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at the dew
I'm over here today with Butterbean. Y'all have a wonderful hump day. ^j^
when no means no
I can't say that I even remember much about the magical tale of Cinderella except for the wicked in-laws and out-laws and the talking mice. Evidently somewhere along the line Poops began to believe in a charming prince who would come along and save her from the drudgery of kissing asses and cleaning up other people's shit. Alas! The princess is sure to be disappointed when casting about this way and that looking for love from those who don't know the true meaning of the word as a verb. Let's count every man I've ever had a crush on in that category, ummkay?

They tell me no in so many different ways it seems that I should have given up on the idea long LONG ago. All of them ....each and every one were in a comfort zone that I danced around the periphery of while giving them the adoration that they needed at the time. Never even got the first honest conversation, much less a thank you note. Their mamas should have raised 'em better is all I can say.

Signing off for the evening,

Sister Elizabeth Jane ^j^
musical diversity

Never let it be said that Poops the music lover hasn't been there done that when it comes to new experiences. See exhibit A above, a shot of One Less Reason, the group that drew a whopping crowd to my brother's club Friday night. They were very good in that know-your-genre sort of way. There were approximately ten people in the whole place over thirty, and I was one of 'em, back in the kitchen with my partner Angelica, frying shit stuff for the two who wanted to eat. Got me a four dollar tip too! Let's hear it for the old gals.

Speaking of old, I'm considering gettin' some falsies. NOOOO..not that kind. False teeth! Another one broke off yesterday and it just costs too damn much to have them re-built. Maybe then they'd be straight, ya think? I never thought I'd get to the place where I considered puttin' my teeth in a glass. Yikes..

The day job continues to be a joy until they put me out to pasture or I tell them to take this job and shove it and honestly, I can't tell you which will happen first. My last five years have been strictly a labor of love and it hasn't been returned. I reckon that means it's time to move on.

Down at the end of Pecan Lane where you turn off to my house, there's this clump of daffodils all covered in sticker bushes lookin' like my next fix. I stopped today to pick a few to give me a smile when I walk through the kitchen.early spring

Y'all have a good week, and keep the faith. ^j^
ashed and blessed
Nobody threw me any beads on Fat Tuesday so I celebrated by having one of my world famous nuclear meltdowns. You know the kind...I'm sickandtiredofbeingsickandtired and I'm gonna go out and eat a bug. After I cry all over you by phone. And make you wonder if I'm gonna commit suicide and you're the last person I talked to. Not!To!Worry! friends and neighbors. Poops is so not into pain it ain't even funny so that's not an option here in the land of faith on Pecan Lane. Sometimes a girl just needs to cry and when there's no significant other well...it's a tough job, but somebody has to listen. Thanks for loaning me your men now and then ladies. They love it, ya know? Kind of like having multiple wives with all the snot slingin' and "fine then."

I went to visit my good friend Kimmy the physician's assistant today and she hooked me up with some treatment for this cold or whatever the hell it is that has hung on for a month. Lots of albuterol and antibiotics and new antidepressants! Kim is four weeks away from delivering babygirl #2 and ready to get her done. We worked together, she as a phlebotomist and me as a Poopster, back in the day when she was earning her degrees. What a blessing we have been to each other, like many folks that I've spent time with at the sawmill. She and Brandy Nicole,the nurse, taught me just how far a girl can go when she decides it's time to buckle down.

Me and Yaya were gonna go to church *gasp* and get ashed this evening but I decided that somebody with almost pneumonia should stay her butt home. We wouldn't want the walls to fall in on us or anything like that. Traditionally, folks give up something they are really hooked on as an act of repentance during Lent. During the past five years I've given up spending money on myself, sex and drugs (not rock'n'roll though) and giving a rat's ass about what people think. This year I think I'll just give up the past and the future and enjoy the ride. It's a journey, after all.

Y'all go tell Jules a big old Happy Birthday. And leave nekkid hot stud pictures. That's all she wants, besides tequila. Is it just me, or does that worm look scared?

Umm..yep. I've got laryngitis. Again. One of my co-workers said that was the explanation for why I was so quiet today. It just takes too much energy to talk when the sound won't come out! It was Monday from start to finish, no doubt. Big Ernie himself could've come and offered me mansions in heaven and I probably would have growled at him. Get the picture? There is one good thing about going without your normal voice though. You can say anything you want to and nobody understands. Imagine the possibilities! Boss piss you off? You can squeak back "Bite my ass idiot!" and he'll never know what you said. We all know that bosses don't read lips.

My boss is a pretty good old girl. We've spent close to thirty years together in the same workplace and know what skeletons the other has in her closet, so to speak. We have buried parents, divorced husbands, had nervous breakdowns and generally been in the trenches together for all of that time. We are the perfect match, personality wise, because she could literally organize a herd of cats to march in formation and I could care less about the details. Between her organizational ability and my wild eyed innocent dreams, we've managed to co-exist and even learn to love each other through the early days when our first boss played us against each other to see who would bust a gut to get his approval. Ahh..those were the days :)

It's kind of funny that people love watching hospital shows so much as a kind of "escape" from reality. If I had a nickel for every time some asshole holier-than-thou doctor has taken his or her bad day on me, I'd be retired right now and posting from Fiji. Seeing as how I'm more of an idea person than an organizer, I've gotten bored with the tight box that is clinical laboratory science on more than one occasion during these thirty years. When reporting lab results there is very little room for error and lots of quality control to ensure that the error is minimal and corrected quickly if found. To put it mildy, this is not real exciting at times. That's why I've taken detours out of the confines of the hospital lab over the years to explore other areas of healthcare. Like being a part of a rural health clinic. And, like digging through charts in HIM tallying the most common cause of death as a part of my interest in end-of-life care and palliative medicine.

BabyGirl and I were visiting with the Grands today and my mom and I began to chat about the old movie theater downtown that we both remembered from childhood. My girl was born years after it was torn down, and that is a memory that she can't share with us although there are plenty of others. I mentioned the other day that she has a tattoo with our mantra on her right forearm. Since it's Monday I thought I'd share it to get us through the week.

like a big dog
Faith isn't allowed in the bars anymore because, well. She's just much too big and gets in the way with that tail wagging all over the place and the sloppy kisses that she does so well. Somebody might trip over her chocolate body and sue the owner of the establishment and the folks behind the bar.

I've been busy tonight cleaning house and drinking some beer that I bought for my own self. Went up to the dead kudzu place and saw the usuals plus the guy from the class of '74 who wears camo every day. I get on his nerves, he says. All he can talk about is how his wife left him for some other guy with a little less baggage and a lot more commitment.

Once upon a time I began to write a book about the folks who sit on those barstools...the regulars. Each of them had stories to tell and I heard a lot of them. The sad thing is that they had to go somewhere else to tell 'em besides home.

BabyGirl has this tatoo on her forearm that reminds me each and every day that I did okay as a Mom and friend. It's about time for us to do a girlie kind of roadtrip and catch up on us. Anybody want to donate to the cause?
is it thursday already??
*gasp* How time flies when you're having fun :) Sounds like a good enough reason to throw out thirteen random thoughts.

1. Enough with winter, already. Yeah, I know...it was late gettin' here but geez. Do I hear an amen from the the northeast and midwest? Kindly remind me of this post when I'm sweating my ass off in July.

2. My Valentine's flowers got lost in the mail but I got some kickass cards and well wishes from people who adore me for the smartass country gal that I am. Surely true love will find such a diamond in the rough and whisk her away on a four-wheeler.

3. If you're an asthma patient who has relied on Primatene Mist as an OTC remedy, you can thank the FDA for emptying the shelves without notice. Seems the feds were concerned about the aerosol propellant "damaging the ozone." Call me cynical, but it sounds to me more like the work of a lobbyist for a big fat honkin' presciption drug company.

4. How about that Dubya...ain't he a piece of work? Just goes to show you that even when addicts quit their drug of choice, they find something different to get off on. Like invading countries with our dwindling national guard and escalating national debt while leaving the homeland wide open.

5. Note to homeland security: I am not a terrorist.

6. In spite of what you may believe, doctors are not gods and they mess up sometimes. So do schoolteachers, astronauts, med techs and all the rest of Big Ernie's kids. Who the hell guaranteed YOU the right to lawyer up and get big money not because of neglect, but because "shit happens?" It certainly wasn't Abe or George. Happy birthday boys ^j^

7. The housework continues, with a picture hung here and something thrown on the firepile there. This old homeplace is looking more and more like mine these days with little things in every nook and cranny that scream Pecan Lane and the Poopie family.

8. A friend's a friend forever, if they're really a friend. If not, you didn't lose anything but an acquaintance.

9. Carbs are good. Just ask any of my dieting friends who are doing without these days. Healthy stuff is tasty in moderation. Too much of it resembles the menu on Survivor or Fear Factor.

10. McDreamy pulled her out of the water. You GO boy!

11. Yesterday was my parents' 53rd anniversary. I missed the fiftieth party at Reelfoot Lake because my evil dentist did a number on me that afternoon. Pretty soon I'll have him paid off, along with the IRS.

12. HOLY SHIT! I'll be 52 in September. See #11 for proof of parentage.

13. What goes around comes around, especially with faith.

happy valentine's day y'all

...from the Poopster ^j^
from a girl called tennessee
Well, y'all. To someone with music in her soul like me the Grammy show is akin to smokin' crack. This year's edition should be named the Mary J Blige/Carrie Underwood lovefest..I reckon they deserve it don't you? Boo Hiss to whomever lined up Rascal Flatts for the Eagles tribute. How come the real deal wasn't there.. knowhwhatimean? I'd have much rather heard RF do their own stuff. John Mayer is hotter than ever. Seriously. I discovered the lovely voice of Corrine Bailey Rae and finally got to see what Gnarls Barkley looks like. Listening to "Crazy" in slow-mo almost drove me over the edge. The Police were right on where they've always been, smack in the middle of my heart.

But the sweetest thing of all? Those Dixie Chicks back on the stage where they belong. They kept the faith, and the rest of the country has finally come around. Gotta admire that kind of makin' nice.
cabin fever
a horse is a horse of course

Okay, I'm tickled to death not to be buried up there in Oswego NY. Really. However, the old Poops is ready for some outdoor time, thus this portrait of Trapper. While I was out walkin' the yard the horses noticed that there might be something to eat out of the deal and they are all about food. Trapper and Pride can hear Daddy's truck coming when he leaves the driveway a mile down the road. Their ornery horse asses know he's gonna come give 'em some sweet feed on a regular basis.

pride 1

We moved into this place eighteen years ago this coming April. BabyGirl was four years old and Trapper was just a colt when we first made the move to country life. I remember the first time I woke up to find a horse in the pasture outside my window and thinkin' how odd and wonderful that was. It still is. These two nags have it made and they know it. Every now and then they'll knock down an ancient section of barbed wire and wander out into a crop field just to keep Daddy on his toes.

It was my dream as a parent to raise my child in the same sort of paradise that I grew up around. Thanks to Big Ernie, it happened. There were those who thought I was crazy for selling an affordable house close to work just for the privilege of paying out the wazoo on utility bills, and my ex was one of them. BG has something that nobody can ever take away from her in the legacy that is this farm. It could be sold on a whim to developers or destroyed by an earthquake or a Forked Deere tsunami, but her childhood is here, as is mine. I wouldn't trade that for a kazillion bucks and five SugarDaddies.

My co-favorite thing besides growing shit is burning shit. We've got wood-in-the-hood all over Pecan Lane, and a good start on a firepile out there. Follow the smoke signals.

One more day off. Flannel and beer. Daily Show, Colbert and Grey's Anatomy plus ER if the spirit moves. Steak and pork grilled to perfection. Enough propane left in the tank to produce some warm air on a cold night. BabyGirl safe in bed wrapping up her work/school week. Two loving dogs and numerous cats to keep me company.
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Something is bad wrong with an industry that thrives on pickin' someone else's bad day into a million little pieces and using is as headline news. I've written to my local newspaper editor more than once about his nasty habit of putting mug shots on the front page of the daily rag along with all the details of the domestic crisis from the police report. Do we really CARE y'all? I mean pullleeeeze. I've heard of slow news weeks but this is ridiculous. So she had a meltdown and wanted to kick somebody's ass...been there, done that. Somehow I take the poor thang's mental collapse as one more smidgen of proof that the federal government is way too big for all of our own good.
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Oprah had these folks on today that were all about "the secret" and sharing it with the world. Their message is simple: Grieve the past and let it go into the history books of your life. Look for the lesson in every hardship that presents itself to you. Embrace who you and others are and celebrate the good things rather than dwelling on the negative. According to them, the universe will return to you twenty-fold the positive energy that your soul emits. Ask. Believe. Receive. Dang, I wish I'd thought of that motto instead of keepin' the faith.
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One of my greatest joys is shit that grows. It's almost asparagus time in Tennessee, and shortly after that comes the annual mulching/planting/pickin' cycle that is growing flowers. If I had a nickel for every annual I bought back in the day before I learned about perennials, I wouldn't even NEED a SugarDaddy. The real beauty of a perennial is that you can dig it up from somebody else's dirt and it will bloom where you plant it. Sometimes :)
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I somehow managed to step on my reading glasses the other morning and haven't been able to see much since then. Today I broke down and bought two pair so I'd have a spare to finish this book I've been reading a page at a time at lights out. Set during WWII, it's about a group of people who were in a group photo and what happened to them as the battles raged on.
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Some might say that I'm a bit eccentric when it comes to picking up on cosmic signals. There's this one thread in my life that continues to wind its' way through. It all began with Elisabeth Kubler Ross and her book "On Death and Dying." Years ago she started a group home for AIDS patients in a little hole in the wall place called Afton,Virginia. As the cosmos would have it, that is precisely where my brother and his wifey moved to a couple of years ago. From Afton, the journey took me to Missoula, Montana where a group of folks led by Ira Byock studied the social dynamics of death and dying in a rural community. His book "Dying Well" is a journal of sorts where he tells about the lessons in doctoring that he learned from his father's death and what he did with that knowledge. About a month ago, I went to this hokey little EBay seminar at a local hotel where the pitchmeister was from none other than...Um..one guess.
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Gotta run. McDreamy is on ^j^
reality check
Thanks for all of the well wishes, y'all. In the words of other great divas before me "i will survive." Big Ernie timed the whole thing just right where the worst of it hit on my two days off so I was able to rest. Dude is smart like that.

Poor middle aged gals don't spend money on magazine subscriptions, so I was puzzled to see one laying in the mailbox today when I eased up next to it to check for bills. There...with MY name on it...was a copy of AARP The Magazine. When I turned fifty I refused to join AARP because it costs money but when I saw a chance to join free through a drugstore chain, I did so and promptly forgot about it. Now, lying in my mailbox staring back at me, was solid evidence of my status as a "senior". Hoo boy! How in the heck did THAT happen???? I mean gah...I haven't even had my driver's license very long. Umm..well, okay maybe so. But I just graduated from college for God's sake! My whole LIFE is in front of me!!! Duh. Poop happens, and it happens very quickly. Now I can enjoy all the monetary benefits of being old like getting price breaks on hotel rooms and meals if I just 'fess up to being over the hill. I doubt that will happen, but I'll certainly enjoy the read :)

Yesterday while I was browsing the Sunday paper I looked at the book reviews and there was one that caught my eye because, well...it's about my life. Biographer Deirdre Bair's latest is titled Calling It Quits: Late-life Divorce and Starting Over. During the 1980's, researchers noticed a trend that they termed "gray divorce". Among people married less than thirty years, the divorce rate held steady but for those OVER thirty years, they rose by 16% and the trend has continued. Interviews with men, women and adult children of late-life divorcing parents formed the framework of her book. This looks like one I should read, if for no other reason to recognize that there are others out there in the same ship that I am sailing. Other factoids that I gleaned from this article and from Amazon reviews are that two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women, and that the most common reason for a man in a long term marriage to seek divorce is to pursue a "trophy wife."

I was married for twenty three years and have been divorced for five. The reasons that the marriage ended were the usual hodge podge. Money. Work. Stress. (Lack of) Communication. He never abused me, physically...but the emotional distance between us was abusive in and of itself. I wanted something more than what had been, while never easy, always familiar. I wanted a relationship that reflected my value as a person. My relief over escaping the tension of a day to day life on edge kept me floating during the first couple of years I was single.

I had no idea things would be so hard. In my mind, true love was just around the corner waiting to swoop me up and deliver me to the man of my dreams. I went this way and that for awhile chasing leads during the time I wasn't busy feeling guilty over the decision to end the marriage. Money was, and still is, a tremendous problem. The old adage that "two can live as cheaply as one" is true. Dual income households are almost a necessity these days, whether the union is legal or not. Many married folks will tell you that's the only reason they're still together, if they're honest.

The emotional isolation that divorce presents was quite evident during the first few years. Mutual friends tried to remain neutral, and did for the most part. Family members supported me as best they could when I began to stumble and question my actions. Co-workers were always ready and willing to give me a hug when I showed up in tears and tried to be brave on the job while my world was falling apart.

