Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween Moment

It is the last day of BlogFest 2012, and what a journey it has been!!  Today’s host is Angela Tjong from Journey of Life.  Today she challenged me to describe one moment in my life.

     The kids arrived home from school.  Besides homework, there was only one other thing on the agenda.  With Halloween the next day, the time had finally arrived to carve the pumpkins.  We searched the internet for free carving patterns and the kids decided which design they wanted.   After much deliberation both kids picked free designs from the Pumpkin Masters website, and I printed out the patterns.  I had saved all the pumpkin carving tools from previous years, and my daughter and I were on a mission to find them.  They had been washed and stored in a drawer since last year.  Sure enough, that is where we found them scattered between two different drawers.  The only thing I didn’t find was the tool that is used to poke holes in the pumpkin and transfer the pattern.  Being the resourceful type I grabbed a knitting needle, and we were ready to get the party started.

        I took great pleasure in using my largest butcher knife to attack the pumpkin and make a lid.  Then it was up to the kids to dig out the pumpkin guts and sort out the seeds for later.  I began the tradition of saving the pumpkin seeds and baking them for an after trick or treat snack.   Carefully and painstakingly my daughter and I took turns poking holes to transfer the patterns we had chosen and printed out.  When all the slimy guts had been disposed of and every last seed had been placed in a paper towel strainer to dry, I preceded to tackle the tedious job of carving.  While I had first assumed the designs they had chosen looked fairly easy, I soon discovered they were a lot harder than they first appeared, tedious, and time consuming.  I was tired and hungry and ready to be done with the entire project, but I persevered.  For the first time ever, I dreaded carving the second pumpkin after the first was finished and thanked sunny Je$us I hadn‘t had more than 2 kids.

          My son soon abandoned the project to watch TV.  Only my daughter stayed and started supper per my instructions.  By the time the last pumpkin was ready for the front porch, supper was well on the way to being done.  Thank G0d for that sweet girl of mine!  My son chose a “grim reaper” pattern, and my daughter chose “Icabod’s Fate”.  For the life of me I couldn’t see the grim reaper when I looked at my son’s pumpkin.  It depressed the hell out of me.  After the pumpkins were carved and the battery operated tea lights were placed inside, we donned winter coats and gloves and ventured out into the night to see how I did.  It wasn’t until I was standing in the cold night air in a freezing drizzle that the grim reaper appeared to me.  Then I was amazed and felt redeemed in my skills as a pumpkin carver!  I had done well after all!  The glowing tea lights brought the pumpkins to life.

           I have carved pumpkins for my children since their very first Halloween.  It didn’t matter that the first Halloween’s found them lying in a bouncy seat on the kitchen table, they were still there and accounted for.  Over the years they have participated more and more in this yearly ritual.  Although I was tired and hungry last night, I persevered because this moment would be one we would all store away among the most precious memories of the journey through our lives.  The laughter and chatter would fade, but the memories would remain.  It would be one we would each take out, dust off, and remember each future Halloween as we carved even more pumpkins.  After all, it’s tradition until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Room in the Attic - BFF 238

This is a fictional story I wrote.  I hope you enjoy it.

       We loved the quaint house.  That is exactly why we bought it.  It was a fixer upper to be sure, but that is why the price was so right.  We had never owned our own house before and looked forward to painting it, decorating it, and loving it for a lifetime.  It would be home, plain and simple.  The painting and decorating may have to wait, but we had plenty of time.  The down payment and getting the utilities started up took all the extra ready cash we had on hand.  Life would continue to be paycheck to paycheck, but on the upside this place would be ours.  It had a beautiful yard and plenty of room.  While it was out of town, it was still close enough to shopping and everything we would ever need.  It was perfect!

