Family, Friendship, Music, Plain Speaking, Rural Living

“Some Days are Diamonds, Some Days are Stone”

“Little Dickie Feller,” as my mother’s favorite Pittsburgh disc jockey of the early 1970s used to call him.  (No, it wasn’t KQV’s Jim Quinn.  Or even Quinn’s replacement, when Quinn moved to the bigger market of Buffalo NY in 1972 or 73 and was replaced by a young feller (see what I did there) named Jeff Christie,  The same Jeff Christie, lifelong “Stiller” fan, who’d later achieve untold fame and fortune as Cape Girardeau, Missouri’s own Rush Limbaugh.)

No.  Mum was a KDKA, Jack Bogut girl, during her stay in Pittsburgh from 1964-1978.  And this was one of her favorite songs.

It’s the sort of song that Mr. Right despised, with its repetitious refrain and its “oom-pah-pah” beat. He ascribed his loathing of such things to having been born and growing up three floors above a bar in Pittsburgh’s very blue-collar South Side of the 1940s, and to lying awake night after night listening to the drunks down below singing “How Much is that Doggie in the Window,” and other inane refrains.

But I’m easily pleased, and I don’t mind it.  It’s good background music, along with which I can hum tunelessly (hello, Dad!) while I’m doing other things, and I don’t have to struggle, as I approach my dotage, to remember the lyrics.

I was, however, a bit taken aback a few months ago, when in the course of mentioning this song somewhere else, I searched it out and discovered that Dickie Feller is no more.  Somewhere along the way, he lost his, and became Deena Kay Rose.  Whatever.  Bless.  Life goes on.

I thought of this song, halfway through today.  Because today was diamonds, all the way down!

How so, you ask?

Well, I woke up this morning to messages from old “friends.”  Sorry for the scare quotes.  They used to be friends, but they no longer are.  Somewhere along the way they, too, lost theirs, and they’ve been maligning, insulting, defaming and trying to destroy me across three different websites over the past two years.  (Their fearless leader said to one of his camp-followers, on his blog, several months ago–thinking he was commenting on the behavior of someone else, somewhere else–something like “It doesn’t take much courage to insult a girl on the Internet.  A harmless widow at that.”  LOL.  Logarithmic projection there, buddy.  Could you possibly be less self-aware?  I think not.  Their conversations are full of mindless gems like that.)

I thought they’d “stood back and stood by”–h/t President Trump–after an email a member of my family sent to the address published on their current blog this past Spring.  At least they stopped identifying me so clearly, and they stopped with the prurient and sexually explicit (wishful?) nonsense and mommy porn stories about stuff I am supposed to have said and done. (It’s quite baffling to watch a group of people ranging in age from 50 to 70 indulging in the sort of mean-girl and childish nonsense one usually associates with a junior high school clique.) Still.  Again.  Whatever.  If their lives are that empty, and so devoid of excitement that they have to use me as a prop to gin some up for themselves and each other, then they must be pretty desperate.  Vivo ut serviam.  LOL.

Hard for me to believe that a group of people can be so angry, bitter, nasty, and self and other-directed destructive.  I wish them well.  And hope they move past it soon.  Life’s too short.

After I checked in with my no-longer friends, just to let them know I care, I moved on.


A team of nice men came to help me restore the barn foundation, which was severely damaged by coal-company undermining a couple of years ago.  They’re nice guys whose families have been around her for generations, and a couple of whom helped Mr. Right and I build our house in 1986.  Nice to catch up, and they’re doing a super job.

I’ve almost finished the siding on the house!  It’s been an eight-year project, one I began with help from my stepson Sam, but which I’ve done largely by myself since. I think it’s shaping up well.  My accomplishments over the last 24 hours consist of: fixing the subsidence damage to the conduit and wire where the well pump connects to the house; adding several feet of new siding after removing the back porch light and outlet, and then reattaching them (without electrocuting myself) after putting on the siding; and finding a buyer upon whom I can unload several lifts of scaffolding together with accessories (yay!)

“Joey” is coming to install the back porch steps on Friday.  “Larry” is coming to add some fence.”  And “Hannah” is going to do some landscaping.  Thank God for the nice men and women of Western PA.  Thank God for my neighbors and all those who are looking out for me and checking on me.

As Mr. Right was fond of saying, better a neighbor you don’t know terribly well who’ll make house calls and help you when you need it than a questionable friend on the other side of the world who is looking after his own interests and is useless in an emergency.

I’ll drink to that.  To Scott, and Ann, and Randy, and Shirley. To Gary and Maryann.  To Andrea, Dan, and Joanna.  To Les.  And Ernie.  And Chet.  And everyone else.

To my family. (I think that Mr. Right’s maxim is true for family as well–stick to those who honor their vows and who stick by you.  Love, but don’t necessarily trust or depend on, those who bail in order to further their own selfish interests.)

And, Excelsior!  Tomorrow, it’s on to hay feeders and setting up the barn for the winter.  Christmas is coming.  I love Christmas on the farm.

PS: The “featured image” at the top of this post on the home page is of the house and barn.  Here’s a photo of the part of the house I’m working on at the moment.  I’m pleased:

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