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Thank you so much for caring. Instead of an award, won't you Follow an' share your comments? I'm truly glad you are here. ~ Yaya

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Monday, August 30, 2010

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

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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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

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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pirate Cats An' Orphans

     Have I ever told you 'bout my Pirate Cats?  I think they're a new breed or sumpin'.  We have three of 'em an' they do keep us entertained.  Ours are all black an' look like they have the purtiest fluffy hair.  I say it looks like that 'cause we've never actually been able to touch any of 'em.  They came that way, ya' know; all skitterish an' everything.

     We first realized we had Pirate Cats when the one was born with a head that was about a third the size of his body.  Fortunately, he has grown into his head, now, but he sure was a cutie while it was so much bigger than it shoulda' been.  Right off, we started callin' him Pirate; it jus' seemed to fit.

     Then, we realized that one of the other cats needed an eye patch.  Her eye was lookin' all sad an' sore; I think she must've tangled with one of her brothers or sisters.  Trouble was, we couldn't get near her to do anything about it.  The eye has since healed, so we changed her name from Patch to Salem.  She's so slender an' sleek an', of course black, that she sorta' struck us as bein' the kinda' cat that might hang out with witches an' such.  Thus, the name Salem.

     I know I'm not s'posed to have a favorite, but I really can't help it; I do.  I dunno' if she was the baby of the bunch, but she seems to have been relegated to that position by default.  For one thing, she's kinda' tiny.  She used to be very out-goin', but when she had a run-in with a tractor an' lost one of her legs, her whole personality changed... it seems.  Her name is Stumble.  My good hubby-buddy wanted to call her Stump, but that seemed kinda' cruel, to me.

     Then, one day, we acquired an orphan when someone decided to throw a bunch of kittens out on the highway, near where we live.  Interestingly, she looks jus' like the mama to the other three.  The mama cat doesn't even look like she's related to all those black cats.  Since Mama Cat was still nursing hers, we were sure she would accept this much younger baby an' nurse her, as well.  But alas, that wasn't to be.  In fact, quite the contrary.

     After hissin' an' carryin' on like she was gonna' do damage to that baby, we took a real likin' to the orphan.  Soon, treats were bein' put out for the orphan an' we were lettin' her in the house an' pettin' her an' all.  Meanwhile, Mama Cat an' all her offspring took every opportunity to ostracize that poor little orphan.  We couldn't unnerstan' it, but Li'l Orphan Annie, as we called her, acted as though it didn't bother her.  She jus' bided her time an' learned to play by herself.  We were impressed.

     Yesterday, we went for a ride an' when we came home, there was a pile of cats near the garage.  As we got closer, the pile turned into an explosion an' it was then that we realized jus' how patient Li'l Orphan Annie had been.  Everyone had been nursin', an' Mama Cat seemed more contented than ever before.  Come to think of it, I really can't decide who my favorite is; I love 'em all.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Girl An' Her Jelly

     Have you ever made jelly at home?  When I was first married, I had never known anyone who grew a garden, did any of their own canning or Put-Up their own jelly.  See, I moved around... a LOT.

     Shortly after marrying, I began to learn something about my good hubby-buddy; he was practically a Pioneer.  When he said he was gonna' grow a garden, that is exactly what he set out to do; grow a real, live garden.  In an earlier post, I told all about the first garden we ever had.  If you read that post, this one prob'ly won't surprise you.  On the other hand, if you haven't read that post and you are in the habit of making your own jelly, you might wanna' sit down to read the rest of this post...

     We'd been married a couple of years and our first baby was only a month old.  Having moved into the country to live, we (I) fully expected life to come to me, filled with romantic embellishments; sewing all our clothes, growing a garden, chopping wood... by now, you are pro'lly gettin' a pretty good picture of my distorted image of country living.

     One day, shortly after my good hubby-buddy had left for work... 84 miles away... to work the graveyard shift, I was puttering around in the house and tending to the baby.  Since I was a new mama and we had only been in the country about a week, I was feeling very Wifely and Mama-ish.  I hadn't yet had a chance to learn the truth about country living; that there's just as much work, if not more, than anywhere else.

     When the phone rang, I was quite surprised because very few people knew us in our new High-Desert community.  Come to think of it, there weren't very many people TO know because neighbors were few and far-between.  But that's a story for another day.

     Anyway, as I was saying, the phone rang an' I jumped.  I answered it, wondering if someone from my previous neighborhood was missing me; not likely, since I didn't know many people there, either.  Much to my surprise, someone was about to give me my first hands-on lesson in how to survive away from the city and the suburbs.

     "Would you like some jelly to put-up?"  I had just met this lady the day before and those were the first words she spoke; no greetings or prelude to conversation.

     I recall blinking a few times, before answering, "Put-up?  You want me to store some jelly for you?"

     "No, no!  Haven't you ever made your own jelly?"  She must have thought I was a total dunce.

     I answered with as much dignity an' intelligence as I could muster, "Uuuuuuuuhhhhh... "

     It seemed to me that her next words were spoken very slowly, as though she were explaining to a small child... or a simpleton"Sweetie.  All - you - hafta' - do - is - pour - it - in - a - jar - an' - pour - some - paraffin-wax - over - it.  I've already mixed it up."

     "Oh, is that all?  I could do that."  I was so blindly Naïve as to think I could actually accomplish what I perceived as child's play.

     "Why, sure you can," she replied.  Her confidence in me was contagious.

     Soon, I was happily Putting-Up my own jelly.  Thoughts of how proud my good hubby-buddy would be kept me from asking any further questions.  After all, I didn't wanna' seem dumb... again.

     Fast-forward six months:  Again, we had moved (someday, I'll tell you 'bout the horror of living in that last place; it was not pretty).  As we sat down to the dinner table, I decided that jelly would go very nicely with whatever other food we were having, so I naturally reached for the jelly I had personally Put-Up.

     Imagine my shock when that homemade jelly didn't taste anything like ANY jelly I had ever tasted.  Why, that woman was a terrible cook, I concluded.  Turned out that my good hubby-buddy was a much better judge of where the problem lay.  He started laughing.  And kept laughing, until tears were running down his cheeks.  I. Was. Not. Impressed.

     "This isn't jelly," he finally stated.  "This is wine!"

     I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.  That woman had Tricked me!  "Why would she DO that," I demanded.  "I Trusted her!  She said all I hadda' do was pour it in jars an' pour paraffin-wax on top an' let it set an' I would have jelly."  I was irate.

     Suddenly, the laughing stopped and... did I detect a tone of PATIENCE when he spoke?  "It's not her fault.  She told you to use jars; NOT plastic drinking glasses!  The plastic allowed the jelly to turn to wine."  Although a grin tugged at the corners of his lips, I must give him credit for not laughing again.

     I was devastated.  I had made wine from perfectly good jelly-juice.  I'm sure that summa' my descriptions aren't technically correct, so I hope you'll forgive me if you know the proper terms.  Since I hardly ever cook, much less grow, Can or put-up anything for future consumption, that was my one and only effort at Putting-Up jelly.  The stress level was jus' too much for me.

     By the way, I jus' found this on University of Minnesota/Extension websiteNote: Jelly jars and paraffin are no longer recommended. An incomplete seal with paraffin and the absence of a heat treatment may result in mold growth and toxin production in the jelly. Persons continuing to use the paraffin/no water bath method should be aware of the potential health risk.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

Friday, August 13, 2010

Some Things Just Can't Be Planned

     I love numbers.  I like playing with them to see how many different ways I can make 'em come out right.  I like drawing with 'em; you know, write a number and use that number as the basis to draw a picture.  I even like it when I can sit down with some crayons and color pictures of numbers.  I jus' really like numbers.

     An' why am I talkin' 'bout numbers?  Well, today I saw the most marvelous and magical incident on Youtube.  That's somethin' else I like, by the way; the wunnerful system we have for sharing information.  But that's a story for another day.

     Today, I saw one of the miracles that so abundantly graces our world an' our lives.  Did you see that?  Did you get to see the video that was so exciting with numbers?  Oh, wait.  I haven't told you which video it is, have I?  Well, when I tell you, you're gonna' wanna' run right over to Youtube and watch it for yourself.

     Here's what happened.  August 8, 2010.  A new baby begins to give signs that birth is not far away, so Mama (Terri Riehle) an' Daddy (Scott Riehle) rush to the hospital in great excitement.  Labor is long and tiring and excitement, if not being replaced by exhaustion, certainly runs close competition with it.  More hours pass and it becomes evident that August 8, 2010 will NOT be the day that This baby makes her grand debut.

