Jul 30, 2007

prayers and such

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord....

Ok, hold up. Just one dang minute here! I being the tender age of six or so, and having been chased off to bed by my mother telling me, "Don't forget to say your damned prayers, either! You don't want to go to hell do you?"

It was pretty much a given that, no, I did not want to go to hell. From everything I heard about it, the place seemed pretty hot, what with a lake of fire and all, and my sister said there was not much to do except shovel coal, and I imagined there would probably be alot of mean folks just waiting for the chance to give me a good slapping. So, its safe to say, hell was not my destination of choice. I said my prayers dutifully. I always faltered when I got to that part, "if I should die before I wake". Suddenly, I was consumed with all sorts of terrors, to go along with all the other terrors that populated my night time world. Along with my mother's nightly rounds through the house, and discussions and screaming matches with people who weren't there, now I had to wonder whether I could die sometime in the night while I was asleep, and not even know it. How in the world could I stop this from happening. I didn't want to die. A little sleep was all I wanted. A few nice dreams would have been a bonus. Should I just stay awake and make sure I kept breathing?

Today, I wonder who in the world wrote that prayer for little children! It does end nicely, I suppose, with, "I pray the lord my soul to take", because most children, well, at least of my generation, weren't laying in bed hoping against hope that if they died, please oh please, let the devil take me! Please! That's usually what our Grandma's told us. I really have to say that now that I am an adult, I think that the person who wrote that seemingly sweet little prayer was in fact a demented sadist, who disliked children immensely. Maybe he had a bunch of the little buggers of his own, I don't know, but those words, "if I should die before I wake" caused me more than one sleepless night.

And, now, to change gears, so to speak, a little something a friend sent me that I would like to share with you.

3-year-old Reese:
"Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name.
A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
After the christening of his baby brother in church,
Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
"That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I wanted to stay with you guys."
One particular four-year-old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A Sunday school teacher asked her children
as they were on the way to church service,
"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied,
"Because people are sleeping?"
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
"If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ok, Ryan, you be Jesus!"
A father was at the beach with his children
when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
"Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
"He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said,
"Did God throw him back down?"
A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
"Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I dunno what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
"Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,
and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,
jerking the mike cord as he went.
Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord
and nearly tripping before jerking it again.
After several circles and jerks,
a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,
"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.
They were ready to discuss the last one.
The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,
"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
Church Bulletins: Beware
  • "Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community."
  • "Don't let worry kill you -- let the church help."
  • "For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs."
  • "The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan B----r, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius B----r."
  • "This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends."
  • "Life groups meet on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM for food, fun, and fellowwhipping."
  • "The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals."
  • The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."

  • "Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones."
  • "The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon."
A preacher was completing a temperance sermon:
with great expression he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."

With even greater emphasis, he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."

And then, finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river." He sat down.

The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced with a nervous glance toward the preacher, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365:
'Shall We Gather At the River.'"

Jul 25, 2007

I have returned, please, please, no applause, it will go to my head you know, and I will be most difficult to live with for some time. The cats will ignore me. Except at 7 in the morning when it is time to eat and go outside. A neighbor cat, an un-neutered male, waits for them sometimes, bides his time, until they emerge and then pounces on poor Sasha, trying his best to whip her hindquarters. (I say hindquarters instead of ass as I am trying to refrain from using too many cuss words, but what the hell, this cat is trying to give her the ass whooping of all time!)

Somehow, Roscoe avoids these confrontations. He's an older cat, and he always gives the air a good sniff before he steps out the door. And, I guess he runs pretty fast. I opened the door the other morning to let them out, cautioning Sasha, "You know that damned cat is out there just waiting for you, don't you?" I turned my head, and there he was. Laying just across the split rail fence (which I have sorely mutilated a time or two with the riding lawn mower) just sitting there, his little tail twitching. It just struck me as funny somehow, and I laughed. I laughed like a crazy person, telling Sasha, "See, I told you! There he is right there! Waitin' on your sorry ass!" I laughed so hard, the cat ran off, and crawled under his owner's shed.

If only all problems could be laughed away. And maybe they can, who knows? I have found that some things can be so aggravating that laughing at them is the only way to get through them.

I told my good friend, , that I had lost my high speed connection and was now using dial-up. Remember dial-up? That's where you hook your computer up to your phone line and connect to the Internet that way. No, you can't talk on the phone at the same time. That's called DSL. I had that one time too, and I really liked that. This works OK, but it is much slooowwweeerrr. But, then I am too these days, so maybe it will be a good fit.

I have gotten to know the Butt girl a little better, and we are actually talking and perhaps becoming friends. I still have issues with certain things, but she has had a hard life, and yada , yada, yada, and I know, I talk shit, but am basically full of it. I'm supposed to go to church with her tomorrow night. It sounds crazy, I know. But what in life doesn't?

I put my mobile home up for sale, yes, I live in a trailer, didn't know I was trailer park trash did you? Well, now you do. I have had the big house, the big mortgage, the whole big shebang, and don't want it, or need it, but anyhoo, a few people have stopped to ask about the mobile home, and my son has told them its a mistake. He's decided he wants to stay here, and it will be almost impossible for me to go if he doesn't. Hard to explain. Won't even try.

Anyway, I appreciate the comments that were left about Travis' video. There are gaps in it. Some pictures I would have liked to have included, I couldn't, because I was asked not to. And I respect that. I must.

I feel in a way I cannot describe that somehow I have let him move on. That a part of me has finally acknowledged that he has work to do elsewhere, and my grief comes secondary to that. I doubt that makes any sense to anyone but me, but I know he must move on. But his spirit is always here, his memory is always here, and his laughter, his laughter alone could fill a room.

Jul 19, 2007

Been visiting blogs I shouldn't visit again. Sometimes, you don't know you shouldn't until you get there, and start reading. This particular post compared the casualties of the war in Iraq with the causalties of the civil war, World War II, and the Viet Nam conflict. Evidently, the casualties of the war in Iraq are pretty negligible compared to the other wars. I can see the point. As a matter of fact, I looked it up one time. Civilian and military casualties.

Evidently, for supporters of the war, this is a good sign, meaning that because the casualties are not so bad, per se, why, there's no reason to not stay and put up the good fight and see this thing through to the end.

Of course the lack of casualties is because of increased technology, and supposedly better protective gear for the ground forces.

It recounts the battle of Iwo Jima, and the brave men who fought and died there. After we were attacked by Pearl Harbor. In this devastating attack on the United States, eight battleships, eleven other naval vessels, and 188 aircraft were destroyed. The death toll was 2,280 soldiers and sixty-eight civilians, and 1,109 people were wounded.

Not quite as much as the current casualties in Iraq, but close.

It is an interesting and well researched article.

And it makes me want to cry and cry and cry. I don't care about figures and comparisons, and how this war differs from that one. I don't care about winning this war, I just want it to stop so no one else loses a husband, or a wife, or a mother, or a brother, or a sister, or a cousin, or a friend. I want these young men to come home.

What would we be winning? What exactly is the goal to be won? Someone remind me, because I don't remember. If it's to put a stop to terrorism, well, I don't think that's going to happen. That I just don't think will ever happen. If you look at Colombine, well, hell, we're growing them right here at home.

