Category Archives: Family

Summer

Happy Summertime Folks


I sure have missed my bloggie buddies and I hope to get back into the swing of things soon. My little hiatus was a big yawn and failure. I will probably share more on that another time. I mostly wanted to post something … anything, so I could be back in the groove. So many things going on, not sure what topic will be of the most interest. What do YOU want to read about? Let me know. I’ll conjure up something fun.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Cheers,

 

Xtra Xtra Read All About It! ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

 

 

Dear Barbiella:

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the things you have planned or not planned work out like you had no idea they were going to work out? Be honest here. When you put down Xtra Xtra read all about it on the Theme Reveal List, you had no clue what you were going to write about. You just figured something would come to mind and you would get it done.

Perhaps you were going to use this post to list some of the favorite blogs that you have been trying to keep up with throughout the challenge.  

o Music
o Vacation
o Projects
o Cartoons
o Life musings

 

Perhaps you were going to have the news about the new opportunities that both you and hubby have at your places of employment. You are both waiting for that yeah or neigh to go through and maybe you thought  you could brag about those opportunities.

Perhaps you wanted to sing praises about your son and all of the awesome opportunities he has at Disney and Universal. Can’t wait to go on the new ride.  

 

You weren’t really sure until about 8:30 PM last Friday evening when you got the news. (You need to write these things down so you remember them in chronological order!) It’s still kind of a secret because all of the important people have not been told. But in your defense none of the important people read your blog anyways so you need not be concerned that they will find out here.

So you are gonna be a Granny! Isn’t that exciting?   Today is about CELEBRATION! YOU are finally going to be a Granny-mamma! How AWESOME! More to come at a later date.

Your constant and faithful,

 

The end is near … on the last three letters XYZ.  Don’t give up now. You can do this.  Try to get yourself a copy of the Master List so you can continue to visit other blogs throughout the year.  Buy a TSHIRT if you haven’t already.  Make some comments or share your linky-dinks on the social media platforms.  Have some fun.  Enjoy the ride…ooh Road Trip coming up.

Weekly Letters ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Cool Heel:

Cool heel is a joke, but for real, one of your heels is cold all the time lately. You don’t know why, but it won’t warm up. Maybe you need to get a cup warmer and set it on that during the day? Ha ha.

Did you know December 7th is National Letter Writing Day?

You know it’s funny, you have been writing yourself this whole month and not paid much attention to writing any of the weekly letters you normally do. Saved some money in postage. Your S☼nshine mentioned he hadn’t seen a letter lately so you did sneak in one to him, and your pregnant daughter (secret revealed) over the weekend.  It was strange as you were composing the letter like you were still writing in second person point of view. It’s a little bit of a challenge writing in the first person again.

The weekly letters are the reason this theme came about. They are as much fun as this month’s challenge. Even more fun (especially) when you get a letter back. Most people are not letter writers and don’t write back.  But it’s peculiar when people don’t like to get a letter.

Something to keep in mind. Perspective. Everyone has a different stance on things. Writing how you feel or what you think may not be perceived by someone else the same way. What you find happy and exciting, others might see as depressing. Sad but true. No way around it. [Matthew 7:6] Be careful what you share and who you share with.

And one more W thing… What do you season a WOK with? Do you season a WOK?  Why is your WOK always getting tarnished with rust? Can anyone help?

Your constant and faithful,

Vicious Life Cycles ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbarinie:

It sucks that you picked vicious life cycles as today’s topic. Sometimes you have to face it. Life is not all skittles and beer or rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes life wants to push you down and fuck ya stick it you where the sun don’t shine. Not so much life, really, but people in your life or situations that come about that involve people in your life. You know like the ebb and flow of the Atlantic tide.

Vicious life cycles are something like generational sin. It goes on and on until someone decides to stop it. Not that they can because you have tried to right the wrongs. Just because you speak it true, won’t make it real. You cannot control how others will react to your desires. You are not the Christ (coming up in a future post).

Vicious are the things in life that you want to change, you try to change, but you don’t have the power to change them. So what can you do?


1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. In a day/week/month/year it won’t matter anyways.
2. Realize all people are messy. They deal with the same things you do.
3. Show grace. Everyone needs to be shown a little clemency.
4. Know when to just shut up. Remember what Thumper said in Bambi.


Practice these few things and that will be the beginning of stopping the vicious life cycles you find yourself in with people. Just know life is not always going to be smooth as velvet 🧶

Go have a good day now.
Your constant and faithful,

Can you believe we are on our last week of the challenge?  How’s everyone doing?  Having a good time?  I am going to be bummed to see it end.  How about you guys?  Are you going to keep at it and continue blogging on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?  How do you fit it all in? Just curious.

