the faith and pass the patience.
the front door
half a century

Humph..According to my buddy Phyllis "50 is the new 30". I prefer to look at it that way ;) I had a Cinderella kind of birthday where I was surprised and honored from sunup to sundown by friends and family showing their love. Two of my girlfriends really outdid themselves by totally surprising me with a party where we met for dinner. Old and dear friends gathered to usher me into the fifth decade. We had a blast, which was totally needed by this old gal. Thanks to everybody who wished me a Happy Birthday both online and off. You ALL rock.

then a hero comes along
Blogging for Books entry.

Anniebelle woke early to cloudy skies and a stiff wind. Her day always began with a prayer to her sweet Lord before she ever raised up to greet the morning. “Dear Lord…thank you for your bountiful goodness to me and mine. Please keep us safe through this day and show us Your will. Amen”. Focusing her eyes on the window of her bedroom, she became aware of the persistent pain that plagued her joints. Arthritis began to slow her down in her sixties and now, at 79, she was in such constant pain that she just learned to live with it. She could hear her granddaughter, DaLisa, moving around in the kitchen next door preparing breakfast.

“Lisa..honey!”, she cried out. “Help me into my chair so I can visit the toilet.” “Yes’m” was the reply from the kitchen. DaLisa had lived with her beloved grandmother ever since her Momma run off with some old crackhead musician years ago. She had never met her Daddy, but figured that was just as well. If she ever did see him, she’d give him a piece of her mind about abandoning her and her Momma. DaLisa moved the skillet full of bacon to a back burner, and went to help her Mamaw into the wheelchair. They were expecting a storm to hit sometime in the next day or two, and everybody was nervous. The entire parish was scrambling for supplies and shelter because Catalina looked to be one mean hurricane. Storms were a way of life for folks in southern Louisiana and their ramshackle shotgun house showed scars from past encounters.

After helping her Mamaw to the bathroom, DaLisa drew up the insulin that controlled Anniebelle’s diabetes. It was a daily ritual that they had learned together once the disease was properly diagnosed down at the Church Health Center. Some folks said that DaLisa should put Anniebelle in the home, so she could get proper care. “As long as I’m able, she ain’t going nowhere”, mused DaLisa to herself for the hundredth time. Her grandma had taken her in and raised her right….God fearing and humble…and she would stick with her until the end. They had just recently traveled to the North South Fellowship with other church members. Oh what a time they had! The annual event was held in Biloxi this time and the folks from Milwaukee and Detroit had been the ones to travel far away from home this year. They ate and sang and praised God until all two hundred of them were filled with the spirit of the Lord. As the chartered buses pulled away to take the visitors back up north, Anniebelle had thanked the Lord for the church and the fellowship that they enjoyed with other members from all over the country.

“Ouch!” Anniebelle shouted. She had never gotten used to the prick of her finger that drew blood to check her sugar on that little machine. The folks at the center had showed her and DaLisa how to do that and give the insulin. “One oh four” said DaLisa. “Lawd, thank you” said Anniebelle. Her sugar had been jumping around like a jackrabbit lately and this was mighty fine news. Next came the insulin shot, which was nothing compared to that finger prick. She was almost out of the drug, and would get some more when her check came in a few days. Anniebelle eased up onto her walker and made her way to the kitchen. Breakfast was bacon and homemade biscuits with some fried eggs. She had taught DaLisa to cook when she was just a little girl, and now the younger girl did most of the cooking for the two of them. DaLisa finished up the dishes quickly, and got her uniform on for work. Her job at the nursing home supplied just enough income for the two of them to get by coupled with Anniebelle’s social security. Anniebelle settled into her favorite chair to watch the weather on her tiny TV. “Girl. You be careful out there” she said to her babygirl. “This storm looks like it’s gonna be a bad one”. “I will Mamaw” DaLisa replied. “You know I’ve got a healthy respect for them”.

The wind was already blowing like crazy with Catalina just off the coast and the rain was moving in sheets, sideways. As DaLisa waited for her bus at the shelter, she worried that her Mamaw would be alone that day. Neighbors checked in now and then to make sure she hadn’t fallen, but for the most part Anniebelle spent her days reading the Bible and watching her stories on TV. The church had recently purchased a wheelchair for Anniebelle as her arthritis was making it increasingly difficult to get around on that walker. The bus pulled up to the shelter and DaLisa stepped onto the first step. Urgently, she stepped back down and headed home. Something told her that Mamaw didn’t need to weather this storm alone.

