Archive for September, 2008


Y’all….I have some large news.  It’s gonna have to wait til tomorrow or later in the week for me to tell though.  Trust me…it’s BIG. 

I’m not pregnant.  (That would result in a potential suicide note post)

I’m not engaged or anything like that. (Shut yo’ mouth. I’m still married)

Stay tuned.


A follow up to the “I -Didn’t-Make -My- Bed- Yesterday-Surely-the-Lord-Is-About-To-Bust-Through-The-Clouds story from yesterday….there’s a little anecdote to this; an “Epilogue” if you will. It could actually work as a If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” story.

To backtrack, I actually started to make my bed and I was trying to do it whilst brushing my teeth.  There are a number of reasons it’s never a good idea to brush ones teeth whilst trying to make your bed. 

The biggest reason is if you are like me, you will sneeze in the middle of it.  Then, what happens is toothpaste flies out of your mouth and onto the pretty, red comforter and leaves big ol’ toothpaste spots.  Thus, leaving you disgusted, thinking it’s a typical Monday, and I’m running late, screw the bed-making, it will be ok.

So, when I got home yesterday afternoon, I thought I’d be really smart and throw my pretty, red comforter in the wash and get those big ol’ toothpaste marks off (in celebration of my newly found Felix Unger-icity and all, ya know). 

I had washed the Pretty Red Comforter once before and it did fine. 

Apparently. something went amiss in the warsher. 

I see the little red circles and that tells me that it was actually a dryer mishap.  Even so, it makes my Inner Felix very angry.  (My Inner Felix can either be the Jack Lemmon version or the Tony Randall version. I want the Jack version because of that sinus-problem noise he made.  Did Tony do that? Can’t remember)


Yesterday evening, when I was leaving the Y and coming down the Vietnam Veterans Bypass, I was taken with how much earlier it’s getting dark these days. 

I also was pretty taken with the sunset on the drive home.

It was awfully purty.

Gonna See the King?

Besides the stock market about to collapse and all that mess, you know how else I know that Jesus might be about to come back to Earth to gather his jewels? 

I didn’t make my bed this morning.  For the first time since I moved, I did not make my bed.  I was running late and I knew I had to get gas and get the DQ to her Dad’s house to get to school. 

The thing that makes me think the trumpet of the Lord will soon sound and time will be no more, is not so much that I didn’t make my bed.  It’s that it’s only 8:26 in the morning and I have thought about the fact that I didn’t make my bed this morning a lot and it’s making me nuts.  So much so, I may go home at lunch and make it.

What has happened to me?  Is this my inner Felix Unger coming out?  Is this the real me that I haven’t ever met before?

Things You Always Wanted To Know About Charles Laughton

I have been succesful in my plan to do nothing today, for the most part.  Oh, I did the usual tidy-up-the-place things but other than that?  Nada.

I did, however, engage in my guilty pleasure of indulging in a Classic movie that I am now thinking is toward the top of my Top Ten list of favorite classic movies.

I have talked here about my love of Billy Wilder movies.  Today, I watched Witness For The Prosecution that I had DVR’d one day this last week. 

You talk about suspense and a surprise ending?  I’m not going to even talk about how it ended.  Unbelievable.  

They say this was Agatha Christie’s favorite adaptation of any of her work to film.  I can see why. 50 years after its release, this movie has stood the test of time in a big way. You just gotta see it.  If I get started on the plot, I’ll spoil it.  Just rent it off Netflix.  Trust me on this one.

Tyrone Power, (probably the Clooney of his day and this was his last movie.  Died in ’58 of a heart attack. Probably playing this character contributed.  He was quite on-edge in this role. Veins a’poppin’ out of his neck like crazy)  Marlene Dietrich are like buttah as Leonard and Christine.  Dietrich wasn’t a young babe when she made this movie but she was still hawt.  How cool is it we see Dietrich play accordion and sing in this?  Ok, so Streisand she was not, vocally….

I always get little happies when I spot familiar faces in movies and in this one, I spotted John Williams who was the second Mr. French on Family Affair and (squee!) Phillip Tonge who was Mr. Shellhammer in another of my Top Ten’s, Miracle On 34th Street.

For me though, the ones that totally make this movie so fabulous are Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester.  These two were such great actors with great chemistry, but, it’s no wonder cause they were married in real life, in spite of the fact that Laughton was gay.  They both got Oscar nominations for their performances as Sir Wilfred and Miss Plimsoll.  Hysterical.

