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Yes, it's true. I will be taking the month of November away from emoting to the saints and snobs and devoting it, instead, to the next installment of A Stained Glass Life . So far, there have been many dark pieces joined together with some bright ones by red-hot lead. Perhaps I can find some bevels to throw into the pattern and lighten things up a bit. Sometimes rainbows appear when you catch the light just right and keep the faith. NaNoWrimo is about writing a novel during the month of November. I started one last year, and never finished it. As I was experiencing the sunset on the edge of the woods, my muse told me to finish what I started. Note to self: It is bad luck to ignore your muse.

At the very least, maybe I'll get my kitchen done and the pecans picked up and cracked. I'll be around, just not as wordy as usual. STOP SNICKERING!

Love ya. Mean it. ^j^
hey looky!
I'm dressing up like Christine for Halloween ;)You're a cat - the sexiest halloween symbol.  You're very laid back about the whole thing but you feel most comfortable at this time of year.  you'll do anything for a treat!
You're a cat - the sexiest halloween symbol.
You're very laid back about the whole thing but
you feel most comfortable at this time of year.
you'll do anything for a treat!

"A spooky hallowe'en quiz!"
brought to you by Quizilla
Thanks for all the cyber hugs. One of these days I'll learn not to ration the Prozac to save money!

I ran into a bunch of family camped outside the building today discussing "Momma's" condition and I think they were dressed as rednecks..very lifelike! My favorite was the tall red headed nose picker with no teeth and no butt who tried to hit on me. Lord have mercy...I needn't worry about finding Prince Charming around THAT place. That's why I never do my hair when I go to work, ya know? Plain old waste of beauty time.

Tomorrow is All Saint's Day, and each and every one of you are saints in my book. Oh, you have to be dead??? Well, as Emily Latella would say " never mind".

Here's your treat!
poopie's box
Three and a half years ago, give or take a month, I was caught up in the notion that somebody somewhere might want to read about where I've been and what I think. Like all the other negative thinkers and narcisstic folks in the world, I felt that it was all about me and my pain. Silly girl.

I began to journal then, in earnest. I had years worth of handwritten stuff tucked away in spots here and there and someday I will compile those thoughts and messages into something worth reading all in one sitting, or one day at a time. The contents sit in a copy paper box from work with a ^j^ on top. Perhaps this winter or next spring or in the nursing home I will manage to put it all together.

In the meantime, I'll be here laying my heart out on the line for others to read, hoping and praying that someone will gain something from what I say or feel or think. Sometimes I just need a hug, like the rest of you. I've met some mighty big blog snobs in my travels...you know the type. If you don't entertain them just so you're history in their little corner of the b**g world. If you don't agree with them, well..pssh. You're wrong.

I have enough on my plate right now just surviving as a gal trying to make it on her own without pondering what my blog is worth or who's dropped me from their daily read list. It's all in fun, I know. Easy come, easy go.

BabyGirl came home tonight from a weekend camping trip with BF telling about a cheeseburger in paradise. They sat with a guy at a country store that still flips burgers and talked about life and stuff. Sounds like she learned from the master Boy Scout about survival, and I'm grateful for that. I knew from hello that he had her best interest at heart. I'm a lucky Mom.

In case you missed it yesterday, go visit Kyle and Claudia and pay it forward. That's what keeping the faith is all about.
the end of an era
I don't get out much, and I like it that way. Last night was a special occasion though and I put on my overalls and headed on up to the place Idgie refers to as "that bar with the kudzu". For twenty two years, Gene has owned and operated the watering hole known as Sap's Place in South Dyersburg. There was a brief stint when it was called "Buttercup's" in honor of his wife MaryBeth, but that didn't go over well as the name of a place mostly populated by pick-up truck driving domino players. So, Sap's it was, until yesterday when the new owners took over.

The regulars gathered to pay homage to a couple who have been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. There was food and cards and memories spread across the bar as we remembered the good and the bad times that we've all been through. Two of my best friends in the world, who are frequent commenters here ( Redneck Friend and Amy Claire ;) were there for the occasion. We sang the world's most famous country western song in our best twangy voices to commemorate the occasion. Life doesn't get much better than that for country gals.

(Steve Goodman)
« © '71 Jrisdad Music, ASCAP »

It was all that I could do to keep from crying
Sometimes it seems so useless to remain
But you don't have to call me darling darling
You never even call me by my name

You don't have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don't have to call me Charlie Pride
And you don't have to call me Merle Haggard anymore
Even though your on my fightin' side

So I'll hang around as long as you will let me ( let me, let me let me!)
And I never minded standing in the rain
No you don't have to call me darling darling
You never even call me by my name

Well I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train

So I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standing in the rain
No you don't have to call me darling darling
You never even call me I wonder why you don't call me
Why don't you ever call me by my name by my name

There's another thing or two on my mind...like which way I-69 is going to cross the county. Public hearings are coming up week after next, and you can bet the farm that I'll be there to see what's up. I might even stomp my little redneck feet if I don't like what I hear. Like Kyle and his upcoming visit to Cleveland Clinic.

Y'all keep the faith, ya hear?
ladies' night
Traditionally, Thursday evening is when girls get out on the prowl. Every nightspot worth its' tequila shots will tell you that it's the magic moment when the work week meets the weekend and everybody feels froggy. It's the eve of two whole days off from the day to day politics of makin' a living in the corporate world. Sucks to be us, huh?

Just got off the phone from talking to my cousin, the schnauzer lady in KY. Our poor dysfunctional family has issues..like all do. It's amazing that anybody ever even gets to eat a holiday dinner considering all the angst out there in the world of brotherly and sisterly love, scarred forever by Mommie and Daddy Dearest trying to do their best. Take a bow, Dr. Freud and please pass the sweet potatoes with the brown sugar pecan goo on top.

