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old groupies never die

...they just get their fat asses up and out of the flannel and go listen to some fine ass rock music. It was sort of a private concert for the Poops since NOT ONE other fan was there to watch. There were folks at the bar hittin' on each other but nobody to appreciate the talent. That's okay....it was fun for me and that's what I'm all about.

I met the drummer and bass player several years ago when they opened for Jimi Jamison at the late great Midnight Rodeo while Bubba was there. The other members are different and only add to the great mix of classic rock jamming. While a lot of folks were shaking their asses to AC/DC down in Memphis, I sat there and chair danced. Thanks a bunch Cruzer!

The sun is out and it's above 40. Life is definitely looking up.

friday already?

Is it just me or has this been a mighty loooooong week? Many of my co-workers still have no power and the weariness shows in their eyes. According to bosslady's hubby who looks at these things, Missouri and Kentucky are a freakin' trainwreck. Thanks to the swift deposit of my income tax refund, there will be propane at our house this weekend. For the first time in two weeks! Staying warm isn't a problem...me not being able to play in the kitchen is a BIG one.

I splurged today on a tens unit for my aching shoulder. It's time to get it taken care of before the carpal tunnel thingy gets any worse. If I can't type, I can't work. And well...ya'll know. You gotta work.

My plans were to go see my favorite local rock band up the road tonight, but I'm already thinking that flannel and dogs sounds mighty good. My lazy twin will probably kick the wannabe party girl's fat ass.

Ya'll keep the faith.

i want to go to there
The sun didn't even try to come out today.

strike two
It took approximately thirty minutes to uncover the Camry this morning and thirty minutes to make the ten minute drive. Not bad considering I had power and many MANY others didn't. This one has been a monster for those in Arknasas, Kentucky and Missouri not to mention farther west. One of our co-workers is in Chicago training on a new piece of equipment and somebody talked to her yesterday. It was above zero so she was pretty happy.

One of the other guys up there has been looking at my Pap smears for a couple of years now, and he called today with good news. Completely normal. Several hours later yet another one told me that she had been praying for that. I love it when that happens, don't ya'll?

I managed to get some pretty pics today after it lightened up a bit, but the best will be tomorrow when the sun comes out. Maybe I'll see a rainbow in one of those crystals.

BG and I have been studying dental implants because she's overdue for one. She's been missing a front tooth since they all came in...one of those congenital things that my mother also had. When her braces came off, a bridge went in with the understanding that it wouldn't last much past 20. Which was right. It breaks about once a week. Time for a new tooth! We are toying with ideas about how to celebrate her graduation in May with a girl trip. For both of us, it's been way too long.

As my dear friend LPT says from East Tennessee....Happy Hump Day ^j^
strike one
Driving to work this morning was like fairyland as the giant pecan trees draped themselves in ice. The back porch and windshield had to be de-iced but it was a safe drive in the rain to the sawmill and various destinations afterwards. One of those was to the OB/GYN for another dang PAP smear. Let's get this thing over with. If this one's not normal, it's time for the big H. I mean, it's not like I'm gonna have more kids or anything *snort* Did ya'll see those proud doctors out in California when that gal had EIGHT babies? Lordhavemercy and bless her heart. And amen, too.

Anyways, back at the ranch stirrups, we've discussed that since I had a LEAP that no endocervical cells had been noted by the pathologist, meaning that after the procedure the cervical juncture changed. While the specimens are adequate, they don't really represent the "big picture". I can bet you a million bucks dude got there today. I thought I was gonna cry for mommy. And guess what? I lost eleven pounds and didn't do anything different except pick up a thousand pounds of pecans. Ain't life grand? Sometimes I truly understand why my boss won't go.

Tomorrow morning promises to be not quite as lucky as this one, I'm afraid. I've already lined up a ride with my brother because frankly, if I'm gonna die on the road it might as well be with him ^j^

Ya'll go get some rock salt, right now. Tell 'em Poopie sent ya.
hunker down
There's a big fat honkin' ice storm headed our way so all the 'burgers are scurrying around to get bread and milk and pizza rolls for the kids who won't go to school tomorrow. Back in the day, I'd have to round up daycare for BG when that happened...usually her MeMaw and G'daddy would keep her. Usually there wasn't enough slippery stuff to make a difference except on county roads but will buses running, everybody got a snow day.

