Strangely, 10 years ago today in fact I made the decision to move here to Savannah. Princess Di had just traumatically died and I remember thinking how sad that was.
I also married young back in the '80's around the same time she hooked up with Prince "Big Ears" Charles. My husband had smaller ears and wasn't bad in the sense of being an abuser or anything, but he was controlling and a cheater to boot.
Through the years with Princess Di in the limelight, and I in the shadows we suffered depression for years. The only difference was that I never stood up for myself to do anything about it. I felt so stuck and very unhappy. At the time of her death, I was about to turn 30 and decided right then and there - I was going to get out of my situation and get happy.
Why Savannah? Well, moving a few towns over in New Jersey wasn't going to work. I tried that before and was hunted down and sniffed out by my husband. My family? Well I love them but as far as support goes - there wasn't any. I recalled coming to Savannah when on a college field trip to study Flannery O'Connor and how much I loved it here.
I left on my 30th Birthday. Packed my car, tore off the rear view mirror and made the drive down I-95. My Mom was worried sick the entire time. I only had $60 and left my husband everything just wanting a clean break. I arrived at the Mission in Downtown Savannah and landed jobs fast with Wal-mart and also with HomeMaid. In two weeks I had my apartment. Unfurnished, but I didn't care. Finally, for once, I was happy and free with my whole life ahead of me.
Working with HomeMaid was only supposed to be temporary. I wanted to get back into teaching but it didn't work out that way. In a few weeks the owner called me aside and told me that she was leaving Georgia for New Orleans and asked if I wanted the business. Yuk. But then I looked at the income figures and compared that to a teachers salary here - and it was much better. The "bankers hours" also have been very nice. Plus, gosh... how often does someone just hand over a thriving business to a person they've just met? Not often can someone find such an opportunity just waiting for the taking. So I took it. Literally. (Apologies to Mark for my selfish snagging of said opportunity.)
That's when I met Mr. and Mrs. "Isles of Hope". Mrs. IOH was a trip. She was concerned over the business switching hands and was adamant about lots of things. No cleanser in the tubs, no new people in and out of her house every week, the kitchen floors and the whole "check for dust with white glove routine.". I promised her that either Linda (an employee at that time) or myself personally, would clean her house and nobody else.
In this business of housecleaning it is very difficult NOT to get to know your customers on a personal level. Believe me, I tried many times not to, but when you're in peep's homes all kinds of things pop out at you. Scary things like sex toys jumping out from the sheets to marijuana growing in the broom closet. Things so weird that they encouraged me to start firing quite a few customers. Except Mr. & Mrs. IOH. They only had the coolest, classic books of literature on their shelves jumping out at me.
As Mr. & Mrs. IOH became comfortable with me, they would tell me stories of their past 75 years. From the great Long Island Hurricane (that I've heard a dozen times over by now) to growing up on a farm in Ohio and going to a one room schoolhouse with only one teacher.
One of my very favorite stories was before Halloween when I mentioned what is known, at least in New Jersey, as "Mischief Night". Mrs. IOH never heard of such a thing. She was dreadfully appalled by the concept of toilet papering and soaping neighbors houses in the dark of night. Mr. IOH, however - chuckled and told us about how he and his friends used to tip over outhouses while people were still sitting in them - on mischief night in Ohio.
The gasp that came from Mrs. IOH after hearing of this, brought us both to tears of laughter. Thus began a different kind of relationship, where I no longer considered that I was only supposed to be there for 1 1/2 hours to clean their home. To charge them $35 and be on my way. Eventually the 1 1/2 hours turned to 2, then 3 and sometimes four. It didn't matter, for they gave to me more than I could ever give to them by the precious time they spent with me...
PROVIDENCE, RI - Oscar, the nursing home cat who could seemingly sense the impending death of patients, was found dead early yesterday. The cat gained recent notoriety when reports of his ability to detect the impending death of the terminally ill became public. Seemingly aware that death was at hand, Oscar would reportedly climb into the bed of patients during their final hours.
Officials at the facility would not reveal the cause of death, but did acknowledge rumors that the cat was becoming increasingly unpopular among the patients. One knowledgeable source - who agreed to speak with us on the condition of anonymity - confirmed increasing animosity toward the animal, and that a dented bedpan was found near the body.
