Monthly Archives: May 2010

>In Memoriam….

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For those who sacrificed so long ago…

For those who went, quaking with fear….

For those who were far too young…

For those who were called against their will, yet went anyway….

For those who had nothing else….

For those who go with a sense of duty….

For those who return, broken and changed…..

For those who try and are turned away….

For those who do, in spite of the lack of respect they’re given…..

For those who lie in foreign beds, wondering if they’ll make it home….

For those who leave so much behind….

God bless you and keep you….

With much respect-RSM 2010

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>Livin’ Large….

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Technically, today is Memorial Day and I have the day off….

Honey has to work, as do most other people I know-at least the ones in town….so here I am…sitting at home, watching re-runs of NCIS. Not in a reading mood, not in a movie mood, and it’s storming like crazy, so…..

But as I pondered the movie possibility, along with the weather outside, it did remind me of something…

When I was a child, my mom and either her sister or one of her friends, would occasionally pile all of us kids into a car and take us to the drive in.

Going to the drive in was a big deal, practically an event. We were outside, late at night, past our bedtimes-and it was like a party. There was popcorn, corn dogs, hamburgers, cherry sodas, bottle caps, cracker jacks…..

We could even sit outside-in a chair, on the car, in a sleeping bag…what could be better? Of course, we often fell asleep before the end of the feature, and the mosquitoes feasted like it was Christmas, but we didn’t care. A drive in movie with friends and family, and all the “exotic” foods we could eat was a child’s version of living large.

The Aristocats is the first movie I recall ever seeing….it had cats!….and I saw it at the drive in…sweet!

>Nephew’s Childhood Game

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My nephew stopped by for a quick surprise visit a few minutes ago, and he brought me a little gift from their trip to the beach…

“You used to buy these for me all the time and when you see them, you’re gonna LOVE it!!!” His words to me as he hides something in his hands…

Okay, gimmie! He hands me a pack of Lucky Lights candy cigarettes…

Wow, didn’t see that one coming! I was excited and chagrined….I asked him if he remembered our little thing we used to do…of course he remembers!

See, Nephew is like my very own son. I used to work second shift (and later, third), and every chance I got, especially on the weekends, I would pick him up and take him home with me. We would
rent movies, go to the park, putt-putt, go to movies, play games, “camp out”
in the living room-we’d pull mattresses into the living room and light
candles….

We ate pizza and made sundaes….even when I had no money and, therefore no cable or TV, we would listen to books on CD (I’ll tell you about a super fantastic set at the bottom)….we always had a great time….okay, so here’s what this is about….don’t yell-times were different and I was younger…

We would put on our sunglasses, get some candy cigarettes and IBC root beer, and drive all over town…Nephew would laugh so hard! “You think a cop is gonna pull us over ‘cuz he thinks we’re drinking?!!! Won’t that be hilarious when he finds out it’s just root beer?!!!” Oh, how he wanted a cop to stop us….he really wanted to see the stunned, confused look on their face…ironic, since his major is Criminal Justice….just sayin’….

Our little game doesn’t seem to have had any harmful side effects….he detests people drinking and driving…if they go out, they always have a DD…and he won’t touch a real cigarette….whew! I think about all that now and cringe! Times are so different….but it was lots of fun and it was sweet to see not only that he remembered our game, but to see that he still thought of it as being funny…

If you want some really cool, dramatic and extremely well done “radio” theater, check out Focus on the Family’s website…I have several of the Narnia CD’s and I would actually put them up against the movies and call them equal….

Side note: When I lived in the isolated city and was about to lose my mobile home, it was Christmas and Nephew, almost a teenager, and Niece wanted to spend the weekend with me. I didn’t have a TV….only my old stereo/CD player….. We pulled out the mattresses, popped popcorn, made hot chocolate, lit all the candles, and camped out-listening to The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe….it was magical!

Kids don’t always need entertainment from hi-tech games and gizmos….they need your imagination and creativity….and mostly your attention…

Wow-didn’t know I was going there….

>Meet Me On The Stairs….

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Okay, it’s been a very lazy, albeit a very interesting Saturday. So far, I’ve basically spent the day on the internet, posting on Facebook, checking out ICanHas, IMDB, reading all my fav blogs, talking, in a bloggy-inter-webby kind of way, with my new friend I’d love to have lunch with someday, looking for blog gadgets, and as usual, tweaking stuff….

I figured it was time to come out and rejoin the real world-you know, get some food, take a hot shower (they’re great for any reason at all and I’m a big fan)…watch some of the Dr. Who Memorial Day marathon….

Kitty Boss came and started meowing at me. Earlier, she half took a nap with me. I fed her, gave her water, etc. Usually, when she comes and starts meowing, she will take you to whatever it is that she needs/wants. Sometimes it’s the aforementioned items. Other times, it’s to go out on the back porch, raise a blind in my office so she can lay on this little table and gaze at the backyard wildlife…but this time, she just went to the steps at the entrance of our bedroom and sat down.

See, at our last apartment (an upstairs/downstairs townhome) I would come home from work/school and Kitty Boss would run to the stairs and lay down, waiting to be petted and played with…

Our house was built in 1933 and our bedroom was an add-on…it has 3 steps down….or up, depending on your direction….

How sweet then that Kitty Boss still goes to the steps and waits for me there. She wanted to play!

BTW: These pics are from the townhome. I can’t get to the camera as fast here-I thinks she’s on to me….

>Kidnapped!

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I was reading the final post about killers on my fav blog. The writer touched on several things and in the process of reading her thoughts, I knew what my next post would be about. I hadn’t planned on going here yet, but it feels right…so….

This event took place when I was about 4 1/2 years old. I’m not sure when the events preceding it took place….

My sister and I are 18 months apart, born back in the mid ‘60’s-times, and laws, were very different then. “John” (I never use the term “daddy” for him, he forfeited that right) had left my mom for another woman (with 3 kids of her own), and, after an ugly divorce/custody battle, moved to another state-with his new family.

FYI: I have many issues with my grandmother-just keep that in mind, ‘k?

It was late in the afternoon, almost evening. Grandmother watched Sister and me while Mom worked and we usually played outside till it was dark. A small, white pick-up truck pulled into Grandma’s driveway. Sister and I ran into the house-we didn’t recognize it. It was John. I can so clearly remember him talking so sweetly to Grandmother, telling her all about the horse he had bought for Sister and me. Why, didn’t she see the hay bales in the back of his truck? All he wanted to do was take us to see it, what was the big deal?

She. Let. Him. Take. Us.

He pushed us down to the floorboard and told us to keep quiet. We stopped at someone’s house, a relative of his (one of his sisters, I think). I remember a long, curving staircase…Then we were off again. We went through an underground tunnel and there was a strange smell (there’s a tunnel that goes under a major river where he took us) and a strange, greenish light (the water)……and then we were “there”.

The apartment was small, 2 bedrooms for 7 people. No furniture except a small bookshelf with World Book Encyclopedias, a mattress in their bedroom, and a Coleman lantern, also in their bedroom. The carpet was red.

We ate cereal while sitting on the kitchen floor. I don’t remember where we slept. I don’t remember taking baths. I don’t remember any other foods except cereal….I don’t know if that’s significant….

I was angry the whole time. I do remember that. Her son urinated on my sister, on purpose, while they were outside one day. That boy was laughing. My sister was crying. I do remember people holding me so I wouldn’t hurt him. I really wanted to tear him to pieces-I remember screaming and screaming and screaming-that’s a crystal. clear. memory.

Another is all the times “Bee-otch” (really, I’m trying hard to be nice) tried to make me call her “Mommy”. Didn’t I see, she was my mommy now? Didn’t I just love her and see how she loved me and my sister? Didn’t I just love our new home? *PUKE*

There are other “image” memories I can’t quite pin down-they’re disturbing and involve Bee and her son…I was little, remember?

Then, one day, John gets his shotgun and tells everyone to lay down on the floor and be quiet. There’s a loud noise and the door falls down. A giant man (to a little kid) comes in, yelling….I remember he was wearing a hat. I was later told he was a sheriff…

…another really fast car ride, with my mom, my sister, my uncle’s wife, and the giant man. We rode all the way home.

We had been gone for 6 weeks. I was 4 1/2. And Grandmother didn’t call the police, or my mom at work….she let him take us…..

In case you wonder if I am able to remember all that at such a young age, I can remember the extremely rare earthquake that hit our area in ’69, and what we were doing, and who we were with, and how I reacted…my mom was amazed. And, I was still little…

And, if you want to find it in your heart to have sympathy for Grandmother, think on this: Sister and I were inside before he was near the steps-she could have locked the door. He didn’t surprise her-she knew before we got inside who was out there. She had time to dial the police. She had time to dial any of my uncles that lived next door. She had time to dial my mom. Party line-she had time to pick up the phone and yell at anyone to call the police, to come help…She had time TO LOCK THE DAMN DOOR! And, they don’t make doors like the one’s my grandparents had…an ox couldn’t knock them down….chew on that….’k? She let him. take us. Period.

