Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Favorite 4th. of July

met Bobby Jeffrey, my ex-husband.

I went to the Star Trek movie "The Search for Spock". I went by myself because I knew I would want to sit through it twice and none of my friends would do that. After the first movie I heard a loud crash behind me. Some guy sit in a seat and it broke sending him crashing to the floor.

A few minutes later I felt a tap on my shoulder. A man's voice said, "Haven't I seen you someplace before?" I thought to myself, "surely he could have thought of something more original than that to say." I turned around and to my surprise I HAD seen him before.

I said "hey, you're the guy from the bridge!"

He said, "So, that's where I've seen you, I knew that I had." We started talking.

Here is a brief history of the "guy from the bridge". He was a flagman who gave out roses and wore funny hats. One day I had to walk across the bridge and he asked me "if I wasn't afraid I would get raped or something." I coldly informed him that I could take care of myself. Later that week I was in another part of town and some guy went by me in a van whooping and hollering and hanging out of the passenger side window. It was him. We ran into each other somewhere else as well. I just seemed like fate kept putting us together.

After the movie ended he asked me if he could take me to dinner. He used the classic line, "I'll buy you a steak or anything you want." I told him steak was fine but I would rather have a hotdog. He replied that he was not a cheapskate. Again I told him I would just as soon have a hotdog and we ended up at my favorite hotdog place "Mecca Drive-in".

Then he took me home and he asked if he could see me again. I said "yes" and after a polite kiss I went inside.

The next day at 2pm (the appointed time) he wasn't there. At 5 after 2, I left and went to a friends house. About 15 minutes later my mom called and in a singsong voice said to me, "Bobby's he'ere." (you know the voice- the one for a boyfriend she entirely approved of)

I told her I would be right there. He was late because he had been getting us a roast chicken and a bottle of wine to take on our picnic.

We saw each other everyday after that. That weekend we went to "King's Island". When we got home my mom kicked me out for going away for the weekend with a man I wasn't married to. I called him and he came and picked me up. 3 months later we were married. 15 years later we were divorced.

Now it is 12 years later and we are speaking.

The Worst Fireworks Ever!

I was on the waterfront in West Palm Beach. The first of the night's grand fireworks display went off and as I was watching the next one go up something fell into my eye. It hurt and I kept trying to blink it out to no avail. I was in misery for the whole display and the rest of the night.

Hoping that sleep would help I went to bed, but when I woke up the next morning the pain was just as bad and water would not flush my eye out. I went to work and went to get a friend. I told her I needed someone who was a mother to help me, otherwise I was going to end up in the emergency room. (everyone knows mother know ALL the best home remedies even though we were the same age)

She went and got a whole bottle of Visine and flushed my eye out with it. It immediately felt better. She said she flushed out glitter and soot. At least she got it out for me and I didn't have any permanent damage to my eye!

The Best Fireworks Ever!

Back in the eighties we were at the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta. This is when it was a HUGE affair with about 50,000 people in attendance and bands like the Beach Boys were playing. We came in town a few hours early so we could park right on the river and have great seats - which we did.

That night we were sitting there when they slowly positioned the barge on the river for the fireworks. They started right on time but about 5 minutes into the display one of the fireworks they shot up didn't explode and fell right back down into the middle of the barge. THEN IT EXPLODED! ABOUT 30 MINUTES WORTH OF FIREWORKS WENT OFF ON THAT BARGE AT ONCE. THE DECK HANDS HAD TO DIVE OFF OF THE BARGE INTO THE RIVER AND THE LITTLE BOATS AROUND IT HAD TO RESCUE THEM. THE EXPLOSIONS LASTED BETWEEN 5 AND 10 MINUTES. IT WAS VERY IMPRESSIVE.

THAT WAS THE BEST FIREWORKS DISPLAY EVER. (although hopefully it will never be repeated)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Attempt to Capture a Perfect Summer Day in West Virginia

The weather was perfect. It was the perfect temperature with a perfect sky. There wasn't even any humidity to cause people to declare, "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." I started out going to the park but it was too crowded for my taste so I headed on over the mountain into Boone County. I love to drive on nice days and just see what I can see. I have also taken to pulling off to the side of the road when some brilliant piece of prose occurs to me and writing it down before I lose the thought in yet another daydream.

I passed several cars going in the opposite direction. This is unusual once you get off paved roads. One man looked like Gandalf in overalls and sunglasses and a baseball hat. As I drove through Hernshaw, West Virginia, a loud squeal caught me by surprise. I looked over to see a father and daughter rough housing in the pool. It was a great day to be there. Two trailers down were a father and son. A small boy obviously learning to garden beside his daddy. It was one of those moments when I wished I were a photographer. A very nice portrait could have been captured of a tender moment between a father and son.

