I reckon I’d better take care of it.  Problem is, I don’t really know what I am doing!  So I am following a combination of my neighbor’s advice and what I read on the interwebz.  I spent a good bit of this afternoon scraping off stuff that was chipping off of the roof, mostly around seams and vent openings and such, with the intent of putting down new roofing goo.  I had a bucket up there to throw crap in.  Then I came up with an amazing idea … the Shop Vac!  It scared my neighbor when I started hauling that up the ladder, but I kinda like to live life on the edge, a li’l off balance perhaps.  I realized I might have an idea for a fabulous invention … a scraper that sucks all the scrapings up, hmmm.

Anyway, I’ve got 4 weeks til closing on the house.  I still have a ton of stuff to do.  My neighbor has been a tremendous help, even if he is a horny old man who tries to make me feel like he deserves into my pants for all his help.  I constantly tell him that I don’t want him to do anything if he expects sex in return, so he knows he ain’t ever gonna get there but still helps nonetheless.

Well, he is leaving to join his wife in Florida tomorrow.  It was only supposed to be for 2 weeks, but something has come up.  He is most likely not gonna be back to Franklin before I leave.  Shit!  He helped me take the old awning down, but we couldn’t put the new one up cuz I lost a few parts.  Story of my life … I lose stuff.  So now I am faced with installing an awning all by myself.  Having few friends presents such problems now and then.  I’m not too worried; I will figure it out.

I’m doin’ what I can with what I have.  I will make mistakes, but I will learn from them all.  I enjoy the challenge and adventure.

 

 

gmtobm

So look how dirty this thing was.  It’s a 1984 model, and I don’t reckon it has EVER been washed.  In this pic, I had already cleaned the left side … look at the difference!  How come I didn’t notice that when I bought it?  Sometimes, the excitement overtakes the details.  I knew I wanted this Beast and that it was meant to be.  No big deal, as I’ve enjoyed cleaning the ole thang up, and no offense to the previous owners, but I tend to clean stuff up BEFORE I sell it.  I power washed the house, fer crying out loud!  So I paid $5250 for this; I’m thinking I could get 10 grand for it now LOL.  I wouldn’t sell it for the world though.  I love it.

The pressure washer alone was no match for this grimy and greasy, albeit sweet, Griswold family truckster.  I used Krud Kutter and Simple Green and had to clean each section more than once.  It took a bunch of elbow grease.  I had to spray the cleaner on, let it set, then use a brush to scrub-a-dub, and then rinse.  I ran out of elbow grease so I went to Lowes.  They said they didn’t sell it, that it was produced from within … well darn, at least Zaxby’s was right down the street.  A meal there was enough to replenish my own supply of elbow grease.  Fried chicken grease apparently turns into elbow grease when digested.  Who knew?

It was 76 degrees here today; hence, I worked up a sweat.  I started rethinking Operation Hippie Hair Growth.  With my thick, curly mane, the heat really takes a toll.  But I will not cut it off … not until I am done this tour and maybe not even then.  Why?  I dunno.  Just seems kinda fun.  As with everything else, I will figure out a reason when I am supposed to.  It is what it is, and it is meant to be.

Life is what you make of it.  I used to laugh at that goofy suggestion.  Was I looking forward to cleaning up this rig?  Heck no!  But I made it fun and enjoyed every bit, and I feel a complete sense of accomplishment tonight.  How many people can say that at the end of the day?  Most people go to work, try to please their bosses and go home completely dissatisfied, unfulfilled but not quite sure why.  I have found it very rewarding to answer only to myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to help others in need, I’ve just had enough of helping business owners line their pockets and politicians get more votes.  I am in it for me now, and I will help many in the process.

I give everything I do 100%.  Lotsa peeps say you need to give 110%, but I’m a realist and there is no such thing.  Go the extra mile, yes.  In these days, 80% and above is beyond the extra mile.  Nobody gives a crap anymore.  Heck, da Beastmobile was so dirty that even the stripes on the side were bleeding the dirt out.  That would tick off a lotta folks, fading the stripes while cleaning, but I felt it gave da Beastmobile more character.  I have come to love this silly inanimate object, fading stripes or not.

cleanbm

Doesn’t look so bad all cleaned up now does it?!  Hehe, all I know is I’m fixin’ to be homeless come April 26, so this will BE my home.  This makes me very happy.

