30 September 2005

Trouble Me

It's a lighthearted image, Pooh Bear with his loved friends, Tigger and Piglet.  They are saying, "I love you this much" with arms open wide, spread from handhold to handhold and beyond the tips of their paws.  It's unconditional love.  It's BIG love.

Within these past two weeks, there have been some very serious events going on around me.  Some of my loved friends are worried and stressed to the point of illness.  Some are suicidal and have actually attempted suicide.

One very special person to me, I love her so much, met with me for awhile this evening.  She told me that once again, cancer has been discovered to have spread within her father's wiry frame.  She is 30 and facing the very real possibility that her father might be gone in a few weeks, or a few months.  She is praying with all her might that the doctors are interpreting the test results wrong.  The two of them are going to drive 5 hrs (round trip) to have another test done Monday.

Oh, where's her mom, you ask?  This lovely woman, this strong friend whom I love so much, cared for her mother who had dementia while this friend was in high-school and college.  Her mother is now in a nursing home.

This woman is so strong, she finds it hard to ask for and accept help.  I want so badly to do something, but all I can do is be there and hope that she will "trouble me" when I can provide a helpful listening ear and a soft cushy shoulder that can absorb tears.  She has already dealt with so much more than a person should, including brain cancer and surgery in her 20s.

I know she's strong.  But I know sometimes my strength would make me so brittle that when I cracked, I shattered and it all came undone.  Even though that does not mean the same would occur in her situation, I would hate that so.

10000 Maniacs - Trouble Me Lyrics
[ music: Dennis Drew/words: Natalie Merchant ]
[ backing vocals: Jevetta Steele ]
Trouble me, disturb me with all your cares and your worries.
Trouble me on the days when you feel spent.
Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back
is sturdy and strong?
Trouble me.

Speak to me, don't mislead me, the calm I feel means a storm is
there's no telling where it starts or how it ends.
Speak to me, why are you building this thick brick wall to
defend me when your silence is my greatest fear?
Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back
is sturdy and strong?
Speak to me.

Let me have a look inside these eyes while I'm learning.
Please don't hide them just because of tears.
Let me send you off to sleep with a "There, there, now stop
your turning and tossing."
Let me know where the hurt is and how to heal.

Spare me? Don't spare me anything troubling.
Trouble me, disturb me with all your cares and your worries.
Speak to me and let our words build a shelter from the storm.
Lastly, let me know what I can mend.
There's more, honestly, than my sweet friend, you can see.
Trust is what I'm offering if you trouble me.

Let's see what the BBC has to say about...

"US consumers reel at fuel hikes"

Consumer confidence has dropped, as exhibited by the .5% decrease in August in overall consumer spending here in the US.  Personal incomes have fallen, while the price of gas has risen.  And it isn't just fuel prices that have folks worried as winter and cooler weather demands heating.  Household durables, automobiles, and larger more permenant or long-term purchases and borrowing of monies have dropped significantly.  It is said that there are recovery efforts in place for the economy in 06.

I will believe it when I see it.  I'll believe it when I can stop digging for pennies in hiding.  I'll believe it when gas prices stay beneath $2 mark for an appreciatable amount of time.

I'll believe it if we get someone else in office.  Perhaps, a bunch of some body elses.

Now THAT'S funny...

I stumbled across this obit:

"The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

"Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times he was still a crusty old man and was considered a roll model for millions. Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly dad, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes."

29 September 2005

Quote of the day

"Man is the only animal that blushes.  Or needs to." ~~ Mark Twain


Me and my guy have been talking about boundaries and what constitutes as cheating.  I think we first started having those discussions the second week we knew each other.  We joke about the Pina Colada Song and having half a brain, but, in reality, this is an important issue and very sensitive as most important issues are.  What are some of your thoughts on the matter?

"Erotic chat grounds for divorce?
Wed Sep 28,10:08 AM ET
Erotic talk with a virtual partner in chatrooms on the Internet are enough grounds for a spouse to file for divorce, a legal magazine said Wednesday, citing a recent ruling in Belgium.
Belgian legal publication De Juristenkrant said the Brussels Appeals Court ruled that although transcripts of the erotic chatroom conversation do not prove adultery, they do constitute proof of "grossly insulting behavior" which is sufficient grounds to file for divorce."

Ace's HiStory

Hey, ya'll;

I received this comment:

Comment from: jiffyjml
"Hi! Glad to see you're doing your part to give a new home to a doggie left behind by Katrina's wake! What a lucky doggie Ace is! I have a Boston myself and know how wonderful they are.

I'm a little concerned though -- how do you know his owner isn't looking for him? There are at least 30 reports of "missing" Boston Terriers related to Katrina. Mostly on petfinder.com, but that's not the only place. Owners are hoping to be reunited and I'm heartbroken thinking about people dearly missing their pets. Just curious as to how you acquired him. Do you mind blogging it? Or you could even e-mail me at jmleong at usa dot net. Thanks in advance! "

Sure, no problem.

How I find out about Ace and his history....when I arrived at CARA in Jackson, I spoke with 2 of the women who work there, at length.  I told them how I came to hear of the animal rescue efforts, and how at first I had just wanted to foster, but then....well, the gist of it is this, they only had less than 10 rescued pets.

The rest were pets they'd been taking care of anyway.  The two women were very angry at the other women who misrepresented CARA and claimed that all animals were rescued from N'O in Katrina's wake.  They also are extremely upset with a person whom I shall not name who took it upon herself to arrange for mass adoptions and again misrepresented CARA.

The thing is, with CARA, you adopt an animal and s/he becomes part of your family.  You sign a contract that says that if you cannot or do not want to provide a GOOD home for this adoptee, then you must return said pet to CARA.  And let me tell ya, the adoption application, honey, I've seen children adopted with less paper work.  So Ace had an entirely different history, he was not a rescuee from the N'O/Katrina mess.

Ace's REAL history is this...he was owned by an elderly couple.  When the man died, the lady moved into a retirement home which didn't allow pets.  So she gave him to a younger couple, who divorced.  The woman moved to an apartment and found that since she worked all day, Ace could not hold his water and other waste for that long of a time period.  He would do his duty by the door.  But from holding it for so long, he (like a person) developed spastic colon.  So she gave him to CARA.  A couple came and adopted him, but only had him for a few days before they brought him back because the spastic colon was too much for them to handle.

SO that was why the lady who is the general manager of the shelter spoke with me for so long, because she wanted to make sure that I was aware of what all I was getting into.  Now, I have a small dog, Ziggee, who ate table food at his old place of residence.  This did dastardly things to his system.  So after about a month of eating dry kibble, his stomach was fine and no more accidents.

I expect with Ace that all of us will adjust to each other and find our own niches.  Why, just this morning, Ziggee was attacking a chew toy and growling much in the same manner as Ace does.  Ziggee never used to show much interest in toys, chew bones, etc.  But now, he's see Ace gobble his, so I think Ziggee is reconsidering that angle.

Thank you to jiffjml for the comment and question.  It reminded me that I told the ladies at CARA that I would post a corrected version so that I can do SOME damage control, not much I'm sure, but some.  CARA also is a NO KILL shelter.  So, rumors of them shooting dogs are just that, rumors.


er, almost...ok so it's Thursday, meaning, there are support meetings to be co-facilitated.  so, I wake up, not really, alright...I schlep to the door and let the dogs out and take my levoxyl (for my thyroid, cuz I had mine removed, why?  well, cuz now I have a permenant second smile just in case my mouth is busy doing something else...).  And because I can't eat for an hour after I've taken the medication, I dropped back in bed.  And ignored the dogs' scratching at the door to be let back in after a minute outside.


big mistake

colassally big huge mistake.

