Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Baby Ruth Called

The other evening, I had just stepped outside to check on Pete.  He had been burning some cedar branches he had trimmed off our large tree by the porch.  While I was out, I got a call.

When I came back in, Bug told me I had a call.  Said she didn't want to get up and lose her place in her book to answer it.  I go over and listen to the voice mail.  I hear a funny little racket and then I hear:  "Mawmaw.  I call mawmaw.  I call mawmaw.  I call mawmaw...."  Over and over she said it until the message cut her off.  

So, I dialed the number.  Candy Girl answered.  I told her I had gotten a call from her cell phone.  She said she hadn't called.  I told her it was Baby Ruth.  

Candy Girl put Baby Ruth on the phone.  I said "Hi, did you call Mawmaw?"  And we talked.  I understood enough to know she was baking cookies with mommy for her daddy.  

Baby Ruth turned two this month.  She talks so big for such a little girl.  Here she is all decked out for Easter before Sunday morning service.


Z is for Zeta, as in Greek Sororities


How's that for a reach to get where you want to go? I attended Stephen F. Austin State University in beautiful, historic Nacogdoches, TX from the fall of 1979 until summer of 1981. I was about three hours short of being a “Junior” when I decided to leave college and go to work if I found a good job. I did and I left.

But while I was at SFA, the first year, during Greek Week, I decided to pledge Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority, Gamma Theta Chapter. Admittedly, I was not the type of person who was into things “Greek” in general. I found much of the Greek culture to be snobbish and against the individuality I cherished. So, I was surprised and impressed when I stumbled upon a sorority who's primary purpose was to unite individuals in sisterhood for service. This appealed to me.

Pledging was silly, fun and hard work. In many ways we were like other Greeks. We had a Big Sisters and Little Sisters, a Brother Fraternity we'd team up with on projects and for socializing. My chosen activity was our adopted grandmother, Mrs. June Summers. Visiting her. Taking her to plays. Taking her to bingo at the Masons Hall. I'm not sure who benefited the most from that relationship, what with me being grandparent-less long before that time.

As a group we had many varied activities. The hardest one was cleaning the stadium after football games. Whew! Who knew how messy folks could be in the stands!

Our group was hit by tragedy while I was there. One of our most beloved sisters, Penny, died in a car accident. It was a hard time. But we bonded together and made the trip to Houston for her funeral.

I stayed semi in touch after I left college. Then those I knew graduated and moved on. Received the newsletter for many years. Always planned to go back and visit during pledge week so the pledges could get me to sign their pledge books and earn points. But I never did. Always seemed like life had me busy or bound to home.

Perhaps one year soon me and Bug will make the trip. Give her the chance to see SFA and allow me to encourage some up and coming Gamma Thetas.

Gather sisters round and sing.
To these bond we'll ever cling.
For we know we'll always pass the test,
of being the best of all the rest.
We're G-a-m, Gam, m-a, Gamma,
S-i-g, Sig, ma, Sigma
G-a-m, Gam, m-a, Gamma Sigma!”



Were you ever Greek?







Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yarn


Yarn can be a tall tale, a story. Daddy was an awesome storyteller. That's where I got my storytelling ability. Daddy always told his verbally. I almost always write mine. If you are visiting my blog for the first time, I urge you to read at least one of my “storytelling” entries. They are so much better than these entries about me. Any of those under “Remembering Family” in my sidebar. Or most anything from the previous two years A-Z Challenges. Or for a funny one, try: Yes, That's My Purse.

Yarn is also fibers you can knit or crochet with. I have never tried knitting. I can crochet a granny square. That's it. That's all. Mama taught me to crochet, to embroidery, to sew. And when I was younger I did it all. What I did do, I did very well. But to me it felt like work, not pleasure. So, I haven't done any of that since Bug was maybe three years old. Now she's about to be fifteen this summer. Maybe when I'm “old” and retired I'll do that stuff. Who knows.

What are your view on Yarn? Either kind.  


Monday, April 28, 2014

XOXO

X's and O's. Or hugs and kisses. In general, I love hugs and kisses! I grew up in an affectionate family. But I have my boundaries.

Kisses (X) are reserved for family. Kisses are on the cheek, unless it's Pete.
On a small child, back of the neck kisses are wonderful!

Hugs (O) I'll share with almost anyone. I usually hug all of Bubba and Bugs friends. At church, I like to hug many of the people I talk to there or greet. (Our church is big on hugs!) To me, it helps us all feel like family...which we are in the Lord.

