Friday, December 23, 2011


D and I took the dogs to Fort Loudon and walked around the path.  It was deserted except for us.  The quiet as we walked by the lake was almost deafening.  As we walked,  we passed some baby cedars,  just the  right size  for a small Christmas tree.  I reached out and broke off a tip of one of them and the smell was overwhelming and brought back memories of many, many years ago.

I once again saw myself as a child,  in that old house that my Daddy grew up in.  We had an old warm morning heater in the living room and I could hear the crackle of the fire as we brought in the tree,  fresh from being cut up on the hillside.  The aroma was that of cedar,  of the mountains,  and sometimes,  the snow, that had been clinging to the branches just a bit earlier. 

My Mom brought out the decorations that she had for years.  The lights for the tree were the big colored bulbs and each one had to be tested because if one was out,  they were all out.  The old white type icicles that she hung on the tree,  the decorations that were so shiny, and usually contained a hint of Christmas trees in the past,  still caught in the carefully preserved hooks seemed magical to a 5 year old.   The tinsel that went on as a last finish to the tree was usually strung all over the living room by the time the decorating was over.  Mom very patiently cleaned it all up,  put the boxes in the closet,  and then proceeded to wrap the gifts that would go under that tree.

My Dad could never wait until Christmas morning to open gifts,  so we always opened them on Christmas Eve and it was a struggle for Mom to get him to wait until the evening of Christmas Eve.  The house always had the smell of something cooking,  getting ready for Christmas Dinner,  and I could usually be found sitting by the stove, eating an orange or an apple and wondering what was in the packages for me.

The aroma of that tiny cedar branch from yesterday,  brought back a flood of memories from yesterdays long ago.  It brought smiles to my face,  and warmed my heart.   Now I light a candle to get somewhere close to the aroma of the cedar tree from years ago,  and though we do have a fireplace, it isn't that kind that crackles and pops. 

Life has changed over the years and Mom and Dad have both passed on,  but the memories they gave me as a child are still here,  and can be recalled,  simply by the breaking of a small cedar branch and smelling once again,  the Christmases of my childhood.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Life takes us on strange roads and there are curves we cannot see past and mountains that seem too high to cross and take the very breath and life from us when we try.  That curve that seems non-ending and that mountain that seems straight up with no way to cross,  does have an end.  We have to want it to end though.  We have to look for the path that will take us around all those boulders that block our way.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the curves and boulders,  that we lose our way.  I lost my way.  For a long time I lost my way.  Death,  illness, hurt,  I allowed them all to take away my joy.  I let go of that one thing that was holding me up and I was floundering in the darkness, forgetting who I was and where I was going.  

Last night,  I found that hand that used to hold me up.  The hand had never left me.  I left the hand,  I alone allowed the darkness to overtake my life and turn me into a person that even I didn't recognize.  A person I didn't want to be. 

I sit here this morning with a peace I haven't felt in a long, long, long time and I'm so thankful. 

I have found Christmas.............

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Pirate Smiles

Christmas came almost a month early for the Pirate this year.  I received this gorgeous Empire Red Kitchen Aid!!  I'm stoked.  Really, really stoked.

D is also a very happy camper and the two of us are going to learn to use it together.  I'm quite sure that will be VERY interesting and will probably create a few blog posts and FB statuses all on it's own.

Now all we have to do is decide what we want to make first.  The possibilities are endless,  but I'm thinking something simple should be the first thing we tackle.   Something like a cake, not made from a mix,  with homemade frosting,   or cookies,  but I have money riding on those brownies D saw in the recipe book, none of which I should be eating.  ):   I can take a test piece though.  Right?

I'll let you know how it all turns out.........Once we recover from our sugar high.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday

We are living in a crazy, crazy world. I'm sure most of you have observed the news on TV of Black Friday this year. From the mad rush at the doors opening to the violence that ensued over the products, it was a total mess. It's been that way for years, but seems to be getting worse every year.

Black Friday needs to be shut down. Yes, I said that. I dared to go there. There should be no more Black Friday. Really, there is no need for it. Why can the stores not actually buy enough of the product for everybody? Running the sales over a period of a week should help eliminate the frenzy that occurs on Black Friday.

I do realize that running the sales for a week would take away that rush of adrenlin and the ability to brag about what a great deal I got when I knocked down that little old lady who actually had it in her hands, or the number of people I tripped on the way in the door so I could get to the bin first.

Just think folks, it's the beginning of the CHRISTMAS holiday. Doesn't it just bring all the joy, wonder and magic of the Christmas season to the forefront when we begin it with a fight at the Walmart?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Monumental Day

Today is a day worthy of note.  It is mine and D's 20th anniversary.  It's sad that now days,  20 years is considered a long time to be married.

There are those in our lives who never thought we would make it,  and in those first years,  sometimes it was touch and go.  Two people coming from two totally different backgrounds,  yet we made it work.  We made it work because we were determined to make it work,  and because we do love each other.

In today's world,  so many people seem to forget that marriage should be forever.  They reach a point where they think the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence and off they go,  or they're just tired of being married and are looking for something newer,  more exciting.  I'm not advocating staying in a relationship that involves some type of abuse,  but just because he leaves socks on the floor and she is a lousy cook, is no reason to be off on a new adventure.

So I raise my cup of coffee to D,  thanks for 20 great years,  and here's to 20 more!

Friday, November 11, 2011


It's a balmy 28* outdoors this morning.  Definitely not in my top 10 favorite temps!  It's a beautiful morning though.  What leaves are left on the trees are glowing in the morning light and giving their colors everything they have before finally falling to the ground to await the freezing rains and snows that will follow at some point.

I'm not a fan of winter time.  I was as a child, because like most children,  I seldom paid any attention to the cold.  I ran and played and rolled in the snow and just generally enjoyed myself.  However,  I have never liked Fall.   Though it is probably the most beautiful season we have,  it also signals death.  The death of the summer, no longer am I able to be outside and free.  If I am outside,  I have to be bundled up and I have to actually wear, gasp,  shoes and socks!!   UNSPEAKABLE!

However,  life is good inside the Pirate's Lair.   I have warm jammies,  socks, fuzzy house shoes,  a fire, and my favorite tour guide is bringing me a cup of coffee.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A New Day

I'm sitting here this morning,  just enjoying the quiet and the beauty of the morning.  It's a clear, frosty, Sunday morning and the world seems silent, as is usual for a Sunday morning.  The hurrying of the past week is over and those who were in such a hurry have settled in for a morning to rest before beginning all over again tomorrow.

I love these mornings. The cat has plastered herself over the arm of the sofa like Snoopy on top of his dog house.  The dogs are curled together on the ottoman in front of the fire, occasionally whimpering and moving their legs as if running.  Perhaps they are dreaming of rabbits or of chasing the cat.  The aroma that comes from my coffee cup draws me to think of the fall weather and the holidays to come. 

At some point today,  I will be able to open the door or the windows and the quiet will be broken by the sounds of bicycles on the street,  scooters being ridden,  and children calling to one another.   I'm quite sure that at some point, the cat will be found in the livingroom window, laying in the sun,  and Annie will be watching and listening for any sound that will indicate somebody somewhere sneezed, or spoke, or yawned and heaven help my ears if they dare to walk out into her line of vision.  Lucy?  Well,  Lucy will be alert for anything and everything that might scare her.

But for now,  the quiet continues.  The steady hum of the fridge in the kitchen and the hiss of the flame from the fireplace is almost sleep inducing.  Maybe I will join my 3 four-legged buddies and we will all enjoy another brief nap on a quiet Sunday morning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Cup Of Coffee and Memories

I'm sitting here this morning, drinking my highly favored Pumpkin Spice Coffee,  and letting the memories run through my head.  You see,  I'm drinking my coffee out of my Dad's coffee mug.   He had one coffee cup he used all the time.  Every time I see it,  and drink from it,  I think about sitting in his living room, listening to HIS memories and drinking our coffee together.

Daddy had a lot of memories to share.  In the last few years,  he might not remember what he did the day before, but he sure remembered what he did when he was 10, or 20, and I loved to hear those stories.

I also have two coffee cups that belonged to my Mom.  They were given to her by one of my aunts (on Mom's side) and that particular aunt made sure Mom knew exactly how much she paid for those particular coffee cups.  Mom had them for years and when I would visit,  Mom would bring out those cups, we would sit at the table, drink our coffee and talk over old times that we had with that particular aunt, her funny ways,  and the fact that we did miss her.

A cup of coffee has always played a part in my life.  I've heard Mom and Dad both tell stories and laugh about how when I was a very small child,  I would go around the table, checking to see if anybody left any coffee in their cups and I would drink it.  Funny how there was  always a bit of coffee left in the bottom of those cups.

So when you see or hear that I'm enjoying a good cup of coffee,  know that along with that coffee,  I'm also enjoying some wonderful memories.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I'm just sitting here this morning enjoying the quiet and the beauty of the morning.  Everything is so still inside the house.  The only noise is the hum of the computer and the fireplace kicking on from time to time.  I love these quiet, unfettered mornings.

