Follow by Email

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I swear I am a decent person...

I really am, even if my mouth has no filter, for the most part my heart is in the right place.  I'm the kind of person you have to know, to know how to take what I say.  I fluent in sarcasm, and I'm pretty damn funny I have been told.

But when I get pissed...well, I stay pissed for awhile.

So far this year has been many small occurrences of bullshit timed to keep me pissed at regular intervals.

Being that I never had children of my own, I was the naive idiot blessed that my husband had three children from a previous marriage.

WTF.

Don't get me wrong, I like these kids.  Hell, I grew up with them. (JOKE).  But someone else's children will never feel like your child, and anyone who tells you different is psychotic or has entirely too much estrogen coursing through their body.

First off, if everyone had to raise someone else's children from about 11-18, and by raise I mean feed, clothe, and shelter, but not have a damn say so or opinion about a 15 year old that sneaks out fucking constantly, the world would have ceased existing millennia ago.

I am the type of women who sees a train wreck and asks herself, what could I have done to prevent it.  This is not a favorable trait to have if you have step kids, at least not in my situation.

It's not like I have had any say in what they are and aren't allowed to do, but I am a damn fixer.  I see something not functioning or not reaching it's potential, AND I HAVE TO FUCKING FIX IT.

And in case you were wondering, this shit doesn't work with a teenager.  Like, at all.

I was never a lazy teenager, and I worked my ass off.  My parents nor my grandparents would have tolerated much else, and yes, I would have got my ass busted otherwise.

In this barren woman's opinion on what's wrong with this world, let me sum it up for you in one sentence:
QUIT BREEDING IF YOU AREN'T GOING TO DISCIPLINE THESE DAMN KIDS.

I mean it.  Quit coddling these little brats.  Jesus, we are raising a country of pussies.  And I mean every damn word of this, and I don't care who gets mad.  It was on the news the other night that yelling at your child during disciplining them is harmful to their psyche.  You know what else is harmful to their psyche? Growing up to be a crybaby loser.  Stop buying them all this shit!  You know what? I grew up kinda poor, so you know what that made me do? Not want to be poor anymore.  So I busted ass to put myself through college, and I appreciate all the shit that I have.  Make these kids stay home if they can't be trusted to be out. If they get lippy, take that damn iPhone and XBox away!  It's not rocket science people, and I can say this with 100% certainty, because I have seen imbeciles raise well-behaved children.

Dear God, I hope my ovaries really have jumped off a cliff.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Everything is Ass Right Now

For the most part.

I'm sure there is some damn optimist out there saying, "Well, gee golly, you have your health!" And I would like to meet that person and kick them in their throats.

I am at a point in life where I realize I suck at it.  I hate dealing with idiots, I have no patience for ignorant people, and frankly, I'm beginning to feel kinda grateful to be infertile, because if I had to raise one more teenager, I would be in a cell.

Trying to balance a 60+ hour a week job, a home, helping with ill family and a smart ass teenager, oh and being ON CALL the last 2 weekends in a row has me ready to start busting skulls.

The silver lining in all this is that I am able to suspend service to a certain cell phone free of charge or repercussions when someone gets mouthy.

No more hateful texts from THAT number.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I have far too much ADD to get anything accomplished anymore...

Thinking it would kick my ass into high gear, I scheduled my final.  Now I don't have to concentration necessary to study.  Oh well, I'll either pass it or I won't.  I blame it on increasing amounts of sunshine and the fact that spring is right around to corner.

So I mix studying (a little) with a few (a lot) of internet games.  Because I am a nerd.  Yesterday I woke up and worked out, went to the grocery, and proclaimed it a "lazy day".  So my husband and I grilled a pork loin, drank bourbon and watched some of Season 1 of Bates Motel.  Oh and ate a pound of pork cracklins.  I work about 5 minutes down the road from Fountain City, and they have a HUGE Amish deli/grocery there, and I may be just the tiniest bit addicted.  They have everything, and more importantly, they have SAMPLES of everything.  Just don't buy the butter pecan syrup, it tastes nothing like IHOP.

At any rate, it's Sunday and therefore WALKING DEAD DAY.  My husband has been complaining that this season isn't as interesting as last season.  He apparently fell asleep during the whole Beth/Daryl bit last Sunday. (Can you believe that, by the way?).  I keep telling him, due to the explosiveness of last season's ending, all our people are now spread out and (Thankfully) still alive.  So the episodes are going to be spaced out, because lets face it, if they tried to follow all of them every episode it would be like Days of Our Lives.

All's I got to say is, when shit hits the fan, I hope to hell I get to be Beth.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Mile a Minute

I have been so busy this week, I have met myself coming and going.

It has gotten warmed up here to the 50's, but all that's going to shit tonight when it drops and we get more snow.  Fun times.

I have been studying for a final, so that's where I have been.  Got to finish this degree so I never have to take another college class again.  It's hard for me to make my stepkid study when I am hunched over a laptop, chain smoking and bitching about how stupid it is I have to relearn all this, and that I will never use it.  I am a great role model for teenagers, let me tell you.

My husband has been working some jobs out of town, and today I got up, worked out (and now I feel like I am 80 because I musta pulled something in my side, picked the house up, and headed into work for a few hours in an attempt to combat the mountain of work.

Then I went to Walmart, because it's the only place between here and work, to get vodka.  What a mistake.  Jesus, if I ever get the itch to procreate, I will just go to Walmart on a Saturday afternoon.  My ovaries literally jumped out of my body and ran off a cliff.

Anyways, if you don't see me much, it's because I'm learning how to be a nurse.  I've only been one for like 10 years, but I have to have more letters behind my name to continue doing what I have been doing the last 6.  I blame O'bama.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Best Wife Ever


It's a secret, but as an anniversary present I just got my babe tickets to the Motley Crue concert in July.  Even if it cost the same price as a small country, hopefully it will be worth it.  He does for everyone but himself all the time.  And, come on, it's fricking Motley Crue.  Best. Wife. Ever.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Why A Bunch of Broads Shouldn't Work Together (Alternate Title: Why I Am So Pissed Off)




I have been in health care since I was 15, was a pharmacy tech for 4 years, and have been a nurse since I was 20.  That's almost a decade and a half of wonder why in the name of all that's holy would I choose this?  Don't get me wrong, I love my job.  I really, really do. And I kick ass at it.  But I am telling you what all this experience has taught me:  Women can't work together, and therefore, can't run shit.

Please don't start with feminist tirades, because frankly, they fall short.  I think we should be able to vote and own property and all that jazz, but let me tell you, anyone barking for a female president is an idiot.

Let me offer some evidence.

Anyone who has any experience in health care, let along the dreaded long-term care, is a freaking liar if they don't tell you it's a damn snake pit.  The worst work environment I have ever been witnessed to, was an estrogen-driven cluster fuck they called administration.  Everybody ragged on everybody, and everyone ragged at the same time.  I seen more employees cry at my short stint in that hell hole then I saw when I did end of life care.

Why?  Because women are the most self-conscious people in the world.  They don't like it if you offer constructive criticism, because they think you are criticizing them.  You ask them to help with something, you are nagging. You don't blow sunshine up their asses, you aren't being supportive. They tear each other up.  Wild animals have not inflicted the kind of shit on their young in the history of the world, that woman do to each other in the workplace.  And last, but not least, they spend too much time picking everything everyone says apart, and whispering about it behind closed doors.

Have I been guilty of this in the past?  Yes, I was once an insecure 15-year-old.  But I am a grown woman now.  I could care less what anyone else looks like, because I am married, am a good shot...my husband ain't going no where.  I've never been a person who needs to feel like the prettiest, but I can tell you I have been the one with the most commonsense more often than not.  I learned at my first job as a nurse, no good comes from befriending the natives of the nursing home.  Keep your head down, for God's sake don't offer any constructive criticism (you are only going to be targeted or make more work for yourself), and don't talk to anyone unless it directly relates to the job you have to do.

My favorite expression, and the one that I inevitably repeat to my employees at least once a week is this: Stay in your lane! HONK! HONK!  That means, if you are worried about what you are doing, then you don't have time to worry what everyone else is not doing.

Most recently, having a lot of experience, I offered some suggestions.  You know what it got me? A pain in the ass.

Someone should've shouted at me:

"Stay in YOUR LANE! HONK! HONK!"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spring is Coming!

The forecast after Friday: Increasing temps!  50 degree weather all next week.  Folks, I hope this isn't the usual Indiana trick.  You know, it warms up mid-February, then 2 weeks later we have 2 inches of ice?

Lord don't let it be that.
 
Wood has all kinds of deadly peppers started in this kitchen.  I say deadly because you can't even buy pepper plants around here this hot.  He makes all kinds of good stuff: his own aged hot sauce, more salsa than you can even fathom, bloody Mary mix, hot pepper seasoning, and habanero relish.  I think he may can more than I do.

I will probably prune the apple trees this weekend before it warms up, and maybe go ahead and get some deer repellent around them and the peach and persimmon trees.

I can't wait until summer!

Monday, February 10, 2014

I Don't Want to, But I sure as Hell Can't Keep This Up

I had big plans for this little stay-cay, and now I am thisclose to going crazy.  I haven't accomplished anything, I have watched all the backlogged episodes of anything worth watching on my DVR, and there is NOTHING on TV.  It's nasty out, and although I am seriously dreading the chaos that will be work this week after my little vacation,  I can't stay home any longer.

I'm losing my freaking mind, here.

I watched 4 weeks worth of Downton Abbey episodes today.  Do you know what that does to a person?  I think I have a bit of a British accent now.

I have scavenged Amazon and can't find anything I want to read that I haven't already read.

I refuse to clean any more of this house.

It's too cold to work outside.

I'm not bored enough to cross-stitch.

I've already got all my outfits ready for the entire work week.  

This is the time of year where I start to lose my ever-lovin mind.  It's sunny, but subzero.  I can't start any plants, too far out.  My mind can't stay focused for anything that requires an attention span longer than about 30 seconds, so that takes all kinds of things off my to-do list.

So, my friends, I leave you with this little nugget.  :)  




Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Farmer's: TWD Style

Whatever I am eating looks DELICIOUS!!

Petey, my furbaby, makes a pensive-looking lil Zombie

I am actually frightened at how scary he looks...hence, the collar

Mamaw Drops Emotional Grenades, Then Goes To Bob Evans

This is the phone conversation I had with my favorite person this morning, MEMAW:

(phone rings while I am in bathroom)

"Shit!"

(Loving husband proceeds to shove ringing iPhone under bathroom door)

ME:  Hello?

Memaw:  Well, hello!  Happy Birthday, Amanda! (No one calls me Amanda in my family, but everyone else calls me Mandy.  My niece calls me Aunt Manna. That's right, pouring from the Heavens and offering sustenance.  You are welcome, Rural Indiana.)

ME:  Thanks Memaw. Whatcha up to today?

Memaw: Hating winter, gosh it'll just never end.  Yesterday was your uncle's birthday!  And next month is mine and your aunt's!

ME: I didn't know his birthday was yesterday...hmmm..

Memaw: Yep, and me and your Papaw brought you and your mother home from the hospital because your father (read: sperm donor) wasn't around that week!  Well your uncle is taking me to Bob Evans, have a good birthday!

'Click'

(Calls mom)

ME: Hey, um, Memaw just called me and quickly told me the sperm donor wasn't around the week of my birth...

Momma:  Jesus, yes he was, he had to WORK.  He was there, but he had to WORK that day.

ME: Vodka ain't free.

Momma proceeds to sing a half-hearted rendition of happy birthday to me.

Momma: Aren't you excited to be 90 and be able to say whatever, then cut the hell out and go eat at Bob Evans?

ME:  I am excited to be 29 and say whatever I want, then cut the hell out and drink bourbon.

Momma: Ah, kid.  See you at noon.


I FREAKING love my family.  

My new tattoo I got for my birthday

P.S- I swear that's a joke.  I have never lived in a trailer, nor do I think people who live in trailers should be ashamed.  I once lived in a house that, when my mom was getting ready to go to a funeral in high heels, them SOB spikes went through the floor.
P.S.S- I have one tattoo.
P.S.S.S- I did get it when I was 15.  SO I have some street cred.  Too bad my dad's a tattoo artist and did it.  


Friday, February 7, 2014

A List, Because I'm Very Bored and My Husband is Right, But Don't Tell That To Him

1.  For years I have been hounding Wood to let me quit my job and stay the hell home.
What the HELL was I thinking.  I always say, "Well if I didn't have to work, shit would get done around here!"  Ha! Very funny, Mandy.  Been off two days and what have you done?
-3 loads of laundry
-swept the floors (need swept again)
-loaded the furnace like 6 times (6 times in like 8 years?  Can't even count that.)
-smoked 2 packs of Marlboros
-started one slightly slutty paranormal book that keeps me yelling at the Kindle, "Shoot that MF'er!  He's a DEMON, you whore!", at which point my husband knocks on the bathroom door and asks me if I might require a spoon. (Apparently any sounds of distress provoke Wood into trying to help the poor constipated bastard in the john, i.e., a spoon.)
-ate an entire family size bag of Chex Mix
-made a peanut butter pie and some dog treats
-wasted like, I don't know, 8 hours on Blogger laughing out loud in an empty house like a crazy person
-made calls to the NCAAP and the Rev. Al Sharpton after I was a victim of racism, and it really hurt my chicken-shit feelings.
-texted Wood and told him to pick up whipping cream and milk due to aforementioned clusterf&$^
-I cut off my hair
-successfully drank enough Tom Collins while watching Sister Wives that I'm pretty sure Christine hates me now, but that broad hates herself.
-cuddled with my furbaby Petey and told him that he didn't need to worry, Mommy would protect him and direct the zombies to her stepchildren first.

2.  Tomorrow I turn 29.  Jesus, does everyone feel this way.  I woke up and have freaking "fine lines and wrinkles", I found not one, but TWO damn gray hairs yesterday.  And my knee feels arthritic.  If this is 29, I'm punching 30 right in the kisser.

3.  Don't you hate it when you are home, and your husband is at work and you start feeling all domestic?  I should have thought this little vay-cay out.  He's at work, I'm at home= I have to cook dinner.  This morning before my coffee high wore off I promised him fried chicken, homemade biscuits, gravy and greens.  Now its almost 4 o'clock and he'll be home in like thirty minutes, and the only thing I have going for me is a good hair day.  I don't want to fry no chicken!  That was another woman who said that...

an energetic 28-year-old.

Maybe it's not too late to convince him to pick up some Gin and some tenderloins from the pub?

I Was the Victim of Racism Today

I had to go to the grocery this morning in -11 below weather after taking my stepson to school.  -11 is painful.  Having to go check the furnace and make sure the son of a bitch is still going so we don't freeze...painful.  

I was already in a foul mood due to the miserableness of the cold when I slid to the grocery store.  I had forgotten my list in the rush to corral a 17-year-old out the door so he wouldn't be late.  I have to have a list.  It's too far to come back if I forget something.

So, at 9 am I am wandering through the store, which was pretty empty surprisingly.  My mood started to improve, after all, nothing gets me as excited as an empty grocery store these days.  People are rude, they just stand in the middle of the aisles, it's awful.  I'm sure that's what Hell will be like for me.  People who are in my way, with no sense of purpose.

Halfway through the store, I was patting myself on the back for remembering everything on my list, when it all goes to shit.

Five freakin' kids, with NO coats, mittens, hats OR manners, pillaging the store.  I tried to avoid them, I really did.  I have no filter sometimes, and it's a good thing my husband or dad is almost always around, because sometimes this mouth writes checks it's ass can't cash.

All I wanted was some heavy whipping cream, but these kids were running circles around the cart and whoopin' and hollerin' and I was just like, "Dear God, get me out of here and home before I snatch one of these kids up and lock them in the cooler."

So I stood there patiently, waiting for the woman on her cell phone with 5 terrible miniature people to get the hell out finish perusing and move her lard ass cart so I could buy her damn groceries and mine get some milk. 

I waited...

I waited...

At some point I must have huffed.

This woman takes her bedazzled (with a pot leaf, I might add) phone away from her ear, looks me dead in the eyes...

"What the $@^ you lookin' at whitey!"

Then this lovely woman proceeds to tell whoever is on the other end of her free phone, 

"This cracker-ass mother%&#*& standin' her behind me like I ain't gotta right to look at my choices."

Now, I have not been racist in my life.  My best friend is married to a very nice man, and they have two beautiful children, but so help me God.

After I picked my jaw up off the ground, and prayed to God this woman wasn't packing any kind of weapon...

"Well, this cracker-ass mother%$&#* works every day so you can get your little blue card and pay for your choices!"

She didn't have a damn thing to say, because it is my damn money going to that little blue card so she can by Totino's pizza and Mt. Dew for her five kids.

I wish to God they would load them damn cards up with a tubal ligation at the first of every month.

Blogger Sucks!

Log in today, and all the blogs I follow are gone!  I follow like 30 blogs!  I swear, Google+ has been the ruin of Blogger.  Hopefully, this gets sorted out rather quickly, but I was wanting to know if anyone else has had this problem?

Anywho, got a lot to do today, and will post later.

It's colder than hell here in Indiana.  Don't throw your Bibles at me, I know what the Good Book says, but I'm fairly certain I'm more scared of the cold than the heat.  

:)

I only partially gave my husband a heart attack yesterday after chopping off my hair.  But let me tell ya, it's so nice not being bogged down by two tons of hair.  So nice!  And I got to catch up with my best friend of almost 25 years AND run into Walmart to get Vodka.  We are classy broads.

