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Guided by prompts from WDC blogging challenges... and of course, life
HI! I'm Jenn - and I'm all over the place (well, at least my mind is). In this blog, I have attempted to gather my thoughts on things prompted/inspired by WDC blogging challenges from "Journalistic Intentions, "The Soundtrack of Your Life, "Blogging Circle of Friends , "30-Day Blogging Challenge ON HIATUS and, well, LIFE.
BCOF Insignia The Original Logo.Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

Signature for those who are nominated for a Quill Award in 2021
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May 18, 2022 at 12:54pm
May 18, 2022 at 12:54pm
My oldest daughter's baby shower was this past Saturday.

Friday the 13th - Since my youngest doesn't have a car, she was unable to get to the party on her own, so my husband and I drove the two and a half hours southwest of where we live the night before to pick her up. She had to work until 11 pm, so my husband and I left home around 8:30. I programmed our GPS with her address, and we were off. The trip there was uneventful, the GPS guided us there without any problem. It was the ride home where the GPS apparently decided to take us on the scenic route. Let me just say here that our GPS does this from time to time. It will choose the road much less travelled to lead us down in order for us to reach our destination. It has gotten us lost on more than one occasion. But back to the story. Once we left the lights of the city, things went downhill. The GPS led us down country roads it looked like few vehicles travel other than tractors. The night was black and all we saw were trees and fields, no signs of being inhabited. My husband joked that it felt like Deliverance and asked when the banjos were going to start playing. Deeper into this winding maze in the middle of nowhere we drove. It looked like our journey home was going to take much longer than the two and a half hours it took us to get down there. So accustomed had I become to the darkness and solitude that I was taken off guard by a mass of flashing lights at the intersection I had come to. There were at least six police vehicles, and double that many police officers at the intersection. One very friendly and helpful officer walked up to my vehicle as I stopped at the intersection. He told us that they were still looking for the convict that had escaped and suggested that we not stop along the road for any reason or pick up any hitchhikers. Fine with me. I wanted to get the heck out of Dodge and back to some semblance of civilization anyway! We drove away asking one another what escaped convict they were searching for, because none of us had heard anything about any escaped convict. It turned out that my lovely GPS had guided us on backroads toward Centerville. We finally made it back home, at about 2:30 a.m. On Saturday, before my youngest and I left for the baby shower, I looked up recent escaped convicts in Texas. I found just what I was looking for. The convict they were searching for (and I think are still searching for) is a man who was convicted of murder and attempted murder. On Thursday, he had somehow escaped his restraints, found a sharp object, and attacked and stabbed the driver of the prison bus he was on, causing the bus to crash. He then escaped into the wilderness near Centerville, both armed guards firing at him as he ran off. The reports said everyone else remained in their restraints on the bus. Sounds like there was more to it than they're letting on, but then again, they only tell us what they want us to know about most things. Better to keep the masses docile.

Saturday the 14th - While I was looking up the convict on my computer, I get a call from my oldest saying she wouldn't be able to make it to her own baby shower. The lugs on one of the tires on her car were broken and she tried to get a rental, but they wouldn't accept her credit card for whatever reason. I called the rental place and looked to see if there were any other rental places she could possibly get a car from - so did my mom. We came up with nothing. By this time, my mom is plenty angry. and said we were going to have the baby shower with or without the mom to be. Before I left home, I spoke to my oldest one last time and told her if she really wanted to be there for her baby shower, she'd find a way. (I think this is good adulting practice for her, things don't always go the way we want them to in real life and we need to find ways to take care of things anyway - instead of relying on Momma or Grandma to do it for her) She actually made an appearance, three hours after the time set for the party, but she made it. She and her guy borrowed a car from a friend in order to be there. After the shower, I had to drive my youngest back to her apartment so she could go to work the next day and return to classes on Monday. This time, rather than relying on my GPS to guide me home after I dropped her off, I preplanned my route, and got home at a decent hour without incident.