Ace the hard headed densely built body guy pushed up against the gate and slithered right out and went exploring.  See, Shaddow, my 65 pound lab, she "could" do those things like jump the fence or even dig below it, or plow through it.  But she doesn't.  Cuz, she's a good girl.  yes, she is.  she most certainly is.  my good girl.  yeah.

Ok, so when I realize that Ace is gone from the yard, I slapped my forehead, ah ninnee, remember?  you read that thing about boston terriers liking to galavant all over and you shoulda been prepared for that...remember?

So after I get dressed, I drive to one neighbors'.  These folks are the ones who COOK for their upteen lovable dogs.  My dogs eat better when I'm not around.  They make me feel like I'm such a bad mom.  Sigh, it makes me wonder, what I would be like as a "real" mom with human children....surely i would cook for THEM.

Ace wasn't there.  Or maybe he was and was hiding.  But none of the other bigger dogs had seen him.  They all agreed on that point.  By the time I got back to my car, after having been re-aquainted with 8 large mix breeds, whose names I know, but not to whom they belong (I just hear my neighbor yell the names out when he drives his moble up to get the mail....they live like 2 miles away....and his moble is so sharp, I have no idea what it is, sorta cross between mmmmm golf cart and four wheeler...and he is in his 70s...wow dude), I drove slowly home and then drove down the other way towards the other neighbors'.  As I am driving, I am being a good christian, praying cesslessly.  Then, I glance in my side mirror, and bounding like a little frisky puppy, is Ace.  And 2 of the neighbors' puppies.  They're new.  The neighbors, I mean.

So, I stopped the car, put it in park, opened the door, and said, "Ace, getcher butt in here"  which he promptly did.  I backed carefully and turned around and started to tell him all about how he can't just up and go somewhere cuz it scares momma.  I think he was rolling his eyes.  It's hard to tell with a boston terrier, cuz their eyes protrude some anyway, so I guess he coulda been blinking.

Anyway, I put a homemade little harness and leash on him.  Sooooooooo cute.  And got a few chew toys.  And attached him outside.  So I could go co-facilitate and not worry about Ace cruising the neighborhood again.

28 September 2005

Manic Monday

Remember that song?  Well, next week, 2 Oct thru 8 Oct is Mental Illness Awareness Week.  And for those who are manic, YOU have your very own day designated out of the slew of MIs out there, you getcher very own!!  It'll be Thur 6 Oct, BAD.

Bipolar Awareness Day also happens to be the day we will have the second women's support group in Columbus.  And it will kick off the all women, all consumer support group here in Starkville.  If you do want to check things out, learn more, or even take part in a survey, go to www.nami.org

Stratification Exercise

This is gonna be soooo much fun, k?  Yes.  Alright, here's the deal.  When I was working on my master's degree in sociology, I had a stratification course which dealt with amongst other things, the SES or socio-economic-status of groups, families, regions, countries, counties, and individuals.  Generally SES is based on education (level obtained), income, and occupation.

Now, my prof was a very groovy guy indeed.  He liked hands-on stuff.  So we found out what the current poverty level for 1 person household according to the government's definitions.  Then we took that and made a budget, complete with housing, rent, water, sewage, garbage, power, gas, insurance, mode of transportation, household items, personal hygene items, clothing, health insurance, oh! and let's not forget food and medications and non-essentials like entertainment.  Build this imaginary person's life with realistic limitations.

Ya know what?  Out of a class of about 25, I was the ONLY person who could do the exercise completely and feasibly.  Ya wanna know why?  Because I lived it.

When I was 18, getting ready to apply for financial aid for undergraduate school, I reported my family's income.  It was a family of four.  Our household income was less at that time than it would be some 7 years later for ONE person.

So having said that, whip out your pads and pens, boys and girls, cuz we goin do us some rithematicin.

The goal is to come up with ONE month's budget (including rent, water, sewage, garbage, power, gas, clothing, personal hygene items, household items, food, medications, transportation, etc.) for ONE person with an income of $600.

(and by the way, that's generous, very very generous, i receive less than that)

So it was a Wednesday like any other and suddenly

I realize, dude!  I'm severely low on gas.  Like, low fuel light low.  Like vapors and fumes low.

Exactly how low would I go?


I siphoned off the lawnmower.

So I could drive to the landlords.

(god bless em, this needy neighbor is always asking em about or for something, like the time I got arrested to come bail me out...)

So they could put a few more gallons of gas in my car.

And give me a check so I could get more gas.

So I can go co-facilitate this general support group tomorrow, which by the way, is a 60 mile round trip or more.

stew-pid me is not doing so great this month with budgeting, thank god it is almost over...

but wait!

oh, yes...

the gov'mt has cut my check starting next month....


well, ya know, medicaid doesn't always know what medicare is up to and vice versa; even tho they are both gov'mt databases, that for pete's sake is accessable to the local department of human services.....

but not to worry, says the nice social security lady behind plexiglass.

it should all get straightened out soon.

how long is soon?

Well, again, so glad ya asked, cuz soon is no more but up to 6 months.


Sharing the Stew-pit-tittee

You ever do anything so stupid, by yourself, with no witnesses, that you just have to tell someone, that would appreciate the humor of such a stew-pit thing?

Well, I might have mentioned this before, or not...but last week I was emailing hundreds of folks from various colleges, organizations, universities, clinics, mental health care providers and so on.  Well, I remembered that I forgot to include MSU's newspaper and radiostation.  So I quickly went to find the addresses and sent them an email about NAMI and the support groups for here in the Golden Triangle of Mississippi.

Later I thought, something doesn't seem right.  So I went back through and started to look at email addresses.  Hmmmm.  Our school is not the only MSU out there.  Furthermore, we use msstate in our domain and addresses.

Which means that Memphis State University's campus newspaper got a copy and invitation to the support group.  So did Michigan State University's radio station.  Ooohps.

Off the Mark

Note as of Wed 5 Oct 05:

WAY OFF THE MARK....due to my notifying Parisi of the usage of his panels, I have been told I am in violation of intellectual property laws.  Which is fine.  I was told either buy (actually it would be leasing them) the rights to use them, or I could include a promo for a 2006 calendar and then remember to go back to any of those entries and update them in Feb. with the new info.

I created a third option.  Deleting them.  This means that I won't have to remember in Febuary to go back and fix anything.

Now, Mark Parisi included his name and URL (www.offthemark.com) directly on the panels.  I even promoted the panels and would have liked to continue to do so, as the man has some real talent with wit.  But, that's not to be.

There are a few ironic points here, one of which is that I notified Parisi (and company) that I was featuring some of his panels.  So I am guessing that they don't use a backtracking system.  Which probably means there are lots of folks using the panels and not notifying them....

The another ironic point to snag my attention is:  I wonder if Parisi obtained the permission from the intellectual property, patent, trade mark, and copyrights necessary in order to spoof on the jolly green giant, teletubbies, snap-crackle-pop, and prince albert, just to name a few.

And the final ironic thing of all, I would continue to urge you to check out his cartoon panels as the man does have incredible wit, talent, and covers a broad array of topics.

Bathroom Break

When it was only shaddow and myself living here, she would accompany me to the bathroom.  She would wait until I turned on the cold water faucet in the tub.  Drinking loudly and deeply, shaddow cocks her head to the side as some do at water-fountains that have high arches.  Or how some would gulp from the garden hose on a hot summer's day.