Before


During
After



Thursday, February 6, 2014

This Morning

I am sitting at my table, enjoying my view of God's County, which is currently a frozen tundra.  But I can handle it today, because I don't have to leave my house for the next five days.  That makes me unspeakably happy. We had a "winter storm" and Woody had to take and pick me up from work, so he spent no less that about five hours chauffeuring me around.

My View.  Pretty until you drive 54 miles to work and it -1245 degrees out.



It's been a long two weeks at work, and I'm glad I had put in for some time off because I have been running on steam for the last week.  And since my birthday and The Walking Dead come back all in the same weekend, seemed like a good idea.


The only for sure plans I have are to maybe brave going to get fabric to finish Sugarbean's (my niece) quilt.  I have been putting it off now long enough.  It keeps me up at night.  I am terrified of trying to quilt that behemoth on the sewing machine, because I have never done it.  And when I say terrified, I mean not able to sleep over it and having various stomach complaints.  But finish it I must.  I may need a drink for this.





I have pretty much been bombarding Sugarbean with Aunt Mandy's homemade stuff.  I got a new sewing machine for Christmas, and frankly, the fact it does everything scares me at times.  I figure before I know it, she won't want to wear the pretties Aunt Mandy makes her, so I better enjoy it while I can.  She's the only little baby I have to spoil, and kids grow up so fast.  At 13 now they are like 21.  I told my mom we should just homeschool her or maybe put her in a bubble, but I don't think I'm making a compelling argument at this point.  If it ever isn't winter again, I also need to finish the play house project I started for her.  I bought a hideous Little Tykes plastic Victorian playhouse that I am redoing (read: spray painting the shit out of)  I got near the end and was about to prime the sucker when winter hit at the beginning of October, so none of the paint got sealed, and now has to be redone.  So that gets to be redone the first sign of spring.  I will say this, we drove an hour to get the sucker and Wood wasn't listening to me thought it was heavy enough to not fly out of the bed of the truck.  Five minutes later, the thing flew out of the bed of the truck and smashed on the highway.  Darn playhouse was still intact with only a few minor scuffs.

Wood modeling the !&$% hat my dad wanted.

I also finished the Hat of Doom my dad wanted.  I can crochet and all, but this darn hat pattern was cursed.  It's a whole lot of counting that effing don't have the patience for took forever, and I tore the whole think out to the starting chain at least 5 times.  It didn't help matters that my dad wanted a camo hat, so we had to look around Hobby Lobby for an hour to find something suitable.  All we found close was yarn made from bamboo that is a bitch environmentally sustainable and made me want to punch Al Gore and Obama in the throat.


Me and Sugarbean a few months ago.  Hair is much longer and much more unruly.

I also am cutting my hair (that is now to my butt) because Wood complains about water and shower length.  Which is fine, it takes forever to wash a foot and a half of hair.  He likes long hair, I grew long hair.  He likes shorter showers, this hair likes being shorter.  I haven't actually come right out and told him I'm lopping it off, but I'm sure he'll notice.



I got some laundry, some housecleaning, and some dog biscuits to make.  But right now, I really don't want to do any of it.  I'd like to pretend that I have nothing to do and curl up on the couch with my little beeby love.  He gets me.

We are also trying not to use anymore natural gas or propane than we have to because there is a "shortage".  Funny how there is also a shortage on salt, so they aren't even treating I70 or I65 or any other godforsaken interstate.  (We live like 30 minutes from the nearest interstate, but both me and mom require the interstate to get to work).  Just ridiculous.  We are burning through wood faster than the National Deficit is increasing.

What does Wood say about this?  "It's all damn Obama's fault."

3 More Days, LottaJoy!






















Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Backwoods Referendum

Oh, the Hoosier state.  How you baffle me by showing you are what the rest of the country thinks you are, and Exhibit A is HJR-3.  For those of you who don't know, the fine politicians of my state have decided that when I vote next November, I will have to decide how I feel about HJR-3, because they have used their brilliant minds to decide that this little gem should have it's place in our state constitution.

HJR-3 is a proposed ban on gay marriage in God's Country, otherwise known as Indiana.  I call this referendum, the Backwoods Referendum or the Bigot Law.

Maybe this hits me closer to home than most, as I have spent my entire life around homosexuals.  My first grade brontosaurus costume for my elementary school play was fashioned by a drag queen, that to this day, when I put on a bathing suit, I curse that sorry son of a bitch for making a better woman than I do.


My niece.  A product of engineered fertility and a true gift of God.  I shudder to think of her growing up here, a place where we have decided to not allow her mom the same rights as everyone else,  ratifying ignorance into our constitution.

I'm not saying this from a religious point of view, I could care less.  Let people marry who they want to marry!  We let the President have near unlimited power and bug an entire country, so in the big scheme of things, I fail to see how this is what we worry about and pay politicians to argue.  Why don't they spend that time on a balanced budget?

While pondering the proposed Bigot Law, I recalled a time two years ago, when we had finally convinced Mamaw and Papaw to leave their beloved farm, and move into the brick ranch house of Mamaw's dreams.  The time had come where the house was too much, and the closer they were to us, the more support we could provide to Mamaw and to my Papaw whose progressive dementia and cardiac issues were just progressing much too fast.

On a scorching July morning, when the humidity was already at that Indiana point that three seconds outside leaves you soaking with sweat and gasping for air, we encountered a conundrum.

Months of preparation had went into this move, and now, here we are, semi in the lane (Indiana word for drive-way), and an 800-pound safe my grandparents were damned and determined to take with them.

Keep in mind, my mom is the youngest of five children at 54 years old, her three brothers, as you can imagine, aren't the spitting image of male strength at any rate.  My husband was also there helping out, as was my sister and her partner Christy.