          Up to the room in the attic went the boxes of Christmas decorations, baby clothes I couldn’t part with, odds, ends, and the kid’s old toys.  Sunlight danced on the wooden attic floor from the two large front windows.  I had never lived in a house that had a walk in attic before or a basement.  Having an upstairs and a downstairs was a real novelty and the kids were ecstatic to be able to race up and down the stairs.  It sounded like a thundering herd.  On the upside, maybe I would be able to burn more pounds running up and down staircases myself.  It was an older house, but it had charm.

          About two weeks after moving in it began.  I had tucked both kids into their beds, let the dogs out for their last pee of the night, checked on my children’s sleeping forms once again, and returned to my own room.  I had just settled into bed and opened my book when I heard it.  A definite banging and footsteps were coming from the floor above.  What the hell?  I heard screams from the neighboring rooms and a thundering of feet as my kids ran into my room and jumped in bed with me.  The dogs were barking and growling.  And then Bang! Bang! I heard the distinctive sounds of footsteps walking across the floor above again.  The hair stood up on the back of my neck.

         “Mommy, something is up there!”  my daughter said terrified.
         “I don’t know what it could be! No one is here but us!” I confirmed certain it was only the wind.  The footsteps sounded again.  This was our house and I was determined to investigate.  Grabbing my cell phone, I climbed out of bed and headed for the stairs with both kids and the dogs close on my heels.  I flipped on the light switch, and climbed each stair with terror gripping my heart.  We reached the door leading into the attic room, when we saw the door knob beginning to turn.  Screaming, we turned tail and raced down two flights of stairs to the main floor and out the front door as if the hounds of hell were after us.  The cold night air assaulted me as I burst out into the yard.  I dialed 911 and announced to the operator.  “Someone has broken into my house!!  Hurry!! Come quick!!  Help us!”  The dogs continued to bark.  I called the dogs to me and they raced hell bent for election out of the house, barking all the way.  They stood guard at my feet, barking and growling at the house and what or who was within.  I hurriedly hooked them up to the leads outside as they continued to bark in agitation.

            What seemed like minutes passed and a patrol car pulled into the driveway with lights flashing.  I explained to the officers what had happened, and thankfully waited in their warm squad car as they entered the house with guns drawn searching for the culprit.  After 10 minutes of a thorough search of the premises the officers emerged to inform me that there was nothing in the house.  I felt like an a$$, I admit it, but we knew what we had heard.  We went back to bed without any further incident that night.

             The next night, the footsteps and banging returned.  This time I awoke to find a glowing presence standing over me.  Fear caught my breath as I stared up at it.  I blinked and whatever it was vanished.  I turned on the light to find myself completely alone except for the growling dogs around me on my bed.  There was no more disturbance for the rest of the night and I finally drifted back to sleep holding the dogs close for protection.  

      The ghostly encounters continued.   We never figured out what the ghost wanted.  I decided after a while to do a little research on the former owners of the house and discovered that the man who lived there before had died there in his sleep.  Bill had been old and alone.  Supposedly his wife had died years before, and his children had moved cross country.  Maybe he didn’t want to leave his home.  Maybe he liked us.  He didn’t seem scary anymore, only sad.  After a while, we grew used to Bill’s ramblings.  Occasionally we would still hear the bangs and footsteps and I would yell out into the dark “Go to sleep Bill!  It‘s late!” and the commotion would cease.

        Years have passed, my husband and I are old and the kids have grown and moved on with their own lives and families.  The footsteps and bangs have become only a vivid distant memory.  I imagine Bill is finally happy we are here taking care of his old home.  So happy in fact, that he could finally return to his loving wife’s side and rest in peace knowing his home was in good hands.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Add a Splash of Fall Color to Your Yard and Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

(1) Miracle-Gro     The Gardenieres website is the absolute best place to go for those like me with the proverbial black thumb to make your lawn and garden dreams a reality.  Led by master gardener, William Moss, the Gardenieres are a group of top notch gardeners with excellent ideas and advice to make your yard and garden spectacular.  The website includes all kinds of project suggestions, inspiration, and step-by-step instructions on how to achieve success. Since I love a splash of color and flowers, I was most intrigued by the project to find beauty in the Fall and add fall color to my yard by planting pansies and mums in my flower beds.  Not only do they look great, but they are hardy meaning they can thrive in the chillier climates of the Midwest.  Besides I absolutely love mums and pansies!

