Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Trifecta Writing Challenge is to make a three word resolution for the New Year.

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

My entry is ----    "Oops, next please."


For those of you are regular readers, well for all I know you could be quite irregular all the time, I hope you have a great New Year and only look back at the good times with this past year. 2013 had a good ring to it. This goes for visitors too!

Sometimes the bad has its good points when you look back. It pushes us to think or do in ways we would have never thought.  Jumping out of the rut is better looking back than doing.

My older brother is developmentally delayed. He is becoming a grouchy old man when he meets any frustration. In thinking how I could break the pattern, I realized it will never happen. He has a fire within like all of us and we are blessed that he normally is of good humor.

Anyway, I have pulled out all the exotic teabags and put them in a beautiful clear glass serving dish with a lid. We have all resolved to drink hot tea every day this winter. With three weeks of winter a day here and a day there. We got to be on the ball to accomplish this. I've purchased a cheap camcorder with plans for a better one later. I hope to post the seasonal changes on occasion.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Candy Crush Overload

I sit and play the Crush about three, four times a day. The first couple of times I use all five lives, then I quit early the last time. Sometimes I am so wound up at the end of a life I play Papa Pear. It was boring at first, but it has an attraction almost as much as Candy Crush.

What pisses me off with myself is that I waste time doing it. No solace in seeing other professionals with hectic schedules forty to one hundred levels above me.

Surprisingly, there is wisdom in the sing song of the game. One of the impediment is a fudge spinner that slings fudge out and stops up the flow of play and of course you lose more quickly. For a little money, you can buy these bubblegum plugs to stop the chocolate. I have a rule, I pay nothing to play except for the thirty cents to go from one episode to another.

Like so much in life, ignore the crap and make the best of things. I suspect the game is made to win whether you play well or poor after so many tries. It is hard to get excited when you win when you realize it is designed to encourage people to buy money for power-ups and extended play on each game.

I remember looking at people at the Harrah's casino in Cherokee, North Carolina. Lots of cigaret smoke, strong exhaust fans, folks who are incredibly out of shape due to age and obesity staring into the machines as they hit the auto replay button. I'm baffled by the attraction but not critical as I see my computer puzzle games to be terribly similar.

Anyway, I am making progress on my screenplays. It has taken me forever to get restarted. The fear of
failure can be overwhelming. It's funny how playing a time wasting computer game has jolted me out of a rut.

I have done my Wonder woman pose for a minute tonight. A ted talk on NPR proposes that standing boldly for several minutes will rewire your brain to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that life delivers.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Frank (4-14-1997 to 12-12-2013) - A damn good dog.

My little buddy Frank passed away Thursday. I thought it would be easy to take. He had gotten very old. He could not see. He could not hear. If he got to running down the driveway on a walk, I had to chase him down. Luckily, he couldn't run that fast.

His stiff, quick movements of his legs when he walked made me think of a gunfighter. And sometimes he was. He would tell the other dogs to move out of his way. I watched or placed him alone with the right dogs. Usually, I had to make my young dog Boduke stop hassling him. Duke would look at me like,"I want to but I won't." Two nights before, I had to chastise Frankie to leave Duke alone. Duke loved being protected.

Frank had a stroke. His best friend and partner in life, Lester who was a golden retriever mix had a stroke at 15 and passed within minutes. Frank was not as lucky. I took him to the vet to be put down. Frank was four months shy of turning 17. What tore at me the most is I knew he thought the vet would help him.

I don't know what happens we die. I think there may be an afterlife. When you have someone very close to you to pass, you get a "last goodbye". Whether they are real or imaginings, they feel real. My dad was fond of the "poo" boy. I hope he is there with all the other pets with my dad.

The funeral was quiet with just me and Duke. I dug the hole and laid a worn towel across the small grave. My family has come out for a few words with other pets. I guess it was too painful with Frank. I laid him on the towel and covered his body with the other and quickly covered him with Earth. I live in the country and so laid concrete blocks over his grave. Visiting opossums and like would disturb his small body.

My sister came out and said a few words. She was surprised I had finished so quickly. Duke watched me and he shivered when I put Frank in the ground. Daisy was surprisingly sweet to me. JoJo was acting very sad. You wonder what dogs comprehend. Louise has taken his place on the bed.

Anyway, life moves on. It's two days later and I still feel the sadness. I knew he was old, arthritic, had a collapsing trachea and did not have long. What I remember is him running through the doorway with the chihuahua's on the big bark festival walking in the front pasture. Rest in Peace sweet boy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ten points all beginning artists need to consider.

A picture of their family or pets, the need to have a roof over their head, something to eat or a really big payday are the motivations for some people in doing a loathsome job.

My main career was teaching school. It paid well for a woman and of course with depression era parents, I was schooled in getting a secure job. I had this desire to write from a young age.

The following article is food for thought.  My reservation is that teaching is a demanding job. Combine that with a family and you have very little time to clean the house much less artistic pursuits.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/30/the-real-humanities-crisis/?smid=fb-share&_r=0

These are a few reasons why people can't make a living as an artist.

  • There should be a bonus plan for films that are box office successes. The first year's revenue should trickle into bonus' for extras and bit players and crew. You can't make a movie without these peons.
  • There are a few authors that have been financially successful with book a year deals. They have a new book prominently displayed for full price and last year's on the clearance rack. Getting an advance of about 2000 dollars is what most writers get.
  • I go to several local theatres. Their productions rival much larger productions that I have seen at the Alliance theatre in Atlanta. 
  • You have to sell a lot of prints and original paintings to pay the bills.


What I do know about being an artist can be summed up in these words of wisdom.

1. Get started. Don't wait until late in life. You may be dead or too old to pursue your passion. Many careers are a young person's game or you will never be good enough if you don't start.

2. Be realistic. You want to be a novelist. No you don't quit your job and start writing like they do in the movies. Read books about writing books. Read good novels. Read bad novels. Take any courses about writing you can. It's hard to be a good writer when you live under a bridge or your family is so sick of you not pitching in with the bills. Plus understanding working and living helps you write about the human condition.

3. Study your chosen field. If you want to be an actor or singer, you need to go to school. A quick acting class now and then is not enough. Go to school and get started. It's harder to break into the business as you get older. Day jobs are recommended. Couch surfing is not a good strategy and don't get so broke, you will do anything for a good meal.

4. Make a plan. If you are going to write, designate an hour you write whether it is garbage or the start of a bestseller. Know what you plan to do to reach your goals. Talking about it and daydreaming may be the start but it is definitely not the finish.