Where do you draw your boundaries on hugs (O) and kisses (X)? 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Western

My daddy always wore a Stetson.  In the summer it was straw and breathable.  In the winter it was a grey felt one.  The prior years hat would be for work.  The newer one for dress.  He was not a cowboy.  He never wore jeans that I ever saw.  But he was a man and he lived here in Texas.  It was an acceptable and the preferred style for many of his age.


I grew up watching "shoot 'em ups" with Daddy.  Every western ever broadcast over one of the networks.  In fact, my first true love was a rodeo cowboy named Stoney Burk, who Jack Lord played before his role in the original Hawaii 5-0.

My middle sister, Sarah, married into a family that had long run cattle on the south side of town, in the woods and underbrush.  Funny, then I marry into the family that had run cattle in the woods and underbrush north of town.  

In my younger to mid growing up years, both of my sisters and their husbands were involved in a group of trailriders.  I remember Sarah taking me on one with them.  With Edna, we went to the local rodeo arena.  Everything there from bull riding, to barrel racing.  The best hamburgers!  

For many years, the group of riders on horseback was always the largest group in any parade, second only maybe to the high school marching band.  Pete and Hank and then Pete and his Emmy rode in many.

Now the group that is into all of that is seems to be shrinking.  The old hands and cowboys are dieing off.  

In our house now, we still watch anything Western that comes on TV.  In fact, Pete is watching Rawhide right now.

Do you like westerns?  







Friday, April 25, 2014

Values

Suppose you could say I have simple, old-fashioned, Christian values for the most part.  Here's some of what I believe, live and hold to:

God is real and alive.  

There is only one True God and not everyone is talking about him when they talk about God. 

Marriage = One man + One Woman + God

Homosexuality is a sin, more matter how you slice it.  But so is lying, stealing, adultery, murder, etc. 

The husband should do whatever he can to support and care for his family.  And the wife should support him in that.

The wife should care for the home and children.  And the husband should support her in that.

We owe all who serve our country in the military our gratitude, respect and thanks.

You should do anything you can that is legal and not against God to support your family before asking for or accepting a handout from family or the government.

If you give you word on something, whether in business, to a child, or what, you should do everything you can to stick to that word.

You should pick up after yourself no matter where you are.

Children should never be first.  God should be first, then your spouse, then the children.

Sunday should be a day for God, rest and fellowship.

It's rude to be on a phone or a device in the presence of a real person unless absolutely necessary.

Cheating = Stealing

If you say it, mean it.  If not, keep your mouth shut.

I could go on and on and on. But I think you get the idea.

What are your values?






Thursday, April 24, 2014

Umbrellas

I admit I have a longstanding love/hate relationship with umbrellas.  

Here is why I love them:  when it there is rain falling straight down and you are in wide open spaces they keep you dry.

Here is why I hate them:

No matter how many you own, one will never be handy where and when you need it.

When the wind blows it is hard to hold them steady over you with one hand.

When the rain comes in at a slant, 2/3rds of your body is getting wet anyway.

Getting into or out of a vehicle with an umbrella is hard.

If you have other things to carry, it's almost impossible to juggle an umbrella too.

If you need to navigate a small passage way (like the chain link gate at work with the three rows of barbed wire on top) the umbrella will never fit.

Small, large, expensive or cheap they all end up with a little broken rib at some point.

So I have abandoned umbrellas.  In the winter I have a wonderful, ugly yellow ski jacket that turns water and keeps everything from the knee up dry.  In summer I just get wet:  who cares!  With the humidity in Texas, I already look a fright anyway.  

With all the advancements mankind has made in the past hundred years, you'd think someone would have come up with something better than an umbrella.  Like a little personal force field app you could activate from you cell phone?   Come on geek squad, get to it!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Testimony


ESTIMONY


I've left bits and pieces of my testimony all over this blog and all over the web. No, I haven't been on the witness stand in a courtroom. I'm speaking of my Christian Testimony. Here is the full story in a Reader's Digest Condensed version.



I was raised in a Christian home. Sunday school and church on Sundays (at least). Rainbows and Vacation Bible School in the summer. Prayer before the meals. The only curse words I had ever heard were damn and hell. On both sides of the extended family, family gatherings for holidays were large, noisy occasions of good food, games, pictures, stories and talk....all without any alcohol.


I loved to read my Bible every day and study my Sunday school lesson. Why? Honestly, more because I was a good student than any other reason. And we had little offering envelopes with check boxes on the outside with things like: read Bible, studied lesson, giving, staying for church, brought a guest, etc. I liked checking as many boxes as possible. And the thought of lying or cheating about it never occurred to me. Basically, I was a “good” girl.


When I was eleven (5th grade) some friends and I from church went to see the Billy Graham movie “The Restless Ones” at another church. A couple of my friends got all emotional and cried. I didn't get emotional. But I did realize then and there that being a good girl that went to church all the time would not get me into Heaven. That more was required. That I had to admit even a good girl did things that were wrong according to God (sin) and that I needed to ask Him to forgive me, accept Jesus' death on the cross for me and ask Him to save me. And that it had to be public. So, I went forward publically.
When it was all over, I told Mama and Daddy about it at home. They called our pastor, who came over one day soon and spoke with me. Made sure I had it right and understood it. And he also spoke with Daddy. Who ended up crying and accepting Christ right there in our house. So I had the privilege of being Baptized with my Daddy on a cold December night. (Bug had that same privilege forty years later in a different church on a warm summer day, with her father!)


So, as far as I knew, I was right with God and on track. I attended church camp in the summers. Continued with Sunday school and church. Like so many teens, I sampled my share of doing some “wrong” things. But I had lines I would not cross. As I became an older teen, I fell into the “it doesn't say that exactly in the Bible” way of justifying some attitudes and actions. I read devotions. I prayed fairly regularly. Still thought I knew all that was needed to know to live the Christian life.

Fast-forward a few years. Mama and Daddy are gone. I'm grown. It literally hurts too much to sit in church and not have Mama there. Not hear her alto when we sung hymns. I go less and less. I go out dancing more and more. I'm not a “bad” person. I don't hurt anybody. But I don't really help anybody either.


I meet Pete, fall in love and marry. Something down inside of me says “I want God in this.” I get out my Bible and read to Pete the Bible's definition of love in I Corinthians and what the Bible says about the husband loving the wife as Christ did the church. About the wife honoring and respecting her husband. I tell him I want us to go to church. He's agreeable. But, every weekend, something comes up. Time rolls on and we never go. And I'm too newly married and been out of my church long enough that I don't go without him.


In May of 1989 I had Little Pete. Being a mother meant to me acting a certain way. Being sober. Being at home, not running the roads. Teaching them Jesus loves me and things like that. But Pete had no interest in going to church. And I still didn't know how to go without him.

Then we had the 1st Gulf war and Tienanmen Square. And I'm upset about the world for my child's sake. And I'm so quick to get angry and tear peoples heads off verbally. I'm functioning, but I'm not really happy. And one blessed day I decided to get down my old Living Bible mother had given me as a teen. And I started reading, right at the beginning. And I literally could not put it down. I did “thirst for it like the deer pants for water.” I spent many an hour on and off all through the days at the old dinning room table, reading, praying & weeping. About the time I finished Revelation, I received a little card in the mail from a lady named Susan at my church. (The one I hadn't attended in about 8 years.) She was the Sunday School teacher for my current age group and she wanted to invite me to come.

Praise God! I didn't feel scared to go by myself anymore. The next Sunday I got myself and Bubba ready without Pete and went to Sunday School and church. There were many new faces, but also quite a few I recognized. And my dear friend Cookie just swept along side me and treated me like I'd never been gone a day.

I started going regularly, soon after that. The Holy Spirit led me to go forward and publicly rededicate my life to the Lord. Soon I was taking every class available to me. I helped in Vacation Bible School and begun to teach Children's Church. But the best thing ever was when I did a course by Henry Blackaby called “ExperiencingGod”. Through that, for the first time, I could look back through my life and see Jesus footprints all along the way. For the first time ever I understood what it meant to not only know Christ as Savior, but to allow Him to be Lord of your life. How to listen for the Holy Spirit. How to see where God is working and join Him there.

Thank God for that! I've been privileged to since play roles in His work. And He made me strong enough to stand the trials that were soon to be headed my way. Now, 20+ years later, I don't walk the walk perfectly each day, but I know who I am in Christ and I have the tools I need to face today and tomorrow.

Do you?


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sports/Swimming

So many folks so into sports.  I never have been truly big on sports.  I never played any team sports, except in gym or unorganized among friends.  Never had any desire too.  Well, except for a few years when I was a young girl and adolescent, I'd thought I'd love to play football.  I watched whole games with Daddy from 7 years old until his death. 

Actual sports learned:  softball, kickball, tennis, volleyball, badminton, shuffleboard, Frisbee, horse basketball.  But the thing that clicked with me was swimming.  I was about 7 or 8 and a friend of my older sisters was giving lessons in her parents pool.  (Very few people had pools then.)  She taught me several strokes and to dive.  I never got to go to the water often enough.  Until I hit junior high and high school.   Our town had a pool ran by a family where you could go and swim all afternoon for a buck.  I was there just as often as possible.

