Monday, September 21, 2015

"Mom! I've Been in an Accident!"

Gonzo's pride and joy: his first car!
Thursday, September 10, started off as a relaxing day for Hubzam and I. He'd taken a few days off and we had armed ourselves with a "to-do" list and a general goal of trying out a new lunch spot. 

Gonzo was reviewing his school work before leaving for classes at a local community college. Hey, wasn't this the toddler afraid of trick or treaters just a moment ago? Time has been flying by at a ridiculous speed. Hubzam and I have been especially proud of the college classes he was taking; get a jump on those courses, son! Technically, he is still in high school. He tapped into a scholarship that allowed him to take them for free. Mommy likey.

With a shout of "see ya later", we were off. That "to do" list was doomed to be reduced to zip. 

An hour later, a received a call on my cellphone from a number I didn't recognize. Usually, I wouldn't even answer an unknown caller but for some reason, I did. 

"Mom! Mom! I've been in a accident!" Gonzo shouted. I envisioned a frightened teenager standing next to a fender-bender on some unknown side street. The boy was so proud of his Honda Accord and a careful driver to boot. 

"Tell me where you are, calm down - we're coming," I replied. 

Soon Hubzam and I would discover that the intersection he directed us to was not the site of his accident. Grabbing my cellphone, I re-dialed the mystery number and asked for Gonzo again, telling him that he should look around for a street sign.

Now he sounded more panicked as he responded: "I don't know...I don't know...I'm trapped in the car and I can't feel my legs...I'm pinned in the car..."  

The phone went dead.

For a moment, Hubzam and I froze. We didn't know where he was - and he was trapped in a car. In all actuality, only a few seconds passed before we had the presence of mind to jump on the usual route to school and just trace his path till we got to him. As it turned out, we were only five minutes away. 

What greeted us up ahead was shocking. Two large firetrucks blocked the road; an ambulance and an EMT vehicle were beyond the trucks and the highway patrol was present with lights flashing. With all the blocked traffic, we couldn't drive right to the accident. Being the bossy, frantic woman that I had become in that moment, I told (not asked...see what I mean?) Hubzam to park the car and let me out...he may have even stopped the car before I opened the door. 

Running down the road, it occurred to me that my efforts probably ceased to look like running ten years ago - thus is the genetic betrayal that is my BMI. As I passed a rubberneckin' gentleman in a red pickup truck, he commented, "There's a dead body in that car."  He was pointing at the back of Gonzo's car. 

"That's my son," I gasped as I passed him; I prayed the man was wrong.

Meanwhile, Hubzam had used his superior brainpower to figure out a way to drive closer to the wreck site. Rounding the firetrucks, I saw a car that had clearly ceased to resemble a Honda product. It looked like it might have exploded. A drape covered the driver's side and I could see a Spiderman shoe sticking out at the bottom, trapped in a halo of metal. I shouted him name and immediately I heard Gonzo's voice as he replied, "Mom!"

A fireman in the backseat of his car flipped the drape forward and I could see he was holding Gonzo's head in a brace and steadying him as they prepared to use the jaws of life to extract him from the car. Blood caked the left side of his head and ear. Time now crept by at an immeasurably slow pace as I watched them pull him out and overheard their comments to one another: "...broken legs...internal injuries...head injury..."

As they loaded him into an ambulance, I asked if I could ride with him. 

"Not as fast as I'm going to drive, ma'am," the paramedic replied firmly and then smiled and told Hubzam and I to please drive carefully. 

That drive seemed to take forever and I quickly contacted prayer buddies. Hubzam told me that wasn't important but I knew that both Gonzo and I would put someone on a prayer list for a whole lot less, fully believing in the power of prayer to change things. If you must ask to receive - then I was asking.

At the trauma center, we awaited the news and the chance to see him. And then the miracles began to stack up. 

  • Thank God we were close enough to get to him; parents, you know what I mean.
  • Gonzo's car was hit by a large truck that spun out of control. He was not at fault on any level.
  • No one else was hurt. 
  • Thank God that Hubzam had taken a vacation day and we were together; we are strongest when we lean on each other. 
  • Gonzo didn't have broken legs...or a head injury...or internal injuries...
  • Hubzam and I both saw bruises all across his chest - they disappeared.
  • The bleeding from his left ear was due to a cut behind the ear. 
That's not to say that he did not get hurt; unfortunately, he did. Both knees were mangled and one was so deeply lacerated that glass and debris was found between the joint and patella. An opening in the surgery schedule allowed them to take him right in to the operating room and clean both knees up; another miracle. 