5. Patience is a must. All of your hard work could be a wreck. No one starts out wonderful. I've seen a play ruined by a boring actor; read a self-published novel that was an exercise in venting; complimented a print of a painting that was OK. Practice brings out the best in us all.

6. Decide what your goal is. Great works don't always get acknowledged and "50 Shades of Gray" pulls in millions of dollars. There is a reason why Las Vegas is lit up with a million lights and a museum barely can make payroll. Have you ever watched people playing the slots. Many of them old, overweight, smoking staring into the machine. It doesn't take much effort.

7. Live life as fully and responsibly as possible. An alcohol fueled story rarely makes sense. Family and friends are the essence of what is good about life. Work that boring day to day job to pay the bills. It's easier to create when your basic needs are met and your children are well.

8. Everything prepares you.  I read a person's account of what a wonderful place a retail giant was to work. They had worked there 9 months. For an individual hassled at year nine because you get tenured for retirement after ten years, that is more relevant.

9. Know when to reconsider your dreams. Much like very few athletes turn pro and work several years, the same is true for acting, writing, singing, painting.

10. Respect criticism. Whether mean spirited or just plain off-based, a criticism gives you the opportunity to reflect on your work and decide if it can be improved. Be gracious to criticism or you will never hear it from that person again. I had two students who were critical and vicious the first year I taught Chemistry. In short, my worksheets were impeccable and served me well in subsequent years.

In short, being an artist is worth your effort. I did not pursue a creative field and regret it. But not as much as I am glad I can support myself and take care of family members. Balance your dreams with a job.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turnip greens, Thanksgivukkah eve and more

I'm taking a break. It's almost midnight. I wanted to do a little so tomorrow would run smoother.
Part of housecleaning involves looking at Facebook updates and checking my email periodically.

Earline, a woman I grew up with, could whoop up as much noise as the rest of us teenagers at Northside Baptist when I was a child. She now runs a tight kitchen. Her Thanksgiving meal is ready to roll out of the fridge and sideboard, sing, dance and put on a little show before calmly lying on the table for a perfect Norman Rockwell photo. I should have know she would have grown up into a trouble maker.

Then I remembered the large bunch of turnip greens and large bunch of mustard greens on the back porch.

Well I have been washing those greens for about two hours. The turnip greens looked clean but they had dirt. About 8 rinses did the job. The worse part was - bugs. Yes, little bugs. They could have come from my backyard. The weather is cool and I stored them on the back porch. However they are fresh from the store, $2.99 a bunch.

Bugs are a good sign. No pesticide. Bugs are disgusting if they find their way on your fork. No matter how much protein.

I thought to myself, all this Thanksgivukkah in the news. Those latkes sound tricky but are they as hard to prepare as greens. I know, an 82 year old woman put her recipe in the paper. Sooner or later, I'm going to make some latkes. I already know we are the sour cream folks. No apple sauce but I'm sure the ketchup will make it to the table. I've eaten a version of latkes all my life. A hillbilly version, my mom is from Southern Appalachia. It's a potatoe pattie fried in l--d which is decidedly not kosher. No wonder they have the lovely name, tater splatter.

My uncle was a Seventh Day Adventist and did not eat pork. He and my aunt lived with my grandmother who was a member of the Holiness church. My grandmother said you could talk her into anything but don't tell her to do anything. She served pork as often as she could. How dare they be too good for pork.

People often wonder what gives with pork, chicken and Southerners. It's simple. A cow was too valuable to eat. When it came time to butcher a cow, it was sold. Pigs have huge litters. A cow has one baby at a time.

Well back to latkes. I love the touch in the recipe where she prefers to use russet potatoes and she - No simple drumroll, we need the loud clang of cymbals. - dries the shredded potatoes with a tea towel. But mind you, not too much. I can imagine her poor daughter taking her to some small Southern town with a redneck Jewish grocery that has the right potatoes. This is the South and I am sure that store has existed if it does not exist today.

There will probably be a nostalgic NPR story sooner or latter about Soloman's Southern Fried Delicatessan having its doors reopened by a young couple from Poughkeepsie who want to revisit the past. I can see the young couple now selling the store after a few months, these senior citizens tell them so many stories of Sam Soloman and his family, they wonder if these people are zombies. Zombies that will kill you will stories that run on forever and always, I mean always end in a preposition.

Now I haven't told the scariest part of my greens cleaning. The mustard greens looked really clean. I cut off the roots and pull out a core to the group that looked brown and yucky. The I pulled stray roots and weeds. Weeds in your greens, even a bug on your fork pales to a weed. Then, spooky music please, I found a live ladybug.

Anyway, the dirt was horrendous. I have posted a white flag and they are currently soaking. Those expensive bags of chopped, just pour it in the pot and stew seem like such a good idea now. In the newspaper, a woman commented that it did not matter if the latkes came from the grocer or was freshly prepared. Right now greens from a can sound good to me.

Any way, its time for me to stop typing. It's past midnight. Those mustard greens are not going to clean themselves and I need to peel the turnips. Break a fingernail Earline. Wink Wink - Just kidding. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hannukah for those who celebrate. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red Jacket's defense of freedom to worship his Native American Religion.

I was looking up the definition for apologist. Then I read about apologists in other religions and I came across this text. This is a speech delivered in the summer of 1805 by Red Jacket of the Seneca tribe. Sometimes what people have said in the past can be so relevant and thought provoking today. I know something this old is no longer bound by copyright. However, I got the text from this link.  http://www.bartleby.com/268/8/3.html#txt1
It looks like an incredible resource.

FRIEND AND 1 BROTHER:—It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things and has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken His garment from before the sun and caused it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see clearly; our ears are unstopped that we have been able to hear distinctly the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit, and Him only.
  1
  Brother, this council fire was kindled by you. It was at your request that we came together at this time. We have listened with attention to what you have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives us great joy; for we now consider that we stand upright before you and can speak what we think. All have heard your voice and all speak to you now as one man. Our minds are agreed.  2
  Brother, you say you want an answer to your talk before you leave this place. It is right you should have one, as you are a great distance from home and we do not wish to detain you. But first we will look back a little and tell you what our fathers have told us and what we have heard from the white people.  3
  Brother, listen to what we say. There was a time when our forefathers owned this great island. Their seats extended from the rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had created the buffalo, the deer, and other animals for food. He had made the bear and the beaver. Their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them over the country and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn for bread. All this He had done for His red children because He loved them. If we had some disputes about our hunting-ground they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood.  4
  But an evil day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great water and landed on this island. Their numbers were small. They found friends and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men and had come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat. We took pity on them, granted their request, and they sat down among us. We gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison in return.  5
  The white people, brother, had now found our country. Tidings were carried back and more came among us. Yet we did not fear them. We took them to be friends. They called us brothers. We believed them and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers had greatly increased. They wanted more land; they wanted our country. Our eyes were opened and our minds became uneasy. Ware took place. Indians were hired to fight against Indians, and many of our people were destroyed. They also brought strong liquor among us. It was strong and powerful, and has slain thousands.  6
  Brother, our seats were once large and yours were small. You have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us.  7
  Brother, continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to His mind; and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a Book. If it was intended for us, as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and not only to us, but why did He not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that Book, with the means of understanding it rightly. We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people?  8
  Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?  9
  Brother, we do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.  10
  Brother, the Great Spirit has made us all, but He has made a great difference between His white and His red children. He has given us different complexions and different customs. To you He has given the arts. To these He has not opened our eyes. We know these things to be true. Since He has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that He has given us a different religion according to our understanding? The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for His children; we are satisfied.  11
  Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.  12
  Brother, you say you have not come to get our land or our money, but to enlighten our minds. I will now tell you that I have been at your meetings and saw you collect money from the meeting. I can not tell what this money was intended for, but suppose that it was for your minister; and, if we should conform to your way of thinking, perhaps you may want some from us.  13
  Brother, we are told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest, and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.  14
  Brother, you have now heard our answer to your talk, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand, and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey and return you safe to your friends.  15
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Caterwauling

Well it is almost Thanksgiving. It is cold and wet here in middle Georgia. I'm linking up with trifecta with this post. We are using the transitive verb "pluck" in this weeks challenge. As always, lots of good reading in the links.

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

And of course, here is my entry.

Thanksgiving 2013, the official day of family togetherness. Janet Futrell usually spends the day alone. What little family she has lives far away. Harold her husband stays at the All Saints Convalescent Center.

She still runs a small daycare in her cramped apartment.

Her daycare began when a neighbor's baby cried all night. As she angrily, groggily stepped out her door to get her newspaper and saw the mother, Rosita Rodriquez. A loud cluster of sound subsided as Ralph Calderon nodded at her as if she agreed before walking his prissy butt home.

“I'm so sorry about Travion's crying. He catches everything at daycare.”

With her arm around Rosita, Janet patted her back as the young woman sobbed.

“I was fixing to put muffins in the oven.”

“I've heard you Southern women could cook.”

“Well, my cooking improves when someone helps me eat. I'll be back over with muffins in about 30 minutes. Dry your tears dear.”

And that is when Janet started doing daycare. No more bad colds for Travion until kindergarten. He would sit wrapped in a quilt as he and Janet did puzzles and looked out the window on the few days he missed school.

Leaning on her cane, Janet stood next to the window looking out to the street of the comfortable subdivision, plucking the fat cashews from the nut mix. A large teenager with the body of a man wraps his arms around her shoulders.

“Miss Janet, you know you are not supposed eat only one type of nut.”

“Whatever do you mean Travion, You know how Uncle Martavis gets when he sees Cashews.”

Travion rolls his eyes in the direction of Martavis getting red and gesturing widely with his hands. “He is only getting warmed up, anyone next him gets to hear politics and more politics.”


“Pshaw, a little caterwauling is good for the soul.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Too much spin if you ask me.

I read the first part of David Oedel's article in the November 23rd issue of the Macon Telegraph, I was impressed that someone would express the plight of a mentally ill woman.


Then he blamed the woman's lack of mental healthcare on Obamacare which began in October of this year. Anyone with any experience know that the mental healthcare system is broken and has been broken. Mental Illness is seen by so many as a personal falling and not the treatable disease it is. Just wiping the shame from people would be monumental.

Governor Deal turned down medicaid assistance for 600,000 Georgians because in three years, the federal government may not foot the bill. If I needed medicaid those three years would be better than nothing.

Governor Deal who has cut the budgets for mental health care until all that is offered is bare bones.

People with mental illness cannot apply and receive help because their condition limits their reasoning and negotiating ability. People hire lawyers to get social security and medicaid started. I am quoting the former district attorney in Houston County, Kelly Burke. “The law treats people with mental illness poorly.” I doubt there is any sheriff or law enforcement officer in Georgia who does not understand this. Our prisons all have shadow mental health wards.

I grew up in Georgia and it is a one party state. It was Democrat when I was young and it is Republican now. Unless you want to waste your vote, you might as well get involved with the Republican party. I am not endorsing the Republicans. They are in charge and probably will be for awhile.

Sonny Purdue gave himself a $100,000 tax break. This was widely reported in the news. It was legal, the Georgia legislature passed the law. None of these legislators were denied re-election. There was no outburst of people asking Sonny Purdue to return the money. No one said, “Sonny Purdue, teachers are being furloughed, don't you think you are being a little greedy?”

I sincerely hope the Republican party will nominate someone for governor that cares more about the people who can't help themselves than some diehard partisan rhetoric. The denial of medicaid hurts rural healthcare in addition to individuals.

There were going to be problems with the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers had too many special interest groups to pacify. The more complicated anything is, the more difficult it is to implement.

To David Oedel, you are a lawyer. You take a very tragic circumstance, give it a sympathetic light, then use it to advance a political ideology. This sways a jury and earns the money a client pays you. I'm a conservative person too. I just recognize that we need to be reasonable with taxation to pay law enforcement salaries, build roads, provide public education and take care of those who can't take care of themselves. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Mental healthcare has enough problems. Reducing services is not helping.


I hope they throw the book at Crystal Fessler. If she gets a long enough stay in prison, she will receive some sort of mental healthcare. Hopefully, she will be in good enough shape for a family member to help her continue treatment when she is released. It is truly a tragedy that a 32 year old woman would be sleeping in a public park and causing so much mischief to rescue dogs. We are all God's creation. I appreciate Oedel giving people a compassionate viewpoint.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Deep thoughts on spin

When I started teaching school, I had a difficult time with discipline. Was I born one of those people who just want to be everyone's friend?

I have never lost that willingness to get along with other people. I have had to put up with some real jerks that have mistaken that kindness as weakness.

One of the reasons I have continued to write fiction is that it lets you express so much that most people would rather not listen, myself included, and state opinions or observations. We are all complicated in that our actions do not match our opinions.

