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pretty in pink
Like many some merkins, I watched the state-of-our-disunion address this evening. As usual, Dems were seated on the left with the GOP to the right. I'm not quite sure where the middle was, but I think they were outside helping Cindy Sheehan find a therapist after she was released from "detention." The first lady looked quite lovely dressed in an Easter egg color designed just for her. Opening remarks included a tribute to the late Coretta Scott King whose late husband is rolling over in his grave at what is happening all these years after he died for civil rights. The grand entrance included an entourage that included a smiling and "repentent" Dr. Frist, the champion of Terry Schiavo et al.

For the sake of brevity, I'll just hit the high points of tonight's issues and promises, per our illustrious leader:

"Our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger."
"Dictatorships shelter terrorists."
"The United States will never surrender to evil."
"Isolationism is not in our vocabulary as a country.
Kerry rubs forehead, Hillary snorts and chews gum.
"Hamas...yada yada yada"
"....save the Middle Eastern countries from *blink blink* ultimatums of terror."
"Patriot Act: Connect the dots to prevent another attack on Merka."
Condi grins.
"Our economy is healthy and vigorous, the envy of the world,especially those immigrants who come here to work for minimum wage."
"Line item veto *big proud smile*"
"A commission to examine the issues facing us baby boomers who head toward the future as a burden to our children." No time line here. I'm assuming we'll be dead and gone before that one makes it through Congress. After all, they have to have time off to spend the lobbyists' money.
"Strengthen the doctor patient relationship so that affordable health care is a reality." Back in Frist's court.
"America is addicted to oil." yada yada "hybrids and alternative energy sources" yada yada.
"Our children lag behind in math and science so it's all their fault later on."

Okay, I admit I took some cynical poetic license with my interpretation of the royal proceedings. It's just that I believe in solving your own problems before you take on the world.

I could be wrong.
One of my oldest and dearest blog buddies, Phyllis at Random Southerner has lost the man she warmly refers to as "Beloved Spouse." Please drop by and leave her with a kind thought.
I don't do much TV because there's not much worth spending time on. Last night I happened upon the Screen Actor's Guild awards and watched for a bit. Something that Philip Seymour Hoffman said stuck with me: "Actors can't act alone."

An ensemble cast is a cast in which the principal performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance in a dramatic production. This kind of casting became more popular in television series because it allows for flexibility for writers to focus on different characters in different episodes. In addition, the departure of players is less disruptive to the premise than it would be if the star of a production with a regularly structured cast leaves.

The humility of being selected as the best by their peers was staggering for most of those being honored, because they realized that it was not a popularity contest but a vote of confidence in their acting ability from others who also love what they do. Some were big box office draws, but most were simply artisans who embrace the craft in a way that personifies passion for their chosen field.

That got me to ponderin' about ensembles in the real world. Every day of every life is spent in tandem with the lives of many others...family, friends, co-workers and serendipitously met strangers. It's a beautiful moment when the wise and humble person can stop and say " Self, it's not all about me. The ensemble is functional only if we all contribute our best and share the rewards of unconditional love in spite of hardships and differing opinions."

Here's an example for ya.

the cast
the big tease
That's what today was for an outdoor lover like myself. Although winter is only one third through the trek toward spring, I found myself drawn outside after work to get a head start on spring yard chores. No way would I waste a 60 plus degree day in January painting a kitchen wall.

The monkey grass got a severe haircut and some of the pruning is done. After wrestling with an autumn clematis that needed to be moved, my trusty sharpshooter snapped in half with the weight of my body against the rootball. The birds were out in force, feeding on sunflower seed and enjoying the beauty of the day following last night's torrential wind and rain. Bright flashes of cardinal red flitted around as the dogs dug for moles and came up with dirty noses. It's like a little piece of heaven to me.

I've been known to chase a sunset with a camera until it barely glows, but today I will just enjoy it as the sky turns orange and pink and purple and the rays cast a golden light over the moss surrounding the trees in the front yard. There are already crocuses in bloom there, and daffodil buds pushing up through the soil. The flowering quince has begun its' show of pink that is always a favorite time for me. Without fail, when Cupid makes an appearance for St. Valentine's day, that quince will provide me with flowers.

The buds are everywhere, straining to jump the gun on winter in Tennessee. It's been mild thus far, but I hope they hold out for the real deal. One thing about the weather here...it's totally unpredictable. I've seen as many Easter snows as I have Christmas ones in my lifetime. But for now, I've gotta go join Butterbean on the front porch swing to say adios to this particular Sunday in paradise.