     Midnight soon becomes 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM and so forth.  Finally, as mid-morning begins to take over from the early morning march, hope rises once again for an arrival.  The doctor comments that its almost 11:00; wouldn't it be nice if the baby were born at 11:12?  But 11:12 comes and goes and the baby patiently sits still in her comfortable dwelling.

     More hours pass and Mama is tiring from the difficulty of labor.  Even more hours tick by.  Suddenly, at a little before 11:00 PM, things begin looking up.  Contractions increase.  The sense of pain that has hovered much too long is now in full-command.  The time is 11:00 PM and it seems as if this child is toying with everyone's patience and emotions.

     Right after Doctor Peggy Heis, the attending physician, asks Mama if she wants to wait awhile, baby indicates that she has other ideas.  Fortunately, Mama's answer was, "No!  Let's just get this over with; NOW!"

     But the waiting continues.  Minutes crawl by, while Mama just wants relief; she is exhausted.  Baby should be here.

     Several more minutes pass.  By now, no one cares about the time; they only want the baby to be born. Mama's vital signs are showing that she is gettin' weaker.  Doctor Heis says, "You Hafta' push.  You hafta' get this baby out!"  Then, it happens.  Fortunately, there is no conflict in scheduling between Mama and baby.

     Things begin to move fast; much faster than previously.  Before you know it, Mama heaves a sigh of relief as, indeed, baby has decided to be born at 11:12 PM.  Ella Rose Riehle came into this world in her own time; August 9, 2010 at 11:12 PM.  In case you missed the significance of that, here's a breakdown of that wunnerful event:

     In the eighth month, ninth day, 2010, eleventh hour an' twelvth minute of the day, Ella Rose Riehle was born;  8/9/10 11:12 PM.  What do you think are the chances of anyone close to her, forgetting her birthday?  I dunno' 'bout you, but I'm guessin' the forgetfulness clause won't even be included in this little girl's records.  In fact, I'm sure she is one of only a very small handful of people whose parents will always remember her date of birth AND what time she was born.  Oh, yeah.  I almost forgot to mention that Ella Rose came really close to weighing 6 lbs 7 oz.  She was only two ounces from bein' the baby who weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz., born on 8/9/10 at 11:12.  Wanna' see the video?  Here it is.

     Welcome to the world, Ella Rose.  I think you're gonna' like it here.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Biggest Hailstone Ever Found In the United States!

     Are you ready for the rains to subside a little bit? I sure am.  To say the least, between the heat and the rain, this has been an interesting summer.

     Did you happen to see South Dakota's newest title?  Seems that in Vivian on July 23rd a farmer, Les Scott, stepped outside to collect hailstones that set records.  Unfortunately, after he gathered and stored several of them in the freezer, the electricity went out.  It's funny how that sometimes happens in electrical storms.

     'Course, there couldn't have been too much melting on accounta' Vivian still captured the titled of Biggest Hailstone Ever Found In the United States. In the end, a person's gotta' wonder 'bout a few things, though.

     • If the largest hailstone measured 7" across and weighed just under two pounds, how big was it Before some of it melted?

     • Did ANY of the cows come home after being bombarded with two-pound hail?  Or were they all knocked unconscious out in the field?

     • How many houses were pummeled to death by such large hail?

     • Can you imagine the bruises that a two pound hailstone would cause?  Why, one more storm like that and the worlds' population problem would be ended.  Unfortunately, so would the world's Bread Basket.

     • Are there any birds or small animals left in Vivian and the surrounding area?

     • Will the hens EVER lay eggs again?!?

     • CAN the hens ever lay eggs again?  Are there any hens left?

     • What kind of snowball fight are the Cloud People preparing for, anyway?

     • Just when you thought it was safe to go outside…

     So, ya' know in the past when people used to build storm shelters for protection from things like tornadoes?  Like, whatever happened to those good ol' days?

     Yes, I believe I am ready for summer's rains to end.  'Specially, if this is an indication of what's to come!  I'm afraid we'd all hafta' find caves to live in, just to protect ourselves from the new, thicker elements.  Be safe, everyone… and wear hard-hats.  Better yet, wear suits of armor.  We'll all become Knights In Shining, albeit very dented, Armor.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

~ Yaya

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Baby Forever

     Today, I had a chance to visit with my little boy and I was taken back to when he was a child.  Now, he's grown an' travels the world an' I don't get to see him very often.  Still, he will always be a little boy, in my mind.  In fact, in my mind, none of my children have grown beyond that marvelous period of childhood.

     If you have children, I'm sure you know what I mean.  Can you ever really forget the first time you laid eyes on any of them?  Its as though a camera went off in my brain and the image is permanently there.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  All I know is that I can sit back and watch the videos of times-past and still enjoy bein' a young mother.

     Once, when I introduced this particular little boy to a friend, I said that he was one of my babies and my friend quickly corrected me, saying, "No, no, Mama.  He's all grown-up, now."

     Imagine how thrilled I was when this wunnerful man-child-son of mine responded in this way.  "No, no.  I'll always be her baby."

     He So understands my heart. 

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peeping Yaya

     Don't you jus' love it when you find somethin' wunnerful that you can share with others?  I've been lookin' around an' doin' some checkin' here an' there an' guess what?  I'm not the only one.  Yeah; true story.  At least, that's the way it would seem by my very involved investigative research.  [read:  I di'n't feel like doin' what I shoulda' been doin', so checkin'-out other blogs seemed like a great way to avoid havin' ta' do anything, whilst still feelin' like I was accomplishing something.]

     So, here's the scoop:  I've spent a very long time peekin' in other blog windows, particularly those that had anything at all to do with homemaking, housekeeping, families or anything else that looked like it might offer tidbits of useful advice.  I s'pose you're beginning to wonder what I'm talkin' about, aren't you?

     Well, my good hubby-buddy (jewel that he is) very kindly offered to take care of everything when we moved into our big ol' 1906 Sears & Roebuck Kit House and he asked only that I take care of my office.  That way, I could do the one thing I've always wanted to do; write.  Isn't he just such a treasure?  He said that was his way of thanking me for all the times I've supported him in things he wanted to do.

     ::Blink, blink.  S'cuse me whilst I wipe my eyes; I seem to have somethin' in both of 'em::  *sniff*
     'Course, bein' the good an' appreciative wife that I am, I did just as he asked.  Mostly.  Sorta'.

     Ya' know how sometimes things sneak up on you while you're not lookin'?  Well, that's just what happened to me and I am here to tell you, it snuck up with a vengeance!  Who knew that while I was mindin' my own business writing, creating puzzles an' starin' at my computer alla' time, my office would develop a system of CHAOS?  Its rude, I tell ya'.

     That's when I got the idea to go peekin' in other blog windows.  An' ya' know what I found?  There are lots of other bloggers who are faced with the same kinda' rude houses;  CHAOS ensues.

     Then, I wandered over by one home on the web and it was so delightful that I jus' hadda' make myself comfortable on the windowsill to observe.  Inside were lottsa' happy people, chatting and carryin' on like they really knew how to go at this whole business of life and takin' care of their homes and families.  I know, right?

     As I investigated further, I was amazed to realize that the home I had found was not just one home, but many, scattered all over the place.  They have a leader, of course, and I decided to keep watchin' on accounta' I want my writer's den to run as smoothly as all those other places do.  I've only been lurking around the edges, but already things are better.

     I'm very fortunate to have only one room to look after.  My good hubby-buddy is doin' an outstanding job with all the rest.  Still, it occurred to me that summa' you might like to know about this great place, so, here's the link to learn more.

      Nope!  I'm not benefitting by sharing this with you in any way.  That is, unless you count the fact that my office is beginning to show signs of efficiency and I'm not as stressed out as I used to be.  I do hope you will go take a peek 'cause there's an awfully lot of harmony being created.  Maybe I'll see ya' over there sometime, eh?

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Do You Have A Dream?

     Have you ever been so wrapped up in a dream that you could think of almost nuthin' else?  Has hope and anticipation ever eaten at you in such a way as to become a complete distraction in all other areas of your life?  Well, I have and to tell you the truth, its not that much fun.

     Since I was very small, I have wanted to live in the country and experience those things that most people pro'lly don't even think about.  Or maybe they do and I'm just so wrapped up in my own dream that I don't notice how intently others are wishing for the same thing.  I recall once when I was about five years old, I was crying over some deep desire to live in the country.  My dad laughed at me 'cause I wanted the log cabin, the horses, cows, chickens and a garden.  In short, I wanted it all.

     Curiously, up until that time in my life, I had only lived in the country for about one year and that was when I was only three.  Naturally, that particular taste of country livin' had absolutely none of the qualities that I have come to recognize as true country livin'.  In the first place, we were living in Pensacola, Florida and although I am sure there are farmers and ranchers in every state, somehow my vision of farm living has never centered itself anywhere in Florida.  I've lived in that state several times, actually, but country living is certainly not the first, second or even, third image that comes to mind when I think of Florida.

     In the second place, in my mind anyway, sand, sand and more sand do not a farm make.  Thus, the Stuck-Out-In-The-Middle-Of-Nowhere place called country where we lived could hardly be called country livin'.  So, where did I acquire this deep desire to live on a farm and taste country livin'?  I'm not sure.  P'rhaps its some deep-seeded carry-over from before I was born; I dunno.  At any rate, even though I have on two different occasions experienced the joy of true country livin', it is not out of my system.  I still want it.

     Do you have a dream you've been harboring for many years; one that just won't let you go?  I sincerely hope you are blessed with the fulfillment of your dream.  It seems that dreams are the basis for extreme joy or endless heartache; sometimes, both at the same time.  But don't give up on your dream.  I certainly haven't given up on mine.  Someday, maybe we'll meet and we can share how happy we were when we woke up and discovered our dreams were fulfilled.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trained For Nothin'

     I dunno' 'bout you, but I have worked at many different professions in my young life (said with tongue in cheek).  When I was fifteen, I thought I could earn the money it would take to go to college.  With a brain-load of optimism, I set out to find work.  My search was successful when I managed to find employment in a book store, working weekends and after school.  Trouble was, no matter when I arrived at work, the owners were never there.  Sometimes, they didn't show up for as many as five hours after the scheduled opening time.  And they never paid for my time, until I walked through their door.

     I worked for several months, dusting, arranging and waiting... lots and lots of waiting... for the owners to show up and open the doors.  Since my official pay was 50 cents per hour and I spent many, many hours waiting outside for the store to open, I did not earn a great lot of money.  However, I did learn that Dusting Books would not be my Profession of Choice.

     When we moved to another state, I was given the interesting opportunity to learn how to be an assistant manager in a large trailer park.  That is to say, I did all the work of an assistant manager; 'just didn't get the big bucks for my efforts.  In fact, my exact pay was $20- per week for doing all the work that the title entailed and putting in between 30 and 60 hours per week.

     Again, we moved and my next job was as a carhop in an A&W Drive-In Restaurant.  My pay-rate had climbed back UP to 50 cents per hour and my hours increased.  I was fortunate in learning in only a few months that Serving Food to People In Cars was also not my Dream Career.  I kept looking.

     Fresh out of high school and armed with that All-Powerful Diploma, I was able to then walk into a fine establishment and claim the job of my choosing... Not!  My diploma left me with zero capabilities for facing life, head-on.  Having lived in so many different places and gone to so many different schools, I was perfectly trained for... wait for it... wait for it... NOTHING.  So, for approximately thirty seconds after graduation, I felt on top of the world.

     Then came the realization that a General Education did not mean that I knew something about Generally Everything.  No, it simply provided proof that I had survived more schools and more teachers than any other person I've ever met.  In short, none of the various positions of employment has made me rich or famous; both of which I was sure I would be within a week after graduation.  No problem.  Although fame and fortune have eluded me in many ways, I feel as the author Jack Kent did, "I'm world-famous for BLOCKS around." Still, I have food on the table, a roof over my head and valued friends at every turn.

     But there's more; I know just how hard postal employees hafta' work for the small amount of pay they receive (you thought differently, didn't you?) and I can tell you precisely what it takes to fill your typewriter or computer keyboard keys so they look so purty and work so well.  I have also soldered, wired, laced and worked on computers from the inside-out, having actually sat inside giant sections of computers that collectively filled the space of whole buildings.  Not quite the laptop tool of today.

     When I hear someone talk about their college days, I yearn for that higher degree that I never did manage to save enough money for.  On the other hand, my education has not stopped and I am thankful for every new bit of knowledge gained.  Perhaps someday, I can give you some pointers on how to build a French Cafe.

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

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