Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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Location: United States

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Slack Time

This weekend we have family coming home. It’s homecoming Sunday at the family church. I haven’t been to one in years, but it’s the old-fashioned type church homecoming. Everybody will get there early to catch up and talk for awhile, and then preaching during the morning. Everyone brings food so at lunchtime, there’s a long break and everyone goes outside and eats under the trees and more catching up. When lunch is done and cleaned up, they all go back inside and listen to more preaching. As I said, I haven’t been to one in years and each year Fmom tries to guilt trip me into going, but I always refuse. I call it the family church because my grandparents helped get the most recent incarnation built, plus my aunts, sisters, nieces and nephews have been married there.

Anyway half the family will be here this weekend for the homecoming. So Fmom is using her Fmom code language to let me know to straighten up the house. But I have my secret weapon for the furtherance of the slackerly lifestyle. Whenever I pick something up by Fmom I just let out a groan and set my face is the most horrible of grimaces. She’ll immediately ask me what’s wrong and I’ll innocently say, “Oh nothing, just the back.” She’ll tell me to stop the cleaning right now and go lay down, and I’ll valiantly refuse saying we have family coming home. Another groan, another grimace and then I’ll finally let myself be convinced by her to take a break. OK I admit I’m milking the back situation, but it really does hurt. Of course once it’s better I have to go back to the creative approach for slacking. I’ve said it before - lazy is hard work. You’ve always got someone wanting you to do something. So you have to put a lot of creative thought into the best ways to slack. I’ll always go back to my rule number one though. A little bit of preparation and work at the beginning will usually produce a multitude of slack time later.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Few More Pictures

Today I’ve got to take FMom to see the doctor. The hard part will be getting her ready, getting her there and back. I think this appointment will be interesting because Fmom is getting very tired of hurting all the time and if the doctor gives her any wrong answers, I’m afraid she’ll let loose. Anyway I’m just going to sit back and keep my mouth shut. Well I might throw in a “What she said!” every now and then. :)

I haven’t taken many pictures lately, but here’s a couple I took yesterday.

George in Backyard
Click to enlarge

Cat on Patio

Thought I'd throw in a picture of the Summer Cabin.


FMom and I just got back from the doctor. He answered all the questions right and FMom didn't let loose. He and his assistant were very congenial and the doctor and I talked three time longer about the history of this area than his exam of FMom. The town/city we went to was first settled by the French. It has a lot of history there and some really fine antebellum homes.

So at the moment FMom's shoulder is killing her and my back is killing me. I told her together we might make one whole person. :~)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Andi!!!!!

Today is Andi’s birthday and being the birthday princess, I knew she would like to dress the part.

So Andi here's your birthday hat.

And knowing you love dresses with bows. Here's your birthday dress.

Got to have the shoes too.

And here's part of a cake. It's only part because there are many years to come and I hope you have many many more pink frilly birthdays.

Happy Happy Birthday Andi!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Fmom was born an only child. Her mother died shortly after Fmom was born and she never knew her. Her Father, my Grandfather had to travel and was gone most of the time because of his work, so Fmom was raise by her Aunts and Uncles. The one that really raised her and she looked at more as a mother was Great Aunt N (GAN). GAN was an old maid schoolteacher that didn’t take any flack from anyone. When we were kids and came home to visit, we would always stop in the little town where GAN and the other aunts and uncles lived and then on to my other grandparents house to stay.

Whenever we stopped at GAN’s house it would almost take a day, because we would have to go to each aunt and uncles house to visit. As a little kid this was always great because each aunt and uncle would want to spoil us in the little time they had. At GAN’s house lived Uncle J. Uncle J had been in World War I and had been gassed. I never knew the whole story, but Uncle J had lived with GAN ever since I could remember. Uncle J was one of the chief spoilers when we came home. Not that he had candy or things to give us, but he spoiled us with his time. He was always there when we wanted to do something. From walking down to the railroad that ran behind GAN’s house, to going to the pond, to just sitting on the front porch and talking with us as if we were adults. He was never condescending and you could always feel warmth and caring from him. GAN however, was different. We knew she loved us, but she didn’t put up with any bratty behavior and after one time of acting like a brat in her house, you never did it again. As I said, she was an old maid schoolteacher and knew how to handle brats.

