A Christmas Toast

This evening i shall raise a glass to all those i hold dear - and all those i dearly miss;

To You;

I am humbled that when our life paths crossed, you stopped to linger here with me.

I wish for you love and joy and health,

but most of all,

I wish you a reason to smile every single day and forever happiness.

Merry Christmas!

~annie

behind the scenes

there are Grinch's and there are Scrooges...

and though we come across them every day of the year we hear quite a bit more about them during the holiday season. so much so that i am certain i need not explain the characteristics of either.

sure we know that the Grinch had an undersized heart and Scrooge was the bent on storing riches, but have we ever looked further than that tiny glimpse at the path that brought them to their end?

perhaps, like Rudolph, they were born awkward.

not part of the pecking order.

odd in a way that stood out.

rejected.

abused.

neglected.

yearning for love that was never given.

and without even realizing, while struggling to withstand, their hearts became smaller and harder until there was nothing left of who they should have been.

could have been.

and life went on around them.

here and there someone would see potential. offer to take their hand. but even if they wanted desparetely to reach out they were unable because they didn't know how.
and the offer would be rescinded.

"Grinch!"

"Scrooge!"

and the cycle would continue.

why am i telling you this?

because, my friend we all need to understand;

holidays are not magical.

and hearts do not change over night.

love is in all of us, even when we cannot see it.

meaning, we must never ever stop reaching out.

especially to those whom we think least deserve it.

wherever you go...

yesterday i was at lunch.

and though the waitress attending to me wasn't exceptional - she was simply doing her job - she was friendly, courteous, and attentive.

she wore a necklace that was quite simple, a silver chain with a tiny pendant over which lay an small open heart, but somehow it caught the light in such a way that it appeared to beam.

maybe there were crystals in it, i thought, and took a closer look as she filled my coffee cup but nope. no crystals.

just silver.

but somehow not just silver.

this simple piece had caught not only my eye, but my complete attention.

your necklace is quite stunning i finally said

thank you. she commented as her fingers tread down the chain and gripped the tiny pendant. "this peice is a tiny handprint, i got it from my daughter - well, my husband - the day she was born..." her fingers trailed to the other peice. the open heart. "and this is from my mother... you can't see it with your naked eye but it's got an inscription that says; 'where ever you go you take my heart with you.'"

there was a short pause and her eyes misted over as she held both pieces together in her hand. "thank you so much for asking. i loved my mother and i can only hope that my daughter loves me half as much."

of that, i have no doubt.

in.bare.ass

this morning was the doctor appointment i always sarcastically reference as the highlight of my year.

i should be thankful it's only once a year because as a young woman it was the "highlight" of my month - and sometimes of my week.

(even more proof that some things actually do get better with age.)

so there i am in the exam room and the nurse has me stand on the scale - holy shit! i weigh how much!? and now you want to take my blood pressure?!?

can i recover from that last shock first?

of course the answer is always no.

and they wonder why my blood pressure is high...

before she left she handed me a sheet and instructed me to remove all my clothes. after which, i was to sit on the end of the exam table, cover myself with it, and wait for the doctor.

so i removed my clothes and attempted to unfold the sheet.

but the damn thing already was unfolded!

it was only a half sheet!

and not only was it a half sheet but whomever thought of this dim-brained idea (to save money on laundering no doubt) was also dim-brained enough to cut it in half length wise.

so i sat naked on the edge of the exam table wondering just how they expected an ample woman to to cover herself with a ribbon that kept sliding off no matter how she maneuvered it.

what were they thinking?

obviously they weren't.

i had to retrieve the ribbon twice from the floor before i managed to cover myself by clutching it to my chest with my right hand.

lovely.

as long as i didn't move.

so i sat very still.

hardly breathing.

and i waited for the doctor.

who finally entered.

and being the polite man he is, he greeted me with a wonderful hello.

and then he extended his left hand for the obligatory hand shake.

and i, being the polite woman - okay dim-brained sheet cutter - that i am, extended my right hand.

and off the ribbon slipped.

right down on to the floor.

em·bar·rass
pronunciation: \in - bare - ass\
function: verb
used in sentence: my ribbon fell off leaving me sitting embarrass.

awards and thank yous

This award was bestowed upon me by iDifficult "for the fine piece of writing that is Trading Cards".

thank you kind sir, it's very pretty. even gothic. makes me yearn for a bottom that looks good in lace. alas i've yet to find one willing to try it on...

