Monday, June 25, 2018

One’s in the Chicken Gravy, One’s Rolling Around on the Floor

Today was busy. There was this group of six articles that a client tried to write and trust me—unless you have experience, DON’T write your own content, blogs etc. Clients be crazy! And of course, you can’t tell them that their work sucks. You just have to smile and politely suggest that one of our writers take a look at it.

But now the workday is over! I did what I usually do. I ignored the hunger PANGS (for Joseph) until after 5pm. Then I frantically started searching for food online. Where else would food come from????

Finally, I ordered from Boston Market. I love their chicken and their sides are delicious too, but they want $7 to deliver. On principle, I typically won’t do it. But today I was starving so I ordered half a chicken, some gravy and mashed potatoes and some mac and cheese. Plus, cornbread of course.

I always watch TV when I’m eating. So I sat down with my plate of food, grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. It did not come on. So I waited a few minutes and tried again.

After 14 such failures, I put the plate of food aside and took the back off the remote. Sometimes if you take the batteries out and put them back in, the remote will work just fine. This is all “Husband Stuff” and I don’t have one so it’s my job now.

Naturally, as I pried one battery out of its tight little space, it sprang into the air and landed in the floor. I could hear it rolling under my chair. I wish I cussed.

The other battery promptly flew up in the air, then did a somersault into my mashed potatoes. Now it’s coated with chicken gravy. I’m pretty sure it would be wrong to lick it off but the thought did cross my mind. Yes, I’m just that much of a slob!

So now, I’m looking online to see what could be wrong with the remote control. It turns out that many people have had this same issue with this particular remote. It’s off a Vizio Smart TV. Apparently, the manufacturer can make great Smart TV’s but they just suck at making remote controls.

This one lady says that she went so far as to order a brand new remote but the new one was just as lousy as the old one. So there goes that idea. The other thing is that I need to find the manual “On” and “Off” switch to this TV. Surely no manufacturer would make a TV that did not have a manual on and off switch. I mean, it would only take a little common sense to figure this out.

All electronic devices should have manual on and offs and/or over-ride switches. How can anyone justify not doing that?

I don’t think Vizio put that on this Smart TV though. The TVs are WAY smarter than the people who make them.

Finally got it working though. Stomach full, happily watching the Bachelorette.

I like this girl on the Bachelor this year, but she will go around kissing 15 different guys within just a few hours and never blink an eye. Ah, for the old days when we hid our promiscuous behavior. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ants Don't Care!

I’m reading up on why there are so many ants right now. I recall when my mother was still alive…she had a pretty house out in Grand Prairie and one summer she had a huge battle with ants. She put down every kind of poison and had everything exterminated…she never really got rid of them, but the weather finally got cooler and the ant problem just kind of disappeared.


So that’s me right now. Millions of ants have descended on my house and they’re coming through every crevice. They attack any small morsel of food you drop. I could drop a breadcrumb and there’d be dozens of ants on it within seconds.

So I’ve yelled at them. “Look! This is MY house! You come into MY house, you better make sure you can pay the rent next month. People that don’t pay my bills don’t get any say-so in how I live!”

*Big Sigh!*

Ants don’t care. I can’t overstate HOW MUCH ants don’t care!

So I’m spraying everything with neem oil and tonight I’ll put out some boric acid. I’ve had to open all the windows because neem oil has such a strong odor.

It says all natural on the bottle, but believe me, this is not the type of “chemical/poison” you want to mess around with. Yes, it does come from a natural plant, but no, it’s not harmless.

Anyway, back to my story. Here are the reasons why ants seem worse some years:
  1. It’s too hot outside. They’re looking for a cool place.
  2. Your house is too messy. Clean more often!
  3. You have too many plants! Get rid of a few!
  4. You’re sloppy! You drop food everywhere! Geez! What a slob!
  5. There’s too much moisture in your house. You may have a plumbing leak you aren’t aware of.

