Sunday, November 30, 2008


A little setback here. I may have lifted something or moved the wrong way. For the past two days I've stayed in bed. I've stayed in bed because I simply could not get OUT of bed. The electrical shocks up the spine and thru the hips are back with a vengeance. I've been eating Ibuprofen q4hrs. This morning with the help of the office chair, I managed to get out of bed and wheel myself to the office. Before the trip to the office, I stopped in the kitchen and brewed a pot of coffee. I also reached for the medicine box and extracted a 7.5mg Lortab.

I detest taking pain meds. I dislike the "out of touch" feeling that comes with taking a pain med. Today I do notice an improvement but I just want a few hours pain free.

I knew as soon as the Lortab started doing it's magic. My nose started itching. I scrub my nose off my face when on pain meds. This is a side effect not an allergic reaction. I'll head back to bed before the 7.5 ceases it's magic. Hubby bought a back massager with a heat option on it and after a few hours laying on it, I could feel the improvement. A few more days of not stressing those back muscles and I should be up and around on my own.

Tomorrow the plumber arrives. It seems that a pipe in the slab has broken. This happened on Thursday. That water line will have to be rerouted thru the attic and back down into the house. Today we have only cold water. Every morning hubby has to go to the water heater which is located in the attic; he turns the hot water on so we can get a shower. Then it gets turned off again. This sounds like a major inconvenince but we have been thru much worse.

We used to live in Big Piney, Wyoming (1978). Our first winter there (and out last winter there) the temps took a nose dive. 65 degrees below zero. The freeze went below the frost line so most of the water lines in town froze off.

The only place that had water was the only laundromat in town. Each morning we headed for the laudromat to get a shower. 25 cents for 3 minutes. The butcher, the baker and the banker all waited in line for their hygiene moment or minutes.

If you had a vehicle that would start, you left it running constantly. Diesel gelled and the truckers couldn't get their semi trucks to run. Propane did the same. We had 30 gal. propane tanks on the travel trailor we lived in.

I would bring one inside and keep it warm. When the one in use would stop delivering, I would take the warm one outside and exchange it.

Children at the school were not allowed outdoors. Moose were sleeping or milling about in the playground.

In the spring when we would hike the mountains we would discover heaps of antelope that had frozen to death in the gullys where they had gone to get out of the cold wind.

Many stories could be told from that winter in Big Piney. Being without hot water here for a few days is a breeze.

Tomorrow I may be able to walk AND take a hot shower! How neat is that?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thankful for Luling

Luling Texas. We put this on our list of stops when traveling across Texas. We try to schedule our trip so that we arrive here around lunch. A small Texas town with an oilfield history as evidenced by the pump jacks all over the town. The pump jacks are ancient but still in service. The cool thing about these pump jacks ? They are painted and not just a solid color.

See? Here..let me post a few more for your viewing pleasure.

and this one

How can you not love this art? Besides the Watermelon Thump and the colorful pump jacks, this wee town has the best BBQ and that's why it's on our "must stop list".

The restaurant is a warehouse looking place. You won't find white linen on the tables. Checkered oilcloth on picnic benches; BBQ sauce in glass jars on each table and the jars are lidless. This is to discourage the patrons from leaving with the sauce. You can always spot a newbie as soon as they walk in the door and select a place to sit. Soon they realize there is no wait staff. They watch as other patrons walk in the front door and head to the back and disappear thru double doors to the right and reenter the room thru the door to the left. AH HA!

As you swing thru those doors you are faced with an assembly line of workers who are removing meat from the room size smoker and slicing the brisket, sausages and ribs which are served on white freezer paper accompanied by plastic forks and spoons. You exit back to the dining room, the waitress brings you some beans and bread and a drink. Your selections on entrees are nil. You get beans!

You clean up your table when you leave and this place is never empty! One of the best BBQ places I've been to and it rates right up there with Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Why am I posting about this? Well, hubby came thru Luling on his way home Wednesday and he stopped in Luling and brought home some ribs, brisket and sausage and a large container of the BBQ sauce. Awesome!

It's a long way to drive from here to just get BBQ so I was very appreciative that he thought to bring some home. We feasted on Luling BBQ late evening after the traditional turkey dinner yesterday at noon.

