Friday, September 30, 2005

Thirty days hath September

I like being up early. For the past several weeks I have been awaking later and later. The day seems so short beginning in mid-morning. I was making tea at 420am, kissed Joe good-bye, turned on the Singers Standards on cable and settled back into the warm safe arms of the best time of day. Hardly anyone is awake and moving now. It is very quiet the sounds of the expressway some two miles to the East is a soft music of rubber on highway.

This afternoon I interview with XXX. I do not want to get nervous or anxious. Yet, so much hangs on this. A car, a gas card, a reinstatement of benefits. I was asked to change to time of the interview to accommodate the Sales Center Manager who wants to sit in on it. That sends a message. A good one that I can not quite articulate. I'm certain that my plight is known. I'm certain that my reputation from Lexington accompanies me. My connections. My humbling experience in Portland.

Life has turned into a vast sea of nothingness. I read, I cook, I walk/run. I watch too much tv. I drink too much. I miss home very much. I have dried up creatively with my writing. No inspiration. Just a longing for something I can't put my mind around. My friends, my family, my beloved Kentucky. My daughter. The familiar things. The simple things. The feeling of belonging.

The shortcomings of Indiana will never fade. I'm hoping with a job that keeps me in the area I will learn more of the city itself. Urging it to give up its secrets. To expose the wonderfulness of its existence. Prove to me that I am wrong. I can last another six months or more.

I just hope ........

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Round Robin Challenge - Secrets

Oh my......just the addition of that little "s" made this challenge a bonafide challenge!

It came to me like a bolt of lighting. Ever since I have been a young child I have been full of secrets. It was a logical progression. I was the eldest child, the only girl with three brothers for 11 years till my closest sister was born. Saddled with Roman Catholic parents "from the north" in a small southern town where everyone knew everyone's business, being secretive was the key to survival.

I'm heavy with secrets. As a child, as a woman. Not that they are as interesting as they were all those years ago. Such as pinching cigarettes from my friends parents carelessly abandoned packs...usually Larks or Tarytons...and smuggled like precious jewels to the tree house to light up and pass from grubby, dirty, sweaty hand to hand at 12 years of age. Younger still, on a dare to blatantly steal from the 5 & 10 the highly coveted pencil sharpeners and mechanical pencils for trading during 4th grade. So brazen, we would grab the paper bags from under the counter and walk into the aisles of helpless merchandise. Yes, we got caught...that is quite another story!

I began to write journals at about 12 years of age. I hid them in my room. I was a champion on finding hiding places in my room. I had many prying eyes, not only my three savage brothers but my Mom and Mae, the lady Mom had come into the house and help clean once a week. (Mae is another story for another time). I wrote all my secrets into those journals. I called them "Bibles" in high school. I burnt those in ....1979. I wish I had them today. Only one survived, the original Bible. It is in the storage area presently.

Once I realized I would photograph my "Bibles"/journals I was able to find the above scattered around this house! Hidden...naturally....that is the fun of it.

I am almost finished with the 150 page monster I picked up a year ago. I liked it because it is a five subject notebook. Translation...eight pockets to stuff things in! It was ambitious for a one year journal. I have about 50 pages left...for lots more secrets.
Now isn't that interesting?

Received two phone calls today for job interviews. One is with YouKnowWho! I have already accepted the job with the Cell Phone company contingent on the drug test. Yet, I will interview with XXX on Friday.

(they will give me a car and a gas card) For seven and one half years I just filled up without a care in the world on how much the price of gas was at any given point in time. I miss that. I miss that a lot.

If per chance XXX offers me the job, I'm taking it.

I might have been really mad at them, but I'm not unreasonable.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The letter is in the Mail

Saturday I received a letter from my Mother. I was so thrilled that I was ripping the envelope open even before I had returned to the house. My Mother is part of the last generation of letter writers. She learned the art from her Mother who holds the esteemed title of The Greatest Letter Writer that ever lived. Her mother dutifully wrote letters to all the realitives she left behind when she and her husband immigrated to America.

My Aunt, Mom's sister, is a tremendous letter writer also. She arises at 5am each day and begins her letter writing, as is her custom as was her mothers. I receive notes on a regular basis from Aunt Maura. They are generally informative chatty two page affairs keeping me abreast of all the going on's with my cousins and their families.