Then Ziggee came.  Seemingly, shaddow delights in the fact that she is able to do this drinking feat and that ziggee cannot.  So when I would traipse into the room, shaddow would station herself near the tub as per usual.  Ziggee would come awaggling and awiggling his entire body and place both paws on one knee, wanting to be pet and admired even in the bathroom.

Well, now, Ace...Ace places his paws on the other knee and earnestly stretches his neck for a good ruffling and scruffling.  So, I decided, just now, to start closing and locking the door.  Otherwise, I have NO privacy.

I had gone in there, just a few minutes ago.  Shut the door.  Both Ziggee and Ace laid down outside the door and put their paws under it.  I could see both their snouts smushed in the little gap.  Ace is not only headstrong, but his head is strong, and he just pushed the door right open.

Hence the need for locking the door.  In my own home.  To my own bathroom.  To keep my own pets out.  For my own sanity.

the guys and me

Ziggee has recaptured his "rightful" place under my office chair, when I am seated in it.  Ace is hanging out just behind the chair, chomping on his squeakee toy.  And they are not pestering each other.

As for play, I don't know yet if and how they will engage in play.

Shaddow has had a rough morning, so she is resting on the bed.  Poor lady.  She's T-A-R-D.

We all were piled up in my queen sized bed, me and shaddow and ziggee and ace.  Ace is learning the "not on the pillow" rule.  Shaddow and Ziggee took up their perferred positions and zonk out immediately.  I read a bit then realized that I could hear 3 distinctly different sets of snores.

i giggled and it woke the two lil guys up.  Shaddow just stretched her long lab legs, and huffed a little as she sunk further into sleep.  i am sure it would have been a sight to see!!

Banned Books

There's almost a perverse zest in me to drive to my local library and check out some of the books that made the list of the banned books list.  I've read 36 of the titles/series of the 100.  But there's that part of me that is fairly crackling with insane glee over the prospect of gobbling a few more....

27 September 2005

Tuesday, Aces

Well, Ace is a sweetee-heart, but ya'll have to take my word for that at the moment.  Cuz I am bushed and most likely so is he and I doubt I will get around to making pix tonight or tomorrow.  Soonest maybe Friday.

Ace is a sturdy lil guy.  Soft and sweet as can be.  He is named ACE because he has an ace on the top of his head, between his ears.

I bonded with him on the ride home.  Stopped at a friend's place for about 45 min and as I was getting ready to leave, I went in the house for a minute.  My friend had the leash and Ace lunged for the door to follow me in.

Got him home and I think he wants to be alpha dog.  Ziggee and Shaddow get along well together and neither seemed to have problems.  But Ace in the mix seems to be a tad bit different.

Ace has tried to mount Ziggee a few times and poor Ziggee is not accustomed to such base behavior.  And Ace went after Shaddow, who simply growled and he decided, maybe he should leave the bitch alone.  I'm gonna give us all adjustment time.


26 September 2005

happy happy

So, I'm really excited about picking up Ace tomorrow.  I mean really.  On the drive back up, I get to socialize with him some (while my guy drives).  That way he will have a smidge of time to adjust to me and my smells, before being introduced to the rest of the family.  Shaddow and Ziggee are easily excitable, but I figure that only makes sense, cuz I'm excitable.  So I know when I bring Ace home, they'll be so tickled.  It might overwhelm him.  So probably I'll let him run around the yard a bit, then introduce Shaddow.  Then Ziggee.  We shall see how it all works out, won't we?

well, crap

yesterday, a friend of mine in town said that she was getting ready to leave her trailor and go find a safe place to be because a tornado had been sighted and that meant that our county was under warning.  of course i didn't think it was a big deal, it seemed like any other rain storm to me.  so imagine my surprise when I saw this:

"A tornado damaged the Mississippi State campus and destroyed multiple mobile homes at University Hills Mobile Home Park Sunday afternoon as a powerful storm system spun from the remnants of Hurricane Rita moved through the area."

Our local paper had a bit more information, including quoting a student as saying, "There was crap flying everywhere."  Ironically, while we had the sighting and warning throughout the morning, the skies seemed to be clearing up in the afternoon.  That's when a funnel came ripping through, although they sounded the alarms, it was too late.

MSU is still assessing the damaged caused by the tornado that tore up trees, tore down power and phone lines, disrupted water and natural gas lines, and left Perry cafeteria damaged (it is one of the older buildings on campus).

In general, there has been lots of structural damage, to the buildings.  Windows on vehicles have shattered and debris litters the entire campus and surrounding areas.  Classes have been canceled for the time being.

Because the American Red Cross shelter here is overpacked with evacuees from Katrina, the city officials opened the City Hall so that the residents whose homes were damaged had a place to go.  Also, campus officials asked for the assistance of 20 city/county/and State police officers...mostly for crowd control as rubber-neckers tend to do more harm than good.

Welcome to my home, Starkville, Mississippi.

Early Birthday Present to Me!!

  Well, I asked my guy if we could consider ACE an early (way early) birthday present to me.  He said, "uh, sure" and then seemed rather amused, "just remind me, when I ask what you want for your birthday, say, oh, a boston terrier with a spastic colon."  Ahhh, he really really loves me.

23 September 2005

Plans for the Weekend

 I think that as we write, my guy is heading this way.  He has some studying for a test to do.  I've got a few library books to read.  We are both going to watch the two movies that I borrowed from the library.

  Since we'll have chili tonight, there are blander things to munch on as the rest of the weekend progresses.  Actually, come to think of it.  My mother used to butter crackers and eat them with her chili.  I have some cream cheese, that might make for an interesting blend of flavors.

Anyway, kids, don't go getting in too much trouble, ya hear?

First Full Fall day

I don't know why...it's not like it's chilly out.  But one whiff of my home, and you'll know, my crock pot is simmering chili.  For the first time in 4 months, I've turned off the air conditioners altogether.  I dumped diced tomatoes with green chili and a can of diced tomatoes with chili and onion in the crock.  Then I put about 5 pounds of hamburg in there.  Poured in some spicy hot V8 juice and sprinkled various seasonings in there.  Then I torqued that baby up on high and let it bubble away.

  Now, I was a fully confirmed believer that all meat should be pan-fried before put into the chili pot.  But that was BEFORE.  Before I met a rather disturbing (and disturbed) young man in Alabama.  Of course, come to think of it, most all the folks I met right about then were disturb(ed/ing).

  He had all this stuff lined up on his counter and I said, 'hey!!  what are you doing??' as he put raw hamburg in the pot and dumped tomato sauce and puree over it.  He glanced up at me and said with innocence, "what?"  I said, "boy, who taught you how to cook?"  He said, with perfect sincerity, "my momma's aunt."

  Now, as anyone with half an ounce of brain in their heads can tell you; when it comes to southerners and their kinfolk, well, you just don't mess with them.  So when he wanted to know why I asked, damned if I was gonna besmirch the memory of his great aunt.  So, I said, "Ohhh, I's jest wondrin, cuz I've never seen it done like that before."

After he stared at me, with one eye squinted, for long enough to be sure I wasn't jacklegging him; he nodded his head as though that was THAT and chopped up an onion and through it in the pot and I just sat at the table and watched, drinking my sweet tea.  It was done alot faster than I would have thought.  Though I had images of botulism and undercooked hamburg, I braved a spoonful.  He was ripping through his bowl, slurping the juices and cramming buttered white bread into his mouth.  But ya know what?  Since then, I've never made chili any other way.  And it's always turned out just fine.

Shaddow and Ziggee are chasing and playing with each other.  Ziggee grooms, much as a cat does, so I have to give him hairball medicine occassionally.  Otherwise, well, it's just disgusting.  They are so different, yet so much alike.  They even groom each other.  sigh.