I'm not one that cares what the diner looks like as long as the food is good. I can't say the same for hubby so sometimes we disagree on where we will stop for food breaks on the road. I always check out the parking lot not the building. If it's full then I want to stop. He, on the other hand, he looks at the building and says "I'm NOT eating there!"

Would you eat here?
This video is the daytime drive away from Dreamland. Can you imagine this drive after dark?

The first time I went here was after dark. You drive on a narrow winding road up a large hill out of Tuscaloosa. It's in the city limits but there is no street lights so it's very dark. Eventually you find this little place and you look at the building and wonder if the trip was worth it. Booths and tables with oilcoth, the walls are covered with football memorabilia; pennants, t-shirts, team pictures, newspaper clippings on the Crimson Tide and license plates from around the USA. A waiter appears and says "slab, slab and a half, half a slab". He says this so fast that it sounds like an auctioneer for food.

Half a slab per person is more then one person can consume. A drink is delivered, the half slab is delivered with sliced bread. No entrees. Just a drink, bread and the ribs.

This is where the locals come before and after a home game. It's very well known and people stop in from all over the USA. This is another stop when headed to the north east.

And if you ever get to Tuba City, Arizona around the north rim of the Grand Canyon, stop at the little truck stop with the large dirt parking lot and have a Navajo Taco! If there are more then 5 cars in the parking lot, you might want to drive around a bit till one leaves so you can scoot right in there and have some where to sit! Did I mention it was small? It's in the intersection. Did I mention the town was small? One intersection. You can't miss it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heart Whole

Surrounded by bubbles, water tepid, Carrie enjoys her bath. One could write a book on the things children say (I'm sure they have). She is mad at Barbie. She goes to her phone and calls Barbie. She stands with one hand on her hip, a scowl on her face; anger radiates from her.

I hear her say "hello Barbie? Why did you go get ice cream and pizza without me?". She waits a pause or two then says "I'm NOT talking to you any more and you can't come over here!"

She slams down the phone, turns to me and says "Barbie is NOT my fwiend" (I know how to spell "friend"...but she says "fwiend").

She also says "jello" for yellow and "moot" when she wants you to MOVE. Soon all these delightful child things will be no more. Her pronunciation will be correct in all things. Her openness to all and everyone will diminish.

Children are so uninhibited and I think that must be what is part of their charm. She has no qualms about telling you loudly and where ever the mood strikes her that "I love you Nonnie". Spur of the moment hugs, dancing, showing somebody her slide moves in her new shoes, twirling to show a new outfit; charming.

New words she ponders and you can almost see the gears in her brain cataloging as she tilts her head to one side watching the mouth and tongue as you repeat the word for her.

Imaginary friends, Larry the Lizard (gecko lizards she sees on my porch) stories are told and retold. You can't deviate from the story because she knows it well. She wants to hear the "thumpa, thumpa, thumpa" part of the story as the Lizard is creeping up on her through the forest. Her eyes widen, she looks over her shoulder...a very dramatic child. She will correct you if you leave out any part of the story. Many hours are spent in imaginary play.
She trusts. She trusts everyone. How wonderful a world we would live in if we never lost that childish trust of everyone. To be able to say exactly what you feel and not worry about negative responses. To be able to give and give and get back and get back. To smile at everyone you meet and not worry that they may think you are mentally impaired, drugged up or spaced out.
I watch her when we get in a crowd. She assumes everyone is her friend and acts accordingly. No guile, no hidden agendas, no worries about being politically correct in this age of policing every thing we say so as not to offend anyone.
She is never taught that anybody is different. She is allowed to accept everyone. Some day we shall have to teach her to not trust so whole heartdly and that will be a sad day for me.

Pain free...almost

I'm almost pain free.
I can:
*turn over to my side in bed without winching
*put one foot in front of the other without electrical shocks to my
*get in and out of car without using the steering wheel and the door to
lift myself out
*get up from the chair without having to put my hands on the coffee
table and leverage myself to an upright position
and for that I am THANKFUL!
I'm still a bit sore but I'm healing. I have an SI joint (sacral/illiac) that slides out occasionally, impinges on a nerve and I'm officially immobile for a while. Thankfully this does not happen often.