    If I decide to update my summer planters with vivid mums and pansies, there is Miracle Gro’s Potting Mix which is formulated to feed plants for up to 6 months with Miracle Gro’s continuous release plant food.  It is easy to use with no mixing or measuring and has micro max nutrients for even more blooms and color.  Not only that,  it is filled with organic materials that will improve drainage and air flow, plus a special wetting agent that will disperse water throughout the soil to prevent dry spots.

MG_Flower_Veg_Garden_Soil.jpg     According to the project steps, I will get the best results by preparing the soil in my flower beds by adding organic matter like Miracle Gro Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables.  It is specially formulated to improve the dirt you already have so your plants will build strong roots.  Two weeks  after the initial planting it is recommended to feed the flowers Miracle Gro LiquaFeed All Purpose Plant Food or LiquaFeed Bloom Booster Flower Food.  Continuing to feed the plants on a regular schedule will insure beautiful blooms and continued healthy growth as the season progresses.  While the fall season usually provides plenty of rain to keep the plants moist, it is still a good idea to keep the hose handy so the flowers have a steady supply of moisture.  No sense to lose your investment simply because you relied completely on Mother Nature!  By attaching Miracle Gro LiquaFeed to your garden hose, feeding your plants through their leaves and roots is as easy as normal watering.  

         The site even gives a reminder to remove faded blooms that have withered which will help the plant to produce even more blooms all season long.  Out with the old and in with the new!   It doesn’t matter what project you pick to undertake, Miracle Gro has a product that will make your yard and garden thrive all season long.  I encourage you to check out the Miracle-Gro Facebook page where you can connect with other gardeners and green thumbs for valuable advice, tips, and to share your own gardening successes!Advertisement

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Memories of Halloween

Welcome to the 25th day of BlogFest!!  Can you believe we have already made it to almost the end of the month?  Today I am your host and challenge you to write about:

 "Your favorite Halloween Memories"

     What are my favorite Halloween memories??  I have so many it is hard to pinpoint one particular favorite so I am going to touch on  many because I can!    Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.    Every October my mom would dig out the Halloween decorations and deck the halls with pumpkins, ghosts, black cats, and witches.   When it became fashionable to string orange and purple lights to celebrate Halloween she did that too.  She always took me trick or treating and since most of my relatives lived far apart, a lot of the witching hour of trick or treat was spent on the road racing from house to house.  I could always count on a huge Hershey bar and some money at my Grandma’s house and every year looked forward to the baked Halloween cookies my aunt made which were frosted in orange and decorated with candy corn, marshmallows, and chocolate morsels. 

       One year the Oak Ridge Boys were in town for Halloween and my mom and I dressed up and went to the concert.  Although there was a costume contest, neither one of us won.  We had a great time anyways.  I dressed as a court jester and my mom was a classy witch complete with sequined black dress, black high heels, jewelry, and pointy black hat.  I will never forget when we rushed home for some reason that afternoon  what transpired.  Although I have shared this little story before, it is simply too memorable not to share again since it is one of my favorite memories.  My mom flew into the drive way like a bat out of hell, jumped out of the car, and squatted on the front lawn and took a pi$$ while I laughed myself silly.  I can only imagine what the passing traffic and the folks waiting in the drive up at the bank across the street thought about seeing a witch pissing on the lawn on Halloween.  If you got to go, you got to go.  

     Once I became an adult and worked, Halloween was made even more fun  when we were encouraged to dress up and bring in treats to enjoy throughout the day.  While I dressed up when I worked at a grocery store as a cat, my favorite memories were of when I worked at the local library.  All the employees dressed up and in my department, we brought in lots of food so we could party and graze all day while we worked.  The children's department always hosted a Halloween party and then would parade all the kids throughout the library.  They were as thrilled to see our costumes as we were to see theirs.

       Since my own kids have arrived on the scene I have continued my mom’s example of making Halloween memorable.  Every year I have made sure my kids are made up in costume whether bought or hand made.   One year I made both kids pirate outfits and took them to the town Halloween party.  We played games, drank apple cider, ate doughnuts, and collected candy at the fire house.  We took a haunted hayride into the cemetery where we encountered spooks, goblins, and the headless horseman who rushed at the wagon and scared the be Je$us out of all of us.

        Every year since I have known my husband I have visited the Pumpkin Fantasy Land in Ligonier, Indiana to explore their new pumpkin creations, a hayride to the pumpkin patch, and to find my way through the straw mazes.  Before going home we picked the perfect pumpkins which I will take great delight in knifing, degutting, and carving a whimsical face.  We always save the pumpkins seeds which I bake for a snack, and this year I plan to brew some pumpkin juice to wash them down with.

         Like me, my kids favorite memories include walking through the neighborhood and loading up on tons of candy.  The best part of Halloween is dressing up, the candy, and the food until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Best Day of My Life

Welcome to Day 24 of BlogFest 2012!!  Today’s host is Jo from My Wandering Mind.  The challenge to day is to finish this sentence any way we wish.  

The best day in my life…. 

     I have had a lot of great days in my life to look back on.  I could easily say some of the best days of my life were spent with my parents.  They were a lot of fun and we had some great times.  

    I could also say that the best day of my life was the day I married my best friend.  

     I could go even farther and say the best days of my life were the days when my two children were born.   


     It could have been the day I graduated high school.  I wouldn’t be wrong naming any of those days.  However, while my life has been peppered with some pretty amazing days chock full of unforgettable moments I think the very best may very well be yet to come until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Creeping Obesity

It is day 23 of BlogFest 2012!   Stuart of 4 a Better Life is our host for today’s writing prompt!

     When I was growing up I was always thin.  Even in my 20’s and early 30’s I was pretty thin.  I met the man of my dreams.  He is  my best friend and the best thing that has happened to my life before or since.  I was enjoying life.  When we first married I had three surgeries in close succession.  I said goodbye to my gallbladder, my tonsils, and then had endometriosis removed.  I also managed to sustain a concussion.  It was an eventful first year to say the least.

       As I began to feel better and I reveled in true happiness I began to gain weight.  It wasn’t so bad at first as I was too skinny from not feeling well for so long.  The weight seemed to creep on without me really noticing it.  Then I got pregnant.  Since a person is supposed to gain weight while pregnant, I paid little mind to it.  I was feeding my baby.  The only problem was once I had my baby, I still looked huge.  It was not supposed to happen that way at all.  I lost some weight, but have never seen my pre-pregnancy weight again.  All of sudden I was over weight with cow udders for b00bs and a pointed bubble butt a$$.  I woke up and discovered I was fat and had no clue what the hell to do about it.  I had never had the problem before.  I had always been too skinny, and then all of a sudden I was enormous.  Granted I still could find people on the street bigger than me but that was little consolation.

       At the time my Dad had his stroke he liked to call me Crisco.  I get the reference.  He considered me a lard a$$ and even though I know he was teasing me, the reference hurt.  While he was in the hospital I was under so much stress keeping on top of taking care of my daughter, husband, and him that I paid little never mind to me.  One day I went to see my dad in the hospital and showed him how without a belt my pants literally fell off my a$$.  He smiled his lopsided grin and told me Crisco had left the building and to pull up my pants.  I did just that.

       After my Dad died, the weight silently crept back on.  A year later, I was pregnant with my son and trying desperately not to gain any more weight than I absolutely had to.  The result was that after I had my son, it actually looked like I had given birth which was a good thing.  Seven years have passed and since then the pounds have crept back on.  One day I had a medical emergency and went to the emergency room where it was discovered I was suffering from severe hypertension.

