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a dog's life

This little pound puppy has it made. She sleeps with Mama and passes her spare time on the front porch swing watching the day go by. If some critter moves too quick, she barks it to death. Dinner consists of whatever is eaten by the humans and passed onto her and big sista' Faith, the choco lab.

I've heard through the grapevine that a lab named Oreo has a huge crisis going on at home. It might be even bigger than the Iraqi civil war. Can you help a poor dog out?

Oreo Was Framed!

student of life
By meterological standards, the winter of 2005/06 has been fairly mild in Tennessee. It got cold enough to kill the bugs by the quick freeze method, and we had a scenic snow day or two. Just last week I pulled out my heavy coat for the first time this season and actually shivered underneath the warmth. As usual, the shivering was followed by hot flashes as soon as I entered a building. Menopause knows no season and takes no prisoners.

The winter of the soul is something akin to a six month Siberian freeze. Though I have been there before, I occasionally revisit the chilly domain, as do most earthly travelers. The principles of relativity are constant in that understanding of a particular need becomes apparent only after the lessons have been learned the hard way. This man has hopefully heard your prayers. The state of the ex-family has been heavy on my heart for some time now as BabyGirl struggles to cope with adult things and I, as the captain of her cheerleading squad, have sought to keep her life raft floatin'. The detachment required of me has been a gift from Big Ernie, to say the least, for it is not my true nature. Perhaps fatigue and needs of my own have put me in the zone where I let go and leave room for the Spirit to work. The same applies to my angst over the state of our government. Ever since September 11, 2001 we, as Americans have operated on the basis of fear. We gave the powers that be a blank check to protect us and they have furthered their own agendas at the expense of our integrity as a world leader in humanitarian aid. Check out the Gulf Coast if you don't believe that.

Years ago, I noticed a pattern in life. When things were going well, I relaxed and felt almost cocky at times. Then something would come out of nowhere and smack me square in the jaw and bring me back to the humble place where little things matter and pride is a stranger. Over and over again, I have learned this lesson. And over and over again I have forgotten it and learned the hard way that I am not in charge of the universe. Nor this country. Nothing but my own peace and contentment. Am I a bad American? Not at all. I salute the flag of the USA and pledge allegiance to it even though I don't believe in what it stands for right now, because I am a loyal sort like that. My parents taught me to be that way, yet they feel the same doubts that I do at this point in time. Political games have gone full circle from Vietnam to Iraq to Medicare part Z.

None of this bothers me very much because of something my Daddy told me years ago. When I wrung my hands and whimpered over hatred and persecution and the unfairness of it all, his words to me were simple: " Ahh,Janie..it has always been thus and so."

Wise man, my Dad. I'm learning. ^j^
lookie what i did !
trial run
Yep..I finally got started on the tile thing that was the inspiration for a totally new look in the kitchen. The mastic is curing as I type.
spacers rock
WARNING~~ Do not attempt this if you have latent anal/retentive OCD tendencies. You will drive your inner control freak nuts trying to make all the lines and corners straight. Luckily, I outgrew that years ago so I'm just pleased that I tried something new and so far it's turned out okay. Grout is next. Wish me luck.
tile sans grout 2
it's all relative
I've got these two cousins...sisters, both of whom I adore and consider my own sisters since I never had one. My brothers are both dear to me, but ohhhhhhhh what I would give to have a sister to chew on the family drama with. My mother and I are currently the mediators in this thus far unresolved sibling rivalry. When we're younger, it's understandable that there will be unfinished business in the form of jealousy and territorialism. Adults with children and lives of their own owe it to themselves and their parents and their own children to get over their damn pity parties and make the most of the family for better or worse. If I had a buck for every family I've seen fightin' over Mama or Daddy or Grandma's death bed, I'd be a rich woman instead of a healthcare provider. One of my favorite old internal medicine docs called it "The Chicago Syndrome." That's where somebody who's been away from the day to day trials of the patient's illness and suffering comes to town and declares a crisis of WMD proportions, with intent to invade and conquer but no strategy behind the mission. It's simply a difference in perspective according to where you are in the journey.