One thing I learned over time is not to hastily let a harsh opinion loose. When you hear the other person's story, you find yourself regretting what you said. It's not that people can be different than what you perceive. More like people are what you call on in that person.

I've been told I am too nice. A teacher I worked with let me know what a high caliber teacher she was in that students did not give her a hard time. They knew she was a bitch. I have been called a bitch too. In my opinion, it was incredible disrespect from a student who felt contempt for me. I would never confuse contempt or anger with respect.

I see well written pieces in editorial columns that give you real sympathy for people and a situation. Then bam, they tie it to a political ideology which may or may not bear a help for the same people.

I have been watching the Sopranos. Tony Soprano is killed in the end. They are starting to show him in a harsher light. Usually when they kill someone on the Sopranos, you already dislike the character. It's not real life; but, it makes the hit easier to take.

Spin is easier to take than reality.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gym Candy Crackshot

This is my response to Trifecta's weekly challenge which was to use the verb remember in a 33-333 word story. Third definition to be precise.

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

Anyway here is my story -


Skillfully or luckily lining up threes, fours or fives of colorful shapes that wink. smile or beguile, I get five free plays every three hours. I stop housework, cooking, reading, watching television, mowing grass, visiting with the other inhabitants of this house to play.

Social media, smedia, someone named Tiffany just sent me a life. It is nice this stranger remembered me. I have no idea who most of my online friends are. But, Hell no, Gem Candy Crackshot, you faceless greedy monster, I will not waste money to pay for all those lives and Crackshot Gizmos. I am not on level 452 by accident.

I plan to stop at 665. I'm not playing with the Devil's number. I usually play with the sound off. Harvey, my husband thinks its a waste of time. I recorded the radio advice columnist who said it staved off dementia and exercised the brain. The music does get loud and annoying. However, it is fun and I might be going to win this game.

I've turned sound on. I can't hear a thing. I look up at Harvey. Dang it. I want my sound.

“The sound don't work Harvey.”

“Hmmm, let me see mama.”

“Call me by my name Linda, please?”

“What's for dinner Big Poppa?”

I look down and it's my little towheaded son Joey. “I don't know Joey. Harvey what would you like to eat?”

“Pork chops, turnip greens, crowder peas, cornbread and baked apples. Grandma, here is an apple you can peel.”

“I don't like to eat any of that.”

“It's good food. Put your great-grandmother's laptop away.”

“This laptop is a a bunch of junk and it don't work.”


“It still works for granny. What kind of homework have you got? I told your mom we would get it done before she comes to take you home. What are you looking at kid. You wasting daylight and they aren't making anymore of it.”

Friday, November 1, 2013

autumn intruders

My response to trifecta's 33 word challenge. Trifecta's link is


                              www.trifectawritingchallenge.com 

In The Scorpio Races, author Maggie Stiefvater writes, "It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."  Give us the next thirty-three words of this story, as you imagine it.  Take it wherever you like, but make it original and make it 33 words exactly.  
Maggie Stiefvater facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/MaggieStiefvaterAuthorPage




"It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die." Maggie Stiefvater.


Brown haired intruder stalks my house.

Sensitive brown eyes desiring crumbs to eat.

Setting the death trap, I lay in wait.

I'll be fooled no more.


Snap, Mouse lives to fight another day.



Mice invade my home every fall. This fall I have encountered a particularly elusive one.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Film review of "Secondhand Lion"


I am taking a course with Iversity. In the first week's lessons, the assignment was to state why you loved a particular story and a synopsis of the story.

Warning: there are commercial links to reviewed dot com which I have not put on the blog post. I don't know why they are there. I want to get rid of them. I'll introduce any link I have placed.

I chose the movie "Second Hand Lion"

What I liked about the story.

One of my favorite movies is “Second Hand Lion”. Robert Duvall (Hub) and Michael Caine (Garth) create a character that you can identify. In an interview I watched, Michael Caine said “talent was only a small portion of his acting ability. It was the years of training that made him a good actor”. Training and practice makes all of us good at what we do. Excellent work by the cast was evident.

The setting was interesting. The house, the Arabian love story, delivery of the lion, all added to the fascination of the story. The film seems to wander in its subplots and the hero's journey of the boy character, Walter Caldwell played by Haley Joel Osment. However, there are no scenes which do not build story. Each scene is written to portray vivid action. In classic film storytelling only one character is changed and that is Walter. The subplots add to the hook and hold of the film.

What I liked most about the film are the characters. There was the fantasy that was told in a way that it was possible. The movie was a celebration of living life to the fullest which is a fantasy to think we could always rise to that mindful of a life. The story was about love and the connection between humans.
Story Summary

Walter is abandoned by his selfish mother with two eccentric great uncles. He is not welcome. In essence the hero's journey has begun. Initially, Walter tries to keep in contact with his mom but he soon realizes she has been dishonest with him about his whereabouts.

In the process of living together, the boy and uncles bond. Through seemingly outrageous stories of valor and adventure of Hub and Garth and the uncles living life on their terms, Walter learns what it is to be a man, a man of character and the right to live life well.

Hub and Garth were “shanghaied” into the French Foreign Legion shortly after WWI. Hub had an intense love for a wife named Jasmine. Her death and the loss of Jasmine haunts Hub. He walks in his sleep ever searching for his youth and Jasmine. Garth is the narrator in that he tells of their exploits and makes sense of Hub's actions. One line I remember is that “a man may grow old but his spirit never does”. This tale in related in flashbacks by Garth to Walter.

Walter's mother returns with a stepfather. They want Walter to show them Hub and Garth's fortune. At first it is friendly and then it is abusive. Walter does not show where his uncle's fortune is. The stepfather gets his due after a series of events. Walter is forced to leave with his mother and stepfather who is in a serious body cast.

The hero's journey of change is evident. Close to the end, it looks like Walter will be returning to a miserable life with his mother and abusive stepfather. Walter pleads his case to be given a chance to have a good life. She relents and he returns to his uncles.

You get a warning that the superhuman antics of Hub in the story could be possible. Hub beats up several “toughs” at a restaurant. The “toughs” started the fight and Hub finished the fight. Then Hub takes them home and feeds them a big meal after nursing their wounds. He gives the “toughs” a talk about what it means to be a man. The “toughs” are changed by the incident.

The payoff in the end is accentuated where the boys story is moved to his adulthood. Hub and Garth have been killed in a biplane accident. An helicopter of an Arab man and his son arrive at the farm. Essentially, the man confirms the adventurous tales of Hub and Garth in their younger days. The payoff is cheered.

I am taking the course through Iversity. They offer many web based courses which are Free. It is about an hour long video class with optional supplemental materials and a weekly assignment. How much you want to participate is your choice.

This is a link to their course catalog.

https://iversity.org/courses?r=6e2fc

Monday, October 28, 2013

Who ate the ice cream?

This is my trifecta entry. If you live with anyone in your house, I know you have hid ice cream. Don't even pretend you haven't. Anyway here goes my entry. I had to use the third definition of

boo 

1 (interjection)
used to express contempt or disapproval or to startle or frighten

2 (noun)
a sound that people make to show they do not like or approve of someone or something

3 (verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly
 
 
 
 
 
Pink lips pursed like grandmother, blond tendrils curl down her neck, Angelica nudges grandmother who pauses from her crocheting and gives her a serious nod about the buttons Angelica sews on a piece of cloth.

Keys rustle in the door, Angelica's mom, Sara enters.

“Angie, lets get it together. We got to stop at Newberry's before it closes.”

“Mom, we're watching a movie.”

Grandmother grabs the remote. “It's OK, I'll record the ending.”

“I want to watch it now.”

“Get in the car.”

Angelica sits with her little arms folded over her project staring straight ahead.

Mom stands in front of her. After a pause, Angelica slams her project in her backpack and stomps out.

“I can tell you one thing darling. If my little nugget ever gets in trouble, it will because she decided to.”

“Mom, why are you telling me that!”


Sara slips on the seatbelt. Angelica asks. “How do you spell boo?”

Ready for the atmosphere to lighten, mom spells boo.

Arriving at the department store, mom looks at daughter.

“I don't want to go in.”

“You are going in.”

“My note.”

“Write it while I cook supper.”

In silence, mom and daughter walk into the store.

Later at the kitchen table, Angelica has her special pack of crayons, she sharpens. The light falls with her small face in shadow. Sara cannot believe she made something as perfect as Angelica.

Older brother, Sammie comes home. He puts his basketball on the recycled paper box, book-bag on the hook, washes his hands, sets the table. Beautiful brown eyes twinkle when he says, “Spaghetti, my favorite.”


After dinner, Angelica gives Sara the note.
“This is so pretty. Run upstairs. I'll draw your bath.”
 
Boo, boo, boo is written inside.

Sara looks at her husband, “I've hid some ice cream for later.”

Sara carries dishes to the kitchen, Sammie smiles broadly as he eats ice cream.













Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back to blogging.

I took a break. Actually, the computer I had hooked to the internet broke. I wasn't knowledgeable enough to know the password for the wifi of my router was on the side of the router. As usual I am swamped with other things to do. It was nice to take a break.

Like all things when you step back, you make observations and decisions. With my blog, I've decided less is more.

I enjoy the trifecta writing challenges. Twice a week I will make a post to enter their challenges. By Tuesday of each week, I will post a piece of flash fiction for trifecta. Then by Saturday, I will write a 33 word response to their weekend challenge. By Thursday, I will make a personal post. It might be a movie review, book review or what's up with me.

I love the friends I am making with the blog. Lots of generous, upbeat people which I need in my life. You would think tapping on a computer would be isolating but for me it gives me a chance to get out and meet folks.

I've hooked up with twitter. I will never tweet much. Clever one liners are not that common. I never volunteered in classes because I always liked hearing what someone else thought. My twitter handle is @annbennett12 or http://twitter.com/annbennett12 .  Note the 12.  One day, I think I will look up and follow the other Ann Bennetts, my twitter clones. Unless one is a drag queen, he would be an original.

I have promised myself that I would not make political statements. Not that I don't have convictions. Its just that 1. I am not a political know it a - I still change my mind; 2. There is no one way to skin a cat; 3. Like someone who disagrees is going to change their mind - We all got our own point of view.

I have two other blogs that I plan to contribute on a weekly basis.

http://www.scienceladybug.blogspot.com/   is very active and I have only 40 posts and pages on it. It is designed for science teachers. My commitment is to post at least once a month if not weekly. Currently, I am putting together instructions for polyhedron activities. I don't get many comments but I do get a lot of "hits" and little spambots. I know teachers work hard.

http://www.5korbustyeah.blogspot.com  is not very active and personal. I have fought the battle of the bulge for the past 30 years. I've made peace with the battle but it is an ongoing struggle. I sign up for three 5K's in the winter and early spring. Anyone who knows me, I hate the heat. Being a native Georgian, I appreciate the irony.

Anyway, this old butt is in training. Sign up for my races if you live nearby. I do recommend that you don't sign up for a 5k more than 50 miles away. A long journey starting at 3 or 4 am is not a way to go. I pack my breakfast, brew a pot of coffee, get dressed, feed my dogs and head out. I get up around 6 am for family duties so it is not as big a burden on the few 5K's I do.

The blog is more to motivate myself and hey if it helps someone else, wonderful, wonderful. The person I care the most about is someone young and beating themselves up about being overweight. I know they struggle with the problem and I hope they don't define themselves as overweight. People my age usually know there is much more to life than your appearance. Unfortunately time can be rough on all of us.

Well you know my plan. Take care, Ann

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dang that Purple Sneast

Trifecta Writing Challenge - 33 word tale describing a beast that resides in unlikely places.

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

This beast, the purple haired Sneast, is pretty sneaky. He comes around when your notepad or recorder isn't handy.



A thief of a beast,                        
That purple haired Sneast
Who steals my rhymes.                      

How do I forget that purple hair,
When random thoughts lurk.
As I do housework,
The beast, the Sneast, feasts,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Phantom Pain

This story is in response to trifecta writing challenge 100.

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

This is as close to magical thinking as I like to get.





The itch would center into a pinprick, sometimes it would spin. Bobby Mann could never scratch the leg was long gone in Vietnam.

Alice was a perfect housekeeper. In the lost quiet time from her passing, Bobby kept the house an immaculate shrine to her good taste. Bobby was glad to meet someone who wanted to listen to what he said.

The doorbell startled Bobby from sleep. Laying the half read paper neatly on the end table, Bobby used his crutches to get to the door. Looking through the peephole, two clean cut men stood. He recognized Joshua James with a bottle of window cleaner.

Opening the door, the smaller one grabbed him by the shoulders, Bobby realized what was going to happen so he dropped to the concrete slab porch and pretended to faint.

“Geez, I thought the old man would put up a fight.”

“Lets grab the goods.”

