Wednesday, December 28, 2011

83 More Days Till Spring

Winter has never been my favorite season; I don't like being cold; I don't like wearing heavy coats; I don't like the bareness of the outdoors; but this year will be the toughest.  James was at home, a LOT, with me in the Winter months and I'm missing that time with him, even though I fussed a lot when he'd hog the remote, or snored in his recliner, etc,,,those little things that I'd give anything to have him here to do again.

For over two weeks I cried about everything, anything, and nothing.  I finally gave in and went to see the doc and he gave me  antidepressants to try.   For 3 nights over the last almost 4 months, I've slept past my usual hour, or two, or none, I actually slept for over 6 hours for two of those nights.  I know it will get easier because it has to and I know Zach needs for it to.

I decided to let Zach have a puppy that can be in the house with us and right now we're going to be very busy house breaking the little rascal.  Jillian and Alexis named him Cat and I thought it was a cute and original name so we decided that Cat he is.  I will be glad when he gets out of this whiny stage though, he's a onary little whiny baby.

Anyway, just wanted to let y'all know that I'm still here and don't plan on going anywhere.  And I'm planning on starting back with the photo challenge after Jan. 1st so dust off your cameras!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long Nights

1995, In Stein, The Netherlands visiting our first exchange student, Soony.

Some time around 1990 I think, sharing a smile about something.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Only Cried 4 Times Today,,,

I have no energy.

Decisions are hard to make, the smallest chore seems mountainous, what were normally joyous things are not, things that used to bother me badly don’t bother me as much any more, I have never defended myself well, but now I can't find the energy to even try to very much. Let them say or do what they will.  To pretend takes too much effort, and I seem to need so much rest but am not getting any real sleep,,,just dozing off in my chair off and on.  I would love the solace of sleep. Nothing matters except getting through the days and the dark, hateful nights, and keeping Zach's needs taken care of.

No one can really help; it's something I have to get through myself.  If I try to talk about him, I find myself breaking down in tears.  I just want him back and I'm dreading the holidays so badly it even hurts to breath sometimes.  I know I'm not alone with my loss but I don't know how to help others with their pain when my pain is so raw in me now.

I know it will get easier, Dear God it has to. I just ask my wonderful friends here and through facebook to please don't give up on me.  I'm trying, I promise I am.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

I think after 40 years of marriage James and I fit together like a pair of old, ragged, comfortable slippers.  You know the kind, really getting rough around the edges but also soft from years of regular use.  I could sometimes read his mind, he could always read my looks.  He was the good guy because most of the year he was never at home long enough to be, or want to be,  the bad guy so guess who got that job?

I've been reading some of my past posts and this one made me smile (you might have to scroll up to the beginning of it.)  You've probably read it before but I hope it makes you smile again even if you have.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ka-Boom, Skid, Moan!

I almost did a perfect face plant yesterday,,,I reckon if it weren't for my big boobs and front it wouldda been a sure winner.

I started  falling when I tripped over Zach's flip-flop at the front door and managed to keep my wobbling balance for a few feet before gravity took over and I fell, face first, and skidded the rest of the way into the dining room with my boobs, belly, and knees taking most of the friction.  I ended up with my head sort of beneath a chair at the end of the table, gasping, cause it knocked the breath right out of me.  After I could breath again, but before I moved much,  I started praying to the Dear Lord that no bones were broken because I sure didn't like the idea of having to lay my big, ol, fat, lazy, a**, in that floor until Zach got home from school. Prayer and a little luck worked cause after a little, much moaning and groaning I was finally able to get some leverage to get to my feet.

I arose this morning with less soreness than I expected and only a bruise or two, and there's only a little carpet burn on one knee.   I'm sure a lucky old broad; having this extra padding might have been good for that one thing at least.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lack of Affordable Health Care and Health Insurance Killed My Husband - 2

"One of the most unpatriotic things I can think of is the callous disregard so many of our fellow Americans seem to have for their uninsured fellow citizens. They are comfortable leaving millions in the hands of insurance companies all citizens know already "come between you and your doctor". And we ALL know that if you serve the corporate bottom line (our current system of health "care"), instead of being accountable to voters, you're going to chose profit over actually providing for someone's health. So many 1st world countries have successful ways of providing health care for their citizens. We should learn from them, and improve on their examples. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" should read "let me provide aide to your working-weary, your too-poor-to-get-health-insurance, your having-trouble-to-breath"... Your HMO and your insurance company already stand between you and your doctor. Don't use that as a lame excuse to prevent the uninsured from having an access to a doctor at all. The public option is compassionate patriotism at it's best."

Sort of looks like those "death panels" everyone is afraid of are already in place and thriving, don't it?

Keeping an eye on the soybean seed being unloaded.

James had worked since he was 6 years old on his family's share-cropped acres.  One year, when he was 13 or so, his Dad worked for a dairy farmer.  James got up at 3:30 a.m. every morning to help his Dad do the milking before he went to school.  After school, he ran or hitched a ride the 3 miles home so he could help his Dad finish up the cleaning and do the milking again.  He never received one dime of pay from that old dairy farm owner, hell,,, back in those days his Dad barely received enough pay to feed his family. From the day James graduated from high school until the day he died,  the jobs he held could be counted on one hand.  Anyone who knew him could tell you what a wonderful, hard-working, man he was, no matter what sort of job he did on a farm,  and he became an excellent farm manager.
This was James's school picture during the year he worked with his Dad at the dairy barn.

The thing is, farming feeds the mulitudes, but farming in the delta region doesn't provide many perks, including health insurance for the employees.   There is still a lot of "good ole boy" mentality floating around down here in our part of the Mississippi River delta, left over from the days of slavery.  Many of the farm owners feel that "ya gotta keep em hungry and in debt to ya,  pay em too much and they won't work nearly as hard."

So, why didn't he work somewhere else? I guess he was one of those folks who still believed in the American Dream and honestly thought that hard work would eventually pay off.    Also, even when you divided his salary by the hours he worked, and it showed he worked for much less than minimum wage for many months of the year, the truth of the matter is, his salary was high enough that we could actually eat and pay our basic bills at the same time. And one of the farm jobs came with a house and utilities. I helped by working  as much as I could too.   We raised 3 kids who had as much as they needed although probably not as much as they wanted. We paid for their births and other medical needs without insurance by paying as much as we could one month at a time.  But back (our last child was born in 1980)  then the highest hospital bill for giving birth was $1100 for 3 days in the hospital (the fees had doubled from the year before cause they built a new hospital).

Kinda makes you understand why I'm pretty damned mad right now,  along with having the worst heartache (even worse than some of the things my kids have said and done lately and in the past) I've so far ever had to endure in my life.  My husband didn't deserve to die at age 59.  He still had an awful lot of lovings to give to his grandbabies and  a lot of farming to do. Dammit, I miss him!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Long Nights

I've always disliked this part of the year; when the days get shorter and the nights take over so early in the evenings, but the nights are the worst now.  There's too much time to think, to remember, to wonder what if,,,
The doc gave me some sleeping pills last week because I am only sleeping in short spurts. So far they've not helped.

So here I am, waiting for daylight, again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lack of Affordable Healthcare and Health Insurance killed my husband.

My great, big, strong husband of over 40 years worked a 14 hour day in the field just 28 hrs before he died. He had called to say that he "thought" he might need to see his doctor on Tuesday morning so would I make an appointment.   He refused to let me take him to ER or call an ambulance when I could tell how out of breath he was... I know he was trying to hold on because of our not having health insurance,,,  I stayed in the chair and he in the recliner all Monday night after he'd come home from the field because I was afraid he'd stop breathing. On the way to the doctor Tues morning (the 6th) I was afraid he was having a heart attack and detoured to the hospital.  After the morning in ER, EKGs, cts, electrocardiogram, they decided it was early stage Congestive heart failure and admitted him into ICU so they could drain fluid built up in one of his lungs.  All the tests showed he had not had a heart attack.  He was stable, the doctor had been by to see him and said he'd do the drainage the next morning,,that he needed to rest that night, that he was going to be OK.   I left at 6 to get home to Zach and homework, etc,,,with plans to return early the next morning to wait for ICU visiting hours.  I got the call at 12:46 a.m. and our life fell apart.

At 12:20 a.m. on September 7, 2011 my husband, James, at age 59, became one of the 45,000 Americans who will die from lack of affordable health care in this great country of ours this year.

to be continued,,,,

Monday, August 22, 2011

One Person's Treasures

Our house is sometimes full of grandchildren so it's pretty normal for it to also be full of treasures.  Sometimes these treasures are things they bring from home to give to us for special occasions, or just because they love us, and sometimes the treasures are found in the yard, or on a walk or ride around the rural area that surrounds us.  But no matter their source, there are always true and wonderful treasures to be found and shared around here.

I thought of the topic for this post when I was washing my face in the bathroom last night.  There on the edge of the sink was a little rocky treasure that one of the kids had found and decided that it needed keepin.  To one not used to such treasures it might be seen as just an old rock, but we know better in this house.

Abby is probably our most serious treasure finder, in  fact we see a great American Picker in the making with this child.  Her momma said she tours the neighborhood just before trash pick-up day to see if anyone is throwing away any "treasures" just so she can rescue them.

Mr. Duck, above, was rescued back in the Spring.  Never mind that he has a little road rash here and there, he looks like a duck and stands like a duck so he was worthy of treasuredom.

Abby came in with this little container earlier this month.  The top comes off and there's room inside for lots of tiny treasures that are out there, just waiting to be found.

I look at the home making magazines and give a thought sometimes that this design looks lovely, or that design looks grand, but I don't think I'd trade our treasure trove of decorators with their special decorations for the world.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm a photo challenge Ding-Dong!

I posted my challenge shots in the wrong blog.  So, mine are back at the challenge blog.

I'll try to do better.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Photo Challenge: ABC's

Can you find the letter I made with my green beans?

I love the shaky but impressive handwriting of our little ones as they first learn to print.  Beans wrote this 2 or 3 years ago.
These banners are on the street lights on Cherry Street in Helena, AR.  They could stand for Helena, or Historic Helena,,,not sure really but I love the old English look of them.
These letters are what's left of a sign that was once painted on the side of an old brick building in Helena. 

I spent a lot of time searching for this one and I made one letter.  I can't wait to see what everyone came up with.  Don't forget to stop by our Photo Challenge blog, scroll down and click on the links to see all the other participants.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No Excuses,,,except

Alexis (sittin' on the purple cube) performing in the Once Upon a Time musical put on my their Summer of the Arts program.  She did a splendid job, as did all of those little cuties.
Zach spent a week in Tennessee with his Mom. This is the only picture she sent of his activities.
Here's Jaylen with one of her softball trophies.  This young lady is a great fast pitcher.

Jordan with her team won their 12 and under girls softball  State Championship and are now down in Panama City at the 12 and Under Softball World Series. GO Arkansas OutKast!
Jilly Beans had a birthday. Can you believe she's 6 already?
We had one good rain early this month.
I'll post some pics of our other monkeys as soon as I get some more recent ones.

Things I've found that irritate me this week.

1. Droopy Drawers.  Pull up yer pants fellas,,,geez!

Sagging pants was never meant to be fashionable. Prisoners wear their pants this low because belts are a popular way to commit suicide by hanging oneself, to hang others, or to use as a weapon in fights. Prisoners are also not allowed to have shoestrings for the same reasons. But there is an even more obvious reason why pants are sagging in prison. If the pants are below a man's bottom, it is to introduce to other men that he is homosexual. As Eazy E once said about women in skirts, "For easy access, baby."
I looked over and saw this while waiting to get a drink at the McDonald's drive-thru the other day. Ewww, ewwww, just ewww!

2. The incorrect usage of the word "twins".

One of  Zach's teachers mentioned her "two, twin, stepdaughters" or
Referring to twins as a pair of twins.

TWIN: either of two offspring produced at a birth or one of two persons or things closely related to or resembling each other.

consisting of two, twofold, double.

The teacher should only have mentioned she had twin step-daughters because the word twin takes care of the two part.  It's the same with pair because pair also means two.  Does that make any sense?

3. Casey Anthony.

Need I mention more?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Photo Challenge: God Bless America

God Bless America for being able to celebrate 235 years of Freedom...,,,,

,,,,,for sunsets,,,,,
,,,,,and for rainbows,,,,,,,
Our home, sweet, home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Photo Challenge : Playing

It's that time again Ladies and Gents.  I can't wait to see all the imaginative shots!  Anyway, here are mine.,,,

I think the Mississippi river delta mud baths make our babies such cuties.
So, they're out on Spring Break and playing school.  A vienne weenie snack too.
Scuffling and shuffling on the river walk.

I had this scheduled to post at 12:05 A.M. this morning.  Dang Blogger!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Limping Along

May was a bad month for a whole heap of folks living along the Mississippi River and his tributaries.   I've seen water, DEEP water, where I've never seen water in all the years that I've lived off and on in the delta.  Our county was given disaster status due to the storms and floods during May.  Most of the damage done was to farm land that was ready to be planted or had already been planted.  There were also a few places in our county where flood waters got into people's homes as well as some road closures.  

There were roads closed near many of the tributaries that eventually emptied into the Mississippi River, but couldn't because Old Man River was way over flood stage.  In Memphis, the river was only 1/10 of an inch away from the record flooding of 1937.
This is a field.  It looked like a huge lake, it seemed to go on forever.
Another field and a flooded house in Lee county, AR
I was surprised to learn about the huge line of cars and people to be found at the Department of Human Services in Helena-West Helena, awaiting their turn at a portion of the food allowances being doled out for families affected by the disasters. The few houses damaged by storms or flood surely didn't come to the number that showed up for aid.  A friend stopped on the road and asked one lady where she lived and how bad was the damage to her property and the lady replied, "It didn't get hurt, but you don't have to have damage to qualify for the free food allowance."  What?????????

This guy and the one below built levees around their houses to keep the flooded creek from getting into their houses.
Weird storm clouds.
It seems that bad luck and bad weather sure seems to bring out the greedy and ugly in some folks.  I just don't understand it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Photo Challenge: May Flowers

A vibrant and pretty little wild flower.
Wild little primrose.
Another little wild flower growing beside the road.
One of our South's lovely  Magnolia blossoms.
Pretty lilies.  I used a texture filter that I found in Paint Shop Pro Photo X2
These are my photos for the May Flowers Photo Challenge.  I hope you enjoyed them and will take the time to go to our Photo Challenge Blog to click the links so you can enjoy all the other challengers.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo Challenge : Repeating Patterns

I almost forgot this because I forgot it was Friday and I forgot that it was the 29th.  Now that I've come to my senses I realize that it's time for another Photo Challenge so I'd best get these up.  Please hop on over to our Challenge blog and click on the links of other wonderful challengers.

I sure hope I'm making sense.  I've been up since 3:30 this a.m. cause I wanted to see Will and Kate's wedding.

I love the pretty blue color of these treated soybean seeds.  Makes a nice repeating pattern too, doesn't it?

Repeating polka dots on a beach towel.  Two of my favorites, polka dots and bright colors. 

This is a familiar repeating pattern around here.  Row after row of one crop or another.

The dots on the killdeer eggs make a distinctive repeating pattern.
This was another fun challenge. Can't wait to see all the other challenger's work.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo Challenge : Spring Easy

Time to shine again with our challenge photos.  I've been sneaking out here and there and taking a few when I could.  Be sure to click over to our challenge blog to see all the wonderful shots that everyone came up with.

Our friendly Purple Martins are back!
Yeah, I'm cute.
A pic from a past Spring.  I love this shot of the stinky little weed.