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Are You Thankful?

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bigstock-Man-holding-arms-up-in-praise--14031791“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey. From the online dictionary thank·ful

Adjective
  1. Pleased and relieved: “they were thankful that the war was finally over”; “I was very thankful to be alive”.
  2. Expressing gratitude and relief: “a thankful prayer”.
Synonyms
grateful – appreciative – beholden
Most of us are now working to achieve our desires. Jim Rohn, inspirational speaker said his key phrase is “Learn to be Thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” We must learn the lesson of being thankful for what we have if we are to be a success in our life.  Without being thankful no doors or windows will open for you. I am a beleiver in God and without thankfullness, I truely beleive that no blessings can come our way.
Think about what you have to be grateful for, your parents, your spouse, your children, your job, your car ect. ect. Even those that think they have very little can find something to feel grateful about. Do you have good health? Are you thankful for your health? What would it be like if you didn’t have it. Maybe you are very ill, you can be thankful you have another day with your family and friends.
The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This is an article by Jim Rohn that sums up thankfulness for him. If nothing else it should give us all something to think about.

To appreciate the uniqueness of our own experiences that has brought us all here, together. For the countries we represent; we have freedom and liberty. These are extraordinary times, about eleven years ago the walls came tumbling down, in Germany, and it started a wave of democracy and freedom like the world has never seen before. We as a country and as a world have so much to be thankful for. Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act.

Now thankfulness is just the beginning; next, you’ve got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance. Here’s what I think fruitfulness and abundance mean – to go to work on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your nation and blessing your enterprise. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it’s amazing what the numbers turn out to be. But to begin this incredible process of blessing, it often starts with the act of thanksgiving and gratitude, being thankful for what you already have and for what you’ve already done. Begin the act of thanksgiving today and watch the miracles flow your way.

The video is Where are you Christmas? with some tough pictures to look at, but it is a reminder of how thankful we should be for the life we have.

Tastes Like Chicken

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Today is the day I’m going to start my blog again. I’m buried alive by moving boxes but I’m not going to let my blog go any longer. Today I’m going to tell you a story about my dad. It came to my mind when someone a couple of days ago blogged about thier mother not cooking wild meat.

My mother and father lived about four miles north of highway 270 west of McAlester, Oklahoma on land where my great grandparents lived. There is a quarter mile drive off the main road to their house. When mama was a little girl her and her grandfather planted a pine tree at the corner of the main road and the drive. That pine tree remains alive and well to this day.

Back in the 1980’s my dad worked at the Navy Ammunition Plant at Haywood as a truck driver and forklift operator. He drove on and off the mountain at least five days a week. Mom would pack a lunch for him every day, which he would put in the refrigerator at the work office.

Everyday someone would get into the lunches in the refrigerator and eat things out of people’s lunch sacks. They thought they knew who the fellow was, but they couldn’t prove it. Everyone was frustrated with this guy.

One evening when dad was coming home, he got to the pine tree and thought there was a big limb in the road. He opened the truck door and that big limb coiled. Having a pistol under the seat he proceeded to shoot and kill a seven and a half foot diamond back rattler. He brought it to the house and skinned it out. Mom took the back bone meat and cut it into chunks and fried it. That’s what they ate for dinner that night. My sister said it was good eating and tasted a lot like chicken.

My dad decided he would take some to work the next day for his lunch. He never told a soul about killing the snake or what he had for lunch. He put it in the refrigerator as he always did and went out to the docks to unload a truck.  Noon rolled around and all the guys were sitting at the table eating.  Daddy’s lunch had been gotten into and about half of the meat had been eaten.

Dad began talking and telling the guys about the big rattlesnake he had killed the night before  and how mom had cooked it up for him. He even brought some for his lunch.  Dad said the man accross from him, who happened to be the man who they thought was getting into the lunches, choked on his food. His color turned pasty white and then he turned green and had to leave the room.  They could hear him retching outside and all knew he was throwing his toenails up.

Everyone had a great laugh and guess what else. No one’s lunch was ever robbed again. The man got cured.

Daddy had that snake skin mounted and it hung over their television set for over twenty years. He would still laugh when he told that story about his big snake.

The Key (Flash Fiction)

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The door slammed making the adrenaline surge up my backbone, gripping me with instant fear. I knew he was in the house. I have to stay quiet or he will find me. I can hear him tromping around in his heavy boots. The cabinets and drawers open and close, as he searches for the key. I have it well hidden. He may find me, but he won’t find the key.

I’m in the clothes hamper in the back part of Mom’s closet. If I can be quiet he won’t find me. I may be seventeen years old, but I’m tiny. My family and friends call me Tinkerbell, or Tink for short. This is one of those times I appreciate being tiny. He wasn’t supposed to be back at the house until evening, so I thought I would be safe to get some of my clothes. Boy, was I wrong. I guess he is desperate to find the key to the safe deposit box.

I hear him in the room going through everything. My mama would be all right now if it hadn’t been for him. If I disappear, the key will go to John Houston at the Daily Journal. If only she hadn’t told him about her journal. This would’ve been much easier. I could’ve turned it over to the authorities and he would be none the wiser. I guess Mom thought she was getting back at him somehow by letting him know he wasn’t getting away with anything.

Last Saturday started out like every other Saturday, with Mom cooking us a great breakfast with all the trimmings. After he left the house, she began to talk to me. My brain couldn’t believe what she told me about Jack, her husband of ten years. I remember very little of my father, so Jack, for all intent and purpose, was my dad, which made all of it harder to accept.

Jack’s having an affair, according to Mom. It’s been going on for almost a year. Mom chooses to overlook it for some reason that I will never know. It may have been because of Jack carrying Mom and me on his insurance.  I’ve heard enough to know how tough it is when you don’t have medical insurance. If she confronted him, I never knew about it. I don’t know if I could accept that behavior.

Mom developed Diabetes about three years ago and used insulin daily. She did a finger stick four times a day. Her sugars were very erratic. The insulin she used changed with every test. She used sixty-four units of NPH insulin every morning and Regular before meals and at bedtime. She adjusted it as needed . She said her sugars were like a bouncing ball, and she never knew what direction it was going to go.

This morning I didn’t go to school. Jack left for work, as usual. Mom was late getting up. She didn’t look like she felt good. She told me she was very nervous on the inside and needed some orange juice before she checked her sugar.

I went back to my room to find clothes to put on. I heard the front door open and Jack yelled at mom letting her know he was home. He went into the kitchen, because I heard them arguing over mom’s journal. “I want that damn key, Janice,” Jack yelled.

Mom yelled back. “You aren’t getting it. I must have protection, and that journal is it. You thought you were so damn smart, but now you know if something happens to me you are dead meat.” I walked down the hall being careful not to make any noise, so I could see and  listen to what was going on.

“You bitch; do you really think that little book will protect you?”

“Sure I do. It tells about your affair. Where you have hidden all of the money you embezzled from the company. It contains all of your dirty little secrets. You take care of me and you stay safe. If not, then you’ll be in prison for the rest of your life. It’s your choice. Leave me alone so I can get me some orange juice to drink. I can feel my blood sugar dropping. You know what is going to happen if I don’t get me some juice.”

A big smile spread across Jack’s face as he said, “Yes, I sure do. In fact, let’s walk to the living room. That might help it drop faster.”

“This is the day you get your payback. You think you can screw with me. You and no one else will get away with blackmailing me. It’s a shame that little crap daughter of yours is in school or I could take care of her at the same time. I will play the loving father until I find that key. Once the key is found, Tink will have an accident.”

I knew I had to find some place to hide. He moved her into the living room so I couldn’t go out the front door. That’s how I ended up in this hamper, barely breathing, unable to move. Mom has a narrow deep closet. Maybe he won’t discover me.
I heard him enter the bedroom and he continued going through the drawers. He came into the closet and searched through the boxes on the shelf. God please put your protection around mama and me. The phone began ringing causing Jack to stop searching. I guess he was trying to decide whether to answer the phone. He didn’t, and within a couple of minutes he was out the door.

I climbed out of the hamper and headed to the living room to check on Mama. She wasn’t breathing well, and didn’t respond. I called 911 knowing I was saving her and me both. Jack is about to answer for his actions.

*******

I wish to thank you for the kind words and support given to me because of my father’s death. I can’t express my gratitude enough.

Living By Example

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I believe that man is born inherently good. We are born with all of the goodness that God can bestow on one human being. How many cruel and evil babies have you seen? What you see is a miracle of God at its best. A perfect little human.

That child enters this world with nothing but trust, and remains that way until their brain has matured enough to begin seeing the world around them. What a child learns are what we as a human race teach them. Do you think that a child wakes up one morning thinking, “you know when I am seventeen, I’m going to be selling dope, and I might even rob a liquor store. I think for kicks I’ll shoot the person who’s there.”

What do you think this child learned while his mind was developing? Were mom and dad both working in order to take care of the family? Maybe the child was a latchkey kid who sat in front of the television for hours watching humans kill, beat and rape other humans. Laugh at others misfortune. It could have also been a case of a one-parent family where the child felt abandoned. There are multitudes of possible reasons. Bottom line is they learn by example.