Meanwhile, our pastors, friends and brothers filled the waiting area. Real brothers - you know, the Juggernaut and Magoo! Gonzo's best friend, who I shall call Not-Gonzo (they share the same name in real life), and his parents waited patiently with us long into the night. The presence of these angels had a calming affect on a tense situation.

Juggernaut and Magoo entertained the group and I prayed, "Please, God, let these boys remember three of these people are pastors..."  

Finally, Gonzo was in a room and the next phase of healing began. After a round of IV antibiotics, they removed a drain from his knee and sent him home in a wheelchair. A few days later, as he reached for a bookbag, something snapped in his arm and we went back to the hospital to find that his arm was broken (also a result of the crash).  A lovely purple cast memorializes the trip.

The EMTs and firemen made it clear that they had never taken a conscious person from an accident like that one. This could be a much, much worse story. Two bad legs, one broken arm, pain, discomfort, multiple surgeries, but he is trying to keep a good attitude, in spite of it all.

I have my boy.

He didn't miss church on Sunday or Scouts on Monday. He had all his homework done for the co op classes on Wednesday. It wasn't easy getting there, either, peeps. 


I'll bet you thought I was using the LOAF coupons.
Wasted LOAF coupon...
Today, Gonzo returns to surgery. It may not be the last one but each step takes him closer to recovery and I'll go with that for now. If you're a prayin' man or woman, send some his way for healing and pain relief; it will be appreciated.

Blogging and comments will be sporatic, friends, but I'm around and I'll be back to regular posts in the future. To everything there is a season. Don't forget me till then.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Loaf: Just Do It

Does anyone still say "loaf" anymore? As in "I'm not going to do anything this week but loaf." I'm going to do my part to launch a comeback for the word "loaf."

Many bloggin' buddies are worn out and stressed. Some are dealing with illness or job issues and others are going through struggles that seem to come one after another.

Take care of you. Put you first, even when others put you last; do what you need to do for you. And if all you need is a rest - demand it, take it, enjoy it and recharge.

If you need permission, print out your coupon and present it to anyone who tries to say you can't loaf when you want to. Of course, you can! You've got the equivalent of a hall pass right here. Who wouldn't accept my Loaf Pass? I want names and phone numbers.

After all,  you're my peeps. Don't make me come over there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hump Day Hay Haiku

This is my favorite time of year at the barnhouse...when my hay-guy mows the field. It makes me feel like a farmer. Sort of, anyhow.

Haiku for a Non-Farmer

Allergens airborne
Look! Particulate matter!
Get the inhaler

Hay Man I love you
You make farming seem simple
Sit and watch YOU mow

Tractor man, adieu
I will see you in the Spring
Keep growing, hay-weeds

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday Newsday!

Some news stories that just didn't sit right with yours truly...and one that did.

Last week, I wrote about the push for gender-neutral pronouns on our local campus.Well, the University of Tennessee is not going down the tried and true (cough) road of political correctness. UT President Joe DiPiero tried to make the point that use of gender neutral pronouns on campus were not required, but it was too late. Basically, the university was up to it's educated ears in flack and ridicule. 

Originally, the idea was to provide a term that was comfortable to those who have difficulty identifying with the "gender binary" and limited choices of man and female. 

Mini-soapbox: This may sound harsh, but there are a whole lot of people that don't identify with a wide variety of labels and social mini-assessments. Most of us are not going to be given a choice and it may be upsetting. I just want to put that out there. So, make friends, pair up, partner up and carve out your own corner of the world. People who care about you will call you whatever you want to be called - gladly. 

Meanwhile, while you're at the university...get an education. Make THAT the focus. Somebody is paying big bucks for that education. 

Geez, Louise, doesn't comedian Damon Wayans have a public relations person? 'Cause if he does, that person needs to stand between Damon and microphones at all times. Like when he defends Bill Cosby and calls his accusers "un-rapable."  

Really, dude? You want to take that attitude about it? You have no personal knowledge of anyone's guilt or innocent and no apparent disgust at the possibility that one human might take advantage of another human being? But you're going out on a limb to saw that these women weren't worthy of ... a criminal assault? 

What was the goal of your quote, Damon? If it was popularity, call me. I've got bad news.

Monica Pressly, Bill Cosby's attorney, made the statement, "Offering drugs is not a crime."

That doesn't sound right to me. I don't think the drug was aspirin or acetominophen. Are Quaaludes legal anywhere? 

Is this true of all crimes? I can just offer to do something illegal and that is fine? Do all criminals know of this development? 

Boy Scout Joseph Chou, 17, of Cedar Hills, Utah, earned all the merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. That's 141 badges! As the mother of boys who were scouts, that is a whole lot of work.

Finally, a news blurb that feels right.

Monday, September 7, 2015

BOTB: "First Cut is the Deepest" Results AND MD's Question of the Month

Since this is a double post, let's just say Rod made the Stewart family name proud! Sorry, Sheryl Crow! It looked like it was going to be much closer for a while. Check out this carpool karoake with James Corden & Rod - it's hilarious.

Now, follow up with the whole gang: 


It's that time again! Join my friend, Michael D'Agostino, in his Question of the Month blog hop. 

Michael is a writer and performer from Adelaide, Australia. His friends describe him as warm, friendly, funny, active and short. Quality versus quantity,'s the way to go.

(He says gets recognized a lot on the street, but that's probably from all the WANTED posters...but haven't we all had to deal with that?). 

Here's what Michael has to say about this blog hop: "Your readers would like to know a little more about you. Show them who you are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here. Sign up on the list below to join the fun ;) With every question, remember that the important part is explaining your answer. And please, if you have any suggestions for new questions, share them in the comments section. I bet you've got some great ideas for us." 

This month's question is:

What's the best job you've ever had? 

Oh, now I let my freak flag fly for sure. 

I never really dislike any job. I always find a way to like them, even if I decide to move on down the road. While I'm on the job, I find a reason to keep me on the job because I've rarely worked for plain ole' pleasure. The job addresses a need: food, clothing, shelter, stuff for children, dog get the drift. People on the job irritate me sometimes, so much so that Hubzam has said "this will be a good job if you don't die."

If I have to chose, I think that the last job I had was pretty well-suited to my personality. As the supervisor of a "program integrity" department, I fielded complaints and reports of members and providers breaking the rules. Then, I farmed mounds of healthcare data for fraud and abuse. Then I made the information ready for "the Bureau" and coordinated follow up. Snoring yet? 

Why did I like this job? 
1) It utilized my nursing training and experience in the business end of healthcare. 
2) The whole thing is a great big puzzle that needs to be solved. And dang it, I want to solve it bad.
3) It's tedious and for some reason, I've always liked tedious detailed stuff.
4) There's no more money to help people; it's a finite amount. But when you redirected money that was used fraudulently, you help people get what they need.
5) As a nerd, it felt cool to meet with the agents all the time. Don't tell them that.

Why did I leave that job? 
Surprised by the doctor announcing the upcoming birth of son #3.

See more at:

Last, but certainly not least:

Many of you know Gayle of the blog Two Square Dogs. Her beloved Watson passed away on Saturday and it would be nice if everyone could flood her blog with love and condolences. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: Like Enthusiasm!

It's Friday and time to Celebrate the Small Things!
Welcome to our wonderful oasis of mini-celebrations. 
Hosted by Lexa Cain, and her wonderful co-hosts: 

Let's do this, peeps!

Like a billion others, I like to follow my pals on Facebook. This week's celebration is dedicated to those feel-good moments and youthful enthusiasm, provided by the phone video-cam of Matt's parents (I'd be videoing this, too). Matt is a wonderful guy and his parents have every reason to be proud.

So, what are we waiting for? It's football time in Tennessee!  From the University of Tennessee at Knoxville! The Pride of the Southland! Shout it out, Matt Holt! 

If you didn't smile at that...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

TBT: No 5 K...K?

It's weird, but even though I am a flipster (flip side o' 50), everyone I hang around with is much younger and they don't seem to realize that I am relatively ancient...or they're just nice (I do have some nice friends; I'm discerning).

You might know I'm in the plus-sized range from my rants on plus-sized clothing. I realize other people aren't, and that many older people jog and workout regularly. I'm not in that group though I tell myself I'll try harder.

I'll bet I've been invited to at least six 5K races ( a participant, not an observer) for a variety of organizations, but mostly diseases such as breast cancer. In spite of my enthusiasm for supporting any cause, I don't think I can do a 5K, or any of the other consonants - with the exception, perhaps of P. I believe I could do a bang-up job of peeing for cancer.

Every time I excuse myself to use the restroom, from this day forward, I want you to remember that I am supporting cancer research, the development of effective treatments and the obliteration of the disease each and every time I pee.

When I feel certain I can tackle other consonants, K will be somewhere on the list of potential candidates, I promise. Till then, thank you for including me in the invitation.

[This is a re-post from 2014...still no 5K in sight.]

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Last week, when the University of Tennessee decided to ask everyone to be gender neutral and use "ze" instead of he or she, it ignited a public backlash. I can't be a she? But that's what I'm used to and I think I've earned it.

After all, I am offended by the word "humans" because of the focus on "man" and I'd like to call you all HUs. Our greeting, instead of yoo-hoo, will be HU-HOOHell-o offends my religious beliefs, by the way. HU-HOO will fix that, too. I'm not hounding the university about it yet.

As much as I don't want to offend anyone, this is starting to be a bit over-the-top. The public zeal to make everyone included has turned into a huge steam roller driven by one group or another. With enough gas (an apt term) in that steam roller, the driver is free to roll over anybody and anything that doesn't align with the driver. It doesn't take too much dissection of this issue to see that the primary goal of making everyone feel included and represented isn't happening; not really.

Can't we get away from all this political correctness and back to working on relationships?

Another idea: let's just love our neighbor instead of offending or being offended. We could call it offriending.

(Whoops...I've reached the end and there's not much funny stuff here. Flight of the Conchords, can you help me out??)

Go OFFRIEND someone today and tell them Cherdo sent you. Don't give them my address, but a nice hug would be okay.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BOTB: "The First Cut is the Deepest"

Jump on before crazy train leaves without you!


Our battles take place twice a month: on the 1st and 15th. 
The results come six days later: on the 7th and 21st. 
That's when I return, total all of the votes, including mine (if necessary), 
and announce the winner. Feel free to return and see if your choice won! 

This music blogging event first introduced by our friends 
and I'd like to give them a heartfelt "thank you":
Fae @ Far Away Eyes 
Stephen T. McCarthy presents... 

You're on the train, the music is waiting - the question is: 


The Original: Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

He was born July 21, 1948, in London, England, and given the name Steven Demetre Georgiou, but that would change. From 1966 to 1978, he was known as Cat Stevens. Religious conversion came after 1978. With his passion to know God and learn more about the Islamic faith, he was reborn as Yusuf Islam and disappeared from the music scene for many years.

But miracles do happen. In 2006, he was recording once again and in 2014, he played for American audiences once more.

"The First Cut is the Deepest" was written by Cat Stevens in 1965 and recorded by American soul singer, P. P. Arnold in 1967 - but it wouldn't be the last time. 

Cat still has IT, by the way. Time cannot diminish the impact of his sweet, heartfelt rendition.

Contender #1: Rod Stewart

Roderick David Stewart was born January 10, 1945, in North London, England. In the ranks of rock and roll royalty, Rod Stewart might be a prince...or maybe the court jester. With his unique raspy voice and custom gyrations, there's no one like Rod the Mod.

Stewart took his turn at recording "The First Cut is the Deepest" in 1976. Oh, peeps, you KNOW I was loving Rod back in the day. 

This video also shows the standard Rod moves...I hope I get to ask him about those one day.

But the way...he also still has it...

Contender #2: Sheryl Crow 

Sheryl Crow is a versatile and talented artist with a career that is shocking in it's depth. Music teacher, jingle writer, back up singer (Michael Jackson Bad Tour - not too shabby), guitarist, songwriter...she's a big bunch of wow.

"The First Cut is the Deepest" was one of her big hits. Not only does SHE still have it, but I don't really think she ever lost it.

Who did it better: Rod or Sheryl?  Does one of these able contenders jump off the page at you or is it close? Vote, peeps, vote! 

And then, head over to the other participants' blogs and take part in their battles.