Monday, May 5, 2014

Me - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Me - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My mom was so proud of my sugar curl. She made it with a little bit of sugar every day.

This picture sat on my
Granny Brennan's dresser for as long as I can remember. It is my
brother, Billy and I when we were 2 and 3.

My favorite Childhood
picture taken on the front porch of our house in West Logan, West
Virginia. I was probably 4, Billy 3 and Rhonda 2. I used to sit in the
tree in the backyard and eat peaches. I remember a flood. My mom says
they carried us out of the house with the water coming up to the foot
of our beds. My Raggedy Andy doll died in that flood.

2nd. Grade...Mrs. Mabry

3rd. Grade. I remember
having this picture taken. My mom had tried to explain to me how to sit a
little angled to the side the morning of the pictures (classic picture
pose style). I misunderstood and when the photographer tried to pose me
I INSISTED that my mom wanted me to sit sideways. I refused to have my
picture taken any other way. I am not smiling because I thought that
my smile wouldn't show up in the picture anyway.

4th. Grade in my favorite
"Alice in Wonderland" dress. I ripped it on the giant gash in the
slicky slide. If people would see their kids on that slide today they
would have a heart attack but we figured out how to slide down in on the
side where the giant gash wasn't. We are probably lucky we weren't

5th. Grade - Mrs. Ferrell.
We used to play battling tops during recess. That was also the year
that the last Vietnam prisoner of war came home (officially). We got in
trouble for making P.O.S. signs. (prisoners of school)

6th. Grade. I was hard core into my book a day reading regimen.

8th. grade. I loved my new
bangs haircut but nobody taught me how to style them. I wanted WINGS! I
remember my 7th. grade music teacher telling me how much she liked my
new haircut. It did wonders for my self esteem...something I badly

9th. was horrible. I was an acne filled mess. I loved the outfit I'm's back in style now.

10th. grade. I loved high
school. I ran around with a group of girls and we called ourselves "the
slut club". Nothing could have been further from the truth but it was
our way of rebelling.

Senior Year for me. Billy was in the 10th grade and Rhonda in the 9th.

Beauty School 1985. I hated
it from the very first day but I had moved and everything before I
started it. I worked at it long enough to pay off my student loans and
never did it again.

1987 at my in-law's house in Jeffrey, West Virginia with my husband, Bobby.

Family reunion at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Probably in the early 80's...with my husband, Bobby.

Vacation after a truck ran
over my foot in 1989. Some of you may remember a blog about the "Great
Crab Invasion". This is when that happened.

1993 - Bobby and I playing with our first litter of greyhound puppies

September 24, 1994. Our
13th. anniversary picture. If you had told me I would be leaving him
forever just 4 months later I would have found it hilarious. I left my
best friend behind forever that day.

1998 with Droid and her
mother, Queenie. I was so glad to take a picture with them but of
course my hair wouldn't "do right" that day.

Christmas 2003 with my dad, Bill Brennan and my granny, Elaine Brennan. He died in 2004 and she died in 2011.

2003 portrait with my mom. I
told her I wanted a picture of her for my birthday. At first she gave
me her usual answer, "when I lose the weight." I pointed out to her that
she had been "going to lose the weight" for my whole life and there
were no pictures of her. So she took the picture. It was a great
birthday present.

2008 or 09. Pam and Kathy horsing around at Fruth. We were hired on the same day in May 2000.

Pam 2012

Pam 2013

Me! In my own mind for my whole life.

Friday, May 2, 2014

That Little Store - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

That Little Store - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

There's a little IGA store in St. Albans, West Virginia.  It is a
small family owned grocery store and they go out of there way to take
care of me everytime I go in there.  I have mentioned them before
because they go out of their way to special order the salt free tomato
juice I need.  They don't charge an arm and a leg for it either so I can
afford to get as many as I want - usually 4 to 6 a month.

are lots of bigger chain stores along the way as I drive to get there
but my need for the tomato juice isn't enough to interest any of them in
carrying it...or if they do it costs so much I can't afford more than a
couple of them.

But that isn't all that is special about this
little store.  They bend over backwards to help me with my purchases -
including loading them in my truck for me.  Today the little old lady
that runs the register even had someone there to unload my cart and put
my stuff on the counter to get rung up.

It was most appreciated
since I started having chest pain a few minutes before I decided it was
time to go.  I don't make a big production out of it.  I just rest in
the aisle when it happens and make my way out of the store.