And then, one day, it hit me smack in the face. All that time I was moving away from something that wasn't good for me toward something that might never be. Along the way I have discovered parts of me that I had forgotten existed, like the Med Tech student and the smartass music lover. New character traits have become evident as I have stumbled over and recovered from land mines littering the path to where I am today. I have cried more tears and experienced more rejection than I ever thought possible for one little old country girl with a big heart and good intentions.

So, where exactly am I? Hmm. Content with my life. Lonely sometimes. Proud of my BabyGirl. Worried about my parents. Always on the lookout for rainbows.

And keepin' the faith. ^j^
praise the lord and pass the nyquil
God bless whoever invented NyQuil and guaifenesin in pills because I never could get them down straight from the bottle. My good friend YaYa loves me so much she passed her nasty cold my way. In a nutshell? It sucks a big one. Even worse than the two stomach bugs and the other cold that preceded it. Did I mention how much I adore working in a hospital during cold and flu season? Have I ever told you precisely how BAD I hate viruses? Meh.

The good news is that it's Friday and I have a couple of days to lay amongst the dogs and quilts feeling shitty, instead of tromping through the snow to work. I don't get out on the front lines much anymore but today found me delivering blood to the emergency room for a guy who was smooth out of it enough of it to be in big trouble. The thing that caught my attention was his freaked out wife. While we gathered around her husband doing our thing, she was scared to death and crying askin' us to save his life. Last I heard we did, thanks to volunteer blood donors. She said thanks for taking the time to donate, y'all.

Umm. Pardon me while I put the cats out in the snow. They're chasing each other around the house like they're smokin' crack or something. Just wait 'til I get my paws on that dealer.

As luck would have it, I've run across more than the usual percentage of asshats lately. The sad thing about assholes is that they don't even realize they're what they really are and they usually stomp on somebody else in the process of being one. I suppose I could have blamed myself for being at the wrong place at the wrong time the first time it happened but damn if they didn't keep on smackin' me right in the face. There are very few "good guys" out there....and by that I mean the ones who are willing to face the past, get over it and learn from it. I'm not just talking men here either, just in case you feel like calling me a man hater. Assholes come in both genders in just about equal proportions.

When the chips are up and life is looking good, an occasional asshole encounter here and there won't make a dent in the psyche of an individual who knows how to roll with the punches and take the good with the bad. When a person has been struggling for survival in the long run, one asshole too many can tip the scales. I'm just sayin'.

In that spirit I present to you some steps to help overcome the unplesantness of the assholes in your own little world via the Twelve Steps of Assholes Anonymous.

1. You didn't do anything to deserve the attack of the asshole. Sometimes life just sucks and twirls out of control and you get sucked up into it like Dorothy and Toto on the way to Oz. Just because somebody acts like an asshole doesn't mean it's personal toward you. Their mama probably never taught 'em any better.

2. Learning to recognize an asshole-in-action and the ability to not take offense are gifts from your higher power that can surely restore peace and love and rock'n'roll. At the very least, it can open your eyes and make you think twice before acting like an asshole yourself.

3. There's something out there bigger than me and you, and it's best to go with the flow on that. In the end, it saves a lot of energy and angst and allows more free time for joyful things.

4. Sometimes, it's YOUR fault.

5. When it is, admit it.

6. Assholes are freakin' EVERYWHERE and there is no escaping them..as Scott Peck once said: "Life is hard." Reacting to them is a learned response that can be removed when you are ready to give it up.

7. Keep the faith. ^j^

8. We all hurt each other, sometimes intentionally but usually not. When you know that you have caused someone pain through being an asshole, do the right thing and follow it up with a conversation explaining where you were coming from at that moment in time. You'll sleep better, and Big Ernie will love ya for it.

9. Follow up.

10. You're not always wrong, but when you are, saying "I'm sorry" does wonders for restoring relationships before they're damaged beyond repair.

11. Take it one day at a time and listen for the truth.

12. When your friends get attacked by the invasion of the mutant assholes, listen to them whine and share your own personal experiences with assholes you have known. Hold their hands or give them a hug. Remember from whence you came.

Since it's Thursday, I've taken the liberty of adding a thirteenth step toward finding inner peace with a life chock full of assholes.

13. Some people are just naturally unpleasant. If you love 'em you'll overlook it. If you don't...well. They're a pain in the you know what. Don't waste time trying to understand the anatomy of an asshole. Spend that energy doing something that makes you happy ^j^
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