I love those notes.

There is something so intimate and joyful about knowing that someone took the time to jot down a few lines, hunt down my address (I have had 20 different addresses in as many years), find a stamp and place the letter in the mail. Those sending the letters have little notion at the pleasure that accompanies them on their journey.

I remember when I first left home and began my first attempt at college. I traveled 250 miles west to attend Murray State University. I felt at that time that I wanted as far away from my parents as possible! (strict Roman Catholics). The mail boxes for my dormitory were located in Hart Hall. Everyday around mid day I would make the trek to the boxes. They covered three walls, were made of brass, had two tiny knobs for the combination, and a tiny glass window.

To see something in that box always made my day. It usually was a letter from my Mom, a letter from one of my friends I left behind, or the home town weekly newspaper. The bouts of loneliness and homesickness an 18 year old child away from home for the first time could be pushed aside for awhile at mid day.

It is because of those memories that I make an extreme effort to send Bridget a card each week for the past year and a half since she has moved to Louisville. If I skip a week, she lets me know. It is amazing how much the simple act of a card with an "I love you and I miss you" means. Yet I know. That is why I do it.

I called my Mom yesterday and told her how much I appreciated the note. I told her how I recalled anticipating her letters while at Murray and how I would run to the mail box with hope that I would be receiving that little bit of home. I told her how much I loved it and looked forward to it and how her letter brought back those memories.

"Oh Mary, don't forget I put $12 in those letters too!"

That woman remembers way too much!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ferris Wheel

Names have been changed to protect the guilty

This is the way I remember it. I was riding on the truck with John. We were haveing a conversation about him being a Dead Head and other such things. The drug test came up and he asked me if I studied for the drug test. I thought that was hilarious! But, I have ended up having to study for the test twice since then!

The first summer I worked for XXX, F. and I were working the Bluegrass Fair. The Bengal training camp was also going on in Georgetown at the same time! While working on a Saturday delivering cannister of pre-mix and other such important stuff to the carnies (God how many hours F. and I put in were unbelievable! He received so much over time and J. gave me extra "Comp" days) and got a page ( did not have cell phones back then) and it was the Bengal camp with 911 behind the phone number.

We rushed to get out of the fair and in my haste I took a right turn in between two steel poles and nailed the van. Not my van, but C's van. C was on vacation and F. was using his van. F. had loaded up the van waiting on me to arrive at the plant for our trip to the fair. I really got the side good.

We backed up and went on! The Bengal camp was waiting for us.

The next day we had the yearly company picnic at Kings Island. Joe and I had snuck up there kids! I was in the beer garden sitting at a table with B., his wife, Joe and D. B. took a big old slug of beer just as I said, "Oh by the way, I wrecked the van at the Fair yesterday."

B. spewed that beer across the table.

In the meantime, F. was trying to make the van look not so bad. He used white out! The next day we were interrogated in different rooms. The were certain I was covering for F. Because he is a college student etc. etc. Drugs were suspected (as well should have been! hahahah).

B. told me he was going to have to take me for a drug test as is XXX policy. Oh hell.....I had smoked a joint sometime in the not so distant past. So I told B. that I had an appointment I could not get out of and I would meet him back at the plant in an hour. ( B. was the best boss ever. He always wanted you to succeed and be your best. He never challenged any subtle b.s. ...hell, he was the king of it...but you knew he always knew). F. and I raced to the New Age Gift shop and purchased a bottle of this stuff that masks the THC in your system. I guzzled it on the way back to the plant.

I never thought to read the directions.

I had to go so bad that is was such a relief to let loose into that little jar.

Then I read the directions. Void before the pee test.

I was frantic. How the hell it happened I don't know, but I was able to enlist the help of the girl that did the settlement of the days receipts to help me out. Every day she would go through the mail and pick out the envelopes from the clinic that sent the results. Finally, one came and we ran into the bathroom and ripped itopen.

It was not mine! Some poor guy trying to get a job with XXX submitting to the drug test and they were his results. I felt so bad for him! We quickly smashed the evidence in the bottom of the trash bin.

