Archive for April, 2010


“The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.”    —-Larry the Cable Guy

Disclaimer:  I use too many commas and parentheses, make up words when I deem necessary, and have a penchant for dots, dashes, and run-on sentences (among other moving violations).   I also tend to be a bit long-winded, but it seems to run in the family so it’s probably genetic and I can’t help it. If any of these are known to cause hives,  light-headedness, loud outbursts, or any other unpleasant reactions—just click out of here!!    Still here, huh?  The other thing about most of this schtuff is that what isn’t totally true is based on actual events……as I know ‘em……or at least think of ‘em……whatever.

In my life I have truly been blessed.  Somewhere in one of the  corners of my little mind I have always known this.   But, human nature being what it is I guess I let myself get distracted from time to time.  Over the years I know I have led a fairly interesting life. I’ve never really considered it to be particularly exciting or remarkable until I sit down and take a breath.  Time to take a breath.

In the past I have repeatedly found myself in the position of caregiver.  I have seen what is probably not the very worst, but some really bad shit happen over the years to various friends and family members concerning hospitals and health issues.  For whatever reason, I seem to keep running into some woman in the mirror who is in the middle of helping somebody in the throes of a health crisis.  When there are so many things going on and there doesn’t seem to be anybody else around to lend a hand, it’s like:  the genie wants the day off—aw what the heck,  she’s not doing anything right now.  She can handle things for the time being.  While I don’t really think it’s genetic, I do believe that it can be inherited.  Mine just happens to be both, having come from my mother.  That and my dimples.

How she ever managed to raise the seven of us, live up to the expectations of being my father’s wife, and still greet everyday with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her piercing blue eyes is one of the mysteries of time that will probably never be solved.  Nor should it.  Some jerk would just probably figure out a way to use it for evil, and that would be way too much power.  I blame her for my sense of humor and my Peter Pan/Pollyanna attitude, and I will always feel especially grateful for both.

I don’t think it really dawned on me until I had left the nest that there were other ways to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I did my share of rebelling and thinking my side of the lollypop had all of the fuzz on it, but silly me still thought that most people were basically happy with their lot in life…otherwise, why wouldn’t they do something to change it?  I always did.  Thanks, Mommy.

I didn’t begin to appreciate how unusual it was that my family all liked each other so well.  Not to say that we haven’t had our share of differences in many aspects of day-to-day stuff—but by golly we got along.  We weren’t hit or allowed to do so (at least when anyone who’d tell was looking), and the final outcome was never, ever supposed to leave hurt feelings.  Pretty simple rules, huh?  I can remember one day shortly after both of my folks had passed away, a bunch of my friends were sitting around one day discussing the phenomenon of my family.  Speculation early on was that we’d all be at each others’ throats fighting over the carrion of the parents’ almost sixty year old estate.  Are you kidding me?  Don’t you think for one NTH of a second that each and every one of us kids (AND spouses) weren’t sure that my mom‘d be back here in a heartbeat, forbidding us from behaving so badly toward one and other with Daddy standing there with his hand cupping his chin, looking over her left shoulder with that expression of amused wonder that he frequently wore when it came to her.

In addition to the great fortune of my relatives, I happened across a man from an equally agreeable family…..and I really liked him.  A lot.  So I did something I swore I’d never do again in this lifetime.  I married him.  While I realize that had anyone been making book on this the odds would have been somewhere in the range of “slim-to-none”, it did happen.  The both of us had been on our own for many years and certainly were not interested in dating anyone for any reason, but a mutual friend from beautiful Bandera, Texas got it into his head to get us together.  We finally met for a drink in our hometown (more to get this friend to find another hobby than anything else), and he’s been my one and only since shortly thereafter.

I’m not too sure exactly when it was that our friend realized he needed to make such a recommendation—most likely the fact that I had a seemingly endless supply of cold beer on hand at that time had something to do with it—but I am truly grateful for the tip.  If he were only as good at setting up his own bed as he was in setting up ours, he could probably bring about the advent of world peace.  Or at the very least cooperation……more’n likely it was just a matter of how hard Saturn’s outer rings were pulling on Uranus, now that I’m thinkln’ about it.

At any rate, I’m feeling a bit like that second mouse.  Life as I know it is by no stretch of the imagination perfect, but it’s pretty damned good when you take all things into account.  Now, if I could only come up with those winning lottery numbers……


“Life is tough……it’s even tougher if  you’re stupid.”     —-John Wayne

Disclaimer:  I use too many commas and parentheses, make up words when I deem necessary, and have a penchant for dots, dashes, and run-on sentences (among other moving violations).   I also tend to be a bit long-winded, but it seems to run in the family so it’s probably genetic and I can’t help it. If any of these are known to cause hives,  light-headedness, loud outbursts, or any other unpleasant reactions—just click out of here!!    Still here, huh?  The other thing about most of this schtuff is that what isn’t totally true is based on actual events……as I know ‘em……or at least think of ‘em……whatever.

If you stick with me here, I’ll be dropping some of my personal definitions on y’all…..you know we all have ‘em.  I’d be interested to hear any of yours and what y’all think about mine.  So, without further ado……….

Normal………I can tell you this one thing for sure:  Whatever “normal” is, it is most likely much better than the buildup……the problem is that in reality, very few people ever experience it up close and personal, so they rarely recognize it in time to fully appreciate those warm and fuzzy feelings before the ghost of a memory takes its place.  I consider myself to be a relatively observant individual, and yet I’ve only caught a fleeting glimpse of this “normal” once or twice in my lifetime.  While some people might say out-loud what a total  bore living such an existence would be, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that deep down inside, most of ‘em would gladly trade their lots in life for a regular little slice of it.  I know I sure would.  Of course then you’d have to get into all of the knotty specifications and requirements that need to be met in order for any circumstance to qualify (or “fit in” as the case may be), and the act of coordinating everything so that the cheese comes out even with the crackers can become quite the challenge, if not a total bitch.   Welcome to my world.

That said, show me a person who says he’s happy, knows fully how to operate his remote control and has a healthy feng-shui  plant in his living room, and I’ll guarantee you that in spite of this effort to appear cool and cutting edge and normal, he’s just as screwed up as everybody else, has probably availed himself of the techno-expertise of the nearest neighborhood twelve-year-old, and buys a few new pieces of bamboo every month or two. Now that’s boring, if not a little strange, and quite frankly I don’t see anything the least bit normal about it.    So, there’s your normal in a nut shell, all nice and tidy-like.

Now it is time for me to get back to work trying to figure out how to avail myself of all the “easy to use” features of this blog world, and how the rest of you folks make your blogs look so good and functional.  (groan) I wonder if that’s really normal……..now, where the heck is that twelve-year-old?

Happy Monday, everybody!





Disclaimer:  I use too many commas and parentheses, make up words when I deem necessary, and have a penchant for dots, dashes, and run-on sentences (among other moving violations).   I also tend to be a bit long-winded, but it seems to run in the family so it’s probably genetic and I can’t help it. If any of these are known to cause hives,  light-headedness, loud outbursts, or any other unpleasant reactions—just click out of here!!    Still here, huh?  The other thing about most of this schtuff is that what isn’t totally true is based on actual events……as I know ‘em……or at least think of ‘em……whatever.

If you’ve ever had the great, good fortune to have known somebody who is  really good at figuring things out you’ll know what I’m talking about here.  It just so happens I’m married to one of those people.  Over the years I have been quite pleasantly surprised time and again at the wealth of knowledge this man has garnered from the various aspects of his life experiences.   At the drop of a hat he hauls it out, dusts it off, and puts it to good use; and I have to say he will never cease to amaze me.

A while back when I’d gotten home from work,  I found my sweetheart out here on the patio with what looked to be the innermost parts of our central air conditioning unit scattered all over the place…. pieces and motor lookin’ thing-eys that I have never had the desire to see, much less become familiar with….pieces of an essential factor in the day-to-day comfort and quality of life in these-here parts.   Doing my best to stifle the knot I felt forming in the pit of my stomach, I pasted on a bright smile and joined him amongst a seemingly impossible mess of parts, pieces, wires, and tools.

The season’s temperatures had already been sneaking past 90 degrees, and the inside of the house certainly felt every bit of it.  Despite the fact that the scene had the look and feel of  fallout from some sort of unnatural disaster, I gamely announced my joy at seeing that my “fix-it guy” was on the job.  Receiving a grumble about some silly thing such as being “too old for this kinda crap”, I did a little deep breathing and with fingers crossed, I assumed the position and became  gofer-assistant-sounding board, and “we” set about what appeared (to me) to be the insurmountable task of resurrecting the comfort of our home without having to call in the rescue squad.  (Did I mention that the only things remaining in the unit housing were leaves and dirt?  That became one of my projects by default.)

To sum it all up:  A couple of hours, a couple of trips back to the neighborhood hardware store,  and some scrapes and colorfully inventive language later our efforts were rewarded and we heard the glorious  concert from the perennial favorite “Personal Climate Control”  making a come-back tour with their long-time favorite opening act, “Buzz and Humm”.

After handing my guy a well deserved celebratory cocktail, I was informed with all seriousness that he could fix “anything but a broken heart”.  Somehow I have always know this to be true (though I’m not so sure about that qualifier concerning the heart), but until my recent stint in the hospital I’d had no idea of the meaningful depth of that statement:  and sitting here several months later, I know more than ever what a very lucky lady I am.  Ever since I was returned by the aliens, he has held up remarkably well—all things considered—and continues to hold a steady course as I  (unintentionally) discover new ways to drive him a little  nuttier than he already is.

There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars, and I simply wanted to give credit where it’s due before I get off and onto other things.

I…AM…CONFIDENT!!

……“PLEASE DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD”……Horace Ott, et al.

Disclaimer:  I use too many commas and parentheses, make up words when I deem necessary, and have a penchant for dots, dashes, and run-on sentences (among other moving violations).   I also tend to be a bit long-winded, but it seems to run in the family so it’s probably genetic and I can’t help it. If any of these are known to cause hives,  light-headedness, loud outbursts, or any other unpleasant reactions—just click out of here!!    Still here, huh?  The other thing about most of this schtuff is that what isn’t totally true is based on actual events……as I know ‘em……or at least think of ‘em……whatever.

When one of my brilliant, if not misguided nephews suggested that I start writing a blog he hinted that it might be of some therapeutic value.  I shrugged it off as his way to get me to back off on the number of emails I was sending him.  See, back in May of 2009 I was attacked by a couple of particularly nasty strains of viruses that teamed up hell bent on putting me six feet under, and after a little more’n a week in the hospital and several weeks of home healthcare I am still alive and kickin’ several months later.  The down side is that I am living with a relentless headache that frequently forces me to retreat to the quiet darkness of my bedroom.  In the meantime I have been reduced to finding ways to entertain myself that cause no further brain damage and the least amount of aggravation to my husband. The doctors still refuse to return me to work, and quite frankly at this point I would be hard pressed to do so since I am also still painfully sensitive to lights and noises, especially noises……I’m talkin’ about “if.I.hear.your.fork. clink.on.your.plate.one.more.time.I.am.going.to.take. it.away.and.jam.it.in.your.ear” painful.  Get the picture?  [I don’t think there’s a  greeting card that applies to that particular sentiment but this isn’t exactly something you even want to think, much less say to the one you truly love who may also quite possibly be the only person on the face of this earth who would put up with you and your shit in spite of yourself.] For some reason my imagination and sense of humor (such as it is) both seem to have remained unscathed despite the fact that there may be those who’d wish otherwise.

You know who you are.  Tough shit.

I am a voracious reader. Books have always been a part of my life.  I enjoy many types of novels and have my favorite authors, and prior to my being abducted by aliens—which is how I prefer to think of the unpleasantness that got me into this fix—it was not unusual for me to polish off at least one book a week in addition to loving my husband, working full-time, and occasionally mopping the floors.  In the aftermath of my illness I was devastated to discover that I could no longer tolerate reading for more than a few minutes at a time.  So here I am left with DVD’s, your basic cable, OR the internet, all of which offer only so much to stimulate (what’s left of) my brain—go ahead and call me a whiner.  I took a few laps around the blogosphere, and after lurking for months and leaving the occasional comment, I am ready to try out for the team.

I’ve probably already dumped TMI on y’all about this, but I feel that it’s necessary to let y’all have an idea of whence I come and although I may refer to my health on occasion, this is not intended to be a pity party by any means.  The goal here is to be mildly entertaining to someone other than myself and my darlin’ of a husband…..oh yeah, and my charming nephew. (At least I know I will have one reader for a while. Right,Lil’?)   After all, it is his fault that I decided to dip my toes into the blogging pool and let loose on whoever may pull into my parking space—aren’t mixed metaphors just a hoot?  The following is what transpired when I got home after the aliens were done with me.  It is an excerpt from a letter I wrote on my first night home from the hospital.  I think I must’ve felt the need to have some sort of written record, just in case.

“Enter at your own risk.  There’s been a man, two cats, a litter box, and a refrigerator full of food living alone together here for the last ten days.  I just got back from a week and a half in Europe only to find out that the maid up’n got sick and checked into the hospital right after I left.”  That said, I walked into the living room and flopped onto the couch wearing a pair of sweats, a Pump-Iron t-shirt and my fuchsia colored fake Croc slippers.  I had actually just gotten home from a scary stay in the hospital and was ready to get going on the next leg of my recuperation ……Home Health Care.

And here she was.  Five feet of too blonde, too tan, brassy broad enhanced by six inch stilettos covered with somebody’s idea of what snake skin should look like, and clad in white linen-looking-knock-off shorts, topped off with an amply filled sparkled-ey black spaghetti strap top.  (I’ll let your imagination take care of the cosmetics and various accessories unless it’s already in overload.)  I was waiting to be taught how to treat myself  intravenously with some anti-viral cocktail that was supposed to finish killing off the monsters that had recently waged a sneak attack upon my system, and she was to be my over-seer (!?!). There’s really no good reason to stay in the hospital just to get hooked up to a bag for a couple of hours, a few times a day—right?

Just be Confident.

Her PDA has been buzzing ever since I saw her coming up the sidewalk. (groan) Already over an hour late, she begins the inventory of my supplies, assures her buddies that she will be meeting them for that beer, and advises her teen-age daughter that she “might have to work a little late again tonight, honey.  Better go ahead and figure out your dinner”.  (Brittany….how did I know that this woman would have a daughter named “Brittany”*.)  Talk about your multitasking!  My treatment is supposed to be on a schedule, and even though I know that the powers that be figure in a fair amount of “wiggle-room”—tempus fugit (as my mother used to say)— my window is about to close, and I’d like to get things started.

I am Confident.

She bustles into the kitchen to wash her hands and my beloved, long-suffering husband gallantly hands her a clean cup-towel as I hear her comment on how nice it must be to “just take off for a week and a half like that and go to Europe”.  One quick look at the pained expression on my darling’s face assures me that I had heard her correctly, that I have a relatively good perspective of the situation, and am not simply suffering from some kind of freaky, post-hospital-traumatic-stress-syndrome paranoia.

Confidence can be way over-rated.

Wishing I hadn’t resisted the urge to take that valium earlier, I made an executive decision and deftly popped one into my mouth as we began the introduction to my new routine.  Wiggle-room is running out while winking impishly at Confidence from across the hall, and away we go!  By the time Home Health Care had whirled out of here, I was starting to feel a bit more calm about things and decided that I was up to this job.  I can do this.

Confidence has come back to the party…..unless, of course, it was the valium—in which case, who cares?

*there is absolutely nothing wrong with the name “Brittany”, so please don’t jump my case about this…but c’mon.  Y’all gotta know what I’m talking about.

I am open to suggestions, so let me know how I’m doin’.  There will be changes—-I am looking at the beginner’s side of the learning curve here in this territory that all of y’all seem so at home with, so please bear with me.  At any rate my address will stay the same……at least I’m pretty sure I got that part right……So, here goes!