I'm not bar hopping this evening. Instead, I've got a pork tenderloin in the oven sprinkled with the rosemary that I harvested from the mini-tree my Mom brought me as an early Christmas present last year. There was an amaryllis too, which bloomed beautifully and yeilded a bulb that I planted in the spring. These are the things that make my world wonderful beyond belief..the little surprises that grow into something more faithful and everlasting.

I've been thinking about how much drama is the result of saying or not saying what we feel. When you're a kid it's all about childish things. "She looked at me. He TOUCHED me." Ewww..gimme my space you cretin. In the workplace there's enough transference and projection going on to write an entire psych textbook when, in reality,the bottom line is about making money.

My philosophy on life is quite simple:

Say what you mean, and mean what you say... If "they" don't approve, that's their problem. Saying "I love you" is okay. Ditto for "You piss me off" and "I need your help".

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...That means meeting them where they are instead of judging and rigidly preaching about right and wrong. If you need a reminder on that one, just remember Jim and Tammy and all the other holier than thous who have fallen.

Don't deny reality... Bad things occur and nobody's ever really to blame, except that snake in the Garden of Eden. When hard times come knockin' at your door, it's nobody's fault. Stuff just happens and the Big Guy cries and rants right along with you. If He planned it, it was as a lesson for your next assignment as an angel. He's real smart like that.

Cry when you feel teary... Laugh whenever you can. Grab the nearest hug and hold on like your life depends on it. Talk about stuff, even when it's painful, because there's a rainbow on the other side of honest dialogue.

And answer this one question for me.......
Does this make my butt look big?
poop on a log
It took a lifetime to realize, but there's this place where the sunset is especially beautiful for me and the dogs. Across the road, through the gate, next to the cattle rub and down the hill a bit there's a gorgeous view of the end of this day in living color. Below is where the deer come out to play. Further out in the woods is where the ducks and turkeys live. There are trails criss crossing everywhere with prints and feathers. The closer you get to the water the more active the wildlife becomes. Like here , for example. John Ruskey is a riverman like you ain't never seen.

I guess y'all already know this, but I'll tell you anyways... NikkiZ got born! Yeehaw. That lil' critter has been a long time coming ;) Her grandma says all is well according to the latest dispatch. Don't you just love it when pregnancies get over with *wink,wink* Congrats to the entire Zoot family.

Duh..da.dah.dah...that's all folks. Keep the faith.

after the pickin'
in memory of max
My cousin Debbie has always had schnauzers galore, and when BabyGirl was about 4 we acquired a male pup who was promptly named Max. That terrier temperment flared quickly when the kid tried to wake him up to "play" and he bit her in the face on day two of his residence with us. Understandably, she was ready to send Max back to where he came from and had nothing to do with him for awhile. As he grew older and they became more familiar with each other, they relaxed into a friendship. There was neither the money nor the will to get his ears done so they grew long and floppy like any other dogs' ears. He never got a haircut and was covered with mounds of curly gray/black hair that made him resemble an aging teddy bear. We adored him.

Lauren's fifth birthday was in September, and we had the party outside with a pinata hanging from a tree in the front yard for everybody to whack at with a long stick. The place was covered up with kids....about 25 in all. There were loads of presents and relatives and friends. It was loosely organized chaos, as birthday parties tend to be. I often wondered why we didn't just buy her a bunch of stuff and let her open it and avoid all the cake making and favor buying. I do believe we'd have come out about even. But I digress.

After the mob thinned out, my friend stayed around to help me clean up. BabyGirl and Katie took off on bikes toward the end of the dead end lane. A few moments later we heard the most God awful screeching you've ever heard from little girls. "Mom...MOM". They were crying hysterically. You ain't never seen plump middle aged gals run as fast as we did to the spot about 50 yards down the road where they were staring in horror at a pile of smoke. We all stared at the smoking heap and tried to get a grip on what was going on. In an instant, I spotted Max's bright red collar in the midst of the smoldering fire. My eyes followed upward to a dangling power line. There had been a huge thunderstorm on Friday night preceding the party on Sunday afternoon and the neighbors were out of town for the weekend. We had no idea that the line had snapped and lay live in the grass on the roadside, knocked down by a fallen tree limb.

My husband and I were separated and I didn't know what to do. My cousin's hub came out and retrieved Max's body so that we could bury him later. The kids were inconsolable, and my friend and I were just plain freaked out. Just an hour earlier, all those children had been out there running around like banshees, and it could have been one of them that smacked right into a fiery death hanging from a pecan tree. Thank you Big Guy.

My estranged husband did the Daddy thing and came to bury Max the next day. We laid him to rest in the lot in front of the barn and every spring when the wildflowers bloom there, I think about him and his floppy eared long haired self. And I smile.

It helps me to keep the faith when I hear things like this quote of the day:

"...an invisible mark on the wall." President George Bush
Regarding the 2000th death of a a member of the US military in Iraq.

if you post it, they will come
Yea, even as Haloscan haveth a brain fart, it has always been thus and so in the cyber-world. I suspect a giant conspiracy by b**g providers to make us PAY for the luxury of ranting and recounting every.single.detail.of.our days. Or maybe it's just a Monday thang ;)

I do so LUV the snugglin' weather, even if I'm just snuggling with my dog. I sleep better and feel better when the temps and humidity are low. There's probably some scientific reason for that like cortisol or TSH or some other hormone. They rule the world, you know. Negative feedback and all that.

I'm rambling so I'll leave you with a funny picture that my friend Bonez sent me. If you're a Bush fan, never mind. I'll get back to the pretty scenery soon enough.
*sniff sniff*
That sound you hear is the ladylike dripping of the old Poopster's nose as she crawls around on her hands and knees picking up pecans in the cool October breeze. As a veteran of pecan seasons past, I have found that to be my best position. Those thingies on a stick sometimes aren't worth the trouble, and I can only bend and stoop so many times until I end up flat on my tush working a broad circle around me. Good yoga like stretches and all that ;) Most are still in the trees, I'm just picking up the precursors to a full blown covering of the grounds to try to get a bit ahead of the game. Bring 'em on, I say!

