Saturday, December 6, 2014


We had our family thanksgiving dinner on the last Saturday in November this year. It turned out nice. It was almost perfect. Almost . . . 

Katie complimented me on my potato salad and dressing. That made me feel good. Nobody else seems to notice my cooking unless it is bad. If I burn something I usually tell them it's Cajun cooking. The boys used to believe the smoke detector was my timer. That meant dinner was always burnt. Ah, good times!

Anyway, it's time to plan the next wave of this holiday season, the one I hate the most, Christmas. It's always been about the money and some one-upmanship game I don't care to play. But I do like the feasts. 

I love rubbing elbows with people and catching up with them as we jockey around the dessert table. I love being with family. It reminds me of other times and other holidays and makes me hope for many more with these sweet and wonderful people. The older I get, the more I realize that's what is important.

This has been a year of change and reaching out. I am learning to treasure every moment. I just hope we don't have any more stress because it makes me blow my gasket. 

We're taking Katie and Scout to the Cracker Barrel this weekend to celebrate their birthdays. They are only two days apart. I can't wait.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas this year and all your wishes come true.
Schylar, Katie, Scout, Amanda, Kiersten, Tony, Denise, Todd, Carmen, Andy, Noody, and Carole

Diane and Larry

Albert T. Silvers, Edwadene McAllister, Delbert Callahan

Be Nice To One Another
It's Christmas

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Donny wanted to take a trip to Ellijay so we planned a family outing. Scout and Katie wanted to go. We all piled into the old Merc and rode over Fort Mountain. Ellijay is on the other side of the mountain. Ellijay hosts an apple festival in October every year.

Donny stopped at the top of the mountain to enjoy the view. The fall colors were on full display and there was snow laying in shady patches. Bennett was excited. Well, Katie was really excited. Katie gets excited about everything. It's all new to her.

Donny didn't feel good last year when we went to the Ellijay apple festival so we had to cut our trip short. I think that's why Donny was determined to go back to Ellijay this year. It's a man thing. I reckon. I'm just glad he's up and around. We had a heck of a scare this year.
Donny, Katie, Scout and Bennett posed for me at the mountain overlook. It looks like Bennett is mesmerized with the view. I don't blame him. That's a long, long way down. Donny looks like Popeye. That must be where Scout got that look. Maybe that's Don's pirate face. Aaarrrgg!
We came home by another route. We got apples and other goodies at the Red Apple Barn (Hwy 76) on our way home. I'm glad I can eat fruit because we bought lots of apples. They didn't last long though. It appears I'm not the only one who likes fruit.

I went to a class for diabetics at the Hamilton Diabetes Center last week and they stressed the importance of eating a balanced diet and fruit is part of a balanced diet. 

An RN talked to us about diabetes. She also had a nutritionist and and ophthalmologist talk to us. The nutritionist had fake food and portion sizes to help us visualize healthy servings. I haven't got there yet but I am trying. The ophthalmologist told of dangers to our eyes and the importance of having a dilated eye exam every year. You have to take care of your teeth and feet, too.

Diabetes affects every part of the body. It's scary. It made me want to take care of myself from now on. That is why I'm exercising and trying to stay away from the sweets. 

Wish me luck in my new journey to become healthy again as I wish every one of you the same fortune in your own life. This won't be easy but the apples will help. So does the support of friends. 
If you think I'm rambling now you should be listening inside my head. 
Samantha, Dawn, and Larry

~Mama and Daddy~

Albert Silver, Charlie McAllister, Edwadene McAllister, 
Delbert Callahan, Crick Marshall, Frances Causby, 
and Roy Burchfield


PBS 11-12-14 Wednesday 10:06 PM EST

Monday, October 13, 2014


I've been through the ringer here lately. I had to go to the gynecologist for my physical and he sent me to a general practitioner who did blood work on me. I thought it was hormones. Instead, I found out I have diabetes and high cholesterol and they put me on medication. I'm trying to get plenty of exercise so I recruited a couple of friends to go walking with me. 

Donny was borderline diabetic and lost lots of weight and was able to come off of his medicine. I hope I can bring my blood sugar down and do the same if I lose weight. We'll see. 

Just about everyone in the family has had to go to the doctor here lately. Colt got busted in the head with a 2x4 and nearly had a concussion last week. He should have gone to a doctor but he came home and rested all day. 

Even old Buddy is getting into the act. We took him for his physical and to get more flea and heartworm medicine. The vet said he had a couple of abscessed teeth that needed to come out so we have to go back again for surgery. Between him, and me, and Donny, and Mama it seems like we're going to the doctor all the time.

Sometimes I get to feeling sorry for myself but I think about all the people I know who are facing bigger challenges than I am and I count my blessings. I look around me and think how thankful I am to have my husband and my mother in my life. They are two of the strongest people I know. They had a lot of health problems this year but, no matter what obstacles they face, they soldier on.

I've got several friends who are fighting their own battles which are much harder than my own. They inspire me. Still ...

I don't know who signed me up for this roster of hospitals and illnesses but I wish they'd take me off the list. I've done my time. 

Halloween certainly won't be quite as jolly this year, and Lord knows I'm not going to be happy and I'm going to be tempted on Thanksgiving. It was always my favorite holiday. I only hope I survive the holidays this year. My sweet tooth is my downfall.

A word of advice to the wise:
Y'all watch your sugar and salt intake and floss your teeth. You'll thank me when you're older.

Oh yeah . . . bah, humbug . . . I mean . . . Happy Halloween!

Joann, Shannon, Alesha, Lon, Layla, Matt, Devan, Michelle, Kelly, 
Debbie, Chase, Barry, Diane, and Summer

Kelly and Troy
Piette and Paul

Brittany and Corbin
October 11th



PBS 10-13-14 Monday 11:16 pm EDT  222

PS   Sorry I'm late. On top of everything else I've been having computer problems.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Daddy Called

Mama called me the other day to tell me she got a call from Daddy. We got her a new phone with an alert button she could program two phone numbers into. She has it set with Katie's and my number in case of an emergency. She wears the medallion around her neck. It announces the phone number and the caller's name if we have it programmed into it. She said the phone rang and announced the caller was Roy Burchfield. It repeated the name again before she answered the call. She heard a connection before it went dead and she heard a dial tone. Spooky, huh?

That's all I have to say about that.


PBS 10-9-14 Thursday 8:40 pm EDT

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Well! Color me confused. I tried to call my doctor to make an appointment but kept getting a busy signal on Friday. I tried over the weekend and got another busy signal. I was becoming obsessed with trying to reach the doctor so I tried to call him again on Monday. I had finally surmised that there was something wrong with this picture because I've never called a doctor's office after hours without reaching their answering service. Today it all came together. The doctor has retired and left me in the dark. Now, where will I turn? I don't like breaking in a new doctor. They make me nervous. Frankly, I don't even like doctors. You can imagine why after the year I had.
Mama's sister, Mary Jane came to visit with her all last week. She is a joy to be around. Mary's been living in Savannah with her son, Alex, and his family. Mama invited Mary to stay with her until my aunt, Patsy, could come get her. She's going to stay with Patsy in Illinois for a while. I think Mary was good company for Mama, and vice versa. My cousin, Donna, came to get her. They headed back north this morning.

Mary Jane had intended to fly out from Atlanta to visit Pat a couple of months ago but she got confused and never got on the plane. Mary is developing dementia. Mary didn't worry about missing her plane because the flight staff took her under their wing and invited her to their private lounge and took care of her. She was supposed to be supervised by the airline so they probably worried about getting in trouble for not getting her on her right flight. Her son had to drive all the way back to Atlanta to pick her back up.

Mary had such a good time she promised to come visit them all whenever she came back to Atlanta. She wasn't even depressed about missing her flight.

If you didn't know Mary Jane you wouldn't know anything was wrong with her but her memory is not good any longer. She's a big cut up and enjoys being around people. Her mistake was almost as good as a vacation.
I finally talked the guys into putting up guttering on the front of the house.
We bought the guttering Saturday and they had it up on Sunday. Not bad for a project we've put off for years, I'd say. The fascia board on the back of the house has to be cleaned and then they can finish the job. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I wish it would rain. I can't wait to test them out.

Butch, Katy, Kim, Susan, Carol, Larry, Corbin, Gail, Melissa, Melody, Erin, Emily, Debbie, and Jesse

Resaca Rose

Gary McNamer, Robert Burchfield, Jack Rat

Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah*, Autumn

*Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year, 24-26th


PBS 9-9-14 Tuesday 12:34 A.M. EDT

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Donna's Stone

I went to the cemetery the other day. I was going to see my aunt's grave. She was buried beside her first husband and her daughter's grave. She passed away in January. 

My cousin was just twenty years old when she died mysteriously at home. They never did find a definite cause for her death. She was married to a guy who did some awful things after she died and I guess the family decided not to leave the gravestone like the original one with her husband's name on it.

When I went up there I saw Donna's new headstone. The old double stone had been removed. I say good riddance and good for Donna. Her life was cut too short for her and she wasn't married long enough time to endure his name for all eternity. I have little doubt that Donna would have divorced her husband if she had lived long enough. I will always hate the way she passed away.

Donna deserved someone to love her and honor her. When we pieced together the last events in her life we became aware of several puzzling and heartbreaking episodes she had to endure. Her husband spread rumors and lies around the family and had us all questioning his motives. 

We will never have all the answers we were searching for but I am thankful Donna won't be going through all eternity shrouded under that other name. She was too good for him. Her legacy shouldn't be entwined with him forevermore.

If Donna had of survived she would be fifty-five years old this year. It's hard to imagine her as an old woman but it's harder remembering her as a young girl on the brink of life before it was cut short. I wonder how she would have turned out if she had lived. It's a never ending cycle. I'm always thinking about 'what if'. It's an endless game.


PBS 8-24-14 Sunday 4:19 A.M. EDT

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I love picnics but I can never get anybody to go with me. I thought my friends who started going out on a 'girls night out' would go with me so I bought a few Susan G. Komen pink ribbon coolers to give to them. I gave one cooler to a friend and told her I wanted all of us to go on a picnic sometime. I was going to give the other gals their coolers when I saw them but I never heard from them again. I don't know what I did to piss them off. I don't care anymore. 

I ended up doling out the pink coolers to my boys. I thought it was a hoot seeing Scout wagging a pink cooler around. I bet he made a lasting impression on anybody who saw him at work but I doubt the cows cared. Sometimes it's good to be a manual worker. He is a fencer. He's put up hundreds of fences over the years. 

Every year I try to entice someone to go on a picnic with me. I try to get Donny to go with me but he's not interested. I've tried to talk Scout and Colt into going but they don't care, either. I thought I might have to go on a picnic by myself if I ever wanted to go. 

The other day I thought, "I know. I'll ask Katie. She and Bennett might want to go on a picnic." It was very spur of the moment. I sent her a message the night before and told her to call me in the morning. 

You don't know me but if you did you would know I am not a morning person. Heck, I'm not much of a day person. If I ever became a vampire not much would change. Most people don't want to wake me in the morning. Even though Katie knows my reputation, she promised to wake me at ten. 

Katie called and promised to come over that morning. She and Bennett piled into the old Buick and we picked up some KFC, aka Kentucky Fried Chicken, and went to the Calhoun Recreation Center. There were people at the pool but the ball parks were empty and there weren't many people around. We found a nice picnic shed near the river and spread out our meal on the cement table. I used a red checkered fitted twin sheet. It fit perfectly!

I was so happy being with my sweet new family and sharing a quiet, tranquil day together. It was like heaven. It was a mild, peaceful day. A cool breeze was blowing. We sat in the shade of the tall shade trees and could look all around the park. Some people were walking around the road, exercising. Another couple took their picnic closer to the water. 

Katie, and Bennett, and I walked along the curved river admiring the wide deep stream after we ate. If the water hadn't been cloudy in places you wouldn't know there was probably run off from the plants that butt up against the backside of the recreation center. If I hadn't been afraid of chemicals, I would have wanted to splash around in the water. A man made dam created a mini-waterfall in one area. 

Poor Bennett was beside himself because he wanted to go play with the other kids but there weren't a bunch of other kids around. Most of them were at the swimming pool. We saw one lone little girl playing on a slide on the playground as we were leaving. He will be so glad when he finally makes some friends at school. His dreams will come true soon.

Enjoy summer because it won't be long before it's gone.

Ashley, Tommie Lyn, Pat, Pam, Myra, Nancy, Nancy, Brenda, Chris, Randy, 
Jonnie Bell, Gloria, Blake, Bob, Justin, Cole, Jerry

Susan and Bob


Back to School Time


PBS 8-7-14 Thursday  1:25 A.M. EDT

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mister Magoo

Oh God! Wouldn't you know it? I broke my reading glasses. I ran down to the dollar store to pick up a pair but I couldn't decide which strength I needed so I picked the strongest pair. I thought that was what I needed but by the time I got home and tried them on everything seemed too big and too bright. It made me dizzy. I know these aren't like my old glasses. I guess I have to run back to the dollar store again and throw more money away trying to get the right glasses. 

My friend, Piette, picked on me because she knows I'm tight and I don't like wasting money on crap. The only problem with that is that I am always doing something stupid and wasting money. I thaw things out and forget to take them out of the microwave. I did that the other day. I also forget to water my plants or feed my pets all the time. I don't mean to be inefficient, I just haven't had the will to do anything. Every time I plan anything, something happens and sets me back again.

I quit feeding the birds outside when Daddy got sick. I was away from home too much and didn't have time to take care of them all the time. I wanted to hang our hummingbird feeders out this spring but everything has been so hectic I haven't even tried. I'm a total spaz and I admit my life isn't very efficient right now.

The other day I planned on going to the dentist so I got up and got ready. I had plenty of time to get to Dalton but when I tried to crank my car it wouldn't start. I couldn't even get it to turn over. I called the dentist's office to tell them I was having trouble. When I couldn't get a ride, they rescheduled my appointment. I'm glad because I was afraid they would gripe at me for not taking care of my teeth. I've been neglecting them, too. 

I'm not the only one that's having problems keeping up with things. Mama had two doctor's appointments this week and went to one a day early. I can't keep up with her, or Donny, or even myself. That's why I depend my FlyLady calendar so I can keep up with all the appointments and I'm also learning to use my cell phone for stuff like that. Now I need to remember to record everything.

Katie told me everybody seemed to be having a streak of bad luck. Scout and Colt broke down in Bob's truck and were stranded for about an hour before they got the truck running again to get back to Bob's. They were late getting home that day.

Katie and Bennett and I finally made a trip to Big Lots and I bought a couple of pairs of reading glasses. I liked the weaker strength reading glasses. I got a pair of glasses for three dollars. That's what I call a deal! I guess Piette was right. I am cheap.

I feel about a hundred percent better than I did a few days ago. I'm finally walking upright again. Better still, I don't need my cane. I'm still taking aspirin though. They take the edge off my pain but I hope I don't get addicted. I hate popping pills.

Katie and I made another trek to the store later on this week. This time we went to Fred's. We planned on making a day of it until Donny called and said he was locked out of the house. We had to come home and let him inside. I didn't mind. We had already had lunch at the Great Wall. It's a local Chinese restaurant. That was a real treat. I guess you have to take your fun where you can get it

I couldn't find my keys today. I was going to go with Mama to her doctor. I called to tell her why I wasn't at her house yet but she had already left me and was in the parking lot. She is so impatient. I guess when you get old you have to be. You don't know how much time you have left. Oh boy! Will the fun ever end?                            


PBS 7-18-14 Friday 12:24 AM EDT

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I've been gone way too long. Believe me, it wasn't because I didn't want to be here. It was because I met a little adversity of my own. I've been staggering around like a zombie for, going on, two weeks now. I hate to admit it but I hurt myself getting out of the chair. I was sitting at the dining room table and started to get up when a sharp pain hit me in my left buttocks. I know it sounds crazy but it made me want to cry. I must have injured my sciatic nerve.

I've been dragging myself from room to room on my walking cane. It's the same one I used when I stepped backwards off a ladder a long time ago. Anyway, I've been hobbling around on the little black walking cane that my parents found laying on the ground in Minnesota when they went to the Mayo Clinic years ago. It has sentimental value. I like it because it's adjustable. Donny used it when he got out of the hospital after his bypass.

In the beginning I could barely get around. I was lucky because Donny was home that week. He had just had his defibrillator surgery and was home recuperating. He was able to help me get up and down. 

I can't believe how helpless you can feel when you're not able to do anything for yourself. I told my mother I had a whole new empathy for her since this happened. Now I understand why she got so frustrated when she couldn't do anything for herself. Walking just a few steps seems like too much of a challenge.

Donny was so good to me. He went to the drug store to buy me a heat pad and pick up some medicine for me. Mama also contributed with her salves and gadgets. She generously lent me her infrared lamp and massage machine.

I rotated ice bags and the hot pad for a couple of days and laid in bed hoping for some relief. I tried to get up and go to the bathroom or wander into the dining room from time to time but I only wanted to forget the pain.

Now I understand and now I get it. It's not enough to just help somebody. It's important to understand what they are going through when they are sick or restricted. It's awful. Independence is gone, leaving you at the mercy of others.

I was hoping that things would be looking up by summer. I thought I might finally get the house painted, mow a lot, get in shape, what have you. Instead I've been given another curve ball. So, to answer your question, "No, this hasn't been a very exciting fourth of July and I don't feel very independent.

Shame on me for feeling sorry for myself.

Krista, Jeremy,Darrel, Athena, Connie, Jennifer, Christy, Nathan, Madison, Holly, Coven, Tristan, Evitt, Tillie


Independence Day



PBS 7-8-14  Tuesday 10:53 PM EDT

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Need for Speed

The groom got a new car. How do you like it? I think it's H-O-T! And it's red. What's not to like? Scout, bless his heart, gave the old Mercury to his daddy. Now we have reliable wheels to go to Chattanooga next week for Don's defibrillator. I can't understand why Scout didn't just lend us the Firebird. Can you?
Mama is improving by leaps and bounds. I am so proud of her. I knew you couldn't keep the old crow down for long. She quit using her oxygen so she could get around easier and she started feeling better. She hasn't needed the wheelchair around the house and was only using her walker until today. The therapist is letting her use a cane.  

Mama is able to take care of herself and do the laundry. She's getting back to normal. Nothing can hold Mama back but I hope she doesn't overdo it. She's awfully stubborn. 
Katie and I like to do things together. Today I rode to the feed store with her to get goat food for Vinnie and Beatrice. We went to 41 Feed and Garden Center. One of my former beaus owns the store. 

I mentioned how sweet he was and the fact that he gave me an orchid when we went to the band banquet. I was only fourteen. He must have loved flowers even back then. He was a nice guy and he still is. That's why I try to buy something from him every year. 

We got the sweet feed and a leather collar for Vinnie then we left.

Katie asked me to help her put the goat food up when we got back to the house and we went into the upholstery room to put the food in a trashcan. 

Katie's white cat was in the upholstery shop so she started looking for her. Katie found the cat and three little kitties that were in a sack. Mama would have a cow if she found out. She can't stand Katie's cat. She's not going to like her kitties any better.
Tomorrow I'm going to take Mama to the doctor for blood tests. I hope it goes smoothly. Last time Mama was impatient and I was grouchy. I chewed out the nurse because we waited nearly two hours.

I make a lousy patient advocate because I am not patient. The only good thing about having me for an advocate it that if you want someone to speak up for you, I will. But that's also one of the bad things about me. If you want me to be quiet and pipe down, you're probably going to be disappointed in me. I've decided to be honest and upfront with medical people and they can either prove me wrong or do what they're supposed to do. I want the truth and respect. Part of that respect entails not keeping a patient waiting nearly two hours. It took some talking but the nurse finally apologized for the delay.

Why do I have to pitch a fit before people pay attention to me?
Donny woke me last Saturday and told me the tree cutters were outside. I jumped up and got dressed as quick as I could. They had already butchered one of my magnolia trees. I pitched a fit and asked them why the hell do they always want to cut our damn magnolias! I have fought to protect them for over twenty five years now and it's getting old. 

I don't care what anybody tells you, when they butcher a magnolia tree it never grows back right. The trees up the road look horrible because they cut them using the Shigo tree trimming method. I call it the "Shit-Go!" method because it looks like shit and ruins the trees integrity. They never go back to looking like they should.

Magnolia trees should not be trimmed. Our trees have had the lower branches cut off. They were like that when we moved here. That's why we can stand under the trees and walk around underneath them. Most magnolias have branches so low they touch the ground. Ours don't and they never will. Most trees have sprouts when branches are cut off but magnolias don't regenerate like that. That's why I get so enraged when someone comes along and cuts our trees.

On that note, this is my current fight. 

They butchered my trees. The bastards! Stuff like this makes me sick.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm A Bear

Sometimes I feel grouchy like a bear. Sometimes it's a good idea to stay out of my way. I feel that way here lately. Somebody has become too pushy and I've only just met them. Let me get one thing straight up front. Ain't nobody gonna start pushing my buttons and getting pushy with me on the internet. I am an American woman, by God, and I don't take shit off of nobody. Never have, never will. That's my motto and it's been my motto for a long time so I don't see any sense in changing it now. 

Like the dear comic genius Jim Carey said in The Cable Guy "I can be your best friend, or I can be your worst enemy. You seem to prefer the latter." And as David Banner aka The Hulk was known to say, "Don't make me mad. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad."

I have a hard time dealing with people sometimes and I think internet friendships are strange anyway. I am, and have always been, a stick in the mud. I can only reach out so far, and that's plenty enough. Here's the question. What makes people reach out to strangers from other countries. And why the hell do they pick people? 

I have had several people from other countries who take an interest in me, and I wonder why. I am not particularly entertaining. I'm about as exciting as watching wet cement dry. I am not talented, industrious, or anything. I am just a regular big mouth who enjoys spreading the word.

I have several interests, some more than others, and they can fluctuate from one to the other. I am nothing more than an armchair activist although I do see several heroes in the world making a small or large difference in their own way. I really respect these people. They are compassionate.

Whether it is a cat lover, or a dog lover, or an animal activist for all animals, or an environmentalist, or a whistleblower, or a conspiracy theorist, or a gun control advocate, or an intactivist who opposes circumcision, I admire you all. You have amazingly big hearts and respect all living creatures. You exert more compassion for your fellow humans than the rest of us do. 

I think it takes people with big, loving hearts to make a better future for us all. Until we all work to make the future better for all people, not just ourselves, we will never get back to creating Utopia. In the sixties, I thought we were on our way. Nowadays I wonder where the hell all the hippies went.

Tomorrow is another day. I guess I'll deal with my problem the way I always do. With tact and manners. After all, I can be gracious when I want to be.

Who laughed? Hmm .....   I feel better now.

Come closer. I won't bite.
Bear Dog


PBS 6-12-14 Thursday 11:23 PM EDT

Friday, June 6, 2014

Scout's Married

Finally, I have some good news to report. Today we celebrated the wedding of my oldest son, Scout, and his beautiful bride, Katie. They were united in marriage in a simple but tasteful ceremony in my mother's backyard. 

It was a small ceremony with close friends and family. Mama was there, Colt was the best man, and Katie's best friend was the bridesmaid. Bennett even had a part in the ceremony. 
We had set up tables for the guests under the shade trees but didn't get to use them. Too bad we didn't get to stick to our original plans. We moved the celebration inside when it looked like rain. Fortunately it never came a downpour. 

Last year we celebrated Mama's birthday. Daddy always gave Mama a surprise party for her birthday. This year we are having another kind of party. A party to celebrate the joining of two families together. I wish Daddy was here to celebrate with us. He would have loved Katie. 
Aaron, Dustin, Tyler, Sara, Colt, Tim, Eddie, Jimmy, Gary, Dana, Nancy, Hanna, Keegan, and Shanda

Chase and Krista Sheram

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

Flag day June 14, Father's day June 15, and Summer June 21st


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

No News

They say no news is good news but that's not necessarily true. Sometimes it's just a sign that you are so busy handling the crap in your life that you don't have time to sit down and talk about it. 

For nearly a month I have been running around taking care of my mother and trying to do everything I can for her. It seems like every time we think things are looking up something else happens.

Mama broke her leg in April and had to stay in ICU for several days. Then she was moved into rehab for about three weeks. She started having spells where she couldn't breathe at night so they sent her back to the hospital. What they thought was panic attacks turned out to be fluid built up around her heart and she had to stay in the hospital for nearly a week. The doctor didn't release her until I pitched a fit. He told her she was going to go home but we didn't hear any more from him all that day. 

I left the hospital to switch cars so that Mama could ride in her car. It has air conditioning. I also went by the place that was going to provide oxygen for her to see if the doctor had sent them a work order. The healthcare company called the room at the hospital around five o'clock to see if she was coming home. I told them I would contact the doctor's office to see what the holdup was all about.

I called the doctor's office but couldn't talk to the doctor who was supposed to release her. I talked to the doctor on call. She told me to get the nurse to page the doctor because he was at the hospital making rounds. By this time I was becoming irate. 

The healthcare service provider promised to bring an oxygen tank to the hospital and take an oxygenator and wheelchair to her house even though they closed at five. 

When the doctor finally came into her room he tried to blame the delay on the healthcare services provider for not bringing her oxygen sooner. I wasn't having any of that crap and told him we had been waiting since eight o'clock that morning to be released and I had made sure everything was ready for her. I told him I had even stopped by the business to make sure they were going to bring her oxygen tanks. He still tried to blame them. I told him they weren't the ones responsible for signing the release papers and he couldn't blame them. I knew exactly who to blame. He said he was never going to use them again. It wasn't his choice. We had chosen them. He finally said he was used to getting blamed for things so he guessed he would take the blame. Yeah, right! If he is used to being blamed for things he needs to reevaluate his work ethic. Something is seriously wrong.

We finally got home around seven o'clock. We were never so happy to be back home.

Life goes on. 

Scout and Katie are planning an outdoor wedding under the grape arbor at Mama's house. I want Mama to feel well enough to attend the wedding and be a part of the celebration. 

Katie has been invaluable to us throughout everything. She even went with Donny to the doctor in Tennessee the other day for his appointment to find out about having a permanent defibrillator surgically installed. I was at the hospital busy wrestling with Mama's doctor at the time.

Colt met a girl and doesn't hang around the house much anymore. I will need him to stay home with Donny in case he needs him because I am staying at Mama's house to take care of her until she is back on her feet.

I don't feel like I can depend on anybody else to take care of Mama and Donny and I feel stretched like a rubber band. Sometimes I wish I was twins.

We are all hoping everything starts going more smoothly. We could use the break.


Sunday, May 4, 2014


Have you ever seen those commercials where the old lady is laying in the floor hollering, "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up?" I always admonish my mama to keep her cellphone on her so she won't be helpless like that old woman on TV. I'm glad she listened.

I got a call last Sunday. Katie told me to get to Mama's house right away. She had fallen. Mama tried to call us but couldn't get anyone. Scout found her and called 911. We rushed up there in time to see her being loaded into an ambulance. They took Mama to the hospital to examine her. She broke her leg.

The doctor couldn't do surgery right away because she takes blood thinner medicine. They finally did surgery on Monday and the doctor inserted a long metal rod in her thigh bone. 

Mama spent several days in SICU* until they finally moved her to a private room. She sounded coherent when she was in SICU but began to sound unclear later on. I stayed with her most of the time at the hospital because she didn't need to be alone. 

It took a while for them to regulate her oxygen level and heartbeat. She began to get feisty and kept wanting to get up. She couldn't stand laying in bed any longer. Her doctor released her to go to rehab today. I'm glad because she wasn't in any shape to go home alone yet. I'd make some lame joke about my mama going to rehab if it wasn't so sad. I hate seeing her so helpless.

Everybody was concerned about Mama. Aunt Jonnie and my uncle, Robert, drove down from Chattanooga to check on her a couple of times. We went to the Oakwood Cafe for dinner while Mama was in surgery.

Patsy sent Mama some flowers in the hospital because she couldn't be there. She moved back to Illinois recently. Mary Jane had moved back to Savannah a couple of months ago to be with her son so Patsy thought it was time to move closer to Donna and Butch.

It seems like we have lost so many people we love in one way or another. I counted and I've been to four funerals since Thanksgiving. Daddy and his sister, Vivian, passed away six weeks apart. Then Scout's fiance, Katie, lost her father three weeks later. Two weeks after that, Daddy's best friend, Gordon, lost his battle with cancer. 

Since November we have lost four loved ones and Donny had a quadruple bypass. To say we are up against the wall is an understatement. I was finally glad Donny was released to go back to work and thought things were improving until Mama slipped and fell. 

I felt like we were under a stormy cloud and hoped things wouldn't get worse but they did. 

A friend of mine who is on Facebook contacted me and told me that her husband had a heart attack and they weren't able to save him. I was shocked and devastated because he was a good friend of mine, too. I've known him most of my life. Steve was four years younger than me. I couldn't believe it. I went to the funeral home to pay my respects to his family today.

It seems like when it rains, it pours. It breaks my heart that my friends and family are passing away. There are so many wonderful people that used to be in my life that are now gone. I miss them so much and I wonder if things will ever be normal again. I doubt it. Nothing's ever the same after you lose someone. I only hope all our luck improves soon.

*surgical intensive care unit


Rachel, Steve, Connie, Maranda, Vivian, Nita, Junior, and Madison


Edwadene McAllister, Grampaw Carter, Ev Chastain


Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day


Monday, April 14, 2014

Winner Winner

Chicken Dinner. Yum, yum. I love me some chicken dinner. It's simple, really.
Set aside the raw chicken while you prepare the herb mix.
I like to brush olive oil on my pan so the chicken doesn't stick.
I crush crackers with my mortar and pestle. I usually start with three or four crackers at a time and add more if I think I will need them. I add the salt and pepper and any spices I want. Today I used garlic and sage.
I sprinkle the herb mix over my chicken breasts and cover the surface.
I cook my chicken in the oven with the lid on it until it's nearly done. Before it's finished, I take the top off and put the pan under the broiler to give the chicken a crispy crust.
Two perfectly cooked chicken breasts.
That's how you make a delicious chicken dinner with cracker crumbs.
Eat up and enjoy.
Winner, winner! Chicken dinner.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Boy, did we get fooled on Monday. It was a day early but it could definitely qualify as an April Fool's joke.

Donny's doctors told him to exercise so that he could get his strength back. He likes to walk around the church parking lot usually but on Monday he said, "Let's walk down Chitwood Road." 

I've been walking with him to keep an eye on him and I was ready for some new scenery. We took a slow but steady pace as we walked down the country road. By the time we got back home, Colt and Scout were arriving home from work.

Donny ate a bowl of chocolate ice cream and he seemed to be fine. I was in another room when he called me.

Donny said he was sick and his head was cold and clammy again. I was scared he was having heart trouble but the little monitor he wears over his shoulder wasn't going off.

Donny's stomach was messed up and he had to throw up. Donny never gets sick. I talked him into letting me drive him to the hospital. On the way we were trying to figure out what was wrong.

Donny had to go to the hospital last time because he was dehydrated. I asked him what he had to eat and drink. All he could remember was three cups of coffee and a bowl of ice cream. 

The emergency room doctor had told him coffee isn't good for him because it's a diuretic. He hasn't been drinking enough water.  He didn't want to go to the emergency room so I asked him if he'd drink some water to see if it would help. 

We went to Krystal's and got something to drink. I bet we stayed there for at least an hour while Don tried to recuperate. I got his glass refilled. He got sick again after drinking the water too fast but after that he said he felt better. He still didn't want to go to the hospital though so we rode around town. 

Donny told me to take him to Mama's house and he'd rest there. He crashed in the sun room. Mama bundled him up in blankets and even pulled her new heater to the sun room for him.

She petted him and made him pudding to settle his stomach. 

Scout, Katie, and Bennett came to see if he was okay. They had been eating dinner at the Oakwood Cafe while we were in town.

Donny finally said he felt better and he had to go home to take his medicine. He wasn't sick anymore. I sure am glad because I don't do well in a crisis. My first response is to panic. Bless his poor old, new heart.

I'd rather be fooled than be right. I was scared he was having a heart attack. We all were. April fools on us.

Sanna, Patricia, Susie, Debbie, Aja, Allan, and Kathy

Jason and Hanna, Myra and Noodie, Ann and Jim

Beulah Burchfield, Henry Cornwell, and Donna Shoates

It's tax time!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Burn, Baby, Burn

Today I was eating lunch when I saw smoke outside. I went out on our little porch to see if I could tell what was burning. I thought our neighbors might be burning leaves down the road from us. I went back inside when I couldn't see anything. Right after that, a firetruck went flying up the road. I peeked out front and saw smoke north of us.
Firetrucks were trying to put a fire out on the side of the road. It had run up the hill into the woods because the wind had been blowing hard today.
I walked up the side of the road to get a better look. Some kids were playing in the front yard of one of the houses. They said they called 911 when they saw the fire. The lady who lived there said another neighbor had called asking if her house was on fire. The fire was across the road. The lady said flames were fifteen feet high when she called.

It's hard to believe a fire could have started by accident. Although there is plenty of undergrowth, the fire seemed pretty large. 
Luckily we have a fire station down the road from us. Firefighters are quick to respond to any emergency.

Don't let the green grass fool you. Although we have had plenty of rain recently, a fire can get out of control quickly.

The tree trunks are charred and black. The fire went east up the hill and was trying to go completely out of control.
Even the "law dogs" showed up. I guess they couldn't resist the excitement. Everyone turns out for an emergency in Resaca. Not much ever happens around here.
Firefighters used a bulldozer to try to make a fire break. They parked up Chitwood Road and went into the woods.

Firefighters efforts were rewarded because the fire didn't spread very far. If it had of gained purchase the neighbors on Chitwood Road would have been in trouble. The woods surrounds their houses.
Emergency vehicles were everywhere during the fire. I didn't even know they had access to bulldozers until now.
Traffic was backed up both ways on Highway 41. Several cars turned around but most vehicles waited patiently until they were motioned around the firetrucks.
Smoke was still billowing out from the pine needles and leaves laying on the ground.
The firefighters left after they contained the fire. It was quiet and peaceful again but there were still some hot spots burning.
Donny and I rode up Chitwood Road to see how far the fire had spread. It looked as if hadn't gone very far but it was still smoking.
I guess that is our excitement for the week. I sure hope the fire doesn't start back up later on. A cloud of smoke hangs over the neighborhood. I wonder what started the fire in the first place. It's hard to believe it was spontaneous combustion. I can't imagine that a cigarette being thrown out would have caused such a large burn before anyone noticed it. I sure hope it wasn't arson. 


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