*ms petite curtsies*

in order to keep this award i there is a "must" - as in, i "must" pass it along.

sort of like love.

so to to those of you who bring smiles to my life i shall pass this award on [or back] to you with sincere thanks;

to Robbie, whose thought bubbles make me smile

iDifficult who is far better for having left all rational thought on the endangered list

IndigoWrath the best master spy i know

and CatLadyLarew" whose brain clutter has caught my attention

do what you will with the award, but know this; my life is richer for having crossed your path.

annie

howl o ween

halloween was always one of those nights we spent as a family, though i'm completely sure i'm the one who loves it most...

here in my area, though township laws now govern it, the tradition of trick-or-treating remains strong. in our rural neighborhood if you dare entertain the howling beasts begging for a treat your porch lights must be on from 6pm to 8pm.

i must add here that porch lights are not only an indication of participation but a necessity because complete darkness falls by half past 6.

so on went our light.

and wait we did.

you see, since we lived 500 feet into the woods on an unlit dead end gravel road the little goblins didn't often come to our door, choosing instead to howl in more populated well lit communities. so, instead, we finally opted to take our little gremlins from house to house on those spooky unlit roads to scream for treats.

one particular year, we walked across a yard at the cross streets toward a small cement stepped porch that was illuminated by one tiny light and our two young howlers scampered up the steps and belted out;

"Trick or Treat!"

the door opened and the giver scooped candy from a bowl.

but as she did so out of the night came a lone towering figure.

this figure was 7' tall, faceless, and silent. it wore a black hooded robe which billowed about it giving every appearance that he/she/it was floating toward the step.

it stopped just short of the steps revealing a sickle in it's right hand and it's left arm was silently extended toward the giver revealing skeletal forearm and hand in which it gripped a small black bag.

a treat was dropped into it's bag and it silently floated back into the night never to be seen again.

we stood there struck with awe, but also with fear - and a question for which we still have no answer;

was this a mere trick or treater or had we actually encountered

The Grim Reaper?

trading cards

yesterday i had time to spare between appointments so i stopped at one of those "old stuff for cheap" stores to have a look around.

after all you know the saying; one man's junk is...

the store itself is old, poorly lit, and dusty, with aisles overly filled with random "stuff." i wasn't even sure where one was supposed to start.

so i began my hunt in the left front corner.

as i walked i wondered whether working my way from left to right is a habit that stems from learning to read.

there must be scientific proof from a highly subsidized government study out there somewhere. and then logic would then say that people in china always start at the right front...

pondering my logic - or lack thereof - i turned a corner.

i stopped short.

there on the floor a male sat cross legged with a suitcase balanced on his knees.

on top of the suitcase was an array of trading cards. more cards were swiftly being spread out and the spread continued on the floor around him.

i must have stood there in his space for a beat too long because his hands suddenly stopped shuffling the cards and he looked up.

red faced he said; "i bet you think it ridiculous for a 27 year old man to be sitting on the floor sifting through trading cards don't you?"

"actually no. farthest thing from my mind." i had noticed, however, that the cards were being spread from left to right. ;)

"it's just that i started collecting when i was a kid and there are now only four i need to complete the set and it's become an obsession."

"i'd help if i knew what you were looking for."

"thanks, but it wouldn't be the same if you found it."."

"i suppose not."

""don't know what i'll do with my time if i ever do find them. my entire life will probably be over.."

"i'm sure you'll find another quest."

"thanks. i hope so. happy shopping." he says. and i continue on my way.

two aisles further i hear him hoot. i yell back asking if he's found one of them.

"oh yeah!" he says. "the rarest one!"

i smile through the rest of my treasure hunt - which produced a tiny black treasure box - and wander toward the check out.

and there he is. only this time he's a little boy who fears the thing he wants will vanish before before he can get the money out of his pocket. change spills out onto the counter. i swear to you it was pennies and he was counting them in the light that beamed from his face. all one dollar and six cents worth.

"you want these in a bag?" the cashier asks.

"no ma'am, i want to carry them in my own two hands and look at them all the way to the car."

he turns from the register and sees me there.

"my life is now over." he says, still beaming. he starts to walk away and i note the spring in his step. he stops and turns back. "course i still have one album i lost that i've never been able to replace... "

William H wants his raisin bran

i went out for breakfast with my mr.

actually it was mid morning so but for a few advanced aged stragglers here and there the place was pretty empty.

while we waited for our breakfast to arrive a woman came in and sat a few tables from us. she only wanted water and she wanted it pronto! as in "i want water. i only want water. and i wanted it like yesterday! don't just stand there and wait for my order because there won't be an order! i just want water. get it? got it? good!"

wow! that was strange.

but it wasn't.

it got stranger.

a much older couple came in with a darling little pre-school aged girl and the waitress leads them to the table across from us. the little girl's great grandma says; don't sit us here. then she points to me and says;(as if she knows it's fact)"some people are very snooty. and they don't care for children at all."

double wow! (i had no idea she knew me that well)

next, a woman comes in and tells the waitress there will be 5 people and they'd like to sit at a specific table but they'll all need to use the bathroom first.

and, as the waitress sets the table for them one by one they head to the bathroom. and one by one they exit the bathroom, pass the table set for them and leave the restaurant.

what the hell? (even my mr. is now scratching his head and wondering if we should have checked the bathrooms before we ordered too)

meanwhile the woman who ordered water has decided she will have coffee but she wants it just so and served on a saucer and why don't they have dessert yet after all it IS ten o'clock already!

enter the final couple who is either extremely wealthy or just likes others to believe that they are. they don't even wait for the waitress to show them to a table they just choose one across the room and shout their order to her as they go.

"We both want coffee. black! one regular. one decaf." says the female. "he does not tolerate regular so put his in a very different cup so you know which one it is and DO NOT get it backwards!"
"DECAF! I MEAN IT!" says the male. "I DO NOT AND WILL NOT DRINK REGULAR COFFEE!"

and while the female tells the waitress what they want for breakfast; raisin bran with whole milk, i entertain the idea of the waitress bringing special highly caffeinated espresso blend in a very large very different cup for Mr. Rich...

but no, what she does bring back are two very different mugs and the news that they do not have raisin bran.

and suddenly the quiet little breakfast world ended for all of us.

i guess Mr. Rich really wanted his raisin bran too.

"JESUS H. CHRIST. IS IT MORNING? CHECK YOUR WATCH. I AM SURE IT'S MORNING. IS MORNING NOT THE TIME ONE EATS BREAKFAST? TELL ME THAT MUCH!"

"yes sir it is morning. and yes most people eat breakfast in the morning, though people who work third shift tend to eat b..."

he cuts her short: "WELL I DON'T WORK THIRD SHIFT! AND I WANT BREAKFAST AND I WANT RAISIN BRAN!"

"actually we don't serve any sort of cereal here."

"DO YOU SERVE BREAKFAST?"

"yes we do."

"IS CEREAL A BREAKFAST FOOD?"

"yes it is, but..."

"IF YOU SERVE BREAKFAST AND I WANT RAISIN BRAN I SHOULD BE ABLE TO ORDER RAISIN BRAN AND GET RAISIN BRAN! I AM DIABETIC AND... JUST GO TELL YOUR COOK TO ORDER RAISIN BRAN RIGHT NOW! PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO GET RAISIN BRAN! DO YOU UNDERSTAND OR ARE YOU AS DUMB AS YOU ARE BLOND?!?"

"yes, i understand sir, and i am very sorry we don't have raisin bran. i will however ask our cook to order it for you right away."

"DAMN STRAIGHT YOU WILL! AND HE'D BETTER ORDER IT TOO!"

by this time i'm thinking damn she must be a saint because i'd have surely lost my temper and my job four or five times already.

and then the sweet little blond waitress says;

"oh i'm sure he'll order it all right, but you realize that if he does we'll have to put it on the menu and give everybody a chance to order it and since you are insisting that it's a very popular item we may very well be out of it when you place your order....

she hesitates;

"gee, you know, i wish there was a way i could make sure we'd still have some in stock when you get here.

she sighs a heavy sigh and then a light bulb beams over her head

oh wait! i know! i've got it! i'll just get a big fat red marker and write your name on the box! what is your name?"

i'm giggling under my breath but i'm guessing he thought she was being sincere because he rattled off his first name.

William? okay William, and your last name?

he hesitates;

okay, just the initial then. H? good. William H it is. fantastic!!

and then she pretends to write on a huge imaginary box of raisin bran;

'THIS BOX OF RAISIN BRAN BELONGS TO WILLIAM H! DO NOT SERVE TO ANYONE ELSE!

he still doesn't catch on so she continues a notch louder;

'PLEASE NOTE; THIS IS WILLIAM H's BOX OF RAISIN BRAN SO NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE OTHER CUSTOMERS MAY WHINE, AND THEY WILL! YOU MUST TELL THEM WE ARE OUT OF RAISIN BRAN. EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW WE AREN'T!'

and then came the frosting on the flake;

'EVEN IF THEY PROCEED TO MAKE A FOOL OUT OF YOU IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THE RESTAURANT PLEASE SAVE THIS BOX OF RAISIN BRAN FOR WILLIAM H.'

and there he sat with his wife suddenly as quiet as the entire restaurant.

and the as smart as she was blonde waitress said;

now, William, is there anything else i can get you this morning?

lions and tigers and horror scopes. oh my!

according to InteractiveStars.com
my birth date specific horror scope reads like this:

Stimulating new horizons beckon, so don't let people you rely on make you feel you cannot stand alone. If you let go of something you once needed, but have now outgrown, you could find a whole new way of looking at the world this week. You have more options than you - or those you are involved with - now imagine. You will prove them wrong if you branch out, so don't postpone decisive action any longer.

ouch. my mister isn't going to like this one bit. . . .

The Over The Top Award


iDifficult presented me with this Award for having a blog that is a tiny bit
"Over the Top"

Though surely there are far more deserving than i so i thank you Kind Sir.