>The Graveyard Book-A Movie Coming Soon?

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Wow! It just might happen! Chris Columbus’ film company, 1492 Pictures, has been slated to pick up Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book….oh, I really hope it all comes together and they do a really great job. This is a wonderful book with interesting twists and surprises. If you like to read, I highly recommend you check it out. If you like movies, here is the link: http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/05/28/chris-columbus-enables-neil-jordans-adaptation-of-neil-gaimans-the-graveyard-book/.

>My Hopeful Summer Reading List….

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Well, it’s about to be the first official holiday of the summer season. I haven’t read anything much in the past several months and that’s extremely unusual…I can read 7 books in one week (that’s my record-the Harry Potter series…) and I haven’t read that many in the past 7 months! Dang!

So, in reverse order, my hopeful reading list for the next few months: The new Artemis Fowl book. I love YA books-they’re highly imaginative, action packed, and not full of all the adult stuff that gets old after a while….This one comes out in August….

The just released 4th in the Nicholas Flamel series…Wow, these are good. I, along with several parents at the Center (teachers themselves) are reading these and they’re pretty cool. Did you know Nicholas Flamel, also mentioned in Harry Potter, was a real person? Or, that there really is a mystery surrounding him, his life, and his missing body? Check it out on Google sometime…interesting….

Just got this from Barnes and Noble in paperback. So sad that the author died before he could see the huge success his books became. I am looking forward to this one. I hope it lives up to my expectations…. there’s a movie coming out based on this series, too….

I got this one yesterday, too, on the bargain table. I’ve wanted it for a while….I grew up during the Cold War…I read Alas, Babylon and just knew we were going to be bombed by the U.S.S.R….this one is about Russian political intrigue, along with some sci-fi for good measure….the next book I want to read, after the one listed below…

Love me some Neil Gaiman. He wrote Coraline, which I haven’t read, but the movie was terrific and the music was better, if it’s possible. He also wrote The Graveyard Book, which was sweet and melancholy. Neverwhere is strange and sad and sweet and bizarre and surprising….and I nearly threw it against the wall when I was almost finished with it…if it hadn’t ended the way it had, boy oh boy….I needed something to read on my lunch break and this was in my cabinet…I read it sometime early last year and loved it….a good book is always worth a re-read….or two….

What’s on your summer reading list?

>Small Town Shock And Awe

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I haven’t been on here lately-it’s been a hard week and I’ve been too tired. So anyway, I was reading through the blogs I follow and when I read the post from my favorite one, I was reminded of some things that happened when I was little. Keep in mind that I was little and so I can only relate the most memorable facts….

To say I lived in a small town is kind of generous. Our zip code was from one small town and our phone prefix was from another small town. Technically, we were nowhere….

Everyone knew everyone else’s business, who was sleeping with who, who owed money to where, how many times someone went up and down the road (my grandmother was great at this one, pointing out who was keeping the roads hot), and so on. There were the usual scandals: affairs, divorces, illegitimate children (back in the day, you did not have a child without a marriage certificate), drinking, drugs, etc. Grandmother and several other “ladies” kept the party lines hot with gossip on the latest “news”…

A few times, though, things happened that momentarily stopped the wagging tongues-simply because they were so very shocking…

The first I can remember, and probably the closest to home, was the murder of a man I can barely recall. This was long before my brother was born so I was under 10 years old, and that was a long time ago. I can remember mom and her friends, as well as my uncle, speaking in hushed whispers, with serious, even frightening looks on their faces. The man’s name came up and I asked mom what had happened. I can remember the pause, the significant looks, and then my mom told me. Mr. So and So had been robbed and murdered. I can remember feeling cold inside and a little scared. Living out in the country, all sorts of things happened, all the time…There was more hushed conversation and a few days passed….Mr. So and So’s funeral…..the arrest of the young man who had committed this crime…..a few days after the funeral, my mom and someone else, I honestly can’t remember who went with us, perhaps my uncle, drove out to the man’s house. I, for some reason, was allowed to go along. I learned it had been a two-story home, very old, small, but it had been his. The young man, who we all knew and went to church with, had been drinking and came to look for money. He beat the old man, killed him, took his money, and burned his house down. I couldn’t at that time wrap my mind around the fact that the bathroom facilities-tub, sink, toilet…were all sitting in the same general place as the stove, sink, and refrigerator. The home had been constructed entirely of wood and probably built in the earliest 1900’s, if not earlier. The afore mentioned items were basically all that were left to testify to the man’s having ever lived there…his former home had been that thoroughly destroyed. There was nothing left aside from the previously mentions items-only ash.

A few years later, in my early teens, two other murders happened, one less than a mile from my house in a neighborhood where my friends lived. A man was found behind his house, beaten to death….and in the town that we borrowed our phone prefix from, a lady was found nude and strangled outside a discount grocery store….

My uncle became a pastor later in life (he was the most wonderful man-I miss him). Talking to him one day, many years after the robbery/murder, I learned that he often wrote to the young man in jail. He even visited him occasionally. As a young teen, I was first angry that my uncle would be kind to a murderer; that he would offer forgiveness and talk about salvation. I saw the worry on my uncle’s face when the young man, who had for years welcomed my uncle’s letters and visits, raged and told him to stop coming around or writing. I don’t know if the now much older man is alive or still in prison. But I did learn to understand my uncle’s compassion. I don’t disagree with it….let’s just say my uncle was a much bigger person than I am….and he knew how to put his money where his faith was…

People think life in a small town is so much simpler. Ha. It’s just much more secretive and therefore less is known. Terrible secrets live in small towns, masks are worn by most everyone who lives in them….Kind of qualifies me to be my own small town….how about you?

The above pic is not the house in the story. It was a scheduled burn by the fire dept. Honey just happened to see it and grabbed a camera and snapped a shot. Just thought it would lend atmosphere…

>My Favorite Place To Be: In The Pages!

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First, I just want to say that I wish posting pictures into the blog was much less like working with Microsoft Word and much more like working in Print Shop. There, I can put anything anywhere I want to….

So anyway….yesterday was Sunday….ask me how constructive I was….go on, ask! Hahahahaha….the only constructive thing I did yesterday was shower and brush my teeth!!! It was just one of those days where I really didn’t feel great and so all I did was revisit some friends in Forks, WA. My favs are Twilight and Breaking Dawn (except she should have had a war at the end; it kind of sucked, no pun intended) and, after yesterday, I have to say I like Eclipse a lot more than I did the first go around. New Moon will always be on my least fav list. I just didn’t like it until they went to Italy….hmmm, I’m reading this before I click Publish and it’s not too clear: I read Twilight and Eclipse…a friend has to return Breaking Dawn. Sorry….

>Nephew and Wife

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I’m always talking about my nephew and his wife….I thought I would post some pics of them…..

This is Nephew and Wife at beach wedding….sadly, Honey and I were not able to go….too short notice and at Center, it’s almost impossible to get any summer vacay days…

These are Niece In Law’s graduation pics (some)…she’s majoring in business…now she’s an under-grad and intends to go to a 4 year college to finish….she graduated with High Honors….you go girl!
(May 2010)

You can’t really see her well, but the little girl in this picture was a baby at Nephew’s graduation….she belongs to their best friends…

Niece In Law with her little brother…isn’t she pretty? She has a great sense of humor and a work ethic you wouldn’t believe….(actually, they both do…) but they balance all that drive with time with their friends and family (I love game nights! We’re all so competitive that it gets rather interesting!)

In 2004, Nephew graduated high school….he and Wife have been high school sweethearts for years….she’s really pretty terrific….and he’s not ever ashamed to end all our conversations, public or phone, with “I love you.”

Nephew with his Diploma….it was a difficult road for him….the circumstances surrounding his life have been hard but he did it….I’m so proud! He entered the Air Force just a few weeks after this but discovered to his surprise that he has Activity Induced Asthma…never had a problem before, always active….but he wasn’t able to complete the 5 mile run…..of course, now they’ve done away with that…..still, I’m glad to have him home-selfish I know…..

Taking off the gown….it was HOT that day!


Going inside for the big day….now it’s 6 years later, and he’s about to finish his Criminal Justice degree….both of them have accomplished this while working full time….in fact…today Nephew informed me he’s taken on a part time job (he only has 1 class this summer)…..wow…..see, some of today’s young people really do care about their futures…..I’m proud of them both.