Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The woman who has cut my hair for nearly fifteen years is a natural redhead -- milky skin, freckles and all.

When I started the car to go to the shop salon, this song came on.
Have you seen Julian Beever's drawings?

Someone sent us a few in an e-mail.
Spiegel does smart marketing.

I like the 40s Mom look, but I wouldn't last ten minutes on those heels.

That's a great pair of trousers for the 60s Mom.

The 50s Mom (me) look doesn't do a lot for me. It's been a while since I wore bows, and I don't do brown.

UPDATE: Interesting, that tight neck for the 50s Mom. Does that mean she hasn't made it to the plastic surgeon yet, or that she hasn't yet decided to let the crepe all hang out like the 60s Mom?
More life on the Mississippi.

A real morning charmer, eh?

I have an appointment for a haircut at noon 1:30. I wish I had Sigourney Weaver's or Natalie Portman's head.

I challenge YOU to post a picture of "bedhead."
Speaking of good lines, there are a couple in Ray's comment over at Mostly Cajun:
I happen to know John and i know that he is so tight that when birds fly over him they say Cheap Cheap. Copper wire was invented when John and his dad was fighting over a penny.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I spoke to my MIL this morning.

She knows a bit about long-distance nursing. She did it for her mother in Monroe, until MamaJ moved to Vidalia.

She said, "I worry about you, Janis. Looking after someone that way wears a person down. You look like a bar of laundry soap after a long day's washing."

Great line, Girl.
Let's look in on Kate and the new baby.

Hey, Kate! You make a lovely pair.
Summer's new neutrals.

I'd be a dead washout in those colors.
On North 55 in Jackson, near the Northside exit, sits a huge Kroger grocery store.

Near the deli-bakery section is a set of short aisles dedicated to foreign foods -- marked English, French, Asian, Indian, Brazilian, Mediterranean, etc.

So I took the opportunity to purchase a jar of Branston pickle and a couple of packs of McVitie's digestive biscuits. Expensive, yes, but cheaper than a trip to England.

Then a can of tahini for hummous, and some oyster sauce and hoisin for Asian food.

Sometimes I do like to shop.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The current health news is that Charles' red blood cell count is normal, the white cell count is low, but coming up, and the platelet level is normal.

Remission, kids. We're talking remission.
XM radio 40 notes:

Santana, Europa

Rolling Stones, Before They Make Me Run

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So, I helped Charles with his lunch (he has a bad left index finger right now), unwrapping utensils and cutting ham with a plastic knife and fork, then sat down to read the Clarion-Ledger.

I like to check on Judith Martin and the Dear A's to "put my finger on the pulse of the nation."

Behold this item:
DEAR ABBY: A friend and I attended a bridal shower of a friend's daughter. After the young woman opened her gifts, we were escorted to another room where blank note cards were strewn on a coffee table, surrounded by envelopes and stamps. The hostess instructed us to write on these folded cards our names and what we had given the bride-to-be.

The hostess told us to write: "Dear Mary (using our own names, of course), Thank you for the nice afghan" (or whatever we had given), and place the card in one of the envelopes. We were then told to address and stamp the envelopes, but not to seal them so (I assume) the "too busy" bride-to-be could sign her name.

As I foolishly followed these ridiculous instructions, I was tempted to thank myself for the 30-minute drive I had made in each direction to purchase a gift, and the 45-minute drive I made to attend the shower.

How stupid are we going to feel when the "thank-yous," in our own handwriting, show up in the mail? My son says I should refuse the letter.

And do you want to know the "topper"? I asked the bride-to-be before leaving when her wedding was. Get this -- it's in two days. I am not even invited to the wedding!

What's wrong with this generation? Please shed some light on this. Thanks, Abby. I feel better now that I've vented -- stupid, but better. -- FEELING USED IN KANSAS

DEAR FEELING USED: Nothing is wrong with "this generation." What you have described is a family that never learned basic good manners. Rather than an "afghan" -- or whatever your gift was -- the bride-to-be would have been better served to have received a book on etiquette.
Boy's getting a real jewel there. Of course, he could be just as nice. A couple of barracudas swimming off together into the sunset.

Taken with permission

Mennonite Disaster Service
Well, I'll be. There's a group of Amish volunteers in the lobby this morning from northern Indiana. They're on their way to New Orleans to do construction for a week. Lucky New Orleans.

A Mennonite is driving.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

XM radio 40 notes:

Blind Faith, Acoustic Jam

The Soul Survivors, Expressway to Your Heart

Friday, April 25, 2008

In my medical frame of mind, I found this post from Hit & Run funny.

I especially like the symbol for "amnesia."
I'm chillin' at a Super8 Motel in Jackson. Just a few doors south is an okay Mexican place called Mambo's. The food was edible (nothing to brag too loud about), but the staff was friendly, and it's something of a joint, and that's my kind of place.

A baby was banging on a table, a toddler was running around, and construction workers were grabbing a drink and takeout before going home -- perfect for a woman eating alone in a strange neighborhood.

On the top shelf at the bar is a tequila called Hornitos, which I find a little frightening. I declined to try it.

The brother could be doing better. I'm working on that.

UPDATE: "Hornitos" are actually agave ovens, according to the site. You explain that to the frat boys.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In the mail:
Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with that expensive double-pane energy efficient kind, and today, I got a call from the contractor who installed them.. He was complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.

Helllooooo? Just because I'm blond doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid. So, I told him just what his fast talking sales guy had told me last year, that in ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves!

Helllooooo? It's been a year, I told him.

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up. He never called back. Guess I won that stupid argument.

I bet he felt like an idiot.
Prima donnas. I live in a houseful and now I'm talking to one long-distance.

I'm converting and joining a convent. A silent one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Charles was transferred to a long-term acute care facility in Jackson last Thursday, and is now experiencing a bout of hospital psychosis.

UPDATE: I could do with a lot less drama in my current life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I must be the only person in the world having a hard time finding a notary in Jackson, MS. The secretary of state's office tells me there are thousands in Jackson, but probably not one who would visit the hospital to notarize the document granting Charles' power of attorney to me. Not without better knowledge of the parties involved.

You Are Chardonnay

Fresh, spirited, and classic - you have many facets to your personality.

You can be sweet and light. Or deep and complex.

You have a little bit of something to offer everyone... no wonder you're so popular.

Approachable and never smug, you are easy to get to know (and love!).

Deep down you are: Dependable and modest

Your partying style: Understated and polite

Your company is enjoyed best with: Cold or wild meat

But I like to drink reds.

(Thanks, Tony.)
The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi just pissed me off.

The Major Dude and I have been looking for some pastoral counseling and simple visits for Charles since Thursday, and after five calls I just got handed off to St. Phillips, where the priest was on vacation and the woman at the desk is an insensitive bitch.


You wonder why I don't like churches.

UPDATE: And hell, no, the boy don't need a Southern Baptist. But at least they'd show up.
A lovely and sharp acoustic guitar number with harmonica is David Bromberg's "Dehlia". From this album.
Wait now, the Irish song comes from that Jewish boy, David Bromberg.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I, ahem, sent off my membership fee for AARP.

Now I'm a big girl like my brothers and sister.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I turned up with a lovely Irish tune on my Ipod with guitar, fiddle and pipes, and I don't have a clue where it came from. If you purchase tunes from Itunes, do they throw in a freebie sometimes?

That's not on Eric Clapton's "Unplugged," is it?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I also like Paul Simon. He worked with Hugh Masekela.
More Life on the Mississippi.
Here's the definitive version of that song by Sammi Smith.
Try this on.

And this one. One of my favorite country western songs.
Isn't that pretty?

Neat comment below:
Years ago when I was in the Merchant Navy trans Pacific we were acompianied by a huge Albatross who stayed with us for days.
I remember the 2nd Mate playing this over the Tannoy system when the bird appeared. magic.
Charles' car has XM radio. I've been listening to number 40, "Deep Tracks."

Yesterday I heard Ry Cooder, JJ Cale, and the original Fleetwood Mac's Oh, Well. Pre-Stevie Nicks.
I can't help it bout the shape I'm in,
I can't sing, I ain't pretty, and my legs are thin,

But don't ask me what I think of you. I might not give the answer that you want me to.
You're out there, Mr. Green, and I remember. I was 10 or 11 when you were doing the hard work. What a smile.

Here is Ray, the Major Dude, at the exhibit of the USS Cairo.

He is 68. He left home at 17, in August of the year I was born, to join the Coast Guard. He was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, after retirement, he has become a honcho in the Coast Guard Auxilliary patrolling the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.

Guess he liked it, hunh?

Friday, April 18, 2008

My camera and skills do not do justice to the vistas from areas of the park at Vicksburg National Military Park.

The canopy covers the remains of the USS Cairo, an ironclad sunk in the Yazoo River.

One of the artifacts from the boat was a medicine bottle marked "M'Leans Strengthening Cordial." I'd like to order a case, please.
And I'm home, for the while.

Please, send thoughts and prayers for this one. I bet you'd like him, too.
The Major Dude will be lifting off for Portland soon.

It's back down to Charles and me, and I need to go home, too. It's been a busy week and we could both use some rest.

God, help the man. Hold his heart up, and maybe his body will follow. Amen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Since Charles had a favorite lady visitor from Baton Rouge today (the pretty mother of his godchildren), the Major Dude and I split for Vicksburg to visit the battlefield park.

For nearly 15 years I've lived in the Natchez area, just a little more than an hour from Vicksburg, and have never visited the site. What a beautiful, peaceful and sobering experience.

My brother is a history buff and called it one of the experiences of a lifetime. The boy just don't make it down south too often.

For dinner, we had steaks at Crechale's. Reviewer Curtis Smith here is obviously an undiscerning dumbbunny.

Anybody who can't appreciate a jukebox with Ray Price, Gene Autry, Pete Fountain and Artie Shaw best stick to McDonald's.

Oh, and Floyd Cramer's "Last Date," just one of the greatest songs ever.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Big Brother, the Major Dude from Oregon, is with my sister, looking after the brother in Jackson. I'm down home talking to birds for the night.

It's funny to see Charles treated like the little brother he is to the Major Dude.

He's dangling the Infiniti keys in Charles' face. "I like your nice little car."

Sort of a shame to take it away from him. He loves cars.

Any major dude will tell you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take a look here, and tell me if you have any experience with something similar.

Charles is in a bind. His beard has grown out hunter-style, and his Braun shaver-trimmer just can't handle the bulk. He wants one tool to substitute for now, for heavy trimming, then tidying up. This looks like it might fill the bill.

What do you think?

UPDATE: I went with this one which I found at Wal-mart, along with half a dozen cold-aids. They carried Wahls, but not that particular model, and this one had the widest shaving blade amongst the rest.

Hey, he don't like it, he can give it back. I might need it in a few years. Or, ahem, I might like to put on a bathing suit.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Recent vocabulary extensions:
PICC line



Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Well, rats. I've caught the cold that's going round.

What I get for hanging around in hospitals and circulating with the folks at gas stations, after living as a virtual recluse in our little burg.
Just go on over to Scott Chaffin's, play that second video, and smile.
Something else to attend to:
What is the relationship between the VA disability compensation program and the Agent Orange Veteran Payment Program?

There is no connection. The Agent Orange Veteran Payment Program was established as a result of settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by Vietnam veterans and their families against the manufacturers of Agent Orange. The application forms, claims processing, eligibility criteria, etc., of these two programs are completely different. For additional information about the class action lawsuit and benefits from its settlement, see Agent Orange Brief, A2, call toll-free 1-800-225-4712, and/or write to the Agent Orange Veteran Payment Program, P.O. Box 110, Hartford, Connecticut 06104.
From here.

UPDATE: No, no. That program closed in 1997.
Life on the Mississippi.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'd forgotten how much I liked Herb Alpert before Lyman whistled one of his tunes. A commenter at Youtube says he's 73 now:

Kate is in labor.

Good luck and best to you. Go, girls!

UPDATE: And the new one is here!
Sean Kinsell calls me "confidently idiosyncratic." Should I use that as a tagline?
And here's for all of you:

A little more Chuck Mangione. I'd nearly forgotten him. A rat of a boyfriend introduced me to him in about 1979 1976:

Sunday, April 06, 2008

And here's your modern Herb Alpert:

More from Chuck Mangione:

And a little mood music from Mr. Masekela:

Great rhythm to floss your teeth by.
As of yesterday, Charles had shown no ill effects from the chemotherapy, and several positive ones. If he continues to improve, he might be released early this week.

I've asked, and Charles agrees, that he goes to a rehab facility for a few days before coming home, for work with physical therapists to help him find his feet with confidence. He is weak, weak, weak.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I'm off to Jackson for a day or two right after I pick up a Red Bull. The stuff works for me.
Sounds like things are looking up. My brother asked if he had his Dopp kit at the hospital. He wants to clean up some.

That's good in more ways than one.
I don't shop a lot, but when the Lands' End catalog came this week, there were a couple of things I found potentially useful.

One is a pair of these in boring, conservative gray for yardwork. Should I have bought lime green?

The other is three of these, since I've worn the daylights out of the similar v-necks I bought a couple of years ago. They're good tees, and buying three, they cost $7 each.

These tees are cut reasonably, so I needn't worry about bra straps or underarm gaps.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

And it don't matter what I'm going through, they is still taxes to figure. Don't let me forget that damned bedspread and refrigerator and furniture.

Oops, Jordana.

The azaleas are peaking now. The whole South is gorgeous with them.
Calm down, girl! Down, down, girl.

I have been "a churning urn of burning funk" for a month now. I've lost nine pounds.

That won't help Charles get well.