Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Here I sit.

Big Daddy has a class tonight.

Little is at a soccer game.

Big is at rehearsal.

I fed the livestock.

I changed my clothes without issue.

I put some supper on.

I wanted to go for a walk, but my lazy bone has healed from its recent bout of activity, so I turned on the TV instead.

I turned off the TV.

I picked up a book.

I put it down.

I turned on the vacuum.  I turned it off.

I put in a load of laundry.

I lit some candles.  Cinnamon.

There’s a chicken package left in the trash.  I take out the trash before it starts to stink.

I come back in from the garage and stand in the middle of the kitchen.

I scratch my head.

I look around.

I went out on the deck.

I watered the dogs.

I emptied cigar butts out of the ash tray.

I came back in.

I perused iTunes.

I put on a pot of coffee.

I read a few blogs.

I tried to call a friend.  Voice mail.

I hung up.

I walked out the front door and to the end of the drive.

I stand there.

Heavy sigh.

I walk back.

Here I sit.

…some days, ya know?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dancin' in the Drawers


So Big Daddy was out of town the first part of this week.  It was a well deserved break from the daily grind of the heat and air business.  He got to travel down Texas way where he toured a plant and got wined and dined.

“Good for him!” says I.  For he works hard and deserves a little time away from the garment factory.

I came home of an evening to an empty house.  A house where the thunder of silence was ringing in my ears.

I headed back to the bedroom to shuck out of my big girl clothes and into my play pants.  Standing there in my drawer tail a thought occurred to me.

“I need a glass of wine!”

So I turned and grabbed my robe off the peg.

I looked at it a moment.

Then another.

Then another.

With a rebellious thrust, I threw my robe on the bed and walked to the kitchen in my bra and underbritches.

Yes I did too!

I strode down the hall and through the living room clad in nothing but my under pinnings.  I went to the counter, grabbed my bottle and a glass, and walked back through the rest of the house.


Both ways.

In just my drawers. 

Once I got back to the bedroom I turned on the radio and dug in my closet for an adequate fitting pair of jeans.

But  before I could get them on, a song came on that I hadn’t heard in years.  And before I knew it, I was dancing.  That crazy 80’s dancing that only folks growing up in the 80’s knows about.  It involves a lot of bouncing and hair flinging.

Made bold by my previous foray, I danced down the hall and into the living room. From there I made my way back to the kitchen and went clear around the table.  I waved at the dogs out the window and made haste for the living room and another round around the chairs in front of the big screen.

At this point I felt a little guilty.  I knew Big Daddy would certainly get a kick out my drawer dancing and would want to know why I didn’t perform this activity more often.

...when he was home!

As I rounded the corner back to the hall, the sound of three laughing young men came bursting through the front door and it was suddenly evident why I didn’t.

I slammed my bedroom door behind me horrified and obscenely out of breath.

“Mom, are you OK?”

Gulp. “Fine, everything is fine!”

That was too close.

I came back out of the bedroom fully clothed and barking orders-Something about mowing and dog watering.  My little venture into wild abandonment abandoned.

But not forgotten.

Something to look forward to when the nest is empty, heh?

This was the song... It put a little shimmy in my backside.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


What is it about a large body of water that restores a person?

Fall is now upon us and with the arrival of autumn; comes the clean crisp air we look so forward to. Air that not only helps us breathe more deeply, but see more clearly. The haze of humidity lifts and we are treated to colors that wouldn’t be nearly as vibrant in the heat of summer.

But as fall begins summer activity ends and in bustles the winter. Winter brings joys of its own, indeed. But it’s during that long season that I find myself longing for the water.

Aching for its power.

Yearning for its healing.

A hand brushing over the surface can soothe the psyche’s frayed edges. The silky feel of the water travels directly up my arm into the rest of my body to smooth the ends and repair the jags.

Kicking off my shoes, rolling up my pant legs, and wading in can shock my system and give me a giddy laugh as that feeling of dread is yanked out through my stomach.

What was it again I was worried about?

A quick breath in, a clumsy dive under and I understand the concept of baptism. As I surface I feel my lurking evil side left behind in the depths. I am left hopeful that next time-my next opportunity-I will make the right choice.

