Monday, November 12, 2007

teriyaki chicken, fall cleaning, and the diet-cherry limeade i never got...

this weekend went by very quickly... friday night i went to rookies and had the usual (minus the zin)... teriyaki chicken, veggies, and a plain, baked potato. yes, the teriyaki chicken made getting on and off my rings basically impossible!!! it was one of my best friends, joyce's, birthday. unbelievably, she was 70!!! you'd never know it, though; the secret is, she doesn't either. i thought she was going to literally puke when she opened her card, which had a large "70" on the front. she said it was the first time she'd seen it in print. LOL!!!
saturday, i did it!!! i awoke and decided that it was time to start my fall cleaning. don't get me wrong; i'm not the type to do spring nor fall cleaning on a regular basis... i don't think i've done fall cleaning since my niemeier's "adios, amigos" party 4 years ago, which means i haven't gotten my new "yearly blinds" since then, either. that reminds me, i need to measure tomorrow. anyway, i did put a small dent in things around here. i've always heard getting started is the hardest part. for me, however, figuring out WHERE to start is my problem.
about that diet cherry-limeade... so, i was cleaning, dust was flying, and i was so thirsty. i asked john if he would go to sonic and get me my drink of choice. he laughed and said that his finger hurt, it was too late, and lamest of all that if he were me he'd just drink a glass of tap. what a turd!!! i HATE tap water!!!
love and God's blessings,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

one person's paradise... another's hell...

every year many fellow hendersonians head to destin for fall break; so it never comes as any surprise to run into someone i know there... at the beach, the super-market, a restaurant, etc... it would actually be more surprising to spend a week there and NOT run into someone i know!

this year was pretty much the same.
however, there was one exception, sherri (i'll not divulge the woman's true identity but will refer to her only as, "sherri"). upon returning from the beach on monday afternoon, i entered my brother-in-law's and sister-in-law's condo to find my brother-in-law, tom, and my husband, john, conversing with sherri about her/their high school days. sherri had graduated with tom a few years ahead of john. i found out that she had, at one time, been a beautiful, young woman with everything in the world going for her. 

looking at her now, though, i would have never guessed...

sherri sat there dazed looking at me with bleached, blond hair, which appeared to have the texture of straw, brown, leathery, wrinkled skin , protruding face, shoulder, and clavicle bones, filthy clothes, and holding a very used, styrofoam cup full of beer. 

when i came in, my guys excused themselves. she and i formed an instant friendship.  she told me and her husband had fallen on hard times and had moved to florida to find work. she said she lived in the house (which was really a junked up garage that had been converted into some kind of place to lay one's head) directly behind our condos.

she smiled and laughed; her teeth were transparent and rotting.
before leaving, she asked me if she could come back to visit with me again. i told her she could that she was more than welcomed...

she broke my heart. 

the next afternoon our doorbell rang unexpectedly. i went to the door, and there sherri stood. i had just come in from the store. after putting away our groceries, i invited her out onto our patio.  seeing her in the sunlight, i realized she had dressed up for the occasion. she had pulled her hair back into a ponytail with a colorful scarf, and she had put on some make-up... at least there were gray penciled circles drawn around each of her eyes. in a movie, sherri might have been funny character because she was funny. but, in real-life, i found no humor.  she was a shell of a person whose only personality came from the alcohol she was holding in the same filthy, styrofoam cup from the day prior.

we started talking, and i found out that sherri and her first husband had once owned much of henderson's downtown area, that she had designed their home (with which i was familiar) where her first husband still lives, and that i knew both of her sons (who had been taken away from her for some reason or another in the late 80's early 90's). she talked, smoked, and drank. 

this went on for nearly two hours. 

 only minutes in, i began to find it remarkable that this woman could function well enough to put her hair in a ponytail (much less tie a scarf around it), she could put on eye-liner (much less draw ovals with seemingly no breaks around her eyes), pour herself a cup of beer, or even light a cigarette; yet, she did.  at the same time, sherri couldn't even keep her thoughts in order. but, i listened to and smiled at her animated tales of her past.

then came the stories of her present, which were a stark contrast to those of her past.  she told me she was most proud of a picture of allan jackson she had hanging above her grandmother's hutch and her dog, an alaskan husky. her more positive thoughts quickly turned negative with stories of a husband who nagged at her every afternoon upon arriving home from work, a daughter-in-law who never answered her phone calls, and... "OH!!!" her ribs and kraut that were in her oven burning. upon that revelation, sherri left but not before asking if she could come to visit again before we would leave to come home. i smiled and answered, "sure."

i didn't see sherri again last week. but, i wondered what happened to trigger this woman's downward spiral. was it drugs, alcohol, womanizing men? all the above? i decided it was probably the latter.

