Archive for September, 2012

SwampMan’s Stressful Week

SwampMan called me as I was walking through the door. I glanced at the caller ID and picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“I called to see if you were in the house.”

“Yes, I am in the house. I just walked through the door.”

“Well, I’m parked at the gate.”

“Unh hunh….”

“And I thought that you might like to go out to dinner tonight considering the stressful week we’ve had.”

“I’ll be out as soon as I change into jeans and a T-shirt.”

A half hour later, we were sipping on sweet tea and crunching corn chips dipped in guacamole. “You know, I’m looking forward to tonight. It’ll be the first night I’ve been able to relax ALL WEEK!” said SwampMan with relief.

Hmmmmmmm. Let’s see. Sunday I visited our son in Florida, and my mom and brother up in Georgia. I waited in Georgia for some relatives driving from Missouri for a short visit, but had to come home to feed before they arrived. SwampMan was at home watching movies and went to bed early. I fed the livestock and crawled into bed about midnight. Monday I left my truck lights on at work, and had to get SwampMan to jump off the battery. By the time I got home and through feeding the livestock it was 8 p.m., a little late to visit when they were an hour north. I cooked dinner, did some assorted chores, and went to bed about midnight. Tuesday after work, I was on my way home to feed. SwampMan called and wanted me to turn around and go to his doctor’s appointment with him. Then I came home, did a little bit of feeding, and he didn’t want to go see my relatives because it was too late. He stayed home and watched movies. I went up to Georgia to visit. Got home, finished feeding about midnight and crawled into bed. Wednesday night, I rushed home, didn’t feed, and we went to visit my relatives. We got home about 10 p.m., then I went to feed. I got in about midnight. Again.

Poor man! Not a single minute’s rest for him all week long!

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An Unfortunate Trick of the Light?

I’d been visiting with relatives this afternoon into the evening, so I didn’t get home until late. I filled up the feed buckets at 11 p.m. and went around to make sure everybody had adequate feed and water.

It was almost midnight when I splashed through the back gate to feed the chickens in the back pasture. At the edge of the little duck pond, at the far range of my flashlight, Breeze stood drinking. “BREEZE! What in the world are you doing in here?” I asked in astonishment, for this wasn’t her pasture, and I would have a helluva time rounding her up this late. She lifted her head, dripping water, and looked at me, then I blinked in astonishment. She wasn’t there. Then I remembered that she was dead and would never be there. “What the…?”

I shone my flashlight around the little pool, trying to see what had tricked my eyes into seeing Breeze. There were some weeds at the far end, but they were not horse sized. They were also not chestnut. Was it the ducks splashing? Well, the ducks are black and white, and were on the other side of the pond. Maybe a deer? No, Puppy would have immediately given chase to a deer in the pasture. It wasn’t Puppy, either. He had been in the pasture checking the perimeter before I came in, then exited carrying the dessicated carcass of a long deceased animal as I entered and was now behind me.

So, I still don’t know.

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Countdown to Freedom

I am pretty excited about The Countdown to Freedom. Uh, no, I’m not talking about the election. I’m talking about the time until I am job free.

There are a few things that I had want to do before I am officially penniless and have to beg SwampMan for money. There are a couple medical bills that I still need to pay off. I want to buy a new pair of glasses to replace the ones that have been punched, stomped on, and thrown across the room because, well, they can no longer be adjusted to fit correctly. I’d like to get Christmas presents taken care of for the kids.

My husband and daughter want me to leave NOW. Heh. Daughter was telling me that I need to buy bolts of cloth and stamp my designs onto the cloth and then resell it. I had a mental picture of cloth stretched out all over my floors while I am stamping away cussing at midnight to meet a deadline. Heh. Geometric prints and flowers and zombies. No, I don’t think THAT’s going to happen.

Husband thought leaving work now was a good idea because I could oversee his health much more closely. He even said that he would only eat things that I cooked. Hmmmmmm. That’s what he said recently before I found out that he was feeding the cheese omelette with veggies inside that I got up early to make for him to Puppy and was sneaky going to Hardees for breakfasts of biscuits and gravy. I wonder if he’s going to still think it is such a good idea when I announce as soon as he gets home that we’re going on an hour-long bike ride, then we’ll come home to eat our salad for dinner? Maybe we better let that be our secret for now.

We’ve got a house that is seriously in need of maintenance and repair. The roof needs reshingling. There are fences in dire need of replacement. The summer is too hot and too wet to get it done. We can’t afford to hire it out. Gotta do it ourselves. Not enough time on the weekends.

