Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Redhead and Grammy

I had an interesting dream this morning. I woke up about 4 am from my first dream in which a red headed young man felt he had done something so terrible to someone else, he needed to punish himself. He took a long spike and drove it through his foot, screaming in pain. The next scene was of the Dr.’s telling him he’d be fine but the young man was depressed.

I was awake for a short time and then when I fell back to sleep, I dreamed that my husband was in our house (not our real house and not my parents house) and I was staying across the street in a little hotel room. There wasn’t anything wrong, I was just working in that room. I didn’t have any bad feelings or troubling issues with Frank. He was in the house and I told him I’d be right back. I went across a street that wasn’t busy with traffic and past some deep green pines to a hotel room hidden in the trees. As I went by a young man called out to me saying something about a wooden foot. I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that it was the same guy from the earlier dream.

The room was white, but had a used air about it. I had a desk, looking out a window and a bed in the room. I had work on the desk. I was working on some photographs or a magazine layout of some kind. I also had a backpack, my cell phone and some keys in the room. When I walked in, I noticed Frank’s Grandmother sitting on my bed. (She’s been gone for over 10 years now and when we cleaned her room, found some writings where she made it clear that she wasn’t too fond of me!) I was surprised to see Grammy. I asked her if she wanted to see Frank and she said yes. She seemed very excited and anxious to get to him. I said I could take her to him, he was just across the street. She said it wouldn’t matter because he wouldn’t be able to see her, only I could. I told her that even if that was the case, she’d be able to see him and I’d tell him she was there. She said she only had about 4-5 hours. I started gathering things to go back across the street when I noticed the same red headed young man sitting at my desk, looking at my bottle of water. (I always have water with me to drink) He was examining it as if it were a foreign object and he mentioned the color blue. I asked him if he wanted a bottle of water and he said yes. Then he started acting even more erratic and began touching all of my items, including messing up my work. I was very upset and asked him to stop and eventually told him he had to leave. Grammy was getting agitated because she wanted to go to Frank. Once the young man left the room, I started looking for my stuff to leave. I couldn’t find my cell phone to call Frank and I couldn’t find my keys to get across the street. I looked out the window of my hotel room and the redhead was standing near a pole and waving something that was pointy (shaped like and E with the middle piece missing ) over his head while he laughed and talked to someone on my cell phone. I tried using the hotel phone, but couldn’t figure out how to dial it (not uncommon in dreams).

I woke up with the feeling that I needed to call Frank and tell him his Grammy wanted to talk to him – which weirded him out of course!

That redheaded guy bugged me though. I get the same feeling he was that nasty guy from another dream or two, some of my more vivid and disturbing ones. Just something about him that’s not quite right.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

I wonder

My previous blog entry talked about my dream in which Grammy only had a few hours to talk to Frank. Frank used to drive tractor trailers for a living, before being elevated to the ranks of manglement. (management) Now he’s rarely on the road. This morning, however, he had to take a run up to Salem, New Jersey. He was running late and I called to tell him what my dream had been as soon as I woke up. That was around 6:30am.

I had promised a friend that I would take her to her Dr.’s appointment right at Reisterstown Road. For those of you who are out of town, there was a huge accident right at that exit. I was earlier than usual in picking her up and we made it into the parking lot and were walking into the building when we heard fire equipment. The accident happened approximately 9:45-10:00 am.
Frank came upon the whole mess shortly thereafter. Kind of interesting how that’s just shy of about 4 hours later, isn’t it?

Thanks, Grammy.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Birthday Boy

Today is number 3 child’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sean! Sean came into this world with a bang. Not only was he the biggest baby I had, and in truth the biggest in the nursery while I was there, but he also brought a blizzard with him that ended up keeping me in the hospital an extra day and stranding some of my room mates as well. Sean is excitement, action and movement. He is funny and smart and handsome. He’s a responsible young man whom I’m very proud of. Big hugs from Mom, son.
It’s been quite a few days and I’m trying to recover. Just haven’t really had an opportunity to write a ‘real’ blog yet, but believe me, there is plenty of subject matter. You will just have to wait, with baited breath. (as if…)

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Sweet Heart

Below is an article from the website, :

Emotions are closely coupled with our desire to eat. More precisely, negative
feelings are usually more conducive to binging than positive ones, and
therefore you might be wondering why to worry about weight loss on Valentine's Day.
The fact of the matter is, not everyone has a hot date or will be spending
time with their loved one tonight. All you lucky ones - we wish you a great time
tonight and feel free to commit all those little sins and then burn them
off later. And to everyone else - join Erik, Igor and the rest of the Calorie-Count
Team in figuring out how to avoid gaining a couple of pounds tonight.

In fact, avoiding emotional eating applies to all of us, regardless of our
relationship status. It is estimated that 75 percent of overeating is caused by
emotions. Let's see what HK's Calorie-Count Diet
( has to say on this topic.