Several days later B. came walking by my desk and get about half way to his office and turns, "Oh by the passed the drug test."

I almost wept with joy.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Writers Cramp...I mean Block
I was reading Trish and found out her journal is kicking off its third years of existence! I thought "Wait a minute....then so is mine!!" Trish made the very first comment in my journal and I'm forever grateful to her for that rush! I also found out that the VIVI awards are being kicked off! Please go over and read all about it and cast your vote for the nominees.

Other than that life has been so boring! As a matter of fact it is well after noon and I am sitting in my pj's typing this! I have discovered Soduko and can not pull myself away from the numbers! I even dreamed about number combinations last night, it is that bad.

I have been reading non stop. I have been watching movies rented from Netflix...I love the foreign film selection. I have been doing stretch exercises with the Power 90 CD's I purchased from a bout of infomercialitis I had earlier this spring. I have been walking and running. I have been thinking about making wine (I am such a procrastinator)I have been toying with trying to find a job. Fact of the matter is, doing nothing is right up my alley!

The days have been floating by as if I am drifting on a cloud. I realize that Christmas is several months away and I have to spring into action and find gainful employment!

Joe and I went to a small Irish Festival last week end and had a great time. I wanted to see a band called Gaelic Storm which was the band in the movie Titanic, but we could not last till 10pm!

Deep Throat applied for and was given my job in Hell City. The company called me last week and requested that I apply for a position opening up in Ft. Wayne....I just don't know.

A rambling entry just to say thank you AOL for giving us the opportunity to have this tremendous experience with the Journal Community.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Crying Time Again

Second interview with Cell Phone Company went very well. So well in fact they offered me the job! I should really say, I thought the interview went so-so. They were younger than me and sometimes that might not work in my favor. I am so old school anymore with this kind of stuff. Old school, old hand. My first interview guy called and offered me the job telling me that the second two ended up being as smart as he was in finding me!

I'm drinking. I'm drinking farewell to my life of leisure. Six weeks of pure bliss. I am sort of bored now and ready to go back to work. This is going to be a challenge and a stretch for me. I think I am up to it.

First...have to pass the drug test. Damn that Peggy and Karl!!! Damn me! I ordered the cleansing drink 2nd day air. $45 bucks is not too bad.

I am in semi-shock. I need the money because there is much I need to buy/purchase. The dryer needs a new element. The gas oven needs replacing. God knows the plumbing needs work! And Coach Z. God knows I need a chiropractor.

I have been conserving my money by using credit cards. I shudder to see what I charged to it this month!

Doing the happy dance because it just dawned on me that I will more than likely be paid every other week! Or twice a month. Tears of joy! Seven and one half years of a monthly paycheck was pure hell. Goes to show you that you can become use to anything.

Thank you God. Really, thank the Lord for this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Reinventing Oneself - Like Madonna

I am very close to leaving AOL-Journal Land. A friend of mine once commented to me that the AOL community was like the Rich Kid table in the High School cafeteria. I though it very apropos. They crucified him when he was the first Guest Editor and he chose all journals outside the clique. Meaning, outside AOL. They went berserk.

So, I have changed my template. Become accepted on Blog Explosion. Got a very cool Flickr badge going. And brought in a hit counter.

Why? Because we all know it is all about the comments. Maybe we don't like to admit it, but it is driving force behind my two years of on line blogging.

And so, I reinvent myself.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Light at the end of the tunnel

I know my retirement from the work force is going to have to end very soon. I have an appointment for my second interview for the communication company this afternoon and I guess I will try my hardest to get the job. I really never have tried very hard to be the best I can be at any job I have had. I know that I have great things inside of my if only I could find that one thing that I love. At this point in my life I am realizing that I have let it pass me by. If I could wave a magic wand and return to the young girl I was at 15, I would inhabit her body for the next seven years and make her get a degree in Journalism. I would have loved it. I could have done it. Yet, here I am a 50 year old woman who has little skills other than being a very good and very smart. I would not be so lazy or so unmotivated if I were involved with what I love.

They say it is never too late. Well, I am unmotivated at this moment to return to school and pursue another career. Yet, it is very tempting.

How many times do I have to tell myself I am lost? I am deflated and uninspired living in the heartland. I miss my beautiful south.

I may grab my camera and go for a long long walk. Certainly I can find something of beauty or strength or interest to photograph?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Indy Irish Festival

On the way to Indianapolis I had an epiphany . I realized I was terribly happy. Not only is the relationship between Joe and I wonderful and dramatically improved since moving to Indiana, but the elimination of the job and the stress that accompanied it has greatly improved my mental well being.

I'm happy. I worry about leaving my parents and family. I worry about Bridget and what ever is the matter with her, but outside of that, I am so happy and content!

We arrived at the hotel without incident. We checked into the room and headed out the door to the festival. It was a little more than a mile walk to Military Park. We mosied through downtown and noted all the street musicians and out door pubs. The trip back would include a visit to one of them.

The Festival itself was very nice. Upon entering and wandering around I had to remind myself, before making any comments to Joe, that Dublin is the second largest Celtic festival in the US. So I had to give the Indy attempt a break.

We found the beer booth...most important, and they had Smithwicks and Guinness! We still drank Killians due to the price difference. It was still noted that we had a choice. We ran across the pipe and drums right away. The haunting and mournful notes that are so touching hung in the air so that you felt like you could touch them. Danny Boy, When Irish eyes are smiling, amazing Grace, God Bless America were all performed. And several other Irish tunes that I remember my Dad singing but could not remember the names.

From there we camped at the Irish Claddagh Pub Stage and listened to two incredibly good bands. The first one a little more polished than the second, but the second was a hell of a lot of fun. They encouraged crowd participation. From the wave, to yelling "what a lot of vodka" as the refrain of "500 miles". Grand fun!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Irish Festival Again

What luck! I caught wind of a Celtic Fest in Chicago this weekend. It took some persuasion to convince Joe to go. While perusing the Journal Gazette (as if they could not decide on one name! So they adopted them both) last Sunday I saw a picture of the upcoming Irish Festival in Indianapolis the same week end.

It was easy to switch him from Chicago to Indianapolis. I know Indianapolis only slightly, from being lost several times! Joe and I do not do well when it comes to travel....have never figured it out, must have something to do with control......and knowing a little something about the area is much better than knowing nothing!

I am excited. I booked us a room in downtown, about a mile hike from the festival. Easy walk back if we have had too much to drink! Us? Never!!! I tried to get the Hilton deal, room and two tickets to the Festival PLUS two entry tickets to an after the festival party in the hotel. Sweet!! But it was sold out last month.

We should arrive early evening. Hopefully around 3pm and then head to the festival. At least I will, he can rest and join up with me.

Gaelic Storm is performing. I have a CD of theirs that just did not do it for me. Yet, I know the power of seeing someone in concert.

Irish jigging again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Just another day

I had an interview today or rather late this afternoon. It went pretty good. It was with a cellular phone company in this area. Limited to five state area. Anyway, it has a base salary of 30K and a car allowance and then you should be able to make 45-65 with determination and hard work.

XXX called yesterday and informed me that a position was opening up in Ft. Wayne and I should apply. Caught me off guard and made up for the non-call regarding the same position I was suggested to apply for last month! So I did. Nuts.

I won't pass a drug test after this week end. What am I thinking?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


The Round Robin challenge this time around is "Hero's". Of all the important people who have been hero's in my lifetime, I have to showcase my parents. I am the most blessed person when it comes to family.

This picture is close to 30 years old. In my minds eye when I think "Mom" or "Dad" the faces that come to me are the faces of their youth and not the Grandma and Grandpa that they have morphed into. Sometimes I dream about them and I see them also as young and vibrant. I awake feeling I have been given a wonderful gift.

A hero is someone you look up to and admire. Someone who is brave in the face of adversity. Someone who can sacrifice for the right cause or any cause that needs help. Hero's are people who help other people. Who have strong convictions about right and wrong. Who lead by example. Who do the right thing even if it is the hardest path to take. Hero's are people who put the greater good ahead of themselves. They are not selfish, they are not hypocrites. They are kind and generous. Stern and unbendable when they have to be. They live the law of love.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

I could fill page after page of my parents teaching this to their six children. The times when the less fortunate kids from our school would be in our kitchen making Christmas cookies with us. The year we had a house full of girls from South America, who went to the all girls college and could not go home for Christmas so they were at our house. When the neighbor that lived behind us came to the back door to ask my Mom for help, and she was always helped. The bags of corn and tomatoes that were given as gratitude, because the money would/could never be paid back. My father doing income taxes for the elderly and illiterate. My parents paying for memberships to the swimming pool for families that could not afford it. My mother giving away a full blooded Brittany Springer Spaniel puppy to a family who could not pay the asking price and the children were heart broken.

They taught me to give as a way of life.

We celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary several years ago. Hundreds of people came to the party! People came from all over this country to celebrate the auspicious occasion. I heard story after story about their kindness. Some of them whispered in my ear. Others were told looking me directly in the eye. Some with their eyes downcast. The stories had one common theme, how my parents had changed their lives with some small or large kindness. As simple as the offering of support or encouragement when needed. or as the one teenager of me of a card with $100 tucked inside so she could go to camp with the others.

I know there are a lot of hero's out there in this world. My two hero's come from my small little place in this world.

My parents.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Lexington Cemetery

Quite honestly, there is little I do not like nor miss about the South right at this moment. Yet, out of all the wonderful things I miss....the weekly church festivals with gambling and beer booths, the Art shows, the hot air balloons on the horizon, white fences surrounding horse farms, yellow fields of tobacco, mockingbird and whipperwill, the flowering weeds, stone fences, peach orchards, farmers markets, drive in movie theaters, magnolia trees, smoky mountains, UK basketball, horse racing, the sing song southern lilt, the farm boys of my youth, my family...I'm going to settle on the cemeteries in the South.

The cemeteries of the south are not just resting places for our loved ones, but beautifully kept gardens full of moss covered stones, statues and monuments. Very few arboretum can compare to the beauty of a cemetery that is over 200 years old. Any season can make you catch your breath.

This past winter I kept my camera in the car so if perchance it began to snow I could get to the Lexington Cemetery and get a photograph of the "Wiggins" statue, an aging bronze statue of a fairy with her arms and uplifted towards heaven, her head thrown back with a large smile, skipping on her pedestal about eight feet off the ground. I wanted to capture her catching snow flakes!

It never happened last winter.

The best BBQ is slow cooked over a wood fire for hours and hours, and then smeared with molasses, vinegar and lemon juice. It will bring you to your knees.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Happy Birthday to Mom
I may never go back to work! I really like just farting around all day!

I ran three miles...or close to it. I felt so much better after Coach Z. fixed my neck. Amazing. Simply stupefying that he could adjust my neck and my knee is just about healed!

I painted one wall of the living room. Added to the half room yesterday. The two tone is going to be very nice. Big job taking off the wall paper and the preparing the area. Trimming and all that. But I love it. Tomorrow I will do probably the rest of it.

Watched three movies with Joe. God help me, I can't believe it but I did. The one with Kevin Costner. The Ladder 49 & Man of the House. All three were good.

Called Peggy and we are going to stay at her house this Saturday night. Sunday we will celebrate Mom's Birthday and Dan's and Chris'

Good not want to go back to work just yet. I will have to in time.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mary Altogether

I try to run but its sad and I must look ridiculus.

This morning I managed to make myself go to the track behind the local high school. The track is very forgiving to my bum knee. It is wonderful because unlike the Riverwalk area I do not have to dodge the reckless bicyclists. I can enjoy the tranquility of the morning. I even managed to run a very slow, very feeble two miles.

As I finished I saw that I was not alone. On the stretch stood a tall skinny man watching me walk towards him. He nodded at my knee and asked, "What happened?"

I told him the condensed version of my tale of woe and he reached out and asked for my hand. "Knee injuries can be relieved through the thumb." I turned my hand over to him and he quickly popped my thumb. "How's that?" he asked.

You know what? I think it felt better.

"Your neck is out of alignment. Come over her and lie down on this carpet." He spoke with such authority what else could I do but lay down on my back and allow him to work me over.

My new angel, Coach Z., 70 years old and retired....from a distance walking up to him, he looked more like has a practice where he works people over. He started with my left knee, which he said he knew was the bum knee even though the right one is wearing the brace. He told me to throw the brace it away it just becomes a crutch. He worked my arms, then he fixed my neck.

"Trust me" he stated.

"Please don't kill me" I replied.

He fixed my neck.

I can not believe it. My neck has been out of whack for many years and I did not realize it only took a simple adjustment in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing.

Five minutes of laying on some scratchy astroturf and I am a new woman. I feel like 10 years have been lifted off my body.

Truly amazing. He told me it was only a bandaid for my situation. That got my attention. Now I have added incentive to get a job.

Because Coach Z is going to end up on my payroll!
Early Morning Blues
I was awake before 4am. Laying in bed wide awake listening to the muted sounds of the tv in the living room. The hum of the window fan that I must have to provide the white noise that lulls me, soothes me to sleep. Thoughts filling my head, screaming at me, making sleep impossible. Find a job! Why did you quit your job? You will never find another job! You're lazy. You're screwed up. No one will hire you because you are too old. Too fat. Too ugly. Too dumb.

I have not felt this way in a long time. So much in anguish about something as simple as employment! I have worked all my life and I will work again. I may not make the $40 G's and have a car complete with gas card and a $10 grand bonus, but I will work again.

I wish I could have done better on the job in Portland. I hated it.

I just need a plan. I have the beginnings of one. I should go to Walmart and just fill out an application. You never know. What does it matter if I have to work weeks ends. Joe works weekends?

For many years I have been able to breeze. Now I am ready to fall back on Walmart? Hell, what would it do to me if they won't hire me! I am unable to open my mind to the possibilities that are hanging out there for me. The opportunity this presents to me. A chance to do something that will......make me feel good about myself!

It has been awhile, hasn't it.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day and I am depressed and sad

I am getting ready to go for my walk. Something I have been reduced to doing since my knee will not allow me to run anylonger....or squat, or kneel. I think maybe I should go to a Doctor if it continues.

I'm thinking that I would like to win the lottery. I do not want to work. Is this true? Or is it that I do not want to work at the job I breathlessly said yes to last Monday? I had a gut feeling not to do it. Now that I am, I know my gut was correct. I need to study to pass the Insurance License thing. And if I pass, there is no guarantee that I will receive the license! Because of me and my KY taxes. Too boring to explain, but I wish I had borrowed that $100 from my Mom 15 years ago.

I find myself becoming more and more listless. I do not write in my book jnl..even though there is plenty to write about. It is just too much effort. Which leads me to believe I am depressed. I am homesick. I miss my family. I miss being familiar with everything. I miss taking pictures. This part of Indiana is so boring.....(sorry for that, but it is). I wonder how long Joe and I will be trapped here?

I went through the Sunday paper yesterday and chose several classified ads for advertising sales. That is what I wanted to do, and I should have pursued that. Not been waylaid by dreams of making big bucks.

We go home next weekend to celebrate my Moms birthday, along with Daniels and Chris'. Hurray. The assignment is hero's for our next Round Robin challenge and I want to take a picture of my Dad.....and my Mom. She is my hero also.

I did not hear from CCE regarding the three positions I applied for. I did not receive a return call from US Foods. That depresses me a lot. Guess I am just feeling sorry for myself. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina I should be ashamed of myself.

I need that walk to clean my brain and come up with some Plan "B's".

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Yesterday Joe and I traveled the 20 miles north to a car, The Car Show being held in Auburn. Now I am not one who would ordinarily attend a car show. In this case, a friend of mine from Kentucky who is in the concession business was there and gave us passes!

It was unbelievable. A sea of shiny chrome and polished steel, that included every color in the universe, stretched out as far as the eye can see. I have been to car shows before, but not one of this magnitude.

For Joe and I, it was an experience that can be described as a walk down memory lane. When my Nana moved from NYC to Kentucky, she drove a black Ford Fairlane...a 1960 I think. When I saw one yesterday, all those memories of Nana and her little dog Pogo flooded over me.

Car after car, memory after memory. Mach I's, 'Cuda's, Road Runners, Datsun 280Z's, MGB's, Triumph's, Nova's, Mustangs,and the list is endless.

I want one of those 'Cuda's. Next year I plan to bring the checkbook!