our condo was full of hendersonians most of whom were sherri's age. sherri was evidently a notorious figure to most of them. apparently, every year when henderson flocks to destin, she, comes out and goes door-to-door looking for someone to talk to about home. the reason i had never met her was because this was the first year my family and i had stayed in this particular condo.

i asked someone who knew her what was the matter with her. "she's a crack-head..." was the response i received. from what very little i know about the drug of the day, it made sense... here this woman had lost her children, home, money, youth, intellect, beauty, and most importantly her dignity all for a "fix"!

isn't that how the story usually goes?

one word sums up the situation...

sherri lives in a place that many would call paradise (amazing white sands, a brilliant, emerald coast, beautiful weather, happy people there with their families enjoying just being together... and all in her back yard). but, perhaps in sherri's situation, what is one person's paradise is another person's hell

sherri is living in her own personal hell; 
it is written all over her face.

i was told she did come looking for me. she did, however, find another woman, tonya, who was a little younger and a head taller than i, who was vacationing at least 5 condos down from ours. she was sure tonya was me. upon realizing she was not, sherri asked tonya if she minded her joining tonya at the pool. tonya who was affraid of the woman told her it was against the resort's policy and understandably turned her away. 

that was the last i heard...

i cannot get her off my mind. so, please, just say a prayer for her... say a prayer for her and all others who allow a "fix" to stand between them and that which is really important... LIFE... the gift with which GOD has blessed each of us...

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Thursday, September 6, 2007

the fabric of my life...

as i lie here in my bed with my lap-top, i realize how much pleasure i get from that which is soft:
brand-new, cotton, jersey sheets that are on my bed (laundered, fluffed, and smelling "april fresh").
a floppy puppy who has wiggled her way under my covers and is lying against my leg.

my cotton polo t-shirt,
which has been washed,
"downy'ed", and dried
at least a million times.

my flannel, Christmas,
pajama bottoms
i wear year-round.

my down pillows...
6 of them 
in a variety of firmness-es.

soft is never over-rated!

other soft things i dig big...

the memory of the touch
of my mamaw's hands...
the nape of katherine's new-born neck,
brookstone blankets,

katherine's baby blanket,
which lay atop my mosses
keeping him warm
in an otherwise,
very cold hospital room.

my kitties' bellies,
down comforters,
baby-knit sweaters,

downy'ed towels,
babies' face washcloths,
just-shaved legs,
katherine's hair.

 the soft kiss on the cheek
john gives me
each morning before he leaves for work.
thank You, God,
for all the soft things in my life...
most importantly,
the soft embrace You give me
when i need it most...

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Saturday, August 18, 2007

100 more from 6 to 10...

  1. learning that my address was rural route 3, box 189 d, henderson, kentucky 42420.
  2. wanting a "which witch?" and a "mouse trap" game for Christmas.
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  3. my first "quick-curl barbie".
  4. gertie.
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  5. going to florida with mamaw, papaw, and mom.
  6. ralph and ruth's house with a screened-in pool.
  7. the kapok tree inn in clear water.
  8. getting lost in disney world.
  9. "it's a small world"!!!
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  10. getting to stay with tracy, dean, and dick in the afternoons, after school.
  11. being one of the names in jeff steele's black book of girlfriends at niagara.
  12. calling sue at d & m to see if i could spend the night.
  13. tony and karen coming out to baby-sit me and bringing toby, grandmommie's cocker spaniel puppy.
  14. the electric organ at grandmommie's house.
  15. mom and dad operating the checkerboard.
  16. playing pool with the drunks at the checkerboard.
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  17. mamaw's picnic hams.
  18. fish fries on friday nights.
  19. getting to be the flower girl in theresa's wedding.
  20. catching the bouquet.
  21. playing kick ball with kim, greg, and cliff in the thompson's back yard.
  22. getting my tie-dyed, banana-seat bike for Christmas.
  23. going to ceramics with mom.
  24. riding ms. christine's bus.
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  25. moving to 1304 south elm street.
  26. the blizzard of '78.
  27. building a snoopy snowman with steve and neel in mary ann and steve's front yard.
  28. toni being born and coming home from the hospital.
  29. riding in thresa and bobby's jeep renegade without the top.
  30. going to ben franklin on fridays to buy something with my allowance.
  31. getting a stereo for Christmas and billy joel, donna summer, saturday night fever, and lou rawls albums.
  32. staying at mamaw's on snow days playing with my bionic woman and 6 million dollar man dolls.
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  33. the floor furnace popping...
  34. watching "all my children" with mary ann at lunch.
  35. moving to 435 norris lane.
  36. oj being born.
  37. hanging out next door with jack.
  38. playing girl's baseball for tapp funeral home.
  39. decorating theresa's Christmas tree (every year)...
  40. martha coming to be the nanny.
  41. riding mom's 3 speed in first Christan church's parking lot.
  42. amy puttman.
  43. having the greatest 3rd grade teacher ever... ms. nunley.
  44. getting to be friends with sue anne bird and elaine eargood (i love those girls).
  45. going to a st. louis baseball game and getting a cardinals' hard hat.
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  46. playing football with scott farmer on my team.
  47. frying donuts made from canned biscuits at angie's house.
  48. my cameo ring (i wore it every day from my 8th Christmas until i got married).
  49. going to the moose and the "legion" on friday nights.
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  50. t. hall, the bartender.
  51. learning the gettysburg address.
  52. bobby getting glass in his eye, and not dressing toni to suit theresa that day. (hell, he couldn't see, and i was just eight!  LOL).
  53. playing barbies at sabrina's.
  54. delores coming to grandmommie's every friday and saturday night.
  55. pogie!!! UGH!!!
  56. donna's and terri's tandem.
  57. watching the aunts get ready to go to funky's drinking and discoing.
  58. mandi and josh being born.
  59. double-cola and ski.
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  60. being in the same class with bo king!
  61. going to florida and gatlinburg with mary ann, steve, and neel for the first time.
  62. the donut friar in the village.
  63. walking across the rocks in the stream.
  64. being afraid on the tram.
  65. hitting a baseball through the sliding glass doors and losing my allowance for a year to pay for it to be replaced.
  66. the smell of the beverage barn.
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  67. going to midwest harness racetrack with papaw and eating hotbrowns.
  68. my first electric blanket, tv, and tape recorder.
  69. riding in sue's fire bird listening to earth, wind, and fire and lou rawls.
  70. cable tv.
  71. chicago's very own, wgn commercial.
  72. frasier thomas' saturday afternoon classics.
  73. frasier being on bozo.
  74. going to finley baptist church.
  75. tony and jenny getting married.
  76. jenny making brownies with home-made icing and playing aggravation with tony.
  77. going to see superman and grease with jenny and teresa werner.
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  78. my first training bra.
  79. going to the country store in newburgh.
  80. the superbuble album that was only available on tv.
  81. going to barbecues at aunt shirley's and uncle harry's in the fall.
  82. papaw giving himself insulin shots.
  83. the icecream truck.
  84. playing basketball for the jefferson jaguars.
  85. rick's pizza (the deluxe that used to be called an "around the world").
  86. going to the drive-in with mom and marcia martin to see rocky.
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  87. my first colonels jacket.
  88. staying the summer with theresa and having corkscrew deli on fridays. she had pastrami with hot pepper cheese on pumpernickel; i had turkey with hot pepper cheese on a white roll.
  89. uncle bill's sweet spaghetti.
  90. pretending to be one of charlie's angels with the neighborhood kids.
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  91. weird sounds at the cemetary house.
  92. famolare shoes.
  93. disco.
  94. john travolta.
  95. walking home from school with eva lackey, elise gillham, and monique jackson.
  96. animal erasers.
  97. cissy's little teacup poodles.
  98. bray and i setting off firecrackers in the church parking lot under an iron skillet.
  99. the candy drawer nanny kept for me.
  100. bo davis.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

100 memories before i turned 5...

