Friday, October 27, 2017

Don't lose your head

"But she just has to notice me", said the most unpleasant smelling, grungy looking troll that ever lived under Penscott bridge. The frog sitting in the bulrushes downstream of Brentrix just laughed and said, "don't lose your head over this one even if she is 'La Princessa', she's most certainly not your type and will break your heart".

This scenario played out at least 3 times a week for years for the love struck troll as he watched his lady fair approach the wooden bridge, which had been home to Brentrix for over a century. La Princessa had been fair of face at one time and most certainly still was as cold as ice. She was far more than haughty and had no time for commoners, much less a decrepit, old, wart infested wreck such as Brentrix who lived under the oldest bridge in her father's kingdom. She had even put to task a palace guard to accompany her on her walks to make sure that no one would bother or touch her as she went about her life in the "me, me, me zone".

La Princessa was so preoccupied thinking only of herself that she never even acknowledged the troll as he stood with his slimy green hand extended with gifts. Each time she passed him, he had something beautiful for her, albeit flowers, a collage of twigs and leaves or even a squishy soft pillow made from moss and bird down. The troll was lovesick and she was, well you get the picture. Her palace guard would always shout at the troll to step aside and push him out of the way.

Each time the troll was rejected, his stream mate the frog, tried to talk the lovesick troll into facing the reality of the situation, which was that, the love he sought would never be. Brentrix always sighed and stared into the sky seeing what only his lovesick heart let him see. Even after the hundreds of rejections, the tenacious troll kept watch daily, waiting for the object of his affection to use the bridge to get to the village down the lane. Poor dear, he just wouldn't hear the truth.

Brentrix had never been in love before or since. Oh, he had called on several female trolls through the years and even had a goblin interested in him in his youth but nothing serious ever came of any of these encounters. He had long ago given up thinking that he would, could or should be with anyone but 'La Princessa'.

His lack of physical beauty was made more clear to him when the water quality of the stream had improved and he actually saw his reflection in the water on a warm spring afternoon 19 years ago. Of course this shocking fact had set him back a little at the time but he had put it out of his thoughts. Either that or he never saw his ugliness as an obstacle.

Both the Princess and Brentrix had become more set in their ways as they aged. She wanted nothing to burst her bubble of self absorption and he wanted nothing more than for her to accept his love. Thus this situation escalated on a particularly lovely October afternoon.  Brentix had been down the lane where he purchased a small and sturdy green pumpkin. He felt sure that if he painted his image on the green pumpkin that 'La Princessa' would have to see how much he loved her and certainly fall in love with him. He worked all morning and created what he thought was a gift so unusual and striking that it most certainly would be accepted.

But heart motive was not enough to sway the 'La Princessa' or for that matter her guard who, just as Brentrix stepped forward to hand her the pumpkin, drew his sword and swiftly separated Brentrix from his head. The pumpkin fell with a plop as did the severed head of the troll.

The frog gasped and began to croak and moan. "Poor Brentrix, I warned him not to lose his head, but noooooooooooooo, he wouldn't listen". The frog hopped away in tears for the troll he had always loved, the Princess and her guard resumed their stroll to the village and the head of Brentrix slowly and unceremoniously rolled off the bridge and splashed into the stream.

This of course should be the end of this tale, but it is not.

Not long after the beheading, a fair maiden also traversed this woodland path. She happened upon the pumpkin and was delighted by what she saw. "I just love the wisdom and warmth in this face. I must take it with me and cherish it".

And so she did.

Moral of this story, well there is none.

Life sucks.
Sometimes you make a wrong move and lose your head.
But picking up a green pumpkin could be a good thing.
Then again what do we know.

GK and Brentrix

What's not to love?

*****We do in fact know that poor Brentrix had nothing to do with the wonderful pumpkin painting. That is the doing of GereaKaye my lovely and talented granddaughter who will next fall be traversing her own path to a degree in Art and Psychology.

We collaborated on this project for Magaly's October Heart Bits.  Wouldn't have missed this fun October playtime for anything. Thanks Ms. Magaly for the adventure.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda and the very talented GereaKaye

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Were does the time go???????????

I swear yesterday was Christmas. Time just keeps whizzing past me at break neck speed. Time does, not me. I'm still turtling it here at Casa de Cuckoo. Speaking of which, I saw my first "baby" up on Tuesday last week. She (Beauty) came up from hibernation, fat (she was extra heavy this year) and ready for a drink and a snack. I gave her both and afterwards she climbed to the top of the yard, went to the fairy garden and proceeded to dig an egg hole under the lavender plant. She wasted no time in getting back into the swing of the back yard. Squeal, baby Beauty babies..........

The grands were off from school last week for spring break. We had a low keyed and fun staycation here at home. We didn't accomplish a whole lot. Put up a new tent awning in the backyard, mixed up some more soil for the bucket garden, talked about life, watched movies and just hung out.

My grands, because they have not been raised in a traditional "churchy" home have questions about other religions and customs. It is always my pleasure as a former Christian Educator to take the time to do comparative religions with them during spring break. In years past we have done Buddism, Taoism, Islam, and Native American traditions. This year was no exception. Both GereaKaye and Ry are pretty well versed in other religions and this year it was Christianity that we looked at. I know to those of you who have the knowledge of the Christian church this seems strange but to those who are not of that faith, some of the practices are noteworthy and puzzling to those who have never been "in" church. Take for example Ash Wednesday and the practice of wearing the ashes on the forehead. Ry said he thought that their mothers had smudged them for protection and then forgot to make sure to wipe it off. You see, pagan thought process.

It was fun. Loads of really great and deep questions. We watched Hair (did you ever know that it was a Christian based story of sacrifice and love?), Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ.

Ry wasn't really taken by Hair. Too many nekkid people. GK loved the hippiness of it and also the music. She was so aware of the theme of the musical that she is the first person who I know that got it the first time through. Just another thing that I love her for. She cried and laughed at the same time at the message. She was moved.

After watching JCS, GereaKaye called her best friend Stephen, who is a Christian and apologized to him for not taking his faith seriously. She said she had never known how sad Jesus' sacrifice was and how moving the Holy Week story really was. I was very proud of her for being able to do that. Sidenote....when she apologized, and explained to Stephen that she had watched JCS and was moved. He said that he had never heard of JCS before. When she asked if he would like to watch it with her so he could know about it, he declined saying he didn't think he should. Hmmmmmmmmm. See this is a problem for me. Close your mind to anything that is not approved by the "elders" in your church. Knowledge is there to be gleaned, processed, accessed and then either believed or rejected but not just thrown away......oh well. See what I get for believing in Science.

Ry and I had had an opportunity the week before Spring Break, while we waited for Gerea one afternoon, to go over the Holy Week story so he was ready for the movie. As a matter of fact he surprised me by being as interested in the movie as he was. Neither of them cared for The Last Temptation. They thought it was too "Hollywood". I can't help but laugh. None of the three movies would have past muster when I was working at the church. But for me, JCS has always been a favorite production, story and has a powerful effect on me. I could still be a closet Christian. I don't have a thing against God (or the rest of the deities) I just didn't get along with his children that thought the church was just for them and no one else.

Happy Spring my lovelies and if I have offended any of you, please forgive my candor. I am who I am.

xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Garden and the weather.......................

The past couple of weeks have been so beautiful here in NM. Warm temps, breezy but not too terribly windy and I've spend many hours outside enjoying the plants, the birds (I already have hummers). The weather was great until last Thursday. I knew we were supposed to have a storm front blow through and expected a few things to blow around, but I didn't expect that it would be the tent awning we had just put on the back patio.

Shelley and the kids had gone out for the day (Spring Break time) and I was here alone. I heard breaking glass and huge thumps and scraping. I looked out of the back sliding glass door and the awing was being blown off of the patio slab, the frame of the tent bent, my gazing ball had been crushed by one of the patio chairs which had been blown up on top of the other furniture. The awning cover, patio furniture cushions and other lighter weight things were out in the yard. I later gleaned from information online that we had had a micro burst of about 75 mph. We've had several of those in the past 5 years. No changes in climate here, lol.

The neighbors to the south of us had a big old tree blow down and I found another neighbor, two houses up from us, umbrella cover and two of her large yard decorations caught on our chain link to the north of us. Lots of debris on the street and other folks out of their houses and looking for......????

It was scary. The wind from the south southwest is a grumbly monster in the spring and has increased her angry tenfold. All the destruction was on the west side of the street in the backyards and on the east side of the street front yards. Directional derecho. That's our new phrase at Casa de Cuckoo.

And then I thought what a wuss I am. All of the people who live through horrific weather situations; flood, tornado, hurricanes, and I get freaked out by yet another micro burst. Which led me to my thoughts about how when something happens to us, we, think it is the horrible happening possible, until we turn and see someone else who has it so much worse than us. It's all in our perspective.

So on Saturday when we were reconstructing, anchoring down, cleaning up and thanking our lucky stars, I did in fact thank the stars and moon and sun and my family. I am blessed, I am humbled by my lot in life, I am a lucky ducky.

So I'll take our micro burst (derecho)  to be a lesson in humility and thankfulness. I love/hate lessons.

Happy Spring

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gardening in a bucket...............

This has been a very fast paced and worthwhile past few days. 10 days that is. I have been busy looking through seed catalogs ordering seeds and plants, gardening gadgets and purchasing soil, containers, plus making a planograph for the upcoming planting extravaganza that will begin this week. I love this obsessive/compulsive part of any project. "Get out the graph paper and start the measuring".
the flowers blooming in my garden are dish flowers
As so many others are doing, Casa de Cuckoo will be attempting to grow more of our own fruits and veggies. I know that in the long run, it will cost us more than if we just go to the grocery for our produce but I will know where it came from and what went into the growing of said produce. Besides that, I will be able to feed my family unusual and almost forgotten heirloom veggies with a whole different taste profile than the bland we get from the store.

I know we will continue to attend and support the growers market but whose to say that in a couple of years, we too will have some varietals to sell to folks, knowing that we are helping the planet. It's a warm and fuzzy thought on a cold and windy day.

Jameson checking out the area

Ellie Mae making sure Jameson did it right
It is so scary to think what we have been ingesting based on the market research and also the scare tactics of some of the "health" gurus. I don't believe everything at face value anymore. I research and ask questions. It just makes sense to trust ourselves and make the best of what we have and use it for our own well being.

I know my family trusts my judgment and tenacity, but they can never not use the sarcasm gene that I bestowed upon them.  When I brought the idea of a container garden up to them, they reminded me of the "great failed straw bale garden of 2014". Nothing like an experiment gone wrong to arm teenagers with facts. But I persevered and went on with my research and licked my salty wounds.

We will be gardening in the backyard, on part of our back porch slab, with twenty four, white, 5 gallon, food grade plastic buckets (Lowe's $3.45 ea.), ten, white, 2 gallon buckets ($2.95 ea) for crops that don't require as much root space and 10 after Valentine (red) clearance buckets ($.25 ea) for the companion flowers to keep the bees coming around to pollinate, the other harmful bugs at bay and my continued happiness with viewing the riotous colors. The same volume pots would be so much more expensive and would make the garden adventure cost prohibitive. And because these buckets will not biodegrade, these are forever planters (or at least pretty indestructible). I also purchased some potato bags. They really aren't bags per se. They are garden cloth stand up containers that have a "trap door" so that you can go in from the bottom and harvest potatoes and not disturb the whole plant. I also purchased white plastic colanders to hang above the garden from the gutters to have more flowers growing as well. More bee and butterfly attractors.

potato bucket along with my number one pest control, peppermint juice from dried plants. spiders and mice neither one come around with this great smelling concoction
Each of the buckets will have holes drilled on the sides, 1 inch from the bottom to allow drainage, the bottom of the bucket will be filled with 4 inches of packing peanuts, you know the things that never go away but are inert and non toxic. I have begun the mixing of the soils for each of the crops. Some are acid lovers, others not so much.

Our rescue of the back porch has helped us all to be enthusiastic about being in the backyard again and so this weekend the grands and Shelley thatched the lawn, cleaned up the area around the shrubs and bushes and I worked on the patio slab cleaning up the area. When we were all finished it looked so amazing. Funny how hard work always shines brightly when you reach your goal.

my much loved "collection of memory stuff" on the back porch
Then we went shopping for the dirt. You know it always seems strange to know that for all my life, I have been buying soil in which to plant. Why do I not live on a hill? Where has all the soil gone to? I still am walking on the same sidewalks and they aren't buried in the ground. Just a side note observation.

I won't even go into the exact seeds and plants that we are planting because this is long enough already. But we will be planting 22 fruits and vegetables, 9 herbs and medicinal plants and 15 flower varieties (some of which are also edible) both in the garden containers and in the flower beds. Whew. Can you tell I have a plan? And that implementation of said plan will be taking many hours of work and hopefully, with measured steps we will be eating lots of safe, great home grown veggies in the months to come.

I will not even entertain the thought that the grands will have yet another salty bit to rub in an olde ladies, failed, wounds.

So there.
saucer magnolia "fixing to bloom out"
Happy Spring to come, my lovelies,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day plus one..............

Wasn't yesterday New Year's?

First let me share the lovely flowers that Sweet Man got for his girls yesterday. Ummmm, actually it was on Monday night. He usually forgets, bless him, so this time he was early. Can't blame a guy for wanting to score on the side of okee dokee.

Then today, I went to the usual places and got 1/2 price Valentoonie candy and here's what we scored. The grands and Shelley will be enjoying chocolates for awhile.

Now on to the the promised (more than a month ago) pictures of my insanity crafting.

It took me forever to take the photos and even longer to get the projects to go right. I knew it was going to be tricky to decoupage the music sheets to the drum because of the slickness of the finish, but I hadn't counted on not being able to take the hardware off first. OOOOOpps. I've never even looked closely at a drum before so I had not a clue. Oh well, it turned out as I had hoped and has helped out the "where do I put my beverage" problem we had in the living room. I was able to keep the drum head and so guests, grands and the cats like to mess with the drum and make noise. Fun end table.

I'm really fond of the cigar box lamp. Until you turn it on for ambient light in the evenings, it looks like a pile of stuff hanging around on the entry cabinet. I like how masculine all of it looks with the huge brass pocket watch clock. I've had so many comments about it already.

I want to use the rest of my cigar box stash to make storage items like keepsake boxes and jewelry keepers. And I do want to make a miniature dresser using matchboxes for the drawers. But I'll need to clean out the craft items stacked in the garage and get ready for a garage sale first. Just as well, as slow as I am to finish projects, it will be May before I get around to doing any boxing things.

Hope your end of winter is mild and that you read or craft your winter nights away.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

When it takes more than just a quiet moment to clear your head.......

Wow this has been a very interesting beginning to February. I have never had this many days in a row when I was this fuddled. Fuddled = not able to clearly think about or act upon anything. I'm wron down in a fog.

I know that the current political climate has much to do with my inability to "give a big one" or get a good grasp on things but add on top of that an encounter with two emotional vampires and there you have it. I've literally been sucked dry.

this is not our porch swing but the camera has joined in the conspiracy of "nope, not gonna do what you want me to do"
Remember I told you that we were going to have to have the back porch taken down? Well we had a pair of contractors recommended to us and ask these "fellas" to come and give us a quote. Now in my mind, (I was still in it at the time) I'm thinking that come and give me a quote means just that. You speak, I'll listen and then you go away, I'll contemplate what you have told me and then I'll get back with you.

Nope, these men took their lead from Lord King Marmalade, you know our current Toddler in Chief. They just decided they were going to do it no matter what. Persistent and pushy are vague descriptions of these two. They never shut up. Never quit selling another job. Picking apart what is wrong with our home, what is in need of repair and replacement. Telling us how great they are, how smart they are, how right they are.

I must admit, I was gobsmacked, put off and then held hostage by their quick con and their never ceasing speaking. Sweet Man and I relented and they began not tearing the porch down but replacing the water damage and rebuilding the structure. So I guess you could say, I gave up. These railroaders came at 10 am and left at 6 pm.

I must say SM was ever vigilant in watching what they were doing. Me, not so much. Their antics brought on a terrible migraine and I went to bed. Sunday they sent the clean up man to finish up the work. Nice guy, but he didn't have the equipment to finish what the others started and so they returned on Monday.

Monday, I had a few questions and I thought I was ready to face these "fellas". My Momma taught me to be nice, Linda Sybil and you'll win the debate. These non stop chattering ass monkeys could not understand why when they had only come for the check did I still have questions, why I wasn't thrilled with nails and crap being on my lawn, why I wanted the porch swept and furniture moved back under the porch with the weather changing to rainy? Didn't I appreciate that fact that they had saved the porch? That's when the flat nerve express pulled into the station.

To that point I had not cursed, I had not shown my anger, I had not let the full strength of my position as the woman holding their check settle in on them. But they got the whole enchilada of you have pissed me off from me in one felled swoop. I lost it. They wanted to explain to me, because they were the experts, how much they had done for me, how inexpensively they had accomplished that task, how grateful I should be because they were contractors not handy men. Rather, I explained, in no uncertain terms how rude they were to talk down to me, how lucky they were that we hired them, how fortunate they were that SM had dealt with them on the weekend and how I expected all the aforementioned things to be done and inspected by me and me alone before I was willing to hand them their check.

Now I would like to report to you that they did exactly as asked and I gave them their check. I came into the house. One of them called SM at work to let him "know what was going on back here at home". I suppose they thought they were tattling on me. I don't even call Joe at work. He hates that. They reported to him that I was changing up what was expected of them. Joe told them to buck up and deal with me.

I didn't know anything about the call then, (when I did find out I was off the wall) so when I went outside and saw they hadn't finished doing as I had asked, I was upset. The younger man who works with them and another worker stepped in and started doing the "clean up". The two ass monkeys just sat (literally) and watched. When all was to my satisfaction (well at least better), I handed them the check and walked them to the gate and put the padlock back on it.

Oh, please give me a chance to tell all about the adventures of dealing with these two. They don't have a yelp listing, they aren't on the internet, hmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder why????? NOT

I then smudged the entire backyard, front yard, house and myself as a clearing of the horrible bad vibes they left in my home and life.

Still I am emotionally affected by this assault on my emotions. Double speak, lies and disrespect are three things that bring me to my flat nerve anxiety point. I wasn't strong and didn't dismiss them from the beginning and I am embarrassed that I let them abuse my expectations and trust. I got a really positive read on the younger guy who did all the work from the get go, so I don't believe I have to worry about the back porch anymore, but not speaking up has become an ongoing theme with me and I am mad at myself for not being who I really am..........a bossy broad with attitude. I need to work on that.

Just another one of those life lessons with a hefty price tag.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gotta write it to get rid of it..............

I don't apologize for anything that I am about to write. I do however realize that you didn't sign on to be my shrink, so if you're not of a mind to read in on my rantings then, I love you, see you next time.

If you've been reading me for some time then you know that I have a background of abuse in my life. My father sexually, emotionally, physically and verbally abused me, all of my life until I was released from that monster the day he died. He molested every female member of my immediate family, also harassed and verbally assaulted the males. He was foul to any and all because he could be. He grabbed, groped and embarrassed legions of women and girls who came into his sphere of influence from the next door neighbor to the poll workers at elections for the 88 years he was alive. He was the best kept family secret in his 18 sibling family, but those of us who lived under his immediate tyranny bristled under his heavy hand and kept it to our selves. He had no shame, it was ours to carry.

He also lied with his every breath and took things that didn't belong to him just for the fun of it. I watched in horror as a child when he lied about stealing something in a store and then laughed about it when we got to the car. To say I had no respect for him would be a gross understatement. He was evil.

My fathers paternal family are descendants of the Spaniards who invaded Mexico and then onward to spread their faith into New Mexico. His forefathers were soldiers in the Spanish army. I do not know their heart motives but I do know the results of their actions in the history of the southwest. Native peoples were killed, run out of their homes, and families were torn apart. Several generations later, the pride of the family in their Spanish conquistador roots is a real puzzlement to me. Because of their roots to Spain, these Hispanics look down on those whose ancestors fought against them and also the ones who reconquered this land.

As a matter of fact, that family looks down on anyone who is not a member of that family, and some of us who are. I heard all the horrendous anti humanist catch phrases that can be used to describe other ethnic peoples and never understood how brown folks could look down on other brown folks, white folks, black folks, yellow folks and red folks. And how they could imagine that they were superior to anyone else.

Speaking of Native Peoples, my fathers mother was part Native, but her children and husband never approved of that alternate fact and so it was to be whispered not shared, because then the outside world would not hold this family in the esteem in which they held themselves.

Now come to today, 10 years and 1.5 months from the date of his death and I feel like he is alive. I see what our Predator in Chief has done, said and how arrogant he is, how horribly he treats people and I feel as if my father is there in front of my eyes. My father would be living high on the hog with this evil as President.

I would have been ashamed to admit how much Trump and his cronies are troubling me when I was young because I would have wanted to appear to be an over comer, a strong woman. Well, I am strong to a point, but when this freak show gets worse every day and so much of what I see and feel is the same things I saw and felt most of my life, it really gets to me.

How much longer can this country take his evil? It's only been 10 days and he is destroying who we are as a nation, what we stand for in the world and how we are perceived as a country.

Many people are saying that they have never experienced anything this befuddling and hurtful in their lives. I am happy for them. This is bring back parts of my life that I thought I had healed and put away. I have been this dizzy and disoriented before, looking for sanctuary somewhere else. I have had this ache in my heart, knowing that it hasn't reached a conclusion.

I am very angry and sad.

I need to be safe again.............we all do.

I can't hide in my room and hope that the evil will not come looking for me and I'm scared.

Friday, January 20, 2017

still no photos but.............

making progress on the cigar box lamp. Just need to find one little part, that is necessary and then I'll take some photos that will make sense. I have been to every big box hardware store, the two Mom and Pop hardware stores and am going to a lamp store today to locate this one little, for crying out loud piece that I am missing. Found another book of music that is even more aged at my new favorite "junque" store and will begin the paper mache project on the musical drum table this weekend with GK. That is unless she gets a better offer from her friends.

always a star
So you're asking yourself, what has she been doing all this time? And I'm gonna tell you.

I was zipping right along with my new found energy when the bottom dropped out of that feeling. My shingles came back for a second attack and my muscles are not responding well. As a matter of fact, if I were going to explain what the pain is like, I would have to equate it with the feeling you get when you've been to the dentist and they numb you up for a procedure. Just as the meds begin to wear off, that itchy, prickly feeling? Yep that's it. All down my back and into the back of my left leg. And then I have no energy or stamina. I ache all the way to my bones. And here I thought Shingles were turning out to be no big deal. Ha. See what I get?

except with Shingles
But there is a good part to what I've been doing though.

I bought myself an Instant Pot. Thought since I am the main "cooker of the evening meal" that I would avail myself of a new (to me) technology. I have been a range top pressure cooker user for years. But this little pot does one of everything and fast. I got the model that allows you to brown meat before you cook it into heavenly tender bits. It really is a great little pot. Shelley is looking forward to making homemade yogurt.

I also have finished the reorganization of the kitchen pantry and all offending items have been donated to a senior assistance charity. The offending items are groceries, sundries and supplies that we are not including in our lifestyle any longer. That way someone else can use the food we can't eat.

easier to please way back then
 I'm not the most popular Oma with Mr. Ry right now. It is really hard to be the youngest member of the family and have the adults make life changing decisions for you especially when that includes no sweets. Better for him but not a popular decision.

We also have our garden plotted out already, have ordered our seeds and have located a rototiller that we can use. Now to wait until it's time to get started. That's the hard part. I'm like so many others of you who can hardly wait until it's planting time. End of January always makes me itching for some planting.

But before we can do that, we need to have our porch taken down in the back yard. Bye bye back porch swing. I hate to have to do it, but we need to take the porch down before it gets any more ricketty. When my parents built this house, over 50 years ago, my Dad, the cheapskate, had some passing gypsy build on a patio cover. They didn't do it correctly. The pitch of the roof is wrong and the stupid thing hasn't drained well for all of this time. Needless to say, rot has set in and the roof on it leaks when it snows or rains.

We need to get the work done now because I don't want to take any chances with my turtles getting out of the backyard if some demolition person leaves the gate open. Through the years, I have had more than one confrontation with folks doing work for us about my shelled babies and their safely. If we get the work done now while my turtles are hibernating, then everyone will be better off. I won't have to stress and the workers won't have to listen to me bitch about their gate closing skills or lack thereof.
We won't have shade like we have had for all these years, for awhile, but we'll manage with that. I think I will have to find someone who can build me a stand for the swing though. I can't imagine a summer without spending part of the every evening swinging and talking but then, I may have to learn to imagine if I can't find someone to build the stand.

I'm staying off of social media for the day. I will turn my TV to music and let the day go by.

Hope you have a great day.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What a difference a week makes...............

We had a snow day from school this last Friday. That means the kids only went to school three days last week. We had a "sicky" adult yesterday, that meant I was not home alone.

Is is that I am like velcro and not everyone can be gone at the same time every day now? Or is it that we just haven't gotten back in the groove again after the holidays? Or there is a third possibility. I am in need of alone time. Ding, ding, ding......that's the winner.

Alone is good, comfortable, pleasant, healing, soothing. I need all those things. I am a biotch and I embrace that about myself.

The shingles have gotten much better. No complaints there. The medicine was almost worse that the affliction. But I am on the mend. Still can't sit for too long but that's been a good thing because I have to "do" something. I have lots to "do".

This is the official, get rid of anything I haven't used in a year, month. That applies to all quadrants of the house except craft crap because, uh, I said so?

It's terrible, I have craft crap that is at least as old as GK. Not equipment but supplies. Am I really going to use all the bits and pieces I have accumulated through the years? I don't know. But I do know if I get rid of any of it, I'll need it within 6 months. It's the unwritten law of the IHA. International Hoarders Amalgamation.

And since my second favorite game (my first is to complain about the second) is hide the craft supplies from myself, I'm up and looking for all the things that have been moved, once again to accommodate the grands and Shelley's necessity to have room to live (some nerve). When someone else is home, they want to do strange things like talk, or go somewhere, or worse, sit down and be with me. It's a heavy burden to bear, this being a close family (sigh, 😽 wink, wink😼😼😼).

Yesterday, my sicky adult and I, went to the junk store. I found such treasures. A new hippie purse. A prom dress for GK. And two lamps that I can cannibalize to make one lamp which will be made from a stack of many of the cigar boxes as the base to be used in the living room.

We got our new living room furniture, it looks fabulous. Really makes the room appear bigger. We need more light in that room and since I "found" my cigar box collection in the garage, I am going to make a new lamp out of them. I also bought a drum. You know like the one from a drum set. That will become an end table. I'm hoping to be able to put a light on the inside of the drum after I paper the outside with vintage music paper. And yes, I will take before and after pictures and blog about them. Because I am sharing this year.

So my standing up is actually making me "do" some arting. And that is making me feel so very much better. I need to art. I used to art for at least 6 hours every day until the grands moved in. They are getting older, need me less and I can, if I only will, do so more.

In Meryl Streep's acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement award she received this week, she quoted her very good friend, the late Carrie Fisher. "Take your broken heart and turn it into art". I truly believe that. It has always been my brain cleaner, heart mender and soul patch. Not "doing" it for the past few years has, in fact, been detrimental to my mental health.

So thank you Shingles for attacking me in the butt cheek and making it difficult for me to just sit and think, which we all know can be a very dangerous thing. And now I'm up on my feet, pondering what I can make out of the 22 different sized cans I have in the garage for the spring and the garden. So much to do.

Happy Full moon day after tomorrow my lovelies,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy everyone is back at work or school day..............

I don't sound happy, do I? This has been a very "eventful" holiday break for the Cuckoos. I'm still reeling from some of the excitement and bother.

Before I tell you of my yesterdays adventures I want to share my word for 2017 with you. I have prided (and thus goes the fall) on being a person who can see the many sides of any issue. But that isn't enough in many respects. I feel now that I need to act on what I feel is correct behavior for not just me but my family, my community, my country, my planet. In saying that, the word that selected me was COIN. Notice it's not a verb?

Coin is not an action word. But you can use a coin to make a decision, choice, winner, bet. I need to choose how I spend the lovely time I have left here in this realm. I shouldn't sit back and just spend the time foolishly.....but I do need to spend the time, thus the word coin.

One way I'd like to spend the time is sharing my life again. I got my feelings hurt last year after making a dreadful mistake in judgement when others decided to tell me how I should be living. Instead of speaking our for myself, I just let is go. Didn't have a fit. Didn't make an huge issue because that's how I got into the embarrassing situation anyway. But, I was miserable everytime I sat down to write about anything for fear I would be judged again, because my credibility had been lessened. Not true, but I let is keep me from many things I wanted to say, do, interact about. So to that nonsense I say, I flipped my coin and I am good enough even if no one reads, comments or reacts and I want to blog, so there. And so I shall.

On to the New Stuff, New Year.

Today, new living room furniture is being delivered. 2 and 1/2 years ago, Sweet Man decided that he wanted a recliner for watching TV. Don't tell anyone but he really just wanted to snore in the front part of the house and keep the rest of us walking as quietly as we could while carrying on the normal activities of the household. I should explain that what he came home with was a couch, a love seat and a recliner, all of which reclined. I was not thrilled but hey, he lives here and works hard and I usually get my way, so we have persevered with the ugly, brown, fake material,clunky recliners.

The dawn broke on a new thought process for Sweet Man when his back began bothering him more and more as he sat on his recline and snore devices. We all avoided long sits in the living room for that reason. All, except Joe and GK, they slept lots on that furniture. So after all this time we went right after Thanksgiving to look at couches. Found a nice couch and love seat, black, leather, short bodied for our short legs. The furniture will be delivered today.

I didn't want to have the Christmas tree and all the mess from decorating in the way when they deliver the new stuff, so I left "orders" with the Cuckettes yesterday to get the rest of the mess cleaned up. I was planning on doing it myself but I have a visitor and can't do what I want to do.

My new visitor is Shingles. Right on my left butt cheek. The Shingles are very close to where I have other business to conduct daily. So the family convinced me that I needed to seek medical help and so that's where Sweet Man and I went after going out to breakfast. Silly, because I could hardly sit through the meal.

You never really think of all the movement that goes on in your bottom area until there are pustules keeping your skin from moving. I have never (and I mean this) had something sting so bad ever. When the bumps first developed, I thought I was having another of my many dermatological episodes so I put tea tree on it. Well that helps some but the lidocaine that the Dr. prescribed helps more. The giant anti virus pills are a little daunting to swallow but anything is better than this mess.

Ry was so nervous today about going back to school. I don't blame him. I told him he has this covered. He is the only one who is in charge of his feelings and that he doesn't have to let the bullies get to him and to be wise about his reaction to them. I sure hope he does okay.

I think SM was relieved to go back to work because he had to prep the room for the delivery. I was under the effects of the pain meds and could have cared less about anything. Shelley wasn't excited to go back to work today. She wants to be here to help me but I'll be okay. I can open the door when they come with the new furniture and close the door when they leave. Not much else for me to do. The furniture deliverers will put the old furniture on the driveway and my friend Verna's guys will come and pick it up for her to sell at the Oscar Foundation's next garage sale. Easy Peasy.

It's a win, win for us all.

So what has the New Year shown you thus far? Good stuff? Trials and tribulations? Same old, same old?

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€

Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year.............

I'm not sure I have any words of wisdom to give to anyone. I really don't care for this time of year. All the fun stuff has already played out by this time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Yule, Christmastide. New Year's has never really been my thing.

When I was younger, I'd spend the night reading or crafting, staying awake until the declaration of a new year was announced. Never ever went out to a big shindig, never wanted to be out there with all the crazies. I'm a hermit and New Year's eve tells that tale very well.

Good food, family close, and some games. This year the grands, Shelley and the Olde Folks will be doing that very thing. We will begin our Harry Potterathon at about 10 am and go through the next day. We got ourselves a family Yule present of Harry Potter trivia. So we will play that, make "crazy" sand with sand, cornstarch and a bit of water (no it doesn't take much to entertain the Cuckoos) and then make some salt crystal pendants.

GK of course has a want to party like her friends, but her current boy type friend is in Arizona for a concert and the rest of the nerd herd are scattered this holiday. Ry would much rather just be left to play some of the new games he got for Christmas but we'll make him stay with us for part of the fun. Shelley isn't going out this year, so it will all the Cuckoos and no visitors or extras this year.

If I get a chance on New Years Day, I'll read books I ordered myself.  I got both of Anne Hillerman's continuations of her father Tony Hillerman's Chee and Leaphorn books as well as a photography book of Hillerman's big Res.

So I hope you will do what brings you joy as you welcome the new year and my hope for you is happiness, health and security as we walk into 2017

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

And so it has come to this..........

First let me wish you all a very Happy Yule, Solstice Blessings and salutations of the season to all of you.
Older photo of the grands but......there they are
The Cuckoos planned to sit around the firepit and roast hotdogs and eat black and brown marshmallows but this Olde Bagg's hips are not cooperating with the cold and so we will celebrate around a circle of candles and make do with hot dogs, bbq beans and cookies. So sad, what happens when the organizer of the extravaganza's goes for the comfortable not the traditional. Oh well.

Now to the issue at hand. Ry, my sweeter than sweet, kinder than kind and handsome grandson has had, as all 12 year olds do, a bullying time of it at school. Please do not think, I think he is the only oe. He has close friends, he has people he knows and then he has youngsters who for whatever reason just want to make his life more difficult. The interesting part of all this is that is has little or nothing to do with his Asperger's and more to do with the classroom environment.

Last year he had a male teacher and he learned more how to be a boy than any other subject. At his school, the classes are divided by gender and so the boys and girls of the 7th grade don't have that boy/girl tension that is usual in mixed gender classes. The however is, the boys don't have a male teacher this year. They have two very fussy, prissy female teachers (why yes that is a value call on my part). This means that the boys being boys, like they did last year is the last thing that is tolerated in the classroom. No more going out to the field to let them run off their boyness issues. No more treating them like they are just as valuable even if they can't sit still during some boring lecture. These two ladies also don't allow anyone to go ahead in their studies. Everyone must be on the same page at the same time.

Yes, having been a teacher myself, it is easier to teach if all the kids are in the same place, but let's face it, if that was the case, all of the kids would be automatons. It takes a person who is a real teacher to address the entire spectrum of levels and meet the needs of all of the kids. Something neither of these ladies is willing to try or do.

The reason I am irked is because this environment has brewed up some bad juju for all the boys. The kids were supposed to go to a play but because some of the boys were rough housing (no Ry was not one of those boys, although he could have been) all of them had to miss the play. And the teachers decided they would treat the boys with contempt by acting as though the boys were preschoolers for a week. No, shaming kids does not work, it only revs up the anti teacher, anti student feelings. I don't know where these two women went to school, but it wasn't on planet earth. I'm sure they like their paychecks and power.

So consequently, acting out is a common occurrance in the classroom. Ry, who was behind in math for so long has finally gotten the right size funnel applied to his head by his tutor and he is hungry for doing all the math. Going ahead got him in trouble, called out in class for not following the rules and so did the rest of the class because he went ahead in the book. The others paid the price for his new found love for math. He obviously was set up as a scapegoat and so the boys have continued to push, shove, kick and hit him. And the teachers have turned a blind eye. The principal just wrings her hands and does nothing.

We have always told him not to hit. "Being nice matters", but it doesn't mean that you have doormat written on your forehead. We have tried to talk to the administration, the teachers, the other parents of the boys who bully him and came to this spot in the road. RyLeigh has friends with whom he wants to stay in class. We don't want him to continue to be bullied. The School is not willing to do anything about this situation. So we came to another conclusion.

We have a family friend who, in his youth, was a gangster, literally. He is probably one of the nicest people now that he is grown but oh my the stories he tells of his youth. He loves my grands like they are his flesh and blood. His family is entirely in love with Shelley and the grands and that is so special. He has always told the kids, don't do what I did, listen to your grandparents and your mom and be respectful of them, but more, be respectful of yourself. He also has said, kiddingly, but not really, "once you break someone's nose, the rest of the bunch won't mess with you anymore".

My brother taught me to hit when I was five because the neighbor boy was tormenting me. I have always had a bit of a swagger because I always knew that if I needed to, I could deck someone and that gave me power (well not now that I'm old and not so able, but you know what I mean). So, we went to this family friend and said, teach him how to defend himself, oh wise one. So Ry has learned to defend himself. The lessons will continue with the punching bag and weights during break.

The knowledge is almost a burden to carry for him. But I know, if needed, he can strike back at these 4 boys. I am having him take a card with my cellphone number on it to both his teachers (waste of time) and the principal, so that "when" not if, he hits a kid in self defense, I can go pick him up. I hope that this will help him feel compelled to find hope in himself and move forward even if the school isn't quite up with us as far as wanting the best for him. We don't want to compel him to be a "meanie". We want him to start finding some confidence in himself because in this world we live in, he is the only one that he has on his side when he is not with his family. We all need to learn to count on ourselves and be our own well of confidence.

So here I am at my age watching my grandson find out what a good guy really does. He has the power to be good, do good and choose the right time for both. GK, I don't worry about her, she had it in her from day one to be strong and in control. Ry, like his Oma needed to be taught (why yes, he is my birthday twin).

My grands break my heart and heal it back up again in one moment with the knowledge of what incredibly awesome adults they will become some day. I am so proud. They are and will continue to be the best gift ever.

Happy Everything my lovelies,
May all your wishes come true and
all your problems be few,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Recipe for truffles ................

You asked and I am here to please.

There are many recipes for truffles. If you look on Pinterest you could just lose your mind. I found this recipe and am sticking with it for the "drinky" ones.

Have fun and enjoy.

Just make sure you store these in different containers or you might not like the Kaluha, tequila, rum balls.

Kaluha Cream Balls or Truffles

3 Cup Vanilla wafers; finely crushed
1 Cup Pecans; chopped
3/4 Cup Powdered sugar
1/2 Cup Kaluha Coffee liquor or any other booze
3 Tablespoons Light corn syrup
1- 1/2 Teaspoons Unsweetened cocoa or you can use white or dark melts to cover them.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Allow to stand 5 minutes. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll
balls in powdered sugar (you can add some fine ground coffee also).

Allow to dry on wire rack 1 hour. Roll in powdered sugar again or powdered cocoa if desired or cover with chocolate.

Store in airtight
container between layers of wax paper.

This recipe also works with Bailey's Irish Cream, Fireball Whiskey (top with Red Hots), Spiced Rum, and last but not least, Tequila (add some lime zest and top them with sea salt.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Krampus Day.............

There are so many dates in December to observe celebrations. This is my first favorite date, Krampus Day. Followed tomorrow by St. Nicholas Day. Here's a link to explain the who, what and where of Krampus.

I love the idea of the equalizer for those of us who have not been able to keep it nice all year. If I had known about this celebration when Shelley was a youngster, I'm sure I would have tortured her with tales of the Krampus coming to visit her. On second thought maybe it's a good idea that I came to this wondrous creature later in life.

GK, Shelley and I are always in for a little dark, murky, fiendish celebrations but the guys in this house. Uh, not so much. Sweet Man's heritage is Austrian/Native Amercian/Hispanic. He's the one with the very colorful array of boogie man tales in his DNA. So for him to deny his Krampus/Shapeshifter/La Llorna & El Cucuey roots is sad. (As Sheldon from BBT would say, "Hulk, sad.) Yours truly has faeries, pixies, leprechauns and the only saving grace (tee hee) witches in my own heritage.

So we (the nasty girls) took up the art of inky celebrations. Unfortunately, we are not finished with our own dark, swarthy, switch toting, chain carrying, children snatching effigies at this time, so here are a few of the bazillion pins from my Pinterest board of this marvelous creepy hulk.

Sleep tight, don't let Krampus put you in a cage my sweeties. And Happy St. Nicholas Day (joy, joy, happy, happy) tomorrow.

Gotta get back to making the shopping list for all of the thousands of truffles of every flavor that Ms. Shelley is making for her office mates. Rum balls, Oreo truffles, Lemon, Orange, Lavender truffles, Gingerbread cheesecake balls, Peppermint Schnapps, Firewater, Baileys, Kahlua, Mexican Chocolate, Chocolate covered cherries, Pumpkin, Funfetti, Brownie, Red Velvet and Spice cake mix truffles, just to name the ones I can remember.

Needless to say, we'll be up to our eyeballs in rolling balls this week.

What have you got planned to do for the upcoming frivolities???????????

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bad stuff happens to me when I go to............

Walmart. Not every time but most of the time. Rude people mostly. I do try to avoid it if I can help it. This morning I was feeling froggy, I guess.

I had already gotten all my most needed items at Sprouts and was driving to another plain old grocery store. I was thinking about fixing Turkey dinner for the first time in 5 years and I missed my turn. The road I was on takes the long way around a golf course that cuts the uppity part of ABQ from where the rest of us peasants live unless you turn at a little street called Seagull Street. Weird name for a street in the middle of the high desert but there used to be a seafood restaurant (damn good one) named that, thus the name of the street.

Since the long way would take me past a smaller Walmart, I decided to stop. Big Mistake. It was after 9 am so lots of very interesting folks were also getting their ingredients for Turkey Day and it was crazy crowded.

I had just scored some PJ's for Sweet Man and found a place in line behind two older men (about my age). They didn't have very many items and I thought, "I finally picked the right check out lane". I put all my stuff on the conveyor belt and had even placed the separation bar down for whoever would come next, when I heard a very loud and angry male voice.

I looked in the direction of the hub bub and there was this middle aged man screaming at the top of his lungs at a checker in her hijab. I could feel my legs start shaking and the next thing I remember was standing in front of him and telling him he had rights but one of them did not include abusing someone based on their appearance. He said, "Damn right I have rights and not having to put up with a camel jockeys brown ass bitch touching the things I want to buy is one of them". I shot back, No you're wrong, you could have picked any other lane and not been a "douche". You're doing this just because you think you can. Now just leave her alone. He started posturing with me, you know that stupid head and neck thrust (my male turtles do the same shit)  and then security cut in. At that point I wasn't even feeling fear but rather just unadulterated anger. I had no idea how it looked to others nor did I care.

The young lady was taken away in hysterics. The man was asked to go to another lane, to which he responded by throwing the items at the rent a cop and screamed his way out of the store. I was just standing there waiting. I had no idea what they would tell me to do. The lane supervisor came up behind me and asked me to rejoin my items in the next lane. I did. The young Hispanic woman who was my checker told me I was her hero. Because she has to put up with insults all day from people telling her she needs to get back across the border before the wall is put up and she can't. She told me her family is from northern NM and has been in this country since the late 1600's. I commiserated with her about the amount of stupidity when it comes to Hispanics in our state and said my family too has been here for 6 generations. We then found out that we have relatives in common. Happens all the time here in the Land Enchantment, for some reason everyone is from or knows someone from Las Vegas, Santa Fe or Taos.

As I was leaving, the lane supervisor stopped me and asked if I knew that man could have hurt me. Honestly, I didn't think about that until she mentioned it. I guess I've had my ire raised over the past couple of weeks enough that the pressure cooker had to explode and that hateful man was a pretty good target. The lane supervisor asked for my name so that they could thank me. I said no, just call me Oma and don't worry about the thanks. Then the store manager came up and asked me to be careful and then winked and said, "I thought I was gonna have to call the police and explain to them that a grandmother just took out a bigot on Aisle 17". We both laughed.

Another woman, who had been in the lane with the ass monkey, stopped me in the parking lot and asked me "what were you thinking when you confronted that maniac". I confessed, I wasn't thinking just reacting. I just was pissed when I saw what he was doing. She then said that getting hurt for someone else at our age was silly. I must have given her my best "eat shit and die" look because she walked away kinda quickly. Are you kidding me? You silly woman, what if that was your daughter, your neighbor, your friend? Would you have stood there and just let it happen? Probably.

Then I got out to my car, put my groceries and SM's new PJ's in the back end, sat down and cried, hard core. What the hell is wrong with this picture? What will we have to do to fight back against this stupid no holds barred attitude of closet assholes who now are out and feel compelled by the recent election to act out their hate filled rage? I need a drink, Valium and some potato chips, but I'm not going back in Walmart.

I didn't type this out to garner, way to go's. Sweet Man will be proud of  me but a worried upset with me for being the Aries that I am, no matter my age. Shelley cried when I told her and said, I'm so proud of you. I've always known you would die in a confrontation with a "mental midget" on principle. I wonder what the grands will think about me backing down a bully?

Lovelies, I hope you fight the good fight. It is worth it, even if afterward you wish you had been wearing Depends.

Smooches and Squoozes,
a very scrappy, Oma

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I really am a creature of habit............

Didn't used to be. I wouldn't know from one day to the next how my day would start or where it would end. But being the age I am now, I slow walk the morning in front of the computer every morning. I look to see who said what, how things are going and then if something has garnered my interest, I investigate.

This method has helped me help myself and my family. I do a lot of research, numerous sources and outside reading on many different subjects. Most of the time I'm looking for "things" that will help my family live our lives better, healthier, happier, with more smiles and better outlook on life.

this is not a photo I took but rather one I found on an image search, no name.....gorgeous
I got up this morning to start my day at my laptop in the cubby hole in the pantry which is now my computering area. I took off my "real" glasses and put on my computer glasses. I could not see the screen. It kinda scared me a bit. I took them off and inspected the glasses and discovered the reason I couldn't see. Dried tear drops. So many that the glass was slightly opaque.

I know I'm not the only one who finds "feels" on the internet and weeps. But lately, there have been so many more sad things to read. I try to skip the obvious ones that will make me angry or upset. But in general, I believe my mood, like so many others is more down than up.

I realize I am a enigma when it comes to what I say and what I do. I try to cheer people up most of the time or see the good in folks but am troubled and affected by the world surrounding me so very much. That too has changed with age. When I was young I considered myself a "ball buster", hard core, hard edged and ready to face what came my way. I was wild, spirited and full of it. Now I look back at those times and realize that I was brash, fool hearty and I sure am glad. I had a really good ride and had little to worry about. Now, well hell, you get it. Now I'm matured, measured, more in control but none the less a cry baby when it comes to reading, hearing or seeing any unkindness. I ache for those that are in pain, disenfranchised, abused, ignored, bullied or afraid.

Thus the no see computer glasses.

I also realize that I cry many more tears of anger, shame  and disappointment than pity or empathy lately. My favorite uncle used to call my condition, Old Eyes.

As to my last post, I must tell you that I posted my poxy picture so you could see how bad it had gotten back in July and then didn't explain. I apologize. I get ahead of myself a lot. That pox and the spider bite and many other ailments lead me to investigate many "could be" causes.

I found that I had a magnesium deficiency from the doctor and then went on to discover that I needed to do a liver cleanse with ACV, apple cider vinegar and raw honey and also knew I needed to cut out sugar and carbs. The magnesium oil that I use is a miracle cure and has helped with various skin, brain fog and muscle symptoms. No more leg cramps but I still had severe swelling in my feet and legs. Started the ACV and the swelling decreased immediately. I also am using essential oils for pain. That too has worked wonders.

Pain Gone
into 1 oz of carrier oil (I am using fractionated coconut oil) add:
2 drops peppermint
10 drops frankincense
10 drops lemongrass
4 drops oregano
2 drops lavender

I have also added these drops to a non scented lotion which is much easier to rub on. Although the role on bottle I have for the coconut version is handy to take in my purse for the just in case moments. I would never have thought that anything that smelled this good could take the pain out of my knee or back, but it sure does. However, I do smell like I've just had Italian food a lot.

1 tablespoon raw honey and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar into 6 ounces of hot water every morning. No swelling and I can wear every pair of shoes I own. I must say that it is an acquired taste but when I saw the results, heck yeah I could down that cuppa first thing in the morning.

I use 4 drops of magnesium oil which can be bought at any health food or vitamin shop on my thighs every morning and night. No leg cramps, less stiffness. The only negative is at first the oil stings a little. Now my body is used to it and I don't feel it at all, except the joy of knowing I won't wake up with leg cramps.

That's my regime along with some white mulberry and gurnar for gobbling up the sugar in my blood so that my pancreas doesn't have to send out as much insulin. A few inches are missing in my middle which is excellent.

My goal was just to feel better, and live healthier. Nothing but natural healing now and I'm loving it.

So this is a follow up to last post and a cry baby's tale of tears.

Hope your weekend proves to be a great one,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, November 14, 2016

3.5 month old/update on the Cuckoos

I found this blog in my draft file. I know it's out of time (what isn't since the election) but I thought I'd share this, if for no other reason than the pix of the grands.  This was in late July.

It's been more that two months since I last posted. Lots has happened and so here we go.

School will start up again in less than 4 weeks. Doesn't seem like we've had 9 weeks go by but then again.....yes it does.

Ry is going to theraputic rec with the city for the last year before he will attend teen activity rec. He is 12, going on 25. This summer has been a challenge for he and I. He is trying to exert his authority and I am still under the misconception that I am the adult. Most of the time the mental scuffling is short lived but most adults would be put off by this skirmishing. Not me. I'm thrilled that he has and ego now and at last, that allows him to stand up for him. He is a delightful mess of a human and  I adore him.

Gerea has been drawing almost everyday of vacation and has grown another 2 inches this summer. I only thought she had the longest legs before now. Of course we have gone to junk stores to play dress up just like we have all her life. That is why she has the biggest closet of wonderful dresses for prom/winter ball/homecoming ever.
yes, this is a wedding dress. You should have seen the people watching her with this on. 

We had a super albeit late birthday party for GK and the herd of friends that she loves.

We had to cancel her bring your own pool party in June because so many of her friends were going to Costa Rica on a school trip. Bad choice of dates on our part. They were going to bring kids wading pools and all the idiocy that goes with teenagers and water and watch a movie using the garage door as the screen. Sort of a swim in movie party. The next party is the last weekend in July and is a bring your favorite pizza topping party. The movie thing will apply again and I will cook the pizzas on the grill. Yum.

We've had fun and accomplished many "have to do's" around the Casa. GK and her best school friend Stephen hired on to be my helpers this summer on Weds. Actually they work for a couple of hours and then I feed them, they then go to Stephen's to swim. (Not a bad gig if you can get it). Love their humor and the interaction of the two nerdy boneheads. Makes me laugh. Stephen is the one who is carrying her on his back at her birthday party.

They were going to paint the trim on the outside of the house and a few other jobs that have been on hold for such a long time. Well, the house painting was nixed by Papa Joe but GK finally got her furniture in her room painted. Cleaned out the pantry in the garage, did some much needed yard work and are in process of moving my arting room again.

If you have followed me for any length of time you know that I have the traveling circus of crafting rooms. Before the kids moved away to SC, (or hell) I had my craft "studio" right off the front patio, where people actually came in and bought things. Then when they moved back here (hallelujah) I moved my craft crap into the dining room/library. That meant we moved our bedroom into the old studio space and we still had 3 other bedrooms. Yeah, a perfect fit....except we have moved occupants and rooms a couple of times in almost 7 years.

When we figured out that we like to dine together as a family, we switched the dining room and living room. That is when my arting stuff moved to the breakfast nook and I was in there with a table, 4 shelving units and a chair. Not much room to move but I sure was close to kitchen. Then the brakes were put on my crafting for various health reasons about 4 years ago. There is actually dust accumulated on my supplies. Shame on my name. But I couldn't help not being "with it" to craft.

Writing this all down, I guess I see how really flighty I am. Oh well, you can't say it's boring around here.

The latest plague that has befalled me is my skin. First I had a continuing rash (fatty rash is what I call it), it went insane and I couldn't sit or walk without accute discomfort. Then, I got a black widow bite while out watering the front yard. Following by just a few days, I have contracted a terrible facial rash that seems determined to eat my face. Hot, swollen, angry and then, blistering and terribly itchy. I actually am including a picture so you can see how truly ugly it is. And I am truly, truly miserable.

I don't have shingles. I don't have adult acne. I don't have a skin infection. But there is some kinda terrible plague on my face.
Shelley and Joe are both doing well. Shelley has gotten another raise and many accolades for a job well done at her mortgage closer job. She bought another car for herself since the other one was coming apart at the everywhere. Joe is on hiatus from his voting volunteer coordinating job for the county. He'll be going back to work to prepare for the general election just a week after the grands go back to school.

Then I hope the house will be quite and I'll have less stress (good or bad) and I can enjoy doing some much missed crafting experiences.

Love to you all,
Smooches ad Squoozes, Oma Linda

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The night we made a real Halloween memory............

I know it's been two weeks since this event, but I was waiting for pictures from Sweet Man's camera. These are the only two surviving photos from his new camera that one of the cats knocked off of a table and messed it up. Yikes.

If you follow me on FB then you already know the Cuckoos had a blast on Halloween night. We set up our cinnamon and nutmeg enhanced cauldron over our orange halloween light, plastic recycle goods, spray insulation foam, painted embers. We turned on the fog machine and settled ourselves into waiting for the tricksy treaties to come into our lair.
three witches and "our dinner" guest
We hadn't plan on being quite as vocal or funny as we turned out to be. We channeled the three witches from Hocus Pocus. Every time a group of kids would walk up the driveway towards us, we would all say, "I smell children" and cackle. Even the big kids were taken aback and would approach slowly.

We even had to convince some kids that we weren't going to scare them. I just hate that. Playing pretend at this time of year is so hard because most folks just want to terrorize children. We just wanted to have them play along with our act of being the kind of witches that ate children. We had most of them in stitches with our banter.

One little one, oh I'd say about 3 wanted to know if she could give me some sugar, because she had never kissed a witch before. When she found out it wasn't so bad she wanted to kiss Ms. Shelley as well. And you know because we are fluent in Autism, that we recognized some of Ry's tribe members and treated them a little different. Sensory overload is so mind boggling to those on the spectrum and 3 idiot witches have to mind their p's and q's.

We had the snarky teen age ones as well but here's our secret weapon for their kind. Ry dressed up as the devil. He sat, like a bunch of stuffed clothes in the corner until after "older" ones got their candy and were starting to leave. He would then get up when they had turned their backs and followed them down the driveway. I can't tell you have funny it was to see this bad ass grown children freak out. We told them to be nice so that it wouldn't happen to them again. Big bunch of woosies.

When GK and Stephen took Ry out to gather ye candy while ye may, they passed groups who were telling other groups that they needed to get to our street and check out the crazy witches. One lady even told us she heard us singing "BOOOOOOOK", just like in the movie. We can sure call some pigs, er children. The best part was how much the parents of the youngers told us they appreciated how much trouble we had gone to and how special we had made the night for their kids and them as well.

Thing is, we had so much fun, we'd do it again and again. Maybe, goddess willing and creek don't rise, we'll be able to do it again next year.

Hope you had a great night as well.
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, October 31, 2016

Who remembers Donny and Marie and their show on TV?????????????

She would say, "I'm a little bit country", he would follow with "I'm a little bit rock 'n roll" and off they would sing into their hour on TV.

Well this last Saturday, the grands had a similar song. She was a little bit Halloween and he was a little bit heavy metal. What?????????

Shelley, Gerea, Stephen (GK's best friend) took Ry (age 12.5 years old) to his very first live concert. There were 9 bands in a small venue.

Shelley was that age when she went to see Scorpions and White Snake with her flute teacher, Laura who was 18. I have never in my life been all that fond of metal. I never wanted to go and see any of those spandex wearing, huge hair, head banging children when Shelley was a kiddo. But I did so every afternoon after school watch MTV with her and inadvertently, I learned the melodies (when there was one), the lyrics, the names of the band members and so much more that I never wanted to know because, I was sharing an experience with my child. So now when I hear elevatorized versions of metal I giggle and smile. Or when we are out shopping and some metal something comes on, Shelley or GK will look over and say, "who's this, Oma?" Most of the time this olde broad has the right answer. I can't remember the normal stuff most of the time though.

Music plays a huge part in our family. Not just one kind either. All the way from classical to swing, to rock to indie and back to metal.

Shelley has been going with GK to concerts for years. GK's first was when she was 13. Fun fact, it also was Scorpions.

So, it was a perfect storm for Ry when the girls found this great small venue where the moshing is manageable, the local bands have something to offer for head bangers (goddess, I never thought I'd be typing this) and it doesn't cost a fortune just in case Ry's inability to handle loud noises for very long kicked in and Shelley had to bring him home. Stephen's cousin runs the front and the merch tables at this club and Stephen helps out at the front door, so it is sorta a family affair and comfortable.

Anyway, Ry was so excited to go. He took his headphones to cancel out some of the racket. And GK dressed as a wench of sorts Stephen as Robin Hood and the four of them headed out to see GK's new favorite bands, Shatterproof, from Denver and Scarless, a local band and the other unknown 7.

It wasn't long after they got to the concert that a mosh pit formed and even though the girls and some of their friends that joined them were surrounding Ry, he got shoved and got really scared. So Shelley took him outside, explained moshing (and the fact that someday, he could join in and shove back), and let him calm down. In doing so, he was able to see inside and realize that it wasn't as big a deal as his fear had let him think so, he wanted to go back and try it again. He ended up loving the music, the craziness and the fun with friends.

Ry with his hand in the air like just does not care......Home reference

The bands know both GK and Stephen now and interact with them on a personal level. When the bands were able to be introduced to Ry, well, they (the bands) made it special for him by pointing to him in the audience, giving him guitar picks, signed posters etc. Even in the land of Metal wantabees, people are still nice deep down. The lead singer for Scarless told Ry that he was so proud of him for making it through to the end of the concert and wanted him to feel welcome to come back again. Some of the other folks there also got into being good to Ry and eventually Ry even went with some "girls", to dance and head bang, a short distance from Momma and Sissy.

lead singer from Scarless

He's gonna have some stories to tell at school today about the blue haired girl who had him dance with her and the blond who was showing him how to head bang. Wow, what a crazy world for an almost 13 year old kid who just a short time ago was still so introverted and scared of so much. His sensory issues obviously are not gonna keep him from the music and the mayhem anymore.

GK said, with tears in her eyes and voice that she had the best time watching her brother blossom right in front of her eyes. Shelley picked the perfect, safe and sane way to introduce Ry to the world of Metal, heavy or other wise. The night will be a memory that the three of them will have for a lifetime. Good thing that the neck aches from head banging will be gone in a few days.

And the Oma stayed home. Score.