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deja vu

I should have known better than to take the bills to the sawmill with me to do some ciphering today. Just as it did exactly three weeks ago when I worked the weekend, the computer system decided to crap out with no warning. Mr. Corporate soothe-the-natives-i-don't-have-a-clue said that "yep...he's down too. Got some technicians on it lookin' to see what's up." That was four hours before I left the mess in somebody else's hands until early tomorrow morning. *takes a deep breath* Ya'll know how much I lurve my job, right?%#!!* After all, it affords me this luxurious lifestyle! Plus, I get to "help people."

Lilycat shows not even a hint of a labor pain as she waddles around from spot to spot. I'm just hoping the birthing room isn't in my drawer this time. Since she's so attached to BG and all maybe it will happen in HER drawer. Just pulled a big fat tick off of Sam's head so we did the Sevin dust bath outside with all three. They looked like ghost dogs.

Been watchin' the radar all day praying for that rain to hurry up and get here before everything withers up and blows away. I spent my two days off cleaning house and mowing the yard so it's time for a little R&R in Poopieland on the next two free ones. I see myself in a pool with a cold beer floatin' like a beached whale dreaming about life sith Sugardaddy. Uh..yep. He's back in residence in my fantasies. At least until I get some new tennis shoes to walk the concrete up at work. Then I might just cut him loose for a young one.

Peace out, ya'll.
disposable income

Sittin' here working on a list for the dollar store on payday, I can only feel slight pangs of sympathy for those who have had to "scale back their lifestyles" because of the current economic situation, price of fuel included. Last time I went on vacation was five years ago when we drove to Gulf Shores and looked for gas stations in the dollar fifty range along Highway 45 South in Mississippi, bless our hearts. The times, they have a'changed. I've been hearing that the speculators are the cause of the rise in gas prices, not the retailers. Wonder who they are and if they're strutting around like banty roosters crowing about their victory over the little people. Probably a bunch of Nigerians in internet cafes working for fifty cents a day paid by the oil companies. Ya'll surely know that outsourcing is all the rage these days.

We are two days into this work week and on each of the two opportunities for income, someone has showed up to piss all in my Cheerios at the sawmill, just for sport. When it's not hot as HELL, I tend to let these things roll off like water on a duck's back but dang..I hate to sweat. It definitely doesn't become a middle aged lady like myself...makes me testy unless I'm sprawled out on the porch with a cold beverage.

There's a little honey hole of peaches'n'cream corn hidden out there maturing as I type and I.can't.wait! to tear into a fresh cob cooked with butter. Our 'burg has a brand spanking new farmer's market downtown that should be filled with fresh produce pretty soon...purple hull peas and the like. My sole summer crop is a grape tomato plant that has two red ones so far. BG likes those little ones :)

I am clean and not sweating, thanks be to an honest AC repair man named Corey. We'll worry about how to pay the ginormous utility bill when the time comes. Meanwhile, just keepin' the faith here on Pecan Lane.

Ya'll keep it too, umkay?

love ya, mean it ^j^
summer afternoon walk
About every other day now I make the rounds of the closest flower beds with the water hose to see what's up. This afternoon I enjoyed the luxury of a complete walk around my yard with a light breeze blowing and the camera in hand. This is my bliss, ya'll. Every time I do the rounds, I am reminded of where I got what plant the details of our friendship. There are things that were planted by the late great Mrs. Council decades ago but I've added my own touches in twenty years of growing seasons. I'm the kind of friend that you can expect at any given time to show up with a shovel wanting to dig your shit up. Seriously.

I went to the kudzu bar and took pictures of the karaoke singers at their first contest. There is some bad ass talent up in there if you catch it on the right night, and this was one of 'em. Of course it required that I stay up way past bedtime so I'll be hittin' the hay around dark-thirty.

Visited the grands today and they're just tickled to be kicked back in their recliners watching birds. Mom made me a sympathy card for a friend who lost her Dad and she talked to the computer the whole time tellin' it to hurry up. I know the feeling. A blackbird showed up to eat the finches' thistle and Daddy told him to move along to the corn field. BG is safely in her bed and worn plum out from bachelorette partying. I know that feeling too.

