31 December 2007
30 December 2007
29 December 2007
The "look at you!!" cry is also common at holiday gatherings, luncheons, and other chance meetings we'd rather not engage in but have no choice but to acknowledge the other party's presence. That falsely exuberant greeting grates on my ears, making me cringe even when it isn't intended for me. The muscles in my face freeze and begin to ache and my jaw locks, and my ears bleed whenever I hear it. Although, I admit, it is fun to crow:
27 December 2007
the best part of the last few days was watching the delight of the kids as they unwrapped their gifts. the clear joy radiated and i couldn't help but smile in return. the littlest boy, 2, was bewildered with all the clutter and the urging of his parents to tear paper and toss it about when earlier in the evening they scolded him for doing just that very thing to his grandmother's magazine.
everyone loved their hats and scarves and blankets and oooohed and aaaaahhed. it was good and i am glad it is all but over. i'm exhausted. we're going back up to get my guy's bed liner sprayed in tomorrow and i need to drop off a few last minute things; a coffee bean grinder for his sister that i gave a pound of whole beans to, she didn't ask for a grinder but i know she would appreciate one...they have bought christmas for 4 boys of their own and i think are a tad strapped for cash at the moment. this way they won't have scald their mouths while gulping boiling water to wash down the chewed coffee beans.
my guy is off hunting today. he doesn't take much time off and so i am hoping this is a good day for him. he will be busy as can be within a day or two again and then he will be off and going here and there for interviews (tennessee, arkansas, maine, georgia). makes me tired just thinking of it all.
i hope everyone's holidays have been wonderful and that all the best will come in the newest year!
21 December 2007
However, Kay and Larry would provide for tons of comic relief, even if it was unintentional. But I usually was not in a loving accepting benefice mood on Christmas afternoons, imagine that. And it wasn't cuz they were drunken morons, it was cuz they were morons. And I was a teenager, so even less tolerant of morons than usual. Having been around drunks for many years, as I worked at the local VFW; I know that as a general rule mean people make mean drunks, happy people make happy drunks, smart people make drunken idiots, and stupid people make drunk stupidity.
Larry had an interesting method behind his present wrapping. He'd go down to his basement bar and fix himself a drink. Drink it and clear off a section of the bar for the presents, and keep his drink freshened (often meaning that he would finish the one and mix another, cuz really, ya can never get the portions of various alcohols just right when trying to freshen a drink; like the waitress that tops of your coffee which you have just now gotten the right ratio of coffee, sugar, and cream right before she adds a dollop of coffee, thus throwing off your ratios and undoing your carefully achieved balance). Larry would then clear a section for wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and gift tags. He'd drink some more and then decide he needed more wrapping paper cuz there is an awful lot of presents. Once he added more paper to the pile, he'd drink a few more drinks just to get festive, doncha know. He may decide to find a radio station of Christmas music, or attempt to do so only to settle on a station which blares rap (which Larry mistakes for very contemporary Christmas music); please keep in mind this was in the mid to late 80s, when rap was a different breed than what we have now.
Larry then lays out some wrapping paper from one side of him, and chooses a present from the other side. He proceeds to wrap and dance in place and screech along with misconceived lyrics, while merrily throwing the drinks back, which are now mostly alcohol and less mix cuz it is too much trouble to worry about additives like ice, oj, or soda. Within a very short time, Larry has run out of presents to wrap and yet has tons of wrapping paper left. So he begins to wrap items which are easily at hand, just to use up the paper, cuz he couldn't have made a mistake and mismanaged his paper/present ratio, now could he? Half emptied bottles of creme de menthe, rock and rye, and wild turkey sport gaily sledding santa's and snowmen and elves.
Now Larry is no longer using a glass, but is swilling straight from the bottle. Now he is no longer even attempting to sing with the lyrics, but is muttering along with an internal monologue. Now he has run out of paper, so is rummaging through the dirty clothes of the neighboring laundry room (this is the basement after all) and using the soiled shirts to wrap his willy-nilly items he has continued to grab from around the basement, a hastily emptied ashtry, an empty bottle of bleach, and oh look! there is the trash pile waiting to go out to the drive to await pick up. There is bound to be some good stuff in there!
Larry has now discovered that he had forgotten to appropriately tag the gifts. So, he sloppily scrawls names and tapes them haphazardously amongst the strewn odd assortment of presents. There are a few items which receive a few tags, for folks that may or may not be in the same country, let alone the same household. He has had a blast, but now, oh his aching head, now, his body is completely wrecked and he heads to bed.
Christmas afternoon finds him hustling around the kitchen and then look! it's his baby sister and her family! He ushers us downstairs, and flicks on the lights, only to have the evening before come rushing back with the sight of sickly strewn gifts and even the handle for the beer tap has been wrapped in a sock with duct tape. He covers his dismay with extra bluster, as tho he intended to do exactly this all along. He waves us all over to the heaped with trash bar, and settles us in with offers of beer, drinks, and then discovers that he cannot find the bourbon, whiskey, vodka, tequila, or any other relevant bottle.
So Judi asks for the funniest gift we have ever given or received. I can't really say, but I'm sure that it is one that has been wrapped by Larry. It may have been the dead dog's half gnawed bone.
20 December 2007
This month's theme is:
The Funniest Gift I Have Ever Given or Received
There is no explanation needed... let's light up the holidays with some laughter here and make sure you spell-check, use colorful and descriptive language, and tell your tale in an engaging way!
You have until the very last minute of the last hour of the last day of this holiday month to spin a yarn to share.
Go write, snicker, chortle, and chuckle!!
Once I get this one last hat done.
19 December 2007
So today, I decided to make bread with pumpkin and raisins. It is in the second rise now and looks and smells and feels good! I've been having lots of fun. It's a large batch, so I will do the three loaves and a glass bowl and maybe try making some smaller pats, on cookie sheets. Then maybe I'll freeze some so that I can take stuff with me to Christmas dinner and other festivities with my guy's clan.
I just made the loaves and punched the other dough down (it's in the smaller metal bowl). It's looking good! It's a orangey color with raisins studding it nicely. It feels good, nice and elastic and firm without being too gunky. I used some of the wheat gluten, cuz I used the rest of the 50/50 and some regular flour. The main reason I used the gluten tho is because of the amount of pumpkin I used and there is no risibility in pumpkin. I can tell that it will be scrumptious when I dive into the test loaf!
The bread turned out very tasty and very pretty! The little round loaves are about the size of small dinner plates or large saucers. They will make nice Christmas gifts with bags of coffee (I had bought some backs of various sorts of coffee from Leona last week, I'll repackage the coffee into smaller bags and make gift bags for the adults). I'll freeze the bread and keep it til closer to the time.
I also mixed up some softened butter with clover honey. Very tasty on the test loaf, mmmmmmmmmm. yummy.
LJ's is closing tomorrow BUT BookMart downtown asked her to come open and manage a coffee shop in their store. He already has plans for Leona to then open and manage and train folks for the BookMart on campus and also longer range plans for Leona to open/manage/train the coffee shop in their BookMart in Oxford. Leona is lots happier cuz the hours are more reasonable, no more 16 hour days. And altho there is still lots to worry about as a manager, slightly less than an owner with less stress. Leona is really looking forward to that! He (BookMart) bought all the equipment from LJ's and so she doesn't have to worry about finding a home or storing that stuff and Leona already has the contacts made with the vendors for the supplies and such, so she is ahead with all that. The opening date for the BookMart coffee shop is slated for mid-January. So, I'll still have a place to hang out for a few hours and I'll know folks and it will feel familiar in some ways.
18 December 2007
Last month, I was also involved in a purse-making class. The class was cool, but for the woman who was determined to be a bitchy whiner; Joyce was her name and she was not amused. Altho she had said that she would bring her own machine, she decided not to and then got very angry that they didn't have an extra for her. She then got very pissy because I was not moving as fast as she'd like.
Well, today I cringed (oh, horrors!) when I saw her come in to the room, carrying a huge piece of fabric that was folded up. I thought it was a blanket, but no, it was the fabric that she wanted to make her skirt from. Now the amusing thing was that the class today was billed as being a continuation of the skirt making class from last month. Joyce was irate because it was pointed out that she was not in the class last month and so missed the actual pattern making classes.
Joyce got loud, then louder, and finally loudest. This did not endear her at all with the instructor who told her that no, the instructor couldn't just whip up a pattern for Joyce and that no, no one else could do so either. And no, complaining to the supervisor would not help (altho she was welcome to try). Finally, Joyce stomped off, and I swear the tension didn't ebb from the room; it fled in proportion to Joyce's retreat.
17 December 2007
The three loaves are cooling and the two round loaves in the glass bowls are in the oven now. I've tried one of the small loaves with some butter (testing it, doncha know) and I think it's alright to give a few loaves away. So the finally verdict is in. Very good.
Next up, how does it taste?
I've already punched it down from the first rising, and it feels good, so maybe I'll give a couple loaves away along with a few Christmas cards. I'm hoping it tastes just as good as it looks right now. I'll let ya know!!
16 December 2007
Greta knows I drink tea so she had a stunning variety that she had acquired just so that I would have a choice. She's wonderful like that. So I was standing in her kitchen, getting a contact high from the myriad of tea blends that were wafting from newly opened boxes, when I saw a very curious oddity.
There, sitting on the sugar canister, was a stuffed snowman, a beanie baby named "Snowy", holding a note and looking for all the world as tho he were reading it. He had a slightly bemused expression, as tho the sticky with Greta's writing brought him as much laughter as she did me. I recognized her pen slashings, yet couldn't read it from my angle, because the note was situated for Snowy's little black shiny button eyes only.
Feeling like the snoop I was, I quickly peeked at the message. "Keep an eye on the house" was Snowy's missive from Greta. A clearing of the throat startled me, and I guiltily backed away from the counter, muttering that the stuffed snowman was sharing his orders with me, honest, he was.
Later that night, I entered my room to get ready for sleep. Perched on my pillow was Snowy, with a new note. This one said, "Watch over Debra". I slept quite soundly under his vigilant eye.
The next morning, as I climbed into my car to leave, Greta handed me my present, saying, "we all need our inner Snowy." It was my very own snowman (a beaning baby named Freezie) sitting inside a Santa mug, both wearing encouraging gleeful grins. Only Greta would give me such an appropriately touching gift.
Freezie oversees my sessions here on the computer, sitting on the bookshelf just to my right. I feel so safe, knowing that he approves, encourages, and applauds my every effort even when no one else does. And he never melts away.
15 December 2007
Besides sounding like "biter" (given the german pronunciation of d's with a harder more definitive sound, like a T), he seems to have been biding his time to get closer to someone. It's a bit of an honor that he chose me, but I think he was apologizing for his very bad biting behavior. Poor form, doncha know.
Millie and I agreed that he most likely is a mix of Australian Shepherd (Aussies originated here, in the US, and not Australia) and black lab. He is actually a smaller framed dog, maybe 40 pounds, with a neat head (wide in the jaw/cheeks, with a shorter snout), mostly a longer black hair coat with a white/dappled chest and socks. Eventually, I may take him to the vet, to be neutered. But I'm not in a real big rush. Imagine trying to get this guy into the car, and then to the vets. shudder.
That'd put a real kink into the tentative friendship we have.
Dad told me about his latest activities and next week's appointments at the VA in Fort Smith (Arkansas). He talked about going to get another cord of wood for the upcoming cooler weather and how he was glad that they didn't get nailed with the ice to the north or the sleet to the west, but have only had the rain-slicked roads and muddy yards to mess with. He told me about the special dinner that mom was making for his birthday.
He told me he loves me.
Last week was his first of interviews for internships to start next summer and end the following. Monday is Augusta, then Little Rock, Memphis, Knoxville, Charlotte, and even a site in Maine. There are still five places to hear from yet. The interviews stretch through til the end of January, with Match-Day in February.
It isn't the actual interviews that he is reluctant face, it's the long drive, the travels, the turn-right around and make the next appointment; for his life continues to be crammed with all the other activities. He still counsels clients, writes book chapters, directs the other counselors for the campus counseling center. It isn't even any one thing that is wearing him down, it's all of it piled on and no relief in sight. This semester has been very intense and he hasn't been able to relax, to breathe, for more than the occasional afternoon here, with me. I hate to see him this stressed, this worn out; but we both know that he is at a crucial stage of his career, education, and life in general. And it could be oh so much worse. He could not have any of those things and he could not be so busy. He actually has it pretty good.
And we both know it.
13 December 2007
To the right, I have a link to Dooce, a blog I read regularly. Hell, sometimes I browse thru the archives; think of it like that extra dose of fiber that is needed to keep it all flowing smoothly here in the Suite. She often has very cool stuffs and delivers it with a sharp wit, just like I like it.
Today, she wrote of something we all can identify with, either ourselves or someone we know and most often care about. I'd like to send you all there on a field-trip of sorts, so thru the magic of the internet...POOF! here we are! Couldn'ta said it better myself.
But if you are too tired to travel, just plop down on the lovely fold-out-into-an-extra-bed-good-if-you-have-children-and-are-traveling-as-a-family here in my Suite, enjoy the popcorn I've made in the handy-dandy microwave, crack open a root-beer from the mini-fridge or have a cuppa pipin' hot tea I made in their coffepot and take a look-see at an excerpt from Dooce's entry of the day.