The dogs are curled up, side by side on the ottoman,  the cat is sunning herself in the window, and I'm enjoying a good cup of coffee.  Nothing like a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee to bring out the sounds and feel of  Fall in the air.

I love my cozy, little Pirate's Lair......

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's COLD Today!

Yesterday D and I went shopping and as we rode along,  I noticed that the trees are getting all dressed up in their glorious fall colors.  Though it was pouring rain,  the yellows on some of the trees, gave the impression of bright sunlight.  Mixed in with the reds and the evergreens,  it certainly made for a beautiful ride.

The rain stopped last night and today it is totally COLD!  I think earlier the temps were in the 40's with a windchill in the 30's.  Not my favorite kind of day.  This means I am going to have to turn on the gas.  I will have to wait until D gets home because I have not yet mastered the ability to bend my body in 2 different directions while looking back over my shoulder to ascertain if the fireplace is lit.  Maybe at 21 I could have done that.  Not so much at this wonderful age.

However,  the girls and I are all snuggled in.  Lucy and Annie have their Sherpa doggie bed placed on their favorite ottoman,  The 'Shake has herself a perch in the corner,  and The Pirate is wearing a sweatshirt and socks.  Yes, you read that right.  Socks.  You know it must be cold for The Pirate to wear socks.............

Hope everybody else is all snug and toasty warm!

Friday, October 14, 2011

12 years old.......ALREADY?

Today is Emma Rose's birthday.  Her 12th birthday.  How did that happen so fast?  It seems like just a few days ago I was sitting in the rocking chair in their living room, rocking this little girl, and now here she is,  12 years old.

I do have to admit, she still has that mischievous glint in her eyes,  and I'm still never sure just what she is going to say or do,  but I wouldn't have it any other way.  She is her own precious self and she brings me joy every time I see her.

Happy Birthday Emma Rose,  and slow down on the whole growing up thing.  OK?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Crazies Are Out In Full Force

I've been to the Walmart.  Yes,  I've been to that store that we all LOVE (You do note the sarcasm here.  Right?) and can't wait to return to day after day.

My experience this morning was quite unlike anything I've seen before.  Undoubtedly there is a full moon, or it is National Fight With Your Spouse in the Frozen Food Aisle Day,  or just National Crazy Day in general.

The store was crowded.  Seemingly more crowded than usual,  and it was still early.  Of course,  I've been really, really trying to NOT frequent the Walmart as much so maybe I have forgotten.  It is Friday after all.

I was standing in the frozen food aisle, trying to decide what I needed or wanted for the week.  I hear a couple the next aisle over in an argument.  I actually thought it was a Mom fussing at her teenage son.  Lucky me,  here they came down beside me.  Mom pushing a basket with a toddler in it,  an older child walking,  and Dad,  pushing a basket and an older child was walking behind him.  Apparently Dad couldn't find Mom in the store where he thought she should be and mad doesn't begin to describe it.  She had a few choice words for him and he exploded, right there in the frozen veggie aisle.  The kids were all crying, mom and dad shouting at each other and dad takes his basket and rams in into the back of mom.  If you've ever been hit with one of those things,  you know it can hurt.  At that point,  this Pirate grabs her bag of corn, and hauls herself out of frozen veggies.  I didn't want to see blows flying back and forth.

I got myself checked out,  loaded my groceries into the car,  and slowly began backing out.  A little car comes up behind me and stops.  She wants the space across the aisle from me.  Fine,  I will wait.  She pulls in and apparently decided she didn't fit.  She was in there perfectly by the way, but she backs up slowly, almost backing into me,  and then proceeds to pull her car to the point that it is sitting solidly on the yellow line.  She's then satisfied.

I manage to get out of my parking space, get to the end of the row and am almost mowed down by a man in his 40's, maybe 50's, with salt and pepper hair,  who absolutely HAS to have that parking space reserved for pregnant women.  No,  there is no pregnant woman with him.  He is alone in his big fine Lexus.   He is coming down the aisle the wrong way,  upset with me because I am daring to come out the RIGHT way and he just can't get to that spot.  There is nobody behind me so why he couldn't wait, I have no idea.  He almost hit me trying to back into that spot because I actually had to wait for traffic to go by in front of me!

If  you are trying to go, thinking of going,  or if the thought even just passed through your mind,  that  you might go to Walmart today,  I would suggest waiting.   Maybe wait 2 or 3 years before going.  It's crazy out there...............

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life in the 1500's

Here are some facts about the 1500s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were
starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the
children. Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood
underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and
other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip
and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings
could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some
protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would
get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help
keep their footing.
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened
the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the
entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that
always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate
mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the
stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then
start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there
for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold,
peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around
and chew the fat. 

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the
food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes,
so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the
loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes
knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road
would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the
family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they
would wake up. Hence the custom; “of holding a wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of
places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take
the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these
coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside
and they realized they had been burying people alive.
So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin
and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard
shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell”
or was “considered a dead ringer”.
And that's the truth.

Who said history was boring?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Frankie Comes Home

Yesterday,  a young man came home for the last time.  He didn't come home with a big smile on his face.  His family didn't get to jump for joy to see him get off the plane.  He came home in a casket covered with an American flag.  He was 21 years old.  Taken away much too soon.

The reception given to this young man was phenomenal.  It took almost 13 minutes for the entire procession to pass and the highway was lined for miles with people who came out to pay respects and to honor this young man.  Not very many of the people probably knew this young man personally.  Probably some went to school with him,  or played sports with him, but weren't friends on a day to day basis.  They came because this young man paid the ultimate price.  He was fighting for our freedom, which was intruded upon when Frankie was only 11 years old.

I am so proud of Monroe County, Tennessee.  So many times our county is looked upon with disdain  simply because it's in the mountains and the outside world automatically assumes we're "just a bunch of hillbillies".  Yesterday was proof positive that the people of Monroe County are filled with compassion, honor, and thankfulness.  Highway 411 was lined with flags of all sizes.  Flags flew on fence posts, some were simply stuck down in the ground, and others were arranged to write the name of a young man that the county is so proud to call their own.  Flags were held by those lined up to pay their respects and to say good-bye to a young man who gave everything he had to give......including his very life. 

Thank you Lance Cpl Frankie Watson.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Neighbor Guy

It's another one of those absolutely glorious fall days.  The temps are just right,  the sky is full of fluffy white clouds and there is just enough breeze to move the leaves on the trees.  It's one of those days that you don't want to be inside.........and therein lies the problem. Neighbor Guy doesn't want to be inside either.

You have to understand Neighbor Guy.  He's 70 something years old,  well preserved because of the amount of alcohol he consumes on an hourly basis,  smokes pot,  and has no filter on his mouth.  That is probably due to the alcohol and pot smoking.   For the most part,  we've learned to ignore him.

Now Neighbor Guy has an old truck that he has been working on for 5 or 6 years.  He worked on it for a long time himself and then took it off to a mechanic, who put in an engine and brought it back.  Now when they brought it back, it sounded good,  but Neighbor Guy didn't like that,  so he's working on it again.  Now it doesn't run at all unless you rev the engine as high as it will go for extended periods of time.  Usually this is done at a time that D is on nights and sleeping during the day.  Our bedroom is right next to their driveway where the truck sits.  D has the window open to get the breeze.  You see where this is going.  Right?

Today,  Neighbor Guy added a whole new dimension to the revving up of the motor for 10 minutes.  He has a horn on the truck.  Not your normal every day horn for a vehicle,  but this one is a horn for a clown car.  You know the sound I'm referring to I'm sure.  It goes  OOOOOGA...........OOOOOGA......Yes,  that one. Today,  he tried out the horn while revving up the engine.  The engine revving,  the horn blowing,  Lucy barking because he was disturbing her,  the cat flying into the house with her ears laid back and fur all ruffed up...........

Yes,  it is just a normal day at the Pirate's Lair on Circus Street.   A beautiful fall day filled with the wonderful fall sounds of revving engines and oooga horns and Neighbor Guy,  and I get all this entertainment for free!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Window Cat

I sit in the window, watching, wondering, and hoping that some day I can escape and get "out there".  Out there in the wild, and perhaps I can catch one of those creatures that drop from the sky, eating lots of that stuff that my human puts in boxes on those poles.  Sometimes they even drop to the ground and eat.  I am SURE I can catch one off the ground.

Sometimes I do manage to sneak outside when nobody is really paying attention,  but what to do once I get out there?  I stop, stare, look back at the door and wonder if leaving the safety of that door is really worth it?  Once my feet touch the grass,  I have  no idea what to do and I lift each paw high in the air, wondering what that strange texture under my feet might be.  It isn't like the floor that I can run on and slide around the corner, making my backside meet my nose.  It isn't that rug that gives me such a thrill when I can make it slide from the back door, all the way to the front door.  What to do, oh what to do?  So I stand there until one of my humans picks me up and puts me back safely behind the door.  Whew!  That was close!