Another baby for me, a Boston Terrier, ACE

  Ace is a Boston Terrier left behind in the wake of Katrina.  He is 7yrs old.  He is friendly and gets along with other dogs.

So, Tuesday, Scott and I are going down to Jackson to pick him up and bring him home.  Yea!!!  I'm mommee to Shaddow (65lb), Ace (15-20), and Ziggee (less than 10) (by descending size).  In age, it'd be Ace (7), Shaddow (4), Ziggee (2).  By breed it would be Ace (boston terrier), shaddow (lab), ziggee (rat-cha).  Ranked by how much I love em, well, like all good mom's...no favorites.  I love certain things about Shaddow that are unique to her, and certain things about Ziggee that are unique to him, and I am certain that Ace will have some uniquely endearing characteristics.

I'm really excited.  And maybe not everyone would approve.  But these are MY babies.

22 September 2005

Scalzi is at it again, oh my, oh me, another weekend upon us all

Ok, got the essentials and he was pretty liberal with what all the essentials covered.  check out the original assignment.  SO what other 3 nonessesentials would I take?

My laptop.

A quilt my mom and her mom and her mom's sisters made when mom was pregnant with my brother.

and I'd probably carry those two items in the third item, a basket.  Mom is guilded in basketry, so I have plenty of baskets.  I'd pick one.

Sometimes, I'm a romantic sap

I know, I know, ya'll ain't believin this, but sometimes I am a romantic sap.  I blush and get all soft when my guy give me flowers.  I get goosebumps when I listen to his voice on the phone.  I burst into freshettes of tears when I hear certain songs.  And don't even get me started on the Hallmark commercials.....

Now some say words vary, depending on the version you are listening to.  For instance, Bruce Springsteen sings, "she'll let you in her mouth" but other versions say that he sings, "she'll let you in her mind".  I think mouth sounds more appropriate in keeping with the song.  Also, I've listened to it on the radio closely, and it sounds to me that he does say, "she'll let you in her mouth, if the words you say are right".

I get all choked up.  cuz, at heart, i'm a romantic sap.  sigh.  and really, is that so bad?  I can think of worse things to be....but I don wanna....ruin the mood, it would.

Bruce Springsteen      Secret Garden She'll let you in her house
If you come knockin' late at night
She'll let you in her mouth if the
Words you say are right
If you pay the price
She'll let you deep inside
But there's a secret garden she hides
She'll let you in her car
To go drivin' round
She'll let you into the parts of herself
That'll bring you down
She'll let you in her heart
If you got a hammer and a vise
But into her secret garden, don't think twice
You've gone a million miles
How far'd you get to that place where
You can't remember and you can't forget
She'll lead you down a path
There'll be tenderness in the air
She'll let you come just far enough
So you know she's really there
She'll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
She's got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay a million miles away

21 September 2005

speaking of SHINING

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Stephen King, born on this day, in 1947.

Not that he reads this journal, mind you.

but ya know that 6th remove/step law?  ya know where you can network to anyone with 6 steps...so technically, i guess he COULD be reading this, but i kinda doubt it.

Not my most shining moment...

so, of course I have to share it with others.

Yesterday while I was frantically plugging email addresses in the TO space, attaching my support meeting document, and typing a letter of introduction....I completely forgot that other schools use MSU besides Mississippi State University (which actually uses msstate for most of their email, internet related stuff).

So I sent rather passionate please to support the support group by getting the word out, to Michigan State University and Memphis State University.


i were a phd student....

Summer into Fall

As per usual, I am saddened to see summer pass away.  The days have been becoming noticeably shorter, night falls earlier.  Although, night and day are equal at this time of the year, I miss being able to sit on the steps at 8pm and enjoy the sunset.

Temperatures today seemed to reflect a last ditch effort to hang onto summer.  Some of my medications cause my sweat to sting and my face is very sensitive to this.  So earlier today, when I in West Point, I was doing a brief inventory of NAMI pamphlets and other handouts, when I realized my face was was sweating profusely.  When I went into the air conditioned building, immediately I felt better.  But the stinging and burning continued for some time.

Out on the Farm, we had the second cutting of hay.  Most of it is baled.  In a few days, they will move all the bales to my front yard.  Then they will send them to where ever it is that they need to go.  I wish I had a camera, I'd take a picture of these huge round things that remind me of the biggest shredded wheat biscuits I have ever seen!!

Schedule for rest of week

Tomorrow, I co-facilitate the Women's group in Columbus.  It will be the first one.  So, I'm excited.

Friday, two of the folks from state office of NAMI MS are coming up to meet with myself and the administrator of the Columbus Community Counseling Services.  Yea!!

and for the rest of this after noon?

I will read a bit, nap a bit, and I might get online way later.

Happy Birthday!!!

Google turns 6 yrs old today.  Yea!!

Yesterday, the world's smallest baby on record turned a year old.  8.6 ounces at birth, less than a can of soda.  She is about two feet long now and weighs 13 pounds.  Her twin weights 17 pounds and is 28 inches long.  Most one year old babies are about 20 pounds and quite a few newborns are 20 inches or more at birth (jeez that was redundant).

sigh, nappage.

20 September 2005

Ants in the pants

I know they are doing the best they can.

And their efforts are really appreciated.

But I so badly want to call and ask about "my" puppy.

But I also know they cannot really handle the influx of calls.

The CARAMS.ORG did contact me last week to see what my preferrences were.

I listed ACE first, he is pictured below.  I've been checking their website, and he is still there.

But I also deferred to their judgement and offered alternative selections.  SO, I guess I oughta hear something this week.  I would think.  Doncha think?


19 September 2005

Calling all you angels

Ok, guys, gotta request....

Things are really falling into place, as far as the NAMI support meetings go.  There have been the occassional snag but I didn't expect smooth sailing over peaceful waters.  Gotta have a gust or two to get where ya wanna go.


Having said that, I do need an extra helping of patience.  A whole heaping extra helping would be good.  So I don't blow my cool and undo some of the progress and great work we've done.  I don't want to go into more details than that.


In general, as these are all new groups, I hope that all of you will send me your warm thoughts, blessings, prayers, energies, etc.  Lord knows I need them.  I want to stay in good condition so that the new groups can have time to take firm hold.


With the price of gas being so high, and my check is being cut (long ass story, but suffice it to say that for some unknown reason the medicaid and medicare databases are not cross-referenced), I'm really in need of gas at the moment.  I will be able to be reimbursed, but at the moment, RIGHT now, I have nothing but fumes in the tank.  So hopefully something will happen to help me out there.

And thanks so much, everyone, for your encouragement.

18 September 2005

Autumn is Coming, segue into gas status

While I would not say that the weather of late has been cool, I would say that it has been less humid and less hazy and less hot.  Those combinations mean the heat index is closer to the actual temperature.  The temps have been in the low 90s and high 80s for about a week now, which in Mississippi that means we are approaching fall.

Other indications include the fact that they are doing the second cutting of hay as we speak, or I write.  Or type.  My allergies are not too bad, as long as I remember to take my meds.  And stay indoors until the evening comes and all the dusty pollen is laid down heavy with dew.

My doggies are especially frisky.  They can feel the change perhaps more acutely than I.  After all, I spend most of my time in climate controlled indoors, and they venture outside for longer periods, more often than I do.

The biggest sign to happen so far was that last night I went to bed and slept solid, with no waking for uncomfortable changes of sweated night clothing...and I woke up this morning shivering a bit under my sheet.  I have two window units, one in my bedroom and one at the other end of the house, in the kitchen.  I did not have the air on in the bedroom and the one in the kitchen was set on 2 out of the 15 settings, 15 being the coldest.

Some leaves have changed, but not many.  We don't usually see that happen until more towards the end of October into November.  I'm sorry to see the summer fading, though.

It does remind me that I have not seen my folks since last Christmas.  I miss them.  I have no idea when I will get out there again, especially with the price of gas.

I'm running on "low fuel" light lit up stage...and I've got several appointments to keep this week and have no idea where I am going to get a few gallons of gas to see me through.  It frustrates me, cuz I feel like I should have budgetted better.  But then I remind myself that I could not have forseen a hurricane sweeping through and gas prices being gouged, neither could I have predicted that one of our very strong team members would move from the state, leaving some unattended business.  Which I have no problems with any of that, except now I have, ya know, no gas.

There should be an adapter that I could buy that would allow me to pour urine in there.  Cuz I got lots of that.  Especially since I've been drinking allthis juice, water, and tea.

17 September 2005

Fasting, reading

I've been reading up on fasting.  I've been juice person in the past.  But over the last few years, I've mostly stuck with tea and water.  I don't have a blender, but would sure like to have one.  It's hard to find juices that are JUICE and not many water, sugar, corn fructose, and other forms of sugars.

 Last night, I went the store and raided the juice isle.  The top purchases?  Lemon juice and cherry juice, along with a huge (what seemed like) 5 gallon bucket of cranberry juice.  20 separate containers of juice.  Thassa lotta juice, ya know?  Oh, and I bought a bunch of celery.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar.  Since that calendar differs slightly from the one most of us reading this are familiar with, I'll point out that Ramadan (the month of fasting) begins this year on October fourth and ends November third.  The birth of the new moon is Oct 3rd, so it will go through a complete cyle, growing larger from a sliver to a full heavy specter, then deminishing to a tiny sliver again, only to snuff out in silence.

More about those things as they develop.

tata, 4 now,

16 September 2005

gotta keep em sep-er-ated

k, i've been fired up and on a tear of late.  this week has had its share of upheavle (sp?) and accomplishments.  the wear and tear, the toll activity like this has on my mind and body is not exactly miniscule.

but earlier today i started sweeping a cobweb here, a throw rug there, and before ya know it, i said, to myself (cuz the dogs were outside), I said, "Self, if you're gonna do this, then for the ever loving peace of your mind, just do it and do it right, use your methodology."  And I answered back, with, "hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeey, that's a good idea, Self."

No, I don't have a Dx (diagnosis) of multiple personality disorder (although I think we all have different aspects of our personalities that we hide away at times or that we let  shine when deemed appropriate).  Neither am I Dx'ed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  I just like things to be in their proper places and I like to clean them things in a specific way.

So don't go messing with my papers, my books (cuz lord do I understand why librians and bookstore workers fret over mis-placed/stacked books), or my cleaning supplies.  I'm not anywhere near the intellect of Monk, nor am I anywhere near that particular, shall we say.  But I do have this thing about mess, clutter, and germs.

So, PUT THAT DOWN before you spill it and I HAVE to clean it up....

Gallery Glass

I've been hearing about Gallery Glass (a product by Plaid Paints (I think)) for years now.  When done correctly, the completed project resembles stained glass windows.  When not done correctly, you've all sorts of interesting mishaps.

I myself am a klutz.  I have very little control over my fine muscle coordination.  As a child, I never could color within the lines and my handwriting is still barely legible today.  That's why I type so much.  Even when I "write" letters using the Lucinda Handwriting style, I still type.

Knowing that I would not be able to draw a straight line, or a curved one on purpose, I bought "instant lead lines".  They do resemble the lead that creates the boundaries in stained glass, allowing one piece to be soddered to the other.  However, THESE instant lead lines are 1/8" adhesive strips that create the illusion of lead and sodder.

(I don't think "sodder" looks right....)

So with redi-lead in hand, glass plates, and my landlord's left-over partial tubes of paint, I set to, to see what I could do.  My very first attempt is posted below.  It did not turn out like I had wanted.  I wanted something peaceful and harmonious.  And I will be the first to say, that crazed sun looks like it is chowing down on the placid moon.  But that is fitting for it is the sun that makes my eyes hurt, that draws stinging sweat from my pores, that rises welts of tender flesh as though it were whipping my face.  And it is the moon that is so benevolent, so calm and heavy, so serene and beautiful.

I went on and experimented with 4 other plates until I ran out of paint.  The last one I made, I have to my guy.  He has it and likes it and I don't know if you'll ever see it cuz I can't remember to use his webcam to take still shots when I am there and I have no camera here.

See, I just plopped the plate on the copier/scanner/printer all-in-one and scanned it.  Then with Andi's assistance, I created a photobucket account and used it to post the scanned sunmoongalleryglass piece to my journal.  I tried the FTP space first but, oh la, it's only for AOL customers, which I am not.  Used to be, but now, I access THIS through AIM.

The reason I wanted to scan it and get it online is because I can't stand to wait to give people their presents.  And when Andi told me that she likes primitive and other folk artand OUTSIDERS and showed me a few links.....and when I saw some of the work there....I thought, click, hey! I know EXACTLY what I want to give her.  So as soon as I get some money up to send it, I will.

In the meantime, there's the image to enjoy until the real thing comes to you from me, sealed with a big huggle and a friendly kiss.

15 September 2005

The latest breaking news on the NAMI front,

THIS just in....

I'm gonna co-facilitate a group every thursday in Columbus, alternating weeks so one week is Women's consumer group and the next week in general (both sexes, consumers, family, friends, coworkers, mh providers, anyone interested in learning more about MI, including students from nearby universities and colleges).  The general group was the one that met today.  I think my co-facilitator will become more and more confident as we go and I can take a less active role, backing him as need be, and more or less supplementing and being there to give a helping hand when needed.

The women's group in Columbus will meet for the first time next week.  There may be a co-facilitator from Starkville going with me but I am not yet sure....

AND  wootee-woot!!!

Starting on the first Thursday in OCT, the Starkville Women's Group will be meeting every Thursday!!!  There were a few other women from our "old" group that went through the facilitation training with me.  So I think I might be a back up co-facilitator that attends the meetings.

AND because we are the Golden Triangle Regional Area, we cannot forget West Point.   There is a meeting set up for there next week, not with consumers, but with the executive director of Community Counseling there.

West Point is the county seat for Clay.  Columbus is the county seat for Lowndes.  Starkville is the county seat for Oktibbeha.

 Think of an equilateril triangle....Columbus is the eastern point, Starkville is the western point, and the northern point is West Point.   All are about 25 miles from the other, depending on which route you take.

Sweet Home Alabama

  It was today, in 1963...the 16th Street Baptist Church, in Birminham, Alabama was bombed.  Four little black girls lost their lives....such a disgrace what we Americans will do to our own.

I don wanna grow up

Actually, that's a lie.  I do wanna grow up.  I'm soon to be 35 and in most societies, that would qualify me as having grown-up status.  But, some days and in some ways, I feel SO not like a grown-up.

John Scalzi's assignment 77 is about whatcha wanna be when ya grow up?  And what did your parents want you to be when you grew up.

When I was a child, I wanted to be what I thought were the only to options available to females:  a nurse or a teacher.  Actually I wanted to be both.  And sometimes I threw in a totally unrelated occupation like ventriloquist.  In my spare time, of course, I would volunteer for libraries and teaching english as a second language.

My parents, I think they just raised me knowing that I would go to college and kick proverbial ass at whatever I decided to do.  Even if it was raising chickens in Montana.  In undergrad, I majored in German, Philosophy, and Sociology.