Some guys have this fascination with women driving trucks like "Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson. My vehicle the past few days has been a little pick-up truck with a 5 speed. BabyGirl and her BF are gone to Kentucky to job hunt and they took MY car. So, um. Guess who's driving his truck? Actually I kinda like having something to haul stuff in. Yesterday I filled the bed with fallen pecan limbs and had a mighty nice fire around dark thirty. For those of you who don't know me that well, I must confess to a weakness for burnin' shit. Not quite a pyro, I just enjoy a good fire and living in the country affords me the opportunity to light one whenever the spirit moves me. Which is quite often!

I have my tile for the kitchen countertops and will be getting a telephone tutorial shortly from my sister-in-law in Virginia, the wonder woman of home improvment. If this tells you anything about her, when I called she was gone to the hardware store for sheetrock screws ;) I'm taking my time with this, and doing it as I have the energy, so it might be next Halloween before it's done. We'll see.

I went to my favorite bar to watch the UT/Alabama game yesterday and visit the regulars. It was rather sad actually, considering that it will change owners next week. Gene, the retiring owner, is from Mobile and the annual contest between the two teams has traditionally been his day to whoop it up with all of us UT fans. His wife MaryBeth and I were talking about the passing of the place to the new owners, and she was wistful at the thought of never seeing some of her favorite people again. I know how she feels on that. We are like a little family around that place where everybody knows everybody else and what's up with them.

If you feel like having a good belly laugh, click here . Tell 'em your cousin-wife sent 'ya.
the costume dilemma
Your costume is a show girl costume!

What Should Your Halloween Costume Be?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thank goodness I quizzed into a hot costume considering yesterday's dorky pic ;)
always a bridesmaid...

Yes, it's true. This groovy wannabe placed three way tied for second in MommaK's worst school picture competition. Gotta adore a woman who loves herself enough to reveal her inner dork to all the available hot dudes in b**gland.

Note to Hoss : The pecans are still swingin'in the trees. A good cold snap will get the crop falling and make me as rich as your old buddy Bill G. Or not.
gettin' off on the colors
our top story tonight
All the gamblers in Tennessee are atwitter this evening because the Powerball pot has reached 430 million. According to the statistics prof at the University of Memphis, the odds of winning are about a bazillion and 3/4 to 1. He did the math on TEEVEE. Gotta love that spirit. Perhaps we should be financing our healthcare system with the lottery in addition to higher education. Just a thought from a smartass.

Me and a guy at work were chatting about how we'd spend a couple of million the other day. He didn't have a clue, though he's already done it a time or two I feel sure. Me? I was real practical. First I'd pay off my debt, first and foremost to the folks who have helped me when I was down. Then I'd spend some on me and Babygirl doing things we can't afford now, like having massages and buying books and CD's and cute nail polish. I'd get Miss Rhonda to do my hair. I've always wanted a 4-wheeler, so now would be the time to pay cash and gas it up. Faith needs her rabies shot and a collar..coupla months past due. After that, I'd give it away to worthy causes. Surprisingly enough, that would not include any gigantic national american organization that pays its' execs six figures to lead us around by the nose having bake sales. Nooo...I would look for people with real dreams who walk the walk and do things that are friendly to our earth and our children. All of us. I would bankroll a non-denominational church health center and get others involved in the whole thing. I'd use the bucks to empower people, becuase that's what it's all about.

Then, if there's any left...I'd pay the Astros to kick the Cardinals butts into next year. They've got it coming.
all about me
I have never done the obligatory 100 things that good bloggers do because..um. Well, because I'm lazy. And not enough of a geek to hide it on the sidebar. I like to think that folks who come here and read about my life know enough about me from what I say and do without being bored to death with a list. Monica came up with a novel way to share the many roles that she plays and I thought I'd give it a whirl. It beats making a list. If you take all of the parts below and mix them together gently, out pops The Full Poopster. Like it..or like it. Or not.(hat tip to Hoss )
Disclaimer: In no particular order I am:

Child of God... I grew up in and remain a member of the United Methodist Church, though I rarely attend formal services these days. I have always cherished the theology of that denomination which is based on the Wesley quadilateral...reason, tradition, experience and the word. The itenerant preachers that rode the circuits to spread the Gospel in days gone by are my heroes. The majority of my up close and personal moments with God, however, have taken place outside of the church house out there amongst the "least of these". I have no money left to give to causes. I simply live my life as a ministry to others with the gifts that God has given me. We're both alright with that.

Mother... I only gave birth to one child (which was plenty, thank you very much) but I have been surrogate Mom to many many more who could not talk to their own. The key to that role has been meeting them where they are instead of lecturing and demanding perfection. We talk. We share our feelings. There is no shame, only honesty and gentle guidance. There were certain parenting patterns that I was determined to break away from and, even though it has been difficult at times and I have been criticized, it seems to have worked. My daughter is a happy healthy loving individual who is intent on discovering who she is and how that fits into today's world.

Healthcare provider... My degree and state license state that I am properly trained and qualified to perform clinical laboratory tests under the supervision of a physician known as a pathologist. In reality, my 28 years in the hospital setting have given me the opportunity to learn about all facets of healthcare delivery. While clinical diagnosis pays my salary, I have discovered a passion in a totally opposite realm of healthcare.....end-of-life care improvement. All of that experience has shown me that sometimes the gig is up and the focus should shift to palliative care and quality of life vs.longevity.

Woman... A comfortable relationship with a man is my dream. A partner who cherishes me for me and looks forward to my company. I would just as soon sit in a duck blind with him as dress up and go dancing. I make a lot of jokes about Sugardaddy, but that's not what I'm about. I'm about finding and embracing true love for the first time.

Friend ... Loyal to a fault, I've learned that real friends never go away, they just pop up in your life when you least expect them at just the right time. While friendship can be based on children or activities or upbringing, real friends love you for who you are, warts and all.

Daughter and sister... If there were ever three more different kids born to a set of parents, I can't imagine it. My two younger brothers have learned lessons the hard way like Sis. We all have a different perspective on life and love and success, but we love each other to death. We adore our parents and consider ourselves lucky to still enjoy them in good health. Family is everything. They're the ones who have to love you when you have nowhere else to go ;)

Rebel... But never without a cause. I cringe at being expected to do something because it's "what good girls do" or the status quo. Politically correct has no place in my vocabulary. You will just as likely find me standing up for a social outcast as for someone who is considered elite. It's all about the principle with me. My principles don't always mesh with yours. Deal with it.

Smartass... People who take themselves too seriously give me hives. If you can't laugh at yourself first, then all is lost. Sarcastic humor, as long as it doesn't directly hurt someone, is the stuff that belly laughs are made of. And I do so love a good guffaw shared with the other ones who "get it".

Artisan... Whatever part of the brain that controls the enjoyment of music, the written word and visual art is my predominant side. I love to read and write, enjoy most any kind of music and ooh and aah over your creations and passions. I can get absolutely lost in a good movie. These things are what makes life worth living rather than merely a steady plod from birth to death. Self expression, whatever the form, is worth its' weight in gold.

Ain't I just a mess?

Keep the faith. ^j^
A memory surfaced today, probably because it's that time of the year. I still have a mental picture of me and my three year old daughter walking the streets of town in awe of the transformed colors of our world. On overcast days, especially, the hues are vibrant and beautiful. Gold, green, orange and burgandy in different shades all splashed together to form a backdrop that is not unlike walking through fairy land. Late October in Tennessee is just that. Her tiny legs kept pace with mine every step of the way on our adventure. Time was lost on us for a short while. We simply wandered in wonder at the beauty. Little did we know that the next year we would move to live in a place that was even more beautiful, in every season.

When our house became vacant it took six months of work to clean out the mess of 50 years worth of a horseman's treasures. Having lived the last 10 years here as a widow, Mr. Council was hardly a good housekeeper. He was old and tired just like his surroundings. Carpet was laid, wallpaper hung and siding installed...coats of paint slapped on over other coats. While the house was still in the process of being made liveable, it snowed. It was my custom to just ride out here and dream now and then of the day when it would be finished and I could live in "my" house. Moving day finally came during the other golden month, April. There is something very warm and cozy to me about April and October in the country. They are transitions of sorts..from one harsh season to another, and during those transitions we wish that time would stand still and the beauty would last forever.
home sweet home
We are still at least a week away from peak here, but the changes are becoming more and more noticeable every day. The Virginia creeper has begun to turn scarlet red, hanging in ropes from the massive pecan trees. The maples are as much yellow as light green now, and the bradford pear and gumball trees are taking on the burgandy that they wear so regally.

I haven't gotten a thing accomplished on my "to do" list, but that's okay. I've rested my mind and gone at my own pace today and work was slow over the weekend. I had a dream the other night that my old friend the super-organized one was getting married. Big to-do at our church with a slew of bridesmaids and all the hoorah that goes along with it. I was singing for the wedding ( uh..yeah, right ) and in my typical un-organized way managed to be late and miss the whole thing. She wasn't mad though. Cuz she loves me and knows that I'm as hare-brained as she is meticulous. We make an excellent odd couple. When I called to tell her about my dream, her first question was:" Who did I marry?". Couldn't answer that one. You know how dreams do you. Then she asked if I'd had breakfast????? She was referring to an old wives tales about not telling your dreams before breakfast. That was a new on me, but thank goodness I'd already eaten!

Don't forget to be good little girls and boys. The great pumpkin is watching ;)
angel territory
You can tell a lot about a gal by what sits on top of the piano that she never plays. Some of you might recognize your gifts perched up there making me smile when I pass by and remember your thoughtfulness.
I've been off for a couple of days prior to working the weekend. BabyGirl and I spent some time together today running errands and hangin' out. I love it when that happens ;) I don't know about y'all, but I'm having a hard time staying on point lately. My life seems to be a big old pile of unfinished business and my soul needs to take care of a few of those details so that I don't lose my sanity entirely. It's the old thing about "time" where there's so much you want to do and not enough time or energy left to do it. I'll be gone for a few days...takin' a break and clearing my head. Never fear though. I'll also be
keepin' the faith.

every now and then
...outta nowhere, comes a story that grabs you by the throat and reminds you how fragile life really is with its' raw emotion and intensity. This is one of those stories. Thanks for sharing it with us Cowboy.
* * * * * * * * *
The front page of my local newspaper today was covered with pictures of the local sheriff's department arresting county citizens for TennCare fraud. The sting worked like this: Undercover agents set up buys with people for presciption drugs on the street, then checked the TennCare rolls to see if the seller was receiving these presciptions FREE from our state healthcare program. Recent reform measures have set a cap at 5 FREE prescriptions per month for enrollees, but prior to this year there was no limit. If the seller was a TennCare enrollee, the bust was made when the sale on the street was finalized. My humble opinion is a question... Why hasn't this been done years earlier? The state of Tennessee is going bankrupt trying to salvage this program that is abused by thousands and needed by thousands more just to get basic healthcare. From the start, the system was riddled with problems, mainly due to fraud at the contractor level. News of the first scam broke shortly after TennCare began, involving the pharmaceutical branch of the program. The fraud and abuse has continued with politicians using it for personal gain. The emergency room of the facility where I work is a revolving door to those who abuse the system while the truly needy wait their turn. In case you are feeling smug that you don't live in our state, consider this: TennCare is a federally subsidized program. Meanwhile, many of the thousands that have been cut from the rolls are very sick and un-insured. I cringe at the start of flu season every year, knowing that we will work our tails off taking care of those who use our emergency medical services as a clinic because it's "paid for" there by the state. Doctors have the luxury of refusing patients based on ability to pay. Hospitals that receive Hill Burton funds do not.