I go
out of my way to purchase more goods at the little store.  I want to
help them stay in business.  I don't get a lot of stuff because their
prices are too high but I do get what I can manage to afford.  I believe
in supporting mom and pop stores anyway - not just the ones that go out
of their way to help me.

They have a deli.  I avoid it because
deli food is usually loaded with salt.  Last month I was walking by when
the lady was putting out a freshly fried chicken breast.  It smelled
and looked so good I couldn't resist it.  For $3 I got a humongous
breast and bought a tiny thing of potato salad to go with it for lunch. 
It was scrumptious.  It was so scrumptious that I got the same thing
again today and I will probably do it next month as well.

I don't
eat much fried food so this one transgression shouldn't hurt too much I
hope.  Especially since that chicken breast is so big I actually ate it
and the potato salad for 2 meals. {#basic-smile.gif}

I'll keep going to the little store.  Not because they have groceries -
I can get them anywhere and cheaper for the most part.  What you can't
get is the kind of service they offer and they are so friendly about
it.  I used to assure them I was fine and didn't need the help (when it
was obvious I did).  They just brush those protests off and is much
better to just accept the help gracefully and say a heartfelt, "thank

Friday, April 18, 2014

Baby Steps - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Baby Steps - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Spring has sprung and I started my fitness plan last week.  It
isn't much of a plan really.  I am doing my best to do one lap around
our building.  I can tell a difference after a week but my progress is
still disappointing.  When I first walked around the building last week I
had to rest more than 5 times and each rest was 5 to 20 minutes and I
had to get on my oxygen when I finished.  It was terrible.

Today I rested 3 times and each rest was a minute or 2.  I didn't get
on my oxygen at the end.  I also did a few other little things that
added about another 1/2 lap on my walk.  So all around it was an
improvement.  I have also had to keep my apartment inspection ready
which is a whole another story.

How did I get in such terrible shape?

For those that don't know I have heart failure.  I also have COPD. 
I've done pretty well taking care of myself but last summer I had
emergency surgery to have my gall bladder removed.  It almost killed
me.  I was fortunate that my nephew moved in with me and took care of me
for 2 months.  After that he was forced to leave because I was going to
lose my disability insurance if he kept living with me. But he had
nursed me to the point that I was able to minimally take care of myself -
and I do mean minimally.

I worked on getting stronger just by doing routine housework and
errands. I have been keeping that stuff done but was not able to go out
into the winter weather or add any exercise to the mix.  Just keep the
house inspection ready because the landlord keeps putting up notices of
inspection for the past 4 months!

Finally last week the weather became good enough for me to start my
walking routine to get stronger.  So I'm working on it.  Right now my
goal is to make a full lap around the building without resting.  Then
I'll work on 2 laps and so on and so on....

Soon it will be summer and I can add swimming to my list.  I love to
swim and went regularly except for last summer because of my gall

And that is how I got into this shape.  Right now every step is a
struggle because of breathing issues.  Not because I get tired.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

offbeat Easter humor - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

offbeat Easter humor - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

peeping peeps

She Saved My Life - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

She Saved My Life - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

This is my friend, Sharon
Ball. She saved my life one day. I have told many people this story and
she gets embarrassed but she deserves recognition for what she did for
me that day.

I was having problems with my heart. I went to the emergency room.
Usually when I go to the ER they move me to the front of the line. This
was one day when I could not get anyone to notice me and I was so weak
and dizzy that I could not talk. I could not breathe.
Sharon saw me. She knew immediately how serious the situation was. SHE
took me straight to the back and they ended up keeping me for a few
So thank you Sharon Ball for saving my life.

Thank you too to the staff of CAMC who once they were aware of the
problem kicked their lifesaving measures in place. But Sharon deserves
the credit for getting them to notice me.

The Great Monkey Escape - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

The Great Monkey Escape - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

been watching the news about a monkey escaping from his enclosure in
Kansas City and inviting 6 of his friends to come along - only 2
accepted his invitation though. {#flag.gif}   Happily all are back home now and no animals or people were hurt in the process.

reminded me of a greyhound I had named Navjo Thunder. (yes that is how
the owner spelled the name so no corrections please)  Thunder was a
typical brindle greyhound who was from a  litter of dogs that could fly,
but that is not what was memorable about him.

