Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Joyce called me at work Tuesday morning and said Norman was on her front porch and had been in a fight. She said his neck was cut and he probably needed stitches. I told her I would take him to the vet at noon. I headed home at noon and stopped by the house to pick up is leash. Lo and behold he was at the back door crouching. His neck had blood on it so I just put his leash on him and took him straight to the vet in Grand Cane.
Sure enough, after he was shaved, there was a huge hole in his shoulder. The vet said it was not a dog fight, it appeared he had been gored. Well, sure enough, surrounding our subdivision is cattle pastures, with tons of cows (some horned I think) and bulls. The vet said since it was calving season, Norman most likely got a little too close to one. All the blood vessels were broken in the whites of his eyes, so I guess he landed on his head when whoever got ahold him bucked him up in the air. And he acts like he has had his clock cleaned. He shook the whole first day after the vet visit. He shakes his head alot, kind of like he's trying to clear the cobwebs. We have to dress his wound twice daily and and apply antibiotic ointment to it. And he has pills to take. Poor Norm, I have a feeling getting a T-bone is the closest he wants to be to a cow from now on.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
One of the last sections to be done in North Louisiana is the Mansfield section. I think it is mainly because it is coming through the ravine (read RAAvine in Mansfield speak). We have a huge ravine in Mansfield covered in thick brush, pine trees and kudzu. Anyway, the four lane is coming through and that will really change the face of Mansfield. L.J. Ernest Construction won the bid for the portion going through Mansfield and Jim says they're the best. They don't waste any time, they work hard, they work 24/7 and always beat deadlines. Some of the buildings downtown have been torn down for them to come through. They're totally changing the route of 171, straightening it out, so to speak.
Part of that route will now go through the ravine and they're going to fill in the portion of the ravine that the highway goes through. I took some pictures today from the old Hall house (that has not been torn down yet.) Everywhere there is dirt used to be pine trees, thick brush and kudzu.
The picture below is looking across the ravine - you can see the Courthouse across Washington in the background.
OK, that's the tour. The kudzu is gorgeous when it covers everything, lush and green. I can't wait for the finished product because now, perhaps we'll all get a better glimpse of the ravine that was so OFF limits when filled with brush, kudzu and pine trees. We might even find the panther that Bobby Gamble spotted in his lifetime.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Clif called from Alabama and said they got a good camping spot, among about 250,000 other campers. Have a feeling he's going to be blown away by the speedway tomorrow. Their tickets are three rows from the bottom of Turn 1 - I think thats where all the car parts go flying and a lot of rubber gets flung into the stands...good to know he's safe. He said they will be among a bunch of LSU fans - oh, that's great, they can all get injured together. Am looking forward to watching it on TV though.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Mr. G and Joye are going to the Kentucky Derby next week and Jim and I have a date with Lake Sam Rayburn from Thursday to Sunday of next week. Can't wait.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
First, I'm always late for work. When I was younger (less than ten years ago), if I was five minutes early for work I considered myself late. I actually used to get to the library at 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. to do my early bookkeeping job. Now, if I'm just five minutes late, I consider myself on time. It does not help that I work for someone who puts the "tardy chair" out if for some miraculous reason he beats me to the office.
I so want to work in my yard, I so want to do spring cleaning on my house. Did I mention that I have not yet cleaned the fireplace from this winter? Ick. Yes, I could more than afford a house cleaner but I do not trust anyone, and I don't want them messing with my stuff and judging my housecleaning skills (or lack thereof). I want to wash the outside windows and screens. My afghan is screaming for attention. I have a brand new book that is beckoning me. My elyptical is SCREAMING for me. The kitchen needs painting again. And what about those bridal wreath plants I want to plant on the South side of the property? In short, WHERE HAS TIME GONE?
Jim and I spent the weekend working - mostly. I'm doing QuickBooks for another customer, SB, earning extra money for Clif - he wants to go to summer school this summer and work part-time in Baton Rouge instead of coming home to intern for Balar Engineering. But we're with him on this.