“Child! What are you doing back here?” Anniebelle exclaimed. “You know old Miz
Jones will be wondering where you are!”. DaLisa explained to her Mamaw that she was
concerned about the intensity of the storm and that she was going to stay with her that
day. “Okay, then. I’ll feel better with you here anyhow.” They passed the day playing
hearts and rummy and watching the hurricane ease closer to landfall on the news. By
nightfall it was obvious that Catalina was headed directly for them. The full wrath of the
storm hit during the night as they held onto each other and prayed. “We’ve done
been through this before” said Anniebelle. “The Lord will keep us safe.” Long about
mid-morning the power went out. DaLisa lit the candles that she had ready and they
begin to talk of the past as the wind and rain whipped their little house. “I sure do hope
your Momma’s okay, wherever she is” said Anniebelle. “I could care less Mamaw” said
DaLisa with hatred in her voice. “She ran off and left us on our own”. “Now baby, you
know what the Good Book says about that” Anniebelle crooned. Both the younger and
older woman still loved Bonita, even though it had been years since they’d heard
from her.

The wind died down but the rain continued. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
Who in the world would be out in this kind of weather, they wondered. It was that crazy
old cajun, Claude from down the street. “Miz Anniebelle! Dey say de levee she is
broke!” Claude stammered. “Oh sweet Jesus!” DaLisa exclaimed. She peeked
out the window, and sure enough water was beginning to creep over the streets and into
the yards. “Help me get Mamaw into her wheelchair, Claude” DaLisa instructed. “We
gotta get out of here now!” They gathered up some important papers in their
pocketbooks and by the time they got out to the street the water was already inches deep.
Claude and DaLisa both had hands on the wheelchair and pushed it willfully through the
middle of town. The main highway was not far away…just a few miles. If only they
could make it there, someone would help them.

They trudged along with water rising around their ankles, listening to Anniebelle’s
prayer. “Sweet Jesus, if it’s my time to go please hold my hand until I can see my
beloved Earl’s face once again.” Earl had died ten years ago, and she missed him
something fierce every day all day. Other townsfolks were joining them in their trek
now, as the rain beat against their faces and the wind gusted around them. After what
seemed like days, they finally arrived at the highway which was uphill a bit. Traffic was
lined up for miles as people ran from the rising water. An evacuation order had been sent
out by the Mayor, and it was fight or flight time.

Dennis and Lori were idling in traffic, carefully watching their gas gauge. They had
filled up prior to the storm in anticipation of a hasty departure. “Oh honey, look” Lori
cried as she saw the old woman hunkered down in a wheelchair sheltered by a plastic
tarp. “Why that’s Miss Anniebelle and her granddaughter” Dennis replied. A
general practitioner, Dennis volunteered his time at the Church Health center where
Anniebelle came for her checkups. The women had long since lost Claude when he
peeled off to find his own family. Dennis cracked open the door of his SUV and called
out to them “ Miss Anniebelle…..over here!” Lori jumped out to help with the stowing
of the wheelchair as Dennis lifted Anniebelle gently into the back seat. DaLisa soon
joined her in the dry haven of the luxury vehicle.

Traffic inched along in a caravan as the newfound traveling companions became
acquainted. “We’re headed for my sister’s house in the next parish” said Lori. You’re
welcome to come with us. “Oh thank you so much”, said DaLisa, her voice cracking
with emotion. “I didn’t know what we were going to do.” It was way past midnight
when they finally arrived at Jennifer’s home. She welcomed her sister and brother-in-law
and met their new houseguests. “Your folks are real heroes”, DaLisa said to Jennifer.
She beamed at the girl and replied “ I know! Our Mama and Daddy taught us to take
care of each other, and that includes folks in trouble. I was very fortunate to not get
much damage.”

