March 18, 2019: The Day My World Changed

Since my car is 20 years old, I am never too surprised when I have to take it to the shop.  So why am I bewildered when my body–which is 56 years older than my car–needs the oil changed and brakes redone?

Still I am.

I’d not been at the top of my game for several weeks.  I was rapidly becoming Rip Van Winkle.  I could begin a nap before I ended the one I was taking.  So Monday I found my little blood pressure device, put some new batteries in it and clicked it on.  91/55 got my attention and I headed for a doc in the box I’ve used before,.

I hardly hit the door before they called an ambulance and sent me down the street to Baptist East emergency room.  At one point I counted 10 people gathered around me talking excitedly about my heart rate, what little there was.  About this time I got the sense that this was about more than just getting my oil changed.

Long story made short, I am now home with more holes in me from taking blood than a pin cushion.  The end of every finger has been pricked for blood to find out my blood sugar level.  My blood sugar tends to go from high to higher and I’m thinking that sweet iced tea is in my rear view mirror

I’m reading about living with diabetes and figuring that morning trips to Hardee’s for a sausage and biscuit and small coke are just “precious memories.”  No doubt I am about to discover that there are entire sections of a grocery store that I never knew existed.  Something says that late night runs to Krispy Kreme are no longer part of my travel plans.

I deeply appreciate all those who sent good wishes and prayers.  They are deeply appreciated.

And for those who may have some tips on dealing with this new future, love to hear from you.



The Figs Found My Mailbox

This afternoon I go to the mailbox and lo and behold, there is a well-wrapped box from Texas with two pint jars of whole fig preserves inside.

Like a kid at Christmas, I tore into the package with great anticipation.

And then–discovered that Santa did not bring me the ball glove I wanted so badly.  I was distraught as I tasted the first one.  It missed the mark by a long way.  The figs are the biggest I have ever seen.  Like the size of golf balls.  But lot more just mush that sweetness.  Of course I did not have any of mama’s biscuits to shove one into, so I plumped two of them down on a piece of bread, folded the bread over the figs and chomped down.

The results were the same.  Bland.  Little taste at all.  And I spent $20 for two jars and shipping.

My ball glove became a pair of pajamas.

However, ever the optimist when it comes to food, back to the internet I went.  Four more jars are now on the way.  Two from Columbiana, AL and two from South Carolina.

That’s another $50.  But this time it is do or die.  Either I find a supplier of figs I’m looking for–or I’m off to Dairy Queen for a banana split.

Never Forget To Laugh

In this crazy, hyper active wired world of today, we encounter a tsunami of information each day, way too much of which reminds us of what a mess we deal with all the time.

A constant barrage of bad, depressing news.  (And I admit that I do my own share of passing along such info on these pages.)

It is way too easy to forget to smile and laugh and forget that none of us are getting out of here alive so we should enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Which brings me to the point of this little post.  Here is the audio of a cell phone call from a guy on his way to work who witnesses four older ladies in a fender bender and their response.

It is ABSOOLUTELY one of the funniest things I have ever heard.  If you don’t laugh along with me as you listen, check your pulse.

Homage To Alpha Lee’s Biscuits And Fig Preserves

Mama was Alpha Lee Stuart before she married and became Alpha Lee Stuart Lee from Rt. 2, Red Level, AL.

She was put on the earth to worry about things she could not do anything about–and cook.  I could not do anything when she said, “I’m worried about such and such,” except to remind her that she had no more control over some nutcase politician in Washington than she did the moon impacting the tide.  But I could sure eat her cooking.

It was southern to the core.  The kind of things that women in this part of the world fed to fields hands.  Greens, peas, fried chicken–and biscuits.

I once asked for her recipe for biscuits.  Might as well have asked for the formula for Coca Cola.  She tried her best to tell me how much a pinch of this was or just a dab of something else.  It was futile. Her biscuit making obviously was a part of her DNA.  Just something that happened automatically, like breathing.

Hers were not light and airy and crumbly like you see in advertisements.  She patted them out by hand and they had a sorta, kinda hard crust.  That meant they held together when you filled a plate with sugar cane syrup and butter and ran half of that biscuit from the east side of the plate to the west side.

Or when you put some fig preserves in them.

Which was when I was about as close to Heaven as I’ve ever been.

I’m talking about WHOLE fig preserves.  Where you put a pile of them in a pot with lots of sugar and boil away.  Now much later in life I have discovered that stores sell little jars of what they call fig preserves.  But they have been all smushed together and come out of the jar like a paste.  You know, like they do strawberry preserves.

But it just ain’t right.  Smearing a biscuit, especially one of those light and crumbly ones, with this concoction leaves a lot to be desired.

So this morning I went on Goggle to pick me some figs.  Whole figs.  Boiled down with sugar.  And found some way out in Texas.  Ordered two jars.  Shipping cost as much as one jar.

I will await them anxiously.  But unfortunately, there is no place to order some of Alpha Lee’s biscuits.  A damn shame.



California Here I Come

No doubt it was bound to happen.  The moment when my reputation as a wise ole owl spread far beyond Alabama.  In fact, all the way to California.

So at 4:30 p.m. central standard time this afternoon, Feb. 8, I will be interviewed on KPFA in Berkeley, CA.  Dr. Kitty Epstein has a radio show called EDUCATION TODAY and I will be her guest to discuss the Alabama Accountability Act.

Goggle tells me that KPFA is the first community supported radio station in the county  It began in 1949..

She called last night to chat for a moment.  I warned her that because of my pronounced southern drawl, she may need an interpreter to explain to her listeners what I am saying,.

if you are interested in listening, go to this link

You will see “listen live’ in the upper left hand corner

Who will it be next?  The Today show perhaps?.



Some Things Need No Words

Here is a wonderful story about terminally ill Kelly Phillips and his two-year journey in a battered old houseboat down the Mississippi River.

Do yourself a favor and read it.  And be reminded again that there is good all around us, if we only stop to pay attention.