Saturday, July 14, 2018


I can't remember exactly when I met Ben Purvis, but I can remember where. Dissatisfied with the quality of framing I was receiving at a local frame shop, I stopped by Fads and Frames in Clinton. I met this sweet young man in a tattered ball cap and I liked him immediately. 

It soon became obvious that he was head and shoulders above anyone who had ever framed anything for me. An amazing artist in his own right, he has an unfailing eye for the perfect colors, textures, and styles in frames and mats. I soon began going to Ben for all my framing needs. 

Over the years, he became more than the guy who beautifully framed my artwork. He became a friend. He encouraged my forays into different styles of watercolor painting and collage. He always had a kind word and a hug for me. When I was in the hospital getting my first hip replaced, I looked up one day to see young Ben standing by my bed with flowers in hand. 

When Fads and Frames closed, I was not sure what was going to happen to Ben. I hated to see someone with his talent take a humdrum job that did not involve him using his gifts. Fortunately, despite the odds of trying to start a business, Ben took the lemons that had been handed to him and made lemonade! Doing the lion's share of the work himself, Ben renovated an older building in downtown Raymond and opened Benjamin's Framing and Fine Art. Here he displays his own art as well as the offerings of a few fortunate others. If you want something exquisitely framed, make the short drive to Raymond and go see my friend Ben.

I am so proud of Ben. If anyone can make a go of this, he can. 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Second Chances

I've been thinking a lot about second chances lately. I know that I have been granted a number of them in my life and I am thankful for them.

I am getting SO tired of constant social media posts that dredge up transgressions from as many as 50 years ago. Seriously? People can and do change. In one case, a person became a Christian and has issued an apology for actions done as a young person. But no one ever bothers to look up the rest of the story. Instead, they gleefully pass on this antiquated garbage. 

I totally get that in some cases, a second chance should not be given. In cases of physical and/or sexual abuse, it is just too dangerous to grant another chance. In cases where an addict or alcoholic is still actively using, steering clear is a good idea. 

Think about the second chances that you have been given. Have you received a second chance at life due to a medical procedure? Have you been able to beat an addiction? Has someone in the right place at the right time kept you from taking your own life? Has your spouse taken you back after finding out you cheated on him or her and is willing to give your marriage another chance? 

If you have had the gift of a second chance, could it be time to give one to someone else? 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Recovery Musings

I am finally to the stage where I am JUST beginning to think that I did the right thing in getting this second hip replaced. For about the first month or so, I was thinking that I had lost my mind to do this again. 

During this experience, I learned that not all hips are created equal. For some reason, this one has been more painful than my first one 4 years ago. For once, I needed my pain meds for the entire first 2 weeks after surgery. Getting them was a saga best left for another post. 

I have a lot of awfully good friends. They brought me everything from green tea and chocolate, to an entire meal served with a checkered tablecloth, no less! Dietary tried their best to accommodate my food allergies, but the mystery meat mentioned in my previous post was not exactly a palate pleaser. 

After being allotted only two baths a week, I will never take my daily showers for granted again! One person was largely tasked with bathing all 86 residents twice a week. I can't even imagine. 

Certified Nursing Assistants are unbelievably underpaid! And most of mine ended up having up to 24 residents to take care of by themselves. This includes wheelchair-bound residents who have to be lifted into bed, residents who are incontinent, and even residents that fight them when these CNA's are trying to care for them. Minimum wage is just not enough. 

I was fortunate to get some wonderful CNA's. Even as stretched out as they were, most of them really tried to do their best for me. That included having to lift my legs on and off of the bed every time I had to get up for the first week, chase down things I dropped that were beyond the scope of my "grabber", and finding the med nurse when I needed my Percocet. 

My surgery was done with no external staples or stitches. This was a first for me and apparently, some of the nurses and therapists. On more than one occasion, I was asked to "drop trou" so that Dr. Futvoye's handiwork could be seen. After 11 surgeries, it is fortunate that I have little modesty left!

Physical and occupational therapists rock. That is all. 

This recovery has been a little slower than I remember. Of course, I am older. I have developed some other health issues since my last hip replacement. I wear out more quickly. I am still having some breathing issues and I have to stop and rest when I am doing much of anything. Hopefully, this will normalize soon. 

I am thankful that I have no more hips to replace. These babies better last me for the rest of my life.

I don't plan on doing this again! 

Friday, June 01, 2018

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years. 

Mystery Meat 

I brought my own lunch in high school, so I had never really encountered mystery meat in all its gastronomic glory until I hit Hinds Junior College. Most of the patties were roughly the same size and shape, but some were beef, some were pork, and some were chicken. We had to ask just what flavor that particular generic looking patty was. Not that they tasted all that different from one another. One day we would have the original dry patty. The next day it might be covered with gravy, tomato sauce, and/or cheese, but was obviously a rehash of the previous days offering. 

Here at the nursing home, we have a generic burger patty. So far, it has been served with gravy, with cheese, with chopped tomatoes, etc over noodles, rice, or potatoes. These offerings take me back to college days. 

And when I get home, Lord willing, I’ll never eat mystery meat again! 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Billy Cannon's Halloween Run

I read today where Billy Cannon passed away at the age of 80. 

Whenever I hear the name Billy Cannon, I automatically remember my Mama telling me about missing this famous Halloween run...and why. 

The story actually begins with my mother being 9 months pregnant with me. October 10th was a home game against Miami. She got up and dressed, thinking she was going to attend the ballgame with her student ticket. To her great chagrin, Daddy was not having her risk going into labor right there in Tiger Stadium. Apparently, Mama was extremely upset by this and sat on a bench outside the stadium, listening to the game and calling Daddy every name in the book. 

Two days later, on October 12th, I was born. 

Mama had a hard time birthing me and had some complications. This was also a time when parents did not take 2 1/2 week old babies out and about like they do now. Because of me, Mama missed Billy Cannon's 83-yard runback against Ole Miss to win the game 7-3. 

I don't think she ever quite forgave me. 

Maybe he can recreate it for her in Heaven. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Royal Wedding

Yes. I am one of THOSE people. Those people who set alarms for unholy hours to watch royal weddings. 

Years ago, the girls in my dorm at Mississippi College got up at 4 AM to watch Diana marry Prince Charles. Later, I got up early to watch Sarah Ferguson marry Prince Andrew. I arose long before my usual hour to view the wedding of Kate and Prince William. I even remember skipping class years ago while in college to watch Luke and Laura get married on General Hospital! 

I know there are a lot of folks who don't care about royal weddings. But, I love them. I love the specials that are aired in the weeks before, full of British history and tradition. I love the speculation about the dress, the guests, and the music. 

There has been so much tragedy this year with horrible school shootings, natural disasters, unrest, and just plain hatefulness. I know that this wedding is considered frivolous in the grand scheme of things. But, sometimes, I need the escape that such an event provides. I need to see hopeful young people in love. I need to see adorable children all dressed up. I need to see lovely flowers and pretty dresses. I need to hear the gorgeous music.  I need to be reminded of what is beautiful and true in the world. 

I think this couple has a wonderful future ahead and I look forward to seeing great things from them. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Power of Words

As I scrolled through Facebook today looking at all the pictures of the mothers and all the praises for said mothers, it made me a little sad. It seems that so many people have or had an idyllic relationship with their mamas. 

I loved my mama. She will be gone 28 years this Christmas night and I still miss her terribly. But, our relationship was not always peaches and cream. We were alike in a lot of ways and we could clash...big time. 

Even after all this time, the things that still cause pain are the words that we said to each other in anger, especially when I was a teenager. There are so many things I wish I could "take back" and I have a feeling that there are things she might have wanted to take back as well.

After my mama got seriously ill, I never knew from one day to the next whether or not she would still be with me the next morning. I also knew that I did not want any last words to her to be angry ones. When she was in pain and sometimes got ugly with me, I would bite my tongue and leave rather than reply with nasty words of my own. Inevitably, the phone would be ringing when I got home and mama would be on the other end with an apology. 

Unkind words hurt. They hurt more than any physical blow. And they cause damage that lasts a lifetime. Think before you speak.

Especially to your mama. 


I can't remember exactly when I met Ben Purvis, but I can remember where. Dissatisfied with the quality of framing I was receiving at ...