So I sit in the window,  dreaming of what might have been, or what might be,  knowing that just around the corner is a full bowl of food, fresh water,  and beds for a wayward cat tucked into various corners, strictly for my comfort.  There is always another 4 legged creature (the human calls them silly dogs) to snuggle up with if it's cold or raining, and do you know,  I might have actually caught that creature and tried to eat it!  Can you imagine,  ME, eating raw meat?  EEEEWWWW!!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Day At A Glance

I knew it was going to be one of  THOSE days when I woke up, couldn't go back to sleep, looked at the clock and it said 3:30 AM.  I knew it was going to be one of THOSE days when I tried to go back to sleep after D got home from work.  I even put in the most boring movie ever,  and couldn't sleep.  I knew it was going to be one of THOSE days when the 'Shake sprawled herself across me like Snoopy on his doghouse and dozed while I tried to doze.  Apparently this is NOT a day for a Pirate to sleep.

It is one of those drizzly, gray days that is meant for staying inside.  It's a day meant for reading or maybe even baking cookies.  Nah,  this Pirate doesn't bake cookies unless they are on a roll from the grocery store, and I have none of those on hand.  Since D is sleeping, whatever I do has to be something relatively quiet so that means no loud music and dancing around the livingroom.

Perhaps I could go ghost hunting.  Lucy seems to think we have something extra living up around our ceilings. From time to time she sits and gazes at one certain corner of the ceiling and then tries to hide.  Of course,  I have to remember that this IS Lucy I'm talking about,  and sometimes the wag of her own tail scares her so badly she bolts to the back porch and hides under the glider.  'Shake and Annie just stare at her like she has lost her mind. (OK, so we all know she has, but I always try to give her the benefit of the doubt).

On another plane of thought,  I could have a cup of coffee.  That sounds like a winning idea to me.

So I raise my cup to my crazy, 4 legged girls, the ghost in the corner,  and maybe even a dance around the livingroom when D wakes up.

Everybody have a great day now!  I know I'm going to!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Life Cycles

The following story touched me deeply today.  I was already having trouble with Pat Robertson's "ok" to divorce your partner because "they are no longer there" and then I read this and my thoughts went back to my Mom.

In her last years, Mom had Alzhimers.  She reached a point in time where she no longer knew me as I walked through the door.  In her mind,  her daughter was only 4, sometimes younger.  The Mom who made my clothes, cooked my favorite foods, walked me to school, and spanked my little backside was no longer the Mom I knew.

I can never imagine my Dad saying,  "Well,  she doesn't know us so let's just leave her here and go find another wife and Mom."  No,  he stuck by her, doing the best he could and making sure her last years were comfortable, or as comfortable as they could be.

We really are coming into a time where the aged, the sick, the mentally challenged, are forgotten or ignored.  It's scary to think that the time may very well come when these same people are given a shot, or a medication, that will remove them from life completely because they are no longer "useful".   What kind of a life will my beautiful daughter and my wonderful sons have when they become "senior citizens"?  What about those grandchildren that I love so much?  Will they be cast aside like a pair of worn out shoes as they approach what should be their golden years?

Our nation is in a rapid downward spiral and now it seems that one of our "top" religious men is advocating just throwing all those years of marriage down the drain and getting on with life.  I wonder where God was in that decision.  I'm quite sure that HE wasn't consulted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Obituary

London Times Obituary of the late Mr. Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were buried long ago in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they, themselves had failed to do, in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Morning

10 years ago today,  I sat with Danny on one side of me and Emma Rose in my lap and watched as the plane struck the 2nd tower.  It was total disbelief that TWO planes had struck those towers and I listened as Katie Couric and Matt Lauer tried to figure out what was happening.  The horror in their voices as they realized that this was a terrorist attack still haunts me today.

When I was able to regain my thought patterns and realize what was happening,  I sent the kids to another room to play.  This was too much for adults to handle and I didn't want to traumatize them by causing them to realize this was real.  This wasn't a movie.  Danny asked what happened and I told him the plane wrecked into that building.  He shared with me that it sure caused a lot of smoke.  

Yes,  it caused a lot of smoke, a lot of chaos, a lot of deaths, a lot of heartache,  but most of all, it created a lot of fear.  Fear that hasn't really ever left since that day.  It's almost every day that we hear of "planned attacks" or maybe there is a new threat coming from somewhere in a place of which we've never heard.  Our lives after September 11, 2001, have never had that same joyous abandon of life before that date.  We no longer believe that we are indestructable because that day showed us that we are.  We no longer take everything, like our freedom,  for granted,  because it has come with a high price tag attached.

The smoke that so impressed a little 4 year old in Tennessee that day,  still binds us.  It binds us in hatred and in fear of what can happen to us at a moment's notice.  It keeps us looking over our shoulders, wondering where the next attack might happen or if another attack will happen here on our soil.

I choose to not live in that fear, though I will admit,  sometimes it's hard not to.  I choose to live by the verse I used in my status today.  John 14:27 which says, " Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you,  not as the world gives, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled,  neither let it be afraid."    

Let's live with HIS peace today, and tomorrow,  and for all days afterwards...............

Monday, September 5, 2011


It's one of those early Fall mornings when the air is cool,  the fog is sitting on the ridges, the crickets are in full chorus,  and you know it is a day to rejoice.

Yesterday was a day to rejoice too.  We had rain.  Hard rain.  It didn't last all evening,  but it was wonderful while it was here.  Since thunder was involved, Lucy and Annie chose to be in their crate, covered up,  but Milkshake and I sat in the rocking chair, in front of the front door and watched the rain fall.  When the blowing wind caused the rain to blow through the front door,  we shut the door and moved to the swing on the back porch.

What a wonderful sound to hear the rain pelting the roof,  to see it hitting the water in the pool, and to smell the rain.  What a sweet, refreshing scent the rain gives us!  It can't be reproduced in a can or a candle, though man has tried.  It just can't be done.

I am not a person who actually likes rain.  Especially in the winter months.  I find rain in the winter very depressing, but on those days,  I find myself a book or a movie, a blanket, and lose myself in a world of fantasy.   At this point in time however,  rain is more than welcomed.  Everything was so dry.  Our yards were all brown for the most part and felt like straw when walked on,  so this Pirate is really enjoying the rain.

I hear the rain falling this morning.  Right now it's a gentle rain with a cool breeze dropping in once in a while.  From what I understand,  it's going to get heavier today and will last longer than a normal summer rain.  Well, we're ready for it.  Stocked up on coffee,  have some books ready on the Nook,  and who knows,  we may just pull TWO rocking chairs in front of the door and watch the rain fall.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Live On Circus Street

I love my little house.  I love the fact that it's so weather tight and easy to maintain.  I even love the street I live on, solely for its entertainment value.  I've never lived anywhere like this before.  Here is an example..........Follow closely so you don't lose track of the clowns.

The guy next door has "friends" that drop by to visit quite often.  This week they've been there every day.  Today, I'm sitting inside, enjoying my lunch and the breeze blowing through the house and I hear all this yelling.  So being the nosy pirate that I am,  I get up and look out the door.  These friends are in an argument.  There are 3 of them, 2 guys and a girl.  The guy in the back seat, gets out and starts walking.   The other 2 holler at him and he gets back in the car.  They get about 5 feet and the guy on the passenger side gets out, slams the door and starts walking.  The girl who is driving, is yelling, cussing, carrying on.  They go another 10 feet and the guy gets back in the car.  They get to the stop sign, which from where the 2nd guy got out,  is about 30 feet.  Maybe. The car stops, the girl gets out,  and takes off!!!  The 2 guys sit there for a minute and the guy in the passenger side gets out and follows the girl.  This leaves the car blocking the street and the 3rd guy in the back seat.  He finally opens the door, gets out, yelling, throwing his arms around and gets in the drivers seat and makes it to the street that comes off 411, where he parks.  Suddenly,  the second guy comes and gets in the car,  the woman comes stomping down the street, gets in the drivers side,  the guy who moved the car, gets out and jumps in the back seat and they go roaring off into the wild blue yonder.

WHY would I want to watch TV when I have the circus just outside my front door????

September Already!

Wow,  it's September 1 already!  Where has the year gone?  2/3 of it has already passed and it seems like just yesterday I was whining because it was so cold!  I saw on the weather report that though it's still going to be in the 90's for most of this week,  next week it drops down to the 80's.  Hopefully the fall will be kind and let the temps drop slowly so it isn't such a shock to the ole system.

The days are winding down.  It's now dark before 9 pm, and isn't daylight until well after 6.  Some of the trees, probably due to lack of rain,  are changing colors and losing their leaves.  Our full color probably won't happen until the first part of November.  However, without rain,  we will just have various shades of brown and that will be sad.