Then I turned off to a road to Ashford and Nellis. I have heard of these places but I have never been. I have also heard there is a nice park down that road. I drove until I came upon it. Way out in the middle of nowhere was a small picnic area complete with playground and a baseball field with a man jogging the perimeter. There was a trailer that probably belonged to a caretaker's family. I saw the sign to a public stream access. I drove down to the river but there was a massive log jutting across the ramp so I assumed it was closed. On my way out I asked the man if the ramp was open for swimming or fishing. He said, "sure, you can do whatever you want down there."

Picture this:

Me, standing in the middle of a berry patch wearing a skirt, tank top and crocs. Obviously I was not planning to pick berries when I got dressed yesterday morning. I carefully made my way through the knee to waist high weeds - hopefully avoiding the poison ivy. There were more berries than I thought there would be. Even though some were already dried out in the sun. The remaining berries were small but sweet. I guarantee you that more will be ripe today but it is too far for me to drive to pick them.

I kept reaching for the one last berry, everytime I did I would find a treasure trove of them. Before I knew it I was smack dab in the middle of the berry patch. I was surprised by how many could be hidden by a leaf or a twist in a vine that I couldn't see just an inch before. I knew all this from when I was a kid but I haven't been berry picking since my early 20's. As I slowly inched my way though the berry patch I kept an eye out for snakes. I didn't see any. I did flush out a rabbit which I took to be a good sign. No self respecting rabbit is going to be any where near any snakes if it can help it.

I picked berries for probably 1/2 an hour before the strain of standing on the slope of the mountain in the hot sun started to take it's toll. The sun didn't seem nearly so hot when I started picking. I was glad that I was able to get to the berries to pick them. It hasn't been that long ago that I wouldn't have even attempted to cross the ditchline beside the road, much less make my way through the brush to get little more than a handful of berries. Of course, I ate a lot of them as I picked them.

Crocs were not made for standing on that kind of terrain and I kept slipping out of them A skirt and tank top were definitely not meant to be worn in those kinds of weeds. I could feel the weeds and brambles poking beneath my skirt and scratching my arms. I took a hot shower the second I hit the door - I hope it's enough to stop the poison ivy from breaking out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Berry Pickin'

This is the time of year we used to go berry pickin' when I was a kid. There is nothing better than a bowl of fresh blackberries or raspberries with milk and sugar on them. We would load up and go as a family or when we were at my Granny Brennan's house there were berries all over the mountain and we just had to take a bowl and make our way down the side of the mountain to get some sweet, juicy goodness.

Of course there were plenty of briars but we didn't worry about that. In those days a kid was allowed to get a scratch without someone running them to the emergency room!

Then there was the final warning as you walked out the door, "Watch for snakes!" Apparently snakes like berries. I never did see one but we knew not to take even one step in tall grass or briar covered brush without looking at the ground in front of us or making sure that a snake wasn't perched on the branch when we grabbed the berries off the vine.

Of course, what self respecting snake is going to perch itself on a briar covered branch to get a berry or two - it just doesn't make sense. But we never got snake bitten so there must have been some logic to the warning.

Then there was the time I was riding a pony, bareback with no bridle) down the mountain between my Granny's house and Junior and Ermalee's (granny's sister and her husband) house next door. There was a nice sized strawberry patch there. The pony decided to partake of the juicy goodness of the strawberries. When it put it's head down to feast, I had nothing to hold on to. I slid right over it's head and rolled on down the mountain. How embarrassing!

Speaking of rolling down the mountain. Does anybody remember going to the top of a hill and rolling all the way to the bottom - just because it was fun. We would pick up so much momentum rolling down the mountain that there was no way to stop! In the park down from my house they had planted some bushes on the side of a hill in the shape of West Virginia. We would go all the way to the top of the panhandle and run and throw ourselves down the hill when we reached the body of the state. We wouldn't stop rolling until we crashed into the bushes on the border of Virginia! It was a Blast!

He Was a Firebug

When we were kids my brother, Billy, had a fascination with fire. He was constantly getting in trouble for playing with matches and lighters. What I find interesting looking back on it is that everybody blamed him - not my dad (who smoked) for leaving matches and lighters where a young child could get them.

When he was around 3, my dad woke up and the mattress he was napping on was burning. He had to carry the burning mattress outside before it could burn the house down. Billy got the blame for that. I have to wonder if, maybe, my dad didn't just fall asleep while smoking?

