Saturday, March 30, 2013

Idiomatically Speaking


I have a chip on my shoulder?
You drive me up the wall.
I'm not a doubting Thomas
Actions speak louder than words.
Drastic times call for drastic measures
Cut to the Chase.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

His eyes twinkled when he smiled.



We all know that the bigger the wedding in comparison to the means of the bride and groom, the more talk occurs if the marriage fails.


When I was young, I would have wanted to have a royal wedding.  I remember buying 80 dollar shoes and my salary was $440 a month.

I learned so much from my father.

1. When they were laying off where he worked, he talked them into letting him work as a custodian until things got better.  A job was better than begging.

2. My dad always said he had a "civil service" personality. He did not care how big a creep a boss or co-worker was. It could be worse.

One year, I had a boss to hassle me because he wanted me to quit so he could hire someone else. I had worked too long to get where I was and I had no guarantee it would be better elsewhere. This is not the answer for everyone but it worked for me.

3. Do a good job. They have to have so many that do the work. Suzie socialite may smooze her way through life but when dollars and cents are on the line, they will keep you.

4. Don't spend all your money.

My dad would never buy himself a soda or hamburger away from home.  Now he would stand and feed nickels to a coke machine for me and my friends on special occasions.  After a football game, he would show up at Krystal and buy a big tray of hamburgers for the kids to eat.

5. Do your best and have faith. My dad would talk about living through the depression where every meal was dried beans, fat back meat and cornbread. They survived.

My dad had the "common touch" and natural leadership. One man on his crew held on to the pocket knives they issued every year. People who did not keep up with theirs would demand he share. My dad backed the man up. No one should be penalized for taking care of their property.

My dad could take a bad situation and have everyone looking at things with hope, be it because of knowing you had to accept the bad or making a joke to break the negativity.

I moved my mom to my home. My dad’s ashes were in the entertainment center. I realized this after the movers placed it in the moving truck wrapped in blankets with the door facing the wall of the truck. I debated getting my dad. The young movers would have freaked out. My family has all laughed. I can see my dad’s blue eyes twinkling.

I miss my dad tremendously. God Rest His Soul.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Speakeasy Fiction Challenge




It was impossible to explain how one day Leeotta was working as a filing clerk and the next day she was frontpage news.

Not like the good kind, her mugshot was there for her son, mother, grandmother, dad, brother, nephew, bitch sister-in-law to see.

Her left eye barely focused on her swollen, blackened right eye in the metal of the toilet seat of the holding cell.

Her neighbor was sitting in her truck when she returned from work the day before. To all appearances, he was the model citizen, Deacon Albert.  For Leeota, he was a dirty skulking thug of poison words and dirty tricks.

It started out harmless enough, he was so, well, precise with what he wanted and then did another.

He asked to trim her rosebushes. They were growing through the fence. She said of course, let her know and she would help him. 

She came home from work and the roses were gone.

His response, "No mam, I do what I say. I said cut them down."

What do you do? Have a big ass fight or live with it.

Leeota's maiden name was Smith. Her dad had said there might be a whole lotta Smiths; but a real Smith had forged steel as character. Leeota knew someone had to take control and she would. There was no argument. She would keep her cool. After all, she would manage his true nature.

She had had three dogs, Sassy, Bean, and Guadelope.  Guadelope was Sassy and Bean's mother. She just disappeared one day. Leeota let her out as she prepared dinner for visiting family. 

Sassy and Bean were nuisances enough, just let Guadelope stay outside. At the end of dinner, no Guadelope was at the door. Guadelope was old and blind. Her brother Rick said she probably went off to die. She never found a trace of Guadelope.

Opening the front door, Sassy and Bean spilled out and began barking uncontrollably. Albert was in his yard. She saw the pistol as she walked to get the dogs.  His finger curled around the trigger as he held it sideways in his palm.

“I’ve warned you about these dogs. I will shoot them if they come in my yard.”

Leeota would have left but her 11 year old son comes out.

 “Go in”, she gently tells her son.

As he repeats himself with his spiteful smile, Leeota thought of six pound Guadelope.  

Albert would call the dogs some mornings and the dogs hate him.

The anger rushed; she takes the shovel in the flowerbed and slams it against Albert’s arm. The gun falls, He reaches for it, she slams him again with the shovel.  Running around the fence, she gets the gun. 

A sharp pain pierces her back. Leeota throws the gun as far as she can.

He is pummeling her. She picks up a brick and hits him as hard in the face with it as she can, over and over again.

He is just lying there.

Monday, March 25, 2013

As Luck would Have It.


Sara Arnett drives down Pinewood Boulevard that connects the highway to Rolling Hills Parkway. As the engine cuts off, she shifts into neutral and cranks the car.

Heading toward home, it is a quiet Sunday. Two dogs lazily cross the road. Slowing for the dogs, the engine dies. The dogs are in the left lane and a hot rod of a sports car slows beside her.

Thumping the steering wheel with his thumb, the young male driver blows a surprisingly large sounding horn.

The dogs stop to look to see if they know him.

The female passenger rolls the window down and bellows, “Get, Get out of the way”

One of the dogs starts walking back across the road.

Inspecting the rear view mirror, no one is there. Shifting into neutral, Sara waits until it is really clear before cranking.

The passenger leans her head against her hand with silent dismay.

The dog doesn’t recognize her and frisks to the parkway median to investigate the paper bag his cohort has found.

Casey Arnett in a serious voice says, "Wanna drag?"

Expectant looks changed to puzzlement.  Sara's older son Jake had a serious look. Six year old Casey was just plain serious. The two hot “rodders” laughed.

Sara accidentally revs the engine loudly as she cranks. The sports car steps on the gas and shoots off.

As luck would have it, a law enforcement vehicle sat in the parking lot of Sandy Valley church.  The brake lights flashed on the hot rod as they descend the hill.

At the red light at the end of Rolling Hills Parkway, Sara, Casey and Jake kept a straight face as they waved to the young couple as they turned left on Rose Hill Road to get back to the highway.  

The church pianist finished practicing the old hymn “Make Haste” that Isabelle Jenkins had requested.  The pianist hated working on Sunday but he knew to get back in his patrol car. There were always speeders on Sunday.




Saturday, March 23, 2013

Remember, rain, rebellion

Remember, rain, rebellion = Trifecta challenge

Standing, stooping, wielding a hoe in the afternoon sun, you think. You could sing.  Remember the slow patter of rain in the evening sings a love song, no rebellion of rivulets tumbling across the tilled Earth.


Daisy

Yodie
Lately, all of my plans have crumbled. I have bought admission to several events and did not get to go for various reasons I bought tickets for a dinner theater a week ago. And yes, several if not all will be unused

The reason is serious. My mom's in the hospital which is actually lucky. She casually mentioned a pain in her chest. She had a doctor's appointment Friday morning. She didn't want to tell the doctor because she would have to undergo tests.

Mom has atriofibrulation which has probably been undiagnosed due to an intermittent nature. They are putting her on blood thinner to reduce the risk of stroke

I'm in a state of shock and panic deep inside. Could I lose my mother? I've known it was a possibility for quite awhile. She has older aunts alive which I thought may be true for her and still could be. The degeneration of old age is not for the faint of heart.

Two of the chi chi mixes spend the night with her. It was heartbreaking how they faithfully ran to her room each time they came in the house from a walk or bathroom break. This morning, little Daisy was so downcast, she only watched the other dogs eat.

I'm glad the condition was caught. It means more time in the world of the living for my mother. She has much pain from arthritis. Her mind is alert and active. My handicapped siblings rely on her greatly emotionally. I know I can never fill her shoes in this regard.

Tonight, say a prayer for my family. Thanks.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Entrance for meeting lodge mound at Ocmulgee National Park 
We all know that the bigger the wedding in comparison to the means of the bride and groom, the more talk occurs if the marriage fails. The gift of experience is the practical aspect of putting on such a show.

I never married. However, when I was young, I would have wanted to have a royal wedding. Age has tempered these desires. I remember buying 80 dollar shoes and my salary was $440 a month. In time, I managed my wishes with what I had to have and what I need to prepare for.

One of the biggest gifts a parent can give their child is a work ethic and the sense of responsibility. How do you teach that? Some part is luck, some part is the nature of the individual, another part is not giving a child everything they want and the last part is by example.