I'm not looking forward to the cold, rainy days of late fall and winter, because I love the sunshine and warmth so much.  Perhaps I should just buy myself a sunlamp,  dump a truckload of sand in my livingroom, set up a palm tree or two,  some beach chairs,  and imagine myself right into a warmer climate until next May.  I'm sure that wouldn't cause a problem..  Would it?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The pirate is having computer problems so I will be back when those are solved.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What Kids Are Missing

I was reading on the internet this morning and ran across a post about what kids today are missing.  When you stop and look at this particular generation of children,  most people will say,  "What are they missing?  They have far more than we ever did!"  and that is true.  Maybe that is the problem, or a part of the problem.  They have too much.

When I was a child,  I played outside ALL day.  There were kittens to play with, dogs to play with, hills to be climbed, crawdads to be caught, creeks to be waded in, rocks to be thrown, bikes to be ridden and a swing in an old apple tree that took me around the world and back.  My cousin and I had a jump board run through a garden gate,  and when we got tired of that, we moved it up a couple notches and it became a seesaw.  What fun we had with that (and yes,  we did get a few splinters).  We raced our bikes, looked for 4 leaf clovers, and laid on our backs and looked for shapes in the clouds as they drifted over.  To top it all off,  we actually had conversations that involved TALKING and not pushing buttons on a cell phone to send a text!

My mother always knew the general area I was in, and if she didn't, she went to the back door and hollered for me.  If I knew what was good for me,  I answered her on the first time,  definitely no later than the second time.(I remember hiding from her one time, thinking it was funny.  Let's just say that didn't turn out well for this pirate so I didn't do that any more).   I knew to stay within the boundaries where I could hear her.  She didn't hover over me.  I'm sure she looked out the window or came outside to see if she could see me,  but she didn't hover.  She was prepared for dirty hands and feet,  for dirty clothes,  and had no fear that I was going to get some germs on me.  She KNEW I was germ central, so she had hot water, clean towels, washcloths, and soap waiting for me at the end of the day.

In the summer, we ate fresh veggies most days.  I didn't know they were good for me.  I  just knew I liked them.  Winter always involved lots of hot lunches, suppers, and a cozy time of reading before bed.   When Daddy was off work and home,  I could always climb up on his lap and he would read me Bible stories before bedtime.

There's a pattern here in case you haven't noticed.  We didn't have TV.  I was 12 years old before we had a TV in the house.  We read the newspapers,  had subscriptions to magazines,  and listened to the radio, while the housework was being done.  In the evenings, we sat in the swing on the front porch, or on the steps and we talked.  Stories were shared from times when my parents were kids.  I can still remember falling asleep on that old swing with my head in somebody's lap and listening to the sound of their voices, the crickets, and the creek running down past the front yard.

When it got too hot in the summer to sit in the house,  we sat on the side porch, or out in the yard and enjoyed the shade.  Daddy had an old glider on the side porch that was perfect for taking a nap or laying on to read a book.

Children today are exposed to way more than we ever were.  Sometimes that can be good, sometimes not.  It seems they seldom go outside because it's too hot, or too cold, or a thousand other reasons.  It's much easier to sit on the sofa and play video games.  Fresh air might kill them or so it seems. When my kids were growing up,  I seldom saw them during the day.  Oh,  I HEARD them, but seldom saw them unless they were hungry or thirsty.  They were too busy building forts, hiding, and playing with the neighbor kids, in the woods behind our houses.  Now when they get together, they laugh about the skinned up knees,  the scratches from the briars,  the bicycle wrecks, and the battles in the trees.

I love sitting and listening to their stories,  listening to their laughter and their "Do you remember the time" happenings.   I'm so glad we turned off the TV and lived.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Morning Sunshine!

It's another beautiful day here at this pirate's lair.  I have both doors open and the cross breeze is absolutely glorious.

The birds are singing and gorging themselves on the feeders that D so meticulously takes care of.  The crickets and all the other little bugs are singing their Sounds of Fall songs and The 'Shake is totally nuts with her running.  Lilo is at the front door wondering where her breakfast is and the dogs have just chased off the Tom Cat who likes to beat up our cat.

My coffee cup is empty,  I just looked in the mirror and totally frightened myself with the image looking back at me.  Really,  WHO IS THAT?

In other words, it is a typical morning here so I'm going to go get this day started!

Everybody have a good one!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Frustrating Laundry or Duvets Are Not For Pirates

Several months ago,  I had this fantastic thought that I would love to have a duvet for my bed.  Why?  I have NO idea,  but when I found one in the right colors at Ross, and for the right price,  I brought it home, put it over my comforter, and proudly showed it off.