This story is about GAN and how I wished I had done more. We don’t have snow or ice down here often, but long after GAN retired and Uncle J was gone, GAN was visiting a friend one day. As she was leaving, she slipped on a patch of ice and fell and broke her hip. This was bad enough, but shortly thereafter she had a stroke. She was in the hospital for a long time and then in a nursing home. I had gone to visit GAN with the family, but didn’t go with any regularity. One reason was I was still in high school and didn’t have a car that would make it that far and the other was, I’m sad to say, I was to caught up in myself to think about it. This changed once I started college and lived in the city she was in.

GAN recovered from her stoke enough to where she could get around and speak clearly, but she couldn’t take care of herself. At this time my father had become sick and Fmom was struggling to take care of him and my two younger brothers. So as with many old people whom can’t take care of themselves, GAN had to live in a nursing home. I got into the habit of every Saturday dropping over to see GAN. This turned into a regular Saturday drive to a small hamburger joint that she said had the best hamburgers in town. I can remember when I used to walk into the nursing home that I could see faces that were vacant and faces that would light up. For a lot of people who were there and never visited by family, anybody’s family, any new face was a chance to rejoice, to communicate. GAN had her friends there and one would always let her know I had stopped to talk to the old folks I had gotten to know and who could communicate. When I would finally get to GAN’s room her face would always light up, and she would never want to sit and talk or go out into the common area and talk. She wanted to get out of that place as soon as possible. GAN’s whole demeanor would change once she was out and she would laugh and talk about the old days. I didn’t realize it then, but I do now. That couple of hours every Saturday meant so much to her and to a few other people in the nursing home. This lasted for only for awhile because GAN was moved to a nursing home closer to my aunts and uncles, which was far away from me. I never got to see her again because her health went down quite fast after the move and she was gone. I didn’t think it then, but I do now. I could have done more.

Some people probably wonder why I take care of Fmom now. Fmom has told me before that if I wasn’t here, she is sure she would be in a nursing home by now. Not because my siblings don’t love her, but because they have families and all work full time. This latest thing with Fmom fracturing her shoulder got me thinking of GAN. I know I could have done more for GAN and now that I have the chance, I want to know that I’m doing everything I can for Fmom. I don’t want to look back and think - I could have done more.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pond Pictures

Things appear to be pretty much the same around here. So I’m not going to dwell on my back or Fmom’s shoulder. So since I don’t have much to say today, I'll just post some pond pictures.

Fog on the Pond
Click to enlarge

Rain on the Pond

I hope everybody's day and weekend goes good.

BTW, IVG I hope your upcoming trip will be a good one and not too stressful. Remember to slack when possible.

Monday, September 18, 2006

BT's Tribute to Labor

As I did with the UN 10 Underreported Stories, I’m also adding a link and this diary for the newest community project at Booman’s Tribune. This community project is a Tribute to Labor, obviously to coincide with Labor Day. Since I think these are great and meaningful diaries, I’m posting this diary along with a link on the side bar so they won’t get scrolled off and forgotten to soon.

I said it before, but I’m very proud of the people who worked together to bring this project from an idea into reality, and I think Kahli did a great job of organizing and implementing this project.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Little by Little

Things are getting better, little by little. Fmom is feeling a little bit better, but still in pain. Thank goodness she has something for that. My back might be a little bit better. I’ve got an appointment with a back specialist in Oct. and I’m hoping my back will be well enough so I can cancel that.

We have relatives coming in today, and this time I’m looking forward it. I’m hoping they’ll help out with Fmom and maybe my back can get a rest. Of course I never know and I might be running around cleaning up after them. But as long as they help with Fmom I’ll be happy.

One good thing, the guy came over to do the lawn. It looks good right now, and I’m hoping it will stay that way for a little while. It’s starting to feel a little like fall around here. I can tell it mostly during the morning, but it only got up to 84 F yesterday. It actually felt cool outside. I will be most happy when winter gets here. The lawn will be one less thing to worry about. I’ve always wondered if people moved up toward the Arctic Circle just to get out of doing the lawn. The more I think of it, I could probably acquire a taste for blubber.

Hope everybody has a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

House Cleaning

Today will be a new experience for me. We have a cleaning lady coming over to help out. My sister insisted we get someone because with my back right now, I’m unable to get a lot of stuff done. I started to ask her while she was insisting if she would be paying this lady, but I already knew the answer to that.

