Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Remember Pat

I don't remember Pat's last name.
She was a trainer at a kennel I worked in at the West Palm Beach Kennel Club. She was so good to the dogs that she made me feel like I was mean to them. I don't mean that she criticized me. I just mean that she was so gentle that I was amazed at the delicate way she handled them. She was a person who was full of nothing but love.
Unfortunately Pat had health problems. She also had a raging drinking problem. She was also homeless. One time she showed up at the track so drunk that she was staggering everywhere. She even pissed on herself. Instead of talking about pulling her license and taking her job away the other trainers hid her. They cleaned her up while I picked up her dogs. This was a rare show of compasion for someone in the cutthroat world of the dog business.
I grew to love and respect her for her treatment of the greyhounds and to pity her for her health and other problems. The day she was to leave for vacation she thanked me for taking such good care of her dogs. She was relieved that her babies would be getting the kind of care that she felt they deserved. Otherwise she would not have left for her vacation.
She did not come back.
They said she accidentally fell of a cliff while trying to rescue a stranded puppy. I have no doubt that she may have been rescuing a stranded puppy. I do have doubts about her "accidentally" falling off that cliff.
Her final goodbye to me was too poignant for me not to believe that she knew she would not be coming back.
I wonder if anybody else remembers Pat?

Friday, March 2, 2012

They Left Me!

One time I was coming back from Florida with my dad and my husband. Daddy was driving a car. Bobby was driving a van. I was riding with both of them just to talk and keep them awake switching vehicles every time we stopped.

We stopped at a gas station in Bluefield, WV and I got out of my dad's car and climbed into the van while they were both in the gas station. I took a bite of Bobby's cookie and set it down and I decided that I needed to go to the restroom. When I came out of the restroom I was dismayed to see both vehicles rounding the curve getting onto the WV Turnpike! If you ever want to feel your stomach fall to your knees (I don't know why you would) walk out of a building in a strange town over 100 miles from home and watch your ride leave you.

I went in and told the owner of the gas station what had happened. He chuckled to himself saying that in 36 years of business, he had never seen anybody get left behind. He let me use the phone to call the police to try to run my rides down. (my dad got mad about that, because he said that I knew they would be speeding!) The owner of the gas station was also kind enough to give me a pop and some chips because I didn't have a penny on me. He also had a big dog for me to play with - which is all I needed anyway if you know anything about me.

When you get on the WV Turnpike in Bluefield, WV, there is not another exit for at least 75 miles. We were going to Charleston which is about 110 miles away. Each had no reason to suspect that I wasn't in the others' vehicle. About an hour after they left me my dad pulled into the gas station. I was so grateful to see him. I asked if the police found them. He told me no.

It turned out that as they were driving along Bobby went to take a bite of his cookie and noticed that I had taken a bite out of it. He also could see that I wasn't in the car with my dad. He flagged my dad over and daddy turned at one of those emergency exits and came back to get me. He said if it ever happenned again to just wait. If he had to he would send me a bus ticket, but don't ever call the police again

She was a farm girl

My mom was raised on a farm in Sarah Ann, West Virginia. She loved her childhood. It was full of happy memories of animals and her Uncle Toby. Uncle Toby was her 80? year old uncle who wore an immaculate white suit everyday and took his morning constitutional using a walking cane.

Mommy had 18 cats. Her favorite was Tarzan. Tarzan was an orange tabby cat. Unfortunately he froze to death in the middle of the creek. He used to love to sun on a special rock in the middle of the creek. Apparently on night the creek raised and Tarzan couldn't get to the creek bank. When mommy found him the next morning he was frozen to death on his rock.She had another cat named Dotsie. Dotsie had her face kicked in by a rabbit so hard that it permanently pushed her nose up and you could hear each breath as she labored to take it. She lived a long life though.

Every Saturday morning mommy would sit in front of the tv watching

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Abortion Song

A woman goes to a dr. and requests an abortion. He gives her a little blue pill. She goes home and takes it and the fetus is aborted. Nine months later she gives birth to a newborn baby girl. When the baby comes out she jumps up and belts out this song while doing a little dance and waving a top hat:

Duh Duh Du Du Duh (musical build up)

You Killed My Brother...

but You didn't Kill Me!

Duh duh Du Du Duh

I Hid Behind My Mother's...

Left Kidney!

Baby takes a bow.

Awful Knawful

Awful Knawful was my brother, Billy's, nickname. It was a play on Evel Knievel. Billy was as awesome on a bicycle as Evel Kneivel was on a motorcycle. He did stunts back in the 70's that others have just started doing in the last 5 to 10 years or so and they are using modern day bicycles that are built much better than the old "banana seat specials" that we used to have back then.

Billy was always building ramps both big and small. There was NEVER a neighborhood contest that he didn't win. He could outdo anybody on a bike. Probably his greatest stunt was when he would sail out over the riverbank. It was easily over 50 feet horizontally from the top of the bank out to the river and there was about a 50 foot vertical drop as well! There was about a 25 or 30 foot drop to the first bank that was about 10 foot wide and then there was a drop off again to the river. He would consistently sail out over the bank and slide his bike sideways down the second bank stopping right beside the river without ever getting his tires wet!

Others tried. All failed. Most would just kind of flip over the side of the first bank which resulted in a nasty head over bike roll to the first bank. Even more painful would be the flying out and landing solid on the first bank. (a true ballbuster move which brought chortles of glee from all who watched). The few who did manage to land exactly on the slope of the bank like Billy (he was the gold standard after all) would invariably careen into the river and then we had the tedious task of digging their bikes out of the sucking river mud. (these rescues had to be conducted in secrecy because we weren't allowed over the river bank afterall).

Anyway Long Live Awful Knawful!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Last of My Living With Heart Disease Posts

This is the end of my series about living with heart disease. I hope it has been enlightening without being boring. I started the month with an absolutely dreadful picture of myself on a bad day on my bi-pap machine.

I had just had a really bad a-fib episode and I spent about the next 3 weeks on the machine for around 15 to 18 hours per day. I started feeling better last week. I am still on the machine too long but it is down to around 12 hours a day and that is overnight without a nap in the middle of the day. Although I desperately need that nap still I am trying to ween myself again and I am keeping busy.

So I end the month with a new picture of myself in my feeling better mode. Please note the artful placement of my hand to hide my double chin.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The EXACT Second I Realized I Was Old

t was in 1989. I had been watching the movie "Beaches" with my stepdaughters. image

When it was over, Kandi looked at me and said, "Can you believe it, Bette Midler can really sing!!!" image

She was absolutely incredulous when she said it. image

I was absolutely speechless. image

Steve Thompson Witnessed the Buffalo Creek Flood Disaster First Hand

Steve Thompson Witnessed the Buffalo Creek Flood Disaster first hand.

He lives in our building. We have had a couple of conversations since he moved in and that is how I found out he was from Logan, more specifically, Man, West Virginia. Today is the 40th. anniversary of the dam bursting which was owned by Pittston Coal Company. I wondered if perhaps he had lived there when the dam busted so I went and asked.

He is a quiet man. When I asked him if he remembered anything about it I could tell by the look in his eyes he remembered before he even spoke another word. He agreed to talk to me about it because he feels it is important that people remember one of the biggest mining disasters in U.S. history.
On February 26, 1972, 125 people were killed when the dam burst. At least 3 others were never found. He is always surprised when it comes up that people don’t know about it 40 years later.

“There has never been another accident of these proportions where 125 people drowned at one time American history. So how could they not know?”

He lived up on the hill in Amherstdale. Amherstdale is about halfway up the hollow between the dam bursting and the town of Man which is where the wall of water was headed until it met the Guyandotte River. In all there were 7 communities washed away that day.

Here is his first hand account;

It was around 5 o’clock in the morning and it was at the edge of night turning to dawn. There was just enough light to make out objects in the dim, rainy morning light. He had a cousin who liked to drink. His cousin came in the house and told Steve’s mom that he had just seen a cow floating down the creek. She didn’t pay much attention to him and he repeated it. She shrugged him off, telling him, “Go sleep it off.”
Steve was just curious enough that he had to go look. Sure enough when he looked down at the creek it was swollen with water and he saw a cow go by and then another and then another. He said at first the water was rushing toward Man in a smaller wave that filled the whole valley from the mountain on the one side to the other mountain on the other side.

Then all of a sudden he saw a 15 feet high wall of water coming from up the hollow. After the wall of water then he started to see whole houses, cars and even people. Everything imaginable was in that water as the black, sludgy wall of water slammed through the valley, stripping it clean. It left only deep, sucking river mud littered with debris in it’s wake.

He looked down the hill to his neighbor’s house. Paul Basham and his family lived there. Somehow Paul managed to get his wife and kids to safety. They had to run up the mountain as so many people did that day. Paul didn’t make it out of the house before the wall of water hit. Steve watched as Paul climbed on to the roof of his house as it was ripped from the foundation. By some miracle Paul rode on top his house as it was being shredded by the waves. He managed to grab a branch of a tree as the house passed under it. He had to stay in that tree all day because it took that long for the water to recede.

After the water passed everyone was in shock. There were no birds, no sounds of nature. Any animals he saw were in a panic. He couldn’t help. He could only watch helplessly as his friends and neighbors with everything they owned were washed away
. They had no power for 4 months after the flood. It took almost a year to get running water. Steve’s family was fortunate because they had a spring in their yard which the neighbors also used. That is until the state condemned it probably because of mine runoff but he doesn’t really know why. The government brought in trailers for people to live in. Hundreds of them were lined up and families were torn apart who had lived in neighborhoods for generations.

There was a class action settlement from Pittston Coal that paid $3000 to each person in the valley. Also there were many settlements of hundred’s of thousands of dollars to families who lost loved ones. Sometimes the whole family was dead. Many brothers and sisters and mothers and sons were buried together in any combination you can think of. Thousands of people were left homeless with sometimes not even the clothes on their backs because the water washed them away.
Pittston Coal still maintains to this day that it was an Act of God that caused the dam to burst – not shoddy construction.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Last Time "I" Changed a Flat

I was living on my 100 acres and I had just finished mowing a field and taking care of my animals on a blistery, hot, summer day. I was going in the house to clean up and crash for the day when I happened to see that the tire on my car was about 1/2 deflated. I knew that it wouldn't take long for it to flatten the rest of the way so -

I went in the house and took a quick shower and put on a nice outfit and did my make-up and hair. I went out and got into my car and drove about a mile to the grocery store where I parked on the end of the parking lot right next to the road. I went around to my trunk and I threw my spare on the ground, then I threw the tire iron on the ground and I was bent over in the trunk TRYING to get the jack out when a very nice looking man stopped and asked if I needed help. OF COURSE I SAID YES!

As I was standing there talking to him while he changed my tire 3 more men stopped to ask if I needed help. I thanked them all while the first one changed my tire for me after which I thanked him profusely.

The only problem with the whole thing was that I REALLY wanted the 2nd. man to change my tire. But of course I couldn't be rude and send the first one away.Background Color

He saved my life and I don't even know who he was

I was being forced to rent a crappy room in an even crappier building. I didn't want to do it but I thought I had no choice given my situation with my money and my health. I was ready to hand over the first weeks rent when the landlord had to go and tend to some people he had kicked out of the building the week before.

I was waiting for him to come back when the man who lived in the room next ot me opened his door and whispered for me to come over. He cautiously looked for the landlord (who had just introduced us minutes before) and he hurriedly told me that no matter what I did not to rent a room! He said that the people the landlord was talking to were raising hell and were mad that he had kicked them out and I would be renting their old room.

I thanked him and I left without even saying goodbye to the landlord. The tennant who had just warned me retreated back into his room.

A week later there was a murder in that building.

A few days later the 3 people I had seen (hellraisers) were arrested for the murder.

They were convicted.

That man, whom I had never seen, and will never see again, more than likely saved my life.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's NOT the Way to Go!

This post is about having sex when you have heart disease. The best advise is "proceed with caution".

You know the old joke about the man having sex with the beautiful blonde and he has a heart attack and the punchline is "What a way to go!"?

Well I can tell you from experience it is definitely NOT the way to go.

After being diagnosed with my heart problem, I had started to feel a little better so I called up my "friend with benefits". I invited him over and we were having our usual fun time nothing too strenuous mind you-just a good relaxing evening. When it came time for my "big moment" I did not think I was going to live through it. My heart had never pounded like that before ( or a better way to phrase it is, "my heart had never NOT pounded like that before) and once the "Big O" had kicked in there was no turning back!

By the third heartbeat I literally thought I was going to die! It seemed like an eternity between each beat and I thought each beat would literally be my last. The fear in me completely overrode anything else I was feeling. In fact it completely ruined my afterglow.

Afterward I was nauseous and had a terrible headache. Unfortunately for me that is probably the last time that I'll ever have sex. When I told my dr. about it(completely embarrassing but I needed to know) he could not believe that I had even attempted to engage in such activity. He told me that I was not supposed to be doing that in any way, shape or form. I asked him why nobody had told me. He just said that in my condition they thought that I knew better. So my advise is listen to your dr. if you know what is good for you!

Fortunately it is 5 years later...things have changed for the better.