I’m evaluating a couple start up business partnership offers that friends have made now that I’m about to be free, but I’m probably not going to go there. The quickest way to break up a friendship is to have money involved! There are other things that I want to do, too, that I’m very excited about.

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Maybe the Problem is That You Don’t Hurt Bad Enough

When I got home tonight, SwampMan was stretched out in his recliner. “I hurt all over!” he moaned. “My shoulders, my neck, my back, my knees, even my hips! I’ve been out of diclofenac for THREE DAYS and my prescription hasn’t been renewed!”

“Well, maybe you’re coming down with something. The flu is going around!” I offered helpfully.

“No, it’s because either the doctor’s office or the pharmacy keeps screwing up my prescriptions!” he complained. “They renewed my other prescriptions!”

“Unh hunh. And you didn’t go in to get your blood tests done when you were supposed to, and now you have to go see the doc to talk about the results on Tuesday.”

“Well, the diclofenac is the least of my problems!”

“No, it isn’t. It can have serious side effects over time. You need to go in when you are supposed to for your tests.”

“What am I supposed to do in the meantime, lay in a chair all weekend?”

*sigh* It’s gonna be a long weekend.

“I know that I’m going to be a grouchy bastard all weekend and I’m going to apologize in advance, but I really do hurt really bad!”

*sigh* It’s gonna be a VERY long weekend.

“Well, did you take anything?” I asked.

“Like what?”

“Something over the counter, like BC Powder or aspirin or Tylenol.”

“No. What have we got?”

*sigh* When I’m in pain, I look in the medicine cabinet.

“BC Powder. Take one.”


“Uh, YEAH.” I handed him the BC Powder along with the cup of horrible sickeningly sweet tea he’d brought home from McDonald’s.

“Maybe the problem is that you don’t hurt bad enough!” I said, throwing gasoline on the fire.


“If you were in enough pain, you would do something about it.”


“Hmmmmmph. When I was in terrible pain and the docs would only prescribe medication for the symptoms instead of looking for the cause, I kept looking until I found out what was wrong. And guess what? I now have no arthritis pain whatsoever. I do not eat any of the foods that I formerly loved because the pain is just too bad. You, however, refuse to even try a gluten-free diet. You were on it for a little bit, admitted you felt better, then went right back to eating the old way. You won’t cut back on the sugar though you’re now a diabetic due to your diet. You won’t take any of the joint health supplements that I spent my (meager) pay on. You refuse to do any exercise to maintain range of motion. You won’t read any of the articles I sent to you about healthy low-carb diets for diabetics. If you were in bad enough pain, you’d take responsibility and do something about it.”

He was outraged, and wanted to argue with me. I held up my hand like I do to the middle school kids. “Nope! Don’t want to hear it.” Then I walked out to feed.

When I came back inside, he had gone to bed (before 8 p.m.) Perhaps he is coming down with something, but I think I’ve been enabling him to evade responsibility for his health by being too sympathetic and doing things like serving him his dinner and drink in his lazy chair so he won’t have to get up, and getting him his drink refills, seconds, salt, etc. Maybe it is time to put away the kid gloves and put on the steel-toed boots. Particularly since I found that he left a bag with a couple slices of bakery cake in it on my chair.

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Get Your Flu Shot Early This Year

Influenza is popping up in the schools already. This is a little bit scary because I’ve used my sick time for this year. I *might* start accruing it again by January.

This means that even if I’m leaving trails of snot and vomit wherever I go, I shall be at work. If I’ve contracted Ebola virus and am bleeding from my eyeballs, I shall be at work. I don’t know what the school board’s position would be on lycanthropy, but I’m sure it’s somewhere in the policy manual that I haven’t actually read. And it doesn’t involve mandatory sick leave. If it were up to me, lycanthropy would be a complete chapter, which is why it is not up to me. (Does anybody actually read their company’s policy manuals? Am I the only person that says “Why, uh, sure. I’ll read it. Yes, indeedy. All 3,472 pages including the sexual harassment section!” but, of course, the person handing it to me and I both know that I’m lyin’ my ass off. I wouldn’t read that sucker if I were getting paid for it, which I’m not.)

The downside, of course, of not actually reading the company manual about what is allowed and what ain’t is that when I get fired for showing up at work with bright pink hair with the ends dipped in violet, I won’t be able to draw unemployment. So I probably ought to make my last day really memorable and show up drunk and nekkid as well because it would be embarrassing to be fired for having pink hair.

I’m sure the official policy on lycanthropy would likely include getting a rabies shot on my own time because I have no sick days. Facial and bodily hair still must be neatly trimmed and not dyed unnatural shades such as pink, purple, green, or violet which can lead to termination, and professional clothing only, please. The excuse of “Well, there was a full moon, and the next thing I knew, I woke up in my truck this morning in the woods completely nekkid, so I just threw on the T-shirt and jeans that I keep in the toolbox for emergency use so’s I wouldn’t be late for work!” is not going to work on the principal. He or she has heard it WAAAY too many times from teachers AND students. If a teacher should happen to turn into a werewolf while at a school function such as a football game when there is a full moon (but please use good judgement on this), then they must use the appropriate facilities and not urinate on school property, students, or administration vehicles. Needless to say, dining on the losing team is not an option.

My union rep approached me today and said that we needed to talk about the union. You know, he’s absolutely right. I need to know whether the union will protect my job in the event of a bite by a werewolf. Otherwise, WTF would be the point in joining and paying dues? Oh, dang. I probably need to ask about vampire bites, too.

Three hours’ worth of sleep and double doses of medicine for cold and sinuses have my mind wandering in some strange places tonight. If I’ve missed some typos, sorry. Some of the words are comin’ out kinda backwards like because my fingers aren’t really synchronized.

Dangit, I forgot to feed the dog and cat. I’ve fed everybody else while it was still light outside. I just took my shower and don’t want to get dressed again *sigh*. I wonder if the neighbors are asleep and whether they’d notice me goin’ outside attired in evening casual of green bath towel while carryin’ a big old roast for Puppy? Okay, fine. Shorts and T-shirt it is.

And don’t forget that flu shot.

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Early Morning

Went to bed at midnight then woke at 3 a.m. and COULD NOT go back to sleep! I tried reading boring business books. I tried turning out the light and willing myself to go to sleep. I don’t know why it is, but 3 a.m. seems to be my designated worry time. Maybe it is because I don’t have a lot of time to do it during the day, so 3 a.m. is when I start worrying about things like the economy, my husband’s health, and how, if he should suddenly die, I’d be living under a bridge somewhere because my paycheck will not stretch to cover taxes, house insurance, utilities, groceries, and gas and how there are not many jobs that pay somebody in their 50s a living wage when they are starting all over again. I know. I’ve looked. On the other hand, I’d be able to fit into my skinny jeans again on account of not eating.

I wander through the house trying to find something to do that won’t make any noise. I grab clothes from the hamper in the dark and throw them in the washing machine. I fold laundry. While I fold laundry, I wonder about why I’m subject to these early morning anxiety attacks.

The only thing that I could come up with, after sufficient heartfelt soul cursing because I really do not enjoy folding laundry (but I figure that if my mind is totally determined to punish me, why not be completely miserable?) is that I feel the same sense of events being as out of my control as I did when I was a little kid. First stepdad (not the kindly man that recently died and was deeply mourned) was an alcoholic asshole. He would drink up the rent money, take a swing at his boss, or have to leave town because an irate husband was looking for him (I didn’t know this part until I grew up). He’d come home, announce we were moving, sell all our stuff or just abandon it except what we could fit in a truck or car, and be off to the next place.

We never spent more than one year in a school district. Often we’d be in several schools over the course of our school year. My poor mother tried to grow food and can vegetables so that we’d have something to eat when the grocery money had been spent in bars, but often the move would come before the garden was ready or, if food had been canned, it was left behind. Took up too much space. Sometimes we were left with our grandmother if there was no place for us to live except the vehicle. Those were the good times. Then we were taken away, often across the country, where she could not check on our welfare.

I spent some time pondering the similarities. Obama has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on his friends just as surely as the stepdad did in the bar buying rounds of drinks. He makes capricious economic decisions based on feelings, not facts, and beggars portions of the population for no discernable legal reason. I suspect, however, that there are a LOT of kickbacks and under the table cash payments going on.

Like my stepdad, I get the feeling that Obama isn’t exactly living in the reality-based world. Stepdad was completely convinced of his superiority to every other living being regardless of opinions to the contrary, and he felt he was entitled to everybody else’s money, too. He hated the rich. And he was a staunch Democrat.

I need to explore this further later when I have time.

Heh. Well, maybe now that I understand why I feel the way that I do, I’ll be able to get some sleep tonight. Gotta get ready for work now, or I’ll be late!

Y’all have a good day.

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Got to Get Ready For the Highway to Hell

Or, as other people call it that also have jobs where they have to endure verbal abuse daily, going to work. On the other hand, if a doctor told me that I only have weeks to live, my reaction would be “Thank GOD! I won’t have to spend the entire year in middle school!”

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What’s On Your List?

Does everybody out there have a list of things that they want to do when they have the time? I have a lot of things on my list but, unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time for fun things. I barely have time for the not-so-fun things like washing dishes, washing floors, and doing laundry and, to be honest, I’m not engaged in a lot of soul searching about whether I’m going to be lying on my death bed worrying about whether I should have cleaned the windows earlier in the fall instead of waiting for Christmas vacation. Unless, of course, my death bed happens to be tomorrow in which case I definitely should have but now that the mourners are here, would somebody grab the Windex and hand out paper towels? Thanks! And cross “windows” off my To Do list on the fridge. And that drawer of socks that I was going to try to find the matches for? I think you can go ahead and toss those, too, even though it is totally wasteful. I probably won’t sit straight up in my casket, but who knows.

While I really do regret not having time to do household chores properly, there are other things that I’m worried about. For example, a wonderful lady that I knew was counting the weeks until her husband’s retirement when they were going to go traveling. They had never taken the time to travel before, for they were busy on vacations with the grandkids, or house maintenance, or getting the car worked on. They were happily planning their trip around the world, but the husband died suddenly of a heart attack just before he would have been able to retire. She works retail now to eke out her social security, and mournfully warns all the young people “Follow your dream now, while you can! Never put it off because you do not know what tomorrow will bring.”

My own mother was a *very* talented artist. She put her paint and brushes away when she was working as a nurse and caring for my stepdad at night, then caring for him full time. She said she’d have time for that later. Well, it’s later, and her joints are now swollen with arthritis, and she has a tremor that makes it impossible for her to do any art work. Even her beloved sewing is becoming difficult.

I feel like I’ve been putting my entire life off waiting until I have time, and yet I never do. Perhaps I’m having a past midlife crisis here (since I don’t think we can call being in one’s fifties exactly MIDLIFE). Anyway, were I free to do whatever the hell I want (which is the name of my current list), here are a few things that are innocuous enough to print for public inspection.

Crocheting and Knitting: I used to know how to crochet when I was a child but, over the years, I’ve forgotten. I can single crochet and double crochet if I were forced, but not easily. I can’t make scarves and hats like I used to, and I would like to have the time to just sit down with a ball of yarn and practice. Ive tried to teach myself to knit with pretty poor results. I need some actual lessons. The yarn I would like to practice with would be wool yarn, of course. Oh, snap! We’re back to that old time thing again, for the wool must be washed, dyed, dried, combed, and then spun.

HATS! I would like to make some woolen hats from my fleeces. In the past, I have checked out the prices of hat forms. YIKES! Okay, I would have to make my own. *sigh* That danged old time thing rears its ugly head yet again. The wool must be washed, dyed, dried, combed, and felted. Some folks wash, dry, comb, then lay out to felt or spin, and THEN dye. There’s no right order, but it is ALL time consuming.

Then there’s weaving. There is SOOOOOOO much that I do not know and want to learn but, again, it takes a whole uninterrupted day just to warp my loom! I’ve had an entire uninterrupted day in, oh, NEVER. Not for a long time, anyway. And, of course, the wool has to be washed, etc., then spun and, if not previously dyed, then dyed in the appropriate colors.

Painting! I am not nearly as good a painter as my mom used to be but, then again, I hardly take out my paint. Painting once every three or four years does not keep a person in practice and, in fact, I keep trying to remember how I used to do it.

Woodcarving! I would LOVE to be able to simply sit down and make the wood chips fly again as I try to free the form within the wood. My problem with painting, woodcarving, woodburning, decorative concrete making, etc., isn’t just the time that it takes to do it. Nope, when I’m engaged in some form of creative work, I seem to enter an altered state and lose all track of time and focus so intently on what I’m doing that I will look up, hands cramped, and be astonished to find that it is nearly time for the alarm to wake me to go to work in the morning. Yep, I’ve worked completely through the night oblivious to the time a LOT, enough so that when the dinner is over and the evening news is on and I have a half hour to myself, I don’t dare pick up any hobbies.

Decorative concrete making! I have so many patterns in my head for things that I want to make, but not enough time in the day to get started.

I’ve always wanted to teach myself how to paint cars, too.

A friend of mine retired and is going back to work. She’s @ 70. “What is WRONG with you?” I inquired.

“My day just seems so long and lonely!” she said. “Remember, my family doesn’t live here!” I could not quite grasp the notion that she had no hobbies to indulge, and she couldn’t quite grasp the notion that without a job, my day would STILL be stuffed full of things to do!

