Eight Random (Crafty) from Kathy

Kathy hit me with this one (again?) Since she is so crafty, I'm going to lean this one toward my crafty side.

Eight random things:

1.) I hate the actual process of whatever craft I'm doing… I just enjoy the final piece

2.) I used to make all my own clothing when I was in junior high and high school. This included underwear, bras, and swimsuits. My mother took a special class to learn how to sew all these things and she taught me.

3.) I have three sewing machines and the last thing I made was a stuffed bunny for my grandson Easter…um…2002?

4.) I love to paint (the art kind) but can't do life-like pictures from 'scratch'. However, if I copy a print I can do an excellent reproduction.

5.) I enjoy rubber stamping and entered several projects in the state fair competition three years ago. I didn't win anything, but still thought my projects were better than the ones that won.

6.) I cross-stitch but don't do it the traditional way. I don't "poke" and "pull" my needle, but use a sewing motion. (Someone is out there going, wha?…can't explain it any better than that, sorry.)

7.) I enjoy photography but can't seem to ever get the shots I want. Could it be my perfectionism kicking in?

8.) I took home ec in high school but already knew all they taught. I knew how to cook at an early age and although I don't expand to new recipes very often, I've been told I'm a good cook.

Horseplay

Another blogger jogged my memory today (bad pun, if you know the blogger.) She was talking about riding horses and this brought straight to my mind my horse-riding experiences. First and foremost I remember going to my uncles' farm where they had several horses and ponies. My cousins were very good at riding and rode all the time and I, being the city raised kid, had never ridden. I think I was about 8 at the time, and my cousins being 10 and 12. They were so good at riding that they rarely even rode with a saddle! Well, despite my willingness to ride the horse, and despite my muttering under my breath that I was not afraid… I was shaking like a leaf when my uncle gave me a boost onto the animals' back. The bare back. Not having a clue what it was I was doing, I sat frozen, clutching the reins for dear life, while my poor gentle steed stood quietly waiting for some command. Then it happened. It had to happen, you know. The fates were laughing their asses off that day and town kid got theirs big-time. Did the horse run? Buck? Crazily whip around and bite the rider? Nope. None of the above. All he/she had to do was bend down to eat some grass. I found myself on the ground before you could say, whatthehelljusthappened?!?!

That was the highlight of my horse-back riding experience. I've never quite gotten over that feeling of total helplessness. I like horses, I do. But they still scare me a little. Yes, I've been "back on the horse" but I really didn't enjoy it. I think they're magnificent animals and I truly envy people who make it look easy. I'll just admire them from afar, thanks.

We won't even talk about the time my cousins shut me in with the pigs…

Time Does NOT Fly When You are Not Having Fun

pup

This is my parents' new pup. This is the only thing that makes visiting my parents tolerable. I spent three hours at their house yesterday. A very long three hours. I hate to be this way. I feel like such a pretender when I'm with them. I can't relax. I just sit and visit about aimless trivial matters with people I love but don't really like very much. My eldest son put it best once when talking about a similar matter of having huge disagreements with people he needed to continue to be involved with. You can forgive, but you can never forget. I forgave my parents a long time ago for the things they did to me. I had to make the choice to either forgive or go crazy. Crazy is not a fun place, no matter what anyone tells you. Forget what happened, though? Never. I put scars on my soul that will never go away. They may have shrunk a bit and faded into the background, but they will never go completely away.

I don't trust many people because of these two individuals who are supposed to be the most trusted protectors. I trust my husband. I trust my kids. I trust my critters further than I trust my parents (or for that matter, my MIL or the rest of hubs' family – sorry, Hubs.). I will never bare my true feelings to them or open up and let them into my innermost secrets. I can't. I've done that and been hurt time and time again and I can't put myself through that ever again.

So visiting becomes a chore. One that must be done every few weeks to keep the nagging guilt from becoming overwhelming. Guilt that I'm not being a good enough daughter. Guilt that as the only child I am not fulfilling the space that I am supposed to fill in their lives. Guilt that I am not all there, when I'm there… and thank goodness for puppies.

I hope my children never ever have these feelings toward me. How selfish is that?

Spoilsport

Hurricane Dean is a spoilsport. The newlyweds were supposed to be leaving today for their honeymoon – vacationing in St. Lucia. You know, the one right in the path of Dean, the spoilsport. Although they took out trip insurance, no idea yet how that is all going to work and if it will be a pain or not. Have any of you had trip insurance and had to cancel? How bad was it to deal with? Hope they can reschedule and go another time… and that there is something to go to. Youngest son is getting married in February and they're supposed to go to Jamaica… also in Dean's path. Stupid weather.

A Plague?

tree frog

Isn't he cute? This would be a Copes Gray Tree Frog or Hyla Chrysoscelis (for you educated types). You can read all about 'em if you go to the link. I won't get into detail. We live in the country, along a creek and for the past several evenings we have had one of these little suckers (literally) stuck to the sliding glass door or walk-in glass door driving the cats nuts. Last night after most of the family left (from the birthday dinner) Emily and I took the dogs out and as we were coming in the front I noticed something on the white porch pillar. We put the dogs in the house and started looking closer… and counting. We found two of these out front of the house and eight of them in back! Ten! Ranging from the size of a penny to the size of a golfball. Stuck to the siding, the grill, the porch railings… literally all over. I'm sure they had plenty to eat, the bugs were thickly drawn to the lights in the house. Good thing they aren't a damaging kind of critter. Still… ten! I'm sure if we would have stayed out longer we probably could have found more. That was in about a 10 minute search. Now if they were spiders I'd still be hiding under the covers shaking…

Helpless*

in the days before… the dark days…there were so many things she didn’t understand. she didn’t know why her parents hated her so. she didn’t know why she could do nothing right. she was never good enough. the grades were never good enough. the bathroom was never clean enough. the girl was never quiet enough. then she was too quiet.

in looking back the trail is clear. she can see the path as surely as blood dripping into newly fallen snow. one thing leading to another. the parents who couldn’t let her out of their site for a minute. then they did and something bad happened, but they didn’t believe. they couldn’t believe.

the awkwardness. the shyness. the gawky teen years overexposed by drunken jokes and lewd comments. the young adult treated as a young child treated as a thing. never talk to this girl. what do we say? nothing. requests. commands. lists. rules. do this. do that. don’t talk back. don’t talk.

she went from being shy to being non-existant. she would melt into the corner of the classroom. please don’t pick me. don’t pick me. i’ll write it down for you. don’t make me speak. don’t point me out. i’m here… i’m not here.

a teacher noticed her writing. another noticed her attitude. another noticed her mind. they were fleeting moments trapped in cinder block walls for six hours a day. then the real world came rushing back.

a job… a real job… a chance to get out of the house for a few hours a day more. a man, a boy really. he notices her. he sees past her silence. he sees her joy escaping day by day and growing as each passing hour flies by in the restaurant. could it be she is happy here?

they join and he becomes a crutch. a further escape into the night and the darkness. weeks go by and she is free in the darkness. free to be herself. free to have a voice. she doesn’t recognize the voice.

they run away and get married and hide from her parents. his parents are very ensconsed in the church. they are displeased with the idea of living together but happy they’ve married. she tries to fit into their world. she tries to learn about this god that she’s only heard about but never seen. the one she prayed to day after day and heard only echos of her own whispers in return.

children come. violence comes. small, but bitter. flash – quick. not sure why or where or when. forgiveness comes. hard.

jealousy. she has blossomed. she is a butterfly now…her cocoon has ruptured and set her free. she is coming into her own. she is starting to laugh. starting to feel some sense of …joy. he won’t let her. he is green. he sees her startling beauty. more so because she doesn’t see it herself. she still carries the ugly troll within her head.

he mistrusts. she is innocent. he becomes more controlling. she begins to feel the pull of her parents speaking in her mind. worthless. she fades. becomes fainter each day. he still resents. he’s angry and sad. she can’t help him. she rebels. they agree to disagree. they agree to live in the same space but not the same time.

she tries to live again. one, two, three, four… how many failed relationships must you have to feel less than a human being? does being raped make you less of a woman? did you ask for it? did you? they say you did. she falters. she slips. she hides in her space with a man she no longer knows and believes it is the lesser of two evils.

she gets pregnant. a third. it can’t happen. there isn’t enough. of anything. now she is losing a piece of herself. her body. her soul. she will never get it back. she is less than before.

how does she know god exists? because out of the darkness came a man with a pure soul. a man without a hint of anger or jealousy or hate or violence. a man who loved. simply loved. he took her in and loved her in a way no one ever had before. he held her gently. softly. a feral cat come tame at last. he nurtured her. he stroked her. he brought strength to make her strong. he brought hope to the hopeless. he cared for her children as his own. he helped her climb out of the abyss. no longer helpless.

*Originally posted in The Dark Madness. Dedicated with much love to the beautiful man who saved me… my husband. Happy Birthday, sweetie.

Re-writing History*

I've noticed through the years this ability of humans to re-write history. Sometimes it becomes very obvious, as in the case of our text books and how researchers delve into the pile and come up with discrepencies. More often than not, however, it is on a much smaller scale. It is the personal history that one re-writes. It can be for many reasons, but the most common is to make life more bearable. Some people do things that are so unspeakable, so horrid, that the only way they can live with themselves is to re-write the events in a different light – painting it with a different brush.

I thought it was only me. I thought maybe I was the only one that had this experience. Because of the things that happened to me, I wanted to make this blog – to write down events before they were colored differently. I know my parents have already done that. I'm hoping I haven't done it, too. I'm hoping the things I put down here have brought the truth with them and I haven't changed history to make myself look better – or worse.

In talking to people, I've found I'm not the only one. My very own husband has had this experience with his mother. She's tried to tell him that "he doesn't remember it correctly" or "he didn't hear her right". Only I was there, too, for some of the things she says she didn't say… She has already re-written history.

What's that old adage? "Those who do not remember history are destined to repeat it"… I'll go one further. "Those who re-write history are destined to repeat it". I'm just trying to get it right.

*Originally published on the Dark Madness

Because It Is Monday and I’m a Lazy Sack of Shit

A non-blogging friend sent this via an e-mail to me so thought since I had to fill it out for her I'd share my answers with you… If you want to participate, just copy into your own post and put an "X" next to the ones you have done. We're always learning more about each other, aren't we? Be sure and let me know if you do it. Sorry, Siz… I kinda DID put you on the spot with this one…  

This is for your entire life.

(x) Smoked a cigarette

( ) Crashed a friend's car

( ) Stolen a car

(X) Been in love

(X) Been dumped

( ) Been laid off/fired

(X) Quit your job

( ) Been in a fist fight

(X) Snuck out of your parent's house

(X) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back

( ) Been arrested

( ) Gone on a blind date

(x) Skipped school

( ) Been to Canada

(X) Been to Mexico

(X) Been on a plane

(X) Been lost

(X) Been on the opposite side of the country

(X ) Gone to Washington , DC

(X) Swam in the ocean

(X) Felt like dying

(X) Cried yourself to sleep

( ) Played cops and robbers/Cowboys &Indians

( ) Sang karaoke

( ) Paid for a meal with only coins

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't

( ) Made prank phone calls

(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(X) Danced in the rain

(X) Written a letter to Santa

(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about or love

(X) Blown bubbles

( ) Made a bonfire on the beach

( ) Crashed a Party

(X) Gone roller-skating

(X) Gone ice-skating

1. Any nicknames?   Sue, Wench

2. Mother's name? Beverly

3. What is your favorite drink? Pepsi  

4. Tattoos? one in progress

5. Body piercing? Ears? Ears

6. How much do you love your job? Scale of 1 to 10?  My 'town job' 9.5, my 'country job' 10
7. Birthplace? Iowa

8. Favorite vacation spot? Home

9. Ever been to Africa? No

10. Ever steal any traffic signs? No

11. Ever been in a car accident? Minor fender-benders

12. Drink Cup size?  medium

13. 2 Door or 4 Doors? 2

14. Salad dressing?   Homemade ranch

15. Favorite pie?  cherry

16 Favorite number? 69

17. Favorite movie?  Too many for just one

18. Favorite holiday?  Thanksgiving

19. Favorite food? Chocolate                

20. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

21. Favorite brand of body soap?  A friend and her husband makes some yummy soaps

22. Favorite TV show? at the moment, "Waking the Dead"

23. Toothpaste?   Crest sensitive

24. Favorite smell?  Toss up, Vanilla or Cinnamon

25. What do you do to relax? read, play "World of Warcraft", play with the critters

26. Message to your friends?  Love you!  Sorry I don't do a better job of keeping in touch.

27. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Older and wiser, but basically unchanged

28. What would I rather be doing?  Sitting on the deck watching the pups play in the yard reading a book

29. Furthest place you will send this message? the blogosphere

30. Who will respond the fastest?  Sizzle

31. Least likely to respond?   the ones who are quizzed out

For the Love of God… (A Rant) *updated*

…STOP SHOOTING. I just checked the calendar. It isn't a holiday. Unless, maybe it's your birthday or something. I love where I live – except for those freakin' neighbors. What in the hell are you shooting after dark? I do not want to know. Asshats.

*UPDATE – For those of you who haven't followed this story and aren't clear what it is I'm talking about, I'm talking guns. They go out and shoot guns. From what I can tell, they are target or skeet shooting. Not just one person, either, unless they're using some kind of automatic weapon, as the shots are too close together to be single shots by one person. Have I mentioned they have two small children? I won't even guess what the kids are doing during all this hub-bub. Especially when it goes until 11 pm. I mean, really? It's DARK then, people.. and I don't believe they have spotlights on their house like we do. I could be wrong. I try not to spend too much time thinking about them.

Oh, and they headed up the creek again yesterday evening. Hubs was ready to meet them at the lot line with HIS gun in hand, but they evidently realized at the last minute they were a little too close and went back to their own territory. Damn, I hate being the grouch in the neighborhood…

Straw *updated*

"Be sure not to go into town this weekend" … Hubs and I remind ourselves. It's going to be a nightmare to get around. Why? Because the Republican Presidential Straw Poll is going to be here. At this point in time, Iowa is the first in the nation for the presidential caucus (other states are challenging Iowa's status as first) and we've been inundated with candidates for months, with the saturation level becoming extreme now that the State Fair has begun. There are lots of people focused on a few acres of land with all the sugar, alcohol and heat they can stand… and at times nothing better to do then sit and listen.

I'm not a political person and although I vote I won't get all preachy here and tell you who to vote for. I'll just remind you… if you don't vote, don't bitch.

There. I've said my peace. Now, remember… unless you are attending the straw poll on Saturday, "Stay out of town". It's gonna be a zoo.

* UPDATE – For those who care. Crowd expectations were in the 30,000 to 50,000 person range. Last count I heard was 14,000 people came. "Winner" was Mit Romney followed by Mike Huckabee.