This reminded me of my last landlady (LL). When I had moved from the trailer park I had talked about earlier, I had found this house in a very small town. It was perfect for me, George and Henry (George’s brother). When I first saw the house it was having a little renovation being done on the bathroom. While it was being done and before I moved in, my LL was asking me what kind of sink and cabinets, and what kind of tile on the floor I wanted. She was willing to change anything I wanted, which was a pleasant surprise after the trailer.

Anyway my LL and I became friends and she would drop by from time to time. She would tell me how I was the best renter she had ever had and how impressed she was on how clean I kept the house and yard. Now my LL and her husband were in their mid 70’s and they weren’t getting around too well. She asked me one time if I could come by her house and help her clean a few things. I said sure and showed up on the appointed day.

They had a modern ranch style house, and she had the house filled with antiques. She told me when I arrived that she has seen how I cleaned my house, so would I do the same for her. So I spent the day vacuuming, waxing/dusting furniture, mopping/waxing tile floors, cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom and scouring all the bathrooms. I think the thing she liked about my cleaning is I would move furniture to vacuum under it, I would clean the entire kitchen to include almost taking down the stove to get to everywhere in and on it. I guess you could say I did what is now called deep cleaning. I finally moved back home to take care of Fmom and for a time after I got here, I would drive the three hours round trip to clean my LL’s house about every two week. After awhile the drive and my health stopped me from doing that.

I haven’t talked to her in a long time, but the last time I did, she said she had gone through four different people to clean her house, but no one did the job I had done. She wanted to know if I could come up and do a job on her house. I told her I would love to, but at this point I was having a hard enough time looking after Fmom and keeping this place clean.

This brings me back to the cleaning lady coming today. I just spent the last hour cleaning and picking up what I could around the house. Since Fmom and I’ve been back from the trip, I haven’t been in any condition to clean around here. It looked like a tornado had come through here and at least now it looks like only a strong wind came by. Since I don’t know the lady coming, I’ll sit and talk with her for awhile and tell her what I expect, and ask what she expects. I used to do that with new people arriving in my office and found that precluded a lot of miscommunication on what the job expectations were. I don’t know if she’ll be a deep cleaning person or a hit and dust person, but I guess I’ll see.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Poor George

With everything going on yesterday I squeezed in going and getting George and Cat from the vets. I told them to let me get cat first because she would have to be in the carry case and then I would get George. I could hear Cat start to meow as she always does when put in the cage, but I could also hear George whining very loudly when he heard Cat being taken away. The vet assistant told me George was standing on his hind legs and moving his front paws up and down and she thought that was cute. I told her he has done that since he was a puppy and when he really wants something he always does that. I figured he felt he would be all alone in the kennel without Cat and he was starting to worry when she was taken out. He was whining the entire time until the vet assistant came through the door with him and he saw me. Since the assistant was hold George in her arms, we averted a peeing on the floor situation, but as soon as we got outside he let it go.

Later that day the vet’s office called and said they had forgotten to clip his dewclaws and could I drop him back by that afternoon. Well George isn’t stupid, but sometimes he gets really excited and forgets things. I go out into the carport and open the door to the car and George jumps in. I close the door and George is standing on his hind legs and looking out the window. I swear he had a look on his face that says, “Oh sh**, I screwed up!” I go around the get in the car and George is trying his best to get out. I’ve never heard George howl, but that’s the closest he’s ever come to it. He put up a deafening whine all the way to the vets and he was shaking and trembling something awful.

I get him to the vets and they’re done in about 2 minutes and George is still trembling all the way home. He comes in the house and goes straight to my room and plants himself in his usual sleeping spot. Except for when he is about to bust I can’t get him up to go outside. Needless to say, I know he won’t want to go for a ride for a long time.

Added: I forgot to add that George finally got a professional hair cut. FMom says he looks like a big rat now, but that's OK, it's still George.

Click for larger image.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Peaks and Valleys

Fmom is still asleep and I only had to get up twice last night. The medicine she is taking for pain really make her a little bit out there and that worries me, but I’d rather have her a little cuckoo than in pain.

Today we go to the family doctor. She was saying yesterday that she didn’t feel like going and for me to take the x-rays over and show him. I told her he would want to see her and she had to go. She told me, “If I feel like it.” I hate to say this, but I’m really not worried because she’s almost out of her pain medicine and once the effects of the medicine wear off and the intense pain returns she’ll want to go.

I know it will be an ordeal for her, but she’s more worried about her appearance than anything else. She won’t leave the house unless she looks just right. I told her it doesn’t make any difference on how she looks or anything else. The important thing was for her to get to the doctor’s office and to get this stuff started.