"I think many people are afraid that if they take medication or even agree to see a therapist that they are in some way admitting failure or defeat. Or they have been told by their boyfriend or their mother or their best friend that they should buck up and get over it, and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Well then, let me be weak. Let me be a failure. Because being over here on this side, where I see and think clearly, where I'm happy to greet my child in the morning, where I can logically maneuver my way over tiny obstacles that would have previously been the end of the world, over here being a failure is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than the constant misery of suffering alone."
12 December 2007
Some books are good, some not so. And some readers are awesome, some suck. The ones that I don't care for are overly dramatic and tend to stress the wrong words. Ya know, they put the wrong emPHASis on the wrong sylLABle (as Mike Meyer says). Everything comes out sounding like Jim Carrey impersonating Wm Shatner.
But the right book with the right reader is so worth the listening. Almost makes me forget that I'm regretting not reading it. Almost.
11 December 2007
so just in time for christmas, all those hats and scarves i've been making will be appreciated.
I called the animal shelter, but since I live in the county, they couldn't send the dog-catcher by. If I called the sheriff, they'd come out and shoot him dead. DeLisa (who IS the animal shelter and the humane society along with her husband Glenn) suggested I call down to my landlord's parents (Millie his mom did the books for the animal shelter for years) as they are huge animal (esp dogs) saviors. So I called Millie to see if she had any advice. She said that they were trying to catch the dog to give him flea/tick treatment and maybe get him fixed. She suggested I keep him penned in my yard and then call my landlord (her son) when he got home from work. So I take myself to the gp, get my tetanus shot. I also am up on the info on rabies and know that it is very rare for a dog to carry it (even if it is a stray, even if it is out here on the farm and not an indoor dog). And since I've been acquainted with Stray Biter for many months, and he is not exhibiting the signs of rabies, I wasn't worried about neurological damage from his bite (besides, what's a tad bit of neurological damage added to the resident nut anyway?).
When I got back, I go see my landlord. He's already heard that I've been bitten and has a bug up his ass before I even open my mouth. Then he really doesn't like what I have to say, which is that if he wants to catch the dog, he is in my yard. If not, fine, I'll put him down (shoot him). Perry assumes his best condescending lord of all he surveys and proceeds to ream me out, including a line of how it isn't fair to the dog.
That may be so, however, I've always heard that once a dog goes bad and bites unprovoked, then it needs to go down cuz he's not predictable within reason. And ya know what folks? I do ask my landlords to help me with things, but I think that nothing I have asked has ever been unreasonable (indeed some are landlord duties like replacing a bathroom floor before I step out of the shower and fall thru it) and some has been outlandish, but Lisa has always had the option of saying, "no" and not only hasn't she done so, but she has also reassured me several times when I think that perhaps I am asking too much (like feeding the dogs for me while I go out of town).
So Perry goes off on me, yells at his son who ventures outside to see what the yelling is about to go back inside (this doesn't concern you), and I think (I don't KNOW this for a fact cuz I wasn't there to witness it) that he also instructs his wife to not have anything to do with me (to do me any favors). I let him have his say, and tell him I will do as he wished (which was to let the dog go about his business...my guy had to chase him out of my yard, cuz he wouldn't leave just cuz the gate was open). Later that evening, I had something I wanted to remind Lisa that Leona is closing LJ's and to let her mother know (Lisa's mom is the co-queen for a local chapter of the red hat society that meets at LJ's monthly) cuz we are friends and speak of other things besides renter/rentee things. So when Lisa came to the phone, I said that I was leaving town for a few days, can she take care of the dogs? Then I quickly assured her that I was kidding, esp when she hesitated (usually she says oh sure, no problem). We chatted and it was pleasant.
Then tonight, because I have been showing Lisa stuff about crochet, I stopped down to demonstrate the knitting loom (since I knew that she was going to be working on making palm trees for a christmas show). We chatted while she scrunched up bags and hot glued them to the trunks and the kids made costumes and I loomed, explaining the general steps and why I did what I was doing when I did it. People always understand better when they know the why-fers behind it. Lisa also appreciates hands-on thru the stages, and really, what person doesn't?
I did make a comment for her to remind me to tell Perry that he needs to repair a window pane cuz I tossed a project out the window when I got frustrated with it. She drew her breath in sharply and I reassured her that I was kidding. I wouldn't waste yarn that way.
Because sometimes I know I can let my paranoia stray too far from the healthy range into where the bitter grass grows, I almost convinced myself that Perry was over his snit-fit. Uhm, no. When he and his son got back from scouts, he stormed in the living room and glared at me and then stormed into his bedroom and changed. Then he stormed back and glared at Lisa. I had greeted him when he first came in, and was laughing along with Lisa and the kids when I did so. I looked at Lisa when he was glaring at her and she seemed fine, relaxed, laughing, and he just kept on glaring at her. Then he stomped off and that was that, for then.
Ok, that's a lot of he saids and she saids then I said and then we did and then he did and what I meant was and I thought this that and the other. And I think I went around the moon to explain the cheese. I wanted to give you an idea of why I was and am thinking what I am and did. Make sense to you? Makes sense to me (but then it would cuz I'm writing it and telling it my way and I'm biased).
When I left, Lisa thanked me muchly and sincerely and I didn't feel that we were strained at all. I drove home and Shaddow bolted out the gate when I came into the yard. I usually am not wild about her roaming, but don't usually worry about it. But with Perry in the mood he has been in, I really don't need another tick on my score card (Shaddow's being loose was bitched about, altho all the dogs out here roam and the only ones that are sometimes contained are mine). So after a few hours, I went out to see if Shaddow was around yet.
Here's the thing, the whole reason for this incredibly long and rambling entry: the Stray Biter dude? He came up to me, tail between legs, head down, and then nudged me gently. Then he licked the hand that he bit. Then he sat on my foot and leaned on me, looking up with those big ol brown puppy-dog eyes and lifted his paw just a tad. So I sat on my steps and let him come up and scratched him and petted him and talked to him and picked off the ticks and he let me do all that and didn't tense up not once, even with the tick-pulling stuff. And no one, but no one, out here on the farm has been able to touch him, let alone give him a pet-down.
huh, i'll be.
09 December 2007
I've been baking cookies for over thirty years, and yesterday was the first time that a batch was horrible and didn't improve. The first sheet I retrieved from the oven brought tears to my eyes. All the cookies were melted into one big burnt edges with raw center mess. I adjust the temperature of the oven and made sure that i had mixed the dough thoroughly. Then, I tried again. The second sheet was slightly better, at least they baked evenly, no burnt edges and raw centers. But the sheet looked like a topographical map with lumps and bumps and deep ravines and bare spots and clumps dotting the landscape. So, I checked the dough again. And the third sheet was an improvement, but not much of one. The cookies crumbled and were very dry and didn't taste right at all.