Reflections of What Made You Who You Are ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear B,

Well you have absolutely done it again. Picked a topic which takes a lot of deep thought and contemplation. How in the world will you get this post done in time? There’s much to do…cooking, cleaning …. and calling your mother.

You may have to cheat just a little.

Why do you write ?  Have a gander right here.  When you get a chance maybe you should update that.

Writing has always been a hobby but at one point there was a time you wanted to be famous.  Remember that terrible book you had so many issues with?

It’s more fun to just have a place to ponder your thoughts and write whatever you want instead of what people tell you to write.

When you get sick of writing let your creativity explode in the kitchen. You always have something tasty going on over there.

Tall Cool ☺ne and you have such a fairytale to tell, not to mention the on-going journeys and never ending projects. My, my, you are a busy little thing aren’t you?  Just a face in the crowd baby, a face in the crowd.

Now, in perfect fashion, you have decided to take on that opportunity you talked about in an earlier post. Good luck my dear. You can do this. You have the inclination and determination it takes to push yourself to reach higher goals. If you are comfortable, you are not challenging yourself. Remember that, and when the going gets tough, get a cup of coffee and the tough will get going.

You just realized you don’t have a blog for the kids and grandkids.  You need to build a site for them….one more thing to add to your to do list.

until next time your constant and faithful,

Quiet Time ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Barbie:

As you mentioned yesterday people are part of your life. While thinking about what to write in regards to quiet time, two very special people came to mind.  Your sister and your friend Rach.  A lot could be said about the quietness between you and your sister, but instead, we are going to dedicate this one to Rachel.  She knows a whole lot about quiet times.

Read about Rachel’s Quiet Time here.

What are your thoughts?  Do you know someone like Rachel?

If you have any Questions ❓ for Rachel feel free to send her an email.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

I don’t know about you but this has been so much fun writing and getting to talk to you guys everyday.  I really hope we will stay in touch.  If not every day maybe once a week, or a month?  I need the encouragement so I’ll help you if you help  me.  ☺

Love Letter ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Barbie:

Do you know what a love letter is? An expression of love in written form. You are loved. Tall Cool ☺ne loves you so much. Look at that little note you found while trying to find the perfect picture for this post.

The frankest and the freest product of the human mind and heart is a l♥ve letter.

~Mark Twain

Something of substance. Something you can hold on to. It’s not an email or a text message that is going to be deleted with the next update.  People do that all the time on social media.  They share memes telling this one or that one how much they love them.  Unfortunately it’s usually after someone dies.  If it’s not important every day, why make it important when someone dies? 

Don’t conform to this world.  Make time to let the ones you love know how much you love them.  You are loved Barbie… so much. You love so many people and you do what you do.  Send them the old fashion handwritten letter.  They love that.

People are busy and people don’t have time.  So are you. Everyone has the same number of hours in a day.  It’s sort of like that saying it’s not the years of life you live, it’s the life in the years you live.  It’s not how many hours you are busy, but what is the business you are filling the hours with?

Continue making time to tell the people you love just that.

Until next time,

Your constant and faithful,

 

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs? Shout out today to John for listing the perfect song to add to my blog today.  I’m trying to visit five new blogs each day but it’s not easy. Have you ordered a t-shirt yet? I really hope Jeremy creates a SURVIVOR TSHIRT for completing the challenge. Are you finding all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and select a few that you may not normally visit. Good luck and have fun.

Kids ~ Letters from the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021


Dear Mom: (it sounds like “mum” when you say it).

You say anchiladas instead of enchiladas, selsa instead of salsa, sireen instead of siren, dooryard instead of drive-way, and the list goes on and on. But this letter is not about your accent and how you say things the wrong way. It might be more fun because writing about kids is could be a little contentious.



Between you and Tall Cool ☺ne you have four kids: three boys and one girl. NRMZ in order of age. Our Nice, Radiant, Motivating and Zealous children.  One of a kind, our group of kids. They are grown adults. You don’t get to see them as much as you would like to.

Everyone says they live their lives for their kids, and every choice they make is for the good of their kids. You don’t think so. It’s hard to write about kids because someone’s feelings might be hurt, or someone else might judge you based on what you say.

It is hard to live up to the standards that people have for each other. You try to lead your kids to make good choices, what you think is the right choice. As much as you want to take care of every little issue that they have, sometimes you have to let them figure it out on their own.

When they call and say “Mom, I don’t know what to do.” That does not translate into “Mom, tell me what you would do because I know you have my best interest at heart and I can always count on you to lead me right.” Even though you think that now, they are not going to listen to you any more than you listened to your mother. You still aren’t listening to your mother, so don’t expect more from your kids than you can do yourself.

