Sunday, December 27, 2009


We got our youngest an Erector Set for Christmas/Hannukah. I had one as a child and wish I still had it. I spent hours building with it then made up and engineered my own designs.

He and I worked on the crane all Christmas Day. Well, he did most of the work. He had to re-engineer some to make it work. I think he's going to get a lot of enjoyment from it. It has a cool little power driver that came with it.

I also got a Black and Decker 3.5v screw driver. My old one finally gave up the ghost so my inlaws gave me a new one. They don't know it yet because I haven't told them. I spent some time yesterday just playing with it. Finding all sorts of screws that needed removing from something. Heaven.

It's all about the simple things.

New Things

My SO and I went shopping yesterday after her appointment with the infusion clinic. See, she has to carry around this bag full of IV antibiotics so that the infection in her knee will heal.

The bag is ugly. A black, utilitarian canvas thing with various holes, pockets, velcro and straps. The nurse obviously has a whimsical sense of humor because she has given us permission to decorate it. Bedazzle it! So, we promptly paid a visit to the closest Michaels and bought supplies.

From there, we went furniture shopping. We found the perfect sectional set on clearance and a wonderful chair and a half to go with it.

New furniture for our living room. New beginnings. I'm hopeful that this portends a much better year to come. Not that this one has been bad, it's just been challenging both at home and at work.

In addition, I'm getting a new fence with automatic electric gate. I'm in heaven.

On to better things I say.


I woke up this morning after a night frought with fighting for covers and space in my own bed with an SO, a dog and 3 cats only to step in a puddle of cold, slimy dog vomit. I cleaned that then stumbled from the kitchen with a hot cup of coffee only to see another even larger puddle of cold, slimy dog vomit.

Out oldest dog, Fudge, didn't eat his breakfast and had the foulest smelling gas last night so we've deduced that he's the one who is sick.

And now I know why. Apparently he found it necessary to jump on the coffee table and eat close to a pound of fudge.

Fudge is vomiting fudge.

It's going to be a long day.

God is Male

Clearly. If God were a female, she would not let two middle-aged females with two teen-aged boys be on their periods at the same time. Clearly, God is male.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Good Sunday Morning to You All

What a goddamn, fucking, mud-covered frog turd of a day we had yesterday. Bloody blue seizures had us in the ER for over 6 hours yesterday and know how many times we talked to the doctor? 2. Guess for how long total. 4 minutes. We're gonna get through this though. Is it too early for a margarita? or 7?  And again, we learn what good friends we have.  Yay for that. Takes the stink out of the mud-covered frog turd although when the mud dries it sort of encases the smell.

I wonder if frog turds stink anyway? Anybody ever smell one? Mine are always covered in mud.

Finally, my SO's disability came through.  Now, her medication and doctor's visits will be covered.  Maybe we will get some better care. 

I've been reading and following the news reports about medicare and medicaid and what a nightmare they are.  I always pooh-poohed it thinking those folks were just bitching.  Well, they aren't just bitching.  These two programs are the most infuriating, confusing, nightmare of a plan.  They change things on you without notice.  My SO has received no less than 6 letters and plan cards each with a different effective date.  And one plan doesn't even send a card.  I guess you just have to guess when it went into effect.  There are restrictions on the number of prescriptions you can have filled a month so if you have more than 3 you're screwed.  No wonder certain Seniors have to choose between food and medicine.  There has to be a better way.  And for those people who aren't educated and who are trying to navigate that maze of rules and regulations without help....God help them.  I'm seeing a niche for some business start-up.  Medi Coaching.  A consulting service to help people figure out which one is right for them.

We bit the bullet and rewarded ourselves with a Plasma TV.  It's beautiful.  We are planning on hanging it today.  The price was TOOO right to pass it up.  I suppose it's a benefit of the horrible economy.  I'm just doing my part to drive the recovery.  The next two projects that I'm going to pay to have someone do instead of doing it myself is a new fence with an electric gate and insulation.  I'm just going to let someone else do that....oh, and a new front door.

There isn't much else to report.  Christmas/Hannukah is coming up.  That means a break for the boys.  We're planning on going to Florida and rest.  The family needs the time down there to recover mentally and spiritually not to mention physically.  It's peaceful for us.  I have to keep my SO from over-scheduling though.  She tends to do that which makes me crazy.  Vacation, to me, is about NOT doing.  It's about being quiet and resting, reading or just listening to the water.

The house is quiet.  I'm going to read the instructions on the mounting unit to make sure I know what I'm doing.  Yes, I read instructions.  Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

County Commission

"memphisdaily After 24 rounds of voting, County Commission stuck on Joe Ford or JW Gibson for interim mayor. Will try again Nov. 17 at 4pm.

My goodness, it's been a wild week.

My SO went in for knee surgery and decided to start having seizures.  She ended up in ICU for a couple of days.  It was very unsettling.  You go in for what has become a relatively routine procedure and this happens.  There's no really good way to prepare emotionally.  I learned something that I'd like to pass on.

1.  Make sure you have medical power of attorney if you aren't legally married.  I had to sign a consent form and couldn't have done it without that piece of paper.
2.  Make sure you have a signed and witness directive in case something happens.
3.  Make sure you have a Will.

I know, none of that is pleasant to think about or even do but it's necessary especially for those of us who aren't legally married or considered next of kin.  I'm lucky.  The hospital staff was brilliant in that area.  They never batted an eye.  There was never a question that I was supposed to be there.  Maybe they go through training or maybe it's just a sign of the times but they were brilliant.

4.  Be on good terms with the SO's parents.

I can't stress this enough.  I am so grateful that Diane's mom came to help.  She's been a godsend.  My parents offered and I'm grateful for that but it's just not the same as having your own Mother with you.  Oh, that brings up...

5.  The patient should be on good terms with and actually like her own parents.  Because she's going to be here for a while and taking care of you while I'm at work and starting Thursday, out of town.  It would suck to not like your mother.

The boys stepped up and did well although the youngest neglected his homework for a few days and has now had to play catch up.  His teachers were wonderful though.  They understood why we kept them out of classes for two days and have let them make whatever work they missed up.  I'm grateful for that.  We had friends step up and be there.  Beautiful, wonderful friends.  I'm grateful for that and am awed at how quickly they rallied around.

There's a saying in AA.  "Get Grateful."  I got it.  I am.  I've learned what is important and what isn't.  Work can go to hell.  I don't NEED that promotion.  I might want it but don't need it.  I NEED my family to stay intact.  I NEED my SO to get and stay healthy for a long time.  I NEED my kids to mature into brilliant, caring adults.  I NEED air to breathe, good sleep, food and water.   I NEED good, supportive friends.  I NEED good, supportive family members--parents and siblings. 

