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, March 28, 2006

When Stroll doesn't mean to walk and when Safety Belt doesn't mean well Safety belt.

Okay, I finally get Chuck Berry’s song, No Particular Place To Go.
Forever, I couldn’t understand why everyone was so upset. My grandmother thought it was awful and my mother forbade my sisters to listen to it. Well, through the years, I tried to find the awful sin in this song and it wasn’t until last night that it hit.
“So we parked way out on ko-ko-mo” Okay innocent enough
“The night was young and the moon was gold”
So we both decided to take a stroll” Stroll, could that be a euphemism for boinking? Let’s see.
“Can you imagine the way I felt
I couldn’t unfasten her safety belt.” OHHH, there it is, the taking off the old belt, the belt, that’s the stand in for so many things, like chastity belt, panties, oh oh or even the ever saying nope young girl who will stroll on so far but turns the lock and says no, and nothing can be done to get that lock off. I know, I was one of those it’s locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Yep, that’s it. That Chuck, I really like him.

Now when my family wonders outloud why I need to study those awful Latin Poets, I can say, to understand Chuck.

Monday, March 27, 2006

So, I take Baby down the mountain to meet Drug Addicted Daughter. I stop at Wal-Mart to buy him diapers, wipes, his special soap, and his special shampoo. Afterwards, The Good Son, Baby, and I were standing by my car, and friends from my past came by, and we were talking to them; she has Alzheimer’s and was confused and kept asking who and what. I felt so sorry for her husband. They are only in their mid fifties. Anyway, my daughter is late, playing games as usual and a man pulls up and asks in a joking trying-to-be cute way if he can take my grandson fishing, he went something like this:
Stupid Man, “Hey little feller. You wanna go fishing?”
Baby, hides behind me and says nothing.
Stupid Man, “Hey. I need some bait. Wanna come and be my bait?”
The Good Son looks at him and half laughs.
Stupid Man, “Hey, do you think your granny would wanner come fishing with me?”
By now, I’m annoyed. I say to my grandson, “Tell the old man to get.”
Stupid Man, "You and your granny can come fishing with me."
Finally after the Good Son gives Stupid Man the harsh look. The one that shows he is annoyed and since he is so tall and so huge, the man, well he leaves.
The Good Son, “Mom, I think he was hitting on you.”
Me, “Shut up.”
The Good Son, “Mom he wanted you. Really really bad.”
Me, “Okay, I’m tired of this conversation."
The Good Son, "But Mom, I think he really wanted you. I saw him looking at your, well, your butt."
Me, "Again, shut up."
The Good Son, "Mom."
Me, "He had no teeth, brown stains on his chin, and I don’t know what that was growing out of his nose and ears.”
The Good Son, “So you’re saying, you ain’t got the hots for him?”
Me, “Enough.”
We wait another 30 minutes and she gets there. I kiss the baby bye and ask her about next weekend, she doesn’t answer. Before I close the door, the baby sings the last little bit of Old McDonald Had A Farm. Baby says, eieioooooo.
I didn’t cry.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Last Day

It’s quiet in the Zelda household. Son, Mr. Zelda, and baby are asleep. The baby’s rash is much improved, I’ve been putting Vaseline on after his bath and before he goes to bed. It has faded to a light pink and the blisters are gone. The scabbed over ankles are not red looking now, and he will probably lose the scab today or tomorrow. The Baby has eczema, like me. I take a pill for mine and use hydrocortisone cream, but he can’t take the medication for it, we tried it, and it made him hyperactive, so the doctor gave him a prescription for a hydrocortisone cream and told us to keep his skin moist with a thick cream like Vaseline. So, that is the secret, well that and rinsing his clothes twice, using a really expensive bath soap and shampoo, and if we see that he his breaking out, use the hydrocortisone cream. But, that’s too much trouble for Drug Addict Daughter. She won’t even go fill his prescription, let alone put Vaseline on his skin. He says itch and scratches and she just puts baby lotion on it, which makes it worse.

