Friday, October 10, 2014

We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun But the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone.....Thank you Terry Jacks

I like to cook. Well at least most of the time. I learned to cook at an early age, mostly as a self-defense strategy. My mom much as I love is one of the worst cooks I have ever had the displeasure of eating their food. Rivaled only by my grandma, only my Grandma Lorraine could bake. She baked like a goddess and she canned fruits and jams. My Grandpa John had a sweet tooth so she always had something there for him. But, cooking oh goodness. It was almost comical.

If you went to a holiday meal at my Grandma Lorraine and Grandpa John’s house she would make a nice spread. A turkey that she had forgotten about, pasty mashed potatoes or stuffing. Never both because she always forgot one. Plus most of the time if she made potatoes she forgot to make gravy. But, these were fun meals because there was always a lot of family there and that family was great! The desserts were always so good and there were always several different types.

Now if the holiday meal was at Grandpa Egon and Grandma Lorna’s house there was always a spread. My grandpa always did the cooking. I would sit in the kitchen and talk to him and watch him cook. He was amazing. Notice I say talk to him and not with him. He was a man of few words. We were a great pair, a little girl who loved to talk and an older man who loved to listen.

Grandpa’s holiday meals were always a sight to behold. He would make a perfect turkey, and this was before the Reynolds Wrap turkey bags. I admit that I swear by them. Perfect turkey every time as long as you follow the directions and they are never dry. He would make the complete meal. Grandma Lorna would make the pumpkin and apple pies. To me the best part of the whole meal was the prune whip that he made. That was how dinner started with a little dish of prune whip.

Holidays were always happy events. I have many happy memories of when I was a child. I was blessed with a loving family. Yes, there were times that weren’t always happy but I believe I was always nurtured and loved. One of my biggest memories of my Grandpa John was what was a backhanded compliment. When I was a young adult before my grandpa died we became closer than we ever had been. I mean we were close enough before but we had a more comfortable relationship. We could talk about the things that interested me like politics. When I was younger he wouldn’t talk such thing with me I was a girl. He told me that it was too bad that I hadn’t been born a man.

I was greatly affronted by this. I felt it was a great insult. I told him so. He then explained that if I had been born male life would have afforded me more opportunities than it did normally for women. I understand now what he meant but to a young woman it was an insult. The last political advice he gave me? Was that he liked that young guy from Arkansas. He figured that he would make a pretty good president. Grandpa John was right President Bill Clinton was a good president.

One last thought on my Grandpa John. He had been a lifelong Democrat until  Ronald Reagan ran for governor of the Great State of California. It seems Mr Reagan (he had not held office at that point) didn’t look grandpa in the eye when he shook his hand and he had a weak handshake. Unlike Governor Pat Brown whom he had great respect. That’s a story for another time.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.....Thank you to the BeeGees.

Anyone who knows me also knows that I love to read. I have never made any secret of that love. When I was a child and I would get sent to my room I was thrilled to go. That just meant I got quiet time to read. I could sit with one of my books and escape to someplace else. Unfortunately my mom caught on that this was not the discipline for me. She realized that she was rewarding me. So, my discipline would be something that would take away that extra quiet time. I learned not to rock the boat. My books were my best friends.

My greatest and favorite gifts as a child were books. My Grandma Lorna and my Grandpa Egon were the major book givers. That was because they were truly book lovers too. One of the saddest things for me was when my grandpa couldn’t read anymore because of Macular Degeneration. My mom got him a big old clunky machine that helped him to read but it was too hard for him to use. He did use it to aid him in writing things. I bought him the Bible in audio form because I knew that would bring him comfort. He loved reading his Bible.

Before that Scotty and I would read books and pass them on to Grandpa. If we really liked a book it generally meant that he would. A few of my favorites were his too. He enjoyed John Grisham a lot, with his favorite being “A Time To Kill”. He went so far as to say it was the best book he had ever read. I truly got my love of reading from them. My dad read from time to time, my mother has rarely ever read. Although I do remember her reading True Story magazine and such like that.

I have had many favorite books growing up. When I was a pre-teen to a teenager the choices of books weren’t all that great that I knew. I mean if you went to the library the section allowed to check out from weren’t of interest so I would steal my mom’s books and read them. Treasures like “Coffee, Tea or Me”. Books where I learned about things like pasties at the young age of 9 or ten. Oh yeah good reading. Maybe that is why I am so into reading the YA (young adult) books now. I had enough reading about sex then. Don’t be hating on my mom or dad, after all I am the one that took them without their knowledge. Thankfully, I graduated to reading my dad’s books like “Exodus”.

