Wednesday, June 17, 2015

JUNE

Mamma and I went to Red Lobster for her birthday. We had a great time and indulged in the ultimate feast. Mamma has always loved seafood but she and Daddy never went out to eat. I think she should enjoy herself and Red Lobster is especially enjoyable. I think I finally gave her a gift she liked.
***********
I have become a goat herder, if you can call anyone who only has one goat, a "herder." Actually, I am a dubious caregiver to a goat, one surly old dog, and a neurotic lovebird plucking itself to death. They all want to follow me around. If the goat can keep me in her sight, she won't cry. But, low, if she can't see me, she goes a bellowing "ma!" all the time. I think she's trying to say "Pam" but she just can't make a P. That's my theory anyway. In all honesty I'm enjoying being at home more and watching the goat is a bonus. 

The bird has developed a crude form of communication. He raises the door of the water bowl and drops it until I look to see if it needs water. He also does the same thing when he wants seed. That's pretty smart for a bird brain. I guess he had to figure out something because sometimes I ignore him.
*******
HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Aaron, Dustin, Tyler, Sara, Colt, Tim, Eddie, Jimmy, Gary, Dana, Nancy, Hanna, Keegan, and Shanda

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
Chase and Krista Sheram

RIP
J.L. Strickland, Mary Bell Carter, Sam Burchfield, Charlie Burchfield, 
and Steve Yeargin

REMEMBER
Flag day June 14, Father's day and Summer June 21st

AS ALWAYS
PIO


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MAY

Whew! Nobody told me getting older was going to be so hard. If they had of told me I'd have tried harder not to get old. 

It's always something. Right now I am transitioning from constant caregiver to part-time homebody. I get so distracted when I'm not on my own schedule that I forget to keep up with my bills and laundry. Needless to say, I get behind.

Things have "flipped" again, in my life. My baby boy, the Coltman, has flown the coop. He moved out on his own. Yeah, now Donny and I are empty-nesters. Colt is working in Atlanta full time now. What to do, what to do?
*******
Between running up to Dalton every day to check on Momma or Bennett I don't have much time to do everything that needs to be done around here. I have literally a mountain of junk piled in Scout's room that I've accumulated since he's been gone. Now I'm sorting through Colt's room moving stuff around trying to figure out what I should do in there. It's a mess.

I think I am psychosomatic. I probably suffer from ablutophobia or possibly disposophobia. I collect things. Things ordinary people would trash. For example, I have an overabundance of plastic meat containers with lids that sandwich meat comes in. I took a stack of them to the Christmas dinner with Donny's family so everyone could get leftovers to take home last year. It impressed my sisters-in-law. I don't know why I haven't thought of using them like that and depleting my reserves before. 
*****
I promised to keep Mamma's yard mowed and, between Scout and me, it's looking pretty good. I went to mow Saturday. Colt was loading the truck up with spare furniture he salvaged from Momma to take to his trailer.

Jason and Hanna were there with their little boy, Tristan. Jason is Scout and Colt's oldest friend. He and Hanna are expecting their second child soon. They're having a little girl. Tristan is a doll so I know the baby will be, too.

Another white car was sitting in the driveway when I drove up but I didn't pay attention. I finally heard Katie say something about Joann and asked her what she was talking about. She said, "Joann is over there," pointing at the white car. I had totally blown by her and didn't even notice.

To tell the truth, I really didn't think about Joann being there. She's not supposed to drive and I never thought about her getting her friends to bring her by the house.

She said they rode by my house, but figured I was sleeping and didn't stop. Mind you, it was going on noon by the time I got to Mamma's house. Oh Joann sure is a kidder. 

She had Nancy and her friend Sandra with her. Sandra is a truck driver. She's about my age. 

We had a full house Saturday. Not only were Jason and Joann there but my aunt Mary was visiting with my momma. She had been visiting for a while. Mary lives in Savannah with her son now. We love it when her daughter-in-law, Tonia, brings her for a visit. Mary went back home on Sunday.

I was hoping Momma and Mary and I could do some things together but Momma didn't want to socialize. Mary kept herself entertained reading a paperback and chain smoking. 

Thankfully, Mamma's church family fixed them several meals and brought them to Mamma's house. They are excellent cooks, especially Shirley, the preacher's wife. They're good people.
*****
Burger's Market is open again this season so I got a beautiful tri-colored pink mandevilla plant and gave it to Momma for Mother's Day. I bought myself two different kinds of ferns. I love them. They give any house a southern vibe.

Poor Donny has to tend to our yard alone. Nobody else is ever around to help him. I've started doing my part by tying the goat out so she can eat some of our overgrown spots. Bonnie acts like she's always starving so it's a win-win for all of us. Well, all of us except Buddy. He got off on the wrong foot with the goat and she doesn't like him at all.

Now Buddy cowers in fear when the goat gets on a tear and decides she wants to butt him. Oh well. Live and learn, I always say. Maybe next time he'll be a little nicer when he meets a goat.
*****
I'm becoming cautiously optimist that this might turn out to be an awesome summer. Here's hoping. 

Bless you all as you go about your daily struggles. We all have our crosses to bear. Just think "this, too, shall pass" and carry on. I love you all, even when I'm being a bitch sometimes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Rachel, Steve, Connie, Maranda, Nita, Junior, and Madison

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

REMEMBER
Edwadene McAllister, Grampaw Carter, Ev Chastain

RIP
Vivian

AS ALWAYS
PIO

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We're All The Same

You know I'm feeling better when I can get my mind fired up on social issues instead of dealing with drama. I was reading an article and thread, what I like to call the reader's comments, on a new database tracing the number, ethnicity, and relevant details like "armed" or "unarmed" when I realized I was becoming  engaged again. I felt fire burning in my chest and a sense of righteous indignation on the behalf of my fellow men who are being gunned down in cold blood under the guise of the law. 

I wondered why I was the type of person who tried to look at the issue of racism in America from the perspective of the real black people who had to deal with that bullshit every day of their lives and didn't have the same laissez-faire attitude of so many white people.

I don't have any black friends and I don't really know many but I do know I would never want to look down on someone because of the color of their skin no more than I'd want to mistreat a handicapped child or kick a dog.

When I was young the movie Gone With The Wind came out to a new audience. I remember getting Civil War "money" in oatmeal boxes. On the back was a discount pass for the movie. I thought it was so neat that we came from the south. I had no idea of the deeper meaning of history. The only knowledge I had was from old movies like The Little Colonel with Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. And that, my friend, was the first interracial dance scene filmed in America. Shirley Temple, Bojangles Robinson

Sometimes I wondered what it would have been like if the south had won the war. Would I be a privileged white child, or maybe a poor white child who felt inferior and was glad to be one rung higher up than the black people around me. 

I think of the theme in To Kill A Mockingbird where a whole town was turned upside down because of the accusations of rape by a poor white woman about a poor black man who wasn't believed. Atticus Finch was the lawyer who was trying to save the poor black man's life. It was a powerful movie showcasing racism in the south.

Finally, I read Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Over the years I began to think about how awful it would be to "belong" to someone like an old dog and have to "obey" their commands. My natural reluctant nature caused me to realize I couldn't do it. I could not live in slavery. I certainly wouldn't want to be kidnapped and shipped to America in the bottom of a rocking, stinking, dark, dank ship. I can understand why so many people died before they ever reached the islands or America. I couldn't have made it. 

Being on the internet and having access to information at the drop of a hat I'm liable to stagger over some interesting articles which spark my imagination and make me believe we deserve social justice for all. We can't erase the past's history, that is, unless you're a Texas school board writing the books many schools and institutions print for this country's school systems. But that's a lie and another matter for another time. 

There has been a steadfast blood lust for unarmed black men and boys over the past several years that have been caught on film, thanks to the inter-tubes as former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens called it. We've been inundated with videos of cops killing black men and vigilantes like George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin as he was walking in a quiet gated community. It has made the nation aware.

I am amazed when I read comments about any black shooting or any reference to any death when someone tells people to quit whining and get over it. How the hell do you get over something, especially if you are black or your children are black. Every day of their life they have to live with the knowledge that someone, somewhere might kill them for no fault of their own except for the color of their skin. We should be ashamed to live in a society like that.

I don't get that. I really don't. I guess I live from the white point of perspective where I have always had certain rights that I never noticed other people were denied. There are more obstacles for women than men and we still don't have equal rights in the constitution but I think poor black ladies are doubly burdened. 

I guess I have white privilege because I'm not afraid to speak up when I think I'm being undermined but that doesn't mean my opinion means squat most times. I just feel I have the right to speak up. I wonder how many black people have to bite their tongues to keep from speaking their mind, especially when they are around a group of caucasians.

If you'd like to read the article and see the data the young man wrote, you can find it here. Data on Death

Social injustice and inequality are still as relevant today as they were in the past. We have to remain ever vigilant and not fall for crap like "affirmative action is no longer needed." Yeah, right. By whom, might I ask?

AS ALWAY
PIO

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Musings

Mamma's beginning to feel better. We've started arguing and getting on each other's nerves. That's a good sign. My main gripe is that's she's too independent and stubborn and won't listen to me. 

Mamma's sister, Mary Jane, came to visit last week and Mamma and Mary Jane have already taken off two times in the car alone. Both times I tried to tell Mamma she shouldn't drive but she wouldn't listen. She can barely walk from room to room. She shouldn't  be driving. When they came back, she admitted she nearly had an accident.

I asked her nurse practitioner if Mamma should be driving yet. She said she thought Mamma should wait until they get her medicine adjusted. Mamma still has home health care and a physical therapist come every week. 

I'm glad May Johnson agreed with me because my little mamma is a daredevil and can scare the bejesus out of you. She turned in front of a car when Katie and I were both with her one day and Katie won't ride with her any more. I can't blame her.

I've been consumed with taking care of Mamma and have barely focused on my life although that's not what some people think. 

Anybody that knows me knows I like to make lists and keep track of things. I've noticed that whenever I'm in a crisis I forget to keep track of my days. That drives me crazy. I like to know what day I did something or when I paid a bill. Stuff like that. I am so far behind I will never fill in those blank days I spent during and after the hospital. Those days are lost to me in a fog.

I do have some more good news to report. I've been monitoring my blood glucose religiously and have begun to get a handle on it. Most days my blood sugar is in the low 100's, which is good but I haven't been exercising and I really feel that! I miss it so much. It really helps relieve stress. 

While I have been staying with Mamma, I have been mowing her yard and trying to get some exercise. I don't consider that much exercise when you're on a riding lawnmower but it's better than nothing. I figure the jiggling is shaking some fat off. Right?

Everybody says I'm not around as much as I should be but I'd like to know how much more around I need to be. I've been there every day and most nights since Mamma was in the hospital and I have languished away waiting to do my mother's bidding when she needed something to eat or assistance with anything. Mostly, I've sat around watching her work circle word puzzles.

I think people have forgotten, just because I don't work, that I have things I need to do. 

Nobody considers that my old dog is stuck in the house all day alone, with the poor old bird stuck in a cage, or Buddy is outside huddled on the porch waiting for somebody to come home and let him inside. 

Nobody considers the goat we've got that needs tending to and watched so it can roam free and eat bushes and weeds in the backyard without being attacked by Buddy. He can't be trusted.

Just because I'm an anomaly doesn't mean I don't have a life. It just looks different than yours.

I didn't even notice the dogwoods in bloom because I've been so preoccupied with other things. Spring is really here and I barely noticed. I hate that because spring is the most beautiful time of the year. The azaleas are blooming, too.

I don't think we will have but one more cold snap this year, blackberry winter. I could be wrong.

I don't mean to complain because I am very thankful for my life and everything going on in it. I am tickled to death Mamma is getting better and wants to do things for herself and doesn't need constant supervision. I am grateful for my boys who pick up the slack whenever I'm away. 

Colt and Donny jump right in and make sure they have clean clothes and something to eat. That's a blessing and one more thing I don't have to worry about. I could have ended up with someone like my Daddy who never cooked a meal in his life, as far as I know.

I am thrilled to be a mother-in-law and a granny. Scout picked a winner when he married Katie. She's been a great support to us all.

Katie is starting a new job and, by default, I am starting a new one, too. I am responsible for seeing that Bennett gets off the bus safely every afternoon when Katie isn't home. We bond over chocolate pudding and reading books. He is my best little buddy.  I only hope I'm not a bad influence on him. (Don't ask)

I'm going to get my hopes up again and look forward to a better summer than last year. I hope we are able to plant a garden and keep the goat out of it. I really, really would like a break for a while. I'm tired, already.

AS ALWAYS
PIO


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