I worked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The normal craziness a part of each day. Sunday was about as normal as they come. Monday, my coworker had a mild heart attack. Yesterday all I wanted was for my shift to be over with so I could finally get some rest. Maybe that's what I'll get to do today on my day off, after I get done with all the chores that have been stacking up. A nap is definitely in the schedule for today though. I think I deserve it!
April 21, 2022 at 11:59am
April 21, 2022 at 11:59am
I'm not sure what it is with kids these days. I come across so many of them that are completely rude and disrespectful, in the workplace many of them lack professionalism, and so many of them think things should be given to them rather than them having to work for it. Maybe I was brought up in a different time (yeah, I definitely was). Where did we go wrong as a society that our younger generations could be as they are?

Take for instance, in the store where I work, we have had a young lady of age 19 or 20 who was just promoted as a key holder/shift manager. She did well for a few weeks until Easter. The young lady texted our store manager on Easter and told her that she was not coming in to work. No excuse, just that she wasn't coming in. Two days ago, she showed up for her shift and walked out a couple of hours into the shift. She told the other person working that she was just going out to her car for a bit but instead, left. She would not answer any calls or texts until yesterday when I asked one of our other younger employees (and her friend) to try to get hold of her. The girl responded that "everything is okay, I just walked out" ... So, do we fire the girl for walking out, that's to say, if she was wanting to retain employment with us? I just don't understand why she wouldn't go to the store manager or assistant manager if she was having problems with someone, or with her hours, or anything else for that matter. That would have been the mature and professional way to go about it. When did it become okay to just leave in the middle of your shift?

Then there is my oldest. She refuses to let anyone know where she is living. When family has gone to the city where she lives to see her, she meets them at one restaurant or another. No address, nothing. Talk about worry! And then she goes for weeks! without contacting us. Yes, I worry. I'm a mom, that's what I do! And this is the child carrying my grandbaby. My imagination is rife with possibilities as to why she is living and behaving as she is. The only time she contacts me is when she wants something - money etc.

I could rant for hours, but I know you all don't want to read lengthy rants. But, if any of you know what is wrong with the kids young adults these days, drop me a line and clue me in because I have zero idea.

Until next time..... Jenn
April 20, 2022 at 12:20pm
April 20, 2022 at 12:20pm
As my husband and I have both been working much more than usual, our German Shephard has had a lot of time to himself lately. I've been noticing strange differences around the house but had been writing them off as "maybe my husband moved this or that" kind of thing. Well, yesterday I came home after work to find the entire box of dog biscuits sitting upright in the middle of the kitchen floor. I assumed my husband had pulled it out of the pantry to give the dog a treat while on his lunch break and had forgotten to put it back up before he left to go back to work. I didn't think much more about it until he arrived home after work and asked me if I had left the dog biscuits in the kitchen floor. I responded that I thought he had left them in the floor. We then both looked at our not-so-little rascal. A little while later, I had gone into the kitchen to check on dinner and I noticed the pantry door open again and the box of dog biscuits had been moved from where I had placed them to the floor of the pantry just inside the pantry door. There were biscuit crumbs littering the floor around the box and fewer biscuits within the box. I put it back in its place and then later caught the turd with his head stuck in the box grabbing yet another treat! At least I know I'm not losing my mind! I wonder what other mischief he gets into while we aren't home...
April 13, 2022 at 11:51am
April 13, 2022 at 11:51am
Day 3343: April 13, 2022 - Prompt: Political: For national poetry month, pick one of these quotes to inspire your blog entry.

“Poetry is a political act because it involves telling the truth.”
June Jordan

         Yes, poetry is a platform where you are able to state your opinion about the affairs of the world, but it is more than that. And everyone's truth is going to be different, as their experiences within the world are different.
But does that make poetry a political act?
Since when did being honest become political?
Telling the truth has been around much longer than politics. It is just the right thing to do. Although, in today's clime I see less and less emphasis put on honesty than in someone's personal opinions about a subject. Somewhere along the way, many have forgotten that everyone's truth is different. They are no longer open to the idea that there can be more than one "truth" about the same instance.
Does an object look the same from all sides and angles? Most often not. The same is true for experience and truth. They are both as we personally perceive them. With all of that being said, many poets do not go near the political circus ring, preferring instead to keep their poetic works over matters of the heart, faith, or their personal experiences.
They might differ from the norm, but this does not make them political.