After sleeping in this morning, I went down to visit Mom and found Bubba there firing up the generator for a test "just in case." After he left she and I talked about this and that sharing a few laughs and some tears. My cellphone rang and I answered to a sweet little voice that I recognized telling me that my bank had received a credit to my account for the great DTV robbery. Three.months.later. Knowing the thieving ways of DirecTV, I'm sure they didn't pitch in. Whoever saw fit to give a poor girl a break is truly appreciated. Thank you bank ladies!

This weekend at the sawmill was one of those where I found myself shaking my head and asking "WTF am I doing here?" I'll spare you the details. Just know that today off and some beer will cure all until tomorrow rolls around. A big shout out to my backup in Memphis who cheerily took the early morning crisis call.

The one sure way to ward off bad weather is to be prepared so I stopped off at the store to get a box for my windshield and some de-icer. Ha...take that, winter!! The horse is fed, the sun is out and I'm kozy with kerosene.

Must be the calm BEFORE.

the one that always makes me cry
does that come in bold print?
Never in a brazillion years would I have imagined that the particular set of circumstances in which I find myself would be my middle age. You know....when you're a kid or a teenager or even thirtysomething, you just don't think about being a grownup and not having it all together in a neat little pile that you can gaze at lovingly and chat about things back in the day. Life just doesn't work that way.

Most folks my age are caught between semi supporting kids in their twenties and trying to figure out how to manage end-of-life care for their aging parents. The ones who never grew up are still coasting along as if life owes them a good time. Sometimes I wish I were one of those people who get taken care of because they can't do any better. Sometimes I wish I was still the baby.

Like Sam.
friday night live
magical jolts
I wore a tens unit on my shoulders for eight hours on Tuesday at full throttle, if that tells you anything about how tied up in a knot I was. Yesterday I was a bit sore. Today I feel like I've been beat about the head and shoulders. But it's RELAXED! Maybe that will hold me 'til I can get a massage.

Off yesterday and today, I've been piddling and cleaning and doing whatever I feel like doing and it's absolutely the most heavenly feeling. Things have warmed up a bit so the doors are open, airing out the kerosene fumes from the deep freeze days. There are STILL people coming out on the lane to pick up pecans. That..is unheard of in January. Usually by this time the squirrels and crows have picked off whatever was left.

My mom has macular degeneration and doesn't see well. The state has an agency that serves the blind and helps them with cool toys for the sight impaired. Her latest buy was a big button phone with memory on it. I sat in the floor with she and Daddy yesterday reading the instructions on how to store numbers while they shouted them out to me from cell phones and paper scraps. I guess you had to be there, but it was freakin' hilarious! Daddy said the guy who shoots crows would be around soon to get rid of their ornery birdie butts.

Miss Kitty, the "special" one, is still circling. When I first stated feeding her I gave her the good stuff...canned Nine Lives. Then BG got some four for a buck kind at the dollar store. When we ran out of that, I gave her the gourmet treat again and she wouldn't eat! Seems her delicate taste buds prefer the cheap stuff. Whatever works, I say.

I haven't been around to visit, and that must change! Expect me to come calling in the near future.

true story
I stood in the huddle gathered in our waiting room today, eyes glued on the TV as we witnessed the inauguration of President Obama. Patients drifted in and watched with us in between IDs and blood drawing. BG and her co-workers watched in spurts today while herding elementary school kids. I think it'll kinda be like "remember where you were when...." with this particular day in political history.

One of my co-workers said she thought it was silly to make such a big deal about him being the "first black president." There are two lovely African American ladies who work as part of our team. Miss Anita is one of them. We stood there watching the babygirl play and chuckling about how they will do that. She's got two little grandgirls herself. I asked her if she ever thought she'd see the day. She was quiet for a minute, but explained the silence vividly. " Me..I've never really seen true hardship, but my mama sure did."

i am an american
Hopefully today was the last round of the great Bush vs Obama debate up at the sawmill. A mere three of us have dared over the years to question the legitimacy of Bush's decisions. For that, our patrotism has been questioned and our mamas' lineage made light of. One friend, who is a real Bushie, told me today that she can't help it...she "still thinks he's a nice man." I told her that I didn't blame him personally for all that has happened, though a lot of people have. I just believe that he went into the whole thing naiive as a schoolgirl and was counseled on some serious issues by those with everything to gain. And it wasn't we the people. Hey, it happens in real life too.

