December 29, 2010

Stick To What I Do Well

Some life lessons have taught me to stick with what I am good at and what I know.

My first Thanksgiving dinner as a married woman, I was 18 years old and had never really cooked much. Living in various foster homes and then on my own for a year in a little apartment, I opened cans of soup but no cooking from scratch.

The turkey turned out pretty good but the guests were there with advice and there were plenty of hands to help make mashed potatoes and gravy. After dinner I proudly served up pieces of pie I had made the day before. I had made pies in high school home economics class (is there even still such a thing now?) but I had never made pumpkin pies. In my nervousness and excitement I neglected to add spices to the pumpkin mixture. I didn't taste the pies myself until later after the guests were gone. Not one of them mentioned how horrible the pumpkin pie was and they ate most of their servings. I don't know how they did it. Pies are just not my thing. I can make a good brownie and some pretty good cookies. I can stand aside and allow others to bask in the limelight with their pies.

December 26, 2010


Reading blogs in preparation for the Christmas holiday, I enjoyed reading about the different traditions families have established and maintained through the years. It has been a joy to me to read between the lines of the kindness and exhilaration each year as people unpack their decorations and invite their loved ones to participate in the rituals of the holiday.

It still amazes me to get to know some wonderful people in blogland who have lived in a home many years and even more astounding to be in a relationship many many years. Growing up in the family I was born into was not about consistency except in the dysfunctional way we related to each other. I am making friends online with people who come from rock solid happy homes with parents who live as examples of mature and loving adults and that joy is rubbing off on me.

I have been thinking of the things throughout my adult years that brought me joy at Christmas. And I am starting our own traditions in our little hippie life. I think there were some things that each of my children carried into their adult lives that they call their traditions and that makes me happy they found some joy to take with them into their own families.

One tradition here is to use at least some of the angels I have collected over many years. I tried different themes as a young adult: All silver; then silver and blue; even sprayed tumbleweeds stacked in the shape of a tree and tied with red ribbons; one of my favorites was a couple years doing every holiday with a patriotic theme. I guess I was searching for what suited me best for a long time. I started collecting angels while I was still trying different themes. One year I decorated a Charlie Brown Christmas tree with some of the angels and that has been the only decorations I have used since then. I did not decorate every year though. On holidays I did not put up any decorations and was alone at Christmas things did not feel right. So putting up some decorations is a good thing for me and handling each angel and remembering what part of the world I was visiting or residing when I bought each angel is part of the tradition too. Hubby has a connection to the angels as well, and we share a gratefulness for the unseen and unknown angels in each of our lives throughout our lives.

I am still working on more traditions for us to initiate and carry forward in our little hippie home. We are only two but we are a family. Building traditions is a good thing whenever they begin. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our house to your house
We wish you joy and good cheer
May your love cup runneth over
To last the whole year

Merry Christmas Glitter Graphics -
Merry Christmas

December 22, 2010

A Little Christmas Fun

Excitement in the air
Building each night
in the month of December

At last the eve of the holiday
arrives for one and all
Each with their own traditions

Candles in all the windows
Replicating the guiding stars
Bringing peace and joy

There is no deep sleep tonight
Waiting for imaginary sounds
And sugar plums dancing in heads

Wait! What is that sound?
Hooves tromping on the roof
Quiet bells making music

Then a big THUD in the living room
Like a heavy load has been dropped
Must be all the holiday pressure

Candle photo found on Google

December 20, 2010

Christmas Lights

Which type of Christmas light putter-upper are you?

Enjoy the Christmas lights.

Found on Sand in the Gears.

December 17, 2010

The Song In The Wind

Charming picture found on Google.

The wind, oh, the mighty wind
Ferocious and demanding
Then tame and gentle

Rising to a crescendo
Reaching mighty heights
A wind choir to be heard

Blowing with impressive power
Possessing the robust force
Of an immense monster

Riding the highs and lows
Whopping, emphatic sounds
Dwindle in volume

Sing to me, oh wind
Your showy, vulgar music
Forced upon my heart

December 14, 2010

Little Boy in 1924

This is a picture of my father. He was born 89 years ago today and is three years old in this picture. He had his sight at the time of this picture. At age fifteen he lost 98% of his sight. He and his friends would hunt in the woods and drink homemade hootch. Sometimes things like gasoline would be added to it. Ignorance is definitely not bliss. Of his group of friends, my father was the only one drinking bad homemade brew and it caused major damage to his optic nerves. I don't know what it would be like to be legally blind, but by the time I came to know him he was a very unhappy man. Just about every day I was around him which wasn't all the time as a young child, my father drank. A lot.

My brother and I watched our father lose control and a sadistic streak take over. He would burn our mother with matches and cigarettes and choke her. The spankings with a belt left my brother wounded and cut and bruised. He poured beer down the throat of my cat. His impulsive behavior affected each of us and stayed with us many years. Ironic that my father was the first one in our family to pass away.

By the time he died, I had come to terms with my feelings about my father. I had let go of the need to seek him out periodically in whatever state or country he would be residing, to try to establish a father-daughter relationship. The last time I traveled to see my father (my first husband), I left my then two young children with their father and I planned on spending a few days with my dad. He didn't make any physical advances to me, but when I arrived at his place he told me I would have to sleep in his bed with him as he didn't have any guest room for me. And he proceeded to tell me that he slept in the nude. I insisted that sleeping on his couch would be better for me. I thought I was just being silly about the uncomfortable feeling I was getting when he spoke of the sleeping arrangements.

The next day my father and I flew to another place to do some sight seeing. When we were checking into a hotel my father told the desk clerk we wanted a king bed. I spoke up and told the desk clerk that he was my father and we wanted two rooms. Things did not go well and after one day of sight seeing I told my father I was going home early. I changed my reservation and left that day.

That was the first time I found a therapist and visited her a few times. I was depressed after the time I spent with my father. The therapist helped me understand that I was repeatedly looking for my father to be something he just could not be. He could not be a father like I wanted. It was not going to happen. Finally I was able to let go and get on with my life. Not that I was suddenly healthy emotionally, just that the one expectation regarding my father was no longer bringing me disappointment and pain.

Over the years since my father passed away in 1986 I have continued to work on my own unhealthy survival behavior that I adopted while living with an emotionally disturbed mother and an alcoholic father. Today I send my father understanding and love to the best of my ability. The scars have pretty much healed within me, and I hope that wherever he is, his scars have healed and his sight is completely restored.

This is not a sad post. This is me, fumbling along in a lifetime of recovery, grateful for the redemption.

December 10, 2010

Brownies Don't Have To Be Square

Maybe it is my personality or just defiance, but when I hear "brownie squares" it hits a nerve. I like brownies and we make them here sometimes but they do not have to be square. Personally, I think it is a square idea to insist brownies are better when cut into squares.

Instead of using a square pan to cook brownies, I use a round pan. Yes, ROUND. Untraditional, yes?

Cut out a heart in the center of the brownies that have been baked in a round baking dish. Put the heart brownie big enough for two onto a serving plate. Splash chocolate around the brownies and add a dollup of vanilla ice cream. A romantic dessert for two for any occasion. We don't have ice cream on our brownie in the photo and we have a pot of Christmas tea that accompanied the delicious brownies. What do you think the red thing on top of the brownie is? Hmmmm.

What to do with the rest of the cooked brownie: Small triangle pieces of brownies are perfect on top of a dessert dish of ice cream with a piece of fruit and nuts added.

See what I mean? Time to think outside the box, er, square.

December 07, 2010

Rating Reading

Reading some books is like walking through fields of thistles. Struggling to walk through brambles and thorns sometimes while stepping over and around obstacles. Clothes and limbs bleeding when the end of the book is reached.

Reading other books is more of an adventure without the hardship. Reading each chapter is like balancing on moss covered stones in waist deep freezing water. There is the anxiety of remaining erect while at the same time daring the slippery stones to drop me into the cold water.

Some books are too tame for me. They don't cause me to think or use my imagination. I am just reading words. It only takes a few pages of reading to know this type of book is not going to hold my interest.

This scale reminds me of The Three Bears, porridge too hot, too cold, and just right. The books that interest me are somewhere between too hot and just right.

December 04, 2010

Food Fight!

They had been dating six months. The rare dinner in a restaurant was a celebration of the six month anniversary.

After salads and during the main course things took a wrong turn. While discussing their former lives, a lie became clear and soon was a big problem.

She quietly reached for her spoon, shoveled a large spoonful of her mashed potatoes, and threw the potatoes at his face.

In retaliation, he scooped up his green beans with his hand and threw them at her.

The waiter and the manager were at the table by then, asking them to leave.

The relationship was over. Dishonesty was not allowed.

December 02, 2010

Gary The Potter Did It Again

The latest item we ordered from Gary Rith, potter extraordinaire, is a gift for the granddaughter. Actually for her dog. She has a yellow lab and I asked Gary to make a food bowl for her dog and he did a great job.

Today is my granddaughter's thirteenth birthday. I sent the doggie bowl to her in plenty of time to arrive before the special day and her mom kept the present till today.

Success!! My granddaughter appreciates the yellow lab hanging on the side of the bowl and she thinks Gary is a pro potter. This is one of the best received gifts ever.

Thank you, Gary, for another wonderful piece of hand made pottery. We're not done with you yet! We have a couple more items we are watching for on your blog and etsy.