But that's just the reality as I see it...

April 8, 2022 at 12:02pm
April 8, 2022 at 12:02pm
Prompt - Social Aspects: How important is wealth and income disparity to you? Do you feel that our system needs an overall?

While wealth and income disparity is a real thing, I don't know if it is very important to me personally. There are times when it seems unfair to me, of course. I am one of those people who makes just enough for the government to say I'm not impoverished, but make so little that many necessities go unseen to. Is that fair? Of course not! Nor is it fair that poor people have to pay more for basic things than those with
money. Think about it, if you don't have enough money in the bank and you overdraw your account to pay a bill like the electric payment, you then get fees added to your account from the bank. And if you can keep over a certain amount in your account, you don't have to worry about bank charges in many cases. You have to pay more to be poor. It's like hey see you struggling and instead of helping out, they put another hurdle in your path.

But should we overhaul our current system because life isn't fair? I don't think so. Is it fair to take money from those people who work their butts off and give it to people who don't want to work and would rather rely on the government to give them handouts? Nope. Yeah, there are a small handful of people who have stupid amounts of money, but those aren't the ones who take the hits when policies like this are put into place. It's the middle-class average Joe and Jill who work hard and actually earn the money they get. There will always be people playing the system, not matter what type of system is in place, but to think that taking from one who earned it honestly to give it to those who didn't is ludicrous. Whatever happened to earning your keep? And for that small portion of the population who honestly cannot work due to disability etc., help them. That would be the only system I see that needs an overhaul. But, that's a rant for another day.

April 7, 2022 at 3:12pm
April 7, 2022 at 3:12pm
         Here's the actual history of Athens, Texas - The earliest settlers, E. J. Thompson and Joab McManus, arrived early in 1850. Matthew Cartwright donated 160 acres of his land for a county seat, and the commissioners had Samuel Huffer survey the streets, the city square, and 112 lots. The district court first met in October 1850 under an oak in the square, with Oran Milo Roberts presiding. The first courthouse was a sixty-five-dollar log building that took all of a month to build. A jail of hewn logs was built in 1856 on the same site and cost $500. Ms. Dulcina A. Holland suggested the name Athens, hoping that the town would become a cultural center. By 1855 Athens had a store, a Masonic lodge, and a Presbyterian church. Shortly after followed a pottery plant, a brick plant, a cotton gin, a cottonseed oil mill, a compress, a newspaper, the arrival of the railroads, a bank, and a telephone company. By 1901, the town was hopping. By the 1980's, the town businesses included three banks, two savings and loans, oil, gas, and clay production, and manufacturers of televisions, clothing, bricks, steel buildings, mobile homes, medical supplies, boats, and bridge bearing pads. Where corn, cotton, tomatoes, and black-eyed peas were once raised in the area, agricultural revenue in the 1980s came principally from livestock, hay, and nurseries. The town had forty-two churches, a radio station, a newspaper, and a library.

         The city of Athens has many stories about its history. We are purportedly the home of the hamburger, for one. A man called Uncle Fletch Davis claims to have "invented" the hamburger back in the 1880's and took it to the World's Fair in 1904. A few other cities have claimed the title of "Birthplace of the Hamburger" however, the Athens claim has appeared more legit, in part because McDonald’s Hamburger University concluded that the true inventor of their main fare was a food vendor at the 1904 World’s Fair, and partly because it was based on years of detective work by the late Dallas Morning News columnist Frank X. Tolbert. Whether this story is true or not, well, that's for history to know for sure. But does it matter anyway?! We have a great hamburger festival every year.

         Athens is also called "The Black-eyed Pea Capitol of the World". Lofty name, if you ask me. However, we Athens residents like to have a good time, and we have a festival each year for the black-eyed pea too.

We also have a darker supposed history. One of our "Urban Legends" is that there is an underground tunnel system directly under the city. The legend is that the tunnels are in the shape of a pentagram and each of the five entrances into the tunnel system are marked by the points of the pentagram, with the courthouse being at the center of the star. Supposedly, a coven of witches created this system and imbued it with spells that keep evil and negative spirits out of the town, and others within. The tunnels are rumored to have hosted a variety of ritualistic ceremonies including the sacrifice of small animals and in some cases humans. Fuller park as been shrouded with mystery ever since Mr. Fuller erected the park in 1938 after the death of his wife. Fuller Park is said to house one of the five entrances to the tunnels. There are many rumors of this park from the Monkey Cages (yes these are real) to the grave plot in the center of the park. At one point, the city was in a state of hysteria due to the numerous animal mutilations on Hwy 19 and reports of occult activity in the city. Then there's Monkey Bridge, under which a young man was found murdered, the killer never found. Crazy things are said to happen on that bridge. In my opinion, maybe just the looks of the place gave rise to all the stories. Same with Fuller Park.

But, that's the history of Athens, Texas as everyone around like to tell it.

As for the present, we have the author SA Bailey here. And we still hold festivals for the hamburger, the black-eyed pea, and a fiddler's festival. This is my home. Thanks for reading!
March 27, 2022 at 10:09am
March 27, 2022 at 10:09am
Yesterday, tired and stressed after working so much recently, I decided to go fishing after I got off work. In Texas, if you want to fish in public waters, you must have a fishing license. There are only three places in the town where I live that sell them and one of them was pretty much on the way. I pulled out the brand-new rods that my parents had given my husband and I two Christmases ago, checked my tack, and determined what all I was going to have to buy in order to get a line in the water. No big deal, the fishing tackle store is on the way to the fishing hole at the lake too...

One hundred fifty dollars later (bait, needed tackle, and license) my husband and I arrive at the place we would be fishing. My reel was already strung so all I had to do at that point was attach a weight, tie on a hook, and put on a cork. My husband's name for a cork is a Bobber. I don't know if that's a Canadian thing or just a "him" thing.

Anyway, I was finally ready to put a minnow on my hook and get my line in the water and that's what I did. The minnow I grabbed out of the bucket was a lively little fellow, even with a hook going through his back. He swam my cork all over the place for I don't know how long. As I'm enjoying the peacefulness of the moment, I hear my husband cussing under his breath. I look over and he is still trying to string his reel so he can thread the line onto the rod. Maybe my reel was easier (and already pre-strung) because it is a close-faced reel, who knows. He prefers open-faced reels when he goes fishing. I can't use one of the darned things. I always, always get the line bunched in a bird's nest of knotted string when I use them. We didn't figure out until after we got home that someone had set the reel up for a left-handed person and he had been stringing it as if for a right-handed person and that's why it wasn't working properly. I don't think my husband had such a stress relieving time of it out there yesterday though. He never did get his line in the water.

So, I'm sitting on this boat dock and am dealing with the water disturbances from all the boats that kept motoring by while my minnow swims doggedly in circles while attached to my hook. Finally my cork bobbed up and down a couple of times and then submerged completely. I got a bite! And it was a big one. My rod curved into a rainbow from the weight of the thing fighting me on the other end of the line as I set the hook and began to reel the fish in. I reeled and reeled and brought the fish closer and closer to the dock. Then the reel became hard for me to turn. I look down and I see a bird's nest of hair tangled in the reel handle mechanism. Determined to catch the fish, I kept reeling, which continued to make the tangled mess worse. Right at the dock - underneath the jetski that had been taken out of the water for the winter, I lost the fish. There was a popping sound and then a big splash as the fish popped free of my hook and hit the water. So, my husband and I both sat on that boat dock, unravelling our own bird's nests in our reels, only at least his was his line and not his hair. I was about ready to cut my long hair off just to get it out. I somehow freed my hair from the cogs and handle of the reel, I still don't know how. We left for home shortly after we both had untied our messes but instead of going home, we went to the bar. After all the fun we had undergone, we thought we both needed a drink! A Crown and Coke and a couple of Shiner Bock's later, and it really did turn out to be a relaxing afternoon. We'll attempt fishing again soon - but next time, I'll be sure to wear my hair pulled back in a pony tail or braid.