While I was at college I was at the pool just about every day, even when I wasn't actually taking it as a class.  How wonderful to be able to earn college credit swimming!  

After college, swimming was just something I did when it was available. I joined a spa that had a pool, half for the pool and half to work out to strengthen a knee that didn't want to work right. (I was clipped once in a game of flag football by an all state tackle.)

For years, we talked about a pool, but never did anything about it.  Pools were so high then.  And we were on metered water.  So, I just swam all I could every time we went to the river or Bush Lake.

When Bug was young, a friend of Pete's gave us his girls old pool.  It was small, but deep enough I was able to teach her to swim in that pool.  We enjoyed it a lot together.  Watched meteor showers in that pool.

Last summer Pete got a wild hair to get a pool.  He saw that pools big enough to truly enjoy and swim in had come way down in price.  So we got it.  And set it up with a Saltwater system.  We love it!!  A little investment at the first of the summer and no more chemicals all year.  A new filter now and then is all it needs.  He said he wanted it in hopes it would ease some of his aches and pains to get in and float.
And he thought it would be fun with the family and little Hazil Ruth.  But I think he did it as much for me as anything.  At least that's what I'm going to allow myself to believe. 









Monday, April 21, 2014

Redneck


I myself, am not a redneck. I was born to a working class father. I was a “small town” girl. I was a country girl. We grew gardens, and Daddy plowed with a jenny for sentimental reasons. I was taught how to behave in even the highest social occasions. I was an Honor Graduate of my High School. Yet, I married a died in the wool redneck. Pete's grandfather was one of the settlers of this area in which we live, called Caneyhead. He owned 450+ acres and ran cattle on it. It is loaded with sloughs and timber. And it is the highest point above sea level in the county in which we live. So, in a way I married redneck royalty.

Even Webster, doesn't capture the original meaning of redneck in total truth. They say: “ a white person who lives in a small town or in the country especially in the southern U.S., who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having

opinions and attitudes that are offensive.”

Yes, a redneck is white. In fact, originally, redneck simply referred to the fact that the person earned their living in the sun, and hence had a “red” neck. They might be a common laborer or a highly trained and skilled craftsman, but they worked in the sun. 65+ years ago that is all that it meant. Yes, many rednecks do not hold college degrees, but that is not the only way to acquire knowledge. There is also apprenticeship and trade schools. Look down your ivy league nose if you will, but if it weren't for rednecks, and folks of color just like them, this country would grind to a halt in less than three days if none of them reported to work. They are why you have good roads to drive on. Why you get electrical service where you live. Why you can pump gasoline into you Mercedes. They fix everything you ever broke. And most of the time if you'd have known half of what they do, it wouldn't have broke in the first place.

My Pete probably has a higher IQ than me. Most of you, in fact. Whether it is pipefitting, mechanics or carpentry, he can look any situation over, access it, know what's wrong, what's needed, and get 95% of it done. The other 5% is for when he knows he needs someone else for something and is smart enough to to turn it over to them. As an example, he designed a network of pipes in one of Ron Paul's Lumber mills that so impressed the muck-it-y-mucks, that they flew people in to see it.

All the rednecks I know well are very smart and highly capable people. If they care for you, their loyalty is unshakable. They work full throttle and expect everyone around them to do the same. They party just as hard as they work. They always protect what is theirs, no matter the cost. They carry inside a code of honor and a sense of patriotism that is dead and gone in most of America today. But it is the same code that our grandfather's held when they stormed Normandy to protect the world's freedoms. It they offend you, then you've lost your way, my friend. They know who they are and what they believe in. The question is, do you?

Stepping off my soapbox, lets examine the the lighter side. From JeffFoxworthy's redneck jokes, here's a few that ring true in our house: You might be a redneck if:
...You think "loading the dishwasher" means getting your wife drunk.
...You ever cut your grass and found a car. (Actually, you knew it was there, but no one else did until you mowed.)
...You think the stock market has a fence around it. (And why not?! Fort Worth people!)
...You burn your yard rather than mow it. (For the city folk, it kills the weeds, cleans and nourishes the land and grows better fields.)
...Your wife has ever said, "Come move this transmission so I can take a bath." (Sometimes you have to clean something to get it working. I've also boiled carburetors on my stove.)
...You've ever hit a deer with your car...deliberately. (Actually, I don't know anyone who has, but I know plenty who would be tempted.)
...You have every episode of Hee-Haw on tape. (And why not? It had cute, clean comedy and awesome country legends singing.)
... You've ever been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog. (Yeah, I've heard of this one. A good dog can't easily be replaced!)
...going to the bathroom at night involves shoes and a  flashlight. (That was true at Bush Lake.)
...You've ever barbecued Spam on the grill. (No, we haven't. But in the oilfield Pete has warmed food on top of the breather on the engine.)