Before you blast me for being un-sympathetic and callous, let me remind you that I have held the hand of many an indigent patient during pain and suffering and death just as I have cheered them on when they got well and returned to their families. There are those who truly need medical care and cannot afford it. Where are the high dollar churches in these situations? Usually they are paying the ministerial staff a bazillion bucks and having a building fund campaign for the next sprucing up. There is no need to name denominations. They all do it.

Here is a different approach that reaches out to the un-insured and works with them where they are to maintain health through preventive medicine and reasonably priced services. The ministry of this organization is financed primarily by private donations and staffed by volunteer medical professionals.

How about next time someone asks you for a pledge of your hard earned dollars, you consider something like contributing to the "least of these". I feel sure that Jesus would say "Well Done".
Here's the real 23rd post in all its' glory. Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
the 23rd um..post
Whizzer tagged me and y'all know I'm a player so here is the 5th sentence of my 23rd post. ( Actually not my 23rd post since B*****R deletes anything over 300, and I had almost 600.) But anyways, it's 23rd from the beginning of what's still there ;) Haloscan also deletes your comments too. I smell a conspiracy theory here to make us BUY a service!

Importance of appearance? Medium. Importance of intelligence? Low. That post was a satirical piece on the internet matchmaking business called "99% match". Props to Poops though....I never paid for any of it. I'm still expecting The Prince aka Sugardaddy to find me on HIS dime. Sheesh....women can be sooooo demanding.

the crop

Y'all wish me luck on the pecan biz. The crop looks good and the market does too. Poopsie could sure use the $$$. Oh, and ...by the way. If I have mailing addresses, I'll send some roasted ones your way for Christmas.

trick or treat?
Raehan and MommaK have got this thing going on with halloween costumes from the past. I looked around through my scrapbooks at the brides and witches and stuff and came up with this lovely cotton bale for your perusal. I'd guess I was about 10 or 11 tops and mortified to be parading around in my Momma's creation du jour to fit in with our farming heritage. I won first place for "most original" at the Alice Thurmond Elementary School halloween festival. Needless to say I had to shuck that box before I could go pee or sit down for spaghetti or even trick or treat. Ever since then my costumes have been more user friendly.

I'm still mulling over this year's costume. I'll keep you posted :)
above the cattle
Words just get in the way.
tree line
talk to the animals
Y'all know we are all about the animal kingdom around here. Today I will introduce you to the critters and tell you a little bit about their origins. Not a ONE of them came to us intentionally. This lardbutt is the cat known as Fatass fatass. He's the one who's been with us the longest. As you can tell by the look in his eyes, the elevator doesn't quite to all the way to the top. We like to call him "feline challenged". Since he got fixed 10 years ago all he does is eat and sleep. And poop on the floor. Babygirl's Dad went out one night and fetched him from a friend's house who had about 20 running around. I'm sure they're still snickering at us suckers. The next member of our menagerie is Bernie.bernie ladder When my ex had a heart attack and we were away for a week, we returned to find him soaking wet and pitiful on the back steps. Bernie is real into heights as you can see here. I'm liable to find him most anywhere perched silently watching life go by. We had to rescue him from the roof many times before he learned how to get down on his own. We got real lucky when we found Faith.faith up close and personalI was getting my hair cut and the stylist asked if we wanted a lab puppy. A momma dog and her litter had wandered up to her house. I didn't know much about labs, but when we went to look Babygirl had a hissy fit and we were one choco-lab richer. She is the sweetest and SMARTEST dog I have ever had the pleasure to know. She can even talk! Well, kinda sorta ;) Most of you have seen Butterbean lately just because she demands soooo much attention. A rat terrier mix, she has that terrier attitude down to a fine art. Here you see her highness "herding" the horses, Pride and Trapper. Butterbean was named Hope at first( to go along with Faith..heheh) but it just didn't fit her. She found ME when I went to the shelter last December to adopt a Christmas puppy for us. pride and trapper Then of course there are the cows. Cows are really dumb. They follow each other everywhere and look at you like YOU'RE the stupid one.beef on the hoof They don't have names, just numbers. We wouldn't want to get too attached to next year's steak would we? Our latest addition is Princess Cali. Anybody who knows cats will testify that you can't pose them. This is how I found her one day, curled up in a plate on the dining room table.cali 1 She came to be ours when a co-worker ambushed me in the parking lot after saving two kittens she had found outside the exit.

I guess that's it, except for the birds,deer,raccoons,coyotes, foxes and possums. Anybody want to make a donation to Poopie's ark?
the water is wide
Blogging for Books entry.

Liza’s divorce from Nick had been done quickly but not painlessly. When Babygirl approached the home stretch of senior year, Liza realized that the marriage was a sham and its’ reason for being was about to leave the nest. She had always had a thing for Jerry, their mutual friend. Suddenly it dawned on her that it was now or never time for true love. Claiming her feelings through a handwritten letter to Jerry Lee, she mailed it to him and waited for a response.

Hey Dog…….