Senator Obama may find himself in that situation as well. Hopefully, he will be wise enough to see through those situations and do what is right for all Americans.....black, white, hispanic and every other citizen of the country that he leads. It is a serious responsibility to guide a country as complex as ours in this day and time. Division of the people who live here based on racial or partisan lines will do nothing but hurt us all in the long run. I did not vote for Obama, but I will support him until he gives me reason not to. I'm kind of Pollyanna like that.

If you will remember back over the years, the whole financial mess started wayyyyyyyy before Dubya stepped foot into the White House. A trade deficeit with China has been chasing us like a hungry wolf and damaged the infrastructure of industry in the US. We grabbed onto the easy credit back in the day and are surprised that the whole house of cards falls.

One of the most intelligent things that I've heard spoken came from Arianna Huffington on TV today. She embraced the ideal of having a strong grandmotherly presence in the White House as a model for the rest of us to bond as families, something that has gone by the wayside in our hurry hurry atmosphere and long distances. As a strong proponent of hospice care, I can tell you there was no shortage before the 1950s of loving caring folk to heal the sick and minister to the dying. Everybody lived together. They dealt with it.

I hate pollution and global warming ( yes, i believe it's real ) I abhor industrial waste that is killing the natural gifts that are our rivers and wildlife. And I cringe at the thought of a CEO of ANY big corporation making enough money to cure cancer. I believe that insurance companies have each and every one of by the gonads and won't let go until forced by someone in authority. The healthcare industry in this country is fractured and inefficient, mainly because so much of it is focused on the almighty dollar. There's got to be a better way to manage distribution of such a basic human right.

Peace out ya'll ^j^
the big chill thaw

To all you folks who live in Minnesota and do that freezing thing for three months, bless ya'lls hearts. We only had three days of it and managed to use every last vapor of propane that remained in the tank. Never fear, though. BG's boyscout friend hauled a kerosene heater out of the basement and fired it up, complete with a pan of water on top. Today it is warm enough to cook on the grill outside, so that is what's happening as we speak.

This has been a most excellent weekend for me. Sleep, long and hard. Piddle 'n play. Try to get my shit together a bit. I haven't visited the people who live in my computer for a long long time and that's okay because the shoulder is less painful. The better to tap out lab results for healthcare clients, no?

No matter what your political affiliation, this week promises to be a milestone in American history. To all of you who can't go with the flow, I say "Deal with it." There are so many great things about this country and its' citizens that I get literally sick listening to partisan bickering and the lack of concern for who we are as individuals.

Have a great week....and keep the faith ^j^
the new normal

It's odd how it hit me with a ton of bricks yesterday how much I've missed having a roommate with hours that complement mine. For three years now it's been tippy toe land around here while my BG tried to catch a nap between work and school. Her internship is day!!! shift at a local elementary school and she already loves it, week one not complete. We actually met each other in the kitchen this morning for toast and chat. The noisy hairdryer buzzes in the morning instead of after I've gone to bed with the dogs. Sweet.

Bubba and I went riding in Daddy's truck yesterday to check on the cows before the cold hit today. They were still running around playing like kids in the ditches then. I imagine they're hunkering down right about now, snuggling up to mama cow's rump away from the wind. Old Mr. Bull gets out to play amongst them in about a week so he's getting kind of impatient. Especially when I took his picture and didn't put anything in the trough.

I'm off for three...the shoulder is still tight and painful. Ya'll grab something warm and hang on. This too shall pass.

like a rock

My left shoulder, that is. It has been a huge mass of balled up muscle lesions off and on since I was in my twenties. When the stress of life gets really out of control, it kinda hurts. Like a LOT. Physical therapy usually does the trick, but that ain't in the budget. Neither is a massage. Just my typical poopie luck.

