Tuesday, June 30, 2015


This blog post was far too long and disjointed, so I decided to drastically edit it. Now, it's a little shorter and even more disjointed.
In keeping with my recent Flag theme, I've posted the above photo which I took when I lived in Texas. 


Well, it looks like everybody survived my previous blog post. A quick head count confirms that I haven't lost any followers. I hate the term "followers". It makes me sound like Rasputin. Or Aimee Semple McPherson.

Undoubtedly my charm and sense of humor saved me.

What charm and sense of humor, Jon?

Hey, don't try to be funny.

The rainbow flag (in my previous post) also helped. When in doubt, disarm everyone with a rainbow flag. Just don't try to fly it in Tennessee. The Baptists will shoot you.
Praise the Lord.

In Tennessee rainbow flags are best kept in the closet (no pun intended). Tennesseans can be disarmed with Confederate flags. Is "Tennesseans" spelled correctly?

None of this will make any sense unless you read my previous post. And even then, it probably won't make any sense.

Despite the bright beginning to this blog post, I'm still in a miserable, bleak, and dire mood.

It's amazing and admirable, Jon, that you can still be witty and cheerful when you're miserable, bleak, and dire.

That's nothing. You should see me on a good day.

I tried to put a temporary fix on the broken water pipes but nothing worked. The plumber can't come for a few more days, and I've been without water for nearly a week. I drove to town last Saturday to get groceries and bottled water. Water goes quickly in hot weather and I'll soon need more.

Besides having no water, I'm also still plagued with other problems. Back pain and other health issues. Multitudes of annoying insects. Endless storms. And piles of unpacked junk because there's absolutely nowhere to put anything. I gave up trying to do any more outdoor painting or yard work because of the rain.

I'm very used to inconveniences. Life has been one Big Inconvenience ever since I came here. If anything went right, the shock would kill me.

  Despite all the hassles, I'd still choose Tennessee over Texas. Texas was a nightmare of endless wind, persistent drought, ruthless dust storms. Not to mention the worst people imaginable. My neighbors were drug dealers who had continuous all-night parties. Six families lived in one house, and a dozen (no exaggeration) completely unsupervised kids tortured me for years.

This is my back yard in Texas
during a typical dust storm 

Here in Tennessee, I at least have peace and privacy, in a lovely rural atmosphere. Some of the people around here are gun-toting moonshiners, but - what the hell. They all go to church on Sunday.

Ouch, Jon, that hurt.

Views from my property in Tennessee
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Did I mention rain? There are storms every day. Last night the storms were horrific, with Biblical downpours and such intense lightning that it knocked the sins right out of me and sent them rolling around on the floor. A crappy analogy, but it's all I could come up with. If I was getting paid for writing this, I'd have the incentive to do better.

My three cats went into hiding during the duration of the deluge. When the storm finally subsided, Scratch emerged carrying a mouse in her mouth. The kidnapped rodent was still alive. It somehow managed to escape, and we (Scratch and I) chased it around the living room.

Having the kind soul of St. Francis of Assisi, it was my intention to capture the mouse and set it free. Scratch had other ideas.

Later, exhausted from storms and rodents, I fell asleep on the sofa. I periodically heard all the cats scurrying to catch the mouse.

Your rodent tail (tale?) is getting too long, Jon. What the heck happened?

Dawn came with a sunny smile. I went into the bedroom, wondering what happened to the mouse. 
Jokingly, I said "Maybe the cats put it in my bed."

.....I swear to God, this is absolutely true......

As I was checking the covers, I happened to see a tail sticking out from under my pillow!!! Lifted the pillow.....sure enough - there was a dead mouse. 

A present from one of the felines.
But which one?? Scratch, Scruffy, or Bosco? 

My only consolation is that it could have been worse. I have a friend in California who told me that one of her cats left a dead BIRD in her bed!

Ah, the joys of feline ownership.

This post is too long but I have an update (it's Tuesday afternoon). Another storm is raging as I write this.

The plumber stopped by about an hour ago. He surveyed the problem and said he has to buy some things from town before he can fix it. He'll return tomorrow morning.
The poor guy was upset because his elderly father died yesterday. That made me feel extremely bad. I told him not to come, but he said he'd rather work than sit around thinking.


  1. Not sure why, but I enjoyed your juxtaposition 'tween Texas and Tennessee. I never realized the sort of neighbors you had to endure. WOW... little wonder you didn't wind up on an episode of COPS!

    ... the dead mouse in your bed is a whole 'nother thing. Poor thing. (My first instinct would have been to burn the bed. Really.)

    PS - That was nice of you to tell the plumber to postpone, but I totally 'get' his needing to get out and work - if only to shut out his mind for a little while.

  2. Dead mouse under your pillow was a token of your cats' esteem. They probably talked it over and decided to make a gift of it. Cats are affectionate and weird. They show gratitude in that way because they're not so articulate or organized as dogs --try getting 8 cats to pull a sled in the snow.

  3. Well, for safety's sake I still don't think it's time to break cover - and I'm going to hide this posting in case my own pussies catch some ideas. (Will be checking my bed at intervals just in case).

  4. I'd say that you are way better off in Tennessee than Texas. I used to go to Dallas quite often on business and never felt comfortable there. Not the weather, not the people, not the politics. The food was pretty good though! Nowhere is perfect, it's what you make of it. Those dust storm pictures look terrible, I couldn't stand that. Glad that the plumber is coming soon - he's right to try to work through some of his grief.

  5. What a tale. Those kitties finally caught that varmint they'd been playing with and delivered it to you DOA because you're the head honcho there. They figured your job was to dispose of the critter, once and for all. As for your pillow, pillowcase and sheets, no amount of soap could have rid me of the mouse. What about you? PS) That lush green scenery lurking just outside your door is glorious. And I bet watching the rainfall is mesmerizing too, if you don't focus on the puddles and mud.. Sad the plumber lost his dad. Interesting he's going to do the work anyway. We all have to work through grief on our own terms.

  6. A real problem with mice is that they are often infested with fleas, which will jump on teh kittez. Fleas are a vector for tapeworms. You haven't lived until you are brushing your champeen mouser and notice a moving piece of "rice" near her bum. And then there's the joy of trying to pill the cat with Droncit for the prescribed amount of time. I highly recommend getting something like Frontline Advantage (I believe there are even cheaper options around if you do a bit of Gooooooooogling).

    Jon, I hate to say it, but maybe you should cut your losses and sell your property now, while things are green and "inviting", and move somewhere closer to a town and with less pest and mechanical problems.

    As for your post yesterday, I did almost switch my allegiance to the wasps (just kidding!). I was raised that you never discuss religion, politics, or money at work and in most social situations. I added sex, health, and family to that list once I joined the workforce. You'd be amazed at how hard that can be. Even simply saying something like, "I'm sorry, but I don't talk about that" can end up backfiring.

    I was puzzled about a comment regarding the last picture on your post. I didn't see anything wrong with it. Maybe I need sensitivity training? Ha ha! I say let your freak flag fly! ~~~ NB

  7. At least you have a beautiful view. Pull up a chair and stare a while. Maybe all your troubles will go away. I said maybe.

  8. Jon,
    I used to vacation with regularity in Provincetown, Massachusetts in the 70's. I usually stayed at Angel's Landing which was owned and run by an old bulldog dyke named Angele Calamoris. She had a tabby cat. One day she woke up in bed and there was a headless robin keeping her company during her slumber. I never forgot that story.
    Your new home in Tennessee is indeed lovely and, dare I say, almost a paradise. Except of course for the gun-totin, church going (usually Baptist Primitive churches), and homophobic and racists neighbors. Oh well, can't have everything perfect but I guess I would rather have those ignorant hillbillies (I can say this because it is my paternal heritage, pure North Carolina hillbilly) as my neighbors than drug dealing and partying Hispanics in the hot and dry dusty plains of Texas.
    Back to the mice, it's a good thing you have the cats because if you didn't you would probably be overrun with mice like my late friend Bob McC. was until we told him to get a cat. The mice owned his double-wide. I feel bad for the mice but what the heck? You have to draw the line somewhere. And just think, no scorpions! Another great post Jon!

  9. Is "Tennesseans" spelled correctly?

  10. Think yourself lucky - I rarely get pressies on my pillows - just nosebleeds! Hope things settle soon but it can be a slower process than we hope for. Tennessee (yay! spelt it without the computer correcting me) does look amazingly peaceful. Your condolences for the plumber guy speaks volumes, Jon.


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