Later. ^j^
if it walks like a lemming.......

Well, it might not be. But if it TALKS like a lemming too? Chances are it's one of those timid little followers who marches to the sea behind all the others and takes the plunge. It's one of the strange things that lemmings do every few years, and who the heck knows why. Strange little critters.

After tiring of after-work painting, I relaxed to catch up on world news via that wicked liberal media. Only then did I discover that my invitations to a couple of very important political and social events got lost in the mail. As I type, two hundred or so members of the Alfalfa Club are gathered in Washington for their annual ball. It's a roast kinda' deal including a select few high rollers in politics and business. Their custom is to annually nominate someone for president, whether it's an election year or not. I know they left me off so as to surprise me big time with the nomination. I WILL remember you little people when I'm a nominee. Also in the news is the World Economic Forum in Switzerland where many influential (and rich) international movers and shakers are gathered to solve the problems of our world such as this : Corporate morale sags due to a widespread belief that, perhaps, CEO salaries should be not QUITE so extravagant as benefits are being steadily hammered for the front line grunts associates. According to Bono: "It is sexy to leave the world a better place." Hoss's buddy Bill made an appearance if I'm not mistaken. I heard he dropped a few billion to cure TB.

I wouldn't dare pull a rant on y'all. Instead I'll leave you with this thought from my favorite Mary Engelbreit T-shirt:

* No matter where you go, there you are. *

Lou Reed spoke to the soul of my senior class in 1973 and we chose his classic as "our song". We were, and are, an eclectic bunch who have seen a lot of history in the 32.75 years since entering the real world. "That war" ended and Tricky Dick got caught red handed. Woodstock revisited turned into something that the original festival so was not. Various politicians, world and religious leaders lied, got caught and lied some more. All the while, we were hard at work raising our children and buying into the American dream that money buys happiness. More work = more money = more stuff= more happiness. During the teenage years when BabyGirl was busy gettin' into everything she was big enough for, I would cringe every time she walked out the door. Though it killed my soul to watch her go and know what was out there, I'd simply say to her " Remember who you are." It was a phrase that usually drew a frown or a flippant "unh huh", but I said it anyway, sort of like a prayer sent up in faith that Big Ernie would hear me even when she didn't.wild sideHe did...and she did, though it never seemed like it at the time. Somewhere along the way I forgot who I was. I was their daughter, his wife, her mother, their employee, the Sunday school teacher and choir member and Girl Scout leader. Like many other Americans, I became a social security number on a mission to do what the world expected of me. That's where turning fifty comes to be a blessing. You don't like what I think? I could care less. You know what they say about opinions. Knowing that life is, at best, half over and possibly a done deal at any given moment bestows a certain freedom to lighten up and dream big. Small things become monumental and the urge to slow the pace of living overtakes worry and stress. Passion for whatever you love moves front and center. In my case? Here's a few examples.

Music... most all of it
Life stories
Growing things and cookin'
Burnin' shit
My family
Doing what I can for sick people, and those trying to stay healthy
Star gazing and beach or mountain time
Love, honesty, truth and justice

Don't tell anybody, but I think I've found her again.
winter sunset
I've been working very hard (not) to match the colors of this sunset with my kitchen decor. The blue is old as the hills and the dark apricot is a canvas waiting to be created upon. Before it dried, it looked like pure UT Vols orange to this untrained eye. A sponge here and there will fix the glare, I feel sure.
we have color
We're a long way from tile work, but we'll get there eventually.
life goes on
Last Monday, I'd been at work for a couple of hours when a co-worker came in wondering why the main street through town was blocked off with cop cars everywhere. News travels fast in small burgs, and in no time we learned that there had been a freak accident involving a guy I graduated with thirty umm..three years ago. His house backs up to a giant forest right smack in the middle of town that is bordered by two steep residential streets. While one is paved with quaint brick, the parallel is the main drag from downtown Dyersburg to the land beyond where urban sprawl has grown us to a small city versus a small town. It has always seemed odd to me that this cavern of kudzu still exists. My mother's generation played there, swinging on grapevines and dodging snakes back in the forties. I did the same much later on.