This child may not have received any guidance from his/her parents, because they received none from theirs. How can a young adult make good choices concerning their life if their main role models didn’t teach and guide them. It makes it very easy to take guidance from other kids who don’t have guidance from their parents either.

We live an “anything goes” life style. Parents do their thing and kids do theirs. My parents were firm believers in the spare the rod spoil the child mentality. Their parenting skills came from what they saw and lived as children. My parenting skills were learned the same way. I believe I was a better parent than mine were, and my children are better at parenting than I am. I blame parents when kids are disrespectful, foul-mouthed or when they get into trouble. I know sometimes parents can’t control what is going on, but where were they when morals, values, right and wrong should have been taught.

I believe the majority of parents do the best they can concerning their children. What kind of favor are we doing future generations by not teaching children how to behave in public or at home for that matter?

I have two grown children who turned out well in spite of me. Do I have regrets about their raising? You bet I do. I wish I could do it over again, but that’s not possible. I have to live with my mistakes. I wish every household could be like the thirty minute shows in the 50’ and 60’s such as “My Three Sons, or Father Knows Best, and Leave It To Beaver. Wouldn’t our world be wonderful? We’d have perfect households with terrific kids who would talk to their parents about anything. They made mistakes, but not bad ones. Everything ended on a positive note.

Have we as a society created a future society with an attitude of “I’ll do what I want, when I want and I don’t care what happens to you.” It is a very scary thought to me what my grandchildren will have to deal with. How do you feel about it?

It’s Here, Again

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I remember asking my mom how long would it be before I got out of high-school and how long would it be until I finished  school and many more “how long until questions”.  She would tell me, and then tell me not to be in such a big hurry.  My mind was saying, “sure mom”, the entire time she’d be talking.  That was like telling the wind not to blow.  “You will see when you  get older just how fast time will  go by.”  You know she was right.

One year barely gets going before another one is here.  My babies have babies, who have babies.  I know that can’t be possible, because I’m not old enough to be a great-grandmother.  I think I’m 49, but maybe I’m 62.  Those years which keep running over each other getting here, have really messed up my mind.   Maybe that’s a good thing and I won’t realize that my world has changed.

Time marching on is a double-edged sword.  I have watched my family grow and prosper, as well as myself, but I have also watched some of my family leave this world.  They are in a better place, but I’m selfish and want them here with me.  I have watched  familiar things disappear around me.  I hate it that they are rebuilding all the bridges around my childhood home.  I will miss those one lane bridges with the wood runners going over.   The bridges will be a lot safer for those coming up, but people(especially new drivers) won’t feel the thrill I did when I drove across, praying I  wouldn’t fall off into the creek if I ran off those boards.  They say change is good and I suppose it is.  I now know how my grandparents and parents must have felt as their world changed around them.

That is my New Year ramblings.  I’m going to eat my black-eyed peas and thank God for the wonderful life I have. I have no control over time or changes, so I guess I’ll just do what I do every year and go with the flow.  With love from my family and friends and lots of help from God, I will survive.

I wish each  of you a Happy, Prosperous, Healthy New Year.  Turn up your speakers and listen to this one man choir sing Old Lang Syne as we start this new year and leave 2011 behind us.

http://youtu.be/0VaxyutCQAk

 

How does the New Year strike you?

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New Year Bell's

Christmas is past and now everyone is gearing up for the next party or whatever their particular tradition is.  Do you ring the New Year out or ring it in.  At this point in my life I do neither.  My husband and I toast the New Year in on New Years Eve about 10:00 PM and go to bed.  We have a wild time celebrating (not).  After a goodnight’s sleep (hopefully), we pick our New Years Celebration up once again (sort of).  We have a special meal.  As I’m a southern girl, I must have my black-eyed peas for prosperity.  I’ve never missed my New Year’s meal.  I’ve had to adapt it a little.  My husband being from the northeast has to have pork and sauerkraut for his New Year meal.  We are a true blending of the North and the South cultures.

Julius Caesar made January 1st the New year and the celebrations began.  I think that was around 46 B.C.E.  There have been lots of traditions developed since that time.  What traditions have you developed?  Do you see the New Year in and the old one out? What about that midnight kiss?  Do you seal the old year out and the new one in by kissing a loved one or even a stranger standing close by? What about the New Year resolution?  I don’t make them anymore because I never kept them.  I was a complete failure……

Share with me and others your New Year customs.  Let’s see how much alike and different we are.

