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wishful thinkin'
faith doesn't just happen
"Leave room for the Spirit to work." Billy Yates

Now y'all probably don't know him from Adam, but he's one of those guys who was there from the beginning of my spiritual journey as a child growing up in the UM church, downtown Dyersburg branch. The building sits at the dead end of Highway 51 business route and the front doors are presently adorned with the British flag, a shout out to Dr. Reginald and Brenda Mallet from England. Forty four years ago, our church sponsored a pulpit exchange with Dr. Mallet's Methodist church in England and our minister and his family traded places with he and his family for several months. It is his seventeenth journey home to the congregation that welcomed him when he was yet a very young man with small children. Dr. Mallet is not only a physician but an ordained Methodist minister which gives him a unique perspective on the ministry of the church outside of the building proper.

Another of the icons of my faith journey is Mrs. Elizabeth Todd who died not too long ago. Her daughter and I have been friends since childhood even though she lives in Tucson and I'm still right here in the 'burg. She was home for a visit last week to go through her mother's things and we spent a little time visiting with some other friends. I was sitting on the floor enjoying the antics of Kay-Kay's five month old grandson when I glanced up on the wall and noticed a stunning portrait of Ms. Elizabeth staring down over the improptu gathering. Regal, as always. Poised and elegant. Whispering to us keep the faith, especially when times are hard.

My mother gave up driving after a horrific wreck on Easter Sunday of 2006 that she was lucky to survive. Daddy has driven them everywhere they've been since that day except for an occasional lift home by one of the girls after the bridge club. They plan their trips carefully to Wal-Mart and the Dollar General and out to eat, piecing together important missions like church and volunteer work as they run the route that is their daily lives together in the golden years. Lately, Daddy has had some trouble with balance and perspective which caused some alarm not only among family members but their many friends. His GP sent him to a neurologist who, in turn ordered a battery of tests with strict instructions for him not to drive until the testing was complete. They are both scared, she more than he, for she has always depended on him to be the "one in charge".

I took Mom and Daddy to the opening night of the "Festival of Faith" last night to experience Dr. Mallet's spiritual magic once again. He is a master story teller who carefully weaves his own life experiences with those of others into a tapestry that gleams with golden threads of hope and grace. Forty four years later, I still see Big Ernie at work in his words. He steps away from the pulpit gracefully, always, and speaks without notes or books from the heart about how simple men and women of faith practice the principles of kindness and goodness simply to enjoy the pleasure of true servanthood. His sermons always consist of three points, whether he vocally announces that fact or not. This particular message centered around a phrase that his high school German teacher spoke to the class every single day as a greeting: "How do you find yourself?"

In my personal experience, the only way to do that is to let go.

And leave room for the spirit to work.

the (mostly) absent blogger

No...I am not dead yet. Just crazy busy with work, family drama and trying to keep the boat floatin'. In other words, trying to get my shit together. Needless to say the quest for SugarDaddy has taken a back seat to gettin' through the day with my sanity halfway intact.

The day job is, once again, in transition. The company that owns our facility is the largest for-profit chain of hospitals in the US. When we were bought several years ago, our CEO retained his position. He is about to leave for greener pastures up the corporate ladder and so we are in limbo waiting to see what happens next to us homies. Hopefully Big Ernie will be good to us. Y'all put that one on the list.

We've had two...count 'em...TWO days below 100 degrees here on Pecan Lane and I'm ecstatic over a five degree drop in temp. Tell me I ain't a low maint kind of gal!!
The corn was a loser....1/5 of the usual yield due to the prolonged drought. Cotton is self-defoliating as I type, and the beans will be sparse as well. *sigh* No pecans on the trees along the lane.

My birthday is about to roll around again and damn...didn't I just have one a few days ago? Last year a bunch of us girls rode around on a pontoon and played with remote speed boats. Who knows what this year's celebration of the life of Poops will bring. Hopefully a big O *snort*

How's things in your neck of the woods?

anything goes

....to be continued.

something i love
half picked
Right this minute, what I love is the twenty degree drop in temperature due to a rogue thunderstorm. I can literally hear the ground here around Pecan Lane squealing "thankyouthankyouthankyou" to Big Ernie for the pure wetness of it. I know I sure am! Priorities can really change from day to day, huh? Back before the satellite went out I was watching a special on the life and death of Anna Nicole just because sometimes we need to watch fluff to escape from everyday life, even if it's a damn good one. Which mine is, by the way.

The total parcel of land that surrounds Pecan Lane is roughly 1100 acres, bordered by the lazy and somewhat low'n'muddy Forked Deere river. It was part of the real estate that my maternal granddaddy managed back before I was born. As it happened Mama chose an agrarian as the love of her life and after he did the Air Force thing and got a degree in agriculture he began his life in paradise as manager of the place. We began our tenure here when I was a year old in an old log cabin where my parents still live. The outside is covered with siding, but on the inside...you can still see those logs that are chinked together with whatever they used back in the forties when building a huntin' lodge. Every time I ever left home for more than a few days, something always called me back here. Girl Scout camp was pure torture because I missed my parents and my bratty little brothers and our farm. Leaving for college was a bit easier because I was following the "love of my life" to Memphis. Right before graduation, I accepted a job there but the relationship was falling apart and I knew it. My poor Daddy had rented a U-haul and loaded it up to cart me to the apartment and I broke plum down and told them I just couldn't do it because, well...I'm a small town sort of girl. The rest, they say, is history.

I lived "in-town" Dyersburg for about ten years and the horse man's house on Pecan Lane became available due to his declining age and health. To say it was a mess is an understatement. Mr. Council had been living alone since his wife had passed on ten years before, amusing himself with things like feeding rabbits in the attic and saving up rusted iron in the basement while he piddled around his rigged up wood stove and messed with the horses. We did a six month cosmetic overhaul on the place and moved in when BG was four years old. April, I believe it was. Best thing I ever did, in spite of the cost of heatin' and coolin' a poorly insulated circa 1918 farmhouse. BabyGirl and her friends grew up knowing what it was like to live in paradise and I was set free to explore the wonders of nature right at home. I've got a lot of people to thank for that, and I will in my own time and in my own way. I suppose that's why I share it so freely through words and pictures. Sometimes I just want others to know just how cool the whole deal has been for us as a family.

We have a mayor here in the community by the name of Mozella. Her family owns the property on the opposite side of the main road from the highway to the river. Her kids and us kids grew up together and still lovingly co-exist in a way that MLK only dreamed about. We grew together in faith and love and tolerance during times of stormy social change. And we all came back home sooner or later to raise our kids and enjoy the slower pace of life on the farm.

I never did anything to deserve what I've enjoyed here because I wasn't even born yet when the whole cosmic plan got put into motion. But you can be dang sure I see it for what it is now, and I'll hang onto it and pass it onto others whenever I can for the sheer joy of seeing them smile. Heck...I might even write a book about it.

I don't talk much about me, except for here. I guess you could say I'm a good listener which makes me popular with all the self-absorbed creatures on Big Ernie's good green earth. Reckon you could say it's sort of a compassionate tolerance that life has given me for the circle of life. Puttin' a PC spin on it....I just like to hear people's stories and weave mine into theirs. Nine times out of ten, I see the glass as half-full. If you're a user, I can spot you a mile away and might listen to the tale of woe for one or two rounds, but that's my limit. Life is too short to waste bitchin' about the service at last night's dinner or how life has failed you. Get over it.

I'm a hard worker....always have been. Making a living as a healthcare provider is one of those Catch-22 sort of deals where you have to do the best you can when you can and forget it when you leave. I didn't always do that, ya know. Back in the day I worried over patients and their families that I met while workin' double shifts on call. As I recall, there was no shift diff or any other incentive other than knowing I needed the job to pay my part of the expenses and help raise the BabyGirl up right. We're at that comfortable spot now where I see the cows coming home in her life choices, and I gotta tell ya...that's a sweet feeling. Back when she was in the second grade her teacher told me this tale. Me and BG started chattin' about the birds and the bees early on so she was right on with the anatomically correct version of things. Ms. Veneda was teaching punctuation that day, and when they got to the the comma, BG remarked that it looked just like a sperm! Think about it, y'all.

I married young and for all the wrong reasons. Guilt. Boredom. Transition. There was never a romantic moment in the whole deal. He and I both had issues that didn't mesh very well and we were both too lazy to do something different. Besides, there was a babygirl in the middle of all that dysfunction, five years in. We did the best we could, and she appreciates that fact.

There was this high school sorority at DHS that involved a whole bunch of hazing and conforming, and my mama was a past president of said organization so I reckon I was a legacy. The problem was this....old Poops was a bonafide anti-establishment hippie who listened to Cream and Jimi Hendrix and the like. Country Joe and the Fish. Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Janis and Big Bro. Marshall Tucker. Y'all don't get me started on THAT shit. Soooooooo...while the rest of 'em were gettin' hit in the head with eggs and bowing down to the members at the municipal park, I slept in and hung out with my different friends. Art was their passion....music, drawing, writing. Photography. Jewelry making and basket weaving and onandonandon. To this day, a perfect date with SugarDaddy would be unlimited spending at Pier One and a case of beer + a doobie with a coupla days off to follow. Simple kind of girl.

Gettin' older has been a big fat blessing, in spite of the aches and pains. Once I busted out from that mama/good girl mode and started doing things that made ME happy, life just seemed to throw opportunites my way and you can be damn sure I grabbed the brass ring when it went by. Since I became a single gal, money has been t.i.g.h.t. It's amazing how I've learned to appreciate the little things like growing shit. And burning shit. And writing shit. And cookin' shit. And taking pictures of shit. Never you mind that I'm a born again virgin. That's a story for another day.

Y'all keep the faith, umkay?

I could write an entire series of novels on this particular subject because friendship is something that comforts me when times are hard and makes the joys of life multiply like rabbits! Oddly enough, my friend Michael recently referenced the exact friendship quote that sums it all up for me. " You don't choose your friends...they choose you." Whilst pondering this particular post, an old Girl Scout song meandered back into my gray matter.
Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
The other is gold.

I learned a looooong time ago that a real friendship is one that doesn't require a lot of maintenance. When we are young, we tend to believe that that little circle of buddies that comprises the universe as we know it will remain intact forever just because you pinky swear and cross-you-heart-hope-to-die. Nothing could be further from the reality of true friendship. Before the socialization process begins, usually with formal schooling of some sort, friendship tends to be limited to who lives in the neighborhood or who your parents hang with. Once a kid gets out into the world his or her little personality takes on a life force of its' own and away you go into shared times with folks who can ultimately turn into lifelong friends.

I have a lot of those, some whom I have never even met in person. That's where the internet, and b**gs in particular, have changed the dynamics of friendship expanding possibilities. Of all the dozens of blogs that I read, I have met exactly one b**gger in person, and that is because he made the effort to come and visit me in person. Does that make the other friendships any less real? Nah. We've chatted on the phone, exchanged remembrances and keepsakes, sent cards and commented until the cows come home. That's the kind of validation that makes a soul feel appreciated and loved to pieces.

As a younger person I got my feelings hurt time after time by subscribing to the belief that friendship is something that never changes. In reality, the friends that I have made over the years are always there...living their own lives and crossing paths with mine when I least expect it, ready with a hug and a smile just like no time has passed. That is the true beauty of the beast. We live, we explore and we learn who we are by what is reflected back in the friends who choose us and hang with it through the bad and the good. Some of those friendships are based on history, some on common interests and some on living life to the fullest and just plain fun. I wouldn't trade all the money in the world for any of them because I love them all and they make me who I am. Blessed.

Me and some dear friends took a much needed escape from reality and spent the night in a nearby town last night. One is married, two are in committed relationships and then there's little old single me. The bottom line is we're all girls and we just want to have fun....and by golly we did. We did everything we were big enough to do and then some, bar-hopping and exploring and just enjoying each others' company. Our favorite spot of the evening? Not where we ate dinner or at the karaoke bar where we danced and sang. It was at the comedy club where this lady immediately picked up on our red-neckedness and dubbed us the "trashy heifer table" in the back. Ain't nothing like a good time to bring out the best in friends. And by golly, we sure made a new one in Julie Scoggins. She's the tall chick who's a little on the trashy side, and may be a heifer like us real soon. Thanks for the laffs girl!
One of the things that I miss most, now that we're all adults and scattered is the time that family members spent together when we were kids. Not a holiday or rat killin' went by that we didn't gather at someone's house to celebrate by eating ourselves sick. Growing up in the country with few neighbors and two bratty little brothers, I longed to live "in town" where all the action was going on. The closest I've ever had to a sister was, and still is, my cousin who is a year younger. When her Dad died young of prostate cancer, I was seated with she and her mother and younger sister as one of the "children." Lord, I adored that man! He would roll over in his grave if he knew how strained the relations are between his "kids" these days.

There are albums stuffed full of photographs taken at family gatherings, and my mom laughingly notes that most every one features a catsup bottle right smack in the middle of the table. We hunted Easter eggs and opened Christmas and birthday presents and had backyard cook-outs. We made homemade ice cream and chased lightning bugs all the while doing everything in our power to irritate each other AND the adults. There was always a "kids table" back in the day, so that the grown-ups could attempt to carry on a conversation. Many summers, we traveled to Mississippi to attend Daddy's family reunions where I met folks I still don't know. Other times we piled into my grandmother's house and re-lived her life by inspecting the treasures she brought back from her extensive travel following my grandpa's death at age 45.

