Days (Day) Of Our (My) Lives (Life) – Best And Worst

Oh, y’all I think Tuesday was the worst day of my life.  (That might be a slight exaggeration.  The day I melted deodorant into my makeup bag was pretty bad, as was the day I had to have my car towed due to a dead starter and my neighbor, whose driveway was blocked by the tow truck for LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES, had a hissy fit about potentially being blocked in her garage for LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES on the off chance she might suddenly need to go somewhere which we all knew was ridiculous as she had, literally, just arrived home.)  (I read a lot of Faulkner in college.  You are welcome for the run on sentence.)

Tuesday morning I had the sinking realization that Seamus was missing.  I had a suspicion on Monday evening when he didn’t come galloping out from under the bed when I shook the treat bag, but occasionally he is moody and stuffs himself up inside the box springs to hide.  It isn’t unusual for him to forgo his happy part of the day (i.e. treats/peas) so that he can sulk alone.  I texted Martie about it Monday night and even she, who doesn’t like cats nary even a little bit, was worried and offered to call so that she could commiserate with me.  Tuesday morning I had to text her that it was official.  Seamus was gone.

When it hit me, I started to shake.  Seamus is older and slightly pudgy.  He’s weird and emotionally stunted.  He likes Murphy, treats and the white fuzzy blanket on my bed.  Once he sat on my legs and purred but when he realized that Murphy was nowhere to be found, he leapt off me and went under the bed.  Despite all of this, and I’ll say this at a whisper, Seamus is my favorite cat.  DO NOT TELL MURPHY. 

With tears in my eyes, I started looking under the beds and in the closets to see if maybe he had passed in the night, alone and wadded up in box spring.  I couldn’t find him anywhere and suddenly had the weird notion that maybe he had gotten outside.  I immediately rejected that.  Seamus, even when the door is open for hours on end, will stick one paw and one ear out the door, and like a kid dared to run into the cemetery, will immediately bound back into the house, all giddy and spastic as if he’d just done the scariest, bravest thing of his life.  In short, he never goes outside. With that thought, I left for work, teary-eyed and sad, still wondering where I would find his lifeless body.

Halfway out of my neighborhood, I realized I left my purse at home.  I drove back and ran in quickly to get it.  Guess who was standing outside the back door. Just guess.  That little turd had been outside gallivanting for two whole nights and when I opened the door to let him in, breath whooshing out of my lungs, he pranced around, clearly proud of himself.  I could have beat him.  I tried to hug him but he made a beeline for the food bowl so I settled for just rubbing his ears for a minute.  Since I was already late for work, I left him alone with his food and his friend.

When I arrived at work, I still had a bit of bile in my throat from the worry and then the sudden joy.  My legs were still a little shaky.  So when I happened to look down at the ground and saw that my jump drive, the jump drive that holds everything I’ve ever written over the last two years, the only jump drive that I own and the only place where my writings are stored, was mangled under the tire of a car, wet and covered in dirt, I started to cry.  I know I should have backed all that up.  I know that.  You won’t yell at me any louder or more harshly than I already did myself.  How it got from the bottom of my purse to the bottom of a tire on someone’s gigantic four door jeep is beyond me.  I just know what when I picked it up the mangled metal fell apart in my hands and I was devastated.  No way could I recreate all that work.  No way.

I dusted it off and took a look at it through my watery eyes.  The end that plugs into the computer looked okay and once I blew the dirt out of it, I stuck it into my laptop with my hopes lunging up and down.  I waited.  Then waited. Then waited some more.  It was nauseating.  After an eternity, the window for the drive opened giving me access to all my files.  They were all there and every single one of them opened. I immediately wobbled my way back to Katniss and said in a hoarse whisper “Give me a jump drive.  Now.”  She saw the look of panic in my eyes and handed over her brand new one.  I wobbled back to my desk and did the drag and drop into to the new device.  Then I ordered two more drives from Office Depot, one for me and one for her.  I’ll repeat the process again when it comes in, and then hide one away in a safe place and the other will be stuck in my bra at all times. 

Talk about a roller coaster.  Tuesday sucked.  And then Tuesday was glorious.  Best and Worst, all in 24 hours.  That was a lot for one day.  I need a drink.