Okay, true confession time. I’m guilty of 2 and 4 – and of course, #1 because it’s summer in Texas and that means it’s hot as hell. There’s nothing anyone can do about this condition. If it really bothers you that much, then move north.

In Texas, we go at everything hardcore! We do not pussy-foot around with BS. We do it full-blast! It’s in our DNA.

So summer is here, the ants are here, I’m still here. I will go down fighting and you can mark that on your calendar. I will never shrink back. That’s how I do life. I give it everything. I get hurt a lot more than you “normal” people who believe in moderation, but I get much greater Jolts of Joy.

I'll leave you with these wise words of wisdom:

You may say I’m a Dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one. – John Lennon 1971

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Journey

Sunday was nice. I went to Kaufman for the Memorial Day Family Reunion for all those who have loved ones buried at Rader Cemetery. My grandparents, Vannie May and John Howard Payne are buried there, along with my father John Howard Payne. He was in the navy in WWII so he has a military headstone.

Daddy was a telegraph operator on board a naval vessel. I still have his navy uniform. WOW! That thing is made of heavy wool. How could anyone wear something like that? I want to be buried next to Daddy. Just across the way, my Aunt Billie, her husband and several family members are buried.

I knew so many of the families that lived down there when I was a kid – the Lutrells were my grandparents best friends. They’d get together and play cards and other games. There’s really not a lot to do if you live in the Boondocks.

I love that beautiful old place more than words can say. My heart breaks when I first see it after having been away for several years. When I have to leave I feel such sadness. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed that I would buy that land…it’s 54 acres of tall oak trees. There’s a large and small pond, a stream across the back.

So many memories –the best memories of my life –were made there. People I cherished lived and died there.  I always dreamed I’d buy that land and clear it, then build a gorgeous house on it. And that’s where I’d spend the rest of my life.

Even if the Grim Reaper came to get me, I’d trick him into taking someone else so I could stay a few more years on Gran’s Farm.

I’d wake up each morning, make coffee, then sit out on the back porch. The dove will be cooing that early. A rooster somewhere crows. A few dragon flies drift by. It’s already July and very warm, so I kick off my shoes and walk out in the yard. The sand beneath the Bermuda grass is warm. It’s a lovely morning. What shall I do today?

Perhaps I’ll start painting the shed. That project has been put off for too long. But really, I need to build those raised tomato beds. It’s a simple project, if only I’d just stop everything else, and do it. Maybe I will.

My Cousin Wilma Kay is coming over to bring a loaf of banana bread. I promised her some tomatoes once they are ripe enough.

That should have been my life. That’s all I ever wanted. I hoped and dreamed for so many years that it would happen, but somehow life just kept dragging me down another path. Now, it’s too late. I have someplace else to go, something more important to do. I’ve tried to do this for years but couldn’t find the courage, but now I think I can do it.

But this path takes me far away from Rader Cemetery and those tall oak trees at Gran’s Farm. My one consistent nightmare over the years was that life would take me in a different direction -that I would move far away from Texas and never return. Never again see the graves of my grandparents, Vannie May and Howard Payne. Such lovely people!

Never again walk down that old dirt that runs in front of Gran’s house. We’d be heading for a swimming hole and somebody would want some Muscatine grapes. So I’d climb across the ditch, then move close to the trees, reach up and pull hard on one of the grape vines. A portion of the vine pulls away and then snaps off. I examine it closely. These things sometimes have spiders living in them. Those spiders live off the sweetness of the Muscatine grape. They are very protective of those vines.

So, I hold the vine out away from me and give it a good shake! “Come outta thar’, you devils,” I yell.

My life didn’t turn out like that. It didn't turn out right. This is not what I wanted at all. It’s one of those painful facts that can’t be altered. It sucks but there’s no fix for it. You’re on this new road now and it leads someplace so either cry or cuss the whole time…or take a deep breath and let the raging water carry you downstream.