I learned so much from my father.

1. When they were laying off where he worked, he talked them into letting him work as a custodian until things got better. How many people do you know would never work as a custodian, maid or busboy. I learned from my dad that a job was better than begging.

2. My dad always said he had a "civil service" personality. What he meant was he did not care how big a creep a boss or co-worker was. It could be worse. Now if you make retirement anywhere, this is important to know. Working with decent individuals doesn't always happen.

One year, I had a boss to hassle me because he wanted me to quit so he could hire someone else. I didn't quit. I had worked too long to get where I was and I had no guarantee it would be better elsewhere. This is not the best thing in every situation but it worked for me.

3. Do a good job. They have to have so many that do the work. Suzie socialite may smooze her way through life but when dollars and cents are on the line, they will keep you. They may list your defects, but they will keep you.

4. Don't spend all your money. Have discipline with how you spend. A single mom working for minimum wage probably does not have this luxury.

My dad would never buy himself a soda  or hamburger away from home. He kept his purchases to a minimum. Now he would stand and feed nickels to a coke machine for me and my friends on special occasions  After a football game, show up at Krystal and buy a big tray of hamburgers for the kids to eat.

5. Just do your best and let life take care of itself. My dad would talk about living through the depression where every meal was dried beans, fat back meat and cornbread. It wasn't great but they survived. Things might not work out but people survive.

Another thing I learned about life from my dad was have a sense of humor.

My dad had the "common touch" and natural leadership. One man on his crew held on to the pocket knives they issued every year. People who did not keep up with theirs would demand he share. My dad backed the man up. No one should be penalized for taking care of their property.

My dad could take a really bad situation and have everyone looking at things with hope, be it because of knowing you had to accept the bad or making a joke to break the negativity.

I miss my dad tremendously. God Rest His Soul.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Too mucha is goin' on.

View of Macon and Indian Mounds from Camp Benjamin Hawkins
Since I have started writing, my southern accent is getting stronger and stronger.

I'm surprised  I grew up in the South to Southern parents albeit in a military town that was a shadow of the South. When I entered the South after graduating from college, I realized I was Southern Light.

Being Southern Light was having the ethnicity, accent but not really understanding the culture. Having been immersed in television since a child, my view of the world was fairly rosy glassed. My parents had sheltered me from the harshest parts of reality.

Moving and working in a suburb of Atlanta gave me another escape from my ethnicity. I watch the Southern culture mystique reality shows. Kids today have no concept of Southern culture. They imitate rudeness which has never been a part. One good part of the South was good manners permeated all the social classes.

I live in Fort Valley now. What I do know is that it is not Southern Culture that creates a community. It is people committed to convictions that they will not tolerate people not treating other people well. It doesn't mean there are no problems, it means that there is less of a problem.

When I thought of buying a home just outside Fort Valley, I did not know. My first immersion into Southern culture came to mind. How would I fit in?

I stopped at a convenience store/gas station and bought gas. I thought of a little story and told the cashier. They talked. We both laughed. I get in my car and the realization hit me.

Those were the nicest teenage African American kids and they actually enjoyed talking to my 40 something white self. Maybe Fort Valley would be a good place to live. I mean there were three factors that had to be acknowledged.

1. When are customer service employees that friendly to customers. Most only talk when they want you to respond.

2. When are teenagers interested in a talkative older woman's chat.

3. The racial animosity in this country.

I made the move in 2003. One thing I know about people who stay in a place a long time and for generations. Their actions are more accountable. People can move from place to place and what happened before may not be known.

People that stay in one place have the past hanging in the present too easily. I'm older and I have more convictions than my parents foisted on me in my twenties. One I have been trying to acquire is to not listen to the lowdown about other people. I haven't gotten there yet. I do not repeat what I hear out of common sense.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Today I set up my new computer. It's been in the box outside my office for about a month. The screen on the laptop I use is cracked. I've transferred files to an external hard drive. Its like I always have something hanging over me. I'm never done.

I have a ticket for the Atlanta film festival and hope to go several days. My initial plan was to go last Thursday and stay through Sunday. I also signed up for a 5K on Sunday. I would try to go on Sunday but you have to pick up your race packet by the day before. What the h----. I can't go for a six hour roundtrip for a race packet.

