About Me

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I love a lot. I wait a lot. I try to find a lot to laugh at. I don't usually have trouble with that. I pray a lot. I'm not always sure who or what I pray to, but I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. I try not to panic very often. I try to learn something new every day. I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters and we take them with us when I can't. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs (or maybe no SELF RESPECTING germ would LIVE in my body?) I collect: gnomes, passport stamps, MONEY-preferably US dollars or Euros, red headed womyn and chicks named Stephanie. My Momma taught me many many years ago that girls don't fart, they foosie. She taught me lots of other chit too. Thanks for stopping by-leave me a comment and let me know you were here, feel free to link to me, or email me at jacquelynn.fortner@gmail.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

So I've been away.

Yes, I have been away.  I thought about writing in Dover, but decided against it, as I wanted to spend as much time with the kids as possible.  (Sure.  It had nothing to do with big girl beverages and my resolution to NOT blog whilst under the influence.  So.)  

It is very disconcerting to realize that your kids really can get along without you and still eat halfassed regular meals and wear clean clothes.  Granted, military life has equipped Ronny in some areas much better than I was ever able to do, but it was still a shock to see a well stocked (i.e. vegetables) pantry and a spice rack with more (is that possible?) bottles and cans and potions and goos than I have.  And did I mention that these twentysomething children of myne have pretty much everything we have and did I mention that they are TWENTYSOMETHINGS?  I know that base housing helps tremendously (and if theirs is any indication of the quality of military housing, may I just say: Moms-get your kids into the military YESTERDAY) but even with that, they seem to be doing very very well for their ages.  So is this a "We must have done something right?" moment, or a "They did this despite my parenting skills or lack thereof?" moment?  Point to ponder.  Either way, I am extremely proud of them both. (Did I mention Jamie got her BS diploma?  Way to go, my darling dotter-in-law! )  It was a wonderful trip.  They turned me on to The 4400 and Dexter, and I now have Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" on Rockband burned into my brain forever.

Now I am back and it is time to pay the piper.  I have spent an incredible amount of money in the last ten days and have gotten very little accomplished considering the spousal unit will be home on the 4th.  I did put Dar through a couple of hours of shoe shopping torture, which I walked out of *snort* with a pair of beautimous rich dark brown leather Josef Seibel "Destiny" shoes.  I did not realize that she was not a shoe person until my nipples were already hard and I was contemplating rubbing a pair lovingly up my thighs, so I let her off easy and just got the one pair.  I did, however, start bonding with a loverly pair of black very strappy high heels that would very nicely slutify my Awful Waffle costume for hubby's (heh) viewing pleasure. (Note to self: do not forget to book hotel!)

Friday, September 19, 2008


There are some movies I will watch over and over again.  Some of my earliest memories from my childhood are of my mother bathing me and putting me to bed, then an hour or so later waking me up to watch The Incredible Mr. Limpet or The Wizard of Oz or Jack and the Beanstalk.  She'd make a big bowl of popcorn for her and a mysized bowl for me, and she'd let me have a glass of coke, which back then was a real treat as we were only allowed about one a week.  I will still watch those movies whenever I see them on tv.

Tonight I happened upon one of my all time favorites--probably my second favorite movie of all time--Under the Tuscan Sun.  I recently read the book, and think that Frances Mayes is as much a visual artist as she is an author-she absolutely paints with words.  The book and the movie are two separate entities, and both are so richly and lushly loverly it defies words.  Watching the movie and listening to the lilt of the Italian accents brought back a wonderful memory of Rome.

We had been in Rome for several days and the gypsy hawkers and beggars were everywhere.  If someone tried to catch your attention, they were either trying to sell you something or pick your pocket.  We were walking down a little back street behind our hotel and came upon a marble engraving shop.  It was filled with all different sized and shaped pieces of marble, mostly of the Italian version of "The Smiths: Don, Debby, Donnie and Spike" that you see hanging by peoples' doors.  But right as you went in the door, there was also a giant box filled with odd shaped smallish pieces (scraps, I rectom)  with little sayings and poems and such engraved in them, and just as we were about to leave, I found a small piece with just one word engraved on it: "adorabile".  I was just charmed, so I asked the proprietor, a little old Italian man how much it was.  His reply was something straight out of a movie.  He said "You take that.  You take that home with you and you will always have a piece of Rome with you."  My heart.  

It is probably going to be a while before I get to go back to Rome but I always have a piece of Rome with me-the little piece of marble I carry in my purse.  And the memory of kissing that kindly old gentleman on the cheek for his generosity and the glow of knowing that not everyone in the world is on the take will be in my heart forever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Addendum: There Are Angels in Moss Point

I got back from a quick run to town to take care of errands, and happened to glance at the house as I was turning onto ShingleMill Landing Road and (I don't know whether to be happy or embarrassed) my grass has been cut!  For awhile I thought I had a magic blog.  I later found out that someone had heard me bitching about the lawnmower up at the Oaks and had his son come cut it.  I don't even remember ranting about it other than here.  Dallas and Vint, you are my heroes! 

On a sadder note, Big Grey cat has gone missing, and I was informed today by Alan that ShingleMill the cat was hit by a car and he was buried in Alan's yard.  Alex is going to be heartbroken.  I know I am.

Free weather!

Just a quickie for now as I absolutely MUST get out and take advantage of this glorious day.  You know, people are really quick to say "Why do they even live somewhere you have to worry about ___________? "(fill in the blank with your choice of hurricane, earthquake, wildfires, mudslides, snowstorms, smog, flooding-you name it).  Well, there is only so much livable space in this country-should we abandon half of it in the name of safety and come stay with YOU?  I sometimes think those things happen to make us appreciate the beauty of a day like today.  We have been blessed with a week of near perfect weather-very low humidity, relatively cool temperatures, no rain-what Johnny calls free weather since I turn the a/c off and open the windows as soon as I get up. (I've been keeping the windows etc. closed and the a/c on at night as I'm kinda creeped out about leaving things unlocked what with the transient nature of some of the characters around here and the sitch next door.)  I just got back from feeding the cats, checking the mail, and while I was at the house, trading out the truck for the car, as it is finally dry enough for me to drive the car back to the houseboat.  I am so proud of myself-I decided to back the truck up to the boat so that it would be easier for Johnny to load it when he gets home and I got the ball/hitch thingy RIGHT under the socket on the trailer on the FIRST try! (/pats self on back.)  Everyone is out cutting grass, washing cars, sneaking off for a boat ride (um...that would be ME as soon as I finish this!).  I really should cut grass, but Johnny has the lawnmower jerry rigged-in order to start it, I have to hook the red side of the jumper cables to some little whatchamacallit under the hood that is covered in a red rubber thingamajiggy that keeps getting in my way.  Then I have to turn the ignition on and lean over and touch the other side of the red jumper cable side to the battery post (this is all while sitting firmly on the seat, as of course THAT safety feature can't be bypassed) and watch the sparks fly while it hopefully turns over and starts, at which time I have to get the jumper cables disconnected and the hood pulled down whilst still sitting firmly on the seat.  Ideally, this is a two person operation, but unfortunately, I am by myself as Alex is still in Gulfport for school.  When I tried this by myself, I got everything connected and went to touch the battery post and the damn thing got so hot I couldn't hold it, but it never would turn over.  I don't know if it needs a new battery or if I've pulled something loose, or what.  Next time I go to contribute to the rise in Walmart stock I will pick up a new battery and pray that fixes it.  Otherwise, I am going to have to enlist some help from one of my neighbors as there is no telling how long it will be until Johnny gets home.

I can't bear to sit here and read blogs all day today.  One thing I've learned in the past couple of weeks of pretty much obsessing over this blog and researching by reading others is that I am not unique.  I am not the smartest, the wittiest, the most sarcastic, the most curious, the most twisted.  Evidently I've not had too many thoughts that have not been expressed before.  But no one has my life or knows all of my secrets, so I rectom I'm going to keep plodding along for the opportunity to vent if nothing else.  I refuse to get my feelers hurt if no one ever reads 'my stuff'.  I'm going to spend today looking around for the blessings in my life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Bowlful of Leaves

Mmmmmm.  I hate to be my own cooking's biggest fan, but there it is.  I make some kickass greens.

Too bad the rest of the evening did not turn out as well.  First off, about the time the greens were done, my neighbor hollered over and said she'd bring me some beans soon, but that it didn't look like anyone else was cooking anything as they'd been up at the Shingle Mill drinking all day.  Neither one of us really wanted to turn on our ovens, but I just couldn't bear the thought of beans n' greens with no cornbread, so I warmed up some bacon grease and baked my first ever batch of homemeade.  Not to toot my own horn, but it turned out to be pretty darn good.  The neighbor brought over some beans, and said that her boyfriend was going out of town and "better not come back".  I said "What?" and she repeated herself.  Anyway, about thirty minutes after I ate, I went outside to sit on the deck to read and enjoy the beautiful weather when all of a sudden I heard "Jackie call the police!".  I looked out to the road and saw the two of them out there.  He had her with his arms wrapped around her midsection holding her arms down and was carrying her down the road with her struggling to get away and she hollered again for me to call the police.  I did not see him hit her, just saw that he was trying to restrain her against her will, so I came in and looked up the number to the sheriff's department's non 911 line.  They took the information and were out here within 5 minutes, which was outstanding.  They spent about thirty minutes questioning them both then stood by while he got some of his stuff out of the houseboat and left, then they left.  She went back into her houseboat for a few minutes, then came over here shaking and asking to use my phone.  She said when she went into the houseboat, she smelled gas, and that he had turned on all the burners on their stove and oven with no pilot lit.  (I was not aware they have a gas stove and am keeping in mind that I am only getting one side of the story.)  We both discussed what kind of vindictive rat bastard would do that, knowing she would go in there smoking, and I did tell her that he struck me as the sort who was going to have the mindset of "if I can't stay there, neither will she" (to give credit where credit is due, he has put in an incredible amount of labor and materials to just about double the interior size of her houseboat, so I'm sure he feels it's half his).  She also said that he took keys to all her sheds, all of her bottled drinking water (a big deal out here) and that he had stolen a pistol from her a couple weeks ago.  She said part of the reason she wanted him to leave was she found out a lot of things about his past that she was unaware of, from court ordered probation to spousal abuse to gun charges.  Needless to say I did not sleep well.

In the cool light of day, with a bowlful of leaves and pot likker and a nice chunk of cornbread, everything looks so shiny and pleasant it is hard to imagine that everyone can't just get along.  But then I remember...close quarters, flooding, two back to back hurricane scares and the pressures of remodeling IN those close quarters, and it is not so hard to fathom shattered nerves.  I thank God I am so blessed with my own family and friends.  I've been in those shoes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Community meal on the river tonight!

Ahhh.  The first hint of fall.  *heavy sigh*  I got my first taste this morning.  I went outside to pull the curtains and it was actually colder outside than it was in here in the air conditioning.  I immediately ran back inside, turned both a/c's off and threw open the windows.  It is just loverly.

Kinda energized me.  I finally got out and ventured into the shed, which was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, all things considered.  Stuff was tossed about and the floor is really frightening to walk on as the particle board is all warped at the points where it overlaps, but there was not nearly as much mud and muck as I'd expected.  Last time it was really bad, but this time I had more ants to deal with than mud.  I will probably go back out tomorrow and do a better job of organizing it and might even haul a load of crap out for a change instead of waiting for Johnny to get home.  The spiders do give me pause, though.  I'm usually all "Oh, don't kill it-they eat bugs" but you'da never believed it watching me do the "OHSHITOHDEAR WHERE DID THEY GO IS THAT HAIR IN MY FACE OR WEB" spastic flailing I was doing coming out of there.  I am not talking about a spider, folks.  I am talking thousands.

Since I was in the get chit outside done mode, I grabbed the weedeater and attacked some of the Y-weeds that have gone apeshit in the yard around the shed.  That was a treat.  There is no way to avoid the little fiddler crabs that are just everywhere since the water receded.  Every time I stepped on one, I'd think "Crunchy, but with a creamy center".  Totally grossing myself out.  Gah.

As I was finishing up, my neighbor heard me banging around and came out and said she was making a big pot of lima beans for dinner, and to come join them for a bowl.  I told her I'd like that, and that since I was hankering for some collards, I'd make a mess of them.  She said someone was making cornbread, and somebody else was making cobbler, so it is turning into a 'thang'.  One of the older guys is out there fishing, and just caught a beautiful white perch, so maybe he will scare us up some fish to fry.  That is a really nice thing about living in this little community of houseboats.  They naturally lend themselves to only one or two people living in each one since they are so small so when anyone is making something like that that you really have to make a whole batch of, everyone tends to kind of 'stone soup' it and turn it into a potluck of sorts.  It doesn't make sense to cook beans or collards for just one or two people so we all get together to eat probably once or twice a month.  This beautiful weather is the icing on the cake!

(Fortunately Johnny is still in Nigeria, so I can fart all night at will and not feel obligated to smother them *snort*)

My view on The View

Argh.  My hands are all pruny from cleaning sinks and toilets.  Not because they needed it, but because I had to be doing something with the water running to cut some of the shriekiness coming from Elizabeth Hasselbeck this morning on The View, as usual.  Not that I blame her.  While I love the show, it is difficult to watch her getting gang banged by the rest of the panel every day as the lone Republican, and it is not hard to understand why she gets so emotional.  I will be glad when the election is over so the shows will be back to being more balanced.  I love all of the panelists separately, but together it is really becoming rather exhausting to watch.  I have to Tivo the  show and watch it five times to see what each one is saying because they all seem to talk at the same time when the talk turns political.  And Joy seems to love to bait Elizabeth in a passively aggressive sort of condescending way.  Sherry's voice just grates on my nerves when she is emotional about anything.  Barbara tries to be nonpartisan but it is easy to figure out which way she leans.  Whoopi Goldberg seems to be the only one who can succinctly state her case and then (usually) not get horribly combative about insisting that she be heard.  I will be thrilled when the most political the show gets is who is voting for whom on American Idol!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Working my way back to reality

Saturday the water started receding-lucky thing, as cabin fever had begun to set in.  While I enjoy being flooded in for the excuse it gives me for going nowhere, the majority of my neighbors enjoy it for the opportunity it gives them to start drinking at 9 in the morning.  They all sat up under the Shingle Mill all day drinking beer, and Elaine and Dave, my next door neighbors, were up there with them.  I knew as soon as I saw them up there drinking that there would be fighting before the day was done.

I slogged up to the truck and drove to Gulfport to get Alex from Mom's and came back to the house to watch the video that came in the mail-him appearing in The Pirates of Penzance and then we decided to go out for dinner to L.Y.'s buffet, our favorite chinese restaurant.  If given a choice of anywhere to eat, usually that is our pick.  There is such a variety that you can eat there every day for a week and never eat the same thing twice if you are so inclined.  The food is always fresh, and Alex likes the "hot asian chicks" who work there.  They know what we drink and where we like to sit.  There is also what we like to call "the L.Y. effect".  If you've been bound up for a day or two, go to L.Y.  It doesn't make us sick, but within 30 minutes of eating there, both of us need to use the bathroom.  Cleans ya right out!  Anyway, we were sitting there eating when Alex perked up and said "I've heard this song before."  It then occurred to me that we eat there so often that I am learning the lyrics to the songs on their sound system-and they are in Chinese!

I had to come straight home from dinner as I had to get back while it was still light enough to wade-I'll walk in water up to my tender bits, but NOT in the dark.  Sure as shit, as soon as I hit the deck I heard "Love?  You womanizing sonofabitch!  You wouldn't know love if it..."  I got inside as quickly as possible as I have been privy to way too many of their fights-last time it ended with Dave getting hit in the head with a 2x4 and he walked around looking like Bart Simpson for a few weeks til the swelling went down.  No wonder Johnny is hesitant about having them keep the birds while we travel.

Oooh.  Travel.  I also bought my ticket to Dover for next week, so that IS going to happen, one way or another.  The Atlantic looks pretty quiet, so maybe I can take a trip and not have to worry about a hurricane while I'm gone.  Now I'm debating whether to stay with the kids or at the Dover Downs Casino Hotel.  I know what I want to do, but I also know what I'll probably do, and yes, they are two entirely different things.  Although I do have permission should I choose to exercise it.

Now, I am praying for rain.  Everything outside is covered in a layer of silt since it has been under river water for the last week, and I am dreading opening the shed.  In Katrina, its styrofoam pads came off, so it has been sitting in the water all week, along with everything in it.  It also lost its floor, so Johnny laid particle board (that was supposed to cover the windows) over the studs, kind of overlappy, and not nailed down.  I'm sure that is going to be nice and sturdy...NOT.  I did hang everything up, so my little electric mower (think bubble mower) should be okay, but there were alot of ice chests and paint cans and such that are probably all in a jumble in there now, and they are all covered in silt too, and will have to be hosed off.  There is a wooden pallet that sits as a step in front of the shed, and it is rotting through.  All in all, I think I have a recipe for disaster.  It is not a matter of if I get hurt, more a matter of can I get anything accomplished before I get hurt.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Live from the Ark

How high's the water, mama?  

At the moment it appears to be hoochie high and risin'.  It is as high as I've seen it since Katrina.  I never completely lost power yesterday.  It turned out to be a rather loverly day-very windy and other than the one feeder band that hit yesterday morning, we didn't get anymore rain until late in the night, by which time I'd already gone to bed.  I waded through thigh deep water yesterday to take the truck further up the road, as we had an idea that it was going to go higher, and also to go purchase some big girl beverages since I knew I'd sleep better lubricated.  I really did, too-a few beers and the boat rocking me to sleep were just the ticket.  Slept like a baby.

Now I'm faced with the grim reality of the situation though-the water is higher than cellphone deep, so I really don't want to wade out of here.  Even if I take the little boat I am going to have to tie off somewhere and wade out and up the road to get to the truck, then I have to tote back through the water anything I purchase which is no easy feat what with trying to balance against the current and the wind and still keep said purchases above the water and dry.  I don't think I'm going to brave it today, but I sure hope it goes down some by tomorrow, cuz Miss Jackie is down to two rolls of tp, and we can't be having that now, can we?

Meantime, it's actually quite nice being flooded in.  I still have power, the pump is still working, after a brief period of no pressure yesterday evening, and the internet has amazingly held its connection all day today.  I have food and bottled water, so I am good to go for a few days, as long as I ration the tp.  I have a neighbor by the house who will feed the cats, coons, aardvarks and hedgehogs, and if anyone wants to steal the bills from the mailbox, knock yourself out!  Now if I just hadn't drank all the beer...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flooded in. Again.

Oh shit oh dear.

I was awakened at 7:30 this morning to my neighbor informing me that I'd better get up and get my truck out of here.  I looked out the window and saw that the river is flooding again, and my driveway and planters were already completely underwater.  Dammit janet, when is this gonna end?  I thought I had already declared my hurricane season to be over?  I put my boots on and drove up to high ground and waded back here to the houseboat wondering if I should have put the birds in the truck and just gone to the house.  Now it's too late, unless I slog through water up past my knees carrying bird cages and my computer.  To add to my dilemma, I went outside a few minutes ago and noticed that my southernmost stanchion looks like it is collapsing toward the bank.  My neighbor is trying to brace it up, and I am tied off to seven or eight trees/other stanchions, so I'm not too worried about it, but I made the mistake of emailing Johnny about it, so now he is going to worry about it until he gets home.  Sneaky passive aggressive move, if I'm being honest.  Share the suffering.  *snort*

Anyone know a good bird sitter?  I need someone willing to come stay at the houseboat so I can go see Ronny and Jamie in Dover next week.  The birds require about an hour of actual care a day, and provide hours of entertainment, what with talking about boogers and such.  Perfect setting for artistic types-I wish I could paint, because it truly is beautiful out here.  And having the Shingle Mill 400 feet from the front door doesn't hurt either.  Beer, birds, boating...any takers?

Uckfay emay.  I heard a motor so I went outside to see what it was and it was a tractor pulling cars and trucks out of the other end of the parking lot.  I decided maybe I ought to go move the truck out of the parking lot and up the road a bit, but before I could get my boots on, a feederband started letting loose on us and drove me back inside.  Now the wind is blowing like a son of a bitch and the boat is pitching around and I'm beginning to feel rather Dorothy-ish.  This bites, and we are only under a tropical storm warning (which I was not aware of when I went to bed last night-as I said, I had already declared my hurricane season over so I was not watching the farging weather channel 24/7 anymore).  Now the power is flickering, so I am going to post this before it goes out completely and I'm without internet.  Thank God for my Iphone.  At least I hope it will work.  Of course I'm new at this, so I don't know how to update from my phone, but at least I should be able to look at weather reports, etc.  Again, I hope!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lions and tigers and...aardvarks?

