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somebody's cousin-in-law
That's the thing about living in smalltown USA. Everywhere you go, there you are with folks who know all about your momma'n'them and the bad seed who disgraced the whole dang bunch. I hear a lot of those stories up at the kudzu bar. I swear, there's a book there just screamin' to be written.

How was y'alls holiday? Mine was quite splendid if I say so myself. Being the reader of stories that I am old Poops sat on Mama and Daddy's floor and heard tales of the Korean war and WWII from my Dad and Oscar B. They talked about their travels from home to where the bases were with intricate detail including long lost friends and a lot of trains, buses and ships to get to where the action was.

Me and my old good lookin' friend took our chocolate labs out for a run behind the 4-wheeler in the afternoon. Much to my *surprise* we stumbled upon a sunflower field. That can only mean one thing in Tennessee and it usually involves guns'n'ammo. Myself? I could never eat one of Big Ernie's creatures...unless it's a chicken. Or a cow. Or a white fish.

Got on the schedule of not one but TWO surgeons today to get those pesky preventive medicine tasks taken care of week after next. The PAP smear has remained consistently abnormal for a year so it's time to say bye-bye to a part of the aged cervix. Cancer ain't nothing to mess around with, ya know? Both of my grandmothers and one aunt had carcinoma of the colon which seems pretty familial, if you ask me.

Other news? Not much. Casa Poops is quite a bit cleaner after an all day binge with PineSol and a dollar store mop. No recent SugarDaddy sightings. The weather is hot and humid which is good for the cotton crop and hell on middle aged women. I've decided that the best way to pay the utility bill is to sell the kittens so y'all can expect an online auction very soon. At last count, there were nine little yellow clones.

Names will be forthcoming :)
born on the 4th of july
wedding 3
Daddy was an Air Force man who served our country during the early fifties in such exotic locations as the Azore Islands. Service to his country interrupted his college education as an agriculture major at the University of Tennessee at Martin, but after his discharge he got the degree and I was born during the last year. After graduation, he went on to serve our country in a different capacity working the Plant Pest Control Division of the US Dept. of Agriculture. I remember visiting his office as a kid, looking at all those push pins on the US map and not realizing what they meant. My daddy was watching the progress of the Japanese beetle as it spread through our nation's farmland and plottin' revenge. Boll weevils? They're almost history as I type.

Daddy still remembers what it was like to be away from home and loved ones at special times like an anniversary or holiday. Says it's the loneliest feeling in the world for an enlisted one. Sometimes it's necessary to make that sacrifice in order to keep our country safe. Other times, well. It just happens.

I get frequent email dispatches from an independent reporter embedded with troops in Iraq. There are cute pictures of the kids who are unfortunate enough to be born into a society where there is a civil war and the soldiers who signed up for tours hoping to make a difference. There is no draft like there was back during 'Nam. If that were to happen, I imagine there would be a whole lot more Canadians than citizens of the USA right about now. Let's give it a break and think about the conflict in terms of human lives, both Allied and Iraqi. One "liberal mainstream" reporter stated today that our presence in that area is like fuel on the fire of hatred that Al Quaeda stokes with every living sacrifice to Allah. I seriously doubt there's enough virgins in heaven to go around for all of 'em.

Here's the guy on my MIA-POW bracelet as he headed off on his last mission to Laos back in '69. I bet his Mama and Daddy are still proud.

God bless America....land that we love.
miscellaneous rambling
The dawgs are mad at me 'cuz I've been out and about this weekend and haven't given them enough one-on-one time. They are SUCH spoiled creatures, 'specially that new one. Talk about a high maintenance male ...that's Sammy D. As pups will do, he finds something to chew on and most of the time it's either Faith or Butterbean's ear. Thank goodness they're patient with the new kid.

* * * * *

Friday evening found me at the kudzu bar dancing and singing karyokee. Last night was the *?* annual Independece Day celebration out on Highway 104 at the home of my dear friends Keith and Vick. And I danced again....a lot. It was hot and humid and old Poops was drenched in sweat. Good thing I wasn't trying to find a SugarDaddy 'cuz I was a sorry sight. The food was fantabulous and the company was a nice blend of old and new friends. We go so far back that I got to spend the night in the grandbaby's bedroom. Can't beat that with a stick, ya know?
P.S. two nights of dancing = sore feet for an old gal like me.

* * * * *

My brother has put out the white flag for sale sign on his club, which makes me kind of nostalgic. Went down there yesterday and cleared out what was mine from nights in the kitchen cookin' food for people who don't eat. I wouldn't trade anything for the good times we had there listening to live bands. Made a lot of great friends in the process and I now have condiments for life in individual packets. Yay!

* * * * *

The house is a mess...the grass a foot tall due to recent rains. The upside to a drought is that one doesn't have to buy gas for the mowers and can spend it on gettin' to the day job where everybody is nuckin' futs *sigh* The stagazer lilies are blooming right on schedule though, so that's a comfort.

* * * * *

I'm looking forward to the local fireworks on Wednesday. Usually I watch the display from my porch but this year I'm gonna find a good spot where I can ooooohh and ahhhh at the pyrotechnics up close with a can of deep woods OFF by my side. Speaking of pests...I killed a snake in the back yard yesterday and it was typical Poop. The axe and hoe that I fetched to sever the serpent were so dull that they wouldn't even cut through the body so I had to beat the poor thang to death and it wasn't pretty. The only good snake is a dead snake, in my book.

* * * * *

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. Just another day in paradise.

*warning* This may be a rant.

As we all know, there's an election coming up next year for El Presidente. In my humble opinion, that election is small stuff in the whole scheme of things. Everybody who knows politics understands that Democrats give it all away to the poor and disabled and the Republicans steal it from the middle class. This exchange of tax dollars happens because of how Congress votes, not how dumb or cute the president is. Lobbyists play a big part in all of it. Something just doesn't seem kosher to me about gettin' paid by a money grubbin' corporation to buy a vote, but that's just me and I'm kinda honest like that.

In healthcare, there are layers upon layers of political power that include profits for shareholders who have invested their old money and those who pinch pennies on the front lines to keep their bonuses intact. Groups with the most politically active lobbies tend to make more money, i.e. nursing. Medical technologists are a dying breed in the big old scheme of things, yet 70% of patient diagnoses are made based on the information that we supply to the attending docs, most of whom are highly paid by insurance companies, including Medicare. Do we see a connection here y'all? Oh yeah...and the pharmaceutical giants! Let's not forget them and their pandering.

Why can't we all just get along and take care of each other? If somebody feels a calling to be a doctor or a nurse or a physical therapist can't they just make a living wage and then go home and forget about the day job? Same for military contractors and senators. Our government is wayyyyyyyyyyyy too big and has way too much power. Us little people have no voice other than b**gs and petitions and remembrances of the past when things were much more simple.

I reckon the Celexa has quit working. Let us pray for a few days off ^j^
whatever, y'all
Can you not recognize Rapunzel all done up in pastel chalk? I guess you had to be there with me and the artist's family passing time in the carport and chattin' about life. Sometimes it's hard, ya know?

Me and diva's Mom found each other somewhere around the age of 16 when both of us were headed down the wrong road with all the wrong people. If you ask me, that was a Big Ernie intervention. She was valedictorian and I was somewhere around number 87 on the list of DHS graduates...completely and totally average. We stayed in touch during college and afterwards when the marriages came and went and the children were born and grew up. We struggled with ourselves and our loyalties and, in the end, remain friends of the "see you on the other side" sort.

You can't see him in the picture, but there's a prince over to the left of her majesty with a heart next to his thick head. Both of 'em were nekkid until Sisa reminded the artist to put clothes on 'em and add some jewelry and cute shoes for Rapunzel. Even though I'm a country girl, I do so appreciate me some bling.

Gotta hit the hay because tomorrow is another day at the sawmill and they all live happily ever after if they get enough sleep.

The End

P.S. No I haven't lost my mind, yet. This post refers to the picture of the cute little girl in the previous one. :)
every picture tells a story
a vacation state of mind
Y'all know old Poops has barely enough gas at three bucks a gallon to get back and forth to the day job, so obviously travel is out of the question right now. So are days off. Gotta pay that big old honking utility bill that is coming in return for staying kinda sorta cool. Anyhoo...I've decided that being "on vacation" is really a state of mine, so to speak. Anyone can vacation from their everyday life if they just look at things differently and do something besides the same old same old. That is exactly what I intend to do, starting this weekend.

Friday evening (did I say TGIF?) an old friend picked me up and we went to visit another old friend and her beautiful family. There's a baby Ava who's just a few months old and a big sister named Gabby. Her mama and me and old friend go wayyyyyyyyy back at the day job before one became a physician's assistant and the other a nurse. What a shame we lose touch with the people who have been such an important part of our lives. I'll try to do better, mkay?

Saturday found me with Redneck Friend and Yaya having a pool party, not in the blowup one but at Yaya's mama's house. Heavenly girl time with a few beers....nah, we didin't talk about y'all one bit unless it was in a good way *snort* RF has a new car, bless her heart. That old one was about to bite the dust. Her Sugardaddy boyfriend the firefighter bought it for her. Yaya is next in line for a new vehicle. She peeled the bark off of a pine tree in her yard the other night trying to kill the old Mustang so she could get a new one.

Went downtown to the square last night to listen to a little bluegrass and was glad I did. Ain't nothing like mandolin, dobro, guitar, bass and banjo to make you smile.

Y'all know the words to "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"?

Sam and Butterbean have finally negotiated a terrier truce. Faith just lays there and lets Sam chew on her ear like a good lab. The kittens, all ten of 'em, are headed either for a farmer's barn or the shelter where they will be sent to the pet store for adoption. They mamas will be going with 'em, thankyouverymuch.

I've got tomatos on the vine, herbs in pots and some squash cookin' as I type. A truckbed full of kids just passed by slowly on Pecan Lane enjoying the view. I suppose the glass is half full is you just try to see it that way. My hair is cut short, there will be no makeup until the temp dips below 80. My jewelry the next couple of weeks will consist of the little American flag Mama made me out of safety pins and beads, and the MIA bracelet that I got back during the Vietnam war. His name? James Herrick Jr.

Keep the faith, and please donate to the pay-poopie's-summer-electric-bills fund if the spirit so moves ya :)


the patio

If you ever say that the old Poopster isn't a dreamer just take a look at the backyard out there between the porch and the barn. I remember sittin' on those back steps staring a a barrel grill overgrown with weeds and thinkin' to myself " Self..that's a nice spot for a shade garden." True to form, it took about fifteen years to make it happen, but I'll be dang if it ain't downright gorgeous. I hauled the stones one October when it wasn't heatstroke weather and slowly began to fill the thing with dirt and little bitty transplants from everybody else's yard. I'm collecting bricks if y'all know anybody who has some to spare. Gomer hauled me in some two year old cottonseed hull and we're good to go in the growin' shit department.

Jim wanted to know about the cute little blow-up pool that we cool off in. It's plastic and brightly colored and does the job well enough when it's not even summer yet in the magnificent area of the Western district of the Great State of Tennessee. The humidity and the heat? That's the part that I just despise about being Poopie. We're takin' up money for the next utility bill.

This newspaper guy told me one time long ago that I had stories to tell. Everybody does, ya know? I can't imagine not having the history that is me and my family to keep me company, yet so many never hear it except for the bad parts. That, my friends, is a tragedy even by Shakespeare's standards.

I'm on vacation from the blog. Y'all know where to find me.

one of the good guys

Y'all know I haven't visited around much lately. I dropped by the *blog* of my old buddy, Alan, the other day and was startled to read a post by his wife saying that he had been critically injured while riding his bicycle. That was back at the end of April, and he is in a long term care facility now. In her own words, he is "minimally responsive." I was devastated to read that this hero of mine is suffering.