At one point, someone said that the damn thing was too heavy, and they were just going to have to leave the safe for the estate sale.  Now, my papaw had busted his ass to pay for the farm, provide for everyone, and now he was leaving the home he swore he'd live in til the day he died, and you are going to tell him he can't have the damn safe?  My husband looked at me and knew the proverbial feces was about to hit the oscillating wings.

After watching these men struggle for about twenty minutes, complaining about future hernia repairs that would be needed, I had had enough.

"All of you, get out of my damn way!"

They continued pondering how best to move the safe from it's now precarious position on the ramp to the back of the semi, because women, especially one of twenty-something intelligence, should know their place and be ignored.

"Hey, I said MOVE!"

They all look at me, aghast at my unchristian outburst.

"Christy," I said, "Go get me that orange horse blanket out of the shed."

At this point, my uncle who is a preacher, decided that since my husband was going to just stand beside my Papaw's wheelchair with an amused look on his face, he should step in.

"Now, Amanda, if us men can't move it, then you aren't gonna be strong en-"

"Seriously? SERIOUSLY!  Unlike you dumbasses, I went to college and have an above-average understanding of the laws of physics, so back the hell up!"

At this point, Christy just hands me the blanket and a look that tells me we are all in. Meaning that if I don't magically get this 800-pound safe moved using just my 140 pounds and her 150 pounds, I will get my bad-ass card revoked, especially when the both of us know that these folks pray for my soul, because of my affection for beer and four-letter words, and for Christy and my sister, because they are gay.  And admit it, we all know that people choose to be gay, the same way we choose our eye color at birth. Cough, cough.

I can't afford to have my bad-ass card revoked, and I like proving points to ignorant fucks.  (See? Four-letter words are going to cast me into the Fires of Hell.)

So Christy and I proceed to put the blanket behind the safe, roll the safe back onto it's side and onto the horse blanket, and create a sled that enables me to pull and her to push, bringing the safe into the trailer.

I turn around, sweaty, in need of a beer, and see no less than seven sets of eyes on me, no one saying a damn word.

My mom is looking at me like I just won a Nobel Prize.

All three uncles are looking at me in a state of shock with a hint of disgust.

Christy is looking at me like she's going to gold plate my bad ass card.

The last set of eyes I see are my husband and Papaw.  Papaw is sitting in his wheelchair, looking at me with tears unshed and and a shit-eating grin.  Wood looks down at him, hand on his shoulder, and says, "Don't ya hate it that she's so damn smart?" and chuckles.  Papaw just keeps looking at me for a second, looks down at his lap, face-splitting grin apparent, and says, "No. but I can name a few men that do!" and pats my husband's hand on his shoulder.

I high-five Christy and say, "Not bad for a dyke and weak woman, huh?"

My bad ass card went solid platinum.




Sunday, February 2, 2014

Treadwell



I started reading Treadwell by Dana Joy Wyzard at 6:30 last night, and finished at 11:30 because I couldn't put the damn book down.  The Bourne Identity was on for the first time in my life, and I didn't even watch it.

As a Hoosier, I have a tender spot in my heart for this god-forsaken state that has schizophrenic weather.  When I can read about it through someone else's eyes, I can never resist seeing it through a different perspective, a different set of circumstances.

I have 78 pages of books on my Kindle account, and have read them all.  I have read all the greats, I have read Slaughter House 5, and I have read Twilight.  I will read anything that gets me interested in the characters, or that makes me feel like I know them, can relate to them.

This is one of those books.

I am not a book critic, I usually just annoy people until I convince them just to read whatever I am telling them, saying, "You HAVE to read this!"

This is one of those books.

The book takes place in a small town in Southern Indiana, setting the stage for Nelda.  I immediately was attached to Nelda, because Nelda is my future.  Independent, stubborn, fiercely loyal, and looks older than what she is.  I love it when the heroine of the story is described as a real person.  Too often, authors write of women saying something to the effect of main character doesn't realize she's beautiful in nontraditional way, blah blah blah.  Here in the real world (Indiana) women age, damn it.  I like that Nelda was a sixty-something woman who didn't give a shit if she looked a day over seventy.  These are the kinda women we should want our daughters to read about, women that embrace their age as experience, who can take care of themselves, and for the love of God, know how to load a shotgun.  Wosie, Nelda's best friend, a spit-fire who takes care of her business, as well as making a stand for social justice of minorities.  One of my favorite parts of the book is the introduction of Wosie, an entrepreneur of a small town bait-n-tackle/grocery/hair salon, and her firm stance in taking on two African American men in an all-white town.

As Wyzard opens the book, I swear I could see exactly what she was describing, from Gladys' home to Nelda's sparkling clean house.  When Nelda breaks the window to her friends house, I swear I hear the window break.  Even as the character focus shifts, I never felt whiplash, and most importantly, I have a tendency to skip certain character's points of view in a story, feeling like some are boring or not as well written.  I never skipped a page.

The book opens up with the death of Nelda's friend, in the hills of Southern Indiana.  Meanwhile, south of the River, (for ya'll not familiar with geographical terms such as 'south of the river', that would be the Ohio River, south of which lies Kentucky) a storm is a brewin.  We meet young Laura, who has just graduated from high school, whose mother marries a douchebag (sorry, it's true) with a son of his own.  Not only are these men both abusive type-A assholes, they are also involved in the complicated drug cartel and web of meth labs that has become my dear state, and those of my southern neighbors.  After killing Laura's mother, spinning the story, then heading North, they stop at the small town of Treadwell, where their cousin is a cop.  Meanwhile, Laura is on her own, not knowing where she is going to go, or what to do, as her mother is now murdered, and due to the expansive network of drugs and deceit, is a smart enough girl to know that her life is in jeopardy, does the only thing she can think to do: keep running.  Nelda, takes in Laura, learns of what the girl was running from, and provides sanctuary for her, all the while trying to hide her identity.  The town's holy-roller minister, however, throws a kink in Nelda's plans to shelter Laura, when he stops their vehicle by standing in the road, preaching fire and damnation, catching the ire of Maylene, who fancies herself to be the preacher's wife one day.

