Monday, March 31, 2003

On my drive to Little Rock the other day, I passed through some of my old "stompin grounds" and the memories began coming to mind again.

My Aunt Ruth used to live not far from Rich, Arkansas and I spent many weekends and lots of fun summers with her. Her husband (my Uncle Billy) and his family had a rice and soybean farm and it was there that I honed my driving skills. If a key was left in it, it was the ride for the day, so we learned to drive everything from tractors to pickups. Since they had 4 boys, it was a big change for them to have the "girls" around and I think there were many occasions when we (my sisters and I) entertained them greatly. Aunt Ruth was my mom's youngest sister and was only 13 when I was born so she became surrogate mother, sometimes sister, and my very best friend until her early death in March, 1982. I miss her terribly and not a day goes by that I don't think of her. She had a magnificent sense of humor and we sure had some good times.

Once, while I was away in England, Aunt Ruth took my two sisters and a cousin to the movies to see "Love Story". My sister Paula can sometimes be very emotional and I was told that she sniffed and sobbed thoroughout the movie. At one point she asked Aunt Ruth if she had a tissue and being someone who is always prepared, Auntie digs around in her huge purse and hands my sister something to blow her nose on. Finally the movie ends and they walk up the aisle, Paula is still sniffing, still wiping her eyes, blowing her nose, when they exit into the lobby where she notices Terri, my youngest sister, and my Aunt laughing at her. She looks around, finally looks down, and sees in her hand a sanitary pad. Having not found a tissue, Aunt Ruth figured this was the next best thing and dingbat that she is, my sister never noticed!

Saturday, March 29, 2003

On my drive in to work this morning I wasn't so much in my zone as usual so I happened to notice a lady walking beside the highway outside of a little town that I pass through. On most commutes I notice very little and I'm not quite sure at times how I actually get there, but this lady's attire caught my attention pretty quickly. She was dressed mostly in black, in a flowing sort of jacket type thing, wore full-cut pants, hair piled high with what looked to be extensions dangling down on each side of her face and through her nose was a stick that looked to be about the length of a chopstick.

I bet you are wondering how I would notice so much in passing. Well we don't get that many "fashion statements" down here in these parts and since I was creeping through a school zone (the small town cops are hell down here, Saturday or not), this scene pretty much jumped out and grabbed me. Now I'm wondering if a new tribe has moved into the area or if this is perhaps the local voodoo lady??
Every morning, around 5:30, our neighbor comes over to have coffee with my husband. Since he is also a farm manager for the same corporation, they often do a lot of farming while sipping their hot brews. Although I'm an early riser, I am not a morning person and normally I hear and see very little until I've consumed a pint or so of coffee and have stared at the wall for a bit. This morning was one of the few times that I was awake enough to actually hear some of their conversation.

They were discussing the trials and tribulations of having farm labor. Hubby was telling Jeffrey (the neighbor) about the Mexican laborers that his grandfather used to have brought in by the busloads during the spring to chop cotton and again in the fall to pick it. Not being able to pronounce their names and the laborers not being able to tell them how, they devised a system for keeping up with what was owed to which by giving them a bingo number as soon as they stepped off the bus. They were paid, in cash, at the end of every work day, no number, no pay.

One of the long standing problems with some of the farm labor down here in the delta is having them show up for work after a day off. After working hellous hours all week, usually the first thing they do on a day off is buy beer or whiskey and spend their leisure time getting drunk and partying. Then, come Monday morning, the hangovers make it torture to get up and return to the fields.

Hubby says that EVERY Monday morning, while the immigrant labor was working, the sheriff's office would call with a list of bingo numbers and his grandfather would go to town to get the offenders out of jail so they could get back to work.

Friday, March 28, 2003

When I was a kid, for about 7 years or so, we lived across the road from my mother's parents. My grandfather was a farmer and sawmill man and grandma did the housewife things and also helped out in the fields. Since our mother worked and our father was who knows where, we pretty much had the run of the farm. We knew the best trees for climbing, the best pear, plum, or mulberry trees for a snack, and knew the location of every wild blackberry, dewberry thicket, and muscadine vine in a 5 mile radius. Hog Tusk Creek divided the farm and we spent many good times in the woods by the creek swinging on vines and building forts. I can't remember spending much time indoors cause there was always so many things to do out in the woods or fields to waste too much time being cooped in by walls.

The best times were the summers when our city cousins used to visit. Those boys had no clue about country life for a while there. Of course it didn't take them too killin long to find out in self defense. By the end of one 2 week visit with us, I sported a wound between thumb and index finger of my left hand from being delegated hole puncher for a jar lid to hold our frog collection. (Grandpa sure kept Grandma's butcher knife honed up fine). My youngest sister had a shovel-shaped gash in the top of her foot from our worm digging expedition (we had planned to go fishing that day). And the middle cousin was slightly traumatized after we put a bubble bee down his pants one day during a game of hide & seek (we didn't tell him that it was dead until later).

In August of 2001 my two sisters and I were able to get together with those three cousins for the first time in about 27 years and we had a wonderful time remembering all the "back whens". You know, I'm surprised they ever forgave us (grin).
It's gonna storm, and I had to take my truck back to the shop today. Lovely, huh? While driving home in a loaner car that made me feel as though I were sitting on the ground, I noticed up ahead a forrest of flying, flapping, flags and streamers and I'm thinking to myself, "oh goodie, a rally or a super sale?" Once I got closer I saw the little wooden soldiers lined up also and was really becoming curious. Well, twas not a rally or a sale folks and I'm quite sure I've never seen the likes of this sort of thing before in my entire life (up till now).

The splendid event was an OPEN HOUSE for a funeral home!! Now really, is business THAT bad?

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Feeling a little puny, but I got this much done. Webshots! The latest photos are in the 2003 album.
Powell Quote

When in England at a fairly large conference,
Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury
if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
empire building by George Bush.

He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the
United States has sent many of its fine young men
and women into great peril to fight for freedom
beyond our borders. The only amount of land we
have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those
that did not return."

It became very quiet in the room.

Yep, I'm thankful!, for having indoor plumbing cause I'm not partial to spiders and snakes and smelly old outhouses.
For being able to eat and pay the bills AT THE SAME TIME! For shoes and clothes that fit and for having enough of them that I don't have to wear the same thing three times in the same 7 day period. For the right to say NO, or FUCK, or I disagree, even if they may not be appropriate at any given time. For having a home, with heat and a/c, cause I remember not having much of one in days past so that when it rained or snowed there was almost as much participition inside as there was out. For my healthy children who can choose what they want to do with their lives and even if it doesn't amount to much, they have the choice. For being able to choose what I want to read and what I want to hear. Yes, I do believe I'm thankful.
Ok, I'm back in the delta after slipping away to the center of this great state for a few hours. The interstate traffic and construction weren't so bad this trip so I made it to our capital city in just under 2 hours and went directly to McCain Mall and the JC Penny sales. I really racked up in the children's department where I found some lovely little denim jumpers for 3 of the girls with cute little shirts to go underneath. I found capri outfits for the two older girls and a darling pink onesie for baby Lexi. Zach did a search and destroy among the racks and found a new spiderman shirt to which he became attached. And I also found the basic denim shorts and tees needed for school that we went shopping for in the first place! I then found himself a couple pairs of knock-around shorts, and a pair of sandals and two capri outfits for yours truly. Now, don't get it into your head that I'm one of those people that lives to shop or any such foolishness as that, all of this purchasing was done in about 1 hour, in one store! My idea of an excellent shopping trip is either online or on the phone with everything being IN STOCK!! Or, wandering around antique or the occasional junk shop to seek out the funky sort of earrings I adore and other wonderful stuff such as that. I've mentioned before, Martha Stewart, I AIN'T!

Since we had time to kill before my daughter was off work for the day, we decided to go to the Zoo and check out the animals. The Zoo in Little Rock is not very well planned. We walked for about 2 hours and did not find even half of the animals I think. It's a very small Zoo compared to some I've been to, but not laid out very well at all. Also the animals looked about as tired and discouraged as I sometimes feel. Zach is still talking about the tongue on that Giraffe though so I think he had a good time. I'm thinking we'll have to gather all the girls and their mommies and go to the Zoo in Memphis sometime this summer.

I spent a little time this morning, before the drive home, at my granddaughter's daycare. Ms. Niki really does amazing things with the kids and has them all learning together from toddlers to preschoolers. I had a good time listening and learning and I took some great photos that I'll post soon to my family website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Shopped till I dropped..went to the Zoo, had a nice dinner out and this ole gal is going to sack out on the sofa. I hope everyone had a lovely day today!!!!
Country sun don't set on a big city sky line
It's another world all together
City streets ain't no place to go huntin'
Can't see the stars, can't read the weather

Where I come from it's wide open spaces
Hills and hollers, spirits running free
It's in your blood just like the sun's up in the sky
Where I come from it's hard to leave

Brick and concrete just make alleys and gutters
The Lord knows that's rocky ground for plowin'
City folks live stacked up on each other
And wake up to the sound of sirens

--John Anderson
After a day of excitement with Zach which included trying to fly his kite (which he pronounces kike), watching Dexter on the Toon Disney channel, eating a dozen cool pops, and reading a few more pages of his Ghost Buster's book, the day wound down with a power outage just as I was in the midst of cooking dinner. To keep him from freaking out, we cuddled up on the loveseat where I hoped we would enjoy some quiet time. I had my eyes closed, enjoying the peace, when this little voice says, "Nanaw, we are not alone in here." This leads to a discussion about ghosts and monsters with myself insisting that there are none, and his equal insistance that "THERE ARE TOO!" Every few minutes he would go to the door and look out to see if his PopPop was coming in from work yet. During one trip he noticed the stars and wondered why they had power cause they were "lit Up". This led to another discussion about star light and electricity. So much for quiet time.

Zach and I are going to Little Rock today to do some shopping and will spend the night with my daughter and two granddaughters there. He needs new spring and summer things, I need a new pair of earth sandals. Wish us luck!!

Monday, March 24, 2003

1 C cornmeal
1 C self rising flour
1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 egg beaten
3/4 C buttermilk
3 C vegetable oil or use the oil that the fish was deep fried in.

Mix dry ingredients and onion together. Mix in the egg and buttermilk. This will be a thick mixture. Let sit for 1/2 hour.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet/wok to 375 degrees. Drop by teaspoons into the pan. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, serve immediately with ketsup, butter, malt vinegar or honey. Goes great with southern fried catfish or other fish.

I also do variations using minced vegetables in the batter and jalapeno peppers, sometimes a little creamed style corn as well.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

It's A Small World
An elderly couple was driving across the country. While the woman was behind the wheel, the couple was pulled over by the highway patrol.

"Ma'am, did you know you were speeding?" the officer said.

The woman, hard of hearing, turned to her husband and asked, "What did he say?"

"He said you were speeding!" the old man yelled.

The patrolman then asked, "May I see your license?"

The woman turned to her husband again, "What did he say?"

The old man yelled back, "He wants to see your license!"

The woman then gave the officer her license.

"I see you are from Arkansas," the patrolman said. "I spent some time there once and went on a blind date with the ugliest woman I've ever seen."

The woman turned to her husband again and asked, "What did he say?"

The old man replied, "He said he knows you
The Boss. When God made man, there was only the one, and the various parts of the body argued about who would be the boss.
The hands said they should because they did the manual work.

The feet thought they should because they took man to where he could do the work and get food.

The stomach thought it should be boss because it digested the food that kept all the body bodys working.

The heart thought it should be because it pumped the blood that allowed the food to be digested by the stomach and reach the body.

The brain said, "No, I have to send all the signals to get each of you to do your job. Therefore, I am the boss."

The asshole said, "No, no, no... I should be the boss." Well all the other parts of the body laughed at the asshole. The asshole got made and said "I'll show you who's boss", and clogged up the works.

After a few days, the stomach ached .....the hands were practically helpless .....the feet could not carry the body .....the heart was about ready to stop pumping blood .....the brain's signals were being ignored and finally, the body died.

The moral of this story is don't have to be a brain to be the boss, just an ass-hole.
AaaaaaaaEEeeeeee I'm tired today! But the shed's all cleared out and tidy, I've made a start on getting a filing system up and going after a year of clutter in my little home office, and I'm making a little dent in the laundry (they seem to make more than I can get done!). The weather was perfect today with temperatures in the mid 70's and the sun out all day. The patio furniture is all shiny and clean and on the deck ( where we sat for a bit this afternoon and had coffee with visitors.) Our neighbor went fishing this morning and brought home crappie that we cleaned and had for supper with some steak fries, hush puppies and raw veggies. It was a good day. Now, if this war busness were over things would be right with the world and our sleep would be so sweet. I'll be tied down with a 6 yr old on Spring break this coming week...ya'll pray for me!!!

Oh yeah, I'm still not driving a red truck.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

"the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

Samuel P. Huntington

I read this quote in Raed's blog a few minutes ago and it made me wish that each and every person who has lived under the tyrant regimes in the middle east could come to us in the West and only then would they begin to understand freedom. But then, it would take living like they have to for us to understand just what it is that we take for granted.
Children and nursing,,,hmmmm. What can I say but I've been there and done that. While reading Kat's blog I gave a little thought to the past again.

I nursed 2 of my 3 children in order to allow my body to return to, what my doctor described as, the normal state of things. The babies thrived on it, but it took a lot of contriving and planning on my part to nourish my children in this way. In the 70's it was not an especially common thing for one to expose a nipple out in public and offer it to a greedy, wiggling, crying bundle. I managed with blankets, front buttoning shirts, and those dreadful nursing bras and by finding as private a spot as I could to do it. Needless to say, I stayed at home a LOT!! It's easy enough to feed your child while visiting with family when you're bottle feeding, but try it when you are nursing and you end up with the entire room focusing on that slurping noise coming out from under the blankie that you have draped over a shoulder to hide the action. Mind you, I'm not ashamed of my melons, but when a hungry mouth (at some point with TEETH) is sucking greedily upon those melons, one finds it most difficult to feel attractive.

When my daughters asked me about nursing I told them it was the natural thing to do because, hell, that's the actual purpose of your tits, right? BUT, I also shared with them the experiences I'd had and told them to think long and hard about their choices because nursing would definately be an unwanted attention grabber.

Yesterday was so busy and full of disappointment that I didn't even log on other than for a few minutes in the early morning. I took Zach to school and then drove up to Forrest City to check for IRS acknowledgements at the office (this took a full 10 minutes), then I drove to another small town about 20 miles further north to take my truck to the shop. I had noticed on one of the warmer days that my climate control would not change off of the heat setting. That is not a good thing in Arkansas where spring, summer and fall days can mean 100% humidity and 100+ temperatures. My husband had made the remark that I should look at the new trucks while I was at the Ford place, and see what they'd give me as a trade-in for my truck, so while they were checking out my climate control and doing the repairs, I wandered around the lot with a salesman and found two trucks that I had a great interest in.

The first one was a 2002 model with extremely low miles, dark green in color with a beige strip along the bottom, a stepside, extended cab, loaded with all the goodies a southern lady would desire. BUT, I fell in love with a red 2003 F150 extended cab with a beige strip along the bottom. It had the Tritan V8 engine that was the same as the truck I'm currently driving and all the bells and whistles and I want THAT truck sooooo BAD!! I was very excited when I called hubby from my cell while dickering with the salesman. I'd gotten him to come off the sticker price by $2000 and with rebate had gotten the truck down to what I thought was a reasonable price. They were giving me what I thought my truck was worth as a trade-in also so I really had it in mind that I was going to drive THAT truck home. WRONG!!

He was not pleased with the price of the truck. End of story ( other than the fact that I now feel that he lied to me and if I don't get that truck, he's going to be a cold and lonely man in the future!!!)

OH, and I forgot, the problem with the climate control? A fuse!! $205.00 to change a blown FUSE that hubby had previously checked before sending me to get repairs made. How fucking blonde is THAT?

Thursday, March 20, 2003

I've found a little web spot that'll forever hold a place in my heart. Ya'll go take a look.
A Smart Little Boy

Old man sitting on his front porch in Louisiana watching the sunrise sees the neighbor's kid walk by carrying something big under his arm.

He yells out, "Hey boy, whatcha got there?"

The boy yells back, "Roll of chicken wire."

The old man says, "What you gonna do with that?"

The boy says, "Catch some chickens."

The old man yells, "You damn fool, you can't catch chickens with chicken wire!"

The boy just laughs and keeps walking.

That evening at sunset the boy comes walking by and to the old man's surprise, he is dragging behind him the chicken wire with about 30 chickens caught in it.

At the same time the next morning, the old man is out watching the sunrise and he sees the boy walk by carrying something kind of round in his hand.

The old man yells out, "Hey boy, whatcha got there?"

The boy yells back, "Roll of duck tape."

The old man says, "What you gonna do with that?"

The boy says back, "Catch me some ducks."

The old man yells back, "You damn fool, you can't catch ducks with duck tape!"

The boy just laughs and keeps walking.

That night, around sunset, the boy walks by coming home and to the old man's amazement, he is trailing behind him the unrolled roll of duck tape with about 35 ducks caught in it.

At the same time the next morning, the old man sees the boy walking by carrying what looks like a long reed with something fuzzy on the end.

The old man says, "Hey boy, whatcha got there?"

The boy says, "It's a pussy willow."

The old man says, "Hold on, I'll get my hat."
A cloudy, windy day here. I've been out and about this morning. I worked for awhile at one of the companies I do specialty work for, then bought a few groceries that were needed. My last stop on the way home was to fill up with gas and here is where I was nearly creamed by a little old dear in a huge ol Lincoln. She had pulled up to the gas pumps in a way that blocked all 4 of the pumps and I tried to be cautious and stayed back a bit to wait for her to finish her business instead of manuvering in there to get my gas. The attendant pumped $10.00 worth of gas for her and still she sat there going through her pocketbook for an additional 20 minutes. This little lady had oodles of room in which to pull out and be on her way,,but she backs up, comes forward,,comes forward,,COMES forward,,until I lost my nerve and backed up. She still nearly clipped me on the right as she pulled away.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Whew,,,It took awhile but I did it. I ordered myself a desk chair a few days ago and it arrived last evening. I unpacked it this morning and after reading through the directions (all 4 of them) I began to put it together. After using hands, feet, legs, arms and my shoulder, I finally gave it up for awhile. I couldn't hold the back in position to attach the arms and seat to it. So then I had a nice, calming chat with Kat, took a few deep breaths, had a left-over stuffed pepper, and went back to work on the chair. At last I got all the screws in the right holes after only unscrewing them about 3 times to turn things a different way. It looked like a chair, but after sitting in it and leaning back in it, I realized that the base thingy on the bottom of the seat was on backwards. I knew this had to be the problem since the back was ramrod straight and would not let me recline in the least. At this point, I unended the damned thing, took 3 screws out and loosened the last one, spun it around and began screwing again. And TRA LA!!! YEEE HAAAAWWW!! YIPPEEE!!! After only 4 hours of fiddling, straining and cursing I have a new office chair!!

Taking a bow now............
Duct Tape Fashions
Well Whatda ya know!!

Nearly half of all the duct tape sold in America is manufactured by Henkel Consumer Adhesives of Avon, OH. Henkel founder Jack Kahl gave more than $100,000 to Republicans in the 2000 elections. - The Washington Post, as reported in "This Week," March 7 issue.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

What's the difference between a good ol' boy and a redneck?

The good ol' boy raises livestock. The redneck gets emotionally
I've been to the hair salon this morning to get this mop of mine tamed a bit and after 2 hours of sitting in this chair or that I treated myself to Kung Pao Chicken at the August Moon Chinese/American restaurant in West Helena for lunch. This is one of the little gathering places for men to have a fast, fill-em-up, lunch when they only have a short time off work for lunch. In the main dining area is what I call a "gather round" table, where all the old fogies and their mid-aged-soon-to-be old fogies sit and discuss the problems of the world. Today, while having my lunch at a little table nearby I took notice of their main topic of the day which of course was the pending war with Iraq. As I studied their faces I noticed the glimmer in every eye as they discussed the atrocities of Saddam and his army of terrorists, and their faces were alight at the thought of how America was going to get in there and "kick ass". The excitment was electric amongst them as they argued about how many hours were left in the countdown. One old guy was shoveling food into his mouth as he asked another if he'd seen the news report about how Saddam had removed the eyes of women for disagreeing with him. As I sat there I realized that I was seeing the same look, the same excitment and anticipation as I'd seen on the faces of hunters over the years. I wanted to tell them,,"hey, these aren't deer, or rabbits, or quail, these are living, breathing, people!" I don't understand any of this,,,,,but then, I'm not a hunter.

Monday, March 17, 2003

I'm sittin here listening to Joe Diffie while surfing and every time this song comes on I think of how appropriate it is to life:-) Well,,my life anyway!

Third Rock From The Sun

She walks into Smokey's
one hip at a time
Like a broken field runner
slippin' through the lines
He likes the way she looks
so he calls up his wife
says don't wait up for me,
I'll be workin late tonight.
Wife hangs up the phone burst tears
calls her sister up and cries get over here.

Sister tells her boyfriend be back in awhile
boyfriends wants a beer, the store is just a mile.
Leaves the motor runnin' he'll only be a minute,
his car drives away with teenagers in it.
Driver tells his buddies, got one life to live
they scream into the night, lets get it over with.


Cause and effect, chain of events,
all of the caos makes perfect sense,
when we're spinnin' round,
things come undone.
Welcome to the earth, third rock from the sun.

The kid guns the gas, car starts to swerve
Heads for a semi-truck, jumps the curb
Truck hits a bigboy in the Shoney's parking lot
Flies through the air, takes out the bank clock
Clock strikes a light pole, transformer sparks
lines go down, town goes dark.

Waitress calls the cops says she saw it all
swears a giant alien has landed at the mall
Cops ring up the mayor says there's panic in the street,
hate to wake you up but we cant find the chief,
mayor says use your head, if he ain't in his car
he's hiding from his wife, down at Smokey's bar


It's been a nice day today. I've had a mostly quiet day at home alone and I was able to chat for awhile on IM with Katrina who always manages to make me laugh on my worst days. We did plenty of nattering back and forth and she made me recall an event that she suggested I share in my blog today.

I was an airforce brat, lived all over for the first 6 years of my life, but from age 6 to age 14 I lived in a little spot in the country on a farm near Moro, Arkansas. My grandparents (mom's parents) lived across the dirt lane from us. Our little houses out in the country didn't have indoor plumbing other than cold water in the kitchen and this meant that our toilet was a good 75 yds or so from the house. Kat called it a privy but we called it the outhouse and I hated that dreadful thing. But that's another story,,,,

My chores this day included burning the trash which we did in a barrel out across the dirt lane (we lived at the end). My mother told me to keep a close watch on the fire since it was very dry and windy (which it normally is in Arkansas in late August). To save time I decided to contain the blaze by placing a box on top of the barrel. My 11 year old brain did not conceive of this being a bad idea,,,at that time. Well when that box blew off, all afire of course, it set the tall, dry grass on fire in the pasture adjoining our yard. This happened to be where the barn and the dreaded outhouse were located. About 2 hours later, after fighting to keep the fire away from the house (luckily the wind was blowing out of the northeast that day) it took the barn and the outhouse and about 50 acres of a rice field that had been harvested already (thank goodness or I'd not be alive telling this today.) We fought that fire with a tiny water hose and mops and brooms and my youngest sister (who was 7 at the time) screamed and cried the entire time..I sure was glad that she distracted my mother so much. She got the whipping for making all that racket and she was too tired to whip me for burning down the outhouse.

Friday, March 14, 2003

The Tour Continues:

In Helena, Arkansas we will stop in at the Delta Cultural Center and learn a little bit about the history of the area in which I live. This is located in the old train depot. There are some great old photos of the way folks lived back in the time when Helena was a thriving river port. Then we'll take a stroll down Cherry Street and look in on all the antique and junk shops. For lunch we'll stop in to see Pat at the Cherry Street Deli which he's decorated with all the junk and antiques that's he's collected over the years. Almost every inch of the walls and ceiling are covered with his treasures. During lunch we can add our own little message on his wall so visitors in the future will know we've been there. Then a nice way to end the day would be a stroll along the levee and then take a drive down to the River Park where we can stand on the boardwalk amid the willows, oaks, maples and kudzu and gaze upon the Mighty Mississippi River. If it's nearing dusk and the mosquitos aren't carrying us away, we will see the glaringly colorful sign from the Isle of Capri Casino across the river before we head on over to West Helena and have dinner at El Caniveral.
Arkansas has its own foibles too. Dry counties are a prime example. In dry counties alcoholic beverages cannot be sold or openly consumed. This creates two kinds of opportunities for Entrepreneurs: (1) Owning a dispensing joint on the very border of the closest wet county. (2) Delivering Spirits to those who don't find it convenient to visit the closest source of supply.
It was an established fact to law enforcement officers in the county that Uncle Bert was a traveling supplier of spirits. They were determined to run him out of the county at all costs. Uncle Bert stayed out of their clutches with an admirable mixture of brains, speed, and the luck of the Irish.
One day he was going down a dark alley when he noticed that he had been spotted by a local policeman. Uncle Bert hurried to the end of the alley, began ditching the bottles from his suitcase. But he was thinking even as he unloaded them -- that would leave him wagging an empty suitcase; a suspicious activity if there ever was one!
Uncle Bert's quick wits saved him. There was a little brown dog snuffling at the garbage can for food. Uncle Bert scooped him up and stuffed the dog inside his suitcase. Just then the policeman rounded the corner and Uncle Bert snapped the suitcase shut and began running. Now he may be old, but when Uncle Bert runs, he can pick them up and lay them down with vicious determination.
Whistles blew, sirens screamed, patrol cars screeched. It was Bert, Bert, Bert Wilkerson they were after and no matter how hard he dodged and fled, they finally ran him down in a blind alley.
"We've got you now Bert," they crowed. "We've got you dead to rights with the goods onye."
"No you ain't," Uncle Bert declared as he clutched his suitcase defensively to his chest.
"You've got whiskey in there. We know it. You know it. You know we know it."
By that time a sizable crowd had gathered, but most of them were customers of Uncle Bert's who had been waiting up on him. "Don't let them look in MY suitcase without probable cause," Uncle Bert pleaded with the crowd.
There was an angry growl from the crowd and everything might have been okay, but just then a tiny little trickle began dripping from the bottom end of the suitcase. The toughest policeman there stretched forth a hand and wetted a finger. Then he sucked the sauce off his finger. "It's whiskey," he yelled at the crowd behind his shoulder. "Open it up Bert!"
Every eye there was upon him as Uncle Bert kneeled and reluctantly opened up his suitcase. The dog jumped out at the first crack of light, yelping piteously as it ran off.
And the rest is history. Uncle Bert is still distributing his merchandise in the county; it was the police that left the state.

I HAVE to buy another bed! I'm getting too danged old and cranky to be removing myself to the couch almost every night due to the noises coming from hubby's side of the bed that keep me from going to sleep. Murderous thoughts creep into my mind whilst lying there after an hour or so. I shake, kick, and prod him and have even resorted to yelling at him to pleasssseee stop. Often he will wake up then and tell me that he wasn't even asleep. I told him that if he's making those noises knowingly, then there is something drastically wrong and he should see a doctor immediately. Something has to be done. Maybe if I move to another room he'll decide that he really should see a doc cause if I don't get a good night's sleep soon, I am going to go insane!

Ok, enough of that....

All this talk of war is depressing the hell out of me. Even the Morning Crew on Rock103 was all gung-ho and patriotic this morning. This is annoying since I depend on them to at least get a smile out of me before I get to the office. I don't WANT to go to war. I didn't WANT to see thousands of people, who hadn't done a damn thing but go to work, die in the tragedy on 9/11. I don't WANT to have to worry about my drinking water or the air I breath. I don't LIKE paying $40.00 for a tank of gas that won't even last a week when I'm having to commute this far this time of the year. I don't LIKE not having a choice in my mode of transportation either since there are no buses or passenger trains in my part of the world to get me there any cheaper.
I just want to be left alone here, in my little spot in the delta, where you know your neighbors even if they do live a few miles down the road from you and it costs you a fortune to drive to see them.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Delta Tourist Guide:
Gotta go to Graceland!! Elvis Presley's Mansion is a must see for anyone visiting the midsouth. 70's style shag carpet and ultra posh tastelessness in the abode but a vision which draws great crowds. I've taken visitors on several occasions and mope through the mansion just so I can get to the museums which are much more entertaining. (he sure had some neat cars!)

Next stop is Beal Street, one of the many homes of the blues. We'll stop in and have drinks at some of the cafes there and hope the live performers will be out and about.

On the drive home, we'll stop in Robinsonville in Tunica county Mississippi and have a go at a couple of the loose slot machines. It's an amazing sight to see all those hotels and casinos out in the middle of cotton and bean fields. Then 10 or 20 dollars poorer, we'll mosey on down Hwy 61 and cross the river to Helena.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Things are slow here today at the tax office so I just finished reading "Little Altars Everywhere", an excellent take you away novel by Rebecca Wells (She also wrote "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood). One of my favorite paragraphs in the book is a narration by the old negro farm hand, Chaney.

"You don't get no trophies for livin the life you born into. It just be your job, and you lucky if you can do the work set out in front of you and not fret if it seem puny. Maybe the Good Lord ain't give us nothin BUT puny things. Little bitta things sparkin through our days and nights. In the fields and in the mornin air, little bitta things that if you blink your eye, they be gone and ain't never comin back."

After I capture the Ya-Ya book back from my daughter, who loves to borrow and is slow to return, I'm going to send these two books to Katrina because I really think she'll enjoy them as much as I did.

Reading Kat's blog always tends to jog my memory banks about things I'd forgotten about. This morning as I was reading about her father's mumblings over the neighbor's dandelion patch, I recalled little bits about being 5 and living in Duluth, Minnesota while my daddy was stationed there. Image flashes of huge mountains of snow, great hills for sledding, and cool spring air full of the scent of lilacs came to my mind. And dandelions, those things were everywhere. Now we have dandelions down here in Arkansas, but they are nowhere nearly as magnificient as those in the north. Being simple country kids I think we thought they were wildflowers of some sort cause I remember picking them and going door to door selling them for a penny to spend on licorace whips. I'm sure those yankee housewives thought we were out of our minds but nonetheless we gathered quite a few pennies that spring.
Life was great!!
Many, MANY, thanks to Carl for his kind patience in getting my comments section to work!! Now that we've got the ball rolling, I'm hoping to see COMMENTS sweet friends!

I've been in to read Kat's blog this morning and the smile on my face should last me through the day. I adore her stories about growing up in Winnipeg and her family. I could chat with her for days (and we hope to do that soon too!) but right now all we have is IM which we get around to when our schedules will allow us the time. Get your comments up and going Kat!!

I've been thinking of adventures to share with Kat while she is visiting me next year. Let me be pondering on it a bit and I'll be telling you of my ideas to introduce Kat to the ways of the south in future blogs. Got to head out to work now, ya'll have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I'm working on a comment thingy,,not having much luck
Things Rednecks Will Never Say

I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.
Duct tape won't fix that. (heh, my favorite again)
Honey, I think we should sell the pickup and buy a family sedan.
Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.
We don't keep firearms in this house.
Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
You can't feed that to the dog.
I thought Graceland was tacky.
No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.

Monday, March 10, 2003

While sitting on the pot for a quick tinkle yesterday, I spotted toothpaste on the bathroom carpet and in trying to remove it I began to think of things I've learned from living day to day over the years. From time to time I'll share some of these great brain bubbles with you and would greatly appreciate having others share theirs with me.

Also, I hope that by writing them down, I won't forget
and fuck up by having to relearn them.

Life Lessons I've Learned:
1. Dried toothpaste would make a good substitute for cement.
2. My mom was right, your difference can be split. Proof of this comes from icy steps in the winter.
3. Your wet tongue WILL stick to a frozen metal ice tray, AND the skin will eventually grow back on your tongue.
4. God gives us children as a way of punishment for all the bad things we did as children and thought we got away with.
5. There is safety in numbers. At the very least you will have someone to cheer you on whilst getting your ass whipped.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

A good friend will come bail you out of
> jail.............
> but, a true friend will be sitting next to you
> saying,
> "Damn we fucked up!!!!."

Now that's what friendship is all about people!! Kat popped into my mind and my heart less than a year ago and when I saw this it reminded me of our friendship. She'd be right there with me, I'm sure of it!! It's been a very long time since I've had a friend that I could say that about. A few months ago, she and I were chatting on messenger and I told her of the last close friendship that I'd had and relayed to her that this long ago friend was dying of cancer. Well she died earlier this month and I never did go to see her one last time, but I did forgive her and I think she knows that. Thanks to Kat, I feel ok with it too. I can remember the fun we had without regrets about the last several years of silence getting in the way.

Hmmm,,,but when we fuck up Kat,,let's stay out of jail, ok? (grin).

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Hey, Hey! Been a lot busier today, had em waitin in line to pay Uncle Sam there for a while, but I'm taking a few to log on here and post a few words before that long drive home. I reckon I'm probably going to be grounded once I get there though. I was doing my Zone thing whilst cruising into work this morning with my old Vanilla Ice music bumpin on the player when I passed this car. He let me get a good ways in front of him before he turned on the flashing lights. Is it legal in America to have state troopers driving unmarked cars these days? However, I listened to a lecture from a punk-assed kid in uniform and I must have looked attentive and respectful enough because he just gave me a warning. But wait, I won't have to tell himself about that will I? Does a warning show up on an insurance report?

Friday, March 07, 2003

A really slow day here at the office. I've done all of the filing, played about 100 games of solitare, gazed wistfully out the windows at the lovely sunshine that we're finally having (and it's about 70 out there too), had a 10 minute snooze in one of my wing chairs, read a bit from my book of choice for the week (Little Altars Everywhere), and I've looked up and downloaded per diem allowances for a client who's supposed to be in today. In other words, bored outta my gourd!

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Sometimes we just need to Remember what the 12 Rules of Life really are...

1. Never Give Yourself a Haircut After Three Margaritas.

2. You need only two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape.

If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40.

If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape. (heh,,I LOVE duct tape)

3. The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship are "I apologize" and "you are right."

4. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

5. Never pass up an opportunity to visit the restroom.

6. If he/she says that you are too good for him/her -- believe them.

7. Learn to pick your battles:

Ask yourself, "Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?"

8. When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.

9. If You Woke up Breathing, Congratulations! You have another chance!

10. Living Well Really is The Best Revenge.

Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just might mean that the other person was right about you.

11. Work is Good, but it's Not That Important.

Money is Nice, But You Can't Take It With You.

Statistics show most people don't live to spend all they saved -- some die even before they retire.

And everything we have isn't really ours -- it was given to us by God; He just lets us borrow it while we're here...even our kids.

12. And Finally ... Be Really Good To Your Family and/or Friends.

You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan.

Once, a long time ago, I was discussing age with a friend. I don't remember ever being young, I've always felt older, so when I turned 40 my friend asked me if I felt "over the hill". My honest response was that I had finally reached the age that I'd always felt I was. I don't remember ever having the same thought processes as people my own age until I turned 40. I was always more comfortable and more in tune with people who were older than I was. Ok,,now on to the real story.,,,

I have one cousin who for the past 32 years has lived near me. She was about 11 when I was born so was a teenager when I was in grade school. Since my marriage (many moons ago) she has always called me for advice about things. This sort of stunned me at first because, hell, who am I to give advice?? Then after pondering it for a bit, I decided that it was this age thing again. Maybe she sees me as an equal, you know? (damn this could get deep!). Anyway, what I'm leading up to was an incident that happened last week.

Judy's husband died as the result of an accident almost 3 years ago and this past year she has been overcoming her grief somewhat and is dating again. About 3 times a week she stops by or calls to share her experiences with me. Last Friday she came by the office and brought breakfast and settled down to chat about this guy she'd been seeing but had decided not to see again. I'm sitting there sipping my coffee, responding with occasional hmmms,,while letting her do her venting.
Suddenly she says, "AND do you know what he asked me?" I responded with, "what"? She said, "He asked me if I did head, and I asked him,,what? He told me what he meant and I said OH HELL NO!!". Folks, let me give you a warning, DO NOT have a mouthful of coffee when your 59 year old cousin tells you something of this nature. I spewed coffee across my desk, splattering client files, computer screen and the floor beyond. Then I laughed so hard that I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom for fear of peeing on myself. Throughout all of this she's sitting there,,saying, " What?, What'd I do?"

After I calmed down a little and could look at her without laughing, I told her that it was "give head" and that oral sex was pretty much a common thing these days. I'm still in awe at how innocent she is in the midst of the times we are living in but oh well, she's got old nanny Brenda to lean on and educate her during these puzzling instances (still laughing).

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

While reading Kat's blog, I had to agree with her about the nature sounds which are supposed to be relaxing for those who listen to them.
The only sound I really want when relaxing or trying to go to sleep is the sound of the ceiling fan. The music I listen to depends totally on the mood I'm in. One of my favorite music artists is John Anderson because of his variety and because there is absolutely nothing he sings that I don't like. I went to one of his concerts a few years ago and after a few trips to the bar I was Swinging right along with him! I was raised amid a family of musically talented folk and although I was not blessed with a smidgen of the talent, I sure did learn the love of music.
I believe it's the only thing I can truthfully thank my father for.

Family get-togethers never ended without a kin folk concert of singing accompanied by fiddles, guitars, banjos, and even drums occasionally. All of my father's sisters and brothers (all 11 of them) could sing and play and instrument or two, everyone was self-taught, and even those of us that were left out of the talent pool were moved to dance or clap or foot-stomp to the tunes. I'm not exaggerating by saying that a football field sized area was sometimes needed for these concerts/reunions, cause family members gathered from every corner of the US to attend. The talent pool also dribbled out cousins who were fortunate enough to get the music gene so over the years the band grew larger and larger. We also have some pretty musical funerals on that side of the family, no taped hymns, ever!!

Ok,,enough of my Wednesday trip down memory lane.

Heh, if anyone reads this and can pass this test, better go get yur brain looked at QUICK!!
A Sex Test for Rednecks

A menstrual cycle has three wheels. True or False
Asphalt describes rectal problems. True or False
Spread Eagle is an extinct bird. True or False
Vagina is a medical term used to describe a Heart Attack. True or False
The clitoris is a type of flower. True or False
A G-string is part of a fiddle. True or False
Semen is a term for sailors. True or False
Anus is a Latin term for yearly. True or False
Testicles are found on an Octopus. True or False
A pubic hair is a wild rabbit. True or False
KOTEX is a radio station in Cincinnati. True or False >
Masturbate is used to catch large fish. True or False
Coitus is a musical instrument. True or False
Fetus is a character on Gunsmoke. True or False
An umbilical cord is part of a parachute. True or False
A condom is a large apartment complex. True or False
An orgasm is a person who accompanies a church choir. True or False
A diaphragm is a drawing in geometry. True or False
A dildo is a variety of sweet pickle. True or False
An erection is when Japanese people vote. True or False
A lesbian is a person from the Middle East. True or False
Sodomy is a special land of fast growing grass. True or False
Pornography is the business of making records. True or False
Genitals are people of non-Jewish origin. True or False
Douche is the French word for "twelve." True or False

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

What'd I do?.... What is it with men when it comes to relatively simple tasks? Hubby found a 4-wheeler at a bargain price, decided that he wanted it because the price was right! So, I tell him to get it and that I'd give him $1500 of my hoarded cash toward the purchase and he could go to the bank and borrow the balance, (It was his birthday for goodness sake) sounds simple
doesn't it? Well ohhh no, not for him.

If you are purchasing an ATV or any other object that you want to borrow the money in which to purchase said object you need a Bill of Sale, Title,,,something of that sort to show ownership, correct? Well this man (my hubby )comes home with a scrap piece of paper upon which the man (who works for a car dealership mind you) writes down a few basic facts about the ATV. Now my hubby knows that this guy has the ATV financed (with the same bank that we use actually), and he gives the guy a check for the full purchase price of the machine. This is fine right? We've got the money in the bank for the full amount, and he's going to the bank first thing Monday morning to arrange for his own financing so he won't be spending that which is needed for rainy days. But all is NOT fine, this guy is moving out of town, actually moved the very day that my husband gave him the check for the full purchase price of the ATV, and when he goes tripping down to the bank to set up his financing, he is informed that they can't loan money on a machine that is already financed (by them) and hasn't been paid off. Duhhh!!!!!!!! So, I've been on the phone this morning stopping payment on the check that
my husband so gratefully gave to this man for his new toy and hoping that by doing this, the man will take the proper steps to actually sell the toy LEGALLY. Since we have possession of the ATV, are we now guilty of grand theft? Shit,,,I knew better than to send him to the bank!!!!!!!!
On March 23rd it will be 21 years since the death of my Mother's youngest sister. That was my first confrontation with death of someone close to me. On March 12th, it will be 4 years since the death of my mother. By then I was an old pro at death, but still not used to it, I'll never be used to it. Two and a half months prior to losing my mother, my youngest sister and I stood watch over the middle sister as she watched her firstborn breath his last. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, being there with her and not being able to do one damn thing about her pain. When my mother took another turn for the worst and I was the only daughter close enough in distance to be with her, I thought, yeah, I can do this. I really thought she'd be better again, you know? But as I held her and she stopped breathing, I had forgotten how long a heart kept beating. I looked at the nurse, I wanted to scream "DO SOMETHING", but I just held her and held her. When the nurse told me that it was time to take her I wouldn't let them. I made them leave her there with me until my youngest sister arrived and then I left so I wouldn't have to see them take her away. That was also the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I know now that there will be many things that will be the hardest things I've ever had to do. March is not a good month.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Whew!! I just finished printing my 2002 Tax return. The federal and state returns have about 75 pages each so I expect at the rate the IRS and the Department of Finance and Administration in Arkansas get things done, I may have a refund check by this time next year!! And YES,,,this year we are getting a refund! Of course it took losing every possession we owned practically in a house fire for this to occur and they are still keeping a good bit of change out of what we paid in. I told the hubby that all I want is his signature on the returns, cause THAT refund is MINE! I'm going to hoard it away into a savings account or something for rainy days. ( do think that I'm going to take a few dollars out of it and take Zach to see a beach this year, even if it's just down to Biloxi, Mississippi for a long weekend.) Now I've just got to pay the postage and mail these monster returns and I'm all set. Watch this be the year that those assholes audit me when every tiny scrap of a receipt and everything else went up in smoke!
YEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! The sun is out,,,it's shining, not a cloud in the sky!!! It peeped out for a few hours yesterday but today I actually saw the sunrise!! It's been weeks since I've seen that in my little part of the delta. Hmmmmmmmmmm life is good!!

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Oh,,I almost Forgot!!

- Hillbilly Driving Etiquette -

Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded and the deer is in sight.
When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
Never tow another car using pantyhose and duct tape.(I LOVE NEW DUCT TAPE USES)
When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
Never relieve yourself from a moving vehicle, especially when driving. (heh, this is not easy)
Do not remove the seats from the car so that all your kids can fit in.
Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession
I've just been informed that because I try to avoid watching TV news other than in the mornings when I'm in my "zone" and not at all right with the world, that I know nothing of what is going on in the world. This remark came from the hubby who stagnates in front of that tube when not at work or on the pot reading farming journals. I prefer to read my news in a newspaper or online where I can read the views of more than the local commentators. The remark was in response to my remark stating that I did not think we have any business going to war at this time. I couldn't even get a word in edgewise as to WHY I thought this. So I'll vent my reasoning on here. Wanna hear it? Here it goes......

First of all, our economy can not handle a war right now. Since 9/11, 3 of the major companies of worth have closed down here in our little section of the delta where we only had 6 or so to begin with. People are out of work!! If we start a skirmish in yet another country, it's gonna get worse. Other companies are saying that business is slow,,restaurants, construction, everything. Secondly, I think the major reason for those politicians in DC to start this war is to have control of the oil. Fact is, we have plenty here, so why the hell are we importing? And why aren't we pursuing other fuel alternatives? Seems like money better spent to me. Thirdly, we should be serving and protecting here at home. We had our pants down on 9/11, we let them walk on to planes and take control using freaking BOX CUTTERS!! Of that fact I'm ashamed. If we leave these people alone,,soon their army will be few and their strength will diminish. They are starving, and it takes humans to have an army. Their situation has changed very little there in the past 12 years,,or hell in the past 100 years. Let them be their own worst enemies, but protect ourselves from events such as the attacks on 9/11.

Ok, I'm done now. I'm no politician, or economist and although I tend to think of things in simpler way, I think the line is not really so fine between right and wrong. I've had my say.
Sunday Afternoon,,,, The day of rest. I know now that God is a man. Women know better!!

Saturday, March 01, 2003

I can not write it down again without sobbing my eyes out, so I'm gonna copy and paste the letter that I just sent to dear Kat.:
I just had a very bad moment. Zach and I baked a birthday cake for the
asshole (who is 51 today). I also was "swelling" some great northern beans
before putting them in the crockpot. Did not know I left the burner on low
(Martha fucking Stewart I ain't!). So I take the cake out to cool,,and where
do you think I put it?? 15 minutes later, BOOM,
CRASH,,,shatter,,,tinkle,,FUCK....yep. Blew that glass cake thingy all to
hell!! Glass and chocolate cake all over the kitchen, some into the dining
room and living room even. So,,asshole helped me by sweeping,,,I grab the
vaccum to catch any slivers,,(by the way, Chocolate cake stops up a vaccum),
and I'll still be finding glass for months I'm sure :-( I think I'm going
through the change, normal people don't DO this sort of shit on a regular
basis do they???

Yet another cloudy, dreary day with a chance of rain through the weekend. I sure will be glad when this weather pattern decides to rearrange itself and let the sun shine upon us a little.

I've been thinking a lot about getting older lately (I guess 48 yrs will make you do that) and I started recalling something an old friend told me once about getting older. He said, >"Brenda, there will come a time in your life when a good meal and a good night's sleep will
mean a hell of a lot more to you than good sex!!" At that time I was perhaps 30 and he was in his late 40's maybe. I'm at the age that he was then and I'm wondering when that time might come and if I'm going to be willing to accept it!

I'm reminded of the story of the young bull and the old bull standing on a hill looking down at the cows. "Let's run down there and make love to one of those cows," says the young bull. "How about we WALK down there and make love to ALL those cows," replies the old bull.