There you have it.  The Truth about Rednecks from someone who has been fortunate to be surrounded by them for 30+ yeas.









Saturday, April 19, 2014

Questionable

Sometimes I will look at something, or see something and get a take on it that is, well, questionable.  Case in point:

I drive back and forth on Hwy 96 every day.  They have a couple of those large signs mounted along the way.  The ones were TXDOT issues traffic warnings.  Where the DPS issues warnings.  Where they run amber alerts for the area.  

Sometimes they run one that says something like, "Missing Elderly, last seen driving a Beige Buick Sedan near Beesville, TX."  One week it seemed every other day there was a new search for a different elderly individual.  And here's the questionable path my brain went on.

Who is keeping all of these elderly people against their will?! Are we in some old si-fi flick where the elderly are kept as slaves to cook for you or sit the children?  Are they locked away in basements?  Do they have to have junior's permission to go out?  

I thought of one couple.  That maybe all they wanted was one more outing.  Just the two of them.  Free!  Able to go dine and eat what they wanted, not what was good for them.  Free!  To go to a bar together and have a drink.  To twirl around a dance floor.  Then drive away afterward, her little blue head resting on his shoulder like it did when they dated 60+ years before.  Him, taking the hint and driving down a secluded lane so they could "make out" under the stars.  Only to have a police cruiser pull in behind and taking them away to be locked up once again.  Him saying, "It's okay, Alice.  We'll always have tonight."  And her, "Yes, thank you, Harry, for making me feel young just once more."


Disclaimer:  Yes, I know demintia is a very real concern.  I also know that most children want the best for their parents.  So, don't bark at me.  My mind just wandered down the Twilight Zone, that's all. 



Friday, April 18, 2014

Pet Peeves....or Peeved about Pets


So, this is not a list of pet peeves, but a rant of ways my family has peeved me about pets. I am, or was, an animal lover. When Pete and I married, we each had a dog. Our dogs were older and mature and it wasn't too long before we lost them.

His brother Tommy had a batch of Doberman Pincher puppies. Pete wanted one and I was on board for us to get a dog together. So, into our lives came Maggie Mae. I did over half of the potty training, the feeding, the bathing, the hauling to the vet, etc. But that was okay. She was like our first child. We loved and adored her, and she loved and adored us.

Over time, we added many other various dogs, just outside pets, so they weren't much trouble for me at first. Pete got hogs. And chickens. The bad part was that all too often feeding and tending to the outside animals fell to me, as I was home earliest in the evenings. When I was pregnant with Bubba I'd cry when I fed the hogs, as I had to get in the pen to do it, and hogs are one of the few animals you can catch things from that will harm an unborn child.

One of the outside dogs had a litter of hounds. Ten puppies. And parvo was a new disease here. And they got it. The vet said separating sick from well ones and giving them Gatorade was the only hope. So, as one showed signs of being sick, I took them from their dog yard and put them on the back porch. I forced Gatorade down them several times a day. Each had their own syringe and cup. I'd rock them, and cry and pray over them. (I was pregnant with Bubba and my mother instincts were kicking into high gear!) As they'd start to eat food again, I'd turn them loose in the yard. Eventually, all ten made it through!! It was truly a miracle!

We eventually lost Maggie Mae when Bubba was a toddler. I tried having a cat. At first in the house, but when litter box issues just became too much, I let her be an outside cat. Pete got Hank the horse.
This is one animal he really did the lion's share of tending to. He spent long hours outside with his horse. Even slept with him on occasion. Building a camaraderie between them many were envious of.

We finally got a Boston Terrier named Xena to replace Maggie Mae's spot in our home. I was fairly on board for that. After all, a little boy needs a dog around. Again, I did most of the potty training, feeding, bathing, etc. Everyone we knew wanted a Xena. So Pete let her have puppies. Problem was, we'd end up keeping one or two each time. And all too often I found myself having to do things for them.

And an endless procession of yard dogs and hunting dogs came through our home. Well, outside. Fast forward eight years. Xena is sick with heart failure. I give her meds and take her to the vet. Bug has kept one of her grand-puppies for herself, Blackie. And we get one of her puppies back from a couple who couldn't handle her, Matilda. Now there are three Boston Terriers in our home and I do almost all of the feeding, bathing, etc.