Jennifer found dry clothes for everyone, and while they were changing she popped the
casserole into the oven to warm. Homemade bread cooled on the counter next to a big
slab of butter and an apple pie. Anniebelle crept down the hallway on her walker to join
the rest of them at the table. “May I say grace?” she asked humbly.”We’d be honored”,
said Dennis. As they bowed their heads, each of them grabbed a hand on the other side.
“ Dear Lord. Thank you for folks like these kind people whom you have provided to us today.” There was a gentle chorus of amens around the table as their hands squeezed each other and they raised their heads.

Anniebelle drifted off to sleep that night wondering if their other hero Claude was safe. She thought about all of the many times that she had thought bad of him for his sinful lifestyle of drinking and gambling. She asked her Lord to forgive her for that, and slept like a lamb with the assurance that He would. He always did.
friday cat blogging
princess cali

Her royal highness, Princess Cali
The combines are gettin' it around here with the corn. It seems like a late start, but is actually pretty much on Mother nature's time clock. I've noticed that the last few years....that the seasons are becoming more what is expected since El Nino went back where he came from.the good earthThe leaves in this cotton field are turning burgandy around the bolls which means that it won't be long before this year's harvest will come to fruition. It has been a good year for crops here....very little flooding, which is unusual. And just the right amount of rain. The scouts have stayed on top of the boll weevils, checking the traps religiously. We are a no till place, so much of the land will be replanted in winter wheat directly over what is left from the pass of the machinery.cotton There is something very comforting to me about the change of seasons. Maybe it's the fact that a new season presents opportunities for dormancy, growth and rebirth. The same can be said for our lives. One day at a time, we keep the faith that tomorrow or next week or next year will bring something different and better, in spite of the obstacles that are put in our way.ready corn

Close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

[Now] Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy.

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind, everything is dust in the wind.


poopie 5 - orchard and crabgrass 0
That's the score following my five mini-sessions over a three day period to git'er done.
the score
It reminded me of the summer of '95 when I kept the whole acre mowed with a pushmower. I was NEVER DONE from June to September. Each day I'd mow a little bit after work, and by the time I made my way back to the starting point it was time to start over. Sheesh..If I'd known my Daddy was gonna be bushhogging today I'd have asked him to pass over the yard.

butters Butterbean looks alarmed!
"Mommy....why is your face so red???"

I never have change to tip the ten year old who totes my grocery sacks to the car for me, so I made him a batch of cookies today.( Of course his mother will LOVE me when he starts bouncing off the walls from all the sugar :) I gotta share this one, because it's SOOOO easy.

1 box of cake mix (your choice)
2T water
1/2 cup oil ( i was out of the regular kind, and used olive oil..it worked!)
6 oz chips ( your choice )

Mix it all but the chips up by hand, then add the chips and stir in. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Mine today were made with devil's food cake mix and chocolate chips, but you can use any kind you like..DELISH!

Umm...what else? I reckon that's all for now. But I'll be back ;)
won't you be my neighbor?
Remember Mr. Rogers? My brothers and I grew up watching him chant about the neighborhood in his little cardigan with a sing song voice. "Would you be mine....won't you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?" Poor thang was the butt of many a joke, but I still think his philosophy was a sound one. Take care of your neighbor, whatever it takes.

I had the distinct privilege of growing up in an integrated rural community in the fifties and sixties. Long before the government decreed integration in schools, I was playing with black children who lived alongside me on the farm. Their heritage was here too and they didn't have an entitlement sort of attitude. They were my equals because the farm was split right down the middle between our families in stewardship of the land. The asphalt road that divided us did nothing to interrupt the spirit of community that united us. Most of us have held onto our pieces of the pie and moved back to the homeplace.

Mozella is currently our mayor. She is one of the last surviving from the generation that thrived here for years. Her kids and neices and nephews line the road, claiming their own little piece of paradise just as I do. After all, it's all just loaned to us by the Big Guy. Her husband Earl used to make the country sausage that we enjoyed at Christmas breakfast. She and I worked together for years at the hospital. I was envious on summer days and nights when their entire family gathered around the BBQ pit to dance and eat and play.

"Who is my neighbor?" asked the lawyer of Jesus. "The one who showed him mercy. Go and do likewise". That is what we have done, as a country, this past week. Regardless of who is at fault or who is to blame, we have pulled together and made it happen. Imagine what we could do if we did that before the storm?
time for a meme
Bless their hearts, Hoss and Jennifer didn't tag a soul with this meme, but I picked it up and ran with it just because I've got a soft spot for both of them (plus I'm all about me today ) Also in honor of Hossie, I will give you a definition-o-the-day.

Git'er done: What Poopsie does with the pushmower to the crabgrass monsters when the John Deere rider breaks ANOTHER belt before payday.

7 things I can do:
Feel your pain, whoever you are
Sing the alto part in the Hallelujah chorus ( if I follow along with my finger on the page)
Name most any musical group I hear on the radio
Pick fresh asparagus from my yard every spring
Play the piano
Put a needle in your vein and you never feel it
Cook VERY well

7 things I say most often:
What an idiot!
Keep the faith ^j^
Shit happens.
Do I look like 'yo Momma?
Oh, puleeeeeeeez*
Give me strength.
Peaks and valleys.

7 things I cannot do:
Run very far
Speak German, even though I took it in college..ditto for french and pig-latin
Go for too long without crying
Judge other people
Forget who I am, ever
Get ahead on the $$
Pass by a pretty river, sunset, sunrise, flower or cute animal

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
Smile and laugh
Sense of humor
Good hugger
Laid back personality

7 celebrity crushes:
James Taylor
Rick Bragg
David Letterman
Old Horsetail Snake
Robin Williams
William Hurt
All those Weather Channel guys swingin' in the wind

7 things I plan to do before I die:
Meet as many b**g friends as I can
Find true love
Become a grandmother and an aunt
See world peace
Float as many rivers and see as many mountains as I can manage
Appreciate each day for the gifts
Understand HTML

Sounds reasonable to me. What do you think?
Labor Day in New Orleans .

Labor Day in Dyer County .

I slept half of the holiday away, and boy did it feel good! As my mom pointed out to me this morning, I'm almost half a century old :) Old people need their rest.

Y'all have a good one.
everybody's got one
Well, you know what they say about opinions ;) I am always very hesitant to post about anything that is controversial, even though I believe that intelligent discussion is the only way to resolve differences and move ahead. I do not claim to be right, only that I have examined an issue from both sides, sometimes applied a specific life experience to it and formed a personal opinion. I hope that you respect mine as I respect yours. Emotions are, indeed, running high these days. I am about as non-partisan as one can get in that I have embraced pieces of the ideology of both parties and blended them into my own unique perspective which is decidedly tolerant and peaceful. As a child of Vietnam, I still see the scars left by that conflict on my generation. As a friend to many who suffered through illegal abortions when I was a teenager, I find myself pro-choice to this day, even as my daughter’s friends struggle with their own decisions decades later. I have learned as a faithful healthcare provider that the desire to hang on to a loved one often outweighs the wishes of the patient in a fashion that can be unusually cruel. My stance on capital punishment has never wavered in all of these years. Merely considering the number of released innocent death row inmates following DNA testing is proof enough to me that a the courts should not have the power to take a life. I have total disdain for the system of monetary handouts that has crippled an entire generation of people who depend on it for existence and abuse at the expense of the working class.

As much as we would like for moral and ethical issues to be black and white, they are, for the most part gray areas where agreement to disagree is necessary for growth and change and mediation of conflict. The tendency to habitually lay blame on someone or something when a crisis occurs is entirely different than demanding accountability. It seems that during the course of events this past week many people have suffered and died as a result of a lack of communication between officials at the local, state and federal levels. In the words of our president, this is “not acceptable”. Well said, Mr. President. You earned some respect from the Poopster with that one little phrase.

I’m done with this subject, and apologize for any toes that I may have stepped on. I think it may be time to turn this b**g back into the happy place that it once was where I make people laugh and grin and say hmmmm instead of pissing them off. Consider it done.

girl power
Poops and the roommate have been putting off a horrendous job for several days and we tackled it this afternoon, gettin' her done in one hour flat. We ripped up the carpet in her room to expose beautiful hardwood floors with paint splotches everywhere. That's okay, though. It's doable. We shared a home highlighting kit and are both presentably blondish again. One never knows when a girl will get lucky and need cute hair.


