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a day in the life of
...a smartass country girl. I kinda like the sound of that don't y'all? It was nothin' special except for the company I kept. A hump day that began really early and ended with the onset of a gentle yet persistent snowfall. What I hear from those out and about is that the brine laid by road crews the past couple of days isn't worth the salt they used to mix it with. I reckon I'll see in the morning when I venture back out to the sawmill in my trusty Camry which sports three hubcaps and many battle scars.

Something about watching the snowfall just gives me a sense of peace with the world in spite of all the stress and drama that manages to work its' way into every nook and cranny of the waking hours. Accumulating snow is a scarce enough event in West Tennessee to bring out the inner child in just about everybody around these parts. I particularly like the way the cardinals show up against the white background around the feeder and the white stuff piles up on the pecan branches along the lane to and from home.

We sawed a lot of logs at the mill today, which is typical for a Wednesday at Casa Laboratory. In addition to the usual full house, it was our weekly oncology clinic day. Lots of folks needing blood components, both in and out patient with only 5% of the population willing to donate their own. Those aren't good odds, yet we manage to save lives in spite of it. That's what I call faith in action.

All the kitties are in the house with me and BabyGirl tonight because, well. It's cold and wet and cats hate that shit. Faith and Butterbean have been out makin' tracks in the snow and barking at it because it looks different and the coyotes are about to get tuned up.

Today is my friend Lori's birthday. Poor thang is laid up from surgery recovering from an operation and bossing her dearly beloved Bearded Eye Roller around on the household chores. I searched my favorite artist's site for a cup and saucer in her honor, but all I could find with her name on it was this pillow.

Love ya. Mean it. ^j^

Those freakin' control meisters at blogger forced me to join up with the new version of whining-about-my-past-vs-boasting-about-my-accomplishments now that they're out of beta. What I would give to have a blood inventory tracking system out of beta at the day job. Sheesh.

Thanks to Deb and Redneck Friend, I now have my very own feelgood CD to drive around to that consists of my favorite Sugarland tracks. Number one on the list? Tennessee, of course :) I've almost learned the words well enough to sing 'em at the Kudzu bar with lead singer Bev on the other mic.

If you know me at all you'll figure that the hell raising over the war up there in Washington tickles the shit out of me. This has been the longest five years of my life, no doubt. Thanks to Big Ernie, there's some faith out there waiting to be kept. I don't know exactly when or how, but I've begun to believe in miracles again.

skunk patrol

As you can see Faith is quite depressed. That's because she had to get a vinegar and peroxide bath in the wee hours of Saturday morning after she annoyed a skunk. AGAIN. Slow learner, ain't she? Butterbean is scared of her own shadow so she escaped the stinky fate that her big sister endured. They're both hunkered down on my bed to escape the chilling temps that have finally arrived to kill the premature buttercups.

I've been busy...really busy. The day job keeps on keepin' on. There's one thing about working in healthcare that's a given. There will always be a steady stream of customers.

Y'all stay warm. I'd let you borrow my fluffy pink robe, but I'm all wrapped up in it at the moment.

do you hear what i hear?

These nights it's all about the song of the coyote here on Pecan Lane. Cold and wet = ducks and Bambi lookin' for high ground with the old Acme wizard right on their tails. Poor thang never does see that anvil fallin' off the cliff.

Actually, it's pretty cool to lay in the bed and listen to my girls jump up out of the warmth and defend the homeplace. Their loyalty makes me feel safe and I can always count on them to keep me warm after they're done raisin' hell. When SugarDaddy shows up it might get a little crowded. I sure do hope he likes sleeping with dawgs.

The view from my front porch in January seldom changes in spite of global warming and Dumb Dubya. The pecan trees are black against a sky that takes on the prettiest colors around sunset time over the farm. Backwater from the Forked Deere floods the low lying parcels of land until May so forget about exploring nature until spring, except by boat. My apologies to Hoss for my leaving him in a Camry stuck in the mud with a whiskey in his hand to die last year. As you can see, his smart ass is alive and well and chasin' Scamp in Oregon in spite of my most diligent efforts to kill him through neglect.

Ladies night was a smashing success for me this Thursday. The old Poopster managed to shave the legs and pits, lotion up and head to bed early all the while drinking dollar beer that I bought all by myself. It's been awhile since I've indulged myself that way. Thanks Deni, for the inspiration.

There is so much so very wrong with this world that it's tempting to see the bad stuff taking over. Many days it is exactly like that, and that's where friends come into the mix. The way I understand Big Ernie is that when you do unto others it comes back around according to how you doled it out once you "got it." If you know what is a matter of honor and choose to ignore it, WOE BE unto you. That's all I have to say about the old covenant. I can honestly say that since I learned right from wrong I've never taken sin lightly, but it can seem like fun at times.

What gets me is these idiots who stand up and preach about perfection and hell and damnation when they conveniently forget that they have hurt other people through their own actions. The very basis of spirituality is a belief that there is a benevolent God who loves each child equally. His or her name might be Buddha or The-Great-I-Am, but the end result is the same for all believers in peace and justice.

It may not be during your life on earth...but what goes around comes around.
my (most recent) day in court

Courtrooms and judges just give me the heebiejeebies. Most of my experiences have been user friendly as in divorce #1 and #2 and the child custody thing with Kimo, which is a story for another day. My pro-bono attorney friend was busy in Honduras doing some mission work so he sent one of his associates to defend my honor against the evil credit card company. A continuance was granted to give me time to come up with the money, plus attorney's fees for Capitol One Bank. Maybe Junior will be back in the country by then.

I had an advocate in that courtroom today, but many do not. My advocate knows that I've struggled for years to make a living as a single mom with a kid in college. He knows that my ex promised to pay for BabyGirl's car and health insurance and spent the money on meth and crack instead.

The constant in all of this has been our home on Pecan Lane where the coyotes and the easter bunnies play. Squirrels too. And doves. Ducks. Turkeys. Hummingbirds. Deer. You name it, we got it here on this little piece of paradise.

This picture is my mama's favorite of the road to home. So far there hasn't been any snow, but it's early yet to say it won't happen in West Tennessee.
left behind
I suppose that if you watched the State of the Union address, this post could be titled "Poopie's Response." Don't confuse that with the Democratic rebuttal. I'm a non-partisan smartass.

I was a bit uplifted by a statement of purpose for the exit strategy from that whole mess in the Middle East that is Dubya's legacy. He wants to lay out a bunch more troops to secure Baghdad. This is a positive step, in my humble opinion, as we have moved several steps back from the delusions of grandeur that were "winning the war on terror." That particular fight will never be won until we choose to ignore the greedy side of human nature and un-do the damage that got done in the Garden of Eden when old Mr Snake made his debut.

Had I been in charge of the country on September 12, 2001 this would have been my challenge to the American people:

Trade in that gas guzzler for something smaller and more fuel efficient like your feet or a bike if you're within a mile or two of your destination. Make your next vehicle a hybrid and don't trade it in just because the neighbors have something classier.

Homeland security is just what it sounds like, and that doesn't involve going TO the enemy. It consists of taking care of the tax paying citizens of a country who have watched the rise and fall of a big government that is living high on the hog and protecting their own financial interests while the middle class pays the bill for their easy life.

Seriously consider what your God given talents are and use them accordingly to help thy neighbor. I would be inclined to pay attention to the least of these like Katrina veterans who are still struggling to survive that natural disaster which, by the way, was completely avoidable had the money been spent the way it was meant to be on the levees. Oops!

The healthcare delivery system in this country is so totally screwed up it's not even funny. I had the pleasure of working with a married couple from Canada who came down here to make a little money because times were hard for doctors and nurses up there in the land of equal access to good medical care. The paradox is that they focus much more heavily on healing or dying with dignity than on invasive procedures and grandstanding that pump up the bottom line of a big ass company. They went back home, by the way.

Education has gotten totally out of hand. Instead of teaching someone how to fish, we reward our schools for cutting vocational courses. Some folks just won't have the means to go to college y'all. Does that mean they don't deserve a chance to learn how to make a living? There are more degrees in this country than you can shake a stick at, but many of them are earned the easy way on Daddy or Mama's dime. The alternative is a lifetime of payback on federal student loans. My degree has not made a lick of difference in what I'm paid at the sawmill. That might explain why there is currently a staffing crisis in clinical laboratories across the nation. The ones who don't have a stake in the community like family and friends left a long time ago for greener pastures.

I only read the first book in the Left Behind series because, frankly, I don't care for scare tactics. Soon as that plane found itself pilot-less I immediately identified as a one of the sheeple in a country without leadership. Math isn't my strong suit but the way I figure it nobody in their right mind would go to Iraq or Afghanistan unless the money is damn good or there's a draft.

Y'all ready for that?
the promise
little bit of rainbow One is not surprised to see a rainbow during a storm or shortly thereafter if the sun happens to make an appearance at just the right moment. For me, personally, the colored prism has done a Noah like number on Poops at times when I was being asked to keep the faith and soldier on. The one that I will never forget is the one that framed the hospital building on the day that AK's mama died.

She called me on the way home from the hospital six months before asking about cancer and chemo and such. Miss Ann had been diagnosed..her only daughter was scared, and rightfully so. The coming weeks held nothing but nausea and weakness for her mother during the brutal course of chemotherapy that followed. The emotions involved with such an experience render family members helpless, guilty and hopeful all at once in a big old mix of i-don't-know-what-to-feel-or-what-is-real. Miss Ann was eventually admitted to the hospital for the last few days of her life and we camped out in her room lookin' for faith and angels and snackin' in the waiting room.

It was raining when I left for work that morning...typical spring weather. The sun broke through about halfway there and when I saw that rainbow above as I pulled into the parking lot, I knew that this was the day it would happen. We laid on the cot by the window, me and AK and Alli, talking about stuff and resting in the late afternoon shadows. I could hear Miss Ann's labored breathing becoming more sporadic until it was no longer audible.

There was another time I saw one when I least expected it. There was this guy that I had fell hard for after my divorce, or before then if you must know. We worked together sometimes and got to know each other that way. In spite of the odds, I always believed he was the one for me. One night we were having a work dinner meeting and it was rainin' cats and dogs. I glanced out through the window of the restaurant as the sun was setting and was delighted to see the biggest fattest rainbow ever right out there smiling at me telling me to keep the faith. So far I have.

That picture up top there I took one day recently on the way home from work when there was nary a raindrop around. I reckon Big Ernie just thought I needed a little bit of rainbow to help me keep on believing in miracles like the sun shining through the clouds at just the right angle to help me keep going when times are hard.

That's how I prefer to think of it, anyway.
Don't make the casserole just yet, cuz I ain't dead...just busy as a one armed cat in the litter box. Y'all missed my smart ass didn't ya? C'mon now..'fess up. I've missed you TOO! I mean, gah. You're my best friend and all that. Love ya. Mean it.

Since you asked, I've been extremely busy courting SugarDaddy with the day job and the other one that doesn't pay yet but has involved a whole bunch of manual labor and de-greasing. As I mentioned once before, my brother is part owner of an "event place" that has a kickass industrial kitchen and nobody eatin' anything much which is a crying shame. Seeing as how I come from strong cookin' genes and really ENJOY it, I've decided to give it a whirl. As Big Ernie would have it, I found a very capable business partner in a long time friend named Mary who rides a Harley and will pop a cap in your ass in a heartbeat if you dare to mess with her. We got down to the nitty gritty of scraping old grease off of walls, equipment and ourselves yesterday and it looks mighty good, if I say so myself. One thing is for sure. Once we get to turning food out in that place, don't bother coming around if you're counting carbs or fat grams. Save us all some trouble and go to Subway instead.

Hmm..so what's new? I heard today that Hillary is "in to win." As SKB would say, OK then. The citizens of this country are so hungry for political change that the next two years should be more exciting than a smackdown at the WWF. Let's all do ourselves a patriotic favor and check out sources before we believe what the talking heads say about this one or that one. Oh, and don't forget about the glass house and stone throwing thing too.

I still have three..count 'em...THREE kittens from the last litter scampering about in the yard and eating twice their weight in kitty food. Stopped by the Kudzu bar this afternoon to see how the monster karaoke-fest went last night and all went well for Bev and Terry. Huge night. And I missed it all, snug in my bed with the dawgs resting up for the day job. Dammit.. I bet SugarDaddy was there looking for me, too.

The reading and writing have taken a back seat to going with the flow which means that I have no talent I'm exploring my options and loving every minute of it. That's what it's all about, right?

i have a dream
It was so rainy and dreary today. Me and the Little General talked about those who were marching through the weather to honor a peaceful loving man named Martin Luther King. "We shall overcome" is not a mantra that knows a specific race or level of hardship. When sung with conviction, it is the song of hope and faith that no matter what life delivers, one can see Big Ernie at work in the stars and the sky and the faces of other human beings. He would have marched, in spite of the weather.

Sometimes this is a hard thing to believe in, sort of like the untouchable Utopia where race and class and gender fail to recognize each other but connect only as souls united in the search for peace and justice. One human touches the least of these and manages to change the life of another for just a moment... or for the generations who remember the fight and pass on the story.

Faith. That's the name of the game.

not your average groupie

Last night was a big deal at my brother's place. Hundreds came out in the monsoon rains to see Jimi Jamison, formerly of the group Survivor. Being a part of the woodwork has its' perks when it comes to taking pictures so I managed to grab this shot of the band after their show.
The opening band was The Remains , a trio of DJ's from West Tennessee's premier rock station, who worked the crowd up into a frenzy before Jamison and his bunch took the stage and made them BEG for "Eye of the Tiger."

I've always been a music freak but don't make the effort to travel two or three hours to the larger cities for concerts so cover bands are just the ticket for small towns like the 'burg. BabyGirl seethes with jealousy over the musical greats that I got to see as a teenager and young adult like Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, The Allman Brothers, Linda Ronstandt, James Taylor and many many more. Back in the day, ticket prices were within reach for the average kid. That's not the case these days. After everybody and their brother gets their cut and a service charge it's almost cheaper to buy a plane ticket.

Anyhoo.....my poopie old butt is just about wore out from all that singing and chair dancin'. And tomorrow is Monday. Again.


no comment
South Park was right on time tonight because Comedy Central doesn't broadcast important things like the new and improved plan for saving the innocents in Iraq, et al, per Dubya and the speechwriters. *blink blink* I can't help it ya'll..I just had to watch. It's kind of like a train wreck where you sit there and go "Oh SHIT..he didn't!" Thank goodness for remote volume control.

My friend Dak has a bumper sticker on his truck that says January, 09. It fell off in the carwash a few weeks ago but Yaya insisted that they go back and find it. He's a Vietnam vet who has very little patience with the current "conflict". Guess you could say he's been there, done that and was fortunate enough to come home alive, even with the flashbacks and such.

This computer is making an awful racket which tells me that it's time to get away from the keyboard and live my life instead of typing about it. Not to worry though. I'll show up when you least expect it. Poops will be the one with very little makeup and old clothes.

With faith, as usual.

weird poop
My fairyblogmother and soul sista' did a little thing the other day where she lined out five kinda weird things about herself for a meme. Since I'm a whole lot like her, I didn't think they were weird at all, but then that's just me. I never have been much of a follower so I suppose a lot of folks think I'm weird. Let me fill you in on just a few of the ways:

1. I can sleep for ten or twelve hours and not feel a bit guilty about it. While my friends are up doing stuff and not wasting a day, I'm under the covers with the dogs re-charging my batteries for the next adventure. This was definitely NOT the case for about twenty years when I was an uber mom/employee/caretaker/younameit. My eyes would pop open at the crack of daylight with mental list in hand of "important things that can't wait until tomorrow." Now I make a loose list of things that need to be addressed within the next week or so like showing up for work or makin' a phone call. So far, the world hasn't ended because I choose to take care of myself and rest when I need it. Which is often.

2. Some people fall in love once and stay there forever after. I have been in love no less than ten times in my adult life, many of them while I was married to the wrong guy. That should have told me something right quick, but I'm a loyal sort.. especially when it comes to my BabyGirl, so I stuck it out and got my heart broken over and over by guys who loved me as a friend but never crossed the line to choose me over the complications involved. I've become much more cautious with the old heartstrings because of that. Life is too short to expend emotional energy on people who can't or won't let you touch their souls. My biggest fear is that I will become so accustomed to my way of being that I won't need companionship. I doubt that will happen.

3. Shy to a fault as a teenager, I rarely dated, danced or sang out loud. Always on the periphery of the cool crowd due to my inner rebellious hellion nature, I found myself just as comfortable with the hippies and the rednecks as with the socialite wannabes. That refusal to be pigeonholed still remains an integral part of my character and my friends are as different as daylight and dark. When I like you, it shows. When I don't, I can't hide it very well. Fortunately tolerance has empowered me to like most folks in a quirky kind of way that has allowed me to enjoy meeting new people where they are and appreciating them for their differences. Except when they're mean. Those idiots are big fat zeroes in my book. BabyGirl had a keychain one time that summed it all up quite succintly: "Mean People Suck."

4. There are a number of things that bring me joy and at one time or another I've explored taking one or more of them on as a vocation. I've downloaded greenhouse plans and dreamed about financing. One year my specific requests for Christmas from my parents included several books on palliative care. There is nothing sweeter to me than drinkin' beer and cooking. I write. And read. And write some more, yet "the book" has never taken on life more than a b**g post one day at a time in this poopie little life of mine. Somehow I am afraid that by trying to make a living at something that brings me joy, all of the joy will be lost. Does that make sense? Dreaming for the sake of it makes a whole lot more sense when you have a job that you're damn good at, even when the powers that be don't recognize that fact. Big Ernie knows, and that's all that counts.

5. I have been against the war in Iraq since it first began, before it was cool to be that way like the polls say that it is now. My reaction to the terrorist acts of 9/11 was one of shock and disbelief that people in this world despised our country enough to plan that long and that hard to bring us to our knees. I cringed when our government sent too few troops with too little armour halfway across the world to search for the elusive demon that is hatred of western ways. Islam, at heart, is not a violent way of life, just different. Radicals of that particular belief system are no more dangerous than Protestant extremists who dare to tell us how we should conduct our lives here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I continue to read the reporting of this man each time a dispatch is sent. The ones who are there are the ones who are telling it like it is, not the politicians.

Bonus Wierd! Good little southern girls never place their loyalties outside of the SEC. Except when they have bad flashbacks of Florida under Spurrier's vein-throbbing hatred of the UT Vols year after year after year. Y'all think I'll get shipped up North if I holler "Go Buckeyes"?

Just wondering. ^j^
leaving room for the drummer
Back in the day when I was first divorced and tryin' out my new single woman status, I would roam through Yahoo chatrooms trying to have a conversation with somebody besides a bot. I formed exactly three real life friendships from that experience with the WWW. The first was with a music dude in Memphis who did scores for the Air Force Band in between phone work and doin' headstands in piles of shit. Called himself a musical whore. He taught me about discipline and miracles. Last I heard he was headed for California to marry his true love. Never even met him in person, but he was my best friend for a few months. Jingleaire extraordinaire :) Love ya..mean it.

I met the other two at different times when I least expected it and most needed somebody who cared. Sandra lives up near Reelfoot Lake with her husband Brian and they both work at the local pork factory on the kill floor. Sanner was my personal assistant in the chat rooms, always on the lookout for cool guys to send my way. When a tornado went right by my house on Pecan Lane and dropped a tree on the roof, she and Brian showed up with a chainsaw and we got 'er done. Got a Christmas card from them this past month. Love ya both...mean it.

The Eagle showed up sometime later on my front porch during a cold January evening when I was busy folding towels in my jammies. He was in the neighborhood and decided to drop by and see exactly who this gal was that sounded so down on life and love and such. Boy got more than he bargained for, if you know what I mean. Poor thang has had to listen to me cry and sling snot over every little thing since then. That's what friends do. Love you too.

That shit poop got old quick and I moved onto blogging as a way to meet new people. That's when I found out that this big old world gets smaller every day. Every tear that I've cried and rant that I've thrown has brought some sort of blessing back to me in the form of a friend who listens to my heart and responds at just the right moment. That's what friends do.

The musical whore talked about things like leaving room for the drummer. I still thank him for those words of wisdom and intend to explore my options.

one of those days
Old man winter January boy is teasin' us through days on end of fifty degree temps just waiting to smack us upside the head with a giant snowball sometime in February after the buttercups get about halfway up outta the dirt. Good damn thing I've got some Doc Marten hand me downs for the day that happens :) Seems like most of the country outside of CO and the plains states have had a not very white Christmas and New Year. Here...well, it's just raining and cold. Thank goodness I've got propane and new chenille.

Stopped by the Kudzu bar and chatted with the Kween of the house about life and love and men boys. Pretty much, we figured out there's several kinds of 'em. There's the control freak dude who needs to whip his momma's ass by making some other female pay for his domination as a kid. His variant is the one who wants to save every dang woman who has chosen a life as a doormat or a drama queen. See: white horse, cape, power rangers.

The ones who never took responsibility for their own part of things are the biggest pain in the butt, in my humble opinion. Sure, your momma didn't dance and your daddy don't rock'n'roll. Big fat hairy deal. In the words of the Eagles, "get over it" and heal that inner child before somebody kicks its' little ass. These fellas tend to get addicted to shit like hunting, Nascar, hogs and beer. If I ever met one who knew how to kiss AND talk politics, I'd be in heaven for sure. Golfers fit into this category real nice and cozy. "Talk to me you idiot...I swear it won't be used against you in court. "

The rest of them are this odd mix of dirty sweat and honorable intentions. They love their mama'n'them and honor them whenever the occasion arises. If you dare to raise a hand to a lady, watch out because it's on. Sometimes he cries just like you do because he's sad. That's what trust looks like to me. He gets off on pretty pictures and music and preserving the earth that Big Ernie gave us to enjoy. This guy knows how to wear a suit looking like a million and still pull off the sexy camo thang at just the right moment. If he doesn't know YOUR birthday, he sure as heck knows when his best friend's is and shows up with a beer or 24 to celebrate. You understand as long as he don't get stupid and drive.

Shout out to Match.com and True.com and YadaYadaHarmony. I can't afford the membership fee, so I'll just go about my business at the day job and enjoy the night job, all the while keeepin' the faith. little bit of rainbow

You can spend your whole life buildin'
Something from nothin
One storm could come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You could chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great but sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like i think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This worlds gone crazy
And it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all you heart
For all the right reasons
And in a momemt they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

God is great but sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like i think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway

I sing
I dream
I love anyway

Martina McBride ( accompanied by Poopie ^j^)
in with the new
Umm..well. I stood Dick Clark up for our New Year's Eve date. I was all settled in for a long winter's nap when my brother called and suggested that I should come up and hear Primal Heart at Midnight Rodeo. Those guys can rock the house! The lead singer is a nurse at one of my "sister" hospitals in a nearby town and sounds as much like Steve Perry as anybody I've ever heard. Dang, I love me some Journey. Seriously. There were a few surprise treats on the holiday menu too...like Mississipi Queen and Sweet Home Alabama. Good dancin' kind of music. I danced by myself, but nobody told me I got on their nerves. That's always a plus.

Slept a few hours and went back to de-grease that kitchen some more so we can proceed to serve chittlins' at some time in the near future. While I was there about 300 bikers dropped in during their Happy 2007 run. So much leather...so little time. I had to move my car next door so they'd have plenty of hog-parking space. I ran into one father daughter combo that I didn't even know did the bike thing. Small world huh?

My mom and daddy gave me the softest plushest chenille robe for Christmas that I've ever had in my life. It's like a big old sweater that goes all the way down to the floor and comes in real handy for a gal who's conserving propane. I'm all wrapped up in it now and loving every cuddly minute of it. I had my blackeyed peas, pork and a bit of broccoli-and-cheese instead of cabbage. Maybe that will work to make me enough money to get the debt collectors offa my ass.

P.S. I still have three kittens, all wormed and precious. Anybody want one for Lent?
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