I'll post the yard stuff on Flickr if you'd like to walk it with me.

Just another day in paradise ^j^
the lay of the land
Things are moving along at the usual pace here on the farm which means there's heavy machinery everywhere driven by cute guys like this one who posed with his spray rig. Not bad scenery for a country girl ;) We have mostly corn and beans with some cotton now that the wheat has been cut. More beans will go in behind the wheat. So far, the weather has been perfect with just enough rain to get things going and hot weather. And yes, I still hate to sweat.

A friend and I went exploring the riverbed the other day on his four wheeler and I took along my shovel and bucket to dig up some ferns I had spotted the day before. We chopped the poison ivy and cane barrier away like good scouts and loaded 'em up to put in my back shade bed. So far, they're thriving. I'll keep at them with the water hose!

The day job runs at a slow hum now most of the time because summer is typically the slower season for hospitals unless it's really urgent. Or you get poison ivy and go to the ER for a decadron shot. We enjoy the slower pace because, frankly, we earned it by busting our asses this past winter and spring. It gives us more time to really know each other rather than shouting across a noisy room in the heat of battle.

Babygirl has one week of summer school left and then six weeks off before beginning her last year. She and a pack of girls have gone out of town for the weekend to celebrate a double bachelorette party so it's just me and the critters. And the laundry. I'm still undecided about the MBA thing....didn't start with this class but there's another one coming up in late summer. That's a whole bunch of money for a degree that may or may nor make a difference in my earning potential during the "golden" years. Neither of my brothers went to college and I guarantee you that both of them could buy and sell me and never miss the change.

I've zoned out on the election and all of the hoopla involved with said event. I didn't REALLY mean it when I said I wouldn't vote...gah. Ya'll know me better than that! I just might not vote along party lines, if you get my drift.

Gotta run. This old house will most likely not clean itself. Then again, I may not clean it either right now.

Keep the faith ^j^
and the ozone lifteth

...thanks be to the passage of a cold cool front that has been stalled for days over the center of our great yet enormously greedy nation. I must admit that I contribute to the pollution by smoking, but other than that I'm green all the way baby. The poopie routine goes something like this: work at the sawmill so I can buy gas to go BACK to the sawmill, play outside enjoying mother nature until the lightning bugs show up (as global warming permits),sleep a few hours, and go back to the sawmill.Rinse.Lather.Repeat. Exciting, huh?

Something deep inside of me has come to a sort of grassroots realization that we spend too much time working to support a big fat government and the lobbyists that run it and too little time doing the important things like appreciating nature. Oh, I've always loved it...experiencing the cycle of the seasons and growth. As I've gotten older, though, I've gotten really pissed off about the priorities of those who see nothing beyond how to earn a buck at someone else's expense without giving anything back unless there's a tax deduction. Not a Pollyanna by any means, I realize in my heart of hearts that there are those who use "assistance" and abuse it. That is one reason why Social Security won't be there when I need it, even though I've paid in my entire life. Being an addict is not a disability, it is a choice. There are ways and means and people to break the cycle but it's easier to throw money at 'em and forget about the root cause.

Someone at the day job said this morning that "everybody's family is dysfunctional." I agree. Each of us has a unique history comprised of hardship, pain and joy. Yo momma don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll :) But, and that's a BIG but....Big Ernie gave most of us the option to rise above the bad shit and grab for the brass ring, whatever that may be. To me, it's chilling with people and critters who accept and love me unconditionally. To hell with the rest of 'em. I'm past all that.

The angst and drama of being pissed off about social injustice takes a great emotional toll on deep thinkers like myself, so I pretty much gave it to BE long ago and began to focus on what makes me content. Sometimes it's the day job. Other times it's a lucky shot with the camera. Then again, it can be a hug or meaningful eye contact or just someone else's presence that is calming. Whatever it may be at any given time, I slow my pace now and enjoy the moment because once it is gone, it's only a memory.

Ya'll keep the faith...tomorrow is hump day ^j^
family tradition
I have often wished that I could have known this fellow...the man who would eventually grow up and become my father. The goofball posing on the tree stump was the only boy in a brood of four. As a kid, he fell out of the barn loft and broke both arms. Guess who wiped his butt while those fractures healed? Yep..sisters do what they have to do when the need arises. They were a sharecropper's family born during the great depression and raised on hard times the likes of which not many of us have ever seen. That old adage about trudging five miles in the snow to school was their reality. When the snow melted and things turned green, they hit the fields and helped their daddy out with the crop.

In the Air Force, he wore the uniform proudly and served his country as a supply man in several different locations, including the Azores. I have another precious picture of him when he and Mama were stationed in Louisiana where he posed with a stew pot on his head, grinning from ear to ear, silly boy. He had his whole life in front of him and things looked good.

He earned a degree in agriculture from the college that was known then as the University of Tennessee Martin Branch, thanks to scholarship opportunites. From there he became a farmer in every sense of the word, tracking the path of the Japanese beetle and other critters with pins on a map for the USDA all the while managing the farm on which we lived. There was always a garden, and usually a big one. The man believed in living off the land and giving thanks, and he still does.

So do I.

teach your children well
Mama is slowly going blind, her eyesight ravaged by macular degeneration. She and Daddy have been together for fifty four years of marriage plus a couple spent in courtship prior to the official tying of the knot. Between the two of them they have buried more loved ones that I can ever imagine even knowing, much less going to the graveyard with. Daddy's slowing down a lot, spending days propped in his personal recliner watching Law and Order and Gunsmoke marathons, thanks be to the DVR gods. There's a birds eye view of hummers and finches and cows right outside the den window. Life is good if you see the glass as half full, which we normally tend to do. It's an inherited trait that I hold dear.

Daddy has a "touch" of what some call Alzheimer's disease. In my humble opinion, it's only Alzheimer's when it happens before the normal time for senility to kick in. He remembers things from forty years ago like it was yesterday but doesn't put the truck in park when he gets out at the store. Thus, the engine won't start. So he proceeds to put multiple quarts of oil up in there trying to fix it so he can get home with Mom's caffeine free diet coke before she freaks. They are confined together most hours of most days in the house where they have spent the majority of their married life, raising three children for better or worse. And you know what? We all adore them. So do the adult grandchild and the one in the oven who will carry on the family name. Yep...it's a boy.

I always knew this time would come, and perhaps that is why I embraced the concept of improvement in end-of-life care delivery several years ago. I was sittin' at home on a Friday night waiting for the appointed time to go pick up the babygirl from somewhere or another when I stumbled upon the Bill Moyers piece on the subject of hospice and palliative care. I read books and surfed the net and pitched the concept to the powers that be at the sawmill, but I never had a workable plan and continued to stick people with needles and run their lab tests to pay the rent here on Pecan Lane like countless numbers of other corporate whores.

This too, shall pass.


# eight
now where was i........

Oh yeah, I remember. Busy being quiet and all that. I'll just hit the high points umkay?

Strike two: Faith went to doggie jail again and I bailed her out on Monday thanks to Mama's generous loan. Strike three involves court fees and we can't afford that. Lily is, as they say in the good book, great with child kitten. The poor thing looks like she ate a bowling ball for lunch. Leave your number and I'll deliver one to you when they're weaned. In a basket with a cute ribbon and all that.

Good old summertime: I had a brain fart and didn't remember that floatin' in a pool for four hours will burn an old lady's face to a crisp. Usually I have a visor but with finances as tight as they've been, it eased right offa my shopping list. Nah..I lied. I just forgot in a wild fit of "sometimers disease". The next layer of skin up there should be a bit tougher.

Higher education: It never ONCE entered my mind to get another degree until I noticed an ad in the paper for an info session about earning an MBA online from a nearby college at about the same time there was mention of a possibility to teach what I know best. 17K, lots of studying for a year and a half and a little bit of travel involved. We shall see how this one plays out.

Sugardaddy: Who?

Teach your children well: In thirty one years of working at the sawmill, not ONCE has anybody from the lab been nominated for employee of the day/week/year/month/millenium. Today was the day for one Mrs. Mooney who fought back tears as she realized the fact that she is a pioneer. We all got cake too! It reminded me of a scene right out of "The Office" :)

Bound to happen: Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that the kudzu bar gets more hits than my poop these days. Could be because there's more pictures and fewer words. Or it could just be about the beer and the kindred spirits enjoying what my friend Charlie calls the circus.

Ain't ya'll proud? I did an entire post without bitching about the heat. And that, my friends, is because it's only just begun.

damn it's hot
S'cuse me for cussin' on the eve of the Lord's day and all. If I were Catholic I could have just gone to mass this evening and not felt a bit guilty about skipping church for the day job. The best phrase I can come up with to describe the sawmill is "organized chaos." And I use the word organized very loosely, if you know what I mean.

These Santa Mississipi winds have done a number on the potted produce out on my side porch so they're moving to the back where it's shady after dinner work and the waterhose is handy. Currently in bloom are the daylilies and larkspur and that amaryllis which stubbornly refused to bloom out there amongst the weeds. Soon as sugardaddy shows up with the other half of the rent and utilities I'm parking my butt on the ground (with OFF) to do some serious weedeatin' by hand. That's a real stress buster, ya know?

back to the future
I'll be away for a bit...tending to family matters and lookin' for love trying to figure out how to get the damned pushmower to start. Somebody told me to put a few drops of gas into the carberwhatchatamacallit. Truth be told, I could care less about the grass.

Presently, I hear big ass helicopters taking off from the airport behind me to God knows where, probably Iraq where great progress is being made according those who have been there gettin' their asses blown up by IEDs and such to protect the agenda of the Republican party which has a whole lot to do with making a profit at everybody else's expense. Word has it that our local National Guard unit has been activated to deploy AGAIN sometime this year, bless their hearts.

Nah, I ain't voting for Obama either. I'll probably just sit this one out and focus on Congress.

The wedding up by KY lake went well all things considered, weather included. The happy couple and their party sweated through the ordeal smiling the whole way. I grinned too, just being a witness to love in action and all that. As Jennifer said " I pledge thee my WHAT??" I'm not quite certain what a troth is but I'm pretty sure it's a forever kind of thing. See: Cinderella, Snow White et al.

We skipped the reception in favor of a drink and snacks at Matt's Pub and more fun at the local American Legion where they let dogs come around. That was where I found Faith's future boyfriend, a beautiful red lab hung like a horse. Ya'll ain't never seen a red one, have you? Me neither. Poor Faith has the very neutered Sammy D all over her trying to do the wild thang and all she feels like is barking at the trailer park trash up the road. Or the wind. Or the moon.

I made friends with some interesting people up there..a whole 'nother cast of characters who live and love and watch each others' backs day in and day out. I met Haley who saved Mr. Wilton when she was just five years old and he was drowning in the lake. According to her, she just took his hand and swam to shore because you "do what you have to do." Saturday night a big storm hit and a tree ended up right smack on the top of George's truck busting the water line in the process. We spent Sunday outside waiting for the hot-men-in-hard hats utility crew to come and lift that pine off of the power line and his vehicle. I reckon the plumber will have to fix the busted PVC.

While I was away, an unfortunate trucker traveling on the local interstate had a fire in his rig. Reporters noted that he was hauling Lean Cuisines when the tires caught fire and he pulled over to call 911 and salvage his personal belongings. Someone hit and killed him as he crossed the highway. Thirty something years old, from Georgia, he was just working for a living and in a flash his life was over. The driver will carry that guilt with her the rest of her days. I went up to the kudzu bar yesterday afternoon to take pictures of Monday's Free!Budweiser
! Food! and Elvis! event and parked next to wrecker service next door. When I got ready to leave I noticed there was a burned out truck next to the Camry , stinking to high heaven. The whole thing just made me think about shit stuff, which I tend to do a little too often.

Sometimes I wish I didn't.

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