I can't continue to give you a play-by-play of this story, because I could sit here all day and talk about this book.  What I want you to do is go read the book.  I'd never steer you wrong when it comes to books.

This book is in my top 10 now.  It will be a book that I revisit often, because I feel like Nelda and Wosie and Haverly and Laura are my kin, and because the book has a lot of humor.  The characters are people you can relate to, and I think Wyzard set the scene so if you aren't from Indiana, you'll see that we take up for each other,  that the hills and hollers that gently roll are full of folks that may not talk like you do, but would have your back if you got in a pickle.

Thanks for writing this book, Dana.  I really can't say enough about it, and I hope that it isn't the last novel of yours I'll get to read.  I wrote, and rewrote this post, wanting to do this book justice, but in the end, I had to just stop. This is a book something blogpost could never do justice, or maybe I'm incapable of recommending books beyond just telling folks to trust me, and for that, I apologize.

You can purchase the book at Amazon, and you can visit Dana's blog here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My First Love

...Not that kinda first love...that bastard isn't worth the electricity to run my laptop for the amount of time it would take to write ya'll a short novella about that train wreck.

Folks, my first love...was is reading.

I was taught to read around three and a half, by an overzealous mother already forging the path to not "end up like her."  (By the way, although the circuitous route through which she became the person she is today sucked, like, majorly, she is one of the most bad-ass people I know.)  I was blessed as a child, not only to have a mother who insisted I read and would stop chores to watch The Reading Rainbow with me on PBS, but to also have two sets of grandparents that were in love with the written word.  One set owned not only an entire five sets of encyclopedias, but these books (for the life of me, CAN NOT remember what they were) that were full of interesting places and animals all over the world, and entire bedroom full of half-price romance novels (complete with half-naked men and women in Gone with the Wind fashion) with an occasional Clive Cussler novel thrown in the mix.  My other set had literally every single National Geographic since 1945, and a gigantic collection of Reader's Digest and various religious books.  I read all of these (with the exception of the smut in the aforementioned bedroom, but don't worry, I gave in to that sin years later.) at least twice.

My sperm donor, who thought I was a fat ass that was too lazy and obviously too damn stupid to actually be sitting on our Goodwill loveseat reading, once grabbed a book from me, and threw it across the living room.  Even at six years old, I had the makings of a grand champion smart ass, because I quoted to him from Education of a Wandering Man, "A book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think."  Baffled, he stalked out of the house, and later had to be retrieved from a local bar.  (Side note: That damn Louis L'amour got me sent to the Principal's office in first grade.  We had "quiet reading time", and I broke out The Walking Drum that I had pilfered from the sperm donors' collection stacked by his recliner the night before.  The old bag snatched it up, and proceeded to drag (not a joke) me to the Principal's office.  I remember sitting there thinking what in God's good green earth is going on?  Then my mom came through the door, face as purple as a beet, and told me to follow her, where she proceeded to march right in the Principal's office, grab him by the tie and pull him across the desk, and shout (I'm not joking), "What in the HELL is the meaning of this!"  When he recovered himself, he explained that I was found to "make-up" books I had read, and that it was impossible that I could have any comprehension of what I was reading at such a tender age, and that the subject matter was inappropriate for a first-grader.  Two weeks later, after going to a psychiatrist who my mom could not afford along with the results of a college-level reading comprehension test & two I.Q. tests, I was out of the old bag's class and into a new one.)

Later in life, around age 10, I began to dread summer.  No way to use the school library, my mom worked too late to take me to the regular library, so I did a sweep of the house for reading material.  Lo and behold, in cardboard storage boxes tucked under my mom's bed, was book after book of V.C. Andrews.  Flowers in the Attic...need I say more?  Eventually, I got busted reading them, argued my case, and it was decided I could read the books, but I had to discuss the whole entire book with my mom before moving forward.

Shortly after my summer of V.C. Andrew's incest and smut, we moved to town and the first thing I did was get a library card.  Growing up, on more than seven occasions, I either was "grounded" or "sick" at times, just to finish a book that had gotten too good to waste hours doing anything but finishing it.  I have also been known to call in sick and work on paint-by-numbers, but that's another ramble for another day.

So, that being said, I have read some excellent books so far this year.  Be forewarned, I'm not an elitist reader.  I will read dang near anything that moves me.

First book:  Salvage Man by Kurt Meyer. (Also has an awesome blog, The Hoosier Contrarian.)  I bought this book at 10 am on a Sunday, and was crying on my couch, Kindle in hand, by 5 pm.  Mr. Meyer was my high school newspaper teacher, and I'll admit, I bought it because I felt obligated to. (His first novel, Stardust, is easily in my top 10.)  First mistake.  I'm nervous to tell you what I feel this book is about, because I want you to read it that bad.  I've already made four people read it, and no one has had a dry eye or anything but love for this book.  It's about a man who isn't at the top of his game, trying to survive in a changing world, with changing family dynamics, in a changing community.  It has a wild twist in it, that, if written by anyone else, would have cheapened the novel, but Mr. Meyer pulls it off brillantly.  At the end, I literally could not help but feel a sense of loss and at the same time, a sense of hope for the Salvage Man's future.  A must read in 2014.

Second up, The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene.  Another glorious book.  I stayed up late in the night because I couldn't sleep not knowing how this one would end.  Hazel Grace is a sixteen year old suffering from cancer, who meets Augustus Waters in a support group in the Literal Heart of Jesus.  What follows is a love story, but we aren't talking a Nicholas Sparks love story, we are talking about the kind of story where you sit the book down and feel like you knew the characters, that a little piece of you will always wonder, what if?

The next book I haven't read, but intend on remedying that this evening over a couple beers.  Treadwell is a book by Joy over at The Witless Relocation Program.  I was glued to my laptop a solid four hours last Sunday reading through years of posts on her blog, when I stumbled across this gem she has written.  Once I finish it (tonight) I'll update you (tomorrow.)

I want to thank everyone who stops by my little corner of the interweb, and those who comment.  Even though most of this drivel is a therapeutic release for me, it makes the world seem like a better place when people read what you write and are compelled to comment.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Don't Hold Grudges, I Remember Facts...

...forever.

I saw that e-card on Pinterest, and it reminded my of the other day when I was told I could hold onto a grudge longer than anyone.  It's true.  I've held a grudge the better part of my almost twenty-nine years.

I agree with that e-card so much, I'm thinking of getting it blown up poster-sized and hung behind my desk at work.  Like, seriously.

I'm honest to a fault, and if, at times, I find it hard to be honest it is due to self-preservation.  I've been asked so many damned questions in my life I didn't want to answer, mainly because I knew my answer would not appease the person doing the asking.

There has been a point coming in my life, a point I believe may well be here, when I'm sick to death of having people try to decide what I am.  I'll just tell you who I am.

I was the smart-assed high schooler that, convinced by her mother, ran for fair queen (for the scholarship only, I assure you) knowing damn good and well I was going to lose.  And I did lose.  And a member of the "organization" that sponsors this said event, told me I lost because I said nothing of going to church, and raising a family, to which I replied, wholeheartedly, because I want to do neither of those things."  And, true to my nature, after losing, went home, put on a Rolling Stones shirt and shades and proceeded to march through the damn fair smoking a Marlboro Red.

I was the girl who, despite living somewhere where everyone knows everybody's folks, when asked who my parents were, promptly pointed to my momma and another man that the whole damn town knew was not my father, and said "Them."  Then they would all talk amongst themselves and wonder why on earth I would deny my father, such a "good ol' boy."  It did no good to point out that after 5 years of counseling, he was not, in fact a good ol' boy, and that quite literally a therapist had looked right at my mom and said, "He's a heartless bastard."

I was the girl that did everything and anything I could to push my momma's buttons as a teenager.  I thought I had it all figured out, that she had been weak and stayed when she should have left.  That's what I would've done.  Because I was 14 and had everything figured out and knew the ways of the world, and doing anything less made her a selfish coward in my book. I held that grudge for a long time before I grew up and realized right and wrong sometimes can be muddled, that in the moment what feels like what's right, is only found to be gravely wrong years down the road.

I was the woman who was told I shouldn't be getting married at 22, that's too young! He's too old for you! You should be out dating lots of men, to which I promptly replied, "I'll leave the whoring to your side of the family" and promptly booked a shotgun wedding in the Smokies and married my best friend.

I was the woman who was told we weren't going to be able to have children.  I'm sure there may be a couple ex's cheering from the cheap seats at that one.  I had one person, who shall remain nameless, because this pissed my momma off to no end, tell me that if he couldn't give me kids, I should divorce and move on, because having children is what the good Lord intended.  And I'm not ashamed it pleased me, just a little, through the pain and heartache, to tell that woman that it was ME that wasn't going to be having children.  Not US.

I am the woman who will make her dad ( the REAL one, not the biological one) a hat he asked for, even if it causes me to become frustrated and I have to rip the damn thing out 8 times, and even then it's still not right.

I am the girl that is depended upon to be self-sufficient, to be able to handle my business without crawling home for help.

I am the woman who has successfully held a grudge for almost 29 years, and I am the woman who doesn't feel obliged to stop at this point.

I am the woman who naively thought I could be a good stepmom to 3 kids, and I am the woman who is brave enough to say I failed more times than not.

And I am the woman that knows damn good and well, when it's time to cut my losses and step back, to let the chips fall where they may, knowing I have done everything I could, and have still been found lacking.

The last one was the hardest to learn...

Why I Can Waste Hours on The Disposable Income Kid

Do you know what it's like to watch an image of yourself wither and die before your eyes? I I just read this on The Disposable Income Kid.  These 3 paragraphs have put into words what I have been unable to the last 10 months.

"Taking care of my grandfather was a unique meditation on mortality in that. Every day I would look in his eyes and see the iron of his soul behind a veil of defeated sadness. He put his faith in his God, and his bodily vessel in my care. I made certain to tell him every day how brave he was, and thanked him for allowing me to give service to him. I know that if it were me, I wouldn't have the strength of heart to continue. To be trapped within myself... to submit to being absolutely helpless and cared for in every way after a lifetime of service... Yes, he was brave for that. I would have just shot myself. 

When my father's father died, it was an honor to carry his body out of my grandmother's house with my dad and my brother. I have never felt anything like that. I put my hand on his cold forehead, told him thank you and goodbye. And I was happy that he could finally rest. The experience brought me closer to my grandmother, to whom I became a young anchor in our family, but also distanced me from other family who refused to be there for our patriarch in his dying days. I learned a lot about loyalty, service, forgiveness, mortality, grief, about letting go, and about taking up the mantle to rise above circumstances to do what I knew I must. 

Perhaps it's not that my family members couldn't face death... but they couldn't bear to have their IMAGE of my grandfather die. They couldn't bear the pain of seeing that proud knight so tired and defeated. It is a difficult and unique experience, watching everything that makes someone human fade and blink out, like lights being turned off one by one at closing time, until everything is dark and they finally step out, and go home... "

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bitter, Bitter Cold and Trying to Grow Up at 28

In all my time on this earth, it has never been this cold, for this long, and with windchills this low.  We burn wood to heat our house, to heat our water, to do darn near everything because it kills both of us to pay the $1500 a month to big oil to keep this 1832 farmhouse reasonably warm.  We cut wood all summer, and winter hit hard and early.  It's now the 3rd week of January and we had an emergency woodcutting trip last weekend, and one planned despite dangerous temperatures this Saturday.

It's this time of year that I'm fed up with my commute (1 hour one way and almost 54 miles one way), and my husband is fed up with trying to keep the old furnace going, trying to keep the chickens from literally dying from hypothermia, and making sure all our equipment runs.  As much as I hate winter, I think it affects Wood (my husband the most).

