Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pickin' and Grinnin'

So I'm sitting there this evening taking in a little Hee Haw.

The episode is circa 1969.  I was a mere one year of age when this originally aired.  The jokes were corny and stale back then and I am ecstatic to report they haven't changed one wit. (Get it? Wit?  Ha!  I kill me!) 

If I groaned once, I groaned a hundred times in the hour.  One thing you can say about a bad joke, it weathers well.  It can't get any worse with time.

...but then again, it can't get any better.


"Hey, I hear you play the trombone."

"Yeah, but lately I've been lettin' it slide.

Poetry.  Pure poetry.  

So not only was I steeped in awesome cheesy cornpone, I reveled in vintage Tammy Wynette and got to witness Mr. Haggard when he was clean shaven and sporting a pompadour.  

Don't that just churn your butter?

All was not golden however.

The Hager Twins.  



Saturday, November 29, 2008

No Hurry

Today I feel sorry for anyone who wants to peer in my kitchen window.

Not that I'm accustomed to that sort of tomfoolery, but the heat from the stove is making peering or leering impossible.  It's difficult to see through fogged up windows.

The frost on the bottoms is a good indicator that the air is freezing. As I house-slipper my way out to the back deck to sip coffee, the cattle on the fence row prove my hypothesis by snorting steam out from their noses.  

Yeah, snorted. 

 I heard them.

I appreciate that the neighbor has returned cattle to that pasture.  I like my cross-field bovine conversations.  Most days we don't discuss much, but today we had a visit about the pickup trucks that joined them yesterday and the fence mending that took place.

We said our good days and I retreated back into my kitchen and was blasted in the face by warmth and the smell of cranberries and cinnamon simmering on the stove.

The yeast rolls are rising nicely and the vegetables are in the oven melting in swiss cheese.

I reckon I orta take a shower before time gets away from me, but the fire in the wood stove beckons and I think I'll succumb to its call to sit beside it for a spell.

We'll be over the river and through the woods soon enough.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Turkey Today

Today will be spent with just my little nuclear family.

An old family recipe involving ground ham will be eaten today.  It involves a brown sugar glaze and some baking time.

The usual Thanksgiving feast will be held Saturday, with Big Daddy in charge of the bird.

So today I give thanks with my men.

Conflicts at home and at work have been-or are in the process of being-resolved and I'm thankful for the return of my internal sunshine.

So stayed tuned.  I think my blogging britches have been hung up long enough.  They've been properly aired out are ready to return to service.

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Albatross

I’m immersed in a project now that is the bane of my professional existence.  It has me so downtrodden I have little interest in working on it and therefore procrastinate because I detest it so.

It’s not that documenting processes for a new system is all that terrible, but it can be horrifically boring and repetitive and leave little room for creativity.  

That’s where my blogging comes in.

Well…it used too.

I’m not posting much and honestly have very little enthusiasm to try. I still voraciously read and check in with everyone else, but hitting the keys at my own digs takes too much effort.

I think it all stems from this horrible assignment.

I have corporate pulling my arms, telling me how this system works, how it should work and who has authority to do what and when. “We need checks and balances.  We need to control authorization!”

I have the end users pulling my feet.  “Corporate has no business in our affairs.  They don’t use the system and shouldn’t have any say in its day to day operation.”

I didn’t mind when they got attitudes with each other, because I am the neutral party.

At least I was.

I’m now on the receiving end of the attitudes and I gotta tell you…I don’t care for it much. 

Why are you checking in with so and so?

Uh, she’s the project manager.

She doesn’t use this system, you need to be checking in with us.

I’ll certainly be happy to show you anything I have and as a matter of fact I do need your input.

You need to let us review it not her!

Nobody has decided where the processes are going to be housed and who has control over them once they are finished.  Who is going to do ongoing maintenance?  

Just tell me who in God’s name is in charge! 

I’m going to piss somebody off and I hate that.  Yet it isn’t me making the decisions. 

…and I don’t know who is...making the decisions.

This ain’t my first rodeo, kids.  I’ve done this sort of thing before and I hate the personal and emotional toll this project is taking on me.  Usually I’m above it all, but I’m a hair’s breath away from extricating myself from this whole ugly mess, giving them what I have so far and telling them to go to a hot place.

Am I just burned out?

So here I sit.

...or should I say lie?

… on the proverbial rack.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Big Daddy and I went out on the deck tonight to get the stink blowed off us.

He felt the need for a cigar, so he took the livestock and out he went.

I donned my sheep skin slippers to ward off a slight chill and followed.

We sat side be side on top of the picnic table and listened to nothing.

The sound of nothing can be eerie.

There was no wind in the trees, no bugs kicking up a fuss, no frogs sounding off.  We didn't even hear the sound of traffic from the nearby main road.

A glow lit up the valley.  We think it came from town but we're not sure.

It was an evening for sneaking up on something.  Or an evening for something to sneak up on you.