You think that one day all four kids, NRMZ with spouses and children in tow, are going to come to your house for a nice Sunday dinner. You have been talking about this since before you and Tall Cool ☺ne were married. Tall Cool ☺ne keeps telling you it’s never gonna happen. You can’t help having a dream, a wish, a hope.

This letter should have been about kangaroos or karaoke. Kids are too hard to write about. You love your kids. As much as you don’t want to admit it you want to control situations and relationships. You need to get over that and just let them be. They are not you and they do not see things the way you do. Enjoy their company and phone calls when you get them.  Stop mingling in trying to make everything like the Brady Bunch. You are not Carol Brady.

Until next time,
Your constant and faithful,

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs? Did you get a TSHIRT?  Have you found all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and select a few that you may not normally visit. Good luck and have fun.

Gardening ~Letters from the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021

 


Hey Bob:

(That’s just a little inside joke. When you call your mother, that’s how she answers the phone. ☺♥)

When the list was made for the “theme reveal” your letter about gardening was meant to be just that. Out in the garden, planting green beans, and cucumbers and tomatoes and all those fun vegetables that you and Tall Cool ☺ne love to eat through the summer and then can/preserve the abundance for later consuming.

After the past few days of self-reflection, gardening has taken on a new perspective. Think of it in a metaphorical sense. Maybe you need to go weeding.

Sometimes what we see as good and pretty is actually destroying what is healthy. For example the wisteria in the back yard is beautiful when in full bloom. The scent is a little over-powering but the flowers are gorgeous.  Unfortunately the plant itself is invasive. When Tall Cool ☺ne cut it back (to your dismay) azalea, camellia and gardenia bushes were revealed.

 

 

Sometimes giant pretty things need to be destroyed to reveal healthy little things.  What is in your life that needs weeding? What looks big and pretty that is covering up small and healthy?

Food for thought.

your constant and faithful,

 

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I’m trying to visit five new blogs each day but it’s not Have you ordered a t-shirt yet?  Have you found all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and select a few that you may not normally visit. Most of all, have fun! ♥

Controlling Situations ~ Letters from the Heart

Dear Barbie,

I know this is going to be hard for you, but one day when you look back on this letter you will appreciate the humor. You make yourself lists and then you make more lists to remember to look at the list you made. You have piles of paper and books (Tall Cool ☺ne hates your piles of clutter) everywhere to remind you what’s next. It’s just clutter.

You’re enjoying that nice cup of blueberry coffee right now, the cats are under your feet, and as you look out into the kitchen from your office what are you seeing? You’re seeing the cupboard doors open? Why can’t you get that habit under control and close them? Tall Cool ☺ne comes behind and closes your doors you’ve left open.

You think you have to call your mother every day. How about this? If you don’t call her and she wants to talk to you, she’ll call you. Revelation: she might not want to talk to you every day. 

You make itineraries of your days off of what you and Tall Cool ☺ne are going to do.  Then you get mad when things don’t go as you have them planned. You want to control everything ~Genesis 3:16.  No matter how much you think you have it figured out, guess what! You control nothing. Listen, doll, Christ first, then your husband, then you. “… run in such a way that you may obtain it. And in everyone who competes … is temperate in all things…” ~1 Corinthians 9:24-25. Be temperate, be accommodating and let go of things you have no control over.

A little spontaneity never hurt anyone.




Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

 

What is A2ZBlogging? Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Lost a Friend

As the Blogging A-Z Challenge draws closer, it brings on a bitter sweet kind of feeling. I love the challenge and the opportunity to get back to writing. But this year, I am going to miss the comments from an old friend. Berta always had something nice to say. She even commented in a constructive critical way on the posts that she didn’t agree with. She was always there to offer words of encouragement, letting me know how much she liked my writing and how I had to keep at it. I’m keeping at it, Berta.

Whenever we spent the night when she was babysitting, Berta used to say “Bye” instead of “Good night”. She’d say if we didn’t wake up, she wanted to make sure she said “good-bye”. Last week she went to sleep and didn’t wake up. She was a trooper for sure but that seventh round with cancer finally wore her out and she was tired. God brought her home.

I think about those old adages: You never know how much you miss something until it’s gone. Appreciate it now because tomorrow is not promised. You never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. We take so much for granted. Not just material things, like the GREAT TOILET PAPER SHORTAGE of 2020, but relationships, people … too many times we take people for granted. Relationships are a precious thing.

I have made so many mistakes in relationships. Let me tell ya, reconciling broken relationships is not as easy as saying what you think or feel at the moment. Kind of like losing weight is not as easy as eating a whole bag of jelly beans in one sitting. I’ve had some come to Jesus moments with taming my tongue, and I’m still restraining, I can assure you. But when someone you’re close to dies, you kind of think about the other people or relationships in your life that you’ve messed up, and haven’t take the time to fix. Or at least I do.

I wish I could right all the wrongs. I wish I had inserted my foot before the times that I opened my mouth. I wish I didn’t hurt people with tactless things I said or wrote. I can’t change the past. What is done is done. I can only press onward and forward. I hope one day to look back on all these posts and see how much I have changed from being the cynical controversial writer, to a more respectful humble journalist. This is my legacy. When I die, I want my writing to live on, and I can only hope it will be kind and noteworthy.

In closing, God has made each one of us. We all have a special gift to bring glory to the Kingdom. We should use those talents accordingly. We should never take for granted the blessings God has graced us with (people, relationships, l♥ve).

Thank you Berta, for always being that kind and encouraging person who pushed me onward with writing.  Thank you that no matter how hard and lonely it was while I was writing, I could always count on a comment from you when you were able. Thank you for always taking the time to read my posts. I am sorry that I never told you how much that meant to me.  I will never forget you.

Until next time,

~Barbie

 

Be Kind Always


February 17, 2021

Dear Self:

I would like to remind you to always be kind. Don’t make fun of people’s ignorance. Do you remember that time when you went to the Catholic Diocese for a meeting a long time ago? The receptionist had an awful looking bruise on her forehead. Your co-worker said she felt so bad for the woman because it appeared to be skin cancer. You believed her. Until just this moment you never realized that your co-worker was making fun of your ignorance. You shared in the laugh about it for a long time after it happened but now you realize how dumb you were because it was Ash Wednesday. Do you forgive her? 

Self, I want to remind you that just because everyone doesn’t subscribe to the same practices as you do, it doesn’t make them any less significant to the person who is participating in it (even if it is wrong—don’t judge). I want you to find the good in every person you meet or come in contact with. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Even bad people have something good about them. Try to find that.

Stop worrying about trying to find the perfect words to express yourself. They are not always going to come out right and people are going to interpret things different than you expect them to. You know what you mean when you put it on paper and if they take it the wrong way, that’s on them, not you. If they have a problem let them bring it to your attention. Don’t concern yourself with trying to fix everything and everyone. You are not your mother.

One more thing, that pile of laundry is not going to fold itself. I know you have these letters you want to write to yourself.  That is all fine and good and important.  I’ll be looking forward to them 20 years from now. But, you still have chores to take care of, so move your ass.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful
crackerberries

{Previous letter}

The Small Joys in Life

 

I decided not to neglect my blogs anymore. Writing is one of the sure things that bring me joy. I’ve not spent a lot of time doing it lately because I have let other things get in the way of my joy. Funny how we do that sometimes. We worry about our spouses, our jobs, our children, or our parents. Perhaps the worry is for our pets, or the bills, maybe even the housework (okay not the housework; no one said that, ever).

We live in this world of instant gratification. Sometimes we forget the value of the simple things that might not seem like much, but they really are important. That first cup of coffee in the morning. Being cuddled up on the couch in a pair of worn jammies. A journal and a pen in hand. The cat laying close by. The warmth of the sun shining through the window. A good morning greeting from a child. So many positives to be thankful for.

Our neighbors have begun putting up Christmas decorations. I love seeing the red bows pasted on the window sills of their house. It reminds me of the season.

The leaves have covered our lawn. I’ve raked them no less than three weekends in a row. Today I look out and see that the trees have dropped leaves and covered the lawn yet again. We compete with the squirrels to find the hidden treasures underneath all of those brown crunchy leaves. This year the pecan trees brought forth a huge harvest. My mouth is watering for the famous Captain Morgan’s Pecan Pie. 

With the holidays upon us I consider the people who struggle during this time of year. The struggle is real because I experience it too. I have such high expectations of what the holidays should be. I set myself up for failure so often because when they don’t turn out the way I portray them in my mind, it turns into a huge disappointment. It depresses me. Sometimes I start my depression even before the holidays arrive. Tall Cool One reminds me I am not in control (sometimes I hate that truth). I am learning to just be thankful for the things I have and the things I can control. It is a slow process but a sure one. It is a reminder… joy is an attitude. What are the small things that bring you joy?

Respecting Relationship Boundaries



Boundaries are anything that help differentiate one person from another. Age, gender, social status, skin color, vocabulary, where we live, even our emotional state can provide a certain protective boundary. Sometimes boundaries are misunderstood.

We all want relationships. The most basic need in life is for relationships. We want input and teaching from others. We want to learn different things and share the knowledge we’ve learned. We want friendships. In desire, everything comes with a price. We give a little, we take a little.

