Saturday, February 27, 2016

Heck with losing my mind, where is my filter.

Fried chicken livers are on sale at Harvey's and my mother knows it. I will be slipping in around 11 am to buy up 2 lbs. I can tell you what the faces of the workers will be. It will be a definite "Oh Shoot".  I try to keep the language clean on this blog. They hate fried chicken liver week. Whenever I get them, there are people lined up to buy them behind me.

Whatsup with me today. I'm doing a little Feng Shui. Mopping a few floors, reading my magazines and writing my blog. Nah, I'm watching Dr.Phil.

I've learned something big about my mother. As you get older, that harden filter disappears. There is an outdoor area in front of a popular chain breakfast restaurant. Mostly seniors are in the establishment. Outside the store there are a few chairs with a patio table where some older men and sometimes a woman smoked, drank coffee, etc. Well there is a sign now, no cigarettes, gambling or rides. It was empty.

The men who congregated were very normal looking men who probably just liked to talk a lot. It's a military town. They were probably all Vietnam veterans. I would be interested in hearing what they think of Trump. Either they will think he is the second coming or some other candidate suits their fancy or more likely they will agree about the corrupt nature of politics. None of them will favor Clinton or Sanders. Some of them might privately vote for Clinton or Sanders. I guess something unsavory happened there and they have had to make rules. It is a business not a gathering spot.

As we left the parking lot, we saw some homeless people. One was a female who probably was a hooker. She looked dirty and was with an equally dirty man. They were sitting on the curb smoking with their grocery cart of possessions. Two other men who looked like stray cats were walking back and forth to the main road. They may have been working gents.

One time when we came out of the restaurant, there was one guy walking up and down the side walk. You can see hunger. After we loaded up in the car, I gave him $7 and a coupon and told him to get something to eat. He went straight in. Whether he ate or not, I don't know. We left.

Why would I think these folks might be looking for "dates". I watch too much crime TV plus I went to a session by a young woman who worked as a prostitute decoy for a police department. She dressed as a pretty woman; but she showed slides of what they actually look like.

I picked up skills of noticing things out of place as a teacher. I know my radar doesn't work as well as it used to; but, I do notice things out of the ordinary as I drive down a road. This stretch of road I traveled every morning and mid-afternoon twice.

There are two low budget hotels in the area. Plus open wooded areas. I stopped at a store next to one of the areas. I don't always lock my car and sometimes I leave the windows down a bit and park in the shade. I have my bully dog with me most days. I left the engine idling with the AC on and locked the doors with a spare key.

When I came out, two women with bedrolls were geegawing at my bully. I stood at a distance for a moment and looked. They looked at me and went on their way. They may have been harmless. They may have took my bully. People use them to fight. The bully is more of a biscuit eater than a fighter. If someone broke in my house, it would be my over sized chihuahua that would take a bite out of crime.

The car may have been an object desire.

The dog was the only thing of value inside the car.

They may have just been admiring the friendly dog. Your heart hardens through life. I still feel some humility that I never have had to sleep in the woods out of necessity.

Back to the homeless people, my sister pointed them out. My mother is saying where. So she can get a gander, I deliberately turn left toward some gated apartments and turn back in their roundabout. My mother sees them going and coming. Stopped at the stop sign waiting on traffic she says, "I don't think we should be helping those people."

I tell my mom, we were just looking. I don't think they even noticed us. After I turn left going on the main highway, my mom has teared up.  She suggests we call the police and get that woman some help. I tell her the obvious, the woman was looking at her smart phone and laughing. She is probably OK in her world. Besides what help when I thought to myself.

So we will never take time to notice that again. It took awhile for mom to think of other things. My mother's mind is good. Her hearing is poor. But that filter we all build is as thin as a teenager's. I admire my mother's ability to love and care for people. It is one of things my callused heart questions about myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Windy Days

It was a windy day, a really windy day. Weather in Georgia is pretty mild when you watch the news. There was a bad tornado in Pensacola, Florida. We were supposed to have a horrible storm last night. What happened was plenty of wind.

I don't know what it is about windy days but I love them. There is so much energy. It puts me in a reflective mood. Today was Wednesday - Senior Citizen Discount day at the grocery stores here. My favorite senior citizen loves to grocery shop. So I got time to reflect. If I could only not be so sleepy when I stop and read.