I just got back from lugging another 20 lb. sack of catfood home.  This is getting ridiculous.  I am going critter poor.

We bought the little yellow house 1/2 mile up the road the year after Katrina so that we wouldn't have to drive all the way to Vancleave to a.) feed Alex or b.) cut grass.  No one lived in it-I think it was a post storm purchase/flip deal, because I do remember that right after the storm, it was all wood and when we bought it it had recently been covered in cute yellow siding with green trim.  When we first bought it we noticed there was a big gray longhaired cat that hung around.  Our neighbor Alan also had a small calico cat named Mill (after the Shingle Mill, of course).  Alan would go out of town on jobs, and me being the worry wart that I am, I started leaving food out to make sure they were both fed.  A couple months later we noticed Scabby.  Scabby is pitiful.  He is a little black cat that looks like someone tried to skin him alive.  He has severe wounds that run up both legs, down his chest and up his neck to his face.  They have opened up and healed so many times that they have shrunk up and now affect his gait, and evidently they have blinded him in one eye and he may be deaf in the ear on that side.  He looks like there is no way he could be alive, but he shows up every day at feeding time.  Bob showed up around the same time as Scabby-she's a little bobtailed grey cat who also drug along her two kittens, one a tiger striped calico (Alex calls Tigger) and Bob Junior, another little bobtailed calico.  Every once in a while, the papas apparent of Tigger and Bob Jr., an orange cat and another calico with a bobtail show up.

I took Alex dinner one day a few weeks ago and he calmly informed me we had an aardvark living under the house that was coming out at night eating the catfood.  I said (trying not to snort in his face) "Describe this aardvark, please?"  He said it was gray with a white head and a pointy snout.  I pulled up a possum on Google and showed it to him and asked if that was what he saw and he said yes.  I got some mothballs and we threw them around under the house figuring that would drive anything out from under there, cats included.


I continue to buy 20 lbs. of catfood for the cats and 22 lbs. of dogfood for the ducks and geese.  The cats continue to come.  The aardvark leaves.

A week later, the phone rings and it's Alex.  "Mom, we have a hedgehog now" he said.  Again, I asked him to describe this hedgehog.  This one he describes as a really big squirrel with stripes on its face.  I told him to look up raccoons on the internet and see if that is what he saw.  Yep.  I went over to the house today to feed the cats (he is staying over at Mom's in Gulfport for school during the week now to go to JD) and went back in to go through the mail before I came back here.  When I went to leave, there on the front porch was the hedgehog/raccoon-with a baby!  They didn't even bother to stop eating to look up at me-they just stayed there like two more cats, munching down on Special Kitty.  When does it stop?

Jonesin' for some new shoes

I've spent the last two hours scouring the internet, trying to find a pair of the old tire tread huarache sandals like the ones I had in high school.  They were leather, hand woven brown sandals with open toes and recycled tire treads for soles and they had a strap that buckled.  I found a similar pair for men by Minnetonka, but they are a gussied up version that looks very nice but NOT what I want.  I want the real thing, and I am finding it surprisingly difficult to find them.  I am used to being able to google up basically anything I can dream up.

I did, however, see some really groovy shoes.  I am not really a girly shoe kinda girl-I tend to wear more dykey styles.  Lots of smooth brown leather, and usually pretty clunky.  And with my foot tattoo, that is probably for the best, although sometimes it is cute, when the birdie's head peeps out of my shoe.  I wouldn't dare try to walk in heels.  But I will admit that I have shoe fantasies, and I love to try them on just to see.  I walk through even our little selection at Belks, and some of the shoes I see-like buttah, baby!  I can't believe the colors and textures. When I was growing up, there was brown, black, white (but never after Labor Day!) and for hussies, f**k me red.  And the prices!  They need to come out with the shoe version of Bag, Borrow or Steal for me to be able to afford all the shoes I covet (but in all honesty would never wear).  I guess I will have to content myself with visiting them.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Head in the sand

I told myself I was not going to borrow trouble by worrying about Hurricane Ike until/unless it made it into the gulf.

I decided I had to get back to the houseboat as the bird situation was crazy over at the house.  There is no carpet or curtains (tile & blinds) so they are extremely shrill with nothing to buffer the noise.  So I got straight up this morning, serviced their cages and loaded them up and came back here.  Now I have been gone a week.  The water was down within the banks three days after the stormlette.  I come home today, and we are flooding again.  It is not too bad.  The road was almost completely submerged but reappeared by the time I finished coming back and forth.  The river is running extremely strong, too.

I stopped by the Oaks on my way home and Tu's cousin asked what I was going to do for the storm.  I told him I wasn't going to even think about it unless it came into the gulf, and he said "Oh, it's coming into the gulf".  I got a gutsick fisty feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I really have not even looked at the weather in about five days-when I'm in actual hurricane mode I tend to watch the weather 24/7 and when it's over for us I am waaay over the weather.  I came home and the forcast has changed so much in five days!  (Kinda proves my point about not worrying about it too soon.)  Now it looks almost certain to head this way-last time I looked they were saying it was going up the east coast.  Fortunately I only brought the bare necessities home with me in anticipation of possibly having to run again.  It sucks that it is flooding though-in order to get my stuff back here, I ended up having to take the boat/trailer off of Johnny's truck because it was too deep for my car, and of course some dipshit parked right in the only spot I can get through when there is water over the road.  They forget that not everyone drives a 4x4.  I guess I will go to Wallyworld later and pick up some water and drinks to restock the house.  I did bring all the fixings for red beans and rice for tomorrow.  I may see if Clay will make some cornbread and we can have a neighborhood dinner, since I refuse to cut my recipe such as it is, and it makes enough to feed an army.  Maybe tomorrow will be nice enough for everyone to get their remote control boats out and we can get some races going.  Anything to get me away from the TV.  Now that I've looked, it's like I can't look away, and I am not looking forward to another five days of the Weather Channel, much as we appreciate the information.  

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day with Dar

Busy day today.  I took Alex to school and went and picked Dar up and we did a little running around, then went to lunch at the cafeteria at JD.  Alex said he needed to go audition for the school plays (Dancing at Lughnasa and A Christmas Carol) as it is ten percent of his grade.  Who am I to stand in the way of grades?  Ha-as if anything could keep him from auditioning.  Mom, Dar and I decided to go watch the auditions.  We had already been joking around in the cafeteria while Mom ate.  She was telling us about this girl in her class who was doing some sort of art piece that Mom said looked to her like a vagina, and said she wanted to ask the girl if it was a snatch.  Needless to say we were fired up when we got to the theater.  We had just finished using their very nice facilities and were sitting in the lobby before auditions when this girl came in.  I thought Dar had smiled/waved at her, then she all of a sudden came up to me with an "Oh my God, I haven't seen you in so long".  I've never seen her before in my life.  I must have looked puzzled, because she 'reminded' me that she knew me from soccer.  I thought to myself "does this look like the body of someone who would sweat on purpose?"  I assured her that I was not who she thought I was, so she stuck her hand out and introduced herself to each of us.  Her name is Branda (I did it in the same voice as the girl in House Bunny did to help remember and by golly, it does work-especially if you do it every thirty seconds or so for the rest of the afternoon.)   Turns out she's in all of the theater classes so she knew Alex.  She was very friendly.  Dar later got me alone in the car and asked me if I knew she was hitting on me.  I told her Johnny's theory about me being a dyke magnet.  I don't really think that was it, though.  I think it was just one of those kindred spirit kind of things.  We kind of disrupted Mr. Perrini's auditions, but we had a blast laughing and making helpful comments and observations for the benefit of no one but ourselves.  I was invited to audition, but explained the situation with transportation/spouse.  We may go back for callbacks on Monday just for shits and giggles.

Left the auditions and went to the movie theater in D'Iberville.  We got there just late enough to miss the middle matinee and had about an hour and a half until anything started.  Alex and I have seen so many movies lately that we were hard pressed to come to a decision on anything we hadn't seen or at least wouldn't mind seeing again with Dar, so we decided to go eat some chips and salsa at Salsarita's and talk it over.  Decided that we would forgo the movie (I knew that would not fly with Alex as we had already decided what we wanted to see, but we were trying to celebrate Dar's birthday that got pushed back because of the stormlette).  We settled on going over to Crossroads to fart around in Acadamy, Petsmart and Circuit City.  When we finished, it was pretty close to dinnertime, but none of us was hungry so we just went back to Dar's.  I feel bad because we really didn't do anything special, and she is such a giving person.  When we were on our way out for the morning, after I'd given her a card and a book I'd picked up for her, she handed me a bag and said it was just something little.  It was a box of Hawaiian Breadmix and a Naked Papers T-shirt and bumper sticker!  She really does spoil me.

After we took her home, we headed back toward the house, but decided to stop and visit the puppies at Petland on the way.  I think we both fell for this precious little French Bulldog that we took into one of their little play areas.  Just out of curiosity I asked how much it was.  The girl said she had to go find out.  When she came back, her reply was a matter of fact "Nineteen hundred dollars".  I almost shit myself.  I asked how much the little Yorkies they have are and she said they start at twelve hundred.  It took Alex reminding me that I spent fifteen hundred on Nemo ten years ago before I made the pet store=exorbitant prices (all that overhead, dontcha know).  Alex is dying for a dog, though.  He still misses Sandy, and he's here by himself all the time.  However, he is now in school and won't be here during the week, and Johnny and I have trips planned, so it will be awhile before we can take on the responsibility, and that is only if Johnny can be cracked. *snort*  We finished up there and by that time it was back to actual movie time, and since we WERE right there, decided "why not?"  We watched "Hamlet 2" which was a riot.

Anyway, it is now after eleven and I am tired.  This damn air conditioner blows straight down on me and just about freezes the parts of me that are exposed, but as soon as the thermostat cuts it off, I start getting hot.  Back and forth all night.  I guess it is time for me to go home-the house honeymoon is over.  Nemo had a pluckfest while we were gone today and blew all of his feathers all over the kitchen flapping when I let him out when we got back, so that will be the first thing I have to deal with when I get up.  If the next storm forces us to evacuate again soon, I will make sure to dig out Nemo's spare big cage and finger out a mo' betterer place for them to sit than in the kitchen.  I just can't deal with the feathers tonight.  Bless his heart.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yay Blogspot! Boo LiveJournal!

I've spent the better portion of the day getting mind fucked by LiveJournal. It would not let me copy and paste anything to my gerberblog, but it did not let me know it wasn't going to until after I posted. I tried everything I could think of, then decided to consult the wizard of all things computer. Alex kept thinking it was the site but I argued that it was the browser setting (cuz that is what the farging site kept telling me). To settle the matter, I asked him for another blog site because like I said, I'm a virgin. *smirk* To make a long story short, Alex wins. I copied and pasted my two earlier posts in their entirety to blogspot with no problems, so it was the site, nanny nanny booboo to me.

Whilst I did copy and paste said entries I am no whiz kid when it comes to formatting, so from the point where I copied and pasted the one line, the entire post from that point on got really tiny, fontwise. Rather than spending any more time on it, when I previewed it I just said to hell with it and posted it the way it was. I'm sure this is a learning process-I'll get the hang of it eventually. Just wanted to throw that in as an apology to anyone who has read this (thus?) far.

I was thinking earlier in the day when I was writing the first post that there was nothing to it-just write what comes into your head. I thought of all the authors I'd read who'd moaned about writers' block and such and thought "what candy asses". That was before I noticed that from the point where I had tried to incert my husband's one lined email everything I'd written was gone! All my work! I suddenly lost my blase' attitude.

I went out to the back porch to switch clothes from the washer to the dryer, and noticed for the second time a little tiny wrenlike bird in the upper corner of the porch. Frogs and spiders hang out there, because Alex keeps the light on the porch on to pee by. Bugs are drawn to the light, so the frogs and spiders are fat and happy. When I saw the bird the other night, I thought it was hanging out there because of the storm, but since it is back tonight, I am wondering if it is just a bug eater of some sort. If so, it is welcome to hang out there, but I fear that the cats might wait until the poor thing's guard is down and make a little snack of it. There is no ledge or anything for it to sit on-it is just kind of clinging to the siding in the corner there. It's not like it doesn't have a gagillion other choices of places to live around here. Something else for me to worry about.

Well, I have decided to have a big girl drink (Busch Light in a bottle, thank you very much. Deceptively low maintenance, that would be me!) or six, so I am done with this for the night. We will save the "Beer vs. Blog" for another post.


I guess it would make sense to introduce the principals in my life. My husband is Johnny. We have been married for 18 years. He is a jackup boat captain, and is currently working in Nigeria. He has also worked in Trinidad and Venezuela in the past 15 or so years, as well as for a few US companies out of Texas and Louisiana. It sounds like he changes jobs frequently, but in his line of business, you tend to follow your boat, so if the boat gets sold, you change companies. However, you also tend to follow money, so...

My oldest son is Ronny (24). He is married to my beautiful daughter in law Jamie. He is in the Air Force, and is a loadmaster on a C-5. He lives in Dover, Delaware and goes to places no mother wants to think about *LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA* . He and Jamie both play World of Warcraft. They actually play the game. I dabble.

My youngest son is Alex (21). He is currently attending theater classes at MGCCC JD campus. He has been affected by cerebral palsy since birth, and epilepsy for most of his life as well. He has a vagus nerve stimulator, and has had since he was 13. He loves acting and all aspects of theater production. He lives in a cute little house we bought after Katrina that is exactly 1/2 mile from the houseboat.

My oldest bird is Nemo. I have had him since March 1998 when he was four months old. He is a Congo African Grey. He is very verbal, particularly when I am on the phone.

My middle bird is Ahab. I got him about a year after I got Nemo. He is a maroon bellied conure. He was a clown when he was a baby-when we bought him he was sleeping on his back on the bottom of his cage. Sad to say he grew outta that habit.

The baby of the bunch (batch? clutch? nest?) is Moby. He is an asshole, and has been since day 1. I got him in a trade-ha! Joke was on me. I had this mean bitchy female ringnecked parakeet (if memory serves-been a long time) named Mrs. Ching (a female pirate once upon a time) and a fairly nice large cage I had no place to store, so I took them both to a bird fair and traded them to a breeder for this little monster. They got a bird and a nice cage, I got Beelzebub personified in a 4" bird body. He did not fly for a full year after we got him, so I thought perhaps he was developmentally delayed, injured or just plain stupid-looks like stupid was the likliest of the 3. After 7 years, he still will not step up onto a finger without first giving it a healthy nip, and that is only if he has flown off the cage and stranded himself. I was trying to give Ahab a companion to replace his previous love, a beautiful sun conure named Drake whom we lost to a dogbite. Mrs. Ching didn't work (Ahab was starting to pluck himself) so Moby was our next (fortunately successful) attempt. He is just plain downright mean, both to us and to Ahab, who apparently likes it a little rough. All of the birds live on the houseboat with Johnny and me.