  1. setting in my infant seat in my baby bed (honestly, i do.)
  2. the first time i got snow in my mitten... it was so cold it made my wrist burn.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  3. running through aunt phyl's house in evansville with her dog, dusty, nipping at my panties.
  4. standing on a console jumping into arms which caught me.
  5. jeffrey feeling my hair telling me it felt different from his... (because he was black, and i was white)
  6. getting salt on my nose when i would sneak a drink of my papaw's beer.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  7. listening to grandmommie tell the story about her papa getting lost in the woods and spending the night with a witch and her two daughters... me over thee
  8. rolling instead of crawling.
  9. walking to oldam's to get charms lollipops.
  10. having to sit under the table at ballet because i got in trouble.
  11. burger chef.
  12. santa claus bringing me a red peddle car and gas tank.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  13. playing "mother may i" and "123 red-light" on grandmommie's front sidewalk.
  14. making clover bracelets with my aunt sue, in the front lawn.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  15. learning how to get the honey out of the honey suckle in donna hatfield's back yard.
  16. selling returnable coke bottles to get to go to pope pool.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  17. watching mash at mamaw's and papaw's.
  18. going to washington square mall to see the fountain and santa claus.
  19. drinking an orange julius.
  20. learning how to talk on the cb.
  21. "cutting out" of church with sue after communion.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  22. the smell of diapers, kool aid, and butter cookies at ibt daycare.
  23. tony and karen "wrapping" (kissing) in the basement at grandmommie's.
  24. wanting to have nose-twitching powers like samantha on "bewitched".Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  25. watching the "soul train" and "american bandstand" on saturday afternoons.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  26. hippie beads, trolls, and a big, fluffy, stuffed, yellow dog in theresa's room.
  27. the first time my hand went to sleep (i thought i was dying).
  28. jumping out of uncle bill's dingy not once but twice into ky lake after being told not to do so...
  29. the smell of breakfast cooking on the coleman while camping at hellman's ferry.
  30. going to the moose and then to "the legion" on friday nights with mamaw and papaw...Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  31. eating at howard johnson's: clams, french fries, cole slaw, and a spiced apple ring on a bed of parsley.
  32. peggy marable teaching me to ride a bike on ibt's playground.
  33. playing musical chairs to the tune of "someone's in the kitchen with dinah"...
  34. ms. francis stanley's husband always having a pack of juicy fruit to share in his shirt pocket.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  35. mr. pete, the bus driver.
  36. the Christmas tree at mamaw's with a ton of presents beneath...
  37. the wisteria hanging from the clothes line in miss bessie's back yard.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  38. the shoe boxes coming up the conveyor belt at simon's.
  39. getting the gold egg at danny's shoe store (wilkerson's).
  40. sugar babies and sugar daddys getting stuck in my teeth.
  41. playing paper-dolls at the dining room table at aunt phyl's.
  42. a coke bottle falling through a lawn-chair, shattering, and cutting day-o's leg on donna's back porch.
  43. strawberry "post it" paper at julian cole's duplex.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  44. the cherubs on the ball and claw tub at grandmommie's
  45. gliding in the glider.
  46. my first barbie, suntan skipper.
  47. listening to "summer breeze" on the front porch.
  48. the smell of pinto beans cooking on sunday afternoons.
  49. watching shirley temple every sunday morning after the little rascals.
  50. my rocking chair that played music when i rocked.
  51. view master with "the walton's" slides.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  52. taking a "drinking bird" to aunt tessie's house.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  53. holding neel when he was a baby.
  54. miss eva perpendicularly rubbing one of her pointer fingers above the other one to shame me for not taking my nap at daycare.
  55. the Christmas tree at grandmommie's with the lighted color fan shining on it.
  56. having my first long john silver's fish n' chips with malt-vinegar on it.
  57. going to martin's to have my picture taken when their studio was on green street.
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  58. going to the downtown movie theater with daycare to see cinderella.
  59. dad bringing hot cinnamon twists home late at night from the bon ton after the horse races.
  60. hating flame retardant pj's and pj's with feet.
  61. my drowsy baby doll.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  62. going to the Christmas parade when there were actually floats.
  63. watching dad play soft ball and then going to j and b dairyette for soft serve afterwards.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  64. eating my first twinkie.
  65. crying when "boy", my mom's cat, died.
  66. watching peggy mitchell and romper room and wanting to be on both shows.
  67. the sound of the floor furnace popping in the winter at mamaw's and papaw's.
  68. the smell of papaw's "old spice cologne" 
  69. the smell of mamaw's emeraude.
  70. watching miracle on 34th street every year in black and white.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  71. my gold angel tree-topper.
  72. lying on the floor at grandmommie's in the winter with a blanket over me and the heat vent watching the brady bunch.
  73. mom wearing false eyelashes.
  74. tearing up mom's false eyelashes and blaming it on the dog.
  75. baby victoria (my madame alexander baby that cried when i turned her over)
  76. my first record player and all the "you will know it is time to turn the page when tinkerbell rings her little bell like this..." books with records.
  77. sonny and cher on sunday nights.
  78. mutual of omaha's wild kingdom.
  79. eating peter pan pb out of the jar with grandmommie late at night while she watched david james followed by johnny carson.
  80. donna's lemon perfume.
  81. going to kramer's lake.
  82. going to sue's prom.
  83. getting earrings painted on my ears with paintable eye-shadow because i couldn't get my ears pierced until i turned 12.
  84. riding in the back of uncle bill's toyota across the twin bridges.
  85. going to sawyers with daycare in the fall to pick out a pumpkin.
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  86. watching saturday morning cartoons with my uncle, tony.
  87. catching lightning bugs on summer nights.
  88. going to betty white's birthday party.
  89. going with mom to aunt shirley's to make Christmas candy.
  90. going to opryland with mary ann and steve and riding the wabash cannonball.
  91. putting the car in gear and nearly rolling into the ohio river (which was in our back yard) while mom went back into the house to get my ballet slippers.
  92. hating pj's with feet and kids house shoes (the toes were sewn with cat-gut).
  93. aunt addie putting a bread tie in her hair to keep it out of her face so that she could play "tip it" with me.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
  94. eating the "tasters" when papaw would barbecue chickens.
  95. watching grandmommie play solitaire late at night while drinking coffee milk.
  96. taking bubble baths with theresa.
  97. chicken feathers and molasses!!!
  98. the snack bar commercials the starlite played between movies.
  99. tickling backs!!!
  100. dum-dum suckers at the ov bank...Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket