Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Searching for Grace

We all got failings. Failings are a theme in my novel. Everyone starts flawed and they end flawed. Its moments of grace that make our humanity worthwhile.

Negativity is such a force. It can take control and rule our lives if we let it.

I grew up where the generation above me knew horrid hard work and lived like beggars in spite of it. In rural Georgia, that is still true for many. Old highways are lined with abandoned homes, pecan groves and farms. Opportunity in Atlanta and other towns lured people away to never return.

My dad left that part of Georgia to fight in World War II. He did try to return but learned there was nothing there for him and moved to Macon.

Of course his mother wanted him to move back and farm as a side job. Like most people, he didn't follow a great piece of advice.

I grew up in Warner Robins. It was a mix of Lake Woebegon and a social climber's paradise. Many people grew up dirt poor but they wanted to deny their humble roots. My parent's looked at it indifferently. They just weren't ashamed that they had grown up poor. This did not keep me from getting on that ladder. The story gets long, complicated. But to sum it up, I got kicked off big time. You don't always recognize good luck when it happens.

We all got a story and there are no easy answers to what to do in life. I had a teacher friend who wanted me to quit teaching and get a job where I could meet a husband. She was right. She was wrong. I needed a job to support myself, not to find a man. A good husband would have made the slings and arrows of life easier to bear.

Today during my daily blog reading, I came across three posts that affected me.

One was TWKHickman's blog “Not Just Another Mother Blogger”.


She describes an attempt to create a cave much like her husband's man cave. The problem is a mama cave has baby bears with legos. I understand the frustration. I'm an introvert.

Introverts need alone time to recharge. I stay up late to have that precious time. Then I drag and feel like crap the next day. Earlier today, one of my mom's dogs came to fetch me. Mom loves company and her dog knows it.

Another blog was about autism. http://yeahgoodtimes.blogspot.com/ The parent was frustrated with people who wanted to blame parents of violent or self harming children. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Sometimes parents have got to do what they got to do.

I have a developmentally delayed brother. I said I would never yell at him like my dad did. Like the rest of the family, my brother is hard-headed. I have seen some creative solutions to problems. Some of these solutions are expensive. Like the time he took the engine off the new lawnmower and put it on the old lawnmower. New engine worked good. Bad blades and rusty mower mowed poorly. I didn't yell about this. But I sound like a banshee yelling at times.

I read Diana Knox Cooper's book, “Hated Without a Cause”, a sobering account of her emotional and sexual abuse as a child. Scars that have left her negotiating life with a broken heart which she details in the book.


We all got a story. That story is inherently biased because it is seen through lens of our own experiences. However, that story can only be understood by others through our sharing.

My dad said the bible was more a book of wisdom than a factual text. Diana's salvation has been her relationship with God. I understand a lack of belief in a higher being. I have been plagued by that doubt my entire life. It was truly a difficult period in my life that I started to believe again. I'll never adopt a rigid code of belief but I do feel an ease in this world with my faith.

Something I experienced throughout my life and have no easy answer for the problem is: “Why do we ruminate over what is bad to the point we can't see what is good?” When I taught school, a difficult student is all I could think about when so much of the day was really spectacular. Turning off bad memories is no easy task. A counselor would help us all and especially anyone who has had traumatic experiences.


What I do know is love is a more powerful force than negativity. I just got to remember to practice it more.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sometimes decisions are made for you.

I renewed the minutes on my pay as you go Verizon phone. Then I noticed something very important. The towers for Verizon are weak and the phone calls from my house break up easily. Thank goodness the clerk was so apathetic. I would have signed up for a two year contract.

I have been lucky like that before. I went to purchase a new refrigerator. The salesclerk couldn't wait on me because another couple browsing was looking at more expensive refrigerators. In the end, the couple had a friend they wanted to buy from. Suddenly, the clerk was looking at me hopefully. I had been waiting on another clerk to finish up.