Something very cute happened when I picked him up. We went home and picked up Mr. Zelda and The Good Son, and went to a really good barbeque place to eat. A woman and man comes in with a baby and my Baby kept saying, “Ohhh, baby.” When we got ready to leave, he says, “Bye baby, bye uncle, bye girl uncle.” It didn’t occur to us until we were in the car, but his father isn’t a part of his life, or doesn’t claim him, he’s around, just doesn’t participate in his life nor does Baby call him daddy, so Baby’s entire world of adult interactions are brother, Mama, Nanna, Uncle, and Granddad. When he saw the man and woman with the baby, I think, he assumed the man was uncle and the woman was not his, My Baby’s, mama, so it must be girl uncle. How smart is this baby of mine!
Drug Addicted Daughter called last night. She asked when we were bringing Baby home, and Good Son asked her if we could keep him next week, she said, no, of course. So, today, I am taking Baby home. It kills me, and if I could just keep him, I would. I’m taking her soap, Vaseline, and I’ve washed and double rinsed all his clothes, so for a week, she shouldn’t put anything on him that will cause him to itch, and I’m sure that I’ll have him again next weekend.

Three generations in one tiny apartment

Baby crawls up the stairs behind me, and passes me, and says, “I beat.”

He runs into the living room and holds out his arm and says, “Uncle mean.” I yell, “Uncle what did you do?” Uncle laughs and says, “I just took a pencil away from him.” I said, “Did you hurt his arm.” Uncle comes to the room and laughs and says, “I grabbed his arm to keep him from putting his eye out.” Then he looks at Baby, now the Good Son is 6’4” and huge, and Baby, well is Baby sized, and Uncle says, “Tattle tell.” Baby runs over and grabs uncle by the legs and hugs him and says, “Tattle tell.” Those are the precious moments. Ahhh, the sweet life of mother and Nanna hood.

He holds his finger out and I take a tissue and gently wipe the booger off his finger and Baby says, "Ewwwe, Yuck." Why do they get so obsessed with what comes out of their noses?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I have the baby!

Yesterday, I went to the court house to finish up on the eviction of my daughter. It was sad. I feel like I am the worst mother in the world, yet, she has let the electric get turned off, the water, and the gas. The refrigerator, by the way new, is filled with meat and perishables that are perishing and need to be cleaned out, before they really ruin the new refrigerator. So, she has three more days and I can go in and start the clean up. As I was leaving my little town, I decided to take a gift to my seven-year-old grandson. After I leave him playing with the new toy at his other grandparent’s, I get a call from my Good Son. He says, she called, I say, what did she want, he says, for me to come get the baby, I say, did you tell her you can’t drive, he says, yep, I say, call her back and tell her I am near and will get him. I head toward the city where she is supposed to meet my son. He calls me back, mom, he says, she says that she don’t want you coming. I say, okay, call her and tell her fine, then she will either have to drive him to our house, or find another sitter. It terrified me that she would say okay fine, you won’t get to see him. But, she calls him back and says, okay, tell her she has fifteen minutes to meet me at McDonald’s or I’m leaving him and taking him to Really Drug Addicted Friend Of Hers. I tell my son to tell her that it will take me at least 30 minutes and again I say to tell her to forget it. Then she calls me, the first time that we have actually spoken since her arrest for assaults and theft. She says, where are you? I tell her, she says, how long before you get here, I tell her, she says hurry the fuck up and hangs up. I take my time. When I finally get there, she has the baby’s bag sitting on top of the car, and he is in the car looking around and she is standing at the back of the car smoking. She looks rough, like she has not slept in a week, her face is shallow and I know that she is going to her friends who makes the drugs. I tell her she needs to eat and I had some chicken strips that I bought for the baby and gave them to her. I asked her if she had gas and she said no, that she thought she had enough to get to drug maker’s house, and I give her five dollars. We watch the baby open his gift. He squeals with delight. He kept trying to hug my arm and kiss me. I see his rash is really bad, she says it just came up, I look at his ankles and there are scabs on them. His face is bruised and she says he fell again. I ask her is she hitting him and she says no. I cry. I leave her standing in the parking lot and I contemplate taking him to the ER and know if I do that, I might have to wait another six or so weeks before she lets me see him. I get him home and take pictures of his legs, and arms, and back, where his rash is beyond a rash but more little popped blisters and sores. I take a picture of his face and the bruise, which looks like he fell off of the bed. We go out to eat and he throws his food on the floor. I remind him not to do that, and he stops. All the clothes she sent are dirty and his pants that he has on are also dirty. The box of diapers that I bought last Sunday, well she didn’t send but a few, so I had to buy diapers and wipies, I don’t mind. Last night while he slept, I sat on the bed and stroked his hair. I have him for two days, two days to love him and give him lots of attention. I don’t think she would hit him, but she sure is neglecting him. I am just happy that I am getting to see him. If it is nice, I will take him to the rock castle. Just a few more weeks, maybe three and we go to court and she will, hopefully, go to prison, and I will get my grandson, and then I will have peace of mind, or at least peace of mind as far as the baby and the seven-year-old are concerned.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Letting Go of Old Things.