So I covered the rest of the dough, stuck it in the fridge, shut down the oven and the kitchen, and called it a night. I may attempt it again tonight. I probably need to add flour and an egg. I've never ever had problems with an entire batch of cookies.
First time for everything.
08 December 2007
So the other day, Mr. Charlie waves me over and asks me if I do needlepoint. He was searching for a postage stamp last week and opened the center drawer on his wife's desk. The last project she was working on when she had died was tucked away there, needlepoint canvas from Portugal featuring two lovely ladies in all their finery. Mr. Charlie said that he thought of me straight off and I was so deeply touched that he would do so.
This afternoon, Mr. Charlie brought me a small bag and wiped his eyes quickly as he handed the needlepoint canvas with Lillian's needle pinned into place as though she set the work down only a few minutes ago while she fixed dinner for her husband. I thanked him so much so that he grew rosy and pleased. Theirs was truly a fascinating relationship that I am slowly uncovering, as Mr. Charlie feels fit to share, at his own pace, in his own way.
The cold medicine has kicked in and now is not the time to tell their tale. But one day, I will. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later.
snot fun, no it's not.
07 December 2007
Behold! The knit hat! It fits an apple quite well. Or the head of my guy's six pound niece. She is tiny. Not premature, but lil. Course then she comes from a family of lil people. On her mom's side at least.
This hat is so cute that I almost left the drawstring dangling from the top and made it into a Christmas tree ornament. And if she wants, when she gets bigger, she can put it on her dolly. If she has a dolly, cuz some lil girls don't do the dolly thing.
And that's okey.
(on a totally different line of thought: i got bit by a stray dog today (so went to get a tetanus shot, no biggie). the thing is that this dog has been around the farm for over six months and has not been an overly friendly dog but has never given me problems, til it bit the hand that feeds. My daddy always said (ala roseanne roseanna danna) that once a dog goes bad, ya gots to put it down. but for some loftily principled reason ("it isn't fair to the dog, debra"), my landlord spoke for it, and that's just fine. til it bites one of his kids. cuz it's all fun and games til someone important gets hurt.)
05 December 2007
which would normally cost $42, but which I purchased for $3.00 (cuz I thrift and nifty like that). I love the elegant simplicity of the winter pirouette by Doug Garrabrants with the all encompassing message of "wishing you a happy holiday season".
I also added a box of Edward Gorey's Yule Dogs to my acquisitions for a buck. There are four different choices, as pictured below. Guess which is my fav! I adore Gorey's work as seen at this site. Check it!
04 December 2007
So, I'm open to input regarding suitably sensual personal lubricant. Let the shock and awe commence.
03 December 2007
02 December 2007
There is an interview in Little Rock, Arkansas in several weeks. This week, there is an interview here in Mississippi. Next week, there is an interview in Augusta, Georgia. I am certain there will be more scheduled over the next month. I wish him all the warm wishes in the world.
30 November 2007
It won't hurt my feelings a tad of no one leaves a comment, because it is a rather uncomfortable topic and intimate at that and several folks may skip right over this. And that is just fine. In case you are needing reassurances and permission to stop right now, you've got it.
Ok, now that I've ensured your attention (wink), let me get to the actual meat of the matter. My sexual drive has flagged and stalled, sometimes to irregularly lurch forward in a valiant effort to revive only to die out yet again. Now there are all sorts of reasons for the possible explanation of why this would be. And it most likely is a combination of several of those rationales.
Stress, yes it has been a stressful year with lots of decidedly unsexy and unsensual thoughts. Some nasty events and memories and all that worked to dampen desire. I'm well aware of that.
Also, there is the dynamic that my guy and I have been together for over four years and sometimes folks who've been familiar with each other for a time become bored. Sad to say, but that seems to be the common way more often than not. Still, it is a troublesome thought to take into account.
Then there are some areas that are just a little too intimate to disclose even in this rather personal entry (shocking, i know, but true). And I am getting a bit older and these things can sometimes come with the aging process (or so I've read). But it still is a troublesome matter.
To me, it really doesn't matter why. What matters is that I would dearly like to revive and repair my spirits. Oh I realize that sometimes knowing the why's can help to remedy the situation. But there are those times when knowing the why's doesn't make a damn difference when it comes down to brass tacks.
This isn't something that happened suddenly. But suddenly it bothers me. I was patient and very accepting and understood that these things happen and not to put pressure on myself. But it doesn't seem to be a passing thing as the years have grouped together and I think the last time I had a healthy sexual appetite was back in 2003. I do remember that I was bolder, more adventuresome, and definitely more aggressive and assertive.
The thing is that I've gotten so used to shoving those thoughts away, anything that deals with this area at all. I've tamped down the niggling questions that stray out and escape my lil relegated compartment that now I can't really examine the matter without being swamped with so many different thoughts coming at me from too many directions. It's hard enough just to field the tangents without putting them into order and being able to do much at all.
I thought writing about it would help me to figure out some things. But it hasn't. All that has happened is for me to realize that it is more muddled than I can trudge through. I may broach the subject with my counselor. I'd love to speak with my guy about it, but he tends to think that everything is his fault and it's hard enough without me trying to reassure him at the same time that I'm trying to deal with my own doubts.
anyway, thanks for reading. sigh. crap.
29 November 2007
About my mom's visit: she arrived Saturday afternoon and we got her all unpacked and settled in. I was very glad that she was here, but I was very tired and fell asleep early. She was understanding and I was able to relax moreso, since I knew that I could just let any pretenses go. Sunday morning, we slept in. She does that more now than she had ever done so, I think. Sunday afternoon, she taught me to bake bread and we used no recipe. She just directed me what to do, and I did it. I took a few notes during rising times and we visited. It was very cool and I enjoyed it immensely. She shared the knitter's looms with me and I made myself a hat. Monday, I did the bread baking on my own, referring to my notes once. The bread turned out a bit dry, but other than that, no problems. I feel good about it. We visited and then I went out for the Financial Peace session that I've been attending. I took a loaf of bread in to my friend's place (she is the mother of eight and three). I also did all the errands and grocery shopping that I had wanted to do before I came home. Even though I was tired, it was a great day and I felt like I accomplished lots. Mom and I watched a few movies (Chicago, Spy Game, US Marshals) during this visit. On Tuesday, my friend and Eight came out and I taught them how to make bread and also taught Eight how to use the knitter's loom. She began to make her own hat (and when she left, I let her take that loom home with her to complete her hat). My mom got to be gran'ma for the day and it was so cool cuz she never pressures me to have kids (quite the opposite, she feels i shouldn't have children) and so I rarely see her with children. My friend took home the loaves of bread that she made and some choc chip cookie dough that I had mixed just before they left. I taught them how to make the dough for that too (since chocolate chips are so many folks' favorites, I made a quadruple batch and let Eight squish the butter and sugar and such between her lil fingers and she was in play-do' heaven!). Yesterday, mom and I went for lunch and then did a few errands. She bought me a few things, like a bread bowl and bread board and jeans and knitter's looms. I had one pair of jeans that were used when they came to me two years ago and they were getting sorta loose on me. So these jeans are the first ones I've had brand new in a few years and now I have more than just a pair that sorta fits! These things were my birthday gifts and Christmas gifts because I doubt I will go out to my folks' for some time. Early this morning, mom left to drive home (an eight hour drive, as she lives on the western border of Arkansas, within miles of Oklahoma and I live on the eastern side of Mississippi within thirty miles of Alabama). It was a great visit and a tad too short but better that than a tad too long, right?