Several years go by and then they begin to die off. One by one for various reasons. I'm heartbroke and older and tired and would much prefer to simply love on one of the cats that live outside when I want an animal's touch. But Pete's sister insists on giving him her dog, Lucy for company. Now, Lucy is an alright dog, but I definitely did not want her here, as I knew who'd be responsible for most of her upkeep. But he ignored me and got her. And I do love her.

Bubba married and Candy Girl became part of our family. One day she tells Pete about two miniature Chihuahuas that needs a home. Pete wants them. I say NO! No way. They ignore me and Bonnie & Clyde invade our home. I refuse to help with them. Pete does fairly well taking care of them for about six months.

Then he has to go into the hospital this past February. So of course I tend them while he is there. And I carry on for the first few days that he is back home. Then when I try to hand the responsibility back over to him, he has a snit fit. He does a few things for them, but most of it is left up to me. And I do it. Because I have a soft heart for animals and because I'm too dang responsible a person.

But if anyone other than me tries to bring another animal into our home to live, there's either gonna be a killing or I'm packing and leaving.

Sometimes I really resent the fact that Mother & Daddy raised me to be responsible. For teaching me you could measure much of a person's heart by how they treated their animals. Sometimes I wish I could be an irresponsible, selfish soul who left everything a mess for someone else to clean up.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

OUT

I usually don't eat OUT at lunch for I seldom have anyone to eat with.  And I try to limit the number of times that I go OUT to pick up something for lunch.   It consumes extra time and adds up, even if you're eating on the cheap.  So most days I bring leftovers from home for my lunch at work.  Which is fine with me.  Usually tastes great and there's no hassle.

But today, I forgot my plate of leftovers.  And I was too hungry to try to just snack from the machine for a lunch.  While considering my options, I thought, why not get some Mexican food from Elena's.  After all, they have a reasonably priced lunch menu.  Talked one of my co-workers into ordering, too.  

I went to pick up our take OUT order.  Three people stepped up to the cashier, leaving from dinning in, at the same time I got there to get my pick up order.  I allowed them to go first.  The woman paid while the two men went to stand by the door.  The cashier went ahead and took my money and gave me our order while the lady was signing her credit card receipt.

I turned and went to the double glass doors to go OUT.  One of the business men was standing half in front of the door on the left, so I reached for the door on the right and pushed OUT on it.  Nothing happened.  Okay, so I tried pulling it open.  Nada.  So, maybe they only open up one.  I put my hand on the door the man is half in front of and gave it a tug.  Nothing.  Okay, so it's an OUTIE.  I push and it swings open and I step outside.  

Meanwhile the woman had joined the men and they stepped out right behind me.  I overheard the woman say something like "She was having a hard time."  And Mr. Stand in Front of the Door responded "Yeah, I was just standing and watching her."  And he snickered.

Now, I didn't say a word, didn't even acknowledge I heard them at all.  But in my head:  Are you a damn Yankee, man? Seriously!  I'm trying to be polite and go OUT the right side door so you don't have to inconvenience yourself by moving.  You see me having trouble, but instead of being a GENTLEMAN and opening the left door for me, you stand there like a goon and watch me in my distress for your own amusement!  I hope a door hits you in your butt!"


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nudity


I've never been big on public nudity. You don't need to see mine, and I sure don't want to see yours. As a teen in the 70's I did wear the miniskirt, the short shorts, a mid-drift and a bikini or two. But that's as far as it went. Publicly.



Privately. Went skinny dipping in my sister's pond with my two nieces one summer. Of course the pond was surrounded by trees at that time. Me and some girls went “streaking” through a wooded area one time at a slumber party. Did it count as streaking if no one saw us?

Years fly by. I did bathe in Bush Lake a few times. In the summer, we'd go down after dark with a bar of Ivory soap and bathe in the lake, rather than heating water for the washtub. Just Pete & I.

Then I get old and crazy. We had moved to Caneyhead and there had been a long spell of no rain. I had told Pete that if it rained I'd take my clothes off and dance in it. Sure enough, one day it rained. A nice gentle rain, no thunder or lightening. Pete hollered, “It's raining, you gonna dance?” I stripped, went out the backdoor and danced in the rain. Just for pure joy. No one could see me but Pete and the Good Lord. Don't think they cared.

Then a few years ago, Pete and I slipped off to a friends house one night and skinny dipped in their pool. Just us two. That's before we had our own.

Now that we do have our own, I love to go out at night, wrapped in a towel and slip into ours. Nothing like the night air, the water, the sky in your birthday suit! Thank God we are as secluded as we are.