About ten years ago, my parents gifted me with journals recorded especially for me. Each of them had a book with a question a day to answer about their memories and childhoods and favorite things. After a year of writing, they were presented to me as Christmas presents that I treasure to this day. Recently when reading through my Dad's book I found a story I'd never heard concerning a bat. He came home one day from work and Mama had trapped a chimney sneaking bat under a pan for him to dispose of when he arrived. There's some things a girl just will.not.do. Bats fall into that category. So does a yard full of mad heifers and a cow giving birth in the snow with a chain up her ....

She will, however, support her husband's dream and create her own, all the while raising three kids and doing unto others as they would do unto her. He, in turn, will love and cherish her and enjoy all things fried, baked and otherwise prepared for his enjoyment. Because every woman worth her salt knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

We are scattered now...some here and some there, the family that was so closely knit when I was a child. In spite of distance and drama and poop happening, we share the same blood and heritage, fractured as it may be. It is unique and it is ours alone.

Ain't nothing like talking to somebody who's been there.
She's over there today. And here as well.

Happy hump day, y'all.
on thin ice
Cabin fever got the best of me this morning so the dogs and I headed for a walk in the woods to check progress on the thaw that began today. We wandered around listening to the sounds of silence and were rewarded immediately with the sight of eight or ten deer scampering across the pasture to the next thicket of woods. The muddy slopes were covered with leaves that made for easier climbing and patches of snow lingered everywhere on moss covered tree trunks. Looking upward into the blue, I spotted a hawk spreading its' wings to glide like a floatplane. An invisible woodpecker tapped away somewhere high among the bare branches.
icy woods 1
The eeriest sound was that of the ice gently cracking in the slough. Though I could not see it, I could hear the thaw beginning. Faith and Butterbean ran and played like little kids, chasing each other and snarling. Faith loves the water, and couldn't quite understand why it wasn't splashing all around her as it usually does when she goes for a dip. They're both napping now. I think I'll join them.
on thin ice 2
Poopie, Act III
Just a few more tidbits ought to wrap up this marathon of information about the Tennessee country gal known as the Poopster. Peter asked about the status of the tomato and asparagus farming mentioned in my profile. All of you asparagus lovers know that the season for spears is right around the corner. Asparagus is grown from roots in a bed that is a LOT of trouble to prepare, but worth it because it comes up every year for the next twenty or so with little or no maintenance. My ex and I worked our tails off puttin' that bed in by digging a deep trench and alternating layers of dirt and manure until the roots were covered and the trench filled. The spears appear beginning in mid-March and can be picked for about six weeks. After that, the ones that are left grow into large ferns which just sit there all the rest of the growing season. The hardest part is waiting until the third spring to pick heavily, which is a must. From that point on, it's a free for all trying to keep up with the growth. On a warm spring day, they seem to shoot up right before your very eyes. I pick twice a day during the most active growth spurt in April. In late fall to early winter, the ferns are chopped down and burned on top of the bed to feed the nitrogen back into the soil. As for tomatoes, I plant a few from the nursery in late May and hope that the hornworms don't demolish them. I don't even like tomatoes, but here in the south everybody else ADORES homegrown ones so I grow them just for fun. I never have trouble finding takers for 'em.

The perfect breed of dog for me was Pissed Off Patricia's question. I've always loved dogs, but had never had a labrador retriever until a friend gave me a chocolate pup a year and a half ago. Chocolate labs seem to have a different personality from black or yellow ones, and this girl is the sweetest, smartest and most loving pet I've ever had the pleasure to own. Her name is Faith and BabyGirl and her BF have even taught her to talk! She's a great bed warmer too ;) My other dog is a rat terrier mix from the humane society, which I had also never had. By temperment, she is the exact opposite of Faith. In short, she's a b**chy little diva named Butterbean. Her name started out as Hope to go along with Faith ( which we assumed would be followed by more dogs named Sex and Love ) but BabyGirl decided she was a Butterbean, and so it was.

my girls

RisibleGirl threw me for a loop by asking what I would have named BabyGirl if she had been a boy. It honestly never entered my mind that she would be anything other than a girl...I swear, I just had that feeling. If she had been a boy I probably would have used a family name like William or James or David. I don't have a CLUE how to deal with boys. I suppose I would've learned the hard way, like the rest of you ;)

How do I like my eggs? Missouri Mule was curious about this and more. Fried, well done with lots of pepper. Or in an omelette. Or scrambled with cheese. Or boiled. I just love eggs! Hope your recovery is going well girlfriend! Eat lots of eggs while you're laid up from surgery. If I knew today were my last, I would spend it much like I do every other day....loving and laughing and keepin'the faith.

