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Computer is near death, and requesting morphine. I think it was the P2P that did her in. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by my friend, the ultimate funeral director. She gave me the CUTEST purse full of stuff to pamper myself with for Christmas. I got towels from Texas and and an orbital sander from Oregon. Plus a camera that I can't format. I'm wearing new socks right now. Thank you Santa ;)

The pyre is blazing out there on the gravel driveway. Poops managed to shove a little more history out of the attic window to pile up on top of the wood that Gumby and Davy rustled up to bring in the new year. As usual, I'll be sound asleep by midnight.

We got some blackeyes and pork tenderloin ready to cook up tomorrow thanks to my boss's boss's gift card. He's the cutest thing, I tell you. Too bad he doesn't trust me enough to get real. Maybe someday.

See ya next year y'all.

baby jesus

It is,indeed,mysterious how the Lord will work right smack in the middle of the most serious circumstances and in the most bizarre ways. Had Big Ernie not been at work in my life during the past few years, I doubt that I would have survived some very tough times. Following the divorce four years ago, my ex and BabyGirl had a great relationship. They played and partied together and he cooked for she and her friends. He worked. Life was good for everybody, considering what we'd been through as a family. Years earlier I had loosened up my baggage in therapy while he remained obstinately in denial about the pain that his dysfunctional childhood had left deep within his soul. In his eyes, it just didn't matter. History, so to speak. That's when we started our road toward the end of the marriage...the end that we all knew was coming. We raised our daughter and finally split the difference on what we had to show for twenty odd years together. Financially it was a serious move for both of us. Lauren was about to start college and our respective incomes would be halved.

Somewhere along the way he fell in love. For the first time in his life, actually. We had only grown to love each other over time as partners will do, but this was the real thing. He fell completely in whacko-heart-and-soul love. She didn't feel the same way, and soon backed off. Pretty soon after that he started to slide. In the end after a nine month crack and meth binge he ended up in the county jail for the second time this year. His truck is gone, and he is homeless with a court appointed attorney who could care less about pro-bono. Beginning on Christmas Eve after a friend gave him our new phone number, the calls started coming for BabyGirl but collect calls were blocked and it was the "holiday" weekend you know. Nobody at phone companies works then, right Hoss? He called four or five times on Christmas Eve and Day and she couldn't accept the charges. You've got to be one hard son-of-a-gun to not feel sorry for THAT guy. I talked to two different phone companies this week trying to negotiate the ability to accept a collect call. As of yesterday evening, still no luck.

BabyGirl and her boyfriend met me as I was pulling into the drive coming from the other direction today. When I eased up next to the mailbox in the drizzle and popped the front open, a hand written letter stood out. You just don't get many of those these days. In pencil, from her Daddy, was a letter to BabyGirl with a return address of the local correctional facility jail. He tried to explain with his words how sorry he is and that he misses and loves her. He wants the chance to be a father again to she and her buddies. From what I have heard he is charged with a felony for something that he was doing to help out an "old buddy" who has a beef with his brother. I know the man well enough to know that he can drink and drug with the best of 'em, but he doesn't steal and that admitting that he is wrong is a remarkable event. It's a place called rock bottom, and I've been there.

She shared the letter with me, and glowed over actually knowing that he was okay. It made me cry to think of that kind man being in that spot. He was always so stubborn that the thought of the broken spirit has haunted me the past couple of weeks. There is an active prison ministry there which seems to have made a mark on his soul. The letter mentioned faith and prayer, and placed in both the top and the bottom was this message.

"Happy Birthday Jesus"

I couldn't help but think to myself," Self. That's a miracle if I ever saw one."
shout out to bill gates
Oh my! My computer(s) hates me and it's all your fault. I mean, gah. It's only five six years old and sporting that ever popular Windows ME as an OS. What can I say...it was a SuperStore/HP bargain back in the days prior to the milennium that turned out to be not quite as catastrophic as we all feared. Only one thousand bucks!! Lucky me.

