Momma Went Home With a Rock Star

There's no two ways about it; my Mom was beautiful. Her smile lit up any room, she was highly intelligent, witty, silly, sweet, fun, and above all, hard working. She was a chef and dietician, considered "the best cook in the family". 
  True, she had her bad days, but don't we all. Putting up with "us kids", my brother, sister and me was a regular riot, not knowing what to expect next with us guys. I'm thinking maybe it was me who unexpectedly threw her for a loop the most. One nice evening, when I was about three years old, she had tucked my brother and me into bed...he was still a baby; a year  younger than I. She and my dad, having gotten a babysitter, were going out for a nice quiet evening of dinner and dancing. My brother's and my shared bedroom was on the second floor, where they had left the window open with a light breeze coming in the screen window. Before they left the house, I started pitching a fit, screaming that I didn't want them to go. Mom kept putting me back into bed and finally, maybe even popped my bottom to shut me up. With the babysitter downstairs, I heard our old car start up through the screened window and started screaming out the window. They kept a-going, leaving me to the babysitter, who must have been deaf. 
   I guess I'd never screamed before, so I guess I kind of liked it. I kept it up and kept it up for quite a while. Just standing there screaming at the top of my lungs out the window into the dark night. Suddenly there was a light shining in my face from down in the yard. A police officer was shining a flashlight all over the house. There ended up being two police officers who had been called by the neighbors. My Momma and Daddy's nice evening out ruined. Like the time the little boy who lived right across the street from us held my hand and walked me around the block when I was two years old without telling either of our mothers where we were going. They were both in tears, panicked, about ready to phone the police when we turned the corner, still hand-in-hand. Or the time I was three years old and helped my two year old brother up the coal gravel hill to play with the pretty stones on the railroad tracks. 
More seriously, when I was four years old, having a fun visit at my mother's parents' house while my mom was at work, my dress caught fire and I was so badly burned that the doctors left me to die in peace in a back hall of the old town hospital in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. I actually did die and went to be with Jesus for a little while. When He sent me back, with me bawling that I didn't want to go back, I saw my body below in the hospital bed with a pale yellow blanket over me. Sitting down there on the bed next to me, near dawn was my poor exhausted Mom bent over almost asleep, praying. Suddenly I found myself back in the bed with a jolt that gave her a start...she hadn't even known I'd been 'gone'. 
   It's a wonder my mother's hair hadn't turned snow white in her twenties. 
Then, there were the teen years. My oh my, didn't I give her a run for her money then. Even though I had been raised with my bottom sitting in a church pew, I went through the mouthy, yelly, know-it-all stage. Still, I couldn't get away with anything...somehow she always found out and gave me the dickens for it...well deserved. One day I went riding in a car with a boy...I guess he was 19 and I was about 15. It was a beautiful day; perfect for a long drive way out in the sunny, hilly farm country. I think he just wanted an excuse for me to sit closer to him, so he offered to let me steer the car. I scooched over and grabbed the steering wheel, thinking I was doing a pretty good job, easily avoiding the one car that we passed coming toward us. No problem. The rest of the afternoon was pleasant and uneventful when he dropped me off at my door. Inside Mom was waiting for me, hands on hips, tapping one foot and glowering. That one car that had whizzed by had been driven by her best friend, Emma. Now how in the world had she seen me? Who looks at other people in oncoming cars? Well, Emma, obviously...20 miles out of town, yet.
Poor Mom...trying to find some peace and solace, one Sunday evening at church with her mom where they were having an enjoyable mother/daughter time with each other, so rare what with Mom having to work so hard and having very little down time. In the middle of a beautiful song, Mom's smile was interrupted with the shocking news that I had been in a bad car accident and was being transported to the hospital. I had been riding with some boys...friends of my brothers. We were at their house way out in the country for a picnic, when the older "kid", 21, decided to show off in a jalopy with no top that he had made. Racing up and down the dirt road with me sandwiched in the middle with my feet propped up on the dashboard, we crunched over a sluice pipe, severing the brake line, headed down toward the "devil's elbow" curve at 70 mph! Trying to avoid that scenario, he tried to steer into a field, but hit a 20 foot tall tree head on. Because my feet were on the dash, I was catapulted up and over the tree. Strange thing happened. With time slowed down, I remembered reading about drunks surviving crashes because they were all relaxed. Looking down into the branches of the tree, I let all my muscles go, and the next thing I knew, I was somersaulting end over end over end in the middle of the dirt road. I was in the hospital for a month with a crushed vertebrae and a few broken ribs. My brother said that him, sitting in their yard, watching me sail over the top of that tree was the worst thing he had ever seen in his life. (The other two in the jalopy, the driver and his brother both dove out into the grass just before we hit the tree. They were uninjured.) Sitting with me all night in the hospital once again, crying and praying, was Mom. 