Thanks for everyone's well wishes and good comments over the last few weeks. In part, I was able to have such a great month because of the support and encouragement you gave and continue to give. Thank you.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
7:25:00 PM CDT
Food for Thought
Everyone should eat healthy. I realize some don't carrot all, but you just can't beet a nutritious vegetable or fruit. Sometimes I don't eat just one fruit, I eat a pear.
I yam in love with potatoes. When I was very small, I used to watch my mom cook in the kitchen quite a bit. I guess you could say I was just a speck tator.
Did you hear Mr and Mrs Potato Head had a baby? She was a real sweet potato. I knew a couple kids in school that smoked potatoes.. they got really baked.
I like eggs. Some people find them rather fowl. I think you can't beat 'em. It really boils me when people say they don't like the way they taste. I guess it should crack me up, but I'm scrambling to try to understand.
Cheese is grate. I dairy you to convince me otherwise. I once heard this big argument and it went something like this: "Liver alone, cheese mine!" "Cheese Nachos, Cheese mine!" I could only listen for so long before I got feta up with it.
Don't have a cow, I realize I'm trying to milk this one a bit, but you've got to be really sharp to think of all these cheesy sayings.
Well, I think that's enough to chew on for now. Orange you glad I'm ready to end this battle of words? Really, I just ran out of thyme.
I wish you all love, peas and happiness.
28 November 2007
27 November 2007
sunday she taught me to bake bread with no recipe; yesterday i baked on my own. today, i taught my friend (mother of three and eight) to bake bread. mom and i also taught eight how to make her very own hat on the knifty knitting loom. i also taught eight how to make the choc chip cookie dough. mostly she got to squish her fingers thru the butter, sugar, eggs, flour.
tomorrow is mom's last day here. she leaves early thurs.
Monday 25 October 2004
Happiest of Birthdays to you, memom
Today is my mother's birthday. She is a Saturday's Child and true to the prediction, she has worked hard for her living. She raised up us kids right. Working long hard hours at the sewing factory, then bringing work home with her. I remember helping her finish the shirts, trimming loose threads, turning them, folding them or hanging them, and we would talk in between bursts of the loud machine's operations and the sharp clicking of her snippers.
I learned most of my knowledge of geography from our companionable sessions. There was a world map tacked on the wall, above her hemmer (or was it the single-needle, I know it wasn't the over-lock -- that was next to that but under a triangular cut-out between the kitchen and dining/sewing room). That map was color-coded and showed capitals and seas, oceans, continents, latitutes, longitudes, and sometimes in paratheses, the former name was noted. That's how I learned that Istanbul is the same as Constantanoble (ok, so that mightn't be the correct spelling...). Actually, I learned that tidbit, because my mom would sing the ditty.
Sometimes I think she despairs that I am not hearing her. I listened, thinking, tumbling the thought til its polish blinds me like some nugget of wisdom gleaned from a rough pile of similar jewels. In fact, mom's words came to mind today, when some friends and I were discussing individuation, defining yourself as a separate person, not soley a possession of someone else. I thought of how mom said that first she was her parent's daughter, then she was her husband's wife, and became known as her children's mother...not existing as a separate woman in her own right, until she joined the work force again in her 30's.
I thought about mom suggesting that the cliffnotes are indeed lighter than tombs of encyclopedias if I feel I absolutely must carry about my baggage of the past. I thought of mom telling me that you just can't please some people all the time, or even all people some of the time, let alone all people all the time...and some folks you just can't please ever, so why knock yourself out? I remember mom telling me that beauty was only skin deep, but ugly was to the bone.
Mom would listen to my endless ramblings, marveling at my ability to pick a conversation up in mid-sentence after a half-hour interruption. She could tell what kind of day I had, by my footfall on the front porch. She would urge me to write and write, because she felt I had a talent for that. She was proud of my grades but never berated me for not doing so well in certain subjects.
She told me that I could do what ever I set my mind to. Except stay away from candles, matches, flames, knives, saws, drills, and other things that might ignite my hair or cut me. She wanted to buy a tank for me to drive, not because of my slow reflexes, but because of the other idiots out there. She wished me well when I moved upteen times, setting off yet another new adventure. She supported me emotionally while I adjusted to those newnesses. She never despaired of my chosen company (well, unless she had very good reason to do so). She never said, "I told you so" when I finally would realize what a loser I had been involved with for so long.
Mom was a blonde child, pale skinned, white hair, beautiful smile. She was quite the looker in highschool, wearing miniskirts well. She wore "hosey-pants" when I was small. I would lean against her thigh and rub her nylon covered knee gently, intoning in awe...hosey pants.
She soothed my tears as I wept over the hardest crush I ever had. Telling me that some day, he would want me just as badly (if not moreso) and I might not be available. She was right, she usually is.
Mom is my model in many ways. She is an incredible woman. She is a learned lady. She is my mom.
26 November 2007
next up for your viewing pontification:
Friday, September 24, 2004
I won’t deny that being called, “BITCH” hurts me. My first reaction is usually to withdraw into my Self and start blubbering a la Evelyn (Kathy Bates’s character in the movie version of “Fried Green Tomatoes (at the Whistle Stop Café) by Fannie Flagg); ‘why?! What’d I do?!? Why? What did I do to deserve THAT?’
The truth is, most of the times I did nothing to deserve being called a bitch. Every situation is a tad different. But most of the times, if I look at whom are calling me a bitch, well then it all makes sense.
Usually that person is very upset that I am not agreeing with his (usually is male, sorry guys) opinion, orders, or other points of view. So usually he quickly recovers from his shock that anyone, let alone a mere woman, voiced her differing opinion, daring to disobey his previously unchallenged rules….his anger flashes hot and usually he retaliates by calling me a bitch, sometimes then followed by what he thinks are additional insults.
In those cases, I am secure in my knowledge, in my right to voice my opinion, in my right to choose my own actions (and not follow his order), and in my Self. I know who I am. If his definition of bitch is that I disagree with him. Well, then, I can wear the label with ease, usually taking heart in the fact that I don’t agree with him.
I usually take that attitude regarding other criticism that is not valid or constructive. Rather than sink to their level and engage in petty quibble that can escalate into flaming wars, I choose to ignore those little irritants and move on. Sometimes silence is golden.
25 November 2007
bread baking was a success! more after mom's visit, in the meantime:
Thursday, September 23, 2004
My brother is about two and a half years older than I am. When we were younger, it was not so cool for my brother to have a younger sister. I did not tag along, so there were very few times past the age of ten that we did stuff together that was fun.
At the time of this story, we lived in a small town in northeastern PA. The playground was directly across the street from our house. It was rather small and intended for small children’s play. Big kids played over there though, taking over the basketball nets and sometimes dominating the entire playground.
For some forgotten reason, quite a few of us kids were playing football. It was guerilla-style, which meant there were few rules other than getting to your team’s fence on whichever side of the playground was yours. It was starting to get dark. Most of us should be getting home, or we’d be catching it from our folks. But the score was so close and most of us just wanted to cram in as much as we could before we went home. It was turning into autumn and so it was pretty cool, especially since we were all sweaty. So we kept moving, ignoring the lateness of the hour as best we could.
This was one of those few times my brother and I were playing, let alone around others! So, I was pretty happy. We weren’t on the same team, that was a bit much to ask for. But, I had the ball and was running hell-bent for my section of fence. I could hear some kids screaming and yelling behind me.
The harder I ran, the louder they screamed. I was almost afraid I was running toward the wrong goal. But I assured myself I was going good. But they kept yelling, so I whipped my head around fast to look behind me.
Outta the corner of my eye I saw my brother gaining on me. I knew that it was pretty much over, but I put a bit more burst into my race. As I turned back to face front, I collided with him and we both went ass over tin-can sprawling. I ate some dirt and had grass stains sliding down my chest, marking my thighs, and that was the extent of my ahem injuries.
My brother on the other hand had blood rushing down his rather white face. It was smeared on his fingers, too. He was warbling, “how bad is it?” I was apologizing hastily and we (his best friend and I) were pulling him up and under a streetlight. “Huh? How bad, huh?” His best friend was holding my brother’s hands away from his face, saying, “oh it’s not so bad”. Most of the other kids had already run off towards home.
By the time we got my brother under the light, all I could see was shiny dark purple river running down from the two inch gash under his eye. When I whipped my head around, I caught him, the corner of my glasses sliced open the taunt skin on his cheekbone, just under his eye. I looked at his best friend, and he looked at me, and we all knew the fun and games were over, because someone got hurt.
We took him across the street, to mom and dad. We started to get him all cleaned up. We were ribbing on him about how his little sister beat him up, without even trying. He was even starting to get some color back into his face.
That’s when my dad said to my mom, “think it needs stitches?” Yes, she thought it did. “Well,” dad says, thoughtfully, “you best get your needle and thread then. What color do you want?” he asked my brother. My brother paled and began to tremble.
Mom and dad assured him that they were just joking, mom was not about to sew him up. But she did take him to the hospital for stitches. And when people asked what happened, he told them he was playing football (but not with whom).
Later, after the stitches came out, a thin white scar could be seen. We tell him it adds to his roguish good looks. For a couple of years, he told the girls he got the scar in a fight.
Sigh, it’s all fun and games, til someone gets hurt.
24 November 2007
Sunday, October 10, 2004
mental mastication, we all do it...
Mental mastication, we all do it...don't be embarrassed, it's healthy, it's normal. Some of us are a bit more thorough than others. Personally, I think I might masticate too much. Perhaps I should see a professional about that, oh! that's right, I already am. What was I thinking? Clearly, that was an example of not mentally masticating properly.
Speaking of proper mental mastication, we all have experienced hoof in mouth disease at some point. I have gotten better over the years, but some times I find my ped looming large in my vision. Times like that, I find it generally is best to clamp my lips tightly, thereby preventing anything further from escaping and my foot from entering.
When the moment passes, and I can breath, I usually apologize for the gaffe. Then I leave it alone. It fades quicker that way. I hope. My guy and I were mentally masticating together today. It's ok, we engage in this frequently and it is fairly safe. Sometimes, we don't masticate enough, that often leads to big misunderstandings. Then we usually share our mental mastications more frequently, for longer durations. This can go on for an amazingly long period of time, until we are both worn out and in need of rest and rejuvenation. Sometimes, refreshments are required.
So any way, we were past the balance, nearing the breaking point, when we realized we both had lost "it"...when we listened to ourselves chanting, "grad school rocks" (doing the metal head bash with altered ("Ilove you" in ASL) hand gestures) and other geeky things like "mean raw scores transformed! become standard scores" (accompanied with snappy super-hero gestures reminiscent of 1980's trucks that become robots). We realized that our hysteria (mania) was complete, when we both continued to crack one-liners and cackle in merriment and mirth.
At least we did this in the privacy of my home. Mental mastication in public (or performed by public agents for that matter) is generally frowned on. That's why stupid questions are so rampant, I think. Not enough mental masticating.
this is the picture the entry below references:
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
There are a few pictures of me that I really do like. This is one of them. Actually, it is the only favorite one I currently have in my possession. I was four. I was wearing my favorite sweatshirt. I was very happy. See?
It was my dearly departed maternal grandmother’s favorite picture of me. She had it inside a locket she wore on her necklace. I think my mother still has the locket, for safe keeping, with other very special mementos.
Can I be found in that little girl from then? Is there a part of that little girl from then in me now? Yes to both questions. I am still the same in many ways.
I experience happiness and joy the same now as then. Last night, a smidgeon of that giggly ecstasy broke through when I got the wonderful news about the Heartsong Award. I still chatter on ceaselessly, wearing out the ear canals of just about anyone who will listen to me. I still am a klutz, tripping over my own feet and sometimes losing my balance for no apparent reason.
When I first came upon the picture last year, I scanned it into my computer and e-mailed it to several friends. Most said that they could still see little resemblance. One said that my hands have not changed a bit, other than they are now slightly larger.
I peered closely and she is right, my hands do look remarkably the same then as now. I did not realize that could be so. Somehow, this seems important to me. I am not sure why.
I do know that hands tell lots about a person. I come from a line of seamstresses. My mother went to work at the shirt factory her mother worked in, within a week of graduating high-school. My mother told me that if ever I went to work in a sewing factory, she’d break every one of my fingers. I believed her.
My grandmother seemed like such a very old lady to me, as a small child. I loved her very much. One day I told her that I could tell she was an old person. Know how? Cuz she got scruchee skin, I pronounced, rubbing the back of her hand carefully. I hope I age as gracefully, lovely as she did.
My mother’s hands are fine, slender fingers with naturally pretty nails that are strong. Her cool palm held my forehead when I would be sick. Her fingers move nimbly about, threading needles, kneading dough, doing a multitude of tasks.
But, years of labor have curved her fingers, leaving her knuckles swollen and arthritic. She has beautiful hands; hands that raised the four year old child pictured to the woman who uses her hands to write/type now. Her skin is only slightly scruchee.
My hands are scarred with numerous tiny creases from untold, unremembered cuts, scrapes, and such. Recently I went through an elaborate fingerprinting process so that I could be cleared for a background check in order that I might volunteer with a very special segment of our population, those with mental retardation. I was quite fascinated with all the whorls, swirls, interruptions, creases, and the like.
I don’t know what I would do without my hands. I’ve grown rather attached to them over the years. I hope I might keep them always. Even when I am old and they are scruchee.
Thursday, September 16, 2004I was born and raised in the northeastern quadrant of Pennsylvania, moving around quite a bit. My dad was a truck-driver when I was little, and we moved every year for most of my elementary school years. I liked it though for lots of reasons.
One was if I screwed up somehow with making friends this year, here at this school, no worries, moving on next year....and so I did not have lots of friends growing up, because no one had time to really get to know each other. Besides which, as the constantly new kid, you are not quite welcome for oh! at least 20 or 30 years and then only if you marry a local and you are STILL considered a tad eccentric, cuz ya ain't from these here parts, is ya girly-gurl?
My immediate family was very close. We did lots of nature-oriented stuff, like fishing, hunting, walking, berry picking, camping, etc. I learned that if you wanted to really appreciate an area, you should become familiar with the roads, spots, fishin' holes, swim holes, and such that only the local folks used. So I usually would get to know some locals right off.
Occasionally this would back-fire on me, imagine that?
When I first moved to Valdosta, Georgia; I rented a room in an upstairs apartment from a young woman who was a corrections officer at the county prison. This woman truly had good intentions of being helpful, I firmly believe that. Really, I do.
She thought it awfully odd that my first priority was not meeting the man of my dreams and marrying him, having his children, then maybe divorcing him and such and so forth. In fact, she refused to believe it wasn't a priority at all. I had just moved from PA to GA, was in graduate school pursuing a master's degree and working my butt off as a stats instructor to the good folks over in the EDD program. So I didn't have the time or the energy to go noodling about finding me a man.
Oh don't fret so, my dears, she took it upon herself to round a few up for me. One such roundee, and he was a bit rotund, came from a family of pecan farmers. He was a little overbearing in his presence but I just chalked that up to nerves and thought, ‘Sunday morning to kill, why not?’ when he suggested a tour of some of the back-road local area.
In those days, I was pretty wiry, but solid. I mean, I was about 135 lbs but muscular. I could kick ass, having been a bouncer just before that (if you ever see a picture from then, you'll know just how funny that is). So I was not overly worried about this guy. Besides, he worked with my roommie at the prison. I don't know where the logic was in that, but it seemed to work for me just fine.
I should have known something was up, especially when I went to leave the house and my roommie stopped me with a horrified, "oh my gawd, you are not wearing that, are you?" indicating my faded blue jeans, hiking boots, and dark blue long-sleeved Henley shirt. I thought it was perfectly reasonable attire for mucking around the back roads so off I went.
I have already written about adventures with mis/directions, so suffice it to say it took me awhile to find this guy's place. It was next to a John Deere tractor retail store. You'd think he would have mentioned that as a relevant landmark, but nay nay I say. Instead he gave me lots of other landmarks that were not helpful at all, things that I would go past, and such.
When I did finally get there, half an hour late or so, he answered the door in his boxers. I obviously had woken him with the pounding on the aluminum door. He muttered something about a shower and getting dressed, coming in, watching TV or something. I decided I'd hang outside, the porch had a comfy swing and as always I brought reading material with me.
An hour and a half, numb butt, and a sore neck later, I looked up from my studies as he was locking the door to go. His hair was slicked and combed carefully. His face was freshly shaven. He was wearing a button-up dress shirt, khaki slacks, and penny-loafers with no socks. You might say, ‘uhm Debra, perhaps that was another clue’, but yours truly can be extremely slow on the uptake.
He turned and said, “I thought we'd have some lunch first.” Um, ok. This was smacking more and more of miscommunications and misconceptions. I was thinking, ‘field guide, field trip’. He was radiating, ‘date’.
But I could be wrong, I reasoned. So off to the local buffet we went. There were lots of folks there as church had just let out. In fact I was thinking I would already be back "home" studying. But I figured it was ok, because I did get some reading down while waiting for him to gussee up.
Dinner was a disaster; clear proof that we were not compatible. But why is it that some guys think that incompatibility is just a challenge, making you more irresistible? He stated that he thought it was a waste of time, my education. “I mean,” he said, “look at me, I gotta job, a damn good state job, with good pay, good benefits. I gotta good house, I'm a good guy, don't drink much, and iId be a good husband.” My ears were buzzing and my mind was reeling' in at least twelve different thought patterns, including how to escape this guy and get my vehicle, which was parked at his place.
So I tried to be as delicate as I could, lest I disturb some not so very deep waters. I did not commit to anything (which some take as commitment and agreement). After dinner, we loaded up in his truck with oversized tires (smaller than a monster truck, but definitely a wanna-be). He said, “ok now for that tour.” Aha, so he did understand why I was there....
Nay nay I say.
It was extremely humorous, his idea of a tour. We rode down a street in a very small town, and he stopped at the corner. He stuck his arm in front of my face, pointing out the tinted window. See that there tree? I did indeed see that there tree. Well, he says with great importance, there was a building there. I went to kindergarten there.
I was speechless as we continued to go back out to the highway. At this point I was really glad we did not go mucking through the back country; but I wanted to cry in frustration, or laugh hysterically one, when we pulled up in front of a strip mall and he climbed out, hitching up his drawers and said, let's go get a movie.
I protested that I really did not have the time to watch a movie, having to study. He gave me an indulgent smirk and pulled me out of the truck. In the store I could be of no assistance, because I do not make choices well unless I am in a certain frame of mind. I was most emphatically not in that certain frame of mind; right then, I desperately wanted to flee. My plan now was that as soon as we got to the house, I would make my escape.
Having selected the movie, 'Lost in Paradise' (selected because it was set in PA); he drove back to his place, asking me repeatedly about Boston. I explained once that Boston is not in PA and not all that close, really. But distances are funny to conceive; after all, Boston and PA are both fair distances from the Valdosta, Georgia.
When we pulled up into his drive; he parked behind me, although that was not his customary space, and gave me a lewd grin. I am sure he thought that he was smashingly devastatingly charming, but I really had enough of the whole lil lady routine. So, I said as I got out of the truck and reached in my pocket for my weighty keys, "well, thanks for dinner, gotta go, really..." to which he frowned, "I tried to tell you, but," I shrugged, "so if you could just move a bit, I'll be on my way"
Oh he so did not like that, "now see here" he started, advancing on me. Now, I don't like violence, and the odds were against me; but I don't deal well with threats, implied or overt. I held up my hand, raised my voice, and moved to my car, "no, it's obvious that we are not a good match, and I do value my education, so I must go study; now". With that I swung open the door of my car; right into him; throwing him off balance. I took advantage of that. I hopped into my seat, locked the door, started the car, and pulled across his yard to the highway to go "home".
When I got there, he was on the phone with my roommie and she was fit to be tied. It was then that I knew for sure that I had to get my own place. He called later that night to talk with me, saying he forgave me....imagine that?
Bet you can guess what my response might have been....
23 November 2007
today has been a sluggish day of laundering and dish washing and crocheting and audio books and such. my guy is off trekking in the woods, and i am feeling sleepy (nappish) but i don't want to snuggle down because i don't want to mess up my sleep schedule. mom is coming to visit, and it helps if i am able to wake up first thing in the morning with her and spend some quality time. she is coming tomorrow and after an eight hour drive, i expect to see her in the afternoon.
i hope every one is having a good weekend and don't be overly alarmed if you don't see me around much.
22 November 2007
21 November 2007
i feel a ton better. on reflection, russ is right on; the missing elements of mental agitation and increase acuity (a sharpening that is very unpleasant) fogged the notion of panic attacks right out of my mind. tho now, i'm pretty sure that's what they were (i've general anxiety disorder as one of the mental conditions, and have experienced panic attacks but of a different sort). it fits and wouldn't be the first time my body has responded to something without my overt mental state being synchronized. if i feel off next week, i'll go see jaynie then.
mom is coming in this weekend, i think. she and i will bake ourselves silly next week and catch up with each otehr and craft together and all that. my guy is planning to be here later this evening and we will be together for the next few days. he will be hunting, i may go too (but maybe not). it depends on how i am feeling on those days (cramping in the woods is not a favored activity).
at any rate, enjoy your thanksgiving and your upcoming busy days as much as possible!
20 November 2007
i've been feeling very odd today; sweats, then that eerie wired trembling with raised goose-flesh and tightened thrumming nerves with the boiling blood that makes my mouth flood with saliva and my stomach tighten, my throat locks up and then i begin to choke. it'll back off, then come out of nowhere fast and hit like a friggen convulsion. i feel like a junkie needing a fix. probably look like it too, if the librarian's reaction was any indication. and i was feeling fine then.
i may call my gp tomorrow. please don't let it be a med adjustment, i can't deal with that right now. please.
19 November 2007
Thursday, September 16, 2004
In my opinion the best directions to get are from someone who is not from that area, this is because they give directions based on things as they currently are, not as they used to be...and usually they know the names of streets and highways verses vague landmarks that most likely won't be meaningful to you at all. This is important for a variety of reasons...time, accuracy, and patience being just a few of them!!
Take for instance, the time a few years back when I had recently moved to Alabama from Georgia. I had been working hard and had not had a chance to do much exploring, indulging in rambling around the back roads. At the time I lived in Port of Birmingham, or Birmingport, or as the locals called it Four Corners (due to the fact that the nearby intersection had the only blinking red light for twenty miles in either direction). Four Corners consisted of a convenience store, with two regular gas pumps, two diesel pumps, and a dinette (inside the store) that served the local coal workers a meat and three lunch special and made the most incredibly delicious biscuit sandwiches I ever had the privilege to taste. Across from the store was an empty lot. Caddy-cornered from the store was garage, with two gas pumps. There had been a produce stand on the fourth corner, but apparently folks grew their own and did not need an overpriced mart that only sold local foodstuff anyway; so the defunct shell stood empty, untreated plywood weathered and warped.
I was inside the dinette, seated in a booth, finishing my chicken, greens, creamed potatoes, black-eyed peas, and cornbread trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my unexpected day off. Well, I thought, it's been awhile since I saw a movie and there was one I did want to see, so I decided that was what I wanted to do.
Now, I coulda (and most likely shoulda) drove down 269 through Espy, hopping on 20/59, connecting to 65, and getting off at the appropriate exit for the Galleria. But, I do not particularly care for Espy, for the malfunction-junction of the connecting highways, nor do I like tons of traffic. So I thought I'd ask for directions for some back way, shorter, more pleasant.
This is the answer I got when I asked Dawn (the waitress/cashier/stocker/diesel mechanic) for directions: well lessee, you go up this here road that runs right out here, up over that hill, and then you'll see a dirt road, don't take that one...keep going, and the road kinda curves to the right, but you'll wanna take that road to the left there, k? an' then ya jes gooooo ooooh lessee 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 miles down that way til ya get to where the Lambert's got that big ol tree, n just past that ya wanna take that left and go on down, turn where Flo's Flowers used ta be and then you go straight on in ta Bessemer then I think it's the, hold on now, JONNY, JOOOONNNNEEEE, this here girl wants ta know how to get to the shopping mall out there, that new one.....(at which point Jonny yells back some long set of garbled directions around his wad of chew, or snuff, or some such tobacco product that comes in a pouch--he's the cook and usually doesn't stray to far from the kitchen, which is a good thing on reflection, because I am squeamish when it comes to things in my food that shouldn't be there, and sometimes my overactive imagination strays, like now) Dawn agrees with him, rolling her eyes at me in camaraderie, uhuh, yeap, uhuh, ok, yeah, and then you go up that there road til, HOW MANY LIGHTS DO YA GO, (this time I understood his reply, which was...) Ohhhh, 2 or 3, I think past that first one by the old school...Right, Dawn says, and then you just go about 5 miles, can't miss it, hon.
At this point, I take a deep breath and repeat as much as I can remember, asking for some clarification along the way (such as what kind of tree is the Lamberts? Is there a sign or something on the old florist shop?). Dawn through in some additional confusing landmarks that did not exist anymore. She was trying to be helpful, I truly think. So I set off thinking at the very least it would be a pleasant drive.
And you know, I did find the movie theater, just past where the ole barbecue joint used to be...