Later on I bought a Dell from a smooth talkin' salesguy at 30% interest because the babygirl needed one to join dial-up heaven with her Mom while she was in college. My post-divorce finances put me right on up there in the special needs bracket. Said Dell special'o'the'week is sitting on the floor by my bed waiting for some ethnic guru to tweak it when my budget allows. Meanwhile, I'm paying some "collection agency" by the month to get the outsourced goons off my back at work. Yes...at work. It's illegal, I know. They hound me anyway.

They'll never find me on the beach I'm running away to. I figure lots of sugar daddies hang out on the dunes and that's where I'll make MY pile. Then I can afford to buy a new tire and get a front end alignment. Maybe then I can have a week offa work. It's okay if he's ugly and old. I'll just bring two bags and it's all good. I've been told I do pretty good work on my back.

Oh, and Bill?? I know him too and he said you better cut me some slack. A hard workin' girl can only take so much before she crumbles. Tell Melinda I said Happy 2006. I'm saving for the next edition of Windows as.I.type.
...is my favorite part of the Christmas season, no doubt. My house is stripped of the red and green trappings of advent, but the nativity remains atop the mantle in the living room, backlit by candles. Okay, so it's not a mantle...it's an entertainment center. Give me some points for imagination ;)

Those three wise guys with the gifts were probably the first real disciples of Christ. They followed a star to where the baby was layin' there in the manger and laid down their gifts, which were extravagant to say the least.

I remember the first time that the meaning of Epiphany was introduced to me. It was in a small chapel with stained glass windows and the Sunday night crowd that consists mostly of the elderly who never miss a rat killin'. Something changed deep inside of me that night as I considered the rest of the story. From that point on, the transition from Advent to Lent to Easter and through Pentecost became the part of my soul that worships the One God quietly each day. It's the same one that people of other faiths look to for strength and pupose and hope. The rest is just details.

I heard somebody famous say today that we should "love each others' histories."
I agree.

remember when?
christmas past
....back when it was magical and exciting and shared with little brothers? Aw, you know. You couldn't sleep for knowin' that Santa was coming or that niggling doubt that he wasn't real.

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

"I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"
Virginia O'Hanlon
poopie christmas

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus?Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
looky what i got!

My secret santa is none other than the clever and original Jamie Dawn who came up with some very interesting word play and this pricless seasonal pic of Mr.Hanky ;)

"A Poopie Limerick:
I know a lady named Janey,
At times, she can be quite zany.
Gets her kicks drawing blood,
Wants real love, not a dud,
Loves her kid, cat and doggies insanely."

A Poopie PECANS Acrostic:

P-oopie is funny and frank.
E-ndings are just new beginnings in her life.
C-arefully, she nurtures her daughter.
A-ll her recipes are yummy.
N-o one should doubt her ability to stay strong.
S-he enjoys a balance of solitude and frivolity."

Thanks JD! I hope you have a very poopie Christmas as well ;) And thank YOU Michael for putting it all together. Too much fun!
tagged by the cowboy poet
Why certainly Joe Cool I'd be delighted to do the meme!

What were you doing ten years ago? Adjusting nicely to a divorce from a husband whom I turned around and re-married and divorced AGAIN 4 years ago. Yeah, like duh.

What was I doing one year ago? Praying for the safe return of my daughter .