We have decided to sell our house and buy one here on the hill. Our lease on the townhouse is up in August, so we have to get the house sold, and one bought between now and then. We have had offers on our house. It’s in a prime location and the lot is huge. So, I think once we actually put the for sale sign out, it will go quickly. It’s just that I bought that house before the accident. I worked two jobs and saved like crazy and paid half of the money down. It was an old house and in a rural town and the market price was 20000 dollars. It has three bedrooms, a kitchen, a huge bathroom, and huge living room, and a kitchen d/room combination, there is a walk in closet in the hallway that was a bathroom and can easily be converted into a small bathroom. The house is old, solid wood, I know, because I watched as they cut into the wall to open the space between the living room and the little hallway. There isn’t one place in that house where you can’t nail into wood, except in the bathroom, it’s new and while it has a lot of wood; it also has gaps, where the sheetrock covers it, like houses today. The house appraised at 50000 dollars the last time we had it appraised. We are going to ask 40000.

I remember the first night in the house. I bought it, got the keys, and my children and I camped out in the living room without electricity, water, or gas. I filled an ice chest with lunch meat and milk and cokes and we had candles. That first night in our new house, I told them about the old house I grew up in, and how old houses can be made special. It was the first old house they had ever lived in and they were scared. But then, outside my son’s bedroom window were mimosa trees and the leaves looked like ferns and he said it made him feel like he lived in a tropical place. My daughter had huge flowery bushes outside her window and she opened the window and the smell of spice filled her room, and she said it made her feel like she was in a fairy tale with all the flowers and the way the old windows were big and allowed in so much light. I took the smaller bedroom, but it also had six windows, just right for me.

Two nights after we moved in and had all our utilities turned on, and we were unpacked, I made celebratory feasts. The children invited over their friends and we watched movies and ate and for the first time in almost a decade, we felt like we belonged. The house became ours and it was as if it had been built and was waiting on us. Even our dog and cat fit right in and claimed the yard as theirs.

Last night, I told my son that I was selling; he said he felt like it needed to stay in our family and he wished he could buy it. While the idea is noble, he is too young to be tied down to an old house. I reminded him about college and his future and how an old house can drain you. He agreed, plus, he is transferring up here for a degree in architecture or something like that, and he would live here and pay a house payment, not wise. So, hopefully by the end of summer, I will own a new old house and some sweet family will be living in my old house. I hope they have a dog and cat and their children have lots of friends, that’s what the house is accustomed to, lots of laughter and lots of youth.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Ramblings of A on the other side of the century mark mad woman

Sometimes, I just need to ramble, so that is what I am going to do, ramble. Last night it snowed, and I can’t believe how pretty the snow looks on the leafed out bush behind my patio. It was what I needed before the dreadful heat comes, I hate summer.

My son totaled our truck, not his fault, he had a seizure from arrhythmias from his enlarged heart and prolapsed valve. They are going to monitor his heart for a week and see if he has enough to warrant putting in a pace maker. That makes me sad, he is only 27. He is my good child, the one who took care of me when I was in the wheel chair, not just taking care of me, but taking care of me, like getting me on and off the pot, helping me to get my diapers changed, changing bloody sheets from me starting my period and being paralyzed and not feeling it until he came to get me up for the day. Did I tell you he was only 13 at the time? He took care of me until I was able to tend to myself and he still helps me, always there for me. I guess if I were to give him a name, it would be The Good Son. Never has he ever given me a moment’s grief. Our insurance will pay us 9000 bucks for the truck, that’s good. We should be able to replace it with a car or something. My son feels so badly that he said he will pay us every cent back and I said why, it wasn’t your fault. He is guilt ridden. My baby boy, I love him so much. Last night, I made meat loaf, his favorite and mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. He always comes in right before the food is done to add extras to the potatoes and to the macaroni. I warned him about his cholesterol and he reminded me his was normal, that his heart is from the prolapsed valve and infection, so I warned him about his weight and reminded me that he is still losing that he will not eat as much. So, he added butter to the potatoes, and more cheese the macaroni. I shook my head and my 6’4” baby boy, standing there next to me, 5’3” overwhelms me both physically and emotionally.

