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White Thanksgiving

 
     I used to live in South Carolina; Charleston, to be exact. Beautiful city. Summa’ the homes have the taste of Old-World Southern Mansion to ’em. I really liked it there, but I’ve liked pretty much everywhere I’ve ever lived. We lived there ’bout a year; maybe a little longer. Until I moved to South Dakota, Charleston was the closest thing to feelin’ like home, to me. Dunno’ why.

     I recall the year I was in seventh grade. From the get-go, there were surprises. I had lived previously in Maine, where snow was just  a way of life; kinda’ like the Dakotas. In Maine, the snow could be ten feet deep an’ life went on like always. Stores opened, kids went to school, business din’t really change all that much.
     Things are different in South Carolina. In fact, I woke up one mornin’, shortly before Thanksgiving an’ was thrilled to see snow on the ground. I was a kid; that’s what kids do. Everything was covered in that thin layer of white that, in some places, might almost seem like frost. The locals seemed to think it had snowed durin’ the night. A full quarter-inch of snow had been recorded at the weather bureau.
     7:00 in the mornin’ an’ there was a knock on the door. Our next door neighbor was wrapped tightly in her robe, hair still showin’ pillow-friendly signs an’ teeth chattering. Even before we could invite her in, Mrs. LeBeau was talkin’ a mile a minute. The panic in her voice was unmistakable. She din’t know what to do. Should she send her son to school or keep him home? It was snowing, after all.
     I recall the difficulty that my mama had in keeping a straight face. She was a veteran driver in ALL circumstances. It took her awhile to realize that the locals were not used to driving on slippery roads. While she tried to calm our neighbor, she casually turned the radio on to listen to the weather report. Before long, we heard the news that would be the final word in calming Mrs. LeBeau; all schools would be closed until further notice, due to unsafe driving conditions. That was Monday, before Thanksgiving. It snowed again, that night an’ the next. I sure wasn’t complainin’; I was a kid an’ school was out, unexpectedly.
     We din’t hafta’ return to school until the Monday following Thanksgiving. Only time I ever recall havin’ a full week off for Thanksgiving. Truth be told, it was a sorry time for a vacation; we din’t even have enough snow to build a miniature snowman. Sure makes me glad that I live where I do; where snow falls for real.
     Let’s hope we all get a week’s vacation for Thanksgiving, this year, but not for the same reason. Otherwise, we might never dig outta’ the snow.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
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Squatter #2 Is On The Prowl

     I don’t believe it!  There is actually a second squatter in MY house.  It’s true; we caught the first one, but another has made his presence known.  Not for long, though.  We will get him/her/it.  We will.
     Picture it; there’s a box in my good hubby-buddy’s office.  In that box are various memorbilia; treasures, if you will.  Among those treasures there is a set of dice, of no particular value, except that I made them for my good hubby-buddy for our last anniversary.  They’re made of cardstock and have a poem, especially written for him.  Like I said, nuthin’ special to anyone else; just us.  Now, those dice seem to be of particular interest to a certain mouse.  Why?  I couln’t tell ya’.  I seriously doubt that the critter wants to pass on my gift to his beloved wife; presuming the mouse is a HE an’ supposing that he has a wife, that is.  At any rate, he/she/it cannot HAVE that set of dice.  So, there!
     UPDATE!  UPDATE!  Good news; the second Squatter has been captured an’ removed.  Even whilst I’ve been writing, the critter came out in the open an’ tried to capture one ‘uh the die (aka, half a  set of dice);  Right in front of my good hubby-buddy, he did!  Now, I ask you, “How smart was that?”
     Naturally, my hero was ready for ‘im an’ the battle was on!  BIFF!  BOP!  SOCK!  POW!  Next thing ya’ know, one ornery mouse was offered to the first cat to appear.  Little Orphan Annie, our little orphan cat, was the first to the door an’, guess what?  She grabbed that mouse an’, even though alla’ the other cats are twice her size, she din’t let anybody take it from her.  You go, Annie!  Good girl.  Now, let’s hope we’ve seen the last of any mice in our house.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on. 

 ~ Yaya

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We Have Squatters!