When I was eighteen I married into a very bad situation and began having children right away. My mom was the best grandmother ever. I don't remember my kids giving me as many fits and worries as I had given her over all those many years. Just when I thought I was making progress as a responsible adult and not creating stress for her, she and I were at a baby shower together at church listening to the usual stories about how much trouble toddlers could be. Some mothers were saying, "Hah, you think two years old is bad, wait 'til they are four." Trying to be a wise guy, as usual, I piped, "Hah, you think four is bad; wait 'til they are in their teens." Mom put in, "Hah, you think teens are bad," smirking at me, she added, "Wait 'til they're in their forties." Well, true. She had come to take care of the house and kids and me, because of the many health issues that seemed to inundate my life in my adulthood, which we surmise had to do with the residual deep burn scars, etc. In '95 I almost died from celiac disease. After getting out of the hospital, she stayed with us and nursed me back to, which took ~18 months before I felt as though I might actually live. Her care, knowledge, wisdom, humor, prayers and tears pulled me through, once again.
When I was finally strong enough, Mom decided that we should attend a women's retreat at Elim Bible Institute and College. A good way to thank the Lord for my recovery and maybe keep me out of trouble, if only for one week of fun and relaxation in the company of godly women. 
We were loaded into a large van with a bunch of our friends from church for the hour long drive. The whole way there, Mom was making everybody laugh with all her wisecracks. A sign along the road advertised, "LOTS for sale." Mom said, "Boy, I don't know what they're selling, but they've got plenty of 'em!" That night in our small shared dorm room, she kept us (one of our friends and me) awake until midnight giggling out of control. One of the students, whose room we were assigned had left a political poster on the wall, "Free Jews Worldwide". Mom chortled, "I'll take anything as long as it's free!"
The next morning, our pastor's wife "tsk'd" to Mom, "Did those girls keep you awake?" (HAH! She was the ringleader.)
We slept well that night and quietly so. 
The next morning I was so sick! I was vomiting and feeling terrible, so I spent the day in bed while the other girls AND my Mom went and had a ball! So many activities and fun. I insisted Mom go with them, so she did, and I was so happy for her. She deserved to have fun for a change, of course, tho', in the back of her mind she had to be thinking, "Oh NO...not again!" 
By the next morning I was feeling fine. After breakfast, we filed into the massive auditorium for songs, worship and some kind of message. 
I don't know how many seats that auditorium holds, but it seemed like thousands. The place was packed, and I cannot describe the music that filled the room. Heavenly is the only word that I can think of. After each song, the women each and all began singing lilting praises of their own, which intertwined with one another, almost visually colorful. Gorgeous...no one melody, but a glorious, living embodiment of beautiful music offered up to God! And, as the Scripture promises, "The Lord dwells in the praises of His people", He showed up. His Presence was so Sweet and REAL! Just Heavenly. 
   The next part of the program dealt with testimonies of what The Lord had done in people's lives. Ladies were welcomed to come up on stage and speak about what the Lord had done for them, or if they had a word from the Lord for the audience. "Oh, that's nice," I thought.
    Then my heart started racing.
    "Why is my heart racing?"
    I was suddenly strongly impressed with the Scripture, "Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water". 
     "Oh, that's nice," I thought again.
     One lady went up one of the long aisles, climbed the stairs, went right to the microphone and began speaking great and wonderful things.
     My heart was racing hard and I kept 'hearing', "Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water."   
     "Uh oh" I thought,...I remember this happening at church when I was called on to say something to the congregation, like something that the Lord had done that week...or give a small announcement or do a reading.
    One after another ladies went to the microphone and gave wonderful testimonies, but I couldn't much hear what they were saying with my heart racing and now my body shaking and the phrase, "Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water."
    I thought, "Lord, I CAN'T....I can't go up there...I've got nothing!"
     "Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water!" I kept 'hearing' loudly. 
   I twisted in my seat..."Nope...not gonna happen."
    The pressure was so strong now. 
    Someone from the podium was asking, "Is there anyone else? Anyone?" 
     "Nope!" I told myself and hoped the Lord heard my thought, too.
       "Alright," I thought, looking to the right at the row of ladies sitting there, my Mom beside me. I thought I'd get up, get along in front of the women seated there, get to the aisle...make the Holy Spirit THINK I was going to go up there, but make a bee-line to the back of the church to the ladies room. 
   Shaking, I did that...I got up, apparently startling Mom, "Where you going?!" she whispered harshly,  "Where you going?"
   I delicately pointed my pinky finger toward the back of the church and inched my way along toward the aisle, where I think I made it!
   Standing now, staring up at a big round silver microphone, I saw my hand reach up and pull it down to where my mouth could speak into it. There was a huge dark audience out there, my Mom probably thinking, "Oh no...NOW what's she up to?"
   I think my heart was calm, but I was thinking, "I've got NOTHING to say...how did I get up here??" Then remembering, I recited, "The Bible says,' Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water...." My voice became clear and decisive, "But first, let your praise come up out of your being, flowing up to the Living God and He will Flow down and through you, enlivening you, teaching and growing you, then...THEN, shall your have rivers of living water flow out of you to nourish and feed others who desperately need the living water to live and grow, too. Do not stop praising Him, lest it be that the living water will be like a block of ice in your throat, stopping the flow. Praise Him, Thank Him, the Lord Most High...." perhaps more...maybe.
    I remember hearing my Mom's voice go, "Hmm!" in approval. 
    And then I was finished and trying to find my way back off the stage and safely back to Mom. Where was she anyway...okay, five rows back on the right...seven women across. Carefully stepping down the stairs that I had absolutely NO memory of climbing up, walking up the carpeted aisle that I don't know how I got to the stairs on, sidling in, in front of the seven ladies who were smiling into my face, I thought, "Don't smile at me, I had nothing to do with it...God pulled fast one...it wasn't me."
   I sat down next to Mom, drained. She squeezed my hand. 
   They moved on to the next agenda while I sat there dumbfounded...how did I get up there? I tried to pull a fast one on the Lord, but He ended up grabbing me and plunking me up there without me knowing it, 'til, there I wuz. But, ya know, what came out of my mouth, I really needed to hear that.
   And to think it was "Mom approved"...well, icing on the cake.
   Over the next few years I tried not to shock her with my crazy goings ons. She was my best friend. We took long drives and as usual, she sang me the old standards, which I still love and comfort me, remembering how she'd harmonize with them. She was so smart, that one. She'd give the Jeopardy answers before the contestants. I kept trying to talk her into going on that tv show, but she kept telling me "No". And the Lord never plunked her up and PUT her there, either. 
    Then it was time for me to take care of her and nurse her back to health. It was as though I was in a tug-of-war game with the Lord. She had moved three hours away, so when she became ill, I'd go pray with her and she'd revive. I'd drive home, she'd become ill, so back, I'd go. Sometimes I'd spend nights in the hospital twisted like a pretzel in the half couches. I was making myself ill with no sleep. She'd get better, then I'd drive home, some nights in blinding snow for the three hours. Back at the hospital in a day or two, she began calling, "Mama!" and was terrified to fall asleep. I told her I'd sit and watch her sleep, so she could sleep. I sat in a hard straight back chair 'watching' her. She angrily growled, waking me up! I was exhausted, eating potatoes that I microwaved in the hospital cafeteria because of celiac and fear of getting even more ill, if I'd gotten ahold of wheat or gluten. I was getting weaker, losing ground in the tug-of-war with the Lord. He was kind to me, in my tears, crying, "Please don't take her, please don't take her." He let me gracefully, gradually begin to lose, "I love her, too, please let me take her" was His gentle plea.
   He is our Strength...He is our Rock....He is the Bright and Morning Star. He made Mom...she was sweet, she loved Him back.
    May 27th 1998, I had just barely made it home from the long 3 hour drive, managing not falling asleep, when my daughter called, who was sitting with Mom...her Grandma. She said that Grandma had taken a bad turn for the worse that afternoon and didn't think she'd make it through the night, that I'd better start back immediately. I said weakly, "I can't...I just can't...I'll need a couple of hours of sleep first." 
   I started back that night around one o'clock in the dead of night. The sky was crisp and clear. I sang, I talked to the Lord...I had no cell phone. I just wanted to get there and pray for my Momma to revive some more and maybe be healed for good this time. Totally alone on dark and winding roads way out in the country of Pennsylvania.
   Suddenly from the direction I was headed came a shot of light that flung itself toward the northeast, like a rubber band that had snapped and "I LOVE YOU, MOMMA" bellowed out of my throat before the light was out of my sight...gone. I knew it was her going. I looked at the clock...3 a.m. sharp. 
   The lonely drive to the hospital, knowing she'd already gone was fraught with anguish and tears...I should have been there.
   Arriving at the hospital, I learned that, yes, they had 'called it' at 3 a.m. sharp. 
    The tug-of-war was over. 
   I hope she is THERE, dancing and singing. She taught me how to dance in the kitchen when I was 9. How she loved music. I'm sure she still does. 
   So, yep, Momma went Home with The Rock Star, and I got to see her go!


Christmas Card 2022



Having Words

 I've learned that words really do mean something. They really do. Look at the world around us; the earth, the sky, water...all created by WORDS, like "Let there be"...and there they are. 

    When Jesus was sleeping in the boat and a storm came up, his buddies got scared and woke Him up. He was like, ("Oh come ON!") "Where is your faith??" Then He essentially told the storm to "shut up!," using the words, "Peace be still!"  From that I took it that, since He asked them why they hadn't done it, He apparently had expected the disciples to have done the same thing and not woke Him up. So...if those guys could have done it, why couldn't we? Where is our faith? So, for years and years (and years, now), I have been doing the same thing. I go outside and yell at loud storms, "Peace be still, in the Name of Jesus!" (hoping the neighbors can't hear their scare't, ditzy neighbor.)   I'm convinced that, as a result, the things we see on the weather radar when we do that is downright amazing. I've had to print out some of them to show family and friends. The storms either stop, or actually part and go around on either side of our neighborhood, then go back together when they get past us...every time! I have an image on my computer of a perfect heart shape in the middle of one really bad storm, which gave me much peace.

  So, I've been taking "speaking Words of God" seriously, and they work! Storms of all sorts, as well. 

  A long time ago I remember hearing about an old lady, who had been informed by her husband that he had spontaneously invited a group of people to their home for supper. She was shocked and let him know that she didn't have enough food to feed such a large, unexpected crowd. Waving off her protests as he left the room, he stated that it wasn't his problem; cooking were her worries. Now, this little old lady was a devout Christian woman, but according to her non-believing husband, she was a little too vociferous in her joyful living for the Lord.   

   Soon, from out in the kitchen, he heard her loudly singing praises and giving thanks to God, "Fishes and loaves...fishes and loaves," and singing in a Heavenly language, as she stirred in her pots and pans. 

  "Crazy woman!" the husband yelled, "She's a crazy woman!" 

  Their guests arrived, were seated and fed all they wanted and there were even several leftovers! She knew that if Jesus could feed the multitude with so very little, just a few small fish and a couple of loaves of bread...He's still with us, so He still can; and He did!

 This also happened with me! One day when I hadn't had time to get groceries that week, I learned that our friends, Mr. Ed and Mrs. Jean, were on their way over for supper! I had completely forgotten they were coming.  As it was, I was scrounging around trying to figure our what to cook for supper to feed five big hungry teenagers. I only found that I had a handful of spaghetti, but then (!) remembering the "crazy woman," knowing there was absolutely no way it was going to feed Mr. Ed, Mrs. Jean, and our family, nonetheless, I stirred the pitiful spaghetti around in the big pot of too much water, and began singing my own made up song, "Fishes and Loaves, Lord, fishes and loaves, please!" and words that only The Lord and I could understand.

  Well, my faith kinda shaky, (of course) I managed to put some bread and butter on the table, a small bowl of salad, and the bowl of spaghetti strings with sauce. For some reason, nobody seemed to notice because they were all talking over one another having a wonderful conversation. They all passed the dishes around, filling their plates with the usual mounds of spaghetti, while enjoying each other's company. Hard to believe, but I, myself, caught up in the conversation, didn't notice until later as I cleared the table, (I hope you believe me)...there was the same amount of spaghetti in that bowl that was in it as when I had first placed it on the table before anyone had taken any out! This is the truth! "Fishes and Loaves." I put all the leftovers in the fridge. 

   Mulling this over, I came to the conclusion that speaking those words might be applied to other situations where there was a need for things to go farther than they should. A lady from our church was about to undergo surgery and was naturally concerned. Meanwhile, she had a dress that I was altering for her. As I was whizzing along on my sewing machine, I noticed that the white thread was about to run out on the bobbin. Not wanting to stop and mess around finding another bobbin or winding up more thread on this one, I started asking, "Fishes and Loaves, Lord? Fishes and loaves, Please?" I kept sewing, waiting for it to run out, but was shocked to see that it had indeed run out, but was still stitching along in gold thread. Gold thread? What?! For those of you, who do not know, bobbins do not...cannot re-thread on their own! What in the world was going on here? 

  A thought sparked in my heart and I knew what to tell my friend. When she next called and began stressing about the fears she was having about the impending surgery, I told her, "If God loves you so very much that He would perform some kind of miracle to have your dress sewn with golden thread, how much more does He care about you, than your dress? Any time you doubt and fear, look at the seams in your dress." (She breezed through the surgery and successfully healed quickly, Praise God.) At times I still pray fishes and loaves over even little things, like bobbin thread.

  So now, whenever I get in a pinch of too little having  too far to go, (and not taking God for granted, being lackadaisical) but, sincerely having accidentally gotten myself backed into a corner, I'm convinced that He's got my back. 

   Knowing this has given me faith to tithe. One Scripture says...and it's true, even of me: "I've been young and now I am old, and I have never seen the righteous (His people...those who love Him) forsaken, or their kids having to beg for bread (food)." So, He makes $ go farther than it should. (We often pray this as we leave our driveway, to ask God to, "Please make Your money go farther than it should." And He does.

  I pray for Fishes and Loaves for my faith to be increased when mine sometimes seems lacking. And...since last Christmas, we've had plenty of things happen to test our faith; Cappy nearly dying in the hospital, identity theft and mail fraud, thus we never got our new tax bill for our home, so someone bought it out from under us without our knowledge. (Thank God for our neighbor, Judge Jude, who saved it for us.) Our bills had been diverted to another address in NYC, by fraudsters, which caused a lot of problems with the telephone, electric co., and all the other businesses with which we deal. So MANY problems popped up from that episode. We pray we've seen the end to that. 

  Then, one by one all the appliances began breaking down, washing machine, dryer, kitchen stove, dishwasher.

  Cappy and I both got some kind of flu whereby, taking turns in the bathroom got rather tenuous, to say it best. Good thing we had a little white curly-haired nurse to curl up with us in bed while we suffered between bouts. 

  Mice and rats took over our walls and attic. This happens every year in our neighborhood when the cutting of the sugar cane fields surrounding our little community begins. And the cat, Claw'd, was no help  whatsoever. This year they got into the kitchen drawers.  Lord, help us. We could hear them in the walls, and attic. Cappy was still too ill to climb up there and take care of the situation, other than to toss poison up there and behind furniture. Oh, the lovely scent of dead rodents emanating from the walls. 

   We began to wonder if we had somehow gotten ourselves cursed. We kept praying as things kept getting worse. During one week when we felt things might be calming down, the hot water heater up there in that yucky rodent-overrun attic exploded, sending down smelly "rain" in the computer room and bathroom. 

   That night Cappy had wearily dragged himself off to bed while I stayed up seeking peace and quiet. As I walked through the hall to go check on the laundry in the bathroom, passing the dark computer room I heard something "tapping" in there. I turned on the light to discover it was raining in there! The cat was sitting on one of the 'shelves' in his cat tower, glowering at me, as 'rain' fell down in front of him from one of the padded seats above.

(Like it was somehow my  fault.) There was an inch and a half of water deep on the floor! I checked the bathroom and sure enough, the whole ceiling was also 'raining' and water was deep on the floor in there, as well. 

  Waking Cappy, he immediately knew that the hot water heater in the attic had burst, so, sick as he was, he weakly trundled up the ladder and turned off the water. 

Getting someone out here to access the situation and begin the remediation took some time.  Meanwhile, on top of everything else going bad, the house began to take on the smell of mold. Not sure if everyone is aware of this, but I am a burn survivor, so this was not healthy for my lungs, so I stayed in our camper for a month or so in the extreme heat of summer, while Cappy and the pets "roughed it" in the house. I did have A/C and despite the hot sticky, humid air outside, some days I ventured onto the patio or visited my shade garden in our rustic "courtyard" area. 

