I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Just another day in paradise

Yesterday morning, Mr. Zelda slipped. He was in the shower and slipped, while he didn’t fall, he did lunge forward and sideways at the same time. I didn’t see this almost fall, but he limped downstairs to relive the incident with not only movement but sound effects. “I went, OHHHHH.” That kind of thing. Anyway, so he goes to school, I go to school and while he told me his knee really hurt, I thought, since he didn’t fall, that it was fine. I left school early to go to my uncle’s funeral, and after the funeral, Mr. Zelda and I meet up. He is limping and can barely get into the car. I take him to a doc in the box place. The doctor, who was maybe five, moved his leg this way and that way and reluctantly x-rayed it. Boy was she and I both surprised when the x-ray revealed a broken leg, and you ask, “How guilty do you feel?”

So, we leave the truck on the campus down the mountain, and I am driving us both up the mountain. He is almost knocked out from good drugs. I pass a big truck and all of a sudden a truck comes up behind me, the driver had his lights on high and was blinking them off and on, and he was honking his horn, and I was going to get over into the other lane, but first I had to clear the other truck. That maniac began going around me before I could get over and had I not moved over, he would have killed us. When he gets around us, something hits our car, and I’m thinking he threw something out of the truck. I tried to get his tag number and just my luck he pulls over. I go about a mile up the road and pull over too. I call the state police, all I want is the tag number so I can get insurance information.

The police tell me to stay put, and if the guy leaves to follow at a safe distance. The police arrive and the guy is dog drunk and they arrest him. Yes, he even tried to get physical with the state police. Can you imagine? So, the police arrest him and tell me to have my car looked over and if there is damage, to call him and he will make sure the right insurance information is obtained. In the mean while, the guy, Mr. Drunk-Driver, is in jail. Oh and the cop, who was also all of five, says to my husband and me in that voice you only use with small children and old people. “You guys need a badge and uniform. You may possibly have saved someone’s life.” Mr. Zelda, who is high on pain killers, laughs and I’m thinking the cop might think he has smoked pot, so I say, “He’s on pain killers. Broke his leg. Just came from the doc in the box.” The cop smiles and says, “Okay then. Nice job.”

On our way home Mr. Zelda says, “We have become them.”
I say, “I know. I’m the old woman that finishes your sentences, explains your behaviors, and has to let even strangers know what has just happened in our lives.”

Monday, January 30, 2006

When does he get a name?

I'm here at school and in the computer lab doing research. On the news the stories about the reporter who was bombed and they give the guys name. I am so sorry for what he is going through but they give his name and the camera man, who I might add was very much injured as he the newsman, well the camera man is just the camera man. No name, no real information. He is a camera man. How sad.

Bad Professors

There are some things for sure like taxes, social change, and death, but there are other things for sure too, like graduate school egomaniac professors. I had two of those certainties. One hated women, hated minority groups, hated the South, hated the other professors, and more importantly, he hated his students. The first day of class, he informed us that not once in his entire career teaching at our university had he ever read a paper worthy of an A. He also said that he gave A’s out of the kindness of his heart and if you made a B in his class, and he goes on to give us the name of a few of the grad students he had given B’s to, but if you made a B in the class, it was because you were a village idiot. One day he yelled out Pussy Power. Just like that, in class where, on that day, I was the only female. After class, I, and I know I shouldn’t have, but I told him that it was wrong for him to embarrass me like that and how would he feel if he were in a roomful of women and the leader of the women yelled out penis, but using the slang C word, power. Throughout the semester he attacked Native Americans as being sore losers, African Americans as being whiners, and women for being out of their place. I even told him that I was Jewish because of the conversation that he and a fellow student were having about the wandering Jew and how the stereotypes are not without truth. Then when he started about the Native Americans, I told him my husband was Indian. I mean, I wanted him to shut the fuck up about people he had no right putting down. He said he hated fat people because it showed they had a lack of control but found a few fat men funny, and he enjoyed being around them so he could laugh at them. I am fat, and so guess how awful that made me feel. He denied that ever has there been a good female novelists and resents that a few have been canonized. (He knew that I was a writer because one of his former students told him that I was a good writer, trying to pave the way for me to be on the guys good graces.)

My fellow students and I learned after the first week of class that no matter how much he bated us to participate in class, it was not worth the temptation because he was going to humiliate us and make us look and feel stupid. (He even laughed at the way one guy dressed and the way he cut his hair. The guy finally told him he couldn't afford a dress coat and his hair was that way because of a scar on his head from head trauma.) So, in his class, there was very little discussion, in fact, he would get angry because no one would volunteer to discuss. Once he even assigned students to discuss for that day. If we tried to discuss a critical approach to the literature he blew us down. (He even rolled his eyes and laughed at us.) It was a no win situation.

I saw him the other day, and he smiled and spoke to me. He asked me how I was doing and I said very well. I didn’t say what I wanted to say, because even though I am not in his class or won’t ever take him again, he can still damage me. I hate politics and I hate having to let assholes like that walk away smiling when what I want to do is tell them how I really feel. I really want to say that his arrogant narcissistic attitude must be for his lacking something and by treating others the way he treats them, well he might be compensating for that lack and maybe it would be better for him professionally if he just bought that Harley or that red corvette.

That’s all.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Buttons, Buttons, I have the Buttons

Buttons got here yesterday afternoon. It has been over two weeks since I last saw him, I think two weeks. Anyway, my son says Button’s mother, who is my daughter, asked him to watch him all weekend, and as soon as she left, he brought the baby to me. So, since his arrival, I have not let the sweet baby out of my sight. Last night, we made a run to Target’s to get him shoes, yes she has lost yet another pair of shoes, and a couple of new toys, and he needed clothes. (My son said all the clothes that we have bought him are dirty, piled in the bathroom floor). He picked a huge ball and a little musical toy. I tell you, my poor baby never leaves the house except to go to some other house. As soon as we got inside the store, his eyes lit up, and he smiled at all the people and at all the things. He clapped his hands as if it were the first time he had ever been inside a store. I know this is not true, but you can tell it is not something he does a lot. This morning, my son is asleep, Mr. Zelda is at work, and Buttons and I are watching the squirrels and intermittently making music. At this very moment, he is putting fish/cheese crackers inside a plastic container. For the rest of the day, I am happy.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Deep Fried Chicks and burn treatments!

Okay, last night, Mr. Zelda and I ordered from the pizza guy. I can’t really eat the pizza because of my stomach, but I did order some very mild wings. While I’m eating the wings, I feel such guilt, because for every two wings, a chicken is killed. So, I swear the wings off for about the hundredth time in a few days and after watching television, bathing, and reading for a while, I go to bed. I had this nightmare about baby chickens being deep-fried alive in a thick batter and for some reason, the poor things lived and they were trying to hop off of my plate and I was trying to figure out if it was best to go on and kill them and eat them or should I try to apply silvadene cream to their burns. Oh my gods, I was so distressed. So, today, I will never eat another wing, no never. I am finished with the chicken.

Milton, underwear, chili, and Buttons.

It’s cold and rainy, my kind of day. I’m working on my presentation for The Enlightenment class and need to run to the used book store to, well to peruse. I want a good biography on Milton. I know the used book store will have something, but the rain is keeping me in. I just have one more day of antibiotics, and I’m afraid if I get out, well I will get sick. So, while I’m enjoying the rain, I feel like a prisoner.

I did make some chili and a pan of Mexican cornbread, and a loaf of banana bread. I had three mushy bananas and decided to make use of them. I also had a lot of left over beans and stuff to make the chili. Saturday is usually soup day, but today it’s chili.

Anyway, while I was sitting up to study, you know getting the right books, notebooks, pencils, and notepads, I noticed that my work station was a little more cluttered than normal, so I took an inventory. Mr. Zelda’s work table was all cleaned off and neat, so I looked at the added stuff on my desk top and low and behold Mr. Zelda’s things, like last semester’s notebooks, and books, and papers, and folders, and empty medicine bottles, and scrap paper, and unused math stuff, well they were here on my desk. I immediately called him and wanted to know if he put them there for me to toss in the trash or did he think I needed them, or just what were his things doing on my desk. HA! He goes into this long excuse that he was just cleaning his space and forgot to put his stuff up. I say likely story but nonetheless, the new me, the one who can’t take care of him, well she put his stuff right back on his desk. It’s bad enough that I wash, fold, and put up his underwear, and hang up his shirts and pants, but I have to draw the line somewhere or I cease being a wife and become a secretary/personal assistant/ mother to the man who is my equal. No way.

Oh, oh, my son just called and I’m getting the baby for two whole days. Yes, she, my daughter, wants to party and he, my son refused to babysat, so she, my daughter, told him to bring Buttons to me. Yes, yes, yes, there are gods and they are smiling down on me.
Okay, back to figuring out why Milton wrote Paradise Lost, anyone got any idea

Dropping is not failing, right?

I started out with nine graduate hours and three undergraduate hours. I was keeping up, lots of reading, but then, this ulcer thing has come up. There are going to be some test where I will have to be knocked out on valium, oh too bad for me, but I figure on those two days that those two tests are done, I will miss two classes. I had to decide how I can stay on top of classes, missing classes, and still trying to read all those books and prepare for presentations. So, I decided that I would just drop the one class, the medieval history class. I hated doing it, in fact, I cried all day. I loved the class, but I have to make sure that I have excellent grades and nine graduate hours plus the three undergraduate was too much. So today, according to my reading schedule, I have about four hours free. I’m running over to the library as soon as it opens. That’s what I’m doing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just being sick sucks.

Here’s the thing. I have an ulcerated stomach and small intestine. Not a lot in the intestine, and they are located close to the pyloric sphincter, which makes it pretty easy to treat, or so the surgeon says. My symptoms were burning before I ate, after I ate, and during eating. So, I go to the doctor. I have always had stomach problems. So, they order tests, and I’m thinking it’s something little, like a need to change medications. My theory on how my stomach got into such a mess, antibiotics. I have been on them non stop for about two years, the reason for the need for antibiotics, pneumonia.

So the doctor, who by the way is the one who removed Mr. Zelda’s appendix a few years back, shows me the x-ray reports, ct scans, and all of that and even draws me a picture. Okay, I’m getting all of this information. He then says, let’s do a sleep apnea test. I say why, and he says sometimes oxygen deprivation during sleep causes ulcers, I say, I don’t have sleep apnea, he says, let’s see. Then he says he wants to scope me, which I have been scoped and while going down the top isn’t as bad as going up the rear, it’s still not pleasant, other than the valium.

His recommendation at this point, or what he feels needs to be done, is make sure there is no cancer, make sure that sleep deprivation isn’t a cause, and to cut the ulcers out. OUCH! I asked him was there not another way, and he says, not at this point. He says that I’m oozing a little blood. Okay, last year, about this same time, I was preparing for a total abdominal hysterectomy, and now in this. Okay, I can do this, I know I can, it’s all a matter of planning. If I can get the doctor to wait until spring break, I can go in on a Thursday before spring break, have surgery, get out over the weekend, and spend all of spring break getting back on my feet. Sounds like a plan, but if one of those ulcers should begin to bleed, well then it would require immediate attention and that ruins my plan.

My point of this revelation is that for a long time, I have had the burning, a little pain, but nothing so severe that I was incapacitated. But last night, Mr. Zelda and I went to a little Italian place and I ordered grilled salmon, hold the pepper, and fried potatoes, hold the spices. I should have not had the salmon, it had a face at one time and I’m so trying to avoid eating face foods, but then potatoes have eyes, oh, stop it, okay. Anyway, we get home and I feel like I have eaten twenty hundred thousand pounds of food. My belly begins to hurt, I feel like I’m going to hurl, I can’t get comfortable, the pain is killing me. I finally do, hurl that is, and thankfully there is no blood. I am hot and cold at the same time and feeling dizzy and so I almost crawl to bed and Mr. Zelda pats me with a cold cloth. I tell him I’m sorry, he says why and I say for being so sick and he says that’s not my fault and I say I know but you deserve a healthy wife, and he says don’t be silly and he covers me up and turns the fan on and I remember the cold cream and he brings it to me and helps me put it on my face. Then he turns the light off and I fall to sleep. This morning, I’m weak but not sick; I think that I will refrain from eating today. I don’t want to be sick.

Please instruct me how to make a blog roll list

I have a lot of blogs that I visit, and I need to put them on the side of my post, but I don’t know how. Once I tried it, but gave up for lack of time. If anyone knows how to do this, will you send me the directions? I would be forever grateful not to mention how smart it will make me look when new people come to my site. And, it can give others good places to go.

Monday, January 23, 2006

It will get better

Yesterday was bitter sweet. All week, I had been anticipating having both grandsons. My son was going to sneak them up to me. Sneak them to me, isn’t that ridiculous? Well, at the last minute crazy psycho drug addicted daughter was on to him and refused to let him leave the house with the boys. So, I have made arrangements to see Poseidon through his other grandparents, but Buttons has to come from her end. I did talk to him on the phone, and he said, “Nana, Nana, Granddad, and froggy.” Those are the three things he really loves. I know this because the first thing he does when I see him is run and climb in my lap and hug and kiss me, and then he asks for Granddad, and then finally froggy. I don’t send froggy home with him because she would leave it somewhere. She can’t even keep up with the baby’s shoes.

But, but the sweet was my adopted granddaughter came for the afternoon. It was so much fun. We colored, looked for mythological coloring pages, played games, and finally quizzed each other over Mythology, fairy tales, and Princess stories. It was really fun seeing how smart that one is. She actually asked me a question that I didn’t know, well I knew it but it was one of those words that didn’t come out for the longest time and when it did, she had started saying it, so I was counted a big fat X mark.

Maybe next weekend will be pretty and all three kids can come up, and we can take a lunch to the park and play on the rock castle. Maybe.

My son did say that she is getting really tired of not having me have the baby. Also, the lawyer, especially the prosecuting attorney, is very optimistic that she will be jailed for probation violation. It’s just a matter of time for these things to work is what they say.
Hope so, and that sounds awful. I would rather my daughter quit the dope, quit running with losers, and get her life back. That’s what I want more than anything, but while I am waiting for that, I can’t subject my grandsons to her dangerous life.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Friends, Naming, and Remembering Happier Times

My friends came up, and we went out to eat, and then off to the movies. It was great. I have to tell you, my friends are decades younger than I. So, when we are talking, which is what we did after the movie, came back here and talked, we have much to offer to each other. It is hard for them to believe that when I was a teenager, girls did not wear pants to school, not until I was about to graduate. They were amazed that I saw the technology of panty hose. Yep, panty hoses. I remember my first pair. OH MY GOD, got rid of the garter belt for good. I also remember no microwaves, no computers, no colored televising and much more of the not-around-type of stuff.

We also discussed mythology and Biblical myth, which are my favorite subjects. I love to compare the myths of the Bible to the myths of Gilgamesh, Popul Vuh, Egyptian, Greek, and even Roman myths. I adore Norse myths, Native American myth, which, by the way, I grew up with, and all other myths. I hear something that sounds like an archetype or a myth, I search for the truth, or the genesis of it, and usually, I find it. So, it was nice sitting there with my young friends, one of which is a young boy and a history major, a soon-to-graduate young woman, who will apply to graduate school up here, and a cute and charming early twenties girl, who looks like a child and is so smart and cleaver and mature for her age and what she has been through. So, we all get so heated and passionate about what we are talking about that we have to back off and remember that all of us can’t talk at once. It’s awesome.

They are all three good kids, and yes they are kids. I see great things for all of them, and hope they stay in school and that they stay focused, and have their PhD’s early and can make a mark on the world that has a long and fruitful stay.

Sometimes, it is so cool being me and having the friends and opportunities that I have, and sometimes, I have enough friends to soothe the pain that lies just under the surface.

Today, I’m watching my adopted granddaughter, and I think my son is sneaking Buttons, and the seven-year-old grandson, who still has no cyber name and I know that is so not fair. In fact, I think I will name the adopted granddaughter, hmmmm, she is so smart. I think I will give her a mythological name, maybe Athena Child, and the boy, who likes to hunt and fish and do all those earthy things, hmmmm, let me think Poseidon, yes that will work, he loves to fish, loves to swim, and I think that fits him, although, I don’t think he would hurt anyone, but it’s myths, right.

A few summers ago, I took Athena Child and Poseidon to the park on a man made lake to fish. WE had worms, and livers, and lures, all things you need, even gloves and lysol wipes. Well, I made the kids do a magic dance, both kids were six or five, anyway, we are this peer and we are singing a chant to the gods for the fish to come to the hooks, although, I really didn't want to catch fish, that, to me, is gruesome. So the kids were fishing and Athena Child caught her first fish. Poseidon, who always catches little perch and catfish, began to do the dance and chant. It was so funny. Then two beavers swam by and we watched the little fellows, and then we got sidetracked by the gesse and ducks, and finally we abandoned fish for ice cream and the park toys. It was great.

Brokeback Mountain

We did it, we watched Brokeback Mountain. I have to tell you, I was a little afraid that the audience, mostly middle aged and teenagers, would not see the beauty of the story. There were a few times when a person or two would laugh inappropriately, but I think it was nervousness. During the entire movie, people were as breathless and on the edge as was I. When it was over, I expected applause, but most people quietly got up, a few wiping tears, and as a group we mulled toward the exit. By the way, the theater was jammed packed, as we say here in the hills. I recommend for everyone to go see the movie, it’s a powerful movie. Now, to get to see Capote and Pride and Prejudice and I will have the movie list pretty much caught up.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Manic and Moving.

I hate it when I can’t breathe as I imagine most people would and do. So, I’m on an antibiotic and I’m getting IV antibiotics and I’m taking steroids. The steroids, wow, do they push me into mania. I don’t sleep, can’t stop thinking, and general everything is amplified. So, I have four more days of steroids, and after that, I can go back to my normal insane self, not the one I have become. The bright side, my cabinets are way organized, and I’m working on the closets. Every cloud has a silver lining. Right?

Okay, life isn't all bad.

The things I like about this semester:
I like my classes.
I like my professors. So far.
I have friends in all of my classes but one, and it looks like my fellow students will be easy to warm up to, they are actually my age.
I love what I’m getting to read.
I found out why my belly hurts, and the good news, it’s not cancer.
I have such good friends.
I think, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but my heavy smoking neighbors are moving. YEAH!
Finally, two more left, yep, two more semesters left.

The Hill is doing it, Brokeback Mountain is allowed

My friend, New-Teacher-Girl, told me about Brokeback Mountain coming to the Hill. So, tonight, a group of us are going, and tomorrow, I am watching my friend’s daughter while they go. Maybe, just maybe, the Hill will allow Capote too. Would that be too much to ask for?
Oh, I think Mr. Zelda is even going too, not that he is opposed to Brokeback Mountain, but he thinks it will be a chick flick type movie. I keep telling him that he needs to broaden his horizons. I have yet to see Pride and Prejudice, but I’m going. Oh Yeah.

An Incident Report

Okay, I can’t sleep, so I’m surfing the net, drinking coffee, and waiting for Mr. Zelda to wake so that I can make him breakfast. I find this story, go to the link below, and it kills me. A man and woman and their four children shot by American troops and the final word of the American military, it was incident report. Four children killed, a woman shot almost dead, her husband almost dead, please go read the story.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A cool semester, I'm sure of it.

My classes are so cool. I love all my professors, well so far I do. My literary theory guy is a low talker but he stands in front of me and so until I get my hearing aides, I think I can survive. My enlightenment guy, is young and cute and energetic, he reminds me of my favorite English teacher from undergrad., my Chaucer teacher, and he also reminds me of my African American Teacher, both of which were my favorite teachers. I went up before class and told him that I was very hard of hearing and if he didn’t mind talking loudly or allowing me to look at my friends notes during class, at least until I get my hearing aides. He was so cool about it, and stood near my desk and kept facing me so that I was able to read his lips. It was great. My Latin teacher is the same one from last semester and he talks loud and repeats everything and writes a lot on the board, so keep up with him is no big deal. Plus, I can email him and say, I didn’t catch this or that and he will send me what he said. This semester seems so much more right than last semester. My professors are much more positive and their lectures reflect their desire to teach, plus they ask questions that aren’t meant to trick or embarrass us. I am going to the history class today, a class I will probably drop, but my class mates, those who know this teacher and have taken her says, don’t drop her, she is really cool and while there is a lot of work, she is so easy and helpful. Plus, they say, you learn so much about medieval Rome. Now, that’s what I need, to learn about Rome. I need to learn about the BC stuff. Yep, this semester is going to be my oyster, or so I hope.
By the way, my son called me and let me talk to the baby, Buttons jabbered and he also said Nanna, Granddad, and nooooo, and I love you. He, my son, is going to bring both boys up Saturday. He said she, my daughter asked him to watch the boys, which means she is going to get drugs, cook drugs, or just take drugs. IN any event, she will be gone Saturday and Saturday night, so my son and the boys are coming up here. I am thrilled. I can live through pretty much any pain, but I can’t go without seeing my grandchildren. I just can’t do it.
Well, I must get back to reading, it’s all about reading.

Can any ulcer be good? I think not.

I am so keeping up this semester. Yep, I have already read tomorrow’s assignments; even though I am not going to be in class (have two doctor’s appointments). I am finished with today’s assignments, and have already begun doing next week’s stuff. No playing around for this old woman.

But, my doctor puts me on this antibiotic, I’m on it at least twice a year, very strong but very effective against hypostatic pneumonia, which is what I have, caused by so many asthma attacks and having the products of the attacks staying in my lungs while I sleep. That causes me to get pneumonia. Anyway, always he says, it’ll give you a bad taste. I say, I know. He says, your food will taste funny. I say, I know. He says, take it with food. I say, I know. Now remember, this doctor is one of the kids that I babysat for, his parents were friends of my older brother, and they had two sons. One night, their mother had a massive heart attack; the boys were 1 and 2. So, every summer and holidays, I took care of them while their father worked, (basically to give the grandparents a break) and I took care of them when he went places. I also ironed and cleaned their house a few days a week, so I was real close to those boys and remained close to them, even now. I was reluctant when our insurance made me switch to his group of doctors, because, well he is like family, but he is so good, and will see me in the middle of the night, call medicine in for me, and basically is my own private doctor. I still call him Skippy. Yep, right in the office, I say Skippy where’s your coat, where’s your gloves, all of that. He laughs.
Anyway, the truth about the strong antibiotic is that it only makes my coffee taste bad. Another truth about the medication and all the other antibiotics that I’ve been on, plus the arthritis medications, is that I have developed a series of ulcers—two small ones in my stomach and three in my upper small intestine. After doing the ultrasound, the Ct scan, the UGI, Skippy has decided to send me to a surgeon. He says, this doesn’t mean you need surgery, it just means we need to have a specialists deal with this. I say, yeah, more medicine. He says, maybe not, maybe he can do something that will not require much surgery, like a tiny cut. I say, okay. So, I’m going to pick out my hearing aides and see the surgeon, all on Friday. Yippy, I say.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Do I have any straws left?

I am at my lowest point. It started Saturday night. My neighbors on both sides smoke, and Saturday night, both sides decided to entertain and their visitors spent a lot of time on the tiny patios smoking. It was sort of nice out and we had our patio door open, but we were up stairs. I began wheezing and soon following came a huge asthma attack. We realized our apartment was infiltrated with cigarette smoke, so we closed the door and turned on the fan above the stove. Some of our neighbor’s guests were in the parking lot near our front door smoking as well and the smoke continued to invade our space. I was up until five am fighting to breathe.

The attacks continued until Monday around noon and finally my breathing seemed to get better. Tuesday morning I was filling with fluids and knew that I had bronchitis or pneumonia, so I went to the doctor. My doctor’s office is in my home town an hour and half away. I thought I would take Buttons some diapers and a few of his clothes that he left. First the doctor, I have pneumonia and had to shots in my rear end and am now on steroids and antibiotics—great for my first day back to school.

After the doctor’s visit, I went to my house where my daughter and grandson and my son live. I barely knocked on the door, in case he was napping, and when no one answered, I peeked in the window and saw the baby alone. He was sitting in the floor, no shirt on, not pants on, just a diaper. He wasn’t playing, just sitting with this look. So, I opened the door and a huge smile came over his face and he ran to me and tried to climb up my legs. I picked him up and his diaper weighed more than him. She was a sleep on the sofa under three blankets. She opened her eyes and I said, “Why isn’t the baby dressed?” She yelled, “Shut the fuck up.” I said, “Get him some clothes and a diaper, and I’ll dress him.” She jumped up and threw a diaper but said he wasn’t cold. I say you are dressed and under three blankets, don’t you think he is cold? It went from bad to worse with her finally screaming for me to get the fuck out of her house. Hmmmm, my house. And she picked up an object and threw at me, hitting the lamp and breaking it. Then she charged toward me and called me a fat fucking bitch and she wanted me to leave her the fuck a lone. By this time, my son, who works nights and was asleep, gets up and runs to protect me, and she pours a container of juice all over me. I have pneumonia. I was going to leave, I really was, but I couldn’t let her do this. I had to make her see the behaviors are not going to continue, so I called the police and filled out a police report. She lied to those policemen.

Mr. Zelda is going today to talk to the district attorney about having her arrested for the assault, and we are evicting her out of the house, which means we are evicting Buttons out too. I am calling social services and issuing a complaint for child neglect and I am hiring a better lawyer. All of this on my first day back to class. She warned me that I had really fucked up, “You will never see your grandsons again.” Those were her last words to me. So, yesterday was the worst day of my life.

By the way, my doctor looked at my record for the last three years and every Jan. 17 for the last three years, I have been in his office with pneumonia. This year not as bad as the other two, but all three times, my lungs were both filled with cloudiness, my oxygen sats were under 95, and I had a temp of over 103. Wow! I can get over the pneumonia; I can’t get over losing my grandsons.

How do women, especially grandmothers, deal with these kinds of traumas? I mean, how do you let go? I can’t, that’s why I am taking anti-anxieties, or I would be totally nuts.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Empty Nest syndrome?

I miss my Buttons. Today I took a nap and slept with his pajamas. I know that is really weird, but the last night he was here when I took them off of him to dress him, I put them in his bed and so today I went over to take his sheets off to be washed and there they were, Sponge Bob pajamas. I called to see how he was doing. My daughter said he was fine and she sounded okay too. My son is there and says everything is okay. So, I was able to sleep a few hours, and I just took his little pajamas to bed with me. He’ll be back Friday night. That’s four days away, I can handle this. I really can.

What am I doing?

Okay, here’s the thing. My husband is in undergraduate school and is taking many of the classes that I have already taken. I still have all my English books, so when he takes these classes, he uses my books. This morning he announces that he needs my reasoning books. I say they are on the shelf, he says where, I say there, he says I don’t have time for this, I say neither do I. Before he walks out the door, he says just find the books. Now, I found the Chaucer book, which was on the shelf with British Lit. I found the Novel books, which were on the American Lit shelf. See where I’m going with this? The books are there, organized, he just refuses to look. He sees me as his personal secretary, his assistant, his laundry woman, his cook, his everything. So today, I refuse to find the book. It’s there, on the shelf with philosophy books. How hard is that?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

When Kids don't grow up to be responsible

My grandson is going back to his mom. It’s true she took him Christmas Eve and swore that I wasn’t going to get him again, then she brought him back and he was with me for a few days and then she took him again, and last week, she brought him back. I tried to get him in daycare but without his parent’s consent, they would not take him. I explained that his mother was not in the best of shape, and it’s just a matter of time before I have custody, but they said, “She will have to sign him up.” She, of course, refused to sign him up for daycare, so, he isn’t in daycare, and today, he is going home. That means that in a few days, he will be back and I will not have child care. I wish my daughter would think more clearly and sign custody over to me. It makes sense for a lot of reasons: first if she gets busted, which is sure to happen, Buttons doesn’t have to spend one minute in foster care. Second, in my care, he is safe and would be provided for, cared for, and never neglected. And third, living with her puts him at risk for a lot of things, the primary thing being injury from neglect. The second being social retardation because he gets no stimulation from her. Fortunately, my son is living there now, and he takes care of Buttons, or at least until he has to be at work. Tuesday, I will try again to get her probation officer to do a surprise drug test, so far, all she does is warn my daughter that jail is in her future if she gets one more complaint about her. The probation department, at least in our state, is a joke. They collect the fine money, the court money, and the probation money, yet, they don’t provide any form of follow-up care which would stop the offender from re-offending. So, I’m back to being in a nice big fat pickle with no where to go except down. I need to go pack Buttons’ clothes. Damn, I wish I could force my daughter into drug rehab. Arkansas has such a drug problem, especially with women, but they have no provisions for rehabilitation. Maybe, I’ll send him his favorite blanket, that way when he goes to bed and wakes up he will feel somewhat secure. God, I hate what my daughter has become.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

When Nature Calls

I miss by huge back yard. I really miss my trees and especially my huge oak tree, but most of all, I miss the birds and squirrels that live in the trees and bushes around my place. So, I started feeding the birds and squirrels. I have yet to buy a real bird feeder or squirrel feeder, so I put a wicker plate filled with dried fruit, nuts, and bread on the top of a stack of milk cartons. At first the birds were shy. They would eat before I opened the curtain that hangs in front of my patio door. Okay, but they were eating. Then I had one squirrel. He monopolized the feeding place until all the nuts were gone, then he wondered away. In the last few days, two more squirrels have been coming around for a little mid morning snack. Okay, I’m not upset, the more the merrier, so I just put extra food out for the birds. This morning, curtains open, wicker plate empty, I’m drinking coffee and the squirrel that I named sassy comes right up to the patio window and peeks in, when he sees me, he twitches his tail. So, like a good trained human, I go get nuts and bread, and chopped up carrots and bananas. I’m such a sucker for a pretty face.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Okay, I’m channel surfing, and I land on GAG, which is a country western station. I land there because I see John Lennon in like a video, and I’m interested. But, but, it wasn’t him singing, no it was a blond woman with huge breasts and long red nails and big puffy hair. It was Dolly Pardon singing, get this, Imagine. Can you imagine? I know there are some things better left alone and Imagine was one of those songs that only sounded right being done by the Beatles. While I like Dolly Pardon and realize she has a talent for song writing, she should, never, ever, try to redo a Beatles’ song. So, if you see it, you are not experiencing an acid back flash as I first thought I was doing, you are not in some weird dream, you are not, in fact, in some bizarreo world, and you haven’t entered the twilight zone, nope she did it. Imagine that.

Maybe snow!

It is really very cold today, and there is a rumor we might get snow. I’m hoping the rumor is fact, and that we get a really good snow and ice storm. I know that’s not what most people wish for, but I like the extreme. IN fact, when I finally get my Master’s and if I decide to go else where for my PhD, I am going to pick a cold and snowy state. I, too, will pick a snowy state to teach. I’m thinking right on the border, way up north.

Now, Mr. Zelda, he likes the tropical climate, and he is trying to convince me to move to the Keys. While I like the Keys, I don’t think I would like living there year in and year out. Nope, that would be too depressing. Imagine no snow.

So, right now, I am watching the squirrels, missing my grandson, who my daughter has taken away, and waiting for the snow.

Yes, she took him and won’t give him back. I don’t have a legal leg to stand on. I have to just wait until she decides to bring him back, which usually happens in a day or so. My son is there with her in my house, and I know Buttons is safe, but, I was going to slowly get him use to the day care center, and she has messed this all up. My son told me that if she leaves, he will call me and I can come and get the baby. When she leaves, it usually means she is going to get cranked up and when she is cranked up, well, unfortunately her children are the last thing she thinks about. So, I’m hoping that she will not do drugs, first and foremost, I’m hoping she becomes what I know she is capable of being, a good mother, but if she doesn’t, I am going back and taking my grandson. Last night, my son said she is clean, that she went to her probation officer, and the probation officer threatened to put her in jail if she heard one more complaint about her from anyone. She also told my daughter that she was having the police watch her. So, maybe this will scare her enough. I can only hope, right. My son is there and will monitor the situation. Oh, that was what he gave me for Christmas, he moved in with my daughter, so he could be there for my grandsons and be there for my daughter. He did turn the gas back on and stocked the refrigerator with food and he says she is eating. He also said she is sleeping a lot, which means she is coming down.

But we are getting snow, I am happy. Snow, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

That's my boy

Last night, after the writer’s group meeting, I met with my son. We haven’t had a chance to talk, just the two of us, in about a month. We either have my grandsons, which I don’t mind, or my husband, which I don’t mind either, but my son and I have an extra bond that goes beyond mother and son, and I think it is because he was my primary care giver when I was paralyzed. He and I also have suffered through my daughter’s drug addiction, and that, too, made our bond grow stronger.

I have to say, my son is perfect in every way. He is kind and considerate and always tries to help people when they are in need.

He was only 13 when I was hit by the drunk driver. It was my son who stayed in the hospital with me almost every single night. He told me what my sisters were discussing; it was he who told me they had mentioned a nursing home placement, and it was because of him that I was able to go home. You see, he, at age 13, took the responsibility of taking care of me. NO, I mean really taking care of me.

We lived next to the school, so the teachers allowed him to come home every hour to turn me, to change me, to get me up and put me down. He rolled my wheel chair into the shower and sprayed with the shower hose and all the while I’m crying and he is saying, “Mom, I have my eyes closed.” How precious.

When he was 15, he took a part time job at the local grocery store, they loved him, and because he worried about me, he sent his friends to check on me, every hour. If I needed something, they helped. Really, helped me get into and out of bed, if I needed other more intimate care, they went to his job, took his place sacking, and he came home to tend to me.

When he was 17, he bought his first car. His friends and my son never went too far away from my house. If they did, they took me with. Yes, I have been to every single ball game, although I read, they took me to a wrestling match in Little Rock, I sat in the parking lot and read. While they took me to things that interested their young taste, they included me. I can remember one Saturday morning my son hurrying me through my morning care and packing a bag which included an extra set of clothes and all my medicine. I said, “Where are we going.” He said, “My friends and I are going fishing on the White River and we’re taking you.” So, in a convoy of four trucks and one car loaded down with my wheel chair, my other basic care things, we headed up the mountain to the big river. We spent four days in a cabin. It was the happiest time of my life. A bunch of teenage boys, who would never have been able to convince their parents to give them permission to go so far away from home without an adult, and a paralyzed woman who would have never been able to get up to the mountain and so close to the river. They carried me and my wheel chair right up to the river’s edge and put my feet in the water and though I couldn’t feel it, I saw it and it was so great.

I think, in those eight or so years, when I was unable to move my feet or stand or even hold my urine, my son and his friends kept me sane. And when I began to get some feeling back and began to take a few steps, it was my son who loaded my wheel chair and me up, every single day, and took me to the walking trail. He unloaded the wheel chair and I used my walker and he pushed the wheel chair behind me and I walked four steps—from the car to the gate. That went on for almost a year until I was able to walk further and further. He never said, “Wait, I don’t have time.”

So, you see why he is so precious to me. But last night we met, and I said, “Let’s go get coffee.” He said, “Let’s just sit and talk.” So, we sat and talked for three hours. It was like old times when he and I would sit and talk and talk about everything from sports, which I knew nothing about, to writing and books and science and theology and on and on.

We promised not to let a month go by without our having one of our talks and he said, “Mom how do you feel about a road trip back to the White River?” So maybe, this spring son and grandsons, and even Mr. Zelda will rent a cabin next to the river and spend a weekend just being in the big woods. Wouldn’t that be really cool.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Buttons and day care

I have an appointment with the staff of the daycare center where my grandson will be during my school hours. I’m not nervous, but I am worried. You know, worried that he will be stressed by being left with strangers. I am also worried that he will be traumatized. It was hard, back in the day when I had to leave my children, one of which is his mother, in daycare. I remember dropping my two little angels off, and I cried all the way to work. My thoughts never left the children. I called often and worried constantly. Sometimes, I took off work early just so I could drop in and see what they were doing, and always, they were playing or in art or some kind of structured activity. I was lucky, I had a good day care, but I spent months looking for the perfect one. Now, well it’s the same, I don’t want to leave my grandson, but I have too, I have to finish school, or can I stop long enough for him to get old enough to go to school, or his mother get her life together. NO, I won’t. He will be okay, I know he will. Plus, I am only leaving him half a day. That’s not even four hours. Is that bad? What if he cries, can I take that? I am so stressed about all of this. Right now, I am on the verge of tears. I don’t want him staying with strangers. I will spend the first week or two with him, at least I will take him for an entire day of which I will stay from 8 until noon, and then I will go to class. During those mornings, I am hoping it will ease him enough that he realizes he isn’t being abandoned. Maybe I’m making too much out of this. I don’t know, I just don’t want him to be affected by this separation from first his mother, and then from me. Mr. Zelda says not to worry, that he will check on him too, and on his light days, meaning when he only has classes and no work, he will pick him up early. So, truthfully, he probably won’t even spend 20 hours a week in day care, that’s not much time. Plus on Fridays, I just have one class and it’s an hour class over by 2:30, so he will only be in day care a little over an hour on that day. Okay, it’s making sense, he will be okay, I can help him with this transition as well as help me with my transition by spending the first few weeks with him during the mornings, by picking him up early, and by being involved in the day care’s activities, volunteering and so forth. Thanks, this has sure helped.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

So, I'm not a heavy drinker

So we have friends over, young friend; friends of mine from undergraduate school. I find out, through the course of the evening, that I am younger than their parents. Yeah! So what does that mean? Anyway, we eat chicken wings, bean dip, cheese dip, and lots of chips. Then, I say let’s have wine coolers, an easy drink for me. They say yeah. So Mr. Zelda goes out and finds a store and buys wine coolers. My friends and I, all over 21, drink wine coolers; I only drink two and because my normal bedtime is as soon as it gets dark, and I’m drinking wine coolers, and I’m old, I began to have a little slurred speech, not much, but a little. Then, I have trouble holding my eyes open, not both just one, one would almost close, then the other, and it was a chore to keep them open, and I’m thinking it’s because of the sleep and it being after midnight, and so I try and I try to stay awake and not appear intoxicated because I wasn’t and I don’t want the young kids to think I am a light weight drinker. I want to tell them to call my writer’s group and they can vouch that I can drink two wine coolers without passing out, but the damage to reputation is there, I, in their eyes, am a light weight.

So, between one and sometime, they leave, I slowly ascend the stairs to my room, and while Mr. Zelda gets the bed ready, I start to throw off clothes, first the top, then the bottoms, then the rest, and I plop onto the bed, don’t have trouble finding that spot in the bed and on the pillow, don’t have my hair put into braids, and within minutes, I am asleep. So, when I get up, I go to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and all my hair is all over the place, I looked like medusa, no really. And I try to wash my face but instead, I drink and drink and drink, from the faucet, city water, not bottled, and from the bathroom, did I tell you that I am a germ phobic? Yuck. I drag myself down the stairs and find my kitchen filled with left over bottles, dishes, and think, fuck, did I do all of that, and must have, and then I make strong coffee, my favorite cup is clean and I drink and drink without letting it cool and then I start to wake up. The world is right again.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Long Term Affects

During the time of the My Lai Massacre, I was 12 or 13. In case some of you don’t remember or are to young to know, A group of soldiers known as Charlie Company led by Lt. William Callie went into My Lai, a Vietnamese village filled with only old men, women, and children, and they slaughtered 400 of these innocent people. If it had not been for the heroic action of another soldier, who landed his helicopter between the Vietnamese and Charlie Company, there would have been more than 400 dead. IN fact, one man shot himself in the foot so he could be air lifted out and not have to kill the innocent. For more information go here: and then I think of the words to that song, "War, good god y’all, what is it good for, absolutely nothing" and then I wish that our soldiers didn’t have to go there and make those choices of going along with the orders or the crowd or what ever and commit these acts against humanity. For a men to kill innocent men, women, and especially children, there has to be a major flaw in their personalities, and unfortunately for us, many of those flawed personalities are in charge of our men and women serving in Iraq. This brings me to what it was I was trying to say. The press coverage of the Mi Lai Massacre has haunted me for decades. I wasn’t there, I didn’t shoot or see anyone get shot, but I did see the trials, read the papers, and learned, over time, the atrocities that were committed. It affected me. If this affects me so, and sometimes I find it hard to cope, how will those soldiers who are there and who witnessing or participating in the killings and torturing fare? It’s so time for this war to end and for our boys and girls to come home.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Precious moments

My seven-year-old grandson says, “Nana, you sure know a lot.”
I say, “I’m old.”
Grandson says, “Who taught you to make bread?”
I say, “My mother.”
Grandson, “Who taught you to find fossils.”
I say, “I research and I learned from my teachers in school.”
Grandson, “Who taught you to make fast paper airplanes?”
I say, “My brother.”
Finally the questions end, and he goes back to drawing bats in a cave. (A new fascination, the bats—from vampires to bats, both I like.) When he finished, he brought it over for me to look at. “Well,” I say, “I guess that is the best cave full of bats that I have ever seen.” Tempted to ask him who taught him, I waited. He, almost as tall as I, crawls onto my lap and does his best attempt to cuddle in my arms, and I try as hard as I can to hold him in spite of his size. He points to his birthmark and says let me see yours. We have the same one, a long brown mark under our right floating rib. I show him the mark and he traces my surgical scar and asks, “Did it hurt?” “No,” I say, “I was a sleep.” He looks at my hands, my eyes, and tells me he thinks his eyes are turning green, like mine. I look into his dark coffee—colored eyes and tell him that I hope they stay brown, that brown eyes are my favorite. He smiles.
Grandson, “I made the cave and bats like the ones you used to draw for me.”
I smile but truthfully have forgotten teaching him to draw bats, but must have. He gets back down in the floor and then whispers, “I like it when the baby takes a nap. I get you all to myself.”
I smile and whisper back, “Me too, I like watching you draw.”

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Only on Sundays

On our way home, we stopped at a restaurant that was a no smoking restaurant. We are spoiled, living here on the Hill. We don’t have to endure the smell of smoke while we eat or shop or any other indoor type of activity. Smoking, in our city, has been banned. But, on our way home from Houston, we stopped at a Family restaurant and on the door was a sign that said, “No Smoking.” Okay, we go in and order our food and some time during the meal, a man lights up a cigarette, right next to our table. I have asthma and began wheezing and my meal is ruined and I do my inhaler and we go to the front of the restaurant and Mr. Zelda says we thought this was a No Smoking establishment, and they say it is and we say but that guy is smoking and she says it’s not Sunday and I say what does that mean and she says we only have no smoking on Sundays I say can we have a table in the non smoking part of the restaurant so we can finish our food without me dying and she says pick any table and I say is that table in the non smoking and she says on Sundays. Geeze are these people from Texas are what?


I guess this trip liberated me. I mean, I know that I have no reason to worry about what they, my family, think of me. I don’t care of they don’t understand why I want to get my PhD. I don’t care of they have a good or bad opinion of me. I guess it was their questions about why I needed so much education just to teach English, or their jealousy, yes, I saw it, or their looks. I know you guys who have sisters know what I mean. They ask a question, and I really don’t want them knowing anything about my life, but I have to answer, and so they have me trapped and I begin showing my passion, I hated it, that part of my life being seen by them, but I tell them a little more than I intended, and I look toward one of the sisters and quickly see her give the other sisters that look, that look I know so well. It was then that I remembered all those years when I was a child and then an adolescent, and I remembered how they did the same thing, and why I was not ever able to discuss what I was learning in school, what I was reading, what I was doing. Why is it that the people who are suppose to provide you with a safe and comfortable place to go are the very ones who set the traps that put the scars on your heart that last a life time? And the really sad thing, you can’t just tell them to get the fuck away.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Back from hell

I am back, back from the worst trip that I have ever taken. My niece was buried yesterday, and while it was a very sad occasion, it doesn’t take away from the fact that all of my siblings are racists’ pigs. I tried to reason with them, tried to enlighten them, but it was to no avail. They are convinced that the border should be closed and no non-white immigrants should ever enter our country again. I became so angry that I spent a lot of time outside. It is really sad. My niece, who died, and her brother both have daughters who are married to Latinos. Their little children range from dark hair and dark eyes, to blond hair and freckles. It breaks my heart to hear the discussions about race that goes on in front of these innocent children. IN fact, my one great niece has divorced her Latino husband and married a white man and she announced, in front of her children and her sister’s children, that she has the only white child in their entire family. “Finally,” she said, “We have a white baby.”
It was awful. Then my sister, the one that works for the school system, couldn’t quit complaining about the small children not being able to understand her when she asks them their name. I say to her, “Would it kill you to learn how a few Laotian and Spanish phrases.” Of course she says, “If they can’t speak English, they don’t need to be here.”
I tell you all, my heart breaks every time I am around my family. I can’t believe they all grew up to be such pigs. They use the N bomb like it is nothing. IN fact, they never say African American or black person; it’s always the N word. They would have followed Hitler, I just know they would have and it breaks my heart. Then, then, they tried to whip me into submission for not going to church. I said, “I look at you guy’s life and see what church has done for you, how it has made you such fine loving people and I am tempting but have to pass.” I, of course, say it sarcastically.
Oh me. I am so glad to be home. I am so glad to be away from their hate and the poison that spews from their mouth. But, I sure do have tons of writing material. I should not have to try and think of any new characters for about ten or so years.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

So I'm 51?

Today is my birthday and it is also laundry day. Mr. Zelda is entertaining the baby, while I am doing clothes. I am also cooking a small pan of black eyed peas and ham, we must keep with the good—luck—for—money tradition. If you are not from the South, the tradition goes like this: if you eat blackeyed peas and ham, you will never be broke. Now, I do it every year, and yet, I am often broke. So, I’m thinking it is a tradition that really doesn’t work. But, I have some left over ham in the freezer, and a bag of peas, so what the hell.

Between doing clothes and cooking the traditional New Year’s day dinner, I can actually read and write. This is really my day, not because it is my birthday, but because it is laundry day and the washer and dryer are downstairs and so is our office and computers and books and other things that are too tempting for the baby. We bring him downstairs often, don’t misunderstand, but when I am doing the laundry, it is best if he is upstairs in his playroom with Granddad. So, while I am working, I am also free to read and write. I have written another chapter to my novel about my grandmother and have actually written another short story about my nephew. It’s funny, when under a time constraint, I can write like a fiend, but if I have all kinds of time, I do nothing.

I have also been musing over what it is that I am going to try to commit to this year. I am not going to say things like lose weight or work out, because I know that will be an instant failure. But, I’m thinking of other things, like recycling. Maybe I’ll start with aluminum and work into glass and paper. I already do my bit by buying used books and I try and freeze in reusable plastic versus those throw away bags. I am also going to cut out all factory raised meats and poultry and fish. Yep, I am only going for range fed. I might even cut face food completely out of my diet. I have been entertaining the thought for a year or two now. I don’t buy leather or fur or any other somethings that are made from animals; although, I like a good leather bag, but I have not succumbed to the temptations. I am strictly off the leather or snake or eel skins.

What ever I decide to make as my big change over the next year, I know one thing, it isn’t going to be to diet. By the way, I was the first baby born on New Year’s day in 1955. I was born six minutes or so after midnight. I got a silver spoon. Imagine giving a silver spoon to the baby of a woman with nine children.