I catch myself in a race many days, putting out fires at home and at work with little thought to how that adrenaline is zapping my body. Hey...it keeps me going, okay? I spend all day at a computer screen only to face one at night just to keep me company. Well, it used to be that way. A couple of months ago I moved it from my bedroom to the dining room so that BG and I can share and not wake the mom up on precious days off. It was the best thing I ever did. Out of sight and out of mind. Now I've got the TV all up in there :)

Until that tingling in the left hand stops? It's time to take a break from the keyboard. I'll keep you posted.


lenten delight
Most Christians think of Lent as a period of giving things up in preparation for the big celebration. Most of the time they are important things that we love dearly and just have to SEE if we can survive without. I mean, after all. Look at what he did for us. This year my letting go will be of a relationship that is unpredictable in a scary sort of way. Not abusive, but definitely one sided. See you on the other side of Easter, dude.

The funeral was a warm mixture of hugs and celebration for a life well lived. I sat with Daddy and his sisters and cousins, surrounded by my heritage as they lay another one of theirs to rest. I'm such a camera hound, I always carry mine with me so I couldn't pass on the photo op. Ain't they a happy looking bunch?

Ya'll try to stay warm. In my experience having a couple or three dogs will do the trick.

cousins and bird
Back when we were kids, it was nothing for every single one of my Daddy's family to pack up the kids and fried chicken and head to Mississippi for the yearly family reunion. Daddy had three older sisters who took care of him when he broke both arms as a boy when he fell out of the hay loft. I can so see them wiping his little man behind and shushing him the whole time! They lived on a pice of land where his Daddy farmed and the rest of them helped during and after the Great Depression. I'm talking hard times like nobody with an IPod ever thought about seeing. Every time I start feeling sorry for not having the money to get something, I try to remember that part of my history and be thankful.

Over the years the kids grew and didn't really have the desire to attend, so it turned into a gathering of cousins. They picked different places and came together every now and then to catch up. I've met many of them over the years though I coldn't tell you who all the seconds and thirds are.

Cousin Earl died this week after a long illness. His daughter Sandy is one third that I have stayed in touch with and she is home from West Virginia. Mom and Daddy and I are hooking up tomorrow for the funeral. Is it just me, or does it seem like more and more time is spent in the undertaker's parlor these days. I've gotta hand it to Yaya...she never misses a visitation if she can help it. I admire her for that...think Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur with high heels and lipstick. I don't do well in "stand in long lines and make small talk" situations, so I usually attend the service or show up at the graveside.

There is nothing more somber than standing under a funeral tent with an umbrella close by during a graveside service. The burial for my boss/friend's daddy was just such an occasion. Looked just like a freakin' Alfred Hitchcock movie. But sometimes I think that attending a burial on a pleasant day is worse because the whole world seems to be going on normally while the little congregation says good-bye to a loved one. Tomorrow is forecast to be cool and rainy.

I also believe that there is a lesson in each experience and relationship. Sometimes you don't see it until much later, which is kind of the case here. As hard as it is to deal with the grief that surrounds death, it is inevitable and the best thing that can be achieved is a big fat group hug for those who are hurting. A lot of my dearest friendships have been cemented in this way. When you go to the dang cemetary with somebody, you love 'em with all your heart.

Stay warm. Hug your pets. Kiss the wind.

Keep the faith ^j^
window of opportunity
I don't know ya'll, but I think I'm in total mind love with the new guy in charge of fixing taking a big fat Quixote style jab at the clusterf**k that is our healthcare delivery system. Way too much of it is about money with compassion and empathy a mere dab of gravy on the top of corporate America's pile of mashed 'taters. I speak from experience. Tons of it.

From Halloween 'til Easter, blood banks have to scurry just to keep their shelves halfway stocked with red cells or platelets from those who take the time out of the perpetual rat race to help make a life easier. My good friend Fennie was one of those who outlived sickle cell anemia thanks to regular transfusions. She died about three years ago after giving her testimony at a dinner for donors. When I first met her, she was gruff and tough but I wouldn't accept that. We became friends in spite of it and I still miss her, yellow eyes and all.

Things get broken when government is too big for its' britches. That is what has happened to us here in the US. Of course the Corey B. Trotz's of the world haven't helped matters. When a desire to help people turns into a race to see who can make the most money, dignity gets lost in the process.

I just pray that somebody with faith is minding the store.

fixer upper
In real estate lingo, that's the catch phrase that would describe my house. Built in 1918 during the boom times of WWI it was home to some of those who oversaw the Ferguson Farm operation. As the story goes, Dr. Ferguson made a brazillion bucks selling raincoats for soldiers and purchased the property with his fortune. The only other house on our lane was built around that time as well. My parents live in a log cabin that was originally a hunting lodge for visitors of the family,, circa 1940ish.

Back in the day there was a huge dairy barn that still stands with silos saluting proudly on one end. There were hogs, chickens, cattle and asparagus as a cash crop. Orchards galore. A schoolhouse chock full of children who would rather be out playing by the river than dragging squeaky chalk over their black boards, spelling out their ABCs carefully so that some spinster teacher could pass by and give the work an obligatory glance.

Over our years here as a family, BG and I have often dreamed about the possibilities for such a fine old residence. When she was a teenager all she wanted was a room in the attic complete with a 2nd bathroom. Never happened. Most of her memories were made in the basement where the colored monikers of teenaged love still adorn the steps and walls. Kate loves Josh! Addie was here :) Melissa. Jon. Woody, et al. What was I thinking????????? My most vivid basement memory is the time when Chris M smacked his forehead wide open when he ran up the stairs and failed to duck. His bad. Lots of blood. Yet he's alive and well to this day. Just call me mother-of the-year, umkay?

We have paint and tile on the walls and nice flooring on the main level. The few tedious details that remain are not essential, but will get done eventually when the spirit moves. And it will, as it always does.

faith goes bar hopping

If you've been a reader here for any length of time you have read of the multiple adventures that my chocolate lab Faith has experienced. I've bailed her out of the humane society three times at fifty bucks a shot and picked her up at various locations around the county where kind folks pick her up and call the vet's office for my number. Most of the time when she feels the wanderlust, she ends up at the UPS hub across the highway. I guess that got boring because today's call came from the nearby biker bar.

Road Hawg Saloon sits across the by-pass from the road to my house and opened in October of last year. I went by on opening night and didn't see anybody I knew so I moved on down the road toward home. Today was my first visit since then when I went to fetch my pretty girl from inside. Her keeper was a lovely young lady named Lindsay wearing her leather chaps and tending to the quiet that is a bar at noon. She showed me around and I was impressed with the progress...looks very nice. The sign out front advertises BABES!BIKES!BEER!and she is sure a babe to take care of Faith on her latest excursion. A big shout out to the owner too, for bringing her in from the freezing rain and sleet. That fellow gets a pecan pie.

It is cold and wet and I'm in for the day. Life is good.

bloom where you're planted

I did that little diddy up in counted crossstich back when I could see well enough to find the holes in #18 aida wielding a sharp instrument. My mama still has it displayed proudly at home in the red log cabin. She is responsible for my artistic side, always nurturing my spirit with regular doses of Mary Engelbreit crack for the weary smartass country gal soul. If I ever have to buy my own calendar I'll pitch a fit like ya'll ain't EVER seen outside of a NASCAR track. I'm low maintenance to a point, but gah.

BG has a week off from real life to hang out here at the house and bond. This? Is a very good thing, my friends. Enough said.

I've come to the gradual realization that I do have some talents and that I should focus more on them than the mundane money making things that keep the lights burning and buy cat food. And dog food. And people food! That is why you will find me off and on in the basement straightening up shit stuff and making general areas for things like woodworking and growin' shit planting. It will be my place to play. I'm kind of liking that idea. A big shout out to my sis-in-law for planting the seed that sprouted that particular frame of mind. And to the smartass photographer, of course. And Idgie :)

I was in a total funk all day after 72 hours of lounging and having to get up off of my fat ass to run the circles on that concrete floor at the sawmill. The most annoying thing is that tube system that delivers specimens from the ER to eager phlebotomists whomever is closest or outwaits everybody else. There are so many alarms in that place you have to follow the beep to find out what's not working right. Enough about that. It gets tiresome.

I'm seriously considering turning on the AC because it's sort of warm and humid up in here at the moment. Not good for January in Tennessee. That's where tornadoes come from.

Please ignore the cobwebs in the pics and pretend that I've already hauled the Rainbo downstairs to suck all the dust up. I know it's a stretch, but humor me, okay?

Peace out kids.

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