And ya know, the Internets are so full of interesting things.  There is a blog devoted to Charles Laughton.  It’s true.  That’s where I found this picture of Charles, Elsa and their cat! God is so good to give me more useless, uneccesary things to have in my brain.  Remember her? She was the Bride of Frankenstein and a bunch of Disney movies.

My Shedyool For The Day

My agenda for Sunday:

1.  Do as little as possible.

2.  Take as many naps as I feel moved to take.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.

4. Take another nap.

5. Enjoy my first official Mental Health Day since God-only-knows-when.

Paul Newman 1925-2008

To quote from I guess my favorite Paul Newman movie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, the line where Brick says

“What is it that makes him so big? His big heart? His big belly? Or his big money?”

Paul Newman didn’t have a big belly, but, he did have a big heart and big money that he used to make the world a little bit better of a place than he found it.  He was also, I think, one of the very best of the best of actors of the last 50 years and I predict my grandchildren’s children will be aware of this man’s art.

I don’t know how I missed that Paul Newman was dying of cancer, but, I didn’t know he was sick.  Shocked to get on here a bit ago and see that he died yesterday at the age of 83.  Dang.


Y’all…do me, but, mostly do yourselves a favor and go read this stunningly fabulous post by my good pal, Chris. 

Chris has done Medical Transcription from home for a very long time.  She’s seen lotsa stuff.  I sorta relate to what she’s writing about, but, on a different sort of level.  Chris sees everything.  I see, for lack of a better word, Cooties.

Most of the things I see at my work, lab results of people with various communicable diseases, do not result in death.  Sometimes they do, but, 9 times out of 10, if a patient dies and has invasive MRSA or VRE or one of those things, they also had terminal cancer or advanced kidney disease or some other condition that weakened their system considerably. As if having a terminal or serious illness wasn’t a bitch enough, they get an infection from the hospital. 

It’s easy when you see so much paperwork of various sicknesses to not think of each lab slip as a real person.  It’s more paperwork.  I put my earphones in and go into my little Cootie Zone to block out the very loud people that work around me.  I kinda dig it there in that little Zone and I confess I don’t always think of these names and these ugly sounding sicknesses, (Shigella just plain sounds like something you don’t want, ya know?) that are required to be reported to the State by Law, as being painful or unpleasant.  I’m mostly just seeing how quick I can get everything entered (lots of little steps to that process) get them faxed to the Investigators and get them filed away.

A couple months ago, my lifelong friend Karen’s husband, Ron (who’s been married to Karen for so long, I’ve known him since I was 18) became ill with E-Coli while on vacation in Gulf Shores.  It’s a long, drawn-out story, but, Ron is a very lucky man to be breathing today.  There was a time there for a few days that it was touch and go, his kidney’s failed and I know Karen probably imagined herself as a single mother raising their two kids alone.  It was a very scary situation, but, thankfully, Ron is recovering. 

I guess Ron’s name ended up on an assistant in the CDC office down there in Alabama.  Somebody had to investigate it and trace where Ron picked up this thing that just about killed him.  I suppose the Alabama Health Dept. equivalent to me didn’t think nary a thing about it. 

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I was just so moved by Chris’s thoughts on what she does, it just got me thinking.    Just go read it.

Misty Watercolored Memories…Or Something Like That

Call me a whiny baby all you want, but, stories like this make me want to cuss.  Why couldn’t Michael McDonald have done a benefit for the Franklin High School Band back when I were one of them? That’s cause Franklin wasn’t swanky back in the days when Yo Sista cruised the square in the ’79 Grand Am.  (Do the rednecks still sit on the Square on weekend nights and holler at  people as they pass?  Doubt it. Shame)

 The new FHS looks like a stinkin’ country club now.  Please take notice of FHS then…the front of the building.

If I remembered those kids’ names, I’d tell you who they are.  (Oh Chez Bez?  Do you know?) I remember the girls’ faces (and hair) but not their names.
And the front of FHS now…

I bet instead of Lunch Ladies, they’ve got May-truh-dees.  I bet instead of Mr. Hankins and his “coffee” cup, they have a Starbucks.  Betchya they have concierges, too. Gah.
Ironically, this last coupla weeks has seen a frenzy of reunions on Facebook with kids I went to school with, all the way up from elementary school to the FHS days.  We’ve been reminiscing like crazy and trying to put together some meet ups.  Good times indeed.  People like Bailey Leopard (isn’t that a great name?) Tricia Baker, Marni Gruel, Denise Williamson, Yvette Minton, David Rice (who was one of my goodest buddies)…good folks all of them.

I was at my kids’ high school last night and had to stop for a minute and watch the band practice.  They may not have P. Wayne Simpson and his cigarrettes and megaphone hollering “You’re on your own time, People” and making CERTAIN people pick up trash cause they had had enough of that little dweeb, who shall remain nameless, and opened up a Can of Whoop Ass on him.  (I don’t know who that was, but, it weren’t me. HAR)  but high school band practice still sounds the same with the tom-toms and bass drum in the background, flags a’twirling….ah…

Just for grins…

According to Web, this was a 1984 configuration of the award-winning (are they still award winning?) Franklin High School Marching Band.  I was not in it til the next year.  Web is more of a Rainman than I am.

The More I Laugh, The Hornier He Gets

Feel Good Friday is h’year and this week, lets us look at some funny clips from my most favorite movie EVER…Oh gawsh, how I love this movie.  It isn’t all 100% accurate with everything but Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek are so wonderful. 

A little trivia that nobody-gives-a-flip about….the scene where Loretty says the infamous line about Doo “gettin’ horny” live on the radio…the DJ she’s talking to is supposed to be Hugh Cherry.  Hugh was a well known DJ from here to the West Coast (yep, a compadre of Biff’s on KFOX in Long Beach).  Hugh auditioned for the role of himself and DIDN’T GET IT.  I never understood that.  Hugh was a rather handsome feller and not knocking Big Boy who did get the part…I imagine they wanted to embellish the stereotype that Country Music people are all yay-hoos or something.  I don’t know.

Yay! I’m getting off early! Woo hoo!

I should be excited but I have to take my Firstborn to the Dentist and to have his stitches removed.

I haven’t taken a sick day for myself in…gosh, I don’t know if I’ve actually had a sick day for me since I came here. It’s either for one of the kids or my mother.

Suddenly, I’m not feeling so well. Cough…cough….I think my left ovary is hurting….

When Cuzzins Are Two Of A Kind

A coupla weeks back, I was in Schpilkis mode.  Cousin Terry thought I needed a casserole so you know what he did today? He personally delivered this to me.  It was some kinda good too.  Spaghetti Pie, he called it.  It had Eye-talian sausage in it, green peppers, other good stuff. 

Cousin Terry is my…let’s see…I guess we are third cousins or some sort of “removed” cousins.  Terry’s grandmother was Aunt Millie.  She was a younger sister to my grandfather.  Aunt Millie was the baby there in the middle and my grandfather is the cherubic looking little feller there on the left.  This picture was made about 1898 on the Nickell Family property up by Lake Barkley, right by the Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky.  (Sometime I have to do a post about my great-great Uncle Shelley Nickell who woulda been a blogger if he was around now and was quite the conservation hero in that area.)

Anyway, Terry is a kin people I didn’t really get to know until I was grown.  We would see that side of the family once a year or so when my grandmother would visit, but, I was a little kid and Terry was a grown up man who had kids older than me. 

After my Dad died in 1992, and his mother died in 1994 and when our Great Aunt Mimi died in 1994, I guess I was seeking family connection. My sister had married and moved away and my mother, during this time, sorta checked out and that side of the family was good enough to sorta draw me into their tight-knit circle. Terry inherited our Aunt Mimi’s house on the Cumberland River and thanks to him, his niece Barbara and other family members, I’ve been able to do some serious connecting with that side of the family and learn a lot about my grandfather and who he was.  

  I don’t think that was hard for Terry and the Brocks/Smiths to draw me and my bunch into their because our grandparents and all the siblings were tight.  Every picture you see of them, even as older people, they were always hugging and touching (I didn’t get that gene. Heh)

I’ve had some fun times with Terry and the other assorted Brocks/Smiths.  Terry and Kaye aren’t just my kinfolks but I really think of them as good friends that I’d have wanted to be friends with even if we didn’t share a lineage, ya know?  I am blessed to have Terry not far down the road.

Thanks Terry.

Playing God The Way God Wouldn’t Play God

That Matt has done it again.
Linky dink fixed. 

The One about the Jerk from Matt Tullos on Vimeo.

Shut Up

I love Facebook.  I love that in the last month, I’ve reconnected with a ton of people I haven’t even as much as given a teeny thought to since Reagan was in office. 

Today, my fellow former Franklin Rebel/Band Geek Denise was so precious and stuck this lovely photo on the Facebook. 

I’ll sit here and wait whilst you have yourself a nice belly laugh. 

The thing that jumps out at me…is not the little blonde whatever that is on the top of my head (shut up, that was my Rosanne Cash phase when she was in the “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” period.  That’s not what’s so mortifying to me.  Nor is it the teeth.  It’s the eyebrows.  That was when I only pulled them sometimes and when I did, my eyes would water.  I didn’t know about wax yet.  Nice contour, don’t you think?

Shut up.  I was hot.

Now I have to search and see if I have a picture of Denise and her French Horn.

The Elephant In The Room

I’ve hinted at it here and there and have been deliberately delicate about how to approach this subject here.  I think it’s kinda obvious what has happened at the Casa de Smiff.  Yep.  Me and Mr. Smiff have, in the words of that great American, Tex Ritter, split the sheets.

So there ya go. 

It’s an odd place to be.  Even though we’ve been here before, this time is a totally different experience than the other time.  8 years is a good amount of time, and really, I don’t feel like I’m even the same person I was then, much less the same kid I was when I got married in 1989. 

This is the question I get a lot…”How are you?”  It’s usually said with a little trepidation, like the asker is afraid I might actually tell them how I am. 

My question is, DO people really want to know how you are when they ask?  Cause, like, people ask me the question and if I say “I’m good, how are you?”  They will say “REALLY?”  It’s almost like they want  you to not be ok. 

I was in the bathroom at work the other day, talking to Dr. Mac.  Dr. Mac is, well, she’s a doctor.  She is probably the most absolute coolest Canadian I’ve ever run into.  She is hysterically funny, she spins, is very personable, plays on a co-ed hockey team…just love her.  She has also recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.   

We’re in the bathroom washing our hands and I turned to her and asked her how she was.  Then, I remembered who I was talking to and I said “Do you almost get the feeling people want to see you fall apart in front of their eyes?”  She laughed…of course. 

I’m not comparing a divorce with breast cancer.  Apples and oranges , but, both are major, turning-point-in-your-life experiences.  People ask Dr. Mac the same sorta “How are yew doing?” questions and try to answer for her.  I guess people mean well.  Breast cancer and divorce are unpleasant things and I think people are afraid that they may be contagious or something.  I dunno.

So, how am I?  Let’s just say this last month, especially, has been very difficult.  There have been good days, bad days, REALLY bad days, so-so days.  I’ve had some days where I’ve told the co-workers, who are not used to seeing me in teary mode, “If I appear tearful, just ignore me and for pete’s sake, DONT ask if I’m ok.” (Why do people do that?  If you are crying, perhaps “OK” is not the word you’d use to describe yourself.  Just what IS ok anyway?)

I’ve found myself hibernating a bit more than I have in recent times.  It’s not so much that I’m sitting here in my adorable, homey digs weeping and wailing (although I have, make no mistake). I’m just finding myself chillin’.  I don’t know how to describe it.  Quiet. Lots of thinking.  Lots of reflecting. Lots of praying.  In some ways it’s a really good thing but then again, it’s sad.

 I’m not one to meltdown very often, but, according to my counselor, I should do it more.  I haven’t exactly been great at owning my feelings for many years, in fact, I sorta got numb to them.  I believe they call it in the Psyche world Disassociation.” 

It was kindly humbling to find out that what I always thought was one of my “spiritual gifts”, sarcasm, was really a coping mechanism.  Ain’t that something?  Here I’ve been thinking how stinkin’ clever I can be.  And even more humbling was a couple weeks back, my Sunday School teacher pointed out that the root word of the word “sarcasm” comes from the Greek “sarkaizen” which means to “tear flesh.”  Webster defines sarcasm as “a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain”.  Yikes. 

 Interestingly enough, only in the last year has it ever been directly pointed out to me that ya know, that sarcastic thing you’ve got going is sharp and witty, but, you can hurt people with it.  I’m sure others have thought that but didn’t nobody ever directly say that to me.  I have had a couple instances here on the blog where my sarcasm was hurtful and that was huge for me.

How’d I get on that subject?  I was talking about getting divorced….anyway…I’m not gonna use this space to give details about what happened that led to this, etc.  Me and Mr. Smiff are working very hard at number one, helping our kids to adjust the changes and neither one of us are interested in destroying the other one.  19 years is a long time.  One more year and I would’ve been with him longer than I was with my parents.  I have very strong feelings where Mr. Smiff and his family are concerned.  (Strong as in deep)

So, if you know somebody that’s going through a rough period in their lives…whether it be a divorce, an illness or any number of other tough times, and you don’t quite know what to say, my suggestion is (I’m bout to get Biff on ya) “Drop them” a note or an email that says just that.  I’m here for ya…I care…blah blah…don’t put people on the spot.  Don’t get all in their face and ask for details or try to convince them that they should feel this or that.  Sometimes a hug is good (cept for weirdos like me that aren’t always comfortable with that)…feel it out.  It’s awkward all around.