Ewwww, YUCK….

My sweet little pumpkin (it IS Thanksgiving time, pumpkin time), Ava, comes over to play with me.  She is a game player, and this year, since she is now the ripe old age of six, she has caught on rather nicely to the intricacies of the games with all the skill that goes into blocking your opponent and planning the strategy for the big win.Ava & Callie halloween 2015 (2)

We play Animal Sequence, Uno Mooo, Bingo, Mickey Dominoes, War, Spoons, anything we have on hand or thatIMG_0367 looks interesting.

Sometimes we go for playing house, taking turns at who is Mom.  Or we play school where she is always the teacher.  Last year, in kindergarten, she was such a sweet, demure, kind, soft-spoken teacher, but this year in first grade she has an edge to her while she points her finger and says, “I’m not telling you again.”

Then there are the days I am not really quite sure what we are supposed to be playing.  She usually centers her make-believe whatevIMG_0369er-we-are around my working in the yard.  I tell her that, no, I can’t play house today because I am working in the yard.  She in her very matter-of-fact voice says, “I know!  You can be the daughter that works at the plant-selling place, and I will be the mom.”

No excuse will suffice.  She comes back with some other angle in her tenacious we-are-going-to-play attitude.

I, of course, always give in.


How could I not?!!!  Just look at her!!!

Sunday, after I had beat her once again at Bingo, she jumps up on the couch and does a big raspberry in my face.  Spit everywhere!  So I jump up and pull her hands away from her face (she fought fiercely) and raspberried her right back!

The big coup for this old Granny?

Ava says “Ewwwwww!  YUCK!  Grandma spit!”

I can remember how I hated when my mom took her cloth hankie (it was all in super slow motion) and brought it up to her puckered lips glistening with spit and put a big glob of spit on the hankie.  Then her arm and hand with the spit-globbed hankie would so slowly (oh the dread, the dread) come toward my face to wipe off (I’m almost certain) an invisible spot of dirt or food or snot off of me.

Ewwwwww!  YUCK!

I’m still laughing about doing it to Ava.  Only it’s twice as bad.


Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds…It Just Fades the Memory

Since 2001 my life is centered around his birthday in January, his death in March, and Thanksgiving and Christmas without him.  Yeah, I know.  That’s a long time.  Just yesterday really.  Trauma has a way of changing the timing and the color of one’s world… forever.

This is March, the month he died, the day I live again and again and again.  I suppose I will till the Alzheimer’s kicks in.  I remember the last phone conversation we had that day.  Oh, why didn’t he work as late as he said he was going to?  I would have been home first.

I remember the morning, his last goodbye to me.  He always got up really early to drive the truck; then would stop by later in the morning and make sure I was up.  Our last phone conversation; he was planning on fixing supper.  He had the most gorgeous voice.

The phone call as I was coming home from work.  Something was wrong, even though my friend only said to stop by the house before I went home, but I tried not to believe that gut-wrenching premonition.  The speedometer reached at least 90; I’m sure faster.

Hearing the words; feeling my heart stop; going into shock.  Seeing yet not understanding what all was going on: the police cars, lights, ambulance, people everywhere.

When I saw the ambulance, I started to get out.  That’s the ambulance; he’s still here.  And hearing the ones protecting me tell me not to go; the medics were trying to keep his blood pressure stable.  Okay.  That makes sense.  He might become agitated.  Better not go then.  But why aren’t they leaving? Waiting for the Lifeflight that came too late.

All of a sudden we are at the old high school.  The helicopter is finally here.  And before I can get out of the car, again, I am told to stay in the car, go on to the hospital.  Oh, all right.  Good.  I will be there when he gets there.  Only he didn’t.

Driving to the hospital.  Surrounded by friends and my daughter.  Hearing the phone ring; then hearing the words “Turn around.”  I can’t breathe.  I have to get out of this car.  So I open the door to step out, step out of the fast-moving vehicle on the busy highway, and my friend grabs my arm, to protect me, keep me safe.  You let go of me right now!  And in her shock, she does.  As I open the door, the car is swung off the road and stopped.

I run.  I run away from reality.  There is a field, with a pond, a cool pond that will take me away,  past reality, a place I can run into.  Only my daughter stops me, crying, saying she needs me.  And I need her. We need each other this night of death.

All these many years later, time gone by, the memories are tattooed on my heart and embedded deep within my brain.  Each word said by each person a video popping up to be played year after year.  Faces on a collage of memory.

No, time doesn’t heal all wounds.

The Effort at Making and the Ease of Breaking Habits

Back a few posts ago I wrote about my decline in thanksgiving; that it takes a month, so it’s been said, for an action to become a habit.  This past year was supposed to be filled with new habits:  cooking, practicing my baby grand, exercise routine, and a solid start on my scrapbooking.

Mmmmm! Dumplings

Do you see those delicious dumplings?  They were very delicious… but also one of the very few things I have cooked this year.

Not only do I look like Mom, I make a flour mess like she did. And they live on through us!

Jeez, I can’t believe there was a shooting at the courthouse today!

Do you see these rolls of fat?  Oh, yeah, I lost that picture.  Somehow it just didn’t make it onto the blog.  But they are there, rolling and sagging and jiggling and in general enjoying the non-exercise routine.  They resemble the dumplings above, only not as pretty.

You’ve seen my baby grand (if you’ve read any of my blog) and you notice I am not sitting at it in any of those photos.  I began playing every day when I first got it, and then…

Let’s see.  Now, what was I talking about?  Oh, yeah.  Scrapbooks.

The scrapbooking mess is not allowed to be seen by anyone at the moment.  Apparently even me.

Where is my Carmex?  My lips are so dry in this disgusting, nasty, rainy weather.

So I have already broken habits that I haven’t even made.  How can that be?  I am normally so together.  Okay.  Maybe not so together but for sure thinking about being so together.  Somewhere in those jumbled thoughts of mine I know an organized, so-together person is living who can cook great meals and play the piano like a real piano player and finish fantastic scrapbooks and is lean and trim, albeit still saggy.  That’s just a given at this station in the life cycle.

Thank goodness the month of thanksgiving is almost over.  I am worn out from the effort at making these new habits; there was just no energy left to apply toward making the thankful habit.   Come to think of it… I don’t know why I should be so tired.  It was so easy breaking the half-baked (I did cook!) habits.

Duuuuck! Cheeeese!

Think I’ll just continue on with the one habit I’m pretty sure I succeeded in making and not breaking:  taking pics of the girls in their towel.

Beginning my month of Thanksgiving one day at a time

This week I was an observer of a rather disturbing conversation.  At least I was disturbed.  The group was discussing Halloween and how much fun the children have trick or treating.  Then it went on to Christmas.

Santa with presents

One Mom was saying her child of about eight had said he had been thinking that maybe Santa wasn’t real.  All children come to that conclusion at some point in their little lives.  This particular mom didn’t want him to quit “believing” in Santa because, she said, “If you don’t believe, then what’s left?  Just presents.”

Now, I totally get where she is coming from.  She’s talking about the secular side of Christmas.  The next statement was “Oh, we have traditions we keep.”  Which is the point I got excited as I thought she was about to talk about a Christmas Eve candlelight service or reading the story of the birth of Christ from the Bible or setting out the nativity scene or some other true meaning of Christmas activity.  “We always make a gingerbread house together.”


Pffffft.  Deflated.  Where has Christmas gone?  Where is the Christ that belongs in Christmas?  Christmas is Christ, plain and simple.  It always has been even though pagan traditions have crept in over the years.  Click on the highlights for some interesting reading.

It was fun when the children were small to have Santa, for someone to ring bells outside the house and watch the kids rush to the window to look for the sleigh, the excitement of Christmas presents that Santa brought.  But inevitably the time came when each would ask “Is there really a Santa?”  And that was always the appropriate time to explain that there wasn’t; that it was a fun game that everyone played, and now that the child was old enough to be let in on the secret, he/she could help to be Santa as well.

How are children going to learn to give if they are always on the receiving “believing” end?  The whole point of Santa is about giving although it has turned into all about receiving.  Our focus at Christmas should always be the birth of Christ with the fun of Santa topping it off, teaching us to give.  Christmas comes with the greatest gift of giving: Christ giving His life for ours.  Complicated?  No.  Go back and read the post by Faith, Family, and the Farm titled You Love Me Anyway.


For now, this month, the month of Thanksgiving, I am going to spend time in thankfulness for those gifts I have received.  Each day plan to take a few minutes to be thankful.

Today I am thankful for my job.  It allows me to keep my home and provide food on my table, help my family, give money to church and other good causes, plus have dessert in the form of trips or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Yogurt.

What’s in your thankfulness gift box?

My Witch Heart Loves Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner.  I’m sure it is because everything has been out since, oh, July or so.  And Christmas is right behind it because there are Christmas shelves and shelves and shelves in the stores containing all sorts of decorations and toys.  If I blink my eyes, I’m sure to miss it.  It’s that close!!  Isn’t it?

I was at Cracker Barrel tonight and just couldn’t decide.  Do I buy Halloween stuff or Thanksgiving stuff or Christmas stuff.  I looked all over for Easter stuff but didn’t see any.  I am amazed at how much stuff Cracker Barrel can pack into that little store.  But it’s such cool stuff!

There was an enchanted broom (click on link to see pic) that follows people around.  I absolutely had to have it!!  I can hardly wait to scare the snot out of the little kids that come for Trick or Treat.  I love Halloween!

Sometimes I feel as though I shouldn’t, with all the emphasis put on the devil nowadays, but I do.  It’s probably my favorite holiday.  And the reason it’s my favorite holiday is because it’s just fun.  Everyone’s in a good mood, laughing and visiting as they walk the neighborhood, although the Trunk and Treat move is sort of destroying the whole Trick or Treat spirit.  Oh, I’m sure they have the same camaraderie as do the rest of us who sit in our yards or houses and wait for the princesses and ghouls and other various superheros and monsters to come by.  It was just so much fun as a kid to wander all over town and knock on those doors and say “Trick or Treat!”

Even though the other major holidays hold a deep meaning in my heart, they are usually fraught with the burden of buying gifts, the sadness of loved ones not around, the lonesomeness of those with no one close, or the hustle and bustle to “get ‘er done so we can move to the next stop.”  It saddens me that Christmas and Easter have become as pagan as Halloween once was hundreds of years ago.  So I will always love Halloween.  It gives me a chance to be a kid again while I enjoy the kids and their families that walk with them.

Up next:  pics of Halloween Past from the Byassee archives.