I learned in my days in therapy that sometimes the only way to get something out from under your skin is to write a letter if the person you want to talk to isn’t around anymore. Since I can’t find you and know that Pammy checks your e-mail,I guess this is my only means to let you know what’s on my mind. I think that until I woke up on New Year’s Day I was a pretty sensible person, like I tend to be. I had convinced myself that it was okay that me and Nick don’t really have a marriage and that some things you just endure. After all, I was the one who hounded him until he came back. But nobody’s been happy since then, and on that day when I laid on the couch and watched you sleep it kind of came home to me what I’d missed. We’ve been through a bunch of shit together through the years and that’s what friendship is about. You are so much like me it ain’t even funny……like the crying jags we both get on and the sentimental and family stuff. I guess maybe that’s why I first fell for you a long time ago. Not because you’re a “pretty boy” or because you’re generous or all the other stuff……but because I see the best of me in you and recognize my dark side there as well. I went to Cool Springs cemetary to talk to your Mom about all this the other day looking for answers. I thought I heard her tell me to go after you, but when I got there you were already gone back to Pammy. That’s the story of my life……I sit and listen to guys that I love cry over other women just like a good “buddy”. Been doing it all my life. Guess I’m a slow learner, huh?
Your sis asked me if you knew how I felt about you. Said I should tell you. Only you’re “invisible” again so I guess this will have to do. I hope that things work out for you the way that you want, whatever that is. I love you enough to want you to be happy because life is very short and we spend too much time chasing dreams when we don’t know if we’ll be alive long enough to enjoy them. I will always be there for you and I hope you will remember that. If being with Pammy is what makes you happy I hope that she’s good to you, because if not I’LL KICK HER ASS! Keep the faith baby……………………Love ya, Liza

A silent week after mailing that letter, she went to find him. It was late January and he came to the door in sweats,with apprehension clouding his normally sunny smile. “Did you get my letter?” she asked. Jerry looked at the floor uncomfortably and back into his friend’s eyes. “Yes” he said. Tears began to fill his own eyes as he fought to maintain control. “I don’t feel the same way about you. I’ve never thought of you as anything but a friend”. Now Liza began to cry too. When she first met him, it was while she was divorced the first time from Nick and pining away for him to come back. Jerry Lee had listened to her pain and pumped up her spirits during those bad times. She had held his hand during the worst parts of his life that had included his girlfriend's abortion and his mother's death. Their friendship was never the same after the truth of that letter, and she crossed that river slowly and painfully to the other side hoping that the land of promise would appear.

The water is wide
I can’t cross over
And neither have
I wings to fly
Build me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row
My love and i

As virtual realities go, YaHell dating is about as close to “relationship” as China is to New York. Early in her single days, Liza had discovered the world of chat. It was a cheap and cowardly alternative to bar hopping in search of men. It was also very addictive. One of the very first men she met was Rvrguy.

Rvrguy: i’m a musician in Memphis.

Eliza_jane: What kind of musician

Rvrguy: damn good one

Eliza_jane: Smartass

Rvrguy: yep, I’ve been told that before. I think I’m horny.

Eliza_jane: hmmmm

He was a divorced father of 3 grown kids. Catholic. Wrote music for “jingles” and for the Air Force band. The friendship developed slowly, as true friendships do. Since his work was mainly done on computer, he was always online. Seven years after a divorce he was stuck in the same relationship that had gotten him that way, and not happy with it at all.

Eliza_jane: DING! Hey smartass….whatcha doin?

Rvrguy: headstands in bullshit…arggghhh

Eliza_jane: I’ve been out for a walk with the dogs. Weather’s great!

Rvrguy: so umm…how are you in bed? I’m usually sleepy.

Eliza_jane: I don’t remember. It’s been awhile. Are you married?

Rvrguy: i was once….now THAT was scary

Eliza_jane: I’ve been divorced for 6 months

Rvrguy: hmmm….not long

And so it went for weeks. Matt tired quickly of Liza’s “wordiness”. She pounded him daily with the longings of her soul by email. He rarely responded, though he was enchanted with her naïvete and honesty. They were both fans of James Taylor and he made her some CDs of a couple of albums that she had missed first time around. In spite of her fears that she would be visited by an axe murderer, she gave him her address so that he could mail the gift. She spent hours enjoying the music, but one particular song became her anthem. The last tune on "Copperline" is JT's rendition of the old hymn and folk song The Water is Wide. Liza found herself, time and again, comforted by the soothing effect that song had for her pain. Her healing had begun in earnest. About six months later, Liza was cooking dinner and the phone rang. She rarely got phone calls except from bill collectors so she checked the caller ID. It was Matt! "Liza..it's Matt". She was ecstatic to hear his voice after a six month absence. " I have a story for you" he said. He then proceeded to tell Liza that he had met the love of his life on the other side of the country in a freaky sort of way, also involving chat. He would be moving to California soon to marry her. Liza broke into tears of happiness for Matt as he told the tale of how he had met Joni and how much in love they were.

There is a ship
And she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep
As deep can be
But not so deep
As the love I’m in
I know not how
I sink or swim

There were other YaHell men...many of them. Most were either married or looking for a one time fling, and while that was okay now and then, Liza yearned for the kind of love that she had always imagined and never found. The next "Riverguy" she met was a fellow whose dedication to the Lewis and Clark expedition led to his performance at the local college book festival. The newspaper featured a picture of him in costume accompanied by an article about the journey. He and his partner had floated the Mississippi River in canoes as part of their passion for the explorations of the famous duo. They began a correspondence, with Liza sending him a copy of the newspaper piece that featured him. Also a musician and an artist, Jim seemed to be just her kind of guy. She even put down a deposit for a guided river trip, but it never happened. Poring through his online journals from the long trip on the Big Muddy, she found that he was engaged. She sighed to herself, and pushed away from that shore as well.

Oh love is handsome
And love is fine
The sweetest flower
When first it’s new
But love grows old
And waxes cold
And fades away
Like summer dew

Liza is a now a strong woman content with her healing and growth. There is no true love there yet, but she has faith that it will come when the time is right. There are reasons for every river she has crossed and she knows the journey by heart now. Sure, there has been pain and sorrow and loss. But there are also blessings at every curve in the river and at every port.

Build me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row
My love and i
And both shall row
My love and i
it's five o'clock somewhere
Doesn't really matter to me though. It's officially beer thirty on Friday of what has been a terribly long week. After deciding that I could truly use a three day weekend, I couldn't find a soul to work in my place today. Bah humbug.

