Lesson #2

Tonight’s horseback riding went a lot better than last week, and I’ll tell you why…

1.  The coach & I discussed the horse I was to ride, Dawn, before I got on. She is “being pissy”, & Coach M couldn’t figure out why. She wanted to see her in motion from a distance, to gauge her reactions to things.

2. I didn’t push this week as hard as I did last week. I was so over-eager about riding last week, that I transmitted my nerves to the horse. Yes, they pick up on emotions. They’re a lot like little kids – they’ll push your buttons just as far as you’ll let them, & then try for more. We walked most of the lesson’s hour, with small bursts of trotting. It helped.

3. Dawn was wearing a different bridle, one with a “broken bit” (the bit isn’t actually broken, but it does have 2 pieces that are connected in the middle, & it handles differently). Believe me, it can make ALL the difference in how a  horse reacts to commands. And it did. Dawn was much more receptive & accepting of commands.

4. After watching us ride for a while, Coach M figured out that she’s pretty sure Dawn is going into heat. Yep, Dawn’s PMSing. Dingdingding! We have a behavioral winner!

5. My confidence was up tonight, with fewer distractions in the arena to pull Dawn’s attention, she listened to me more, & it paid off for both of us.

6. I talked to Dawn almost the whole time we rode. She was more comfortable knowing I was calm, & I kept my voice low & encouraging. 

All in all, I felt really good about tonight’s ride. It made me feel good, knowing that Coach M trusted me to handle her “Problem Child”, & with Dawn listening & responding as well as she did, we both did much better. My nerves were calmer, which made her calmer. And she realized I wasn’t going to let her be the boss, which can be half the battle with a “shirty” horse.

Goddess, it’s good to be back in the saddle again…

(Dawn’s picture from last week)

X is for…

Honestly, Little Buddha, when I started this alphabet for you, it was going to be more joking and a little less serious than it actually has ended up.  But, I guess there really is a serious side to yer ole grinning Gramma, little one.  On with it, shall we?

X – is for Xylophone.  Yes, you will have one of these, and yes

I'm sure your Mama couldn't object to a "Turtle" xylophone...

 – your Mama and Daddy will hate it.  It is, however, a rite of passage for every child to have at least 1 super-annoying noisy toy that Mama and Daddy aren’t allowed to get rid of.    You need to learn about music, and what better way than to be able to bang out a tune on small strips of metal with a wooden stick and ball? 

I can’t help but wonder, though, if you wouldn’t do better to have something a little more… complete – shall we say? 

Maybe something along the lines of …..this?

We do want to make sure you can get to ALL of the notes, after all… right??

I thought so.

I tell you - a coupla pieces of cotton - and I can HARDLY HEAR A THING. It's like a miracle for my ears!

X – is for Xanax. 

After a long day of musical experimentation, I’m sure your Mama will be most likely wishing for one of these.  You don’t need to worry, however, Little Buddha.  Your music will be beautiful, and Mama can wear cotton balls in her ears if it gets just a little too “enthusiastic”. 

X – is for “X Marks the spot”.

I think Gramma’s going to put a big X in her front yard – so you always know where the spot is that you can find me. 

Gramma would never want you to get lost on your way to her house, so here you go!

This is the spot where you don’t have to worry if someone’s going to be mad if you’re a little late getting there – I’ll be glad to see you anytime.

This is the spot where you will always have a warm hug, a smile, and a willing ear to listen to all your troubles, or a shoulder to cry on. 

This is the spot – where you can escape the whole wide world if you need to.  Gramma will make you a safe place to rest, to talk, and to regain what you need to get back out there. 

Gramma’s here for you, Little Buddha.  Always.

W is for…

Another week, and you are already a month old, Little Buddha!  Time is slipping by so quickly, it’s amazing to me how much you’ve changed.  You’ve started “talking” to people you see, cooing and squeaking like a little dolphin!

Speaking of the aquatic…

W – is for Water.  You love the water already, Little Buddha.  And you come by it naturally.  Your Mama has always loved the water, and your astrological sign is Pisces, the fish, so it’s not unexpected that you would be a natural little swimmer!

Water is a wonderful thing, Little Buddha.  It will keep you clean (which you like – for now), and it goes into everything we eat and drink to keep us healthy.  But, mostly, I know you’re going to enjoy playing in it!  Swimming, splashing and just playing in it will be one of your favorite pastimes, I’m sure.  And your Mama will make sure you have plenty of opportunity! 

Of course… there’s always the possibility that you might need some water guns… or squirty toys… you know… just for the heck of it… hmmm… Gramma needs to go shopping…

W – is for Want.  You’re going to want a lot of things as you grow up, Little Buddha… but there’s a BIG difference between wanting and needing.  Mama and Daddy will make sure that you have what you need.  They love you very much and will give you all the things that every child has to have to grow up big and strong, in body, mind and heart.

You will NOT be like this child. Please?

But.  For those things you want, you’re going to have to come up with a darn good reason why you should have them. Not just because it’s Tuesday, and you’re cute (although that reason might work with Gramma… sometimes).  Wanting means needing to work for the prize.  You should have toearn the things you simply want, but don’t really need.  This will teach you the value of everything, and that’s a big lesson to learn.  A lot of people never quite get that lesson down.  Here’s to you being smarter than that!

W – is for Words.  I am going to make sure that you have a love of these.  We will read together every chance I get, because I want you to know all the worlds that can exist for you, outside of the television.  Books are precious, and words even more so, because they teach us how to communicate with one another on a level that is far more intelligent than some these days.  (OMG! WTH? IDK…LOL, Orly?)  Sure, text-speak has its place… on the phone, when you’re actually texting.  But these are NOT words.  I want you to know real words like “magical”, and “fantastic”, and “obnoxious” and “loquacious”… I want you to be able to speak to people, and when someone speaks back to you, to have the words at your advantage.  You are not going to grow up to be a dumb blonde, Little Buddha.  You are going to stun the world with your intelligence and adaptability.  For that, you need words.

I can teach you some doozies…

N is for…

Half-way there, Little Buddha, and I can tell you this has been an eye-opener for me too!  The alphabet has never been this much fun before – well… except for Big Bird’s rendition of how you’d pronounce it if it were all one word!


Well, now for the New Words!

N – is for No.  Probably one of the first words you’ll ever learn, Little Buddha!  This word is packed so full of DON’T and WON’T… but never let that get you down, bud.  No is going to be a word you hear a lot, but you CAN get around it.  Bat your eyes, smile that smile, use your best manners, and you’ll get more than you ever thought you could!  Especially with Gramma! 

When you see this look aimed at you - run. Don't look back. Seriously.

No is supposed to be there to help keep you safe, and sometimes you have to accept the “No”.  When Mama gets “that look” in her eye, let it go, Little Buddha.  Just let it go.  Having used the “Mom Look of No” myself many times over the years, I know from experience that your Mama won’t back down, won’t give in, and won’t apologize when she paddles your behind for insolent  and unbecoming behavior in a minor.  Just call it a win for your Mama, and live to argue another day.

N – is for Naughty.  This goes really well with the No.  If Mama tells you “NO” and you do/take/go anyway… well, then you’re Naughty, and won’t like the results.  Of course, my Little Buddha could NEVER be naughty, so we won’t go any further with this word…  today.

N – is for Nickname.  Little Buddha, you’ll have many nicknames over the course of your life.  Before you were born, I heard your parents refer to you as “Da Bump”, “Beebee” (that was from your Daddy, who really wanted you to come out and play), “Little Buddha” (from me, of course!), and “Little Alien” (because of the way you’d make Mama’s tummy look when you moved around!)  Now that you’re here, you have many other nicknames like “Little Man”, “Baby Dude”, and “Turtle”.  These are all affectionate and said lovingly by people who cherish you for who you really are. 

There may be times when, throughout your life, you’ll get other nicknames.  Maybe – not-so-nice ones.  Don’t let these get to you, Little Buddha.  Please.  These bullies are just jealous of how special and spectacular you are, so they’ll try to knock you down.  Hold your head up, and walk on past them.  They may call names, but they’ll never touch who you are inside.  Blow them off, Little Buddha, that’ll drive them crazy, and you’ll have the pleasure of taking the high road!

And lastly for today, N – is for NAP. 

Take them.

Wherever and whenever you can. 

Believe me – you will learn to cherish your naptimes as you get older.  Life is hard, and it moves faster than you can imagine, precious grandson.  Sleep is a rare commodity these days, so you have to take it where you find it.

Naps rock.

D is for….

Darling Little Buddha, you’re making us wait, and forcing us to learn patience in awaiting your arrival.  You don’t have to do that.  Seriously.  Mommy’s ready, Daddy’s ready, Gramma’s more than ready.  Time to stop being shy and come on out to see us all!  But, until you do, I’ll continue to sing you the alphabet song here, where I can explain a few things to you!

D – is for Dog.  Because every kid should have one.  Most loyal companions, and all around fun to have as a bestest good friend, dogs are an essential part of growing up, and Gramma doesn’t think you should be left out.  I think it’s actually a law or something, that every kid has to have a dog… or at least, it should be!  Don’t you worry, Little Buddha, Gramma will make sure that at some point, you will have your very own bestest good furry friend to love and hug and play with.  (Don’t worry about the parents, we’ll use big puppy-dog eyes like this lil guy in the picture and get you one!)

D – is for Dancing.  I know you’re going to love this – you’ve been dancing already, showing us your high-kicks right through Mommy’s tummy!  But there’s not much room in there anymore, and you need more space to show your stuff!  Dancing is so much fun, and you get to jump around and move every part of you to the music.  Music is a big part of life, and you should dance.  Every chance you get.  And don’t pay attention to anyone who says you can’t, or shouldn’t.  If you feel like dancing – let your heart go with the sound, and move.  Dance, baby!  Gramma will even teach you how to waltz, just like your Great-Papa taught me!  Then all the girls will want to dance with you!

D – is for Dirt.  Rubbed in, this makes a fine protective coating for knees and hands.  Don’t listen to Mommy & Daddy when they tell you to “not get dirty”.  There’s no chance they’ll get what they want – kids and dirt are like magnets, strong ones, and they are automatically attracted to one another.  So, if you suddenly look down, and don’t have any idea how that dirt got there?  Don’t worry, it just jumps on you when you’re not looking.  This is normal.

So are baths, and they can be fun, too… don’t give Mom & Dad too hard of a time about them.  Gramma will teach you about “squirty bath toys” – you’ll see!

And last for today, Little Buddha, D – is for Darling Baby.  Even though you’re just as stubborn as the rest of us out here, doesn’t mean you have to hide from us!  Come on out and play – there’s so many, many fun things to do and see out here!  I want to start telling you stories about dirty, dancing dogs and darling little boys who love their Grammas!  Let’s get this show on the road, and cut Mommy some slack, hunh? 




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I Must To Get ALL The Things!~

I – have gone a little bug-nuts.

I'm not crazy...I always look a little bug-eyed!

Ok, so I’m already a little nuts.  I’ve just amped up the speed of spin a little, lately, I guess.

I had a good bit of luck this year, in that I got a decent refund from my taxes.  And it’s going to enable me to take care of a few things that have been on hold for a long time.  My ex was awful at saving money, and in fact used to have the refund already spent long before we ever got it.  And it was never on the practical things, like a new window to replace the living room one that had been cracked almost since the year we moved in (2000).  Or to repaint, which the house has desperately needed.  Or to get new eaves troughs, again, kinda desperately required.  Instead, the money was always spent on “toys”.  Things he wanted, or thought we “needed”, which ended up being things he would then expect me to figure out and run, and take care of, because he was about as handy as a sack full of broken hammers.

(Gah, I’ve gotta stop talking about the ex, I’m getting tired of re-hashing all that old crap, and need to stop carrying his weight on my back)


I’ve been going a little mad, with some of the extra spending money lying around.  I’m still taking care of the bills and everything, so I’ve been indulging in a little bit of long-needed refurbishing.

I love you Marvin, but I don't LOVE you. Stop possessing my TV.

I got myself a new TV, since the old one was about 40 million pounds of Martian TV, always green, all the time.

I was able to get a second-hand couch in really great shape, to replace one of the old, crappy ones, and got the old one out of the house. 

I bought some new large area rugs to cover the floor in the basement bedroom that ED and FSIL are going to be taking over for their own when they move in, since the floor down there is cement.  I don’t want to carpet, just in case we end up with ground water seeping in again.

And last night – I bought myself a new rocker-recliner.  Brand new, chocolate brown suede.  Plush and comfy, it’s yet another symbol to me that I’m regaining my independence and self-confidence.  I took YD with me to look and compare, but when it came down to the choice of chairs, it was all me.  There was no “discussion” to be had with someone who negatively shot down every reason why I should get what I wanted.  There was no mocking of my decision-making process, which basically amounts to “sit in ALL the chairs twice, and pick one” (rather Goldilocks of me, I know, but hey, it’s the only way to get the one that I’m comfortable in!).  And once I made my choice, I paid, picked it up, and brought it home.

After a lovely dinner with A, YoungerDaughter and OnlySon, we went back to the house, where A helped get the chair set up just where I wanted it.  And, after everybody had a chance to check out the cushyness of the new throne, A bogartted the chair for most of the rest of the night!  (It’s alright, if I’d sat in the chair… I’d have been snoring in about 5 minutes – I was ti-red.  Better to remain upright on the couch and stay awake!)

So, there have been a few “big-ticket” items, couch, chair, area rugs (more medium-ticket there)… but for the most part, the purchases have been small.  Touches and flourishes here and there, to subtly change the feel and “Zen” of the house. Maybe it’s not so “spend-crazy” as I think, when I contemplate the changes.  It’s not so much about the Must-to-get-ALL-the-things, but it is more about FINALLY, I get to get the things I want.

I’m taking back my space – by inches, maybe, but each one is mine when I’m done.


Brain Rabies

I think I’ve been infected.

It started with a sniffle, which moved to post-nasal drip, and stealthily worked its way up into my sinuses and back into my ears.

There is now a soft, but constant ringing noise in my right ear.

I will go insane because of this.

Oh, wait.  Crazy can only get “er”.

I’ve had my voice fluctuating between normal and husky – all the way to non-existent.  People are going to think the multiple personalities are finally coming out to play. 

They’re not – I keep them locked up good and tight with the other Voices in my head.

I know that most people refer to this as “the common cold”, and write it off as a small inconvenience.


It’s brain rabies, I know it!

I’ve heard about brain rabies, a friend with her own troop of flying monkeys told me about it, and so I know it’s real and dangerous, and can only be cured by copius amounts of alcohol and bacon.

For realz.

One of the other symptoms of this heinous disease, so I’ve been told, is that you can’t focus on one thing for more than

Hey! Squirrels! I thought they were hibernating for the winter!

Awww… look how cute they are…

Uh, where was I?

Oh – that’s right.

Brain Rabies – seeee??

No, I didn’t plan that wild tangent all out and go googling for pictures of cute little squirrels to distract you – it was just like it happened here, honest.  It’s the rabies, man.

I’ve had a million and one things floating around in my brain lately, all stuff that I wanted to blog about, sorta…

But, have you ever had 2 colors of play-doh, and made something where you mixed it together?

Yeah, it doesn’t ever look right again, and you can’t pick those 2 colors apart ever.

Hey… doesn’t this look a little like a squirrel, if you cock your head to the side a little and squint?

 Jumping tracks again, sorry.

And I just had the crap scared out of me!

While googling  for a picture of “mixed up playdoh”, I ran across this:

This is a picture of another blogger’s cat.

Here’s Sally, mine: 

Twins?  Doppelgangers? 

I don’t know, but I do know that if there are 2 out there like my Patchwork Sally – in all her rabid-squirrel-coon-cat glory…

We’re all doomed.

Brain rabies is only the beginning.

Eternal Sunshine of a Twisted Mind

Sunshine… on my shoulders… makes me happy…

Sunshine… in my eyes can make me cry…

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely…

And it looks even better on my blog!

I was surprised and pleasantly so, yesterday, when I was informed by a visitor that she had given me the Sunshine Award!

Dr. Sherry E. Showalter nominated me for this, and I am honored to accept, after checking out her blog, and learning that she is a speaker and psychotherapist about loss and grief, and has written a book entitled “Healing Heartaches – Stories of Loss and Life”.

Helping others deal with loss is something that I’m familiar with, and it’s something that fulfills me in a way I never thought possible.  And finding other people out there (of which I’ve met SO MANY since I’ve started blogging) who lend their shoulders, ears, hearts, and hankies to others to help them through the grieving process – it’s amazing at the generosity of the human race behind the scenes.  These healers of the heart, often wounded themselves in some way, are almost never recognized for all they do, or for everyone they’ve helped.  But I aim to recognize some of them today!

And now, for the instructions. I was told to answer some questions, so here you go!

Favorite Animal:   Ok, so I know it’s supposed to be a “real” animal… but I can’t choose just one.  Cats, dogs, horses, goats, mice, hamsters, ferrets, teenage children… they’re all beloved animals to me!

Favorite Number: 3
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Diet Coke
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
My Passion: Writing, truly – madly – deeply
Getting or Giving Presents: Sure, I like getting, but I’d rather give.  I like watching people’s faces when they open something and realize it’s funny/cute/just what they wanted but didn’t know it/totally twisted and hilarious
Favorite Pattern: Um…Simple…
Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday
Favorite Flower: Carnations

And, of course, I’m supposed to nominate others to receive this award as well!  All deserving, and you should really go check them out –

1.  Mark – The Idiot:  Don’t let the nickname fool you, he’s one of the warmest, funniest, most compassionate people I’ve ever met.  And, he’s totally twisted too, so GO READ!  His blog is The Idiot Speaketh, and I’m honored to call him my BloggingBigBro.  Just don’t believe half the stuff you read, cause he’s got a wild imagination, and has no fear of using it to make himself look foolish!

2.  Mary at Fibromy-Awesome:  This gal has a voice that just won’t quit.  She is a funny, positive force out there, working on just getting through every day with a smile and a handful of wisdom that just seems like it’s common sense everyone should know.   

3. Sparrow at Sparrow’s Ramblings:  When you’re talking awards, Sparrow’s always on my list.  She’s one of my best friends, and she has helped me through some really tough times of my own – with a sarcastic wit and a compassionate heart, always willing to take on another’s burdens, in spite of her own life being a whirl of teenagers and jobs and drama that ensues from those. 

4. Dragonfae at Among the Crystals, Dragons and Fae:  A constant source of support and internet hugs, this lady is spectacularly unique and funny.  Smart, as in builds satellites, and wise as in knows the right things to say at the right moments.  Truly, a kick-ass lady with a heart of titanium – because it is stronger and can stand up to the rigors of space, of COURSE!

5. Mckenzie with a lil k at The Unabridged Girl:  This girl, her laughter is infectious; her compassion is boundless, and her talent is limitless.  She has a knack for knowing just what to say or do to make the sun come out on any given gloomy day.  With a quirky sense of humor and a gift for thinking sideways, she’s one of my treasured blogging friends.

Whew… so many people to nominate…

I’m going to stop at 5, instead of the previously stated 10 that Dr. Showalter nominated.  My fingers are all twisted and cramped now, and I don’t want to give anyone too long of a list to go check out all at once!

I’ll just end with this for today:

Even though the paths may wind

Through the shadows in my mind

Even darkness has its end

If you search around the bend

Twisted though the journey be

Sunshine appears – even with me.

The Little Things

Yeah, yeah, I know what today is.

Who doesn’t?

I’ve never really been all that big on the 14th of February.

Mostly, because I have an issue with people who only show how much they care on 1 day of the year.  If you care about someone, it shouldn’t just be on 1 day, it should be all the time.

And it’s those little things, those almost-not-obvious moments, that mean the most.

*It’s stopping by because you know they aren’t feeling good, and need to have someone close, even if it’s across the room because they’re virulently contagious.

*It’s bringing cough drops, because you want them to feel better, and you know they don’t have any.

*It’s remembering that they like something, and remembering that they don’t like some things.

*It’s making someone laugh… even if they’re really grouchy and don’t want to.

*It’s sidelong glances when you think they’re not watching, just to find out that they are… and then they blush.

*It’s paying attention to the things they say, even if you don’t agree with it, or understand it – letting them talk something out and just actively listening.

*It’s knowing that you can argue with them – and they won’t just walk away, they’ll argue back. 

*Taking someone’s hand, just to hold it.

*Being content just to sit and watch bad cable tv with them, because they’re getting a kick out of it, and you like watching them laugh.

*Offering to help them when they need somebody who knows how to fix stuff.  Because you know how to fix stuff.

Most of these things don’t cost much, if anything. 

But they are priceless.

And I’d rather have them than a million cards.  Cards are words printed on paper, and sure, they can get your feelings down in indelible ink, proof admissible in court and all that… and yeah, they’re nice too.

But if I had to choose just one, I’d rather have all the little moments, the small touches and smiles, the day-to-day proof.

Oh, and flowers.  Cause I’m a girl, and I’m supposed to want flowers, right?

These are actually my favorites – carnations – cause they smell wonderful!

Ok, so yeah, I like flowers too.

So, if there’s someone in your life that you care about… you don’t need to say it with flowers, or chocolates, or cards today.
Laugh at their jokes, listen to them talk about their day/kids/work/favorite morning cartoon/frustrations/joys, take their hand, look into their eyes…
Show them.
And not just today.
*Love ~ it’s what’s for dinner
*Love ~ better than a kick to the head…wait – what?
*Love ~ just another wordpress.com blog
*Love ~ the other right meet