TJ was one of those guys that girls like me could only crush on but never go out with. The popular girls were his dates when dance time came around, yet he never much acted like he was God's gift to females. Nice guy. Only child. He was a year older than me because of that holdin' back thing so he never quite considered himself a member of the "Class of '73", but proudly held his spot with the '72 group. He married like the rest of us and had a daughter, then later divorced and remained single for years. He travelled to work for awhile at a nearby Air Force base, then became an instructor for truck drivers in another nearby town. His house sits halfway up (or down) the steep venue that I travel every day on the way to work. Due at work at 7AM, he went out sometime before that to get into his ride and head out. His fiancee came outside to catch him before he left, and he stepped out of his truck. Who knows what happened next, but it seems that it popped out of gear somehow. Her car was parked in front of his truck and got pushed off into the gully. He was pinned between the truck and the retaining wall as emergency workers labored to save him.

Pallbearers included the two guys who fished the vehicles out of the withered kudzu with their wreckers. In my mind, I might run into him at Hamilton's deli getting his coffee on the way to work tomorrow. We'll exchange howdys and I'll remember how my heart went pitty pat thirty five years ago when he talked to me as a friend. And then we'll go about the business of living and loving and keeping the faith. ^j^
a work in progress

Here's some pictures of what I've accomplished so far, which looks mostly white because I've spent 3 days caulking and priming. If you don't think a house built in 1918 has a lot of cracks, I beg to differ. The ghostly settling continues day by day. BabyGirl has never seen the above wall prior to the past weekend 'cuz it's been covered up with a gigantic monstrosity of shelving that now lays in the back yard. Woot! Arriving home from work today, I made a weak attempt to finish the patching and scraping, but ran into some girl issues.
1. Couldn't get the old caulk tube off to put on a new one.
2. Couldn't get the top off the 50 pound bucket of sheetrock mud.
3. Couldn't get the cap off of the wood stripper.

I took all that as a sign that I should take the day off from manual labor today, and pick back up when I have some time away from the day job. Coming soon to this blog: Before pictures of the hideous bathroom and the living room hardwood floor with carpet stripped but plenty 'o glue left behind! I know you can't wait.

Uh..oh yeah. I've decided that my plan to have a baby is more trouble than it's worth. At fifty, I just don't have it in me. Thanks for all the suggestions for ailments to get me offa work. I'm still banking on SugarDaddy sweeping me off my feet. After all Valentine's Day is right around the corner ;)
P.S. If you get tired of looking at MY kitchen you can always go see Laura's .
Like my old and wizened buddy Hoss I am always on the lookout for the way to make a pile so I can retire from the day job and start having a little fun for a change. In case you haven't noticed, it's my turn. While engaging in such mindless chores as caulking, painting and climbing ladders to caulk and paint some more, I suddenly came upon a brilliant idea.

The only paid time off I have is three months worth of sick leave which is half of what was left after the most recent corporate sellout. My co-workers are lining up their ailments to take advantage of this "perk". One had neck surgery while yet another is gettin' her feet done real soon...bunions, ya know. Another has numerous doctor's visits on the books for holistic health and chiropractic magic. Now, old Poops is pretty healthy and has no serious thorns in the side, so to speak. Me and bunion girl were chattin' the other day about what I could come up with to get off for more than a weekend, and we stumbled upon a genius whiz idea. I'm gonna have a BABY! Never mind that I've had a tubal, and entered menopause shortly thereafter. Or that it would have to be immaculate conception. I have a plan, and it all revolves around my latest purchase of NurtiMin C facial care products.
Here's the deal. I will religiously use this skin care regimen until my face is so lovely that no man can resist my charms. SugarDaddy is sure to be captivated by my youthful appearance and want me to be the motha' of his child. Since he's rich, he can afford to have the tubal reversed so that his spawn will have a place to hang out for nine months. I'm a tough broad...and I plan on working up until I go into labor and then I've got three months off PAID with nothing to do but change diapers and breast feed.

Oops. I forgot about the menopause thing. It's okay...I'll find a surrogate.
I can barely type for all the Pro-block on my hands and face. That shit don't come off easy after a long session. Thank goodness for dispo-clothes and mild temps in January. Me and BabyGirl have been doing a "while we were in" thing on the kitchen today. Nate and Ty didn't show up so it was all up to us girls. Daddy popped his head through the back door to check on our progress. He's got a new border collie named Spence, and that's a whole 'nother story.
The best I can say is that the 17 year old country heart wallpaper is now white. Mostly. Except for the part that's not.

See y'all on the other side of this kitchen renovation. I might have time to post between the kitchen and bathroom projects. There will be pictures, especially of the tile. The whole dang thing revolves around some free ceramic tile from Amy Claire. How many people design rooms around navy blue tile and dollar store dishes?

*holding paint spattered hand up*

So sue me.
the man behind the blog
A couple of months ago I got to musing about how the rest of us out here in blogland would know if something happened to one of our favs. The universe decided that it was time for an answer to my cosmic wondering. Cg and I found each other through our state blogging group, The Rocky Top Brigade . Since we were two of the few West Tennessee bloggers in the group, a special kind of bond developed. In his last post in late October, he shared with us that he had been diagnosed with cancer. I kept returning to his blog to check for updates on his treatment and the status of his health. When I checked in at the RTB site in mid-December, I found the sad news that CG had died a few days after that last post. An address was given to contact his widow, and I did. We corresponded by e-mail for several weeks as she struggled to pull together something to honor the man who was her husband, the author of the blog known as "Mama Said There'd be Days Like This". Another RTB blogger, Juliepatchouli also contacted Mrs. Cg to offer her condolences and a friendship was born there as well. The Mrs. did not have access to CG's log-in information so she could not tell the world about her dear husband on his own site. I offered to post it here, and below you see her tribute in its' entirety.


The Man Behind the Blog

Cg – Mother Said There’d Be Days Like This

Charles Grace June 12, 1949 - November 3, 2005

Since there are several of you that regularly read Mama Said…, I thought you might like to know a little about the man behind the blog.

His name was Charles Grace. He was a native Memphian; lived here all his life except for a year and a half while he was in grad school at AU in Atlanta. He was a 5th grade teacher for thirty years. That’s a lot of years to “warp little minds” as Cg would always say. He loved teaching and thirty years worth of 5th graders loved him. Charles was very soft spoken; he never yelled at his students, he just looked at them with THAT look that just made them want to disappear into the woodwork. It worked on our kids, too.

When Charles and I married (in 1984), he wound up with a 13 year old boy and a 16 year old girl (AKA the son and the daughter). From almost the beginning, the daughter (Heather) called him Papa Bear. When he asked her why she called him that she replied,”What else would you call someone big and brown and fuzzy?” (He had lots of hair back then.). Through all the trials of raising teenagers, he loved “his” kids. Even the son (Philip) when he wrecked Charles’ 79 TransAm…gold…with a chicken on the hood. I guess the fact that both the son and the daughter had the courage to marry into ready-made families says a lot about the job Charles did as a role model.

Another side of Charles’ life that I’m not sure he wrote about was the theatre life we had. Although we met while we were both working at Collierville Elementary School, my real job was as a working musician (string bass and keyboards). During a show I was doing early in our life together, Charles just stood around backstage shifting from one foot to the other, kinda like most men when they’ve been dragged to a ladies’ store. I told the director to paleeeeze give him something to do! He taught Charles how to run a soundboard and with that, another theatre rat was born. Charles used to say you could tell when he was having a bad school year by the number of shows he did. He wasn’t satisfied just to run someone else’s sound design, he learned how to do his own designs and became a much sought after designer in Memphis community theatre. Before he retired from theatre he not only did sound designs, but stage managed, ran props, was a dresser and even did makeup. Never could get him onstage. Oh, and did I mention this was all on a volunteer basis?

The last few years, Charles worked extensively in the South Memphis community with neighborhood associations. Members of the Memphis City Council and other city officials referred to him as a Community Activist. After completing the nine-week Citizens Police Academy, he became an Ambassador to the Southeast Precinct.

During 2005, the highlight of Charles’ week was the time he spent coaching a Destination Imagination team from Campus School. He took over a team last January and took “his girls” to regional finals. They worked so hard for him.

This gentle man will be sorely missed by the teaching community, the theatre community, the neighborhood community and his DI kids. The loss for his family and friends is unspeakable. Charles marched to his own drum and true to form, he didn’t want a “traditional” funeral. He wanted to be cremated and then to have one hell of a party at the P & H. And party we did!

So, the next time you hear a Jimmy Buffett tune, raise a glass to Charles.

cg and fg

Keep the faith Frankie. ^j^
welcome to my world
Ever wonder what happens to that blood sample you give that tells your doctor all the important numbers like cholesterol, HDL, iron and white blood cell count? If you've had a heart attack there might be a rise in the level of troponin in your blood. Bacterial infections can be diagnosed by growing the organism on an agar plate and then identifying the bug and determining what drug will treat it effectively. All of these things and many more are part of the diagnostic process known as clinical laboratory medicine. Laboratory tests, for the most part, are performed only on the order of a physician. Once the order is received, a specimen is obtained by a lab professional called a phlebotomist and transported to the testing area. Prior to testing the blood must be placed in a centrifuge which spins it until the blood is separated into plasma or serum component on top of the red cells. Most chemistry tests are performed on the "water" part of the blood, or plasma.
Following centrifugation, barcoded sample tubes are loaded onto an analyzer that reads the information contained on the barcode, including patient identification and tests to be performed.
Some specimens require a whole blood analysis, such as the CBC or complete blood count that includes counts of the individual cells contained in the blood plus a differential on the types of white blood cells. If the instrument is unable to identify cells, the technologist must examine a blood smear under the microscope to identify them.
Specimens for bacterial culture are innoculated to agar plates like those pictured below. Identification depends on the type of agar preferred by different classes of bacteria in addition to the chemical reactions produced when they grow. Organisms are checked against different strengths of antibiotics to see which is the most effective treatment.
Blood isn't the only body fluid that aids in diagnosis. Technologists also perform analyses on urine, stool and other yucky stuff. Urine specimens are tested chemically, then examined under the microscope after centrifugation.
This is the area of the lab that is closest to my heart.....the transfusion service, aka blood bank. Five percent of the US population voluntarily donates their own blood so that patients who are in need will have human blood available. There is no viable substitute for human red blood cells when the body's supply is dangerously low. Blood donors have not been paid for years, due to safety concerns. It's all strictly volunteer. Imagine the logistics of managing a 5% commodity to supply the other 95%. It's mind boggling. Add to that the fact that you can't get just any old blood. It has to be a type that is compatible with yours, and it has to test compatible in pre-transfusion tests so that you don't have a reaction to it.
blood bank
Presently there is a staggering shortage of medical laboratory personnel, which is projected to increase by leaps and bounds in the coming years.

That's only part of the scope of the laboratory. The anatomical lab includes the preparation and examination of tissue and cells by trained professionals to make diagnoses that range from a pap smear to a tumor. But we'll save that for another day.

Class dismissed. There WILL be a test.

let it snow
While not at all unusual, snow is not the norm in West Tennessee. No matter how temperate the winter months are around here I find myself dreaming of a new crop of growin' things at about this time of year, without fail. Tis true that the pin oak leaves have barely hit the ground. If they were covered with inches or feet of snow, the hibernation would at least be photogenic. Instead, there is day after day of gray wet cold and barren countryside. Today there were a couple of hours worth of beautiful snowflakes to watch.

My Mama picked this little jewel up for me on one of her girl outings to Pickwick last year. It is my favorite of every gift I received for Christmas and a fitting response to one of my handmade cross-stich gifts to her that read:

" Bloom where you are planted."

It's hanging somewhere in the homestead along with a giant button that says:

"Enjoy life....this is not a dress rehearsal."

Unfortunately, my bad eyes don't allow me to create with a needle like I did years ago. If I could, well...I'd whip this one up:

Keep the faith. ^j^

shed a little light

Growing up as a child of the sixties in the South, I was colorblind. My world was life on a farm where the majority of the population consisted of a large loving family of black landowners and farmers. Son and Lockie were at the head of this brood and their house was right across the road from ours. My favorite thing to do when I was bored was to gather the eggs in their huge henhouse and deliver them to Miss Lockie. My naive child self would stand and gawk in horror when they chopped the heads off of those chickens and they ran headless around the yard. I supppose it never really dawned on me that there were no black children in my class at school until integration began when I was in the fifth grade. Vernell was the lone African American child in my class that year, and to me it was no big deal. To others....well. You know the history.

Dyersburg is 80 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee home of Graceland and the former Lorraine Motel. Just a few hours after he delivered this speech Dr. King, in Memphis to support striking city sanitation workers, was gunned down on the balcony of the Lorraine by James Earl Ray. Memphis is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum and is remembered as the place where a great man who believed in equality and justice was slain as he worked for peace.

In the words of James Taylor:
"Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King......."

Photo by: Mike Maple, The Commercial Appeal
i know bubba too
Back in the day when he and the partners started up the club it was a joke that made its' way onto a t-shirt. Everybody who wanted to get in free said that "they knew Bubba". My source says that he would walk right by them and they never even recognized his John Deere self. He's smart like that.
Ha! If they only knew that this guy is a businessman to beat all others. I've always said that he probably still has the first buck he ever earned. Presently he works three four jobs, each of which serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things that is his life. There's the day job as a supervisor in a local factory. Then there's the nighttime gigs, consisting of the club and a couple of evenings at the liquor store.
Knowing him like a big sister does, I'd say his true passion is the farm where we grew up and several of us still live. Mom and Daddy are a half mile away. Bubba and Dad know every inch of every parcel of this big old chunk of land, and the numbers on the tags of each and every heifer, cow and calf. The landscape is changing bit by bit, but we have a shared history here that is family. It is our legacy, and one that BabyGirl shares with us.

I could learn a thing or two from you Bubba,and perhaps I already have. Happy 48th birthday bro. I can't imagine you not being in my life.
bro and sis
never a dull moment
Just when I was cruising through life on auto-pilot, the cosmos springs this scenario on me. [Standing behind Sista' at the convenience store with beer in my hand ready to get home and crash.]

Clerk: Hotwings? How many? And your gas was forty bucks. Anything else?

Sista: A pack of ________.

Clerk: May I see your ID please?

Sista: Gimme some taters'n gravy with them wings.

Clerk: *boxes up the chicken and rings it all up*

Sista: ...and a pack of _________.

Clerk: ID please.

Sista: WTF??? How stupid.

Clerk: It's the law. (She's earning her stripes on this one with the manager.)

Sista: Ok then, you stupid f**ker...gimme my change, honky.

Clerk: Watch the attitude, biatch.

Sista: ATTITUDE! You the one with the attitude girl.

Clerk: Yo' momma.....

Poopie steps back to keep from gettin' her chops busted and the manager moves in to break it up. "I suggest you don't come back" she says meekly.

Poopie: You done good girl. She had it comin'.

Clerk 2: Shit. She does this all the damn time. She KNOWS we're gonna ask for ID and she just does it for fun to raise hell.


Is it Friday yet?
dear big ernie
Yep...it's me again. Just wanted you to know that I'm okay, and I think a lot of that has to do with your plan. Remember all the times that I've been impatient and foolish? Um..yeah. I know you do. So do I. The thing that really rocks is that you just kinda grin and send me the next blessing while I beat myself up over not being perfect. Thank goodness you taught me years ago that there was only one perfect human. When I was a tadpole of a kid, I went to vacation bible school and sunday school and memorized verses from your book, but it wasn't until I had a kid of my own that I understood what you sacrificed for me.

I see so much pain and suffering in this world, and it seems that nobody has their priorities straight. Not that I can judge them.....only you can do that. I get really mad at all those people who condemn and judge other people and use your name while they're doing it. I feel like you're all about love and peace and justice. At least that's what I've gotten from readin' the book. I suppose everyone is entitled to their own interpretation of the word(s), or their choice of book.

Anyhoo....just wanted to say thanks for your patience and goodness and let you know that everytime I blow a gasket I move a little bit closer to you. When I use my talents to help other folks , that's you in action. And when I am blessed by love, ....that is you saying "Well done". It happens more and more lately in the most unexpected ways. I figure you're blessing me here on earth because you know I can't play the harp worth a flip. I'm just sayin'.

Love ya.....mean it.

Poopie ^j^

Back in the day, when I was a wee child in high school and learning to be Poopie, we had this thing put on by the journalism club called Stunt Night. Quill and Scroll was one of those artsy wannabe kind of clubs that you could join if were so inclined, and that club hosted the event. I still have my little pin somewhere deep in the recesses of the attic.

Most of the skits centered around making fun of the principal or certain teachers or an event that was making the news during that time. My debut into the world of drama was as Janis Joplin on the stage at Dyersburg High School. The dress was a vintage rumpled velvet granny type thing that I borrowed from a friend, and paired with bare feet and tinted granny glasses it fit the bill to transport me from small town girl to rock star.

My old buddy Mark was the emcee of the thing, and continues to this day to be the master of ceremonies for our class reunions. Our next will be 35 if somebody gets it together. It's funny how I can't remember what I had for lunch today, but I can still visualize myself stepping onto that wooden stage all decked out as my alter ego and belting out Mercedes Benz, foot tappin' and everything. I still remember every word to that song.

Janis and Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers...oh my. Elton and JT and Pure Prarie League. So much of my life is defined by the music that I have cherished over the years, and continue to enjoy. Since this was all post-Elvis paranoia, most anything went. One of my favorite concerts ever was Linda Ronstandt in a all her peasant bloused glory.

Am I the only one who ever thinks about this stuff?

Mercedes Benz

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

That’s it!

the princess and the pee

Once upon a time in a kingdom called paradise, there was a fair maiden who lived where the deer and the antelope coyote play. Squirrels too! Rabbits as well. Oh my, what marvelous nature surrounded the castle that housed she and her subjects. The jesters in her court included two canines who scampered about and three felines who shared one litter box. Not good.

The royal budget could barely keep pace with the demand for food and parasite meds for the animal kingdom. The princess worked day and night to keep the litter box clean and open the door for the jesters to prance in and out. This kept her from getting a good night's sleep on most occasions. When the coyotes howled, so did the canines. The felines just did their own damn thing, as they are apt to do.

The princess, being a royal and all that stuff, felt the discomfort under layers of mattresses and down comforters. Surely the old queen would recognize that princesses rarely wear make-up or get their hair done for the regal budget is tight. Alas! She is often disheveled and late for work. The royal carriage is often low on petrol. Her faith in the Emperor and Ideal Wife has long since flown the coop due to the carnage of the Crusades and the price of kitty litter. What's a girl to do?

Keep the faith, I reckon.

rode hard and put up wet
That's exactly how I felt today, but I knew it was coming and perhaps that is why I dreaded wakin' up to face the day. Yesterday evening was my periodic "nuclear meltdown" during which I commence to bawl and squall and snivel and such. When one goes to bed whimpering and continues to cry on her pillow, one can be assured that the eyes will barely open at 5AM due to the swelling. And NO...it's not PMS ;) I'm past all that.

Back in my younger days, I used to cry and rant over every little thing. That was before I learned to pick my battles to save my own sanity. Now it normally only happens when I've overextended myself either physically or emotionally, and sometimes both. One of the things that I've noticed about my mental health during the year and a half that I've been b**gging is that pondering and writing about things from the past induces some of the same emotions that were originally experienced, in some ways revealing issues that might have been presumed to be dead horses that are, in fact, alive and well and seeking resolution. It ain't ever over 'til the fat lady sings and thank goodness y'all are there to catch me when it hits.

Most of what I write about is real. I change names and small details to protect the anonymity of those who are a part of my life, but for the most part every story that I have told involves something that I have experienced firsthand. While I try really hard not to whine or bitch, sometimes the struggles catch up with me and demand to be put to rest. As a single gal with nobody to hug the pain away, b**gging has given me the outlet to do just that. I apologize if I'm not funny or witty or upbeat all the time. Anybody who claims to be is either: (a) not presenting the whole truth about themselves or (b) on some kind of drug that I will promptly steal if I ever find it.

Babygirl has these spells now and then herself, though hers are due to the hormones of a 21 year old. At any rate, we have learned the signs and the looks that precede this volatile mix of emotions and each of us treads lightly when the other prepares to cleanse the psyche and discharge the toxins into the atmosphere. Must be a girl thing, huh??

I'm good to go now. The tears were gone when I woke up, and by noon the eyes were recognizable as my own. By tomorrow you'll never know that the Poopster was a raving whimpering lunatic last night.

And in my next life? There's gonna be somebody to hold me when I get like that.
another day
Thanks to some ripples that a certain Bloggin' Idiot sent my way, I now have a computer that doesn't snarl at me when I hit the keyboard. Yes dear friends, I am abso-effin-lutely jumping up and down over the speed around here. It will take me awhile to install my favorite programs, but that's okay. What does a single girl have but time??

In my spare time,also, I could umm...try to get all your email addys from the grave of the HP, OR you could resend them to me via my profile. That would be a really sweet thing to do since I like to stay in touch and all. Humor me, okay??

TGIF for all you folks with a regular work week. It's my weekend at the sawmill, so your Saturday is my Monday. Be good and have fun. Butterbean is watchin' you.
it's hard to be butterbean
She ain't here y'all. I think she went that a way .
ok then
Once again, I have been whacked over the head tagged by Joe . His thing involves the number 7. Since I haven't made my resolutions for 2006 ( I know, so sue me ) and I'm a real non-conformist I think I'll just go all free association and stream-of-consciousness on y'all and make my own stuff up as I go. Some therapists would say I have a problem with authority ;) Others would just say I'm a free spirit.

One thing I wish I had never done: Caused my parents so much grief. It came back to haunt me in a "pay for your raisin'" kind of way that sucked a big one for about five years.

Two things that I'm glad I did: Went to college and learned some science. Told everybody I loved them when my heart felt it.

Three things that I intend to do this year: Visit my brother and sis-in-law in Virginia. Meet some blogger buddies. Make significant progress on re-modeling my house.

Four things that bug me: Whining. Bitching. Inability to get out of the box and see the big picture. War.

Five things that make me smile: That whistle. Puppies. Rainbows. A few days offa work. Music at full blast.

Six things that make me wonder: Why do good things happen to bad people...and vice versa. How did writers write and people communicate before Al invented the internet? Why hasn't Hoss got his damn pecans yet? (oops...I spoiled the surprise). Is Dubya for real or is that all just an act? Was that the beginning of instant messaging when Moses got the commandments straight from Big Ernie to the stone? Where is that dang Prince Charming?????????????????

Seven things that make life worth living: Love. Laughter. Snark. That look. Tears. Angels. Faith.

Eleventeen things that knock my socks off: Colorful sunsets. Passionate kisses. Good food. Oceans, rivers and mountains. Soulful writing. Friendship. Truth, honesty and justice. The way that God is good.

All the time.

the war on terror herpes simplex type I
Thank goodness it only took two weeks to defeat the enemy. Soon as I felt that tingle under my nares, I pulled out the big guns. That's right folks...ABREVA. Normally when I deploy the troops, the damage is minimal. This time, though. Oh my! It was a full fledged car bomb of a lesion that spread across the bottom of my nose that hunkered down for the holidays. There was much press coverage, yes indeed. Every Christmas and New Year's photo of the Poopster reveals the ravages of the evil WMD upon her lovely face.

I'll show you a picture if I ever get my Kodak EasyShare software to work. Support is not their strong suit...I'm just sayin'.

Later. ^j^
my b**g runneth over
I'm just so happy to see 2005 as history that I'm posting all over the ding dang place. Per my thievin' self, I have picked up Hoss's m**e which is possibly the first of 2006.

1. How did you come to learn about b**gging?
My old friend Count Zubrovka mentioned to me several YEARS ago that I should try b**gging since I love to write. My sister-in-law's b**g was the first that I ever saw and I was hooked after that.
2. How long have you been b**gging?
I started in September 2004 with a no frills pre-made template (TYVM blogger ;) and my own words. It took about six months to figure out that nobody wanted to hear me rant and what people enjoy is reading about real life and real feelings. Plus they like to laugh. A lot.
3. What got you interested in creating your own b**g?
Hmm..well. Believe it or not, it was visiting the Rocky Top Brigade during my early months of writing. It is a forum for Tennessee bloggers that was established by South Knox Bubba ( miss ya, mean it ) and was revamped and revived after he left by several East Tennessee volunteers. I'm not much of a designer, so I was thrilled to death when Tamara designed my site especially for me. I adore it!
4. How many b**gs do you have?
I have two....this one and another with Typepad which was a gift from a fellow b**gger. I enjoy both of them tremendously. I tend to be more serious on the other one. Time and place for everything right??
5. How has b**gging affected your life?
It came at just the right time to fill the need of a venue for writing which is something I have always dearly loved. As a single gal who doesn't get out much, it has provided a great way to meet people all over the world. That keeps me from being lonely, ya know? It's like a delayed reaction chat room. Been there, done that. Don't wanna go back to the bots.
6. What feelings do you associate with b**gging?
I laugh, I cry, and sometimes I just go "Aha" and learn something new. There is a bond among all of us who b**g which non-b**gers totally don't get. Amazingly my co-workers are some of my biggest fans.
7. How does b**gging benefit you?
I write better knowing that someone else is reading my words, and learn new things, and I totally enjoy the friends that I've made. The daily feedback helps me to know that I'm not alone out there and that others really DO care enough to get involved.
8. Discuss some of the relationships you have formed through b**gging and how they have affected your life.
Wow. There have been so many that I couldn't begin to name them. My blogroll is so long that I rarely make it all the way through in one day, but there are a few that I never miss even if the roof is caving in. You know who you are ;)

Thanks to DSL b**gging has become a bit speedier and less of a labor of love. Now if I can just make it 'til income tax refund time I'll get a PC that doesn't hate me.

Here's to another great year of b**gging by crook or by hook.
Stolen from fellow coyote Christine .

gURL.comI took the "The Animal Spirit" quiz on gURL.com
My animal spirit is...
The Coyote

According to shamanistic wisdom, coyotes are the animal world's trickster. Coyote people have a way with words, and a unique way of seeing the world. Never ones to take things at face value, coyote people question authority with sly jokes. Read more...

What is your animal spirit?

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