March 12, 2022 at 10:40am
March 12, 2022 at 10:40am
It's a nice crisp, chilly March morning. The thermometer reads 30°F but the sun is shining so brightly it is almost blinding. I won't venture outside for a while yet, as I prefer the warmth the house has to offer. Instead, I watch the world from my living room window. Birds and squirrels are gaily going about the business of gathering and eating their breakfast. Our old American flag is swaying in the wind from its perch on one of our porch columns and the windchimes are ting-ding-dinging as the wind blows them around. The cats and dog are inside with me and are likewise enjoying the warmth the heated house has to offer. The world seems quiet and peaceful right now, in contrast to the way the media paints everything when I turn on the news. I'm glad the chaos hasn't found its way here yet. Everyone deserves a place where they can have some peace, and in moments like this, that is exactly what I have. It has been a manic few days and I'm wondering when I'll crash. I doubt it will be today. I'm already feeling the pull to get up and get something, anything done. But, I'm going to try to sit here ignoring that pull and enjoying the peace as long as I can. Lord knows it'll get hectic as soon as I do get started with my day. May you all find and be able to enjoy that moment of peace in your day as well.
March 7, 2022 at 12:06pm
March 7, 2022 at 12:06pm
         I woke this morning to a cold house and two cats at the back door begging to come inside to eat. The chill drove me to turn on the heater so now the house is warming up nicely. The cat thing is an everyday thing. Neither of them are roamers and prefer to stay within our yard or shed when not indoors, so we allow them to go outside when they want. And they are both spayed/neutered (there's one of each) so adding to the area kitty population isn't an issue. They like it outside unless the weather is bad or cold, they like to hunt and lay in the sun or do whatever it is that cats like to do when no humans are watching. But I'm sure they're going to be soaking up the heat inside for a while today. The high is only supposed to reach 51° F today so the cats will probably be inside most of the day, harassing the dog and annoying me. No biggie. I love the not so little furballs.

         The problem with my youngest still exists but it seems all of us old coots are in agreement finally. She needs to do as much of it as she can on her own. "She'll appreciate it more eventually that way" as my mom and mother-in-law both told us. My mom decided not to cosign for her either, but instead helped her find housing where she doesn't need a cosigner and would have a female housemate to share the bills with. Now, my baby girl is going to see just what she's made of. I know she can do it, we brought her up to be strong. Now if only she continues to believe she can do it, she'll be able to grab her life by the balls and make of it what she wants instead of letting someone else dictate what her life should be like.

         My oldest has agreed to let us throw a baby shower for her, with close friends and family. Since I was only held back from buying baby items because I didn't know what its gender would be, I am now buying baby stuff like a mad woman. If I see it and it's cute, I get it. Not all of the stuff I've bought has been girly though. The cuddle blanket is gray and white, and the stuffed animal attached is a panda. But I've also started getting things that every mom of a new baby needs like the thermometer, nail clippers, - you know, the baby care kit kind of stuff. I'm going to need a hamper to put everything in for her! And yes, I'm going to be buying more. There's still diapers, wipes, and clothes to get.