Five snacks you enjoy:
Thin crust pizza
El Patio(white)cheese dip and chips
Cheese ball and crackers
Ro-tel dip with sausage
Crab rangoon

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
Buy the farm I live on and completely re-furbish the house (circa 1918)
Help my daughter start a business
Establish scholarships for healthcare students
Donate weekly to Matthew 25:40, the local food pantry
Give FTS enough money to get to Colorado and get settled in

Five bad habits:
Chomping ice
Crying when I'm mad
Can't remember people's names that I've just met

Five things you like doing:
Listening to music
Growing stuff
Riding a four-wheeler or walking through the woods
Sleeping with my doggies

Five things you would never wear, buy or get new again:
Spandex pants
Stiletto heels
A prom dress for BabyGirl that cost almost 300 bucks and was worn ONCE
An American made car ( okay, bash me on that one, but hey......)
A pure bred dog...mutts have more character ;)

Five Favorite Toys:
Digital camera
CD player
Orbital sander(Woot!)
Matches (what can I say..I like to burn stuff)

I won't tag since Santa's watching me real close and he thinks I've been really REALLY good. Stop laughin'. I have!


FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 1
RE: Christmas Party
I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. No host bar, but plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

December 2 Memo

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 2
RE: Christmas Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time.

Happy now?

December 3 Memo

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a nondrinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads "AA Only" you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?


December 7 Memo

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 7
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse company we are! I had no idea that December 2 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating, drinking and sex during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps Luigi's can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party the days are so short this time of year or else package everything for takehome in little foil swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Did I miss anything?

December 8 Memo

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 8
RE: Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice...what do you expect me to do, a tapdance on your heads? Fire regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by our "earthbased Goddessworshipping" employees, but we'll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle during the band's breaks. Okay???

December 9 Memo

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock at Halloween or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey or broken hearts on Valentine's Day. Could we lighten up?

December 10 Memo

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 10
RE: Holiday Party

Vegetarians!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your freaking salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes. But you know, they have feelings too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right now!

December 14 Memo

FROM: Teri Bishops, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 14
RE: Pat Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pat Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress related illness and I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the sanatorium.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

We hope that this change does not offend anyone.


Hey..I'll take the paid day off. Y'all be good and have a Merry Christmas.
the gift that keeps on giving
Psst...can y'all keep a secret? Good. I thought so. My mom is one heckuva lady and has taught me many things. She is an excellent writer and that ability is matched only by her talent for creating really.great.food. Back in the day she was a reporter for the local newspaper and had a regular recipe column called "From the Back Burner". Later on she put all those recipes that she had gathered over the years together and printed a cookbook by the same name to raise money for our county fair association's building fund. People around these parts TREASURE that book and many can't cook it if it's not in there. Long story short..the book has been out of print for years and I've tried and tried to get up the nerve to tackle the project of getting it back on paper because people still clamor for it. One of these days, I'll get around to it. In the meantime, I wanted my Mom to have a place to share her culinary skills with you AND enjoy herself in blogland. That's right....


Here's what I need you to do. Tiptoe on over to Mom's place and leave her a little "welcome to the blog world" comment. Then go back after she's started posting and swipe some of the most delish recipes you ever laid eyes on.
from the back burner
a star is born...and stuff
*tap tap tap*

May I have your attention please? Today is a very special day for our friend Follow That Star. If my memory serves correctly this fine fellow turns forty seven today and, well. I'm all about any excuse for a party ;) Since he's in Texas and I'm in Tennessee I'm partying with him in spirit to celebrate his spiral toward the big five-oh. Heh..then we'll be even, because that's where I'm stopping!
Traditionally the birthday "person" gets a cake, but in his case I think a pecan pie would be more appropriate. The boy loves some pie, I'm just sayin'.
And of course, what good would pie be without some nice hot java?
Now that we've eaten, it's time for presents!! Look who's here to watch.....
It's the cat who owns him!!!!!!!!!!
Even though he'll be moving to Colorado soon, he will always be a Texan at heart so I feel sure his loyalties will be split between the Rangers and the Rockies. How about a momento for each "home" team?
Oh yeah...and one more thing that he'll need in the mountains. Sweaters...lots and lots of them! To keep in the oven!!
Y'all run on over and tell him a big old Happy Birthday, ya hear? And tell him the Poopster said to pick up another bottle of red.
dirty santa

Um..well. According to Michael it's a "Secret Santa" thing. Same difference I reckon...everybody gets a surprise one way or another. Bless his heart, he took the time to match us all up for a virtual gift exchange. I love that man. But, I digress.