I did my Master's in Sociology.  My partial PhD is in Sociology.  And guess what?  I've been teaching at various colleges and universities in PA, GA, AL, and MS for about 15 years.  Including, working in the student health center as an undergrad (I was not a nurse though) and later a clinic the year I turned 30 (still not a nurse).  Nursing is not an occupation I see in my future.

For the first time in my life, I am considering the wife/motherhood route.  In addition to being a sociologist.  And the cool thing is, what I've always wanted to do, deep down, was be a story-teller.  Sociology can be about crafting stories of cultures and such.  So, I might yet have all the best aspects of the world.

Ya know, when I grow up.

Rosie gets it done!

It was a good thing I took my tact, iron, and gentile persuasion pills today.  There are some interesting dynamics in one of the groups that I anticipated to a certain extent, but not to the point where girding my loins seemed to be imperative.

  But instead of using brute force to punch my way through a difficult situation, I flowed with the force.  Yes, very zen.  Very Yoda.  Very smart.

But I kept cool, stayed strong, and pasted a smile of great tolerance and placid serenity on my face.  I was sincere, but at no point did I lose the situation and scream


Cuz honey you know that wouldn't be anything be trouble heaped on some more.  So I feel proud of myself on several accounts, not the least of which is not allowing myself to reaction to provocation.

  smile and be gentle, no rough play, model appropriate behavior debra...

Short short short entry

nervous.  NAMI co-facilitator.  I'm ready....i think.

Judi's Artsy Essay, 1st anniversary, wootee-woot!!

Judi's Artsy Essay is celebrating its first year anniversary with a focus on animals.

If I could be any animal on Earth......

If asked this question ten years back, or at any time throughout my childhood, teen, and college years; I would have undoubtable answered with a resoundingly solid, "CAT".  I love cats.  I think they are marvelous creatures, have wonderful characters, and they make my mind feel at ease.  However, I am so allergic to them that my eyes swell with hives, my throat closes, my nose and eyes run, and my brochial tubes begin to fill with fluid and suffocating mucus the moment I am exposed to cats and their dander.

Why it is that dogs and their dander don't seem to bother me, I don't know.  I don't question it too hard, because I don't want to develop allergies to them too.  I realize that's a superstitious thought, jinxing the matter, but there it is anyway.

I met my Shaddow when she was two months old.  That was four years ago.  She was my first dog.  Now, Ziggee has joined our home.  He came to stay with us a week before his second birthday in April of this year.

But, I realize that not all animals are loved.  No matter if they are viewed as "pets" or not.  I've known people who leave their animals penned or staked outside, permenently.  They toss spoiled scraps of table food over the fence and rarely see that the dogs receive fresh water.

So it's not just what kind of animal I'd like to come back as, it's the circumstances of Life that I would like to have a say over.

If I had my druthers, I like humanhood best I think.  But, perhaps a well-loved cat would be sweet.  I would feel graceful and slinky and purr with contentment as I nestle into a favored lap.  So long as I wasn't allergic to myself.  Cuz, dude, that'd suck.

The more I am around dogs though, the more I think, wow, I really like them.  Not just love them and feel that awwww ain't that kah-you-T; but I like to watch them and be with them and pet them and feel their unbridled joy and trusting to be in my home, showered with my attention and affection.  Besides I learn things from them, like how to wriggle my entire body when I'm extremely joyous over the event of being visited by my guy.

So if I were a dog or a cat, I would want my domestic situation to be good.  I want loving caregivers.  I want lots of attention, good food, no stressors, and lots of pampering.

But, being homo sapien is just fine too.  Besides, I got some practice with that.  And supposedly, practice makes perfect.

13 September 2005

Driving Home

Yesterday, I was listening to the radio, heard so many songs I knew the lyrics to, just sang my way from Oxford to Starkville.  And this song, Kiss you all over, is stuck in my head, playing over and over again.  Fittingly.

When I get home babe, I’m gonna light your fire
All day I’ve been thinking about you babe
You’re my one desire
Gonna wrap my arms around you
Hold you close to me
Oh babe I wanna taste your lips
I wanna fill your fantasy
I don’t know what I’d do without you, babe
Don’t know where I’d be
You’re not just another love
No, you’re everything to me
Everytime I’m with you baby
Can’t believe it’s true
When you’re laying in my arms
And you do the things you do
You can see it in my eyes
I can feel it in your touch
You don’t have to say a thing
Just let me show how much
I love you, I need you, babe
I wanna kiss you all over
And over again
I wanna kiss you all over
Till the night closes in
Till the night closes in
No one else can ever make me feel the way you do
Oh keep on loving me baby
And I keep on loving you
It’s easy to see when something’s right and something wrong
Well stay with me baby
And hold me all night long
So show me, show me everything you do
Cause baby no one does it quite like you
I love you, I need you, babe
I wanna kiss you all over
And over again
I wanna kiss you all over
Till the night closes in
Till the night closes in
Stay with me
Lay with me
Holding me
Loving me, baby
Here with me
Near with me
Feeling you close to me, baby
So show me, show me everything you do
Cause baby no one does it quite like you
I love you, I need you, babe
I wanna kiss you all over
And over again
I wanna kiss you all over
Till the night closes in...

12 September 2005

Faithful Cock and Freke Dorothy Fluck Lane

I thought Moon Pie and Dweezel Zappa had some names to hang on them, but dude(tte)s!  check the ole Cornwall County Record Office in England for some real whoppers.

In addition to those in my subject line....some "discoveries included Boadicea Basher, Philadelphia Bunnyface, Levi Jeans, Susan Booze, Elizabeth Disco, Edward Evil, Fozzitt Bonds, Truth Bullock, Charity Chilly, Gentle Fudge, Obedience Ginger and Offspring Gurney...remarkable duos in the marriage records included Nicholas Bone and Priscilla Skin; Charles Swine and Jane Ham; John Mutton and Ann Veale; and Richard Dinner and Mary Cook."

11 September 2005

Home, in the South

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #76:  I (heart) the South.  What do you love and why, and what state has the best bbq?  (That's a bit paraphased and not direct quotage, but ya git the gist, doncha?)

Well, in Sept of 95, I moved to the South from Pennsylvania.  That was about as deep South as you can go without going back north.  What I mean by that is that Central and Southern Florida have such an influx of those from the North (and other areas) that sometimes Florida doesn't even seem to be of Southernly persuasion.

Right about Macon, GA; God snapped a fault-line and so starts Southern Georgia, a region vastly different than Atlanta and Northern Georgia.  Southern Georgia and Northern Florida are very similar, in topography, insects, plants, and attitude.  I lived in Valdosta, GA ("gateway to Florida" as it is about 25 miles north of Florida on hwy 75) as my first Southern locale.

After finishing my Master's in a year and a half, I moved to Alabama.  I first lived in a tiny little itty bitty neck of the woods where the road peters out past a prison.  I lived on a "cliff" above the Black Warrior River, and honey, let me tell ya, one misstep and crumbling clay'd give way and down you'd plunge to certain death.  I lived in rather odd circumstances and let's just say live improved mightily when I moved to Walker County.  Now for those of you who are familiar with the area, you might have some drastic opinions about that statement.

Walker County is not really known for its ability to play-nice.  Featured on almost all the evening news magazine-shows (ie 20/20, 48 Hrs. 60 min, Dateline, etc.) as being the place most likely to supply you with a hit-man if you happen to be in search of one, I can tell you that Walker County has had more than its share of very odd accidents, murders, trials, and other incidents that are rather newsworthy in other parts of the state and country.