As for me, I’m feeling like I’ve been run ragged and it’s taking a toll on my back. We did decided to call someone to come and do the lawn and my sister called someone else to come and clean the house on Wednesday. It looks like it will be some interesting days ahead.

Life is peaks and valleys. It’s the middle ground that’s hard to stay on.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Saga Continues.

We made it home yesterday afternoon. I only got lost once in Memphis where the road construction threw me off and we were headed toward Jackson, MS instead of Tupelo, MS. Luckily I noticed right away and asked for directions. We had to cut across a highway that had no red lights, and I think it saved us some time because, we missed all the usual red lights we would have encountered coming out of Memphis. I used to be so much better about not getting lost. I think old age is catching up with me.

Fmom did all right on the trip. The hardest part was getting her out of the motel to the car. She had taken one of her pain pills before we left and the relatives and I got her down the three floors and into the car. Once we started riding, the roads were pretty rough and as soon as I could I had to give Fmom another does of her pain medicine. She had been taking one, but the instructions say she can take two and since she was hurting so much she took two. When she wasn’t dozing she was as funny as could be from the effects of the medicine. We had one trucker in Memphis who cut us off and I had to hit the brakes. Fmom was muttering what a stupid ass the guy was and how going by she was going to give him the bird. This is from a woman who is prim and proper and allows no profanity in her house. I had to talk her out of that, but it was kind of hard since I was laughing so much. Then during the trip, the brothers and sister would be calling and when they would ask how she felt, she would say, “All right except I’m drunk as a skunk.” Luckily though, Fmom dozed pretty much of the trip.

We get home and I get her into the house and settled in. Now I’ll just have to start getting her ready today for the trip to the doctor tomorrow. I think the pain medicine had made her forget how bad the fracture is and she said she might wait on seeing the doctor Monday morning. I put my foot down and explained about contractures and how her arm would freeze in place if we didn’t get her right away to the doctor and start treatment and PT. My sister came over and started giving her hell about even thinking about not going. So I think she sees we’re not going to let this one rest.

I don’t think I’ve told of it earlier, but in 1984 I fell off a bicycle and had the exact same fracture Fmom does, except it was on my left shoulder. That’s another story I’ll have to tell one day. The treatment I got was not good. Actually, I just remembered I told a snippet of it over at KB’s place about turning up the electrical stimulation pads on high during my PT. It was very painful and not pretty. So I know what Fmom is going through and I know how painful and how long it will take to finally get over this.

I don’t think I’ll have to worry about getting Fmom to the doctor. The ER doctor only gave her a small amount of medicine for pain and once that runs out and her shoulder is hurting really bad, she’ll be happy to go.

I’ve got her planted in the recliner because laying down hurts so much and I have everything she needs by her. Years ago when she had been sick a brother went to Radio Shack and bought two intercoms you plug into the electrical outlets. So I got those, hooked them up and she can call me in my room whenever she needs anything. I guess it’s the electronic age’s equivalent to ringing a bell.

Anyway the saga of Fmom and FM continues.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Maybe Home Today.

Well Fmom slept throughout the night. I got the motel to bring up a recliner yesterday because she couldn’t get comfortable in the bed. So she slept in the recliner last night.

She hasn’t lost her sense of humor or either the pain medicine is really getting to her. I was telling her about yesterday morning when she fell. We had tried to get her up and put a chair in front of her to help her walk herself up. We had gotten her to her knees and she was bent over resting her left arm on a chair, and she could go any farther. Since the door was open and relatives were running back and forth, people were walking by in the hall way and either staring or stopping to look and see what was going on. I told Fmom she had put on a good show with her big old back end sticking out into the hallway. Usually she would have gotten mad and started fussing, but this time she started laughing so hard it hurt her shoulder. I think the biggest thing for Fmom yesterday was that she was so embarrassed. She was embarrassed she fell, she was embarrassed we had to call the ambulance and she was embarrassed because she thought she was being trouble for everyone.

The thing that got me about Fmom is yesterday when we were leaving the hospital, we were getting calls over the cell phone and she was trying to comfort my brothers and sister telling them she was fine and everything was all right and not to worry. She was more worried about how her children were feeling than how she was feeling.

The doctor told me yesterday that I had to wake up Fmom every three hours during the night since she had hit her head. I guess he wanted to make sure there was no neurological damage. I made it every five hours. It’s 5:30 am and I’ve had her up for about an hour now, so I don’t think she is going back to sleep. The only thing about waking her up is I know she’s hurting, so once we get home, I’m going to let her sleep as long as she can.

After I woke her up this morning, I let her get awake a little and gave her something for pain. We’ll see how the day goes.

Friday, September 08, 2006

What Will Happen Next?

The day didn’t turn out exactly as I thought it would. We came to Little Rock because a relative was going into the hospital to have test done. Fmom and I wake up and eat, I get ready and while Fmom is getting ready, she falls coming out of the bathroom. I jump up and run over to her and she’s flat on her face. I’m asking her if she’s hurt, is she OK, what can I do? She tried to get up but she can’t use her right arm or shoulder. I get under her left arm and get her into a sitting position. She tries to move and she has extreme pain in her right shoulder. She tells me she thinks she broke her arm. I tell her I’m calling an ambulance and she’s adamantly saying no. So I try to help get her up and she can’t. She finally agrees to let me call, but first she wants me to go down to by relative’s room and let them know. She doesn’t want them to come out into the hallway and see a stretcher at our room. I run down and let them know and run back to the room. I call the front desk and they call the ambulance.

The ambulance gets here, the relatives are bouncing off the walls and I’m trying to tell the EMT guys what happened and give them the information they want. Fmom is in a lot of pain and it takes them awhile to get her on the stretcher. Her face had hit the carpet and her nose and forehead are bleeding, but the EMT guys get that under control. They get her to the ambulance and one of my relatives’ rides with her while I follow in the car. I tell my relative at the motel not to call any of the family until I know what is going on. That was like speaking to a brick wall. Before I got to the hospital the cell phone was ringing.

I get into the ER and my relative is already there and she’s trying to fill out papers. I get the papers and I have all of Fmom’s info and do that. I go back to the ER where Fmom is and sit with her until the doctor comes in. He checks her out and says they’ll get X-rays and he will get her something for pain. They take Fmom to X-ray I have to run back to the car because I left her medicines in there and they want to know what she’s taking. I get back and wait and wait and wait. They finally bring her back and I ask her how she is feeling. She said she’s still in pain. The doctor comes back in and tells us she had fractured the ball that goes into the socket on her left shoulder. He said there was nothing they could really do except to immobilize her shoulder and give her something for pain. He told us that she needs to see an orthopedist when she gets home. So during all this time, I’m running (yes walking) back and forth to the car to get her medicines for the nurse, get the clothes I bought because she was in her robe and to get the car to bring it to pick her up. I’m also checking to see how the relative is that we came up to be with during his test. Plus I’m fielding phone calls from brothers and sister.

They wheel her out to the car and I drive us back to the motel. After the pain medicine they gave her, I don’t know how, but she made it to our room. I get her settled with a load of pillows behind her and she is sleeping.

So here I sit until she needs something. I hoping she will feel up to a six-hour drive back home tomorrow. If she doesn’t, we’ll be here another day.

Don't Wee-Wee In The Trashcan

It was a long day yesterday. From the packing and cleaning the house, to the getting George and Cat to the vet, and finally the drive. It took us about seven hours and we should have been here by just under six. I took a wrong turn in Tupelo, MS and ended up in Corinth, MS before realizing I was going the wrong way. The blue arrow on the map shows the way I was supposed to go and the red arrows shows how I did go. Fmom was giving me a hard time for awhile, but the scenery was really nice, so I kept telling her to thank me for showing her such beauty.

We stopped one time on the way to Little Rock. We pulled into a combo service station/diner. We just had to use the facilities, but the place was packed with people in for lunch. I get Fmom out of the car and to the entrance of the women’s bathroom, and then I go into the men’s bathroom. I lock the door and turn around and see a hand written sign that says, Stop peeing in the trash can. If you can’t find the toilet, then go outside. I did miss the trashcan and came back outside to wait on Fmom. At first I was a little hungry and was going to get something to eat, but after the sign, I decided to bypass the food in that place. We finally get to Memphis and the traffic is pretty heavy. Remember for me at home, six cars at the red light is heavy traffic. But Memphis is really heavy. I have to admit, compared to some cities I’ve driven in; the drivers there were fairly nice.

On any trip Fmom is always the voice of doom. If we come upon a tanker truck carrying chemicals, Fmom will want me to speed around because it might be a terrorist. I keep telling her, “You know I bet if there is a terrorist driving it, he’s been waiting for some old Southern woman to drive by.” She always says, “Just shut and drive faster.” Well this time she’s telling me to drive fast across the Mississippi River Bridge going into Arkansas. She’s telling me she doesn’t want to be on it incase the New Madrid earthquake fault starts to act up. For those that don’t know, the New Madrid quake was the worst to ever hit the United States. I’ve heard it made the Mississippi River run backward for a few days. I know it changed the course of the river in some places. We safely get across the bridge into Arkansas. This brings back memories for me, because I grew up (until 13 y.o.) in this area of the country. As we go by the exits on the interstate, I know the farm I grew up on is about 40 miles away. We went by the place some years ago and it’s unrecognizable now. The buildings, tree and pastures are gone and everything is used for planting. When we drove by, I could even tell where my house used to be. It’s sad really. My Dad had a good farm, but the people who bought it only wanted land for planting crops.

Well it’s another day of maneuvering through traffic and then by tomorrow night we’ve be home. I definitely want to pay attention on the way home and not get lost again. The way my luck goes, if I take another wrong turn, I could end up in Chicago.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Yesterday morning one of the things I had to do was drop FMom off at the beauty shop to have her hair done. Since I walked her in, I asked the girl there if she had time to do a haircut (sorry Olivia). She said yes, so I sat with FMom and waited. The reason I’m writing about this is because I saw the cutest thing and it bought back some memories.

There was a little boy about 4 years old getting his hair cut. I could see that if this wasn’t his first, it was near it. His grandfather had bought him in and was sitting near giving him encouragement and telling him how good he was doing. It reminded me of how much the town had changed since I was a kid. Back then we had one Barber Shop. Always all the men in town would go there for their haircuts. Be it the Banker, Farmer or college student, you would meet them sooner or later at the Barber Shop. I can remember when I was older seeing young fathers bringing their sons in for their first hair cut. Some little boys would be stoic and sit as quietly as possible and some would cry during the whole thing. The barber was an old hand at this, and would always somehow even give the most squirming of boys’ produce a good hair cut. What I remember was the range of emotions each parent would go through.

I can remember seeing new parents and grandparents almost coming to tears seeing how distraught their child was from getting a hair cut. I can also remember how proud and beaming some were when their child would sit there and be brave. Mostly I can remember the barber and how he treated each child. From the ones moving constantly to the ones about to cry, he knew how to treat each child to where at the end of the haircut they would be smiling. Plus a lollipop at the end helped. I realized later that obviously it made his job easier to not have the child fearing coming back, but I think more it was just the man’s personality. I also realized that this was a life’s moment that child and adult would never forget.

Our Barber had left years ago and now there are a couple of beauty shops in town. The way I saw how the town has changed is within the beauty shop. Today while Miss Emma is getting her hair done, a good old boy will bring his Grandson in for a haircut. Maybe waiting will be a college student who has spiked purple hair. It’s not that unusual to see in my town.

This brings me back to the little boy getting his hair cut. His Grandfather was a farmer in his work clothes, a good old boy and probably what’s called a red neck. But he was sitting in a beauty shop murmuring words of encouragement to his Grandson. His Grandson and been a brave boy and at the end the Grandfather reminded the beautician to spike up his hair like his Grandson had said he had wanted it. The beautician did so, and the little boy with his hair like that actually reminded me of a child actor from a while back. When it was all done, the little boy was as proud as could be and the Grandfather beaming. They left with the Grandfather saying they had to go and show Uncle so and so his new hair cut. Uncle so and so would have a fit when he saw it. They both left laughing.

My little town has changed since I was a kid, and I think the changes are very good.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Breaking Down.

Fmom and I will be taking a trip. It’s not very far, about a six hour drive, and we’ll only be gone a couple of days. Fmom wants to go and see about how a relative is doing. Our car is in good shape, but now of days I have to prepare for these things. I don’t know if you’ve ever broken down on the interstate, but I did once and it is not a good feeling.

Back in the late 80’s I had just come back from Europe. Over there I had my own car and it was being shipped back. I got the notification to pick it up in New Orleans (N.O.). So I fly into N. O., get to the port, go through all the paper work, check my car out and start heading out to Mobile to pick up my family. Out of N.O. my car starts sputtering and I’m thinking I better pull into the next service station. I didn’t get a chance to do that because smoke starts pouring out from under my hood. I pull over to the side and pop the hood and smoke is boiling out. I’m not a mechanic and know nothing about such things, so I start walking. I was lucky because someone picked me up and took me across the Eastern Bridge on Lake Pontchartrain into Slidell. He gave me the name of a mechanic and dropped me off at a bar where I could call him. I called the guy and he said he would be right there. Two and a half-hours later the guy shows up. I told him what happened and he said OK let’s go look at it. Now I had come with enough money to get to my family and get them back to our new home. Once we were half way across the bridge getting to my car, the guy told me, “If I have to go across the bridge I charge a minimum of $100.” I told him to stop right there and let me out because I couldn’t afford to pay that much just for a ride back across the bride. He told me not to worry and he’d take a look at it.

We finally get to the car and he looks at it. His first words are “It’s pretty well broke.” At this point in time I know I’m dealing with a genius. He tells me even for the short time it had been broken down on the interstate; I was lucky no one had tried to break into it. He said it was not a good idea to leave it out there overnight and he had a friend that would tow it. We go back into town to his house, and he calls his friend. He said there was no place to store it, but I could leave it at his house until I could get someone to pick it up. A couple of hours later his friend shows up with the car and plants it in the guy’s front yard. I pay him and he’s gone.

During this time I’m trying to figure out how to get to my family. I called the Bus Company, but they are closed down. I don’t know if any of you will remember, but this was right at the time someone was shooting at busses. I knew I couldn’t afford a taxi for that long of a trip, so I’m stuck. The mechanic told me he would take me to Mobile for $100. That seemed to be his price for everything. I had no choice really and I tell him ok.

I don’t remember too much of what we talked about, but I do remember one thing. Halfway there we are behind a 16 wheeler and the mechanic has his lights on bright. He has a CB and he can hear the trucker start cursing on the CB about some idiot behind him with his lights on bright. Now I said this guy wasn’t a genius. Instead of just hitting his dimmer, he gets on his CB and starts talking trash to the trucker. He and the trucker are cursing each other and the trucker tells him to pull over at mile marker somewhat and he’ll beat his A**. The mechanic is telling the trucker what he’s going to do to him and to pull over right now. I’m thinking can this day get any worse. On top of everything else, I’m probably going to get my butt whupped too! I tell the mechanic I’m paying him to get me to my family. He seemed a little angry with me, but he pulled on around the trucker and we speeded on. BTW when we pulled in front of the trucker, the trucker puts his lights on bright. This started the mechanic to cursing again and that’s mostly what he did until he dropped me off. I had been up since 4:00 am that morning and it’s around 12:00 am that night. I’m so exhausted, that after seeing the family I fall asleep. The next morning I had to figure out where I was going to get the money to get us back to where we were going to live and how we were going to get there.

So as far as trips are concerned now I really try to plan. I know if something happened and Fmom and I broke down for some reason, I couldn’t leave her in the car by herself, so as I was saying in the café earlier, I’m going to go and buy my first cell phone today. I can remember when I was younger; I would just jump in the car and go, never a thought about anything happening. Now that I’m older, move slower and have Fmom with me, I do the planning and just hope nothing happens.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Trailer Park And The Tombstone

While I was in the military and after I divorced, I couldn’t afford a very decent place to live. At the new place I was sent, I found an old trailer in the trailer park from hell. To say it was an upscale place would be a lie. This was a place where you got what you paid for and the rent was low. The owners did as little as possible for any repairs on anything. I had looked at the place and it was a wreck, but they said they would have a cleaning lady come in and tidy it up. When they called to say it was ready and I first walked in, I could tell no difference from the last time I saw it. It took me a week of cleaning before I would move any of my stuff in.

Here’s a few of the exploits that happened.

The first month there I had met my next door neighbors. Since I had a telephone, they would be over to use it from time to time. Their mother who was about 20 years older than I was would come over and talk from time to time. One morning I get up to go to work and I find a napkin under my window shield wiper and on it was written I really like you and signed by the mother. It was also doused in perfume. I was dumbstruck and the only thing I could say was “Oh my God!” I was saying that over and over as I walked into my office carrying the napkin. I showed my boss and co-worker and they were rolling in the floor laughing. The whole day at work I kept thinking I don’t need this. That afternoon when I got home the mother came over and said she and her daughter-in-law got drunk the night before and put it on there as a joke. Later on in the conservation she told me how hard it was to live with her children and that if I wanted someone to live with me, she was available. I told her politely and firmly that I had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t ready for a new one. During this time inside my mind I’m screaming, “Oh my God!”

One bad thing about these trailers was that they were placed so close to each other. For some reason when people got up in the middle of the night in the next trailers you could feel the vibrations in your trailer. At first I thought someone was trying to break in. I’ve never owned a gun, but the whole time I was living there I had a butcher knife by the bed. Anyway where did the tombstone come in? When I first moved in I was walking around the back of the trailer and saw a stone covered over by a little bit by grass. It was a flat tombstone. It had a guy’s name, that he was killed in the Korean War and the date. I thought what the hell; they have a trailer park in an old cemetery! Between the vibrations from other trailers and the tombstone my first days there were not that good. Many many sleepless nights. I found out later that these were practice stones for a tombstone maker, and the owners had bought a lot of them as stepping stones for around the trailers. This one had gotten turned over with the name and info on it. Still didn’t help much knowing that.

The last big event that happened while I was there was one I’ll never forget. I had a neighbor across the street that had two little lovely twin girls that used to come over when I took Henry (this was just before George) out. They would come over with their mother and pet Henry and play with him. She would come over and use the phone from time to time also. The family seemed like a very nice family and I got along very well with all of them. I would even ask the Mother when I was going home for the weekend to watch out for my trailer. She always said she was happy to watch.

One day I come home at lunch to take Henry to a vet appointment. Turning off the main highway I see two police cars sitting there and wonder what’s going on. I pull into my street and see a police car there and right in front of my trailer is three police cars. I pull into my trailer and of course I’m looking to see what going on. I can see police going in and out of my neighbor’s trailer. Since they weren’t paying any attention to me, I got Henry and went to the vets. On the way there I see more police cars coming that way. I get Henry to the vet and bring him back home. My lunch hour is almost over and I rush Henry into the trailer and come back out. When I get to my car, the police are taking the Mother out in handcuffs and I go over and ask what is going on. The mother told me as they were walking her by that the police said she stole some stuff. They put her in the car and she’s gone.

I’m freaking of course and that night on the local news they reported that my neighbor and a man, not her husband, had been breaking into these U-Store-It places and stealing things. They reported that the police had found over $30,000 worth of stuff just in her trailer. Now this is the woman I had asked to keep an eye out for my place when I was gone. Her husband was not arrested because he had said he had no idea where the stuff was coming from. I never could quite buy that for some reason. But I am glad they left one parent there for the kids. They moved away shortly after that and I never did see them again.

Other than waking up twice in the middle of the night with someone trying to pull open my door to come in the trailer, everything was pretty serene. I complain now about George yapping, but I do think that yapping saved me twice from a break in. It’s amazing how much adrenaline can get you going when you know someone is on the other side of the door and you’re screaming I’ve got a gun and I’ll blow your F****ing head off if you don’t leave. Of course I never had a gun and I kept hoping they didn’t either. The police were called the first and second time, but nothing ever came of it.

Truthfully there was a lot more stuff that went on there, but this is getting kind of long, so I’ll end here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A New Gift

Well my relatives did it again. First I had my sister brings me back a can of salmon from Alaska. This time I had a s-i-l bring me this.

It’s a lip balm and says it contains no chicken poop. I do love the last sentence on the label though.

Warning: The safety of this product has not been determined.

Actually from everything I’ve read about it, it’s supposed to be pretty good stuff. It’s sold in a lot of states now, and you would know that in the one place in the state where my relatives live, they sell it there.

I can’t wait until Christmas. It’s no telling what I’ll receive then.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Things Could Be Worse II

Well the relatives are back and they bought my great nephew to boot. I’m in a shut down mode now, because my back is still giving me problems. I guess I’ll see my doctor again next week and see what can be done about it. I’ve pulled my back before, but I don’t think it has ever been this bad. I don’t think I’ve had full nights sleep since I’ve pulled it, because anytime I turn it wakes me up. I think getting up out of bed is the worst. First I have to get to a sitting position, which is painful to say the least. Second is trying to stand up where I push myself up with a chair by the bed. Once I’m sitting with my back straight it’s no problem. I can even get out of the chair with no problem as long as I keep my back straight. I’m just hoping it’s nothing more than a pulled muscle. Plus I’m missing my naps something terrible.

I went into the kitchen to get some milk to take my Naproxen and it’s a mess. I’m going to wait out the relatives and see if they take pity on me. If not, then I have to see what I do.

I hope everyone has a great weekend planned and be careful.

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