I drew Kim down there somewhere in the Deep South. The poor thing survived Katrina in spite of FEMA and continues to keep a close eye on her nemesis, the secretary who kisses butt and shows up late, if at all. Kim is a legal assistant which is a a far cry from a butt kissin' secretary. Humph. We can take her out back girl. I'm just sayin'...the midsouth ain't that far away. Knowwhatimean? Graceland is a mere 80 miles from Dyersburg and I heard that Elvis still hangs out there.

She has a delightful family that includes a DH (dear husband?) and a daughter who's headed for the service....MsSoonToBeBlue. Kim is an avid deer hunter and a contributor to The Dew about all things Southern. She blogs from work, but don't tell anybody ;) Shhhh..
Kim's addicted to poker which is a game that requires a lot of skill in the facial expression and math departments. She plays professionally when the monkey crawls up on her back and says "Draw".
royal flush
Merry Christmas Kim. You sure know how to hold 'em.
thursday stuff
My new masseuse worked the major kinks outta the neck and back today with magic fingers and hot stones. I'm sore, but it's a good kind of sore. Got a cute haircut too. Miss Rhonda knows every hair on my head.

I read somewhere in a dispatch that tonight would be the brightest lunar viewing from now until 2033. I probably won't be here to compare, but I'd say this one is a keeper. The tin roof of the barn is glistening with silvery moonlight and it's not too terribly cold. Joseph and Mary are about to begin their journey to Bethlehem for the census, and according to the Gospels she is huge with child. While I never rode a donkey to another town while pregnant, I walked the halls of the hospital with a tray full of needles and a BabyGirl in my belly, so I can relate to the hardships of month nine on the hoof.

I haven't seen my baby brother and his wife for over a year now. They are due to arrive from Virginia next week and I can't wait to hug them both. Heck, I may just hug everybody I see just 'cuz it feels good.

Last Chritmas, Faith ate the angel of my Gaga's that had topped our tree for years.
There's a newer one up there now, given to me by my friend the Little General. She's the one who gave me HOPE Butterbean last year. Y'all say "awww, bless her heart."

On the way up the lane to work the other day, we saw some movement over to the right coming from the cotton field. I slowed down just in time for seven white tails to prance across the lane going from the thicket to the woods.

Keepin' the faith here. ^j^
My friend Sue is a hoot..plain and simple. We work together and there's never a dull moment when she's around. Today found us doing yoga in the middle of the lab to work out the muscle spasms in my shoulder blade. Her latest make-me-snort-til-I-can't-breathe tale went something like this:

Oldest daughter Julie and her family live in East Tennessee and traveled to the western part of the state to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of the family. On Wednesday after they arrived, Julie took her Mom aside and whispered " I've got to tell you something." "Oh dear" Sue thought to herself. "What's going on?" Julie and the baby were leaving the house that day and as they pulled onto the street their cat, Pepper, spotted the car from a neighbor's yard. Pepper darted out to greet Mom and instead ended up under the wheel of the car. When she got out to investigate, Julie found her beloved Pepper dead as a doornail, and it was at her hand! Hysterically, she phoned her husband Maury at work. He left the office and rushed home to assist with the family crisis. The older kids were at school and they were due to leave for the six hour car trip to Grandma's shortly. There would not be time to tell the kids and give Pepper an appropriate burial but they couldn't leave his kitty carcass laying around for four days at 60 degrees. What to do? Always the man with the plan, Maury folded Pepper's little paws across his chest, carefully wrapped him in plastic and did what any of us would do. He put him in the freezer to chill until they got home.

"Julie!", Sue hissed. "You mean to tell me Pepper is in the damn FREEZER????" Julie reassured her Mom that there was no blood and he looked real good...not messed up at all! They continued with their preparations for Thanksgiving dinner with thoughts of frozen feline just below the surface of every conversation.

Fast forward to four days later when the tribe arrives back in East Tennessee. Maury carefully removed Pepper's stiff body from the plastic wrapper and laid him on the garage floor. There was NO WAY they could tell eleven year old Matthew, seven year old Anna and six year old Elizabeth that their Mom had hit the family pet. The story went that Pepper had been hit by a stranger and had been brought back to the house for a funeral. All three kids tiptoed into the garage to find Pepper stiff as a board and they instantly began wailing. Matthew went over to pet his kitty's fur and his first remark was " But,he's so COLD." Elizabeth and Anna were hysterical, and Anna ran off to her room sobbing uncontrollably. A few minutes later she returned...with mittens on. What better way to handle a frozen cat?

Pepper got buried with a cross and lots of memories shared by his graveside. Maury is considering a second career as an animal undertaker. Mittens will be provided for all of the bereaved in lieu of paper fans.
all's well that ends well
Thanks for all the good vibes and shout outs to Big Ernie. The repair work on my car finally got approved today after much angst on my part. It will still take a week for the "small block" (whatever the heck that is) to be ordered and put in, but that's OKAY. It's such a relief knowing that I won't have to deal with the alternatives. I'm beginning to get accustomed to being a truck-driving mama though. I can actually throw my garbage back there to haul it off instead of stuffing it into my trunk!

Today was Christmas dinner day in our little corner of the hospital. Last year we gave our pathologist an acted out live singing version of the twelve days of Christmas. "One of us" absolutely refused to do that crap performance again so we did something different. He had mentioned to us one time that he just HATED those red hat ladies because when he's in a restaurant where they are, you can never get served! Guess who came to treat him with a reading of "When I'm an Old Lady". Heh. We all came out with our red and pink hats on (pink is for under fifty, you know) and even gave him his own red hat ornament so he can..ahem..remember the day forever;) He fondly refers to us as the wild bunch. Wonder why?

In case you're feeling the pinch on your "to do" list, let me help you to feel a bit better. I haven't done my shopping. At all. I made a deal with BabyGirl to give her a list and money and let her go fight the crowds. She does much better than I do with shoppin'...actually likes it. My part of the deal is to do the wrapping. I consider myself to have gotten the better end.

just call me wonder woman
GEEEZ..did I have a lot of fun in y'alls fiction or what???? If only my life were half that exciting ;) True to the story line, I'm still picking pecans out of the hulls in my "spare" time. That is, when I'm not trying to find my oil change receipts so that Toyota will pay for my engine to be re-built. A comedy of errors, no doubt. The records are nowhere to be found. Fine then, the service dept. calls the oil change place and gives them my plate number to get the records. Only problem with that is that there are no records on that plate number because it changed when I bought the car end of lease and changed it to my name only. Hmmm..what's the old plate number? Ah. There on the wheel tax registration from a few years ago in barely visible ink. How come the maintenance records aren't there too? Beats the hell outta me. I'm downsizing my life which includes throwing crap away without looking too closely. Meanwhile, I've cooked some dressing and deviled eggs for our Christmas party at work tomorrow. Hopefully the sick people will stay well so we can sit down and eat in peace for a change. If not, I reckon we'll carry on in between bites.

Y'all keep the faith for me on this car thing. It don't look good and I'm not needing a good screwin' in the finance department right about now. Know what I mean? Gotta go install the DSL so I can visit you faster. Remember that Santa is watching, and I'm his informant. He promised me the cabana boy if I tell what I know.

Catch you later. ^j^
Something different
Lifted from Dorothy at Ornithology for Beginners.

Here's the deal:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, please post a comment with a completely made-up and fictional memory of you and me. It can be anything you want (let's keep it rated PG-13, please, because I'm a prude that way) -good or bad - but it has to be fake.

Then copy the paragraph above on your own blog.
(almost) friday christmas cat blogging
kris kringle karma
St. Nick has come early to visit the Poopster. Pictured here is a very grateful smartass gal holding the DeWALT orbital sander that will give her the means to deal with this and this . A blogger who shall remain anonymous got the spirit and gifted me with a nice power tool. Woot! Thank you Lowell. I love you too.
santa sander
Ahh...and my brother. How do I love HIM..let me count the bytes. He managed to pull some strings and get some DSL action going on out here in the country. My carpal- tunnel-syndrome-afflicited limbs will appreciate the speed at which I can visit my b**g friends after a long day of tapping the keyboard at work whilst dueling with the evil egos of doctors and corporate higher ups. Bah...humbug, y'all.

In the words of my dear friend Sue "This is reeeediculous". Amen sista. Bring on Prince Charming ;)
economy of words
This trial starts tomorrow. Please keep all those involved in your thoughts and prayers.

Act I
Scene I
Alarm goes off at 4:30. Slap snooze until almost 5 then haul it out of bed. It's cold. REAL cold. Get out the door just in time to make it to work.
Scene II
Fire car up and hear a strange noise. It goes away. Pull out onto the lane. KLONK KLONK. Flat tire. Pull back into driveway and head in to call the boss.
Scene III
Wake up BabyGirl's sleeping boyfriend from the couch. He says it's "too cold" to change the tire, he'll take me to work. She's due to work at 8. I make it in fifteen minutes late at 6:15.
Scene IV
BabyGirl calls hysterical at 8am because BF won't wake up to take her to work. Meanwhile I've called a tire place to come out and put the spare on, take the car in and fix the tire plus do some maintenance. They're outside as we talk, so I tell her to tell them to just CHANGE the tire, fix the flat and I'll make an appt. for the other stuff when I stop to pick it up.

Act II Work until 1:30. Not a bad day for a Monday.

Scene I BabyGirl picks me up and we do some running for her job prior to my 2pm appointment for my FREE massage. The noise is back...and worse. I deliver her back to work, call to cancel the massage, and stop at a service station for a guy to have a listen to. I vaguely hear "rod knocking" and "pull the engine." Oh crap.
Scene II Pull into the dealership where the car has ONE month left on the warranty and my cousin is the sales manager. He slides it in under the warranty but it will take a week. The loaners are out. I can take one off the lot and bring it back later today when the loaner comes back that I will drive. Cool. Get me the hell out of here! The car they give me is out of gas and they give me a voucher to go a couple of miles up the road to get it. I forget and leave my beer in my car that's gonna be worked on...for a week.
Scene III Get gas, go back to get beer out of car and the loaner is back in so I don't have to come back later after all. Fall down on the ground and kiss favorite cousin's feet. Haul ass toward the house, beer in tow.

Act IV ( for you drama critics, here's the climax )
Stop by the tire place to pay them for fixing the tire and such. Turns out the guy misunderstood BabyGirl, said he put the bad tire in the back of the car since I was "coming in later". Fine then. Tire's in the trunk, car's in the shop. Let me pay you what I owe you for what you did, which was change a tire. Total price for a service call 1 mile down the road: $49 forty nine dollars , um hmm, and some change. And the tire's still not fixed.

Epilogue: Pull into the yard in my loaner TRUCK and spot the damaged tire laying in front of the steps on the ground. &%######++*****

I just have one request....will somebody please hold me ??

Bonus question: Guess who's on Santa's ( and Poopie's ) naughty list? Multiple answers allowed.
seasons of love
Forgive my repeated references to Rent, but it's on my mind as I type to the soundtrack. That's right..I spent money that I could have used to buy a toy-for-a-tot or to pay a bill on something that I wanted. Two somethings actually..I bought Santana's new one too! Merry Christmas Carlos. Santa loves what you and the missus do with Milagro. Jesus does too.

The theme of Rent centers around one year in the life of friends in the East Village of NYC. That theme can easily be applied to all of our lives if you stop to consider, REALLY consider who has been there for you during the past five hundred twenty six thousand six hundred minutes. It doesn't matter it you're in Hooterville or the UK. Each and every day represents an opportunity to live and love and learn tolerance. Every second of every hour of each year presents a chance to make a difference in someone else's life. Forget the acknowledgement and the recognition and the tax credit. Just do it because it's what friends do here on Mother Earth for their fellow travelers. It's the right thing that allows you to sleep at night knowing that you've focused on somebody besides numero uno. You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not always right.

Thank goodness I'm off on New Year's Day 2006. I feel a party coming on.

Peace out. ^j^

what's love got to do with it?

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I wear my heart, not on my sleeve, but more like the front pocket on a shirt... full of pens and pencils like the geek that I am in the romance department. The first time I fell in love was at the age of 17 and I went down like a load of bricks. Of course there had been numerous crushes throughout my teenage years, but this one.. this one . He was a Yankee raised Alabama boy who breezed into my life at just the moment I was poised on the brink of romance with a reliable steady guy who sent me roses. The Yank, instead of flowers, wrote poetry which he snuck to me during our senior year that was filled with lazy days on a Mississippi river sandbar accompanied by a bottle of wine and intertwined with a liberal attitude toward life. That was a rare find for a southern girl in the seventies. And then there were the hormones..raging, as they were.

I was built like a twenty year old as a young teen, and fought off the advances of older boys for many years, holding on to my virginity like a prize. With each and every one of them, I knew. That what they wanted was natural and enjoyable, but I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to be special. And it was. Way back then, I thought that "love" was forever and withstood all things. It lasted until I graduated from college, and he let me down gently but I took it real hard. Within two years, I was in a rebound marriage to a man I definitely did NOT love but who was comfortable to be with. For a while.

The thing that I discovered, along the road of that marriage, is that we fall in love many times during our lives. Love is just what it is...an intense emotion that blasts us when things click and the fireworks go off and everything is rosy just because. There is agape, the pure kind of love we feel for others when we put their interests above our own and sacrifice for them. But that kind of love is much more difficult...more like work. The romantic kind is more fun with all the bells and whistles and affirmation. I've experienced it several times in my life, and each time my heart has blurted out the truth that could not be hidden even if I tried. Because that is who I am. Some women know how to take the Cosmo articles and use them to their advantage in the games department. I've never quite gotten the hang of it.

One of my work buddies, a nurse, was hanging out with me today and the topic turned to men. "You got a boyfriend?" she asked. "Nope" I said. "Do you really want one?" she asked. She's been married three times and single for many years....a breast cancer survivor, several years older than me. We talked a bit longer and I finally told her that yes, in fact, I feel ready for that now. Four years after a divorce I've finally got my head straight and I know what I want instead of blindly searching around for that ideal. She remarked that she had dated a guy once for four years and he had proposed. She knew, in her heart, if she said no to marriage that she would lose him because that is what he wanted. She cut him loose, and misses him still, yet she is content. To be alive and working and able to take nourishment. To be still kicking. And to be able to say to herself "Maybe someday...." She's keeping the faith.
two dog night
Thankfully, that's how many I've got. Actually, BabyGirl gets the big one and the little one is mine. Faith's eyes aren't really scary like that..it's just the camera angle.
my girls
I accomplished my fall mission today when I sold enough little pecans to pay for getting the big ones cracked. They were a gift from a guy pickin' on the halves. He left them on my porch like the honest fella that he is. I didn't catch his name. Must have been a drive by act of kindness.

I seem to be lacking a few mailing addresses as the season of cards and remembrances approaches. I've decided that this year snail mail will be my chosen route of correspondence. Call it my last act of faith in the federal government. If I don't have your address, expect a phone call or a personal visit.

Gotta go get started on picking those nuts out of the hulls. Or I might just hit the shower and call it a day.

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