Standing at the foot of a roaring dam, my thoughts are drowned out by the thundering noise. I feel the spray blasting me in the face and watch fallen tree limbs and my melancholy being hauled downstream against their will.

Ten steps back up the bank.

Silence again.

It is dawn.

It’s the best time.

The world is quiet, my thoughts are silent, and I’m the first person ever in the history of the world to step into the water. This spot has never before been explored. And I talk to the fish and the birds before the Sun has a chance to schedule their day.

I’ve never been in the ocean though.

From a hotel window I’ve seen it. I’ve looked at it across a wide expanse of black beach and caught my breath in my throat as I marveled at an impossible blue.

But someday I long to touch it.

…and see how it touches me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Question for you.


So, Little's playing football tonight, right?

They win.

Big. Thank you very much.

No thanks to the referees.

Now, I'm not going to spend this post griping about the quality of the officials.  That can be done much better by others.  

I've shared before that I'm neither the brightest bulb on the porch nor crayon in the box. I'm not even the sharpest tool in the shed, but if one signs on to be a referee for American football shouldn't he at least be able to move from one end of the field to the other without risking a heart attack?

Shouldn't there be a weight limit?

Shouldn't there be some kind of fitness test?

Shouldn't he realistically still be able to play the game he's officiating?

I don't understand how a 300+ lb. man thinks he can pull this off or the fact he is given a paycheck to do so.

Is there a local shortage of officials?

It scares me to death every time I see him out there because I honestly think that one night in the middle of third quarter the EMTs are going to haul him off on a stretcher.

To his credit he is very precise in his hand signals to the announcer.  It's virtual poetry. 


He is the picture of grace as he slowly and gracefully creates a veritable interpretive dance out of calling offsides.  When he throws a yellow flag it's rhythm gymnastics in the Ozarks.

But we're playing ball here, Kids.  And I really think he should be able to actually see a play when he calls it.

Unlike the others around me, I kept these wicked and uncharitable thoughts to myself.

...and no you guys don't count because I tell you everything. 

 Well... not everything.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Maybe Later

I have a fabulous post for you.

It's witty and poignant and thought-provoking.  It's my master work I just know it!

But you won't get it today because it's stuck in my head and I can't get it out.  It's rattling around up there and making so much noise I can't hear myself think.

Wait a minute.  I guess I am hearing myself think.  That's the problem.  If I could vomit it straight out from my brain, I'd feel much better.  Instead it's swirling around making me dizzy, wishing I could puke.

It's that awful feeling of wanting and wishing you could just puke and be done with it.

So what am I saying?

Blogging makes me nauseous?

Blogging is like puking?

Writing a post can make you sick but once it's finally on the 'page' it's a huge relief?

See.  I told ya you weren't getting anything today. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Room with a View

I've lived with six men in my life.

OK.  One was a brother, two were Fathers, two are sons and the poor, put-upon Big Daddy.

They all have some things in common.  Not all of these men are guilty of the same things, but a few observances in no particular order.
  1. Bleach won't get out racing stripes.  Dynamite maybe, bleach no.  Buy them dark colored undies.  It's your only recourse.
  2. During football season, you can slip in and out of the house unnoticed. 
  3. Never, and I mean never, mess up the order of the Sunday newspaper.
  4. They will always make better chili and barbecue.
  5. They need one place for their stuff that you promise to never touch.  This can be a table top or maybe a shelf.  This spot isn't to be dusted or the contents moved for any reason.  They know exactly what is there and they don't want anything messed with.
  6. They don't care how the furniture is arranged as long as they have one chair and it has a direct sight line to the TV.
It's this last item that I wanna visit with you about.

Every once in a while I take a hankering to rearrange the furniture.  Usually it has to do with my cleaning cycle.  Meaning, the house gets to the point where I'd rather just sell it than clean it.  Since that option is out of the question, I move the furniture.  

Moving the stuff around in a room forces you to clean out all the nooks and crannies and when you are done you feel transformed!  It's almost as if you had a new house-without selling it and moving to a new one.

Used to be, I could move any room I wanted by myself.  No couch was too big or TV too heavy.  I could push and shove and flip and kick.  Plug everything back in and go take a nap.

These days, with the onset of modern technology, we have cords and speakers and wires and routers and splitters and stereo and mono and picture in a picture and surround sound and Xbox.

In short, the men in my house now have to be involved, because I have no idea how any of that crap is put together.

Oh, I can unplug it all.

...and did.

But once I moved everything over to the other side of the room, Big Daddy pointed out that the cable was still pulled to the other side of the room.  That's why the TV and the rest of the electronics were over there in the first place.

I asked him what we needed to do.

He told me that 'we' needed to get under the house and pull the cable to the other side of the room and pull it through the floor.  Then 'we' were going to have to move the surround sound, and then 'we' were going to have to hook all the equipment back up and then 'we' were going to have to reprogram everything.


He was very excited about 'our' project.

The next day, I had a lovely new living room.  The view to the TV is even better than before and the sound is most excellent.

And now I'm going to do the laundry.  And I swear by all that's holy, I won't say a freakin' word about any of their drawers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warning: A Naughty Post

...just so you know up front.

Big Daddy is working on a project in the garage.  It's a set piece for the next show at the high school.  It involves-among several other things-pipe, glue, screen wire, and cussing.

In between curses we chatted.  Actually I chatted and he endured my endless prattle.

I took a seat on my throne. (the riding mower)  I swatted mosquitoes and sipped a cocktail while BD actually did something productive. 

What I need is a pipe expander.

What's that?

In short, it enables you to heat the end of a pipe and make the hole bigger so you can slip another pipe inside.

Oh.  ...like a speculum!

Do what?

That's what the gyno uses at my yearly.

I see.

Yeah.  She used to warm it up, but these days they use a plastic version.  Those aren't nearly as cold. 


Once I'm in the stirrups, she inserts the speculum and turns it a couple of cranks in order to make the end of "the pipe" bigger and then takes a scrape off the sides to send to the lab.

Yeah.  Um.  OK.  That is the process, but the terminology is different.

Poor Big Daddy.  He tries to explain what something is, but I only hear what I want to hear and tonight I heard how I could compare a minor construction project with a pap smear.

No matter that one had nothing to do with the other.


It's called swaging.


Yes. To swage.


Yeah, you know.  Sounds like Madge.

Huh.  Never heard of it.

As I turned to go look it up I heard a voice from the kitchen doorway.

Tell me you've caught the word play in all this.


C'mon, Mom.  Don't make me say it.

Tell me!

Next time ya go for your yearly, tell the doc she needs to 'swage the vag'.

Big makes me so proud. 

I know full well that I'm failing miserably as a Mother, because I should have been shocked, appalled, and ashamed.

...but I laughed out loud.

Look up swage.  As you read, you can see this conversation could have gone in a myriad of directions.  But the above conversation actually took place.

I know that surprises you. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Day at the Office, Part 2

Day three at the plant and despite my protests, I have enjoyed my visit.  

At least the visit outside of the conference room and in the actual plant.

This location has several different manufacturing shops within it and slipping from one to the next brings back various and sundry ghosts from the past.

For my cousins in Arkansas owned a camper shell factory.

With the smell of the propane burning off the fork lift, I conjured up my favorite cousin, Bug.  He, Bubby and I would would cruise around the round square of a summer evening and search for the infamous ghost light that would appear when you drove past the perfect spot.

The sounds of chain saws, belt sanders and the Psst Chunk, Psst Chunk, Psst Chunk of a nail gun remind me of weaving in and out of production looking for all of my kin.  It was my job to call them all in to a special supper that cousin Kitty had made.  Everyone would knock off work immediately and we'd all climb the hill to the house to eat.  

The first time I ever had a deer steak was on Kitty's table. 

I loved it.  

Prissy, as I recall, had a hard time swallowing.  You know.  Bambi and all that.

There is an ancient break room here complete with Naugahyde booths and Formica tables.  The pop machine is modern, but when I selected a Diet Pepsi, a Diet Caffeine Free Coke fell into the shoot.

I loved that!

The old camper plant had a pop machine, but it was a side loader and the glass bottles that it held was whatever type that was available when the supplier came round.  And the label never matched what you actually received.  We'd get the keys to the machine and drink as much free pop as we wanted.

Prissy didn't approve.

This week the men on the line touched me the most, because I am indeed surrounded by men.

In an office environment you don't get the raucous laughter, the loud voices and colorful language.  You don't get calloused, stained hands or the faint scent of sweat mingled with sawdust.  

I found myself mentally adding missing scents: a whiff of beer and cigarette smoke.  If I missed the scent, I'm sure they missed being able to partake of the real thing.  

Different times.

I missed most keenly the sight of a cigarette dangling from their mouths.  I overheard a lot of forbidden conversation whilst watching a smoke bob up and down in a mouth.

Sweat, sawdust, beer, and cigarette smoke.  

Throw in an occasional whiff of Wrigley's Double Mint gum and you get a week or so out of every year in my adolescence.

You get a whiff of my much missed, dear departed, complicated step-daddy.

In the early 80's.

In rural Arkansas.

In a camper factory.

Shake it off, Sugar.  Back to work.

...let the whining continue!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Day at the Office

I'm out of the office this week and in one of the plants.

Right now I'm being trained on software for which I will create user guides and SOPs.

Yeah, that's what they pay me for.

These folks at the plant are kicking and screaming all the way.  Things are just fine, thank you very much.  

The trainer from the software company is a patient soul.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

We can't do it this way!

We're different!

Can't we customize these fields?

You'll never get anyone willing to use it!

The guys in the plant don't want to be bothered!

I need a beer.

...or six.


Grandma, you smell so good.  How do you do it?

I pick Jasmine flowers every morning.  When I dress, I slip them inside my bra.  That way, I always smell good.

That’s great!

Not the sort of thing I would expect to hear from an Iranian grandmother speaking to her granddaughter.

I watched a little movie today called Persepolis.


In my haste to watch I didn’t peruse the menu to discover that I could have watched it dubbed in English.  I instead listened to beautiful French and read subtitles.

I’m very glad it happened this way.

It made for a more intimate experience because I related to this young Iranian girl living in Tehran during the Muslim revolution.  I felt her friendship, laughed at her Granny, and marveled at the history lesson I received.  I commiserated with her love of the Bee Gees even though she lived in a world I didn’t know and spoke in a language I didn’t understand.

I missed nothing and I gained so much.

While I was graduating high school she was sleeping on a park bench in Austria in an attempt to escape the horrors of war.

The family in this movie were no more extremists than my family in America.  In fact, I saw eerie parallels.

How quickly could the same fate await us?

They were so hopeful after the collapse of the shah, but the new Muslim regime forced a stifling moral code on this damaged Iran.  No smoking, drinking, cursing, or revealing clothes.  No parties.  No running down the street because it causes a woman’s behind to shake in a provacative way.

Wait a minute.  Am I in Tehran or Southwest Missouri?

My own Baptist upbringing discourages all of these things. Well, I can run (not that I do), but in some more conservative denominations, dancing is still forbidden. Of course I’m not hauled off to jail for smoking the occasional cigarette in public and thankfully so, but I'm often less than forthright under the strict moral code.

It’s beginning to exhaust me.  This double standard that I bristle under yet still maintain.

Finally, though.  I recognize it.

In this time of war and political madness it is very easy to forget that we are all just people.  We all breath air, walk on two legs, enjoy music, treasure the snow on the mountains and hide in our hearts the sweet smell of grandmother.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stop the Insanity!

Dateline:  Saturday, August 30.

Location:  Wal-Mart Supercenter Branson.

At approximately 5:30 pm a child was seen running wild through the electronics department.  Her harried mother was chasing behind her pleading.

“Sweetie Pie! Please. Please.  You have to stop this madness!”

She actually asked her daughter “to stop this madness”?

The words ‘stop this madness’ actually came out of her mouth?


Big Daddy said, “That’s a blog entry right there.”


Said daughter responded to harried mother’s pleas with more giggles and an extra lap around a pallet of DVD players.

Mother responded by collapsing on a bench.

I responded by doubling over.

Film at eleven.

Hell in a Handbasket

I don’t understand some people.

Something was missing in their raisin'.

I never make Big Daddy wait outside. It's just plain rude. 

That's what it is.  Rude!