Saturday, June 27, 2009

Master Cook...

Mom and I arrived home yesterday from our trip to Helen's car parked in the front of my house.  I had almost forgotten Helen was coming.  Unfortunately, I had already eaten at the Dairy Dee.  

Helen's meal was wonderful when I ate it for supper.  She cooked barbeque spare ribs, macaroni and cheese, colored butter beans, fried okra,  deviled eggs, and cornbread.  Helen's macaroni and cheese is to die for and the spare ribs were fork tender.  

My trip yesterday went without a hitch.  I drove all the way down the interstate to Books-A-Million.  Only once did I break a little sweat and felt nervous.  The traffic on the interstate was congested to say the least.  Mom got two books by James Patterson and I got a magazine.  Railroad Model Craftsman.

The fickle winds blew yesterday.  Months ago mom had decided not to renew my subscription to the magazine I got yesterday.   I have missed it.  Out of the blue she decided to renew my subscription.  I don't know what caused her change in heart, but I was glad.  Magazines in the mail are a special treat like letters in the mail at summer camp.    

Friday, June 26, 2009

Giant Leaps for this Frog who wants to be a Prince...

Today will be another watermark day in my recovery.  Mom wants to go to the bookstore down in Auburn, Alabama.  It is about a 30 minute trip.  I offered to drive.

"You sure you will be okay?" mom asked.

"I am kind of excited about it in a way," I told her. 

It will be the farthest I have driven since these anxiety attacks began a few years ago.  Normally,  I would be mortally afraid.  But I am feeling this keen feeling of confidence that I can do this.

I kind of have ulterior motives as well.  I am looking forward to a slaw dawg down at the Dairy Dee.   A chocolate shake will be the cherry on top.  

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Official. The S Word Beckons...

It's official.  I have surgery on my knee in a few weeks.  The neurosurgeon said there wasn't permanent damage to my nerves, but it could happen if I delay.  Dad asked me how I felt about it.  I'm not particularly worried or nervous.  Dad laughed when I told him I was looking forward to the pain pills they give you afterwards.  "Spoken like a true alcoholic," he said. 

My knee hasn't kept me from walking.  Everyday Maggie and I walk our two mile jaunt.  I just feel kind of clumsy and have fallen a few times.  Stairs are especially daunting.

I am elated today is grocery day.  I just called mom and told her I would go with her to help.  

"Don't worry, sweetheart," mom replied. "I will be fine."

"You sure?" I asked.

Mom assured me she would be okay.  It would have been a giant leap for me in my recovery to go.  There will be other days I am sure.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Utmost in Honor...

"J.W. has been trying to call you all morning," my father said. "Answer that damn phone for once."

I asked Dad why J.W. was calling and he said J.W. wants to be the first to tell me.

Later in the day the phone rang.  I picked it up and found an excited J.W. on the other end.

"You knew my wife was pregnant didn't you?"

Yeah," I replied.

"She had a baby boy last night at 2 in the morning.  I named him after you."

I was floored.  It was about one of the most flattering things that has happened to me.

J.W.? Get ready for a fishing trip cause we are going to catch some fish. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hot Days and Even more Sultry Nights...

Charlie is cutting my grass in this heat and it is making me feel guilty.  Here I am in my cool home, sipping ice cold orange drink, and listening to Maggie whine.  Maggie loves Charlie and hopes he will come in soon.

George stopped by for a brief while this morning.  I had a wicked sense of humor this morning and was giving George a hard time. 

"Are all whiteboys as goofy as you?" George asked.

Mrs. Jones, George's mom, was cooking liver and onions for lunch.  I was almost tempted to invite myself.  Oh, how I love liver and onions. 

The high today is supposed to be 98 degrees.  The hottest day of the year so far.  I've got my fingers crossed that we may get a few heat induced thunderstorms this evening.  If so, I am going to stand out in the rain and raise my arms like Willem Dafoe in that heart wrenching scene in the movie Platoon

Friday, June 19, 2009


There are a lot of stray cats in the neighborhood.  It seems my backyard is a favored location for some of these cats to fight and screw.   You know how vocal cats are when they are in an amorous mood.  Well, it is driving my dog crazy.  Maggie feels the need to referee these little kitten making sessions.  I am afraid one of these nasty horny felines will put one of Maggie's eyes out. 

In other news, George got the compressor on and has cold air again in his Buick.  I actually let George drive me down to McDonald's for a cup of coffee this morning.  I kept trying to smell his breath for alcohol.  He wasn't acting drunk.  George keeps this continual grin on his face after the sixth beer.  This morning he was scowling about work last night. 

Helen is busy in the kitchen at the moment.  Maggie keeps getting under her feet while she cooks.  "Git!" Helen keeps saying. "Go git in the den with your daddy."  Today Helen is cooking baked porkchops, cabbage, green beans, pear salad, and her biscuits.  Mom will be over about three to eat.  I am unsure if Dad will be able to get off work to eat with us.  

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have to Say No...

George bought a new air conditioning compressor today.  He wanted me to help put it on on a day that was going to be the hottest day of the year so far.  That wasn't the only reason I said no.

"I'm scared of the high pressure lines in a car's air conditioner," I told George. "I am always afraid I am going to blow my face off."

"Pussy!" George replied. "Let me go see if I can get this thing on."

This morning I arrived at mom and dad's when Helen arrived.

"Baby?  Why will your momma only let you have 6 cokes at a time?" Helen asked.

"She says I will drink too many of them and I will," I told her. "I have little to no self control."

It was kind of embarrassing to talk about in a way.  Far be it for me to hold back on this blog or in real life, though.

The local ice cream truck has new competition now.   A new truck is on the scene and it is shiny and new.   The old one is driving by my house just as I write this.  They still have a generator strapped to the back bumper to power the freezer.  It looks ghetto.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

National Give Maggie a Reason to Bark Day...

Every Wednesday it's the same.  The trash men cometh and Maggie starts barking early in the morning.   I was laying in the bed around 6 AM this morning when Maggie started her muted cough routine.  *cough* *cough* Maggie would go as her ears pricked up.  She could hear them miles before I could. 

Yesterday's MRI was akin to laying in a well air conditioned coffin.  "Oh shit!" I muttered to myself. "I am going to have a panic attack."  I closed my eyes and tried to dwell on good things.  Like the double quarter pounder with cheese that was waiting on me when I got home. 

A funny part of the MRI was when the Nurse asked if I wanted to listen to 70's music or country music. 

"70's please and thank you," I told her.

"Good choice," she said with a smile. "Sorry we don't have more to choose from."

This morning I talked to George's mom on the phone.  Her tomato plants had finally given her two mature ripe tomatoes.  She wanted to know if I wanted to come over for tomato sandwiches at lunch - a luxury here in the South.  I told her I would be over at twelve.  I can't wait!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tests Today and Tomorrow...

I had to head to the hospital for tests this morning.  Mom followed me in her car to make sure I went.  I have been known to take u-turns on the way and head back home.  The anxiety during such ordeals is nerve wracking to me.

They stuck needles all in the muscles of my left leg and sent in a current of electricity.   My leg was flopping around like a fish out of water near the end.  It seems I may have a pinched nerve near or in my knee.  Oh joy!  I hope this doesn't mean surgery and rehabilitation.  Mom has already mentioned the S word, too.  

George came by at lunch.  He was still awake since he slept during the day yesterday.  He had to be worn out. 

"How does it feel to work for the evil empire?" I asked him laughing. 

"Wal-Mart ain't all that bad," George replied.  "It be a good job."

I complained to George about being out of groceries again till this Thursday.  I have figured it out.  My appetite is 2 times healthier when I am feeling well.  I have been feeling so well that I am like the big pig at the trough. 

Tomorrow I have an MRI scheduled for 10 AM.  I will be glad to have these tests said and done.      

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Guardian...

Every time I go outside Maggie feels the need to extradite any various fauna in the yard.  She came so close to getting a squirrel today.  It became confused and couldn't remember to either go through the fence or over it.   It doesn't help that I'm telling Maggie, "Get em! Girl!"  It is a fun game for her as well as for me. 