But, among my favorite books from being young were “Pollyanna” and “Anne Of Green Gables”. I still love those books. I also read “The Little House On The Prairie” for some reason this wasn’t a favorite series for me. Grandma missed with that one. But, oh my! My reading world opened up wide when I was in 7th grade and the book we covered in English was “The Hobbit”. That book was amazing to me. I traveled with Bilbo Baggins. I was him in my mind. His adventures were mine. This was a world I only dreamed about. This captured my imagination like no other. Sigh….memories.

As I got older my friend Dina and he mom Mary introduced me to the pleasures of Stephen King, John Saul, VC Andrews and Dean Koontz. These books fed my mind and scared me half to death. I loved every freaking second of it, I still do. My very first Stephen King book was “Christine”. Oh my gosh I was hooked! But, it wasn’t until I read “The Stand” that I was really hooked. This was a book of good vs evil of epic proportions. Thank you, Dina and Mary for broadening my world.

Along in my life I have had many different people influence me in my reading and I have treasured every moment of the books I have read. When our kids got older and wanted to read different “older” books I decided maybe I should read some of them first Like “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone”. I have read this series more than once and right now I am reading it again. Great fun for me. Another great find for me was Tamora Pierce. She write wonderful female empowering books and I picked one up for Kody to try in the 3rd grade. I figured I better read it first and I fell in love with that series and author and the girls loved her work. They have grown up past her books, I haven’t. These are also books I reread on a regular basis.

I fell in love with the wonderful animals of “Redwall”, I have read every book in that series. Brian Jacques woodland creatures have provided this mom a lot of fun hours of reading. I would read them aloud to the kids and then when I went to bed I would read ahead. I had to know how they made out. Then wonderful thing about this and the other series I have mentioned is that they can be read by adults and children. Maybe my kids out grow them but I don’t

Don’t think I don’t read grown up books because I do. But, that will be for another time. Maybe I will start posting my book reviews here and maybe I won’t. Happy reading my friends. If there’s a book you love share it with me maybe I will read it. J

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dream weaver I've just closed my eyes again Climbed aboard the dream weaver train Driver take away my worries of today And leave tomorrow behind.......Thank you Gary Wright

Do have awake dreams? Some people call them fantasies. I prefer to call them dreams. It is a technique I use to brighten my day. I plan vacations. I used to just plan Disney related trips. I love everything Disney but recently I have broadening my horizons. I love to do the planning. I think that I may enjoy planning vacations a bit more than I enjoy the vacations.

Maybe the reason I enjoy the planning more is because my dreams are always better than real life. Right now I am looking at so many different locations that it would boggle my friend’s minds. I am sure that many of them believe that I know no other place to visit or go to than Disneyland. Mind you though…..I have been looking at Disney Cruises and the Disney Adventures. Among many other places though.

This is the first time I have ever dreamt of Germany, let alone Europe. Scotty my husband was stationed in Germany while he was in the Army and I am mostly German in heritage. So, this makes me excited to think about. I have no idea where we might go in Germany but so far I like Heidelberg. More Germany to look at. The history of the country excites me.

But, now that I looking at Europe I need to look at other countries too. After all I have to visit Paris! I heard there is a Disneyland in France. ;) No, but seriously. Many years ago I read a novel of a woman who saved her money for years so that she could buy a Christian Dior dress in Paris. This captured my imagination. Not that I would ever get a Dior dress I would love to see that area. Silly I know.

I would love to see all of France, having grown up so close to Napa, California and actually living in the Suisun Valley of California I would love to see the wine country of France. Especially the Champagne area. I have a lot of dreaming (planning) to do! Of course this means research. Yay! This is exciting! I accept this task I have set before myself.

Well, if we're there how about Italy? Or Spain? Or what about Switzerland or Sweden? Oh this could take me a long time. Oh the fun to have. No, I am already learning German because I don’t want to be that person. I don’t expect to be fluent but I want some workable knowledge. Now, I need to look towards French, Italian and Spanish. The Spanish might not be too hard, I took conversational Spanish in college. Also known as Mexican Spanish. Of course I remember almost none of it but I think relearning might not be quite as bad.

What do you dream about? What you do that gives you that rush that planning gives me? Happy dreams friends! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It was great when it all began I was a regular Frankie fan ..... Thank you Rocky Horror Picture Show for oh so many things!

How about we talk about one of my all-time favorite movies? Rocky Horror Picture Show! This was the movie of my 20’s. I will never forget the first time I heard anything about it. I was introduced to the movies music long before the movie by some long forgotten person. The music was far more memorable to me. I had never heard lyrics like these. I had to go buy myself the cassette tape. Yes, I am aging myself. This was before CDs and digital music.

Before long I could be heard singing such unforgettable songs like Science Fiction Double Feature, Over at the Frankenstein Place and Dammit Janet said something to me. Maybe it was because listening to them maybe felt a little naughty to me. I was in love with the music. This was among the music that I listened to as I cleaned how or I drove my car. Not the best role model my nephew who was two or three also knew all of the words to the songs.

Ryan could be heard singing Dammit Janet when other little kids were singing much more appropriate songs Ryan could sing these songs. Do I feel bad? No I don’t I have a little smile over it. Of course this wasn’t the only music we listened to just what we listened to the most. How well did Ryan know the music one day he told a friend of my sisters and mine “Donnie Burner in just seven days I can make you a man!” The poor guy was non plussed. He had never had an aunt like me. Hahahaha! But, after that Ryan and I listened more to Journey, Boston and such.

When my friend David found out that although I was very familiar with the music but I had never seen the movie he made sure that I did. We first watched a bootleg copy on this tiny little TV and well frankly it didn’t do the movie any favors. But, then as luck would have it one of our local theaters decided to have midnight movies and it was one of the movies they brought in. David and I went and I saw it on the big screen.

When Tim Curry came down the elevator as Frank N Furter dressed in high heels, fishnet stockings, a bustier and garters I was instantly and completely in lust. I am not sure what it was but this man to me was just so hot! The words coming out of his mouth were the same ones I knew by heart but to see it was so different. “How do you do? I see you met my faithful handyman…..” I was sold. I now understood why so many people liked no loved this strange and quirky movie.

Not everybody gets this movie, definitely not everyone gets my attraction when I was younger to Frank. But, I regret nothing. This was my jam and this was my young and not misspent adulthood. I am proud to say that I have passed my love of Rocky Horror Picture Show to my oldest daughter. The other two kids think we are nuts. We probably are. I still know every song by heart and I have watched the movie in the last year. I used to own the DVD because Ryan bought it for me. Such a good nephew!

So, this is my movie and maybe next I will thrill you with my Princess Bride knowledge. It isn’t inconceivable. ;)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's the terror of knowing What this world is about Watching some good friends Screaming, "Let me out!" Thank you Queen for the title.

Fear is the great equalizer. It is worse than that. The media feeds on our fears. My mom is a person that feels fear about all of these diseases that the media is putting out there. Now let’s couple that with her being hard of hearing. This is not a fun thing she hears half of a report and goes off halfcocked into the world. A prime example is this Enterovirus D68, the virus that the children are getting.
Some children have died from in it and there are children that are paralyzed. I believe from her fear that she believes that she needs to worry about. Never mind the fact that they have endlessly reported that it is a disease that hits children and very few teenagers. Because adults and older teenagers have been exposed to it by now at one point or another.

If she hears about a child being sick the first thought she has is that the child has it and she needs to fear it. My husband is sick, he has a virus and is dizzy with queasiness. She asked me this morning if he was coughing. Her first thought was that he had caught the dreaded Enterovirus D68. I lost it. This has been an endless battle with her and I am at my wits end.

A few minutes ago she started reading an article about the gentleman in Texas who has Ebola. Now, I have told her time and again that we do not traveled to Africa. We do not at this point have any friends who have recently traveled to Africa. On and on. Sigh, the media needs to be clearer. If my mom is like this it tells me that there aren’t other people that don’t understand.

My only saving grace is that she has not learned out how to look diseases up on the internet. Then life as we know if would be over and she would be convinced that we all had some strange disease that we have no chance of getting. She can find her games to play, pay some of her bills, do her banking and read her email. She can read articles on AOL’s opening page but that is about all she can do. No medical searching. Thank goodness.

Happy thoughts to all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Welcome to the jungle Watch it bring you to your knees, knees I wanna watch you bleed...Thank you Guns and Roses

Today I decided that I really need to blog. I need to say my piece concerning Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens. In February over Valentines weekend he used his then girlfriend as a punching bag. I guess I need to get my say out now because of the release of the video. This video is damning indeed. You see the violence at its rawest form. I need to address it because the NFL and the Ravens have decided to release him from the team.
I have so many questions and thoughts that I need to let it go. Cue the upsweep of music….. Okay, now just what the hell did the NFL and the Ravens think abuse looked like? Did they think that it was sunshine and roses? Did they picture children playing with puppies and kittens? No, I don’t think they did. I think what they saw was the bottom line. The almighty dollar sign. Who cares that someone was hurt? Be it a man, woman or child.

I truly believe that they thought we as a group wouldn’t care. I don’t think that they gave us enough credit. I believe that they thought that the glory of all that football is we would allow them to brush it under the rug. That we would be hypnotized by the fact that it was football season again. I think that maybe it might have worked. But, as these things happen the video was released. In all its ugliness it was out there for us to see.
Now, I have to ask this, why did the police never charge him? Why did the police/prosecutor interview her with Ray there? Shouldn’t abuse victims be interviewed alone? I may not be lawyer or even educated in law but common sense tells me that you separate them. I cannot believe this. I think that if I were an abuse victim I might be afraid to talk about it in front of said abuser. Fear is a real thing. I had a friend that was abused by her long term boyfriend and then husband. I would ask her why she let him continue to beat her. Her answer was always that he regretted it and that he would never do it again.

Now I was never happy with that statement because I knew with all my heart that I would beat the out of any person that did that to me. I still believe that is true but now I am not so quick to judge her or anyone else for that matter. How can I? I have no idea what it is like to be in that position. As a part of our human nature we like to believe the best of the people we love.

Then the NFL….Oh boy my questions abound here. First they suspend him for two games. Oh my you naughty boy! Could they spare the days? I think that they thought we could just let it go with that. After all boys will be boys. How many times did I hear that one growing up? Way too many. My dad believed too many archaic things. My grandpa on the other hand was a women’s libber. He was born in 1908 and he believed that women didn’t have equal rights and he fought until his dying days to bring change. Yes, he was my role model for the type of man I might want to marry. I think I did well.
The public outcry of the two game suspension of Ray Rice forced the NFL to rethink their position. Now it is a six game suspension for the first offense and then a lifetime ban. Or that’s what it was until the video. Suddenly the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens changed their collective minds. Mr. Rice was released from football. The NFL has said that no teams may hire him. He is persona no grata to the NFL and to his team. The same team and NFL had basically treated this as a boys will be boy’s situation.

Now I have to ask this. Did the NFL just put a big target on Mrs. Rice? Did this open it up to being her fault that his career is either over or put on hold? I have listened to the people on TV and I have read all of the social media firestorm. When I watched the news conference that John Harbaugh did I just got a yada yada feeling from it. I felt that he was uncomfortable with the whole issue. I feel that he should be. We all should be.
Now, in San Francisco Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers face a very similar situation with Ray McDonald. Mr. McDonald was arrested for beating up his pregnant fiancĂ©. It was over Labor Day weekend. I am sensing a theme here. This time the second time that the police have shown up at the McDonald household. They aren’t saying why they were called the first time. Mr. McDonald played last weekend for the 49er’s and will probably continue to. After all there were only witnesses not video.

We wait and see what happens with this. I wait and see what happens here. Has this marred how I feel about a sport I was raised to love? Yes, unfortunately it has. I still have college ball though and I will continue to watch it. Maybe if the NFL steps up to the bat here they have lost me. This makes me both angry and sad.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lying beside you Here in the dark Feeling your heartbeat with mine......Thank you Journey

Tomorrow on August 16, 2014 I will be married to my love of my life for twenty-two years. I used to laugh when I heard people refer to their spouses as their other halves or their better half when I was younger. I totally get it now. Scotty, is the best thing that ever happened to me. Without him I wouldn’t be me.

Not only is it the anniversary of our marriage but it is also the anniversary of our first kiss. I remember it as though it was yesterday. I knew that as soon as our lips touched that this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He is a gentle loving man.

This man is amazing to me. When I was sick in 2007 he was by my side. He was at my bedside every hour that he could be. He would come to my physical therapy on his days off. His devotion and love was the medicine that I needed the most. He with family decorated my room in ICU with cards, notes, banners, bible verses, and photos. Even though I was in a coma he wanted me to see these things when I woke up.

Because of things he researched he knew that because I was a stroke victim it was best to put these things on the side of my body that my stroke had affected so that I look that way. So, I couldn’t forget about that side like so any stroke victims do. If he couldn’t come see me he would call me. At first the conversations weren’t the best. After all I had a tracheotomy.

When I was moved to a facility even further from home we could only see each other on his days off. We talked every day. I will be honest and say that it was a very hard time for me. I spent many a night crying myself to sleep. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use my right hand or arm. I felt helpless. Once again my walls were decorated. Scotty my knight in shining armor coming through.

When I was finally released to come home he took on the daunting chore of helping me to care for myself. I could walk with a walker but, my right arm was still paralyzed. I had an ileostomy and a catheter. Not a treasure to be hold for sure. But, he was to me. Scotty took such wonderful care of me. He would help me to shower and wash my hair. This was huge for me. He also took care of my other needs. Quite a thankless job. But, we were together again.

I am not sure that I ever thanked him properly for that. I know that Scotty is one of the reasons I am where I am today. My hero, my knight, my love of my life, my ketchup to my fries, my yin to my yang, I could go on and on. I love you honey, you are my one true love. Thank you for being you. <3 o:p="">