I have to give the clerk credit, he did come to help me. Its just that he had told me he would be unable to help me earlier. I was irritated because the other people were only looking and I was there first ready to pay. I left without buying. My refrigerator worked.

The next week, I got a job offer closer to my hometown. Long story short, I sold the house and left the old fridge there.

I've had a lot of dumb luck in my life. People have given me credit I did not deserve. When I bought my house, I was listening to the realtor tell me I needed a good faith deposit of 2500. I just did not say anything because I thought she was still talking. She got nervous and dropped the deposit to 1500. It was immaterial to me. I knew I was buying the house.

I am not a maybe person and we needed a place to live. You would think it would be fun to buy a house when money is not the big hindrance. Well its not. It was hard to find a house that was suitable.

I went to a psychic once who described someone who looked like me who advised me "They made many decisions in life by what they needed to do." I think that is true for all of us.

Billy Queen said he went undercover as a gang member because he could blend. He might be detected at the Jet Propulsion Agency. We have some latitude with out interest. If you have a terrible singing voice, singing will be a hobby.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Random thoughts and a few lists

Riding into Carrollton, my mind was swimming with a blog post. It had to do with something so profound I have no clue what it was.

I write portions of my stories in my head. Very little gets on paper.

I'll mow grass tonight which helps. Water aerobics is also great to help you unpuzzle an idea to write.

I went to a voiceover class the other night. I was disappointed in that I paid $39 and it was a sales pitch for a 4500 dollar program. In fairness, it should have been free since it was a sales pitch. I did learn a lot.

The $4500 was not way out of line. It was expensive but all the lessons in the arts are expensive. What made it unreasonable in my opinion is the purchase of so much in advance. What if you couldn't finish? What if you didn't like the vocal coach? Meeting someone who casts voices for Disney is truly a tease.

I would not recommend paying that much to one entity. I would recommend studying anything you want to do. Just know you are a consumer and there are many fish in the sea to chose from.

These are the things I learned at the voiceover class:

1, They need all voices and regionalisms.
2. The Atlanta accent is like better than the New Orleans. Could that be due to the influx of people from all over the country to Atlanta?
3. Home recording is the standard and an overstuffed walk in closet often works as a great recording niche.
4. Voice overs need actor training.
5. Most voice overs are for narrations not commercials.
6. Members of SAG can make big money.

What I have learned about being an artist?

1. If they talk about how to sell or how much money you are going to make, you are not going to learn anything about the art.
2. As much money can be made from training and critiquing potential artists as being an artist.
3. It's important to sit down and attempt your art several times a week for a specified time. Practice makes perfect as well as produces a product you can refine. Talking creates nothing.
4. I may never become a household name or produce a money making product, but I have an incredibly interesting pursuit that engages my mind. My only regret is that I did not pursue the arts earlier. My life would have been fuller.
5. Blogs die after about three years because --- the purpose is often not there. My science education blog gets many more hits than this one and only has 19 posts. With this blog, I shudder at the times I have talked about the same thing. Its hard when you have promised to not write about your family. Then again, posting intimate details about your family to whoever pops in is not cool. Maybe facebook should post that for everyone to look at when they sign in.
6. You cannot make a living as an artist. I may walk by a sea of beautiful books by bestselling authors at the grocers; but, few writers get that opportunity. As good as the books look, I walk by. I deliberately buy and read the regular person's novel or memoir.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today, it wasn't me.

I went into the Warner Robins verizon store. I had been before but the wait was so long. Plus, the product is significantly higher than the competitors.

Now why would I go back? It was the reception where I live. T-mobile and ATT are weak here.

The greeter was nice. He asked me what I wanted. I said to establish service. There was an associate ready to help.

I thought drat, I don't have time to look at the phones. The help was vague so I told him I was considering the iphone.  Then it started. He was drifting away from me not paying attention basically looking for a better offer. Short answers to my questions.

He was not rude. I wondered if I smelt bad. I thought, I showered before I came. My clothes had come out of the dryer. Maybe my shoes smelt.

I came in for the phone. I need the phone. I am walking out with a phone. I told him, "This is what I want."

Then the lecture that I would need another credit check. I have a pay as you go phone with Verizon. I caught the bait. Maybe I could not afford the phone service. A teeny piece of me goes, I got good credit. The old calloused part of me spoke really loud, you have got to be kidding. Then the back of mind said quit thinking, you need a phone.

I looked at my bored and I don't know where his mind was sales clerk and thought, You don't deserve a commission. On reflex, I said, "I think I'll wait."

For the first time he got animated. He told me I could bring in my old Iphone and get a credit for it. I thanked him and left.

Walking out the store, I thought I still need a phone. Then the realization that my pay as you go was $15 a month cheaper anyway. I am also lucky to talk two hours a month on a phone. I was interested in a mobile hotspot with the Verizon.

Verizon does have wider coverage. Verizon also has a problem if this is their sales technique. I also don't have a phone. I think I'll go back to T-mobile. It is weak but Verizon was not that strong either. Between T-mobile and ATT, I should have some service. I hope these number twos work hard enough to catch up.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The floor needs mopping

My diabetes has been rearing its head. As a caregiver, my day is dictated by the people I care for. They care about me but have their opinions which makes it hard.

My mother is difficult in that she likes to choose what we eat. If she says it doesn't affect my diabetes ------ Well you know the reality. Eating has been a difficult thing for me. I know some of you folks say I wouldn't stand for it. You might buckle quicker with a pouting, crying mother.

I can give this advice to anyone. Think a long time before you allow someone to move in with you. I have no regrets and mourn the loss of being just able to take a walk and read a book when I want to.

I will never regret the time I spend with my mother. I just regret not having some freedom.

My big defense against diabetes has been exercise. I quit the exercise facility I went to for two reasons. One was the cost. I spend money on maintaining this household that makes me pick my pension to the bone. I retired early because I could not handle the workload or mental stress of having so many bosses to answer to. The other reason is that I felt like the work I do should be enough exercise.

I've been discussing my will. It is complicated. I want my sister and brother cared for. I debate on my house being given to a specific charity with them having the right to live in it the rest of their lives. There are so many variables at play. For one, will either of them need more care and this choice limit future care for them. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'll go to the lawyer and see what he has to say.

A piece of me wants to sell the place and live it up one day. I have pinched pennies my whole life and it would be nice to not worry. The spending would end quickly. There is always something you need to pay for.

In addition, my home phone is stalked by the first scavengers of the elderly. Medical alert systems that a speaker intones I have ordered. It took me awhile to realize it was a recording, the man's voice seemed so real. Actually it was real. It was just recorded and repeated. I have a feeling those buzzards would know first I got some spending money.

I would have never started writing if I did not have my family relying on me. When I quit work, I had the opportunity to think for the first time in a long time. You run from one thing to another putting fires out. The biggest fire burning you never see which is what you want to do with your life.

I had big regrets about not pursuing my dreams earlier in life. You can get too old to pursue them which is why I am grateful I retired early. Perhaps I will churn a book out.

Starving artists have shown me with their penniless situation that I made a good choice in having a career. No I was not a hard nosed businesswoman. I was a teacher whose weakness was I did not like bossing people around. I had to acquire the attitude to keep my job.

I also love these people. As much as I resent not being able to travel, it warms my heart for my sister feeding her little dog her dindin and taking her outside. One dog who walks the house letting the other dogs know, she is above them. I like that my sister has a quality of life.

When I pick my developmentally delayed brother up at the workshop he works in, I'm glad he lives with me. Language ability deteriorates when many live in group homes. That brain muscle must be constantly worked no matter our ability level.

If there was a rewind button, would I have taken a path that benefited me more. I don't know.

The truth is I just want a break.

I also know when I am losing the battle with diabetes. I get a craving for a sugary treat. This makes it easier to resist. I have a choice. Work on dropping some weight and my diabetes to go in remission again. I resist medication because surprisingly, it is more pleasant to not eat than have to eat because your blood sugar is low.

That statement blows me away. Much like when I started writing, my opinions surprised me at times. Some of them in that I had an opinion.

Oh another health fact, I used ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer to get rid of my acne.




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Press the Schmooze button please

I heard the interview of Hillary Clinton by Terry Gross for NPR.

http://www.npr.org/2014/06/12/321313477/hillary-clinton-the-fresh-air-interview

Hillary Clinton makes no bones about people speaking or interpreting her words. Terry Gross who leads an interview that is informative but comfortable was taken back. I sided with Clinton. She lives in a world where casual speech can lead to something very serious. I'm surprised it has not happened before to Terry Gross. We live in a world where a comment can cost a career.

Schmoozing - The grease of politics. I never brown nosed much because I wasn't any good at it. Believe me, I tried.

Of course being direct and honest is a good policy too. It makes you popular in an important way. Being credible has clout.

In Georgia, Michelle Nunn is running for senate. What sold her on me is her retort to the Republican candidate about Obamacare. She said to the effect, We are not getting on the tired topic. You are not toppling the Health Care Reform Act.

I like Purdue. I like that he is a moderate.

I just like someone that has the guts to say the Healthcare Reform Act is not a terrible idea.

The Democrats have a snowball's chance in hell in Georgia.

We have a governor that has tampered with the state ethics office to avoid an investigation of himself. People have sued and received large sums of money for being fired for not being his patsy. He has refused to expand medicaid to 650,000 Georgians. The irony is that so many of these people are his voter base.

Governor Deal is 72 years old. I don't know how he sleeps at night with all those people denied benefits because of his attempt to derail the Healthcare Reform Act.

But back to schmoozing, it can be fun. I would not have a career in politics. I am too humble in addition to not being smart enough with the quick answer.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Email address change

Paid my electric bill in the nick of time. I have been changing my primary email address to an oldie but goodies email address and discovered my electric bill was way overdue like I am surprised they haven't turned the juice off.  With everything so automated I had no idea where my electric bill was going. I just knew to check in every month and pay it.

 So much trouble with the current internet provider. Living in the country surrounded by pines, I don't have much choice in providers. Anyway, my preferred provider is not providing again. My next choice are hotspots, portable wifi's do not work well. So besides putting a repair request in, a satellite is next.

How is your day going? I can't complain having screwed up and not been penalized for it.

When I get a reliable internet that has a reasonable speed, I'll start posting pictures of mostly wildflowers and what it looks like in Georgia. However, I don't think the 75 Ukrainian visitors some days are really interested in my posts.

You can call my dogs spoiled because they like air conditioning, a chair and other comforts such as good food. However, I like the same things. My bulldog just got on the couch with a bottle of olive oil she retrieved from the counter beside the stove. Now this is where I draw the line.

I'm watching the view. I plan to listen to a rap by Kanye West. I understand people come to his concerts to hear him go on a rant. Makes me think of my early days teaching. Too much talking about stuff and the kids tuned out. Maybe I was born too early and should have been a rapper.

The world has changed so much in my lifetime. I remember thinking I would not bother with a computer. I would retire without using one and eventually never need to. I got my first computer in 1995 and on a lark signed up for the internet. When I purchased the machine it was to do a paper and the word processor would save me time. I never dreamed a email address would be such a big deal.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rest In Peace Aunt Sylvia

My aunt passed away this past Monday, September 7th. It was sudden and expected. She had fallen and broken both shoulders on September 3rd, placed in a nursing home to recoup, escaped the nursing home, on the 4th. So much so fast.

She had her faculties. The oxygen they gave her at the nursing home had too much water? No I don't really understand but I would want to leave too if I could not breathe. When you put your fate in other people's hands you don't always get treated well. I am biased in that if I could not breathe, I would escape too.

It is one of the sad and peaceful deaths. There is never enough time. My dad and maternal grandmother passed within days of each other. He was 75 and she was 87. People would ask their ages and some seemed satisfied. One person said, well they were old. I appreciated the comment. Instead of the sadness I felt when people reminded me of my loss, I just felt "Are you crazy?" for a brief moment and then the sadness.

At my grandmother's funeral, it wasn't until my uncle acknowledged my dad's passing that I felt enormous grief. For a long time, I felt my grandmother passed because she had been diagnosed with the beginning of senility and she was not going to live that way. The fact that my aunt had the gumption to take her wheelchair and leave did not come out of thin air.

I now know that when your organs are shutting down, so is your brain. Death is not for the faint of heart. It is hardest when the person is alert. More tragic when they are young and did not get the chance to live their life.

My cousin shouldered the load. I'm very proud of her. My cousin runs a few facebook pages and sells soap. Her thoughts were to the effect, "We need to appreciate each other, we never know when it will be over."

My cousin's webpage is

http://www.kimberlymcnutt.com/

She is the bomb and a bag of chips.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Carts and Horses

Oh my word, I am having such a hard time with my horse. I got this dang cart in my way.

I created this blog which really should be named, the blog of slow traffic, to create that thing called a writer's platform. Little did I know I have plenty of time.

My writing career is a series of one step forward and great big push back. I love this blog in that it has been a teaching tool for me. You should see the blog posts I never publish. Don't feel cheated. Most of them are long and boring. I don't take out the redundancies.

It's just that I have gotten a passion for writing what I hope to be the first screenplays and books that might be sale-able. I've written the garbage part. To think this might be only a hobby bites me.

And it leads me back to so much to choose from. I'll be blogging less but hopefully better. I'll post books I have read that rock. I'll be writing. I mean my bright blue witches have the right to see the light of day.

Ce la Vie

Monday, September 8, 2014

Writer's Police Academy 2014

Two fascinating days at the Writer's Police Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina which would have been three if not for my continued optimism with making good time driving. The online maps said it was a 6  1/2 hour drive. It was 7 1/2 hours with no stops. The last direction was off. I drove in circles in the dark and rain and water sheeting the road, lines in the road disappearing for about two hours.

I went from I hope the police don't pull me over for slow, wiggly driving to maybe it would not be a bad idea to get help. In complete frustration I made a guess to just head to the airport. I found the error. I told the desk clerk. She gave me a free diet mountain dew. Anyway, I missed my ride along with a police officer that night.

The conference was superb. What worked against me was that so many of the participants were published authors. Here I am struggling to even define what I am writing. Attending the conference with many mystery and crime drama writers, I learned I am writing about the human condition or literary fiction.

And yes I can define human condition. It will just take me awhile and perhaps another epiphany. But I ain't got no genre.

The local Guilford county sheriff deputies were the best. I guess being young and engaged in the work, they were more specific and concrete with what they shared.

The average streetwalker has dirty clothes, dirty hair and has not bathed for awhile. They are usually wearing jeans, t-shirts and spend a great deal of time walking back and forth in an area. Essentially fading in view from the average observer by just being there. Pretty woman are actually call girls; street hookers are crack addicts trying to earn money for more crack.

Subtle facts clicked in your mind during a re-enactment of drunk driver crashing into people sitting in an outdoor cafe. The woman walking around checking on people was actually in crisis, one woman was calling for someone to call her daughter, one was crying, others were just sitting stunned and waiting. The systemic response reduces time needed to transport victims. The emphasis on calmness.

There were different tiers of law enforcement presenting. Katherine Ramsland presented a program about how to research exotic crimes. She started by showing an airline vomit bag which really described how gross the crimes were. What caught me off guard was her ability to laugh. As I went to many of the classes, the use of humor to cope reared its head repeatedly.

 I had heard of many of the crimes on television, internet or newspaper. If it bleeds it leads. Each episode of many crime dramas is the showcase of corpse from a violent death. The macabre sells.