Oh, BTW, this was Seamus when I got home last night.  I love that stupid cat. 



Guest Post: Lucy Loo, Madre’s New Dog

Picture 001

Hello!  We just had Christmas!  Here’s what I ate:

Book (Poppa was really mad)

Ping Pong Paddle (I barfed after that)

Jimmie’s Ear (She hit me on the nose)

Martie’s Chin (She hit me on the nose)

Jimmie’s Ribbon (She was mad)

The couch (Everybody was mad)

I also ate – look, another dog!  I want that dog!  Can I have that dog? . . . .  No one ever lets me have another dog! 

I ate:

The other dog’s ear (He was mad)

My leash (Madre was mad)

Puppy food!  (Why come no one was mad?)

Also, I ran! I ran! And sniffed! And ran and played! And! – zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Editor’s Note:  Poppa is a patient man.  Lucy Loo was tearing through the house and made a mad leap from the floor of the living room onto the sofa, clipping Poppa in the face and knocking his glasses and hat off.  Poppa merely reached over and retrieved those items and put them back on.  Later, though, he whispered to me, “I’m tired of that damn dog.”  She’s awfully cute, but it’ll be great when she learns another speed besides “Tasmanian Devil” and “Coma”. 

A Memory

In the places where I grew up, 4-H was a pretty big deal. It was something we elementary school kids looked forward to every month.  I always wanted to participate in the poster contest; it was my favorite activity.  I never won which was my greatest disappointment.  The year I was certain I’d made the best poster Dinah Stafford beat me with her “Burst into 4-H” theme and picture of a giant balloon.  I was crushed.   I needed a salve for my bitter heartbreak and lit on the perfect thing when they passed out the forms used to sign us up for the spring activities: farm animals!  The only thing that would soothe me was a bunny rabbit.  I would sign up to raise a bunny rabbit and be healed.  Unfortunately, bunny rabbits were bought at a higher price than I knew we could afford.  I signed up for the next best thing which was chickens.  Actually, a pig was the next best thing but a pig cost more than a rabbit.  Chickens it would be!  They were free!

I rocked merrily along, knowing my chickens would soon arrive. I was pretty excited about it.  Unfortunately my excitement never carried over into a conversation with Madre and Poppa about those chickens.  Their first inkling at my new endeavor came in the form of a note I brought home with the date and time I was to pick up my chickens, a whole week away.  Oh, I learned some new bad words then.

Poppa spent that whole week building a chicken coop for me.  I learned even more bad words during that time.  There was a lot of hammering and huffing and swearing but I had the prettiest chicken coop you ever did see by the time those chickens came home. 

Madre drove me over to the co-op (or wherever I was supposed to go – it’s been a few years) and there we got 25 baby chicks.  Oh, mercy, they were cute.  Little yellow balls of fluff that made tiny little noises and had no equilibrium at all.  They fell over each other and slept on top of each other and got stuck under the water bottle.  They pooped everywhere.  I didn’t mind. I fed and watered them every morning and night, cleaned out the newspaper in the bottom of their box and tucked them in under the warmer for the evening’s rest.  When they were large enough, I put them into their new chicken coop and again, fed them every morning and night.

Those baby chicks grew into the prettiest Rhode Island Reds, if you can call chickens pretty.  They had roosting boxes where they laid eggs.  Have you ever had farm fresh eggs?  The yolks were so yellow they were almost orange.  Also, it takes chickens a while to lay eggs correctly so sometimes you’d get a weird oblong cylinder egg, sometimes an egg with two yolks, sometimes an egg that would barely crack it was so tough.  I collected and sold those eggs and bought my first ten speed bike with that money. 

In the fall, I had to take five of my chickens to the fair to be judged.  I sort of knew this would happen but I didn’t know that those five chickens would be auctioned off to purchase the new chicks for next year.  I gathered up my five favorites, fat little birds with some serious attitude.  We loaded them up and took off for the judging.  When we got there, we watched in fascination as the judges weighed each chicken, measured the breast bone, checked the combs and the feathers and the feet and the beaks.  I didn’t really understand why the judges kept coming back to my five chickens until the winners were announced.  I WAS THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER!  I WAS THE MASTER OF RAISING CHICKENS!  I WAS SO PROUD!  It was probably best that I didn’t tell them that the one chick who got stuck under the water bottle when it was a baby suffered a broken leg that never healed right and was crippled as an adult.

