Saturday, June 30, 2007


I've been scanning yearbooks from Dora High School for about three years. Originally I thought I'd simply put a few online from the years that Jilda and I were in school there. But one thing led to another and this week I scanned the last yearbook and published it online. There are a total of 66 books online now.
They started having a yearbook at Dora High School in 1939/1940. When you flip through the pages you see a lot of familiar faces. That's because I've seen their kids and grand kids playing football or leading cheers on the sidelines today.
When I go back and look at the statistics for visitors who to the site, most of the time is spent looking at photographs from these annuals. I did a search some time back and there is a site in New York that collects links to high school yearbooks and they had a link to I found that interesting.
It is a lot of work scanning these annuals and I've been asked by a number of people why I do it. The only thing I can say is that I felt like it needed to be done.
Anyhow, it's a milestone for the website and a project that I'm glad I was able to finish.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Jilda and I went to a friend's studio tonight to record a new song we'd written. The song sounds a little rough now but not bad for a first pass. We'll listen to this piece for a few days before going back in the studio to do the cut.
Our buddy Fred is great with sound. He's worked on the road doing sound with a ton of big name country artists. He has settled down and living not far from us. We write songs together and in fact the song we worked on tonight was written with him.
On the way home tonight the sky overhead was clear as a bell but off in the distance, we could see shards of lightening stabbing the horizon. It occurred to us we had left our dogs in the back yard when we left. Fortunately the storm stayed off to the north and the K-9's were happy to see us but not hysterical from the thunder.
This has been a brutal week at work and I'm running on empty.
Until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tao Te Willie

On the way home today I finished listening to the Tao Te Willie (pronounced Dow TA Willie). It was written by Willie Nelson and one of his friends. I found the book really refreshing. Ol' Willie has been around for over 70 years and he's spent most of those years playing music and golf. I'm not wild about golf, in fact I've never played, but playing music appeals to me.
Willie talks about his life and the things he's learned. He doesn't dodge the ugly parts. He takes full responsibility for his life and the more I listened, the more I liked what he was saying.
He had some good ideas on the approach to life - treat people right, eat right if you can, get plenty of exercise and drink a lot of water. He tries to be kind to everyone, especially Mother Nature.
I guess I thought he would be harder on the president, but a few jabs aside, W got off easy.
He did devote some time on the topic of peace. He also told a bunch of corny jokes, most of which I have already heard but all in all, I would recommend the Tao Te Willie.
Today our project team made its pitch and so it will be some time before we know if we hit the mark. Whether we did or did not, we gave this thing our best shot and I plan to sleep in tomorrow. It has been a rough few weeks. Hopefully I can get back into the groove of writing and say something new and interesting.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Pillow is Calling Me

I just rolled in after a long one today. We're working on a high profile project and we had a room full of people cranked up on stale pizza, donuts, Mountain Dew, and Luke-warm coffee. Things got a little testy around 8 p.m. when it was suggested we throw the entire presentation in the garbage and start all over. I scooted towards the corner out of the line of fire.
The boss, seeing that things were about to careen out of control wrapped up the meeting and gave instructions for us to reconvene early in the morning. I'm wearing my flack jacket tomorrow just in case the situation doesn't improve.
So tonight will be short as I can hear my pillow calling me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Peach Cobbler