When I first began this b**gging thing three years ago, a whole new way of experiencing life and meeting people was opened up to me. Like many newbies, the first months were spent ranting and whining about this or that in a rather self absorbed way. Alan is one of the first bloggers that I met and we immediately bonded for several reasons, the biggest one being our disdain for the invasion of Iraq and the political climate that spawned it. As a career Air Force veteran, he knew what was up and was not the least bit impressed with the pseudo-patriotic flagwaving that got us there. His passion for conservation and preservation of natural gifts was evident in every piece that he posted. An avid hiker, he often spoke about taking long walks with his dog and the little pleasures that most people miss in this hustle bustle world of ours. Add newspaper columnist to that resume and you see a man who is full of appreciation for the simple things in life.

But there was another bond, a karmic one, if you will. His wife Monica was a double lung transplant recipient, and her lungs came from...guess where? Umm..yep. Tennessee, the good old volunteer state. It was a long and arduous recovery for her requiring lengthy hospitalization and much travel for them as a couple, but she survived and returned to her job as a dean at Penn State. As I re-read the campus article detailing her long fight today, I could only think about how her experience was surely preparation for what she is dealing with in Alan's situation right now. I'd appreciate if y'all would drop by and give them a word of encouragement.

Keep the faith. ^j^
climbing the water tower
My good friend Sue uses that term when things just get to be too much to bear. Today was such a day for old Poops. Thanks to SRUI's and plenty of experience, it takes a right smart to get me pissed off at the day job. I do what I do and I do it well, all the while treatin' folks like they're human beings that Big Ernie loves just like he does me. Hey..it makes life more enjoyable, ya know?

The place where I work has been having trouble holding onto associates,team-players employees lately because, well ..umm. A team needs an inspired coaching staff and we're just shit out of luck in that respect. Because of the rapid turnover in nursing, we have a large contingent of them working on contract making about twice what I earn as a med tech. My job is to report lab results and monitor things that might affect them, such as specimen collection details. The diploma hangs on my bedroom wall as proof that I earned a bachelor's degree in said vocation thirty years ago, officially signed by the powers-that-be in the great state of Tennessee.

Morning rounds for phlebotomy start around 4AM and usually end around six. The patient population is usually chronically ill and/or elderly or just crazy as a bat so it's often difficult to get a good blood specimen, even when they first present in the ER. I was doing my job early this morning and noticed a blip in the coagulation radar that alerted me that something wasn't quite right. The numbers were drastically different from yesterday ( thanks be to delta check ) so I asked for a re-collect and the results were almost identical. Critical values are called to the patient's nurse with computer documentation of who called at what time and to whom the report was given, all contained in the medical record. I called the unit and asked for this particular patient's nurse. Prefaced with an explanation about the recollection, I attempted to give her the critical value, and she proceeded to go ape-shit crazy on me insisting that this very ELDERLY lady be stuck with a needle one more time because that result just couldn't be right and she couldn't dare call the doctor with an out of the way kind of number like that because her license was on the line and she does this for a living. *sigh*

Long story short? The poor lady got stuck one more time and the result was the same. Her treatment was delayed for two hours because some idiot OCD temp was on a power trip. When my c0-workers and I were in the room with this sweet lady and the nurse du jour was rantin' and raving, I recognized Miss Mary H as a member of my church to whom I had served homebound communion on occasion. "You're Tommy's mom" I said. "And Jack's."

"Jack died" she said.

"Yeah, I know. You okay sweetie?"

I wouldn't take any amount of money for the smile on her face at that moment.

noah speaks
Imagine my surprise when I stepped into the trusty old Camry to go to the day job and there was a rainbow over the corn field. A few sprinkles + sunrise and a moon and you have something worth gettin' out of bed for. Par for my course, I was "almost late" but slowed down to enjoy the view along Pecan Lane.

I get a newsletter now and then from these folks. As a longtime employee of the big fish eatin' the little fish in the American healthcare system, I pay attention when they speak. I doubt I'll travel across the globe to save a life, but wouldn't it be nice if it weren't all about making money for the stockholders and the corporate higher ups?

"Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least to do no harm."