I look at what I need and realize that I have it.  The rest is fluff.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ramblings on an Early Saturday Morning

For the three people that read this blog, go to Big Scoop today.  It's at the Redbirds Stadium.  It's a good excuse to go eat all the ice cream you can stand AND raise money for a good cause.  It benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.  And to toot my own horn for a moment, I'm on the Board there and have been for many years.  So many that I've lost count.  It's a beautiful place and it's mission is amazing.  Families whose lives have been torn apart by a severe medical diagnosis for one of their children shouldn't have to worry about where they will live or survive while their child is here for treatment.  Suddenly, sometimes within hours, they must leave their home and travel to a strange city for treatment at St. Jude's. 

That's where the House comes in.  We house the families for free.  They don't have to pay for a thing while they are here.  All they have to do is take care of their sick child and that child's siblings so that not only will the sick child heal but so will the entire family.  We are not totally supported by McDonalds the way Target House is supported by Target or the Grizzlies House is supported by the Grizzlies.  We rely on donations from regular people.  Every nickle, dime and dollar is needed to make that House run.  So, go eat ice cream and raise money for a beautiful cause.  If you don't want to eat ice cream at least get involved.  There are other things you can do.  Donate a dollar or a thousand.  Volunteer.  Work another event.  Buy tickets for Oscar Night.  Donate during the Radiothon.  Visit the House.  It will touch you and change you.  It did me. 

It takes everybody no matter their status.  I had a weak moment in which I thought that I didn't fit anymore.  I was not so gently reminded that it DOES take everybody no matter their status.  You can save your change.  Save your pull tabs.  Donate $5 a month for $500 a month.  JUST GET INVOLVED.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Same Child, Next Day

Remember the child I was lamenting about just a few days ago?  Yesterday?  Good as gold.  Did everything I asked when I asked with no arguments or episodes of rage.  Unbelievable.  I suppose this is what it's like to live with a bi-polar child.  If I had this child everyday, life would be grand.  He's been beautiful, helpful, caring, considerate and cooperative.

We'll see what he's like today.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mother Nature? Eerie Crying Face Seen in Melting Glacier |

Go take a look at this. Amazing.

Mother Nature? Eerie Crying Face Seen in Melting Glacier |

God Grant Me the Patience

Dealing with my bi-polar 15 year old is a test.  I recognize that.  What I don't understand is why the gods feel the need to test me in this way.  Is it to see just how far I can be pushed before I snap and end up in the psych ward?  Is it some form of punishment for something I've done in one of my past lives?

Not only is he 15, a teenager, with raging hormones, he's bi-polar which makes the raging hormones look like cake.  There have been days when it took every ounce of control that I had not to hurt him.

It started already this morning.  First thing, there's a fight over homework and electronics.  I'm ready to take them all away from him until school is out for the summer.  It's exhausting and tests my ability to continue loving him when he acts like this.  It feels like it's getting worse, his behavior.  And when he comes in after one of the fights to apologize and make nice, it feels fake and usually is because when he asks to get his computer back or his game back and I tell him no, he blows up again.  It's like living in an abusive relationship.  It is abusive.  One never knows how he will react when told to do something.

I'm reaching a breaking point and it scares me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September and Florida

Oh my gosh, this will be the first September in 17 years that we aren't spending it at the beach.  We made the choice to put both boys in school which took away the freedom to go play for a month.  I'm going through withdrawals already.  I have some sand and shells at work that I will put out on my table so I can at least put my fingers in it.  I'll have to find some records of the ocean to play.

The beach is always a place for me to recharge my batteries, as it were, and god knows after the last few months at work, I need recharging.  Decisions there have been made that feel like betrayal to me.  I feel like my support from my management has been yanked out from under me and I can't get anybody to shoot straight with me about why.

An employee was chosen to lead the department I'm in who has only 4 years as a professional, who has two managers that have complained TO ME about her work ethic, attendance, attitude and how she treats other people, and no leadership experience.  And now, that same employee has been nominated to attend a managerial executive development program.  I was not and yet I've been through the supervisory program.  She hasn't.  I'm not seeing the fairness in this.  I'm not seeing the logic.  I'm not seeing the rightness. 

She is black.  I am white.  One wonders.

And yet....and yet....and yet.....I'm asked to do the investigations.  I am requested specifically by other departments.  I am given the large assignments.  Why?  I would assume it's because I am competent and have demonstrated that.

One wonders.
I need the beach.
I need the truth.

I can handle the truth.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This must be shared.

Just because it must.  Here's the link, for legal purposes.

Confirmed: God is slightly gay / Just ask the animals. As soon as they stop having all that homosexual sex
Confirmed: God is slightly gay
Just ask the animals. As soon as they stop having all that homosexual sex

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

I am sitting here right now smiling just a little, fondly recalling that famously controversial children's book, the one about the gay penguins.

Remember? That positively adorable pair of them, at the Central Park Zoo, who had adopted an abandoned egg and then hatched it themselves and were raising the chick together as a couple, even though the chick was clearly not theirs -- though of course how penguins can actually tell whose kid is whose is still a question. Never mind that now.

The best part: the story was absolutely true. The book, "And Tango Makes Three," was beautiful and sweet and touching in all the right ways -- except, of course, for the fact that it was also totally evil.

For indeed, the penguins in question, named Roy and Silo, were both males. This meant they were clearly in some sort of ungodly, aberrant homosexual relationship, mocking natural laws and defying God's will that all creatures only cohabitate with the opposite sex and buy microfiber sofas from Pottery Barn and eat their meals in silent resentment and never have sex.

Worst of all, the book depicted this relationship, this "family," as perfectly OK, as no big deal, as even (shudder) normal. After all, Roy and Silo didn't seem to give much of a damn. Tango sure seemed happy, what with not being left for dead and all. As of this writing, the Central Park Zoo has yet to be swallowed into a gaping maw of sinful doom. Any minute now, I suppose.

I am right now amused at this because it turns out Roy and Silo were not really so much of an anomaly at all. Nor were they some sort of unholy freakshow, an immoral mistake in the eyes of a wrathful hetero God. Far from it. Turns out they were, in fact, far more the norm than many humans, even to this day, want to let on.

Behold, the ongoing, increasingly startling research: homosexual and bisexual behavior, it turns out, is rampant in the animal kingdom. And by rampant, I mean proving to be damn near universal, commonplace across all species everywhere, existing for myriad reasons ranging from pure survival and procreative influence, right on over to pure pleasure, co-parenting, giddy screeching multiple monkey orgasm, even love, and a few dozen other potential explanations science hasn't quite figured out yet. Imagine.

Are you thinking, why sure, everyone knows about those sex-crazed dolphins and those superslut bonobo monkeys and the few other godless creatures like them, the sea turtles and the weird sheep and such, creatures who obviously haven't read Leviticus. But that's about it, right? Most animals are devoutly hetero and straight and damn happy about it, right?


New research is revealing so many creatures and species that exhibit homosexual/bisexual behavior of some kind, scientists are now saying there are actually very few, if any, species in existence that don't exhibit it in some way. It's everywhere: Bison. Giraffes. Ducks. Hyenas. Lions and lambs, lizards and dragonflies, polecats and elephants. Hetero sex. Anal sex. Partner swapping. The works.

Let's flip that around. Here's the shocking new truism: In the wilds of nature, to not have some level of homosexual/bisexual behavior in a given species is turning out to be the exception, not the rule. Would you like to read that statement again? Aloud? Through a megaphone? To the Mormon and Catholic churches? And the rest of them, as well? Repeatedly?

Would you like to inform them that such behavior is definitely not, as so many hard-line Christian literalists want to believe, some sort of poison that snuck into God's perfect cake mix, nor is it all due to some sort of toxic chemical that leeched into the animal's water supply, suddenly causing all creatures to occasionally feel the urge wear glitter and listen to techno and work on their abs?

And so we extend the idea just a little bit. Because if homosexual/bisexual behavior is universal and by design, if gender mutability is actually deeply woven into the very fabric of nature itself, and if you understand that nature is merely another word for God, well, you can only surmise that God is, to put it mildly, much more than just a little bit gay. I mean, obviously.

But let's be fair. That's not exactly true. God is not really gay, per se. God is more... pansexual. Omnisexual. Gender neutral. Gender indeterminate. It would appear that God, this all-knowing and all-creating and all-seeing divine energy that infuses and empowers all things at all times everywhere, does not give a flying leather whip about gender.

Or rather, She very much does, but not in the simpleminded, hetero-only way 2,000 years of confused religious dogma would have us all believe.

God's motto: Look, life is a wicked inscrutable orgy of love and compassion and survival instinct, shot through with pain and longing and death and suffering and far, far too many arguments about who did or did not pay the goddamn mortgage.

Life on Earth is messy and bloody and constantly evolving and transmuting and guess what? So is sexuality, and love, and connection, and what it means to exist. And if you uptight, hairless bipeds don't soon acknowledge this in a very profound way, well, it ain't the damn penguins who will suffer for it. You feel me?

This, then, is what science appears to be trying to tell us, has been telling us, over and over again: Nature abides no narrow, simplistic interpretation of her ways. Nature will defy your childish fears and laughable behavioral laws at nearly every turn. God does not do shrill homophobia.

Of course, until very recently, science was also beaten with the stick of right-wing fear for many, many years, told to keep quiet about those damnable facts, or else. Homosexuality is a lifestyle! A choice! And you can be lured into it! Seduced by the evil rainbow! Just like those poor penguins! Right.

Let us be perfectly clear. Not every individual animal necessarily displays homosexual traits. But in every sexually active species on the planet, at least some of them do, for all sorts of reasons, and it's common and obvious and as normal as a warm spring rain falling on a pod of giddy bottlenose dolphins having group sex off the coast of Fiji.

And either humankind is part of nature and the wanton animal kingdom, a full participant in the messy inexplicable glories of the flesh and spirit and gender play, or we are the aberrant mistake, the ones who are lagging far behind the rest of the kingdom, sad and lost in the eyes of a very, very fluid and increasingly disappointed God.

Mark Morford

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So, as some of you may know, I bought a used, old, flat-bottomed jon boat a few months ago.  My dad and I finally took it out on the water yesterday.  I hadn't really tested it for leaks so wanted to put it on a small body of water just in case there was a problem.  I'm happy to announce that while there did appear a tiny bit of water in the bottom I couldn't say for sure that it was a leak.  There was only about a cup full and it could have sloshed over the bow while we were moving because I was sitting up there working the trolling motor and as some of you also know, I'm built a lot like Robert Newhouse.  If you don't know who he is, look it up.

Anyway, I would count the morning a success even though we didn't catch a thing.  My cork went under only once and I can't even say for sure the it was due to a fish.  The weather was great.  There was just enough of a breeze to keep us cool.  In fact, it blew hard enough at times to make tiny little waves which is what was splashing over the bow when we drove into it.  It was quiet.  And for about the first hour we were the only ones there.  A few folks showed up later. 

We finally called it quits around 9:30 and came home.  It was nice to spend some time with my dad doing something that we both enjoy doing and not really caring whether we caught any fish.  A few bites would have been nice.  Maybe next time we'll just do to the middle, drop and anchor and do some catfishing on the bottom.  Who knows.  Who cares.  It's fishing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Are we as a society on information overload?  There's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, a gadrillion blogs and news sites that people like me spend hours reading.  Curiosity is going to kill me.  And yet, with all of that information that is available, we still seem to be ignorant about so many things.

The healthcare debate is out of control.  And I know that we tend to pick the news outlets that support our own personal opinions but somehow I think we're doing ourselves a disservice.  Not only are they out of control but debate in general has become mean, mean-spirited and just downright nasty.  Today, I read that some of those opposed to the overhaul of healthcare are equating it with Nazism.  My god.  Seriously.  Nazism.  So, OK, if we can't debate rationally and intelligently we'll just denigrate into name-calling.  That's mature. 

I believe that the media is partially responsible for that but I also believe that each individual has to be held more accountable.  Not necessarily but their fellows in the media but by us, the people.  WE have to tell them that this ugly discourse is unacceptable but we aren't.

There are things that need to be fixed but it will never happen as long as we're standing across the street from each other screaming at each other.  Who hears that  after a while?  Nobody.

Healthcare needs to be fixed.  Crime needs to be fixed.  Children having children needs to be fixed but it won't happy until all sides agree to sit at the table and talk about it rationally.

Where has the anger come from?


Monday, August 3, 2009


She's one of our cats.  I think of her as the oldest but she may not be but only by days when compared to another cat that was adopted at the same time.  She's been diagnosed with sarcoma.  We're going to keep her comfortable but know that before the week is out we'll have to make the "decision." 

She's had a really good life.  Soft bed to sleep in.  A family that has loved her.  Other cats to play with.  A garage to hide in.  Rats, mice and cicada to catch.  Raw hamburger meat to eat.  There's no way we could let her linger and suffer.

Isn't it funny that in the name of being humane, we have the option of a peaceful exit via euthanasia but we can't do that to our human loved one.  We can't be humane to humans.  We make them linger and suffer and hurt and lose their memory and lose control of their bodily functions.  How is that humane?  How is that human?

Out with the old and in with the new.

Herenton's gone.  We can sing a little song and do a little dance.  Lowry is in.  We can do another little dance then stand on the sidelines for a bit and watch what he does.  So far so good.  I find it funny that those who supported Herenton are singing the loudest about how the city is going to hell.  And this thing with Jefferson.  I'm confused.  He wanted to quit under Herenton but wasn't allowed to.  Now, the new Mayor Pro Tem wants Jefferson gone but Jefferson doesn't want to leave.  Figure that one.  Did Jefferson know something that Herenton was doing which Jefferson wanted to get away from and now that Herenton isn't doing it anymore, he wants to stay?

Sounds like an abusive relationship to me.  The abuser is gone and the abused wants to stay.  Baffles me.

I'm just ready for a new day in the city.  Lowry has invited those who left to come back.  I heartily agree.  We need those good folks back.  This city can be great but it's going to take work and dedication and and smart people.  I'm hopeful.  This city has great in it.  This city has great people in it.  This city won't make progress until the old guard is gone so that the new guard can make progress without pulling the old guard's caboose.  I'm ready for that progress.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fishing at Herb Parson's

I went with my father and very dear friend.  I'd never been there before and was amazed at how pretty it is.  Nice shoreline full of trees on one end.  The dam end is open.  There's a nice little dock to fish from and several jetties you can sit out on.  We, well I, caught a few.  A very nice crappie and several smallish but edible stripers.  I'm ready to go back with my boat.  I didn't take it today because I was warned that the Rangers were out checking registration.  Who knew you had to register a job boat?  I didn't.  I will Tuesday.  We could have rented a boat but decided not to.  We might have done better if we had.  Who knows?

It was a fabulous time.  I'm definitely going back.  I think Daddy enjoyed and my friend said she did. 

It was a beautiful day.  Cool breeze, quiet and water.  Doesn't get much better.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4

Long weekend.  I did a few little things around the house like totally reconfigure the closet just because we needed to pull the carpet out.  One of the cats decided that the litter box was beneath her.  I'm not sure which one it was yet and may never find out because they all go in there.  We tried everything and just like Herenton, no matter what we did the smell just kept coming back.  Nothing would get rid of it.  So we cut it up into tiny pieces and hauled it out in a bag.  Hey, you don't suppose......

Our cow was delivered.  389lbs of beef is a lot of meat.  There was dead cow all over the kitchen.  Luckily, folks came and picked up their parts fairly quickly.  We now have a freezer full.  It's beautiful meat too.  We've had some steaks and they were delicious.

The youngest is sick with a viral sore throat.  You'd think that would make him quiet but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....he's still talking nonstop.  He just sounds crappy and is very grumpy.

I'm grumpy.  This mayor thing is about to chap my ass.  What really pisses me off is that he thinks so little of the average citizen in this city that he believes we'll believe what he says about why he's postponing his retirement. 

We're not stupid, Willie.  We're sick and tired of the mockery you're making of the office.  We're sick and tired of you blaming everything on race.  Really, we're just sick and tired of you.  We're ready for you to just go away and take your arrogant, narrow ass with you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whew...what a weekend

On a whim, I decided to even out the dip where the driveway meets the street and drafted my oldest and SO.  Of course, I had to wait until noon to start.  I'm just weird that way.  I have to move when the mood strikes and it struck at noon.  Took us two hours to mix, pour, spread and form 9 bags of 80lb concrete.  I am now one with all those concrete workers.  They deserve a beer.  Many beers.  It's hot work.  Once you start you can't stop.  I sweated 4 gallons and I'm still trying to replace it.  It may take me all week to replenish that much water. 

The oldest boy had to work barefooted.  Ancient slaves and pyramids again.  One day that argument won't work.  I have to say, though, that he was a trooper and actually sweated.  All these years we thought he couldn't but guess what?  He sure can.  And he worked instead of standing around making caustic remarks. 

I then moved to fix a bike, fix the gate, hang a clothes line, work on the RV and move a couch into the living room.

I'm tired.  I have to work tomorrow.  Margarita tomorrow evening.

And all's right with the world.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lessons for Life

This came to me in an email.  I can't vouch for the validity of the author but who cares?  They are good lessons nonetheless.

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons
life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written."
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August,
so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.
Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion.
Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone for everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

So Herenton is Running for Congress

There are many other bloggers out there who are much more politically active than I am and who do a much better job of analyzing politics than I do so I'm not even going to try and step on their toes.

All I have is my opinion and I'm usually not afraid to share it.

Right out of high school I moved to Kansas to work with and become a professional horse trainer. Growing up in Henderson TN we had horses and I loved--still do--to ride. All of that means that I've shoveled some shit in my day and learned to recognize it. I even learned to tell a sick horse from a healthy one by the content and consistency of the shit.

Let me tell you something folks, based on the content and consistency of Herenton's shit, he's one sick muther. There's something mental going on here. Something maniacal. Based on a close examination of his shit, it's become apparent that he'll eat anything fed to him by his posse. Which means, it comes back out.

He's become a characature, a cartoon. Every time he opens his mouth, all I hear are bells, whistles, honks and snorts. How do we take him seriously when he strips to his boxers and crawls into a boxing ring to trade punches with another over-the-hill boxer who has also stripped to his boxers? How do we take him seriously when he fathers an out of wedlock baby in his 60's? Has the FOOL not heard of STD's, AIDS or protection? How do we take his ability to make decisions in the heat of the moment or an emergency situation when he can't pause long enough to wrap the wand? What the hell do we think he'd do in a major storm? Oh, wait...we know that. He goes to Little Rock to raise some money.

My bad. I forgot for a moment.

How do we take him seriously when he continues to put total gomers in positions of authority over important divisions of the city? Joseph Lee? Yolanda McFadden? Loraine Essex? Good lord, what decisions would he make as our congressman?

What about his flipflops on the superintendent? "Hell no on Kriner Cash. I'm the best man for the job." Then, "Hey, Kriner's cool. I didn't really mean what I said."

Joseph's in, Joseph's out, Joseph's in, Joseph's out, Joseph's resigned but now is assistant at the Parks department.

That must have been a helluva blowjob.

He's become a sad, disillusioned man and I feel for him. I suspect that he's had unprotected sex one too many times because he's showing symptoms of some ugly STD. Trot on down to the Health Department and get yo'self checked out Mr. Mayor. Your lack of judgement is showing and it's embarrasing.

I feel sorry for him. He needs help and none of his friends will tell him so. He's lost touch. He's ruined this city. The damage he's done will take years to fix.

Friday, June 12, 2009


We've returned from Florida. It was a wonderful trip. There was a slight snafu in the beginning with where we were going to stay but things worked out for the best. We found a place that we can park the rv further down the beach for free. Was awesome! I have some pictures to share. The dolphins were only about 30 yards off shore. You could hear them clear their blowholes. The weather was wonderful and the water was clear. We go back later in the year.

I must send much appreciation to our wonderful housesitters. They are the BOMB!

The oldest is taking a college class. French. He wanted to take Latin but it didn't make much to his disappointment. He's also doing an internship with Opera Memphis. I think he's enjoying it. The youngest is doing three camps this summer. 2 at Bridges and one at the Library. Tech camp, some environmental thing. I don't remember the other one. All I know is he'll be out of the house.

I'm having some issues at work. I don't know how to move past this latest setback. Many people say that there's always a lesson. I'm not sure what this one is. The cosmos has resorted to 4x4's and it hurts. My heart has been hurt by a decision that has been made by someone who I thought respected and appreciated my job knowledge and ability. Apparently he doesn't. There's been damage done to our relationship and I'm not sure I can move past it.

Life goes on I guess.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can someone please explain...

How a man can hit a deer at 150 yards with a tiny bullet but can't hit the toilet at 2 feet?

Interesting Article.

Are women really less happy now than 40 years ago? I don't know. I do agree with a lot of what he says in this article but don't have a solution. Read it. Think about it. Talk about it.

Liberated and Unhappy


Published: May 25, 2009

American women are wealthier, healthier and better educated than they were 30 years ago. They’re more likely to work outside the home, and more likely to earn salaries comparable to men’s when they do. They can leave abusive marriages and sue sexist employers. They enjoy unprecedented control over their own fertility. On some fronts — graduation rates, life expectancy and even job security — men look increasingly like the second sex.

But all the achievements of the feminist era may have delivered women to greater unhappiness. In the 1960s, when Betty Friedan diagnosed her fellow wives and daughters as the victims of “the problem with no name,” American women reported themselves happier, on average, than did men. Today, that gender gap has reversed. Male happiness has inched up, and female happiness has dropped. In postfeminist America, men are happier than women.

This is “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” the subject of a provocative paper from the economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The paper is fascinating not only because of what it shows, but because the authors deliberately avoid floating an easy explanation for their data.

The decline of the two-parent family, for instance, is almost certainly depressing life satisfaction for the women stuck raising kids alone. But this can’t be the only explanation, since the trend toward greater female discontent cuts across lines of class and race. A working-class Hispanic woman is far more likely to be a single mother than her white and wealthy counterpart, yet the male-female happiness gap holds in East Hampton and East L.A. alike.

Again, maybe the happiness numbers are being tipped downward by a mounting female workload — the famous “second shift,” in which women continue to do the lion’s share of household chores even as they’re handed more and more workplace responsibility. It’s certainly possible — but as Wolfers and Stevenson point out, recent surveys actually show similar workload patterns for men and women over all.

Or perhaps the problem is political — maybe women prefer egalitarian, low-risk societies, and the cowboy capitalism of the Reagan era had an anxiety-inducing effect on the American female. But even in the warm, nurturing, egalitarian European Union, female happiness has fallen relative to men’s across the last three decades.

All this ambiguity lends itself to broad-brush readings. A strict feminist and a stringent gender-role traditionalist alike will probably find vindication of their premises between the lines of Wolfers and Stevenson’s careful prose. The feminist will see evidence of a revolution interrupted, in which rising expectations are bumping against glass ceilings, breeding entirely justified resentments. The traditionalist will see evidence of a revolution gone awry, in which women have been pressured into lifestyles that run counter to their biological imperatives, and men have been liberated to embrace a piggish irresponsibility.

There’s evidence to fit each of these narratives. But there’s also room for both.

Feminists and traditionalists should be able to agree, for instance, that the structures of American society don’t make enough allowances for the particular challenges of motherhood. We can squabble forever about the choices that mothers ought to make, but the difficult work-parenthood juggle is here to stay. (Just ask Sarah and Todd Palin.) And there are all kinds of ways — from a more family-friendly tax code to a more accommodating educational system — that public policy can make that juggle easier. Conservatives and liberals won’t agree on the means, but they ought to agree on the end: a nation where it’s easier to balance work and child-rearing, however you think that balance should be struck.

They should also be able to agree that the steady advance of single motherhood threatens the interests and happiness of women. Here the public-policy options are limited; some kind of social stigma is a necessity. But a new-model stigma shouldn’t (and couldn’t) look like the old sexism. There’s no necessary reason why feminists and cultural conservatives can’t join forces — in the same way that they made common cause during the pornography wars of the 1980s — behind a social revolution that ostracizes serial baby-daddies and trophy-wife collectors as thoroughly as the “fallen women” of a more patriarchal age.

No reason, of course, save the fact that contemporary America doesn’t seem willing to accept sexual stigma, period. We simply don’t have the stomach for permanently ostracizing the sexually irresponsible — be they a pregnant starlet, a thrice-divorced tycoon, or even a prostitute-hiring politician.

In this sense, ours is a kinder, gentler, more forgiving country than it was 40 years ago. But for half the public, it’s an unhappier country as well.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Inspiring Commencement Address

It's long but well worth the read.  Everyone needs to hear this and take it to heart.

Published on Saturday, May 23, 2009 by

Commencement Address to the Class of 2009

University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009

by Paul Hawken

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple
short talk that was "direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering,
startling, and graceful." Boy, no pressure there.

But let's begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going
to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when
every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind
of a mind-boggling situation -- but not onepeer-reviewed paper published in the
last thirty years can refute that statement.

Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers,
and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have
misplaced them. Important rules like don't poison the water, soil, or air, and
don't let the earth get overcrowded, and don't touch the thermostat have been
broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed
that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a
million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and
really good food -- but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and
in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says:
YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn't afford to send
any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe
cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are
dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of
planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people
who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it
was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is
always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and
aren't pessimistic, you don't understand data. But if you meet the people who
are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't
optimistic, you haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are
ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in
order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The
poet Adrienne Rich wrote, "So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with
those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute
the world." There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is
reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms,
jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and
organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change,
poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and
more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen.

Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives
to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the
scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this
movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the
world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers,
children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists,
government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers,
weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving
Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and
as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us
all in such a huge way.

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the
Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true.
Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides
in humanity's willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover,
reimagine, and reconsider. "One day you finally knew what you had to do, and
began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice," is Mary
Oliver's description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of
connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening
news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has
religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots.
Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to
defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had
filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were
largely unknown -- Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood -- and
their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four
people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings
had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity.
Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives,
do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy
and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of
people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they
would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of
people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society,
schools, social entrepreneurship, and non-governmental organizations, of
companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their
strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled

The living world is not "out there" somewhere, but in your heart. What do we
know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the
conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a
future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and
tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers
advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. Think about this: we
are the only species on this planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have
an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time than
to renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but
you can't print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the
future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can
just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of
stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of
the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever
we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for
the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and
its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are
breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa,
and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here
because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. In each of you are one
quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a
community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours.
Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes
between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is
staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four
zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more
processes than there are stars in the universe -- exactly what Charles Darwin
foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a
"little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably
minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven."

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for
a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and
your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when
this speech will end. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is
managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the
conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. What
I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate
wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out
once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world
would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made
rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we
watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the
multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a
thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and
beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we
have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to
the most amazing, challenging, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any
generation. The generations before you failed. They didn't stay up all night.
They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every
moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn't ask
for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not
the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn't make sense to be
hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author.
His books include Blessed


Well, the SO and I had a disagreement about the status of upkeep on the piece of yard on the south side of the house.  Afterwards, we went out to do yard work which turned in to transplanting 3 large azaleas that had been growing in our front yard for 17 years.  It took two teenage boys, two adult females, 2 broken shovels, 1 intact shovel, the truck and a moving strap to get the suckers out of the ground.  Two of the larger ones have been moved up by the house.  The pieces of the smaller one have been moved to the backyard.  Let's hope they grow.

The eldest announced (after we told him he had on inappropriate shoes) that if the slaves could build the pyramids of egypt in sandals, he could dig up a bush.

How does one argue with that?

The youngest wanted to build a catapult type contraption to hoist it out of the ground which would involve timbers, straps and a sling.

He tends to overdo.

We attached a moving strap to the base and pulled it out with the truck but not before spraying the front yard with mud because, you know, it's rained a little.

There was no yelling, no screaming, not throwing of tools.  It was actually a fairly pleasant experience if you over look the mud and sweat which, who can really when it's all over you.

The problem now, besides keeping the transplanted bushes alive, is the upkeep on the front yard.  It's no longer hidden from the street so we have to mindful about that.  Mowing will have to be done more than twice a year unless we decide to declare it a nature preserve.

I've sent for the paperwork on that.

Right now, the SO and I are sitting our our patio eating popcorn and working on the computer.  Life it pretty good.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Can someone please tell me why people think I will buy their product if they use their child to sell it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Well today ended with a rush of adrenalin.  My SO calls.  "They fucking left our son at the state park!!!"  I'm...wha????  The 8th grade went on a field trip and to Meaman state park and some how they managed to leave 3 children behind.  The school didn't know it.  Apparently the bus driver just left.  People were rushing around trying to find them.  Two teachers raced back to the State Park trying to chase my SO down and stop her.  It was a mess.  The other two parents were in the office with me.  The police show up then leave once they (and we) found out that the kids were at the visitor's center and were safe.  I guess leaving children behind isn't criminal--just incompetent.  For 15 minutes, I felt like all the other parents out there who have lost a child.  It's horrible.  It's helpless and it's enough to make one eat nails and spit out needles.

He's fine.  You'd never know from him that something weird happened.  Go figure children.

I want to hold someone accountable, but I just don't know who.  Or if it's even worth it to stay upset about it. 

Good grief.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

To all mothers out there.  We had a wonderful one.  Our youngest got up and made cheesy, garlicy scrambled eggs with bacon.  It was delicious.  Then both the youngest and the oldest gave me a very cool new tool.  I've used it twice.  It's an Expedition Tools HK1 Adjustable Wrench.  This is what it looks like

ThinkGeek :: Hydrokinetic Adjustable Wrench :: Zoom!

I've already used it twice.  Very Star Trekkie.  They are getting my SO a new blender.  They asked what she wanted and she told them that it must grind ice up for margaritas so they did a search.  I'm not sure what they found because it hasn't arrived yet.  I'm curious. 

The SO and I went bike shopping.  We found a very plain beach bike which we are taking to Florida in a few weeks.  We also fixed a bike we had here.  It just needed some WD40 and new inner tubes.  Now it's good as new.  That's the one I'll be riding unless the oldest wants to. 

All in all, it's been a great day.  Now, I have to make a list of things that need to be done on the house.  Apparently Mother's Day only last a few hours.

Friday, May 8, 2009

On Turning 50

I just did it.  People ask me how it feels and all I can say is it feels the same as yesterday but not as good as tomorrow.  Nothing to it.  The only thing I need to change is exercise.  I don't get nearly enough of it and that's my fault.  I must get back on that elliptical.  We're also looking at bicycles which I think I can do.  Walking aggravates my back which is a product of my ample stomach.

Anyway, back to 50.  I had a small party which I didn't want and will freely admit that but am happy that I have friends who insisted.  It was nice.  Intimate.  Surrounded by people who I consider my truest friends who could be here.  I have some who live far away and couldn't make it.  One sent me a fabulous, beautiful bottle of tequila.  And it's delicious.  I had to taste it.

All in all, it's been a good time.  I'm not skeered of aging.  Several of my friends who are already over 50 have told me that it only gets better.  I believe them and am looking forward to this decade.  I wonder what changes and/or advances we'll see.  I wonder if the collective consciousness will become aware of the need for each of us to care about our neighbor.  I wonder if we'll see peace and sane prosperity.  I just wonder.  50 is cool.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Was beautiful.  I got out and cleaned up some leaves and a pile of sticks and tree limbs that we've been collecting with the intention of burning them in the firepit in the backyard.  Didn't happen so I just hauled them to the street.

I mowed the backyard with a weedeater.  It's not that large obviously.  What amazes me about that backyard, though, it just how much yard trash it generates.  Good god, it never stops.  Sticks, leaves, just tree crap everywhere.

I was going to try and get my motorcycle started.  Something's wrong with the float.  I didn't find that out soon enough today to work on it.  Guess it'll have to wait until next weekend.  I can't afford a mechanic right now so I'm going to have to feel my way through it.

There's still work to be done on the house.  I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed by the thought.  I don't know how to do it all which bothers me.  I have some roofing work to do, rerouting of the water heater vent, painting, jacking up the house.  You know, general home owner shit.

Perhaps I should sell and live in the RV. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring has Sprung

...all over the place. I've washed pollen off every horizontal surface I have and that includes indoors. We have an attic fan that we run. It's huge which means it sucks in all sorts of things through the window screens.

We've had our first baby visitor. Our lovely newest cat decided to bring us a screaming baby bird the other night. Thank goodness he has sense enough to take it to the bathroom. I still haven't decided why they've made that the killing room. Fortunately, the baby bird was alive and well when I retrieved it from the cat's mouth. I took it outside and put it where I thought it would be safe and where its mother could find it. I'm trying hard not to think about what happened after that. I will always believe that it's safe and growing.

We went to the Jimmy Buffet concert in Dallas last weekend. My first Buffet experience and I must say it was a grand one. RV's everywhere. People everywhere. Costumes and booze EVERYWHERE. One guy even brought a hot tub on a flatbed trailer. Wow. We're going back next year.

I"ve got to get my bike running. It's time to get back on it. It calms me. Better than a therapist or drugs. I can't explain it. One would have to ride to understand and I recommend that everyone buy a motorcycle and ride ride ride. It's awesome.

Nothing of much substance here. My SO is maintaining although I'm noticing that she's tiring much more quickly. I'm still holing out hope for a cure soon or at least a better treatment regimen.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009


I was reading the posts of some of my friends on Facebook and one had put this up there:

"Mary Antin, 1912: We are not born all at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later; and the birth and growth of the spirit, in those who are attentive to their own inner life, are slow and exceedingly painful..."

it caught my attention.  I'd received an email from a friend that I'd made several years ago during a time when my spirit was in a period of evolution.  My growth of spirit caused some painful changes in the relationship I was in.  My spirit needed to grow and couldn't do it in the shell of the relationship I was in at that time. 

It needed to expand so for a time, that relationship changed.  My SO moved and took our children with her.  My spirit exploded.  I made some very intense friends and connected with some very intense and emotionally advanced women.  One of those women was the one I received the email from.  She said that based on what she'd read on this blog showed her that I was very different now than I was then.

She's right.  My spirit evolved.  I learned lessons.  I brought that back to my current relationship and fully believe that this is where I'm supposed to be and want to be.  I'm more settled in and calmer spiritually.  Not necessarily temperamentally.

It doesn't diminish what I had back then.  I was supposed to experience that as well.  And learn from it, which I have.  It's made me who I am today.  It prepared me for what's to come.  I wouldn't make any different decisions if I were given it all over to do.

I miss those women.  I miss the energy that was around me then.  I miss what I was surrounded by.  I love what I have now and have learned to balance the "then" with the "now" and it works for me.

My spirit is still evolving but not nearly as explosive as it was then.  I'd like to think that there is more maturity which means taking measured steps towards what I'm supposed to become.  I would hope that there's more awareness on my part.

We'll see.  I'm looking forward to the journey.  I remember what I was when I met my friend and I use that as a guide or measuring stick for what I am now and what I will turn out to be. 

Broadway Pizza

I keep forgetting it's there and just down the street from me.  We decided to go there last night at about 5:30.  It wasn't crowded so we thought that dinner would come quickly. 

Not so.

And we discovered why.  They do a HUGE takeout business.  I wish they delivered.

We ordered a large "everything" which is what the youngest wanted.  We also ordered hotwings.  We ordered the hot which turned out to not be terribly hot but very tasty.  I'd get them again.  The sauce is spicy with a hint of vinegar and salt.  it was delicious.

And the pizza was also delicious although I don't think I'd the the "everything" again.  It was too much.  The flavors all meshed together until it really didn't taste like much.  Kinda like mixing all the colors together and you just end  up with black.  I'd go with only a few toppings.

I think that next time we might call ahead although the wait wasn't unpleasant because we entertained ourselves at the table. 

We will definitely go again and might even go there for lunch or at least call a pizza in then go pick it up.  I don't think it would give Memphis Pizza Cafe a run but it's a nice diversion and much closer to us.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Vacation was awesome! Traveling in the RV was a pleasant adventure even when we had to spend the night in the Firestone parking lot in Hattiesburg, MS. We had some overheating issues which required us to stay over night.

So hear we are in the parking lot with our feet kicked up watching a Harry Potter movie while eating dinner that my SO had cooked. The next morning we're all getting up but still in our sleeping clothes while breakfast is being cooked. Sausage, biscuits and eggs. The poor Firestone techs were just looking over at the RV and drooling. We had the exhaust fan on in the RV which sucked all that good smell out into the parking lot.


We got back on the road and made it down to the coast. The weather was nearly perfect. Two days of showers then 7 days of mid to upper 70's, clear, great water. It was just wow. Lots of time to read and relax and recharge. I love it down there. I think moving there would kill the magic though. Not sure. May have to test that though.

Amazingly enough, we all got along even though we were in tight quarters. There was very little computer access so we either had to read or play games or just sit and enjoy the calm. I enjoyed the calm. I enjoyed the sun and the wind and the water and the peace.

I can hardly wait to go back.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Squirrels in the Attic

No, it's not a movie.  Our newest cat addition when hunting in the attic and brought back a prized catch which it promptly took to the bathroom to finish gutting.

Thank goodness I wasn't home at the time.  My SO was and had to deal with the carcass and the cat.  He was so proud of the gift he'd presented.

Fur, blood and guts all over the bathroom.  At least he had the sense to take it to a tiled room so that clean up would be less unpleasant. 

This is our third encounter with a squirrel in the house.  At this point, we're no longer interested in saving the vermin.  Funny how certain encounters will do that.  Kinda like the beggers downtown.  I used to have compassion.  Now I just glare at them.

Kinda like the folks that have gotten us into this financial mess.  Where is their tiled room?

Potato Cannon

We had a nice family weekend.  The boys were scheduled to have some friends over for a game night but all families backed out for various reasons.  My youngest was feeling it the most.  He's my social mocking bird.  So, we loaded up his potato cannon and took it down to the greenbelt at the end of the street. 

We set up, carefully loaded it, sprayed just the right amount of hairspray into the combustion chamber then pushed the button.

WHOOMP and out shot the potato.  The people sitting on their porch across the street immediately turned around to watch.  We fired off another and they were moving closer.  Then a third that really boomed because the youngest added just a little more hairspray.  We decided at that point to pack it up because we figured the police were next.  As we were leaving, we noticed a father and 2 sons coming down the street.

Sorry they missed it.

What is it about loud booms that attract people?  Fireworks do it.  Sonic booms do it.  Apparently a family spending time together with a potato cannon does it.

Maybe we'll get it out again soon.

I have to share this commentary

The article is below.  He says what many of us have been thinking.  The middle class and poor have been screwed by the ultra rich and we're a poor nation for it.  Talk about moral bankruptcy!

Reviving the Dream

Published: March 9, 2009

Working families were in deep trouble long before this megarecession hit. But too many of the public officials who should have been looking out for the middle class and the poor were part of the reckless and shockingly shortsighted alliance of conservatives and corporate leaders that rigged the economy in favor of the rich and ultimately brought it down completely.

As Jared Bernstein, now the chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden, wrote in the preface to his book, “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)”:

“Economics has been hijacked by the rich and powerful, and it has been forged into a tool that is being used against the rest of us.”

Working people were not just abandoned by big business and their ideological henchmen in government, they were exploited and humiliated. They were denied the productivity gains that should have rightfully accrued to them. They were treated ruthlessly whenever they tried to organize. They were never reasonably protected against the savage dislocations caused by revolutions in technology and global trade.

Working people were told that all of this was good for them, and whether out of ignorance or fear or prejudice or, as my grandfather might have said, damned foolishness, many bought into it. They signed onto tax policies that worked like a three-card monte game. And they were sold a snake oil concoction called “trickle down” that so addled their brains that they thought it was a wonderful idea to hand over their share of the nation’s wealth to those who were already fabulously rich.

America used to be better than this.

The seeds of today’s disaster were sown some 30 years ago. Looking at income patterns during that period, my former colleague at The Times, David Cay Johnston, noted that from 1980 (the year Ronald Reagan was elected) to 2005, the national economy, adjusted for inflation, more than doubled. (Because of population growth, the actual increase per capita was about 66 percent.)

But the average income for the vast majority of Americans actually declined during those years. The standard of living for the average family improved not because incomes grew but because women entered the workplace in droves.

As hard as it may be to believe, the peak income year for the bottom 90 percent of Americans was way back in 1973, when the average income per taxpayer, adjusted for inflation, was $33,000. That was nearly $4,000 higher, Mr. Johnston pointed out, than in 2005.

Men have done particularly poorly. Men who are now in their 30s — the prime age for raising families — earn less money than members of their fathers’ generation did at the same age.

It may seem like ancient history, but in the first few decades following World War II, the United States, despite many serious flaws, established the model of a highly productive society that shared its prosperity widely and made investments that were geared toward a more prosperous, more fulfilling future.

The American dream was alive and well and seemingly unassailable. But somehow, following the oil shocks, the hyperinflation and other traumas of the 1970s, Americans allowed the right-wingers to get a toehold — and they began the serious work of smothering the dream.

Ronald Reagan saw Medicare as a giant step on the road to socialism. Newt Gingrich, apparently referring to the original fee-for-service version of Medicare, which was cherished by the elderly, cracked, “We don’t get rid of it in Round One because we don’t think it’s politically smart.”

The right-wingers were crafty: You smother the dream by crippling the programs that support it, by starving the government of money to pay for them, by funneling the government’s revenues to the rich through tax cuts and other benefits, by looting the government the way gangsters loot legitimate businesses and then pleading poverty when it comes time to fund the services required by the people.

The anti-tax fanatic Grover Norquist summed the matter up nicely when he famously said, “Our goal is to shrink the government to the size where you can drown it in a bathtub.” Only they didn’t shrink the government, they enlarged it and turned its bounty over to the rich.

Now, with the economy in free fall and likely to get worse, Americans — despite their suffering — have an opportunity to reshape the society, and then to move it in a fairer, smarter and ultimately more productive direction. That is the only way to revive the dream, but it will take a long time and require great courage and sacrifice.

The right-wingers do not want that to happen, which is why they are rooting so hard for President Obama’s initiatives to fail. They like the direction that the country took over the past 30 years. They’d love to do it all again.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


My sister and her husband are in China and for Christmas, they gave us the awesome set of chopsticks.  Enough in the set for each of us to have our own.  I sent her a thank you email telling her how great they were and that we would use them all the time.

Little did I know how accurate that statement would be.

This morning I decided to make myself some breakfast which consisted of large hotdogs, mustard and sweet pickle relish.  The boys come in and smell it cooking then say they want some.  I oblige.

10 minutes later I walk back into the kitchen and see my youngest eating cut up hotdogs with the chopsticks sent from China.

Everything except ice cream.  None of us have tackled that yet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mother and Son projects

My youngest and I have been traveling a rocky time of it lately. I haven't really wanted to be around him because of his behavior.

He came home Friday with a school project. He was supposed to build a telegraph. Since I am the building mom, it fell to me to help.

I'm glad it did. Gave us time to reconnect. Hopefully, we've moved past the rocky part if only for a little while.

I should say that we got the telegraph built and it does actually work. It's a little crude; nevertheless, it dots and dashes just like it was meant to. We'll see what grade he gets.

We'll see how he behaves.

We'll see how I feel about him in a week and how well I pass this test of patience and self-control.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Planting Trees

I found this story on the "About My Planet" website. Apparently there has been a push by a group to plant trees all over the planet.

First I've heard about it. Quoted below is the article. Read it. It's encouraging and surprising about what country has planted the most trees.

From the website:

"It is always nice to mention good news when you are talking about the environment. With so much bad news out there, any good news can brighten up your day, and today there is good news for the environment. This good news does not come out of eco-friendly British Columbia, or the progressive European Union. Nope, it comes from Kenya, a place that has some of the highest poverty levels on the planet.

The United Nations has put forth an initiative to plant billions of trees to help the environment. Called Plant for the Planet: Billion Trees Campaign, it has the goal of planting trees all over the planet over the next few years to reduce greenhouse gases and to help make the world a greener place, like it used to be before humans got chainsaw happy around the planet.

As part of this, Kenya has pledged to plant 5,000 trees in the Karua Forest to fight climate change, promote carbon reduction and to clean up the Karura River, which has suffered in recent years. The UN picked the perfect day for this as well; Valentine's Day. What better day to say you love the Earth by planting a tree, than Valentine's Day?

Thousands attended the event because many of the trees are planted in the memory of loved ones who have died, while other trees are just being planted for the love of the planet; our planet.

So far, the Billion Trees Campaign has been an incredible success. At this point, 2.6 billion trees have been planted around the globe with 4.3 billion trees pledged to be planted this year. However, it is not quite on the mark of planting seven billion trees by the end of 2009, which will represent one tree for every person on the planet. That being said, 2,600,000,000 trees planted is a big step in the right direction. That equates to billions, upon billions of tons of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. It is expected a few billion more trees will be planted before the end of 2009.

Do you want to know what country has planted the most trees of any country on Earth for this UN campaign? If you guess Canada, the European Union or the United States, you would be wrong. Ethiopia is the correct answer. So far in this campaign, this small country has planted an astonishing 700,000,000 trees!"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Satan Designed my Jeep's Engine

That's the only explanation I have for why a rocker cover bolt is placed at the back of the cover near the fire wall.  There is NO room to work back there.  If the bolt hadn't already been a little loose, I'd have never gotten it off.

And it's also very obvious that whoever designed this truck had no intentions of a short fat chick ever working on it.  I can't reach JACK without a footstool.  How dignified is that?  I'm doing serious work on my own truck and I have to drag the kitchen stool out to the street just so I can reach all the bolts that need to be removed.

Of course, if one built a car that I could easily and comfortably work on, nobody could fit in it.

Anyway, I changed the rocker cover gasket today.  Took me 4 hours and several colorful expressions to get it done.  Saved a couple hundred dollars.  And I'm going to need that money just to fill up the RV.

Now, I just have to figure out how to get the grossness out from under my fingernails.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Our New RV

God....we bought a used RV yesterday. Can we afford it? Not really but can we not not afford it? With the future uncertain for my SO, we had to do it. I asked a friend for her opinion and she said that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

We had to do it and will love it.

It's an older model which the color scheme reflects. Browns and creams but that's ok. It's functional and in good shape. We took her for a test drive out to Meeman and it worked well. We did a test run of hooking up to services and times how long it took. You ready? 5 minutes to back in and set up. Beats the heck out of a tent. We moved all of our camping gear in which freed up space in the house. I even joked that we could turn it into our oldest's bedroom or a retreat for the adults.

Now, I have to see about claiming it as a second home.

Check out the pictures.