I miss those days...and always will. BabyGirl is the only child and only grandchild in my immediate family, and I feel really sad sometimes thinking about what she's missed by not having siblings. When I was younger, the brothers were just a horrible nuisance. Now, I cling to each of them as if they were a life raft...and in one sense, they are. Same with my sister/cousin. Our parents are aging and we are "the adults" now which, frankly, scares the crap out of me. I still feel like a little girl who needs her Mom and Daddy to be there for her. And I always will.

We've had out out-laws and in-laws and feuds just like every other family, but I wouldn't trade mine for anything because they are mine, warts and all. I don't remember who said this, but it struck me as one of the great truths of life the first time I heard it. " Home is where, when you show up, they have to take you in." My geographic location may change but I'll always know where to find home.

With my family. ^j^
tuesdays with poopie
My dear friend Judy aka Kenju had this unusual meme at her place with the idea of learning more about someone from their writings. To that end, the meme-er is to choose prior posts that illustrate the various subjects of the meme. Judy did a fantastic job of pulling together her favorite posts in just the right way for each subject. I gotta be honest with you folks..I've got so many posts in those archives if I had to go through them I'd be in the grave before I got done.

SOOOOOooooooooo..I'm gonna change it up a little and do it Poopster fashion. Each of the next five posts that I do will be about something on her list and it will be freshly written. Hope it's okay to change up the rules a bit Judy! I never did do that 100 things deal when I first started b**gging so I guess maybe this will make up for that.

How about that heat index y'all? That's all anybody around these parts can think about these days and according to the weather forecasters it's gonna get a LOT worse before it gets better. I'm one of those folks you see wearing shorts after Thanksgiving so you can imagine how I'm faring. The only bright spot is listening to the thin-blooded whiners who are always cold actually complain a little about the heat. Ha. Makes me wanna put a blanket on 'em!

Sorry I haven't been around lately visiting much, but you see I've been busy chasing Sugardaddy wishing for world peace ;) I promise I'll make it up to you soon as SD gets me out of that day job and into the lap of luxury *snort* I just imagine that'll be the day hell freezes over so at least I won't be sweating!

down on the farm
It's a mighty good place to be for an old gal who knows what she wants and refuses to settle for less than everything. Unless Big Ernie sees fit to send us a front down from Canada real soon, this year's crop will be fried as a crispy critter. I reckon that's the price farmers pay for gambling on the weather and God's good green earth.

The day job, as always, is a lesson in patience. The older I get the more grateful I am to not be a young 'un again all caught up in the drama of trying to blame everybody else for things that just happen. That kinda shit just wears me out. I went to my old friend Vicki's fiftieth birthday party last night. It was her first time to be surprised just because people love her and wanted to celebrate the day. And yes, she cried.

After that, I went to the kudzu bar to check things out. We always have such a good time there singin' and dancing and what not, during the NCAA off-season. Sadly, that's about to come to a close for this year :)

Sometimes there are cute guys there. Most of 'em are married as a goose just out having a little fun. Somebody once commented that I should go to church to find me a man. In my experience, there ain't no single ones there either. As Hoss would say, scientists call that "too bad." And so it goes.

Y'all have a happy Monday and all the rest of the days of this week. Try not to get too hot.

And keep the faith.

bloggin' nekkid
Is it just me, or is it hotter than a ten dollar ho on Friday night here on Pecan Lane? No! Wait! I just checked the Weather Channel and it's 91 degrees at 7:15 PM. That's why I'm sittin' here in my granny panties with the fan blowing on me. Talk about dog days..sheesh. Around here you can actually see the air due to the stagnant weather pattern that sets up during August in our area. The ozone guys call it a code orange or something like that. In other words, don't go out without your mask. Seems like those global warming people mentioned that some time not too long ago, but I could be wrong. After all...I was wrong about that "war on terror."

Anyways....the poor dawgs just can't wait for me to get home in the afternoon so they can get inside where it's a bit cooler than a hundred in the shade. I knew better, but dang if I didn't put on mascara this morning before work. The old poop eyes look like a racoon's right about now. Not a pretty sight. Speaking of which, my old friend and ex-boss Sammy K got bit by something evil and his face is swollen up and distorted like a cross between the guy in "Mask" and a cyclops so he's spending a few days in our humble hospital. He and my current boss share August 2nd as a birthday so I made a cake for 'em. Triple chocolate pound cake with fudge icing. Sometimes you just gotta say to hell with the diet, ya know?

If you live in Michigan or Wisconsin, or even Maine....y'all can't appreciate the dilemma we have here in the Southeastern US. Of course when you're paying out the butt to stay warm in January, we might just be runnin' around in shorts so I guess it all evens out.

Gotta go color my roots and shave the legs. One never knows when Sugardaddy will turn up.

As always....Keep the faith. ^j^
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