The stress and isolation of law enforcement was another common statement. Chief Scott Silverii of the Thibodeux police department in Louisiana did an excellent job describing the four types of cops. Not surprisingly, the realist is the survivor. The deputy dog enforcer makes lots of arrests that are dropped. The eternal optimist doesn't cope in a job that deals with the negative part of life.

I was disappointed the counselor did not work well in the career. Of course, my previous life was as a teacher. When I worked with children, reaching across the divide that made them resist learning and achieving took a lot of patience. I did draw lines in the sand for children to maintain a learning environment and create boundaries.

The hallmark of a good officer of the law is calmness. My dad used to quote the Greek proverb, "When the Gods decide to destroy you, they make you angry." My favorite clip was the officer and his K-9 partner when all hell broke loose. The officer spoke calmly like he was ordering a cup of coffee and the dog just sat down waiting with gunfire in the background.

Most of the instructors were retired. Many of the men were buff. They might have been in their fifties and sixties but they looked good. Lately, I have been surrendering to time but I think I'll try to shape up again. The mystery writers were a stylish lot. Many of them were retired and this was the first I attended where many had been published. Lots and lots of serial authors.

I asked a famous author if she was the model on the website, and she brushed me off saying her picture was on the website. Later, she gave a spiel to the entire group. I would feel dumb but you can't know everything. I slept during most of her program. Exhaustion from driving ten hours and six hours of sleep kicked in.

I missed Jack Gilstrap's programs which was a shame. I listened to one of the participants introduce himself to Gilstrap and such an affable gentleman. I chose well but this conference had more good stuff than you could shake a stick at. Alafair Burke did a great presentation about the fourth amendment. I would love to go again. Many participants are repeat visitors. If I did not have family to consider, that would be me. I'm glad I got the chance.

I had two big realizations. I miss my family. A break is miserable when I cannot get back to take care of them. The second one is that I don't need to let my opinions color the world view of the characters of my book. One of my characters is a police officer and naturally a flawed hero. I'm a retired teacher so I am a bit priggish on how people should act.

I'm writing a children's story that all my former students can read. But the book I am working on the most is definitely not a children's story. I did school programs at a number of schools and became known by children as the Science Lady. Those four year olds are eight now. They have probably forgotten me but I have not forgotten them.

Lee Lofland spearheads the event. I bought his book about police protocol so I could be right in how I write but more in that he is an interesting read. I imagine he can make how to hang toilet paper rolls exciting and change your habit at the same time. Anyway, his blog is http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/ or The Graveyard Shift

I'm not a big fiction fan. I know the contradiction in my desire to write fiction. I was a big fiction reader and then time got scarce and started moving quicker. I used to read short stories and novels at a rapid pace. I liked what Silverii said that police officers don't read. They don't have time. I understand that. I'm glad I lived long enough to slow down and explore that part of me.

Silverii has five books on Amazon. I had purchased and read the non-fiction (A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant) about a year ago. I've order one of his Cajun mystery books. This further adds to I haven't gotten anything written and published complex. These people are so busy and have achieved so much. Dang.

This is a link to Silverii on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=silverii

I purchased Billy McQueen's paperback and had him sign it. I know it was cheap of me not to do the hardback. It's just that I have so many damn books that I may never read. His book is in my purse with good intentions. The light weight makes it more likely that I get to it.  Queen has a strong life force in his presence. He worked undercover as Mongol gang member. I admire the courage he possesses.

My opinion is we all live lives created for us. Some of that is my hard shell Baptist heritage but more it is from my life experience. You sort of drift into your life's work. I know some people knew they wanted to be such and such from the beginning. So many good teachers took the job because they needed one. In the psychology of cops, those that always wanted to be cops were more likely to not last.

People who taught less than ten years are much different than those that made a career. You evolve over time which is true for law enforcement officers. And yes, many know they can make better money at an easier job and take that opportunity. An opportunity that I wish I had taken. I like what I learned about life. Billy Queen said if he had to do it over, he would not have done it. It cost him knowing his children as they grew up and estranged him from them. That is an incredibly high price to pay.

And this is why I bought his book and none of the others. I enjoy storytelling whether it is true or not. First hand experience is the closest you can get to having the experience yourself.

Billy Queen's book link is

http://www.amazon.com/Under-Alone-Undercover-Infiltrated-Motorcycle/dp/0345487524

This is a 2005 Washington Post article about Queen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/17/AR2005101701670.html


Monday, September 1, 2014

Getting a sexy black riding mower

Sometimes its you. It's you that is having the problem.

I am about 14 months shy of being 59 1/2. It is an improbable age I never thought would occur. But as I edge closer, the money in an annuity I have would be so useful. I locked it away in a low interest account that was guaranteed. I remember when an annuity salesman laughed at me for wanting a guaranteed account in front of some fellow teachers. Well many of those teachers signed their butts up.

The stock market was rich at that time. I just remembered my dad's words. Don't put anything into the stock market that you aren't willing to lose. My dad lived through the depression plus I knew twenty years was a long time before I could touch the money.

I really thought I would never spend any of it and leave it as a legacy to a local charity. My dad didn't like it at all. I started the account when I was 32. At the time, I put $100 in a month before taxes which was really about $70 of real money to me. I decided it was worth the gamble.

When the stock market floundered around 9/11, people had already been losing money on their annuities a year before, I got a letter from my friendly annuity company to drop my guaranteed account and go for one based on the stock market. Mama didn't raise no fool, I declined the generous offer. (Sarcasm intended.)

Anyway, I am one of the few who kept my money after the latest dust ups with the stock market. Mind you, it is nothing to get rich with but enough to do some remodeling, purchase a late model minivan and a tractor.

Now did you expect me to stay on the same topic?

It ain't happening. My real topic is the realization that a new generation has taken over and thinks differently than us boomers. I went to buy a riding lawnmower last night at a big box. It was 5% off or free financing for a year.

Well, I had made the trip a week ago to the same retail big box.  The nut in the middle of the Briggs and Stratton engine of the Husquarva was rusted. I was keen on the purchase - American made. We can't complain about products made elsewhere when we don't buy our own. I had cold feet. Technically, I am on a budget and $1700 is a lot to spend at the moment. I got property taxes and house insurance due in October. Plus, I plan to buy a tractor when my money loosens up. A riding mower will be redundant.

Thoughts just a swirling, I go home and settle down and tell myself, I deserve to live it up a little and buy myself that mower. I go to a different big box because it is closer and I hate driving with a trailer hitched. No one is there to help. I go to customer service and lo and behold it is Mr. Jerkface. I have met him before and he is every bit as old as me.

Jerk is actually pretty nice and tells me I cannot get the 5 percent off without using their credit. I told him the terms at the other store and asked to speak to a manager. I told him I came to buy and they would miss out on the sale if they could not give me 5 percent off. The he quotes this pearl, "No you will not get the privilege to purchase the mower." I was aggravated and asked to speak to a manager.

I got an assistant manager who was nice and cool with me. He would give me 5% off but it was not part of the program. Still feeling aggravated I declined. He was not rude to me but he was maintaining his position. Actually I felt bad because I knew it was making his day difficult. Jerkface sails off and of course denied meaning what he said. I did not buy the mower because I felt they should appreciate my business and of course it had taken me a week to get over my bout of cold feet and there they were walking me out the door.

I purchased a riding mower from Sears in Macon. It is a better more expensive one than I had gone to fetch last night. It will be delivered for $30 Wednesday. The salesman was so nice I almost bought the $600 service plan. He did make it sound like a good deal. But I didn't. More than anything, he made my purchase fun. I also got a $100 gift card in the deal. Sears was a smidgen more expensive but they have a better repair program. Plus the engine was a Kohlers which does cost more wherever you shop.

Yes, I had to use my credit card to get the five percent off.

This is where it was me. I like to be treated as if I matter. It was a big purchase for me.