Have you ever wanted to git nakid and waller in your food. Rarely does that happen but tonight Jilda made a Peach Cobbler, and that very thought crossed my mind. Not sure where it came from - frankly it was a little frightening and I wish it had stayed there but now that's it's said I don't have to contend with it rattling around in my head.
My sister-in-law Debbie who lives next door had been in Clanton, Alabama over the weekend. There's not a lot to see in Clanton, but they can grow some peaches down there. In fact, their water tower is shaped like a big ol' peach. It's hard to miss as you drive down Interstate 65 towards Mobile.
But back to this peach cobbler - Jilda's recipe is:
You peel up a bunch of peaches. She used about a dozen in this case as they were small from of the lack of rain but they were really tasty.
Slice and put the peaches in a 8x11 baking dish
Mix a cup of sugar
A cup of self-rising flour
A up of milk
1 stick of melted butter (the real stuff no substitutes)
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
Mix all this up and pour over the peaches
Bake in the oven at 350 until golden or until you get the urge to remove clothing.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Driving home this evening the air was a little cooler than normal, so we rode home with the windows rolled down. Apparently the rain dance we did the last few nights was successful because we got a good shower today. As we turned into our driveway, the fragrance of Gardenias drifted through the the window and the scent was intoxicating. I know roses smell good but Gardenias are my personal favorite. When I close my eyes and take in the smell, it puts me in a dreamlike state. They smell kind of like a first date. That notion hit me as I was trying to describe their bouquet. When I did a little Internet search, one of the first things I read is that they were favored in the 20's and 30's as corsages.
We have several Gardenia bushes in our yard. We started out with one but Jilda always breaks off the blooms and puts them in a vase in the living room. We discovered that if you keep water in the vase after the bloom falls off, the stem grows roots. When you set those out, you get lots of small Gardenia bushes. We must have given away a hundred bushes to family and friends.
If the bush is planted in a good location where the soil is good and the sunlight is favorable, they will bloom all summer. Another little gift from Mother Nature.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The thunder drove the dogs under the office desk today. The wind came up and blew down several of our tomato cages. It rained for about two minutes before drifting off to the east.
Jilda's daddy used to say "it's gonna take a hurricane to disrupt this dry spell." He was right more often than not.
That's one good thing about getting some years on you. If you pay attention you can learn a lot that helps you later in life. I wish young folks would take advantage of the wisdom accumulated by older folks because it could save them a mountain of grief. But most of them are like I was when I was their age. I had to do things my way and it cost me a bundle. Not only money, but time, energy and health. Only now from this vantage point looking back do I understand just how clever our parents were.
Our folks told us to get some education, stay away from debt, live on less than you make, save a little for hard times, and always remember your friends. Some of these things we learned the hard way later in life but had we had the wisdom when we were younger we would have been much better off. Oh well, it's like the old saying "there's no use in crying over water under the bridge." :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rain Dance

I drove by those blinking bank signs that shows the time and temperature at 6:30 yesterday evening and it was blinking 100 degrees. I know my friends out in Arizona would call us here in Alabama wimps for complaining about a measly 100 degrees but our humidity here is just slightly less than that of a glass of water which not only makes it hot but the sweat on your body does not evaporate which makes you feel as though you are being cooked like a kettle of fish.
The garden is surviving but there's a good chance I'll have to sell some blood to pay the water bill next month.
Several years ago we had a summer like this and we lost a lot of pine trees. They are more shallow rooted than the hardwoods and when the weather turns hot and there is no rain, they are the first to check out.
Jilda and I are going out after dark this evening to do a rain dance. We've already warned our neighbors so they won't call the county cops if they hear strange things emanating from our house.
The weatherman is giving us a slight chance for some showers on Monday and Tuesday so we think the rain dance just might tilt the scales in our favor.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Old Barn

A friend was coming over to visit once and when I asked her where she was she said "I'm so close I can smell the barn." I howled because I thought that was hilarious. I use that phase often when someone asks me about the completion date of a project - "I'm so close I can smell the barn."
As I sit here trying to think of something clever about which to write the words rolled across my mind once again.
Some folks might consider the smell of a barn disagreeable but that's not a work I would use. To me an old barn smells like Mother Earth. I often go down and sit in my old barn to think. It's quite there and if you close your eyes you can pick out the various smells. Of course if it's a working barn you'll get a whiff of manure. We had a cow that we kept in there many years ago. You will also smell a hint of hay and a you can detect a trace of motor oil from the old Ford Tractor that has been parked in there for almost thirty years. With my eyes closed I can recall the ticking sound of a cooling manifold after the old iron horse put in a hard day plowing the field.
The old barn has served me well and even though it's hot in the summer and the winter wind blows through it like a sieve, I still love it like an old friend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Don't Get Me Started

I parked on the back forty when I went to Wal-Mart today. It was warm here in Alabama. I had walked for what seemed like miles for the shelter of the store and as I got near the building a young girl whipped into a handicap parking spot, hopped out of her car, and practically jogged into the store. I glared at her like she was a terrorists but she was un-fazed. When I looked at her car, it had a handicapped tag on it.
I thought to myself now isn't that interesting. I know for a fact that Alabama has loose restrictions on passing out handicapped tags, but if this girl was handicapped I'm saxophone. I don't think she had so much as a hangnail. I know it's a small infraction in the scheme of things, but it just doesn't sit right with me. If it tried that stunt I would be afraid the Good Lord would say "oh, Rick, I didn't realize you wanted to park up close" and WHAM I get hit by a drunken sailor; break my back, both my legs and an elbo. "OK Bubba, now you can get you a tag and park there legally!"
You know what else drives me crazy? Those little index sized advertisements that fall out when I open my magazine......people who go through the express lane with two hundred items and try to pay for the spree with a third party check.......................What burns you up?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Geared Up For Nothing

I was geared up for a fight today. You probably remember the rant a few weeks ago about the cost of repairs on Jilda's Volvo. I had to sell a kidney to finance that work. This weekend when we were coming home from an errand I noticed a leak on the passenger's side. When we checked the floor mat it was soaking wet.
I had the car there this morning when they opened their doors. They hustled the Volvo into the first bay and then took me to work. When I called before lunch I was ready to go on the offensive but the guy said we found the problem, we fixed it and there will be no charge. . . . but, but, but, -- no charge I squeaked? No charge. It was a drain hose that had been stopped up. "That's something we usually check but we failed to do it this time and it caused the problem. We are sorry for the inconvenience."
They asked if I wanted them to bring the car to me but as it turns out a co-worker lives nearby and he dropped me off.
I was happy they did the right thing and fixed the car. Quite frankly I wondered how long I could survive if I had to give up the other kidney but fortunately I'll get to keep that one as a future bargaining chip.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fresh Squash

We ate fresh squash and green beans tonight for supper and it's difficult to describe how good they were. Yesterday I walked outside to get some fresh air and to let Ol' Buddy out to run so I sat down at the edge of the garden and eyed the tomatoes. The vines are hanging full but they are all still green as crab apples. I thought maybe if I sat there a while and encouraged them they would start to turn but when I walked down this evening to fetch the squash beans and pepper, the tomatoes were still green. When the do start to turn, we'll have tomatoes coming out our ears.
We had a 90 percent chance of rain today. A cloud swept through this morning and provided a 40 second shower, but not enough to settle the dust. In Birmingham it came a gully washer but we got no more rain. I guess I'll be back to my watering duties tomorrow.
I'm still recovering from my all nighter on Sunday night so my thoughts are a bit thin. More tomorrow.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Smoke 'Em if You Got 'Em

I got called on a problem at work late last night and I worked at my desk here at home for most of the day on this one problem. Just after lunch the techs were replacing some hardware on the computer which was going to take about an hour so there was a lull in the activity.
I said "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" and promptly started giggling. Now I rarely giggle and when I do it usually involves large quantities of tequila but today I giggled. There was another guy on the call that had been on all night as well and he giggled too - everyone else on the call must have thought we were smoking pot because they just didn't "get it".
I learned one thing during my two years in the Army and that was the concept of "hurry up and wait." We'd run twelve miles and when we reached our destination, we'd have to wait for forty minutes before our next activity began.
I helpfully suggested to my drill Sargent after one such run - "why don't we walk some and then we could arrive in a more timely fashion." The drill Sargent looked at me as if I were a leper and said "NOW THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION TRAINEE, WHY DON'T YOU GET ME 200 PUSH UPS WHILE FORMULATE A PROPER RESPONSE!!!" Not sure why but all drill Sargent's spoke in "ALL CAPS" if the person to which they were speaking was on a cell phone with bad reception. I made several other suggestions and I always got the same response. Now I'm not the sharpest tool in the deck, but after about a thousand push ups, I determined that my drill Sargent didn't like my suggestions. It was not rocket surgery - so I got the message and stopped suggesting.
So today when we got a lull in the activity and said "smoke 'em if you got 'em" this story came rushing back. I know that to the folks on the call that were not giddy with exhaustion failed to see the humor but for me and another tired vet on the call, it was quite amusing.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Last Sunday was decoration where my dad is buried. He didn't spend much time in church. Nature was his cathedral. He loved spending his time outdoors in the woods or on the river.
My brothers and I helped him build a small cabin on the Warrior where our family spent many weekends. We had a small aluminum boat and a bundle of cane fishing poles that we stored above the exposed rafters of the front porch and could be pressed into service at a moments notice. He taught me how to place a trot line across the river to catch a boatload of fat catfish. He also taught me how to fiddle for worms. People look at me strangely when I mention this because they think I'm pulling their legs but it's true. You can go to the banks of the Warrior River and cut down a small sapling tree leaving the stump a few inches above the ground. You then take a flat river rock and scrape it across the stump and within a few minutes, worms the size of small snakes start coming up out of the soft soil. I guess it's the vibration that drives them up but in a few minutes you can have enough worms to bait a trot line.
We had an old BBQ grill made out of river rocks and a big ol' kettle that we used to fry up the catfish and on days when the haul was good we'd eat fried catfish until they were coming out our ears.
My dad was a quite man who went to work early in life and as a result he quit school in the 5th grade. He could read, though not that well, but in the woods he could read signs and he could read the river and tell you which places would be the best place to catch bream, crappy or a bass.
He passed away in May of 1986 after a long illness and I think about him almost every day. I know that if he were alive today, there is nothing that would please him more on this Father's Day than to take a slow ride down the Warrior River, wet a hook - and if the fishing gods were kind enough to smile on us, cook up a mess of kettle fried catfish.
Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Born to Lose

I was flipping channels on the radio in my truck when I came across Ray Charles singing "Born To Lose." I always drift back in time on the melody of that song to the Sumiton Drive-inn Theater.
When I was young, Dora or Sumiton was not a hot bed of culture or excitement. There was a small bowling alley, a skating rink, some go cart tracks, and a drive-inn theater.
I think the only music they had then was the Ray Charles record and they played it before the movie started and during intermission.

Born to lose, I've lived my life in vain
Every dream has only brought me pain All my life I've always been so blue Born to lose and now I'm losing you.

We saw a lot of movies at that old drive in. Dad could load up the whole family in the back of the old Buick - actually he could have loaded up the entire community in the back of that old Buick - and head out to the theater. The theater had about ten or 15 rows and the parking area was tiered so that each row was a little higher that the one in front of it. this allowed everyone to have a good unobstructed view of the screen. On each row were steel posts with a low fidelity speaker attached. In the summertime you'd roll down your window and hang the little speaker on the inside so that everyone in the car could hear.
My dad was partial to westerns so we saw a bunch of them but we also saw Thunder Road with Robert Mitchum....actually we probably saw that one about five times. We loved that movie because it was about bootleggers driving whiskey at high rates of speed. We also saw the movie 2000 Maniacs. It was a quaint little feature film from 1964 about a small town in the south that was celebrating a centennial. Part of the celebration entailed luring Yankees into town and murdered them in retaliation for how the south was treated during the civil war. I'm sure this film alone halted the southerly migration of people from the north. "No Margaret, we're not going to Florida because we'd have to go through Tennessee, Georgia or Alabama to get there and those rednecks would slaughter us like pigs!!!!"
We also went to see a double feature that I will never forget. It was God's Little Acre and THE INTERNS. In God's Little Acre was adapted from a book by Erskine Caldwell and I can remember the character cussed like sailors. The Interns was the first pornographic movie I had ever seen. I guess dad hadn't read the info on the films but he didn't want to waste his money so we stayed and watched.
The definition of porn was a little different then. What pushed THE INTERNS over the top was that it showed a nurse in her bra and panties. It changed my life forever.
Most of the old drive-inns are gone the way of 45 records and 8 track tapes. There are still some around but they are few and far between. I'm not sure what caused the demise of most of the old drive-inns. I guess people prefer more modern amenities like air conditioning and seats that are somewhat more comfortable than those in an old Buick. But every now and then when I get a whiff of hot buttered popcorn, I find myself wishing I could watch Thunder Road on a screen the size of basketball court and during intermission, listen to Ray Charles sing "Born to Lose" on tinny speakers.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I was walking out of the book store this evening and about to get in my truck when I looked up at the sky which had become overcast. Just then a big ol' drop of rain fell and hit me on my nose. I'm glad it didn't hit a little further to either side or it could have knocked the contact out of my eye.
It rained all around us yesterday, but we didn't get a drop in Empire. But when I got home this evening, there were some mud puddles in my garden and I was grateful.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Won't Miss the Chickens

I haven't written much about the Peeps because they are no longer Peeps. If they were kids, they would be somewhere between adolescence young adulthood. The combs have not fully developed and they look kind of like mangy buzzards that are hygienically challenged. They really cute when they were young they have dug up about fifty dollars in flowers and shrubs and they constantly crap on my walk so they aren't nearly as cute now.
The neighbor that owns the fowls came over yesterday evening after dark to round them up. Seven of them were roosting in my dogwood tree on low limbs. The neighbor and one of his friends scooped them in quickly and put them in a plywood chicken box. There was another brood in the huckleberry bush/tree and the chicken catchers did not fair as well. They managed to claw their way up high enough to capture three of the hens but the young rooster bolted out of the tree and hit the ground running. I can tell you this: chickens are a lot faster than they look. They tried to hem the little booger up in a corner where my backyard fence attaches to my house. I was helping by holding the flashlight. The little rooster ran between my neighbors legs and the other guy dove after it but came up with nothing but leaves and pine cones. I ran around to try and head the critter off at the pass.
We all hustled back around to the front yard and chased that chicken for twenty minutes. I looked in the living room through the front glass and Jilda was falling off the couch, laughing uncontrollably. It wasn't nearly as funny to me last night but looking back, had we captured this little episode on video tape, I could probably have been a star on UTube.
Fortunately the neighbor managed to snatch the chicken by the tail feathers and haul it in. When we were finished and checking our wounds, he told me that he was moving away so and that we would not have to contend with the chickens any more. I didn't have the heart to tell him about all the flowers they dug up so I shook his hand and told him good luck.
I won't miss the chickens.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


The sun beat down here today and dried the earth to something that resembled a moonscape. I kicked the ground in the garden and a cloud of what looked like Bruton Snuff came up and drifted back down to the furrows. I walked back to hook up the hose to give the tomatoes a drink and when I looked beyond the deck there were five noses up against the glass of our garden door.
Most of our dogs are old as the hills and when the weather gets hotter than a NASCAR manifold we keep them indoors. When I mention this fact at work, there are those who scowl and say "I would never allow a dog in my house," I simply say well, you wouldn't like it at our house. But I digress - when I looked up at all the critters watching me with fervent interest, I decided to let them out for a run.
When I opened the door, I was almost trampled. They were ecstatic - bounding, barking and jumping like they had springs on their feet. It occurred to me that they were experience an exquisite sense of joy. If you could bottle that stuff you could make a million dollars....well now that I think, they already do and market it under the the name Jose Quervo Tequilla. Except the bounding, barking and jumping is usually not as graceful as the dogs.
They ran wild while I hosed enough water on the garden to keep if alive until the rain comes.
If the weatherman's prediction is correct this weekend, we all might get out and play in the rain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Long Day, Short Post

Today was a long day. I didn't sleep well last night and things were a little askew this morning. Things it drifted further southward all day long. This evening a machine had a problem that should have been transparent but the key words were "should have been". It took hours to recover.
I just walked in the door and I'm whupped.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wishing for Rain

We sprung for some Briar's vanilla and chocolate mint chip ice cream this past weekend. I was sitting here drumming on my keyboard trying to think of something to write about when Jilda slipped in bearing heaven in a bowl. Yum! I also like Butter Pecan on hot days...or cold days....but mostly only days that end in "y". That's why we don't keep it in the freezer all the time. If we kept it on hand I'd weigh more than a hippo with thyroid issues.
I read my friend AB Soup's blog today. She lives in Australia and it's getting cold there. I understand their seasons are opposite of ours. She talked about taking a walk and needing gloves. I went for a walk today and I when I returned to my desk it looked as if I'd had a shower, with my clothes on. It was hotter than a welding rod.
The weatherman says we could have some rain this week. I hope we do because my water bill for keeping the garden alive will be as much as the national debt of some small countries.
If they begin restricting water use, I'll have to use water from the well down at the barn but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.
So I'm wishing for rain.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Keeping the stories alive

I sat under the tent down at Davis Cemetery this morning taking donations for the cleanup fund. As I described earlier the old cemetery has been around for a few hundred years and the planners didn't consider how hard it would be to keep it clean because the graves are laid out in a hap-hazard fashion. Some plots are sectioned off with small fences or cement blocks. It's an expensive proposition and can be a thankless job.
The thing I found interesting today as I watched people come and go was that there were not many young people bringing flowers. Most of the young folks that did come were driving older people. And it occurred to me that things seem to be changing. I hope I'm wrong about this, but I find myself wondering if our young folks will find the time to care for their dead ancestors.
I've always believed that it was important work. Those who passed through this world before us helped to make us who we are today.
As is usually the case on decoration day, there were people that came by to sit for a spell under the shade of the tent. Almost every one had a story to share about someone buried at the cemetery. Some of the stories were quite remarkable.
It is my intention to use the website to keep these stories alive and if I can convince some of the younger folks to get involved, that would be even better.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Old Cemetery

Tomorrow is decoration at the Davis Cemetery where my people are buried. It's a small cemetery on the edge of Dora that dates back to the 1800's. The burial ground was donated by Dr. Daniel Davis who happens to be one of my ancestors. The old section of the graveyard is on a hillside shaded by oak, hickory and pine.
There is a soldier buried there who fought in the War of 1812. There are also veterans of the civil war, World War I & II, the Korean war and Vietnam. It's a quite place most of the time but it does lie a few hundred yards from the railroad tracks that run from Birmingham through Walker County and on to destinations in the west. Trains blow their horns for the crossings at Dolisky, Red Star and Old Dora and the sound echo's through the hills and hollows. Sitting in the shade at the grave of my father, the sound of the train can be lonesome and haunting.
A few years ago I decided to do a website for the cemetery. Janice Hicks Bennett had a list of names of the people who were buried there along with the dates of birth and dates of their deaths. I have also been collecting photographs and stories about those buried there and posting the information on the website. The idea is to get as many photographs as possible and tell a little about their lives. I have a long way to go you have to start somewhere.
I plan to write about this project in the newspaper next Sunday and hopefully generate some interest.
I hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Little Bit of Rain

I worked from home today to keep an eye on my ailing spouse. She looks like she's been in a fist fight with one of those big ol' Roller Derby women.
This evening I went down to the Green Top to get a Bar-B-Que salad and on the way home the sky turned interesting. A line of storms was sweeping in from the west and as I got closer to home the clouds looked like a dust mop the size of Rhode Island about to clean house in Empire, Alabama. I wheeled into the yard, grabbed the food and made a mad dash for the door. Ol' Buddy was at my side when a bolt of lightning struck something too close for comfort. In fact, both Buddy and I jumped about a foot in the air. It's a wonder I didn't sling Bar-B-Que all over the hill but we made it safely inside. It rained hard for about ten minutes and then it was gone. I'm thankful because my tomatoes will live another day.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I went out to the drug store just before lunch today to fetch some antibiotics and pain medicine for Jilda. The air was thick with humidity and the wind was out of the west. The sky was blue with low-hanging cotton clouds and off in the distance I could here the sound of wild birds.
As I walked from my truck to the store it felt like the first day I stepped off the plane in Panama. I instinctively looked around for a chiva bus. A chiva bus in Panama was usually a brightly colored Chevy panel truck from the 40's and 50's. They all had the windows and doors cut out and several seats welded down so that a few passengers could sit. But just because there were no seats didn't mean you couldn't ride. If you could find a place to hang on you could ride for a quarter. Panama was only about six degrees above the equator so it's supposed to be tropical but today, here in Empire, Alabama it felt a lot like Panama.
This afternoon it clouded up and threatened to rain, but all we got was a shower that lasted about thirty seconds and then the sun came back out like a blast furnace. The effect was not unlike that of steam room at a spa.
So this evening I went out and watered the garden to try and keep it from getting blazed. Hopefully it will rain soon and give the earth a much needed drink of water.

Outpatient Update

Just a quick note to say that Jilda did fine with her outpatient event. She's got a big ol' bandage on her face but it will be shed for a much smaller one soon. Doc says he got everything and there shouldn't be much of a scar. Praise the Lord and pass the Lancome.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Jilda goes in tomorrow to have outpatient surgery. She had a small growth removed from her face a few weeks ago and it came back Basel Cell Carcinoma. Not sure what all will have to be done. We are both quite nervous about the procedure. The doctor says he won't know how much will have to be removed until he gets in to it so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Car Trouble

Last weekend Jilda mentioned that her car wasn't cooling correctly. I checked the coolant and it was pretty low so I got some refrigerant and put it in. Everything seemed fine for a day or two and then the weather started heating up around here and the Volvo was not cooling again.
I drove it in to the Volvo shop this morning and I got a call around ten. "It's your....." Should I be sitting down, I interrupted. "I would," he said.
The Volvo is a remarkable feat of engineering. You can replace practically any part on the car with a pair of pliers, a screw driver and a crescent wrench.....every part except the one that has to be replaced. Apparently they will have to fly in a mechanic from Sweden to help in the dis-assembly of the Volvo. I could buy a Ford Focus for what this repair is going to cost to make this air conditioner work.
I called Jilda with the news. I tested the water by saying "you know Honey, we didn't have air conditioning in our cars for years," I reminded. "JUST FIX IT!!!!" she hissed. So I'm looking at knocking off a liquor store tomorrow to pay for the repair. I'd take out a second mortgage on the house, but I doubt we have enough equity.
Of course I'm kidding. It won't be cheap to fix "Ingrid" (that's what Jilda calls her car), but we paid the car off a few years ago and a repair bill every now and then is much better than a car payment.
Hopefully I'll be driving home tomorrow in cool comfort. If not, I may be looking for a place to live until the weather cools of this autumn.

Monday, June 04, 2007

While We're Still Alive

Jilda and I went to the funeral home last night. A long time friend had passed away. She sold Avon for many years and knew everybody and their sister. As a result there was a line at the visitation that stretched out the front door.
As the line inched toward the front, I must have seen fifty old friends and neighbors. I found it more than a little sad that it seems the only time we see old friends is at the funeral home. I think life is a little too hectic and we find ourselves spending major time on minor things as Jim Rohn said. We've actually done better this year than in years past but we could do better.
I've mentioned this before, but I'd like to have a party barn and about once a month have a big ol' Bar-B-Que and invite pickers, singers, and dancers along with a bunch of listeners. When the pickers get tired, everybody could sit around a campfire, tell lies, and enjoy each other while we are still alive.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bye Bye Chevy

Have you ever listened to Gene Rayburn and Match Game at a REALLY loud volume? It's an interesting experience. I can now say that I have watched it with the volume at at a 120 decibels which is about the level of sound that an F-111 makes when it takes off. I spent the evening with my mom yesterday and she can no longer hear so she depends on the sound waves to get what they are saying on TV. A few moments after I sat down, it felt as if my teeth were vibrating like a tuning fork. Every now and then she would turn to me as say something and I would nod in agreement having absolutely no idea what she had said. As it turns out, this form of communication works well. My ears were still ringing at midnight.
Today was a lovely day. It looked as if our garden grew a foot since the rain. We have a ton of green tomatoes, okra, and squash. The pepper is coming in too. I ate a piece with dinner this evening and it pealed the hide off my tongue.
A lady called yesterday about my old Chevy. She and her husband were interested in the car and they came by today. I had a feeling they would buy it because she told me that her husband had a 66 Impala when they dated. They walked around it a few times, looked under the hood and in the trunk, cranked that baby up, wrote me a check and drove it home. I was so sure that they would buy it that I printed out a bill of sale before that came. Just to make sure, I got up early this morning and cleaned it up. I bought some rubbing compound, some chrome polish, and a few other things and when I got through, it looked really good.
It felt a little sad watching the old Chevy drive off. I've had that car for over twenty years but it's one of those things that needed a little time, a little money and a little love to bring it back to life and I'm at a point in my life I was not willing to spend neither time nor money on it. My cousin Joey will probably be a little miffed at me when he reads this because he wanted the car. But I was afraid that if I sold it to him and something happened to it, he would hold it against me. He means a lot to me and I didn't want to take that chance.
Y'all have a great week.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Handy Man

I had been dreading this repair for some time. The faucet in the kitchen had been leaking around the base and I imagined I'd have to buy all kinds of special tools, and maybe even replace the faucet which I knew would not be cheap. I can do a lot of things, but I don't do much plumbing or electrical work.
I called my brother-in-law who is a plumber and he said it was a simple fix. He gave me ten minutes instruction over the phone and the parts I would need.
Turns out, all I needed was two small "O" ring rubber washers and a wrench I had in my toolbox. Sixty cents worth of parts and a few minutes of time and I was through. In fact it took him longer to tell me how to do it that it actually took me to do it. I love America.
The bad part was that I had procrastinated so long that the faucet had leaked under the sink and the bottom of the sink cabinet had rotted. That took a little longer, but I pulled out my trusty saw, measuring tape, square, and hammer and I made the cabinet stronger than it was originally.
I'm fairly handy with tools and that simple fact has saved us a bundle through the years. I have a nephew that is very smart but when it comes to tools, he is dexteritily challenged. The last time he tried to use a hammer, he almost beat off his thumb and his index finger. God only knows what would happen if he got his hands on a saw or a drill. When he has a problem at his house, he calls his dad, his uncle Rick or someone else to come and do the dangerous stuff.
On a weather related note, we got about a half inch of rain this evening. I can hear my garden singing tonight.

Friday, June 01, 2007


OK I've wasted enough time clicking aimlessly at anything that is even mildly interesting on the Internet. I keep hoping to hit a site that provides blinding inspiration but I haven't found that site yet. My bio rhythms must be out of phase because my head feels like it's full of Styrofoam.
I thought about taking the eraser end of a pencil and sticking it in my ear to see what comes out the other side just to test my hypothesis but fortunately the phone rang and distracted me for a while. Now I'm sitting here lightly tapping the keys awaiting some thought any thought.
Have you ever wondered where a fire goes when it goes out? Or, what if something was going so fast it couldn't be stopped, hit something so hard it couldn't be moved - what would happen. I know it would be one heck of a wreck.
I caught a trout on a crayfish once.
UNCLE - UNCLE- I GIVE UP. I'm going to put my headphones on and listen to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and see if I understand it this time.....................

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