Who said it?
seinfeld and lazarus
Me and the BabyGirl are kind of like ships passing in the night these days. She's taking algebra this summer so she won't be loaded up with two math courses in the fall. This week she's working at vacation bible school for some of the mucho volunteer hours that are required of a social work major. Then, of course, there's the graveyard shift not-much-above-minimum-wage job. We were chillin' with the dogs watching Jerry and his rowdy bunch while she did a little prep work on the whole Lazarus thing, thumbing through my duct-taped bible. It was a gift from her one mother's day long long ago. She said "Looks like you need a new one." Hmm..I think not. That is the one that taught me who I am as a Christian and I'd sure hate to lose those handwritten notes and highlights.

Faith must have gotten lost in the corn because it took her until this afternoon to make her way back home. She seems to be dreaming about the whole adventure right now as she snoozes on the couch, paws jerking now and then. Wore plum out. My personal opinion? She was probably tired of navigating the kitten farm out there on the front porch. They're cute and all, but there sure is a LOT of 'em. Phyllis? This pic's for you Can you pick which one is different?

Thanks for the prayers, y'all.

Keep the faith. ^j^
what a nice! weekend!

A cool front moved through and knocked the temps down from 90+ to 80something with a temporary side of relief from the humidity. Me and the roommates celebrated yesterday afternoon with a pool party and homemade chocolate ice cream. Us girls got some sun :) It ain't the beach, but it worked for us.

An old friend came by today and we went exploring around the farm in his truck. About halfway back to the house, we lost sight of Faith and Butterbean, the puppy formerly known as Hope. Butterbean showed up, but so far Pretty Girl is MIA. Butters is outside barkin' at the moon hoping to guide her big brown sis back home.

Can't help it ya'll. That makes me incredibly sad.

short version of a long story
Since the "war on terror" began a few years ago, the battles have been fought with minimal support from the US government to those who felt the call to haul ass halfway around the world from the comforts of home and family to fight the crazy ass enemy hell bent on Jihad. Death to America! remains their chant. We should have seen it coming long before the twin towers imploded. Guess we were busy spending money we didn't have.

The most heinous thing about the whole deal to me is that elected officials *who shall remain nameless* profited from the initial surge. I dare you to go find hard copies of all the war contracts that got born from the time that the initial invasion was just a glimmer in some Republican's eye to the time that America said enough is enough. If we can't save the world, maybe we can save our own.

That is my prayer. This war will not be won. Let's get the hell out of dodge and tend to the challenges at home.

daily dilemma

Great news kids. The pap smear is unchanged which means I get to repeat it again in three months! I told the doc I had a feeling about this whole thing along the lines of it ain't gonna change so let's rock and roll. Poor guy had the gonads to suggest we do it in the office with an ibuprofen for pre-med. I think not, dear man-who- doesn't-have-a-clue-about pain in the female parts. The plan is to combine it with a colonoscopy at the day job along with a nice dose of twilight sleep. Last time I did that, the OR crew drew pictures on my body parts. Gotta love 'em.

It's always an adventure to drive down Pecan Lane into civilization. On my way to work today there was an errant cow chompin' on the kudzu down the hill from the dairy barn. Daddy was at Rotary...the breakfast chapter at Cozy Kitchen. Mama was still snoozing. She don't get up until nine or ten but stays up late watching the TV and tappin' on the keyboard. She gets her hair done on Wednesdays and plays bridge on every other Tuesday. Unless the schedule changes. Stand by for updates.

Y'all know I've been worried about money and all but I see a pot of gold headin' my way so don't worry about old Poops. Here's the deal....my favorite classic rock station is having a big party soon where they give away a genuine Harley and I figure it's about time for my luck to change so I'm gonna be there to claim the prize and hear my favorite rock band do Crazy Bitch. The side of me that sings Kathy Mattea and Janis Joplin will just have to sit down, shut up and dance. As for the side that likes boy country singers, she's probably hopeless. I mean gah...Hank and Tim and all of them are married to skinny bitches, ya know?

Butterbean and Sam finally sniffed butts and made friends today after an extreme tension filled week of terrier territorialism. As hot as it is, they damn well better be nice or I'll kick their asses outside to sleep on the porch instead of in my bed.

Hey Idgie! This pic's for U.

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