(btw...I keep saying he/him when referring to any of the birds [except that bitch Mrs. Ching] because we identify them as males, although we have no idea what sex they are...With these types of parrots, they have no visible sexual organs, so there is surgery involved if you really just have to know, i.e. breeders, vets etc. We don't care either way, it is just easier to pick a way to refer to them and stick with it.)

And I am Jackie, aka Derfina. I worked for a million years for an answering service, first as an operator, then as an assistant manager, then as a manager. Later in my working life, I worked for an outstanding group of orthopaedic specialists. I worked in their call center for 5 years, then moved to the front desk in the office closest to my home. At this point in our lives, I don't absolutely have to work, so last year I decided to leave my job and become a stay at home wyfe. Retired. No longer working for a standard employer. KEPT WOMAN just sounds so slutty.


Did I say that out loud?

It's no wonder I get so little done with my 'everything has to be just so' mentality. But at least I did get this set up and am attempting my first entry, no easy feat what with all the balancing of lapdesk and laptop and such, not to mention the laying down factor. Also, as I am NOT the mistress of the ellipsis that I wish I was, I am going to attempt to punctuate with actual periods instead of letting my sentences visually trail off as I am used to doing.

Currently, I am laid back in the bedroom of my son Alex's house. I evacuated the houseboat last week due to Hurricane Gustav and am working diligently on wearing out my welcome. I don't think Alex really minds having me here, but I know he is over the birds by now. I am just too lazy to get all my chit packed back up and tote it back to the houseboat, particularly since there are three other named storms in the Gulf/Atlantic. I don't want to keep dragging everything back and forth, so the path of least resistance leaves me laying right where I am.

The storm was underwhelming from my perspective. Wind and rain, and of course the river came up so I could not get back to the houseboat for a couple of days, but fortunately no damage to either place, and none to anyone I know for that matter. I'm sure if we'd taken a direct hit I would be of another opinion. Thinking about thi s reminds me of the aftermath of Katrina. Everyone on 'the outside' saw what was going on in New Orleans. I remember sitting in my car in an ice line, grateful that I had filled my tanks before the storm. I watched these strangers from all over the country standing out in that heat heaving bags of ice and flats of water into car trunks and pickup beds and I just cried because how on earth do we thank these people? It still haunts me. I didn't really lose too much physically in that storm-I was one of the fortunate few. But I think we all lost our innocence which is why the evacuations went so smoothly. I don't ever want to feel so helpless as to how to express my gratitude-in fact, I don't ever want to have to feel that grateful again, thank you very much. I'd much rather be a helper than a helpee-a relief worker instead of a victim. It sounds crass, but I am much better at giving than taking.

I took Alex today to change his voter registration precinct today. He has been watching the conventions religiously and I can tell he has definite opinions, although he is not very vocal in expressing them, at least to me. He has said all along that he was not going to vote, that it did not make any difference to him either way. Once I explained to him that who is in office helps to determine his SSI benefits, he seemed to understand that it does make a difference, and I think he will vote at least in the presidential race this year.

Email from hubby in Nigeria:

I never imagined i'd ever meet anybody in my life that's never heard of Elvis Pressley OR The Beatles,
but today i have,

My reply:

Then I guess I can keep looking for the purple cow

I've never blogged/journaled before, probably partially due to things like that spilling out of my head. I read other peoples' blogs and then see the comments their readers make and it just makes me cringe to think about other people critiquing my thoughts. I realize now that I could make them private entries or disallow comments, but I decided to jump in with both feet, although I am not announcing the fact that I'm doing this to anyone. If someone stumbles upon it, fine. I read a quote somewhere recently that 'you don't want to know what other people think about you' and in a way that is true-especially if they think crappy things about you. But you also miss out on the good stuff that way. I guess Chris Cuomo changed my life in more ways than one in the last year, bless his heart! I hope ya'll did see him on GMA face his fear of heights by jumping off of the Taj Mahal building in Atlantic city from the 51st floor. I don't know why that made such a difference to me, but it did. Since I watched that, I am more of a risk taker, and I thank him for that.

I was also afraid I would flit from subject to subject, just like I am doing. Welcome to the inside of my head! That's what thirty years of pot smoking will do for you, folks. I have profound thoughts, I think. I just can't remember them. But the good thing is, what comes around, goes around. If I just keep going, they come back to me. Maybe writing them down will improve my short term memory.

I guess I am just tired of listening to myself think. I keep reading these groovy female humor writers and then peek at their blogs and I finally realized THAT COULD BE ME. Their thoughts are not that much different than myne own, they just stop to write things down. It would be nice if I could carry a keyboard around with me all the time, because now that I am doing it, I realize that it goes much faster (and neater) if I type. The first time we went to Amsterdam I did try to journal, but Johnny kept mocking me when I'd pull my little journal out and start scribbling because it took so LONG and was such a mess. My kindle has a keyboard, but it is not very user friendly-it can't keep up with my fingers, and I (against my long ago typing teacher's advice) am a read as I go kinda girl...It slows me down, because I can't continue with an obvious error, so I spend half my time, or so it used to seem, on the backspace key. Go, OCD, go.

I rectom this has been a long enough entry for my virgin voyage, such as it is. I certainly hope someone gets the purple cow reference.