       I followed up with my doctor and was prescribed blood pressure medication and put on a strict diet.  It was a wake up call and I have followed the diet religiously since.  The weight loss has been slow going but sure.  As of today I am down 28 pounds and wonders of wonders, for the first time in over 12 years I can look down and actually see my toes!!!  Hello toes!  It has been a long time!  I am so glad to see you!  I will continue to follow my diet hell come high water, and hopefully I will convince this thing called obesity to creep away.  I was hoping that if I didn’t eat as much while pregnant the baby would eat up my a$$ and I would be amazingly thin when all was said and done.  Things just didn’t work out that way.  That’s life until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hot and Cold

Welcome to day 22 of BlogFest 2012!!  Today’s writing prompt is brought to us today by Betty at Today’s Baker.  

    What can be hot and cold?  Well let’s see, men, women, the weather, food, women who are hormonal, and all the above.   Why do I feel like dancing and singing the heat and snow miser song and kicking up my heels??  Living in the heart of the Midwest I get my fill of one day hot and  the next day cold every fall.  This week in particular has been a great example of that.  Today it reached 75 degrees.  Tomorrow the forecast is on the opposite end of the spectrum with the high only expected to reach 51 degrees tops and a low temperature plummeting to 34 degrees.  It is quite the drastic difference, but fairly normal for this time of year.   You aren’t quite sure whether to run the air conditioner or the heat.  Course half the time I am not sure whether to wind my a$$ or my watch anyways so I wing it.   It is just enough temperature change to insure that most people will be sick as hell and death warmed over by Monday after a weekend of rollercoaster temperatures and living life to the max.  If they aren’t sick, they will be calling in to proclaim they are sick simply because if they didn’t catch the latest bug their kids have and they are sure to have it SOON.

     As far as the hormonal tidal waves of hot and cold go, I am approaching the golden age when I can expect to be hotter than the blazes of hell even if I am standing half naked in a$$ deep snow in sub zero temperatures.  On second thought, maybe I am already there!  I am the nut who has to have it cold in the bedroom to sleep and pay absolutely no never mind to traipsing out barefooted in the snow to dig up a dog leash in my nightgown.  A lot of that is because I am simply to lazy to be bothered with shoes, after all it isn’t that far to go and not that long I will be out in the elements so WHY waste my time with shoes and a coat?  Yeah, I am different that way.  Usually I am half asleep and half past give a $hit when I let the dogs out to whiz in the center of the night anyway.  A person can’t be expected to dress appropriately then, right?    Besides I can count the minutes until I will be snug as a bug and warm in my little bed once again.  My husband is paranoid about being seen, but I really don’t care.  With half the world women and the other half men, chances are you are one or the other so what’s the big deal?  Most people have seen it before.  Every now and then you will see someone that has all the parts, which is different and definitely a reason to stare, but if you are normal there really is no big deal.  Maybe you just got to air it out.

      I am going to go off on a tangent, so bear with me.  If I have to drink water it has got to be ice cold.  No other kind of water will do.  I don’t want to just wet my whistle.   I want to be refreshed.  In my world, soup was meant to be HOT.  It should always be hot, end of story.  One time I was staying at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and they served cold cucumber soup for dinner in the dining room as a precursor to prime rib.  I remember it well.  When you stay at the Grand Hotel, they expect you to dress for dinner.  You can’t just waltz in wearing a t shirt and jeans.  They expect women in a dress and men to be in dress pants and a dinner jacket.  Seriously, I kid you not.  I waltzed in hungry enough to eat the a$$hole out of a skunk and they served me cold green soup.  Ewwww!!!  I thought they had FORGOT to cook it, then realized they MEANT to serve it that way.  Needless to say, after our expensive dinner we went back to the room, changed into normal vacation clothes (casual shirt and jeans) and walked to town and ate our fill of burgers and fries at a local bar.

      Considering I had absolutely no clue what I would write for this prompt letting my mind ramble has got me a blog written which is good enough for me until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.