Oh, and NWJR , I'll take plastic over paper if we're talkin' grocery shopping. They're easier to carry and can be re-used as overnight bags. Besides, paper sacks grow roaches!
more poop on poopie
Bound for Hoss to come up with original questions! He wanted to know what kind of helmet I wear on pecan lane when it's raining nuts. Actually it's an army issue sent to me especially by Dubya because he knows what big fans me and Hoss are of his administration. Hoss was also curious about my action plan for visiting everyone on my lengthy b**groll. I plan on asking his good buddy Bill Gates if he can't come up with some way to b**g subliminally in my sleep so I can work it all in between shifts at the sawmill. Hoss also asked if I'll be home in early May. Of course I will....I'm always home because I work all the damn time. That is UNLESS SugarDaddy shows up before then, in which case I'll be sailing on his yacht to Fiji. There's your answer, Whizzer, on the hunt for SD. Not.Good.

FTS is demanding to know where the rest of his pie is. Seems he had a bit of trouble chewing the plastic crust on the tasty pastry that I sent to Dallas. All I can say is it's right here in Tennessee hon, and you'll have to come pick it up. Or at the very least answer the phone now and then so I can tell you how to make one. You'll be wearing the sweaters in Colorado instead of puttin' them in the oven. Might as well cook.

Karen asked about my favorite movie, which is "Field of Dreams." Why? Well, because Kevin Costner playing a farmer is cute as a speckled pup...uh..I mean because it speaks to the dreamer in all of us who have unfinished business. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me would be hard to pin down, because there have been SOOOOOOOO many. I'd have to say professing my love to several guys who have patted me on the head and said "nice girl" then moved on to the closest bimbo with no brain and big tatas. Ain't nothing that will shoot down an ego like that. And for the record, my tatas ain't nothing to sneeze at. I'm just sayin'.

SRP and Laura want to know about all the places I've lived. Sorry to be such a homey, but I've only lived in West Tennessee...Dyersburg and Memphis, where I went to college at the UT Center for the Health Sciences. Kenju asked about what led me to decide to be a medical technologist. I can't honestly say, other than an intense interest in science and a desire to work in healthcare. Oh yeah, and my mother's suggestion ;) It's a career that has been both rewarding and stressful as heck due to the lack of professional recognition for what the laboratory contributes to healthcare. It's easy to blame us when something goes wrong yet we never get respect for all the right things that we do. In most people's eyes everybody in a hospital is either a doctor or a nurse. Roxanne also asked about riding horses. There are two of 'em out in the pasture beside me that find holes to sneak through in the barbed wire for sport because they're so bored. I rode horses as a kid, but it always scared me. Still does. I guess it's my inner control freak that doesn't trust an animal with that kind of power under me.

Dorothy ...if the library were on fire, I would definitely head for the Clyde Edgerton section and rescue "Walking Across Egypt." I adore the man's writing style, and the original piece included in that book's pages is on my "funeral music" list. I can even play it on the piano. There you go Lass ...he's my favorite author. As for favorite color it's peach, flower is stargazer lily and food is shrimp. If money were no object I would spend it vacationing across the entire United States. There is so much of this great country that I have never laid eyes on. As for the winner of next year's Superbowl you're asking the WRONG gal. I barely remember who won this one. Seahawks, right? *snort*

Well Laura, the kitchen's not finished YET, but I'm getting closer. See exhibits A and B below.

kitchen 1

kitchen 2

Y'all watch out for snow bunnies crossing the road....and keep the faith. More poop to follow!
so many questions, so little time
Well, actually I have plenty of time today because I'm not at the sawmill. Instead, I'm here at home awaiting the next wave of winter that is scheduled to arrive this evening. Ice. Lots of it. Yuck. Double yuck.

Both Colleen and Kenju were curious about how my blog name and theme came about. Risible Girl asked about my nickname in elementary school. Actually, these things are all related. When I was just a wee child my mother says that I got in an artistic mood one day with the contents of my diaper and created a masterpiece all around the crib. From that day forward, I was known as Poopie or JaniePooPoo. When I first started my blog back in 2004 I was lookin' for a name that reflected the laid back person that I am. Instead of s**t happens, which we all know is quite the truth...I chose Poop Happens because of my history as the Poopster. A few months later, I won a contest at Cybervassals and the prize was a custom blog template by the lovely and talented Tamara of Casa Vassal. She took the "poop" theme and ran with it like a madwoman. I was so impressed with her imaginative work! The actual blog address is keeepinthefaith, which you notice has three e's. The reason? UH. Well, how does drunken blogging strike you ;) Heh. Guilty.

Since I live in West Tennessee, there were a couple of queries about Elvis and Graceland from Whizzer and Big Dave. I'm not much of an Elvis fan. *gasp* I've seen Graceland from the outside many times but I've never done the tour. From what I hear the gates are always so covered up with fans that you have a hard time getting in. If I were going to stand in line for a tour of somebody's house, it would probably be my hero James Taylor or hot Matthew Mc-whatshisname. I was living in Memphis at the time the big E died, and I can tell you it was the biggest thing there since sliced bread. Just recently Baptist Hospital, where he had his own private suite, was demolished and it was all about Elvis as the building fell and the dust flew.

Jim wants to know about me and the piano, which is kind of eerie because the whole piano thing revolves around my late uncle named Jim. I wrote that story some time ago here . I don't play much anymore because the thing is so out of tune. Maybe your brother-in-law would help me out on that? *wink wink*

Jamie Dawn was just full of questions! No, I've never travelled out of the US or met a famous person. I'd love to do both. Nor do I have any relatives who are criminals, to my knowledge. You never know who's been back there in the woodpile though:) My favorite restaurant is anything seafood. As for what I like most about myself, I'd have to say it is my ability to be objective and non-judgemental. I pick my battles carefully because I have found that it's way too easy to dismiss someone else's point of view unless you've walked in their shoes.

Risible Girl also asked about my religious upbringing and my present beliefs. I was raised in the Methodist Church, the theology of which I dearly love. I'm still a member, but I don't attend services much. For the eighteen years following my daughter's birth, we were there most every time the doors opened. I sang in the choir and taught Sunday School to the most idiotic bunch of kids ( HER group ) you could ever imagine. They were notorious for running off SS teachers in tears. Though they never made me cry, they sure pissed me off a lot! I think all of that kind of burned me out on the church as a building. I see myself as a child of God, the same God that all other faiths believe in. While I am a Christian, it wasn't until about the age of thirty five that the true meaning became a reality in my heart rather than a label in my head. While watching a re-enactment of Jesus' walk to the hill with evil guards whipping at Him while He stumbled under the weight of the cross, something changed within me. It was only then that I understood what kind of sacrifice was really made for me. And you. I do not believe that I am right, only that I am comfortable with what I believe and that I respect your faith as well. God is good...all the time. There's a plan, and all we have to do is show up.

Don't wanna bore you, so I'll wrap this up. Many more questions to be answered in coming days! Here's a picture of my Daddy and his new buddy Spence. Can you feel the love?
daddy and spence
alrighty then..
Whilst I'm working on witty answers to your inquiries, do me a favor and visit here to tell me what you already know about me just from reading my words. Total narcissism today because,well. It's my turn. I'll get back to solving the great mysteries of the world after I'm done with introspection. Thanks for the tip Risible Girl. .
Is it just me, or are cats easily amused?
cat in the box
deep thoughts
Thought for the day, compliments of daily reader Amy Claire:
"I'd rather be Dick Cheney's hunting partner than a passenger in Ted Kennedy's car." Heh.

Many of you have done your 100 things and some of you, like my buddy Jennifer , have opened the b**g up to questions from readers. I've never done either, so in the interest of showing you a little bit more of the real me, I'm asking that you ASK me something you'd like to know about the old Poopster. I'll devote a post or two to answering those questions with a measure of honesty and a bit of humor. Deal?

"Alex, I'll take POOPIE for $200." Let the games begin!
first daffodil

My valentine sent me a flower ^j^
a valentine love story
Once upon a time, back in 1954, cupid threw out an arrow that culminated in the wedding of my Mom and Dad. I am sooooooooooo glad that happened, or else I wouldn't have had parents! As of February 14th, 2006 they are at fifty two years and counting. If I started TODAY, I couldn't beat that record. Umm..unless I live to be a hundred and three.
wedding 3
Between them they've had three kids, a dozen or so jobs, and a lifetime here on the farm known as paradise. What have I learned from my folks about love and marriage? Ahh....that love is patient and kind. That there is a season for everything. Love conquers all. That time apart, each on their own journey, is necessary to keep the spark alive in a relationship. When you find the one you're meant to be with, it all falls into place. Things will be hard sometimes, but commitment is the key to weathering the storms so that the good times can roll.

When I grow up, I want to be just like them.
just a few more snow pics
This one was taken through the bathroom window screen when my Daddy came up to feed the cattle and horses..I thought it was pretty cool!
snow tractor
february snow
snow on the pond 2
This was Faith's first snow so she had a ball rolling around in it!!
faith in the snow
i'm dreaming of a white......
...valentine's day??? Um,yep. Typical Tennessee weather and of course OUR groundhog lied. winter barn The snow is falling heavy and wet in big flakes and is breathtaking to watch. What's even better is that I'm off this weekend so I can don the flannel and veg out while enjoying the scenery. Life doesn't get much better that that down here on the farm. I plan on catching up with everybody this weekend while I nature gaze. If you want to come out and get snowed in with me, here's what the road looks like right now.winter road to home Y'all have a good weekend...and keep the faith. ^j^
cookie monster
OK then. Since I'm not much of a computer geek somebody please explain to me how if I didn't delete my cookies they're gone, or seem to be. Because nobody's site remembers me? Hmm?? I blame Osama.

I guess it serves me right for being a bad blogger and tending to "real life" for a few days. There's a kitchen waiting to be finished while my supervisor perches on the microwave to make sure that I do it right. She's on crack, by the way.
microwave kitty

I hate trim work with a passion. Doing walls and ceilings is like immediate feedback with visible change. Freud would probably call the roller on a pole a phallic symbol or some such nonsense *snort* Painting trim is tedious, and answers the eternal question about why painters drink. I reckon I'm not anal/retentive or obsessive/compulsive enough to want it to be just.so. I just want it done so I can do the dang tile and blog some more.

Or do this............
sleeping dogs

Poor gals like me put off necessary purchases sometimes because, well. The money just ain't there. Buying new tires seems to me to be the equivalent in fun of buying a new mattress or something that you know you need but, dang. First priority is to stay warm and second priority is to eat and then to keep the gas gauge on the car somewhere above the big red E. Since I recently hit the lottery got back a chunk of money that the government used without interest for a year, I knew for sure that two new tires were an upcoming necessity. Right rear was ridin' on Fix-a-Flat and left front was a baldy with a bulge. I lined up a ride to work for Friday so I could leave the Poopmobile for some badly needed maintenance. Felt all good and cocky about havin' a plan and stuff. I am woman...hear me roar!

There was a work meeting at 5 yesterday that I was running late to. The car pulled to the left BAD and shook like a ghost as it had done for the past week or so and I pulled into my favorite deli with the high priced gas to use their free air hose on front left bad child. Didn't need a flat while runnin' late, ya know. A few pounds later, I pulled out onto the major two way street through historic downtown Dyersburg headed to the hospital and FREE! PIZZA! *sigh* I've only had one other blowout before, but I recognized the sound and feel of it immediately. If you can guess what I said out loud, you win the prize. I haven't decided what that is yet, but it'll be good I promise. Maybe a pie or something like that ;)

"Rush hour" in the 'burg is equivalent to Easter church zone traffic to you city dwellers. The cell phone was conveniently in BabyGirl's purse, so I hoofed it back to the deli to call for backup. Soccer moms and grannies on a mission to the dollar store deftly maneuvered around the Poopmobile to get to their destinations while I pleaded with the service guy to come and help an old girl out. The natives were restless on Troy Avenue. And besides....there was FREE! PIZZA! just a few blocks down. My hero pulled up in a big old clunky service truck with a compressor to pull those lug nuts off in no time while I directed traffic around the "scene."

Shout out to girlfriend: Yeah, you in the wreck of a car sporting a back seat full of babies. You were one of the few to stop and ask if I needed help. Bless your heart, and all them babies too. You gave me back a little bit of faith in people and the can-do attitude. Who needs a man, right?

Cold pizza for breakfast is my favorite treat. There was a whole one left. Maintenance got bumped up a couple of days on the schedule to tomorrow. Thanks in advance for the shuttle to work, Daddy :)
hello...my name is poopie
"Hi Poopie." I'm a recovering control freak aka co-dependent. I'm not a bit ashamed because I know that 95% of the population at any given time shares my addiction. To avoid truth and honesty we focus on something else..like work, relationships,chemicals,sex,razor blades,sleeping,running or some other repetition compulsion that eases the pain of who we are and where we've been. I've done several of 'em including chat rooms and blogging, most recently. I fancy myself to be somewhat of a writer, but I suppose I'm hooked on that too.

My opinions used to be shaped by what was "acceptable" and politically correct. Now they're just mine, tempered by fifty years of living and loving and learning things the hard way. Will that ever change?????? Somehow, I think not. I raised a child with whom I shared every pitfall and each lesson learned. She learned her own lessons anyway because that's the way it works. We can gently guide one another, but ultimately it's just me and Big Ernie in the ultimate conversation. I think they call that step one of the big twelve.

If you send me an e-mail to forward to fifty people demanding that prayer be put back in public school, I'll recognize it immediately and delete it. Why? Because prayer in school never left. Any child who knows the way to talk to God is free to send a shout out at any time..even during a big test or track meet. I didn't learn that in school. I know the ten commandments by heart because I've read them and believe that they are good rules to live by and that we all try and fail. Posting them at the front door won't take the place of living our lives in ministry to others. God understands that, and that's why his boy suffered on that cross for us. As long as we do our best and follow the New Covenenant, it's all good. Really.

As for pictures of your kids and grandkids and beautiful scenes, send 'em on. I love that kinda stuff. Ditto for personal one-on-one dialogue about most anything. I respect you for that, and I expect respect in return. My sense of humor is quite bizarre and snarky so you never know when the Poopster will bust out in a full belly laugh over something silly. Comedy makes life worth living.

How about we lighten up, slow down and enjoy the ride.
i ask you........

is there any better feeling in the world than checking one's bank balance online to find that the expected tax refund has arrived an entire WEEK early? Just when one is so broke as to not be able to put gas in the car to go to work to make some more money to pay this year's taxes?

I think not.
today's lesson
Umm. No wisdom here, only paint fume induced dizziness. I shudder to think what kind of shape I'd be in if I wasn't a latex kinda gal. The country blue is finally gone gone, except for a few traces on the windowframe. Please note how the Cheetos' bag matches the wall color. I take that as a sign that we're doing the feng shui correct 'thang around casa Poopie.
let there be white
In a week or so I should be ready to start the tile project on the countertops. We may be slow, but we're persistent when there's a goal in sight.
The backsplash will travel all the way around the wall above the tiled countertops. My sis-in-law, Bob Vila's alter ego, told me about a cool grout called Spectra Lock that doesn't require sealing. It's expensive, but it's worth it to eliminate a step or three for an old gal. My Daddy suggested a big orange T somewhere up there to show our school colors. I'm taking that under advisement ;)

When it's all done, I think I'll take a nap. Sugar Daddy's bound to be on the way for a romantic dinner in my new kitchen, so I should rest up. How's that for keepin' the faith?

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