Embracing Change …

 Blogging  Comments Off
Mar 292012
 

 

change

I love change … I get bored easily.  That, however, is not the reason I changed the color scheme of my blog.  I belong to A-List Blogger Club, which is an online community of bloggers.  I pay for membership, but it is well worth it.  The website provides a plethora of knowledge and information on different aspects of blogging, including live online bootcamps.  Unfortunately, after signing up a few months ago, I have had little time to attend a bootcamp or to study the information I desperately need to in order to continue to grow my blog into a successful business.  I have, however, been downloading tons of PDFs and MP3-type recordings.  When I hit the road on my U.S. Unleash da Beast tour, any free time I have will be used to study all this data and implement what I learn.

A couple days ago, I got an e-mail from Mary Jaksch, co-founder of the blogging club mentioned above.  It was a mass e-mail sent to all members of the club.  The e-mail offers a Masterclass on April 1, with blog reviews.  Here’s what it said:

“OK, so – who’s going to get a blog review?
I’ve given priority to our volunteers, but I may have a few slots left over.
If you want to put  your blog forward for review, please click ‘reply’ right now.”

I did same and answered six questions about my blog.  I was thrilled to get a reply from Mary, who said she wanted to do an experiment with my blog and asked me to change the color scheme, so I did.  I haven’t decided if I will keep it like this yet; I’m anxious to hear her feedback and y’all’s if you care to tell me which you prefer, the black background or the white.  The white is growing on me a little, but I’m really not sure yet.

I’ll try to provide a bit more entertaining post later today, still under the weather some but still trying to get work done around here to get the house gone and get on the road in da Beastmobile.  The closing on the house has been pushed back 9 days, which gives me some breathing room … yay!

 

 

hello

I’ve even been practicing.  A month or so after I left the working world, I started “friending” everyone on Facebook I possibly could.  I pissed a few peeps off cuz they absolutely did not want to by my friend, not EVEN my Facebook friend … horrors; a few even blocked me completely.  Some people have no sense of humor or adventure.  I’ve even made “live” friends with a few of my neighbors … been living here 8 years and had not met many of the folks I see drive by every day.  Now that I am getting to know a few, it makes me a li’l sad that I am leaving.  Not sad enough, though, hehe.

I’m sure I mentioned this before, but life just ain’t like it was when I was growing up.  In my “growin’ up” hood, everybody knew everybody.  All the kids played outside til their parents called ‘em home, usually around dusk.  Much of the time, we were playing whiffle ball in my yard, or relievio in da hood, or sledding down a hill on a huge toboggan.  Down here, a TOE-boggin is a hat; where I come from it is a huge sled that could fit 6-8 kids.  When I was a kid, I used to walk to the store and buy cigarettes for my parents, for a candy bar of course.

Even da ‘hood doggies would hang in da ‘hood with us, from Pepper the slow-moving German Shepard to Tess the barkity-bark black lab to our Lassie dawg and that Beagle, can’t remember his name.  All I remember about Lassie and the Beagle was when they were stuck to each other in our front yard, my dad pouring hot water over them, and several neighbors peeping their heads out their doors watching!  My first introduction to live porn … oh wait, my ONLY introduction to live porn … yea, that’s the ticket.

As usual, this post turned into something completely different than I intended.  The bottom line is on my US UDB tour, I am not going to by shy.  I am gonna try not to be too obnoxious, but I’m gonna be outgoing.  I am going to get to know as many folks as I can.  I believe this country is made up of some truly amazing people, all of us with something unique to offer each other.  With all the bickering, hate, and jealousy that goes on, most of us are very similar.  We are just trying to survive.

Life is hard, but it beats the alternative.  And if you take the time to look around, keep your mind wide open, get to know people and everyone’s perspective, you will realize we are all not that different, and you will find that life is truly amazing.

 

 

believedreamhope

Took some stuff to storage, clothes to Good Will, and a li’l gift to a nice lady I met on Facebook.  In return, she gave me a thank you card with 3 silver charms; one said Believe, one said Dream, and the other said Hope.  Well they didn’t say those words cuz the doggone things can’t speak, but those words are imprinted on the charms.  The woman wrote in the card that the charms were thought-provoking words for my trip … how sweet is that?  Her li’l boy, around 2 years old, gave me 2 dandelions he had been holding very tightly in his tiny, precious hand.  He made my heart melt.  He was grasping a cookie in his other hand.  HIs mom told him to say thank you, and he made a gesture with his hand.  She said, “his mouth is full of cookie so he is signing ‘thank you.’”  Wow!  That was impressive.

zbcpcross

Also put up a cross and laid some flowers down on ZB’s and Crystal’s graves.  Crystal was buried in the Fall of 2005.  She was a Bichon Frise … cute white ball of fluff.

The other day, I received an ID tag I had ordered for ZB.  At first, I was going to affix it to this cross.  However, today I ordered a silver necklace and will wear the tag on that along with the 3 silver charms from that awesome card.  I will wear that darn necklace everywhere I go.  I just hope if I drop out and somebody finds me, they don’t think that I am ZekeyBoy and that my owner is Jennifer Leandro.  I guess they will figure it out when they call the cell phone number listed and the phone attached to my hip starts ringing.

Well, I should be in bed … coming down with strep throat I do believe.  My thought was to lay on my couch and watch TV, but I sold my dang couch!  Oh well, there’s a TV in the bedroom.  Doc tomorrow if no better.

Smile with tongue out

Mar 252012
 

 

oldage

Aging has been on my mind today.  I guess cuz I had a dream last night I was shopping for hair dye … what a hoot!  Well it was a hoot til I took a good look in the mirror this morning.  It is absolutely true that for every gray hair you pull out, several more take its place.  I don’t think Mythbusters could even put a dent in this one, but I don’t watch much TV so maybe they already have.  If so, they should’ve consulted me.

The grays don’t show up well in this pic, but I’ve got enough to actually consider dyeing.  How does one make that decision?  Most peeps guess my age at much younger than actual, but there was that time a year or so ago when the lady cutting my hair guessed at my age pretty accurately.  She said, “I can tell by all the grays you have.”  OUCH!  I laughed and said, “Gee, thanks for noticing but no fair cuz you have an inside track.”

So the glasses … I had been having trouble reading tags on the job.  Ok fine, I’ll get my eyes tested and wear glasses just at work.  I was amazed at the difference they made, but when I stopped working, I stopped wearing … ‘til the other day.  I was driving and realized I couldn’t make out signs too well.  I closed each eye, one at a time, and found the vision of my right eye to be completely blurred, the left not so bad.  I attributed that to the hot oil that splashed up into my right eye a month or so ago.  Then I put on my glasses and viola!  I could see clearly now … the rain was gone.  I could see all obstacles in my way.  Dang, I oughtta write a song!

Years ago, when I worked for a mail-order catalog company, several of my coworkers were mentioning how young I look for my age.  Then this snarky woman said, “Well, I don’t see it.  Look at the crows’ feet around her eyes.”  Again, OUCH!  She was right, though … look closely at the pic above … crows feet.  Nowadays, she would be called a hater.  I, however, appreciated her honesty, even if she was a jealous bitch … lol!

Ya know, I don’t feel 43.  By that I mean the “43” that I perceived when I was a child.  It seemed so old, wise, and mature.  My dad was 43 when I was born.  While I couldn’t imagine having a baby at this age, knowing that my dad fathered one at that age, whether planned or not (hehe), just shows how we can reinvent ourselves, adapt and overcome so to speak.  We live several lives all wrapped up into one, and each life is a chapter in our own autobiography.  Yes, time flies by, but it also goes slowly.  Treasure every moment.

baby

Dad took this of me.  He said I was an absolute pain in the buttocks that day.  They had fixed me up all pretty, yet I whined and cried and messed up my own hair.  Perhaps if they had put me in some Levi’s and a baseball hat, I wouldn’t have fussed so much, but what’s with the girly sweater?  Look, though … no gray hairs, no crows’ feet, and no glasses!  Aahhh, the good ole days!

I can honestly say, though, that the older I get, the better life gets.

 

 

Our Morning Walks …

 ZB & SSE  Comments Off
Mar 252012
 

 

snail

Naturally, this morning, I didn’t have my camera with me on our walk.  I lost it yesterday in the sea of mess that is my garage.  I took this pic with my cell phone, so the quality is not great.  It’s a snail!  I haven’t seen a snail in ages.  At first I thought it was an acorn with its guts squishing out, then it dawned on me that acorns don’t have squishy guts … or do they?  I dunno.

Doesn’t matter.  I’ve really come to enjoy our morning walks.  We never took them before ZekeyBoy came along, but Sammie and I continue them AZB (after ZekeyBoy).  I really paid attention to the sounds of this morning … birds chirping morning lullabies (or maybe they were ordering breakfast), roosters cock-a-doodling, crows crowing, geese honking, a woodpecker pecking, and even an owl hooting.  There were also dogs barking, protecting their owners’ property … you’re welcome neighbors; we feel if we are up, everyone should be, hehe.  After all, it’s the most beautiful time of the day!

The sights were pretty cool too.  Horses running up to their fences to say hello, hoping we had some grain or carrots to feed them (fail), the supa cool snail above, and, low and behold, the 2 huge whitetail deer that ZB used to chase are back!  They musta got the memo that ZB is no longer a threat.  Sammie tracked ‘em a li’l but more so in a playful way, not full charge like it was her duty to round ‘em up like ZB would do.  They were beautiful.

Figures I didn’t have my camera!

 

 

whatbelieve

Ya whatever.  Not sure what my title is supposed to mean.  It’s just what came to me as I was typing it.  Perhaps I was “predestined” to type it, or did I do it out of free will?  I’m serious … I knew I was gonna say something about deep thoughts (remember the old Saturday Night Live deep thoughts, they were hilarious), but Unleash da Beast … why did I say that?  I think it’s cuz I’m about to unleash some of my very deep thoughts.

So what do you believe?  Do you believe God has given us free will, or do you believe that we are predestined in everything we do?  I’ve always said that everything happens for a reason, but was that just a way for me to deal with the bad stuff?  Like, “Oh, well that sucked, but surely it happened for a reason and was meant to be.  I will discover WHY it happened and adjust my life accordingly.”

I dunno when it began for me, but I’ve long had a feeling that God has already planned our lives out for us.  So, yes, I believe in predestiny.  I’m certainly open to the fact that I could be completely wrong.  I just know that there are several things that have happened in my life that I always knew would happen.  Some things I actually dreamed over and over in my sleep, and others were just feelings I had.  I am not going to go into detail.

One could say that because I  had a “feeling” something would happen that perhaps I, myself, willed same to happen.  Sounds plausible; I really don’t know.  I had a “feeling” I would be embarking on my US UDB Tour with only one dog.  So I asked myself, did I “will” ZekeyBoy to run into a UPS truck?  I don’t think I did.  I knew he liked to chase cars, but I honestly believed he wouldn’t be so silly as to actually catch one.  Gosh I hope I didn’t “will” him into anything.  I believe it was meant to be.

I also know sometimes, well lotsa times, I do and say things I should keep to myself.  I confront BS.  I let people know when I know they are lying, cheating, stealing, treating peeps badly, or whatever … regular folks and powerful folks as well.  I have no fear of that.  I don’t make a lotta friends, but people surely know where I stand.  Am I lonely at times?  Heck, yes.  While some stuff I say and do might come across as mean, I believe I am saying and doing what I am supposed to.  I reckon it sounds like an excuse for bad behavior.  Believe me … I don’t completely understand it myself.  I do what I do … no regrets.  I have very few close friends; perhaps that is why.  I think I scare people away.

All I know is I wake up each day knowing I have done and said everything I am supposed to.  I can’t explain it.  I’ve never read the Bible.  A friend who invited me to a wonderful Christmas church singing presentation told me she thought I was one of God’s chosen ones.  I don’t even know what that means exactly, but I think she is right.  By that I mean, I sense that I am being led by a higher power.

And that is what quitting my job, selling my home, cashing in on my retirement, and just taking off is all about.  I feel led.  I’m not worried about money.  I’m just not.  The bottom line is that I am doing this because this is what I am supposed to be doing; I just know it.  So, is that free will or predestiny?  I really dunno.

Mar 232012
 

 

babygator

The “what” is that I’m gonna do some traveling.  The “why” is maybe a li’l complicated, but I do remember a very meaningful event in my life.  One of my first stops is going to be Hunting Island, SC.  It is a campground on the beach.  I remember being there in the 90’s with a good friend.  We stopped at the visitor center, which was a nice building, sorta like a little museum, with a pond or something.  In that pond were the cutest baby alligators.  I remember basking in the moment and saying to my friend, now THIS is what life is all about … moments like these.

Now I’m not wealthy by any means, and I am not really sure how I am gonna finance this trip.  I cashed in my 401K, and I am gonna cash in on my LE retirement.  I will sell my truck as well and am coming out ahead in the sale of my home, not much but ahead nonetheless.  People ask me where I’m gonna go.  I tell them wherever the money will allow.  I have family and friends I want to visit, mostly in the eastern part of the country, but I sure would like to make it out west as well.  I’m just gonna play it by ear and enjoy every freakn second of it.

I’ve got an idea for a book, something I thought of a long, long time ago.  So I will develop that idea and hopefully make it come to fruition.

More importantly, I am incredibly excited about the folks I’m gonna meet and the things I’m gonna see.  You know what’s crazy?  I have lived in my ‘hood for 9 years and barely know most off my neighbors.  Now that I am leaving, I have met some who have come to my yard sale and are such cool people.  What time we have wasted.  I wish I had gotten to know them before.

It’s gonna be different on this trip … I’m gonna talk to everyone I can.  I’m not gonna care what anyone thinks of me.  I’m just gonna let it all out there.  So many people have said that they want to do what I am gonna do, so I promise to provide all of y’all, through this blog, with every reason in the world why you should just give up everything and go!

Mar 232012
 

 

notnormal

In fact, I kinda pride myself in bein’ a li’l different.  So I was packing up stuff in the garage today; I just can’t bear to have another garage sale, so I’m gonna keep trying to sell stuff online and also donate several items to local thrift shops, particularly one that benefits the Humane Society, where I got ZB from.  There are, however, a few things that I just can’t part with.  At the top of this pic is a shoe horn, but it’s not just any ordinary shoe horn.  This is like 2’ to 3’ long and can be used without having to bend over.  I mean, who even has one of these?  Well, I do … ‘nuff said.

The item underneath is a teeny weeny racket wrench (or socket wrench, whatever) … it is sooooo flippin’ cute.  I just can’t resist it.  I love little versions of big things, well not always, but you smell what I’m steppin’ in … like little bitty screwdrivers and such.   I think most of us do, which is why we melt at the sight of puppies and kittens.  So check this out …

helicopters

I had a hard time getting a good pic, as I have yet to figure out how to shut the flash off on my CoolPix camera.  These are falling off trees left and right, not sure why, as I always thought they fell after they dried out and died, like in the fall.  They are helicopters.  You know, as kids, we’d open up the ends, take the seed out, and put them on our noses.  Oh … you didn’t do that?  Well I did!  BUT … I’ve never seen a wittle bitty pink helicopter.  I guess I didn’t get out much.  I think it’s quite beautiful, but again, I never claimed to be normal.

purty

This is across the street from my house, taken on our afternoon walk.  I was walking da Samster this morning, and a neighbor pulled up and said, “Aren’t you gonna miss this place?”  I said, “Yes, I am.”  He said, “You’ll be back.”  All I said was, “Perhaps!”  I will, but I just don’t know when or for how long.  I’ve got some bidness to take care of come the local election in 2014; plus, I am putting some belongings in storage here.

What is so beautiful about this area is that the same view changes daily.  The view from my own living room window is amazing, especially in the summer when the maple tree is in full bloom.  The foothills of the Smoky Mountains are magnificent.  This truly is God’s country, but I am looking forward to visiting other areas of God’s country.  It’s gonna be a blast!

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