Aaron Neville is crooning Amazing Grace to me right now on behalf of the Red Cross effort for Katrina relief. The CEO of Capitol One is a bit less convincing in his humanitarian TV debut, considering the way his company rapes us with the late fees and interest rates. I must say that it's a nice change to see talented artists united in a cause that is the good ole USA. I doubt any of us will even miss the traditional Jerry Lewis telethon this Labor Day weekend. Anybody remember way back in the early 80's when a group of musicians banded together for a benefit album called "We Are the World"? It remains one of my all time favs.

We're not talking another continent, people. What we are witnessing is homeland security in action fourdays later. Remember that the next time disaster comes knocking in your neck of the woods whether it is California or New England or tornado alley. The issue is not that blacks are being left to die in New Orleans because they are black and poor. The wake-up call is that our country is NOT READY to care for its' citizens when there is a crisis. *Someone* in Congress is responsible for this. They have failed us, and they are accountable for that failure while they prance and preen for the cameras in defense of their own personal agendas which include perks you and I never dreamed of. The question of the day seems to be "Who's in charge here?"

If you don't know who your representatives are and what they stand for find out .

I could apologize for the rant, but I won't. It's time for straight talk about who we are. Victims? I think not. Survivors....always.

Keep the faith and use the brain God gave you to make a difference.
i beg to differ
The doctors have stated that us liberals are blaming Dubya for Hurricane Katrina. NOT. Even the big bad Texas boy can't control the weather, as much as he would like to. I noticed today during his teevee appearances that his tan is lookin'good. Long vacations do that for a man.

What we fault him for is the fact that our federal dollars ( 15 or more percent of YOUR income ) are going toward a war that is designed to protect the interests of gas guzzlers anonymous and as a result of that, our National Guard (aka Homeland Security) has been called up to travel to the Middle East and get blown to smithereens by the real idiots, per Jihad.

That's not a partisan thing, by any means. Maybe it's not even his fault, because HEY..he signed up for the job. As my good friend FTS pointed out to me, Republicans are experts at foreign policy while the Dems do the domestic handout thing. Both extremes are huge wastes of the money that you and I work hard and pay hard for. I blame the MSM and their addicts for giving a crap about what a politician does in his off hours and placing blame. Somebody needs to get a life.

I have questions, though.

Where is the spirit of America when the news doesn't tell us that there's a big deal going on? How come 5% of our population donates blood to keep the other 95% alive?

Is Ricky Bragg the Alabama boy, on a rooftop in New Orleans writing another book?

Ya think Hoss make his pile in enough time to get sent to Outer Galatica on a spaceship?
Will his buddy Bill Gates even care?

How many doves will be flyin'on Labor Day?

Where the heck is that honeyhole of a fishing spot on Poopie's farm?

Tune in tomorrow. There's never a dull moment around these parts.
breakfast of champions
Oh yes, my dear. Nothing like cold pizza straight out of the 'frig for breakfast! Also good are cold spaghetti, potatoes au gratin and just about any other comfort food you can think of. What a way to start a day off ;)

The pump where I filled up at 2.49 on Monday now advertises 3.09 as predicted by the giant oil companies who are looking to gouge us all as the Gulf coast attempts to begin recovery from Katrina. This type of opportunism sickens me, even as the country pulls together resources to mobilize rescue and relief efforts for the greatest natural disaster we have ever witnessed. They are, in my humble opinion, no better than the looters roaming the streets of the French Quarter.

We all know the drill, after watching hours of live coverage from the scenes. It is catastrophic beyond words, what has happened to the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama...not unlike a war zone. As far north as West Tennessee there are power outages that are affecting millions more besides those still stranded in attics floating in flood waters. And the worst is yet to come.

It's time now for corporate America to share the wealth that it has amassed off of the back of the working man and woman. After all, it's tax deductible and who needs a good deduction more than your favorite megastore. One of the more glaring examples of this need is in the area of healthcare. Companies that are paying stockholders record earnings can afford to back off a bit and focus on their true reason for being, which is providing health care to those who truly need it regardless of the cost. One way to do this would be to pay their trained medical personnel for time spent on teams for the next few months when diagnosis and treatment of disease will become the next crisis.

I won't belabor the point, for the drama itself is enough reminder that we are never really safe from disaster, be it natural or man-made. My hope is that eventually we will take that fighting spirit that always emerges after a crisis and use it pro-actively to make not only OUR country, but the entire world, a better place.

Keep the faith. ^j^
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