10

Pistol Packin’ Mama

     Some of you have asked to see pictures of me, but as I’m sure you realize I am the shy, quiet type… well, I’ve been reluctant to post pictures.  However, today my good hubby-buddy brought me a picture that I thought you might like to see.  Before I show it, though, I want to share a little history about this picture.  So, here goes:

     Waaaaaaay back in the day… when we were a small family, we lived in a one-room house.  There were four of us an’ both my babies were in diapers.  When we wanted a bath, we had to either hope the water in our barrel on the roof was filled with rain water an’ warmed by the sun or, we had to haul water from afar an’ heat it on the stove.  Neither way was particularly easy.

     We had a garden, but we had to dig trenches next to each row of plants so the rain could be trapped long enough to water our plants.  That’s because the ground was very hard, like concrete.  We raised thousands of worms an’ sold them in little plastic tubs to fishermen.  We did not have a vehicle an’ we lived 84 miles from town, so we had to be very creative in working for our food because we did not have a job.

     In this picture, you will see a silhouette of me against the backdrop of a setting sun.  Sometimes, we went hunting for rabbits because mostly, we could only raise vegetables.  Surprisingly, you cannot plant an animal in the ground and expect it to sprout like plants.  For a long time, we didn’t have any animals.  So, we went hunting.  My good hubby-buddy and I took turns at hunting.  This night, it was my turn.

     I remember that I wore a long dress an’ a jacket ’cause the evening air was a little chilly.  We were living in High Desert an’ it cooled down at night.  If you look closely, you might be able to tell that I was wearing my hair in a ponytail on either side of my head an’ in my right hand, I carried a rifle.

     I don’t recall if we ate rabbit that night or not.  Sometimes, we did an’ sometimes we must have had faulty bullets ’cause they didn’t shoot straight.  Oh, well.  On those nights, we usually had oyster stew.  mmmmmm; gooood.  I hope you enjoy the picture.  Now, you know exactly what I look like, right?

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

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9

Broken Memories

     When I was a kid, I was surrounded by talent.  In many of the places where we lived, my dad was the director in the local Little Theater Group.  My mama an’ all my brothers filled parts in the many different plays that each group put on.  I used to wish I could play a part in one of those plays, but I never got to.  I’ve often thought about that an’ wondered how it was that I never got to be in any of the plays.  Interestingly, I can’t recall a single play that had a part for a little girl.  I think that just may have been the reason I was never in one of those plays.

     Nana, my dad’s mother an’ Grampa’, his step-dad, were also very talented.  They had both been in Vaudeville.  Grampa’ started as a very small child, skating an’ dancing.  He could do the sideways splits on the backs of chairs, on roller skates, when he was only five years old.  At one point, Grampa’ was apparently one of the best dancers in the world, although I did not find this out until very recently and many years after he departed this life.  If you’ve ever heard of my grampa’, Billy Rolls, I’d sure like to hear from you.

     Nana was an aerial artiste`, hanging by her teeth from many feet above the ground and spinning.  I dunno’ if you’ve ever seen this done, but its quite impressive.  I wish both of them had shared some of their stories with me before they passed away.  I’ve been trying to find out whatever I can to add to my Family History an’ genealogy records.  Recently, I had a break-through when I received some pictures of my grampa’.  There he was, big as life; doing the sideways splits on the backs of two chairs.  The picture showed him as an adult an’ he was wearing Tap-Dancing Shoes, rather than roller-skates, but it was almost as though he was reaching through the veil an’ sharing his moment of glory.

     All of the people in the generation before me have passed away.  That leaves me an’ my brothers as the next in line.  I never thought I would be the next generation.  Now, I’m trying to make sure that my children an’ my grandies have records of things their ancestors did.  It’s not easy, when there’s no one to ask about the details.

     Are you writing about your experiences?  I keep a shoe box with notes an’ tid-bits of information.  As I go through my day, I often think of things that happened to me or someone I love and I write a quick note; maybe two or three sentences an’ pop it in the shoe box.  If I din’t have those notes, I don’t think my posts would have half the recollections that I’ve shared.  I do hope you will consider keeping notes about your life.  Just think what a treasure that would be to someone who cares about you.

     Maybe you have a family member such as one of my grandies, who has a unique method for climbing the stairs;  doing somersaults all the way UP the stairs.  How sad it would be if I were to forget such an endearing act.  Is there something that one of your family members does that you’d like to remember?  Today is the day to make a note.  Then someday, when you have a few extra minutes, write a little more detail about your memory.  Someday, whether you realize it or not, someone will thank you, even if all you have is a shoe box full of scribbled memories.  At least, it will be something.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
5

A Tried and True Remedy

     Have you ever heard of Ichthammol Ointment?  It’s a healing salve that’s been around for at least sixty years that I know of.  How do I know this?  I’ve had personal experiences that have caused me to always wanna’ keep Ichthammol Ointment in my medicine cabinet and never, ever, EVER run out.

