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Archive for the ‘Personal experience’ Category

A Memory

I remember Mom sitting talking with her arthritis doctor, one day years ago. Now mind you, she was wheelchair-bound by then save in the confines of home; her knees and ankles, ravaged by rheumatoid arthritis, would no longer support her so she could walk. She sat in a wheelchair facing him, and I sat behind her in one of those godawful vinyl chairs that all doctors’ offices seem cursed with–

She was telling him about her dreams. “In my dreams there are these big green fields,” she said. “And I can walk in them, for miles and miles.”

Yep, I cried then, and I cry now, partly from loss but mostly for joy–

for in the green fields of heaven she walks those miles.

Love you, Mom ♥

Showy orchis by Paul

The showy orchis isn’t a field flower, but a forest one–which wouldn’t have mattered to Mom–she’d have walked miles to see this, too.

Photograph copyright by Paul Gamble 2012. Used by permission (he’s my brother.) 🙂

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Blackadder

Sleep well, sweet boy kitteh. See you on yon side of the Rainbow Bridge, one of these days. You and Mom wait for me, hear?

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Be Back Soon

Thank you for continuing to visit my little blog for the past six weeks. It’s been a rough time; during it I lost my oldest and dearest friend and supporter, my mom, who passed on April 14 following many years of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and COPD.

Mom wouldn’t want me to give up my passion for ghost stories and blogging, however, and so I hope, in the next week or so, to resume blogging. 🙂

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Actually, I began my New Year’s resolutions early. One of them was get up at 7 AM! Don’t turn off alarm!

That one works best, I think, if I translate it into the old adage early to bed and early to rise. It certainly is healthier, although I have my doubts that it will make me wealthy and wise anytime soon–

In any case, bearing all that in mind, and knowing I had nobody to kiss at midnight except Blackadder, who hates kisses (sigh), I was tucked in and lights out by 11:45 PM and up at 7:04 AM. Not bad for a beginning, huh?

As for others:

To cook more; learn more recipes for entrees, and eat more fruits and vegetables.

To finish my cleaning project. It’s been in its agonal stages long enough. Let’s put the sucker out of our mutual misery.

Keep a crochet journal. Preferably with pictures. Even though I may have to sketch the pics for a while.

Sing more. Dance a lot. Laugh a lot. Cry a little.

(I sing fairly well and–drama queen that I am–laugh and cry a lot, but it’s time to shut the waterworks down to a trickle lest I flood my world. Having said which, though, if you’ve ever seen me dance, you’d realize that is major.

Take an occasional risk. It’s stamped on my forehead, honestly: World’s Biggest Wimp. When it comes to taking risks, I am. I may start small–like sending somebody totally off the wall a Facebook friend request (this would not be an issue if the dude allowed subscribers)–but it could make life more interesting!

My major resolutions, though, have to do with what seems to be my real passion, if not vocation, in life: writing.

So: I have resolved to spend two hours a day developing a number of story ideas that I’ve had bouncing around my brain–some for donkey’s years–to full length. As it happens, I have a couple of hours–between 2 PM and 4 PM–when there’s not much else going on; Mom’s in between breathing treatments then, we’ve had lunch, and by getting up on schedule I can have my housework done by then.

I will keep up my blog, of course; I’m too big an egotist to give it up. However, I will be posting new stuff only one or occasionally two days a week, on Wednesdays and one other day as the spirit moves me.

Except of course for October, when we will embark on Faire’s Fifth Annual 31 Days of Halloween, if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, as Ol’ Hank used to say.

Now let’s see how many of these I can keep. 😀

Happy New Year, y’all– ❤

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It’s Like This. . .

Yep, I’m blocked.

Hope it ends soon–

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Now if you see that girl of mine
Tell her if you please
That when she bakes those biscuits
To roll up her sleeves. . .

With temperatures hovering, following TS Lee’s progress like a rainy monarch through Knobite Corner, in the upper sixties–a great relief after a high of ninety-eight last Saturday–I’ve spent three of the last four days cooking. Monday, I made a beef Veg-All cheddar casserole. Yesterday, I made a pot of vegetable soup and cornbread muffins. The soup is excellent, even if I do say so myself; the casserole needs extensive tinkering but is edible. As for the cornbread muffins–hey, who can eff up a Martha White cornbread mix?

Today, feeling frightfully brave, I decided I’d do some more baking.

So I began with my one and only five-star accomplishment: apple raisin muffins. Lacking the requisite two cups of raisins, I was about to throw up my hands in disgust when I heard Her Majesty Queen DinoSnob murmur, use what raisins you have and add extra apple, dingbat.

Excellent idea, Your Majesty, I said aloud.

Aren’t they all?, she said. She loses no chance to remind me that, in addition to being a traditional country music maven, she has a fearless culinary heart; one failure and I’ll never make a dish again, while she’ll try till she gets it right.

So, I used my scant half-cup of raisins, chopped up not one but two Red Delicious apples in place of the rest, mixed up my muffins, and set them to bake in my funky square muffin pan.

As the rest of my sad story has nothing to do with the muffins, allow me to say that A) Her Majesty was correct in her choice of ingredients and thinks next time I should eschew raisins altogether and B) Mom, my captive test subject, announces unequivocally that I have outdone myself.

With the homey fallish scent of apples, cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the house, I decided I’d use up some more of the quart of milk I’d invested in to make the cornbread muffins and make biscuits.

After all, who can eff up the recipe on the Bisquick box, right?

But that was before I realized that box of Bisquick had been in the cabinet since the Christmas Her Majesty made Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage Balls for a brunch– sometime, I fancy, in the Stone Age, because it was hard as rock and crawling with mealworms.

Ewwwwwwww! Her Majesty and I chorused as I slamdunked the box into the trash.

Then I decided to try the recipe the way it was given on the White Lily bag of flour I’d used in making the highly successful muffins.

Her Majesty pointed out, You don’t have Crisco. . .

No, I said stoutly, but I have cooking oil.

That, said Her Majesty, isn’t what worries me.

Ah, c’mon, where’s that fearless culinary heart?

She left me alone to court disaster.

Bake them biscuits, baby
Bake ’em good and brown,
Cause when I’ve had my breakfast
I’m Alabama bound. . .

All went fairly well, I guess one could say, at first: I put out my two cups of flour (self-rising; I’m a lazy woman 😉 ), then added two thirds of a cup of milk and enough cooking oil to make three-quarters of a cup of liquid.

And I mixed it up, and it did form a nice doughy ball.

So I’m home free, right?

Wrong. I’d forgotten–my two previous adventures in biscuitmaking having induced traumatic amnesia–how damned sticky the dough can be.

The rest of the story is too painful to share save in outline.

I did manage to salvage seven biscuits from a doughball that should have made a dozen.

I had to vacuum up a copious amount of flour from the floor around my worktop.

There’s still dough clinging to the ceiling and a light dusting of flour in my hair and eyebrows, which has a peculiar aging effect.

But–to my surprise–such biscuits as did come out of this round of insanity are the best ones I’ve made yet.

And I comfort myself with this:

My sister, a world-class cook, can’t make biscuits at all.

Nanny nanny boo boo. . . 😉

Walkin’ in my sleep, babe,
Walkin’ in my sleep
Up and down that Dixie line
Walkin’ in my sleep. . .

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a leaf,
dry and simpering,
a winsome jade of last year’s browning;

a wayward spark
an abandoned child of blue lightning
that startles the sky but brings no rain

chase each other around the hill
demure as wallflowers at a dance
until, at last, they catch hands and flame

as the world goes up in a fiddle shriek
of fiery notes
nearer and more brazen than the sun

the asphalt on the road below
bubbles and clings,
chuckling at the fighters

digging frantic firebreaks;
groaning as the roaring ghosts
of pines, blood-orange

and exploding,
exchange winks with the fickle wind
and sashay away to new corners

beyond reach until the tankers come.

“Fire on the Mountain” is the name of an oldtime fiddle tune and of a bluegrass and oldtime music show on TNN back in the 1980s.

I wrote a poem with that title for a college creative writing class in 1983, after an experience I never wish to repeat: riding through a literal fire on the mountain, one late summer evening, when my dad, brother and I were playing in a band up at Coker Creek, TN. That first poem was and is (I still have it stashed back) a piece of crap. I never quite get them right, but this version, twenty-eight years later and inspired by a comment on a previous post, is a lot closer to right than the original. 😉

Poem copyright 2011 by Faire Lewis.

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