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my next rodeo
Surely y'all have figured out by now that it's not my first time in the saddle. Lord willing, it won't be the last. I have decided that I don't know a thing about men after years of lovin' and losin' them. Umm, well..I know a few things. They snore and belch and fart and get away with it 'cuz they're guys and it's politically correct for them to act that way. Boys will be boys and all that. They seem to enjoy being the aggressive one when it comes to women. My latest attempt to make the first move has landed me flat on the old face, again. I tell myself it's because I'm a respectable woman who seems to be worth more than a roll in the hay but not worth the effort for more than that. That has been my experience during five years of single life.

Most men love having women as friends because the relationship allows them to work out their angst safely, without fear of ridicule from the "guys" or loss of the Big Ike persona with the love of his life. She's usually skinny, blonde and hot or clingy and controlling...sometimes both. She gets off on drama and feels threatened by anything that dares to mess with her plan for his time. And he goes along with it because it's too much trouble not to.

I adore my men friends, and have learned sooooooo very much from them about the soft side that resides inside of the tough exterior. I know it's there in most of them, yet they rarely share it except with someone they trust. Except for me. Yep...that's the story of my life. Good old Poopie is a great listener and a wonderful friend. You can talk to her about anything and everything and feel so much better about yourself when you take miss whiny-controlling-nympho out for a big date. Or, if you prefer, just get your self esteem all pumped up for a one night stand with whoever shows some interest.

I'm past all that. What I need is a partner in life..not to be taken care of or to be somebody's Mama. I want equality in every sense of the word right down to you cry on my shoulder and I'll cry on yours. I want a man who loves his kids, dogs and parents, not necessarily in that order. If he is a spiritual person and likes to do stuff outdoors, that would be a plus. He must understand that the arts are like crack to me and feed my soul. Music..drama..the written word. Political party is irrelevant, as long as there is a deep and abiding desire to treat others with respect and dignity and work for peace.

Sounds like a tall order, huh? That probably explains why I'm still single. That's okay...I'll keep the faith and wait for what I want. Maybe ideal man will be hung like a horse too. *snort*
my day
It began before daylight, scurrying down Pecan Lane on the way to the day job in the trusty almost-paid-for-Camry that has clean oil, thanks be to Speed Lube. We also have a new tire that almost matches the other three since the front right managed to get speared with a pecan limb last week and gave up the ghost. Such is life in the fast lane with a single smartass asparagus farmer looking for true love.

Poor sucker never knew what hit him.road kill
great news on hoss!
I just got off the phone with Scamp and she said Hoss made it through the surgery fine and is in intensive care but NOT EVEN ON A VENTILATOR! Woohoooooooooo Hossie...way to show 'em! Scamp says he should be going home in a couple of days at which time he will will present his faithful readers with "the hot'n'nasty" whatever the hell that means :)

I talked to Tish shortly after that and she was so terribly sad to be leaving her family for a trip to the East. *sniff, sniff* She's planning on meeting up with this hilarious guy and his wife so, of course, I had to go check him out. She's right..he's a hoot. Be sure to give old Luke a call while you're at it. I have a feeling his experiment got dreamed up during an all-nighter at the frat house.

Speaking of staying in touch....I was about to call Vicki too and realized that all I have are Michigan email and phone numbers. Help a girl out, Vicki!!

Redneck friend (bottom right in this lovely picture) came to a recent gathering of the Kudzu Kweens complaining of shoulder pain from rotator cuff impingement. Damned if I don't have it now. Who would've thought something like that was catching??????
kudzu kweens minus one

Don't worry...we're harmless. *snort*
procrastination, thy name is poopie
If I were an animal, I'd probably be a slug. Seriously. I will put unpleasant things off until they absolutely have to be done and then I'll take my time while I meander through the experience. I suppose that's the evil/lazy twin of my inner ex-control freak showing her butt. My favorite high school teacher told me 35 years ago that "the coolest thing about gettin' old is that you can say anything you want and get away with it." Heh. He's the same one that organized a dumpster funeral for the cats we dissected in senior Biochemistry. My cat's name was Ubasti, and I wrote a kickass eulogy,if I say so myself.

The paradox about procrastination is that many times we put off the good stuff too, waiting for a fixed point in time to take a leap of faith. Your gut can tell you all day long that something is meant to be, yet the timing isn't quite right because the house is dirty or it's a bad hair day. And then Big Ernie sends you a message in the form of a life event that scares the poop out of you and makes you aware, once again, that you've just been passing time instead of living life and using the talents that were so generously given. My co-favorite teacher back at DHS was the one who taught me to type. Sure, I took shorthand as a freshman in college, but Bill Gates and Al Gore changed the world and I've forgotten the very.first.symbol I ever memorized to ace that class. My steno book is my "to do" list for the next day or week. "cat food" "CALL YKW" "keep the faith" ^j^

I knew that I was truly a spiritual person when I began to turn things over to the Ernster and let he or she handle it. All I have to do is show up and do my best with whatever life brings my way. Looking back, I see a gradual change somewhere around the time I went into therapy with a pastoral counselor. I hated her for grilling me week after week after month about who I was and where I came from and why I was so scared. But I paid her for the torture, and another one after her. It was worth every tear of the entire experience. I learned that the only way to get rid of ghosts is to face them and live with faith.

For me that has meant making major life changes. I've been divorced..twice..from the same man who was nice but had a whole lot of baggage. Our daughter was 11 the first time and 17 the last time. She loves both of us with all her heart, but there's a big old part of her heritage that she doesn't know about because Daddy finds it all too painful to confront. I understand. You'd need a roadmap to keep up with the characters that raised him up and delivered him to manhood and my apartment on Tickle Street. Funny how I lived so close to the hospital for all those years I was growin' up Poopie. When BabyGirl was just a little thang, we moved into the old house that still needs work. This farm is all I've ever known as home and I feel sorry for those who don't know that secure feeling.

Y'all go 'holla at Hoss and tell him not to pinch the OR nurses too hard while he's gettin' his aorta fixed tomorrow. Those poor folks don't need no more anesthesia induced drama, bless their hearts.
one.two.three.what are we fighting for?
I'm home alone this rainy weekend, doing chores and such. The house is lookin' better day by day when Big Ernie allows me the time and energy to get creative. Music always helps to make light work of the task at hand. My latest compilation went something like this:

Jethro Tull
John Prine
Eric Clapton
Stevie Wonder
Elton John
Hank Jr.
Stevie Winwood
Tha'Doobie Brothers
Janis Joplin
Jefferson Airplane
Jimi Hendrix
It's a Beautiful Day
Country Joe and the Fish
Crosby Stills Nash & Young
Linda Ronstadt
Jackson Brown
Willis Alan Ramsey
Mac McAnally
Emerson Lake & Palmer
Kid Rock and that Missouri chick
BB King
John Mayer
Dave Matthews
Kathy Mattea
The Eagles
Jimmy Buffett
Fleetwood Mac
Chris Cagle
James Taylor

*to be continued*
second thoughts
I can count on one hand the number of times that I have deleted a post after it went up, and yesterday was the most recent. Why, you might ask? Hmm..because it was drivel, of the manic jacked up angry bitch type. What began as an "oopsy" when I got a letter from the IRS calling me to task for daring to not pay taxes on the last of my retirement that I withdrew to survive post-divorce, turned into a flaming diatribe against every owner of the place since time began, including the guy who discovered the blood groups back in the forties and the original cultivator of penicillin mold. When I looked at it this morning, I saw the side of me that should be reserved for making a positive difference in the world bitchin' her little heart out about the past knowing full well that I had choices every step of the way and didn't make them, for whatever reason. I don't like that girl's voice, so she was sent hurling into cyberspace, pronto. Poof...history.

When I first began blogging a couple of years ago, the bitch was my constant companion. We ranted and raved about what was wrong with the world and life and this country, yet change has come slowly, if at all. I don't see any fewer gas guzzlers on the road, but folks squawk about the price of owning them a bit more. People still kill and torture and judge others by their own standards, but a little more light has been shed on peace and justice by believers in the true meaning of agape.

And so, I choose to see the glass as half full. Instead of being angry over the thought of my hard earned tax dollars going to fund a war that I have oppossed from the get go , I will think about it as an investment in the Medicare money that helps to pay for my parents' healthcare during their "golden" years. I will care for myself and for compassionate others like the best friends that we are on this journey called life on Earth. And I will not give energy or attention to those who seek to benefit themselves at the expense of others. Life is too short for such nonsense.

I will keep the faith and go to my grave believing that all is well and as it is supposed to be according to Big Ernie's plan. For now, that plan includes plenty of good friends and a bunch of critters who eat me out of house and home. There's a daughter/roommate who will turn twenty two on Friday whom I adore and respect and am terribly proud of no matter which direction she goes with her own life.

And I will never...ever, forget who I am or the grace that got me here. ^j^

Edit video online at onetruemedia.com
message from hoss

Subliminal, as always.
just because i can
Walk away and never look back except to remember the good times, and the hard ones too.

Give my heart away to a funny guy who wants something more than tomorrow at noon with no strings attached.

Follow the paper trail from order to report and way beyond in the case that the computer decides lay down and die.

Kiss the dog goodnight and cuddle up until it's time to go back to the sawmill.

Shoot 'yer ass dead if you ever dare to raise a hand against me.

Cook Thanksgiving dinner for the family in spurts, beginning on Halloween. Cornbread must be cooked and frozen to work well in dressing. Mama said so and I expect her to walk up the steps and sit at the table with the rest of us.

Take a weekend away to visit with the KY kinfolks and help with the rehearsal dinner and wedding. *note to self* find a date...the menu sounds good and the drive is curvy and long.

Finish reading Between,GA. Ease into Alabama, as time allows.

Crank up the new cordless drill and screw everything in sight.

Sing Linda Ronstadt songs at the top my lungs when the mood strikes. Kathy Mattea, too. CSN&Y. Moody Blues. Grace Slick and her bunch. This could be a whole 'nother post..and it shall be.

Clean the oven. Change the oil. Raise a child up strong. Be a friend. Serve communion. Sing alto in the choir. Wipe away tears. Grow stuff. Burn shit. Celebrate another birthday.

Be in bed by 8:30.

Keep the faith. ^j^
barn and hay Well, I've pretty much been a stranger around the b**gosphere lately and haven't had time to visit most of you. I'll try to do better, mkay? I went out the other day at sunset to take some pictures since the weather's cooled off enough to enjoy being outside. The dogs rode to the riverbed with me, and ran behind the car all the way back, with much romping in the soybeans and cotton and a nice swim in the slough. The only thing better would have been to be on a four wheeler. There were fish'a'floppin' and I heard ducks but didn't see them. I did see some deer running through the soybean field, their heads appearing and disappearing in the tall goldness of it. There are turkeys out there too, but the closest I've ever come to seeing one is finding a the feather that is stuck in the Indian corn on my porch. I love me some fall...yep, I sure do.faith in the riverbed 2

Still keepin' the faith here. Hope you are as well ^j^
Sometimes I think I'm too tired to keep going. And then I remember the devotion and hard work of these folks on their self-appointed mission and I realize that we're all in this thing together, cheering each other on toward the destination, while enjoying every second of the journey. It is scheduled to end in St. Louis on September 23rd, two hundred years after Lewis and Clark did the same route. As of last night, there were a few hundred miles and 11 days left. I sure do hope there's a decent crowd there to bring 'em home. Y'all keep the faith with this bunch on the last leg of their adventure.
girls just wanna have fun
cowgirl faith BabyGirl posed Faith in one of my birthday cowboy hats for this fetching shot. Her chocolate self was not amused. My birthday weekend was more fun than a barrel of redneck southern gals and eased the transition to fifty one. Thanks to all of y'all who bought a beer, drove the boat, sent a card, baked an ice cream cake or just showed up to play on the water. Kudos to Toby for cooking burgers and brats and for making sure we didn't drown while retrieving the remote control speed boats. *Too.much.fun*

Here's the thing about getting another year older for a baby-boomer-southern-gal-smartass kind of redneck. The past becomes a sort of mellow patchwork quilt, created from where you've been without the angst staining the squares. It's okay if the dogs lay on the quilt and keep you warm when you're lonely. Ditto for the umpteen kitties. Middle age is all about embracing what makes the soul happy. My old soul is mighty tickled to have a cordless drill of my very own. And the cutest purse! And enough candles to see me through the dark nights ahead while I journal and listen to relaxing music until SugarDaddy shows up. Damn ornery old cuss is sure taking his time.

Next year I'm asking for a hog like Mary's.mary and the hog 2

I'm just sayin'.
down with the ship

It was Tuesday, September 11th...better than a Monday by any stretch of the imagination. Christine began the day with a beautiful smile and hug from her husband Neil. Their respective careers kept them on the go constantly...she as the CEO of Applevision/ Vidicom and he as the newly appointed Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The marriage had followed an intense courtship born from a date arranged by Senator Alfonse D'Amato and he had become "Super Dad" to her two girls Ali and Caitlin. Only five months before, Governor George Pataki had appointed Neil to the position of director over the thousands of employees and miles of roads, bridges,tunnels,ports and runways that comprise the business end of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey..working men and women who show up every day to do their jobs as public servants. As Neil headed for his office on the 68th floor of 1 World Trade Center, his thoughts were where they usually were during down time. He mulled over restitution for Holocaust victims and their families and how to ease that pain, somehow, fifty years after the fact of the atrocity that was Hitler's reign of terror and ethnic cleansing.

A native New Yorker, Neil was a 1976 graduate of Lafayette College who later received a Master's in business administration from Long Island University and a law degree from Hofstra University. He then went to work as counsel to the securities subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee, headed by Senator D'Amato. While there, he helped to draft the Insider Trading Sanctions Act of 1984, which came in reaction to the trading scandals that shook Wall Street in the early 1980's. He spent seven years as chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of New York during their transition from regulator of financial institutions to a profit-seeking business. In 1985 he joined Goldman Sachs & Company and was promoted to vice president two years later, assisting federal agencies with investment banking and advising federal home loan programs like Fannie Mae. In 1994, Governor Pataki appointed Mr. Levin as the state's superintendent of banks with oversight of 4,500 financial institutions in New York State. In 1997, he was appointed as superintendent of the State Insurance Department and head of the Commission on the Recovery of Holocaust Victims' Assets. As of March 2001, his appointment as chairman of the Port Authority continued to challenge this highly intelligent and energetic man. And so, he was there at the Windows to the World restaurant atop the North Tower, for a breakfast meeting on September 11, 2001. When the plane hit, he was on the phone with his executive adviser, Karen Eastman. It was the last anyone heard from him.

There was a memorial service later that month at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side, attended by about 500, that included an extended standing ovation at the request of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and ended with a procession led by a color guard.
After his death, his widow Christy was appointed as a liason between Governor Bloomberg's office and survivors of victims of the World Trade Center bombings. In June of 2004 she became a member of the Board of Directors of the Port Authority, carrying on the work of her beloved husband.

The 65th school to be established at SUNY was named after Levin, called the Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce. The first "for credit" courses were offered in the spring of 2005 to students from SUNY Buffalo MBA and Law programs. The semester long, 12 credit course focuses on international finance and banking. Students graduated May 1st of that year.

A video tribute featuring his widow Christy, co-workers and friends may be viewed here. I'm glad I watched it...it gave me a much greater understanding of one man who perished that day helping others, in his usual manner.

Neil Levin In Memory of Neil David Levin September 16,1955 - September 11,2001

Author's note: A big thank you to D.C. Roe for the opportunity to participate in this event. Out of respect to Mr. Levin and the other victims, there will be no posting here until after 9/11.

happy birthday to me
Tenative birthday week agenda:

Monday…Sleep like the dead..it’s a holiday and Dubya is sure as hell on vacation somewhere. Mow the yard just because you’ve got the energy and company’s coming. *Check*

Tuesday……Go to work and look busy. Go back to work and watch boring videos while eating birthday cake with cute little Justin and spoiled rotten Georgia Lee. Kick back on the porch with the home improvement guy and talk about life. *Check*

Wednesday….Go to work again. Gah. This is gettin' old. Forget to turn on the TV one more time and just go with the flow. Take a walk and play with the dogs and see doves flying every damn where. Go to bed early.

Thursday: Go to work AGAIN. Dollar beer for ladies day is upon us at Bev’s Place. Praise the Lord and pass the chips for cheap dates.

Friday…Turn ringer off on phone to avoid call-in for unannounced inspection at dead end job on birthday eve. That would just suck a big one, if you know what I mean. Take a ride on Deb's boat at the lake with all the girls and a few hot guys *wink wink*

Saturday September 9th...Y'all come and see me. You all know where I live and gas is cheap at the moment. Bring beer and and help gather firewood..I have gas and matches and a few power tools.

birthday girl

Sunday: OPEN
labor day, my ass
labor day my ass
I guess they got tired watching me mow the yard, ya think?
a kudzu walkabout

From the end of my driveway down Pecan Lane to the "main" road and back up to the house is one mile. I could walk it in my sleep, as many times as I've travelled that same solitary mile. Often the dogs go with me, chasing each other back and forth across the lane and playing hide and go seek in the cotton fields. The heat has been oppressive this summer, and I've found other things to do besides pour sweat and dodge horseflies down and back up that hill. Back in the day, when I was a lot younger, I would do the 2.5 mile route to the golf course and back, but the prettiest part of the track lies right in front of my house. The ancient pecan trees hold hands overhead forming a tunnel of sorts. It has always been my sacred spot..where I forget about my troubles and marvel at the wonder and glory of nature.

I've walked it to the beat of rock'n'roll or Paul Harvey and I've done it in winter, summer, spring and fall. I have literally cried a river on that asphalt, working out things that were troubling my soul and letting go of the past. It is the place where Poops and Big Ernie do their best bonding, and I realized today that I have missed that terribly. I have some new tennis shoes to break in and a few weeks until dark comes early so it's prime time to hit the road in a somewhat consistent manner until the winter winds push me back inside.

The kudzu has been trimmed off of the road several times this summer..plenty of rain and hot weather have combined to keep it lush and green and crawling for the sky. Looks like a bumper crop midway up the hill in front of the old dairy barn. Too bad I can't pick it and sell it :)

Y'all have a Happy Labor Day/Beginning of Poopie's birthday week. I expect it to be a good one, 'cuz Faith says so.
what every southern girl needs....

An early birthday present from YaYa :)
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