     Cats!  Ya’ gotta’ love ’em.  Here I am, with four beautiful cats; perfectly capable of livin’ off the land, so to speak.  Well, there is that one cat who lost her back foot in a mowing accident (lotsa’ tractors where I live), so I guess I don’t have four WHOLE cats, but they are still capable little critters.  So, how’s come I’ve got so many mice in the house, all of a sudden?

     Oh, sure; I realize that the weather is takin’ a turn for the Chilly an’ I’m fully aware that mice do not have thick coats to protect ’em from the cold.  Still, this is MY house an’ I have NEVER invited mice to visit… much less, LIVE in MY house.  Therefore, I consider ’em to be squatters.  In the old days, or so I’ve heard, squatters were run off by the land owners.  Okay, minor technicality; we don’t own the land.  We rent.  I’m sure, though, that there must be some kinda’ renter’s clause that allows us to evict squatters.  Anyway, whether there’s a clause or not, I’m prepared to do damage to the intruders.  Mice are definitely NOT summa’ my favorite people. An’ now, it’s time to say Goodbye.

     Aha!  One ‘uh those intruders has taken the bait.  Haha!  He’s outa’ here.  Neener, neener.  An’ actually, guess what?  I kinda’ think he was the only squatter in the place.  There seemed to be evidence that it was the same four-legged dude who was checkin’ out the whole house.  I think we’ve WON!  No more squatters, no more little surprises, no more questions ’bout whether we have the right to evict intruders.  That ol’ boy is GONE!  Haha!
     Now, about that herd of cats who shoulda’ kept the mouse away.  I think it’s time to give ’em the look of, “Let’s get with the picture, a’ready.  You’re s’posed to be Mousers.  So MOUSE!”
     I think that should take care of it.  I’ll keep you posted on the mousing situation.  In the meantime, I’m really glad to know that our biggest scoundrel is outta’ commission.  Life is back to… good.  I’m a happy camper.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~Yaya
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My Own Bed?!?

     When our children were small, we were much like many other young families; more month than money. Nevertheless, we were happy with our children an’ we tried to enjoy every minute we could with them. Naturally, we also tried to find ways to stretch the paycheck.
     One of the ways we managed to do that was by not buying furniture. That is to say, we did have some furniture, but we were very creative in building some of those pieces we couldn’t buy. Take for instance, beds. Did you know you could build bunk beds with nuthin’ more than a couple of closet doors an’ cans of food? True story. Similarly, there are other ways to overcome the need for furniture. In fact, we devised ways to have a dining room table with a wrap-around bench (also from cans of food), a couch from a wooden box, chairs, night stands an’ several other articles that were quite comfortable,  as well as useful, under the circumstances.
     Then came the day when we hit the jackpot. In California there is somethin’ called Flea Markets. They are often set up at drive-in theaters an’ basically, it’s kinda’ like a big garage sale, with many of the sellers working from the trunks of their cars or their pickup trucks. There are also stalls with tables, of course, but the overall effect is a rummage sale party.
     We had brought our own arrangement of items to sell, including tools, crafts an’ toys that the kids had outgrown. As sales tapered off, we took turns walking around with the kids, looking at what others had for sale. I discovered the perfect doll baby in a wooden cradle that I jus’ knew my little girl would love (an’ she did, for many years) an’ my good hubby-buddy found a very nice set of bunk beds. The arrangement we had been using was for the boys to sleep on one of the makeshift bunks an’ our daughter to sleep on the other one.
     With the kind help of the sellers, we managed to get the beds home an’ then set up, leaving the previous arrangement intact. That’s when we got the greatest shock of our lives. At three, our youngest son suddenly exclaimed, “My OWN BED?!?”
     Until that moment, we hadn’t realized how important it was to him to have his own bed. I don’t think I have ever appreciated a piece of furniture as much as I did at that moment. And the memory has brought me many hours of delight.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
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A Crafter’s Dream

     Have you noticed how the weather seems to be changing?  Gettin’ kinda’ chilly?  Seems Ol’ Man Winter is waitin’ in the sidelines, jus’ so’s we get to experience another one ‘uh those lovely seasonal thingys.  Personally, although Winter is my favorite time of the year, I was okay with havin’ really awesome weather, ya’ know?  I mean, the 50 an’ 60 degree days were actually workin’ in with alla’ the different things I wanted to accomplish.

