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history repeats itself

New York, circa 1969

New York, yesterday...April 29th, 2006

In the words of my 73 year old MaMa "Just like Vietnam."
multiply stolen meme
Minimal linkage here kids..I'm in kickback mode :) I have seen this m**e all over the b**gosphere this past week so here is the Poopie version. I can think of other multiples that are more fun, but none so thought provoking.
that's me
I AM: *on vacation*
I WANT: A lot of things, but don't need much
I WISH: Cotton was a monkey
I HATE: Greed and self centeredness
I MISS: Being a little kid
I FEAR: Not much, anymore
I HEAR: Butterbean whining to go out..and come in..and go out......and...
I WONDER: If i will live the rest of my life without a soulmate
I REGRET: Nothing...it was all for a reason
I AM NOT: Organized
I DANCE: Like a white girl
I SING: Alto
I CRY: Easily and often and over the damndest things
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: Good food, big messes and warm hugs
I WRITE: What's on my mind.
I CONFUSE: Directions..I'm usually lost as a goose
I NEED: New tennis shoes and a lawnmower that works
I SHOULD: Rest more
I START: The first day of the rest of my life, today
I FINISH: Almost always last but with a good attitude
I'M GLAD: Hoss is coming to visit Pecan Lane.
love a laboratorian

This is the week that is set aside every year to recognize the contributions of healthcare professionals who work in the laboratory setting. National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is always the last week of April and consists of nationwide celebrations of who we are as clinicians. Most people think of the "lab" as the people who draw their blood. These folks...called phlebotomists, ARE the laboratory to patients. They collect blood samples using a variety of techniques ( sometimes including a heartfelt prayer to Big Ernie ) and transport the blood to the core lab for testing by various methods. The people who perform this testing are known collectively as "techs." While much of today's testing is automated, the clinical knowledge required to report valid test results will never be replaced by instrumentation. Chemistry tests that are now run by the push of a button were performed by chemical reactions in test tubes with boiling water and spectrophotometric readings back in the day when I first entered the field twenty eight years ago. Other areas of the laboratory are staffed by histotechnologists and cytotechnologists who prepare cell and tissue specimens for microscopic examination. The physician who oversees this whole conglomerate of body parts and fluids is called a pathologist. Shout out to Roxanne from Poopie: Happy Lab Week, girlfriend!
Being a small town girl, my career has weathered the storms that the healthcare industry has faced over the years. I distinctly remember going to an educational event back in the 80's where a new and dangerous virus was introduced to us....HIV became a household word shortly after that. Managed care, while providing incentive to decrease hospital length of stay and maximize efficiency of out-patient healthcare delivery, has placed new burdens on both providers and consumers alike. In my workplace I still use most every skill that I acquired through a multi-disciplinary education....hematology, chemistry, microbiology, serology, transfusion medicine and the computer knowledge required to transmit results to the proper patient care areas. At times it has been hairy and stressful, but always rewarding. I wouldn't change it for the world, even when the phone is ringing off the wall and there are people who don't have one.good.vein in their body. It's all part of the challenge that attracted me to the lab in the first place. Well, that plus the thrill of playing with poop and pee and other gross stuff all day long.

I have a confession to make. Of all the patients over the years with whom I have come in contact and shared a moment in time, the ones that I have felt the MOST sorry for are not the women in labor or children gettin' their throats swabbed or fingers pricked. It's those poor guys who have to bring their semen specimens in for a sperm count, hidden away in a paper sack deep within a coat pocket.

*snort* Sucks to be them.
guy stuff
I must say that Jim was right on with his comment about my last couple of posts bringing up points that "rung the bells" of women. Guys wouldn't comment on them with a ten foot pole :) Thus and therefore, I am returning to the chronicles of my paradise called home and leaving the angst to the girlie writers. Just remember that I AM a girl and have the perogative to wax angsty if I feel like it. Just give me a hug when I get that way and it's all good. Really.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay guys, this picture is just for you. something for the guys You will notice that the yard tools are circling like wagons on the prairie. This is because: (a) the grass is approaching knee high (b) I can't afford gas for them (c) The belt is off of the riding mower again. (d) All of the above. The correct answer is (d). Here's the deal....if you'll come out and fix my mowers so I can play yard girl, I'll pay for a round of golf on that course you see pictured behind the field. Heck, I'll even caddy. Deal?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

There's this rotten tree stump right outside of the bathroom window. I've missed bird watching from the potty ever since that tree got cut down. This morning I was sittin' on the throne gazing out and what did my wondering eyes see but a giant woodpecker foraging through the dead wood looking for lunch I'm not talkin' your average little round headed noisemaker. This dude was on steroids! By the time I got the business at hand done and found the camera and moseyed outside, of course he was gone. Same problem with the hummingbirds. That's why I never have a picture for Friday Bird Blogging. They're just too quick for this old gal.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Three days...count 'em. Three days until I'm on vacation. And what am I gonna do with my freedom, you might ask? Whatever the hell I want to. If you guys really loved me, you'd mow the yard and finish the remodeling so I could relax and eat bon bons.on the swing You can find me on the porch.
show me the love
I'ts that time again, kids. Tell Poopie your most dramatic moment when some nitwit with PMS and a shitty home life hit your ulnar nerve with a straight needle and made you have a bad day. I double dog dare 'ya.

man's best friend
It's the strangest thing. All of my life I've been the girl that guys love to have for a friend. Hell, I'm such a good friend that they call me and tell me all of their woes and hopes and dreams and fantasies. We drink beer and talk about fishin' and hunting and how the girlfriend/wife doesn't give him what he needs. We can watch NASCAR and play in the woods or just hang out. Good old Poopie understands him.

I never did learn how to do that "bat-your-eyelashes" thing that men seem to be enthralled with because I don't know how to do games and, frankly, it seems like a waste of precious time here on earth. With me there is no mysterious "wonder what's on her mind." If I feel it or think it, pretty damn soon it will come rolling out of my big fat mouth, often accompanied by snot slingin' and tears. I can honestly say that I've never fallen in love. For me, love has come several times in the form of a friendship that reveals itself to be just what I needed at the moment to bring out the best and worst of who I am. Warts and all, so to speak. I don't say the words I LOVE YOU lightly or without fear. When they pass my lips, a fellow can be sure he's something special because, well...I'm a discerning kind of woman.

Maybe I have a guy's brain in a woman's body? OMG! *makes mental note to check testosterone level* Or maybe....just MAYBE...I'm the low maintenance kind of female that men say they long for. You know. The kind that acts like a woman but thinks like a man. Sometimes. When the mood strikes. And he's giving me proper appreciation and bearing gifts.

But not when he's running like hell back to the comfort zone.

Never, ever then.
Psst. Poops is over at the Dew today. She left this picture for y'all. iris time in tennessee and said to Keep the Faith. ^j^
first hummer
Hush, y'all..not that kind ;) I'm talking about those little critters that move faster than a speeding bullet. I've had the feeders out for a week and saw the scout on Saturday. They never cease to amaze me. Saturday was also the day for my first anuual freak out over a snake. It was a little one but dayum, there's only two kinds of snakes to me: live=bad and dead=good. Very simple math on my part.

Thanks for all the hugs and support concerning my Mom's latest adventure with driving. The airbags beat the poop out of her as they were saving her life, and her ankle is broken in what the orthopedic doc calls "the worst possible" place. Luckily no surgery is required but she will be in a cast...and NOT a walking one...for at least six weeks, with a side of physical therapy to keep her from gettin' stove up. When I was talking to my brother yesterday he noted that it's almost time for her to hibernate under the air conditioner for summer anyway. I inherited my distaste for sweat and humidity from her.

Speaking of Mr.Snake, my carefree visits to the woods will be coming to a screeching halt shortly unless there's a four wheeler under my butt or boots on my feet. Here's a picture from my last visit to the slough. The dogs had a nice sunset swim that evening and luckily it was a reptile free excursion.the beginning of the end

Please go and welcome YaYa to the b**gosphere. Tell her Poopie said hey.

Watch your step out there...and keep the faith. ^j^
driving miss janice
We had Easter service in the emergency room this morning after my Mom had a wreck on the way to church. This is not her first time to total a car, in fact it is the third and last. Macular degeneration has taken a toll on her vision and she just can't see what's coming. Daddy called me from the ER to tell me what was up and to say "Nah, there's no need in you coming out here..she's in x-ray right now." As far as blessings go, she was in pretty good shape this morning. The sheriff, also on the way to church, witnessed the accident and sent an officer to get Daddy out of the choir loft and to the hospital. A guy who owns a wrecker was also in the vicinity, and he towed the car to his shop. The ambulance transported her to the hospital ER which was luckily quiet. On my way in I drove by the shop to look at the car and shuddered at twisted metal that was once her vehicle.

I walked into my workplace in shorts and a t-shirt and ran into a surgeon who is a fellow church member. He had already been in to check on her and pointed me to the radiology table where she lay quietly with her eyes closed. I tiptoed into the dark room and took her hand. When she opened her eyes and saw me standing over her, she began to cry softly. "It's okay Mama...I'm here." There were cuts on her little hands and arms from the force of the airbag, something that we have witnessed each time before. Her ankle was broken but certainly not her spirit. She was scared, sad and shaken up. And she was totally grateful to have me walking behind that stretcher when the radiology tech took her back to Daddy.

The preacher was standing in the hall right outside her room. He had gotten the news from the usher who fetched Daddy and made his way out to check on her between packed-to-the rafters Easter services. He gave her a condensed version of his sermon which was centered around a story where a little boy says that Easter is all about "SURPRISE!" We had to chuckle at the irony. There was a prayer for Mama's healing and peace and he was gone again to give the full version to the second service.

When Mom told the ER doc that I worked in the lab there and that she and Daddy are volunteers, he immediately started ragging me about lab turnaround time in a good natured way. Of course everybody knows that all the lab techs do is sit around on their rumps and withhold information from doctors and nurses just to see 'em get mad. We're evil like that ;) The nurse, whom I did not know, was more than wonderful down to the last detail including education on the use of crutches. While Daddy headed to the pharmacy for pain meds, me and Mom drove past the church to see the traditional flowering cross. My friend PL, the Christian education director was outside taking pictures. "How's your Mama?" she hollered out as we cruised by. The flowering cross is a tradition on that corner of ground. Congregation members bring flowers from their yards on Easter morning to stuff into the chicken wire surrounding the wooden cross. It's a sight to behold.

I'll spare you the details of me trying to get her into the house on those crutches. Let's just say that using them requires a lot of upper body strength and great co-ordination, neither of which she had immediately following a head on collision. It's a wonder that our little adventure using plastic lawn chairs from car to den door didn't result in broken hips for BOTH of us.

We turned another corner in the thing that is family life today. From now on, somebody will take her where she goes, but there are several of us who can share chauffeur duty. It is incredibly bittersweet how life comes full circle on the child and parent thing. For those who don't have that, all I can say is "Bless their hearts."
he is not here
Back in the day, I was a Sunday school teacher for a bunch of spoiled rotten kids whose parents made them go to church. They were all around BabyGirl's age but she never went with me. I was one of those moms who believed that spirituality is a choice and it comes when Big Ernie says it's time to listen up.

I had the keys to the church van and we took off on an Easter road trip that morning. Back at the building there was a cross crammed with flowers, symbols of hope and faith. The cemetary is but a hop skip and jump away from the church house so I quickly found my way to the family plot where my ancestors lay beneath etched granite tombstones. Ethel and Oskie. Gaga and Papa plus Uncle Bill and baby Jerri. Way on the other side of the grounds lie the bones of Uncle Jim and Aunt Nez. On this particular day, we settled on my family's sacred ground and talked about the resurrection.

Jules threw off her Easter shoes and sat beside me. She was one of the few who "got it" when I brought a pint of blood to the family life center, packed in the obligatory insulated box. We talked about Jesus and the dues he paid with his own blood so that we could be forgiven for not being perfect. None of us are, ya know. She wasn't and I wasn't and none of the rest of them are. I hope that they know there was only the one who turned the tables on injustice and threw pigs into the pond to kick the devil's butt. It's the Big Ernie method of payback.

I took the van back into the church lot and returned to the reality of my own life. Jules went away to college shortly after that. I haven't seen her lately, but I bet if I went to church on Easter she'd be right there on the pew next to her parents being a good girl, keeping the faith.
with intent
grocery money
This stuff is more addictive than crack to me. Yep,old Poopster spent the grocery money on flowers and tomato plants at Pennington's feed store in historic downtown Dyersburg. You can find me digging in the dirt tomorrow. I don't buy many annuals because I figured out a long time ago that something that won't come back on its'own is NOT a practical purchase for a poor single girl. Most of my perennials are from other yards and roadsides where I've dug them up and hauled 'em home to transplant. It's pretty cool to walk the yard and remember where each little flowering gift came from.

Could it be that these guys are also "unpatriotic liberal Americans" just like me? Don't worry...I'm too tired to rant. As you were.

I now have something to count down to besides my fifty first birthday in September. Exactly two weeks from today my first week off from work since November '04 will commence, sandwiched between two free weekends. That's NINE whole days folks. If all goes according to plan, I expect a celebrity visitor to Pecan Lane about mid-week.

See y'all on the porch.
holy week
A friend and co-worker remarked to me the other day that I seem to have been simply "enduring the days" for the past month or so. She said that I looked weary, a word that I had used to describe my recent state of mind. I'll not bore you with the details because..well, they're all there in the archives past where I wrote them out during cathartic sessions on the keyboard. Compared to some folks, my life has been a piece of cake. Gratitude is a behavior that is so meshed into my personality that it's hard to shake, even when times are tough. Times have been tough on Pecan Lane for several years.

Aw, it's nothing as dramatic as a tornado or hurricane or some other disaster that would make the evening news. I'm fortunate that the landlord doesn't kick me out when I get behind, but he knows I'm doing my best and that's all he has ever asked of me...to give it my all. The really hard times have been about letting go in love and trusting that good things come to those who have faith. I can only imagine what it was like for the carpenter's son to do the foot washin' and share a last meal with his crew knowing what lay ahead for all of them. Whippings and thorns and nails. Persecution for the believers. Thy will be done.

He washed their feet knowing that one would betray Him that night. The rest of them had done it in other ways during the week of days between the palm strewn entry to downtown and that last gathering of the faithful for supper and wine. I've read that they all fell asleep when He only asked them to keep him company in his agony and fear. Can you imagine that??

Sometimes I get tired of keepin' on keepin' on, but then I have no choice. It's just lonely sometimes when there's nobody to help with the load. Maybe we should all pick up somebody else's cross and carry it awhile. In my humble opinion, it seems to put things in perspective.

It also makes one weary.

i am not dead yet
I swear, my Mama has a big old button with that text hangin' on a bulletin board, right next to the one that says "Enjoy life....this is not a dress rehearsal." Smart lady, my mom. She's got a wicked sense of humor too in a genteel southern lady sort of way, bless her heart. I think that's a dominant gene because me and BabyGirl both have that trait. When we grow up, we're gonna be just.like.her.
Looting and recovery continue in the area. You gotta be lower than a snake's belly to resort to those tactics, y'all. I heard that there are FEMA trailers coming ( let's hold our breath on that one, okay? ) and the whine of chainsaws is a familiar sound along the route of the big bad motha' that started in Bragadoccio, Missouri and plowed through West Tennessee a week and a half ago.
My funeral director friend who is SIX WHOLE MONTHS older than me, dropped by with her youngest daughter to visit me at work yesterday. There is never a dull moment in the humor that we share with me on the sick and dyin' end and her on the burying end. When I hugged her yesterday I felt the crinkley satin of her beautiful brown top under my fingers and backed off to look at it. I swear, it was made out the same material that lines a casket. I couldn't do her job if it paid a million bucks. She has to wear panty hose everyday and there's some things I just won't do for money.
Spring has finally sprung and I've held true to my Lenten promise of giving up being a lazy ass. Me and the doggies have done a mile for the past two days and enjoyed the sights. We're taking today off because our my calves are sore and I need new tennis shoes. I chased this little darlin' around from flower to flower until it finally landed on the azalea bush long enough for a shot. butterfly azalea If there's any doubt in your mind whatsoever that summer is on the way, check out the baby kudzu. Um hmmm. It's bacccccccccccccck. baby kudzu
find princess cali
cat in the woodpile
It's kinda like "find Waldo" without the goofy hat.

Happy Monday eve y'all. At least we're alive to see it.

deja vu
Skunk e-mailed me to give me a heads up on the latest cold front set to clash over the mid-section of the country. I kinda like him even though he makes fun of us southerners who adore grits. As you can probably imagine we're still pretty skittish around here considering sights like this.......
Soooooooo...... this morning when a weather pattern identical to that of last Sunday started moving our way, everybody got kinda nervous and all and started lookin' for funnels in the clouds and such. We may be southern, but we ain't stupid. Once bitten, twice shy. It's been a doozie, but so far West Tennessee has been spared a repeat performance. Let's keep our fingers crossed on that.

After Sunday night's big ordeal, I called my Mama on Monday to make sure she wasn't still in the bathtub with Daddy and the portable radio. We got to talking about how my youngest brother got hooked on being a weatherman. When middle brother and I were in elementary school she hauled all three of us to Alice Thurmond Primary school for a PTO meeting in the basement cafeteria. A severe thunderstorm hit while we were down there, and afterwards my baby brother went around the schoolyard collecting hail in a mason jar and brought it back for everybody to admire. She swears that was the beginning of his fascination with the weather, and I do believe she's right. The boy lives in the mountains of Virginia yet he knows what happens in West Tennessee before we do. Once a reporter, always a reporter I reckon. Back during our near miss with the big twister of '02, he chased storms for a solid week as wave after wave of violent weather hit our already ravaged area. He became a celebrity when he and his associates in a nearby town kept on reporting the weather right as a tornado ripped over their studio. They WERE in the hall, after all.

I've been a very bad blogger lately and haven't even visited my daily fixes. I'll try to get back with the b**g world this weekend. Y'all keep the faith.

animal house
While I was gettin' ready for work this morning I kept hearing the cat known as Princess Cali meowing in the most pitiful way. Usually she's very content curled up in a basket or a drawer so I knew she was out of her element. The steps to the attic are directly over the steps to the basement and if a door is ajar, the critters will go either way. There is shit stuff piled on every step going in either direction requiring fancy footwork to go up or down. I went up up first, into the darkness of the attic. I could still hear her but couldn't tell where the sound was coming from. Calling out "kitty kitty" I walked around a bit but didn't see anything but the usual boxes of old stuff. After I came back down I checked the basement door. There she was on the other side of it, pissed as all get out because she had been left behind last night. Luckily, she was no worse for the wear and made it on time to our morning meet'n greet on Mama's bed. Babygirl comes in from the graveyard shift just in time to get a little quality time with all the babies before I leave for work. Then the place is all theirs for the day. Butterbean says TGIF Eve.
you guys rock
Seriously. Sometimes I wonder if it would matter if I never posted another word to this b**g. After all, it's entirely virtual, right? But then a bunch of y'all watch the news and hear that a piece of my little burg got blown to Kansas and there you come checkin' in on me to see if I'm okay. I *heart* you all for that. Maybe Hoss's buddy Bill G ain't too bad after all if he can hook us all up as cyberfriends and keep us accountable.

Heather's grandmother's body was found last night. She was told that dental records and DNA testing would be required for identification. The ferocity of this particular storm has taken many by surprise, even the seasoned storm chasers. Governor Bredesen toured the area by helicopter today and said " I've never seen anything like it..." He has asked Dubya to declare Dyer and Gibson counties as a federal disaster area. Our local newspaper, which normally has two or three obituaries, was filled with death announcements for the sixteen people killed in our county. There are only three local funeral homes so it will take some time to arrange all of that. The temporary morgue was put in the building that houses the ambulance service at the hospital where I work. In Caruthersville MO, across the Mississippi River, the destruction to property was even worse than in Dyer County, but the death toll was much lower.

The Memphis TV stations are giving The War on Terror and the Ford family shenanigans a break and filming daily footage of people digging through rubble looking for something to hold on to from life as they knew it. It is a difficult time in a tiny little corner of an America that already has plenty of problems. And so it goes. Politicians file that under "too bad."

In appreciation, from me and Heather, here's a flower for you. Keep the faith. ^j^
picking up the pieces
The damage is phenomenal around these parts, y'all. This is definitely not our first rodeo with tornado season. West Tennessee residents know the drill...a cold front swoops down from Canada colliding with moist warm air from the Gulf and it all goes to heck in a handbasket around the Mighty Mississippi River, usually at night when everybody is in their comfort zone. The sirens are tested weekly to make sure that they are loud and obnoxious enough to wake everybody up. One of the worst that I can remember was in late January when nobody would ever think of a tornado shattering small town American life. Dyersburg was hit savagely a few years ago and our house on the hill barely dodged the bullet that time. I can only surmise that Big Ernie had future plans for me and BabyGirl. Why else would we still be here? As I type, the Memphis news stations are falling all over each other to scoop the story of multiple lives lost and a community reaching out in faith. Weather reporters are gettin' off on the magnitude of the whole thing and trying to take credit for who warned whom first. It is particularly disgusting when considered in parallel with the aftermath of Katrina, seven months later.

There are stories of bravery and faith to be told in the coming days and weeks. In crisis, God's children usually pull together. It's a shame that it takes a disaster for that to happen. My adopted daughter Heather is presently watching ponds being drained as rescue workers search for her great grandmother's body, missing since last night's storm. The house is gone and her uncle was among the first victims identified. Now she just needs to find her MaMaw and get some closure so they can plan the funeral.

On Palm Sunday of 1994, a tornado leveled the tiny United Methodist Church in Goshen, Alabama where Kelly Clem was pastor. Her young daughter Hannah was one of six children killed by falling debris as they waved palm fronds in joyous anticipation of Holy Week. On Easter, the congregation gathered in the rubble of Goshen UMC to fellowship in faith and remember the message of the day. "He is not here...He is risen." Kelly and her minister husband Dale became missionaries after that, making a difference in our world one life at a time.

It's what Jesus would do. Ya know?
live from tornado alley
I was not blown away, thank God. Many others in the area were not so fortunate. More later...........Keep the faith. ^j^
it's all her fault
Janet Evanovich. Everybody knows that takin' a book to work is like the kiss of death for a gravy day, especially on a weekend when "clinical support" has spring fever. Five hours in a circle jerk with multiple support personnel sent me and the dogs to the woods for solace and beer and a perfect ending to a poopie day at the salt mine.

On the road to work at dawn I stopped to snap a few pictures of the plowed fields draped in fog. Farmer Joey and his crew have been busy bustin' up the sod getting ready to plant this year's crop. As I made my way home the scent of pre-emergent herbicde hung in the air..the perfume of spring to a country gal who lives right smack in the middle of corn,cotton,soybean and wheat fields. achOOOO, bless me The dawgs were waitin' for me, eager for a romp. I seem to have misplaced my playmate cooler so, like any redneck gal worth her salt, I improvised by dumping ice cubes and a six pack into a plastic bag. Hey, in April it works well.
reflections 4
The girls took a swim and then headed down to the pasture to search for moles. While I was listening to the birds and generally gettin' off on nature, they dug and dug until Faith finally came up with a prize and brought it to me to show off. She was so protective of that critter...with Butterbean scamperin' around her wanting a piece of the action. Faith let her guard down and the little bitch snatched the mole right out of her big sister's beautiful labrador retriever jaws and ran like hell. She's a bit of a troublemaker but I *heart* her anyway.
mighty mole catcher
All's well that ends well, I suppose. That's why we keep the faith.

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