10

I Do Not Like Cat Food

     Cat food does not taste as good as you might think.  I’m sure that cat’s love it, but it is definitely not my first choice for a meal.  I speak from first-hand knowledge about this.  You see, when you are face-down in the cat dish, lying in several inches of snow, it gives you time to realize jus’ how unappealing that dish happens to be.

I don’t want the cat food!
     I wish I could tell you more, now, but I will be gone from my computer for awhile.  We are tryin’ to get many important things accomplished an’ I will be up to my eyeballs in Stuff.  When I am next able to get on my computer, I will tell you the very untasty story of how I came to know that cat food is not somethin’ I ever hope to taste again.  In the meantime, please know that I will be thinkin’ ’bout you all an’ missin’ you.  I hope you will come back to hear it all.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
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11

Life At the Top

This post is a tribute to my brother, whom I love.
Gone, but not forgotten.

            Have you ever lived in an attic? I did. I used to live near Spokane, Washington, in a little town named Opportunity. I thought that was appropriate, since it was when I first moved out on my own, feelin’ the unbridled power that First-Adulthood can bring to those who’ve never felt the responsibility of supporting themselves.

            There I was, earnin’ my own way, holdin’ down my first full-time job an’ preparin’ to spend my first night on my own. I had found an apartment, conveniently situated near the center of town an’ things were goin’ well. Considerin’ that I had never even had a room of my own, that first apartment was H-U-G-E. Besides, livin’ downtown, above one of the businesses was gonna’ make everything so convenient. I thought.
            That is, until it got dark an’ I spent my first night alone. That was the same night I thought I was gonna’ die in an earthquake; after movin’ from the Great Quake Capital of America, California. But that’s another story.
            After survivin’ my night of many firsts, life settled into a certain pattern; rise early, catch the bus to Spokane to go to work, come home exhausted an’ struggle to pay all the bills when I got my paycheck. Perhaps you’ve heard of this way of life?  Easy club to join, but they never want a person to drop out.
            Eventually, I realized that I would need to cut corners, but where? I had learned that my $35- per month rent payment was non-negotiable an’ I’d been livin’ on a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread an’ a dozen eggs per week for the last two months, so I couldn’t really cut back on my food bill. Since I din’t buy clothes or other extras, there weren’t a lotta’ choices. Finally, I decided that I would hafta’ move closer to my job an’ save the bus fare.
            About the time I was makin’ this very important decision, my older brother an’ his wife paid a visit to her family, who lived about thirty miles away. They also visited ME in that first apartment.
            Y’ever notice how big brothers like to take care of their younger siblings? An’ thank goodness my brother did. In the first place, because they had a car, they helped me to find a new place, taking alla’ my challenges into consideration; no car, proximity to work, the issue of safety an’ my limited earning ability. Soon, we found a beautiful old three-story home with the most awesome woodwork you can imagine. Above the third floor was an attic that had been divided into two parts. A stairwell separated the two parts.
            After agreeing to pay $20- a month in rent (yay! That was a savings of $15- each month), I was ready to begin movin’ in. Not so, big brother. He took me shopping, using his own money. The first thing we bought was a lock; but not jus’ any lock. This was a device that worked like a chain-lock, but could be controlled from the outside with a key.
            Next, he stocked my bookshelf with all kindsa’ stuff I could cook in one aluminum popcorn popper. In that small rented room I had no cooking facilities, so the electric popper came in very handy.
            I was finally Brother-Certified to move into my new attic-home. I was so thrilled the day everything was in place. My brother an’ his wife returned to California an’ I began a new life.
            Maybe someday you’d like to hear how my hands froze to the wall of that same attic-home? That was definitely an unexpected surprise.
            Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
2

Look What I Can Do!

     Hey, Lookie!  Did you see what I did?  I have all kindsa’ new things goin’ on.  Look up there.  No, no; not there.  Over there, on the left.  See it?  Jus’ under my photo; the one of me in the Little Red Wagon.  See it, now?  It looks like this:

Orphans and Other Stars

     Hmmmm; that din’t turn out just right.  Those are the right words, but up above, they’re all on the same line an’ without the dots.  Maybe you can find ’em if you look for alla’ those words on the same line an’ pretend the dots aren’t there, ya’ think?  Are ya’ lookin’?
 
     Heh-heh; the dots don’t show up on the Preview Page, so they might not show up on the finished page.  That’s okay.  If they don’t show up, you won’t hafta’ pretend they aren’t there, right?
     YES!  You found it!  Now, jus’ click on each of those words or groups of words an’ you can start to find some more Yaya places.  How cool is that?  I am excited that I was finally able to make those extra pages work correctly.  It sure wasn’t easy, but my friend, Nicole, over at My Mad World helped me get it figured out.  My friend, Gramma’ Lowe, also helped me.  You might wanna’ check out their homes on the web.  I am so thankful for nice people who are helpful.
     I’ll be adding some more pages as soon as I can.  I hope you like the new pages I’ve added.  I was able to put pictures an’ all kindsa’ stuff on my new pages.  Check ’em out.
     Thanks for stoppin by an’ ’til the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
10

66 Love Letters

     Sometime back, I was given the opportunity to review an awesome book, 66 Love Letters.  It has taken me awhile to read it because my eyes have been giving me trouble.  However, I must say, this is one of the best books I’ve found for getting into the Bible.

     Dr. Larry Crabb has taken each book in the Bible and broken it down so each book is as it should be; a love letter from our Heavenly Father.  I was really surprised at the sense of personal touch I felt while reading this book.  Yes, I have read the Bible, many times and I love the messages and the stories.  However, in his book, 66 Love Letters, Dr. Crabb explains in clear and simple language how completely involved our Father is in our lives.  It’s a book I have returned to several times to remind me that the Bible really is a love letter from my Heavenly Father.

     66 Love Letters, read in conjunction with the Bible, brings a very personal and deep sense of why we have the Bible and how we can let it be a guide in our lives.  I strongly recommend this book as a help in understanding our Father’s great love.  I hope you will pick it up and find out for yourself what an awesome message is waiting, just for you.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

13

Treadle-Neck of the Great Depression

     Whenever I was around my gramma’ I loved hearing the stories of when she was younger. It din’t seem to matter whether she was telling about when she was eighteen or sixty-eight, her stories held worlds of wonder for me. Her ability to breathe life into a tale was nuthin’ less than magical. How I did love her stories.

     Have I ever told you that my gramma’ was a tailor? True story! In fact, she used to carry a tablet with her an’ whenever she saw a clothing design she liked, she’d pull out her tablet an’ quickly sketch her favorite parts. Back at home, she would figure out how to create her own pattern so she could include that idea in one of the designs she developed on her own. ‘Course, she wasn’t always a tailor. The story of how she learned to sew is one I’ve always loved.

     Gramma’ hadn’t been married very long when she decided she’d like to learn to sew. Knowing that her mama had a nice treadle sewing machine, she asked to use it. Her mama apparently was not the kinda’ person who shared with her children, as she told her daughter that she could use the machine for the mere sum of $5 per day; an enormous amount of money during the depression.

     At this point, my grampa’ decided to take matters into his own hands. He told my gramma’ to wait outside an’ he’d be out in a minute. Here, Gramma’ always added that she never did learn what was said in those few minutes, but they did not use her mama’s sewing machine.

     Instead, they went to a nearby town an’ bought a brand-new treadle sewing machine for the grand total of… are you ready for this? $5. That’s right; for $5 they were able to get a brand-new sewing machine. They also bought a bolt of material. When they returned home, Grampa’ told Gramma’ that borrowin’ would not be something they would consider doin’ in the future. Then Gramma’ took her new treasure an’ the bolt of material an’ proceeded to learn how to sew.

     Using one of Grampa’s farm shirts as a pattern, Gramma’ carefully took the shirt apart an’ cut copies of each piece, then sewed ’em all together. When she was done sewing, Gramma’ was very proud of the shirt she had made. She had Grampa’ try it on for size an’ that’s when the error was discovered. Evidently, Gramma’ had wanted to be absolutely certain that the neck wasn’t gonna’ be too tight, so each time she measured it, she allowed juuuuuuust a little extra to be added.

     When Grampa’ tried it on, everything fit perfectly… except the neck. Grampa’ took a handful of the neck area an’ pulled it about two feet in front of him, saying, “Well, Baby; ya’ dun real good. But the next time, you might wanna’ make the neck just a little smaller.”

     The next time Gramma’ used a pattern, she was much more careful in her measurements an’ she kept improving until her skills were such that she could make any item she set her mind to. She could make the patterns for an’ sew dresses, pants, shirts, jackets, wedding dresses, suits, winter coats an’ anything else she thought up. I’d say that’s not too bad for someone who had almost no formal education of any kind an’ who taught herself to sew; wouln’t you?

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

~ Yaya