It's in January that we both start snapping.  I'm sick, especially this year, of wondering on every commute if this will be the day that cashes out my life insurance policy, and he's sick of feeling like he's not doing right by all of us because we are cold.  I tried telling him last night that I'm not trying to piss and moan, but it IS miserable.  When you live in a house this old, even with new windows, even with some new insulation, all that means nothing when it's -20 with 35 mph winds.  It's just not his fault that its so cold that my car doesn't even get comfortably warm until I'm 45 minutes into my commute, in a brand new car.  It's just bitter cold. Add to that our woodburning furnace has a crack in the top that either needs repaired or the whole dorn thing needs replaced, it's an uphill battle.

I'm trying to be positive, but everything is more difficult.  My hour drive is taking 1 and a half to 2 hours, so by the time I get home and care for the house and the dogs, it's getting dark and the roads are blowing shut.  I want to go see Mamaw, but it's just too darn nasty out.  I guess I'll just wait it out, but the older I get, it seems like the shorter summer gets.

In other news, I have officially lost at least 4 hours of sleep this week worrying about putting a quilt together for my niece.  For some reason, I've worked myself up thinking my machine won't quilt it, or I'll screw it up.  It's just too much money to waste by not thinking it out, but at this point, I think I may attack it and at least get it basted this weekend.  Poor kid will be in college before I get it done if I don't get started.

We are about to finish ordering seeds and such for the garden.  I'm pulling out the asparagus patch because for some reason, we have gotten sick the last 2 times we have eaten asparagus, and putting in rhubarb.  We are not doing near the garden this year as we usually do, because literally every free moment last year we spent canning, and there is just too many other things that need accomplished this year.  Also, I'm not sure where I could stick anymore green beans.  They are hidden all over the house.

Our oldest dog, Dozer, has started on MLS therapy treatments for a bum knee.  I have been looking at some research and came to the conclusion that all the treats I was feeding our babies are nothing short of preserved poison, so I have been making them myself and saving a ton of money. He has arthritis so I learned that cinnamon is good for furbabies that have arthritic joints, and to be honest, the darn things smelled delicious in the stove.


Also, a high point of 2013, we finally got the kitchen almost finished.  Only took 8 years! LOL.  All that's left is some baseboard trim and a back splash.  We never do projects that we don't have money for.  We owe a mortgage, I'll be damned if we will take out another loan to do something to the house.  So things take time.  And things get done with LONG pauses between them, because I'm OCD and I don't like starting something that we will have to wait to finish.  I like the darn kitchen.  We spend more time in our kitchen then any other room.  We both love to cook, and we both compute at the kitchen table.  I just hate sitting in the living room. It's a comfortable room, but I can't cook in there, and there isn't a fridge with bourbon in it. :)

I forgot how much I enjoyed reading all the blogs and writing when the whim struck me.  I recently deleted my Facebook account because it was just too much anymore.  I like seeing folks' updates on their lives, but I felt like for me, it was a waste of time.  There are some dynamics in my family that just don't agree with Facebook anymore.  I like my instagram, but it could be that the only people I am friends with are other people with Boston Terriers.  I just felt like where I am in my life and the things I feel are important right now don't involve Facebook.  And, to be honest, I have issues not being a dumbass sometimes.  I can't blame other people for using social media in a way that I have felt justified using it, if I'm being honest.  I just don't want to be that person anymore.  The one with pushy political posts and rants.  And the last few years have created an atmosphere in my mind where I would and have been that person.  I'm learning (albeit belatedly for some as intelligent as I am, as my momma would say), that for all the things I am capable of, sometimes having a filter and the common sense not to spout off and start wars on Facebook over politics and theology are not some of these things.  Is it embarrassing to admit this about myself?  Oh, as a proud person, yes.  Has it made a difference in how I perceive myself and those around me? Most definitely. So bear with me...If I say something you don't agree with, tell me.  If I come off whiny, tell me. Has anyone else felt like this about Facebook, Twitter, etc?



Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's been over two years.  More than I ever thought could happen, honestly.

I've lost two grandpas and a grandma.  The one who practically raised me passed last March.  It's amazing that given my line of work how much death I've been witness to, and yet, you never can prepare yourself.  My papaw had been on a downward descent for a good seven years.  In December of 2012, I thought for sure I was going to lose him.  His pacemaker had failed, and he either needed a new one, or we needed to watch him die.  In one of his more lucid moments, he told my mamaw he wanted to walk her down the aisle one last time for their 70th wedding anniversary the following July.  After the surgery, he was more clear headed and more himself than he had been in years.  It gave me hope.  I told myself, a gentle and loving God will grant him this...he's done so much for everybody, worked 80-plus hours a week, farmed, took care of two of his grandkids like they were his own...

There is nothing like thinking you are an adult and are intelligent enough to understand the will of God.  He struggled at home, with my mamaw, myself and my mother turning him, feeding him, medicating him, and washing him until God called him home.  Every time I think of him now, I see him in that hospice bed in the new house we moved them into, the one were they would enjoy the rest of their lives with us close by.  He never seen the gardens in full bloom.

I understand, or at least I have an understanding, that whatever my ideas on what the will of God should be, they are useless.  Even as I was a paulbearer at his funeral on a frigid March day, I think I understood that I will never be the same as I was before.

To say that it wasn't his time would be a lie.  He was 89 years old, had progressing dementia and a weakening heart.  He hadn't been able to walk on his own in at least two or three years.  I guess, deep down, my Nazarene and Baptist upbringing made me think that my papaw...who had delivered me from so many awful things in this world, who taught me that God loves us, and who I saw at 5 years old lay his hands on a young man and pray for his soul's deliverance, would have left this world in some relative peace.

Death is not peaceful.  We fight death, we wage war against disease, and we struggle.  His death was not peaceful.  My heart is not peaceful.