Standing up for our boundaries can be misconstrued. Sometimes people will think we are being rude and insensitive. Trespassing on other people’s boundaries carries consequences. If I do this, I know this will happen, if I do that, I know something else will happen. From a young age we learned these basic instincts.  Don’t touch the hot stove or you will get burned.   

Attitudes and beliefs are what we accept as being true. There are some people who want us to change our beliefs and attitudes to what they believe and accept as being true. Perhaps some family members, friends, relatives, or even neighbors to name a few.  People who refuse to respect the boundaries we have set ooze negative energy and leave us feeling worse whenever we’re around them. Be on guard for these toxic personalities. Quickly set boundaries and let them know what will and what will not be tolerated. 

Do you have anyone like this in your life?

• Lie on a regular basis
• Take advantage of your kindness
• Don’t respect your boundaries
• Manipulate you in order to get what they want
• Put you down
• Don’t encourage you to pursue your goals
• Don’t consider other people’s feelings or needs
• Feel entitled
• Are frequently angry or aggressive
• Rarely apologize
• Blame others and don’t take responsibility for their actions
• Drain your energy
• Have a lot of “drama” or problems, but don’t want to change
• Think the rules don’t apply to them
• Talk, but don’t listen

People might be angry or offended by our choices even though we aren’t setting boundaries to be mean or difficult. Boundaries are a way to protect ourselves and maintain individuality as well as sanity. Stay safe and be sure to practice social distancing virtually as well as while you are out in public. When boundaries are not accepted, sometimes we have to accept that we are better off without the toxicity in our lives.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

ONE SKIP DAY




Hell found me!  As I fell into the depths of the cold salty Atlantic water I saw my whole fifteen year life flash before me.  I thought about my mother and what she would think.  I worried about my diary and what my sister would do with it when she found it.  I wondered what my friends Chris and Jackie were doing, and if they would try to save me.

The water swirled around me and everything turned black.  The salt tasted metallic in my mouth.  I kept sinking further into the depths of the water.  I didn’t realize the Penobscot was so deep, then suddenly I felt soft ground.  I pushed into the flats upward with my soaked sneakers and immediately began to ascend.  I wanted to take a breath.  I needed to take a breath.  When I slipped it was unexpected, and didn’t take a deep breath as one does before jumping in water.  I knew if I gasped for air that my lungs would be filled with water, and I would drown.  I couldn’t see the surface and my wet jeans and sweatshirt pulled me down.   I didn’t want to die.  I was too young to die.  I started making deals with God, as we do when things go wrong.  “Dear God, please don’t let me die.  Please, I promise I’ll never copy homework again.  I won’t be mean to my sister.  I promise I won’t skip anymore classes.  God, please, please, don’t let me drown.”

April showers bring May flowers, and they also bring warm, sunny afternoons, and the itching of spring fever; that equals to a whole bunch of trouble for a few high school kids. After five months of snow, and shoveling snow, and then more snow to shovel, when it reached 45 degrees, that was a celebrated welcome.  Basketball was over, and baseball hadn’t really got started so those late afternoon rides home on the activity bus were on temporary hiatus.  It was that awkward time of boredom in school, and typical teenage girls and boys look for things to dispel the monotony.   The three of us had been best friends since the fifth grade when I moved to town.  Based on my experience three friends are a recipe for disaster.  Two will get together and talk about the other one, and one will try to vie for another, and it normally turns into a mess.

For Chris, Jackie and I, it was different.  Chris wasn’t into the girlie things that Jackie and I talked about.  He just wanted to be our friend, and that was good enough for us.  We liked that Chris acted as our bodyguard per say, and he always let me copy his math homework.  He was wicked smart.    It is all different now with the technology and social media available to occupy a bored teen-ager.

Back in 1980 none of us owned a computer; let alone a smart phone.  Our parents would never have tolerated us playing video games or social media forums anyways.  We were lucky to have one color television in the house. If anyone had a cell phone it was one of those monstrosities that came in a bag and needed to have the magnet antennae plunked out on the roof, and then the power cord got plugged into the cigarette lighter.  If you were very lucky your parents owned a car that the cigarette lighter worked in, and maybe they let you borrow it with that ugly thing called a car phone.  Only some of the preppy kids, and most of the grease monkeys had their own cars.

The three of us were at the mercy of begging our parents, and more often than not they said ‘no’.  Needless to say, most of our entertainment was done by walking or taking our bikes.  Remember those things that you peddle, and your butt hurts from the uncomfortable seat?    Spring fever brought afternoons of cutting classes, and walking the sidewalks trying to stay hidden from friends of our parents who would share the fact that they had seen us on the street, when we should have been in school.  We were young, naïve.   We had no idea how lucky we were to be young and naïve. That was of course, until after the thirteenth skip day when our parents were notified by the principal that we were cutting classes.  Young people do stupid things, and we were very stupid.

The most significant, as well as the last adventure we took could have been the death of us, or at least, one of us.  The three of us decided to cut our “health” class! How ironic now that I reminisce about it!   We set out for a quest searching for anything that would be more exciting than sitting in Mr. King’s stinky armpit smelling class room listening to his monotonous voice talk about penises and vaginas.  Instead of walking the streets, taking the chance of being spied by a nosy adult, we decided to take the forbidden path just beyond the smoking area  behind Hampden Academy down to the Penobscot River.  We were going to hike out to the rocks, do some exploring and maybe find an electric eel in the small pools of water left behind from the tide going out.

The sun was shining and we shed our sweatshirts and tied them around our waists.  Jackie took her shoes off for a short time until one of the rocks cut her foot and she put the bloody thing back in her high top Nike sneakers.  We searched for cool looking shells with the shiny glitter of embossed quartzite, starfish, crabs and the coveted electric eel.  We made our way out across the rocks that went out deep into the smelly flats that were exposed from the tide being out. We were having a splendid afternoon, throwing rocks and mud at each other, talking about the upcoming spring dance and who we thought would go with who and who wouldn’t show up and who we’d like not to have show up.  

What we weren’t expecting was the tide to rush back in so quickly.  One of us couldn’t swim.  We had sneakers on and jeans and sweatshirts tied around our waists.  Not dressed for rock climbing by any means.  When the tide comes in on the Penobscot, the tide comes in fast.  It was scary for all three of us but mostly for me.

It was Chris, probably because he was the one who couldn’t swim, who first recognized the fact that our way into land was quickly disappearing.  The path out to the rocks that we originally took covered almost immediately with eighteen feet of cold, salty, stinky Atlantic Ocean.  We had to scale the rocks fast if we were going to get to land before there was no path back at all.  I remember slipping and sliding and cutting our hands on the sharp edges of rocks.  The rocks poked out of the dark murky water, some covered in green mossy seaweed while others appeared to be shards of shiny black glass.  The most treacherous were the rocks that appeared dry and safe to step on, but our weight triggered them to shift and move causing us to lose our balance more than once.    I screamed and as I slipped I heard Jackie and Chris both yell, “Barbie!”  The rest was inaudible because I slipped into the depths of the black water.  It seemed like a life time that I was under water.  It was cold and I could feel my muscles tightening up, and soon I wouldn’t be able to move at all.  Abruptly I surfaced and sucked in a huge breath of fresh air.  I gagged and spit and clawed my way to the edge.  Jackie and Chris dragged me back up on the edge of the rocks.  I was shaking from fear more so than the cold, but thankful to be alive.

When we reached the shore line the only way to level ground was up.  We climbed through rocks and pulled through trees and brushed past bushes and dug through sod.  We climbed and moaned and groaned the whole way.  Dry level ground never felt so good.   Jackie and Chris ended up with soaked feet, wet jeans and bloody hands.  I was grateful to be soaked but alive and safe.  Where we came off the rocky walls was a long ways from where we had begun our adventure.  The walk back through a field of prickly bushes was not especially a fun experience, and when the giant back yard dog chased us and the owner came out with a shot gun, we were even more anxious to make our way back to school.  We were lucky to catch the bus home to Winterport and luckier when our parents said we had to quit cutting school and stay in Mr. King’s classroom.  We were just thankful that we could quit trying to scale the banks of the Penobscot River in a pair of Nike’s on a skip day.

To be honest, it was a fun skip day….and some of it’s true!  Most of it is made up and names have been changed to protect the innocent! 

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Mason Jar Friendships



Much like a cupboard of full Mason jars
Or the midnight sky of twinkling stars
A friend is compassionate, funny and sweet
Whilst some encourage in times of defeat
Sharing a story to brighten a frown
Lending a shoulder to the friend who’s down
Great treasure is found when least expected
Friends will stand tall, when one is rejected
Countless secrets, much laughter digested
Friendships depend on the time invested
Shower your friends with love and affection
Guide each other with positive direction
Relationships built on candor and trust
Will stand the test of time, and never will rust
Friendships will age, as does the garden crop
Work will be done, not without a teardrop
Like an old Mason jar filled with treasure
Finding true friendships is such a pleasure

Thanks again goes out to Berta and Rach who made this awesome quilted tapestry for me.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Lost Love Letters


I’m sure everyone is thinking about  LOVE for the letter L. I’m no different. Love is the one thing we can give away freely. It costs nothing.

Lost love letters is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. When we were in high school Tall Cool ☺ne and I wrote tons of lve letters back and forth to each other. Sometimes I think it would be neat to read what some of those notes had inside them. Then I think better of that. We are older now and priorities are different.

I’m thinking of love letters lost in a different concept.  Lost love letters doesn’t necessarily have to be from an admirer. Love is something you share with a family member, a friend, or maybe an acquaintance from work. As I think about the title, lost love letters, I think about the lost loves of people to whom letters I used to write.

We are a messy group of individuals. I recollect how many people have come into my life only to turn around and be gone from my life. Sometimes it makes me sad. But then I realize that God will put someone else in their place.

Lost love letters are just like people who come and go in our life. They are there for a season, then lost, but not forgotten. Who do you think of when you think about a lost love letter?




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

GREAT


Today is a GREAT day. Twenty nine years ago, baby number #2, my s☼nshine came into my life. A baby boy! It has been a journey for sure. I can’t say that it was all unicorns and sunshine, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Together we have gone through many trials though his 29 young years. I’m sure he has gone through many of his own that I quite possibly have not even heard about. He suggested to me that I use the word GREAT. He also included the snapshot for my post today.  Happy Birthday S☼nshine!  He is enjoying his birthday in the great outdoors.

Great are the minutes and the hours and the days and the weeks and the months and the years we get to spend with our children. Great are the opportunities we have to teach our children. Great is when we never, ever take them for granted.

Great is the time that we get to spend together talking with each other virtually. Great is sharing pictures and comments and games with each other when we cannot be together. Great is when you wake up in the morning and see a message from one of your children just saying “morning mom”.

Great is what we get to make with our days, and our time, and with our children. Any time and opportunity we have together can be great if you have the right attitude. Enjoy your children. They are GREAT!





Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

FLASHBACK

Think about last year right around Labor Day weekend, or maybe even Christmas time. Flashback to the things we were doing, activities we enjoyed, trips we took.  Think about the  visits to the grocery store that seemed trivial just such a short time ago.

Flashback to the days of walking into the restroom and seeing the sign that encouraged employees:  ‘Employees must wash their hands before returning to work’. I remember seeing so many people in these rest rooms that never paid attention to the signs. I guess they thought because they were not employees it didn’t pertain to them. 

Flashback to the days when toilet paper and paper towels filled at least a whole isle at the grocery store. The days of going in and picking up the weekly supply. The days of not having to stand in line and wait to be let in the store.  The days of not being allotted one package to each customer as if we lived in a communist country.

Flashback to more important events. Fellowship on Sundays and hugging fellow believers. Visiting your elderly parents at the nursing home without concern of spreading a sickness to them. Sunday afternoon dinners with your grown children and having all the grand kids run around the house. Just plain getting together with family and friends for cookouts and fun times.

My flashback is September last year … I seriously hope we get to do it again.



Flashback to a time when our world once was different. What are we going to do to make sure things don’t get worse? Do your part. Listen to our leaders. Don’t ignore what is happening.





Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Reflections on Reality and Relationships

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Hello fellow bloggers, writers, and readers. Today as I sit down to write my daily challenge I’m facing the same sort of nearing the end of the journey roadblock jitters that I confronted last year at this time. I don’t want the challenge to end because I feel like I won’t be inspired enough to make myself write daily. Time to face reality and accept the fact that this challenge was just a jumpstart to a life style change. Kind of like dieting. Ha, no such thing. If you want it to work, it’s not a diet. It is a lifestyle change. That is what real writing, blogging, reading is. That’s what real relationships are. A lifestyle change.

As I reflect on my past posts, I see pride, embarrassment, shame, sadness, humor, spiritual growth. I think about relationships I’ve had and lost over the years. I’d like to take the blame for the failed relationships, but the truth of the matter is, they dissolved because I’m not one to sugarcoat the truth. I say it like it is and I say what I mean and mean what I say. I’ve persevered through ridicule, humiliation, hate and discontent, yet I’m still here blogging away. Why? Because it makes me happy to write. Because I get satisfaction when someone recognizes and shares in the same trials of pain or happiness that I have.

Reflecting on relationships for me always brings regret into consideration. I often wonder why so many relationships have failed. I’ve tried reconciliation with many relationships to no avail. What recourse should I take when the reaction to my request is not what I expect?

Relationships come and go throughout our lives. People we meet at church, in the neighborhood, people we’ve known all of our lives. The one thing that I can honestly say about any relationship is they are work. They don’t just flourish without care and consideration. Family relationships are the hardest because they are always there no matter what. Those are the ones that get hurt the most because we tend to think that very thing “they are always there no matter what”. One day they won’t be there. Don’t take any relationship no matter how trivial, for granted. If there is someone out there that you appreciate and are thankful for them coming into your life, thank them, let them know.

I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of my readers, followers, and fellow bloggers. It’s hard out here sometimes. Yet you persevere. You keep on keeping on. I appreciate you and your devotion. Have a great day and see you tomorrow!

R

Mother Goose

Mother Goose

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat where have you been?

Rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes
Ring-a-ring of roses, a pocket full of posies

Tom, Tom, the piper’s son
Stole a pig and away he run

Willy boy, Willy boy, where are you?
With the old woman, who lives in a shoe?

Four and twenty black birds baked in a pie
Georgie Porgie made the girls cry

Jack and Jill went up the hill
Humpty Dumpty soon fell ill

Little Bo Peep lost all of her sheep
While Little Boy Blue fell fast asleep

Little Miss Muffet ate curds and whey
And with the spoon the dish ran away

The three little kittens began to cry
And little Jack Horner stuck his thumb in a pie

Bobby Shaftoe’s gone to sea,
He’ll come back and marry me.

Little Tommy Tucker sang for his supper
Polly put the kettle on, Sukey took it off again

Hickety, pickety, my black hen
She lays eggs for gentlemen

Simple Simon met a pieman
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife but couldn’t keep her

I met the crooked man who walked a crooked mile
And spent the crooked sixpence against the crooked stile.

Just some  beloved Mother Goose rhymes
The poems that I read in earlier times.

How many do you remember?

What’s your favorite Mother Goose Rhyme?

M

Daydreams in Dustpans

20160308_210601000_iOS

As a little girl, I used to make up embellished stories for myself and whoever else would listen to me tell them. I sat on the old rope swing at my grandparents’ house and would talk to the picnic table, which sometimes had my sister and cousins, and sometimes just a big white cat. I had a lot of imaginary friends.

The stories typically revolved around Julie and Jimmy and Jerry and Judy.  The main characters were my sister and me in our grown up life with our grown up husbands respectively. The stories were full of mansions with extravagant stair cases. We always seemed to be wearing elegant long gowns and we would greet our guests for cocktail parties and ballroom dancing. Yes, the mansions were constructed with their own ballrooms and sophisticated chandeliers. (Can you tell I watched too much Big Valley or Bonanza as a child?)

We grew up. My sister didn’t marry a Jimmy and I didn’t marry a Jerry. Neither of us have mansions with chandeliers or stair cases. We don’t throw fancy cocktail parties with ballroom dances either. Maybe a barn dance and a bonfire, but nothing as refined as the stories I used to tell.

A few years ago when my sister decided she wanted to be a writer too, I asked her if she remembered the stories of Jimmy and Jerry. She insisted she did not. I was a little hurt because that was significant to my childhood and the reason I tell stories today. I don’t think we’ve talked to each other since that conversation.

I swept the old daydreams into a dust pan and filed them away. Every once in a while I pull out the old, yet familiar characters and reminisce over my daydreams. Funny thing is I remember the made up characters of Julie and Jimmy and Judy and Jerry better I remember my sister and me as young girls.

The Challenge

D

Retaliation

 jack

Typically when someone says something bad about me I fight back in retaliation. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not a POS, nor, did I claim any military honor. Although I have an asshole, I’m not an asshole, I’m not a dirty gutter trash whore and I’ll pass on sucking stagnant water through a dead insurgents pee hole. I’m not a smelly pirate hooker living on Whore Island (quite frankly I didn’t know there was such a place). I am simply a sinner saved by grace.

You-cant-handle-the-truth

Today I take the blame. I didn’t realize that even though a picture was given to me, I still needed permission from the person who took the picture to use the picture, even if I did alter it and add clip art. For those of you who don’t know I’ve been trying to reconcile relationships with these people for years. What’s even funnier, is it took these scholars a little over nine months to take notice that I used a picture they gave me. The book has gone through a lot.

Blackhorse 2015 Cover Art        Blackhorse Kindle          front cover

What I find the most frustrating is people who haven’t followed my blogs for the past eight years, suddenly have an opinion on what I can or cannot write or post. I am hurt by the people who are mutual friends of me and the person on FB who owns this tirade thread of BS who didn’t defend me. I also find it demeaning that people who have not even purchased my book can post reviews on Amazon about what they think. Someone had a comment about me lying about the cover. I didn’t lie, I did create the art on the cover. I didn’t say anything at all about the photo. And as far as believing what’s inside the book, “Hey idiot, it is a work of fiction!”

jack-nicholson

So while this drama was all fun and exciting, you people up there on the side hill can wallow in the glory of your lackey friends while my book is on temporary hiatus with Amazon. You have no idea how to write a book and what you’ve done is strengthened my sales. All this controversy has made more people interested in Crackerberries Anderson. This is funny, that’s what this is…. Trust me, the book will return and the sales will sky-rocket. So I guess I should just say ‘thank you’.