Monday, February 2, 2015

Little One

So, my Little One just had a birthday, her 14th. She is quite a character. She is bright, funny, pretty, creative and full of life. She is driving me nuts. 

There is much about being a teenager I can remember as clearly as if 14 was last month. There is probably even more that I cannot relate to at all, especially having to be a teen in the the digital age.

We struggle as parents and teens have always struggled. Even when I don't like her too much, I am proud of her and I love her.

Here's to you Little One!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Road Trip!

Yes, my legion of fans, Jud is hitting the road for the weekend. Little One and I are hitting the road to the exciting vacation of Valdosta, Georgia.

What could be better than a visit to a town with motto "A Citu Without Limits". Heck, it is the 14th largest city in the state.

It's okay to be a little jealous.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

the Jud Abides

Yes, still here. I love living in the Deep South, even with all of the stereotypes. At times it pains me when I see the stereotypes validated, whether it be a redneck with a Confederate battle flag in a goofy 4x4 pickup, the crushing poverty of rural poor, or what I consider to be a political mindset that comes straight out of the 19th century.

There are many more positives about living here. I like the natural beauty. Not that other places aren't lovely. I also am fond of the Pacific Northwest, the desert Southwest, the Great Plains, the big sky country of Montana, the back roads of Pennsylvania, and the rugged beauty of New England.

And while I wasn't born in the South, I have lived South of the Mason-Dixon for almost 40 years now. As far as the US goes, this is where I feel most at home. I like getting in the car with an atlas and finding some small town on a map of the interstates and main highways and then go visit. I like the grandeur of the homes in the Battery at Charleston. I like watching the sunset over Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay. I enjoy sitting on the bank of the Mississippi and watching it roll on, timelessly. I enjoy the way the accent of a young child tickles my ears when they speak.

Though we are supposed to get a little snow on Monday night, and the city will again be closed for a day or two, and the local news stations will be delivering break weather updates, today it is sunny and in the 60s. Spring will soon be here. I will begin planting herbs, flowers and tomatoes in my window boxes. I will plan weekend trips down to the Gulf for visiting with friends, fishing, sunbathing and scuba diving.

If you have never been down South, plan a trip. Whether you want to see the big cities like Memphis, Atlanta or N'awlins, or smaller but charming cities like Charlotte, Richmond or Savannah, or even smaller towns like Natchez or Monroeville, I think you might find some of the magic that keeps me here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The First Official Un-niversary

This is the first year that I am not married on the anniversary of my marriage. It would have been 14 years today. I do not mourn the loss of my marriage. I did at one time, but no longer.

We were folks who got married for a host of bad reasons. We made a go of it for a bit, but the cracks appeared early on and just got worse. Even if my ex had not been gay and a philanderer I doubt it would have survived.

So, happy Un-niversary to me!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blood Bonds

I am a blood donor. Not as prolific as my father. My Pop was O Negative and they would track him down to donate ever 56 days. No telling how many gallons her donated in his lifetime.

My blood type is much more mundane, good ol' A Positive. I manage organizing my employer's blood drives with the Red Cross. We have one per quarter at three separate sites where I live and work. We collect about 600 pints a year or so.

I am an irregular apheresis donor, too. There was a time when I went almost every two weeks, but after a while my arms hurt more and more from the frequent donations so I toned back. Then I stopped. I went this Saturday morning for the first time in over a year. It is a significant time commitment, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Other than the needle sticks, it is generally an easy process. They have a decent selection of DVDs to watch while one is in the chair.

I opted out of the movies on this visit and listened to podcasts. That turned out to be a bad call, as I kept drifting off to sleep. It is kind of comfy in the chair, heating pad on my lower back and covered in a think cotton blanket. It can be a chilly process, as they keep the room fairly cold and the blood cools a little as they run it through their machine to extract the platelets and pump the remainder back into the other arm.

I enjoy donating for another reason. A member of my immediate family and a member of my extended family require regular platelet donations. It is not feasible for me to travel where they live to donate, nor is it cost effective for the Red Cross to ship my donation to them. But someone in their areas are going to the effort to donate for them, so this is my way of giving back to those that help keep them alive. It seems the least that I can do.

A fair number of people cannot donate do the exclusions that limit donors. Other people cannot handle the process of donating and pass out. I used to be that person, and to this day I cannot watch the needle stick or  look at my arms at the needles and tubes without getting woozy, and I have been donating for over 25 years. But if you can donate, and find the time, it is appreciated by the people that need whole blood or platelets.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Observations from the Men's Room at the Office

Here are a few reminders for you fellas:

1) Feel free to zip up before stepping away from the urinal. Nobody wants to see what you're packing. Well, some may, but I am not one of them. Feel free to take that extra second to to put everything back in place before getting back into traffic.

2) Take an extra moment and leave your coffee/soda/lunch outside of the bathroom. I know you are attached to whatever you brought in with you, but what made you think that leaving it by the sinks was a good idea. Really? And if I see you dropping off food/reclaiming after taking care of business, odds are I am never going to lunch with you, eating at your home, etc.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pine Pollen

Spring has arrived in the Deep South. There are many trees, flowers, bushes and other flora in bloom. Shades of green are replacing browns all over. The weather is warmer, and rain is frequent.

One of the things that comes with the season is pine pollen. We have a lot of pines throughout the South, and they tend to produce a fine, yellow powder that coats everything. I look forward to opening the windows at home, enjoying the breeze and the temperate conditions that will only be with us for short while. Pollen challenges my patience, as I must dust every day to keep my home from looking like Miss Havisham's.

I am one of the lucky ones and I don't suffer from many of the allergies that others fight. I do get the occasionally stuffy nose and itchy eyes, but I know it is nothing compared to what some go through this time of year.

At least winter is gone.