We sat side be side breathing in clean cool air disrupted only by the occasional pleasant whiff of cigar smoke.

We wanted to talk to each other but the silence was deafening.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saved by Zero

Lester used to sing the national anthem of the Philippines.

He’d sing it loud, off-key, and in its entirety.  Bubby and I would join him in song and collapse to the floor in giggles because Grampa couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

I searched for years to find a copy of the Filipino national anthem. …or at least someone who knew the words.  

I came up empty handed.

I relayed this story and sang a few bars of what I remembered for Big one night.

Thanks to the digital age and his 99 cent gift, I now have a copy of Lupang Hinirang.

It sounds nothing remotely like what I remember. 

 I could call Bubby right now and ask him to sing it with me and I guaran-damn-tee that we’d come up with roughly the same melody and skewered words.  Words we have no idea how to pronounce correctly or define.  

Are they even real words?

Probably not.

Today there is a different Filipino anthem than there was in the early forties. Diwa ng Bayan was sung at the time and doing a little research and finding the lyrics, it’s possible this was the song he would sing to us.  The words sound somewhat closer to what I know.

But then again, Grampa was born in Elizabeth, Arkansas.  It could have just been his backwoods southern accent coloring the pronunciation of Filipino words.

I miss it.  I listen to my Uncle Hippy who sounds of him and go to a giddy, happy place.

Grampa served in the South West Pacific theatre in World War II.  He was stationed on those islands and it is a small wonder to me that he came away with such a charming thing to share with his grandkids.

Growing up, his buddies called him Doll. He had these amazing, surreal blue eyes-the kind you’d see on a porcelain baby doll.  He had doll eyes.  He said he never cared for the nickname until he noticed that the little gals all thought it, and he, was cute.  

Then he didn’t mind so much.

During the war, he acquired a different nickname.  They called him Zero, because that was what he did.  He shot down Japanese Zero fighter planes.   I don’t know the particulars unfortunately.  Next Sunday when I talk to Granny, I’ll ask her.

I’ll get back to you.

He enjoyed the Filipino people. He’d shut down on us though, when we’d ask him about the Japanese. He’d just get up and go to the kitchen.

“I need some bristles.”


 I remember once walking into a K-Mart with him.  He stopped suddenly at the front door and told me to go catch up with Grandma.  I asked him why and he told me there were Japanese folks in the store.

He told me this in a more, um, colorful manner.

He left.  

I looked around and couldn’t see anyone that looked Japanese.  I shrugged and caught up with Grandma.  I told her where he’d gone.

“Babe, he always knows when one is around.  He can smell them.  You wait, we’ll run across one.”

We did.

I will never know what he saw and felt and absorbed through the very pores of his skin. 

I never marched in his combat boots.  

…nor my dad’s who served in Korea.

…nor my brother’s who served in the Persian Gulf.

...nor all of you today who were-and continue to be-in harm’s way.

And thanks to all of them, I won’t have to.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Old?

I just finished performing my morning ablutions.

Shower, makeup, hair.

I was standing at the vanity in my bra and drawers putting blush on my cheeks.  

I don't say that to be titillating.

I tend to be vigorous in my rouge application.  Every time I would swipe the brush across my cheeks I heard a weird sound coming from beneath my right arm.

It was my arm flab.



I told you it wasn't titillating.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election's Eve

There's a pumpkin pie in the oven.

A chicken pot pie has been eaten for supper.  I put a biscuit topping on instead of a crust.  My men tend to eat their veggies if they're camouflaged in something interesting.

I've put supper in the crock pot for tomorrow night.  The recipe called for a cup of white wine. That means there is the better part of a bottle left over.  

I reckon there is nothing for it except to finish it off myself.  God knows wine doesn't keep once it's been opened.

It doesn't, does it?

I imagine I'll take my happy ass into the living room and sit it upon the couch for a night of TV.

Big is at rehearsal.  "Singing in the Rain"  for the fall show.

Big Daddy and Little are up at the local Bass Pro.  There is need of a hunter education card, so classes must be taken.  One is there for moral support, the other is in need of a passing grade before deer tags can be obtained.

Guess who is who?

Me?  I reckon I'll see how Denny Crane's mad cow is coming along.

I'll feed the livestock.  

Finish the wine.

Enjoy a weirdly warm autumn evening.

And I'll pray.

The election is tomorrow. 

Tonight, I pray for healing.  I pray for my country's decision.  I pray that no matter what the outcome tomorrow we can come together united to fix the many problems we have.

I pray the rest of the world will once again look to us as a beacon of hope and integrity.

...and change.

No man is an island.

Is it any different for a country?

I know my vote.  And no matter what anyone else says, my vote does count.

So much hinges on the choice made tomorrow.  

So, my dearest blog brothers and sisters,  no matter your matter your matter your heart.

Be true to your country and vote.

Rest, review, reflect.

...and elect.