I remember WHEN my concerns use to involve hair and makeup, age and wrinkles and weight and clothes. Ah the times be a changin!
You get to a point in life when HEALTH is the primary concern. Unfortunately it comes with age. That awareness of what is really important. I guess I'm at that point now.

I remember hearing the "old folks" when gathered for a family get together comment on the energy the children had and I was one of those children. Now I look at my 3yr old granddaughter and am amazed at all the jumping, running and all day moving that child can do. That makes me one of the "old folks" I'm thinking.
Here's to a Thankful tomorrow!

Clearing The Fridge(OR "I never promised this blog would be mind blowing)

I'm not one to have things on the front of my fridge. I realize for many people this is the hub of communication. Families post everything on their fridge (a sure place that will be noticed).
I don't like the cluttered look it communicates. "A place for everything and..." that's me. It seems that the only way I can get things done here is to make a list. A list that I post on the fridge. A yearly list.
I can mention that things need to be done to maintain the house but it soon passes from memory and doesn't get done. (I figured out the Fridge List ploy a few years ago. A way to stimulate hubby's attention and keep him focused).
I do a lot of the maintaining here but some things need two people to participate in order to accomplish the project or in the case of anything that needs a tape measure I'm seriously deficient. Insulating the attic is one of those things and is on my "to do" list this winter. I've waited all summer for the hot attic to cool down so we could get to this project. I did some of the insulation up there on my own till I took a dive between the rafters and landed up in the office. One moment I was looking at bare rafters and the next moment I was sitting on tile floor facing the kitchen from the office and viewing The Fridge! It happened so fast that it took me a few moments to figure out what the problem was. Someone mentioned it was a shame I didn't have a "nanny cam" so it could have been recorded! I sat in a heap of insulation too scared to access the body damage. I was sure my legs were shattered but just hadn't started pulsing with pain. I dragged myself to a phone and tried to call my daughter who lives close by. No I did the next logical thing. I called my niece that lives 1200 miles away! Fear makes one do strange things.
I was very fortunate not to have any serious injuries. Many bumps and bruises; stiff and sore for a week but very lucky! I have since developed a huge fear of being in the attic. I've attempted a few times to go back up there but I find myself hyperventilating and a cold fear sweat breaks out so I think my days in the attic are at an end.
Knobs for cupboards, baseboards replaced, trim work on the Little House, painting eaves and a few other small projects are on THE LIST on the fridge. Amazingly enough they get done as long as I post that list on The Fridge. I don't have to nag, wheedle, cajole or lose patience. The Fridge list works. I make sure I mark through with a large red Marker the "done" items. It gives my husband a goal to attain(whether he realizes it or not!). I surely don't tell him about this. Some things you just have to approach from a direction that works. I'm looking forward to the day when I can have a "cleared Fridge". When all the items have a red line marked through them. The Fridge List gets replaced on a yearly basis. Sometimes months go by before it gets posted. It gets posted usually after I become fustrated with inattentivenes; when things begin to sag, not close, stick or leak.
Here's to the day The Fridge is clear!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Yesterday I went shopping. I just shopped; looked at a lot of things with no specific intention to buy. When it gets this time of year I buy certain things from my childhood. Those things your parents always had in the house that reminds you of Christmas. The big bowl of mixed nuts; the hazelnuts, brazil nuts, filberts, almonds and chestnuts that were a sure sign for me of the Holidays. The oranges and apples, candy canes and those curly striped sugar candies in the candy dishes along with the box of chocolate covered cherries that were another sign that the holidays were approaching.

A bottle of Tabu. I always buy a small bottle of Tabu this time of year. This is usually the only time of year that I can find it. It reminds me of acouple of my best friends from my young school days. They always wore Tabu and in my wanderings yesterday I saw a bottle of Tabu. I didn't go shopping for this but it always seems to be around and maybe subconsciously I was shopping for the memories. I bought this little bottle of memories and when I got home I sprayed the light bulbs in the lamps and enjoyed the rush of memories of my friends.

It's not the Christmas tree nor the gifts that signal the holidays for me but the little things that trigger the memories associated with Christmas.

My grandson visits and unknowingly he expects the big bowl of mixed nuts. He takes note of the "smell" of Tabu and the bowls of fruits and candies and someday this too will remind him of the holidays. I love being a part of making his memories of the holidays! I doubt he will buy the Tabu when he is older but the sights, sounds and fragrances will take him back to his childhood Christmases.

When he chances upon the Tabu fragrance, he may not realize what it is but it will trigger thoughts of the holidays .

Not a typical holiday memory for most but his memories from Nana's house.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I wish I felt like this BUT I don't.

I've waited all week planning for this weekend.
I was guardian of The Carrie girl all week. We played imaginary games; we took walks, watched TV, napped and read books. I cooked for her, took her for many "potty trips" and fetched drinks for her. We took nice long warm baths in the late afternoon. We did tub play and shampooed hair that hung below her butt. We brushed that hair and removed all tangles and got her ready to greet her Mama who arrives here at 6PM at which time I collapse in front of the TV, switch from "Dora The Explorer" to watch some CNN or MSNBC. I'm tired and brain numb by this time so that promise I made to myself early in the morning, the promise to myself that I would "paint that ceiling after Carrie goes home this evening" or that other often promise to myself that I would "move and clean behind that" is now just a faint memory and one that will not be fulfilled.
Carrie left Friday afternoon. She was bathed and smelling like a "Johnson Baby" (compliments of Johnson bath products). I do love that fragrance in the Johnson Baby Lotion! I was looking forward to all the things I was going to get accomplished this weekend. Saturday morning I swung my feet to the side of the bed and popped to a sitting position..ALMOST. Electrical shocks were dancing up and down my spine. OH NO...this can't be happening. My back is "out". That means I can barely walk at this time. I use an office chair to make it around the house. Usually I push it along in front of me as support and insurance that can be used in the event that my legs quit functioning properly.
I spent most of the day eating Tylenol and in a supine position in front of the TV. Dozing, waking, watching, more Tylenol and repeat.
There is nothing I can do but wait for the inflammation and the swelling to subside. Wait for the pain to subside. Wait for the healing.
I'm here...Waiting

Monday, November 10, 2008

Frog Festival and Obama

A beautiful day in south east Louisiana. Typical fall weather. No humidity, 73 degrees with a slight breeze. The Rayne Frog Festival was this weekend so we decided to go. Rayne, Louisiana is a very small town about 13 miles from Lafayette. We loaded up and before we left my daughter asked if I was going to leave the Obama Presidential family 8X10's attached to the windows of my car. I nodded, she shook her head out of concern for me and away we went!

We got to the fairgrounds, parked in a grassy field and as we were getting unloaded with the usual array of cameras and baby stuff a couple pulled up beside us and parked. This couple was late 60's or there abouts and WHITE. The lady smiled and said "excuse me?" but where did you get those pictures (she is pointing to the Obama pics). I told her I printed them off the web. My daughter standing to the side was wondering what was coming next as was I.

She said "I would love to have one"..(dismay, questioning look, trying to hide my surprise) I said "no problem, here, let me just give you one of these."

I removed one of the pictures and handed it to her. Amid her profuse thanks we watched to see if she would rip it up. She opened the back door of her car and used the tape I had on it to tape it to the rear side passenger window!

For this to happen with a person in her age group in BIG RED LOUISIANA brought a huge smile to my face and made my day. It gives me some hope that I don't live in a state totally inhabited by die hard Republicans and if she was a die hard Republican and was looking for a "change" in our political world then HURRAY FOR HER!

Copied from Salon article/response

Outmoded Class Labels in Post-Facebook America
Gary Kamiya always writes intelligently and may have the pole position on the subject of mixed race in the upcoming election campaign.
I would urge him to tackle these thorny issues: Why would Appalachian white men with high school or less education seemingly mistrust Sen. Barack Obama, a black kid who grew up poor, was raised by a single mother and grandparents, but for whom education was valued as a way up and out? But not Hillary Clinton, a white, upper middle class girl who grew up comfortably with an expectation she would earn at least a Master's degree and succeed without a struggle, and who did so? Why would they believe this black candidate would not understand their issues, their lives when many of his circumstances match theirs? Do they mistrust him because he is black; because he became educated and succeeded at it and thus was able to escape poverty and deprivation; because his middle name is Hussein and they know only one other Hussein as an enemy; or because their issues have been pre-framed simplistically and their responses have been reduced to sound bites? Do we really know these citizens, or do we just think we do? Do we know them today or yesterday?
I would like to see Gary tackle the meaning of the phrase that is constantly used to describe---and substantially dismiss---an elusive national sub-section: working class Americans. Could this phrase be derived from an Edwardian-Victorian British conceit of landed gentry who were so wealthy they commanded fleets of servants and serfs attending their residential and estate needs, freeing their daylight hours for reading botany or playing badminton and their evenings for dining and dancing; whereas, those forced to work were relegated to a lower class, whose one's living was not guaranteed by inheritance and for whom charity was invented?
Today in America, those fully utilizing the phrase 'working class' appear to be just as hard-working as those they define as coal miners, truck and taxi drivers and restaurant servers. Hillary Clinton appeared to work harder than the class she said she represented, but from whom she did not emerge.
We all work. So who indeed comprises this mist-shrouded working class? Is it a quantifiable class, or just another outmoded label? I've met taxi drivers with PhDs, truck drivers who read Proust and many restaurant servers are Julliard musicians or actors making ends meet while training for their dreams. Can you lump them into the media caricature of the lunch-bucket carrying, Ford 150 driving, hard hat wearing, country music loving, tenth grade educated, white proud, gay and immigrant hating, beer drinking, Christian Southern or Appalachian coal belt mostly male sub-group? Or is this working class American caricature in need of massive review and updating to include everyone who works and lives in the US---that's everyone, from Barack Obama to Lou Dobbs to George W. Bush to your local supermarket clerk and Wal-Mart greeter? Anyone who gets a paycheck. Even Paris Hilton works, or so she says, so where is the outer boundary of this label? And if we don't know who to include or exclude, then how do we know that Barack Obama has 'a problem' relating to this group?
The sub-text of Obama's candidacy seems to imply that we may be on the verge of dissolving these old labels that define and precede us into The Great Political Room. Those who measure, however, will simply want to replace them to better quantify and qualify us as we, in greater numbers than ever before, exit the polling stations. But with what new labels, the question begs? Will they categorize by consumer goods, or beliefs, education or income level, employment status, hybrid or dino vehicle? Will race, gender and sexual orientation matter or will age and the internet be the great definers, as they already appear to be?
I hope Gary will weigh in on this in future columns. Our measuring sticks seem to be stuck in another century while our real political lives are being lived out invisibly and unheralded on line and very much in the future. This appears to be why hope matters so much...hope that politics will catch up with where we already reside in our cyber-imaginations, leading, refining and asking us to participate in the reality of our better dreams and in our very survival as a species.
-- oldschoolscribe
[Read oldschoolscribe's other letters

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Testing the waters

Yesterday I printed out the picture circulating the web of the Obama family in front of the Presidential seal. I taped that picture to each side of my car windows. Bravely I got behind the wheel and cruised around the town I live in.

I didn't get anything thrown at me but I don't think I will leave my car parked unattended and expect to return to it without finding it "keyed" or windows broken.

People would pull up beside me, see the picture, ease their vehicle forward slightly to see who or "what" was driving this car. NO smiles..blank faces......or they would shake their heads negatively while giving me a nasty look and drive on. I have to remember that I live in a Red (screaming RED)

state and that there are actually places here in the USA that approve of this election.

I've heard that "he will turn us into a socialist country", "he will lead us into communism", he will shut down the oil industry (oil big industry here), that he is Muslim, and many other reasons that he should not have won this election but I think it all relates to the color of this man's skin. How sad that we live in a time where a well educated, well spoken, family oriented young man is judged unworthy because of his skin color. I'm ashamed of the bigotry that still exists in this country. How sad that people have to have someone they can feel superior to.

I remain proud that this person was elected. I voted for him not because of his skin color..I voted against the horror of having another 8 yrs of the Bush mindset. Haven't we had enough of that? Maybe some day I can look forward to having the rest of the WORLD look again at the USA with some respect; not the joke we have been for the past 8yrs!

Charlotte Ann who is looking forward with hope.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Racism Alive and Well

I laughed, I cried and I was so proud of the American people for the choice for change! I took this picture of my 3yr. old granddaughter; she will never know what it is to never have had a black man elected president. She may also never know what it is like to never have elected a woman president; she has a few years before this will be important to her and in that time, who knows?
I live in Lafayette La. There is a university here..University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Today my 20 yr. old neighbor girl, a beautiful educated soft spoken young lady showed up for class at the University to find that most of the students had elected not to come. A protest to the election of a black man. She has received phone calls and text messages from her friends (most of them white and friends since early childhood) telling her that this wasn't right, the election of a black man.
She is devastated. Today on campus in the student union a student burned an Obama Tshirt. He set it afire IN the student union and was promptly arrested.
I'm so embarrassed at this time to be a white woman. I'm embarrassed to see these wonderful neighbors and have them witness the ignorance of the locals here.
I made it a point to visit public places today to see what was being said. There is anger here; lots of anger. Angry white people using excuses for why he shouldn't be elected.
My response to them is "White people voted him into office". (not any here in Louisiana). It's a democracy and the people have spoken. I think they would have chose 8 more years of a Bushlike president then to have a black man in office and that is pure racism!
Charlotte Ann who wishes she lived in a LIBERAL STATE!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


TV is tuned in to MSNBC and the election returns are coming in.
I made it to the polls early this morning and suprisingly enough, the lines weren't long although a bit confusing. No directions as to what line you should be in and some people had to be moved from the lines three different times to start over again on waiting to vote. This could have been arranged better but all in all it was not a bad experience for me.
I live in a conservative state..a red state as colors go. I don't expect this state to support my choice in presidential canditates but it made me feel great to cast my blue vote in a sea of bright red.

If nothing else this election brought people to the polls in record numbers for reasons of their own. At least they came to the polls and exercised their right to vote! What an exciting night to be a part of this 2008!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nov.1st Summertime in the south

Well, here we are in shorts! It's November and a Monday. Election day is tomorrow and I'm getting ready to go. I have those fold up chairs ready and a thermos of drinks will be taken to the polls. (Coffee is the drink). I don't know how long I will have to stand in line but I want to be prepared. My neighbors are going at 6AM and I will be tagging along with them. I'm so excited about this election. A new day is dawning for the Republican party or at least I hope so. I hope the USA uses this election to let the government know how we feel about the past 8yrs with Bush Republicans at the helm. This is an opportunity to let the world know that we "*ucked up" in the other two elections that put and kept Bush and Co. in power.

I'm ready for a CHANGE. I'm ready for our invasion of another country to be halted; to stop the loss of lives to our soldiers and the Iraqi innocents.

I'm ready to VOTE!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anti Obama? or Anti Black

While visiting a rig in Republican country (Texas) I ran into this gentlemen. He started working the rigs at 17yrs old, lives in a small Texas town all his life and is now 52 yrs. old. A hardworking fellow for sure; a good family man and a great boss to the young roughnecks on the rig; A father figure to the young workers that he supervises.
Our discussion turned to the Wall Street Fiasco and finally to the upcoming election. It never ceases to shock me when in the course of conversation casually spoken the "n" word comes up. This man wasn't a McCain fan but he voted for him because he wasn't a "nigger" (quoted). He informed me that McCain was better then having a "nigger" in the White House. "You wait till all those little niglets are running around the White House" he says.
I don't think this is a mean hearted person. I think he is a sign of "his time", "his educational background", and "his area of habitation".
I looked at this man wearing his bib overalls and as the conversation turned to the town where he lived, he spoke about the BBQ restaraunts and the best one to visit. He mentioned the owners name with great respect (a black man) and talked about what a wonderful guy he was. A hard working man he says; an honest man he says.
I began to think that the racial slurs he spouted earlier was a learned response; not a personal one to him. A conditioned response from his upbringing; his age group; educational group.
Although I was shocked by his earlier statements about the Senator Obama, I could recognize that this man was a product of his time and location or at least I surely hope so.
I intend to vote; I intend to cast my ballot to reflect how I have felt about the current administration. I pity the next President and the mess that has been left to him to correct. I don't think even an 8yr term is enough time to fix what Bush and Co have done to plough us under and to correct our standing in the world's eyes.