 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Me


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USELESS INFORMATION: I HAD A T-SHIRT FOR YEARS THAT HAD A CLUSTER OF GRAPES ON IT. IT READ: HUG ME, SQUEEZE ME, MAKE ME WINE.

Just look over to the right.  It's all there on the sidebar.

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Are you more into music?  Well, if you like the older stuff, I have some great playlists: FM Gold, Feel the Soul and Swamp & Tonk on Spotify.  And Bug has some of the current stuff for the younger set there as well:  Ultimatum.

So, there's something for everyone.  Don't leave this page without hooking up one way or another!  




Monday, April 14, 2014

Loss


Suppose I had a little more than my fair share of loss early in life. In part, because I was born to my parents at the time in life when most of their peers were becoming grandparents. So, that naturally put everyone in my life twenty years older than they may have been otherwise. Heart problems, cancer and diabetes robbed me of all of my grandparents before I got out of my adolescence.

Then, I lost Daddy at the beginning of High School. I knew he was better off in Heaven than here hurting from cancer. I watched every football game I could, because that's when I felt closest to him. I'd comment just like he was still there. Going to college without him was the hardest thing. The day I moved into my dorm, there were girls with daddies lugging their boxes and refrigerators up to their room. There was a time, a couple of years after he passed, I'd fantasize about driving my car into a concrete side of an overpass. The thought of my Mother having to deal with that is the only thought God put in my head to stop me. (I've never told this to anyone other than Pete.)
But worst of all, I was looking for someone to love me the way my Daddy did. That led to some bad relationships and some bad decisions.

In less than five years, my sister Sarah was gone. Way before anyone would of expected it and all too suddenly. I was way to busy trying to be strong for Mama to fall apart from this loss. I mourned her privately. By myself.

Again, in less than five years, Mama was gone. This was hard. Even though I knew she'd of never wanted to survive as a vegetable, it was hard. Thankfully, I had a relationship at the time to throw myself into. I thought I knew where my life was going, where my future lay. I was wrong, but, believing that at the time, gave me a focus. A hope for a tomorrow.

In less than ten years my close family was cut in half. Over half. Thankfully, I still had my oldest, wonderful, amazing sister, Edna. And then I meet my Pete. And within a few years I had a surrogate mother in my mother-in-law, Hazel. And in his cousin, Janie, I had a surrogate much older sister and a best friend.

Time marches on. A little over 15 years goes by. Then it starts all over again. This time out of Pete's family. The people I'd come to love like my own. We lost his dad, Junior, to a stroke. And before we knew it, we had lost his brother, Danny Boy to a heart attack. Then Janie to a car wreck. And then Hazel to complications of heart problems. That one was the straw that nearly broke me again. I think the weight of every loss I had ever had came down on me at one time. I went through nearly two years of depression. The doctor had me taking little happy people pills. I got everyone up in the morning and then slept all the time I could. Spent most of my wake time watching TV or on the computer. I stopped going anywhere I didn't absolutely have to go.

Slowly, the light began to dawn a little for me again. But most of all, my family needed me. More specifically, Pete needed me to begin to look for work as he was starting to have health problems. My first trips into Beaumont were terrifying! But I squashed that down and did what I had to do. Why, because that's the stock I'm from. That's what we do. We may have a pause. A rest. But in the end, we put on foot in front of the other and just carry on.

After we'd survived Rita, my step father started to go down hill. I believe the shock of a storm that emense took it's toll on Polk.  When we lost him, I had to be strong for my children.  Then comes the shock of learning we had lost Pete's brother Tommy in a motorcycle wreck.  This time I was strong for Pete and for my kids.  

If you're new to Caneyhead, I hope you'll read the entries highlighted in this post about these special, precious people from my past. As to why would I write about this? Just to let you know it's not the end. No matter how bad it hurts now. No matter how lost or alone you feel. There is something or someone out there ahead of you.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Knowledge


Knowledge. My poor brain is stuffed full of various and sundry knowledge.



Thanks to TV Shows, Reader's Digest articles, friends and relatives involved in the medical field, college biology, multiple red cross certifications, and a certain level of interest in it, I have an assortment of medical related knowledge in my head. It makes it easier for me to understand what doctors or nurses are trying to say. Helps me to evaluate situations for the need of medical intervention. But also brings consternation when it does my loved ones no good at all.

Mechanical knowledge I gained from my Daddy, my love of cars, and being Pete's helper all these years. Comes in handy when I'm by myself and a vehicle breaks down or starts to run hot or something. I can get a vehicle home in one piece in many situations were others would have ruined the engine trying. Helps me communicate to Pete or Bubba what's going on with a vehicle I'm driving. Helps me know when a shop is suggesting unnecessary items. But I actually don't know enough to fix much of anything myself.