This series of articles offers essential tips and information to help you
succeed on your weight loss journey with

Very often, you'll find that you've had a crummy day. Your boss yelled at you, your
dog left you a surprise when you got home, and you just stubbed your
toe. Before you know it, you've just downed a pint of Ben and Jerry's Phish Phood
and are looking sorely at the bag of Hershey's Kisses.

STOP! And let's back up a little.

There are all sorts of complex emotions wrapped up with eating. Often, how we feel
affects how we eat. A lot of people tend to eat when they're miserable
or when they're bored.

When starting off your new lifestyle change, grab a piece of paper and start writing
down how you feel when you eat certain foods. Are you cheerful? Angry?
Bored? Achy? Bleh? See if there are any connections. If you find that you tend to
overeat when you're achy and bleh, than you're probably an emotional
eater. Being aware of a problem can often lead to a solution.

The next time you feel the emotions that lead to bad eating habits, try to be aware
of them a little. Recognize "I feel crummy and I want something sweet
to eat." Then try to deal with the emotion without overeating. Call up a friend, put
on your favorite music, go out for a walk, anything but sitting in
the kitchen with a box of Oreos feeling bad about your day and feeling worse about
how you're eating.

If you feel like you have a bigger issue such as full blown depression, please
contact a counselor to help you deal with that. Often, creating one
positive change in your life can lead to other positive changes and even more
positive changes, a veritable Domino Effect of positivity.
Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Fire! Water! Dog?

In my previous post, I said I was going to burn the photos of my parents basement. That turned out to be more difficult than I thought.

I had 4 pictures in a stack.

I had a deep glass pan.

I had a long nosed lighter.

I had a box of matches.

I had one pot lid.

I had the sprayer for the kitchen sink at the ready.

All I had to do was light the stack on fire and monitor, right? As if…

First I held the stack of photos and lit one corner with my lighter. I held the stack until a good flame was licking up the sides of the photo, so I set the stack inside my glass pan and watched. The flames STAYED in that one corner, fanning out to curl the four edges of the photo, but not consume them. HUH?? Where did I go wrong? Paper, fire.. should have been easy.

I then tried to re-light the stack of photos, but I couldn’t pick them up because I didn’t want to spread the bits of smoldering ash off that one corner, so I kept the lighter angled into my dish to ignite the rest of the photos. The edges would not catch. I put the lighter in the center of the picture hoping the chemicals would catch. NOPE! In fact, the flame from the lighter seemed repulsed by the pictures and instead looked to be traveling back up the long wand part. I figured this out because when I lifted the lighter and let go of fuel trigger, the flame didn’t stop right away.

Ok, time to get tough. I got some olive oil and poured some on the center of the stack. I didn’t want to catch the house on fire, just burn the darn pictures. I also got out a small funeral pyre of wooden kitchen matches and set them up over the oil in the center of the stack to MAKE SURE these photos went up in smoke. Guess what. I had a beautiful little fire going in my kitchen, and only half of the TOP picture burned by the time my bonfire died. A full 3/4 of the remaining photos were untouched.

By now, I had a pretty good smoke cloud in my kitchen, so I opened the back door to air things out. My dog, Piper, came in with nose atwitchin’ at the smell and started running pell mell all over the house to find the source. I decided that maybe I should just give it up.

I doused the charred remains of the pictures in water, letting them steep for a few minutes to help them on their journey back to organic matter, and then took them outside. I’m not kidding you when I say I picked them out of the water and when I tore them into little pieces, the paper was STILL DRY. Now, fire and water didn’t destroy these pictures, but I did tear them into little pieces and pitch them over the deck rail along with the ash bits and water.

As I walked back into the house, I noticed that Piper had followed me when I had gone out to dispose of debris and was nosing around the area I had just defiled. I went to see what she was doing and lo and behold, she was EATING the bits of photo that hadn’t been harmed by my fire or water torture. I didn’t really have the heart to tell her to stop…let’s see if those things can survive a dog’s digestive juices and trip through the intestines. And , no, I will not be inspecting Piper droppings to see if they do!

BTW, Piper is fine. She shows no signs of intestinal discomfort. Dog is a misnomer for her. She’s more of a goat.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

My Nemesis

The above photo is a picture of THE BASEMENT of my parent’s home. If you have been reading any of my blog, then you know that for years, the only setting of a nightmare would be my parents house, with particular emphasis on THE BASEMENT. This photo shows the portion of the basement that was directly under the kitchen and had once been my brothers room. The huge crack in the foundation afforded my family the luxury of running water 24/7 in our home. Mother nature’s version of a water feature. Drain tile would channel the water to a sump pump and then out of the basement. (Of course, the sump pump used to channel all our little rodent pets that escaped their cages out of the basement as well.)

Rumor has it that this crack was the result of a repair done on my parent’s foundation when it was first being built, with the story being that a piece of heavy construction equipment had gone out of control and smashed through the wall. There is still some question as to whether or not there was a fatality involved in that incident, but I can tell you that both of my sisters and I hate to be in that house alone and won’t go near the basement by ourselves.

The next photo is of an additional crack, just to the left of the one above, presumably the other side of the damage that the vehicle had inflicted. To the left of that is a bathroom and you can see my sisters converted player piano there. We had to leave that when we sold the house. Sadly, the basement flooded so many time that the piano was ruined. Imagine, living at the TOP of a large hill and yet every time it would rain, you would have to get out the shop vac and clean up a flood. Our house was built on red clay, so when the water came pouring in, clay and silt would come with it, staining everything.

Our basement used to be finished, and in the early part of the house’s life, was fairly sealed, but as age and ground shifts occurred, its baseline faults became more and more obvious. After my father died, my mother tore up all the carpeting and ripped off the paneling to see if she could get the damage repaired and to be able to clean up the floods a bit easier.

This photo is of the front portion of the house, under the living room, and where we had our family room. Although it doesn’t look like it, this was the more severe of the 4 major cracks in my parents foundation. (4 children in the family, 4 cracks in the foundation) This crack was not only vertical, but had also begun to move horizontally, meaning the foundation was on the move and making the house condemnable.

The last major crack is just to the right of the one above, basically directly across from the other one on the other side of the basement. At the time of her death, this is how my moms basement looked.

I used to sit on the steps, about half way down, and stare at the paneling, trying to will myself to go further down into the gaping black maw of the basement. An irrational fear would ride up my spine and I remember thinking that one of the knots in the wood paneling was a gigantic black eye, watching me. It was while sitting on the steps one evening, watching my brother play in the basement, that a suction cup dart he was playing with ricocheted off that part of the paneling and shot me in my right eye. It stuck there and my parents had to rush me to the hospital, where I spent the next few days after having the rubber suction cup removed from my eye.

My brother would beg me to come downstairs to play… and I really wanted to hang out with him…so I did. Frequently, we would play cops and robbers and he would tie me to one of the support poles in the storage area of the basement. He would shut off the lights and shut the door and run off upstairs. I was a big weenie and would get frightened very easily in that basement. It didn’t help that he would go up to the metal ductwork upstairs and lay down at a register and begin to make eerie noises…”wooooooooo…..woooooOOOOOOoooo” I still remember tugging on the ropes and freaking out. Once he got the response he was looking for, he knew that I was going to be fun to toy with, and he got my older sister in on the game as well.

My mom would send me to the basement to get items from the storage area, usually from the freezer or the pantry area. I had to be asked multiple times to go, but when I went it seemed my brother would be somewhere making noises, or I’d open the door to the storage area to see my doll babies hung from various body parts. (My brother wasn’t/isn’t a sicko, he was just a boy and my brother)

Sometimes I wonder if my intense dislike of the basement, ok, hatred, was due to this or something else entirely. Is it the negative energy of the wound it received while being built? Was it the possible fatality that occurred there? Was it the tormenting of siblings? If it was the latter, then why are my sisters leery of the basement, too?

Strange how, after my mom died, I ended up being the one to clear out most of the basement.
Ever since I sold the house, bad dreams occur less and less frequently at my parent’s house. In fact, the last bad dream I had occurred on the sidewalk across the street from that house. Kinda odd.

I was going through some stuff I had in my basement – a place I rarely visit although there are no bad vibes down there- and found these photos hiding behind a picture of my son. I decided I’d post them and then burn them. I’m done the postin’ part… now where are those matches.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

What Are You Currently Reading?

I was amazed by some statistics that I read recently. According to the book
I’m currently reading, “Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life” by Larry Winget,
( on average people spend about 100 hours a year reading, yet they spend nearly 2,000 hours a year watching television. That adds ups to 40 hours a week in front of the television and only 2 hours a week reading something.

YIKES! Not that all television is garbage, but most of it is. And not that all books are great, but at least they aren’t nearly as passive as watching television. Besides, I like the fact that books can now be “on the go” with downloads to your computer and audiobooks available in just about every digital format making them available to you while you drive to work or cook dinner. I guess what I like the best about books and reading is that you can absorb the information at your own pace.

I read a lot. I always have a book or two laying around, but what I don’t do is vary my genre often enough. I still have the Hawkings books to finish and a few fiction works that I’ve started, but the book I’m currently reading caught my eye and although much of it seems to be common sense and things I’ve heard myself say to my own children, sometimes you need soemone else to remind you to kick yourself in the butt.

According to the American Booksellers Association:
Eighty percent of Americans did not buy or read a book this year.

Seventy percent of American adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

Figty-eight percent of American adults never read a book after high school.

Forty-two percent of university graduates never read another book.

According to USA TODAY:

43.6 percent of all American adults read below the seventh grade level.
Over half of all high school graduates could not read their own graduation diplomas or even fill out a simple application for employment.

Blows my mind!!