So, after we ate, I loaded the dishwasher, and while I was cleaning the kitchen, he and Mr. Zelda tried to look busy doing a load of laundry. One got clothes out of the dryer, the other put towels in the washer, and after I finished, I joined them and saw they had both folded clothes and no two items were folded the same, but I just smiled and thanked them. How funny.

I miss my dove, the one that was eaten by the red tailed hawk. Maybe another one will take to coming to my feeders for some raisins. No, Mike, not raisin porn. Hey, maybe they, too, will link to me.

Everyone is still asleep, and my first cup of coffee was so nice, now I’m going in for the second cup and maybe an egg or something. I love to watch snow in a quiet house, where no one is around but me and my cyber friends. So, I am whispereing and trying to be real quiet. Until I have something more substantial to write. Salve Amios, Or something like that.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Devil fought for my soul.

When I was a small child, in order to get me to behave, my grandma told me that there was a devil that lived on top of her house. I believed her. So, at night, I would never go outside for fear of running into the devil. My mom made me live with her during the year after my grandfather died, and so, on the cold nights, I had to go outside and get things like, coal for the coal stove. One night, a really cold night, my grandma woke me up and said the fire was dying down and there was no coal in the house. Well, as luck would have it, there was no coal on the porch either. So, I had to put my shoes on and walk a few feet from the house to the coal pile. It wasn’t that far, but remember there was a devil that lived on her roof. Plus, her house was not but a half field away from burial mounds, which she said haunted her house. So, that night, I walked those few feet and kept trying to remember if I was saved, I mean just in case. When I got to the coal bin, something swooped down and I felt heat, I knew it was heat. I ran back to the house and told my grandma that the devil came off the house and attacked me. She sent me back with me crying every step. I got to the coal mound and quickly filled the shuttle with coal and ran back as quickly as I could. To this day, I don’t know what swooped down, maybe an owl or a hawk, some poor starved predator bird looking for a mouse. But, I will never forget the story that my grandma told the following days. It wasn’t a bird, it was the devil fighting off the Indian spirits for me. They came together and while they fought, I got away. I always asked her why, if she thought there was a devil and an Indian spirit fighting over me, why did she send me back. She said, well, there’s the devil, there’s the Indian spirit, and then there’s the cold. It was cold that night, colder than two blankets a quilt could remedy, and the coal was needed. That’s why you went to the coal pile to fight the devil. And I always added the Indian spirit. That night, by the way, and for several there after, I slept with my grandma. She snored.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Drinking coffee, real hot coffee, real hot strong coffee and want a drink really badly so without the cooling techniques, I swig and yes, burn my throat. Ouch!

I have the boys.

Yesterday, I didn’t think that I could go on; I mean, not seeing my grandsons. It’s been since Christmas since I have seen the seven-year-old and a month since I last saw the baby. As if by some strange alignment with the planets or if my broken heart sent these rays to my daughter or what ever, but my son got a call from my daughter, she told him, he, not me, but he could come see the boys. I told him to go and give them my kisses and tell them I love and miss them. At least by him seeing the boys, we know they are okay. Then as he was getting ready to leave, she calls back and says that he can have them over night but not to bring them to my house. He told her that was stupid, that he was not going to do that, that he was going to bring them here and that was final. She hung up. I scolded my son. I said, you could have brought them and not told her, and he said, I know her, she has plans, she will call back. Sure enough, she called back and said, okay, but just because they were coming here was no reason for me to believe that I was going to ever get them after that. My son drove down to this little shack not far from Ozark where my daughter is living with one of crank friends. After he picked them up, we met at a restaurant. My seven-year-old ran to me and almost knocked me down and while my son was carrying the baby, he, the baby, liked to have pinched my son’s arms off, trying to get down and to get to me. His first words were Nan, love you. I cried and cried and cried. Can you believe it, right there in front of all those people, I cried. Then when the boys saw Granddad, well, I have to tell you the smiles that spread across their faces were priceless. The baby hugged and kissed him and then back to hugging and kissing me and the seven-year-old just held my arm, not my hand, my arm. We looked like a family that hasn’t seen each other in years, instead of just a few weeks. I don’t know how grandparents can go weeks or months or years and not see their grandbabies. Maybe it would be easier if I hadn’t raised the boys from babies or if she, my daughter, was dependable and good and I wouldn’t have to worry.
This surprise visit is good. It will make the writing of my two papers easy. The only thing, the seven-year-old has to sleep with Granddad and me, and he sleeps like a mule, but hey, I’ll take a few kicks in the back; in fact, I missed that little mule and was real happy having him cuddle up to me. It worked better than any sleeping pill that I have ever taken. Yep, that’s true.

Friday, March 17, 2006

She was pale and thin and looked awful

Yesterday, I had to go to the doctor to have my blood work drawn, a thing to get me pumped up for surgery. Anyway, I ran into my daughter. She was tweaking, which in the world of Meth. means she was higher than a kite and couldn’t stay focused on one thing for more than a minute. She has dyed her hair this orange/blond and it looks awful, plus she looks like she hasn’t slept in about a month. I asked about my grandsons and she told me that they were no longer my grandsons. I asked her what was she going to do when they revoke her probation, she said, I have signed my kids over to Karen, her drug addicted fuckwit friend. She told me I was a fucking fat assed whore and she wished that I would die. I shook my head. Later, she called my son and told him that if he wanted to see the boys, she would let him see them, but I was not to come. She said that I have abandoned her, that I was the one to blame for all her problems. My son reminded her that it was the drugs that caused the rift and not me. I think she has court in two more weeks. I talked to the district attorney and they said that no matter how it pans out, she will likely go to prison. I am in the process of getting qualified from the state to take custody of the baby; the seven-year-old will stay with his father. I called my attorney and he laughed and said that once she goes to jail, no matter what papers she has drawn up, I will step up and get the baby; that is a guarantee. For now, I just hope that she is taking care of him. It has been almost a month since I last saw him. One month. I don’t know what hurts me the most, that she hates me so much or that she refuses to let me know how my babies are doing. I know it’s the not knowing, but what was my crime? I mean, what was it or when was it that I became her enemy. All I have ever wanted was for her to get treatment for her addiction. If it means her going to jail and being forced into some kind of therapy while in prison, then that has to be the solution. With her being free, she will not go without drugs, and she will not take her thyroid for her graves disease. She is truly a heart attack waiting to happen. Sometimes, I wish that I wouldn’t run into her, but then when I see her, I know that she is still alive.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mr. Zelda, you are not helping?

Okay, Thumbtacks on the wall. That’s what I do, I thumbtack things on the wall and Mr. Zelda says that I should not use thumbtacks, that we have hanging stuff. I say, what the fuck are you talking about, I can thumbtack if I want.
He also says to me, why do you have to put all those books in a stack in the corner, and I say because I can. Pisses him off.
Then he says, I can’t believe you bought all those groceries and didn’t buy any cookies and I say you nor I need cookies, eat a carrot.
His favorite question of the day, where are my shoes.
Geeze, I’m living with a fucktard.
I’m hurling, standing in the bathroom, retching, my insides are coming apart, and he steps to the door and says, you sick. No fuckwit, I’m standing here exercising my gag reflex.
He takes me to the doctor and I’m coming out of the valium induced coma and I hear him tell the doctor, no, she is still drinking coffee. I mumble something; he says, what, I say, you’re an asshole. He tries to explain that I am just under the influence of drugs, and I finally get my lips to work and I say, no, you’re an asshole. I am not still drinking coffee.
I lie, but that’s not the point.
Finally, I’m putting my socks on and he says, have you gained weight? No comment here, I think you guys all know what I was wanting to say, if I were not gasping for air while curled up in this ridiculous position, trying to put my socks on.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A great big ole tornado, yep that's what it was with golf ball size to baseball size hail

WE had really bad tornadoes rip through our area. My son and I awoke about the same time, to hail bouncing off the walls of our little town house. We looked at the weather report and it said the tornado was heading straight to Fayetteville for us to take shelter, so we woke Mr. Zelda up and went downstairs. The hail had set off the car alarms, the tornado alarm was blasting, and the wind made this awful sound. We waited the tornado out, with all three of us promising to run for the middle room in the house should the wind get really bad. Okay, this is really funny because the room in the middle is the tiny stall like bathroom. I can see all three of us trying to squeeze into it, but we packed on it. Finally the tornado passed, lots of damage, but so far, we have been spared. My sweet son said that he prayed so hard that the tornado would not hurt anyone. I told him that was nice and I’m sure that if god was awake, he heard him and probably did something. My son, who is a devout Christian, says, mom, you better be careful, god hears all those awful things you say. I say, well if hears me then he must be proud to know that I can think and raise questions, and reason, and do all those things that I assume he would want his children to do. Right? My son says, but you are being sarcastic, I say, I know, and I will try and be better.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Watch your whites.

I wish that I could zap my fingers or twitch my nose and all the clothes be washed. It seems to me, and I’m sure I am not alone, you see, clothes grow in population on wash day. I swear my closet is bare, my drawers are bare, but when I wash clothes, there seems to be more clothes than I ever remember owning. I think they are reproducing behind my back. My green shirt and blue shirt, well they got together and made a lime shirt.

I fold clothes and find these strange washcloths, not white, not blue, but somewhere in between and I think where did it come from, did I bleach a blue one to get this one, and then day to day, I look for that different colored cloth and it never shows up, until, wash day, and there it is.

And there are those clothes that I know we didn’t use, or the sheets that just appear in the wash. I think, I may be wrong, but I think at night, the clothes, well they get off the hangers and slide over to the basket, and the sheets, well they do that to. Some nights, I lie awake thinking that maybe while the lights are off, the sheets and pillow cases are laughing at me, because they know that wash day, I will find those mutinous cottons, having jumped closet and landed in the basket. Is it to get back at me for not use fabric softener, or for not folding neat corners? Cotton, they make you think they are all soft and willing to belong to you, but they are not, they are rebellious and because we plucked them out of their little hulls and weaved them into cloth, they are out to get us. Watch, on wash day, you’ll see. And no, I am no paranoid.

A new chapter, a more defined neighbor.

Yesterday, I wrote a chapter. A chapter on my novel, one that might seem like fodder, but it has a purpose. After writing the chapter, I realized that now, I am going to have to go back and put another chapter in to make the current chapter flow. But, I think it’s going to work. This novel, well, it’s about trying to get somewhere; but it’s also about then, now, and tomorrow. I bounce back and forth between then and now. It started out being about two females; a young girl and her grandmother, but after remembering and thinking about the neighbor, I’m going to integrate her into the story. Two old women and a young girl, I think it will make it more interesting. That’s what I like about writing, I can change the way the story goes, if I don’t like where it is now. So, it’s getting a new spin.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

First my gut, then my lungs, what next, my gullet?

Yesterday, I had more test, well the same test but different stuff was looked at. They gave me valium, and I don’t remember what for. So, if my blood work clears me, I am having a wedge of my stomach and the diseased part of my small intestine removed. I am hoping that it clears so that I can have a spring break surgery. The doctor thinks he can do this through laser and laparoscopic surgery, and I should be okay to resume pre-op activities with in a week or so. The problem is my antibiotic consumption. The ones that I take for the pneumonia are going to be off limit to me, so they are going to give me IV or IM antibiotics from here on out, which are good but I have to find someone to stick me, and I don't like that, I could do it myself, but it's IM, so I am thinking a clinic up here, don't know yet. They also are sending me to a pulmonary guy who will talk to me about another treatment. It’s a really strong antibiotic that has some severe side effects, but they will give it to me when I began exhibiting the symptoms of pneumonia. While it will work to fight the disease, it might cause me to have some hair loss, not much, but a little. They think my lungs are being weakened by a disease I caught when I lived in the San Joaquin Valley. I climbed shark Tooth Mountain looking for shark teeth fossils. There is a bacteria that lives there called cocciomycosis and unfortunately for me, I got the disease. I was on amphoteracin for about two years, and this pushed it into remission or what ever. Well, the surgeon thinks that my lungs are weakened by this spore that lives in my lungs but really isn't doing any damage; in fact, it is dormant but still there, sorta like the TB spores. However, unlike TB, Coccideo isn't contagious. So, the treatment is to kill the spores and free my lungs from this stuff. It’s all silly and a thought, not proven. The pulomonologists will decide if this is what it is or not, but first they have to get my stomach and intestine fixed up, or I will perforate and blood will gush and I will have this slow and painful death. So for now, surgery. Mr. Zelda is so in the dark about all of this, although, I have told him as did the doctor about the ulcers, but the other, well I will explain it all this week. He has to be given new information slowly or he panics. Yep, that’s him. My panicky little man.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Ima was this sweet woman, who truly cared about me; in fact, I think she cared about everyone. My mother died when I was a child, and I had to move in with my older sister. Ima went to her church. She became my advocate. I remember her giving me great big breasts hugs every single time she saw me. The kind where she pulled me to her and held me for such a long time that I had to hide my tears, but it was good. She was not one of the rich people from our church, not even middle class, but she had the respect of the entire town.

When I was grown with two little children of my own and was hit by the drunk driver and ended up paralyzed from the waist down, Ima checked on me every single day. On her way to work, she stopped by to see if I needed anything, usually bringing my children a hot breakfast, and at noon, she checked on me, and again in the evening.
She brought food to us, usually if I were in bed, she just barged in and put the food in the refrigerator with a note to my kids how to heat it up, and while she was there, she would wash a load of clothes, fill my water picture, and vacuum or do whatever else needed to be done.
When I first came home from the hospital, until I started getting my disability checks, she and her two sisters kept us in groceries. One bought the paper and soap products, and one bought the nourishing food, and one bought the junk food. They even bought my childrens’s school supplies. None of these three women were young, nor were they rich, nor did they boast about what they did; in fact, I think for the longest time no one even knew that they were keeping us fed. It was around the holidays and the church brought us over huge amounts of groceries, and clothes for the kids, and they put up a tree, and I wondered what they thought we ate before the holidays, but anyway, at the same time, Ima came in with her daily casserole for the kids, it was a Mexican dish, my son loved it, and the church folks, all dressed up in their holiday garb thanked her for the food. I think they thought she was responding to their announcement that they were feeding the poor crippled woman. I looked at them and said, she does this every day, and buys our food too. They looked at her, and I added my sisters have gone into debt to buy my equipment and keep us in utilities and while they buy our food too, if it weren’t for Iman and her two sisters, my children and I would have nothing to eat. They looked down at the floor, they were shamed as they should have been. I then added while you guys are nice to bring all this stuff here at the holidays, just what do you think people like me do during the regular months? I mean, I am not getting a check yet, I am out of money, and I am waiting for social services to award me food stamps. What would we have done without Ima?

So when I hear of government programs getting cut, yet again. I am reminded of what it was like for my children and me. Had it not been for the kindness of Ima and her sisters, well, my children and I would have not had the help that we needed in our time of need.
Ima died two years ago. She had cancer that spread from her lungs to the rest of her body and she died quickly, I was glad, I would not have wanted her to suffer. A week before she died, I went by to see her. I asked her if she was hurting and she said no, I washed her face with a cool rag and gave her a sip of water and held her hand, hardly a drop in the bucket compared to how well she took care of me. I miss her and will always remember her.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yet another pat on their backs. Isn't money enough?

Mr. Zelda thinks that I am snob. I don’t watch award shows, not the Grammies, the Emmys, the MTV awards, and certainly not the Oscars. He thinks it goes against Mom and apple pie.

In my defense, those people, actors, script writers, producers, and all the rest, get paid way too much money. They are awarded for marginal talent every time they turn around. It makes me ill to see those people wear dresses that cost more than some folk’s yearly wages. In addition, the food, the drink, the little gift bags, please. Some of these guys make millions to for each film. Millions and they need a gift bag, they need donated clothes, loaned jewelry?

I think it’s morally wrong to place more value on a talent than on other people’s health care, their living expenses, or their educational opportunities. So I don’t watch these award shows. The few times that I have watched a segment or two, and the camera flashes the audience, all done up and ready to show off, well it just makes me sick. Makes me sick that they can celebrate what they have and want more of while I know graduate students who need shoes, undergraduate students who are eating macaroni and cheese every day, and children who need health care. There are other places that money could be spent, namely the humane society, the women’s shelters, after school programs and on and on. Yet, they, Hollywood folks, put their too skinny asses in too expensive clothes, and with too much makeup on they walk down a red carpet and smile for their fans. Fans, by the way, they don’t give a shit about unless it has to do with going to see their movies.

Okay, just wanted you guys to know, I’m no fan of the OSCARS!!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My advisor nominated me for a fellowship, one that pays my tuition. I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, but it is second best to a TA position. I’m in comparative lit and he only gets to recommend two a year to the English department and while he can nominate more to the foreign language, he has already promised from last year the only spot available for Latin. He says not to worry, that next year, 2007 I will get the Latin TA position for beg I and II. I’m okay with that, but then there’s the price of going to school and I have a house back in my home town that I have to keep up and pay on and of course pay over priced rent here and my son isn’t working, he is recovering from CHF, and my husband is on short term disability and not drawing a whole check, so our funds are dwindling. The fellowship will be nice, it will save me over 4000 bucks a semester, that’s great. But, I still feel let down. I know, I know, I will get my chance to teach, but I want to do it now. I might do some substitute teaching in the fall. Yes, that’s what I will do. Sometimes, things just don’t go as well as I planned, but on the bright side, if I had gotten a TA position this semester, I would have been fucked, since I am having surgery over spring break. How to do all the TA work and write two papers and recover from surgery all in five days? Won’t happen. So, I’m glad I am just worrying about school. Things always have a way of working out. I am sorta thinking of transferring to the MFA program, sorta. I can still submit my stuff; just don’t know if I want to abandon Comparative lit, which I love so much. I won’t think about that now, instead, I’ll have another overpriced cookie. Yes, dammit, they are like sex, a lot of hoopla and then it’s over.

Pass me a cookie.

I am so pissed off at my self. After going to the grocery store and spending 225 dollars on absolutely nothing, I come home, and the doorbell rings, and I go to the door, and there is a cute little girl with a snotty nose and her father there. I say hello, she coughs and sniffs and says hi, I say you got a cold, and she says a real bad sore throat and I say should you be out in this weather and she says it’s okay. Her dad interrupts our girl talk, in an impatient I wanna go home and watch some really manly television program and not be here selling girl scout cookies, and says she’s selling girl scout cookies, and I say let me get my check book and the rest is history. So, I’m not mad for supporting the girl scouts, I’m not even mad for paying four dollars a box for not that great of cookies, I’m mad because I should have given her the money and told her to keep the cookies, yes, that would have been best, just make a donation. Now, I’m eating these caramel stuffed, coconuts and chocolate cookies and they are gooey and good and I can’t stop. That is what I am mad about.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

warm weather brings the tornados, bummer

It’s cool and hot, both. I mean, when the door is open, it’s cool, when it is closed, it is hot. Too cool for the air, to hot for the heat, and it looks like rain. So, I’m fretting, just like I do, about the weather. I like cold, am dreading the heat, and while the rain and snow during the winter are nice, during early spring, the rain especially is not welcomed. Usually with the rain comes the thunder and lightening and the strong winds and wall clouds, the dark rotating clouds, the tornado clouds. I hate it, I want to hide, but they come quick.

When I was seven and the weather turned bad, it was early spring, and my mom loaded us all up in the car and we drove to my nanny’s house. She was standing on the porch watching the clouds, as if she could really tell if the tornado was going to drop out of the sky. We ran against the wind, tree limbs were flying in the air, and Nanny’s chickens were rushing around with their feathers ruffled. Nanny said we needed to get the cows to the barn and Mama said we didn’t have time. Mama holding on to my little sister’s hand, and Nanny holding on to my hand, and my brother running ahead, we all aimed for the storm cellar. It was loud, the sound of the wind, and then we all got to the cellar but I couldn’t go down, I had to look, had to see what was going to happen and off in the distance the clouds dropped down and began to roll and they were so dark and thick and lightening danced around them hitting things, and before Nanny pulled me into the cellar, I saw the tornado coming toward us.

We sat in the cellar with Nanny’s dogs and her neighbors, the neighbor she fought with all the time, and when the tornado got close to us it was loud and deep, and then just like that it was gone. Nanny’s house needed a new roof, her barn was partially gone, and the chickens were still running around like, well like chickens with their heads cut off. Everyone said we were lucky that the tornado only stayed on the ground for a little while, that if it had not just dipped, well the house and everything in its path would have been destroyed, we knew that. I was never that close to a tornado again, until I was in the wheel chair, and my son and I were in town. I saw the wall cloud drop and the clouds began to swirl and I told me son to head of an over pass and all the over passes were full of other people so he tried to out run it, and I told him to stop and let’s go inside a store. Hail was raining down, big hail and the wind was blowing. I told him to go inside, that I would be fine in the car. I knew I was going to slow him down, that together we might not make it, but he wouldn’t leave me, so he lifted me in the wheel chair and ran with me, a man saw us coming across the parking lot, and he helped my son get me into the store, and we all went to the back and waited for the tornado to do its damage. Again, it dipped and left. That’s why I hate storms. I have been too close twice and don’t want to push my luck.

Friday, March 03, 2006


It’s Friday, and the good thing is that I don’t have to hurry home and get things done, I have all weekend. Yep, another good thing, I can hang out later at night, not that I do, but sometimes, it’s nice to stay up and watch the news. And, early in the morning, I don’t have to rush out, because, tomorrow is Saturday, and I can sit and read and drink coffee, and take my time; I can even hang out all day in my PJs. Yes, it’s Friday. Yeah!