We went for our walk today.  I didn't feel like going, but Maggie was giving me her 1000 yard stare.  More dead squirrels were on the roads which makes me wonder how prolific the squirrels are at replacing their population.

Now?  It's a waiting game.  I never know when dad will come with my medication on the weekends.  Sometimes it is three in the afternoon.  Sometimes it is nine at night.  I hate the wait and have to fight the urge to call and cajole. 

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Road to Somewhere...


More Woes for George's Car...

George pulled up at my house this morning as his car was making this God awful and extremely loud squealing noise.

"Turn off your air conditioner," I told him loudly as he rolled down his window. 

"What is it?" George asked.

"Your air conditioning compressor is locked up and the drive belt is slipping."

George said a variety of not so nice words and got out of his car.

"You are going to need a new compressor or a compressor clutch," I then told him.

I got worried that maybe my and George's little shade tree mechanics session the other day had ruined the compressor.   You need to add a lubricant when you put in the freon.  It usually comes in the can with the refrigerant.  Sometimes you have to add it separately for certain models of cars.

George left most likely wondering how he was going to get up the money for a new compressor.   I drove over to Fred's dollar store to look at their cans of freon.  It made me feel better when I read that the lubricant is added with the refrigerant.   

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big Steps, Little Steps, and Baby Steps

My big step for the day was driving myself to get my injection this morning.  Dad usually sends an employee to take me to make sure I go.  And I didn't have one of those most feared anxiety attacks in heavy traffic. 

My little step today was using my daily 3 dollars to buy some dandruff shampoo.  The next step will be to get my hair cut.  If you've read my blog for years then you know how much anxiety getting my hair cut entails.

My baby step for today was making my bed when I awoke.  Dad was in the military and was so peculiar about always making his bed.  He has kind of instilled that little quirk in the rest of us meaning us siblings.  I can't wait to get in the cool, tidy, and crisp covers when I go to bed tonight.   

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The R in Rx doesn't Stand for Restraint...

I and my family have seen a remarkable transformation in me these past few weeks.   It gets better every day.  I owe it to my medication adventurous family practitioner.   Dr. Kamath put me on Coureg CR which is commonly prescribed for people suffering from stage fright and performance anxiety.   He did in one visit what my psychiatrist hasn't been able to do in a decade of appointments.

Mom has noticed this difference in me.  Pieces of my life are just falling in place.  I'm getting out more.  I'm taking better pride in my appearance and my home.   I  have vibrant fantasy life whereas before I couldn't even concentrate to watch the television. 

"Should I go try that Courag like Andrew is taking?" mom asked my father a few days ago.

"Don't ask me," he replied.  "You're gonna damn well do as you please anyway." 

Mom went today to see Dr. Kamath and he prescribed some for her as well.  I hope it helps her as much as it has helped me.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Only J.W. could get away with this...

"You know what?"  J.W. told me over at my parent's house this morning.  "The NAACP could come marching by your dad's house and within minutes he would have half of them cleaning his house and working in his yard."

I didn't know wether to grin or grimace.

I hope to get a video up in a few days.  A video of the new driveway being built from dad's house to Charlie's house.  It's just a matter of remembering to bring my camera when I go get my cokes and 3 dollars for the day.  

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Dope Man...

Yesterday I was bound and determined to get my medications early.  Dad normally gives me my medications at 9:30 PM sharp.  I didn't want to wait all day with shaky hands and unsteady walk;  the mentally interesting mind I can have on such days.  I wanted the sweet release that only some of my medications can impart.  So this leads me to drive to mom and dad's.  

Upon arriving, dad had me a plastic bag of sodas ready. My daily allotment. 

"Can we go ahead and take my medications?" I asked carefully.

Dad was still dressed in his pajamas.  Sitting with a newspaper in his lap.

"Let's stick to our schedule," he said to my deep disappointment.

As I was walking out the back door ready to drive home dad said, "Do you really want to take them so early?"

YES!  The sun shone down on my little dark corner of the world. 

Dad ambled outside to his car pajamas and all.  We took my medications and I headed home with a smile on my face.  Just another one of life's little victories.  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Breakfast with George...

George has a new job.  He is working 3rd shift at the local Wal-Mart distribution center.

"I liked to have never stayed awake all night last night," he told me this morning. 

This morning I was over at George's to put freon in the air conditioning system in his car.  He was afraid to do it without help.

"Where did you get the freon?" I asked George

You learn something new everyday.

"Got at Fred's dollar store for a dollar a can," George replied to my shock. 

George's mom cooked sausage, gravy, and biscuits.  It was a thoroughly decadent breakfast for this modest southern man.  George's mom even sent Maggie home leftovers from dinner the day before.  Cubed fried steak.  I was almost tempted to eat it myself, but my love for Maggie won out. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wait! Where's the rain?

(Kathy, the KFC grilled chicken was tasty, but a little dry.  I would eat it again though.)

We were supposed to have rain and storms today, but it has turned out to just be murky and overcast.

The meal Helen cooked today just wasn't to my liking.  We are all trying to help mom with her diet.  Helen cooked baked chicken and it was rather bland.  So were the many vegetables she cooked because she didn't put in her usual seasonings.  I did like the carrot and raisin salad though.  We all howled with protest when Helen asked if she should use reduced calorie mayonnaise in the salad.  

I had a doctor's appointment this morning.  I've developed a limp when I walk Maggie and have lost some sensation in my left foot.  As guessed, a battery of tests were ordered.  This was all mom's doings and I would probably still be limping a year from now if it were up to me. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009


"Maggie's looking a bit portly," dad told me this afternoon. "She's gained some weight."

He had swung by with some of that new KFC grilled chicken for me to try.

"She's going to be diabetic with all the sweets you give her," he added.

"Ah," I replied. "Your mother would say she is just a healthy dog."

My attention turned to the drumstick of grilled chicken that lay before me on a plate.

"What do you think?" dad asked.

"The chicken or Maggie?"

"The chicken, stupid!"

"It would make some killer chicken salad," was my reply.

King of the Daydream...

Do you daydream a lot?  I can spend hours daydreaming these days.  It is quite pleasurable.  I can live other lives and dream of better days.  It often happens when I am sitting on the couch with ShopNBC on.

Today's daydream du jour is helping the homeless guy.  A lot of my daydreams center around winning the lottery or coming into money.  I've been daydreaming that me and Kevin "The Homeless Guy" Barbeiux are going around and getting him long term housing and stable Internet so he can do his various homelessness advocacy activities.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pop Up Fun...

It is that time of the year again in the South.  The time of the year where we get pop-up thunderstorms.  I have the Weather Channel on the recall button on my TV's remote.  Every ten minutes I will check the local radars on the Internet.  Suddenly, the storms will just explode upwards into the atmosphere and wander around the South.  It happens as if on cue. 

Maggie is enjoying my air conditioning.  She will spend some time outside and then come in to lay on the bed in my cool and darkened back bedroom.   Sometimes I will take her cue and go lay down with her and watch TV.  It is soothing. 

Well, sorry for the short post today.  I've got to get back to storm watching.  I am so excited for what the day may bring. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Me? Bored?

Me and Helen were sitting under mom and dad's portico this morning.  We were watching the world go by. 

"Do you ever get bored not working?" Helen asked me.

I laughed.

"Never say you are to my father," I told her. "He will put you to work in his yard."

"Seriously, though," Helen said. "Do you?"

"Sometimes," I replied. "I do well with the structure work can bring to life.  Like taking showers and eating on a schedule."

"I'm bored right now," Helen then said.

"And you're working!!!" I replied laughing.

"Don't think the irony escaped me," Helen said with a smile.

Helen has a sister named Juanita.  Dad says Jaunita is much more personable and likable. 

"You would love her," he told me not too long ago. 

I tried to imagine someone with a better personality than Helen and couldn't.  I'm smitten.