Friday, August 15, 2014

Six weeks in the life of....

Its been quite a summer so far! We have already spent many weekends with family and friends.

We open our house at least every other weekend to anyone who wants to come play.

Those sweet times are almost enough to get me through the changes at mah day job. Day job has been very unpredictable due to strange forces. Some one must have heard my screams of boredom and placed me on a project merry go round. The ride has been bumpy but have finally settled out (I hope) on a long term project. For several months prior I have been flexible  bounced around by a very engaged micromanaging administrator. That's cool, though. It gave me chance to show off my skillz.
I took this opportunity to document the changing conditions of a construction inspector. Do not run so fast to get that cheese for my whine, I am more than aware that the ACTUAL construction crew performs the work, but I must be aware of their actions,  predict their next move and reason with them when I think they are wrong. All of them, across multiple projects, from day to day.
So I'm minding my own business on this little state route widening project, placing some pipe and moving right along. That means we are developing a relationship of trust and information exchange. Suddenly I am called away.
The first surprise was a nice little overlay project.

These are good to practice not getting run over.

Next I was sent to monitor some more  pipe shenanigans.

Then we next leveled things by hanging with a night crew on my original project. And we sharpened our not-getting-hit skills in the harsh shadows of light plants and nonstop traffic. This was an awesome crew that took anything thrown at them (fixed everthing that broke down quickly).

Next, I am rudely awakened one day and told to report to a bridge project. Finally. That was like an invitation to come home.
But kind of like childbirth, one forgets the pain involved and can only remember the delight and satisfaction of the process. I am a little put off that there is no field office provided and we are 10 miles on the other side of a cotton field that's 10 miles from a store, and even then bathrooms are sketch. I have been known to take my leave under the existing bridge. Laugh if you will.

Then there's this:

Ear protection is a must during this stage, which lasts about a week. Oh but the train still comes by every 20 - 30 minutes.

Even with all of that I am grateful to have a challenging job and hope I can do this for many years to come.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Humanist in a Hardhat

Well, not so much a hardhat anymore. My surroundings are different now. It's been summer of '12 since I've set foot on a bridge project. Projects such as my latest, interstates and state routes, only require reflectivity about the head. Hardhat wont stop a drunk careening towards you at 70 mph.
So with the title I am out of the closet. In the past years I have found myself using some version of the word human in conversations. For example, in discussions with a friend i found my exclaiming "I'm not racist, Im not sexist, I love all people and humans!! I'm not methodist or baptist or any -ist, but if i had to put a label I'd say Human-ist."
What a revelation!!
Well not right that moment, as i was just pleased at myself coining a word in my mind. But in future days I did look up the word and found my suspicions were correct: that there were others like me........Other people, too, wear hardhats.
Wait, no. We were talking about the other H.
No, not Hell, where some of you think I'm going, but the most important H word: Humans.
I use the word when stating my belief that mans law should not prevent humans from migrating to areas that provide more opportunity for survival, for whatever reason and especially the most extreme. That belief governs my political stance on immigration, which i dont discuss often, because I am in the deep south for goodness sake. I would not shout "Send them all back..." as the farmers would have my hide. Niether do i dare speak too loudly of their plight and exploitation because, again with the south thing.
Moooooving on....
I found myself in a sticky wicket one day on a project. The contractor needed to do something quickly and outside the scope of the contract that involved interfering with traffic. I could not tell him yes or no I did not have the authority, I knew he was moving ahead so I told him in terms of traffic control "Man, just be human and help people get where they're going without violating the contract."
It made sense at the time. I figured I could defend that in a court of law.
With this new found defintion, I felt as if I'd come home. And just in time to answer or point to answers for some hard questions from my offspring.
I am happier, better informed and more relaxed with my lifelong beliefs. I better understand my mother's subtle and father's not so subtle influence and how this wonderful ride of life is yours and yours alone. We must make the best of it here and now, because of here and now.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where's the remote?

Well, well, well. Hit me in the head with a laser mouse if I’m the last to notice this but I am seeing mainstream news is now more focused on the internet than ever. I used to utilize the internet for news updates. Now I can go to the news for an internet update. All I need to know about the latest "viral" videos. *wide eyed reporter* "Over 10 million hits in 6 hours, Ya gotta see this!". Really? Do I? Because .5 million people clicked 20 times on a silly/heartfelt/remarkable video, you gotta take up valuable newstime on this? Shows like Tosh.0 and Ridiculousness overfill this gap. If not prone to these types of shows then I/you/we/everybody will see it on twitter/facebook/accidental google search. It will be shoved down our face on our home page, our email news/any inbox we own and then endorsed/debunked through numerous other sites.

Can you save the time I cordon off for "news" for things that I might not have heard? Can you get off your duff and go talk to people about real things and by people I mean REAL people not just fringe stereotypes.

Thank you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What it's all about


...doesn't feel like it should. Temperatures are approaching record highs and while the trend of wearing cowboy/work boots with shorts is soaring at the mall, I will only attempt that look around the house. Folks 'round here are grumbling about not being in the shopping mood due to strange weather patterns. Yea whatever. I am glad to be working in these conditions, it is less tiring than shivering all day.


...have been awesome. Three straight days of family gatherings, and so much more special with Gbaby to spoil. She was quite entertaining! The unexpected hit at one gathering was the HexBug NanoBot... If you have small pets or children they are a hoot! Not even sure what they were but they both frightened and delighted Gbaby and when she tried to express such, it was hilarious! She was everywhere all the time, proven below.

THAT WAS FUN! Dad shota pano with each of us holding Dylan and this is what he was able to produce, called 'Follow the Bouncing Baby'. It was a hurried frenzied thing and she got a little antsy and probably confused as she was lierally tossed from lap to lap. Dad says he will figure a way to get everybody next year, but i think it works better like this.


.... is who ya make it, and then some. Dad recently found his birth mother that we have been looking for since the early nineties. When I joined the matrix in '94 I added him to an adoption website, but that was just the start. I dont think we got many hits from that but it stirred an interest to look harder. There was a missed opportunity to have a search doen through the Catholic Diocese in New York, a missed clue on the final adoption decree, and a misspelling of a married name that slowed the process over the years but when things started in that week before Nov. 20, they snowballed quickly and the puzzle filled itself in and suddenly he was 4 siblings and a birth mother richer!(I had given up years ago believing she was still alive, citing average life expectancy)

One of those sibings found their way to the middle of the Piedmont on Christmas eve and what a delight to meet family you did not know you had. There was resemblance and questions and staring and more questions. We left dad to visit with his half brother, which he did through the next day! Turns out that there are too many similarities to list between dad and his BM, besides looking dramatically like her, their interests throughout their life are spot-on. Photography, flying, science...... Yea I want to meet her. She is touched with alzheimers but confirmed quickly his birth and family is timid to press the issue as it makes her defensive. Still, one day... maybe just to see her.... would be awesome!

All in all, it was a beautiful holiday and back to hunting this weekend, only a few more weekends left before season is out and I gotta bag something for the freezer!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back again to update life as it races by. It is not surprising that I have little time to document life as I am so busy living it!

Winter is close, though, so more time indoors means more time for writing.

It was another awesome summer, catfish were not huge but we found them wherever we went, and aside from the drama of having our tree lines being cut and stolen right out from under our noses, it was quite fun.
Actually that was fun, having the thieves busted at the boat ramp as they tried to make off with all of our lines and quality hooks. We got everything back and taught two young men a lesson about life and the river.

There was an impromptu run to the beach where * sigh * a question was popped. It followed the ring by 4 months. No date yet, just happy.

When summer had had enough of us, it was time to prep the Hunt Camp for occupancy. There was bush hogging, harrowing and planting to get done. There’s also the rearranging of stands and feeders ( it is legal to feed deer here) There were campers to clean out and wood and water to haul. All of this was to be completed by opening day eve. In the midst of a weekend outing (9/11 to be exact) to improve a wooden stand, in the middle of 500 acres my KISA (Knight in Shining Armor) experienced some profuse sweating and weakness. It took about one full minute for me to realize he was in trouble. It WAS hot out, but he was talking funny. I was blessed to have one other soul there who had just ridden off. I called him back and with his help moved dead weight from drivers side to passenger side and drove light speed to Eroom on phone with dispatchers giving info as we approached.

He was conscious enough to hear what I heard. "You are having an acute heart attack."


Yes I have been here before so I shakily kick it into gear calling family and filling out forms, " maam are you his wife?" I reply yes, out of earshot of him. While I am whisked off to answer a million questions he is being treated w the full force of the whole hospital, small in a small town. Closest heart center 40 miles out. Life-flight or get him stable?? WTH? IDK! So we go to get his opinion to find them trying to calm him as he is proclaiming " Where is she? She’s not my wife but will make all my decisions, write that down now!" And my cover was blown. In these days of HIPA he was terrified that they would shut me out, but they were very understanding and relayed this to heart hospital. He received 3 stents and is recovering well. One month off of work just gave him more time to get camp ready. New rule says he cannot be at camp alone.

Opening weekend offered an 8 pt to the household. It was magically turned into smoked sausage. I saw nothing until two weeks ago when I let a spike walk. Here he is walking….


And my pseudo step-son shot it. Dammit. Keep in mind that hunting, for this household, is a lifestyle. Every stop at martmall starts and ends in sporting goods. There is a reason to stop by some super sporting center once a month. And every weekend plus the week of Thanksgiving are spent at the camp.

I love it. I embrace the 35 footer (it’s a year older than it is long but well maintained), the camp stories, the way I look in camo.

I have not actually physically cleaned a deer, more like offer support and gloves. It’s just that he’s so fast and efficient. I will however do a European mount on anything I am lucky to bag this year. Stepson tried it out and with my internet research, it was a semi success.


I have sat somewhere around 60 hours in various stands. This is the reason I keep going out there.

And this.....

 I begged enough and got Minime in a stand with me (her better half was more than glad to stay w Gbaby). We saw nothing.
This hawk teases me about every other weekend.




I hope to have more hunting stories soon!








Tuesday, July 12, 2011


After almost a year and a half hiatus I am back to document life, now for slightly different reasons. When here before I was a busy household hiding here for comfort now and again (who am I kidding? I was addicted for more than a minute.) I return, a grandmother who in a whirlwind, drastically changed life for the good and is intent on sharing the stories.
The change was domestic, social, geographic and mind altering.
Divorced and in a new relationship, I now LIVE!
It was intiated by simple words...."Life doesn't have to be so hard." These words, at first whispered were eventually written in stone. The phrase insisted on possibilities that had seemed lost. It suddenly seemed possible to change my reality. As a student of Jonathan Livingston I was determined to question my boundaries.
Since MiniMe was living her life between full time school, work and parenting classes and young daredevil was spending all free weekends with his gf, I had much time on my hands. I tired of being THE ROCK. I tired of spinning my wheels emotionally and financially and finally asked myself did "In sickness and In health" include MENTAL health. Just short of a commital (mine or his), I chose divorce. Hard and fast, had pussyfooted around for too long. Raising my children in a longterm rented country home, i truly had no ties and up and moved out a month after my last post here. I relocated a little over an hour south, coming home to farmland and big water within earshot. 
I have made many memories in this short time. Gbaby will be ONE YEAR OLD this coming Wed.

 I shot my first deer this past Thanksgiving morning, a three point thankyaverymuch.

 I have seen rabbits bagged and pulled monster catfish from the river. Who thought I could ever enjoy dove hunting as I have hand raised several types of birds? Conflict was resolved by wrapping in bacon and grilling til done.
The vegetable garden from my childhood came to life as did flower beds and herbs.
Still can't wipe the smile off of my face.
Every day is an adventure even the days 5/7 that i drive the hour north to work. The route is beautiful, I am a reincarnated farmer. I encounter the Bee people a time or two as they maintained hives for massive pollenation efforts. The symmetry of the fields and their constant changing colors soothes me and I usually arrive home completely decompressed from the day.
Those days. They haven't changed much, relaxed slightly but still same old politics that I won't play so I avoid and am avoided, pretty much left to do my job. Yay.

I am back to leave treasures for Gbaby by sharing the fun and hard work that is my life now.
 I will return to detail some highlights of this experience, from the childrens' "How can you leave OUR home?" to the six month move out of the monster schoolhouse to the drastic change in environment or how I turned the focus from pushing everyone else to do their best to demand more FOR myself.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome to Doll Land

My mother's latest creations! Precious, No?
Many other dolls of all shapes and types, always with the hand painted faces.
One of these will be perfect for my.... first... (cough cough)....grandchild.
Yea.There it is. My daughter is pregnant. Which is not the same as me becoming a grandmother mind you. And, as if on cue, the three gray hairs in my temple that I had been successfully plucking/covering with mascara for several years suddenly became a 3" patch.

Second year college student with so much ahead of her, attacking it head on, working more than part time and full time school. I would not have chosen this for her, of course, but it is what it is. I have had weeks for it to sink in, can you tell? She is 17 weeks, so I better get busy crocheting something.