It's a very poor county.  Children in the public school system are encouraged to bring not just your normal school supplies, but toilet paper and paper towels as well.  I shit you not.

I did work in Birmingham whilst living in Alabama.  After the All Women, New Women clinic was bombed in 98, just 2 blocks from my office and directly next to my parking lot; I decided I could probably find a job much closer to home.  That's when I took the job working with an indigent clinic.  I got out of THERE just in time as the entire system of clinics were shut-down and sued by the Federal Government for misfiling of millions of dollars worth of medicare and medicaid claims.  Then I went to work with a facility in Jasper, county seat of Walker County and 5 miles from home.  I was the Day Program Coordinator, with 80 clients who had various levels of mental  retardation (and some also had various forms of mental illnesses).  Then, just after the bombings of Sept 11, I decided I wanted to go back for my PhD and so moved to MS to do just that.

On a much more personal note, my life drastically improved when I relocated to Mississippi.  I again live at the end of the road, but this time, there is no prison nearby, nor dangerous cliffs, nor the odd accidents that were so commonly on my horizon in Alabama.  I have lived in the same location in MS since I arrived, making it the LONGEST amount of time I have lived in ANY one area at all.  Ever.  It's been almost 4 years.

So, I've been here in the South, by choice, calling it "home", for 10 years now.  In a few months, I'll be 35.  So, this region is home.  I don't know as if I'd ever actually leave for any significant amount of time.  My boyfriend of 2 yrs is a Tupelo native, living, working, and PhDing in Oxford.  Our schools are rivals (ole miss and msu) but that is not too much of a factor in our relationship.

My mother moved from PA to Tennessee in 98.  She is a rather adventuresome sort and if you think I might have some schutzpah, if you were to meet mom, you'd know I come by it honestly.  She lost her job due to the whole NAFTA thing, but they had a nifty little clause which stated that they'd offer to retrain you if you could prove that your job loss was due to NAFTA.  No problem with proof there, as the entire sewing factory was closed due to loss of contracts, most of which went to Mexico.

Mom went back to school and got her associate's at the age of 50.  She graduated, packed her car, and moved to Sevierville, TN in the Smoky Mountains, about 5 miles from Dollywood.  She lived there til about 2 yrs ago.  So I spent quite a bit of time in TN too.

Now she and my father live in Mena, AR.  They've been there for about two years.  So I have also spent time there. 

So, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi all have been "home" for me.  Tennessee and Arkansas have been my folks' homes so they have been mine by proxy.  Traveled a bit in LA, more than a few times.  Spent time in Missouri as well.

So, as you can see, the South is home to me.  So what is my favorite thing of the south?  Why, the fact that it is home.  And by choice.  I moved here, I've explored here, I've stayed here.

Now, John, bbq is not a state thing.  No, I've been in various regions of the same state and had bbq that is vastly different than that of a neighboring county.  But if you want the absolute best bbq salad known to mankind, then you head to where all sportcasters and politicians know to go:  Greentop BBQ, just south of Sumiton/Dora on Hwy 78 heading into B'ham.

Life here in the south isn't always easy, but it sure nuf has been interesting and I can't imagine being anywhere else.

oh and a ps here:
I've also spent a few months in KY, where I helped to renovate a gated-community's clubhouse in Lexington.  Picture me doing the whole construction thing, pretty funny, huh?  But oh so true.  I wouldn't have to make stuff like that up, cuz life can truly be stranger than fiction.

09 September 2005


For those of you who are animal lovers, or know of animal lovers, or know those folks who are carrying the lynda@portone.com info for animal rescue from nasty ole katrina, please take note::

that address is not any good any longer, mail is being returned as undeliverable.  I called the numbers that were provided with that address and the crux of the recorded outgoing message is this::

visit www.carams.org if you are interested in hosting, rescueing, adopting an animal.  PLEASE DO NOT call the numbers on that website's page.  They are asking that you fill out an online application and DO NOT call the CARA offices as they cannot handle the volume of incoming calls.  Again, fill out an application, then they will contact you.  This message was relayed to me via the numbers for Lynda V.

I cannot remember where I first saw Lynda's address (which journal) as I receive many journal alerts.  So, if you know, please the word.  Thanks.

08 September 2005

LIVE! from SFBC, again...sigh

Actually, I had a very exciting day today.  First, I woke up to see my guy's smiling face.  That's a beautifully handsome way to start the day.

Next, I made some appt that I needed to reschedule for next week.  Then I called a dear friend who caught me up on the latest, and gave me some pertainent info I really needed (was that redundant?).  Then I called and left a message for another dear friend who may be under the weather, figuratively and literally.  Then I met with a new acquaintance, the new neighbor of my guy's (she is also an adjunct faculty at Ole Miss) and we went for breakfast.  I did a few email things with NAMI.  Then the forementioned new acquaintance and I attended a presentation, opened with a film and followed with discussion.  The subject was unsettling but needs to be addressed, no doubt.  Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also viewed as clitorectomy (but that's just ONE type of FGM) &/or Female Circumsion.  Now, before anyone asks, NO the film did not document the proceedure in graphic detail.  But enough details were shown to leave no doubt as to what was occuring.  Moreso, the film focused on what sorts of cultural reproduction, psychological disruption, and moving toward acceptance of another culture's ways (ie refusing to circumcise your daughter).  It was good to see such discussion, cross-culturally, both sexes, various ages, and so many folks.  WOW.

Then, I came back to The San Fran Bread Co. again.  LIVE coverage from CNN is ongoing, of course.  And I jumped online repeatedly to catch messages and reply regarding the whole upcoming NAMI support group facilitation thing.  And I just found out, oh, about two hours ago that there are TWO groups in Columbus, one is a women's group and one is a general group.  Hmm, ahhh, very inter-rest-tinG.  Actually, I think every other Thursday still applies, it is just that one Thursday is one meeting and the other is the other, is that clear?  Righto.

Oh, and I finished Carol O'Connell's "Winter House" which I started yesterday.  I am planning to see if my local library has her stuff and if so, check them out and read them.  And the day is so not even close to being over.

My guy and I are going to watch "crash" tonight.  We rented it several nights ago and haven't gotten around to it yet.  So, that's on the schedule for this evening.

All in all, a rather productive day.

Now, if only I could shake this annoyingly clinging post-nasal drainage...

07 September 2005

WOW, thanks dude(tte)s

Last year, right about this time, I started an online journal with AOL.  I had that journal until the end of January of this year (about 5 months) and had over 2000 hits.  WOW.

Then I changed ISPs.

Then AIM journaling became an option.  So in the beginning of May, I began this journal.  So, in about 4 months, I've been hit over a thousand times.

Call me a masochist, but I love it!!

Thanks guys, for showing the love...grins and spins

So, uh, what's new with you?

Here's the latest on the Mental Health, Illness, and Brain Disorder front:

Well, Ok, so ya knew that I'm ready to start with the whole facilitate the support group thing with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illnesses).  Like ya know here, in Starkville.  Although, you can come, from where ever.  Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Little Rock, just get here and you can attend, I promise.

  BUT...earlier today, I went to my mailbox (that's blonde speak for checked the inbox of email, although I did dye my hair a lovely shade of burgandy) and found this note in there asking me to take over a group which the facilitator started, then left.  Ok.  Not a major problem.

I am concerned about the facilitator.  Cuz like she didn't just leave the group.  Nope, she left the state.  She moved.  Totally.  And that concerns me, about her, personally.