I just don't want to read anymore about how its ok for our guys over there to die because it falls within someone's parameters of whats acceptable losses for a war. I don't ever want to read that again. I don't want to hear it again. Its my choice. I'll stick my head in the sand. Why not? I have no happy face to put on today.

Its getting to be more real everyday. The fact that Travis is gone. And, no matter what I do, no matter how much I bargain, or how good I try to be, it won't bring him back. I guess after two years I would start to let go somehow, but its just so hard to do. Its almost too much to bear. I've lost my father, I've lost my mother, I've lost my sister, friends, people I have cared about, but nothing, nothing is like this pain. And it never goes away.

I have said it before, but I'll say it again. It becomes the point in your life from which all else is defined. It is the
line where you say 'before or after'. And, its not that people don't sympathize. Or that people don't care. Some actually do. Its that my little boy is gone and he's never coming home. Ever.

This is why I shouldn't read these posts. This is what it brings to mind. Not that the war is good or bad. Not that God is real or not. Not that Bush or Cheney should be impeached. For me, it just reminds me that my little boy is never coming home.

And that's it.

Jul 17, 2007

I haven't been posting as often because I have been working on a project. Yes, sometimes I actually do something constructive, contrary to popular belief.

My son has been spending most of his time with the Butt girl. Ok, she does have a first name, and also a 10 year old son, who, I believe given the chance, and the right mood, might just squirt EJ with charcoal lighter fluid and strike a match. Then he will run down to my house, and say, "Miss EJ, you have to come right now!! EJ's on fire, and I don't know what happened!"

I will not name the lady here. I do have some sense left. I think.

I did learn the other day that sometime during the past few nights, a neighbor's black lab got loose, a female, a puppy(!!), and, while the young childrens was out playing past midnight or so, the lab joined up with them. Her son ran on the porch and, well, things went down hill from there. Evidently, she took it upon herself to call the police and the, what was it?, the SPCA, and report the dog as being a danger to society.

How I slept through all of this shit is beyond me. But, I did. Anyhoo, my son walked behind my house to the neighbors, and told them that their dog was loose and they should come and get it as the police had been called. Now, here's where I start thinking. If he was going over there to begin with, why didn't he just take the damn dog with him? It don't make no sense at all to me, but this is not unusual anymore.

The guy came over and got his dog, and was immediately jumped by Butt girl with both feet, and a stream of abusive language, that bystanders recalled as being unwarranted and uncalled for, or as 'Lieutenant Dan' said, "I don't know how the hell he listened to that shit." They were amazed at how calm he appeared. When the police arrived,

they told them that since there is no leash law in this county there was nothing they could do. And the SPCA was not the people to call, it would have been the Animal Control Officer, and, as it was going on 1:00 am, they were the animal control officers. As no one had been bitten, no damage done, other than Butt girl's feet being licked by said danger to society, they left. Just the words animal control officer makes me cringe. It's our neighbors freaking dog!!

When I heard about all of this the next day, I was just flabbergasted. And, I felt horrible for the dog. I have had black labs, and they are wonderful dogs, but they do love to run, and of course, they need the room to run. We used to have a Walker hound and lab mix, and though he scared the crap out of everyone, he wouldn't hurt a fly. Of course we lived out in the boonies then, so he had plenty of room to hunt, and run, and do whatever dogs do when they are not eating or sleeping. The only thing he did is stand between me and anyone who came in the yard. Didn't growl, or anything. Just stood there, watching people, like maybe he was thinking, "So, do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Anyway, I noticed EJ was as nice as pie to me, and no he didn't tell me about the Dog situation, (kinda like the "Bonnie situation", without the mess) someone else did. I talked about two minutes to the Butt girl about it, and when I got to the part where I said, "if she ever used my phone to call the police again, she had better get me first", she said I hated her and wouldn't talk about it. Which was partly accurate. I don't hate her. I just don't like her. There is a difference. And then she left. (Now let's sing the Hallelujah chorus!)

You know those people that where ever they go they leave this big trail of drama and people coming after them in vengeful ways? That's kinda what she makes me think of. And though I am sitting here whining, I really don't like drama.

I went to apologize to the dog-owner. Mostly because of the dog. We had a nice chat, and he said his brother was hooked up with somebody almost as bad. We commiserated. He said he could tell she was a nut case from the first word, so he just played it cool, got his dog, and went home. Smart man.

So, somebody tell me, when do the good times roll?

Jul 14, 2007


July 14, 2007
Tarot reading for D****:

Love: The Tower

Touchstone: The Chariot

Career: Temperance

Pangs of jealousy, conflicts of interest, exaggerated words - you're in danger of living on your nerves today and of having some serious rows with your loved ones. The Chariot's impulsiveness is taking you into the dangerous territory of provocation, while the Tower, which represents you, is suggesting some serious disagreements, dear D****. Go sleep in the guest room! As far as your professional life is concerned, your main characteristics today are ambition and patience, greatly enhancing your chances of making progress in your career. Temperance and the Chariot signify that you will be able to seize any opportunities that present themselves and to take the correct decision about either accepting or refusing, always with good reason. Clearly, you cannot go wrong, and your business or professional projects are bound to be successful.

Ok, sounds like I should just crawl under my bed and stay there the rest of the day and not come out for man nor beast. But, in light of the past few days, it does seem somewhat accurate doesn't it. I had a whole reading done one time, and it was pretty accurate, in its way.

I had my handwriting analyzed one time and it was right on the money. It revealed things that I didn't even admit to anyone. Does this make me a non-Christian, a heathen? I don't think so. There are so many ways to self-discovery. And, it is my belief that God reads your hearts, your intentions, and knows what you are going to say before you even say it.

I think we put restrictions on God. We believe that every bad thing that happens should be laid at his feet. But, then, that is where free will comes in. We can choose what direction we take in life.

Have you ever had a choice to make and deep, deep down you knew which choice would be the best for you, but you made the other choice just because it was want you wanted to do at that time, it was something you desired above all things? And in the end, it proved to be the wrong choice, and ultimately, and after traveling many detours, and making a hundred u-turns, you ended up where the best choice would have taken you? I call this the scenic route. I have taken many a scenic route, have found myself right where I would have been had I chosen the to go where that still quiet voice inside me was urging me to go to begin with. I wonder sometimes how much easier my life would have been if I had just listened to that voice inside, instead of stomping my foot and saying, No, this is what I want to do.

You can call it God, intuition, predestination, fate, or whatever. I just know this is how it has been for me.

Jul 13, 2007

Absolute Silliness

I think it was last night, not the night before, that was when 24 robbers came knocking at my door.

Course when they came in through the front door, I lit out the back, like my ass was on fire.) I know, sometimes I don't make any sense at all. Who would have thunk it.

Anyway, I guess my tail-feathers are a bit ruffled today. One of the "butt" girls took off with my son the other night. I know, if I was his dad, I would be saying, "Hey, way to go boy!" and patting him on the back, maybe even buy him a cigar or some such, but I don't like the girl.

Call me the evil mother-in-law to be. It wouldn't be the first time. Its just that I know she hangs around with the cracker on the bike, which leads me to believe maybe she's a cracker too. If you get my drift. I know, I know, my son is a grown ass man. He can make his own decisions without Mom's input. But, this is how it went down.

They are sitting on my front porch, again. It's 10:30 at night, and I decided to limp outside and play hide and seek with the little rugrats. I told them I would count to 3000, so they could go hide, and then I would come and look for them. I got to 5, and they said they were "READY!" I walk behind the house, and instead of hiding they are running around like monkeys, wanting me to chase them. I said I was too old, and that when I shined the flashlight beam on them, they were tagged. We did this three times, and then they decided to play something else. That right
there is proof there is a God.

My son keeps making remarks that insinuate maybe I should go inside. Like, "Mama, why don't you go in the house?" You don't have to hit me in the head with a ball peen hammer. I can take a hint. So, I come in and my neighbor friend comes and gives me updates, on the goings on on the porch. At about 1:00, I decide to lay down, and I hear loud music coming from my front yard.

Ok, I have done my time with the loud music, and lets see how much the neighbors like that! But, now that I've reached old fartdom, I have more respect for our neighbors. So, I go out and find out that the Butt girl has pulled her horse trailer truck up close enough to my house where she can turn her radio up sky high and listen to the golden tones of "Smoking in the Boys Room". She is 42 fucking years old. I ask her to please turn her truck radio down. They say, "Oh, come on its not that loud!" She says, "I didn't do it. My son did that."

I'm thinking, please God, don't let me turn into my mother right now. Please! She blamed it on her son. Like a 5 year old. I was cool. I didn't say anything.

Came back in, got comfortable, and five minutes later, the music is cranked up again. Ok, this time I am pissed. I haven't had to do this since the boys were 14 or so. So, I go out and ask again, "Would you please turn the music down?"

Then my son, my darling, says, "So, I guess you don't want me to have any fun?" He was saved because my arm will only reach so far. I wanted to snatch him bald-headed, but I just looked at all of them, and said, "This is bull-shit!" So, having laid everyone out with that parting shot, I went back in.

Then EJ strolls in and says he's going down the street and will be back tomorrow or sometime, so I won't be bothered by the music or anything. I said fine.

Part of me says I am being totally unreasonable, another part says I am being a mom, and another part says, get in your car, and go to New Mexico and look for Area 51. I might have relatives there, I'm not sure.

Now he's off to get his friend who is recovering in his wheel chair, and tonight he'll do his Forest Gump impersonation and they'll all call him Lt. Dan. He does sound exactly like Forest though. It's amazing.

I think it would help if I still was a drinking woman. Made a big pitcher of strawberry marguerites, or something. But, alas, I do not.

Dee 2

The little girl, Dee,  managed to survive the nightly vigils of her mother, in part because she had nothing else to compare it too.  When she watched TV, with her Mom and Annie, her sister,  and Daddy, and Linda and Ray, when they were home, the families portrayed in black and white seemed as foreign to her as if they had lived in town.  She wondered if real people acted like that.  Could real people be that nice?   

Dee had lived all of her life on this small farm, in an old, old house surrounded by the yard full of trees, with the  undergrowth always creeping slowly and silently into the yard.  Her daddy constantly fought  the fast growing weeds and vines  with his mowing scythe.  Many days,  she had watched him sweat in the hot summer sun, bare-chested, sweat poring from his body, as he swung the scythe, clearing a little more land with each swing. 

Dee remembered one Halloween he came home wearing the mask, "its just a stupid rubber mask you big chicken" her sister said, and how she had screamed with terror, hiding under the bed.  It had taken a long time for them to coax her out, and not until her father said he was throwing the mask over the hill, would she slide out.   That very summer, she and Annie had been out playing, and had come across the mask, half covered in leaves and dirt, and she had started screaming again, much to her shame.  "God, your such a fraidy-cat" her sister had laughed.  She laughed so hard that Dee finally laughed with her.  It really was just a mask, made of rubber.  It wasn't real.  But she hated it anyway.

When all of her brothers and sisters had been home, she had taken on the habit of walking around in a state of ready defense.  She didn't call it that, not then.  She didn't have the words .  But when ever anyone came too close, her arms immediately went up into  a "X" that covered her face.  Usually when the bigger people of the house got close they tended to slap you without reason.  Best be prepared.  Her brother Ray commented on this one day, "What the hell are you doing?  You think I'm gonna hit you?"  When she solemnly nodded, he just turned away, muttering, "Everyone in this house is crazy!  My lord, my lord."  He slouched off to peg his pants. 

 She had taken to writing on the walls, and not a bare spot was to be found.  No matter how many times she was slapped, she could not resist the temptation to draw a beautiful girl, or write her name on whatever space she could find.  Paper was a scarce commodity, so the wall seemed a logical conclusion to her.  She finally stopped, when her Daddy painted the walls, and told her softly but sternly, "I don't want to see no pictures on these walls."  Just thinking he was mad at her would make her cry.

Her mother's favorite child,  Ray,  would sometimes skip school, hiding behind the sheets on the clothesline, with a bag full of groceries from the store about three miles up the railroad tracks.  "Shhhh!" he would whisper.  "Don't tell Mother."  He had gotten them 'on credit', Dee knew that much, and that Daddy wouldn't like it, but at least now they had something else to eat besides pinto beans and cornbread.  He usually did this when Daddy was working away from home.  Ray wore enough  Crisco in his hair to bake a cake.  But, she didn't say anything about  that.  She had learned very early some things were best not said out loud. Even with the groceries, she was still within slapping distance.

Her oldest sister,  Gerry, was living in her own apartment now, working at the 'Daniel Boone', whatever that was, living in 'Charleston', a place she had never seen, and was running with a wild bunch who smoked cigarettes.  This much she had overheard from her mother.  Her sister Gerry  had tried to go to Bible school, but because of Dee, again, according to her mother, she had to quit and come home and go to work.  Dee felt so bad for her sister, and thought that must be why Gerry made fun of her so much.  Annie said no, it was because no one  thought mother and daddy would ever have another baby, meaning her.  Annie said that daddy thought she was the ugliest baby he had ever seen.  Mother said her daddy had wanted another boy.  Ray told her a bird shit her on a limb and the sun hatched her.  "Did not!" she retorted. Smack! "Don't yell in the house, Dee." Her mother caught her by surprise with that one.

So, she chose to spend as much time outside as she could.  Even in winter, with the ice and snow, when she didn't have socks, and her feet would ache so bad, that sitting in front of the fire, trying to warm them, would make her cry. Smack. "What are you whining about now!  It gets on my nerves! I'll give you something to whine about!"

Now everyone talked about how tall she was getting.  Her Aunt Ruby, who always said she looked just like her cousin Dwight, said, "Why, you're almost as tall as me!"   Dee thought she couldn't be that tall. That would make her a giant. 

