Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

God bless my Daddy on this day. He is 84 years old, and volunteered for the Army in WWII. Shot 8 times while in the Philippines, crept own his own to the field hospital, left with the dead and dying once he got there as he was injured so badly, finally transported down a mountain on top of a truck, under sniper fire, and spent 8 months in an Army hospital in New Caledonia, only to return to the field of battle and occupy Japan after the war. I love you, Daddy! From a hillbilly farm boy to a warrior to a cotton mill worker to my father; you represent what America truly is.

Monday, November 9, 2009

WELLLLLLLLL, snap-a-dap-dap!

There's more drama at my son's high school than an amateur Shakespeare festival. I won't go into details because I kinda like getting a paycheck but it ain't nothing you can't read in the paper.

A meal from the Value Menu at Wendy's has quelled my hunger, but now I want chocolate. Woe is me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cleaned out one of the storage rooms today to glean stuff for a yard sale we're having next weekend. A lot of stuff from the beach house. When the first of it started moving out, I had myself a little cry and got that over with. Some things I won't part with, like the lamp Daddy made from a cypress knee, and the tiny little picture of a guy at a ship's wheel and Jesus resting his hands on his shoulders. Those things were in there for over 30 years and I can't bear to part with them. If I ever get another beach house, they'll go in that.

Tomorrow we start on the other room. This is hard, dirty, allergy-affecting work. I bet we won't make crap off of this. But it will be over and I can live in peace again.

Speaking of living in peace, Christmas certainly doesn't creep up on little cat feet anymore. I feel like it's already Christmas, and Halloween was just last Saturday. When I was a kid it seemed like it would take forever for Christmas to come after Halloween. Now it's like Oh, Hell. It's Christmas already?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Recovery from a flu bug bite

So I have been sitting around with the flu this week thinking, dang: I want to write something because stuff is in my head, but I really don't feel inspired to write any fiction in one of the myriad of life-long works I have scattered around in various storage areas on the internet. Then today I was like, well duh, forget about your blog much?

Rain smells like

dreams I have had

purple violent skies

my elementary school

the occasional tornado that
I miraculously outrun

driving through deep water that
never quite makes the car flood

I dunno what that is, poem or prose, but it's been tumbling around in my head since Thursday so I thought I better get it out before it either gets flushed or takes root.

I'm glad to be getting over the flu. The older I get, the harder these things hit me. I had to miss four days of work which to be perfectly honest, made me feel guilty. I know things like this happen, but I am not one of those lay out of work types. When I fell in 2005 I had about 25 sick days built up.

New cat introduction continues to be in the yellow alert area. Oliver occasionally chases Zooey but he does not seem to be trying to kick her butt. Zooey hisses and acts all mountain lion with him, but all it really amounts to is a lot of nostril flaring. I guess eventually they will get over one another and get on with life. I'll be glad when I don't hear the panther scream in the night as Zooey asserts herself when Ollie decides to take a little midnight stroll in her 'zone'.

Zooey is also one of those cats that will meow that throaty, God-awful loud " 'Ello! 'ELLO!" meow. She sounds like she's Cockney: 'Ellow, Guv'ner.

One more dose of zithromax and six more of Tamiflu. I ought to have the most germ/virus/bacteria - free blood in seven states by the time all of this has transpired.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

Vacation. A word that strikes a chord of hope and a pang of fear in the hearts of humans. Vacation means seeing new things, or returning to things we love and want to revisit. Vacations mean eating out a lot and spending money a lot. It exceeds and falls woefully short of our expectations, but it is always over much, much too soon, and as soon as we come home we begin thinking about next time, next year, whenever we can get away again, and touch that sacred feeling again.

I think most people try to cram too much in to a vacation. Back when we had the beach house, we were just 'there'. We might go to Wilmington every once in a while, or Myrtle Beach, but pretty much being at the beach was it: you got up, you went on the beach, you swam, you sat in a lawn chair, your napped, you ate. It was relaxing and we all went home with faint, sleepy smiles and darker skin. Now, we take vacations that are destinations: something to do everyday. Go here, catch this bus or trolley or whatever, wait in lines, sweat, buy overpriced food, overpriced drinks, get lost, argue, shell out more bucks, trudge for miles in the Sahara heat. You come home needing a vacation to get over your vacation.

We just got back from vacation in South Carolina. We started off in Charleston, where we spent three nice days with Tripp's Aunt, Linda. She is a sweet, beautiful lady and we felt like we were in our own home. The house is straight out of Southern Living, with perfect decor and smells and a beautiful Himalayan kitty, and I felt like a huge slob! :) Tripp's Granny was 88 years old the day we got there, so we had a nice seafood dinner out with her. But after that, we got up and got out each day, going to the SC Aquarium, several historic graveyards (I am a card-carryin' Graveyard Rabbit which means I love to explore old cemeteries), Sullivan's Island to see Ft. Moultrie (not to see the First Lady of SC move back into her home, leaving her cheatin' husband the Governor back in Columbia), several trips across the awe-inspiring and steering wheel clenching Cooper River Bridge, and Gilligan's for weep-worthy seafood.

Charleston is a snarl of one-way streets and horse and buggies, narrow old houses with elaborate iron gates, historic markers, ladies weaving sweetgrass into baskets tight enough to hold water, desperate humidity and heat, and awesome atmosphere. I think I could write every day in a place as stimulating as Charleston. If you don't like the scenery, drive a few blocks. Don't like the weather, wait fifteen minutes. It rained like Hellzapoppin' on us every day, but it was okay. The cobblestones fairly sizzled when the drops hit.

Tuesday morning we regretfully left and wound our way north. we went through places named things like Seewee and Awendaw, and stopped at a plantation called Hampton in McClellansville.
Situated on the Wambaw Creek, this is a gorgeous house that dates back to the 1750's, built by slave labor for wealthy French Huguenots and visited by old G. Washington himself! The chief export of Hampton Plantation is mosquitoes. As soon as you step out of the car, the Head Mosquito sounds the air raid siren (audible only to mosquito ears) and they descend upon bare flesh like piranha on a hapless gazelle. Left to one's own devices, I imagine they would find your deflated, bloodless body within a few hours. In any event, the floors in the old house were very uneven due to the Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886. One has to brace one's feet to stay upright in a particular room. Tripp's ancestor Francis Marion hid out there sometime during the Revolution as well. On the staircase of the house, namely the second stair, John Henry Rutledge shot himself in the temple, lovesick for a girl his mother did not approve of. We went back to the slab of marble that marked his grave, and were immediately driven back by several battalions of mosquitoes. Suffice it to say that a desperate search for Tea Tree oil ensued back in the car and it still reeks of Campho Phenique lo these days later. On my scale of Mosquito Hell Levels, I rate it an 8, with the NC Outer Banks a solid 10 at the top.

Much scratching an aromatic-ising later, we reached Pawley's Island and our Holiday Inn. Here we had a fridge and a bathroom and freezing freaking cold AC and no blood - sucking, disease - carrying airborne pests. The next day, we went to Huntington Beach State Park, which at $5 a head is quite a bargain for your day-trippers. Thin crowds, showers, and bathrooms. Sugar sand beaches, life guards, and blessed boardwalks out to the beach so no slippery, hard-to-traverse searing hot sand. While we were swimming, our umbrella flew away, never to be seen again. It was small and cheap. Maybe it had dreams of something more. Dinner was late and had at Outback Steak House. A little Oz in Georgetown County.

Sunburned the next day, we shunned the beach and ventured into that Vegas-on-the-beach that is Myrtle Beach, Bryant loves this store at Broadway called RetroActive. It has 70's and 80's stuff and is located right next door to a Ben and Jerry's. Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Dinner that night was at California Dreaming, which is a glorified TGI Friday's for those of you unfamiliar with it.

After dinner we went to Surfside beach and walked out into the water. It was my favorite time of day at the shore; twilight, and a few tears glittered in my eyes as I remembered my shabby old cottage and mourned it's loss. Surfside is very much a cottage beach as opposed to the high rise crap that is Myrtle Beach now days. Refreshing, but sort of heart rending for me.

And so, we came back home to NC, but not without my having a visit to the Krystal's my son spied in Surfside. Krystle lovers, be alerted: it's right on 17, Surfside Beach SC. You have been warned.

I slept 14 hours that night, recovering.

So it's nice to come home and pick the kitty up at the vets, to wash mounds of sweaty clothes and wonder where the toothpaste is after the mad dash to get out of the room by 11 am. But I find myself closing my eyes at night and seeing giant oaks with Spanish moss, and feeling the cool sea breeze on my face.

Maybe Labor Day...Huntington has a nice campground.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm going to kill my son.

Any of you out there with a teenager know this feeling. I don't really think this should be a prosecutable crime. I kind of feel like...if you actually had a jury of your peers; parents of teenagers, and they heard your testimony, they'd be all "Awwwww... let 'em go."

It's not as if he's done anything in particular. This morning (call the Vatican, it's a miracle) the kid is up about 9:30. Since we are leaving on vacation this weekend, I asked him to get together the outfits he wants to wear, get the ones that are dirty and put them in the laundry, blah blah.


There are at least ten thousand reasons why this is a problem right now: I'm going somewhere with my friends at one, I wanted to play the Wii for a while, I gotta take a shower, I'm all a-dither about the Sara Palin resignation, blah blah blah. So he comes out with a shirt and a pair of shorts and is heading to the laundry room.

"What's that?" I asked.

There was a ponderous, sonorous sigh. "It's what I want to wear this afternoon."

"Well what about the other things?"

"What other things?"

(This the part where I do the neck out, head-cocked to the side thing that literally screams: DUH!) "The other clothes that are dirty that you need to take on vacation?"

Sssssssssssiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh. Back into the room. He returns with two more shirts and two more shorts. "Now. Are you happy?"

"What do I care? It's your vacation too. If you want to wear the same thing every day..."

Apparently this signals the Parent Rant and he went on to the laundry room.

Did you guys in other states hear that sigh? The Army has plans to use it for acoustic warfare.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back From the Mountain...


I spent nearly a week at ASU in Boone NC for the NC Teacher's Academy. I had looked forward to it but when I got up there I was having so much trouble with back spasms that it was miserable any time I had to walk up hills. And there's a little more than hills in Boone: it's mountains. Anyway...

I went with Kim to the store on Monday night and as we were coming back we got caught in the biggest, most fierce storm from Hell... Jesus! At first the rain was so hard that visibility was ZERO, then it started hailing. I have never driven in hail before. I was freaked out. Hail was drumming on the roof and bouncing off the windshield. Kim was laughing hysterically, I was just hysterical! I guess the little bits of ice were about the size of English peas, maybe a little larger. I didn't find any damage on my car, but when we pulled into the lot of the dorm where we were staying, there was quite a raging little stream of muddy water coming off the side of the mountain behind the building. It wasn't a big deal for the Trailblazer to cross, so we parked and ran in. Within five minutes that little creek had turned into an honest to goodness fast water incident! Some of the smaller cars parked in the first rows had water dashing up to the windows. It was still pouring rain and I ran upstairs to get my camera. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a pic or two - they aren't very spectacular as by the time the 5000 year old elevator took me up and brought me down the water had subsided. Presently there was nothing left but a mudslide and a lot of trash that had come floating down. I drank a few shots of Tequila Coco in it's honor and moved on.

Thursday Amy and I took off into the higher mountains in hopes of getting some pictures. We finally got on the parkway but once again it started raining and lowered the visibility: not due to the intensity of the rain but the clouds. We approached a very sharp curve at one point that appeared as if the road just ended and you would sail out into the clouds. I remarked that we'd found Heaven but I doubted that either one of us would get in. Just the "Snide Comments" sections of our Book(s) Of Life are probably four feet thick with Post It's hanging out everywhere.

Needless to say, no award-winning shots were had that day, either. Feh.

Trip home was uneventful. Introduced Amy and Kim to the joy that is Tom's Bacon Cheddar Fries. Had some laughs. I slept 12 hours last night and took two naps today recovering.

It's bad to get old

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday, Caturday... Oak Island, Charleston, and more

... if you've spent any time looking at LOL Cats, you'll recognize the Caturday thing.

I spent most of the day yesterday being wretchedly sick with some sort of gastronomic atrocity. I think chicken fries, no matter how much I love them, are the enemy. Both times I've eaten them recently I've had stomach problems. Yesterday's episode wasn't typical nausea; oh no, it was screaming hot seething pain in the guts Viet Nam disemboweling-with-a-bayonet agony. That having been said (vividly, I might add) it waxed and waned until I fell asleep about three and woke up to the "thing" having vacated the premises. Thank God. I'd sooner have been in labor again. (Scratch that.)

I find myself longing for the ocean more and more. Remembering rising in the morning and walking out onto the walkway to see what the sea was up to, going out after dinner to throw leftover bread to the gulls and to watch the sun set and little Ghost crabs race down to the surf...it brings an almost physical pain to know I will never do those things from 720 Caswell Beach Road ever again. It's like some sort of cosmic punch in the stomach. Seems to be a common theme today, eh? I am grieving, as surely as I would if a person had died. This year marks four since Daddy sold the house and I last visited it as a 'resident'. I went back one summer after 'Long View's' transformation into 'Birds of a Feather' (psshyeah...) and found it distasteful. Painting the gorgeous knotty pine exposed beam ceilings white, and the paneled walls ice cream Key West colors. Turning a closet into a bathroom? I stood on the front porch and peered down to the driveway where I fell and fractured my skull that last day: January 15, 2005. It wasn't my house anymore. Still, I kissed the wall in the den before I left and said I still loved her. And I do.

The picture above is of my son when he was a little kid, washing the sand off of his feet on our walkway. Our, what was our walkway.

So, in a few weeks we are going to go down to Charleston SC to visit and vacation. Tripp's mom is from there, and of course Folly Beach is nearby to give me an ocean fix. It is just never the same. It's like never being able to eat real chocolate again. Substitutes pale in comparison.

Today I'd like to go out and do a little cemetery photography. Especially at Cross Creek downtown, I don't like to go alone. The neighborhood is a little too dicey around there for a woman alone who is distracted by her hobby; forsooth, holding a very expensive camera in her hands. What a tasty little Saturday robbery that would be!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dr. lectured me. I don't test my blood often enough, and I don't keep a log. I know I should, but-damn, it gets tiring having to think "diabetes diabetes diabetes" all the time. I'll have to dig out a log, I suppose. I have to test four times a day, and in the summer especially I am not on any kind of a schedule like at school.

Speaking of school, I heard some disconcerting news today. It isn't necessarily about me, but it affects someone close to me.

When I came home from the doctor's office, I had this big box of supplies for my pump. There was also a notice that the quick sets I use to connect the pump to my body are recalled, and now I have to box 'em, up and ship them back to the Medtronic people. Well damn. If the tubing was defective and I wasn't getting the right amount of insulin, maybe that's why my sugar runs high!

After that I sat down here at the computer and fell asleep. Man, I've been asleep for about three hours! I haven't eaten all day, except for a banana on the way to the Dr's office. Oddly, I don't get hungry; I just go and go until I am literally shaking from the need to put some fuel in the tank.

Lotta stuff turning over in my head, stuff I can't really write in a public forum. I'll have to leave this at a boring "what I did on my summer vacation" type entry until I get green-lighted about anything else.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From the mouths of babes...

Paris Jackson made me weep at her Daddy's memorial. To hear her say her Daddy was the best father in the world...as a Daddy's girl, that really broke my heart.
Good morning, new blog!

I am not new to the blog thing. I have had a Livejournal since Hector was a pup ( yes, that is an obscure, odd cliche to indicate 'a long time') but I frankly got a little tired of the cheesy-feel of LJ. And I kind of didn't want to pay for it anymore! So here I am.

The Michael Jackson funeral is on right now. It just started. I have changed channels a few time and finally landed on CNN's coverage. They're showing a set up in Raleigh where there are large screen TV's to watch the proceedings. I am kind of surprised that there's something set up here in NC. I guess it's in the Civic center or some such.

Actually, freaking nothing is going on right now. Smokey Robinson came up and read some apology stuff from other celebrities, but there's been a lag of about ten minutes now. Apparently, people are still filing in. You can see steady movement in the aisles of the Staple's Center.

I remember when Elvis died in 1977. We were at the beach. I was in the bedroom reading a book when my sister came in and told me Elvis was dead. I thought she was kidding, but obviously she wasn't. That was a private funeral, even though the streets were filled with people watching the funeral procession. This televised memorial service stuff is a more recent development. I know Princess Diana and Michael Hutchence (in AUS) were televised. Now you have memorial videos at the service, sometimes even memorial videos in the cemeteries (Hollywood Forever comes to mind). I will say this: the camera flashes are going off in the arena every few seconds. That's kind of tacky. It isn't a freaking concert, folks. It's a funeral. Wait 'til they bring in the casket. It'll be like a lightning storm.

Of COURSE I am watching this. I ain't a card carrying ghoul for nothing! :D