My big hold up is the fence is not done. It's getting there. I got the muscadines I purchased. Luckily it is going to rain four days this week. It is within the realm of possibility that I get them planted and mother nature does her job.

I've read the quote about a big part of life is not what happens but how you react. The guy that has helped me with the fence is a filmaker and he has never been able to make a living doing it. Since I have gotten into writing. I have met my share of starving artists.

At one time, I thought I had lived my life with a bad priority. I have chased
dollar. I'm not rich and no where financially where I would like to be. But I have an income. The whole world seems contrived to take it from me I feel like. But it is easier to have regrets with a roof over your head and food on the table.

What is the gist of this post?

Like most posts, I start out and blabber. There is a point sooner or later that emerges. I'm not the sentimental sort. Being the unpopular kid in elementary gives you an edge.

Even when few people read a posts, it is a springboard for a future writing project.

But back to the gist. I like the word, gist. It sings of my humble roots.

I resolve to remember everything is an opportunity. Have a little faith in other people.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Time can be a fog.


g
Time can be a fog.
Glimpses, memories
Vividly dance across
Singing loudly the love and joy you shared.

Fog can be a time
a moment too much to bear
shrouded into silent darkness.



Photo credit:   BĂ©renger ZYLA / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drifting through the piney wood
Down a slope where the water sometimes runs
Into the Flint in a mile or so
The cacophony of native bee
Carolina Jessamine draped
up trunks and across boughs
Bugles of yellow
Poisonous to the transplant
Good news and bumble spared.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The nature of anger

Anger has been the challenge for me the past few years. I have been angry and exercise helped me. I think it is the time to sort your thoughts as you pace on a treadmill or elliptical machine.

We know more today about how we think, why we think, brain structure and chemistry, even whether we are open minded or closed minded. Surprisingly this has nothing to do with ideology.

I went on a canoe trip with Gordon of the Flint Riverkeeper. Interestingly, he would not have any political stance. His stance was the protection of Flint River and he did not let someone's political affiliation have anything to do with enlisting them on his behalf. Politics are a fashion. He was used to getting tea party "tea baggers" as well knee jerk liberal "tree huggers" to support laws and practices that protect the Flint River and its tributaries. His political agenda was Flint River.

Fortunately most people are between the extremes. Its just that in the United States we take trends to the extreme. In the 70s it was fashionable to be liberal then we became conservative in the 80s. What goes up must come down or as Flannery O'Connor titled a story, "Everything that rises must converge." Confused, so am I.

Last night, the neighbor had a horse loose on my property. I knew it was safe from being hit by a car. After several hours, I gave up and told them they had a horse loose. The horse was frantic. He knew it was dinner time and he couldn't figure out how to get back to the barn.

The adult daughter told me that the horse was loose because someone was vandalizing their fence and she was calling the sheriff.

Well you know who the someone is. Like I can lift the electric lines from the post and the plastic cover. You would need the strength of a horse. Maybe I better go in the house and make sure my 82 year old mom is not out there pulling up fence posts from the Earth.

I had seen a horse eating grass by sticking its head underneath because the pasture is being stripped of grass. The donkeys stomp the dirt and delicately eat the roots of the grass. I knew it was the time of year horses would be breaking out for the lusher pastures of my front yard.

I said nothing. I will call the sheriff next time. It's a ticket and possible impoundment of your animal if it happens repeatedly. No I did not say anything to her. It takes an idiot to argue with an idiot. I truly mean idiot in that she and her parents are not wise enough to know goodwill is a commodity that cannot be taken for granted.

I go through a moment of rage afterwards and I think some pretty harsh thoughts. I think of cruel things I could say. School yard taunts. Then I wonder what in the world is wrong with my thinking. Will this anger consume me?

This is where I think emotionally, we are graced. I know that anger makes anyone have poor judgement and perspective.

I'm standing in the middle of piney woods on my property. The wind is gusting, it is going to rain tonight. I feel peace.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I'ma chugging on this blog in hopes that it will give me that start I need if I ever write a novel or screenplay or decent short story.