     When I was still young; less than ten years old… I somehow managed to get a very large sliver imbedded in my knee-cap.  No amount of poking an’ prodding seemed to be enough to work the wood out of the bone an’ it was extremely painful.

     Finally, after a couple of weeks of listening to me whine an’ complain, my mama took me to the doctor.  Once again, poking an’ prodding was incorporated, much to my consternation.  I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it was to be the victim of various “Let’s see if this will work” experiments.  I cringe at the memory.

     Well, to make a long story shorter, the final concensus was that my knee must be operated on to remove the sliver.  An xray revealed that it had gone a full inch into the bone and it was almost a quarter-inch wide.  Interestingly, I could not be admitted into the hospital for at least three weeks.

     Three WEEKS?!?  Whatever happened to emergency care?

     Enter:  Ichthammol Ointment.  My mama put it on my knee every day, changing the bandage twice a day, until I was to go into the hospital.  That day, I was all dressed an’ suffering from the agony of nerves an’ pain.  Having never been in a hospital, I was terrified of what to expect.  I’m sure I don’t hafta’ explain the pain to you.

     My dress hung at the perfect length to keep rubbing on my knee an’ I was mastering the fine art of whining.  Finally, Mama told me to sit down an’ she took the bandage off in order to get a better look at my wound.  Very gently, she placed her thumbs on either side of the area and pulled, only slightly.

     That’s when it happened!  That piece of wood shaving leaped from my knee like it couldn’t wait to escape an’ landed several feet away.  The xrays had been correct; the sliver was longer than an inch an’ almost a quarter-inch wide.  How it got into my knee without me being aware until later is a mystery that I will always wonder about.

      Ever since that time, I have made sure that Ichthammol Ointment was a staple in our home medical supplies.  To buy it, I have to ask the pharmacist for Black Salve, but it isn’t expensive ($1.12, the last time I bought it, about a year ago) and it goes a long way.  I strongly recommend keeping some handy for any kind of wound that has or could develop infection.  In my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing better for healing a wound.

     Disclaimer:  I recently heard that some people have allergic reactions to Ichthammol, although I had never heard that before.  Please be sure to read instructions, as well as the ingredients, before using.  It would also be a good idea to talk to your pharmacist or doctor about the pros and cons of using this product.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

10

Ironing Board Dinner

     There are many situations that could cause a person to think outside the box an’ try another method for accomplishing what you set out to do.  Such was the case, recently, when we had invited friends to our home for an afternoon meal.  How were we to know that the weather was gonna’ take such a drastic change in attitude?

     Picture it;  on Sunday we invited two young men to our home for dinner on Wednesday.   They arrived in their normal Sunday attire, suits an’ ties.  Sunday had been a reasonably cool an’ pleasant day, but by Wedsnesday, the weather had developed an ATTITUDE.  Nuthin’ about the day could really be described as pleasant or cool.  In fact, I was wearing short sleeves an’ gauchos, yet the heat was almost unbearable.  How those dedicated young men were able to survive, wearing suit coats, is beyond my comprehension.  Since we don’t have air conditioning downstairs, you can imagine how much those boys were sufferin’.

     That’s when I got my brilliant idea; let’s eat in my office!  See, my good hubby-buddy installed a window a/c about a month ago because it was so hot.  With a walk-through closet to my office (I think my office was originally a baby’s nursery, so it’s quite small, but it works), we leave the closet open an’ close the doors to the bedroom where the a/c is installed an’ my office so’s we can capture the cool.  Those two rooms are basically our survival in this horrible heat.

     Well, we all trumped up the stairs to my office to take advantage of a couple of degrees of cool.  Sadly, my office is mostly bookshelves an’ a very large table, which I use to work on; too crowded for more than one to sit down.  Hmmmm.  What to do?  What to do?

     Aha!  Let’s move the meal into the bedroom!  So, we did.  An, guess what convenient piece of furniture we keep set up in our bedroom?  You’re right; the ironing board!  I grabbed an oversized bath towel an’ spread it over the top.  Then we proceeded to seat ourselves around the newly-created table an’ enjoy a very pleasant an’ cool dinner.

    I keep wonderin’ what those young men thought about that situation.  They certainly looked more comfortable with the cool air surrounding us.  An’ think of the story they’ll be able to tell their future grandies.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

0

Will You Take The Oath?

     Have you met Lenny?  Lenny has such a charming writing style that I jus’ wanna’ keep on reading.  I jus’ met Lenny tonight.  Thank you, Sharon, for showing me the way to Lenny’s Blog.

     As it happens, Lenny took The Writer’s Oath today an’ I am gonna’ do the same.

     For some unknown reason, I am havin’ trouble gettin’ the picture posted.  I’ll keep tryin’, though.  I do hope you will check out Lenny’s Blog an’ if you’re a writer, take the oath with us.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

14

The Night-Stalker

     It was a dark an’ stormy night…

     ::Yaya runs frantically up the stairs, stumbling as she goes::

     ::Searching.  Searching.  Ah!  There it is.  Yaya grabs the baseball bat an’ raises it high above her head; ready to do battle::

     ::Cautiously, she tip-toes closer to the stairs an’ stretches her neck to see if the intruder has begun his assent to her place of safety.  No signs of stair-action, thank goodness::

     ::Yaya listens; good hubby-buddy has his own methods for doing combat.  Yaya tries to detect any sounds of struggle, but hears none::

     ::Just when she thinks its safe to relax her grip on the bat… BAM!  Shuffle.  Shuffle.  Door opens.  Door closes::

     ::Before long, good hubby-buddy returns, a CONQUEROR::

     ::From the bottom of the stairs, good hubby-buddy wields his own weapon an’ shares the news that Yaya has been hoping for::

     ::We don’t have a flying mouse, anymore::

     ::Then, he shows Yaya how he ended the bat’s territorial invasion; he raises his fly-swatter in victory::

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

11

Raccoon Christmas

     Let’s talk about Christmas… sorta’.  I like Christmas.  Its actually my favorite holiday of the year.  I couln’t tell you why, exactly; I jus’ love it.  All the lights an’ decorations an’ it seems like people really are kinder at that time of year.  Actually, I’m drifting from what I wanted to share with you, though.  So, I’d best get back on track, eh?

     It was Christmas, a season of goodwill.  By some fortunate mistake, I was given Christmas Eve off from work.  Normally, since the shift started at midnight and was considered to be Christmas Day, I would have had to work.  However, by some stroke of luck, I got to be home for Christmas Eve, which was really Christmas Morning.  Was I excited?  You bet your sweet bippy!  It had been several years since I’d been able to be home on Christmas Eve.  I would be going back to work at midnight, but for a little while, at least, I was home for Christmas.

     We chose to open our gifts and share in the traditions that were personal to our family.  Two of my older children had received Banana Chairs as gifts and were thrilled beyond belief.  Those Banana Chairs play a very important part in this story.  After opening alla’ the gifts an’ enjoying a rare holiday together, everyone else decided to go to bed.  However, because I worked the night shift, it was more my habit to go to bed much later.

     I puttered around, appreciating the fact that I had been given this time off and, eventually, I did grow tired an’ decided to go to bed.  That’s when Christmas changed completely.

     We had light switches on opposite walls.  I was near the kitchen and flipped the switch to turn the light off.  If things had ended there, I woulda’ been fine, but they din’t.  I walked the clear path towards the bedroom suddenly realizing that I had not checked the front door to make sure it was locked.  Naturally, I turned to correct that error and that was my undoing on accounta’ I din’t turn the light back on.  Bad mistake.

     Not recalling that we now had Banana Chairs in the middle of the room, I moved in my normal break-neck speed, towards the door.  In only a couple of steps, I was reminded about the Banana Chairs, as I tripped on the first one an’ tried to recover my balance.  The second chair was strategically placed so’s I was not able to correct my fall.  Instead, I went flying face first, into our huge oak rocking chair.  I’m sure the whole thing din’t take longer than a couple of seconds, but those were the looongest couple seconds I’ve ever lived through.  The noise was enough to wake the dead… I thought.

     Evidently, the Living sleep more deeply than do the dead.  When I had landed, I found myself several inches from our plastic mat in front of the door, lying on my back, with my arm draped across my face.  It must have been a very comical sight, but I wasn’t thinkin’ ’bout that.  Instead, I was wonderin’ where everybody was.  Curiously, no one had come to my aid.  So, I waited.  An’ waited an’ waited.

     Finally, I realized that some encouragement was necessary.  I moaned quietly; then, waited again.  Nuthin’ happened.  ‘Hey, people!  Someone could be dying out here!  Don’tcha’ care?’

     I did the only thing I could think of; I moaned some more, this time, making sure that someone would hear me.  Sure enough, my good hubby-buddy soon poked his head into the room.  I couln’t see him, of course, ’cause it was so dark.  But I could hear ‘im.  He turned the light on from a third switch an’ walked towards me, all the while askin’ if I was alright.  When he got close enough, he took my hand… the same one attached to the arm across my face… an’ started to help me up.

     Very quickly, he dropped my arm back onto my face, sayin’, “Oh, good grief, Yaya.  You’re all blood an’ guts, everywhere.”  Then, he left the room.

     ‘Well, that’s a fine how-do-you-do,’ I thought to myself.  The comment about blood an’ guts had gotten my attention, though.  I carefully scooted myself towards the plastic mat.  “Scoot!  Scoot!  Scoot!”  An’ before I could form any more thoughts, he was back with the medicine kit.  My hero.

     I was soon as good as new, if you don’t count the goose-egg that now perched between my eyes.  Oh, yeah; an’ my new Raccoon statement.  Both eyes had reacted to the force of my fall against solid oak an’ I wore a mask of two very black eyes.  Someday, I ‘ll tell you ’bout the interesting reaction I got at work, that night.  But that’s a story for another day.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya