Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weak Stomach and Slabbery Lips

Don't mess with me about my spelling, sometimes Webster (bless him) just ain't got the word I need, so I make up one. No one knows what it means but it makes me feel better to fill in the space. Now to my title...

I like to eat healthy. Trouble is, it just don't taste all that good all the time. Someone once said, if it taste good, it is probably bad for you. That is true more and more as the years pass on you.

I'm not trying to gross out the ladies, but oysters have a really good taste to me. Maybe it was the squirrel brains that ruined my taste buds. I even like sardines but the smell is a little strong even for me and it lingers a long time. You need to eat those on a fishing trip when you ain't coming home for a week or two and in the dark so you don't have to look at them. Vienna sausage taste best on the creek bank after you've baited a few hooks. I hardly ever drink the juice, for sure if my wife is looking. Her and my doctor would both have cardiac arrest. Right after they told me a thing or two.

Now to the grocery store... Every time I walk by one of the jugs of pickled sausage, I get a craving. I don't know why, I never bought any. I know they would hurt my stomach but still I just have to rubberneck as we pass them. Babyback ribs almost jump into the cart when I pass but I manage to get that Omega-3 rich Salmon or flounder. I don't know if this good looking stuff, that I don't buy, is bad or not. They say it is and 'they' are a mystery to most of us.

We all know about ice cream including Eskimo Pies....dream, dream, dream. And cheese....dream, dream, dream.

Now peas and carrots, green leafs and stalks... you are really making my doctor happy now. Really, I know he lays awake at night wondering if I'm eating right. You can't fool me. He don't never charge me nothin' but grocery money (mine and his) to talk to me and since he has expensive taste (like most rich people), I understand why his minutes and seconds cost so much. Yea, he cares if I eat peas or porkchops!

Take those BBQ pig skins for example, I could eat a large bag of them and drain the salt out of the bottom into my mouth.

I wouldn't know a chicken liver if I got one in the mailbox. Those confounded blood test. They don't let you get away with nothing. Confounded ain't cussin' I hope. My daddy confounded a lot of stubborn critters on the farm and they done alright. So, I hope it is just an ordinary word. If it ain't, I take it back and give you doggone instead.

I thought I was doing good by eating soup instead of other stuff until my wife read the label to me. You guessed it...sodium and some other stuff that sounds bad.

That's how I see it. I have no conclusion which makes reading this awkward. Sorry...

Monday, July 27, 2009

We Don't Know Much

Obviously, some of us know mucher less than others. Generally speaking, though, as a world we don't know a great deal if you think about how large the universe is. We are over here on a little limb that sticks out on the edge of the galaxy. You know the one in who knows how many. I sometimes have to smile when I hear folks talking like they had reached the pinnacle of knowledge. We got some pretty low pinnacles these days. They will talk down to us ignorant and unlearned, with that kind 'I love you all' smile on their face and probably thinking (like in the movies) 'they are so stupid'. Guess that sounds like politicians but others do it to. I've been talked to like that 'Well, you'll be alright.' 'Pu-e-e-e-e', I could spit or puke. Sorry, got a little nasty there.

Truth is, we don't know much. People write in books that this is the way it is. Then later after that generation dies off, we discover that it was another way entirely. I'm glad they call everything 'theory' now in school. Seems like they would wait to prove the theory before they start teaching it as facts in school. We got a lot of people running around basing their existence on theories instead of facts. So, okay, I'm so smart, why don't I tell us the facts. I don't have them myself neither. I'm just the son of a sharecropper and coal miner who happened to be blessed with knowing the ABC's and the sense to know that my knowledge is limited. I soak up what folks smarter than me write and say like a sponge in water. I often wonder how much rotten information I've soaked up over the years. That's the trouble with much learning, you got to sort it like picking the bones out of fish.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mother's Coat Excerpts

"The lines in Taffy's face, around her eyes and the corners of her mouth, were premature. She still looked really good when she dressed up but inside she was scared to numbness."

"It seemed it always rained when he had Matte for a client. He donned his full-length rain coat....He approached the two figures who seemed to be fast asleep. He did not know that Acelin had been traumatized by her mother's murder and so laid awake for hours..."

"She stood near the steam vent, to stay warm, and held out her bag. She never knew if people would put in money or food. Sometimes a mean person would put their trash in the bag and laugh as they walked away."

"Charis walked straight back to the mission. She had intended to work the streets until time to serve the noon meal but her first encounter with a street child had been all she could handle."

Mother's Coat


It is the land of the once powerful Mayan people. Descendants still live and work the land. It is mostly a poor land, now, so far as the economy goes but it is rich in beauty. It is formed from upheaval of the earth's crust and is still shaken by earthquakes. Well, that is the best information I have been able to gather anyway.

My way of giving back when I got my disability was to sponsor a little girl in that country. My hope is that in some small way, it will help this one little girl grow up healthy and help give her the little things a little girl needs in life. I color pictures for her and she draws pictures for me. In my short story Mother's Coat, I had to do a lot of research and found almost more than I could handle about the plight of children in the world. So what was to be a long story had to be cut short because it made me physically ill to write it. I cannot stand the thought of a child going to bed hungry but they do. I cannot stand the thought of a child sleeping on the street but they do. It is good when a kind person takes a child off the street but wouldn't it be wonderful if we could do something to keep that child off the street in the first place? We can. Not the whole wide world but one child.

Well, I'm not bragging about what I do. It is too little and much too late. It has, however, brought me closer to a little country called Guatemala. I still can't spell it without looking and I probably will never speak their language. Love has no language barrier, neither does hunger.

There are lots of organizations you can go to, to sponsor a child. I use Compassion International. You can find others on television and the Internet. If you sponsor, do some research and pick an organization with a good rep and stable management. At least, that is what I recommend.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Transient by me Milton J Southerland

I never went to writing school. It wasn't because I didn't want to. Life just kept me too busy and I do not regret spending my time providing for my family.

Writing, however, is something I love to do. I get involved in a story. I involve my wife in the story. We talk about the characters. When I am writing a story, I am standing with the characters (in my mind of course but it does not seem so). I go to sleep thinking about what might happen to them next. I hope they find their way. I even hope the bad guys reform and I don't have to kill them off. Of course, I'm in control of all this but not completely. As the story develops, certain things just seem right to do with the characters. Also, my wife loves some of the characters so much that she won't let me let anything happen to them. So, yes, my stories take me over for a while. I could not write horror stories because I would be right there being sucked into the abyss with my characters and that causes nightmares. It is bad enough when I am in a shootout.

Transient is such a story. I actually lived some of the things in this book. I know what it is like to clean out the barn and put the contents into the garden with my hands. I know what it is to hoe cotton until my hands would not straighten.

Leeuna Foster said of Transient: "I was so scared that Smog was going to shoot him (Tommy) there at the end - almost got mad at you." "I also loved the fact that everything was totally G rated. I hate to be reading a good story, then suddenly come upon a paragraph filled with 'cuss words' as we say here in the South." Then in a promotional page for Transient she wrote: "Milton's vivid imagery and his excellent use of dialogue pulls his readers into the book and makes them feel as though they re watching the scenes unfold instead of reading about them. His characters are so multi-dimensional they come to life on the pages."

Well I ain't no good at honkin' my own horn. I like the stories but I always feel that I should have done better. I always feel that I lost patience with the story and finished it too soon. It is the nature of life. We see other people at special times, good and sad, but they must go home and live the minutes of their life that we are not privy to. We can but tell the part of the story we know.

I hope you will buy the book and excuse my human faults and shortages in abilities. You don't necessarily have to love my style to love the characters. They are you and me and the people around us. Go here.

I am presently working on another book that I have been stuck on for several months but I finally got a direction and will continue as soon as my health allows me to think clearly for longer periods of time which is necessary to keep continuity in a story.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


That thing people do with that thing and a couple of thumbs....

I've decided I don't like 'texting'. I've also decided it is rude most of the time. Okay, you are sitting in a pleasant gathering talking about the weather, politics, your sore feet or whatever (that word is over used as well). You go into this long explanation after someone asked 'what about that?'. I mean you dig way back in your brain and come up with some really profound stuff to share with the folks. Then after a deep thought or two, you look around the room and people are playing with that little thing. The tiny keyboard that writes too little for you to see. They may even be 'texting' each other in the same room saying something about that person who is saying that something profound to answer the question that was asked earlier. Did they really want to know the answer or were they just trying to get you to talking so they could text their whoever? or whomever?

I put it in the same category as talking to each other instead of listening to the speaker at the time. I put it in the same category as talking in church during preaching. I put it in the same category as driving while talking on the cellphone which has proven to be like drinking and driving.

I know that does not make me popular because there are other things I don't like that puts me in some weird class of people who just don't fit in, in our society. I don't like animals in the house but don't tell Leeuna(using her name is certainly no endorsement of my comments). I don't like commercials on television that are twice as loud as the program. I don't like ugly commercials with innuendos.

People never talk to the people they are in physical company with anymore. I've been mad enough to call someone I was trying to talk to in person just so I could get a word in.

Yes, I have placed 'texting' on my list of bad manners. It's like going to the bathroom and should be done in private.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Do you use coupons? Do you like saving money? Can you use a pair of scissors?

I suggest two places: Coupons.com and SouthernSavers.com (if you live around here)

These folks save a lot of dough. Like most things, you have a learning curve but while you are learning you can download some coupons at Coupons.com. I started doing this and we save around 10 or 20 dollars. I'm still a novice but buying while the items are on sale and then topping it off with a coupon really adds up.

Well, it is a little work but most of time we do have to do a little work for our money. I can say with confidence that coupons have more than paid for my printer.

Happy saving!