I choose that path. Like a leaf, I drift downstream, eyes closed. There’s a blue sky above but I won’t look. Instead I listen to the slushing water as it carries my canoe further down the river. I love the smell of this river. It reeks of wet herbal plants, rocks—somewhere there’s moss growing. My canoe passes some spider webs but we hardly disturb them. They’re busy having lunch. A rabbit pops out of the brush across the way. He hops along a path that runs the river keeping time with the drifting canoe for a while. Perhaps he thinks I have food. I don’t. All I brought was me.

I’m here, in this canoe, tree branches and blue clouds overhead. Water sloshing against the side of the boat. And we’re headed somewhere, but I’m not sure of the destination. We could be going to heaven or hell—or we could be going to New Braunfels. Whatever the final destination, it was the ride itself that I recall the most.

Those vivid memories of all the people and places I passed by—that’s what comes to mind now. Where did life take them? How did my life bring me here? Is God waiting at the end of this river?

“You have to relax and enjoy the ride,” I whisper. “The journey is all that matters.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Government to Pick Up and Cage Dogs and Cats

I’ve always loved my country. I was brought up to believe that America is the Dream place that everyone in the world would live if they could. Why? Because we’re the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

Today, that doesn’t feel true at all. Thousands of babies and children are being snatched from the arms of their mothers and taken away. They’re being thrown into cages like animals. In fact, if we did this to animals, there would be a deafening public outcry.

What if our government went from house to house taking all your dogs and cats and throwing them in cages somewhere…no one really knew where these animals were being kept and whether they were being fed and cared for properly. Maybe there’s urine everywhere. Maybe there’s no fresh drinking water.

How would you feel if your pets were treated this way? There would be marching in the streets and so many public protests that the windows of the White House would be shaken out!!!

But why do we care more about our beloved dogs and cats than actual human children?

God is watching!

If you don’t care about these immigrant children, then perhaps God will stop watching over your kids. If you don’t pray for this madness to stop, then perhaps God will STOP UP HIS EARS to any of your other prayers!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Vacationing in Paradise During a Hurricane or Wild Fire

I was blogging when nobody knew what it was. I managed 4 blogs for a site called, “Blogit”. We got paid by how many people visited our blogs. It was a good gig and I earned a little money each month.

One of my blogs was called, Loserville Chronicles and it kept up with the day to day lives of all the writers on Blogit. Everyone was so funny or eclectic then. Some witty, some cool, some crazy, but all fun.

I still love blogging today. I manage around 6 blogs and I don’t give them all the attention they need because I’m so busy working on client stuff. My next blog is going to be a continuation of the stories about Cousin Jody. You’ll recall that he tried out and made it on the Wheel of Fortune Show but some weird things happened there. Then he wanted to try out for Jeopardy! But I told Jody he was not smart enough…somebody had to tell him. I couldn’t let him go on TV and embarrass himself in front of the whole world.

He went anyway. He never listens to me. Why does he even keep me around? Oh yeah, he needs somebody to bail him out of jail occasionally.

Anyway, I digress. In the next story, Jody will try out for Idiotest! It’s perfect for him. He’s such a weirdo sometimes - he really is a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. So watch for that. It will be funny! Jody’s stories always are. We all need a Jody in our lives to keep us from taking things too seriously.

He brings an unusual outlook and lots of jokes to every situation. When the world ends, Jody will be telling everyone how cool heaven’s going to be. He’ll be talking about how he should pack when visiting hell. He has a few friends there but does not plan to go himself. But he says he may visit if possible. I told him if God was going to make an exception for anyone, it would be Jody! He smiled and hugged me.

He knows I understand him. Neither of us have ever been quite right in the head. People like that seek out others like themselves. There are more of us than you might think. Most don’t have Jody’s optimist outlook though. They look at themselves as “Victims” and they live as if they are victims. But not me and not Jody.

We’ve learned some things about life. We’ve completely outlived people who were much smarter and much prettier than we were. We’re survivors. Regardless of what happens, we shake it off and move on. Life is too short to do otherwise.