         Things are getting better on the financial front for us finally. With the relative warming of the weather, my husband has been getting calls from clients ready to have their lawn sprinklers turned back on. (Those that pull water from lakes and ponds have to have their systems drained and shut off before winter to avoid costly breaks to their pipes & pump) And with me working so much and getting a raise, we shouldn't have to live paycheck to paycheck soon enough. - Which is probably the reason I am able to buy little things for the baby here and there. - My dryer is still out, but my husband restrung the clothesline for me and with the better weather I am able to get that stuff done as well, without going to the Laundromat. Life is returning to normal, awaiting the next pothole in the road.
March 6, 2022 at 10:50am
March 6, 2022 at 10:50am
Life is like a unicorn turd: sparkle sprinkled rainbow feces, so much good and bad intertwined. The icing from the cake that landed on the floor upside down. The sweet and course all rolled into one.

Good news, bad news, I'm tired of the news. My life is chaotic enough without the media making it any worse, so I've been trying to stay away from the news channels...

In real life, highs are being overshadowed by uncertainty. I knew having kids wasn't easy. I've known that for a while now. What I didn't know was how difficult it would continue to be after said children reached adult age. I phrase it like this because I have to look hard to see emotional maturity in my oldest and I see my baby, at 21, struggling to find herself in the middle of a failed engagement, an engagement that has lasted since she was seventeen.

My hands are tied with these two. Good and bad times are like the tides of the lake nearby, rolling in after some idiot on a speedboat exceeds the boating speed limit along a residential stretch of the shore. My oldest, who refuses to interact with family, is pregnant and living far away from any help we might be able to give her. She refuses to tell her grandparents or myself where she is living and her phone was just disconnected, so the only way we have to contact her is through Facebook or Snapchat (neither very reliable when important issues require haste). Worries about her and the baby run rampant through my head, especially since she has chosen to live in a city rife with crime far away from those who love her. Yesterday I received pleasant news from her though. They were able to see the sex of the baby on the last sonogram - I'm going to have a granddaughter. Unicorns and rainbows, here I come!

Also in recent happenings are the trials of my youngest, who is finding the strength in herself to leave her fiancé of four years and try to remove herself from a controlling relationship. She's never been on her own before, having moved in with this young man right after she graduated high school. She doesn't want to come home to start over. She wants to stay in the college town where she lives and get an apartment by herself. I'm trying to be supportive although I, of course, have my misgivings. Her father, on the other hand, is vehemently against it. He thinks she needs to move closer to family - either closer to us or to her grandparents. He doesn't want to help her get settled and instead has told her she has to do it all on her own. I've tried to agree to disagree with him, but he is like a bulldog on this and thinks his way is the only way. It's been causing arguments between us because I can't just cut ties and let my girls fend for themselves if I can help them (to a certain extent). All the younger one wants is our support and her dad isn't willing to give her even that. He says he is worried she won't be able to make it on her own, that she is too small and timid and bad things will happen to her and she is too far away for any family to get to her quickly to help her if something does happen. Which way is better, trying to support their decisions or cutting them off entirely and forcing them to go it completely alone? We were raised to think differently on this and I'm afraid the headbutting has just started. Man! Isn't it supposed to be easier when the kids are grown?

Now here's an additional thing to be thrown into the mix of sunshine and shit that is life, I was just promoted at work. I've been doing the work and working the hours already, so I might as well get paid for it. I haven't had a full-time job since I stopped teaching. I've worked the hours at my part time position, but I haven't been considered full time until now. I'm good at what I do though, so it should be a piece of cake (upside down), right? My parents and husband don't think I'm healthy enough yet to have that added stress in my life, but I'm willing to give it a go. I mean, what's it going to do? Kill me? My body is already on top of that one. I'm willing to give it a go. I can always step back down if my health gets bad again.

Ups and downs and all over the place and then there are the pets. The cat who thinks he needs to gorge on his food only to puke it back up mere minutes later, the dog who thinks he doesn't get enough attention, the other cat who thinks she needs to be fed and petted 24 hours a day... and the lizard, who causes absolutely no problems, is quiet, and is exceptionally easy to care for.

Never time for a mental day because the chaos seems to find me. Maybe I should take a day to go fishing, hiding out, and enjoying some time away from the world.

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