When he was around 6, my mom looked outside to see smoke coming from underneath the front porch. It was a cold, snowy January day. She ran outside to find that Billy had crawled beneath the porch so far that he could barely squeeze into the space. He had started a small fire with dry leaves and it was in the process of catching the porch floor in fire. She had to crawl under the porch as far as she could and take handfuls of dirt and throw them on the flames until she put the fire out.

Then came the deal breaker.

He and my little sister, Rhonda, were around 7 and 6, when Billy set a basket of clothes on fire in the walk-in closet. Rhonda's eyebrows were singed off her face. They were lucky that is all that happened in that crowded closet. It was piled high with stuff and clothes were hanging all around.

This was the last straw. My mom went to a local doctor and asked him what to do. He told her the next time Billy set a fire to take his hand and physically put it in the fire. She did it.

He never set another fire again.

In a related story. When we built our new house my parents put carpet in it that was fire resistant. They told us that it wouldn't burn. I decided to test it one day. I got behind a chair in the family room and tried to light the carpet on fire. It melted but it wouldn't burn. That's a good thing since I'm lucky I didn't catch the whole house on fire myself.

He Got Stitches

This is my brother, Billy. This is about the age he was when I pushed him off the tricycle in the backyard. He hit his head on a manhole cover. I was begging him not to tell on me until I noticed he was covered with blood and then I ran screaming to MOMMY!

He got stitches.

A few weeks later my mom was in the kitchen. She looked up just in time to see Billy running toward the house. She thought, "surely he'll stop." He didn't stop. He ran straight through the storm door (glass) and landed at her feet.

He got stitches.

Soon after getting those stitches out we were running and playing in the house. Billy ran into the corner of the bed.

He got stitches.

A few years later Billy was coming home from the store carrying a carton of Pepsi. (glass bottles) He dropped them. They broke.

He got stitches.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I know this is weird but it's how I am

Once I meet my food I can't eat it!

One time I was at the Gallia County Fair. I marveled at the size of the "Grand Champion Beef". That cow was humongous. I had to actually cock my head back to look into it's face it was so big. I was truely amazed at the beauty of this awesome animal.

The very next day I went to the local Foodland to shop for groceries. Outside was a sign that said "Gallia County Grand Champion Beef On Sale Here." I didn't think about what that sign meant until I got to the meat department. They had a whole section of the meat cooler for nothing but the "Gallia County Grand Champion Beef."

I felt sick to my stomach. I had to leave.

Another time I decided that I wanted a fresh egg. I had never had a fresh egg before and I still haven't. I went out to my sister-in-law's hen house and I got an egg. I was surprised to find that it was covered in schmuck. I didn't know that they came out that way. I took it in the house and I showed it to Bobby and he laughed. "Just wash it off and fry it," he said.

So, I washed it. I fried it. I looked at it. I gave it to Bobby to eat. I went to the refrigerator and got an egg that came from the store. I fried it. I ate it.

Strange Things that I Have Eaten

1. Squirrel - I grew up eating squirrel and gravy and dumplings and mashed potatoes and green beans and biscuits - nothing better!

2. Venison - I love deer meat - fried, jerkied, bambi stroganoff, in vegetable soup

3. rabbit - has a light taste, like a chicken breast

4. turtle - my ex used to catch soft shell turtles and we would fry them up and eat them. It kind of tastes like dark meat chicken but richer

5. frog legs - tastes like turtle

6. conch fritters - I ate them at the Florida State Fair and I loved them. Only later did I learn that conch is that GIANT SEA SNAIL THAT LIVES IN THOSE GREAT BIG SEA SHELLS - that means that I have eaten snails and I would do it again!

7. mollymoochers - wild mushrooms that are harvested in the spring in West Virginia

8. I had ostrich, kangaroo, bear, bear chili, buffalo, bear barbeque(it was the best thing they had) and some reindeer sausage (I felt a little guilty about that one).

This was at the Dunbar Critter Dinner. It is a dinner held for charity every year in Dunbar, WV. They serve all sorts of strange things.

I didn't try the mountain oysters (cow balls)

8. Alligator - I had at the Okeechobee Steak House in WPB Florida. It costs about $10 dollars for about 5 little squares. Then I lived next to a guy that said he had a friend who had an alligator farm. He used to bring home garbage bags full of alligator and we would cook out and fry it all day long!

9. I remember tasting rattlesnake meat when I was a kid but I don't remember what it tasted like.

10. quail - taste kind of like dry chicken


I exclaimed with hurt and disappointment. The look of panic on my face caught both my mother's and the lady who was holding my precious lamp by surprise.

My mom had been holding a yardsale. I had not noticed that in the middle of all that stuff was "my lamp." It was the lamp I had grown up with on my nightstand for most of my life. Mom and Dad had bought it with Top Value Stamps. (remember those)

I was surprised at my reaction as well and clamped my mouth shut as soon as the words shot out of my mouth.

"Mom, you can't sell my lamp!," I protested. I could tell my mom was torn. There was no way she could realize how much I had loved that lamp growing up. Still, the woman had it in her hands ready to purchase it. There was really nothing she could do about it.

Fortunately, the woman had a heart. She could tell the lamp meant the world to me, so she smiled at me and handed it over. I ran into the house with my prize. I was flabbergasted that my mom would sell something that meant so much to me.

I got to keep it.

I had already moved out of the house a couple of years before the yard sale. I loved that lamp. It had a marble base and an irridescent pearlized base with a floral shade that had a ruffle on top and bottom. I had read more books by the light of that lamp than I could ever count. It had been mine since grade school.

I kept the lamp even after it quit working. I always intended to rewire it but never got around to it. I lost it when I got sick and I lost pretty much everything I had ever owned. Now it's gone.

Well, It Matters to Me

When I was around 20 years old I went to the gynecologists office for my yearly exam. I was surprised and embarrassed to learn that the new secretary was the secretary from my junior high school. I of course played it cool, not wanting her to know that I was embarrassed to see her in my gynecologist's office.

She was asking me the standard questions that they ask you in a dr's office when she asked me, "what form of birth control do you use?" I told her that I was married and that my husband had a vasectomy and that I did not need birth control.

She said, "Well honey,that doesn't matter, that's him. You still need something to protect yourself."

I was mortified that she could insinuate that I would sleep with someone besides my husband. All I could say to her was, "well it matters to me and I don't need anything else."

I can honestly say I never slept with anyone but my husband for the entire 16 years of our marriage. That includes the 3 year period after I left him and gave him a chance to clean up his act so that we could get back together.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Perils of Long Hair

The Perils of Long Hair Mar 15, '09 6:32 PM
for everyone
When I was in junior high school we were in the Smokey Mountains for a family vacation. We were at a go-cart track in Pigeon Forge which is a tourist town at the base of the hills. My Brother, Billy, and my sister, Rhonda, and I were having a ball driving around the go-cart track at full speed like we did everything when we were kids. We didn't know what slow meant on anything!

I had used up my time and was sitting in the van with my mom and dad watching Billy and Rhonda go around the track when my sister wrecked. I remember seeing the whole thing and sitting there frozen in place even though I wanted to help her. One second she was flying around the track and the next she was spinning in circles (not rolling thank God!). and she was lying on her back on the go-cart. When it finished spinning she did not get up. My parents raced out of the van to her and I sat there frozen - just watching people keep driving around the track and thinking someone was going to hit her.

The employees at the track finally got everybody to stop while people rushed to help my sister. She still did not get up - she couldn't. Her waist length, long brown hair had tangled around the driveshaft of the engine. Her hair had been blowing in the wind (this was in the 70's and nobody wore helmets) and caught in the engine. It had wrapped completely around the driveshaft up to her scalp and she was wedged against the hot engine and it was burning her scalp. It took less than a second for this to happen. One second full speed, next second stopped.

People were hollering for scissors to cut her hair to free her but nobody had scissors. To free her a mechanic had to take the whole engine apart to get to the driveshaft to untangle her hair. It seemed to take forever.The whole time Rhonda was laying there screaming for them not to cut her hair. They offerred to call an ambulance for Rhonda but my dad rushed her to the hospital. For some reason when he was carrying her into the emergency room (she was 12 years old) I remember thinking, "He really does love her afterall."

Rhonda had whiplash from the wreck (something my parents said didn't exist), she had headaches and neckaches for years after that. The force of her hair pulling into the engine had caused her scalp to rip in several places. She had stitches. Worse of all for her they had to cut a big patch of hair out of the back of her head. (We both had long hair all of our lives and couldn't imagine having short hair) For months she wore a scarf or bandana to cover the bald spot which made it appear that she had hair to her butt like she always did.

When we got back home she was the first girl drafted into Little League in our county. (Probably the whole state for all I know) I remember sitting in the bleachers hearing people at her first game asking if that was a girl out there - like they couldn't tell with her waistlength hair. Even with her baseball cap she still had to wear that bandana to cover the bald spot. My parents didn't even think about not letting her play because she was light years better than any girl around - and most of the boys for that matter.

lucid nightmare

12:50 am

dreaming about writing the dream
having a contest
trying not to let evil enter my mind
I was in haunted house
Attacked by ripping & tearing
Keeping it out of my mind so it wouldn't hurt
attack didn't work
dark bat wings entering my mind
stay strong it's a dream
It won't hurt if I don't allow it
in haunted house
pictures are attacking my mind
let evil travel through
I have one (won)
here it come's again
dark castle
screaming, screeching, flapping, tearing

extreme thirst woke me up

I have been having dreams about a contest that I couldn't remember for months now. The contest was between the dream that I am having vs. the dream that I want to have. I was not able to control the dream but I was able to control my reactions - this time. Something that I have been working on for years.

lucid dream to OOBE

This was a lucid dream. It had been awhile since I have had a lucid dream.

I was dreaming that I was sleeping and my roommate was cleaning in the other room. I realized that I was dreaming.

I decided that I wanted to pretend that I was still sleeping while I went out of my body to see what my roommate was actually doing. She has been stealing and I wanted to catch her.

I pretended to sleep (in the dream) while I separated from my body. Just when I started to float around the corner to the hallway, I heard banging and clanging noises and I started to see flashes of light and colorful heiroglyphics under my eyelids.

I was fine with what I saw but because of the noise I thought someone was trying to break in the house and I woke up.

I lay there as long as I could see the heiroglyphics to see if I was still asleep. I was not.

I knew as soon as all that stuff had happened that it was too late. That is not my usual style of dreaming.

To sucessfully float you have to merge with the dream - not have such a violent transition. At least that's the way I usually do it.

I had this dream after waking up for a couple of hours. I slept for about 1/2 and hour before I woke up again.

Jesus Came to Get Me! (in a dream)

Wow! Jesus came to get me. This all took place between 12:15 am and 1:30 a.m.

As I was dozing off, I saw Jesus (classic pose, arms outstretched). Usually when I see things as I am dozing off, I wake up thinking "hey, I didn't know I was asleep yet". I stayed asleep this time. Then I saw angels flying around. I went on to sleep.

I was dreaming I was in an abandoned children's hospital. It was full of animals and teddy bears. A police cruiser drove slowly by with it's lights on but no siren. I was standing with a black man holding a teddy bear (he gave it to me) and my granny (she is an evangelist) and some small children.

Then Jesus was there. As I was looking at him several spiritlike angels swooped in and took me under my arms and started to lift me from my body. I felt myself stretching and being pulled away from my body. (it felt like being in the back car of a rollercoaster) I felt several rather violent electric shocks and I realized what was happening.

I yelled, "NOT YET!" and I dove back into my body and I woke up.

The dream didn't scare me or make me happy or anything. It is an interesting dream considering I am a heart patient and I am getting weaker and weaker despite medical efforts. I was very tired yesterday when I went to bed, because I had pushed myself to my limit just to see what I was capable of.

I had a friend analyze this dream. I think she was dead on. The abandoned hospital represents my abandonment issues - which I have. (you lose a lot of friends when you become seriously ill)

The dying part of the dream is obviously due to the fact that my health is so bad.

Seeing Jesus was my way of putting a familiar face on an unfamiliar occurrence.

Although I have 'induced' 2 OBE's during lucid dreams, in this dream I was not trying to induce an OBE.

It always helps to find someone with more experience in these things to talk to. The extreme reactions to this dream that my friends have had have been quite interesting.

Lucid Dream Lost

I was dreaming that I was at the track picking up dogs and they changed security and everytime I tried to go around it there was a man there with his back to me who always said "We already thought of that."

I made it to the race in the nick of time and a woman was there who told me that I wouldn't be picking up this dog that I would only pick up certain dogs from now on. I asked her when my turn was and she said "Tuesday the 21st."

I told her that I wasn't happy about it and she said to come with her so we could talk. We were separated and I realized that I was dreaming.

I thought, "now I can try my personal goal of leaving my body."

I was immediately speeding through a silvery white tunnel with silvery white geometric shapes all around me.

Then I thought, " this is taking too long, " and I lost the Dream and I was awake.

When I lucid dream things usually happen the second I think about them That is why I started thinking, "this is taking too long."

One of my dad's stories

My dad came home one day to tell us that he had almost died. He was on his way home in a TR-7. (for those of you who don't remember they were tiny triangular shaped cars in the 70's)

There was some road construction about a 1/2 mile from our house and daddy was going to fast to stop! So, he deliberately drove the car into the embankment beside the road and this caused the car to flip over on top of him. (a convertible)

He said he had to pick up the car and slide out from underneath it. He was happy it was such a little car! for those of you who don't believe my little story I can tell you that it had to have a new paint job and a windshield to boot.