His left arm shield his head from the worst of the impact of a kick.. He briefly entertained the idea of getting up to run. He couldn't get up off the floor much less start now.

“Damn, this house is 1950s. The television ain't worth anything.”

“What a waste of time.” the shorter one walks to the doorway empty handed.

Joshua knocks Alice's porcelain birds to the ground. Bobby stifles a cough from the ammonia of the window cleaner spilled on the floor.

“You fool. You said he could recognize you.”

The shorter man leaves.

Dishes and glasses crash. Bobby imagines his phantom leg lifting to trip Joshua.

“Identify me old coot and I'll be back.”

Joshua takes a leap to stomp Bobby and slips on the ammonia. His head hits the hard concrete first.

The face of Bobby's buddy killed by the land mine that took Bobby's leg flashed in Joshua's face.

Bobby could feel a hard hit on the leg that was a phantom.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Evening Song

Trifecta writing challenge

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

Write 33 words about a personal fear.  Each age has its own fear. I've been blessed to live as long as I have. My fear - not being able to take care of myself.



Leaves are brittle
Cooler winds blow
Tassels of sage grass glittering as they float in the sun
Wild daisy a fluff of seed.
 Gloriies and drama
Lost in the quiet darkness of winter.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No bananas

This is my 99 word submission to celebrate Trifecta's 99th writing challenge. I chose the word "Back".

This is the link to Trifecta - http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/



$256.73 was the deposit total. Alison slammed the register drawer and began to push the cart of return plants.  

A worn cigaret voice drifted from behind.

"You got ananner plants?"

"Not that I know".

Eloise Sasser's strong blue eye fixed on Alison. Alison stopped walking away.  The walleye seemed to know Allison wanted her to leave.

"How do you spell 'anander'?"

"You can't spell ananner."

“No anander plants.”

The manager’s voice sings from the back, “Just in time, Eloise, we close in five minutes and two banana trees are left.”

“I thought you said you hain’t got no ananners.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sympathy for the Devil

"Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones

Trifecta Writing Challenge - 33 words based on this song.

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

Rhetoric
Loud and fast
On the media dial
Politicians cast
Spewing their bile
Enraging the Last
Man, woman, and child
Pausing to the chime
Of the donor’s dime

The Devil’s flag flies half-mast


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Daisy been doing some twerking

Now we have a delicate name for a delicate dog hunching the other dog. We tell them to stop twerking. Daisy has such a gentle little face and weighs 6 1/2 pounds. She also twerks her sister Buttons whenever she can. Who knew she was a trendsetter.

Miley Cyrus has the same manager as Brittney Spears. Let's all do the math.

Why the shock to the awful grind? Could it be her Southern roots? Afterall, you're a lady or a tramp. no in between. Could it be the skinny little body which is reminiscent of a teenager's body.

Could it be Cyrus is not being who she really is?

She would be part of the majority at this point. I never really bought into actors being typecast. It's more like they had 15 minutes of fame and didn't recognise it.

Some entertainers have lifelong careers. They also have the bankroll to finance projects in which they star. They study their craft so they can believably play more roles. Then promote the venture. Have you ever noticed the more they advertise a movie, the more likely it is a yawner.

One thing I like about is Joan Rivers is her honesty. When asked how she chose projects? She said she took whatever came up that was available. She seized opportunity.

Twerk and twerp sound very similar. We all need to think before we twerk. Being a lifelong nerd, I know from experience.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Got a new coyote or two.

I had missed the old coyote's call for quite a while. Late in the evening or early in the morning it would give it's injured wail for my dogs. One evening it caught me unaware several years ago in the field west of my house. I'm walking with my dogs and I hear it. Muffin is beside the woods where the call originates.

Four small dogs and three large dogs. I pick up the youngest of the small dogs because my brother would be so upset if the coyote got it. Somehow, Muffin is at my feet making two tenth's of a mile change in position within a matter of seconds.

I walk with my dogs in a tight formation. Two large dogs in front and the largest in back. Three small dogs at my feet. When we round the woods the dogs just casually fall out of formation. The one I'm carrying wants down. They reacted to the danger and knew when it was over.

Last week I saw a coyote eating pears from a tree in the back yard. I hope the field camera got good pictures. I'm having difficulty loading the internet provider software on the new computer. When I get that fixed, I will download the photos and post any interesting ones.

This morning I heard the new coyote. Different voice but the same message. The animal changed the location of its injured status in three areas quickly. I suspect there is more than one. I am working harder on a small fence in my backyard. The chi chi's are fierce. proud, and possibly good coyote eating.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mosquitos and a prayer chair.

I watched the tail end of a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. The reverend suggested a prayer chair. I thought, it is in the quiet I've made some of the most life changing decisions in my life. Living with people and too many pets makes the idea of solitude absurd.

I had my Boduke and a guest dog, Boo Boo on a short walk in the woods today. I thought I could put a chair in the woods and meditate. Listen for wisdom as the wind swooshes through the upper canopy of leaves.

I have a problem neighbor who is very aggressive and is working hard to shoot my dogs. As big of an a-hole as he has been, I know two things about him. 1. He is a liar. He will say and do despicable things to me but he will sing like an angel to others. 2. He has called the sheriff to me and made false accusations. My dog is terrorizing his horses and I am vandalizing his fence.

How do you manage someone like this? I know I could talk "sh-t" - I am getting a hell of a lot of writing from this. Experience tells me the facts. He is good at this. Been doing it a long time. He is a pro and I am an amateur.

Yesterday, we heard rounds of gunfire and shotgun blasts after we returned home. It has dawned on me someone cannot just fire a gun wildly. At one time it was a predictable pattern, then he did it occasionally. Of course it could be someone standing next to his property line creating the uproar.

In short, I stay out of his eyesight. I have my own property to walk my dogs. The dog in question stays on a leash. My conscience is clear in that I know where the dog has been. It will not stop the accusations but as my lawyer told me. He has to prove it was my dog.

This is why I have needed a prayer chair. Walking in the woods, I asked the question. How do I mend the relationship with someone so underhanded and hostile? I realized he is damaged. He has lost total faith in other people if not worse.

I sat down in a chair I keep at the wood's edge. Mosquitos swarmed me. I went back to the house with the two dogs.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Helen is out, Judd is in

I'm still engrossed with Big Brother. I have also started watching the Sopranos. I've yet to get my internet on my new computer. My house is looking cleaner.

Last night Helen was voted out of the Big Brother House. The competition for Head of Household also allowed one of the four jury members to return and it was Judd.