My big thing today was to look at how we all dress. When it is windy and chilly, we all dress pretty much with what we have. Lots of gray hoodies and jeans and folks my age lost in seventies. I meant to run back in the house and slip out of my Capri jeans with silver sparkles off for a pair of regular jeans. Some of us dress to be covered.

I had on what I call in my mind a clown suit. My sweatshirt looks like a professional business top which it actually is. It was the shoes, cream colored sneakers that look like regular shoes that made the clown suit. I'm one of those women with a big body and long thin legs. I should have worn a black pair of shoes and changed pants.

One man had on a pair of Atlanta Falcon pajama bottoms, a gray t-shirt, and a red pin striped long sleeved shirt worn like a jacket. His gray beard was carefully trimmed and his longish hair was well cut, it was definitely an ensemble. A woman in her seventies had a stylish brown jacket and designer jeans on her slim, hunched frame. We dress like we want to be. We dress like what we have. We dress like where we are in the world.

One man had a pair of jeans, knit top and dark blue dress blazer, the aging rock star look. Nearby was an attractive black male who had an expensive shirt not tucked in. The shirt was made to not be tucked in. He looked so upper middle class. I thought of telling him to tuck his shirt in with a smile. He was clearly in a hurry. No time for nonsense.

My favorite was the young woman in her thirties. Blue sweater, dark pants and calf length boots that are for sale everywhere. They have such a short frame to push winter clothes here.

Heck I had a hard time walking past a pair of boots that were 70 percent off a couple of weeks ago. Maybe that is why I wore a clown suit. But I got to keep my Feng Shui resolution and not buy so much stuff. I do think I need to slow down and pick my clothes a wee better.

I am lucky in that I was born with a satisfied mind. There is a woman I encounter in one of the grocery stores to the point that I converse with her. Today, I ran into her in the restroom and there was only one sink. It was obvious, she has a hand washing ritual. I told her I was not in a hurry which was totally the truth. She knows my mom loves to grocery shop.

The conversation unfolds about her feelings about shopping. The last line still lingers. Her husband smokes and drinks heavily. I know he is disabled and she is working two jobs. Her son recently married and her daughter goes to UGA. I also know she is 56. On the outside looking in, I think. You still have so much. Don't give up.

I do know that our lives get so overloaded. When I was in my twenties, there was a bumper sticker that said "Life is a Bitch". Mentally, I would agree. This point in my life feels like my twenties without as much angst. What doesn't go well, is going to happen.  At least my mind is still good.

When the wind blows so much, the weather is changing rapidly. I remember one good windy day. It had been rainy and cold. Within hours, it was still chilly but the sun was bright with a blue sky filled with puffy fair weather clouds. I loved rushing through the house in the evening as a kid closing windows when a thunderstorm approached.

I grew up in a house that no matter where you stood, you could look out a window. Homes were built for ventilation and to control the heat in summer. Winter was short. You dressed heavily and hunkered down until it passed. Everyone sat in the kitchen where it was warm. I remember heating the bathroom with a bathtub of hot water to bathe. Life was good. I just did not know it at the time.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I'll take a little Feng Shui right now.

I need to unload my house of clutter. Four pack rats living in a house is a terrible mixture. Add to that that I want to do it all. I've never been good at choosing what to do and what is a desire. So what I do is minimized by this lack of planning.
Maybe I will drown my worries in a tater chip bag too.

I read a blog about furniture which led me to my dilemma. Add to that my knowledge from making a big move between 2001 and 2003. I wound up getting rid of so much. I sold a bedroom suite for $50 and I don't know who was happier. Me seeing it go or the young couple loading it on a truck. One thing you learn from moving is that all that stuff owns you.

I had jealously guarded books from being sold. I got so pressed for time when my house sold, all eleven boxes of books went to charity.

Interestingly, some books about the settling of Australia that I wanted to keep, I found in my parent's collection.

I haven't told my family; but next month I am going to have a huge yard sale. I usually send most everything to Happy Hour YardSale. I've got my trunk full of things to bring today to them. We have that much stored, Times a wasting.

I have heard that hoarders have an issue with the items. I have boxes of teaching items. Some of it is old that I picked up at yardsales from other teachers. I know I need to part with all of it. There is an auction in Atlanta that sells collectibles. Some of these items are old but have no value. I am really looking for a good home.

I've got books from the late 1800's. I will not part with them for now. I've always wanted to read them.

Clothes, oh man I got the clothes. All purchased at a ridiculously great price. I had the policy of only buying items at a great price because I knew I had too much. When I retired, I was shocked at how much I had amassed. I grew up humble to Depression era parents. I am so prepared for a rainy day; I have enough to wear until I am 100. Just writing this makes it easier to part with these clothes.

I no longer shop so much. I stopped visiting yard and estate sales about ten years ago.

Today, I plan to write a schedule. I do want to start 2017 in a better place. No I am not in hoarding conditions and my house is cluttered, not dirty. I clean portions continuously with my house pets. I have a terrific washer to keep pet bedding washed. The two dogs that sleep with me love my fluffy comforter. I wash it about every three days.

I've got a large, clean blue trashcan full of folded clothes. They are nice clothes. I know, I looked at what was in there a while back. I've got to hold my breath and just haul it all to Happy Hour to be sold.

If you are wondering what Happy Hour is, it is a workshop for the developmentally delayed. The proceeds are used to pay for items needed by clients. Some people shopping there are really in need themselves.

Feng Shui, I put the book down years ago because it meant I had to get rid of my stuff.

Feng Shui, Here I come.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

When Bots Attack

I live along the Fall Line which is where the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean was 65 million years ago. It is a 20 mile wide band that cuts between North and South Georgia. It gets it's name because of the number of waterfalls created by the rapid drop in elevation from the crystalline granitic soils and rocks of North Georgia to the sandy coastal plains of South Georgia.

It is also called the gnat line. Gnats live in the sandy soils of South Georgia.
Flint River out of it's banks on the bluff side

Gnats are really pesky.

I had a student one time that the normally reserved assistant principal who was a deacon at his church called a gnat. A student who broke his leg by pulling on a soda machine which is like a big refrigerator down on himself when he began high school. He was shaking it vigorously in hopes of getting a free soda.

I knew a woman who looked at times like she slept and rolled in horse manure. She had a crazy looking net over her head one day. I thought what a tacky hat.  I bought several to use in the summer. I hate gnats.

I do try to keep myself looking presentable. In all fairness, this woman worked all day in her horse barn. Which comes to mind, why is it when you look like an unmade bed in public, you will run into the preacher and most anyone you want to be presentable in front of? The fact that I get quite dirty working in my gardens baffled this woman. She hated planting flowers.

The internet is a fascinating place with gnats called bots. I will suddenly get 517 hits. The hits originate in Russia. I understand it is not uncommon for the hits to have originated in the United States or Western Europe with a Russian address.

I googled what the purpose of a bot was. Essentially they look for a weakness in your website so they can hack it. I wonder if the bots can pull a soda machine down on themselves.

Bots and gnats ubiquitous and unbidden are real pests. I have a brother that keeps a complicated list of robocall phone numbers and reports them regularly. He can wear your ear off talking about it. As his sister, I have told him that he needs a more productive hobby and to can it.

I filled out some information to check mortgage rates. When they asked for my social security number, I stopped cold. Since then, I get an enormous amount of spam. It eases up and then comes in roars. I no longer report them to

I had thought of collecting the return email address. They are so clever, the initial email address is mine. What I thought was to collect the email addresses and forward future spam emails to them. Literally commit email address suicide. Then I thought about my blunt lecture to my brother. So I delete.

Meanwhile, bot owners, there is a soda machine with your name on it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

It is ruff to lose a friend

Today is a ruff day.

Last night, I discovered my little hitchhiker,Muffin, was not in the house or waiting on the back porch. I go outside and call her. What in the world is going on in the dog world? I load my Louise in the car and drive down the driveway slowly waiting to see her run to the car.
Muffin relaxing in the house

As I approach the road, I see the body. She has been hit by a car.  Muffin stays close to the house when outside. She is a quiet, terrier looking for mice. I had walked the pack down the driveway but turned around and called her. She always followed back. Yesterday, she probably found something interesting and kept going.

To say I am heartbroken is an understatement. I keep reminding myself that the "bell cannot be unrung". What I hate the most is the thought that she laid on the road alive for awhile and I could have taken her to the vet. However, her small body was stiffening. I had a stray years ago get hit in the road. It was horrible. He really did not look that bad but he was killed instantly.

I called Muffin a hitchhiker in how she came into our lives. I was driving 65 mph on a divided highway and off in the distance I saw an animal run from a pecan orchard into the road. I slowed at a distance and she sat in the lane waiting. I pulled off to the side and opened the door. She ran and got in to ride in my brother's lap like we had done it many times.

I was going to put lost dog posters up. In the country, we have a dumping problem. I did not want to advertise. It might increase the dumping. One sad fact about dumped dogs is that most are killed by traffic within hours of being dumped. The ones who survive become phobic of people and often starve or are attacked by coyotes.

Losing Muffin was already painful but my dog Louise kept looking for her this morning. She wanted me to open the car door so she could get Muffin. Finally, she found the grave and sniffed around. She had her answer.
Louise convincing Muffin to move over

I used to be hesitant to share how much I care for my animals. Then I thought, so many would not bat an eye if I spent all my spare money on an automobile and it's upkeep. I think of people in need. I would like to see everyone get what they need in this world. Animals are God's creatures and worthy of care.

My heart is heavy. I do not enjoy eating. Going to water aerobics tonight, I loaded up my two remaining black and whites. I call them my little coppers.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tweets and Twerps

Well, I plan my first foray into the twitter verse with the A to Z Challenge. I don't know how to do this but I guess I should learn. Sometime – I wonder how the A to Z Challenge participants will feel. I'm feeling a bit mischievous.

Lets be honest, you can't really be bad ass until you're sixty. I'm not sixty but close so I'll be edging it. First item in my adventure is I am using my Kindle. It has an auto correct to howl for except when it changed the word terrific to horrible. I have an excuse if any of my comments go viral. Depending on popularity, I'll say, Dang that auto correct or -

Yep, yep, I be that cool. That's me with the slate gray chihuahua in her lap as she cruises down the interstate at 45 mph singing to

I'm so past those menopausal sweats with AC on high in the middle of December coming back from Atlanta around midnight with Simple Minds, Don't You Forget About Me blasting on the radio as a travel a lonesome back road home.

Meanwhile, let me work on some tweets.

I could repeat some of my 92 year old great aunt's jewels of thought. I would give you her name; but, my family would not appreciate it. I would give another name; but, hey I've had relatives and friends with those names too. I could call her Marie Antoinette. No one named their child that. Although I know people named Marie and Antoinette.

My grandfather was Benjamin Franklin Bennett. My great grandparents were emigrates from France. They lived where the land moved between Germany and France. The fact they were ethnic Germans but left when Germany took over in the late 1800s is interesting. They Anglicized their names with enthusiasm. The original last name was Benet without a dash.

I'm not too good with zingy one-liners until it is an hour later after someone has made me mad. But I'm making a list of statements of 140 characters or less.

  1. Eat two apples and you'll have a good bowel movement advises Marie Antoinette.
  2. Buy my book. I am so funny. (Then provide a link for a $600 book on Amazon. Sure I didn't write the book. But, I haven't published a book. I just want to put on airs.)
  3. Super book if you are flexible. (Provide a link to the Karma Sutra)
  4. My blog is really smoking, all of my 384 posts get a hit everyday from someone in Russia, Ukraine and China. That makes 1156 hits a day. Actually I get 1200 hits a day. 4 people from the States, UK, Canada, Australia or India drop by periodically. Does that make me an international hit?
  5. Alright,I was just bragging in my last tweet. Does that make me an international hit? Who knew twitter truncated.
  6. What twitter eliminated the first part of number 4 tweet. That makes me sound like no one much reads my blog when you only look at my numbers in countries where English is widely spoken. I wonder why no one in the Philippines drop by. I know, I need some recipes with coconut.
  7. A few superstars live at my house. Loretta Lynn, Bo Duke, Jim Dandy, Daisy Fuentes, Buttons, Chubby Checkers, are a few. Bo Duke rolls up in a queen bed quilt on my bed every night. He's a chihuahua in overdrive.
  8. How do you feel about comma splices? What you don't know what a comma splice is? I do.
  9. What do you mean calling these twerps? They are tweets. Besides you make it sound like I am the twerp,
  10. Share the most obnoxious political meme I can find. Believe me, someone will share it on Facebook.
  11. My twitter name is @annbennett12. Follow me please! I'm working on having more followers than following. It looks cool man.

I have thought of a few more ridiculous things to say. Actually, I forgot them, or I would keep on listing.

I don't know if I will really do one of the twitter conversations. I would like to learn how it works. This old dog does try to learn new tricks. 

One old trick I will use is be myself. I started commenting so people would get some feedback from who was visiting. I've always been a quiet person and responding was a challenge. My first thought was what was intelligent to say. Now I read and react to what piques my interest. Blogs tend to touch many points. I go back and read good comments and replies. 

I have no idea what I will say. Hopefully none of my suggestions. Please share any good twerps you can think of. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pursuing your dreams

Once more a prompt that I have totally forgotten about. I had a wild dream last night which was supposedly about the book I was writing. However the dream was set 2000 years in the future and dealt with an alien race of people who were working with what was left of the human race.

I would say the dream was wild but it was logical. Remembering the key details is incredibly fuzzy now. I don't think I could think up the adaptation the alien race had. We are all familiar with the ways humans alter the human body with piercings, injections, tattoos and cosmetic surgery.

These aliens took a medication during gestation to get the desired result. Before I started dreaming details, there was a young couple who had a baby without the medication. Turns out there were many hold outs on their home planet.Then when I dreamed the Chinese was the linqua franca of the Roman Catholic Church, I had to work out the details of how the Earth would change in 2000 years. I woke up a few facts later.

One thing that would never change is human nature. The two aliens were clearly proud of their child. The love and kindness of people to each other is remarkable at times.

Like most people, I have encountered more of the political side of people than I like. I remember my first teaching job. The honeymoon of youth was over the day my foot stepped into the school. I wanted to quit the first month but I thought that was how real life was. Knowing what I know now, I should have quit and found another job.

I gained about 75 pounds in the two years I worked at that school. I never have gotten that weight off. My lifelong curse is that I have gained weight whenever I was under a lot of stress. Some people lose weight. I would say they are lucky but there are no winners.

In the United States, our politics have always been crazy. But even by our standards, they are incredibly nuts.

It's the day to day politics that affect us. Politics is making you do what someone else wants for a perceived benefit to yourself. I say perceived because it usually benefits someone else.

Today, my mind has been on piracy. Someone steals an artist's work and makes a profit selling it to a consumer at a discount. The consumer gets a discount and essentially the thief makes money off a product they stole much like the shady men selling electronics from the trunk of their car.

When you think of piracy, you usually think of super rich rock stars. In my hometown there are former rockers who became international in the eighties and they work to make ends meet today. One had a massive heart attack and had to create a U-fund me account until he qualified for social security.  Some musicians sustain themselves on the stage and elsewhere long enough to make enough money to invest and recreate themselves as musicians or live well. Most do not do as well.

One thing I believe in an artist has a right to be paid. I searched about writer's whose work is pirated. Aspiring to write, I do understand the unrewarded work. I do feel how many feel about their work not being recognized by the proverbial wheel of fortune. In the same vein, I feel a little aggravated with writers who do not recognize that you buy their book to read and not proselytize it to others.

Piracy of ebooks is a terrible shame. I read someone's blog and their books which are considerable have all been pirated. I assume he is an indie writer and I have read two of his books. This bothers me in that most writers make so little off of their work in the first place and then have to contend with pirates. There should be much better prosecution of these people.

What bothers me more are people who knowingly buy pirated books. Do you really want a thief to make money over the actual author? I read comments on one tech site discussing how easy it was to steal a text file off of kindle and convert it to another file for ease in selling.

Two asinine comments were that people buy used books and how little money some people live on in parts of the world. At least with a used book, a royalty was paid at one time. Secondly, a book written in the United States and bought by an American has nothing to do with poverty in a third world country. Again, why should you help a thief profit.

An author has to fight to protect their work. Like most thief, it surprises you in how it happens. No one deserves it.

I have played with politics my entire life. Won some, lost some, was played a fool by many, but, I am still here. I've tried to be honest. I have a close relative tell me I was a fool for being so nice. I do know a con thinks kindness is weakness. I have met that person and stood my ground. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost.

You don't have a choice at times. But I do have a choice in how I treat other people. I also have a choice in supporting the actual owner of goods versus a pirate. And hey, I fill two or three paper bags with books when they are on sale at a used book fundraiser. But I don't buy from a thief.

Now what in the hell does my mention of politics have to do with this. We have a lot of virulent speech today which will be snowballing as the year progresses. You will be spitting in the wind to try to counter most of it. But on occasion, speak up your descent. Politicians are just a reflection of the general population. I don't hate Donald Trump but I do hate his crude view of the world. Statesmanship will never describe his style. However, he is just parroting whatsome people want to hear.


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