In the blogosphere, there are plenty of women like me blogging away. I have never been that fun person people flock to at cocktail parties. I have been hounded in the corner for what seemed like an eternity by an incredible talker. My problem with that talker is that I am a listener. I hear all they say and remember it. If the talk gets real tedious, you can be worn out.

In short, I am insecure. I have taught school,boring children by the multitude.

My other issue is that well, my life is not that exciting.

I cheat on my diet. Not so much now, I'm diabetic. My brother had a hole drilled in his back to drain fluid. I am petrified of any health care procedure. His aortic aneurysm sealed the deal in that department.

I would sleep to noon if I got the chance. But my life runs around everyone else's schedule. So I am up at 6 am.

Social life. Please, I am almost 60. The older you get, the more everyone thinks you should disappear unless you are that age yourself. The funniest part of being my age are the occasional man who insists on telling me they are married. Usually, they have poor health, limited income and family problems. They have a marketing perspective problem.

I'm putting up a fence on my property. I've got difficult neighbors which is common. This is the first time I have had some I have been afraid. I could excite the blog with details. However, I keep a record in case I go to court. Hopefully, the fence can go up and it will be over with.

Currently they have had horses loose on my property and of course I have been accused of tampering with their fence. Like I want the animals on my property. I have waited for them to notice. The poor animal knows the other animals are in the barn with their dinner and they are stuck on the outside.

In other words I have the "black azz". I know there are worse problems. I feel so loaded with problems. I take care of people by choice, I have a messy house, a fence that is taking awhile for me to get up, difficult neighbors. I know I have dealt with difficult things my entire life. I know that losing a loved one to death or divorce is worse. I know croaking is worse or having the big "C". But damn, I feel low tonight.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thanking my Lucky Stars.

I've been participating in quite a few writing challenges. I know the appeal. You got your prompt. Not as much grinding of the grey matter.

One thing I have learned about the blog are my real opinions. Some of them have been surprises. I am one of those people who avoids deep thoughts. Life dishes it out pretty raw at time and I have never enjoyed those moments.

On Facebook, I have encountered two realities. One is a webcam from a state troopers car in which a car veers in the wrong lane just a little bit on a snowy highway. The correction goes haywire and a big accident ensues. The SUV that veered just a wee bit is blasted into smithereens by a big rig. Surreal and titled, How quickly life can change.


The other item is a national news story. It is about the man in Florida who lost his life when a sinkhole formed under his house. These sinkholes are natural but they also occur because we pump water out of the ground faster than the water can re-enter leaving potential sinkholes. The water supports the limestone caverns. Without water, they collapse.

http://www.ajc.com/news/ap/florida/fla-sinkhole-that-swallowed-man-grows-deeper/nWfJJ/

One thing I know, I'm blessed.

Saturday Morning Walk

Loggers at work,
The dogs did not see the bobcat I saw during our morning tromp.
Eight pounds of braun,
Mr. Bo Duke came to my call.
No snack for a displaced cat.

Blogger Helper

I've been participating in different blog challenges. Sometimes you got to talk about more than the dog, you know. Today is Saturday; but, I'm doing Five Question Friday. A day late is appropriate if you know me. I am always behind.

1. What was the most productive thing you have done this week?

Cleaned off my desk in my office and set up my new computer. The realization I have got to get rid of some clothes. They are like old friends. But friends who get me in trouble. I have had a problem with bargains. I no longer buy clothes because I'
ve got clothes. The buys I could find.

2. Enjoying the winter or ready for spring?

Since we don't get but about six weeks of winter and it is spread thinly between the end of November and March, I am enjoying the dip below freezing last night. Maybe we will have a great peach crop this year. One of my apple trees is in bloom and one the pear trees has bloomed partially.

3. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Is your spouse the same as you?


I am definitely an introvert who would love to be an extrovert. Being single I have to make the effort. Not that I want to meet a man at this point, I just want to meet and be in the company of other people. 


4. Would you rather go without music or television for 1 year?


Television hands down. I would miss the Big BangTheory. I could tape them on DVR and watch them in an hour or two at the end of the year and be good for another year.


5. Have you ever been truly scared of someone?


I have been afraid of not handling the challenges life throws at me. At this point in life, I accept the challenges even though I am tired of being flexible and having to rise to the challenge. After watching some of television's real life crime dramas. I've been blessed.