Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I have been trying to think of an appropriate Halloween story to tell you all, but you guys are so darned talented that it's hard to keep up. I came in here this morning and your Halloween posts were up and some had 39 comments already. What did you all do, sit up all night putting these things in? I'm proud of you, I promise. I guess I just don't get started as fast as everyone else. Where once a single cup of coffee revved my engine, now it's more like a pot. Okay, so what did I want to tell you for Halloween? I want to start with my evil "sister". In fact, I want to end with my evil "sister", too. When E.S. (Evil Sister) and I met we found we had so much in common it was downright spooky. About a year after we met, I decided that we had indeed been sisters, in a former life. There was no other explanation for the instant bonding. I have since made another friend like that, she is the Good "Sister", or G.S. There are no evil tales connected to her, but to E.S. the evil tales abound. I have two for your perusal.

Evil Sister and The Hand

Once upon a time E.S. and her beloved husband (who shall be nameless) had a child. Now for E.S caring for the child was Job 1 job, plus of course the rest of her jobs (cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing dishes, etc., you know, the light stuff) When Nameless would come in from work, he would of course ask sweetly "when is dinner?" Now, Nameless really did ask nicely, but E.S. being so tired what with all the work she did around the house, plus caring for an infant, often didn't hear the niceness or pleasant disposition in his voice, she heard demands. She didn't want to hear demands, she wanted sleep. I can't seem to remember exactly what it was that sent her over the edge that night, but it was Nameless's fault. I know it was, because E.S. told me it was. She had forgotten to do something he had asked her to do or had done something he had pleasantly asked her not to do, but whatever it was, in her state of sleep deprivation, his reaction to whatever it was sent her reeling. He raised his hand and brought it down on the table and said "if I've told you once!" and she watched the hand , all the time bringing her fork up to her mouth to remove the piece of Chicken Amaretto (oh, did I mention she is a gourmet cook?) "I've told you a thousand times!" BOOM down comes the hand again and somehow, says E.S., when she next looked at the hand, her fork was sticking out of it and the hand was now pinned to the table. Now, anyone else would have been so shocked at that confession, they would have drawn back in horror, hands covering their mouth to choke back the scream. Did I? Oh, hell no, I burst out laughing and tears rolled down my face, and I could see him sitting there wondering where he had gone wrong and why this sweet little thing had tried to maim him and more importantly why her fork was now sticking out the back of his hand. Because, really, men don't have a clue, do they? That was the moment I knew in my heart, we had been sisters. Except while I may imagine plunging a fork into someone who is irritating the life out of me, she has follow through. After a quick trip to the Emergency Room and Nameless explaining to the ER Doc how he had been running down the stairs, fork in hand and this terrible accident had taken place (...had to read back over that and make sure I didn't actually put his name in there) they of course made up and continue to live happily. E.S. is only allowed to eat with a spoon, though.

Don't Call Me Honey, Honey

E.S. has a few little pet peeves, but the main one has to do with the fact that Nameless can somehow never think ahead. "Why" she asked me, "do men not think to look around and make sure there is a towel at hand before they strip down and get into the shower?" I knew what she meant, having gone through the ritual of "Honey, bring me a towel" myself, more than once I might add. So anyway, this one night she hears the shower running, she's putting up the dishes she had washed earlier and when she hears the shower go off stands listening. Sure enough, she hears him. "Honey?" She stands still a second and waits for the second clarion call. "Honey???" She moves off down the hall, opens the door to the linen closet, she does not get him a towel...she climbs up on the highest shelf, pulling the door to. She hears him. "Honey, bring me a towel!" She waits. She hears the bathroom door open, imagines him peeking around the door, hears him once again "honey?" voice a bit low now, wondering just where the devil she's gotten to. She hears him running down the hall, he snatches open the linen closet door and grabs a towel just as she reaches out and pats him on top of the head. She said that image of him dancing naked in place for five seconds, not knowing what the hell is going on is an image that will go with her to her grave! Isn't that just like my Evil Sister?

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Giveaway!

I am so pleased to tell you that Sandy at is having a giveaway of her artwork. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month this talented artist (and might I say dear friend) is hosting this giveaway to encourage us all to be more responsible where our own bodies are concerned. Isn't it a lovely painting? I've already entered my name in hopes...fingers are run on over and have a peek, enter in the drawing and look at the great work her students have done while you're there!

Monday, October 29, 2007

And Hank Williams sang it first...

Wow, what a great Sunday I had. My kids were all with us and my beautiful granddaughter, Arianna brought her frog loving Grandma a Frog Prince in red velvet carrying a sweet pink posey. Everywhere you look you will find frogs...I have loved them always and for some odd reason, so does Arianna. I mean we love real frogs, and their replicas. My baby boy (who towers over all of us) had a birthday on the 25th of October. I baked him a devils food cake. His brother, who's birthday was September 24, you remember, got an Angel Food cake. Not because he is an angel, but he's watching his fat intake. I baked a Macaroni and Cheese, cooked some frenched green beans and we all sat and talked about what was going on in their lives. Arianna told me that she had joined Chorus in school (she's a third grader). I told her how happy I was that she had. I was in Chorus, Glee Club and Chorale...I have a passable voice (my family always told me it was beautiful, but families can be biased as is evidenced by the thousands of simply awful singers who try out for American Idol and are then shocked that someone thinks they have no talent). Arianna carries a tune quite nicely and she told me that they were singing for a school event today (Monday). I asked her what they were singing and she broke out in was "Hey Good Lookin' ", a Hank Williams standard. I burst out laughing because other than Johnny Cash (whom she adores) the child does not listen to anything but pop and rock and roll. I think she even listens to some Salsa Music, but not bone hard Country, not C/W or what passes for Country Music today, I'm talking the twanging, singing through your nose, autoharp plinking, guitar plucking fiddle playing country blue grass music. It was the very music I grew up on before the Beatles stole my heart. Music that I can listen to now, and become my granddaddy's little girl again. If anyone is familiar with the movie "Brother Where Art Thou", here's an example. My mother used to tell me that I was only about 2 years old and could sing "He's in the Jailhouse Now" word for word while standing in my crib. My other rendition at about that age was "I didn't know the Gun was Loaded". Maybe I was predicting my future career, even then. So here's my darling little blond headed baby girl singing out on "Hey Good Lookin ". I laughed and told her her Grandpa always came in from work or called me long distance when whatever ship he was on was overseas and asked me that very question. Every single time. One of the girls opted that all she heard was "when's supper ready?" Where did I go wrong on those two? So, I told Arianna I had the song on a cd by Hank Williams and did she want to hear it after dinner and sing with it? Of course she did. We finished dinner, cleared the table and she gave us her version of Bill Cosby's "Mom is Great"..."Grandma's great, gave us Choclate Cake"...After we had birthday cake I went into the office and began the search for the cd. After about a half hour, having located it, I loaded the cd into the computer and called her in. She stood hanging on my arm as Hank, that velvet smoothe nasal intonation shouting out the words "heyyyyy good lookin', what you got cookin', how's about cookin' something up with me? " She looked at me with a look akin to shock on her face. "Grandma, that's country!" she said. I had to laugh, because yes, it was certainly country, the kind of country that every little child living and breathing should hear at least once in their lives, so they can hear where most of our country music today came from. I was delighted that not only did she sing with Hank, she enjoyed doing it.

A New Week...

Well, as we all are aware it has been a very stressful couple of weeks, but now the immediacy has passed and it's time to take a breath and go on. I spoke with Sissy at length about the funeral on Saturday. My husband and I could not attend due to distance and the fact that while my spirit is only about 25, my body only 59, recent health issues put me at closer to 80. I lived and worked hard and while attempting to trim pecan trees, apparently broke a few things in my neck when falling out of one. (I was 54 going on 18 at the time.) It took a bit to manafest itself, but on June 8th 2003, (after the triple bypass surgery I had on December 21 2002) I found myself quite suddenly paralyzed from the neck down. After the sudden hurried ambulance trip to Florence, SC, I was seen by Neurologist who assured me while I would never walk again, he could get me motor function from the waist up but it would require immediate emergency surgery. So, I had the surgery and no one was more shocked than he was when I managed to walk from the hospital...haltingly, to be sure...but I walked none the less. That is why my faith in God is so strong. I know my family and friends were praying for me, but more importantly, He gave me a strong determination and will to prevail over diversity. I don't travel long distances because I still have severe nerve damage and can only sit that still (as a car trip) for about an hour and it's like having to learn to walk all over again. After such a close brush myself, I had such hope for Joey but the injuries were so far beyond what the doctors could do. And so God answered the prayer, what's best for Joey. Sissy tells me that they had to stop traffic on Interstate 65 there were so many cars in the funeral procession. We both saw Joey in our minds eye laughing at the thought of traffic coming to a halt for him. He was such a daredevil that I am sure I'm not the only one who was shocked by his death. We pictured him going out bungey jumping or racing. He kept in touch with every friend he had ever made, I think. If he had been able to, he would have kept in touch with you, too. So, our friends, we thank you. His family is doing what other families do everywhere after the loss of a love one. They're picking up the pieces and going on. It's all we can do, after all. Be assured that your kind thoughts and prayers helped Karen so much and it's something she will look over and read now and be able to see just how many people were in her corner, pulling out all the stops for her Joey.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And the Community Blogger Award goes to...

I have been at a loss as to how to thank my Blogging Community for all the prayers and sincere concern over Joey Andrus's recent eventually fatal work related accident. I didn't want to "invent" an award, that would put to much of the attention on me, and I want the attention on the friends of our "community". We are a community, after all...I began blogging a bit after my niece, Sissy (aka Kari) (sorry for the cop speak, but you know....) and have learned so much from all of you. I know that Sissy would want to be a part of this, so this is what I am doing. From both of us I would like to award the Community Blogger award to all of you, and that being said, I am going to do it. It's a long list, so stand by: The premise of the award is simple. Cellobella at Redsultana , who is the designer and creater of this award says this: "The Community Blog Award celebrates people who reach out and makes the blogger community a better one. " So, to my community, who have shown just how tightly knit (some might say wound) we are, here goes...

whew, need to take a breath here. Remember, I smoked for years...before I got smart and laid the nasty little things down! So, who else gets this I'm sure coveted award?

of course there's Lisa at

and one of my newest friends, Cassie at

Who could forget Susie Q at

and then another pair of friends Jenn and Jacqui at

Carol at (I'm still looking for her kitchen)

Terri at I'm sure Bob should be included in this, too...

And I want to also thank Jeanne at

Tammy, who is a blog bud of Kari's, (for you from us both of course)at and I'll be in to visit you, too...

And now more about the award.

It was designed by Cellobella (who doesn't play the cello, but owns one...who wanted to pass something on to someone in her circle and couldn't quite find the right thing. Inventive and talented as she is, she came up with this award. She has generously given permission for us to pass it on to those who we feel best meet the criteria and if you guys don't meet it, I don't know who does. I truly feel that our community is close enough for us to clasp hands. If I have forgotten any one, I am truly sorry...I think I have included everyone. If I have forgotten you, blame my muddled mind. You are included whether I mentioned you by name or not. And so now we can get back down to the blogging life, but know that if I am needed, I'm only an e-mail away!

with much affection I remain

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Thank You

I would like to thank you all, our friends out there who so generously gave of their time and love to pray and care for a stranger. I would like to share something with you that my dear friend Jean Weston sent to me. I hope it touches you as it touched me. Thank you for being out there for all of us and in turn for each other. If you click on this, it is a lovely little movie about time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Goodbye to Joey

Thank you for all the prayers sent to Joey and his family, wife Karen and sons, mother Ginger and father Michael. Joey passed away from injuries to severe to sustain life last night. He was to young and no parent should ever have to bury their child. We have prayed for him and you have prayed for him. For that we thank you so very much. We have to know that God has answered our prayers. Joey is with his Papa and Grandma now, and I know they met him and welcomed him home. Now the rest of life continues and we'll all muddle through just as we always have. Thank you for being friends.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Prayers for Joey

Please send your prayers for Joey and his entire family. Things are not going well, but the family requests your continued support in prayer. Thank you all for being so kind as to think of and pray for him and his...

Author's of Choice and Author's choices

Okay, so it's no big secret that I love to read. Everyone I know has picked up on that one "what do you know about Sandi" bit of trivia. My favorite authors vary from Dean Koontz to Rudyard Kipling. I love writers with a wry sense of humor and those with no sense of humor at all. I have been an avid fan of Harry (our dear Mister Potter) and Kay (Dr. Scarpetta) ever since JK and Patricia first birthed them. But for crying out loud, one has a coming out party and the other will now be subject to whispers and averted eyes for the rest of her career. And all in the same month. Oh, the humanity! What are they doing to me? I love Dumbledore and to be honest who or what he sleeps with makes no never mind to me. My bedroom is my bedroom and I assume that goes for Dumbledore, as well. But really, this was (I was assuming again) a series of books for children which it turned out, the parents also loved. I know of at least one child who had the first book read to her a chapter a night and then the selfish gran, er, reader read to her heart's content and finished the book in like, say a day? Or at least that's what I understand to have happened. This same reader also bought the next book as a gift for someone who shall remain nameless in here, but read it before boxing and wrapping it, making it a regift. It was a first edition and the giver did not want the terrible action of "a first edition, spine not broken" being seen on E-Bay. Every beloved book should have its spine cracked, indicating that someone thought enough of it to actually read it. Will I reread the Potter series? Well of course I will, as I said what goes on in anyone's bedroom is their business and none of mine, but I fear other children (well, I am a child, at heart anyway) will be denied the opportunity of finding this series of books and learning a love of reading because of prejudice. Prejudice is such an ugly word in principal and even uglier in action. Okay, so Dumbledore has been outed and Kay Scarpetta...I can hardly think, the humiliation of what has befallen our beloved Dr. Kay...has suffered a sexual assault. I have followed Dr. Kay Scarpetta from her very first case, I know her likes and dislikes, her family (and everyone has a dysfunctional family, I'm sure of family put the dys in functional, of that there's also no doubt). When I first knew it was about to happen I had to put the book down for a couple of days. I had to prepare myself for her ordeal because she is like a fictional sister to me, and I couldn't bear this to happen to any woman, living or dead, real or imaginal. I have my reasons. Trust me. I have learned over the years that rape is almost never about the sex. It is about the power. It is about the power being taken from you and the almost certain knowledge that the action will be at the back of the ravaged person's mind for a lifetime. Forever. And beyond. So. While I disagree with JK's action, I don't necessarily disagree with Patricia's. On one hand, something that would never have occurred to a reader in one series hurts the series in my opinion, and on the other hand something that occurs in the other series educates. There is a big difference in education and titillating. Bad girl, JK (Rowling) may have fallen off the radar for anything else that may be in that fertile mind but worse yet, you may have deprived another generation of loving your vivid and witty characters and learning to love the written word all for the sake of sensationalism. Brave girl, Patricia (Cornwell) have brought the victim forward and shamed the devil. You have shown us that we can rise above humiliation and triumph over evil.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Weather Map

My friend watches the Weather Channel with an alarming regularity. The last five times that I was over at her house, that is the channel that was playing. Not ABC, or CBS, not even NBC or CNN (Chronic News Network as my mother called it). No one was surfing through the channels to see if there was anything more entertaining on, in fact for the most part the only thing I saw was the huge weather map on the screen and some subtle background music. Elevator music on droll. We could sit and chat about anything and not be interrupted by breaking news, or soap opera story lines. We could discuss how work is going, what yard project we both may have lined up and how we're going to get the work done. Every so often she would look over at the screen, shake her head and go on with our conversation as though her attention had never wandered from it for a second. When the talk turned to the lack of rain we have experienced in the past few months, she started laughing. "See that weather map on the TV screen?" she asked. Nodding that yes, I did indeed see the weather map still showing on the TV screen, she continued. "I figured out exactly where we are on that thing," she said. I gave her a quizzical look, and she went on. "No, really, I know exactly where we are. Just look at the map. See where all the clouds are covering it? Yes? Well, see that hole right there, in the middle? That's us. There we are. Cloudless and rainless, and it's where that hole has been for weeks now. No wonder all the ponds are drying up, the satelite won't let the clouds move an inch." You know, I didn't have the heart to tell her that the weather satelite had not a darned thing to do with it, I just reached over for the remote control and changed the channel. I was afraid if I stared at that hole in the middle of the weather map, I'd start to think the weather satelite had a hold on the rain, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Haunting

My most vivid childhood memories can be found on Highway 145, five miles south of the town of Chesterfield in a big old white farmhouse occupied by my grandparents. The memories seem to cover most of the seasons, although I never lived there full time. I spent nearly every summer there, as I have said before, maybe three or four Christmas's, at least three Thanksgivings , (eating at the children's table...much more fun than eating with the adults) and maybe once or twice in spring time. It seems that whenever we arrived, all the aunts and uncles came to see my parents and the cousins to see us. As the car climbed to the top of the hill on 145 we always saw Daddy Dwight's tree. Daddy Dwight was our grandfather, and Mammy was our grandmother. The tree was a tall long leaf pine that had been standing between the two dirt drives for as long as anyone could remember. When we saw that tree, we knew we were home. My mother would put down her car window and taking a deep breath, say "welcome to Chesterfield County, smell the air!" as though the air smelled any different or better in Chesterfield County. Of course she was right. It did. When we pulled up into the drive and parked in front of Mammy's house, we'd all pile out and run up the steps to the screen porch and mob my grandmother who was always, I mean every single time, wiping her floury hands on her apron so she could give us all a hug. She had the warmest smile and most musical laugh I can credit anyone in my life with having. It made us feel welcome and the love poured out of that laughter like water over stones in a waterfall. She would tighten that hug for a second to make you feel special before letting you go to hug our mother. My mother's face always lit up when she was being held in her mother's arms. If it was winter time, the kitchen would be warm and the fire would crackle in the little black pot bellied stove. Everyone would sit in the warm kitchen and catch up on life. Just a bit after dark, my grandmother would take us children upstairs to the big middle bedroom and help us find our pajama's, the huge old bed , piled high with quilts would be turned back ready for us to crawl in. We'd change quickly into our night clothes and tumble into the bed, cover up fast and wait for her to return with the warm flannels. She would take small flannel blankets and heat them up at the little stove, hurry up with them and wrap our feet in joy. The quilts would be piled on top of us, banishing the cold air, holding in the heat from the flannels, warming us up to our noses, which were just a tad blue, being out in the cold air. There was no central air and heat, but we didn't miss it a bit. Those were the most comfortable nights of my life. Just the memory of them warms me and I can see my Grandmother's face as clearly as if she were standing in front of me. Maybe that's what they call haunting. If so, I don't mind a good old haunting at all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Halloween in Columbia, SC

I'm sorry, but I'm not really into the decorating at Halloween, mainly I decorate at Christmas and I don't start that till the day after Thanksgiving (sorry, Sissy). But my sister, Toni is way into decorating, as evidenced by these pictures she sent of her yard. My brother-in-law Tim is actually the culprit, I suspect. I really can't see Toni having the time or inclination to do all this. I know some people who decorate for every occasion, from July the fourth to Easter. I'm just not one of them. One of my neighbors even decorates for Valentines day...another candy company fiasco, if you ask me. Okay, so none of you asked me, just thought I'd share. It just seems to me that it takes so much money just to keep our roofs over our heads, why do people make a major thing out of holidays that require you mortgage the farm to prove you love them? What's wrong with just coming out and saying it? I can't remember the last time Mac remembered my birthday, but he says I love you every day. I am now at the age where even I try not to remember my birthday. Just wait, out of pure orneriness, he'll start remembering January 7th...and I'll live to regret posting this bit of too much information.


Just had to share this photo with you all of my granddaughter, Arianna when she was about 2 years old...these are her jammies...she was really getting into the role, though wasn't she? She is also a fan of Spiderman and Supergirl...but this pose is priceless!

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween

Halloween being just days away now, I've been noticing the costumes that are in the stores. They seem rather cheaply made for the prices they go for. Of course, that's just my opinion (and everyone's welcome to it!) The days of homemade costumes are hopefully not behind us, because they can be more fun, less dangerous and downright funny. Every little girl wants to dress up as a princess. So go to the thrift shops and buy a frilly "I'll never wear that again" prom dress and adjust the fit with scissors and pins. Make a lovely tiara with cardboard, tinfoil and glitter. The entire costume won't run over five dollars, if that. Take an old coat and sew patches on the sleeves an old pair of pants, patches on the knees, get an old vest to go over a ratty shirt, burn cork and apply a "beard" that washes off easily with soap and water...what's that, three bucks? Nothing? Buy a cheap eye makeup palate and sit your little darlings in front of the mirror and let their imaginations go wild. They can make bruises and with a bottle of ketchup, apply blood and become a ghoul from the "Night of the Living Dead". Then, there's the all time favorite...a black dress, black stockings, green eyeshadow to make the face appear green, witch's hats are only around two dollars apiece and you have a fantastic little witch. I never got the "run out and buy a costume" routine. We never bought a costume in our lives. I've been a princess a hobo a dancer a clown...I was laughing at my niece, Kari (still Sissy to me) who went dressed as half woman/half man and believe it or not, been there, done that. So, save your money guys, let the kids use their imagination...why spend thirty bucks on someone else's ideas? You and your kids will have so much more fun coming up with your own...and as a bonus, there will be no face mask to block your child's vision. They'll easily see the cars on the roadway, and spot anyone or anything else that seems is the key word here! Fun should be secondary to that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Christmas Award

My sweet little niece, Kari (I'm sorry, but she'll always be Sissy to me) has honored me with a Christmas Award. Now I know there are those of you out there saying "CHRISTMAS! It isn't even Halloween!" Well, for certain of us it is Christmas year round...would you believe my snowman collection stands guard over the guest room? Well, I'll just have to take a picture to prove it...I love Snowmen and I love awards and I love passing them on to others so here goes...I'm going to try not to duplicate the group that Sissy honored, which is good, it means more can be recipients, so here goes:
Sandi at

for her generosity of spirit, please accept this award. Mary at who has a sweetness of spirit and being a Nurse, I know she has loving hands that give freely especially at Christmas time. I would like to share this award with Sandy at

because we all know artists have expansive spirits. And Kat at for certain sure needs this...Then there's Wanda, she's at or Excuse me while I buy this junk...don't you just love it???? And I really can't leave out Suzie Q over at because her blog always gives me something to smile about. And just one more, if I may...I know it's supposed to be 5 others, but Carol at (or better known as Carol's Kitchen) has delighted me ever since I stumbled over the wonderful delightful Nigella...and if you want to meet Nigella, you'll just have to do as I did and go and introduce yourself!!!
Okay, so I want to nominate another...Abbie, who so delightfully calls me Aunt Sandi, she has the delight of a child over stories that we pass on and takes us on, warts and to my sweet Abbs, keep that childlike wonder and pass it on

Okay, so that's me for tonight. Had a busy day reading, rain is on the horizon and all is write (right) in God's heaven...Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite (what an image, lol)

Oh, and for all my awardees, if you'll click on you can paste your award in and pass it on to those you feel deserve to all

Monday, October 15, 2007

Just one thing

Just one thing before I give up the computer for the day (since I have other more exciting things to consider). My son Wallace is a dare devil...I've known it for a while but why is it that when ever he takes these trips up in the air, I'm the last to know? Anyway, I've found out he has been up in the air again (from hot air balloons to jets to dirigibles, he's been on them all...really, this child needs to check in with me on these things once in a while...he only lives 12 miles away, it's not like it's long distance. Want to see what he's been up to now?

Just go to and press play...and then someone bring me a strong drink.

Happy seems like yesterday

Today is our Wedding Anniversary and I can't believe it. I mean, I really can't believe it. I can't believe that our two sons are grown and with families of their own. I can't believe we haven't got any job transfers to worry about. I can't believe that after all these years, we still care so deeply about one another. So, for today I am concentrating on our anniversary. We're going to act like kids and enjoy each other's company. We're going to talk about those first few weeks of marriage (he was in Norfolk and I was in Charleston, the ship had pulled out on October 30th. It appeared we would not be sharing our first Thanksgiving day together. So the Wednesday before, I drove all night to get to there so we could spend our first Thanksgiving together. He was on the USS Pinnacle, an MSO (Minesweeper Ocean going) and they had to go to Norfolk, Virginia for RefTray (refresher training...they were called Iron Men on Wooden Ships...ummm, gives me shivers, even now. ) So , three friends (we called ourselves the Gang of Three)and here we were on this cold November night, beating a path to Norfolk, Virginia. It was Sue O'Shields, Phyliss (the corpman's wife) and I, snug in our little red Mustang GT. We headed out of Charleston on Highway 52, going North. We had a thermos of coffee, a box of sandwiches (no interstate with restaurants every three exits) and big plans for three men who had no idea we were on the way. I think back to that and wonder what we would have done if it turned out that they wouldn't be allowed to leave the ship. Sue, being the senior Navy Wife (they had been married for over ten years) assured Phyliss and me that we'd be fine. So we headed out and spent a few minutes trying to find a good strong Country/Western music channel on the radio (one that would last longer than an hour before we had to begin our search again). We listened as Buck Owens sang about his Mama, Johnny Cash sang about a Train, and Merle Haggard sang about getting out of prison. A few years later David Allan Coe would write a song giving the three basics of a good country seems you have to sing about your mama, trains and prison...they had it all covered. So, we're somewhere in North Carolina and I looked up and there was a set of blue lights and a blaring siren coming up on us fast. I recall Sue saying that my passing the Greyhound Bus should have been the first warning. (Greyhounds are notorious for speeding.) So, I pulled over, got out my drivers license and waited for him to approach the drivers side window. I rolled my window down and this deep heavily accented voice said, "evening ma'am, may I see your pilot's license?" I must have given him one of those "blond moment" looks, because he then explained..."you were flying pretty low back there". Not a word out of Phyliss or Sue. Nothing. I began stuttering about being a newly wed and the ship being in Norfolk, this was our first Thanksgiving, yadayadayada and on and on and he says "and don't you think your brand new husband would like for his brand new bride to get there in one piece?" He paused before handing me my license back. "I'm going to let you off with just a warning this time, but you have to promise me one thing." I was nodding so hard my head was like to bounce off my shoulders..."slow the speed limit...a car wreck is a pretty lousy beginning to a marriage." I agreed, of course. We were a solemn little crowd as we pulled back onto the highway, but it didn't take us long to become happy again. Sue and Phyliss said they had never done anything like this before and I'm sure they were as excited about the prospect of a second honeymoon as I was about continuing my first one. We stayed on Highway 52 (Interstate 95 was under construction at the time, I believe) nearly the whole way into Norfolk. Our map was pretty well worn out before we got there...I'm a better driver than a navigator...we took turns driving and finally arrived in Norfolk sometime after midnight, exhausted and deliriously happy. We had had the good sense to make sure that the ship was going to be in port while we were there. Sue had gotten the phone number from the Base operator and had already called her husband to let him know we were there. It all seems so clear in my memory that it's hard to believe that thirty nine years ago today, I promised to Love and Honor (I was a modern woman for my times, no obey in there) this man for the rest of my life, and, as they say...So far, so good.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Halloween in the Mother Land

I was sure that we were about to have a mutiny on our hands on October 31st, 1979. Here we were in the great United Kingdom , just a few miles outside the famous city of London and my crew were about ready to jump ship. The cries of "WHAT? NO TRICK OR TREATING" were heard all the way down to the kitchens of the Tudor Lodge. I'm sure of it. What makes me certain is because a small bag of sweets was deposited on both of the boys beds in their hotel room when they returned from school. I am not sure what mischief the cook thought these two small boys could get up to, but she took the hotel's slogan seriously...Our Aim is To Please our Guests, Young and Old...I had a hard time explaining to the boys that Trick or Treat was a strictly American tradition that I was pretty sure the candy companies thought up to sell their products. (I can be cynical at times...wait til you hear my conclusions on Mother's Day). I could be wrong, but I think it's pretty close to the mark that the holiday is a marketing ploy. Since most of the witches and goblins Vampires and ghosts came from England (What?) they could not be convinced that the English did not celebrate this next best holiday to Christmas. Since we were the only Americans at the Lodge we couldn't get others together for an impromptu party, so we took in a movie instead. It was there that Michael, our youngest, while munching on a box of popcorn, announced to everyone in the theater "hey! This popcorn has sugar on it!" Yes indeed, the popcorn had, not butter and salt, but sugar. Michael acted as if it were a plot against America, not only no trick or treat, but sugar on his popcorn. I could tell there was about to be a pout fest, so I instructed him, somewhat kindly, to pull his lip in before someone came along and built a patio on it. This achieved a sullen smile, but a sullen smile is better than no smile at all. The movie we saw slips my mind, but I believe there was a dog in it...nothing was chasing it, trying to kill it or attempting to fit it into a giant mouth, so I am assuming it wasn't a horror picture. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Lassie Come Home because Liz Taylor was no where to be seen. It must have been a lackluster affair because while I can remember nearly every minute of our time spent in that beautiful land, for the life of me I can't remember what movie we went to see on the first Halloween of our lives spent in another country. The director and producers should feel shame, and if I ever remember the name of the movie, I shall write to them and let them know I was less than impressed.

thank you all so much for remembering Joey and Karen in your prayers...Kari and I will keep you posted on his condition...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I come from a family of strong women. There's a very long line of us. It's the Scots and the Welsh blood that pounds though our veins that gives us steel in our backbone and sometimes, stone in our hearts. Tragedy may beset us, but it doesn't conquer us. For anyone who read Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, they'll remember Scarlet's constant shield..."there's always tomorrow". That is strength in her, not weakness as so many people are apt to feel. She'll make it through that war, that flood, that death, that drought, because there's always tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll think about it, there'll be an answer tomorrow. I'm thinking along these lines because our nephew Joey lies in a hospital, critically injured and if I don't think that, if I don't hold on to that one thought, Joey will be here tomorrow, it would be to much like giving up on him. I don't plan to do that. Strong women deal with the hard knocks as though they have to entertain everyone around them, keep them from thinking about what may lie ahead. Even at my own mother's funeral, I felt I was the hostess at a tea party and had to keep everyone from realizing that the guest of honor at the front of the Church was not going to get up and hold court. Oh, you had to know my Mother...holding court was the exact term to use there. That was not disrespect, but words of the deepest love. Now here is Joey, who very well may not recover from his injuries and I'm talking to his sweet wife, Karen, on the phone and I hear it. I hear that strong woman strain in her voice, as though I was sitting across from her and she was about to offer me a cup of coffee. She has that need to hold things together, to put it off until tomorrow, to stay awake for that one word from the doctor that will let her relax, knowing she'll never relax until the day he walks out of the hospital on his own. So, I told her what my best advice was. He's asleep. Everyone has gone home. Take a nap. Rest . Curl up with a fuzzy blanket and get strong for him. You're no good to him worn out. Will she take my advice? She's a strong woman, I have a feeling she's sleeping to gear up for another long day...tomorrow.

Please say a prayer tonight for Michael Joe Andrus that God will do what is best for him. It's the prayer I'll say again tonight...keep him and his family, especially Karen his wife, in your prayers

Mindy vs the Mob

I love dogs...I have loved them for as long as I can remember. I love cats. (I'm sure that came as a huge shock to everybody). I have had the world's greatest dogs in my life and when I get to heaven (yeah, I'm sure) they're all going to be waiting for me. I'm not so sure about all the cats I've loved, cats wait for no one. If you want to tag along with them on their rambles then , you'd best hurry. Right now the only dog I have is our Mindy Lou. Mindy is one of those "not sure who her mama was, and her daddy was a traveling man" dogs. What kind is she? She's a dog. Nuff said. She's black. She has long ears, one stands up, the other flops down. She grins. Going on ten years old, her muzzle is white with age and she shows signs of laziness these days. She gets us up each morning so she can be let out to walk around the property and see what strange creatures have been out during the night, nose to the ground and at a fast clip, when suddenly....that's enough of that. (Now, I may have failed to mention that our Mindy is blind. I had her spayed when she was a puppy and she had a stroke during the surgery which rendered her sightless.) Her eyes may be blind, but her nose has 20/20 vision. She can find her way with that nose like no body's business. One other odd thing about her is that cats love her. ALL
cats. Love her. LOVE HER...When we moved here we brought our cats with us, the cats that she knew and knew and loved her and thought not a thing about it. There were two cats who had apparently lived here before we came along, and were they afraid of Mindy? Oh, no, not a bit of it. After we had been here a while I noticed that the prior owner cats we now called Wonky and CC, were following her. They were closely following her, and every so often one of them would rub against her and throw himself down in front of her. Strange behaviour for a cat, you might say. But it is exactly what my indoor cats do. They follow her, they "hug" her for wont of a better word. When they are wrapping themselves around her, purring loudly, it's all I can say, they are hugging her. Whenever she is out going walk about, she always has at least one, usually two and at times five or six, cats with her. She is greeted by Pinky Lee (he's white with black spots and the pinkest nose you've ever seen.) Then Wonky (his ears are deformed) and CC (he's a Maine Coon Cat) approach her and begin the ritual. Purr hug, purr hug, purr hug...and escort her to the yard. When she gets into the yard, the rest of the mob run to meet her. The kittens, George, Ociecat, and Barney lead the pack, with Stranger bringing up the rear. Now Stranger is one of the newer ones who showed up for supper one night and forgot his way home. (I have several who have that claim to fame.) This is the one cat that Mindy could lose her temper with. He is a stalker. And he is annoying. Mindy Lou can not take a step without his escort. He runs ahead of her to wait for her. If she changes course, he changes course. Mindy has put in for an OOP (Order of Protection) but like most men, he walks right through it. I have stamped my foot at him, clapped my hands at him, everything short of throwing things at him (which I refuse to do...maybe I should turn the hose on him.) Cries of "Hey CAT LEAVE THE DOG ALONE!" can be heard nearly every evening. You know, I would have thought this was just a fluke, but last week, Peanutbutter brought home a guest for dinner when she returned from one of her trips...she brought with her a lovely grey wonky earred Maine Coon. At first, when I saw this gray fur ball wrapped around Mindy Lou, I thought it was OUR Wonky...then I noticed only one ear is deformed, and his coat is a darker gray than our own Wonk. You know, I can almost hear the conversation between Peanutbutter and the new cat..."don't mind the big black cat, she's had an identity crisis ever since she lost her eyesight. She thinks she's a dog. Yeah, she's blind, we're her eyes."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Here I am in England...where's the A/C ?

As I am sure you remember, we landed in the Mother Country at the end of Fall and the weather was so nicely crisp and cool that a sweater was needed. Luckily I had enough experience with PBS and reading about England to have the common sense to pack us all a sweater (and a coat). Right now I am looking fondly back at those days (I looked on those days fondly at the time, too...I've been too hot for years). The temperatures hovered in the forties nearly all the time. It used to tickle the hell out of me when the temps got up to 60 and pictures of lunchtime workers (in London) out in the park practically starkers...(that's practically naked for the uninformed). They were in their slips getting that bit of sun...listen, I wanted to tell them, it's 60 degrees, not 95, for the love of your health, put your clothes back on! Not that these children would have listened to me, sun deprived as they think they are. When I would talk about the heat and the sun we live with here, of course they just thought that was wonderful! "Why aren't you nice and brown with all that sun?" someone asked me. I looked at him like he had grown a second head and answered him. "Because I stayed out of the sun as much as possible" was my reply. "I was brought up that way." My grandmother didn't think we should leave the house without long sleeves and a sun bonnet. I'd give nearly anything for one of those old sun bonnets now. The brim shaded our eyes, the tail shaded our necks. She was savvy to skin cancer before it became widely known. So anyway, here we were in England and the first thing I noticed was a.) the cars don't have a/c (b. the houses don't have a/c and c.) the schools don't have a/c. It's one of those conundrums or things that make you go "hmmm". We're all moved in our nice lovely house which has steam heat (or radiators) and there's a gas fire in the lounge and and the dining room. In the wonderful bathroom is a heat rail for the towels. Hot towels, how civilized can you get? I didn't notice that we didn't have a/c for months. In fact I think our first summer was nearly over before it dawned on me that not only did we not have a/c we didn't need a/c. In fact some days in the evening I lit the gas fire in the lounge. Oh, the lounge.Over here of course it's what we call the den or living room. We had these beautiful leaded glass (bay) windows and velvet drapes (sage green in color). It had a wide brick tile window sill and overlooked the front garden where there was this massive White Hart Cherry tree. It made the most wonderful cherries that we and the birds were quite fond of. The summers were perfect. You opened the windows and let the breezes blow through, it was just wonderful. In fact, there was not a season there that I found uncomfortable. Winter Spring Summer or Fall, it was wonderful. The only thing that I found the least bit, well...weird, was the fog. I remember the old Jack the Ripper movies and the fog rolling down the streets into the alleyways, low to the ground and up to your knees and swirling in this eerily spooky way. But that was the movies, right? One night I opened the door to check on an odd sound and the fog came directly into the house. I slammed the door and stood with my back to it for some time. Imagine that. Fog. Coming into the house. I kept the drapes pulled on foggy nights after that. You never knew what was in it, did you?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Where is Fall?

Our Great Niece, Jodie is lamenting about where the fall colors are, and she, being in Okinawa, is unlikely to be able to enjoy fall colors or fall temperatures till they get transferred home. Whereas, I , being in the United States of America, located just below a state known for its' mountain scenery, am about to begin my lament on exactly the same thing. WHERE IS FALL? It was 94 degrees here yesterday and y'all, I don't think it's asking to much for the temperatures to cool down now. Oh, they keep promising, but the promises are hollow. And the closest thing we get to rain is a heavy dew. Now, we all know what a heavy dew is indicative of. Heavy humidity. Instead of that lovely heady smell of drying leaves and a cool crisp breeze, what is that I smell wafting in the air? Mildew. I can't bear it. The leaves on the trees are turning because we haven't had rain in so long most of them are in their death throes. What galls me the most is the very thought that Al Gore may have been right and I have to admit to it. It's beginning to look like Global Warming is not only a possibility, but a likelihood. So what do we do to stop it? I don't think we have to stop living, I think we have to stop living recklessly. They've been telling us about the rain forest destruction for years, but I haven't heard about it lately, have you? The Arbor Society has been pleading with people to plant trees for as long as I can remember and we're so busy cutting them down, they can't grow fast enough to keep up with the pace. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, I'm on my soapbox again. Only, I think it may be a tree stump I'm standing on, since soapboxes are now made out of cardboard which are made of pulp which come from pulp wood which come from...yes, trees. Our demand for THINGS is what got us into this fix, I'm afraid. And two words. I WANT. So, we let the big manufacturing companies get away with, for wont of a better word, murder, for years because it is in our best interest to keep prices down so we can afford to buy THINGS. We let them pollute the streams, which pollutes the rivers, which pollutes the Oceans, and what's left? And what started all this rant? I want to know where is Fall. I want to know where is the rain. I want to know is Winter a thing of the past, too?

It's Monday, here's a treat

Okay, it's Monday. By now we all know that up until about 10 pm, I'm not worth much yet. I took my meds on Friday and today is the worst of it. About 10 tonight I'll suddenly feel much better, so will be in to write and share abit. But for now, I'm sharing this tape of Todd Wilbur making a wonderful cake....hope you enjoy watching, then preparing, then eating (cause I know you're all gonna go out and buy the ingredients and bake these...he makes it look so easy!

Have fun, probably see you all tonight

Friday, October 5, 2007

A quick note for a friend

You know I've been wondering about how Kat has been doing. She had a spell of sickness last week and we didn't hear to much. Today she told me that she has this small tumour in her tummy that has to come out. She is not feeling well, physically or spiritually. I know from personal experience that prayer can work miracles. So, everyone, say a quick prayer for Kat if you will, then go over and tell her you're thinking about her. The outpouring of love from her friends and acquaintances will mean so much.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thoughts about the Weather, Yankees and mud puddles

I have been complaining about the no rain situation for weeks now. This has been a bad year for us, weatherwise. We started off with a reasonable winter, temperatures not to cold, cold enough to be called winter, but nothing below zero...I've been in below zero, I don't really like it a lot. Really below (as in 50 below) does strange things to your tires and your radiator. (If you run across my Jacqui, she will say rad-i-ator not raid-i-ator as we do. Forgive her, she's a freshly sprung Southerner...she comes from South Jersey, so we'll cut her some slack. Oh, and she says sa-ment, not cee-ment, isn't that hysterical?) Anyway, back to the weather. So winter passes into the most glorious spring I think I have yet to see. I mean it is just perfect planting weather, the kind of weather that they make Disney movies about. Then right in the middle of it, really closer to the end of it, it ups and gets colder than it had gotten all winter long, and stays that way for a couple of days. The blueberries had flowered. There went the blueberries. The pear trees were in bloom, there went the pears. The plum trees, ditto and ditto. Most of the spring flowers were burnt, but I dead headed them and like a miracle they came back. The jelly making was a kaput affair. There were no wild plums, only two Victoria plums and WTHF and I fought over them like a couple of cats over a grasshopper. The apple trees managed to produce one (quite delicious) apple amongst theirselves and the pear tree only one pitiful little speciman of a pear which I suspect the neighbor's mule ate on one of it's few visits over here. (I must say that mule has the most pleasant face I have ever seen on a mule. It's down right pretty. Everytime it comes over I've a mind to build her a shelter and urge her to stay.) I say her, but I don't know if she's a jack or a jenny. Let's ass-ume she's not a jack. So anyway, then comes summer, lots of pretty flowers in the beginning, climbing vines of mandaville and moonflower. Hummingbird weed is growing everywhere, cantaloupe vines have emerged from our compost bin. It's just a riot of growth and the garden is planted. I even took a picture of it. That was in late June. The roses were blooming, the rain was falling, God was in His Heaven and all was right with the world. Mid July was the last measurable rain that we got. We watered plants and trees as often as we could, but it was a job so hard to keep up with it was near impossible. In August I think we got 1/4 inch. In September, we got none. The ponds are all down from one to three feet and the ducks and geese are looking for wading places. Good bye garden. Good bye flowers. I watered the moonflowers and all the ones close to the house that were in containers and managed to keep a few of them alive. I've heard about heavy hearts before, but WTHF was really heavy hearted. We found ourselves wishing for a tropical storm, then felt guilty because it would affect coastal regions in a lot worse ways, but we needed the rain. We'd wish for the tropical system under our breath and not out loud where anyone might hear. That way if we had a really bad hurricane, no one would come looking to hang me for a witch. Hey, don't laugh. It could happen. So, anyway, this little system came through last night and hung around all day and I got up and it was raining. It wasn't a downpour, we didn't need that, it is so dry the water would just roll away. What we need is just a slow steady drizzle that will last nearly all day and into tomorrow. Oh, for a week of that. But now, here it is, and outside my door was the most beautiful mud puddle I had ever jumped in. I called Jacqui to see if she was getting any rain and to wish her and Frank a Happy 39th Anniversary...she assured me it was raining there and seemed likely to remain that way for a while. I asked her what she and Frank were doing for their anniversary and bless her little pea picking heart, she told me they had to go to Wal-Mart. It's official children, Jacqui is having a Red Neck Anniversary. I do believe she's home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Christmas in England

It didn't take to long to get the furniture in place and hang pictures on the walls, but no one knows the pure agony and ecstasy of unpacking boxes like a military wife. That is because we do it so frequently. Rarely are we in one place for longer than 3 years. More like 2 and once it was six months. Depending on how long your belongings have been in boxes decides what the ratio of agony to ecstasy is. The longer they've been packed, the more ecstasy you can expect. After all, the clothes you packed to take on a plane or in a car is minimal. I was so glad to see my ratty old house coat and pajamas, I think I cried at the sight of them. Not wanting the hotel people to think we were deprived in any way, no comfy old grundge clothes were allowed in the suitcases or hotel rooms. This housecoat, or dressing gown (my Lord what a high falutin' word for that holey piece of plaid flannel) as they are known in England, had been my comforter on the many lonely nights that Mac (WTHF) had been at sea. I would wrap myself up in it, laying in bed with a good book and a large kingsize pillow at my back and almost believe he was there. I forgot to mention, it was actually his robe/dressing gown, I just commandeered it after the first Med Cruise I underwent as a Navy Wife. (I give myself capital letters as I was a Capitol Navy Wife. ) So, as I had so brilliently marked the boxes, each and every box was in the room it was supposed to be and it only took me about two weeks to unpack. We had bought a Christmas tree and decorated it and Beaconsfield felt like home. England felt like home. It had actually felt like home to me from the minute I arrived. Mr. Gwaltney, the milkman, delivered the egg nog on Christmas Eve, we had our neighbors, Charles and Violet (Bubbles) Green over for dinner in repayment for their kindness while we were in the process of settling in. Bubbles had a lovely English Spanial named Cinda(rella) and she encouraged me to get a dog while we were here, so that Cinda might have a walking companion. I think she knew that I was lonely for canine companionship, myself. I had only went over to dognap Cinda about 10 times ,when she announced to WTHF, "my dear boy, you simply must get this dear girl a pup, she is pining." Yep, those were her exact words. And dear girl was pining. I've never been without a pet, at least one dog and one cat. But we decided that we'd wait til after the new year when the boys were back in school from the Christmas Holiday and I would have more time for its' housetraining. In the mean time, I accompanied Bubbles on walks into the village and onto the football fields (read soccer here) where she collected worm castings for her garden. I had never seen this done before or have I seen anyone do it since, but this was the most lucsious dirt for the flowers that I have ever gotten. I would say procured, but it sounds like something naughty (which I told to Bubbles the first time I heard her talk about going out to procure castings...I swear, I blushed crimson and giggled.) Bubbles took me all about the area and helped me collect holly branches for the stairway and door wreath. She and I went into London where I bought scads of new beautiful glass ornaments to go on my tree. My favorite were the red birds I found with what looked like a tiny drum brush for a tail. (A drum brush for playing drums.) I had about a dozen of the little Mary Jane dolls for the tree, a dozen little wooden nutcrackers and the most exquisite Angel Topper. Of it all I have the Angel and 2 of the dolls, six of the nutcrackers and one bedraggled little glass redbird with most of his brush/tailfeathers missing. Sometimes, moving takes its toll on even the least of these. There was no good news about our Hostages in Iran and as we gathered around our Christmas Eve table, we all gave thanks for being together, asked God to protect those in Iran who certainly needed his protection, and sat down to lovely roast turkey and cornbread dressing. Bubbles and Charles oooed over it, though I know the taste was different to them. But still they said it was wonderful, and you know, it really was. The boys, who knew that Santa was called Father Christmas over there, could hardly wait to get to bed so that the RedRobed old Man could call. I never thought about it then, but I'm sure it must have disturbing to them at times, all that moving about. But they were such good boys, and I know that they loved it there as much as we did. Christmas dawned cold and white, it had snowed during the night and I thought my heart would stop it was so beautiful. Our first Christmas in England was proving to be just about perfect.

In Sympathy

As a favor to Justabeachkat and her friend, Jenn, I am passing along this link, so that all my friends may pass along a word of comfort to Cheryl and Terry Blaskowski, who lost their son, Matthew, in combat. A card with expressions of condolence (please,no anti war tributes will be posted) is being made of this to send to his family. So, please offer your words and prayers so their hearts may be lifted.

The Difference between a Deck and a Porch

When we bought the place out here, there was much to be done to it. Like rebuilding it from the inside out...but the land was lovely and semi-level and owning land is almost more important than owning a house. While you can always build a house, my Grandfather, Dwight Douglas, always held that "God isn't making land anymore." We have what we have and mankind is busily filling it up with fence to fence housing. I didn't want a house where I could look out my window and into my neighbor's window to ask if she had some Grey's Poupon. Yeah, I really like brown mustard. With ham and swiss on rye there's nothing better. So, anyhow, I looked at the sorry excuse for a deck that was pinned on and after much discussion, we decided on a large porch on the back and a pretty big porch on the front. So, you ask, what is the difference between a porch and a deck? A deck is for children to play on and cook out on and just in general carouse around on. A porch is for rocking chairs. It's where you drink that first cup of morning coffee while you talk over the plans for the day, it's a handy place to put planters full of flowers to enjoy. While a deck is open to the air top to bottom, a porch has roof on it to protect you from the elements, mainly rain...wind is another problem altogether...if you have problems with being blown away, you simply go into the house, you know, that place with the four walls that you wish to escape from by going out onto the porch. Porches are where you wait for the labor pains to start, where people come by and ask you " you haven't had that baby yet?" Porches are where you put the playpen so the baby can get lots of fresh air, a little sun (but not to much). It's where the tricycle can get a good work out and with a gate, you don't worry about them rolling off into the yard. Porches are where your daughter gets her first goodnight kiss (with Dad on the other side of the wall, the light switch at his fingertips...the warning every young man fears, and every young girl expects.) Porches are for comings in and goings out. They are about the beginning of our lives and the ending of our lives. Porches are for life. Decks are for fun.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I've Been Tagged...AGAIN!

I came in here to check the mail, check my blogger buds and get away from WTHF who picked this beautiful day to paint the porch. Well, I guess I can see his point, it's a beautiful day to paint the porch. But he KNOWS I feel like hell on Mondays, and he also knows that I can't stand to see him out there working when it's something I can help him do. Therefore, he should have waited till tomorrow. So anyway, I came in and checked the mail and then went to check on my blogger guys and stop in to see Abbs ( and the young minx has tagged me. I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself that you don't know. Now, I'm not only an open book, I've got a big mouth and no secrets from anyone, that I'm aware of, but I will try to do this and then I'm gonna go Tag me a few. How did Abbie know that Tag was one of my favorite girlhood games?

1. I grew up all over the place, my dad is a Doctor and he went where he was needed...I lived in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, DC. Daddy finally settled in South Carolina where I finished high schoolThen I married a Military Man and he continued to drag me around the world, but ahhhh, love...I went without complaint

2. My favorite classes in school were English and Literature followed closely by History

3. I hated Math...any kind of math and anything to do with math...I'm afraid I have passed this hatred down to my children...their father certainly has no problem with it

4. I can knit, love to knit but have never been able to learn to is beyond no, I hear all of you out there saying you can teach, you cannot teach me...I cannot learn

5. I hate conflict. I hate conflict of any kind. When Saturday Night Live had the skits about the Egg Shell Family, I found it to be unfunny. It was a portrait of my life. I avoid trouble as hard as I can...maybe that is why I was good at my job.

6. Hmm, coming down to the wire now, let me see...I have only ever been married to one man. I chased him till he caught me. I have so far refused to allow him to leave. Some may call this a hostage situation. He just calls it paradise.

7. Man, what do I put here...okay, you all know that I speak my mind, so I am just going to speak it. I believe in Reincarnation, have since about the age of 6 and I also believe in God, believe that i am already saved but have to keep coming back to learn life lessons and pass on what I have learned from the past to others. Thankfully we live in a free world where I can believe as I like. And that's my 7. Now, who to Tag...

I tag Jodie, my little Great Niece who needs to share her life
2. , I tag Sandi, miss Whistlestop Cafe herself and she can include recipes in this if she so desires
3. I tag Sandy at because I want to...and I enjoy doing things like this because I can...

4. And Sophie, there is tooooo much we don't know about here's your tag

5. Kat, you know we love you, now we want you to tell us how you got to where you are

6. And Kathy at, tell us how you got to the beach in seven easy lessons

7. Teresa, you look younger than your children, so in 7 instances, explain why that is so and you can find her and her answers at

Raising Children is like being Pecked to Death by Chickens

Before I leave this room, I have to tell you about this sign that is on the previous blog, which I found at the Mount Croghan Flea Market. I was walking by the table and my eye caught this sign. It just goes to show how fast the mind works, I was walking by the table. I turned around and came back to this little board, white edged in green and on it said:
raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens
You know, only a parent could see that sign, see the truth in it and see the humor in it at the same time. I was bent over this sign laughing like a mad woman, asked the man behind the table how much for the sign, he said "how's about a dollar?" and me, usually so reasonable, said "how about 50 cents?" because I could really make this sign myself, I have the boards and I have the paint. I have the little drill bits to drill the holes in the top to put the twine to hang it. He said no. So, I'm still laughing to beat the band because I see the truth in this statement and it seems I have volunteered TO BE PECKED TO DEATH BY CHICKENS, but I'm walking away still shaking my head and laughing. So, the nice man yells out to me before I can get away from his table and go spend my lousy fifty cents elsewhere, "I'll ask her, wait a minute, (Hon, will you take fifty cents for the sign?) hey lady, (and here he sounded just like Jerry Lewis, Hey LADYYY) and so that is how I come to be the owner of a sign that most children would resent their parents for even thinking about wanting. But listen, you're a parent. Remember the first time they cried all night but couldn't tell you what was wrong, then just as suddenly as they started, they stopped? (PECK) Remember the first day of school when you asked fourteen times, do you have everything and as you are walking up to the front door of the school they announce they forgot their lunch? (PECK) Remember the first time they came home with a note from their teacher but you don't find it until you break down and go clean their room? (PECK) Remember the first time they volunteer for you to take custody of the baby chickens they raised from eggs in class because they know you won't eat them? (PECK PECK). Remember when they turned thirteen? (PECK PECK PECK) and that was just the beginning. It got so much worse....Well, you get my point. I saw in my mind all the little indentations on my skin where the worry and the hurt the tears and the anger, had left their imprint. We call them wrinkles. Luckily, I don't have any wrinkles on my heart, that's why I can see the humour in this sign and hang it proudly for all the world to see.

All My Lovely Pictures

Okay, it's Monday and as you all know I feel like crappe on Mondays, but are a few pictures, and I will tell you what they are of at the end...I still can't get them to go where the heck I want them to, more's the pity.
I'm hoping that I'm saving the best for last...that is the swap that Jayne and I went into several months back, and she is Johnny on the Spot, me still lagging trying to handmake something for her that won't necessarily go in the ash bin as my loverly Brit friends would say...bur anyway, here are pictures of great little deals I got at the Flea Market yesterday. I spent only 7 dollars, most of this stuff was only 50 cents. And there is picture that Kari sent me, it says Coffee...Only the best served here...well, now that could be best coffee or best friends, that's what makes it so great. enjoy