I think the more he stays in Baton Rouge, the more he loses attachment to Mansfield (time rears its head again). Big cities are great places for young people to establish themselves (time again). Hell, most of the young people of Mansfield have gotten away because there is no future here. No industry, no tax base, not to put too fine a point on it. By the way, a little factoid here. I think Huey P. Long built bridges in New Orleans and Baton Rouge on the Mississippi River, (or perhaps they were built right after his assassination) to keep tall ships from moving North, therefore having to stop downriver to offload and keeping commerce in Louisiana. However, I know much more about the Alamo, being from Texas originally and learning its history.
I wish time was my friend, and would stop and let me enjoy it more. It would turn itself back and give me my youth. Oh, I get a few waves of time that I appreciate daily, maybe hourly...nah, maybe daily, more like weekly or monthly. It's all relative, and if you read this, you took some time and I'm thankful.
Ruffinism for the day: Time is what we want most, but...what we use worst. ~Willaim Penn
Monday, April 14, 2008
And he pretty well agrees with all of my deductions. The IRS does not seem to have a problem with him either. Why I cannot get my act together sooner is a mystery...well actually maybe not.
Our weekend at Lake Sam Rayburn was superb! The temperature could not have been better. BUT....the wind was unbelievable. The lake is quite large - 120,000 acres and I swear folks, you could have surfed on some of the white caps.
Jim and Norman and I went up Friday morning because it rained Thursday here. We had a good time but some dufus left the satellite receiver at the house so we had only 2 tv stations this weekend. But being outside with Norman and Jim was great.
It was great to get away. One final thing, I'm pretty knackered because I have now officially filed my taxes for 2007, my flowers are starting to bloom on the patio so thought I would share a couple of them with you, even if it is almost tax day.
I think the English Dogwood is sideways but his little flowers are lovely.
Ruffinism for the day: It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta. ~Dave Barry
Thursday, April 10, 2008
OK, OK, I am the panic attack queen, always have been, always will be, can't help it, Doc says I can't help it. It's the adrenaline thing, the fight or take flight thing.
I went to the Methodist Hospital in Houston for it once, well that was actually for the migraine that followed - kicking, screaming, throwing up, left side of the body numb vetebro basilar migraine. But they taught me bio-feedback at Methodist to those swinging favorite sounds of Debussy's Clair de lune and other classical pieces. Actually, it was quite interesting making your brain go free of all thought (no sarcastic remarks here.) It almost makes you high. It's not something you can sit back and do instantly, you have to be totally relaxed and concentrate, so to speak, on relaxing without really concentrating. The doctor that taught me in Houston was named Dr. Ping.
Anyway, I don't have panic attacks so much anymore, I can usually talk myself out of them. But yesterday folks, yesterday being any other wonderful day became the monster of all days. It started the previous evening when I was ironing my clothes for the next day. I have a new pair of Ralph Lauren pastel slacks that feel soooo good when I wear them. I was ironing them and thinking, oh I better be careful shaving my legs in the morning because I don't want a cut.
Fast forward to yesterday morning in the shower. Yes I cut my right leg above my ankle. I looked down and blood was going down the drain. I hadn't even felt it. Then I looked around and there was blood SPURTING on the side of the tub. I said god where is that coming from? Don't panic. Soap on my body, conditioner in my hair. Blood is spraying, god did I cut myself that bad? Looked at it, couldn't even see the stream, but sure enough it was still on the side of the tub, Sherlock. Rinsed myself off, looked down a couple of times, still spraying. I take a baby aspirin everyday, maybe that's it. Boy my blood sure is thinned. Am now promising God everything I can think of to stay conscious (even though I was not light headed at all.) God I'll never drink another adult beverage, God I'll not cuss all the slow old people in the road out. You'll be fine Susan. Turn off the shower. Blood still spurting on the side of the tub. White towels, white bath mat. Oh, god could it be my blood pressure? I have high blood pressure. Panic rising.
Dry off quickly in the tub now, blood still shooting across the tub. Tub is like Psycho the movie. Norman, the lab, (no coincidence to the Bates Motel owner) is the only one around and he ducks for cover when things get rough. Wrap the towel around my ankle. Oh my god Susan, what if you bleed to death and they find you naked?!!!? Run to my dresser, towel falls off of leg, blood shooting on the walls. Look at the walls. Oh god, oh god, oh god. Got to get dressed, got to get dressed. Put on undies but right half gets soaked as I put them on. Wrap towel around ankle, run to the closet, towel falls off ankle. Blood spraying on the carpet, on my shoes, it's this tiny little stream but it's torquing out some red stuff pretty fast. Put pants on, right leg soaked. By now the dressing room looks like something out of fatal attraction. Wrap leg again.
Finish dressing, run to the kitchen to take blood pressure medicine, hoping for instant Alice in Wonderland effect. Towel falls off. Kitchen floor now taking a battering. Get portable phone, call Jim....no one is at the barn (Jim's Public Works Superintendent for City of Mansfield - his men dispatch out of the barn on Water Street). Call city hall....no Jim. Get Gwen, emergency, emergency, she says she'll reach him on the radio.
Wrap leg again, put it up on chair (first sensible thing done that morning), now house is eerily quiet and I'm taking my pulse because, because I guess....that I'll be able to report my pulse when I meet Jesus. Leg stops bleeding. Oh, good, maybe I didn't really see or do what I just saw and did. Got up, got another wet towel to wipe off all the blood and clean my leg up. Oh, good, I'm ok. Until I look at the white paneled wall in the kitchen. Blood is shooting across to the wall. Oh my god, wrap leg again tight. Call Mr. G's (my boss) wife and tell her to get hold of Mr. G in transit and tell him what is going on. Like that is going to accomplish something Susan?
Jim comes in, says what in the hell is going on? Takes one look at my raggedy wet hair, my blood soaked pants, my white shirt with bloody fingerprints all over it (by god, I'm not naked)....and rolls his eyes. Goes to the front bathroom, gets the ice pack, puts ice in it, puts it on the chair under my leg. He walks to the back and screams, "Did you KILL the dog back here?" Of course the bleeding stopped instantly but had to make an appointment with Doc to get to the bottom of this. Called Mr. G, he said chill out. Spent the rest of the day on the bed with my leg up. Jim saying, "this is not normal, something is wrong."
Twenty-four hours later, I'm coming back from Shreveport where Doc took one look at it and said, "Oh, you nicked a vericose vein, next time, stay in the bathtub, put pressure on it, when it stops pumping, go get the ice pack and that will stop it immediately." And my blood pressure was just fine, 132 over 78. And he won't let me off the aspirin. And I enjoy taking a few years off of the end of my life often.
Oh, and because nothing I do goes unpunished, when I got back to Mansfield and work, Mr. G had told everyone in the world what happened, so naturally everyone, from Mr. Evans, to A.T. Martinez to Allen Pace to Suanne Bogle, to no less than 5 landmen, who all asked me if I cut my leg off today.
So, I'm going to tell something on Mr. G: get ready for this flash folks, this successful attorney/tree farmer/multi-millionaire uses a laundry basket for a suitcase.
Ruffinism for the day: We all experience moments absolutely free of worry. These brief respites are called panic. - Cullen Hightower
Monday, April 7, 2008
I will not pick up a Steen's can (lest my whole body shivers), nor inhale its essence under any circumstances. It is the vilest stuff I have ever NOT injested in my life. However, Jim grew up on it. He also grew up on Kyle Porter sausage, which his mother used to fry up for him when we came home to visit. I tried it once and it exploded the minute it hit my stomach. I thought the aliens were going to blast through the lining of my stomach and well, fly across the table like in Alien, the movie.
I think all men have wierd taste buds anyway but Jim's far surpass many men I know. He sprinkles wheat germ on his cereal. That's like putting pulverized cereal on your cereal. Can you imagine how that tastes? He has me buy powdered malt to sprinkle on his frozen yogurt. Isn't that kind of like wrapping a tortilla around a tamale?
Maybe it's me, maybe growing up in the big city of Houston tainted my palate but we NEVER had beans for breakfast. However, I do recall eating carrot cake at the lakehouse for breakfast often.
He'll sit down and eat a tin of anchovies, a tin of sardines with bleu cheese and crackers and think nothing of it. Complimented by pickled okra.
Ick. Ewww. He puts tabasco on his eggs on Sunday or picante sauce if tabasco is not available. Yish. He eats jalapenos straight from the jar, and bullet peppers. Blech. Clif and I both have been known to turn our heads when Mr. Ruffin "doctors" his food.
Jim grew up in a small town (Mansfield) where everyone went home for lunch everyday whether from school or work, and they called it dinner and it was a huge meal, complete with greens (ick, sorry) and hoppin john (ditto ick), biscuits, etc., whereas I ate lunch at school from my lunchbox and thermos (glass, that would break if you dropped it) - bologna sandwich, potato chips, milk and pink snowballs for dessert.
Jim did teach me to love coffee and chicory (French Market being the best.) I taught him to love spaghetti bolognese (I make the best in the world - next to that of my deceased grandmother.)
And the final triumph for Jim Ruffin? Prunes on Grapenuts. Earp.
Ruffinism for the day: As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett
Sunday, April 6, 2008
On the other hand, Jim went South to Baton Rouge to watch the annual LSU Spring Game (oh please, preparation details are not my strong suit - just a bunch of young men taking turns catching the ball as far as I'm concerned).
Jim told me that Richard Murphy played a phenomenal game at tailback. He stayed with his Uncle Bill in Lafayette Saturday. Uncle Bill that is 88 years old and a hoot. He has a 1977 baby blue cadillac with 48,000 miles on it and a grey 1984 cadillac with less miles than that on it. He is a very funny man. Very literal. A pessimist that has lived a very long life for a pessimist. When his younger brother Albert (Jim's dad) died 5 years ago, Uncle Bill was heard walking away from the burial at the cemetery saying, "Boy, it doesn't get any more final than that." Bill was the one of the five brothers that walked away from the Ruffin groove and made it on his own and is probably a very rich man.
Clif did not meet up with Jim this year at the Spring Game because the fraternity was having a theme party with its fellow sorority. Everyone was supposed to dress from a different country or nation. Clif called me from Walmart while purchasing a hawaiin shirt, some cigars and straw hat to represent the country of Cuba.
I assume this was the look he was going for except MUCH YOUNGER. And then today I think they were going deep sea fishing. I'm wondering where there is time for studies. Spring has gotten to all of them. And I believe golf was on the fare for Friday afternoon. I live vicariously through him.
I, myself, spent most of the weekend doing the books for yet another new customer. One cannot have too many jobs for the upcoming recession and free for all when the inmates take over the prison.
Am so looking forward to Wednesday afternoon when Jim and I will get our first getaway to Lake Sam Rayburn near Lufkin/San Augustine, Texas. It's also near Jasper, Texas but we will not claim Jasper at this point in life. We have not been there since mid last summer and it has been tooooo long. Will get the boat out of storage and haul it back after the weekend for annual tune up but will get good use out of it this weekend. A few pictures of the past and anticipation of this weekend.
The views to die for.
Ruffinism for the day: A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking. - Earl Wilson
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
He's worried about so many things that I remember being worried about at the University of St. Thomas in Houston when I was in college. Not measuring up, disappointing myself. Yet as much as I tell him he is our hero, breaking away from that Ruffin/Krueger groove, he still doubts just like I did.
He has forged some lifelong friendships through his fraternity, I believe. How comforting to know that someone has your back. And these guys have each other's back like I've never seen. They've come through some pretty hard times together. The fraternity was almost kicked off campus during Clif's freshman year. There was an incident at Homecoming in Clif's freshman year (2005). That stupid lake on campus that is about four feet deep that his uncle drove his vehicle into just a mere 35 years earlier was the subject of a king of the hill/capture the flag annual homecoming event.
Anyway to make a long story short, someone from another fraternity was whacked in the head with a board, taken to the hospital and survived. Of course he failed to mention he was holding someone underwater when he got whacked in the head. Enough of that though. He has solid friendships that I wish I had.
On a lighter note, Jim and I are going camping next weekend. It's been so long and I am looking forward to it. We're off on Thursday afternoon and am looking forward to some real relaxation. I want sun, with a sun hat and 45 strength lotion since my two skin cancers and Jim's one. I want quiet, I want movies and movies and movies. I want quiet, did I mention that? I want Lake Sam Rayburn, my escape. I might even take a picture or two of "my house", the house that I want when I win the lottery. A new book or two, my afghan redux.
Ruffinism for the day: "Never stand between a dog and the hydrant." -John Peers.