After the judging, they began the chicken auction.  I remember looking at Madre with confusion.  “What are they doing?  Why are they acting like they are going to sell my chickens?”  Madre gently explained that the money would buy chickens for a 4th grader the next year. I got teary-eyed and shy.  Those were my babies.  Madre, a farm girl herself, seemed to understand without me saying a word and so she began to bid on my chickens. Someone kept bidding against us and we ended up paying $40 dollars for those five chickens that I had gotten for free.

With relief I rode home with Madre in her truck, clutching my purple grand prize ribbon and my trophy with the chicken on top, every so often looking in the bed of the truck at my award winning chickens. 

Madre and Poppa still have chickens today.  All that cussing and swearing and hammering Poppa did?  I’ll have you know he is the one who every night wanders out to lock those chickens in the chicken house to keep them safe from predators.  He is the one who collects the eggs.  He is the one who makes sure every scrap that would be remotely appealing to a chicken is saved and tossed into the pen with their nightly dinner.  Big old softie.


Stuff Murphy Peed On, A Limerick With Pictures

There once was a kitty named Murphy


Who felt that his life was quite worthy


He peed on some stuff


Then found it quite rough


When Jimmie kicked him out in a hurry.


Damn cat.


About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about my Memorial Day weekend.  I drove to Madre’s house for that weekend and spent a lot of time with family, sighing and being happy.  You can go back and read it if you like, here.

For Thanksgiving this year, I did the same thing.  I spent the day with family at Madre’s house, sighing and being happy.  Brother Boo came in all the way from Oklahoma City and it was just so nice to see him.  Martie and Coach and family were there as was roomie, Kasi Starr.  I took a lot of pictures that day.  Want to see? 

This is Home.


Brother Boo with his manly leaf blower.


Brother Boo with his manly leaf blower in sexy pose.


A walk in the woods.


Rifle Range in the back yard, where I learned to shoot at age 16.


Vicious attack cat, Sonic.


Madre’s favorite horse, her longtime companion, is buried here.


A creek, where we used to play.


Jam session: Boo.  Man, can he play.


Jam session: Martie.  She’s got a set of pipes on her.


Jam session: Poppa.  Listening from a distance.


Jam session:  Lucy Loo.  One tired pup.

It was such a lovely day.  I was so happy.  I walked around in an amazed wonder at all the good stuff in my life.  Family, friends, beautiful weather. (An aside here -don’t you kind of wish Tennessee could just pick a season and stick with that for a little while, like a month?  I’m super happy about the sunshine but I’m getting whiplash with all the back and forth: hot! cold! hot! cold!  It’s exhausting.)

There will be a part two to this.  I took loads of pictures. It’s like I just discovered my camera or something . . .

I Could Use A Little Calamine Lotion, Please

This morning I was having the epic struggle of “do I get out of bed and go to the gym at 5:30, or do I lie here and get porkier whilst sleeping an extra hour” when Murphy decided to stroll across my body.  (He is currently still housed with me. We are trying some new things to see if we can’t all get along without him whizzing on everything.)  He had just put his foot, claws retracted, on my leg when Seamus sneezed, causing Murphy to spaz, dig all million of his claws into my leg and use that traction as the springboard to launch him off the bed and into the window. So if you are wondering if I went to the gym at 5:30 a.m., yes, I did.  I said a lot of bad words first, though.  A very pleasant way to arise. 

There is a new character at my gym I’d like to share with you.  I’ve seen him a few times now, always in the same outfit which consists of tiny little short shorts, a miniscule tank top and royal blue Crocs.  I got behind him on the indoor track a couple of weeks ago and thought he had an odd approach to exercise as he was mincing around the track at warp turtle speed.  When he started high stepping on his toes, sort of swaying his hips side to side, I got the giggles.  I lapped him and noted that he was wearing sunglasses at the indoor track which could possibly explain his strange walk if I were willing to stretch that idea.  When I was approaching him from behind a second time, he suddenly threw his arms up into a ballroom dancer’s pose and began twirling.  My giggles instantly changed to fascination as I watched him practice his steps all the way around the track.   He seems quite talented and he seems to take it quite seriously.  All I can do is applaud him and be slightly jealous as I have all the grace of a thundering elephant. 

I haven’t talked much of my other outdoor activities lately although they still exist.  I choose to flag in my participation of those activities in high summer, see, because I am prone to sunburns and unflattering cheek flushes when I’m overly warm.  Basically I look like a human tomato and I don’t care how you cut it, that is not a good look.  I am not a fan.  I do whatever I can to avoid that look.  Plus it’s been so humid lately that it almost isn’t worth the trip out of doors for walking/jogging as I’m pretty sure breathing in the water we call air down in these parts will give me pneumonia soon. 

I have another Very Important Reason for avoiding the outside in high summer.  In case you are wondering, I am the model of safety when I am outside performing my calisthenics or what have you.  It isn’t that.  I know the dangers of being a lone person in the out of doors with no defenses other than a can of pepper spray.  I always stay on the marked path and never pick up rabid stray animals.  I also don’t waller around in poisonous leafy flora yet do you know I somehow contracted myself a nice case of poison ivy?  Or poison something.  I have no idea where I got it although the Greenway would be the logical assumption.  If I could smoosh all the affected parts of my skin together, it would be an area the size of a dime yet I feel as if I am dying a slow, painful, itchy death.  I wake up itching. I go to bed itching.  And because I am a grown up and can do as I like, I have scratched all the skin off my arms and now look like I have a case of weeping eczema.  I don’t care that it is only a dime-sized area of skin, it is killing me.  (I realize this might be a tad dramatic but it itcheeeeeessss. <whine>) 

I’m going to distract myself from the itching by telling you that Daddy-O and JiJi gave me a new pink pocketknife for my birthday.  It excited me to no end.  However, no sooner than I opened it, hadn’t even gotten the box fully torn apart yet, when Daddy-O said, “Quick, someone get the first aid kit!”  Seeing as how I bifurcated my finger within the first five minutes of owning my first pocketknife, and seeing as how I dropped the electric sander on my naked toe last summer, essentially filing the nail polish off that toe in one quick swoop and cracking the nail in a clean break, and seeing as how I contracted the raging case of poison something by touching nothing that was leafy and by barely going outside, I call that a fair statement. 

I was going to have a stellar ending for this, really wrapping it all up and bringing my point home.  But y’all, I just read over all this and have concluded that I am an alluring package.  I don’t get why I am still single.  Do you?  <scratch>

I Suggest That No One Mess With Me Any Time Soon

For real.  No one needs to tick me off in the near future.  I don’t know what exactly God has me going through lately but I can tell you what it’s doing for me.  It’s making me so damn strong right now.  And slightly pissed off, frankly, which is why I suggest that you all be kind to me.  I will come out of this a total badass but the ride is bumpy and not that pleasant.  Watch out. 

This picture is the view of my car from the back window of the tow truck.  This time it’s my starter.  Is anyone counting with me?  This makes four high dollar car fixes in less than three months.  For the record, I am not made of money so in addition to you being nice to me, you need to not need to borrow any money from me. 

A guy at the car place asked me, “What’s wrong with your car?  Why are you here?”  Bless his heart.  So I told him. He just kind of sat there with his mouth agape at the word vomit that poured from my mouth, and finally, he snapped his mouth shut and then said, “Good luck.  I mean it.”  And then he left.  Quickly.

There are some positives in this, at least one.  Believe you me, I’m looking for them.  Six years ago I decided that it would be a good idea for me to have a roadside assistance plan.  Being a single female in Nashville makes that a smart idea, right?  Today I didn’t have to pay for my tow.  I mean, I’ve paid Verizon $3.00 a month for that plan for the last six years but TODAY I didn’t have to pay for that tow truck.  That’s some savings right there.  When I come up with another positive, I’ll let you know. 

In truly happy news, Poppa came home on Saturday.  He sounded tired, just plumb worn out, but he’s doing alright.  Martie went to visit him right away and when she got there, Poppa was laid out on the couch with their cat, Sonic, in his lap.  Poppa isn’t what I call a gruff man necessarily, and he’s always been very kind to all of us, but seeing a virtual Viking of a man with his arms wrapped around a furry gray cat and snoozing was enough to make us all realize that life is a fragile thing. Sonic, often affectionate anyway, was so kind to Poppa, like he knew that he was needed, so he sat stoically in Poppa’s lap, completely upright while Poppa napped. 

In other happy news, I realized that I never showed you a picture of Miss Kitty.  I took this today. This is how she sleeps although I caught her in mid-yawn.  It must be exhausting to be a house cat.


And in unhappy news, Murphy is being relocated.  He peed on Kasi Starr’s stuff again.  This was after he peed in her gym bag, in my gym bag, in her second gym bag, in Roommate’s gym bag that he left behind, and after he attacked Seamus two nights ago.  He cornered him in the bedroom and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and just bit him.  Kasi Starr found them and separated them. Murphy acts all innocent when I’m around him, meowing and wanting attention, but lately to get attention he’s been doing more than just tapping me with his claws. He nips at my arm with his teeth, and it seems like any amount of attention is never enough.  I probably don’t want to talk about this again, so you’ll understand if I never mention it further. 

In conclusion, I’d like to tell you that the hours spent at the car fixing place were spent typing all this up and watching my first ever Clint Eastwood Western.  I’ve got say, I didn’t love it.  It was awful.  I see his appeal, though, so that’s something and I do feel like all of that testosterone oozing out of that movie should make me smarter about my car and perhaps this time I won’t get cheated.  That would be awesome. 

UPDATE:  The guy at the car place knocked $50 off my bill because I questioned some things.  Thank you, Clint.  I owe you one.

Musings and Amusings, by Jimmie

It’s Monday.  It’s felt like Monday all dang day. 

Why is it that on the weekends I leap out of bed at the crack of daylight when by rights, I should be lounging around in the bed, sweet talking my pillows for hours?  I love my bed. We are very close.  Yet on the days when I can demonstrate how much I love it by spending quality time with it, I’m up moving around and giving it the cold shoulder as if it forgot my birthday or something.  And then on Monday mornings, when I don’t have time to demonstrate how much I love it (because I have class with Lynnette, y’all and she’s a demanding mistress), I cannot leave it.  I cannot tear myself away.  I give up friends (Lynnette and Jane and Body Pump and Spinning) for it.  I give up quality time with my razor (I should be spending time shaving my legs even though it is winter) so that I can cuddle up with my yummy duvet.  I give up my easy drive to work even though I know that the longer I lie around, the smaller the window I have of “good traffic drive time”.  Why is it so hard?

Eh, it’s a conundrum.  I should be wiser and all that now, now that I’m facing forty.  Unfortunately, the biggest change that comes with age, I’ve noticed, has nothing to do with wisdom but everything to do with the fact that now that I’m older, the longer I lie around being lazy, the puffier my eyes are.  Yay. 

For your Monday, which I hope was less blah than mine, I’ve included some pictures of things that made me laugh.  It will look like Christmas threw up in here, but trust me, these pictures are worth it. 

This here is my neighbor’s tree.  We had a big old windstorm come through a few weeks ago and I noticed his newspaper up in the tree afterwards.  He blames it on “those damn kids” in our neighborhood, but I disagree.  You see the newspaper way up there in the top?  It’s still up there and it’s been two months.


This here is a ceramic pig Phranke and I saw when we were out shopping one day.  It was just too cute to ignore.


Speaking of pigs, this here is the only Christmas decoration Madre has every year.  She has no tree. She has no wreath.  She has no bows or lights.  But you see how she put a hat and beard on that big old concrete pig?  That’s how Madre rolls, y’all.


And speaking of Christmas, will you believe that I took this picture just days ago? This here is my neighbor across the street and every night when I come home, it still looks like this.  Y’all, it’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day.  I am going to see how long they keep these lights blazing.


And speaking of holidays, I got a Valentine!  It was the only one I got this year, so I cherish it.  One guess who it’s from . . . .


If you were to guess Dammit Todd, you would be correct. 