I think Judd would be the most interesting. The remaining house members seemed to not notice him. It would have been great if he was head of household. Elyssa is head of household. Andy is being so obsequious to her. Of course, he is primo "tattletale" to Amanda. I would love to see Amanda blindside him.

Elyssa needs to nominate Amanda and McCrae. But she will probably nominate Aaryn because she doesn't like her. Meanwhile, she will be chosen to be taken out by Amanda the next week. There are so few people that the voting block of Andy, Amanda and McCrae controls the game.

It's hard to see the big picture when we are in the middle of things.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lines in the Sand

Well, one of the best will be voted out of Big Brother this week. Helen is a great player and incredible with social skills.I felt a little disturbed that her friend and partner Elyssa will not be the one voted out.

Elyssa is not the strategist or has the personal connection with other players to really be the true winner. Helen is. I was disturbed she would not play to the game and make nice with Aaryn for her friend and the game's sake. Then I saw the comments of Arryn and GM.

Arryn and GM took cattiness to a new level by getting racist. Of course they both have lost their jobs as a result. Aaryn will not get to Hollywood as easily with her BB15 appearance. Elyssa did not like Aaryn to begin with and the comments sealed her judgement of the two.

Paula Deen made public statements several times crying over having used the "n" word. Honestly, people of her age group used the word. People who said they didn't have a convenient memory. I remember my mother considered the word cursing.

After 1970, the world had changed and there was societal pressure to not use the word. A politically connected teacher used it while I was in high school around 1972. He kept his job by the skin of his teeth. As a public school teacher, I followed the news and every once and a while a clumsy reference or use of the word, someone in the public eye would lose their job.

I saw innocent people be tarred and feathered over the word. I had African American colleagues take my side when another African American co-worker had it out for me. Life is luck, learning, and planning.

The race card is a violent one. I've seen manipulative African American parents accuse African American teachers of racism. One of the saddest ironies is that people who suffer racism often have no voice. It has reverted to an insidious, sneaky form.

I know why Paula Deen cried so hard. She may have been crying for herself. She may have been crying because she has experienced rejection herself. Face it, restaurant work is not glamorous unless you are the boss and making lots of money.

Paula Deen probably has a lot of respect for an excellent server or cook. She has made "bocoodles" of money with their finesse. We are a funny society. We respect money. We don't respect hard work.

Anyway, I can understand why Elyssa did not want to sit with Arryn and Gina Marie.



Friday, August 16, 2013

Helen had a meltdown.

I'm still watching Big Brother after dark. Some of the drama plays out. It is fascinating that they build a show based on snippets of activity and diary room sessions.

I fast forward through commercials. And yes I sleep through some. My dogs lie on the couch with me.

These kids, spend a hundred days in the house. The ones who exercise seem to handle the stress of the peculiar better. The ones voted out before jury lose monetarily. They win in not having to live with people they may not like, the insincerity, being away from your family ...

Helen's friend has her limit. She really does not like another houseguest. Winning is not worth pretending to like her. Helen has done the best job of building relationships.


Helen has been caught scheming against Amanda. They had the chance to vote Amanda out several times. Now she runs the house.

Oh well, the folks in Egypt have got bigger problems. I think about people my age in Egypt. Starting their fortunes over.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Big Brother

I've been busy slugging away at keeping my head above water. Sometimes I just give up and float.

Engrossed in the television show Big Brother. I usually tape Big Brother and Survivor and then there is a 1 in ten chance I will fast forward through them to see the characters, who wins, and a few blah blah blahs. I have not only watched the taped shows, I have watched half of the Big Brother at night on TVGN.

Maybe a waste of my time.

I don't know what has engrossed me the most. My man Howard was voted out. I certainly don't care which one wins. After all the scheming, you lose respect for them. I feel the most for Gina Marie. Howard had the most respect for her too. There is a sincerity she cannot totally walk away from.

One gal wants the money very badly. I have that feeling that if she won it, the money would be gone within a year and we would hear her sob story of her car being repossessed. I would like to be wrong.

But IM not so HO, it is better to work regularly at the Dairy Queen or greasy spoon or job that is regular than be hitching your wagon to a star. Clearly, the folks are cast and hope to spin a career off the opportunity.
.
In ways, I sold my soul to retire with a pension. That creative part of me packed into a maddening corner. When I first released it, I felt a relief and and unsteadiness at first. Like everything in life, my choice was a double edged sword. I have money to live on which is great especially in your fifties. I never pursued my dreams.

Other than Spencer on Big Brother, I have no dog in the fight. My three contenders have a snowballs chance in hell of winning. Sort of like my messy house getting clean. LOL. Anyway, I hope to have the interior spiffed up by the end of August. The outside by the end of September and a cleaning lady to come once a week afterwards. A girl can dream.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back from a break in internet.

Life is hectic for everyone. I have to take a break from the internet now and then. I am infamous for scrolling the newsfeed of Facebook and not doing what needs to be done but hey there is no emergency. I could use a few people to threaten to visit me to get my house in order.

Frankly, it will be in order when I move. I just lack the organisation and "hop to it" genes. Not a deadly combination just an eyesore.

I don't have the software for my ISP and the computer that works and is connected works when it feels like it. I had considered getting a different internet service which I may but I have learned the hazards of using the ISP email address. I got to get a more permanent email address which I actually use. Transfer a great deal of my life over to it.

When I started, I never realized how big an email address would become for me. I use it in so many ways. What a great knockoff of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous sonnet I could make using this idea. However, I would never spoil one of the English language's most loved poems.

I want to thank everyone who sent me a private message. Like many people, I have made some dear friends on the internet. Taking a month off has helped me see the forest instead of the trees. I called myself being undisciplined. I now know, I will take a week off every two months and post less. A little introspection is good.

I have been working on my screenplays of which one more has developed and and another one is dancing in my mind. Soon, I will have quite a selection of unfinished work. LOL, life is good and I wish the same for you.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Link to the blog wordle

Wordle: blog wordle

One good thing about the blogathon and other challenges, I learn a little more. I created this wordle using www. wordle.org.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Patience Please

This is my submission to

www.trifectawritingchallenge.com

Patience is said to be a virtue. Well the truth is: 1. Patience is a survival skill; 2. Patience is a survival skill; 3. Patience is a survival skill.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nail Salon Blues

The things you learn at the toenail shop. No, I'm not getting new toenails. I'm not even getting a pedicure. Can you feel my sadness. Dipping your feet into hot water, wonderful.

We all came for a pedi but only one technician is working. It would be too long a day for my mom. I appreciate the good thoughts and prayers people sent our way.

There is a young guy working but he only does fake fingernails or the young hot chicks toes.  There's a piece me that is hot. However it is not a news flash. Sort of a flash of overreaction if I do not watch it. But I am hot as hell with sweat pouring. I understand my face reddens. I try to think about it. Lol

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Life is the Journey

When I go to schools, I miss the noise. That loud rackety excitement of children sounds good now.

I spend my days in domesticity which was never a natural fit for me. My mother has two doting chihuahuas that are the recipients of my mother's natural mothering instinct. I gave both of them a bath tonight and could not find any fleas on them. After the big "tick bite", I am policing for bugs. I take them out in the evenings when I do yard work. They play like crazy and a bath is their reward. They are so small they fit in the kitchen sink. I know that does not sound that hygienic.  It's just a relief on my back. Besides I have soap and clean the basin afterwards.

Tomorrow, I need to fire up my new computer. The one I am working on now is disintegrating more and more. It constantly shuts itself off for me to reboot. Yesterday's post was lost several times on word. I gave up and put it on blogger because it would save the rough copy. Anyway, I've been shut down twice since starting this. I'll post pictures from Ocmulgee National Park and then publish.






Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fishing in time

In response to Trifecta Writing Challenge

Day was breaking; Jimmy was getting his gear together in the boat. Earl, the king of dogs waited patiently to board. He had at one time bounded from the shore into the boat. Now he needed a little help getting in, gingerly settling himself on his bed.

The old wooden boat was like the one he rode in as a boy. His grandfather would put trotlines out. The largest fish, he would take home for the family to eat. His grandmother would take planks of fish and bread it in cornmeal before placing it in lard to fry.

His grandfather would sell the fish and wait in town for people who wanted to hire day labor. Jimmy remembered his grandfather's leathered hands,

Jimmy's life had dwindled to living at his office and the hospital. He the healer watched a wife succumb to cancer. His one daughter was married and busy with a young family.

A man and his teenaged grandson came one night to the emergency room. Jimmy thought the thin, wiry man was the patient but his calloused hands lifted the boy's shirt to reveal a boil and rash on his back from a tick bite. Numbing and draining the boil, he told the grandfather to make a follow-up appointment at his office. The grandfather hemmed and hawed. Giving him the antibiotic from the hospital stores, he softly said, "Come by the office and tell my receptionist who you are, she'll give you the rest of the antibiotics."

The grandson went into the military. The grandfather died of a massive heart attack. Jimmy wondered when the sting of death would never stun him. He watched the young on-call physician try to save him.


Such is life; he saw the rusty boat for sale on the side of the road that night. He and his grandson went out as often as the boys schedule would allow. Who would think a high school student would have a more hectic schedule than a doctor would.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yard dog Grooming Club

When I took Muffin to the vet, he hazarded she had some poodle. Previously, no one would make a guess. She has some terrier and is trouble for mice. A wild rabbit can stand beside her. The point being, any dog qualifies you for the grooming club.

The pre-requisite for membership, have you or have you not purchased food solely for your dog in the drive thru of a fast food. You qualify for a lifetime membership, if your dog has preferences.

I got a pitbull, muffin, Frank the poodle, Buttons the chihuahua mix as regular biscuit riders in the morning. It started innocently enough. They would have a two for one offer. I ate one. I split the extra between whatever dogs were riding.

Who would know dogs like Hardees biscuits best. They must use lard. They delicately eat the biscuit after the meat. For McDonalds, they eat the biscuit if the other dog looks like they want their bread. Otherwise, it is meat only. Then, what the hey, we will nibble on the bread since no more meat is going to magically appear.

I use coupons. The dogs know those pieces of paper have something to do with their treat.

If I drive by the restaurant, the dogs look at the restaurant and then look at me. Sometimes I turn around.

Anyway, I think their favorite biscuit is the bacon. egg and cheese from Hardees.

They also love a McDouble for lunch, pickle and all. Afterwards, if you have an order of fries, everyone is content to have a fry doled out to each of them.

I haven't consulted the vet about the wisdom of this fast food diet. Like all fun food, I'm sure he will have some healthful suggestions. The dogs don't want to hear about it.


We're all in trouble.

Paula Deen is in trouble for saying the "n" word. From her deposition, and I may very well be wrong, she used the word in the 1960's. Seeing as she is 66, that means she was 20 years old in 1967. So she said the "n" word as a teenager.

I remember when the "n" word was used matter of factly. My mother thought it was crude. We were to say negro. It was sort of like the word pregnant. You didn't say it in polite company.

What bothers me is the hypocrisy. A Canadian on CNN who is married to a black man said racism does not happen in Canada. Yeah, right. Racism is a problem. It's particularly a problem when people are in denial. Thinking that it doesn't happen outside the South is ludicrous. Many jabs at the President bother me in that I feel they are racist in origin.

I try to do right. Being immersed in black culture as an educator, I am more open minded. More importantly, I recognize the difference between working class and sorriness. We had a painful class situation in the South in the recognition of "poor" white and white trash. Trying to move to something better, poor whites and blacks were faced with the same dilemma. Being loyal to their roots and moving into the soon to be Twenty-first Century.

My dad has a story. Shortly after WWII, at RAFB, an old man informed all the young guys that the world was messed up when he came and it would be messed up when the young guys left.

This is true. As a white Southerner, I understand the perils of the "n" word. It can cost your job. To hear it bandied about in hip hop and casually by younger African Americans, you feel anger. Why do they casually say something they can turn your life upside down with.

I'm proud of Paula Deen for telling the truth. I am proud of the African Americans who are taking her side. It's not what we have said in the past that is so important; it is what we have done. The "n" word needs to be dropped from everyone's vocabulary. More importantly, one word from the tongue should not define people. We should respect the humanity of everyone.

I made it a practice to never curse. The wrong word would slip at school. I had a terrible habit of saying "shoot". Occasionally I would be slowly saying "shhhhh" You know what young teens knew I was saying. I could not defend myself. Only an idiot would think I was slowly saying "shoot". However, that is the word.

The point is. You can only clean up your own act. Personally, I plan to watch my language. Hopefully, I will not be caught with a deposition like Paula Deen. If someone asks me to fess up to something that will blow up in my face, I'll answer the question I wish I had been asked. Last of all, I will not judge people as harshly lest I get called out for my transgressions.

I'm not much of a fan of Paula Deen's stick of butter in everything cooking. I do feel sympathy for her trials. I'm not perfect either.