Somehow, some way,  that wonderful Yankee I pledged my troth to (what is that anyway) had managed to get lotion or sunscreen on the duvet.  So,  this morning,  this pirate, after enjoying her coffee in the wonderful, cool breeze flowing through her house,  decided she would wash said duvet.

I thought I might be in trouble when it took me 5 minutes to get it unbuttoned and get the comforter out.  I also had an inkling there might be a problem when said comforter was no longer white,  but had a distinct burgundy cast to it.  However, not to be undone,  I put it in the washer, put a couple woven place mats with the same colors, and a rug that says,  "hand wash only".  Yes,  I bought not only that rug,  but another one just like it.  I figured,  cold water, gentle spin,  it was all good.  And it was.......

Until I took the duvet out of the washer.  Not only had this cover managed to turn itself inside out,  but while doing so,  it managed to inhale the place mats, and the rug.  It took me 10 minutes to get that stuff out of the inside of this duvet.   Everytime I would find the opening and think that I had everything slid down far enough to reach it,  it would slide right back to the upper end.  I know I turned that thing around and around at least 7 times, losing the insides every time.  Finally, in a moment of frustration,  after growling like a lion, scaring the dogs, and causing the cat to literally hiss at me,  I stood on the end of the duvet with the opening, raised it as high as I could, got the other end and shook it.  At last I had success and removed the offending articles that had caused me so much frustration.

I'm going to Walmart and buying myself a quilt.  Duvets are not for Pirates.

Friday, August 26, 2011


D and I were out and about yesterday for a while.  When we passed the high school,  I went back a few years in time to remember picking up a couple boys after school in the evenings.  Was it really all that long ago?  Seems like it should have just been yesterday.

Now I pick up another brown eyed boy, at that same school, at those same doors,  and I'm sure it's all a mistake.  Surely this boy I'm picking up is not the son of my son,  but he is.   It's hard for me to see Danny the teenager sometimes because I still see the little boy with such blond hair it was almost white,  and those eyes so brown they were almost black.  He would drop that head, lift that eyebrow, and Nana was in trouble.

That school also has 2 other grandsons of mine.  Where oh where has time gone?  I can still hear Jon as he would burst into my front door,  that little arm swinging for all it was worth and he would shout,  NANA!  I  heah!!  Those eyes just shining and a smile from ear to ear.  Gage was the one with the giggles that sounded like notes on a musical scale, and the eyes were such a bright blue that you couldn't miss them.  Constantly moving.  There was an entire world to explore!

How can time just cruise on down the highway and leave me sitting here with a lifetime of memories like this? But aren't memories wonderful?  I'm so glad we have them.  On gray gloomy days,  I can once again hear the door open,  hear those musical giggles,  and see those huge brown eyes and remember 3 precious little boys.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Dove

This evening, my dog, sitting in the kitchen, began to growl.  That is pretty unusual for Lucy because as a rule, she doesn't even  bark unless Annie tells her to bark.  I went to check out what she was looking at.

On the top of the pool wall,  sat a white dove.  A beautiful white dove.  I honestly can't remember seeing these beautiful birds except in the zoo.  We have bird feeders in our yard and we have the regular gray doves all the time, but this is a first. 

When I saw this bird,  I just stood and watched it through the door.  Such grace and beauty,  and no fear at all.  She walked around the top of the pool and then flew down to the ground to eat.  

As I watched,  my mind went back years and years ago when as a young teen,  the group I sang with sang a song "On the Wings of a Dove".  If you have never heard the song, it's about God sending down His love on the wings of a snow white Dove.  In the moment of watching the dove,  I could recall all the words and the times when God used a dove to show His love for His children.

This past year, year and a half has been one of the hardest years of my life, both physically and mentally.  Many, many times it has taken everything within me, just to crawl out of bed to face the day.  I'm only sharing this because this evening, when I saw that beautiful white dove, and remembered the words to that song,  inside myself,  I remembered that God does love me,  and God does care about me.  No matter what I may be going through, HE is there, whether or not anybody else notices or cares.

I have often made the statement that sometimes God has to use a baseball bat to get my attention.  Today He used a dove, sitting on the wall of our pool, to deliver a message of love to somebody who has lost her way.  I much prefer the Dove.

Ahoy Mates!!

And once again the Pirate is trying a blog.  I get started and then suddenly I get sidetracked and my blogs fall by the wayside.  Hopefully this one will stick.

Since I love to write,  and since there are times that my thoughts move so fast that I have to put them down immediately,  I thought this would be a good way to keep  up with those thoughts.

Come check me out often.  I'll try to not disappoint!