I was having a
problem.  I would be letting dogs go outside for turnout and all of a
sudden I would look down and I would have males and females comingling
around me.  Most kennels, including this one, turned males and females
out separately.  Then I would have to go into panic mode and start
putting them up as fast as I could before a fight started.

first time it happened I kicked myself in the rear because I thought I
had not latched the gate properly to the girl's pen.  It is not an
unknown occurance but I was usually much too careful about such things
for it to happen.

Then it happened again.  I had every greyhound
in my kennnel running around together happily getting to know the
strangers in the other pen.  Generally this leads to much excitement
from males who aren't used to having females so close and then the
females start putting the males in their place and a huge fight can
break out.  So once again I put them up as fast as I could and I
wondered what in the world was going on with the pens.  I thought maybe
the latch was broken at this point....but it wasn't.

Then one day I
walked outside to latch the gate for the boys after I put them out.  I
did this just in time to watch Thunder walk over to the girls pen and
flip the latch up quicker than any burglar could do it.  The females had
learned that he could do this and they were waiting at the gate to make
a run for it and start the big party in the kennel.

I had to
laugh.  I had never seen a dog do anything like that before.  I rushed
to put them up again and from then on out I had an extra lock on each
gate so that it was  Thunderproof.  It was quite comical to watch
Thunder try to work the latch with that lock on it and I'm just glad he
never tried to open the outside gate before I figured out what was going

That can lead to a whole another set of problems....much like the monkeys running around the zoo {#basic-tongue-out.gif}

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Pictures Don't Do It Justice - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My Pictures Don't Do It Justice - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Upper Big Branch was the
last Major Mining Disaster in West Virginia. This is also a monument to
all fallen coal miners and it also gives the history of coal mining in
the state.

Names of the twenty nine who
died. Two men survived. One was able to return to work a couple of
years later. The other will never work again because of his injuries.

Even though the memorial is
wedged between the road and the creek (as everything is in southern West
Virginia), there is a beautiful view.

Me - paying my respects. Eddie and I took the trip to see it today. I was surprised by the reverence that the site inspired.

Pudgy's Favorite Position - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Pudgy's Favorite Position - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

He looks like a bearskin rug

Making me wait to pet him

Pudgy lives in the kitchen
cabinet. He lets himself in and out. Yesterday when the bug man came
he caught Pudgy off guard in the bedroom. As soon as the bug man walked
through Pudgy came streaking out of the bedroom running so fast he
couldn't get traction as he cut the corner to the kitchen. When the bug
man asked what was wrong I told him I had a "chicken cat". The bug man
didn't believe me when I told him Pudgy let himself into the cabinet
that fast but he went to look and sure enough. That's where he was.
Pudgy was so traumatized I had to give him some can cat food with his
favorite gravy.

Income Guedelines for Expanded Medicaid in West Virginia - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Income Guedelines for Expanded Medicaid in West Virginia - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

guidelines vary in each state.

They Said, "You are the only people in the history of the state..." - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

They Said, "You are the only people in the history of the state..." - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

" send back food stamps."  They seemed none too happy about it.

in 1984 I went to Beauty School.  We moved from Logan, WV, to
Huntington, WV, so I could do this.  My husband was having trouble
finding a job.  He applied for food stamps.  He was eligible.  I was not
because I was going to school.  Then he found a job at a little leather
shop in the mall.  He was still eligible and I wasn't.  Then he added a
job cleaning floors at the mall after they closed.

After they
reviewed our case they said not only was he eligible but I had been
eligible for the past 9 months.  They back paid us 9 months of food
stamps.  One day the mailman knocked on our door and asked me if there
was some kind of mistake.  He showed me the envelope with the food
stamps and in the upper right hand corner was a number actually showing
how much food stamps were in the envelope.

We received 689 dollars
worth of food stamps.  Talk about a Christmas present.  That was sure a
boon to us!  My brother found out about it and promptly offered me 50
cents on the dollar for them.  I told him he was crazy.  The grocery
store would give us dollar for dollar for them!

What we did do
though was because we coudn't afford Christmas presents we bought the
stuff for Bobby to make his world famous cheesecakes for Christmas.  He
used to make the most deletable cheesecake.  He put the fruit in the
cheesecake instead of on top of it and people loved it. (It was quite
innovative for 1984)  So everybody got cheesecake for Christmas that

Then I graduated from Beauty School and we both got jobs in
Galllipolis, Ohio.  They sent us more food stamps.  We were both working
decent jobs so I sent the food stamps back to the state via registered
mail.  A few days later we got a call from a social worker.  She wanted
to know why we sent them back.  I explained that we got good jobs and we
didn't need them any longer.  That was when she told me that we could
have kept them because they knew we were just getting started and
probably needed the money.

She offered to send them back.  I
politely refused, telling her we didn't need them any longer.  That was
when she told me she didn't know what she was going to do with the food
stamps, that they really didn't have a procedure for turning them back

Being young and naive I told her I was sure she would figure
it out and I hung up.  So I don't know what happened to the food
stamps.  I hope she gave them back but who knows{#confused.gif}   She may have kept them or given them to someone else in need.

The Last Bit of Beauty Left in WV until Spring - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

The Last Bit of Beauty Left in WV until Spring - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My First Married Thanksgiving - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My First Married Thanksgiving - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

We went to my parent's house and my new in-law's house. The part I
really remember was at my in-laws home.  I had a most excellent
mother-in-law.  We grew to be great friends over time but when I was
first married, she had major issues with the fact that I refused to wait
on my husband hand and foot.  Don't get me wrong I didn't mind doing
things for him, but what I did mind was someone thinking that I should
cater to his every whim just because he was a man and I was a woman. 

wanted no help in the kitchen.  She had her own way of doing things.  I
respected that. So the whole family was gathered throughout the house
doing whatever until dinner was ready.  It was really very nice not to
have to worry about helping to prepare the meal - I was used to helping
my mom and it wouldn't have been a problem to help my mother-in-law if
she had wanted the help.

It came time to eat and she called
everyone to the kitchen.  It was buffet style.  I jumped right in and
fixed myself a plate of food and as I was walking away she yelled,
"Bobby, come and eat, Pam has your plate ready!"

I just looked at her and smiled and said, "this is my plate, I have no idea what he wants to eat!" {#evil_laught.gif}
  I took my plate and when Bobby had his plate ready he joined me. 
Thankfully she didn't make an issue of it and neither did I so it was a
great Thanksgiving.  Bobby and I laughed together many times about it
over the years and she was eventually able to have a little giggle about
it herself once she started to come to my home to eat Thanksgiving

I remember how pleased she was that I was able to even
cook such a meal.  "I didn't know you had it in you, girl." she smiled
at me.  I did however let her fix whatever she wanted in my kitchen. 
The more the merrier was my philosophy and it still is.

Let THEM Sort it Out - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Let THEM Sort it Out - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

I was working the fuel desk at a TA Truckstop.  (I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this job) {#dancing6.gif} ANYWAY...

was working the fuel desk when I noticed the new girl looking kind of
funny.  I asked her what the problem was and she said she had just got
off the phone with a trucker and he had asked her to call 911 for him. 
She said he told her he was parked in our parking lot (with about a 100
other truckers) and he was too sick to call them himself.

"Well, why are you just standing there?  Why aren't you calling 911?"

She said, "I don't know if it is a prank call or not."

cussed to myself and told her to get on the phone and call 911.  I told
her it wasn't our job to decide if something like that was a prank call
- let the police and ambulance sort it out - that was their job.

still just stood there looking at me.  So I left my long line of
customers (we were in the middle of a rush) and called 911 myself.  I
explained the phone call to them and they asked me how THEY were
supposed to find this trucker in the middle of all the other truckers.  I
told them to just send the ambulance to our front door.  By the time
they got there I would have someone locate the truck driver.  (the clerk
did remember the company name of the trucker)

When I got off the
phone I called the maintenance guys and explained the problem to them. 
They hustled on to the parking lot to locate the truck.  I also got on
the phone to the trucking company and spoke to their dispatcher.  They
knew exactly what truck I was talking about and although they didn't
know the location of the truck on the parking lot they did know the
license number of the truck.

That was all I needed.  I relayed the
information to the maintenance men as well as getting on the intercom
that broadcasted across the entire property.  So then I had all the
truckers looking for their fellow trucker.

He was located in
minutes.  He was indeed too sick to call an ambulance but as promised I
directed the ambulance to the guys truck and they rushed him to the
hospital where he was operated on for a appendicitis or something along
that nature.  We also secured the truck while the trucking company sent a
substitute driver to pick up the cargo and sent it on it's way.

trucker was in the hospital for over a week.  But when he came out he
stopped by the fuel desk to thank us for saving his life and getting him
some help.{#thumbs_up.gif} {#thumbs_up.gif} {#thumbs_up.gif}