     We went to see summa’ our kids an’ brought back a whole lotta’ shelves an’ furniture an’ stuff they were gettin’ rid of an’ I am so thrilled.  See, with alla’ those shelves an’ such, I’m gonna’ actually be able to have an absolutely AMAZING crafting area in the garage.  I can hardly wait.  ‘Course, if there’s snow an cold an’ alla’ that other fun stuff, I might not be as willing to go out an’ actually USE my new crafting area.  Somethin’ tells me that I’m gonna’ be very willing to stay indoors an’ hold the fort down.  Besides, if we’re warming the house, it seems silly for me to let alla’ that warmth jus’ sit inside, all alone.  Right?  There’s nuthin’ quite so lonely as an empty office that’s all warmed up an’ left on it’s own.  No, I think I’m gonna’ needa’ stay inside an’ keep the warm air company.  Sounds reasonable, don’tcha’ think?  LOL
     So, do any of you have some great suggestions for how best to arrange my, mostly shelves, craft area?  I have a clean slate, here an’ I’d like to make it awesome.  Aside from the fact that it’s gonna’ be cold out there (I can actually live with that, I think), I’m hoping to have a little corner of the world that is mine.  Oh, yeah; an’ my good hubby-buddy says you shouln’t even bother suggesting I get rid of any of HIS stuff.  Silly b-u-o-y.  Any ideas for makin’ it workable would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, heaps.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
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The Cat Food Calamity

     You’ve heard the term, “Plop!  Plop!  Fizz, fizz,” haven’t you?  Well, that’s about how I felt on the morning of my last blog post.  Remember?  That was the day I told you that I was not fond of the taste of cat food.  As a matter of fact an’ after much consideration, I can truly say that I hope I never hafta’ eat anything that tastes that bad, ever again.  Bleh!
     Picture, if you can, my cheerful demeanor as I stepped from my kitchen door onto the porch.  Snow had fallen the night before; the first snow of the season.  It was beautiful.  So clean an’ pure.  It actually took my breath away… about one second before my feet flew up an’ I did a full Body-Slam, with my face buried in cat food.
     I waited, knowing that my good hubby-buddy was watching for me to return.  As I lay on my stomach, I was certain that my hero would rescue me.  Any day, now.  This week, or next.  I was patient… more or less.  That is, until my next thought.
     “What if he came outside, too, an’ we both wound up in the cat food?  Would we even be able to stand up?  I doubted it.  I began putting more effort into liberating myself from my predicament.  Believe me, it was not easy.  Between the slippery snow an’ a reluctant body, jus’ gettin’ to my knees was a challenge.  Never mind, actually standing upright.
     So, there I was, with the latest version of ‘Egg On My Face’ (Yuck!) an’ my arms wrapped around the railing of the porch… TRAPPED!  Whilst I huffed an’ I puffed to gain an upright position, my good hubby-buddy remained indoors, oblivious to any of the current events.  As happy as I was that he din’t know what was goin’ on, part of me wanted to {{{{{ S M A C K }}}}} him!
     Finally, I made it to my feet an’ worked my way to the door.  Curiously, with ice an’ snow all over my hands an’ me unable to get the sliding door open, I was forced to tap on the glass to get Hubby-buddy’s attention.
     Ya’ know that comment about smacking him?  Well, he took one look at my face an’ his laughter instantly reinforced that emotion.  Sort of.  Actually, we both got a good laugh out of it, but in my mind, he was not getting’ off so easy.    
     For the record, I dunno’ who develops the flavors in pet foods, but I have a greater respect for my cats an’ their preference for eating dead things, rather than the food I put out for ’em.  What bothers me most is the fact that we have bought many different kinds of food for our feline family, but they still seem to prefer the dead things.
     What about your pets?  Do they also choose to eat somethin’ other than the famous brands of cuisine, found in the pet food aisles?  If so, I think you should stick to your regular diet of human fare.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya