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emergency preparedness
As a healthcare provider, one facet of the job is learning ways to do what we do without all the usual bells and whistles. Like computers, for instance. Heck, my internet service goes out every time there's a thunderstorm! So it's sort of a grumbly bad thing when I go back to killin' trees at work until the geeks get us hooked up. We are on backup generator power, mostly. If there's an earthquake, we won't be there so go on down the road. Lake County and all the rest of us will be in a very deep hole.

Like everyone else, I'm watching in horror as Gustav heads straight toward a Gulf Coast that hasn't yet recovered from Katrina. As a country, we've learned a lot since then about bad things happening to good people. My EMT cousin is on the way to Louisiana now for his tour of duty with the refugees. The evacuation, though with a few glitches, has gone well in stark contrast to the corporate calm that preceded Katrina and the mayhem that followed.

I don't rant about the Bush administration anymore because I can see a glimmer of light at the end of a damn long tunnel. Four years ago I fretted and fumed as the horror unfolded, pounding on the keys in defiance at the *balls* of some people's kids. It got old after a while, quite tiring. I acted like an angry child who pushes the envelope against her parents when things aren't fair. I mourned Terri Schiavo as if she were a personal friend and I gasped at the treatment of US citizens following a natural disaster that nobody was prepared for. Now, I just read blogs and get some sort of validation when I experience thoughts that sorta jive with mine. Like here.

A friend of mine is the 911 emergency response co-ordinator for the 'burg. He and the city fathers have had foresight enough to equip a mobile command center. More likely than not, we will need it in my lifetime when some wild ass tornado comes rippin' across the river or something. You just never know.

I'm off for two days, and I'm weary. Please don't labor too hard tomorrow. It would make me tired just hearing about it.

learn to be still
If you were one of the brazillion folks who came to our ER today with a cold or somebody who had one, I have something to say to your dumb ass poor sick self. Hellllllooooooooo...it's ragweed time in Tennessee! That means take your meds and suck it up because my damn feet hurt. I'm running for employee of the year, can you tell?

My new favorite place is out back with a view of the barn, corn and golf course respectively. It's shady in the afternoons so all my plants live there around the kinda sorta half assed patio. I remember sittin' on the back steps when that corner was just a bunch of weeds growing under the barrel grill and thinking "Self, you need to pretty that spot up." It took a few years but it's a fine specimen of a shade garden now. I'll give ya'll a tour sometime.

I love to just listen to the wind move out here....in the winter you can hear it in the pines, a lone howl from the evergreen break between my old house and old man winter. During summer months there's a steady white noise from the leaves rustling that brings comfort after a hard day. I watched Butterbean and Sam torment each other, remembering how little they used to be and how they came into my life. Faith was busy napping on my bed :) Come Monday there will be gunfire of epic proportions across the road on opening day of dove season. If I play my cards right, I could be the only female accompanying a herd of guys on this holy mission. That will, most likely, be a future piece for the dew.

Sunset is best viewed from the front, preferably with one's butt parked in one of the two wooden swings. There used to be a hammock but it bit the dust. That will go on my bucket list, along with a CD player. We're planning a birthday party for me next weekend that will include a fire if nothing else. Ya'll know how I love to burn shit and Lord knows it just makes a gathering more cozy.

While I was outside listening to the silence, I remembered a song from loooooong ago that I used to love. I guess I still do.

welcome to our world

My friend SM and I first met when she got born as the neice of my friend and co-worker. That was about six weeks before Babygirl made her entrance into the world so they were kinda part of the same litter in 1984. She's a hoot to work with and cuts up like you wouldn't believe just because life is good. The little general and I remarked today that we only wished we could be that excited about something....ANYTHING...again. With age comes that weary feeling of having beentheredonethat and knowing how things can end up even when you work hard and say your prayers. In a way, it's like getting to live my life over again watching the kids that I've helped to raise move out into the world. And believe me, there's a ton of 'em. SM has a blog now and I'm the first one on her blogroll so ya'll go give her a visit and a welcome into the world of b**g. I was telling her that ya'll are real people and all...gosh I even met Hoss in person!! Handsome devil :)

The gardening never ends for Poops, I'm just sayin'. I've been out collecting four-o-clock seeds for Yaya and Redneck Friend 'cuz we all love to grow shit. The ancient sheds out to the side will soon be torn down because, really. You have to hunt to find a dry spot under the windblown tin. I'll be moving all of the hardware to the basement for the winter and hopefully keep a few things alive down there. I've had fits and starts of using that space for different things over the years...once it was aerobics. Next came the stained glass era, post divorce. I need to clean out the cobwebs and make a playhouse. Word!

"Welcome to hell!" I said to the lone lab male as he entered the place. Murphy's law was running the show today and it wasn't pretty. Back in the day, I would have felt to compelled to deal with every crisis but today, I just let other people do their part. And you know what? We're all still kicking. I'll be there until Sunday afternoon then have a coupla days off. And yes, there will be beer.

Ya'll have a rib or a burger and enjoy the last official weekend of summer 08, even if you've got a hurricane headed in your general direction. It's been a long one for me, and I'm ready to not sweat.

Peace and love ^j^
wild horses

Trapper died sometime in the wee hours of this morning from old age. Babygirl called me at the sawmill to tell me about finding him in the corner of the pasture by the gate under a pecan tree. His road dog Pride is whinnying like a baby out in the lot right now. A few apple slices and some cucumbers should make it all better for the moment. Trap was born the year we moved into the house back in '88 and has been a part of the scenery ever since. Pride came along later through some kinda horse tradin' deal that Daddy did. My horse sources say that he'll grieve himself to death pretty soon since he's even older than Trapper was.

These guys have done nothing but graze and plot to bust out fences for the past ten years or so...helluva retirement for both of them. I remember when it felt sort of weird to wake up and see a horse in the yard, but then it got to be old hat after I learned to open the gate and herd 'em in with the Camry. Just like a couple of men, I swear.

I have a friend who's about to venture into the b**g world so ya'll keep an eye out for her stuff. She's a horse whisperer herself, and a newlywed. We go wayyyyyyyyy back.
true colors

Well, it's official ya'll. Come January, your favorite folks in the laboratory sector of healthcare-is-us will be decked out in red and navy so you can pick us out if you happen to wander into the inner sanctum where the microscopes and blood live. I was listening to the DNC chatter while sittin' in the tub shaving my legs and realized how popular conformist behavior is with the powers that be. Not a whole lot of difference, if you ask me. I've not been an Obama fan from the beginning, and the reason is that the race card is being played hot and heavy. Never mind that the other guys are rich idiots who like to invade countries for their buddies to make money. In my humble opinion, there will never be real change until we learn to see each other as individuals rather than slappin' an equal opportunity party type label on things. So sue me. I am where I am in life today (which varies according to "the mood") not because I am a woman or a farmer's kid or of a certain ethnic group, but because I have faith that if I do my best and treat others as I would want to be treated, it's all good. I like to call it the poopie platform. It wasn't my idea though. Got it from Big Ernie.

My favorite spot on this whole farm is down by the riverbed that is surrounded by soybeans. I've been there with friends before, but usually it's just me and the dogs enjoying the scenery alone. Sunday we loaded up and drove down there only to find an old friend and his buddy doing a little fishing. Mr. Joe has marched to a different drummer as long as I've known him. He (and daddy) were the publishers of mama's cookbook years ago down at his little print shop that recently caved smooth in. His buddy is helping him tear down the remains. I never saw a fish that afternoon...but I sure did spend time with some contented fellows who know how to soak up some natural beauty.
My good blogger friend Lori's husband BJ is in the ICCU with a big dose of atrial fib and a whole lot of worries for the both of them. Reading her post reminded me of when I got caught red-handed with my ex having a full blown MI. He had stayed home from work that day not feeling well and had some "heartburn." About 8:30 AM I called to check on him and he said he was feeling worse...still no chest pain, per se. After talking to one of the ER nurses about his symptoms and the fact he was home alone, she told me to go get him and bring him in. By the time I got to the house he was lying on his back moaning and we hightailed it to the car. I ran every red light in the 'burg with him kickin' the dashboard screaming " Get me there NOW!"

The minute he got on the stretcher in ER, an EKG was done and it had tombstones on it, meaning something's about to blow. They popped him with Ativase and by the time the chopper arrived to transport him to Memphis, the EKG was normal. 100% occlusion of the LAD, opened quickly and efficiently with one drug. An angioplasty was performed after all the thrombolytics wore off. Three months later, he recognized the symptoms from experience and we discovered first hand that if a stent isn't placed somewhere up in there, early closure rates are greater than 50%. Back to Memphis, back to the cath lab and a stent was put in with this angio. He's been fine ever since with no detectable cardiac damage.

He always told me that I think too much which was his way of saying keep it simple, girl. Thinking that deeply comes in handy when you're solving problems or balancing the checkbook, but otherwise it often leads to trouble, especially in the men department. At least it always has for me. But I still wonder about things, and one of the things I've puzzled over is why we went through all that life and death stuff only to divorce a few years later.

Fay is blowin' at us but not to the degree that she did as she roughed up Florida. The smartass photographer took a wicked looking cloud picture on his way back down there. That was AFTER I couldn't figure out his abstract work. I'm not an English major or an artist...just a smartass country gal :)

Not bad for a Monday, ya'll. Please keep the BG lifted up...times are grueling for her right now. And don't forget BJ. ^j^

UPDATE: Just got a call from a teary Babygirl an hour away on her first day at class, crashing on a friend's couch between courses informing me that her loan money won't be there until next week because of the "recent credit crisis" according to her lender Edamerica. Letter dated? August 20th. Date of disbursement was scheduled for August 21st and has been "postponed" until a later date. Double up on the prayers, warriors. And of course, you know who I blame.
saturday stuff
Okay, so I'm not an English major Simon, but you got the idea ;) The mood has improved dramatically since yesterday's rant. A good sleep and a few beers will do that for you most times. The last update I got on grandcousin's birth was somewhere around 11 when I fell asleep. Cooper James was born at 3:30 am by C-section and shortly thereafter met his adoring gaggle of grandparents. The name James is in honor of his late grandfather, whom we affectionately refer to as Jimbo. He was my favorite relative and died when he was one year older than I am now from prostate cancer. What a waste.

Me and the Babygirl are bonding loosely this weekend to mark the beginning of her new school year. Books have arrived from Amazon and the gas tank will be full on Monday for the hour long commute three days a week. As Yaya would say "It's down to the nut cuttin " with nine months left before graduation. On that day in May 2009, you will hear both of us hootin' and hollering wherever you are....even out in Oregon.

It is slowly turning into fall with a dropped leaf here and there and cicadas sounding the end of the summer. Autumn is my favorite season because the relief of cooler temps in this area is always welcome. It's not too hot right now, that Fay sent us a dewpoint that's a killer. Good weather to stay in the house and clean the dog hair. My old friend Claude called from Knoxville this morning and we remembered her little dog named Tilly that used to bark the entire length of our phone conversations. I called her a little bitch on more than one occasion. Tilly, not Claudia :)

Ya'll relax. I'll be doing the same.


I can't help it ya'll...I gotta rant. It's Friday and that's what you do when you've had a bad week, right Claude? First off TVA announced that prices for our power will rise "significantly" beginning October 1. What was quietly added to our utility bills back in April as a surcharge that fluctuates with the price of fuel has now turned into a full fledged line item that will equal a twenty dollar or so increase on top of the twenty I've been paying since the sucker went WAY up and never went down. TVA's explanation is that the poor things are having to pay for too much for coal which provides 60% of its' power. COAL??? Holy crap people...no wonder the earth is shriveling up. I thought coal mining was outlawed a long time ago and then Kathy Mattea wrote songs about the way it used to be in West Virginia. A nation with the technology that we have access to should have, long ago, found a cheaper way to run things that doesn't harm the environment. I feel sure the idea is out there somewhere, but there's too much money to be made off of fuels that are harmful. Yeah, I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, huh?

Anyway, I was pretty pissy about that considering I've had to go stand in front ot the "man who lets you make payment arrangements" and have the July tab divided over two pay periods. The only way I managed to pay this one in full is that I had borrowed money from a credit union for some other problems. The alignment on the trusty (shaky) Camry had to wait. So then today the powers that be at the sawmill announced a new dress code to go into effect at the first of next year. Each department chooses two colors and can only wear scrubs of those colors in any combination. Except no printed bottoms, which I don't wear anyway 'cuz they make my butt look seriously big. The theory is that we will be more easily recognizable to patients as being from a certain area of the hospital if we kind of color color co-ordinate all look the same. Most of our in-patients are so elderly and frail that they don't even know we're there, much less remember what we wear. This includes the minimum wage earning housekeeping staff and there will be no stipend. Granted, it will be a hardship on even ME to buy all new work clothes over a three month period...but to them? I can just see my Mama now, sittin' there on a hospital bed with the color chart for departments trying to figure out who's who.

I was telling Babygirl about it on the phone this morning and made a passing reference to the book 1984. "Huh?" she said. "You mean the year I was born?" I could tell she had never heard of the Orson Wells tale or knew that Big Brother started there and not on TV. That, my friends, is when I felt really really old and weary. Needless to say, the natives are restless. That's why those kinds of things come down on Friday, so they won't have to look at us for a coupla days while we're pissed. Whatever.

I missed the 2nd meeting of the photography club thing because I just didn't have the energy to go anywhere else. I will still enter the contest because, hey. My mom wants me to :) Her favorite pictures are a pair of the barn and Pecan Lane with snow. Those will be on our cards this Christmas. I've gotten a bit more organized in taking pics and it pays off when you get ready to share 'em.

Fay is kicking our butt way up here in the form of heavy humidity. It's August, so I reckon you have to expect that. At least it's not 100 degrees. Hell on allergies, though.

Grand-cousin is trying to get born over in Jackson as I type and I'm hoping things won't be like they were for me when I had my one and only. Lord.Have.Mercy. They say you forget that shit, but I never have. Hang in there Carissa and Buddy. And Nana and Ronnie! And AUNT GRANNY!! ^j^

The best thing about the afternoon before a couple of days off is knowing that this too shall pass. Some sleep and giggles and quiet time will make it all look a bit less gloomy. How's that for faith?

There has much political and moral debate over stem cell research during the past few years, and there has been much misunderstanding. Most opponents use that old "what if terrorists clone us" theory as a fear tactic to stall a big longer. Thank goodness there are people out there pursuing the possibilties anyway...take this for instance. That is HUGE news folks. The medical community and, specifically the laboratory has spent years rationing supplies of human blood while technology companies tried in vain to chemically produce a substance that did the oxygen carrying work of a red blood cell but wasn't toxic. Most have failed miserably except in cases of trauma as a short term fix. The shortage began when the "paid donor" went away for safety reasons and the blood supply became the responsibility of people who donate an hour of time to save an anonymous life. When I first began working in the lab, everything we used was whole blood unless we took the plama off and threw it away. Centers drew whole units from donors to make platelet packs and fresh frozen plasma for those who were in desperate need. Today, one blood donation can still yield a unit of whole blood, but most centers separate out all the different parts and docs use them according to the patient's need. If platelets are all you need, that's all you get. By the way, that donor who sat in the recliner with a needle in each arm gave you the equivalent of six to eight platelet "buttons" from one single donation. Great advance in transfusion safety, ya know?

"Have a wonderful Wacky Wednesday" JERRY ALLEN

I can die a happy woman now as I have mastered the skill of mowin' the yard and drinking a beer at the same time. Woot! This old John Deere that I drive doesn't have a hood on it so you can imagine me in a scrub top and shorts wheeling through the dust and in between apple trees to git 'er done. Daily walks in the yard have shown me that deadheading is worth it and poison ivy can be killed with determination.

The sawmill is kinda quiet this week which always makes me nervous. Usually when it gets like that there's some giant car wreck or catastrophe that fills the place up to the rafters. The ER is a steady stream of a few emergencies and a whole lot of old people trying to get care as they slowly die. Back in my palliative care heyday that would have looked like a project waitin' to happen. Administration never got it when I pitched back in the day. Too far out of the box, I reckon.

I think a lot when I'm out on the mower watching the perimeters of my homeplace pass by. Any hour now, I will become a great-cousin. Aunt in October. Great-cousin again in December. As I watch the X generation growing into adulthood, I have to admit that though there are a lot of spoiled brats, many of them have seen what a mess the world is in and taken on the challenge of making a difference in some small way. I was in my thirties before it dawned on me that the universe had a lot more problems than just mine and I MIGHT be able to do something. As their parents, we have paid the price by bowing down to the corporate giants for a retirement buck that will never come and affordable insurance until we die. As Hoss would say : "And so it goes" and "Too bad."

I had the best time last night at my redneck friend's birthday party up in the kudzu. Nobody acted the fool and we just cut up like little kids only there was beer and jukebox instead of ice cream and cake. One of the things I gave her is a small transplant from Yaya's momma's beefsteak begonia that I rooted and stuck in a pot last week. I'd post our group picture here except her boyfriend doesn't like to appear on the internet so I will respect his wishes. Wouldn't want to ruin his chances of being a presidential running mate :)

I feel that mood coming on again. Stay tuned for details.

blast from the past

Um, yeah. So what would YOU do if you had been cleaning house all day, managed to get a shower and wander up to the kudzu bar for a coupla beers and some karaoke sans makeup. And then as you were gettin' the change back from Trinity you turned to the left and saw a familiar face that you hadn't seen for several years and it just so happened to be him. The old love, the one that caused major lifechanges and eventually cut you loose as a friend because you dared to care about him for real. That one. Well, I'll tell you exactly what I did....sat there lookin' like an idiot who had seen a ghost. After I regained some composure from the shock, we chatted about our respective families and friends like no time had passed and he went on his way, again. Tried to call him today to tell him happy birthday but got the voicemail. JUST in case I didn't have the right number, I passed on leaving our traditional birthday greeting because it's kinda obscene. I could just picture some grandma checking her voicemail and hearing "Happy Birthday M****R F****R!"

The remaining three kittens and Lily have moved to the front porch and are enjoying the outside life. Likewise, I enjoy not having to step over 'em. It's hard enough to avoid stepping on a dog around here. I've been in a manic housecleaning mode lately because I'm just sick of looking at it. My friends Becky and John gave me a big picture the other day that is now hanging in the living room. Nobody ever even goes there anymore since the TV is in my bedroom, so I'm trying to spiff it up a little in case Sugardaddy drops by.

Today is also Deb's birthday so ya'll go over and give her a holler. That girl makes the prettiest pictures I have ever seen. Well, her and the smartass photographer. They are equally responsible for inspiring me to work with the camera a little more.

Monday's coming soon enough so I think I'll go play outside soon as it cools down a bit.

just too busy being fabulous
It's almost time for me to turn 53 so I'm workin' on a birthday wish/bucket list because at our age who the hell knows if you'll live to see another one. Nobody does, for that matter. This is in the #1 position right before world peace. I figure I'll see The Eagles before we ever get all that mess straightened out. Feel free to contribute your living room floor if I make it to Little Rock.

Babygirl is a Virgo too, born just a couple of weeks after my special day. Poopie's birthday circa 1984 was one to remember! Big. Fat. Swollen. Miserable. HOT. I walked the halls of that hospital with a phlebotomy tray on my hip during the worst of that summer's heat. She was worth it, though.

These local corporate layoffs have cut my bitching about the day job to a minimum because hell....at least I've got a job. Meanwhile, we continue to buy made in you-know-where because it's cheaper and they have a great Olympic team. I think that most of us are watching Phelps knock medals out and thinking that perhaps our great country has a chance at redemption after all.

More pics headed to the reader's choice set over at Flickr. There are several categories and I'm gonna enter them all, what the heck.

Ya'll know the drill. Keep it close ^j^
musical schizophrenia
I'm presently doing my very favorite thing in the world which consists of fiddling with things and drinking a beer, something we like to call chilling. BG is on a roadtrip with a dress mission. It's cool and cloudy with light rain. Perfect weather to stay home, listen to music and play with my friends. Of course, they all happen to be furry. Home is where I like to be most of the time now. I reckon I'm over the hill on that social butterfly part of being single.

It always amazes me to sit and listen to CDs I've made in the past because they reflect my mood at that time. My current selection is a nice mix of Beth Hart, Eagles, Alan Jackson and Little Feat. Yeah, I know....they make a pill for that. Next thing you know I'll be pairing up Barry Manilow and and Ozzie. When I do be sure to call the mental health folks and contact the EAP. Oooohh..there's Stevie Nicks doing Landslide.

Ya'll have a lovely weekend and all that. I'll be hibernating.

two for the money.....and three to go

Well, actually Sara didn't PAY me for the kittens but then the smile on her face was worth more than gold. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of giving an animal that you care about to a loving owner. These two babies will live in the tack room for awhile and then get to roam for mice once the stalls are finished. I'm not gettin' my hopes up, but the Biomed guy inquired about how many were left. Hmmmmmmm.....and he's got kids :)

In other news, the temps are still hovering around 90 but that's a helluva lot better than a hundred. Seasonable, if you will. The mornings are very pleasant and I see 'em before the sun ever rises. I am not a morning person, to say the least, but I give it the old college try. Since identifying my "opportunity for improvement" I've managed to cut the tardies down to a respectable level. My saving grace at family gatherings has always been that my youngest brother is almost always later than me.

Mom and Dad took a road trip for a doctor's appointment today and enjoyed the landscape I'm sure. I believe they took the scenic route. The whole healthcare thing is just a big old maze in our society with the referrals and co-pays and deductibles and such. Just when I think I've had enough, I look at a slide like I saw today that has something that looks a lot like leukemia on it and I think to myself "Self...lookie there." Not just any old redneck gal can do that while managing everything else in her life. Kind of an affirming and sad moment all rolled into one. Another anonymous pre-diagnosis...leading to another treatment.

Tomorrow, which is officially Dead Elvis Eve, just so happens to be my OLD friend's birthday and since he was born before Elvis died, I reckon he deserves a shoutout amongst the candlelight vigils and music marathons. Got'cha, smartass ^j^ One more year in paradise.

Almost Friday. Hang in there kids ^j^
grapes of wrath

Harvest season continues down on the farm. Daddy has some grapevines on his barbed wire fences down at the house so I took advantage of a day off yesterday to go pick them and pass 'em on to those who are industrious enough to make jelly. Which definitely ain't me, by the way. Half went to Mozella, the unofficial "mayor" of our community and the other half to my friend Liz who would make jelly out of cottonwood leaves if she thought somebody would eat it. I wish I had one tenth of her energy, stamina and can-do attitude. She will also be making applesauce from some of the granny smiths. Ain't nothing like free range produce.

The BG is sick as a dog what with her immune system being all depleted from burning the candle at both ends and in the middle for two years straight. She's loaded up with NyQuil and antibiotics with her head under the quilt. My contribution is a gallon of ice cream....yep, it's a mother thing, which is what we all need when we're ailing. Feed a cold and all that. One time when she was down her request was for homemade chicken noodle soup, which I promptly whipped up from scratch. She said nothing ever tasted better.

There is a local photography contest going on in the 'burg and the September focus is on flowers. I don't have a clue which of mine I will enter, and I'd like to ask for some reader participation in choosing one. Many of them are on Flickr and I'll be uploading more into a separate album. If you have time drop by and let me know what your favorite is and why. If I win something, I'll split the prize ;)

It's almost county fair time here....it begins on Labor Day. I haven't attended the fair since BG got old enough to NOT want to go ride the tilt-a-whirl but for many it's the highlight of the year. I'm thinking I may need to venture out this time to see all the cool stuff and the locals. I bet Sugardaddy will be right there admiring the antiques or pickled beets when I saunter up.

If you're anywhere in the vicinity of Hardin County Kentucky and you like blues, check this out. All I can say is that I *heart* Lew Jetton and 61 South and some upstart on MySpace keeps buying them out from under me which really pisses me off.

We still hear the pitter patter of little kitty feet on the (dirty) floors because, frankly, I just haven't gotten up the gumption to take those sweet babies to the shelter to die. They're getting daily porch time now and gettin' used to the outdoors and litter box. Butterbean hasn't tried to eat one lately, so it's all good for now. They sleep with Faith here and there and generally enjoy life at Casa Poops.

Oh yeah...how could I miss out on mentioning feetsball! I know a lot of ya'll have been anticipating the start of the season since the last kick of 07. Bring it on, I say. My quarterback won't get sacked near as many times as yours will. Maybe that will get Daddy's attention off of Law and Order and Gunsmoke for a few months.

It's August 12th, and it's not hot. Let's hear it for Big Ernie ^j^
if trees could talk

I don't know about where you live, but around West Tennessee it's officially "dead Elvis week" complete with candlelight vigils and such. One of the pathologists in the group that I work with was a resident who got called upon to do the autopsy back in the day. The Memphis paper interviewed him about the whole deal for today's cover story on the king and his untimely demise from an overdose of jelly doughnuts. Some say it was a big hush-hush coverup kind of deal with the county medical examiner rulin' it was "heart failure." Well...duh. Aren't most deaths because of that? I had just graduated from UT Center for the Health Sciences and had taken a job at the old John Gaston hospital down there in the micro department, of all things. It had to do with a guy and the short version is that I tucked my tail and slunk back to the 'burg AFTER my daddy rented a U-Haul and we loaded it up to move me down to Elvis land.

I spent that time from June 'til August refinishing my great grandmother's maple furniture in preparation for the big move. My Irish setter, Brandy, had heartworms and died at the end of spending that time with me on the front porch at home. After Daddy returned the U-haul, I went for an interview at the local hospital and got hired on pretty quick at the handsome rate of $4.92 an hour. Instead of moving to Memphis, Ethel's furniture found a home in an apartment down the street from my new job. The rest is just history.

My dear friend Sue and I worked together today and she stopped by after we got off to check out the apple crop. These little sticks that I got for joining the Arbor Day foundation years ago turned out to be of the Granny Smith variety and she's all about some homegrown for the menu at her tearoom. It sits about halfway between here and Memphis right on the highway, full of antiques. Ya'll would just die if you saw the place.

I have a couple of days off so the grill has been fired up with beef and chicken Poopie style. Bobby Flay ain't got nothing on me except maybe a handle for the top of his. It's all good, because I can lift mine up with the pliers that I use to open the dryer door. Ya'll think I'm kidding, dontcha? I'm an excellent student of the necessity as mother of invention school of thought.

There is a sunset about to happen so I'm outta here and out where the view is better. Ya'll keep the faith.

angel flight
I love it how Big Ernie works sometimes...seriously. It's like, when he knows you need to believe again the angels just flutter on in to your life and do their stuff while he sits back and smiles. What a great job to have! Of course there are all those times when you're in the toilet and he's just feeling every bit of that pain along with you and. Well, not so much the pleasant vocation.

Most of the time I don't recognize 'em as angels when they first show up on my radar...a friend of a friend or somebody who follows their dream and turns out to be a keeper. Some of my best times are spent with the parents of kids that Babygirl grew up and went to school . Work friendships are tight because you spend as much time with them as you do with your nukler family, as Dubya would say, bless his heart. And the old childhood variety can swoop in and remind you what it was like before the hard stuff started. I was fortunate enough to hook up with several today for a few hours of remembering when.
There have been plenty of occasions when I saw the opportunity to put on wings and wondered how in this world I'd find the strength to do THAT. Healthcare does that to a practitioner if one has any sort of heart at all. While many folks have little experience with sickness and death, we're out there trying to ease the transition from healthy to the grave in a somewhat repetitive motion. The trick is to recognize where the patient is on the journey of life and meet him or her there with realism. It is a vocation that pays well by today's standards and asks much in return. It is quite difficult to keep all of the feelings in their boxes when you deal with crises involving human life day in and day out. With the exception of two or three, every doctor I've ever worked with has been an ass to the staff and often times to the patient and family. There's one who prays with his patients pre-op for a good outcome to the surgery. He has enough faith to know that it's not in his hands at all and anytime I need a cut, he's the dude.

It's good to be cooler than 95 for a change. More rain in the forecast and a lovely week ahead. Not bad for August, ya know?

where's stewie?

There he is :)
voter apathy
Happy election day ya'll. I certainly hope you'll all go out to cast a vote for the candidate of your choice like I did two weeks ago. Hey...he's a personal friend with a lot of experience in the courtroom. Great qualifications for a judge. Old Poops is still ridin' the fence on the big one and more than likely will do a write in thing for the first time ever in my voting career. Sorry...the major parties are both pissing me off big time with their crap. Paris, my ass.

Remember that long haired dude who came to visit a few weeks ago? I wrote about the big river adventure over at The Dew just because Idgie trusts me to be southern 'til I die. Unless SugarDaddy moves me to Fiji or something spectacular like that. Ya'll don't hold your breath.

We are (not so) patiently awaiting the slow moving cold cool front that will hopefully knock ten degress offa' the heat index around here so I don't sweat so much. Maybe by my birthday I'll be able to wear makeup to the day job...ya think? I must say *somebody* sprung for a new compressor and it's nice and chilly up in there for all of us middle aged gals who suffer with hot flashes and mood swings.

The kittens are eatin' well and ready to move on to greener pastures like the barn where their daddy lives. It's a tough decision whether to risk them gettin' eaten out there or euthanized at the shelter. The little white one with orange spots that RG and Jim like so much has been named Stewie because he looked just.like.him when he was little bitty. The white one with black spots was the runt but he's gaining on his siblings now that they're on solid food.

UPDATE: It rained today! A lot! It's only 80 degrees! Tomorrow is Friday!
Do I hear an amen?

Out of the blue last night, my old friend the stealth Chi Oh called from her hotel room to announce that she and her baby sis and Mom were in town visiting the family. All's I can say is thank god I didn't miss the call! What started out as an interesting night turned into another day full of hugs and laughter for three generations of strong women and one tow headed grandboy.

Sometimes, when I least expect it, Big Ernie sends me just what I need to keep the faith.

cabin fever

I sure do miss the luxury of wandering the yard without fear of a heatstroke *sigh*. Index today is 110, humidity a huge factor. In the words of the friendly guy at the utility company it's a big "degree" day. You betcha. I am hunkered down for the remainder of this lovely weekend away from the sawmill with the critters. The kittens are learning to eat somewhat, but still follow Lily around whining for a nipple. The familiar yellow school buses started runnin' Pecan Lane this week which seems awfully early but that's how they do it these days.

Yaya and KT have both turned another year older with little fanfare. After you hit 50 it's kind of a non-event except for maybe a present or phone call and a beer or two. Redneck Friend and Yaya took me out for my fiftieth for anything I wanted to do all night and I was home by 10PM. Can you say "house mouse?" Oddly enough, I started going out and mingling more after that. After all, Sugardaddies don't just grow on trees in the pots out back. I've met a lot of interesting folks, and many of them are bikers. They can get rowdy as hell, but any one of 'em would stand up for each other in matters of honor. There was a benefit at the fairgrounds not too long ago for C's mama who has cancer, and the BBQ I bought was the best I've ever had.

My nephew is about two months shy of making an entrance into his heaven-on-earthly home in the mountains. He will no doubt be adored by not only his mom and dad but all the critters as well. I guess it's hereditary, huh T?

Looking on the bright side, being stuck inside isn't so bad because you get shit stuff done that you've put off forever so you could play in the yard. Like sweep the floor girl...dang! Did you grow up in a barn??????

Peace out.

lie to me

TGIF and all that ya'll. I'd be so much more excited about it if there were a chance of not sweatin' in my immediate forecast but..alas. 'Tis not to be right now so I'm just thankful that the air is working. Kinda sorta. When it gets this hot, a cold shower is the best remedy for what ails you. In honor of being housebound I'm having a "me" night complete with razors for the pits and sea salt for the tired old feet while listening to the latest MOM CD. Kid Rock blended with Kathy Mattea and John Prine. Yep....I took my happy pill :)

I don't talk much about the kudzu bar here because folks don't like to be seen up in there and I'm all about the pictures. Thursday is ladies day when we swap gossip and Avon orders over dollar beer feeling totally safe because every dang man in the place knows we don't put out and we know their wives and it's all good. The past coupla weeks there's been some guys playing guitars...last night a drummer too.. and jamming with Bev. Her voice is totally awesome in that big range sort of way and she belts out anything from Journey and Aerosmith and back to Sugarland or Beth Hart without missing a beat. Dude on lead guitar has a good voice too and together with the bass player, they're a great sound that I'll go back to hear over and over. Hell, I might even dance on the stage or whack a cowbell or something wild and tawdry like that.

There's a big blues festival coming up soon not too far from Pecan Lane featuring a couple of my personal favorites from the area. Not that you have to be from the South to sing the blues or anything, but gah. It all started here, ya know? I reckon it was because it was so.damn.hot. in August back in the day.

We're past Aretha Franklin and Eva Cassidy on the MOM CD so it's time to finish the chores and hit the tub cold shower. Now playing? Loan Me a Dime.

Anybody know who did it first?
friday litter critters
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