So I am gonna be doing another group too, in Columbus.  So, hey, guess what?  This really is turning into a GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGIONAL NAMI Affiliate.  Was I ready for this to happen so "soon"?  No, not really.  But, I think I can handle it.  I think I can.

Really.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.
  I KNOW I can.

06 September 2005


...things to do before I die (a mixture of short and long term goals):
~~~~~publish writings
~~~~~finsh my PhD
~~~~~get married, have children, raise them correctly
~~~~~complete the last steps to get the NAMI support group up and running
~~~~~Find my purpose in life, and do it well
~~~~~travel more, by land, to see more of our 48 continental (I've nothing against international travel (having done it myself) but there is so much to see and do right here in my own back yard.
~~~~~love more completely

...things I can do:
~~~~~love deeply, strongly, loyally
~~~~~be an advocate for those with mental illnesses and brain disorders who cannot speak out for themselves
~~~~~be a true friend, supportive, kind, companionable
~~~~~learn, my whole life long, I can learn
~~~~~read with gusto
~~~~~teach with passion
~~~~~listen with patience

...things I cannot do:
~~~~~change people's minds
~~~~~or behaviors
~~~~~lead buildings in a single bound
~~~~~or anything else that falls within the realm of superhuman fantasy
~~~~~stand by while someone is being abused
~~~~~allow myself to be abused
~~~~~do an activity requiring fine muscle dexterity and coordination

...things that attract me to the opposite sex:
~~~~~lack of cynisism

...things I say most often:
~~~~~ja, fer sure
~~~~~well ain't that some dumb shit?!
~~~~~who'da thunk?
~~~~~well then, THERE'S that
~~~~~didja poke it?  well, poke it again
~~~~~I may be mentally ill, but c'mon now, I ain't crazy or stupid
~~~~~I love you

...celebrity crushes:
~~~~~Tommy Lee Jones
~~~~~Johnny Depp
~~~~~Clint Eastwood (at times, I gotta be in the mood, ya know?)
~~~~~Christopher Walken
~~~~~Tim Robbins
~~~~~Morgan Freeman
~~~~~Robin Williams

...women I admire:
~~~~~my guy's mom
~~~~~my friend, Adria
~~~~~my friend, Nekita
~~~~~my friend, Cheryl
~~~~~my friend, Connie
~~~~~Angelina Jolie

(The above items are listed no particular order, neither in importance nor chronology.)
THANKS ANDI from "She said WHAT?!?"

02 September 2005

Going Postal

My postman scared me the other day.  Actually, it was my on damn fault.  It's just sometimes it's easy to forget there are other people who use this road.

See, where I live, the dirt road crosses over a cattle-gap.  Then you are on the Farm.  The road meanders past my place (about a half mile from the cattle-gap) and down over the hill, past a pond (stocked with brim and catfish), and up over a little knoll, across another cattle gap, past the biggest and oldest house in the county (my landlords, who also are my closest neighbors), round a rather sharp curve, and then the road peters out in front of a trailor that is someone elses (my landlord just rents the lot to him).

So ya see, unless you have a reason to be out here, you wouldn't be.  I forget though that folks like garbagemen and mailmen come down this road on a regular basis.  And really, I'm glad they do.  But sometimes I forget that.

So, knowing that the rest of the folks out here are gone in the middle of the day, cuz they work or go pick up kids or something, I was retrieving a bowl that I'd let Shaddow get the goodies out of (mmmmmmmmmmmm chicken and rice with mushroom sauce mmmmmmmmmm).  She licked the bowl so clean that she moved it with her tongue into the middle of the yard.  I went out to pick it up and was half way back to the house when a man spoke up (I really should be more careful).  He said something like, "uuuuuuuuuh, excuse me, but I have this package that won't fit in your mail box".  So with as much grace and nonchalance as I could muster, I went to him, took the package and wished him a good day, after I thanked him.  Calmly, (DO NOT RUN) I went into my house, bowl in one hand, box in the other.  Clothed in my whitee tightees and undershirt.  sigh.  Oh, that'll be a story to share over holiday dinners...oh, yeah, well on my shift.....

Bully for MSU!

I live in Mississippi.  Starkville, actually, home of the Mississippi State University Bulldog.  Football, amongst other sports, is a favorite past-time here.  Fans by their season tickets well in advance and it is not uncommon for those same fans to rent houses for the entire year so that they can have a place to stay on game weekends.  That's not even considering the folks with motor homes that set up in parking lots that surround the stadium.

Well, MSU officials have asked the fans to give up their reservations in hotels for the weekend's game so that they do not displace any of those seeking shelter from the devastation of their homes due to Katrina.  Football coach and other university spokespersons have asked the hotels not to displace anyone in order to honor reservations for the football fans.  I should hope that this would not be an issue.  But you know there are bound to be some fanatic fans that are bull-headed enough to think they have a RIGHT to the reservations, and damned if their gonna let any hurricane get in their way...

I hope I'm wrong.  I hope there won't be morons who insist that the game and their attendance is more important than relief efforts and housing the Katrina worn and torn and dislocated people that took refuge here.  I hope we here in Starkville, can do MSU and Bully the mascot proud.

Trippin it at Wally's World

I went to Wal-Mart to buy some bread and tissues.  It was rather late, the employees were focused on restocking and I was navigating my way carefully around pallets, stacks of boxes, and the occassional pile of plastic wrap.  I got in line, signed my SSI check, and waited for approval and my change.

I was concentrating on walking carefully to the car.  My hips have been very tender of late, as though they are made of spun glass and any sudden jarring movement might shatter them.  My lower back was popping and my knees were grinding as though they were sandfilled.  My ankles were swollen a bit more than usual.  I'm 34.  I'm so not ready for all this achiness.  But it's coming on, anyway.

Just as I got to my car, I noticed that there were several cars parked out in the further slots of the parking lot.  I watched as a woman opened the back door on the driver's side, and lifted a bundle out.  It was a child, slumped against her in heavy exhaustion.  The woman sat on the trunk and rocked a bit.  I almost cried.

I got in my car and drove slowly toward that area.  She saw me and was tensed for flight, as edgy as folks have been, I could hardly blame her.  I had bought two loves of bread, which is very unusual for me, as I don't even buy bread most times.

When I got close, I parked the car, got out and walked slowly over, trying to be soothing in my movements.  I told her that there's not much I can do, but here's a loaf of bread, if that helps.  She smiled and thanked me, and kissed her child's head.

I went back to my car.  I swear I did not feel one single ache or pain in any of my joints.  It's not much, but every little bit helps.

01 September 2005

Happy Birthday to the Dose

It's been about a year since I began to publically journal with AOL.  Since then, I've changed ISPs but thankfully AIM was soon to offer the ability to create and maintain journals that can seemingly be identical to the AOL journals.  AHhhh, technology works its wonders again.

I've met some great people through the J-land community.  There are no persons that I do not have some sort of compassion, empathy, or fondness for here that I have met.  There are no mean-people-SO-suck that I've encountered.  Other than one slightly demented comment, I've received nothing but support and encouraging words from the community online.

There have been ups and downs.  I've shared frivolous moments, funny stories, some serious doubts and troubles, and some "omfg, can you BELIEVE this?!?" shockers that my lil ol mind rebelled against.  There have been great joys (winning Judi's first ever essay contest), personal triumphs (the efforts with NAMI), set-backs (medication issues and other doubts), glimpses into my personal life with others (my guy the grad student who is so much more and my folks, who defy any one category, like so many other truly interesting people).  You've comforted me in my sniffles, my strange moments of "ACK!!", and applauded my accomplishments.

I think, I'll stick around for another year.

Now, lets sing a song we all now:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY....

oh, and thanks.