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Jacksonville City Government Awards Contract to Slave Labor

Read all about it here. Should government award taxpayer dollars to slave labor that local small business cannot compete with? Particularly when government is the one that sets those barriers to competitive pricing in place with insurance mandates, minimum wage mandates, and real contractors having to pay for power, housing, and land?

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More Obama Administration Major Screwups Not Covered by Media

From CBS “News”:

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES — The filmmaker who may be behind the anti-Muslim movie that sparked widespread protests in the Arab world against the U.S., some of which turned violent, was escorted from his Cerritos, Calif. home shortly after midnight local time Saturday by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies.

CBS station KCBS has video of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, with a hat on and towel around his face, being escorted from the suburban L.A. house.

Nakoula, a self-described Coptic Christian, is thought to be the filmmaker behind “Innocence of Muslims.”

KCBS says the Sheriff’s Department told the station it is assisting federal authorities with an investigation they’re conducting.

The Los Angeles Times and Reuters report the probe centers around possible probation violations by Nakoula stemming from the making of the movie. He was previously convicted of bank fraud.

The Times says Nakoula was being interviewed but had not been arrested or detained.

Reuters reports deputies say Nakoula left his home voluntarily.

An attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya shortly after a trailer from the movie was posted online resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

The four bodies were returned to the U.S. Friday.

So, let me get this straight. After having 48 hours advance warning that an attack was being planned and not putting the embassies on any sort of lockdown status which resulted in having an ambassador murdered (and some news accounts say that he was also sodomized), blowing off his intel briefings because being reelected is a full-time job and he can’t be bothered with things like actual work, and not allowing Marine guards to have actual ammunition, the alleged commander-in-chief conveniently overlooks the fact that these attacks are clearly coordinated and took months to plan with the execution to coincide with 9/11, and so he leaps into action and questions…..a Christian. A Coptic Christian. This Coptic Christian may or may not be the person that has made one of the most sophomoric videos that I’ve ever seen. (Personally, I believe the maker is residing somewhere in middle school.) He also decisively called for Google to take down the offending video. Way to go, President Obama! That will teach those darn pesky murdering Islamic Terrorists that the administration is tough on Coptic Christians the First Amendment terrorism!

To recap, the administration’s outrage is directed not at the actual murderers, not at the poor embassy security on the anniversary of 9/11 that his administration was responsible for, but at some Christian exercising his first amendment right. One would think, from this administration’s response, that constitutional law isn’t even covered in the bar exam. This makes me wonder if he is even capable of passing the bar exam and, if he didn’t, who took it for him? Obama doesn’t seem very outraged that Christians (and Jews, and Hindus, and atheists, and everybody NOT Muslim or even their particular flavor of Muslim) are being murdered by Muslims around the world.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at how a President that orders his various departments to arm narcoterrorist gangs in Mexico in order to undermine our second amendment right (oh, please, you think his gang of numbnuts would come up with something this stupid on their own?) would react to an actual attack, and I’m not.

And in related news: Colonel Hunt Blames Libya Ambassador Murders on Hillary Clinton, State Department That wouldn’t surprise me. Heard (in person, over dinner) from a retired security guy on the Secret Service team that she absolutely hated the military and went out of her way to insult them. Treated ’em like wait staff. I cannot confirm that report as I was not present, but that’s what he said.

Update: I wonder why Obama isn’t blaming Burger King for rolling out the bacon-flavored Sundae this summer? Now THAT is something that should really offend Moslems as well as ice cream and bacon afficianados. No doubt the terrorists started plotting their revenge just as soon as they heard about this nefarious example of American evilness.

Is the above idea of Why They Hate Us™ really any sillier than the official government line that it was because of a YouTube video? Bitch, PLEASE. If you’re going to lie, it has to be plausible.

UPDATE: Valerie Jarrett on vacation? Full Secret Service detail. Ambassador in a war zone? No protection.

Ambassador Chris Stevens did not have a Marine detail in Benghazi, Libya. But White House Senior Advisor and Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett has a full Secret Service detail on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, according to Democratic pollster Pat Caddell.

That’s the pathetic foreign policy of the Obama administration, says Caddell today in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News. “Jarrett seems to have a 24 hour, around the clock detail, with five or six agents full time,” Caddell explains. “The media has been completely uninterested. We don’t provide security for our ambassador in Libya, but she needs a full Secret Service security detail. And nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with this. And nobody in the press will ask. What kind of slavish stoogery are they perpetrating here?

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