Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To The Park

I crept out of bed this morning. Easy does it. There was no bounding up and to my feet but then it's been years since I felt like "bounding" to do anything.

Slowly I stood up beside the bed and the muscles in my leg didn't scream indicating that today was definitely going better then yesterday already. Walking down the hall to start a pot of coffee brewing, the leg felt great. No pain, no limp and I'm good. 
As soon as my coffee caffined me awake, I headed for the Little House to collect what I needed to clean my car. Beneath the huge maple tree in front, I parked the car, doused it with water from the hose and lathered up the scrub brush. 

My next chore was the grocery store and on the way back, I swung by Carrie's house and picked her up. We sang "Half Breed" on the short ride to the house. That girl loves her some Cher.

With bread crumbs and crackers in hand, we headed for Veterans Park where she fed the ducks that clustered around her. She squealed when a brazen duck would get too close and try to take the bread crumbs from her hand. We collected some feathers from the ground and she put them in her empty Ziploc baggie. Swinging, sliding and playing Hide and Seek, she should be tired and sleep well tonight.
 The weather is perfect. No humidity and manageable heat, it felt great to be outdoors.

Soon I will take her home and the house will be quiet once again. No giggles, no requests and though she will be missed, it will be great to have some down time. By tomorrow morning I will be ready to call her and ask if she wants to come and spend some hours with me. I just need a break of 8 hrs. and then I'll be ready to face all her energy  again.

The husband is waiting on orders to return to the job in Texas. As soon as that rig hits the second pay zone, he will be called back. I haven't decided yet if I will go with him or follow him or just not go at all. I'm leaning toward not going at all. Right now all I want to do is get a shower and go to bed. 

I'm done.

Good as New

Yes! the leg is at full extension and the pain is at a low level. My appraisal of this? When the knee was doing that popping a few days ago and I was walking at full extension, I believe that the full extension caused the popping sounds/feelings and that was when  the muscles in the leg were stretcing. Stretching muscles equals pain. No pain, no gain!

Whatever the reasons be, I'm feeling much better. I continue to walk as much as possible. You can find me beneath the maple tree washing my car a little later today. The fall temperatures continue and it's going to be a beautiful day. I'm outta here to walk..while I can.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm Just Not Into This

Yesterday was just chocked full of excitement. Another day like that and I'll have to schedule some time to decompress. Are you buying this?

I spent the day on stretches and focused on just one area of my body. The muscles above and below the knee are cramping. If stretching and walking doesn't relieve the pain, I'll be headed for the ortho doctor.

Our fall has finally arrived or at least this week we have it. Next week, the temperatures might soar into the 90's so I'm not breaking out the socks yet. I'm going to brew a cup of coffee and shut this down but not in that order.
I'm done.
1000 hrs. and I have been on my feet all morning. If walking out the stiffness and through the pain is what I need, I might as well be productive. Cleaning toilets, tubs and showers and walking from room to room and down the long hall has helped. Not only does the house look better, so do I. The knee is fully extended once again but remains a little sore. I'm sure that if I sit down for a while, I will have to walk out the soreness once again but that I don't mind. If it works, I don't mind a little pain. I do have Flexiril on board and it causes drowsiness so if I'm to walk out the stiffness, I start before it kicks in.

Landslides in Oaxaca, Mexico and a shooting at U of Texas in Austin top the news. Soldiers shooting each other and sport shooting of  middle easterners on breaking news.  L. Lohan's escapades I try to ignore. It's another day in Disneyland, huh? Maybe the students need to start packin'. Apparently one or two of them do though with this shooting, it isn't told yet if this shooter was an unhappy, deranged student. 

I'm showered and dressed and it's nice enough weather to put on my sneakers and go for a block or two around the neighborhood. Whether I actually do that remains to  be seen.

I'm done for today. I'm done.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last of September and 61 Degrees!

I'm sitting on the patio, the laptop connected via WiFi and it's 61 degrees, no humidity and a slight breeze blows occasionally. Did I die and go to heaven? Is it really gone? The heat?  Oh, wait.....if I was dead, would I really expect to awake in a cool place??? That thought is almost enough to scare me into a church. ALMOST.

This is the weather I wait for all summer long. A bare nip to the air, I feel as though I'm back in Colorado.

The knee. I woke this morning to a knee that felt much like it did yesterday. Painful and not to full extension, I definitely do not like this. I'm trying to ignore the pain while I stretch it and get back to full extension. I don't think letting it rest is the answer. I think walking and letting it dangle to stretch it and work those muscles is the way to go. I'm going to give that a try before I give up and make an appointment with the ortho doctor.

I'm fighting anger. This would be a perfect day to park my car beneath the big maple in the front lawn and give it a much needed bath. A great day to put a second coat of paint on the "Little House". A great day to replace the serpentine belt on the little Toyota.
I'll spend some time, instead, stretching this leg by taking short walks. It's not all bad. A nice day to walk and maybe I'll shower now and get dressed and do just that.
I'm gone for a while; I'll get back to this and hopefully with a better functioning knee.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Once Upon a Time and Him to Her

She reappeared one day. It had been years since she had spent time with him and it was by accident that she reentered his life. Discovered through a mutual acquaintance, he sent her a message; a short note with a few words of greeting. She read this note and responded with a short note of her own, all the while not recognizing who he was or that they had shared a past together.
A few weeks had passed when another small note was sent by him and received by her. This note caused a flicker of memory to surface. A message that, on the surface seemed innocent enough but a word or two caused a ripple in her brain.  It was not really a memory but a fleeting thought that caused her to pause. She reread the note and wondered if there was a deeper message then what initially appeared.

 More weeks pass and soon another note was received and this one mentioned a child's name. Now curious because this name caused her to take note and wonder if this was more then a coincidence. She knew a child by that name. The first real clue that this was a person that she should remember.  Did she know this person? She reviewed the messages. Nothing was said that would help direct her to any conclusions. Was he more then an acquaintance from her past? She waited as the uncomfortable feeling laced itself with a little fear. Almost a certain knowledge now that this person knew more about her then she remembered about him. She studied his photo and tried to place him in her past. Soon she was contacting old friends and asking if they knew him.

A few questions were now sent in hopes of solving this puzzle.Innocent questions about his past; she awaited his answer nervously.

He received her polite responses to his messages along with her recent questions. Was he thinking that she knew who he was?  Yes, he did.  Though her reponses to him were short and polite and imparted little information, he assumed she knew to whom she was sending her replies.

Caution to the wind, she became bold. She had to know and dreaded the knowing at the same time. A small suspicion now and a stomach wrenching knowledge that was still being denied, she asked him a few more questions. From this he knew she didn't know who she had been sending her messages to   while at the same time she finally  knew who he was and had been in her life. Their worlds aligned again. She was stunned.

She stared at the screen as the full memory of their past collided with the present and was unable to deal with more messages from him for a while. Failing to find words to describe how she felt, she stepped away to examine her feelings.

Eventually the messages were again continued while the events of the past thirty years were shared and information traded on the paths they had traveled. A new relationship was developing. A friendship this time, as comfortable as their old past had once been to them.

A Collection of Comments

Game time and two colleges met to toss and kick and run a football down the stadium field in Baton Rouge.
LSU versus WVU, met last night and I watched the game from my sofa. I have to say, I did expect more from LSU though they did win the game but not by scores I had anticipated. WVU was playing out of their division into the South Eastern Conference and I did not expect them to do as well as they did. I've been told by some 'eers fans that had not one of their key players been injured, the outcome would have been different and to this I say "..and if LSU hadn't committed so many penalties, yardage wouldn't have had to be given up to WVU which could have changed the points accumulated by WVU."
Woulda, coulda, shoulda and there goes the game.

On a totally different conversation, a warning of a subject change right now. My knee popped a few times yesterday. The knee I'm referring to, of course, is the shiny metal one that sits just beneath the skin of my right leg. I've had more extension from it in the past week which is a good thing and something to strive toward. The popping, I assumed, was from this extension of the leg and the joint moving more.

This morning I attempted to stand unsuccessfully. The pain behind my knee prevented the leg from extending even to a point where I could walk. This has happened one time in the past and after a few hours, it evened out and the pain disappeared. My biggest fear is of a clot. A clot in itself is not dangerous unless it moves. An embolism that moves toward the heart or lungs can be deadly. Though this feels like muscle pains, I intend to monitor for for signs and symptoms of an embolism. I expect this to resolve as it did the last time it happened.

I won't be leaping tall buildings in a single bound, nor repelling off any cliffs today, or free falling from a plane. I plan on taking it easy. The Saints play and I'll be in the stands, which translated means, "on my sofa" watching.

Next week, Los Lobos plays in New Orleans and we plan on attending that concert. This knee needs to be functioning normally by then.

That's my plans. What are you doing?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday/Saturday Almost

The white truck backed out of the driveway and headed for Texas. Another job follows closely to the one just finished two days ago. I considered going on this job and I still haven't totally ruled out this trip. I would drive myself there and have my car to use. Houston is 70 miles away from Columbus, Texas and excursions into the city would offer some entertainment. I haven't decided yet if I want to make another trip right now. If it involved Colorado, I would have been packed and out of here already.

The family was invited over for some baby back ribs and chicken last night. The daughter did most of the cooking while at least 3 of the arriving family members showed up with their laptops and flipped open the lids, signed on to the 'net while waiting for dinner to be served. I looked around at the laptops, at another person playing a hand held video game and another that was texting on their cell phone and wondered if they would notice if I left not only the room but the house. There is such a thing as being "too connected"? I think that applies to this household. 
I require that all devices be relinquished during the meal in hopes some conversation can be initiated. Eventually everyone packed up and gradually drifted away, the granddaughter leaving with her friend, followed by the daughter and family a few minutes later. Alone, I tidied up the kitchen, turned off the lights and climbed into bed for some television. The only thing missing from this evening was Carrie. She was spending the weekend with her dad which made for a much quieter family visit.

It's now Saturday morning and I've brewed a pot of coffee, a fresh cup of it sitting on the bedside table being sipped between paragraphs. I have no plans today. I may do some shopping for furniture. I may throw a suitcase into the car and leave for Houston. I do know one thing for sure health willing.  I plan on watching the WVU and LSU game this afternoon. An alumni of LSU, I'll be cheering for them though I still maintain a spot of loyalty to WVU, my home state team but not enought to have them win.

Stretching and repositioning my pillows, I'm tempted to shut down this laptop, pull up the blankets and laze here in bed for a few more hours. I'm in no hurry and it feels great to have the luxury of lazing around. I'm getting good at this after 3 yrs. of practice.

I'm done for a while, though I may return to add a few more paragraphs should something interesting occur today.It's doubtful but not impossible, right?
I won't be heading to Houston. The husband will be headed home instead. Job has downsized and only one man needed. I will be watching the WVU/LSU game from here in Lafayette.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Moving On

She awoke to each day with a sigh and some short term goals. There was nothing pressing in her future; her time was her own after her work day  and she seldom made plans but caught life on the fly.

Out of bed and to the shower, and back to the dressing table, she slowly worked the comb through her long dark hair. While it dried, she tilted her face up to the mirror and applied her eyeliner and mascara. The thick black lashes curled just enough on the tips to frame the almond shaped hazel colored eyes that were half circled  by the soft curve of her ebony eyebrows. Turning her face from side to side, she studied her reflection in the mirror. A little redness she added to her lips and one final inspection completed her morning routine.

Slipping into the dress she had selected, she started buttoning the small buttons that began at the waistline and continued upward between her breasts and to the neckline. A chocolate brown dress, with a fitted bodice that snugged into her small waist  and sleeveless that showed off her slender firm arms, the hemline 4 inches above her knees to give notice to her long dancers' legs, it was time to leave her home.

She began her walk down the street to her office. Cars following each other closely, were bumper to bumper and  hurrying to their destinations known only to them. Some times a space would open between these cars as one of the drivers would look toward the beautiful dark haired girl striding down the street, her skirt caught by the breeze to flash a little more then intended  a view of those dancers' legs.

A crash of metal was heard. A head light rim clattering as it rolled across the street and bounced across the sidewalk, barely missing the young lady on her walk to work. This was immediately followed by the driver of the car that had just been hit climbing out for a confrontation with the careless driver behind him.

She glanced back and then ducked into a clothing store. A witness to this accident, she wanted to avoid. She knew what had distracted that driver. Walking by a mirror in the dress shop, she straightened her shoulders and glanced into one of the many mirrors for confirmation. Smiling, she exited through a side door, strolled to the corner and continued her walk, a boost to her ego intact much unlike the two cars that had traded insurance cards and moved on.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Silly Me and My Acquaintances

What was I thinking? I'm not sure if I was. I've recently been confronted with friends and acquaintances that were part of my life when I was many years younger then what I am today. This has caused me to question
the depths of these relationships and the quality.

What did we talk about? I've been on a quest; a search and finally I think I have an answer.

Years ago, when the daughter was herself, quite young, I would ask about her friends and in conversation, I would say "What's her dad do?" "Does her mother work?"  Innocent enough questions and to these she would respond "I don't know. We don't talk about stuff like that." Wondering just what they talked about, I asked and she couldn't tell me. More years pass and the granddaughter grows up and she is socializing with her friends and the same questions asked of the daughter years ago were again posed to the granddaughter. I received the same answers from her and now I'm wondering just how well I knew anyone when I was her age, which inspired my journey to find out if I knew so little about the people around me.
Sadly, it's true. I was appalled to think of the shallowness of these relationships. It was all about "where are we going this weekend", or " a party where?" or "call me and we'll get together". When my investigation began, I was sure it was just me. Me who was shallow and self absorbed. Maybe, if I had stayed around and not moved away, I would have developed a deeper relationship with these acquaintances as I grew up and older. I left them behind and that opportunity never developed. 

I've found that I, at the age in question, had no interest in questioning my acquaintainces/friends or discussing with them and they had no interest either, in in-depth discussions on family lineage or anything of substance. It was all about having a good time. 

My investigation is complete. It no longer bothers me that I remember so little about these old friends/acquaintances. There isn't a lot to be remembered except for places we went and the things we did when we got there.  I feel better. I still don't know much in depth about them and that's ok. There are a few that were closest of friends and those I do have a 'history' of and with.

My relationships now are much more detailed; more history and more discussions but much less partying. Maybe that is the key. Less parties, more discussions of the meaningful kind?

We are fortunate  to have 5 people we can count as "good friends" to know  and all others are acquaintances and apparently that was evident before I moved away; a few good friends and a lot of acquaintances. I didn't need to know all about the acquaintances.   

A Connection

I phoned Carrie with some wonderful news. Her Poppy is home. I heard her squeal, then ask "can you come pick me up?"

Did she really need to ask? I told her I was on my way as we speak and I was. Carrie lives but a few minutes from me and soon I was in her driveway. She was sitting on the porch with her brother waiting. Through the slight drizzle of rain, she waded the puddles to get to my car and we were on our way.

She immediately made a request and it was to have me hand her a CD that was in the door pocket on my side of the car. It was Cher's album with "Half Breed" recording on it. Much to my daughter's embarrassment, I have her daughter hooked on Cher music. "I'm passing along a tradition." I tell her. "Cher needs a younger audience. She plans on being around a while longer."

 Unfortunately, neither Carrie nor I can carry a tune but she slips the CD into the player and quickly grabs a hairbrush laying in the seat of the car and hands me the cigarette lighter. We WAIL. All the way home, she sings into that hair brush while I use the cigarette lighter as my "microphone". Our heads are swinging close, cheek to cheek,  then apart as we sway to the music. Our voices  are loud and totally out of tune and we don't care. I peek across at Carrie. Her eyes are closed now and her head is thrown back, with the hair brush close to her lips.  Serious faces, we sing about being a half breed slighted by the white man, while called  a Cherokee squaw by the mothers' family, being on the move, never staying in one place and then, we are in my driveway and both of us our bailing out of that car to get to Poppy.

She dances into the house and screaming "Poppy!" "Poppy", she races across the living room and launches herself onto his lap. She sits and hugs him and plants her kisses on his forehead and cheeks. I hear her tell him she missed him soooooooooo much. Carrie is happy and quickly she takes his hand and drags him outside to the back patio.

A shovel, some dirt and some treasures to bury, Carrie is soon dirt covered from her head to her toes. Everything is back to normal here. From buried treasure to mud soup, a trip through a tub full of bubbles will be her next stop. I stripped off her clothes on the patio and sprayed most of the dirt off with the water hose, wrapped her in a beach towel and headed for the tub.

Soon she is dried off and dressed in her oversized Marshall University shirt that skims the top of her knees and she says "I'm pregnant. Where is my little doll?"  Her next stop is the toy box sitting on the fireplace hearth where she extracts her small doll which she shoves up beneath her shirt and walks about the room showing off her baby bump.

"Carrie", I ask, "how did you get pregnant?"  Puzzled, she looks at me and says "I don't know" to which I reply, "Don't worry about it."  I know a lot of young ladies that don't know either. We'll figure it out later. Bring your pregnancy and come with me. It's bedtime."

Carrie and Poppy are the two happiest people in this house right now; a connection has been completed. I'm taking up third spot in happiness.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And It Begins Again

The past 7 years have zoomed by. It was then that this household went from having  a paycheck that was paid to an "employee of a large company" to a "consultant based worker" that charged a day rate for services rendered. During this seven years, money was made but spent reluctantly. This household was not in need of much so most of the pay was saved, a security deposit for retirement time.
During this change  the need to purchase health insurance and hire an accountant was the biggest expense.
 Income now depended on actual days on a job but with the increased day rate, less days were needed. All expenses paid for motels and food and vehicle expenses just sweetened this deal. Most months were plentiful in days worked. The company was busy.
 This new approach was for a company just emerging into the oil industry, an offshoot of men who had started their own company and needed experienced people to propel their company into a successful money maker. It was a Canadian company and they needed someone from the States with a reputation for his services and the phone rang at this house.

This little fresh company grew and grew. One day it was sold for millions of dollars, making the three owners wealthy and guaranteeing their Independence for life. 
Our household continued to charge the daily rates to the new owners and then again when it sold for 180 million, nothing changed in this household.

Recently another offshoot has sprouted from this current company. Rumors raced around the field. Another company to compete with the behemoth that the smaller company from years past had became. 
Rumors. The behemoth company is worried and made a phone call to this house to speak with their consultant; to get some assurance that he would still be with them. That he wasn't planning on jumping ship and moving to this new company. An offer was not extended yet but a plea was made.
"Before you even consider leaving, please contact us and I'm sure we can match anything offered by anybody else. We want to keep you happy."

Today the phone rang and the call was from this new company with an invitation to join them. They can't commit to taking clients until they have the staff to cover those jobs. Of course they are also aware of the contacts held by this consultant and what he would bring to their company. The answer?

"Make me an offer", to which they replied, "we will get back to you."

This time out, I want some input into our future. When this company sells in a few years for millions, a cut of the profit seems only fair. That new young company that sold 5 years after it was established for millions was due in large part to this consultant and the revenue he had generated for them because of the reputation he held within the field and with the clients.
There will be a "we" in the next phase of decision making. An increase in pay is not important or necessary to make a change. It will have to be laced with a little more honey to attract the consultant bee this time.

Let the  buzzing begin. 

It's Not That Time Again?

I just saw another poll on our President's popularity. It's now at 40 per cent or there abouts. Plummeting from previous polls, is this related to unemployment and the stagnant economy?

I made it to the polls and voted during the Presidential election and at that time I wondered why anyone would be seeking that office. In a time when the whole country was folding in upon itself, there were candidates that were willing to get into the drivers seat on a bus that was headed for disaster.

The elections finished, the candidates in office and the struggle begins as they try to control the disasters that plague this administration, many of which were inherited from the previous one.

A miracle? Were the citizens of this country expecting a miracle? I watch as the talking heads thrash the current adminitration for what ails this country. Were they expecting a miracle? What took years to get this country in the current position of collapse was expected to be cured in a year or two with this administration? Is this just an excuse politically motivated to change leadership in this country in the next election?

Jobs? Unemployment? A cure?  All the outsourced jobs, a nice way of saying, we now IMPORT products once produced in the USA, won't be coming back. Those people that lost their jobs to outsourcing have no direction to another job in manufacturing. Who is to blame? How to fix it? I have no answer and apparently this administration and those trashing them don't have a fix for the mess we call the USA.

This is not a political post but an observation on a newscast that I heard today. I do think that everybody plays politics to their advantage, especially those politicians seeking reelection. As soon as one election is secured, they immediately begin working on the next one though it may be four years away.
I do dread the public announcements we are forced to endure during election time.
The alternative? A dictatorship? Not an option. Bring on those public annoucements!

September 22, 1918

Antonetta Terino Tate, Providence, R.I.
Another child born to Concetta Rato Terino and Joseph Pasquale Terino in Providence, R.I.  This was not to be their last child and in the line up of the seven children they finally had, she was the second. This was Antonetta Terino called "Toni" in R.I. and "Etta" in WV and "mom" by her seven children.
 Soon the others would arrive as they are all close in age. Concetta only lived for two years after the last child, Evelyn was born. The girls in the household became Evelyn's mothers while Pasquale devoted his time to supporting his family and spending his evenings at home with them. Never dating but concentrating on raising his large family, he mourned the passing of the wife he loved; the wife that arrived through Ellis Island at 15 yrs. of age, a few years after he made his journey from their home land of Italy. How strange it must have been for the family to arrive in this country, unable to speak the language, finding a job during the time when ship loads of immigrants were passing through the portals to enter a country they knew nothing about.
They were a hard working family; a dedicated group of people wanting to bring their families here for a better life and these were my grandparents. I'm second generation born here in the USA to those immigrants.

Mom and friends

My mother worked in the mills and once in a candy factory in Providence. I remember the stories told about the candy factory but most of all, I remember the stories this city gal would tell about dressing up in all her finery and going out to dance. Her sister/sisters would accompany her and "jitterbug"  together or with the man that sallied forth to ask for a dance. Mom was a great stepper, shapely and beautiful so she had plenty of opportunities to dance through the night.  A drinker, she was not. Dancing was her passion. She loved listening and dancing to Benny Goodwin and I remember those stories. She was fortunate to get to see the big bands at the places she visited. We would now call it "partying" but to me that entails drinking and mom wasn't that. I remember the times growing up with her and how she would play the big band sounds and twirl about the room with her children.   Thanks Mom. I owe my love of dancing to you.

Left to Right: Dad, Mom and Best Man "Squirrel Williams" Wedding Day
Eventually a good looking sailor entered one of the places where she was dancing, and his bright, sky blue eyes and a mouth full of pearly white teeth in a wide smile captured her heart and the city life she left behind. They married in R.I. and had two children  before leaving for his home state of W.V.  More children were born to this couple, me being the middle one of the seven children they had. Two wars were a part of their lives; a Navy Seabee, he helped build the roads through the war zones in Okinawa and then in Korea.

Times were lean with seven children to feed and clothe. For the first 7 yrs. Mom with her brood of seven children lived in a house on family property. Three houses, built a mile or so apart and around curves in the road were not in sight of each other. It was more miles to get to the main road. My mother, the city gal, was moved from a city locale to an area that was difficult to access in rainy weather or winter snow falls. It must have been quite shocking for her and I'm sure, the worst part was the night life she used to enjoy was now in her past.
Eventually the family moved off this family land and to an area in the country just outside of Ripley, WV to Scycamore Creek then eventually to Little Creek. I think I might have been in the second grade when we made that first  move. Mom lived the live of the farmer's wife and also the construction worker's wife that was often gone from home leaving her to cope with the children.
Dad was a drinker and some times a violent one. His jobs would come and go and he would farm between jobs. I've long since dismissed any anger associated with how he lived his life. We all have an alloted amount of time here on this planet; that amount of time isn't shared with us. I like to think we do the best we are capable of doing and maybe how he lived his life was the best he could do.
Most of her children married and moved away. The economy in that town of Ripley was never a thriving growing source of employment. The whole state of W.V. wasn't rated high on growth and development and many people attributed this to the mountains that slowed  this state from being a commercial success.. The difficulty of trucking any production to the main roads for distribution  was not inviting to the big companies.  I too left the state.
As the years passed, Mom didn't get to make many trips to R.I. to see her siblings. Her children and the friends in her little town were her life and her family.

The other love of her life apart from the dancing was traveling. If you popped in and said "lets go ........", she could get packed in the space of minutes and be ready to leave. She traveled with me for 8 months from Texas to Pennslyvania and to S.C. and Arkansas and loved being a road gyspy.
Today would have been her birthday. I'm writing this as a little memorial to my mother. She is sorely missed by each and every one of her children.
We love you Mom. We miss you Mom. If only we could see you just one more time.
I'm sure all your children feel the same about this so this is from everyone of us.
Your children

Mom, five children later!

City Folk/family/ from Providence, R.I. to the hills of WV on a visit.
maternal Great Grandmother/Italy

Mom 1996, in Louisiana


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blogger in Reverse

Carrie and I made a trip to Breaux Bridge this afternoon. We were going to see 'Jeff The Computer Guy' and there we would drop off an Acer laptop that wasn't an 'ace' of a laptop. It crashed and burned after one year and the first repair done to it lasted only 6 months. The LED screen went out on it. This is not one of my laptops but belongs to my neighbor. I offered to have Jeff look at it for her.

After visiting briefly with Jeff, we headed for Peg's house where I visited with Peg and Carrie visited Paige's room to rummage through her toys. Paige was at school so Carrie had the room to herself.

After returning home, cookies were baked and then it was time for Carrie to watch Noggin.

I had time to sit and do nothing which was something I was anticipating with glee! What did I do? I surfed backwards through some of the old posts on my blog. It was like revisiting an old friend sorta. Some of the blog stories I barely remembered typing and thought maybe somebody else had sneaked onto my blog for a  bit of chicanery. Did I really use that word? It's such an old suthern' word isn't it?
Onward.  Reading back randomly was entertaining and informative. If I hadn't written daily about my life, the events recorded would never have been remembered as they were or not remembered at all.

I started blogging almost three years ago. I don't claim any aspirations for literary greatness. It's a journal of personal travel and experiences and memories and I'm happy that I started doing it. It's mine..all mine. You may share it with me if you like or maybe I should say, I will share it with you and hopefully you will find a little enjoyment by that sharing.

Carrie is Bacccccccccck!

Carrie is home! My home,  and right now she is sprawled across my bed, her feet nudging my hip.
I met her paternal grandmother today at our "exchange" place where we usually give Carrie up. She had spent the weekend with her dad and it was time for her to return home.
We were both super excited to see each other. I had been in New Mexico for almost 3 weeks and almost as soon as I returned home, she left for two weeks in W.Va. She leapt out of the car and raced across the parking lot to me. Hugging and laughing with each other, we secured her in her booster seat in the rear of my car and to Lafayette we drove.

I've missed this child with her sweet ways and her generosity with her hugs and kisses. She stayed here for a few hours and when her brother arrived she decided she would just have him take her home. She hadn't seen her brother for two weeks and she wanted to be with him.
A few hours passed and she was on the phone requesting I collect her so she could spend the night and of course that is just what I did.
We settled in the big king size bed, a tray with a bowl of steamed noodles and a glass of chocolate milk was served. I had to go through the whole process of serving her, a game we've played for months. As I walked down the hall to the bedroom, I bellow out "Special Delivery for Carrie B..........!! When I get to the bedside she is sitting there with her  hand raised in the air so I can pick her out among the crowd.
 (she is the only person in the's a play along with me..will ya?)
I ask to see her identification and as usual, she reaches into her pocket and then hands me her I.D. It's invisible as all those other people in the room but I scrutinize it, compare it to her face, which she tilts to the side and delivers a big smile. After confirming she is Carrie B..........., I deliver her food.

While she was enjoying her dinner, I placed a laptop with "Horton Hears A Who" in front of her and while she watched that movie, I tuned in the Saints' game.

I tried to talk Carrie into watching the game; I explained the guys in the gold and red and the ones in the gold and black; she wasn't buying it. I had her watching for the guy that caught the ball. She couldn't make a decision on who was the team she should be supporting. A movie for her was a better choice and I gave up on her enjoying the game. We all have our preferences and her's wasn't football at 4yrs old.

Maybe, by the time she reaches an age where she can enjoy a professional football game, The Saints will be ready to have another winning season and be Super Bowl bound as they did last season. We can always dream huh?

Later today, Carrie and I will print signs that we will attach to all the furniture and even the walls. I'm determined to teach her to read so we will tag everything in this house with it's name, ie. SOFA, CHAIR, RUG, WALL....
I will print these out..or do them in large black marker..and tape each one to the place it goes and leave them for her to view. In a week, I'll take some of them down..mix them up and have her tape them back to their correct places.

My house might look strange for a while with a note on the chair reading "CHAIR" and one on the wall reading, of course, "WALL". If I have visitors, I'll just tell them senility has arrived and I had to tag everything so I would be triggered into remembering what it was as I didn't want to find myself sitting on top of the television someday.

I'm outta here. A shower and an hour and I will be out and about with her. Saints did win last night against the '49'ers. (exhaling)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Panic Time

I switched on the laptop this afternoon and I was unable to sign onto the internet. "What's up with that?" I wondered. Before terror began to raise it's ugly head at the thought of 'not being connected', I started checking a few things.

I ran a diagnostic and then  I checked the yellow light in the front of the keyboard to make sure I hadn't accidentally switched to the off position the internet connection switch. Nothing.
A little discomfort; a bit of nervousness but I persisted in trying to get the laptop to connect.
My mind whirled with the possibilities of how my life would contract and fall in upon itself without the internet. I tried to stay calm and rational. Let's not let hysteria rule.
I rebooted it. I rechecked everything and I worried. What is the worst case scenario should I be without internet access to the world wide web for a few days? Would it weld a devastating blow? Would I recover from the alienation?
I was on my way to the bedroom laptop when I made a detour. I decided to check the router in the office; the heartbeat of my internet connection.
Red light glowing in the darkness from the router and I knew I had found the problem. It wasn't the laptop malfunctioning but the router that had done me in.
Pulling the router forward from it's spot hidden behind the monitor, I check all the plugs and after assuring myself it wasn't a plug that was disconnected, I hit the "on/off " switch and watched the blinking green lights and the one red light wink out. Quickly I flipped that same switch to the "on" position and watched as the green lights built up on the tower minus the red one. 
Moving to the monitor,I hovered my mouse over the Internet Explorer Icon and in two quick clicks, my world was restored to normal. I was online!
Thank you to all the powers that be, I'm saved. The internet world is mine.
How pitiful a life I must have, huh?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

School Daze

Registered Nurse, Almost!

Starting college took me a while. About 22 years after graduating from high school, I found myself in a little town in Mississippi and standing in the registrar's office, I wrote a check and picked up my schedule and hurried home.
It wasn't going to be quite that easy of a start. It was  more of an accident then a deliberate act.

We had just been transferred from Morgantown, WV to Laurel, Mississippi and boxes filled every room in the small house we had rented. I was taking a break from unpacking when I decided to just check out the little college close by and as they say, the rest is history.

I'm registered in school and I have a mess to clean up and a house to get in order and classes are to start soon. I moved quickly.

The first few weeks of classes were uneventful. I went to class, sat around with the other students in  the beautiful fall weather on campus while the trees sprayed their gold and red colors in a canopy against the sky.I thought "this isn't so bad". It's actually stimulating to sit in a classroom and listen to the professors. 

You can see that I had changed a great amount since my high school days when 3:30 was my favorite numbers as it meant the doors of that  high school opened and I was free.

This time around, I was paying for these classes and I had settled down a bit since those high school days. 

I would go home, read and do assignments and toss the books into my book bag until the following day.

After about 3 weeks of this pleasurable routine, we all showed up for class one day and had the professor of that class announce testing. On to the next class and that professor too announced testing. By the time the day was over, all the professors were testing and I was seriously in trouble. 
The lazy days of hanging out in class and on campus had fled. The pulse rate was bounding and pushing the limits of my tolerance. 

I rushed home and for the next few days, I didn't look up. The material to retain was tremendous, but when test day arrived, which was, in my opinion, way too soon, I passed all the tests. My grades were good. 
The nursing students had to go through a selection process when it came time to be selected into the program and the highest GPA's were the ones selected. I was studying core classes. The selection process was a few years away and  I was scared. 

We had to move and to Louisiana we arrived. Again the class registerations and studying.
For the next 4 years I didn't look up. I had my face in a book day and night. The maths, the sciences, chemistry, Englishes and histories were my constant companions. I remained scared right to state boards. 

State boards came and to New Orleans I went to sit for two days in a room closely monitored by people that walked up and down the aisles to make sure there was no one that passed unfairly.

As soon as the two days of testing was completed, we headed to Arizona on vacation and to await our scores.

A friend called a few weeks later  while I was in Arizona and when the lady of the house picked up the phone, (this was before cell phones owned by one and all) this friend asked to speak to Charlotte Ann, RN.

With a wild scream I took the phone and laughed and talked and congratulated that friend on her new RN status too. 

To this day, each and every nursing student has my sympathy. The new grads for years to come would appear on the floors where I worked and I was more then happy to be their preceptor to ease them into the real world of nursing; to answer their questions, to guide them until they felt comfortable facing the demands of the profession. If they had made it this far, they had already earned my respect.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Worthless Little Update

It's Friday and I hear there are a lot of folks that are excited about this. I remember when just the thought of an upcoming Friday was enough to cause the heart to palpitate a little faster. A rush to secure plans for entertaining myself and a need to escape from the weekly ritual called work and like the rest of the work world Friday was the magic word of release.Everyday is Friday in my world and has been for the past 3 years.  
I have no big plans but I will get in my car and see where it leads me. I like not having my time scheduled now. I did that when I had a job. I had to follow a strict schedule of arrival, breaks, lunch time and break and depart time. Some times the lunch breaks and 15 min breaks weren't guaranteed. It was that kind of job and the immediate future in that 8hrs was minute by minute ever changing time.
I'm showered on this Saturday morning and I'm getting dressed and out of here to wander around town for a while.
I'll be back, hopefully, with something interesting to post about other then this peaceful Saturday. Maybe I'll slip into a cool dark theatre this afternoon. I have all day to play!

Left to Right: Che Che (Launa Bernice) Etta Terino Tate, Charlotte Tate Tellez, and Muesetta Lee Tate Holbert in the foreground. This picture was taken in or around 1988 on a visit to Mom's in Ripley, WV.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Walk on The Wild Side

How do I manage to misplace a whole day? I achieved more when I worked 40 hours a week. With limited time off, I would race around cleaning, doing laundry and shoveling trash from the car, and shopping for groceries. The stress of being an RN wasn't enough?  Monitoring patients and overloaded with labs, tests and care of them not to mention a code blue or two during a shift while charging a floor and then coming home to more responsibilities and it all got done.

Today I received a call from the agency wanting to know if I would work a psych hospital this weekend.
I haven't worked anywhere for almost 3 years now and the thought of jumping back into the fray causes me to shiver. It used to be normal to go to work on a lock down unit with psychotic patients that because of their illness, we wore "screamers" attached to a part of our body that we could use our elbows to pull the pin should a patient clamp his arms around us and we were unable to get to that pin  with our hands. The "screamers'' were grenade like in appearance. The staff could rush to our aid when they heard a screamer go off; the patients tried to murder us on occasion. That was a normal day in my life. The husband expected a phone call 4 hours into the shift to let him know I survived the first 4. Showing up at home assured him I had survived the last 4.
Ah, those were the days! The things I saw there, I could write a book about. Each time I returned from one of those "walks on the wild side", the husband would want to hear what happened that day. I could tell him the stories but couldn't mention any names, which I didn't. He asked if I could video it for him.
"Oh, sure", I said sarcastically, "all those patients want to be on You Tube some day!"
The schizophrenics and the bipolars would go off their meds and then some one would notice their erratic behavior. 
We had one lady that would pitch all of her furniture into the yard. The neighbors, by this time, were familiar with her and what was going on and the officials were notified. After she was admitted, I sat with her one day and engaged her in conversation and this was her story.
"It's the dust, she said, "they come down and sprinkle the dust all over the rugs and the furniture. It's white dust and they think I can't see it but I can."

I nodded and kept quiet and let her talk.

"When they sprinkle the white dust on my furniture, I have to get it out of my house. It's dangerous you know."
"Ah" I said, "and who sprinkles this dust?"

"The little men. They come from that place in the sky. It's poison you know."

I looked at this well coiffed woman dressed in her fine clothes; she had a good job as a manager here in town and I won't even mention what sort of manager, but she held a good position with the company she worked for. She was off her meds and within a week she had slipped back into her schizophrenic state and as I sat listening to her, I knew that within a week we would have her stabilized and she would be ready to go home and continue with her life.
The truly ill mental patients wrung sympathy from me for what they endured.
The other psychotics we dealt with were the drug users that had been on a three day binge without an hours' worth of sleep during that time and they were hallucinating when they arrived. A "cocktail" was given and soon they were out for 8. Eight hours later their conditions were much improved and in a few days they were sent back out to return again within the month.

Do I really want to give up my life of leisure? Late nights and late mornings and as many days as I want to stay home or take trips when I want? Do I want to go some where that some one might want to snap my neck because voices told him/her to? Do I ever want to be involved in another "take down"?

I think I'll watch the caller ID on that phone and just ignore those calls that ask "Do you want to work at .............." this weekend? I enjoy the health I have and I don't think I care to jeopardize it again with a "walk on the wild side". 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hiking and other Nerve Racking Fun

Exercise is a wonderful thing, don't ya think? I used to hike in the mountains of Wyoming, ski the Rockies; exercise that didn't require I sign a membership and enter a club where machines lined in front of mirrors reflected back to me my movements.

My form of exercise required that I labeled it a "fun"  thing to do and joining a club to "workout" in a room filled with other people was not my idea of "fun".
I hiked through the woods, alone many times, and aware all of the times of the dangers of doing this. If I heard other voices and at high altitudes voices carry for miles, I would step off the trail and slip behind a big tree or bush to wait until those that were in the woods passed by. I listened for crackling branches, long dead and dried that could warn me of someone or some thing's approach. Bears were a huge concern and something that kept a healthy amount of fear in me to keep me alert. A mama moose with her young offspring was to be avoided. There was a beaver dam on this hike and those beavers never posed a threat. I know when to be scared.
This is all leading to one question.
I  hiked in a place that had it's dangers. It wasn't on the border of a country that I could be perceived as a spy. It wasn't on the border or close to a country that was where I would be considered a threat. It wasn't  in an area where I could be beheaded for even being there or locked away in a prison for a year should I be found  and yet that seems to be where 3 Americans decided they needed to hike.
This I do NOT understand. I have no desire to vacation right now in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. They don't like us. Don't ya get it? We are not looked upon as friends. That is not a good thing.
In this whole wide world, three Americans decided to hike in hostile territory; an area torn by war, bombed and blasted and shot and this is where one chooses to do some on foot exploring with identification denoting them American citizens? I'm not making a judgement on these countries but simply saying the world is aware of the conflict there.
I find it very difficult to emit sympathy for these 3 Americans and should they  return back to the 'States, someone might want to test their intelligence levels and point out a few safe places on this planet that has plenty of space to accommodate their appetites for hiking.
I'm done.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I'm awake but not by choice. At first the melody caused me to stir and tickled my conscious and by the 5th time the chime sounded, I reached over to the night stand and fumbled in the dark for my cell phone. The smoothness of this laptop was the first thing my hand found and immediately denied because of it's size my quest. The empty can of iced tea tipped and fell over, rolled across the night stand and I heard it's tinny sound as it hit the floor in the dark.

Note to self: Self, remember the can on the floor when you get out of bed. Painful to step on said mentioned can.

Of course the last thing to contact was the cell, with by this time, the once lovely chime I had installed as a ring tone, was now a sound that caused me to winch, I slid the phone to unlock to stop the sound. A text.

"I had received a text message" I thought "and it's not even daylight yet." Thinking it was the daughter texting to say she was on the road headed back home, I waited for my eyes to adjust, squinted while gazing at the lit screen. A text message from the Grandson? Maybe he has missed the bus? I touched the screen with fingertip to get to the message.

"Can you get me a set of those headphones. The ones you bought for me with the rhino pic on them and in red and green?"

Really? Let me envision this. You roll out of bed at dark THIRTY and as you dress for school, you think the most important thing of the day is to text me with your wish list? It's dark outside and that means it's early and that means I'm probably asleep.

I text back "OK" and whether I mean that or not, agreeing would be the easiest thing at this time.
Another text from him "What are you doing up so early?"
ME:   "I'm NOT."
Him: "ooohhh....okkkkkkkk....
and setting that cell back on the night stand in this dark bedroom, I rolled over, punched an indentation in the pillow and tried to go back to sleep figuring that I wasn't really all the way awake anyway, which of course wasn't possible.
Daylight is seeping in around the curtain. I'm done. Turning on CNN, I slip out of bed and realize I have forgotten that "note to self". As my foot hit the metal can, that note resurfaced via memory cells which left me wishing I were just a little faster on using them. By this time I had skipped, hopped and staggered to get away from that can. You know when you step on something and that knowledge that you shouldn't have and then you over compensate and of course that wasn't wise so now you're doing the "dance of rescue" and hoping you save yourself from a fall.
I survived that dance and a cup of coffee later, snuggled back in bed with the news I wondered if this was a portent of the day to come. Maybe I should just stay here all day for safety's sake.
I'm done.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Just the other day an old friend and I were messin around in my external hard drive that holds pictures that were shot with a digital camera and some that I had scanned from old albums. I have a shelf in the wall unit that is crammed full of albums that need to be scanned to digital and stored. Print pictures don't last forever and having them coverted to digital not only preserves them but storing them on that external hard drive makes it easier to pack them when traveling or should a quick exit be necessary in the event of a natural disaster, hurricanes being our big boogie man here.

After each trip where I shoot a number of photos and download off the camera to my computer, I quicky transfer them to the external hard drive. Should this laptop crash, I'll have the relief of knowing I won't lose my them. 

Oh..where was I? I had to scroll back to the title to find what inspired this post.

Found. I found old pictures that I had scanned. In some of them I'm 8 yrs. old and 9 and 19 or 20, then onward or maybe I should say "downward"? I've tried to put them on a blog page but getting them arranged in chronlogical order is not manageable right now. I'm working on it. I remember the dress that I wore in those pictures when I was a child. The pink organdy one with the appliques around the collar,

 the mismatched pattern the blouse and jumper in the other
 and I wondered if anyone helped me select what I wore? I think not. Mom had 7 children to get off to school in the morning and I doubt it that she knew what any of us wore, picture day being no exception.

Hangin out at Rippling Waters...

1989 Morgantown, WV

1989 Morgantown, WV

New Orleans with Mom
1994 or '95
1995 Las Vegas, Nevada

And Today
1996 Me and Mom
A little trip down a short lane, it seems.

And  there you have it....