Then her sister Linda, who, believe it or not, got yelled at more than she did, announced she was going into the Marines Corps.  Her mother was all for it, but Dee and Annie hated to see her go.  Linda laughed, and made them laugh, would laugh about the craziest things.  Linda made life fun.  And,  she told them all the  gossip she could gather. Dee knew her mother didn't approve of gossip, but she listened just the same, so she wasn't quite sure if it was good or bad.  Maybe it wasn't for "little pictures with big antennae's".  That was some kind of secret words the adults used when they didn't want her to hear something they were talking about.  Why didn't they just say we don't want you to hear this, instead of saying something so puzzling you could waste hours trying figure it out?

They had just learned some news about a neighbor girl, one she thought was beautiful, and had decided she wanted to be when she got older. She could sing real well, and she laughed all the time.  When ever Dee stuttered, it was her neighbor who told her to slow down, think about the words, and try again.  Now, she hardly stuttered at all.   "Well, Richard got what he wanted from little miss Linda S., the sainted choir girl," Linda told Dee's mother.  "Oh, I knew that was going to happen!" her mother said.  "Now she's ruined, and no decent man will have her."  Ray said, "Yeah, I heard something about that.  Mother, you shouldn't talk like that. Linda just thought Richard was really going to marry her.   You know how them boys are. " 

"Yeah, the only good one was Mike, and now that he's dead, well, it ain't the same." Everyone paused for a moment, remembering Michael, who Dee didn't remember at all.

"Yes, that was a horrible thing.  Poor Mike. Course they never should have got him that motorcycle."  Dee's mother covered her mouth with the dish rag she was always toting for some reason.  She began to giggle. " I remember Michael spending a whole day, outside, teaching Dee when she just starting talking good, to say "Joyce is a horse".  He must have spent hours with that girl." Her mother laughed.

Ray and Linda joined her.  " It was cause Joyce chased him so bad, and he didn't want nothin' to do with her.  Lord, when she come over, and Dee just come out and said, "Joyce is a horse" plain as day...damn if she didn't take over the hill, mad as a hornet."  Linda enjoyed a good long laugh.  Though she and Joyce were friends, she had suffered at Joyce's sly references to the differences between her life as a preacher's daughter, and Linda's life as poor white trash.  Joyce would be going off to bible college. 

Dee often wondered what Bible college was, and why everyone wanted to go.  Just how much was there to learn about the bible, she wondered.  Then she was noticed. 

"Dee, shouldn't you be outside on such a pretty day? You're just eaves' dropping on grown folks talk, is all.  And don't repeat what you heard, ya hear?"

All Dee could think about was how her beautiful neighbor was now "ruined".  The beautiful girl with the freckles and red hair.  The one who taught her how to control the stutter that tormented her life for so long.   She was ruined!  But, that couldn't be right, she thought, slipping out the door.  She looked just the same.  She seemed just the same.  She didn't look hurt or nearly killed.  She didn't know if she had been raped, because she didn't know what that looked like, but if she had, she must have decided to live.  Perhaps that's why she was ruined.  Maybe she just hadn't done what girls were supposed to do, let it kill them, and that's what ruined her?  But who wants to die?  On purpose?

What Dee really wanted everyone to talk about was the man outside.  This was mainly why she lurked around the older people, hoping to catch some news about the prowler.  It wouldn't be too long before Linda was gone, and soon Ray would follow.  She would be older, and in school herself,  but that wouldn't change his comings and goings. All she could ever glean was just bits and pieces here and there.

Sometimes she day dreamed she had been picked up by the wrong family at the hospital.  These daydreams made her feel guilty and ungrateful, but Lord, they were nice. Maybe her real family lived in "Charleston" in a big fine house, with servants, like Hop Sing, on Bonanza, or something.  Deep inside she knew it wasn't true, but sometimes it was nice to dream.

She had a recurring dream, that made her wake up, so full of sorrow, so full of remorse. Waking up, she'd think,  "I didn't mean to do it!"  She knew it was from carrying the cats around so much.  In the dream, her mother took her outside, down into the dark cellar, down the concrete steps where she had watched a black widow spider for hours one day.  Once in the cellar, among the arsh potatoes, and sweet potatoes, and rows and rows of canned corn, and green beans, her mother pointed to the floor.  "See?  See what you did?"  The big black mother cat lay stretched out dead, and all of her little babies, dead, stretched out behind her.   Dee wanted to take it back, all of it back, and she looked into her mother's stern dark eyes, and saw no forgiveness there.

It would be 30 years before she realized, it was, after all, just a dream.  There were no cats in the basement.  She had never squeezed the mother cat to death.  It had, indeed, been just a dream.

There are times Dee still reminds herself it was just a dream.  Like the man who came out of the wall.  He was a dream as well.

Jul 11, 2007

Pain in the ass

I literally have a pain in the ass.  No, its a not a neighbor, family member, my ex-husband, (not anymore) or new beau.  However, I did meet a man from the neighbor hood quite by accident, and much to my dismay.  He rides around a lot on a bicycle, rumored to be looking for crack. I guess in some circles he would be called a cracker looking for crack.

Anyway, some friends had congregated on the front porch laughing, drinking a few cold ones, and some of the younger ladies had their little children with them.  Like 10 of them. All little boys.  I raised little boys.  I have learned what they are capable of.  Not in an evil sense, just in a little boy sense.  If its loud, makes a mess, breaks something, and involves wrestling, rough-housing, and picking on the smallest one, it must be fun. Two of the young ladies are divorced, and in desperate need in seems of getting laid.  So walking by, they happen upon my son, sitting on the porch with his friend Anthony.  Never mind that Anthony is in a wheel chair until his leg heals as much as its going to heal.  He's blond and blue eyed and handsome in his way.  And you've seen pictures of my son.

So, they decide to stop and conversate for a while.  I stick my head out the front door, and suddenly there is a cooler full of beer, a fifth of vodka, my car stereo is playing and these two moms, are displaying themselves modestly but to the best advantage the moment will allow.  I can tell by my son's voice, he is already half-tanked.  Maybe its the Indian blood in him, I don't know, but he does not handle fire-water well.  The more he drinks, the louder he whoops. 

He is in the process of tying a skinny flashlight to a toy gun for one of the little boys, making his gun an M16 with a night scope.  I know this at a glance,  but then they all decide they are thirsty, so he says, well, go in and get you something to drink.  I wait for the Mom's to follow their kids into the house, just to make sure they do indeed get something to drink, and not decide to chase my cats all over the place, just for the hell of it.  So, being the old fart I am, I follow them inside.  They are already poking around in side my refrigerator in my kitchen, all of them fighting over Anthony's one lonely little yahoo, when I hear one of them say, "What are you going to to drink?" and suddenly I turned into Bernie Mac.  It happened in a flash.  I didn't even feel myself change.

"You can have some water, goddammit, " I said. "If you want to drink a soda, go home and drink your own sodas.  Does this look like the little kids shot house?"  I swear to God that's what I said.  I shocked myself.  We all just stood there, in silence for a minute.  I started talking about the late hour, it was 11:00, at night, and I didn't know what their moms would let them have at that late hour. Wrong thing to say. "Oh, my mom lets me drink anything anytime I want to." was pretty much the standard reply.  I said,  because I was still Bernie Mac, "Well, I ain't your Mom, and in this house, you drink water.  Yes, you can have some ice.  Jesus Christ, let some one else get some water, you little water hog." 

My friend from across the street, Melissa, a tough young mom, who watches her kids like a hawk watching baby rabbits, pops in, and monitors her brood, and says, "You're nerves are about shot, mine were, too, last night.  I was ready to kill somebody. I had to go to Food Lion to just get out for awhile." 

Those were the magic words.  I transformed from Bernie Mac back into myself.  I spotted the smallest of the bunch waiting patiently for his turn, and got him some ice and water, and heard him say thank you, and told him he was a gentleman, and had earned the best kid award for the evening.  Then, thankfully, they went outside.

I followed them, where the two young mothers had practically shoved their asses into my son's face, who was enjoying the scenery immensely. 

I decided it was best to leave the young people alone and retreat to my room.  This is wear the real pain in the ass comes in.

I have two things.  Bilateral rotator cuff tendenitous syndrome, which is a condition I have never heard of, but did 3 weeks of physical therapy for, and degenerative spinal disease with bone spurs, yes bone spurs, ladies and gentlemen, they just grew on my my lower spine, below my bulging disc all by themselves.  I figure one day, I will wake up, look in the mirror, and see the creature from the black lagoon, or something.  I'm pretty close as it is. 

The last few days, I have hurt like a somfabitch.  That's southern speak for a whole lot.  Like on a scale from 1-10, a whopping 12!!  I'm thinking of going through a pain management doctor.  I don't want to.  I'm one of those people who think I can take it, just suck it up, and don't think about it.  But, hell, I guess even I got my limits.  The thing is, though I take a more than a few meds, with each one I've taken, I have to research it over the Internet, check all the side-effects and interactions, and tremble with trepidation each time I pop one in my mouth.  Is this the one that's going to give me convulsions, or make me shit my pants uncontrollably? 

Maybe I would be better off staying Bernie Mac.  

Jul 8, 2007


Say what you will about me, but this little You-tube video features the one and only, the man in black, the late and great, Johnny Cash.  Everybody loves Johnny Cash, and Ray Charles.  If you don't like Johnny Cash and Ray Charles well, there is something seriously amiss.

This video pretty much describes the way I was feeling yesterday but, forget about that.  It is a masterpiece.  One of the last great songs from Johnny Cash, it stands alone as a work of art, all its own.  


I should probably tell you here that my roots come from bluegrass and old country music.  And this takes me back to When the children gathered at twilight, catching fireflies in mason jars, with holes punched in the lids.  Playing hides and seek, while the old folks sat on the porch and rocked,  while some played, and some sang, the sweet sounds of the fiddle, the banjo, the mandolin, voices joined in country harmony.

Some songs were old gospels that we all knew, and old courting songs, some were special, just sweet sounding and sad, drifting in the air of sweet a summer's breeze.

Inside, the food laid out on the table, covered with a cloth, to keep the flies away, under the naked light bulb, hot and bright. The sweet taste of corn on the cob, dripping with butter, and sliced fresh tomatoes, red and ripe, dusted with salt, maybe a spoonful of green beans seasoned with fat back, or bacon, cooked slow, enough to feed a hungry child. Can't stay inside too long, as the itching will get you bad. From rolling around in weeds, making forts, and tunnels, and hideouts all day.

The bathrooms were outside, which is just as well, as all those dirty little bare feet left such tracks on the linoleum floor, new enough to still shine. Such a sweet escape, too short, too fleeting, visits that didn't last long enough. 

We made friends so quick back then, fast friends in a day, and on through the evening hours. We looked forward to the trip to the swimming hole the next day, following the grownups down the shaded path, excitement building, until the older ones grabbed onto the rope, swinging out far and wide to drop with a splash in the cold dark waters of the Coal River.

The younger ones, knee deep in silt, plugging away to wade out where it wasn't too deep, until someone's Daddy decided it was time you took to swimming. Then, without warning, they grabbed you, tossed you, and threw you in the deep water. You either sank or swam, and we all decided to swim. Don't remember no one drowning. All the Daddies laughing, ready to swim and catch us if we floundered.

Where are they now? Some at Teays Hill, some at Cunningham, some, at Pleasant Hill, some far away, who never came home.

But, if you walk the hollers on a summer's eve, and listen, you still here the faint sounds of the banjo, the mandolin, and the high sweet laughter of children chasing lightening bugs, leaving golden specks  in the palms of sweaty hands.

Jul 7, 2007

Ok, bloggerer's, what is it we're supposed to be doing...

Ok, blogger's, what is it we're supposed to be doing this week? Blog for peace? Blog against religions, I mean theocracy? Create more misunderstandings and chaos in a world already overwhelmed by it? Gee, I'm not sure. I guess I could look up a bunch of big words and write what looks like the most boring thesis in the world, but I don't really feel like it.

I could find the most disgusting video out there that portrays Christ as a cross-dresser high on LSD, getting hit by a train, and that somehow will encourage people to vote for Congressmen and Senators who will uphold the Separation of Church and State. Which is basically why all the crap from other countries ended up here in the first place. They wanted freedom of worship. The very first governing colonies burned your ass if your neighbors cow died cause you looked at him cross-eyed. Remember? I think we've come a good ways in the right direction.

I want anyone who reads this to list the personal freedoms they have lost, they no longer possess as a direct result of Christianity in this nation. And back it up, with a description of why you lost this freedom, and the new law that made you lose it. Maybe we should start the ole throw the Christian to the Lions thing back up. It worked pretty good for Nero. Think of the money they would rake in on pay per view.

The problem is not Christians. The problem is not Muslims, or Buddhists, or Hindu's, or any other religion. The problem is not faith, but I do have to wonder at young men willing to blow themselves to pieces for the promise of x amount of virgins. That's a work incentive I really have to think about. The problem is voting for the person you think is going to represent your best interests in Congress and in the Senate. We can all whine and dance, and wear hair shirts, practicing self-flagellation on regular basis, but it won't get us anywhere until we learn to monitor what our elected officials are doing. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you are quite capable of finding these sites yourself.

Here's another shocker. George Bush is not going to get impeached. He should. I would love to see it. But it ain't going to happen. I remember all of the backlash I got when I posted on a message board that I voted for Al Gore way back when. You'd thought I'd shot the Pope or something. Of course, in light of current sentiment, that might, in some circles, be a good thing. I don't see it that way, but to each his own.

What's really really weird is if you read the Bible, the parts in the New Testament where Jesus says you will persecuted in my namesake, meaning, people are going to call you assholes and stupid, and think your nuts cause you believe in me, well, all these anti-religion
blogger's are almost fulfilling a prophecy. I say almost, because I don't know. I could be interpreted that way.

This country is founded on the sole basis of Freedom to Worship. The founding fathers added a clause to the constitution that separated church and state, so the government couldn't burn witches at the stake anymore. The government couldn't say, "Ok, from now on, all you guys are going to be Catholics, and any protestants will be rounded up and shot on site." That's it. And, also, so one religious group couldn't come up and add strange words to the preamble or pledge of allegiance, or shit like that. Like, "I pledge allegiance to the flag, and to the rock of ages on which it stands, so sayeth the holy voodoo witchdoctor, and to the Republic for which it stands," etc... The words under God, were added by Eisenhower, and have caused all sorts of ruckus since. Now, no one is required to recite the pledge.

Well, on the off chance that you might want to read more about it, here's a link. Jefferson's Bill for Religious Freedom. But, I must warn you, he uses the G word a lot.

As for Global Warming, Sting has been in the fray since the late 1980's, when the mass destruction of the Amazon Rain forest began. One thing you can do about global warming is to plant a tree.

And not one to break with tradition, I will also include a video with this post. It should be eye-catching, controversial, funny in a warped and insensitive sort of way, so let's see what I can find.

Jul 6, 2007

How I got my first son, Part III

When I got back to my room, feeling defeated, so guilty, I was surprised to see my husband sitting there, with a bouquet of flowers, and a little stuffed dog for E.J.

"Have you seen him yet?" I asked him. "No, not yet. I was going to walk down there after I seen you," he said. "I talked to the head doctor here, and they're going to transfer him to Sacred Heart tonight. They'll send him in an ambulance and I'll follow them, and take care of everything over there."

"They're taking him away?" I couldn't stop the tears. They just fell all by themselves, with no encouragement from me at all.

"Look, the doctor said his condition wasn't improving, and that Sacred Heart has the best stuff for premature babies, so he'll fair a lot better over there. Now, don't get all upset. He's going to be ok. How are you doing?" We talked for a few minutes, and I looked out the window, at the none-stop rain. Now, whenever I thought about EJ, the front of my hospital gown became wet with milk. My husband told me he had spoken with his family and they were all praying for our little boy. He had talked to my brother, who was stationed in Norfolk, a Master Chief on the USS Independence. So, every one knew. And everyone was praying. I was glad.

So, around midnight, E.J. was moved to Sacred Heart Hospital, and once there, I talked my doctor into releasing me. I lied. I told him I had a bowel movement.

Then we started our daily drives and visits to and from the Neo-natal unit in Sacred Heart. The staff was unbelievably upbeat. Smiles on every face. The procedure was such that you scrubbed in, washing your hands, and gowned up, and wore a mask, before you could enter the unit.

EJ was one of the largest babies there. Some of the smaller preemies could fit in the palm of your hand, they were so tiny. He was placed on a machine that forced oxygen into his tiny lungs, then, as his lungs improved, gradually he was placed on oxygen. Every night I would call for his O2 stats, and the day came when his oxygen levels were normal and he was breathing on his own. We were jubilant. But, because his bilirubin count was up, he had to stay under ultra-violet lights until it came down. By this time, I had been able to hold him, and had tried to breast feed him. But my humongous breast next to his tiny little head, well, it just scared the shit out of me. How could such a tiny little mouth grasp onto such a giant nipple?

Once his bilirubin count was down, he had to show a positive weight gain. He was down to 5 lbs. and 10 oz. I myself was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and seemed to live on 3 hours of sleep a night. I had met with a social worker who said she had to come out and inspect our house before we could bring EJ home. Ok. I can do this. You bitch!! Evidently this was standard procedure for all parents of premature infants at Sacred Heart.

I went home and cleaned the house from top to bottom. Everything. It was odd to look at all the little baby clothes and blankets and things, especially the new baby bed, (no, it couldn't be used!) with no baby in it, but I told myself, it wouldn't be long. The next day the bit..the social worker came, and I watched as she walked around, looking at our humble little house. I just kept telling her how much I loved my baby, how much I wanted to bring him home. She just smiled, jotted down some notes on her note pad, and left. You have no idea how much I wanted to beat the living shit out of her. But, I do understand the concept of restraint.

The next day the doctors gave the ok. EJ would come home with us! He was being released. We waited for hours it seemed. We hugged all of the staff members at Sacred Heart, I took my baby, and we drove home.

When I walked in the door, I was suddenly terrified. Here was this tiny baby, now in my care alone, and I knew, just knew, I would inadvertently do something horrible to injure him. They had encouraged me to breast feed, and I tried, but looking back now, I wasn't holding him right. I had read in my books that sometimes a glass of wine would help your milk 'let down', so sayeth the La Leche League. We didn't have any wine, so I would chug a couple of beers, but that didn't seem right. I didn't want to have an alcoholic baby!

I made a decision that I knew would probably kill him. But it seemed the best choice. I had the bottles. I just needed the formula. So, running to the store, searching for the best formula I could find, I went home, boiled the bottles, prepared the formula, feeling like a scientist preparing a life saving vaccine, and fed him, from a bottle. I was so ashamed, but I wasn't about to let EJ starve.

To my amazement, and absolute joy, he didn't die. He slept for two hours, and was ready to eat again. And thus, the next two weeks schedule began. He ate every two hours, and slept for two hours. At the end of the first week, we took him back for a check up with Dr. Something. At the weigh in, he had gained a pound in a week, which seemed to please the doctor tremendously. They put him on the little examining table, and EJ screamed up a storm.

"There's nothing wrong with this baby's lungs," the good doctor chuckled. Somewhere, during the past three weeks, I had lost my ability to talk coherently. When the doctor questioned me, I would answer him in some sort of strange gobbledygook that my husband would then interpret. Then, I would look at my husband and nod my head, like yes, that's what I said. The doctor explained that EJ would probably be somewhat behind his peers both physically and mentally, and we should expect him to be somewhat sickly. I must have gotten that look on my face, because my husband stepped right in without missing a beat and said, "Yes, we understand. Well, if there's nothing else, we'll be heading home." I uttered some garbled profanities which the doctor mistook for compliments, and said, "Look forward to seeing you too."

In the car, I know I said, "Yeah, right, the stupid motherfucker, dumb-ass doctor, he don't know shit, does he EJ? Mama's boy is going to be just fine!"

My husband said, "I hate that fucking doctor. He don't know his ass from a hole in the wall. Stupid dickface. Ain't that right boy?" My son today sports the most colorful language skills.

It was about this time that I developed the irritating habit of telling everyone who stopped to look at EJ, friends or just nice people passing by, the whole story of his birth. I couldn't stop myself. The words just kept coming out of my mouth, even as they tried to edge away, their eyes glazing over. I suppose it was some need I had, but it eventually wore off, after about six months or so.

EJ has always been one step ahead of his peers. His math skills are phenomenal, and his sense of humor, dignity, and compassion are only equaled by his extreme intelligence. But, of course, we worked with him. I made up what I didn't know then, but now realize were range of motion exercises. We practically forced him to walk at the age of 8 months, and he learned to tie his shoes when he was 2, which is also when he learned how to turn on all the burners on the stove, and unlock the gate on the fence and walk across the street with our Old English Bulldog, Bull, in tow.

There was the time when he stood at the fence and barked at cars passing by and I asked the doctor if EJ might think he was a dog, as he spent a lot of time with Bull, and I watched a grown man laugh until he removed his glasses to wipe the tears from his eyes, all the while trying to say Mrs...Mrs...Yo...., shaking his head no at the same time.

And that is how I got my first born son. He was then and remains to this day a blessing to me, and a miracle, and he will always be. A miracle.

Jul 5, 2007

How I got my first son, Part II

As soon as the doctor left, I sat straight up, and the contractions began coming one right after the other. Did I will it to happen? Hell if I know. I think 'Lil Jake just got tired of waiting around. Suddenly, I got the weirdest feeling. There's nothing to describe it, but, with all my 'pre-birth' reading, I knew what it was. Its called the transition period, where the baby moves into the birth canal. Let's just say, its a God awful thang. I suddenly felt like I was going to have a "movement" unlike any movement I'd ever had! I called for the nurse, and when she popped in, I told her I felt really weird, like I had to go to the bathroom. She told me to lay back, and I "assumed the position". She said, "You're getting ready to have this baby, for God's sake, don't push, and let me see if I can catch that doctor, before he leaves."

She ran from the room, and the next thing I knew the room was full of people, I was transferred to another bed, being wheeled down a hallway, saying, "I feel like I have to push!!" "No, don't push!" everyone said. The doctor got in place, between my legs, which, of course, were in the position that got me here to begin with, and in two pushes, my first son was born! I got one quick peek, before he was whisked away. I said, "It's a baby!!" (No, it was a watermelon! This was the first thing I said at each of my son's births and I have always wondered what I really thought I was packing in there!?! Go figure.) All I saw were tiny fists and gobs of hair. He was beautiful. Already I felt that tug at my heart, that pull to hold him, to shelter him, to keep him safe. My ex had already gone home, so he had not witnessed the event, and I couldn't wait to call and tell him he had a son. He had convinced me he wouldn't take us home if I didn't have a boy, but I just had my baby, and I wanted the world to know.

I looked down at the doctor, where he was sewing me up. Evidently I had torn something or other. Feeling so elated, I wanted to share my joy with someone, but he was showing anther doctor how to do stitches. Actually, the same doctor he had been training all night. Every time he had examined me, she had too. I had my baby, and after I got to my room, I would get to see him. I had tried for a year to get pregnant, making my husband go through a sperm test, taking my temperature every morning, holding my ass up in the air after sex, making sure the sperm got to the right place. To me, this baby was a miracle. I was just so so happy. I was a MOM.

I was transferred eventually to a room with three other women, recently delivered of their bundles of joy, and we all agreed, we were never, ever going to fuck any man again as long as we lived. All that bullshit about discomfort, and natural, and concentrating on your breathing, was the biggest pack of lies we had ever heard. The only thing that didn't hurt to me was the actual birth itself. Then your body just kind of told your mind to "shut the fuck up, and follow me, I'll take it from here". It was a very primal thing, in that your body did what it was supposed to and you were just along for the ride. But, we, as new mothers, unanimously agreed our husbands were horny dickwads and would never touch us again. Unless they were wearing at least three rubbers.

I waited until morning for my baby. I watched as each mother was brought her new baby boy or girl. I kept waiting. I had gained no more than the allowed 21 pounds during the pregnancy, so I was pretty much back to my regular size almost after birth. I hadn't smoked at all. I hadn't drank at all. I didn't even take a Tylenol unless I was given the OK. Around 9:am I was getting scared, and tearful, as the room was buzzing with baby noises and visitors, and I still didn't have my little boy.

Then, two doctors walked in. The delivery doctor, Micheal Harrington, a name I will always remember, and Dr. Something, we'll call him. I said, "What's going on? Where's my baby?" I started to cry, just a little.

Dr. Something, looking uncomfortable, explained that my baby was born at 36 weeks, which meant that he was premature. He had a condition known as hyaline membrane disease, and that his lungs were not fully developed. He was in the neo-natal intensive care unit, and they were monitoring his condition. I wouldn't be able to see him until they ran some tests on his blood, and decided whether to send him to Sacred Heart Hospital which had much better facilities for babies like mine.

I just looked at them, burst into tears, not knowing what to do or say. I couldn't take it all in. I had done something to hurt my baby was what I was hearing. "I can't see my baby?"

"God dammit!" Dr. Something shouted at me. "There's no reason to get all upset! Where is your husband stationed at? You want us to call him, or do you want to call him? Well let you know when we know more." And then they were gone.

The nurse found me in the bathroom, crying, bleeding, and pretty much incoherent. I remember how sweet she was, how she helped me clean up, got me into bed, sat and talked to me, asked me what I was going to call my baby boy. I told her we had decided to call him E.J. She said, "You need to eat something and get some rest, so you can walk down to the ICU and see him this afternoon." So I would get to see him. I would get to see my little boy! This nurse gave me my first glimpse of hope that morning. I have forgotten her name, its lost, but I remember her face, and always will.

That afternoon, I got up, and walked down to the Neo-natal ICU, and met the typical long-time tough as nails, military nurse. Short, stout, no-nonsense, she looked like she could chew you up, spit you out, and drop kick you a hundred feet before she had her morning coffee. I told her who I was, and she took me to my boy. E.J. was in an incubator, with arm holes on each side, laying there with little IV wires coming out of his feet. His birth weight was 6 lbs, and 1 oz, which was large for a preemie, and an oxygen mask covered his face. I could put one carefully washed hand through one of the holes and stroke his little body. To me he was beautiful, and an angel, and I felt so guilty for whatever I did to make this happen. I cried, seemed I cried all the time. I watched as his little chest struggled for each breath. I wanted to scream, I wanted to roll in the floor, I wanted to find Dr. Micheal Harrington and beat his face in, but I just stood there.

The stout nurse looked at me and said, "Look, you better start eating and getting back on your feet, cause you're going to have to take care of this baby. He's going to need a healthy mother."

I looked at her, past all that hardness, past all that knowledge, and the horrors she had seen, and saw the kindness there, the other glimmer of hope she held out to me, freely, a gift. I went back to my room, now a private one, as my crying upset the new mothers, and ate everything they brought me to eat. I had a new purpose now. Now I had to get EJ well and take him home. Of course I couldn't do it all by myself. But that glimmer of hope was starting to look bigger all the time.

I walked to the nurses station to use the phone. I wanted to call my husband and tell him the latest news, as he had not been in to see me yet. When I asked the nurse at the desk, she said, "That's going to cost you a dime. Do you have a dime?" I suppose she was trying to be funny, but I just started crying again, and turned away. The sweet nurse that helped me before stopped me, saying, "Here, of course you can use the phone." The other nurse, with the warped sense of humor, was evidently being informed that I was that mother.

I dialed my home phone number and listened to it ring. And ring. And ring. Then I went back to the ICU, to touch my baby again.

To be continued.

Jul 4, 2007

Its the fourth of July,
Independence Day
For all us here
In the USA

A time for food
Picnics and Beer
A time we all
Give a mighty Cheer

We love those fireworks
That light up the sky
Young and old
We give a cry

As each one blossums
Then fades away
We can't get enough
Of our special day

But where is Joe,
and Tom, and Bill,
And Bob, and Melissa,
And Frank, and Jill?

Oh, that's right
They're in Iraq
And, sadly, some of them
Won't come back.

Wonder what they'll do tonight
Their fireworks are real!
Not a pretty sight.
How do they feel?

Will they get a letter,
A package from home?
Will the unthinkable happen
Will they get to come home?

We all hate the war
Or it seems we all do
But the brave men and women
Who serve me and you

Who lay down their lives
Because we told them too.
Yes, let's bring them home,
But honor them well.
Their bravery, courage,
In their fourth of July hell.

How I got my first son, Part I

It was Sunday morning, July 2, 1978. I was 8 months pregnant, and my husband and I were waiting on Elvis and his wife to pick us up so we could to a lake somewhere in Milton, FL to fish. Actually, it wasn't the Elvis, as he was long gone by this time. This was a guy my ex worked with as a flag driver for the admiral. (Talk about a cushy job.)

Anyway, Elvis' wife and I got along real well, which was unusual, as most of the navy wives I had met in Pensacola were not all that friendly. (Elvis liked to be called Elvis because he fancied he looked and talked like Elvis. He didn't, but who cared?) There were a lot of weird guys that worked with my ex during those days. Most of the other people I had met were always high. So was my ex for that matter, but at least now, at this final stage of our pregnancy, we were actually talking to one another. For a long time, he would not even talk about the baby, as if it wasn't happening. Then the ship went in the yards in New York for awhile, and I found some letters a girl had written him about how cute he looked in his uniform.

Shit hit the fan, my brother wanted to kill him, I was alone in Florida, pregnant, not working, but determined to make my marriage work. If that meant putting up with a little bullshit, I put up with a lot of bullshit.

I was actually terrified of the actual labor and delivery process. I wanted the baby so much, but the process of getting it was scaring me, the closer the day came. I had read books about child birth, and caring for babies, one in particular seemed geared toward the hippy birthing experience. It showed fully nude pictures of pregnant women, and they described their natural childbirth experiences. Of course at the time, the Navy Area Regional Medical Center did nothing but natural childbirth. Maybe an episiotomy if they had to widen the birth canal, so to speak.

But, after hearing how big I was, how fat I was, how unattractive I had become, reading this book made me realize how much more feminine my pregnancy actually made me. I was learning to love my pregnant body, and was totally into the nesting mode.

So, while we waited for Elvis and his wife, my lower back started to hurt like a bitch. Then it would ease off. Then it would start up again. By the time the Elvis's got there, my ex and I were wondering if maybe I was starting to go into labor. Then, I felt this huge rush of water come shooting out between my legs.

"I think my water just broke!" I said, stunned. It was happening. My God, I thought, I am going to have this baby. But, its not due yet! I have four more weeks!!

Elvis' wife said, "Yeah, I can see. Let me go get a towel," to my husband "you get her things," to both of us "and you guys go to the hospital."

Elvis looked shocked. "God, what if we had been out on the lake!" He sat on the sofa, beside my husband, both of them staring straight ahead, both of them probably higher than a kite.

"You want me to drive?" I asked. My husband looked up, eyes wide, and said, "No, no, you probably shouldn't be driving. I'll drive. Come on." I had already pre-registered, so I just basically would have to check in.

When I finally got into a room to be examined, they discovered I was already dilated 4 cm. and since my water had broke, they decided to keep me. They put me in a room, hooked me up to monitors, one which had a graph indicating when a contraction was coming. How I loved that fucking monitor. I used my own method of breathing, focused on a spot in the room, and tried not to scream like a maniac. The only comfortable spot I could find was to sit straight up. I had always called my baby little Jake, and I told him to hang in there, we were going to be ok. I was terrified! This went on from about 11:00 am until 9:00 pm. Wave after wave of intense pain, which some knothead called contractions, followed by a two-minute respite. Every so often an older nurse would pop her head in and give me a cup of crushed ice, but that was it. I could hear other women moaning, screaming, crying, cursing, which only frightened me more. Then the doctor popped his head in and told the nurse he was leaving as it didn't look like anything would happen tonight. I thought to myself, there is no way in hell I am going through 12 more hours of this shit!

To be continued.....

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Jul 3, 2007

A new addiction

About a two months ago, I started watching a TV show called Gene Simmons Family Jewels, on A&E. I have fallen in love with the Simmons family and I am starting to believe they are one of the last sane families left in America. Yes, he's Gene Simmons, of Kiss fame, but I never really was a big Kiss fan. I mean, everybody liked Kiss, it was like a rule of some kind, and the bat guy, Mr. Simmons, was my favorite character, probably by default. By default, I mean I wasn't really sure what the other guys were.

When I decided to check this show out, I was already somewhat familiar with two of the main characters. Gene Simmons, as I've described above, and Shannon Tweed, the actress, and Playboy Centerfold. But, I really don't think of Shannon Tweed as a playboy centerfold, but more of an actress. Seems she was in a bunch of movies, and she did a stint on Days of our Lives, as well. Probably scared the shit out of Deidre Hall, the raining queen of daytime TV. Maybe she is, I don't know, as I don't watch soaps anymore. Too many people keep showing up that have been dead and buried for quite some time now. But, I digress...

What absolutely amazes me about this program is the amount of love in this family of four. I don't think fame and fortune plays that much of a role in it either. I do believe Mr. Simmons would be a workaholic on matter what his life's work would be.

Its about the kids. They are so funny, so endearing, so 'un-full' of themselves, it's amazing. They even strike me as being a little shy. And they are funny. Nick is quite the artist in his own right. Sophie is something you don't see very much on

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TV these days, period. A young lady.

Maybe its just me, but watching this show makes me feel good inside. Just really, really good. Even the dog has common sense. Yes, Mr. Simmons still likes half-naked women, and hosts things like the porn movie star awards. But what man who is still breathing doesn't and wouldn't?

Here's a clip to get you started.

*From my friend, the RN, of the elevator incident.

Warning About Bacon Grease

The question is: Do you use bacon grease?

We were raised on bacon grease as kids and even into adulthood. I will never use it again. I hope you will throw yours away whenever you

fry bacon from now on. It seems as though nothing is safe to eat anymore.


I just threw out my last 2 tablespoons of bacon grease!!

This is what happens when you keep cooking with bacon grease.
This is a warning, send this to everyone you care about. It could happen to you......or them. Keep scrolling down?.

Bacon grease will make your feet small!! Warn everyone!!
Don't say you weren't warned......

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GAMES PARTY GAMES FOR WHEN WE ARE OLDER
1. Memory, what is it?
2. Hide and...go do something.
3. Catch Mr. Federline before he sets off the alarm.
4. Kick the Bucket.
5. Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says Bend Over.
6. Musical recliners.
7. Simon says something incoherent.
8. Pin the Toupee on the Bald Guy


1. Your husband schedules you for an exorcism, for no reason whatsoever!

2. You have to write post-it notes with your kids' names on them.

3. You change your underwear after a sneeze, or cough, or you stand up, or sit down....

4. Don't even ask about your underwear if you try to run...


1. Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

2. You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.

3.Getting a little action means you don't need fiber today.

4. Getting lucky means you find your car in the parking lot.

5. An all-nighter means not getting up to pee!

6.You sell your home heating system at a yard sale.


Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?

Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

If raising children was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor!

Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

*Now, you know. When you are in the hospital, and your hitting that call button for all its worth, and no one is responding, this is what they are probably doing at the nurses station. But, you didn't hear it from me.