And finally, this here is a lazy Sunday afternoon, where it seems that Murphy and Seamus have no issue spending quality time with my bed All Day Long. 


Lucky little varmints. 

I’m Just A Stereotype Waiting To Happen

Picture this:  A woman goes into a convenient store and purchases a Dr. Pepper.  She opens it, takes a swallow, gets into her car and puts the Dr. Pepper into the cup holder with the lid still off.  Her car is FULL of dogs and every one of them makes a beeline for either her mouth or the Dr. Pepper, licking both with full open swabs of the tongue.  She doesn’t seem to mind at all that she shares her bottle of Dr. Pepper and her kisser with all of her dogs and their germs. 

What is your initial impression or assumption?  (I mean other than “Gross!” of course.  You can tell me all you want how dogs’ mouths are cleaner than ours but when I see a dog with his tongue all the way down inside a Dr. Pepper bottle, I’m not going to listen and I will make judgments.)  Do you automatically think she is single and assume that those dogs are her family and that she gives them liberties that other dogs don’t have?  I’ll be honest – I did.  Call me what you will but that was my first thought.   

Now picture this:  A woman owns two cats.  Those cats tend to hog the bed on a regular basis and can spread out like nobody’s business, even though they only weigh 10 and 14 pounds, respectively. She is not wired mathematically on a good day, much less in the middle of the night.  She cannot figure out the logistics of spreading out in a nice slumber with the two cats and spends most of her nights huddled into one corner of the bed with one foot awkwardly bent under one cat’s butt and the other tentatively touching the other’s head in an effort to keep everyone all unharmed and comfy. 

What is your initial impression or assumption?  Single, right?  Crazy cat lady?  She gives them liberties that other cats don’t have?  That this is Jimmie and she is this ( ) close to being a stereotype?  I’ll be honest – that is my impression too.   

Look at this picture. 


Do you see?  Do you see how I can’t even say all the stuff that single people say like “I love being single!  I get the whole bed to myself!”  Because I really don’t.  I have to share it with two cats, one of whom invades my personal space so very much so that I’ve woken up with his nose on mine and the other of who regularly snores in a loud squeaky honk. 

By the way, I refuse the stereotype.  I won’t be the single crazy cat lady who shares her Dr. Pepper with her cats.  I’m gonna get married.  I’m not really sure to whom yet, but I’m gonna.  I’ve got plans for that man, and I know his name is not Chuck.  He does have nice teeth, though. 

I’m Not Sure I’m Cut Out To Be A Parent: Or, Oh Murphy . . . . .

So it turns out that Murphy is a brawler. 

My sweet little annoying ten pound cat got outside last week and it wasn’t long before I started to hear some truly terrible noises coming from the street.  It was a cross between a cat being smushed by the tire of a car and children screeching at each other in a sing-song “somebody’s gonna get it” refrain.  With heart threatening to pound right out of my throat, I threw open the front door and bolted out my walkway, barefoot and wearing decidedly inappropriate pajamas, only to find my affectionate beloved orange puffball beating the absolute snot out of another cat. 

You may have many reasons to think me naïve or call me a bit of a ditz, but give me credit for having sense enough to not break up a cat fight, especially seeing as how skinny little Murphy was blown up like a watermelon, tail twitching with his ears laid back flat.

I scurried back into the house to wait it out while Seamus paced nervously by the front door and eventually settled in his new safe place under the lighted Christmas tree.  Within the hour, Murphy yowled at the front door to be let in, and in he stalked, looking a little more broad through the shoulders and with a bit of swagger. 

Later, he sat at my feet as I “powdered my nose” (something he does without fail nearly every single time I have to go) and looked up at me with sleepy and peaceful eyes.  He was completely serene.  I noticed he had a small chunk missing from his ear and as I raked my fingers through his fur, I dislodged pieces of cat claw.  Then all throughout the night he would leave the bed where he was cuddled up next to me to visit the toilet and splash around in there, maybe washing himself of his bad behavior? Whatever his reasons, I woke up to water all over the seat and floor.

I’ll say it again – I suppose getting a red-headed cat and giving him an Irish name and plenty of opportunity to drink (from the toilet) was a bad idea if I wanted a docile lazy aloof cat. That’ll teach me. 

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