According to our source, the recent publicity of Oscar's unique insight spread quickly throughout the facility. Patients in the terminal ward became increasingly upset at the sight of the cat, prompting administrators to move Oscar to another floor. After an unexpected death on that floor, Oscar quickly became quite unwelcome there too. "Good riddance." said patient Gertrude Feinman, when told of the cat's demise. "It would just sit there and stare at you - with this look on his face like 'you're next'".
A spokesman for the home downplayed any immediate talk of foul play. "We don't want to jump to any conclusions." said Ronald Kitzmiller, Director of Operations at the facility. "We'll wait for the coroner's report, and then decide if any legal action is warranted."
Nothing gets your blood flowing than opening up your laundry hamper and have a 4" roach fly right at you!
The rich, the poor and the dirty, the clean - nobody is immune to the dreaded Palmetto bug.
7AM this morning our unwelcomed guest made his first and final debut. After a hot shower and shave I proceeded to toss my towels in the hamper and lo an behold, there it was. Sitting there on top of yesterday's worn sweaty socks like it was his own personal hang-out.
Then it hissed at me! Or maybe it was the sound of it's wings. I have no idea, but trust me there was a noise involved as this giant tried to dive bomb me. I was completely vulnerable and dressed in only a towel and without a shoe in sight to defend myself.
Now men don't scream nor do we shriek in a moment such as this. Instead we tend to keep our calm and use plenty of expletives. Which I proudly did with passion as that creepy bug flew around the bathroom hissing and making that "tic" sound each time it landed on the counter, ceiling or sink.
My only means of defense was my wet towel wrapped around me from my earlier shower. I wound, aimed and snapped at that bugger managing to bring down the window curtain and breaking the toothbrush holder in the process. A sure signal to my wife and daughter that I may be in distress.
In the bathroom my family came and out the bathroom door the roach escaped. Squirt ran back into the living room screaming, "It's going to eat me!" I'm still not sure while recalling this evening if she meant the Palmetto bug or my naked backside.
Either way, my family troops were deployed and armed to the hilt with available shoes and me with my snapper towel. 10 minutes and a bedroom of destruction later I finally delighted in the sound of it's crunch as I 'moab bombed' his crunchy carcass into oblivion.
My wife than scraped it up with a tissue and flushed it down the toilet. I can't tell if she's angry at me or not, but she is still looking at me quite strangely and quietly this evening. Maybe I should have helped her put the bedroom back together?
Judy has been so cheerful and faithfully joining in on the August Happiness Challenge. The challenge is to write about something that makes you happy every day in the month of August.
I found it a great idea and promised to join along - but instead failed miserably and am now 8 days behind.
Guess that makes me a whiner and I don't want to be such a grump. Of all months, August and this current 110 Heat Index factor can put rainclouds above the heads of the most happiest, shiniest people. So there can't be a better month to place such a challenge.
So here I go, trying to catch up on Happy Thoughts in the only way that I know how.
1) We bought a new TV. It's a big TV and as wide as our house. No more squinting required. I can watch my favorite show while standing clear across the Vernon River a half mile away. It's a beast of a thing but it makes my husband very, very happy. I'm happy when he is happy. It doesn't bother me that I have to find a place to put all my knickknacks and wall decorations. They only collect dust anyway.
2) I'm getting two new pairs of eyeglasses and I'll pick them up this Monday. They are really cool glasses. One pair is a Flexilite frame so I can fall asleep with my glasses on while watching TV without twisting them out of shape. My other pair of glasses are prescription Raybans so I can go outside in style. But wait, the news gets even better. Way better. My vision has "progressed" and that is a good thing right? I'm graduating to Progressive lenses and out of. those kiddie single vision types. Now I can see far away and be able to read the label on a can of corn without holding it an arms length away for focus.
3) My hemorrhoid flare up has cooled down. I can sit again comfortably. Those steroid suppositories really made a difference. They also gave my sphincter superhero strength qualities. Seriously, I had Barry Bonds beat in Home Run stats months ago. That is the number of times running home as fast as I can to make it to the bathroom. Now with a beefed up Super Sphincter, I can take my time and even manage to pick up milk on the way home.
There goes three happy thoughts down and out of the way. I'll catch up on the other six tomorrow. This afternoon I have a full schedule of cleaning and complaining to do.
Last week I wrote about Russia's pitiful attempt and drive by flag staking on the Arctic Floor bed. I don't think they've read my blog but they sound really pissed off today. Mostly in response to how many nations have dismissed this bold move as meaningless and "just a show".
Artur Chilingarov, the Russian polar scientist who led this fiasco let us have it by saying, "I don't give a damn what all these foreign politicians there are saying about this. If someone doesn't like this, let them go down themselves ... and then try to put something there. Russia must win. Russia has what it takes to win. The Arctic has always been Russian."
Then he goes on to show this nifty little photo in a sad attempt to prove that they did indeed stake a titanium flag to the Arctic Floor bed. Come on now Russia. Who are you trying to kid? I know the difference between an MS Paint and Photoshop job.
At least America provided film footage when we walked upon the moon.
I said it last week and I'll say it again. You can't just mechanically slam dunk Russia's flag on the Arctic Floor and claim it as your own. The rules are that you must physically get out of your transport vehicle, whether that be ship, spacecraft or submarine. Then you must physically stand and walk, say a few choice words and stuff that flag into the ground.
Of course at 3 miles under water you would surely die from decompression. It will be a dangerous and fatal expedition - but this is the only way. There must be a Russian willing to give his life for his country and their energy needs? If not, I'm sure the KGB have a few they'd like to throw away.
Sorry but this expedition is a fiasco. It doesn't count because you're too pussy to do it right.
Aristocracker over at SMN posted about a terrible act of vandalism at a nearby State Park. Here is his photo of the defaced sign.
It has been suggested that this may be the workings of an addled English Major. A woman whom earlier this year decided to venture down to Butterbean Beach (Skidaway Narrows to all y'all Yankees out there.) to experience some of the local culture.
The smoke of Kingsford Charcoal enticed her over to the picnic area to find plump chicken wings on the grill. The wings were of the ordinary Claxton variety with the telltale goosebumps and the white little hair stubble; singe'ing over the hot coals.
Simmering nearby in a small cast iron pot was this incredible homemade hot wing sauce. Attended to by the infamous Dredd-Locked Chef who claims to be the dysfunctional and illegitimate great grandson of the late Uncle Ben. He was as free-spirited as Bob Marley but not so free to share his hot wing sauce recipe.
Six finger-slurping-good wings later and I cannot recall a thing. That is, except waking up under that blasted old sign a few hours later and over half a mile away on Skidaway Island.
I don't think I defaced the sign, but if Guatemalan Insanity Peppers was the secret ingredient in Butterbean Dude's Wing Sauce recipe - we may never know.
Appetizer On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how polite are you?
10. Not necessarily a good thing because I feel like a doormat sometimes. I need to learn how to say "No" more often and speak my mind when I feel intruded upon.
Soup What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Local farmers are having a bit of trouble getting hay and the prices have soared through the roof. Bethesda Farms is only two blocks away from us and we drive by there everyday. They have the most personable bovine I've ever did see. They romp, play and are half ton love bunnies that make me feel guilty whenever I order a steak dinner.
Monday my daughter and I were driving past with a big flatbed truck loaded with hay turned in right in front of us. All of the napping Moo Cows must have smelt it turning in, as they jumped up, leaped and practically tripped over themselves stampeding to the delivery area. Their eyes and expressions were much like my Basset Hounds when I come home and they know it's time for a biscuit. We both laughed and decided we want a big Moo Cow for a pet someday.
Salad Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Main Course Tell about the funniest teacher you ever had.
Miss Dodge. She was about 45 years old and still had braces on her teeth. Stood over 6' tall and was strangely banana shaped. Her hair was done up in this turned under short bob, similar to a mushroom. Put it this way, her silhouette while riding a bicycle would closely resemble a cartoon penis. She used to be strict and mean, until I showed up in her English Writing Class and rewrote some rules.
Dessert Complete this sentence: I strongly believe that ______________________.
"Two deep-diving Russian mini-submarines dropped a titanium capsule containing the nation's flag on the bottom, symbolically claiming almost half of the planet's northern polar region for Moscow."
No, no, no, no. I don't think so. According to historical tradition the proper way to symbolically claim a chunk of terra-firma is to physically and in person stake your countries flag until it stands up out of the ground on it's own. To do otherwise constitutes a wimpy, cheating maneuver.
Fly by night littering of a titanium capsule doesn't count. America didn't just fly over the moon and slam dunk our flag onto it's surface. You're supposed to walk a few steps and say a few choice words. Popping up a YouTube video of the event may even make believers out of us.
Good try Russia, but come on. You're Russia for Pete's sake. I'd expect better.