“My Daddy”

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Drinking Man

My life with my Dad is/was complicated. I love him, and I now know he loves me.  It’s not always been so. I was fifty years old the first time I heard daddy tell me he loved me.  It was if he had gone through his life not being able to get the words to come out of his mouth.  I think it is amazing how important those words are to a daughter.  I went through half of my life not knowing if daddy loved me or not.  Now, he is never the first to say it, but I always hear it, “love you too.”
My dad fought his demons.  The alcohol ruled his life from the time I was a child until I was almost fifty years old.  There were casualties from the fight.  For many years I was one of them.  As a small child my memories of my dad was his drinking, going fishing and watching the Friday night fights.  When I reached my teen years, I hated my father.  I couldn’t bring friends home with me, because I didn’t know if he would kiss them or cuss them.
He taught me how to manipulate him, so I could get what I wanted. I learned just the right time to ask for something.  He went through all the known stages of
drinking alcohol, from quiet to downright mean.  By the time he reached the mean stage I would try to disappear.  It didn’t always work because he would set me
up for a fight.  It was strange, but that is how I learned to love books.  I could
disappear into one of them.
There was so much verbal and physical abuse, around me. He and mom would get into an augment which intensified into a physical fight all too often.  I am surprised they let each other live to make it to sixty years of living together.
Through Gods grace I was able to forgive my dad.  I now see him as a kind loving father who now appreciates his family, and what he has.  I still remember the pain, but it doesn’t affect me like it did.
Daddy doesn’t remember the life we had or the pain he caused. He remembers the good things about his life and not the bad.  At his age it is alright, he doesn’t need to remember. He enjoys his daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His world revolves around his family now, not the bottle.
The video I have posted below is called : Alcohol: Poison for body and mind. It is very interesting to listen to.  Please take the time to listen.  We can’t have enough education concerning alcoholism.
ttp://youtu.be/-rsBMyFqCl8
That’s my two-cents for the day.

Grave Injustice by Jada Penn

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Grave Injustice by Jada Penn is one of those books I didn’t want to put down.  The protagonist is Lisa, she is caught between two men and seems to be continually making the wrong choice. She is a very strong willed woman, who wants to run her own life.  She does have the support of her parents and Grandmother.  She lives on an estate which has been in the family for generations.  Jada’s writing is very descriptive of everything around Lisa.  It was easy for me to visialize the characters as well as the surroundings.

Outside influences begin to cause problems .  Strange things happen to Lisa, and she confides in her long time housekeeper.  The man Lisa tries to distance herself from is having problems himself and is doing everything in his power to get Lisa for himself.

If you enjoy reading a good paranormal, mystery you will enjoy Grave injustice.  That’s my two-cents for today.

Head For the Closet

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The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the dr...

Image via Wikipedia

I have been reading Fish of Gold’s blog about natural disasters.  There have been some very good comments since she was Freshly Pressed.  There were comments about disaster drills for tornadoes and hurricanes.  I made the comment the only drill we had when I went to school was a bomb drill.  That was not true when I got to really thinking about it.  We also had the earthquake drill where we got underneath our desks, and also the usual monthly fire drill, where we left the building in a quiet, orderly fashion.  The 1950’s was a wonderous decade.

I had to bring home a note from school, so my parents could choose what I should do just in case “the bomb” was dropped.  It seemed everyone stayed on edge.  I guess after the war, they thought we were fair game to be “nuked”.    My parents decided  I was to come home if an alert sounded.  There was a siren system set up for the town to use in case of emergencies.  The town of Benicia was built on the rolling hills.  It sits right on the bay and is not far from San Francisco.

My parents worked at the Benicia Arsnal until it closed in 1960; because it was a military base, it made everyone very nervous.  Everyone knew it would be the Arsnal that would be hit.  I remember hearing mom and dad talk about what could happen.  They also had my parents doing drills on their job, on what to do if the atomic bomb is dropped.  How much time you would have, depending on the drop site.

The people in power wanted to make sure everyone was totally aware of all possibilities.  In the middle of the night, the sirens started going off.  I remember being woke and thrown in the closet head first, and my sister coming in right on top of me.  The sirens  woke my mom and dad; because of all the training, they knew the bomb had been dropped.  In less than a minute the house began to sway and things started crashing to the floor.  It was an earthquake, not a bomb.  I guess they forgot to differentiate the siren sounds between what was a bomb and an earthquake.

I don’t remember doing anymore bomb drills after that little episode.   It was fine with me, trying to run as fast as you could for six blocks to get home, was not fun.

Fish of Gold really provoked some serious childhood memories.  Those bomb drills had not been thought of for years.  I guess the war was over, but no one felt that it was “really” over.  I can’t even start to think, the closet would have protected us from anything. It might have taken a second longer for the blast wave to get to us, but it would have arrived.  Thank God, it never happened the way people thought it would.  That’s my two-cents for today.