This award, much like the Honest Scrap Award i recieved from IndigoWrath, comes with instructions and a possible chain. [though i have not been instructed to present this award to someone else in order to keep it and oddly enough i have no one to present it to who isn't already holding it so it will rest here until i do.]

To qualify for this award one needs to answer the questions it comes with via one word answers.
Meaning, i need to think harder than i normally would because one word is never enough - unless, of course, it's that infamous "last" word. ;)

Here are the questions and, as mundane or enlightening as they may be, my answers:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? tangled
3. Your mother? religious
4. Your father? dead
5. Your favorite food? chicken
6. Your dream last night? odd
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? freedom
9. What room are you in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? daydreaming
11. Your fear? dementia
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home?
13. Where were you last night? dreamland
14. Something you aren't? judgmental
15. Muffins? Bagels?
16. Wish list items? always
17. Where did you grow up? haven't
18. Last thing you did? played
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pets? none
22. Your friends? true
23. Your life? interesting
24. Your mood? meloncholy
25. Missing someone? always
26. Vehicle? jeep
27. Something you're not wearing? jewelry
28. Your favorite store? none
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? yesterday
32. Your best friend? me
33. One place I go over and over? bathroom
34. One person who emails me regularly? indigo
35. Favorite place to eat? home

If you think your blog, or the blog of someone you know, qualifies for this "Over the Top Award" give me a nudge in that direction will you?

Freshlike. The most like Fresh?

i was in a pissy mood yesterday - okay. i lied.
I've been in a pissy mood all month.
okay year....

in any event i started sending complaint notes to companies whom i have recently purchased sub-par items from.

Freshlike was one of those companies.
After the umpteenth can of Green Beans i opened only to find the contents inedible, i took this photo:


I sent the photo with a note to Freshlike/Birdseye informing them that these were the types of beans we were instructed to throw out when we grew and canned our own and had i wanted sub-par green beans i would have chosen to purchase a far less expensive brand.

They sent this note back:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. The product you are inquiring about is no longer produced by Birds Eye Foods. The current owner of Freshlike canned products is Allen Canning. If you would like to follow up with Allen Canning directly, please feel free to contact their Consumer Relations department at 1-800-234-2553.
Sincerely,
Consumer Relations
Birds Eye Foods
010146909A

So i look up Allen Canning to send them a note and what do i find?

Something far worse than i thought i'd gotten:


These people were told that because their foods were processed at a very high temperature they were sanitary and therefore edible.  Um....

Then again, but for the dead rat, these beans look better than mine did, don't you think?

My guess is that things have changed a lot since this incident in 2007

- And not for the better.


i just called to say i love you

my daughter called late last night.

we chatted about her new house.

we chatted about my well being and hers.

we chatted about kids and life and weather.

and then she said;

mom, the reason i really called is because i needed to tell you just how much i love you and dad and how much i appreciate knowing you are there for me. knowing without a doubt how much you love me. i had to. today i was at a funeral and all i could think about was making sure you knew without a doubt exactly how much i love you.

a few weeks ago her friend was married and his father was dancing at his wedding. a few days ago his father died. suddenly and without warning. he was 53.

life changes in the blink of an eye when we least expect it and we're left to up the pieces as best we can and move on with only the memories.

i just called to say i love you . . . something so simple but so profound.


go ahead. pick up that phone and let them know. be that fool you think it might make you. you may never get another chance.

Intentionally Breaking The Chain




CONGRATULATIONS YOU'VE WON!

The Honest [S]crap Award













award rules and regulation - fine print - ie: Honest [s]Crap
The Honest [S]crap: this award must be shared! The recipient has to tell 10 true things about themselves in their blog that no one else knows. The recipient has to pass along this prestigious award to 10 more bloggers. Those 10 bloggers all have to be notified they have been given this award. Those 10 bloggers should link back to the blog that awarded them. Those 10 bloggers must then share this award as instructed via this Honest [s]Crap fine print

An Award that comes with a chain. Or perhaps it's a knot?

Reminds me of all the chained necklaces i have been presented with in my lifetime…

The necklaces were never gifts mind, but challenges;

Eoli, this necklace has a knot in it. The jeweler says it’s a lost cause but my friend’s friend's friend says you can untangle it for me. If you can I will give you…

Could i untangle it? Yes. I could.

In fact, I don’t recall ever being faced with a chain that i could not unravel.

Did I get anything in return? Nope.

Never.

Just a chain of friend’s of friend’s of friend’s who said I could unravel anything the jeweler couldn’t.


And now i find myself presented with this amazing award which comes on a chain. Though the jeweler may have overlooked it, I can see the knot quite clearly.

Perplexing knot it is too, because i see it's intended beauty but i can also see the rust underneath. i know that it is actually a knot of shame disguised as something worthwhile and fun. It's a chain that wants to lure me into believing that i cannot break it because if I do I will feel guilt of some sort.

But it’s wrong.

I know without a doubt that I will be purposely cutting this chain and letting the links fall where they may.

Why? well, because i believe that sharing blessings because you want to is a wonderful - and even noble - thing, but doing so because you’ve been told how and why you must simply creates an awkward situation for both parties.

And me? i want no part in making any party feel awkward.

so

*snip*

*gone*

Damn that felt good!

edit: Ten True Things About Myself That Nobody Knows:
1. i have no secrets
2. i miss my cat
3. i do not like dogs
4. i am a survivor
5. i dream in color
6. i find joy in tiny things
7. i laugh every single day
8. i have many scars
9. i hate flying
10. i wish i were younger...

Way To Go Sandman!

i don't sleep well. i sleep so badly in fact that i can tell you the exact day it was that i last slept an entire night - meaning 7 hours without waking - generally if i sleep two quality filled hours at one time i congratulate the Sandman for fear he will skip me the next time round if i don't.

but last night something quite odd happened [despite my saying screw the earplugs and the window shade and that frelling mouthpiece designed to stop me from chewing my own teeth to bits. hell, last night i even said skipped the toothbrush routine!] i slept a four hour stretch! which was followed by a three hour stretch. quite odd indeed.

so as i am standing there brushing my teeth grinning at that sad little mouthpiece in the drawer it really hits me; i slept. i slept more than two hours! more than two hours in two consecutive spaces!! in the same night!!! god bless the sandman for finding me and remembering which sand to use!

i am cheering him on when another thought strikes me quite hard; this sleep thing - it wasn't a fluke

IT WAS A MIRACLE!

and miracles, they say, are precursors to life changing events. but me? i have a habit of not listening to the wisdom of miracles - even when they have allowed me to defy death.

this morning i decided i really do need to listen.

i really do need to change things.
even if they are only tiny things at first.
i must learn to walk before i can run yes?

so today:
i didn't make the bed. something i've done every single day baring illness since 1960!
i made cappuccino and had it with cookies for breakfast.
i smiled as i stepped over the shit left here there and everywhere by the other guy.
i ignored all the; 'while i'm out having fun would you do me a favor and...' messages.
i didn't answer the phone if it was someone i didn't want to talk to.
i took myself out of the house and drove the clean car down the dirt roads.
i bought myself chocolate and ate every bit of it without remorse. i even licked the crumbs out of the wrapper.
god bless Lindt!
and i even deposited money into a savings account only i can touch.

i have no idea if the sleep will continue, but i do hope that the small changes i make will lead to bigger, and more complex, changes.

i can't be sure but i think i heard the Sandman congratulating me this time round.

Scarlet O'Hara In Training

Yesterday while shopping for groceries I overheard a conversation between a mother and daughter.

I wasn't eavesdropping mind you, the conversation caught my attention only because the tiny child [who might have been 5] was wearing a pink flowered dress and sparkling diamond heel ensemble. This ensemble was accessorized by a cleverly placed white hat, a pair of white gloves that ended just past her elbows, and a smart white purse with diamond clasp.

I had clearly been upstaged.

The mother is calmly shopping. Ignoring that the well dressed nap taker perched on the end of her cart is dangling by mere fingers readying herself to jump in front of two speeding wheels.

with a sigh of utter frustration the little girl says;
… but mommmmmm! I LOST it.

“But darling, if I buy you another and we find the one you have at home, you’ll have two. You don’t need two.”

… but I lost it so I won’t have two. I will only have ONE.”

“But maybe, just maybe, you can find the one you lost.”

Her eyes roll as she dangles ever closer to the speeding wheels.

but moOOOm…it's lost." she enunciates that last word again; "LLLLOOOOOSSSSSTTTTTT! How will I ever find it?

“well, sweetheart, where is the last place you saw it?”

And the tiny girl sighs with exhausted desperation. She drops her purse into the cart with a heavy thud and brings her little white gloved hand over her forehead while dropping her head back as far as she can without actually jumping and says;

oh mother. That was yearrrrrrrrrrrs ago, how am I ever ever EVER supposed to remember that?"

cool car! i wanit!


oh yeah! i need it! gotta be just my size too!

oooh.... i wonder if there's a tiny batcopter to go along with it?

"holy turbo trickster batman! i've dropped the penny!"

warped sense of humor


yeah i know. i hear it all the time.
"god you have a warped sense of humor!"

but hey, when people do things that warrant a giggle i just can't help myself.

personally i don't think my sense of humor is any more warped than my thinking and for that i shall thank my relatives. god bless 'em all for creating in me the necessity to find humor and solace in the smallest of things, without that ability i'd surely be living in a padded and/or barred cell.

instead i share a great big empty house with a man who seems forever to be on vacation and ghosts that i keep as confused and amused as they keep me.

getting back to my warped sense of humor - the weatherman wishes.

"look at me baby. i'm so on fire it's glowing!!"

somebody was fired today, i'm sure of it.

you gotta love small town grocery stores and the folks that
work there or -after the first view of this sign by the manager - do not work there.

it would appear that they are selling ten pound bags of pot for the low low price of $2.49 - which i'd bet is a steal. but you'd have to ask somebody in the community who doesn't grow their own.

my sister-in-law reminded everybody that our annual Coast Guard Festival starts today and it might be a good idea to stock up on supplies right there at Orchard Market.

i think she's right, it could certainly make the tourists and the traffic jams they create far more enjoyable.

if nothing else i'd bet it beefs up their business this week!



me, i wonder if that's what's in the Laker's pipe?

and might that be why he's smilin' 24/7 ??

of candy canes and granddaughters

i had left over candy canes in a cup on the counter.

my granddaughter saw them when she and i were loading the dishwasher.

"grama, can i have a candy cane?" she asked.

my first thought was to wonder if she'd ever had one or knew how to go about eating it.
my second thought was that she'd surely slice her mouth on it if i gave it to her.

so i, being the bad grama that i am, said; "i'm not really sure you should have a candy cane sweetheart."

then she looked at me with huge sad oliver twist asking for more eyes and said in a tiny crackling voice; "but maybe i could just hold one..."

poor little angel.

i deterred her with an offer of an oreo sticks with frosting packet. she seemed happy enough, though surely she was scared far deeper than any slice to her tongue the cane could have ever inflicted.

i am forever the wicked grama of the west

that's my brother

the neighborhood cats are constantly marking territory.

mistakenly they assume my slider door is theirs.

my grandchildren are here happily playing together when my just learned to crawl grandson performs an amazing feet. he crawls over to the slider, makes his way up the glass and leans there against it triumphantly surveying the great outdoors.

and me? well, i notice that there on the outside of the glass is a nice thick line of cat spray.

"go'damn it all! is that cat piss on my slider door again!?"

i'd said it before i thought. i shouldn't have sworn in front of two tiny angels - especially when the parents were present. i slapped my hand over my mouth in horror.

and my 3 year old granddaughter, gives me a 'what in the world is wrong with you?' look and quips back;

"no grama, (thats not cat piss) that's my brother."

apparition NOT exhaust

the second - and last time - i saw her was in early june several years ago.

my son was on the sofa after minor surgery. he'd come home from the hospital a few days before but had developed potentially dangerous complications which made constant supervision a necessity.

he'd been quietly asleep for a time and i'd finally gathered enough nerve to allow myself a bathroom break. the bathroom in our tiny house was literally four steps down the hall from the sofa but i knew once i turned in to it i would no longer be able to see him so i left the door open. at the very least i wanted to be able to hear him.

as fast and as silently as i could i went about my business, flushed and washed my hands. i'd not heard him stir but i was still un-nerved about leaving him alone so i grabbed the towel from the hook thinking i could dry my hands with him in my view.

i stepped out of the bathroom with the towel.

i turned toward him.

and there she was.

she was bent over him as if studying his frame, her hands hovered, palms down thumbs up, above him as if she were going to place one on his chest and one on his head.

i stopped.

i blinked.

i stood there thinking; 'get hold of yourself! you cannot possibly be seeing what you think you are!'

i closed my eyes.

i drew in a deep breath.

i let it out.

i opened my eyes.

she was still there!

i tried to blink her gone again, but she was still there.

this was not my imagination. this was real.

i wasn't certain what i was supposed to do but i was struck with a wave of fear that my son may be in danger, maybe not from her; but nevertheless i dropped the towel and took a bold step toward them.

she reacted as though she hadn't known i was there. suddenly startled, her hands drew quickly back and she turned toward me.

she looked straight at me with eyes that were not really there, her head cocked, for the longest time and then she looked back at him.

she mouthed something to him that i couldn't hear and then she vanished.

i hurried toward my son still telling myself i'd not just seen what i thought i had.

he stirred and looked at me puzzled.

"who's here?" he finally asked.

"nobody" i said.

but he wasn't convinced; "who were you talking to then?"

"i wasn't talking," i assured him. "nobody is here but you and me."

"if nobody is here then who was just talking to me?"

"i don't know."

"i know i heard her talking to me mom."

and with that i knew for certain she was not warm exhaust curling up into the cold air. i saw her. my son heard her. she was real.

i still have no idea why she was there. maybe she was simply a loving mother looking after him while i couldn't.

but that wouldn't explain why i felt a strange foreboding when i saw her would it?

then again, she wasn't there for me. if she had been i'd not have startled her and would probably have probably have heard whatever it was she said to my son.

he has no recollection of anything other than knowing she was there.

this means i will have ask these questions of her, if ever i see her again. which may explain why i haven't seen her again - some questions are best left unanswered.

related dribble:
apparition or exhaust?
i am not alone 

apparition or exhaust?

the first time i saw her was in the spring.

it was one of those glorious spring days that start out brisk and slowly unfold into something warm and wonderful. because of that, i chose to enjoy another cup of coffee and leave for work at the last possible second. after all, you can never know if this might be the last beautiful dawn you will ever see.

and even if it's not i can assure you, looking back your fondest memory list will not include being at work on time.

so at the last possible second i reluctantly got into my minivan. i started it, put it in reverse, checked for anything that might be in the way and began backing out of the drive.

i was certain there was nothing behind me and we lived on the edge of nowhere so i have no idea why i looked in the rear view mirror again, but when i did there she was.

she was standing there in the middle of the drive, mere inches from being hit.

ohmygod!

i slammed the breaks so hard the shoulder belt pinned me into the seat and i found it hard to turn and see whether or not i'd hit her.

with my heart pounding in fear that i had while my brain silently attempted to calm me with the facts; i did not feel or hear an impact, i turned fully around to see for sure.

she was still standing, directly in the center of the back of the van, but she fast fell into a whisper of white that tangled around the side toward me like smoke and then she was gone.

again my brain attempted to calm me with the facts; it was probably only warm exhaust rising into cool air. and, maybe i had imagined her inside the instant that warm exhaust rose up and hit the cool air.

but i know i saw her clearly enough to think i was going to hit her. to slam on the breaks and scream. i even remembered features. memorable features. she was frail and aged. her hair, though covered with a scarf or hood, was long and white. i could tell by the bits that stuck out at the front. she was wearing a long white dressing gown with a gray overcoat or robe that stopped just below the knees and it had sleeves so long that i could only see a small bit of her fingers poking out from them.

quite detailed exhaust vapors indeed.

every one of my senses told me i'd encountered something amazing. something that didn't belong on my plane of existence. something i would never be able to explain. something no one i told would ever believe.

and for the most part they don't.

i am not alone

i have ghosts. or maybe they have me. or maybe i really am just as jumble brained as some people think i am.

i've felt them all my life and on occasion i hear and smell them (one is a chain smoker).

i have even seen them a handful of times.

my first visit to a therapist for something unrelated had her asking me a series of dumb questions. you know the sort;
what is today's date?
um... is it the 12th?
hmm. i don't really know myself, let me check.
(yeah, i shoulda ran right then)

who is the president?
of which country?

what is the next holiday?
that depends on who you are and what god you follow.
okay, what is the next CALENDAR holiday.
valentines day. or doesn't that count?
sure, it counts. i think?

do you or have you ever heard voices?
yes. all the time. i hear yours right now.
i mean when nobody else is there?
yes.
no. i mean; do you actually hear people talking when you are completely alone?
yes
. i do.
ok... do they give you instructions?
as in lizzie borden? um. no. most times it's just singing or chatter that i can't really decipher.

ok...[pause scribble pause] do you ever SEE things that are not there?
yes.
no. i mean like ghosts and demons and things like that. have you ever seen those?
yes. but only twice.
are you a smart ass?
i can be, yes, but i am not a liar.

[pause scribble scribble pause scribble]

(she's becoming excited and i start to wonder if she has a serious nutjob sitting directly across from her)

[her pencil is poised]tell me what you saw.
a very visible angel. okay, not visible really. i could see through her but she was extremely detailed. you know like the ghosts that got off the titanic in Ghost Busters ...

[she scribbles though her excitement has visibly waned]

an angel. well. if you saw an angel that's quite normal. if it had been a demon now THAT, my dear, is entirely different.


(i laugh. not because i lied. [i didn't])

so you're saying my visions are allowed because it was an angel and not a demon?
yes, missy, that is exactly what i'm saying. angels are godly visions. demons, of course, are not.

i note that she is obviously catholic. i am not, but i recognize the signs in those that are. i decide not to tell her that i am not 100% sure that it was an angel. i just use "angel" as a descriptive term because what i saw was white and it's long hair and garment were billowing around it.
of course i got the impression it was also female and angels, so i've been taught, are sexless.
we won't go there here, but i will tell you this;

yes. i do believe in angels.

some people hear without listening

it seems a simple thing.
i talk. you hear. you understand.

but it isn't.

and there are probably as many ways as there are number of times you can tell someone the same thing and still have them respond as if they heard something entirely different.

so there i am explaining it again in a new way hoping for better.

and there i am explaining it again in much simpler way adding; 'do you understand?'

and there i am explaining it again in much simpler way still adding; 'look at me while i tell you so i know you are hearing me'

and there i am explaining it again in an even simpler way adding; 'repeat after me what you heard'

and finally i am cursing under my breath while i explain it again and add; 'tell me what it is you heard me say'

and then i'm just cursing.

and as i stand there frustrated i am reminded of my son and how we had to resort to concise two or three word instructions because 'clean your room' was a concept that was far too broad for him to grasp.

i wonder.

a straight little line

the following is not mine. it's from a book that i quite enjoyed and it's just here for safe keeping.

for some reason which i don't understand yet, it spoke to me.

won't tell you here where i got it from so kudo's to you if you already know. ;)

i hope its clear that i was really really trying not to be weird about the way things were. all the time i was telling myself; just enjoy it for what it is. don't be weird. don't get all screwed up over something that isn't.

my name is bill. i carry a pen.

i recently handed over some strange happenings for a book someone else is compiling and the author sent back the finished work for my final look through.

my initial reaction was far less than jovial.

i guess i expected more from a published author. something with a bit of style and flair. but this? this was Joe Friday's penciled notes typed verbatim - complete with spelling errors. this was just the facts ma'am. just the facts. and, even some of the facts were wrong.

it was disappointing to the max and i moaned out loud to nobody that had i known it was going to read like that i would have submitted something with style and flair.

but wait. what's this? a glimmer of hope at the top of the page?

"below is the finished product. feel free to correct any errors."

my in! yes! i can just rearrange his stuff a little. tweak it here and there. yep, that'll work.

i started typing my heart out thinking; now this will be something i can show off to my friends.

"hey look! i have a story in a published book! me! little old aeolistic me! how cool is this?!?"

and as people are wandering through my thoughts looking at my story i see that the author is sitting behind the book signing table lighting my firework display. people have read the book and thought; 'damn i like this author's style and i love this book excerpt enough to stand in line on a dismal rainy night to have it signed!'

wait a minute! that's my writing! you're getting the glory for my story! i put my personal stamp on that and i got nothing but a nasty taste on my tongue!

i thought better of the author's Sergeant Joe Friday style.
i realized maybe Officer Gannon was wise to keep his mouth closed and let Joe think he was the smartest guy on the force.

i backed up the curser deleting my style and flair. i simply corrected his facts (and his spelling, though i thought long and hard about that) and sent it back.

his name is Joe Friday. he writes the books.

my jmubeld theory

in reply to IndigoRoth's blog entry;
Do Not Send Ransom

post script comments:

eolistpetite said...
fo cuorse yuo raeleiz, ym fiendr, evnetaully ouy wlil evah ot litf taht vile. !!ahahahawb
Indigo Roth said...
Just in case today's blog entry makes no sense to anyone: click here. And it's a lot harder to do that it seems!

interesting theory in that link;

buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

and it could be true. though if you can decipher what i jumbled in my previous post you will know that isn't true. it simply makes it easier when the first and last letter are where they should be.

****
my reasoning - which comes not from books or education but from teaching small children who had a very difficult time learning how to read and write;

we learn words by the sounds that go with actions
we learn to talk by mimicking those sounds to communicate what we need.

we may learn alphabet letters by sight, but i will argue that we cannot use those letters without first learning the sounds that they make.

reading and writing come from learning how to construct those simple letter sounds into words.

therefore; if you know the sounds the letters make you can guess what words someone is attempting to write no matter how they are spelled.

certainly it is far more involved than my simple dribble here, but i dare say efficiency in reading incorrectly spelled/jumbled words in sequence only became difficult by education and it's rules. ;)

no use crying over

spilt milk.

for the past month i have been promising myself that tomorrow i will do nothing at all but things that make me smile.

and the sun comes up and the sun goes down and there i am promising myself that tomorrow i will do nothing but those things that make me smile...

but as always there is "eolist petite's" laws.
you know the ones
- best laid plans...
- if something can go wrong...
- just when you think things are running smoothly...

so this morning i wake after a troubled nights sleep and i think;
it's raining, i'm tired, it's cold, i have nothing on the calendar...

my god! today is the day!
be good to yourself and do only things that make you smile!
even in my email there is a note that says; 'it's raining today! you can finally RELAX!'
it's a sign!

so
i start my coffee
get my big comfy clothes on
find my book
locate my old sweater
and fluff the pillow on the sofa

the coffee starts to send it's scent through the house - yeah that's what i'm talking about!
i realize i am smiling as i make dark rye toast, spread it with orange marmalade and put it on a china plate. mmmm...

i search through the fridge for that special sweet cream i buy just for me and find that as i pour the coffee in my favorite mug i'm humming - jingle bells in fact. (its the song i always seem to hum when i'm happy)

Damn! it IS going to be a great day!

and then i shake the cream.

and...

the top isn't on tight.


who knew?

sweet sticky cream everywhere but in my coffee.

it's
on the counter
on the floor
on the fridge
on the cabinet doors
it's even inside the cabinet drawers

and there am i on my hands and knees with a soapy wet sponge thinking;
yep. somebody is definitely testing my sense of humor.

bent thinking

some day i shall have something brilliant to place here. it won't be today.

today i am far too angry at the world and all that is in it to create a fair assessment of anything including my own tiny existence in the grand scheme of things.

today i'm not even certain there is a grand scheme (sorry god).

today i'm just bent on thinking that there is a life out there with my name on it and the person living it is having a grand time.