Hoss would file the following under "better late than never". Ruth had a three wishes post the other day and I was intrigued but too covered up to do it right then. Also, Roxanne tagged me awhile back on the sevens. It's probably cheating to copy and paste what I put up the first time, but hey...y'all will forgive me, right? I knew you would. That's why I love ya.
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

Now for the three wishes thingy.

1. World peace. No REALLY...I'm not running for Miss America or anything but geez...why can't we all just get along? Imagine this: Everybody takes care of their own, minds their own business, lives their own life and lets everybody else live theirs. Where there is need, those who have the means give to help out. There is no profit at the expense of the little guy and no hatred and violence against those who are "different". We just mind our own business, have fun and enjoy life. I think there was a concept like this once before. Does Utopia sound familiar?

2. My soulmate. I never have been one of those gals who thinks she needs a man to be complete or any of that nonsense. Having spent a lot of years married to a nice guy who could have cared less about my needs, I think it would be a mighty cool thing to share my life with someone who does. I may go to my grave without seeing this one come true as well, but I'll always wish for it.

3. To grant a wish for each of you. What would YOU wish for? I'll get out the magic wand and do my best to make it happen ;)
it is soooooo over
...and I'm doing the happy dance. A dry cool front whooshed through today and knocked that temp down below sweat level for the first time in eons. The windows are open and the cotton is picked and laying in big bales covered with pink tarps.
pink bales FTS treated us to a virtual tour of his home, so I thought I'd do the same. Keep in mind that I'm a big dreamer with lots of ideas but not much energy left after the day job to get things done. Here's what my kitchen looks like. For a year now.
kitchen Lovely, huh?The adjoining dining room is the only completed project I've had. Here's what the corner looks like.dining room No I didn't just move in. We've been sorting through almost twenty years worth of stuff and regrouping. Martha would definitely not think Poopie's house is "a good thing." In fact, she would bust out of her ankle chains at the sight of it. What can I say? The maid has been on hiatus blogging and ogling hot men with terrific minds. Plus, working for a livin'.

I'll just give you a word picture of my bedroom. There's a queensize oak bed with a quilt that is covered by sleeping dawgs most of the time and that's alright with me 'cuz it saves on the utility bill ;) I'm just careful not to kick 'em and let them lie. Over and out from smartassville.

hitting the wall
In recovery circles, that is known as the point of no return...when denial lifts and the pain of the truth becomes a harsh reality. When we speak in those terms, many automatically think of substance abuse type addictions. The truth of the matter is that substance abuse, or an addiction of ANY kind, is an attempt to control the psychic pain that surfaces ever so often to remind us that we are not the least bit in charge of the universe.

For me, the wake-up call came disguised as a love affair that knocked me off of my feet. I first met HIM , both of us married, when he came to work at my company from another state. My marriage had always been a lukewarm one at best, and was cemented only by the presence of our 3 year old daughter and a stack of bills a mile high. We had worked different shifts during the entire marriage and pretty much led separate lives. The difficulties of raising a child in those circumstances led me to believe that "if only" we were on the same shift, our family life would be better..that I would be happy. Enter the great crush. I fell hard and fast for his kindness, attention and intelligence, turning a blind eye to his pompous behavior and issues with women. I became friends with his wife and children and our families mingled, but I kept that secret guiltily hidden in my heart the entire time. He was in a loose sort of "counseling" type of position within the organization, and when I finally admitted my feelings he realized that it was out of hand and that I was in crisis because of his weak boundaries. I have learned since then that this a very real occupational hazard for men who counsel women.

That *smack* that you hear is the sound of Poopie hittin' the wall, baggage and all. I began a two year relationship with a counselor, this time a WOMAN, who worked with me to untangle the web of emotions that were running through my head. I was 32 at the time. Up to that point, I had used activity and relationships as a way to numb the pain of my little parcel of head problems. I was the "nice" girl...the dependable one, everybody's friend and saviour. An overachiever at work, I found myself pulling more and more of a load that was gladly tossed my way by co-workers. Who had time to be miserable when everybody counted on you?? I was trying to be perfect.

I cried nearly every day for those two years, sometimes all day. As Bev and I uncovered the ghosts of my past and worked to make them friendly, I struggled to maintain as an employee, mother, wife and friend. I would silently drive the 80 miles to my appointment with thoughts swirling through my head, and leave with a glimmer of hope that someday I would be whole. The trip home was always filled with lots of deep thinking about whatever issue had been dredged up. John Bradshaw, Melody Beattie and Scott Peck were my heroes. I wanted desperately for the pain to go away. As a practitioner in healthcare, I had suffered many losses that I didn't even realize were still haunting me.

I don't remember the content of most of those sessions, only the end result. I became aware that my co-dependent behavior was the cause of most of my misery and I began to change it little by little, one day at a time. The very first time we met, Bev gave me crayons and a blank piece of paper and told me to draw pictures about who I was and what I loved. I'm no artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I found myself pouring my soul into those tiny pictures of water, musical notes and the other joys that defined me as a person. Years later I did the same thing with my daughter and her teenaged friends as they gathered around my kitchen table trying to figure out who they were. They loved it!

By the time I made it through that passage, I was such a different person that the marriage was never the same. My husband, like many men, could not fathom all that "touchy feely stuff" that had changed me so. In short, I changed and he didn't. And it was over at that point, though it took several more years for us to find the courage to end it. He has always seen himself as ten feet tall and bulletproof. Like I saw myself, before.

We are long divorced now, for the most part amicably. Our daughter has dealt with it well, except when she began to see HIM heading for the wall. It has been a rapid spiral downward for the past six months, and I believe that his wall is looming quickly before him. Why am I telling all this? Because somebody somewhere out there is right where he is and right where I once was...on the brink of realizing that there must be changes made to survive. And it helps to know that someone else has been there. Nobody can run away from the pain. All you can do is grit your teeth and muddle through it to the other side where the rainbow is.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
and stuff.....
Happy Monday friends ^j^ I know..you've seen it before. Humor me and take a minute to experience it again. There's no such critter as too much of a good thing.

We are antihistamine slaves around here these days. The quaint drone of the cotton picker tends to stir up the allergens in a big way. Babygirl is down for the count on Benadryl. Her legacy from my ex is some kind of strange dermatitis that takes over in October of every year, without fail. Of course the usual upper respiratory symptoms are there, with a migraine thrown in. But it's the itching that is the most miserable demon of all. We took her baby self to a pediatric dermatologist only to be told this: The kid has hypersensitive skin that whelps up to everything from her own sweat to whatever is floating in the air. Translation: lots of cortisone cream and as much prednisone as can be deemed safe. When she went to Girl Scout camp in the woods, we learned to start her on a Dose-pak before she ever left the house. *sigh* *scratch,scratch*

Poops is becoming delerious due to an entire year without more than a few days off. Things don't look too good in the coming months either. We chatted about this at work today...about how folks "can't do what they used to do" because of the price of gas and such. That's actually a non-issue for me. When I made the choice to cut my income in half by getting a divorce, I essentially said goodbye to being able to do anything other than go to work and get up and do it again. It's been a three year process of "acting as if" things will be better tomorrow. Gotta hand it to me..I've got a great imagination ;)

I could tell you some witty stories, but I'm fresh out. Catch ya on the flip flop.
the eleventh commandment
Thou shalt not rant unless it is absolutely essential to mental health and/or your future.
If thou ranteth, expect much disagreement. Women should be enjoyed and not heard.

All better now. I got it off my chest yesterday. There are a lot of folks who read my thoughts because I share them freely...I'm a trusting soul like that. I don't have a troll problem, but if I ever do I'll call on Monty the mighty avenger of all that is evil in blogland.

One weekend some time ago all us girls crafted our superhero personalities over at MommaK's in Petroville. That was some girl power goin' on, if I say so myself. A few guys put their capes on, but not many. I think they were all watching ESPN and playing with power tools.

Workin' on my halloween costume here. I do believe that I might be a ladybug. Poopsie don't look too good on a broom, if you know what I mean.
Good mooooooooorning America! How are ya? Personally, I’m tired of being one of the working poor that bought into the American dream. You know…get an education and the world is yours. It’s probably all my fault because I’m an idealist. Any American worth their salt knows that’s a dead end. The road to happiness here in our country seems to be paved by a contractor who doesn’t have to bid but just does his or her own thing by keeping us dependent on resources which we think we must have to be happy. It all happens on the golf course or at the country club.

Like oil. Perhaps Katrina was a subliminal message for us to watch the gauge a little closer and consider who’s jerking us around on the price. The simple act of our President “letting some oil loose” to ease the cost (and protect his plummeting approval ratings) smacks of control. Who’s in charge?
maxine for pres

Here are some factoids for my fellow Americans. I’ve worked for the same healthcare provider for 28 years…since I graduated from college. We’ve been sold twice during that period, and I lost benefits each time. The last time was my biggest screwing. I had 20K in a pension that I can’t touch because umm..I dunno know why. Not even a kiss during the conversion.

I don’t blame Bush et al. I blame us…the voters, for not being able to see past our noses and our partisan loyalties to demand accountability from the robber barons. Sure, Kerry has lots of money too. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was that Bush won because nobody with any credibility had the bucks to make a decent showing. If Kerry barely lost by default, imagine what a strong candidate could do. I still shake my head over those debates last year and the fact that the monkey won the election after he bumbled his way through.

“I voted for him.” That’s a phrase I hear more and more these days as Americans realize that we’re only one year into a train wreck of a term with the Jr. W at the helm. “But I don’t agree with that war.” The Homeland Security/FEMA disaster of the past few months has shown me that, without a doubt, we are in serious trouble. If we are not capable of helping our own, what the hell are we doing out there saving the rest of the world? Somebody’s making money off of it, or we wouldn’t be doing what we're doing.

My youngest brother recently told me that he’s over it. Republican to the bone, he is weary from watching the government that he helped to elect drop the ball time and again. There won’t be another Reagan. Nor Kennedy. Not even another Clinton, I hope. If we wake up and watch voting patterns and change our lifestyles, there may be somebody with the vision and integrity to clean up the mess that is our nation.
Raise your hand if you think Frist didn't know about HCA. I voted for him, by the way. Live and learn.

One day at a time, y'all. Happy birthday Hossie. I'm sending you a cat as a present. The fat black one that can't hit the litter box ;)
disco inferno
I don't get out much...and I'm usually in the bed sound asleep by 10 or so. Last night, my brother needed some kitchen help at his nightclub because he had a band coming that always draws in a big crowd. Nobody ever buys food, but hey..if they ask for it, you have to be able to deliver. I showed up about 7:30 and wandered around the empty club listening to the band warm up. They looked like a normal bunch of guys, mostly in shorts with short haircuts. When the doors opened at 8, they disappeared for awhile to do whatever musicians do right before a show.

Imagine my disbelief when this bunch took their place on stage. Boy did they work that crowd into a frenzy under the disco ball. They performed until I thought they were all gonna have strokes with three energetic sets of 70's and 80's dance music. Think back to the time when the glittering disco ball twirled overhead while you boogied your ( much younger )tail off. Poops has never been much of a dancer except around the house, but these guys were fun to just listen to and watch. I had the added benefit of being able to mingle since I was just "on call" for the deep fryer, so I got to visit with old friends and young friends all night. And the best part....the beer was on my brother! After the band quit at 1AM, the crowd continued to party until 3. Babygirl and BF came to pick me up before that, but still I didn't make it to bed until it had been 24 hours since I'd gotten up. Burn baby burn!
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