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why is lily so annoyed??

Hmm. Well it could be because I've been so busy pickin' up pecans and chopping down the asparagus that I haven't been at the computer where she climbs from my lap up onto my left shoulder, her favorite perch. Sorry girl. I'll try to do better as soon as I get the Christmas decorations down from the attic. Really.

Yesterday was asparagus chopping day which is not a small chore for a fatass middle aged gal with a hand held tool. I got her done though, and the yellowed ferns lie in a big pile waiting for dry weather so I can burn that nitrogen back into the soil. The bed has already been treated to a liberal dose of potash. Then, come March....VOILA! As you can see from the picture, my bed is located next to a fence and in the summer multiflora roses, honeysuckle and poke take over the fence side. My goal is to get that cleaned out early in the spring where it won't come back to bite me in November next year. Let's just say my hands and arms look like I was in a catfight and lost miserably. The weather forecast is calling for snow this evening. Bring it on I say.

Anybody got any leftover turkey? I'll trade you some pecans for it! Happy Cyber Monday eve to you and yours.

lost in space as a goose
Okay then. Today is my friend and Yaya's boyfriend Doug's 60th birthday and she cooked up a surprise party for him. The plan was for all of us to show up at the Harris house way out in bumfuck the Lenox hills around 5:30 which is pitch black at this time of year. I headed out, confident that I knew which road it was on so how hard could it be to find a number? I overestimated my directionally challenged self by a longshot. After two phone calls from the center of Lenox ( which consists of the Baptist church ) to another friend to get help and 45 minutes of driving the dark backroads and dodging gullies I gave it up and headed for home. Maybe Santa will bring me a GPS so I can get where I'm trying to go *sigh* Sometimes I think old Poops needs a keeper. I even put on makeup and everything! Happy birthday Douglas. Only 52 more days until Dubya's last day :)

Holiday lights are already twinkling all over the 'burg so I'm behind, as usual. Procrastination, thy name is Janie. I tend to do things when the spirit moves rather than by the calendar. Besides, when you put up a live tree you have to wait until a bit closer to Christmas so you don't burn the old house down, chimney and all.

A visit from an old friend has inspired me to work on my organizational skills so that I can find stuff when I need it, which is no small task around here. Dude even hooked me up with a redneck dryer handle to replace the broken off plastic one. Low maintenance? You bet your sweet ass.
It's never been my strong suit, putting things in boxes and files and generating reports. Lord knows I try to be prepared but when push comes to shove, I can't find whatever it was that I bought at the dollar store to make things work around here. It's too much house for one smartass woman, even if she is determined to stay close to home.

Truth be told? My reasons for being here on the hill to this day live about a mile down the road at the old homeplace. They are aging quickly and need attention of the poops and bubba variety on a regular basis. We are partners of sorts, in this virtual hospice experience. It's what kids do when they've been raised up right.

Today's Grace

1. Not one inkling of regret for not lining up at the supermegastore this morning to buy cheap Chinese made goods. Buy American, by gawd.

2. JRD

3. Eva Cassidy

4. Steady pace at the sawmill but nothing we couldn't manage to handle even on a short staffed day.

5. The Butterbean Grin :)

Goodnight my friends ^j^
the virtue of consistency
Being the faithful one that I am, I've never much thought about that particular character trait as something that others are attracted to but it seems to be so with my friends and loved ones. Good old reliable Poopie, bless her heart. Surely there will be mucho manna in heaven.

Occasionally the traveler gets weary and just wants to have the manna right damn now served up as a special treat just because. Sort of a good samaritan story with a personal twist. I've had plenty of these, and so have you if you stop to think about it. Trouble is, we're just too busy being fabulous to remember. Today has been that kind of day for me. Thanksgiving is a celebration of friends and family that lends itself to reflection about all things good, even when all things evil rage around us.

The last pecan season that my youngest brother was here, he climbed up into my favorite tree and shook the branches like a kid so that the nuts would rain down around me before it got terribly cold. My dumbass tried that today but I couldn't climb high enough to do much good. I'd hate to have to call 911 from the ditch to come haul me out. I was scared of falling, to be honest. I think I'll just let nature take its' course.

There's a metaphor there with me and love. I tried to explain this to a buddy today over the phone but I don't think he got it. Men are funny like that in their simplicity. No big thing, right? Girls are complicated sometimes so just deal with it. The good ones are worth the effort.

Grace, day 3

1. A purring content cat on my lap.

2. Turkey sandwich on wheat with mayo.

3. The redneck comedy tour, most especially Larry the Cable Guy.

4. Advent wreath.

5. Trapp's Sexy Cinnamon...YUM.
just another day in paradise

Thanks Big Ernie. Love ya...mean it ^j^
giving thanks
It's my turn to be off work on Thanksgiving, a tradeoff for working Christmas and New Year's Day. I've worked there for 31.5 years so I figure I've showed up at the sawmill on roughly 50% of holidays during my tenure, though thankfully always on a rotation. When I was younger, it mattered a lot. Now? Not so much. It's just a day on the calendar and seasons lend themselves to being celebrated at will for those with the spirit to do so.


Sore muscles from the manual labor required for a good pecan harvest.

Quality time at the antique kitchen table with Babygirl.


Reasonable gas prices.

Dollar store hair color and an appointment with Miss Rhonda.

days of grace
I had never met Schmutzie before yesterday but I like her style already. While visiting my fairy blogmother I read of Schmutzie's project which Jennifer is also going to do. The whole idea is to slow down enough to center yourself on the blessings in life and count them daily for a year. A gratitude journal, if you will. Of course this isn't a new concept, but it's one that I've never fully embraced without getting sidetracked by the fast pace of being all that is Poopie. This time I'll give it my best effort. The magic number is five, and some days it can be pretty hard to come up with just ONE thing to be grateful for. But you know what? I'm sure going to give it my best shot. Because, you know. It's almost Thanksgiving.

1. Looking forward to some quality time with my adopted daughter Heather this week.

2. Also anticipating ( but by no means counting on ) a visit with a loud mouth guy I haven't seen in way too long.

3. Being knocked in the soft dirt by three loving dogs who fight over which will have the pleasure of greeting me first.

4. Seeing the bullheaded wife of my daily-stop family owned grocery store owner and sharing pecans with her straight from the bags in my back seat to her plastic sack.

5. Scoring leftover biscuits from Mom for the dressing and a ten foot piece of PVP pipe from Daddy to whack those stubborn pecan limbs.

I won't be posting these things necessarily HERE every day, but they will be recorded. When I figure out how to share, I'll let you know.
long time no rant
Like many of you fellow Americans, I'm watching to see what Congress does with this whole bailout deal concerning the big three American automakers. My inner conspiracy theorist can't help but think that the plummet in gas prices is just a big tease to get us to buy into their ploy to keep on keepin' on with the status quo. Sorry dudes...I won't ever forget the time when my Babygirl was working the graveyard shift to buy gas for a sub-sub compact vehicle just to commute to school an hour away. Which was precisely when I was dividing the gas in the can between the mower and the Toyota. Some things you just don't get past us without harboring a tad of bitterness toward ginormous corporations, et al. What kind of idiot has the gonads to fly on a private jet to Washington asking for free money from us taxpayers? Don't EVEN get me started, or we'll have another Boston Tea Party.

The Dubya administration will most likely show up in the history books a few years from now as the black hole that almost devoured our country, one Republican asshat at a time. The high points? Bill Frist and Terri Schiavo. Junior and his entourage driving smooth past Cindy Sheehan and friends refusing to discuss her grief. Katrina and her aftermath. All of these were knee jerk reactions that insulted the intelligence of the American people by daring to claim that we either didn't know better or couldn't do better for citizens of our nation.

I have a confession to make, and it ain't pretty but it's pure Poops. In the days following the WTC bombing on 9/11 a little piece of me understood the anger toward western ways. I was shocked beyond belief, but I could see the logic of those who can't begin to know what we're about beyond Wall Street and Britney Spears. Generations of folks over there have been inbred with hate for our self indulgence and we bought into it like good little consumers with easy credit at our fingertips. I lived it and survived. So will the big 3.

The way I look at it is this. When life gives you leftovers, make soup. There's a pot on my stove right now begging to be shared with the world. All you need is some cornbread or crackers ^j^
going nuts
I lost my keys earlier in the week, which is not at all an unusal thing for me to do. However, I always find them and this time I haven't. The way I figure it, one of two things happened. Lily the cat loves to push things off of tables just to watch them drop and then she jumps down and plays with whatever it is until she pushes it up under the furniture. I've looked under every stick of furniture in this house and under every cushion. Nada. The most likely explanation is that they fell out of my pocket when I was down on my hands and knees picking up pecans. I'll probably find 'em when I mow the yard next spring. Nice little hardware store guy hooked me up with some new ones for four bucks.

Went up to the kudzu yesterday evening to visit with Yaya and hear the house band. These folks can rock...I'm just saying. Of course Beverly could make anything sound good with that killer voice of hers.

I'll be at the sawmill this weekend so ya'll don't party too hard without me. Things look pretty busy from here to next year, as they always do around the holidays. I'm in charge of dressing, asparagus and deviled eggs for Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's house. I'm not near as organized as my friend Kay who ALWAYS has her dishes in the freezer by halloween, but I do have the cornbread made. The menu for Mom's birthday luncheon included quiche lorraine, baked pineapple, asparagus rollups and baby carrots. A good time was had by all four of us and we are still stuffed today.

The woods close to the main road look like a tornado has ripped through them but my brother explains that it is the "green" way to cut timber taking out only the tops of selected trees allowing for re-growth. Imagine that. What a helluva conservationist!

I will leave you with this touching holiday greeting that was sent to me by my good friend Chucky. " If the Natives had given the Pilgrim Fathers a donkey instead of a turkey we would all be having a piece of ass for Thanksgiving."

Over and out from Pecan Lane. Keep the faith ^j^
girl power
Happy Birthday Mom. Love ya...mean it ^j^
pass the straterra
I swear ya'll. If I didn't know better, I'd swear I'm suffering from ADHD, middle adult onset, of course. It sorta' goes like this. There is a day job for which I was trained many MANY years ago when I was a much younger woman. It (almost) pays the bills for me and the babygirl to live here on Pecan Lane close to the grands. Sometimes the job provides an opportunity to bond with those who light up when they see my face. I love it when that happens.

Lately, though, I find myself wondering about all the things that I want to do and can't seem to find time for because I've been too busy going in a thousand different directions chasing my tail trying to solve the most current fiscal household problem. You see, I've always had this vision and a passion for life that just won't quit. There was a time or two that I damn near lost them, but somehow faith always brings 'em both back around to keep me going in the right direction, toward the light.

Tomorrow's forecast is windy. I can imagine those pecans dropping already. Oh, and guess who made an A on her Capstone paper? I'll give you a hint. It wasn't me.

third time's charm
It seems that Faith doesn't like smelling good because she just got her third bath in three days to wash off the stinky smell that she insists on rolling all over. Poor thing tried to crawl up in the cabinet under the bathroom sink to get away from me but it didn't work. I'm bigger than her. And a whole bunch more ornery.

The daily ritual now includes bending and stooping to pick up pecans and sort 'em by size into the buckets riding the back seat of the trusty old Camry with three hubcaps, one tail light and three door handles. She's never very clean anyway, but this time of year there's leaves and dirt all over the interior to accentuate the various and sundry stains and bits of trash. As a bonus, it turns out that bending my fat ass over and bringing it back upright doing legsquats is good exercise. Let's just say that I'm feeling the burn.

My beloved and funny as hell mother turns 75 on Thursday and I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something special that doesn't cost a lot. So I said to myself "Self...she would love your company." I'm off that day so I plan to cook a few things out of her world famous cookbook and surprise her with a luncheon that includes her younger sister. Maybe we can pass the time and catch up on some happenings from the past and present. We've had two new grandbabies hatched already this year with another one in the oven due around Christmas. Yeah...seems like the family is expanding somewhat. I hope they don't all expect a present because I'm broke, thanks to DirecTV ahd Dubya.

Things were hopping at the sawmill today because "you know who" was seeing patients in the ER and ordering everything he was big enough to. That's a story for another day, and one that repeats itself all over the country when docs try to cover their butts instead of using the old thinking cap and doing a differential diagnosis. This ain't my first rodeo...or even my tenth. Wonder of wonders! Sisa's pop survived the surgery, got off of the vent and was sittin' up in his bed reading the paper today. There ain't much in that rag of interest, but he's been in the ozone for a few days so it was all news to him, bless his heart. By the way...Obama is still president-elect, Pop.

Hmmm...what else? Maybe more.

Later ^j^
who let the dogs out
This is the view from my kitchen window. The colors and shadows change according to the season, but it's been pretty much mine for twenty odd years. I say a great big thank you to Big Ernie everytime I step up to that porcelain sink to wash dishes and enjoy such a view.

All three dawgs got a bath last night. Faith promptly went out and rolled in shit today, because that's what happy country dogs do. Poor thing just wants to go duck huntin' but nobody will teach her how to swim and fetch. What a shame.

I went by the feed store yesterday and got some mesh bags for the pecan crop and a bag of fertilizer for the asparagus bed. Oh, yeah. And a big sack of black oil sunflower seed for the birdies to eat this winter. It was a bit warmer today so I ventured out on bended knee to steal some pecans from the squirrels. There's about ten different sizes out there but the best ones are at the bottom of the lane...Stuarts. We're expecting a freeze this week so that ought to snap 'em right out of the hull.

Here's a recipe ya'll might enjoy if you happen to come across some spare pecans.


4 cups pecans
2T Country Bob's sauce
2T A1 sauce
1 stick butter

Melt all except pecans in microwave. Stir in pecans to coat. Spread on baking sheet and salt. Bake in 325 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring and salting at ten minute intervals. Drain on paper towels and store in airtight container.



Okay, then. The weekend is finally here and that sucker is MINE. I'm kickin' it off with music, beer and cleaning up the hogpen crib. Rain is at the back door. Dogs are on the couch. All is well in my little world and I am free to reflect on the capricious nature of the past two weeks of life. All I can say is thank you to Big Ernie for faith that kicks in at just the right moment.

The great DirecTV robbery remains under investigation with no resolution thus far. Doesn't look much like anybody will get a diamond ring or new car for Christmas, if you know what I mean. However, there are pecans aplenty to be picked up, cracked, cleaned and roasted. Iron skillet #2 of cornbread is in the oven in preparation for our upcoming Thanksgiving feast, Stafford style.

This has been an interesting week at the sawmill for me, personally, as I have had a vested interested in two particular patients outside of the usual realm of quality patient care. Both of them are tough old birds with a fierce will to live. Ms. Betty had a very serious operation last week but did well and hopefully went home today. Her oldest son is an old high school friend with whom I chat occasionally when he's in the mood to share, which ain't often. Usually he's wired like a NASCAR driver on crack.

The prognosis looked quite grim for my best friend Sisa's pop as he headed into surgery to stop the bleeding from a big fat honking bladder tumor. A COPD patient, he couldn't be put to sleep so the plan was to get up in there under epidural and see what could be done. Plan A didn't work and they had to knock him out and entubate. Wonder of wonders, the tube came out yesterday and he's doing fine. Tell me Big Ernie ain't good ya'll. There is a plan and all we have to do is show up. Really.

We almost had two new critters this week but it wasn't meant to be. Bubba called the other day asking if I had the time to bottle feed a calf if he made it through the night. My first thought was WTF but the idea grew on me and Babygirl was excited at the prospect too. Poor thing didn't live so I imagine he's down in the cattle graveyard. Mama cow will be burger come spring because there was no milk. Such is life on the farm.

Cousins Debbie and Ronnie (aka sexy) live in Kentucky and love animals about like we do. They had this young beagle named Barney that needed a place romp and play so they were going to pass him on to me because I have a weakness for that breed, so to speak. Goes back to my childhood trauma of seeing my favorite pet Nosey get run over while I was playing in the ditch in front of the house. Anyways, Barney didn't make it either. Dude dug out of his pen and ran right smack out in front of a truck on Highway 95. *sigh* He's up there in doggie heaven with Nosey I reckon.

More later from Pecan Lane. Keep the faith ^j^
every picture tells a story
day of honor
I don't have a clue who this guy is. Up at the kudzu last month, Bev asked me to to snap his pic, fresh back from a tour in Iraq. Though I have ranted and raved and expressed much opinion against this war, I do appreciate those who have served our country like the ones before them. This one's for you, dude.

it's good to be queen

Happy 25th birthday Anna!
pecan eatin' dogs and twin calves

Oh my...what an eventful weekend it has been on the farm. It is calving season and Bubba comes out a couple of times a day to check the herd and see who has given birth so he can tag 'em and match up baby with Mama. Yesterday I did a ridealong with him in the old blue Chevy truck. We meandered through pastures and gaps and found one calf who had just been born! Mama hadn't even cleaned up the mess yet, so we kept our distance after he got it tagged. The twins were born earlier in the week....a rarity that I suppose you could call bonus meat. One of them is feeding with the mother and the other has been adopted by another cow. It's funny how nature works like that.

Pecans are starting to fall on a regular basis when the wind and rain blow through to nudge them out of the hull. Looks like a good year, which is a fortunate thing since all three dogs like to eat 'em shell and all. I've got a couple of those picker-upper thingies but do my best work down on my hands and knees once the leaves are raked away. Five gallon buckets will ride in the back seat of the trusty old Camry from now through December to collect the manna on trips back and forth to town. It's cold work but something I can't bear to pass up. When Big Ernie sees fit to drop you a gift, you pick it up.

I'm going to consult an attorney about the great DirecTV robbery and see if I have a prayer in my complaint against the thievin' bastards. I sincerely hope that their CEO chokes on my hard earned five hundred bucks while he's out with a call girl on a tropical island. No..wait. I hope he gets an STD! Something really nasty like herpes would be fitting.

I've often wondered why in the name of all that is holy that ANYBODY would want to be president. Most of 'em are millionaires before they ever get there so it's not about the money. In the case of Obama, he and Biden have inherited a huge clusterfuck of a mess in this country with economic woes out the wazoo and consumer confidence at an all time low. Yes we can? I certainly hope so.

Over and out. Ya'll have a good week. If you're really good Santa might bring you some pecans from the lane.

As shitty weeks go, I'd probably have to put this one up there in the playoffs, complete with brackets. Faithful old Poops has taken a couple of hits that threaten to kill injure the spirit that is pure optimist on most days. It all started with the great DirecTV robbery of my checking account.

I've been a long time customer of said company without a contract. I noticed that there were some overcharges on the bill for some length of time and when I called to get some resolution earlier this year their telephone answerer couldn't really give me my money back but offered a ten dollar a month credit on my bill for a year and a free! upgrade! to a DVR receiver. Okay...so we weren't even, but I took it. Last month I decided to take advantage of a bundling deal with my telephone provider so I called DTV to terminate service and settle up. Much to my surprise that day's telephone answerer told me that I was in an 18 month contract with their company and I would be charged an early termination fee. Hmmm...phone answerer #1 failed to mention that little detail. Anyway, long story short. I know ya'll are ready to go out and party like a rock star.

I look at my checking account online daily. When I logged in Monday I saw a big fat honkin' charge from DirecTV of almost 500 bucks, charged to my debit card without my authorization. I pay by the month when the money is there, and I do it with a debit card which they had on file. Anybody who has spent any time around Casa Poops knows for damn sure there ain't 500 extra bucks laying around in there collecting interest. Fortunately it was soon after payday so I had time to run to the credit union and borrow FIVE HUNDRED FREAKIN' DOLLARS to cover this unauthorized debit. It is in dispute with both huge corporate rapist company and bank. We shall see if Big Ernie thinks I've paid enough dues as a hard-working-single-mother-of-a-college-student. Let us pray and be specific.

My friend Elizabeth works at the sawmill too and we have been through piles and piles of shit there during the multiple sales of said facility. We were the clinical backbone of the IS conversion in conjunction with our most recent sale. She earned a well deserved Employee of the Year status the next go around. She had a stroke this week, most likely stress induced from crunching numbers the hard way for a giant corporation. Making do with less while producing more. She is expected to recover fully, but the whole deal just put another nail in the coffin that holds my belief in any sort of goodness associated with big business.

The one bright spot was Tuesday morning, waking up to the news that at least America didn't elect McCain and Palin. Somebody has been watching Comedy Central, I suspect. Or maybe they're just tired of lies and war. Who the hell knows at this point. Following months of bitter back biting over coffee pots and keyboards everywhere, it is a done deal. How about we just take what we've got and grow that peace and love idea, huh?

Then of course, there's the man in the cave thing. I have always been one to listen to guys like a therapist or something instead of making them earn my attention and affection. I don't try too hard, but I'm a good friend and listener and meet people where they are, even the ones with baggage. I thought I had honed my instincts during six years of single life to the point that I could see a direct hit coming. My bad. That's "Sister Elizabeth Jane of the Diocese of Pecan Lane" to ya'll from now on.


I'm just saying..the colors are awesome.

I'll be over here this month.
bless our hearts

This election is historic in many ways, one of which is that it happens to be the one during which I finally took off the rose colored glasses and grew up. I understand very clearly now that it doesn't matter much who's the CEO and vice CEO of the country because it's corporate Congress that makes the decisions which affect our daily lives and they just let the Prez show up for the roll-out. Most have perks that none of us could dare imagine, and while they run the show we the people have to take our places on the stage and act the part. We should pay closer attention to what they're doing and call 'em on things that need to be changed. That's just my humble opinion. Oh, and term limits :) Don't get the Mambo King started on THAT one!

Cousin Deb just called from KY and we discussed the joys of fall and winter gardening. Helps to get past the depression of dark at 4:30 for a few months. This is when the bed and the dogs start looking mighty good around 8:30. That's one of the nicer things about aging...that it doesn't seem like a waste at all to give it up and rest. It's a necessity. I talked to an school old friend out in Seattle yesterday who has a freakin' seven year old and wouldn't trade one minute of it BUT....she's even more weary than me.

Oh, and just to let you know that this old girl still has the right stuff? I got blood from the arm of a 5 day old today after four other people tried. Yeah...they're gonna miss me when I'm gone.


"The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil."--Hannah Arendt
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