Bookkeeping & computer knowledge. I started posting payroll on a pegboard system. That's where account and ledger pages are layered and held in place by pegs on the edge, and have carbon copying so that what you enter on top posts down to each page correctly. Took a year of Accounting at SFA . I've coded invoices and payables for “data entry” to key into computer systems. And I've also done, and do every day, an incredible amount of data entry. My first “hands on” with a computer was Cobalt based. Been on Windows 95 up to 8.1. Taught myself to do all sorts of things online and had a lot of help with my personal computers from AOL techs. I've done legal papers and reports for everything from car titles to sales tax in Texas. So, I know a whole hodgepodge of accounting and computer “stuff”. I don't know more about any one thing than everyone, but the combination of things I know makes me the person people come to for answers or help, especially at the office.

Music related and music trivia knowledge. Know way too much of that stuff. Thanks to my love of music and years of listening to Casey Kasem's countdowns that he sprinkled with loads of Trivia about the songs and the artists. Because of my parents I know Rudy Vallee to Tex Ritter. I spent years listening to FM rock and Motown, and country music when it was still country music. It's all sloshing around in my head, muddying the waters. Which reminds me of Muddy Waters. This knowledge has no real use except to amuse me and occasionally others.

Bible knowledge. Years in church and Sunday School. Various special studies and classes. Have read the Bible through, several times. From front cover to back cover. By classification: poetry, history, prophecy, chronologically, etc. All of this effects what I believe, my world view, what I allow into my life or don't. And how I think of and treat others.

Growing up with parents that started life in the era of WWI, and being married to a redneck for thirty years, I have a ton of knowledge of how things used to be. Of things, places, people, history, etc. from the past century. All of this plays into how I think. What I value. Where I stand and what I stand for.

It gets aggravating that I can't always access this knowledge in my head at exactly the moment I want it or need it. This vast array also causes me to sometimes seem that I am making great leaps in my thought processes, but if you knew everything I know, you'd see there was a logical line of thought that carried me from one topic to another. Say for example: from the Beach Boys to Al Capone. Doesn't appear to be connected, but in my head: The Beach Boys, they crushed an album that set a studio on fire, Chicago's historic fire, The Night Chicago Died, “daddy was cop..”, gangsters, Al Capone.

See?! I'm not crazy, I just have a dysfunctional search engine in my head.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Jenny

Jenny was her name and a jenny is what she was.  Daddy brought her home when I was about seven years old.  She was white, with a wooly coat in the winter that slicked off nice in the summer.  Then you could see the black of her hide better beneath the hair.  

Daddy used her to plow his gardens  She was a well trained Jenny.  All Daddy had to do was "click, click, click" his tongue and Jenny would try to pull a log through mud up to her belly.  At first, she'd try to eat the tassels off of the corn as she plowed the rows.  Daddy whipped her one time.  And that was all it took.  One look of the whip and she'd pull a straight row and ignore the corn. 

She had a hoof problem as one time that required my parents to pour turpentine on her upturned foot and light it on fire, allowing her to put it to the ground and put it out herself when it became too hot.  Something about the frog growing down too far, beyond the hoof.  

As the years passed and they grew closer, sometimes Daddy would purposefully stop and rest and let Jenny pull an ear of corn or get a mouthful of the Bahia grass that they were clearing out of the garden.  

Feeding Jenny was my first chore I was ever assigned.  A bucket of horse & mule feed.  Make sure her water was topped off.  Give her a pad of hay in the winter months when grass was scarce in her pasture.  

When I was between 11 and 13 years old, I'd try riding Jenny.  Lay on Jenny.  No saddle, just a rope around her neck to hold on to.  I can still recall how she smelt.  I could lay back on top of her with my head on her buttocks.  She could care less.  

Once I decided to ride her down a little side road from the house.  Problem was, I had to cross the ditch to do it.  No one told me the jenny wouldn't walk down and back up the ditch.  No, she bunched up and jumped the ditch!!  I was on my tail in the ditch.  But Jenny stopped and waited for me to climb back on.

The years rolled by.  Daddy was home sick in bed with colon cancer.  Spring came and Jenny would "hee-haw".  And Daddy would holler an answer.  He said she knew it was time to plant.  

Jenny outlived Daddy by about 5 years.  She passed away while I was dating Pete.  No idea how old she was, really.  After all she came from an auction.  My brother-in-law took her and buried her with his backhoe.  

Could be that Jenny and Daddy are turning the rows again, getting a harvest growing for the feast of the Bridegroom.

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