Sunday, September 24, 2006


As another too short weekend draws to a close, I have to wonder where it went, and why such a hurry. It seems like I took a long coffee break when Monday rolls around again.

I've been under so much pressure at work lately (the entire last year) that I come home exhausted every night. I spend Saturday just trying to catch up on some much needed rest.

Pray for a mild hurricane season for '06 and maybe things will let up a little this fall. Although I get all of the disaster reconstruction projects. It's amazing how many things can cause damage in a department store. Anything from some asshole driving his truck through the plate glass window and out through the mall to rob a nearby jewelry store, to fires, to water damage form sprinkler systems and of course hurricanes.

Jimbob always likes to go, go go on the weekends and all I want is a good book and no one saying "gimme." This morning I rang chimes at two services, ran home long enough to type up a program for Jimbob's Music Club at 4:00 PM, ran 60 copies, flew to Sam's for 4 dozen roses and then drove downtown to hear his students perform. When it was all over I could barely walk because my back is out of whack again.

When it was all over, Jimbob was on his way to another concert downtown, and I headed home. Do you have any idea what it's like to have to sit in the car for 45 minutes when your back is killing you. Pain has a way of wearing a body down.

I sound like my life is all doom and gloom and it really isn't. Pain puts a different perspective on life.

I took our big cat, Herald to the vet on Thursday for his annual shots. I knew this guy was overweight, but he's gone from 16 pounds to 18.4 this past year. Too bad I can't put him on a leash and go for a walk. (Yes, I have tried.) We could both use the exercise.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tongue Lashing

While my pen may be glib and debonair,
my tongue is a stumblebum, a nitwit and fool
Give me a writing tool, and I wax eloquent, yet
I hide in embarrassment when required to speak.
My mouth suddenly belongs to the enemy camp,
not sweet little me.
I’ve been told dyslexia is a vision disorder.
Yeah right!
Someone should tell that to my naughty tool of ignoble disgrace.
For, it’s plain to see,
my tongue and brain operate on different wave lengths,
and under the rigors of a space time warp simply too weird to be.
My mind hangs out at the Taj Mahal,
or Tahiti, or perhaps even Shangrila
While my tongue takes orders from some blind creature
transmitting in garbled Braille
from the deepest depths of the ocean blue.
Although, I’ve heard rumors it’s actually Poughkeepsie you see.
“Hello, how are you?” comes out,
“My big purple toe fell off my face.”
I know what I want to say,
but my tongue cannot find the words.
Truly, it must be out for a snack.
At best, I utter, “Bu, burble, goo…”
That’s fine for babies, but not for me.
It only behaves when wrapped around a stiff….
Well, perhaps that’s better left unsaid.
I think you get my drift.
Just give me a pen,
and I’ll write you a poem of epic proportion,
but…don’t ask me to utter more than two words together
and call it a sentence.
For you see, I will fail miserably.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Rain, rain , give us rain. Glorius, wet shushing rain. The more the better. Fill the lakes and ponds to the brim. Revive the parched Earth.

I woke up this morning some time after 3:00 AM to the rumble and grumble of a thunder storm. And then when it finally rained, it was like you could hear the earth groan in relief. The ground around here has cracks big enough to swallow a small child. What a marvelous thing a little bit of rain is.

I'm not sure how long I lay awake after that listening to nature's symphony, or maybe I should say tympany. It was so needed. Now all of a sudden I have flower bulbs in the front yard springing up that I put in the ground last fall. They haven't had enough water until now to do anything.

Several times the thunder was so loud it felt like it would shake us out of bed. The entire house twanged in response. And of course the ground fault breaker in the bathroom kicked off again. It does that everytime it rains or we water the grass.

If I was really ambitious, I might try to find the problem but I've changed the breaker itself once and that hasn't helped. I'm thinking I need to call our trusty handyman, Doug, to check the wiring. I can do a lot of things around the house, but I don't know much about electrical problems.

I don't really care right now as long as we get more rain. Having to find an another outlet in the house to plug in the curling iron is only a minor nuisance. I night even go out and play in the rain.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Computer Blues

I think my computer is going through menopause. It has sudden mental lapses when I least expect. It goes from lightning speed to the proverbial molasses in January and then it takes a side trip to LA LA land.

Any minute now it'll probably break out in profuse sweating followed by frost condensing on my monitor screen. In this case I can't even claim that it's suffering from operator error.

I may be a computer ignoramus, but I do know how to use a mouse. Every so often it locks up tighter than...well I can't say that, but you get the idea. Then I have to do a hard reboot because nothing else works.

Is menopause contagious? If it is I guess I infected this inanimate object of so many uses. What I'm really concerned about is that the big "C" (conspiracy) is about to take a toll on this valuable piece of equipment.

TTFN, I'd better post now before something happens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Forests of Ganth

Beezer crept through the trees as effortlessly as the heavy mist spiraling amongst the ancient forest giants. The young man felt more at home here in the woods than under a solid roof. He had stolen from bed as soon as the whisper of soft snoring told him his mother slept.

Before leaving, he’d paused to gaze fondly at her, and listen to the rattle of her breathing, sense the faint pulse of her heartbeat. The cabin was full of the spirits of the dead and it was sucking the life from the old woman, Myra, his mother. It wouldn’t be long before they bled her completely dry.

Once, he’d tried to warn her about the spirits of those who had lived and died in the tiny one-room cabin, but she had scoffed at him and called him an ignorant child. Now, even though he’d seen eighteen summers, she still refused to listen. She called it superstitious bunk. Nowhere was it to be found in the books she so dearly loved. Sadly, her books were written for life on Earth, not Ganth. She would pay with her life for her refusal to believe.

With reluctance, he returned his mind to the deep woods where he lingered. He had no clear destination other than to be absent from the oppressive, numbing influence of the log cabin. It was as lifeless as the spirits that haunted it, the spirits of his long forgotten ancestors who had no knowledge of survival in the forest. Disastrously, they had carved a niche in the dense undergrowth, burned and felled ancient trees, erected shelters, planted their crops…and died.

Ethereal rays of the harvest moon sliced through the mist and shimmered across the humpbacked, turtle figure of the moldering barn built by his grandfather. Only a few planks were still visible beneath a thick layer of smothering greenery. The disintegrating beams groaned in protest as yet another creeping vine attacked its façade, crushing it forever. A month ago, the structure had protected the family’s meager horde of livestock. By tomorrow night, there would be nothing left to mark its death throes.

That was the way of the forests of Ganth. Anything left untended by man soon succumbed to the creeping advance of the tropical forest. Most of the settlers had simply given up and returned to First City, and some even to Earth. A hardy (or perhaps foolish) few like Beezer’s grandparents had refused to surrender. Now it was just Beezer and his mother. Soon it would be just Beezer.

Already the creeping foliage had wormed its way into the pores of the tiny cabin that his mother called home. These days she never left her single room, relying on Beezer to bring her food and water. Occasionally, he’d clear the door for his access and the tiny window to allow enough light for her to go about her few chores. She no longer bothered to keep a fire in the grate, eating whatever raw morsels her son provided.

Beezer sighed, resigned and padded to the deep, clear pool he favored for bathing. The day had been unbearably warm, and now the thick mist ripened the odor of his own sweat. With the grace of the bantus that shared his swimming hole, he slid into the water barely creating a ripple.

As he floated upon his back savoring the moment, he contemplated how it would be when Myra was gone. He would be truly alone then, but would he mind? He spent most of his time alone anyway. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad…he just didn’t know.

For all he knew there wasn’t another human left on Ganth. He often wondered if they’d all gone back to Earth. According to Myra, communication between First City and their minuscule settlement had ceased abruptly while she was still a young girl. He’d asked her once about finding the other humans, but she had no idea where to start looking. She had lived her entire life in the one room log cabin.

Several sleek, young bantus butted him gently with their wet noses, enticing him to play. Instead, he said, “Go away, I’m not in the mood.” Quickly he rolled to his stomach and swam the short distance to shore.

Still wet and with an armload of fruit, Beezer climbed the precipitous path to his favorite hideaway. The slippery trail was tough going at first, but he managed to reach his sanctuary before the heavens opened wide. Beneath the giant overhanging slab of granite, he watched the sleeping forest through the pouring rain.

He’d stashed enough dry wood and tinder in the far recesses of the small shelter to build a comforting fire. This was a clean refuge free of haunting spirits where he could enjoy his bounty of fruit, and dry out while he waited for the rain to ebb.

As the clouds scudded clear, the hoary moonlight dappled the water far below and shone full over the top of the forest, before the rain closed in again. The steep path he had climbed served as the only access. It was easily defendable. Yes, this place might serve well as a safe haven once Myra was gone.

A terrifying, low snarl pierced the night, then swelled to a painful scream; first from his right, and several more from across the water. It’d been a long time since he’d heard the hunting cry of the forest cats. Shivering, he hastened to build a fire. The cats would not approach if they smelled smoke.

When he was a child, he often begged Myra for stories about the great brindle cats that both thrilled and terrified him. Over the years, so many men had disappeared before the settlers realized the forest cats were methodically taking the easy human prey. The cats’ screams herded their victims into the deadly jaws of the waiting pride. Then, they struck in terrifying silence.

“Yes, I will miss Myra,” he said, startling himself. Angry, Beezer stood at the very rim of his sanctuary and uttered his own hunting cry, but it deteriorated into a forlorn wail of despair. She was the only other human he’d known since his father died fifteen summers ago. To his surprise, he would miss Myra terribly.

Tears sprang into his eyes and mixed with the blustering rain as he scanned the forest for sight of the cats. “Hey! I’m up here,” he shrieked. “Why don’t you come get me? Take back your damn forest for all I care.”

Eerie silence returned as his voice scattered into the night. The soft pattering of rain all around him mocked his sad heart, foreshadowing his coming abandonment.

Shortly before dawn, Beezer awoke with a start, his skin prickled with goose bumps. The time had come; if he hurried, he might be in time to bid Godspeed to Myra on her final journey.

Slipping and sliding down the steep trail, he threw all caution to the wind. Young saplings blocked his path where there had been none the evening before. Thick, creeping vines sprang to life before his eyes, nourished by the balmy rain. In his haste, Beezer became disoriented. He wasted valuable time heading north when he should have been going west and home.

Panicked, he grasped his error and turned oonce again toward home, and Myra. Running as fast as he could, he dodged around and under trees, bushes, vines and nettles. He skidded to a halt as a huge striped snake suddenly dropped to the forest floor directly in front of him. Evil eyes, luminous in the pre-gloaming of the newborn sun, followed his every move as he backtracked to find a way around.

His face lashed to the bone by a run-in with a razor sharp serange branch, Beezer approached the log cabin fearfully. He need approach no closer to know he was too late. The lament of his mother’s soul crying for release chilled him to his very core. Myra was dead; the rain forest had already begun the inevitable expunging of the small cabin.

Beezer pondered tearing his way into the only home he’d ever known. He would reclaim a small trinket, anything that had belonged to Myra, a small memento of her love. Yet, even as he thought it, he turned away defeated, knowing Ganth had played her cruel game and won; he was alone for the remainder of his life.


Monday, September 11, 2006

One of Those Days

I knew it was going to be “one of those days” when I got up and discovered that I had numerous fire ant bites on and about my person (some rather personal places at that). For any of you who have never seen a fire ant, that’s one to the right, greatly magnified. They’re really quite small, but they raise quite a welt if you’re allergic to them.

When we first moved to Texas, my daughter got several bites on each foot and 24 hours later her feet looked like raw hamburger. I’m not quite that allergic, but close.

I got to my desk this morning and checked my e-mails first thing. What a mistake that was. So-and-so is accusing somebody or other of some stupid thing and the stupid cow steps up to the plate to put in her two cents worth. It wouldn’t be so bad if she knew what she was talking about and she wasn’t trying to make everyone else look bad. Just a whole lot of finger pointing going on.

Do they make muzzles for cows? Maybe I could break both her legs and all of her fingers. But that wouldn’t stop the mouth. Some people have terminal diarrhea and constipation of the brain. I’ve probably said that before, but I’m just being bitchy today.

Tomorrow I get the wonderful honor of trying to teach a bunch of outsiders how to do my job. This is supposed to take part of the pressure off us for 2007. We’ll have to wait and see. They have promised that we’ll get a fourth person in our area after the first of the year. I quit believing in the tooth fairy a long time ago.

Now that I'm home and trying to post this, wouldn't you know I'm having a devil of a time trying to get anything done?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Labor Day

I had wonderful fantasies of doing lots of thing around the house this past weekend. That included sitting down and writing a witty and amusing post. Unfortunately I had a lousy night Friday and got about 1 1/2 hours of sleep and woke up with a headache. I was conscious long enough Saturday morning to make Jimbob some coffee and then sat down in the recliner. Before I knew what had happened it was after 11:00 AM.

Herald and I had slept the morning away. A sixteen pound cat sleeping in your lap tends to put a few kinks in the old back. By then I didn't feel like doing any of the things I had on my agenda. I didn't do laundry, or clean the litter boxes or spread mulch in the yard...Or...Or...Or...

Most of Sunday was taken up by church, but at least I washed a load of underwear for me so I wouldn't have to turn them wrong side out to wear another day. I can't remember what else I did, but it must have been pretty boring.

Yesterday we had rain, glorious rain, ALL DAY LONG. It wasn't coming down very hard so Jimbob and I spread the mulch that has been setting in bags in the garage for the last six weeks. I couldn't believe my ears when he said he was going to help. That's the first (and probably the last time) he has ever helped me in the yard. I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO ACT.

We also made a trip over to Home Depot tp replace our 14 1/2 year old refrigerator that has joined the enemy camp. Regrigerators aren't cheap anymore and they don't even have a steering mechanism. Talk about sticker shock. But I figured I might as well get what I really wanted rather than settling for one I hated until I could afford the real thing.

Hey, what are credit cards for? It seems like a whole lot of other people were standing around waiting for someone to take their money, too. I guess they were waiting for a sale just like we were.

On another note, Jimbob's mother was supposed to be released from the hospital this last weekend and since I was the only one who was planning on being home, I was elected to care for her. Fortunately someone realized that we (I) can't care for her 24/7 like she needs. I can't give her physical therapy, and God forbid that she should fall. I'd have to call 911 just to get her up.

She is now in a rehab facility until she gets back on her feet. Back surgery on a 90 year old woman isn't minor. I don't say this to Jimbob, but I'd be surprised if she does recover. At least she understands that she can't go back to OK and live alone. I know it's hard to admit that your mother is getting old and has given up on life, but I don't want to kill myself caring for her either,

My mother is in the hosiptal waiting to get her pacemaker recharged. She went in Friday but didn't call my sister until late yesterday. She said she didn't want to bother anyone. I still think she's afraid were going to put her in an "old" folks home. In her words, "I don't want anything to do with all those old people!" According to Mom, 88 is middle age.

Not very exciting, or witty, or amusing, but at least I finally sat down to write SOMETHING. I'm going back now to watch Dirty Jobs on TV. It kind of makes you appreciate a desk job.