   Life at our place was like living in a storm of chaos. One thing after another breaking down , as if the appliances and circumstances in general were tag teaming us. The day we finally got the new dishwasher put in, the sewer pump in the back yard burned up, creating a stinking watery swamp between the house and shed, and Cappy's beloved cat went missing. My iron stopped working, so we bought a new one and the day the new sewer sump pump was installed, the brand new iron broke. The next day the brand new dishwasher began acting up by not draining and spewing nasty water all over the kitchen floor. The cat came back a week later in fine shape, despite the heartache and worry he had caused, but that night my #1 appliance, the blender fell over and shot shattered glass all over the counter-top, ironing board and floor. 

  Alright, enough already, you get the picture and you have probably been going through a lot yourself. I just say all this to let you know that during all this, despite my Faith, I was not in the best of moods. I knew God was, despite all of our prayers, letting all this happen for a reason, but waiting on finding out what that reason or direction might be, some days was overwhelming. While most days I basked in inexplicable  peace, knowing that God has a plan for a good outcome for all this, still, I admit at times I lost it, crying or acting crabby. 

  I felt so badly for Cappy, who, also going through all the turmoil himself and despite not feeling well most of the time, tried his best to deal with people over the phone and put things to right. He arranged for me to be able to cook our meals outside on the patio.       Everyday, two or three times a day, he carried everything outside, pots, pans, silverware, utensils, ingredients, so I could cook, and then after the meal, he dragged everything back into the house and cleaned up and washed the dishes by hand. 

   He deserves a medal, and not what he got next.

   Being the tugboat captain that he was, living on the boat for weeks or months at a time with engines roaring the whole time, and things shifting or sliding around on surfaces, he put things down with solid purpose. Although he's retired now, he still unconsciously places things very soundly. 

   The patio table is made of tempered glass with a metal edging. With everything else breaking around us, I was nervous about this table top shattering, too. Well, poor guy, his nerves were also bad, so perhaps he placed items onto the table a little harder than usual. So, of course, I "had" to tell him to stop "clunking" things down onto the table so hard. Several times, this one particular day. 

  His plan was to finish his favorite leftovers in the house, while I'd cook some "expensive" gluten free spaghetti for myself on the patio. (...alas, Cappy is married to a mess. Burn survivor and "celiac", who cannot have wheat or gluten. TMI=too much information, I guess...sorry.)

  I can imagine that in all the aggravating shuffle going on with the house and all, and my constantly chiding him about the glass table top, he might have been a little annoyed, and who could blame him. He brought my pasta out and (my perception) slammed the box onto the table.

    I thought, "Oh no...it's fragile uncooked pasta, so now it's probably shattered." I absolutely promise you that I did not react negatively...no eye rolling or complaining, because I am tired of hearing myself nagging or grumbling during this whole house crisis. Besides, it's not a nice quality. I weakly smiled and said, "Thank you," but I guess by then he's had it with me and deliberately "pocked" the big tablespoon hard on the table. 

Well, prissy me, "Not a nice quality?!" I lost it! I sprang out of my chair, thinking,"I'll show him how to slam something on this table! My favorite spaghetti is ruined anyhow." I growled and grabbed the box of spaghetti with both hands, raised it up over my head, intending to hit the table on it's metal edge and scare some sense into him. It never made it to the table; as I angrily swung the box forward, the whole thing shot out of my hands, the clear cellophane wrapper inside burst open as did the box, and dried spaghetti flew everywhere all over the patio bricks!

  I stood there frozen. 

   Cappy asked loudly enough for the neighbors on the next block to hear, "Why did you do that? Why did you throw that expensive spaghetti all over the patio...look at it, it's everywhere, now why did you do that? What I want to know is why did you throw that spaghetti everywhere?" 

   Well, that made me laugh. It was all so absurd. Seems I just can't get away with anything. I can't even throw a successful tantrum. He didn't appreciate my laughing and stated, "Now, see there! You threw a hissy fit for nothing and that's what it got you. So then, what are you going to have for supper? Why did you throw that spaghetti all over the patio, is still what I want to know." (still giggling here)

   Then, he spied the cellophane wrapper with a few strands of spaghetti still in it. I picked it up and said I'd have that with some pasta sauce. I wish I had taken a picture. There were maybe 7 strands left.  The pasta water was boiling on the outdoor propane stove, so I put them in and...well, First, I had to apologize to Cappy and told him that I didn't know the spaghetti was going to fly everywhere like that. (Then I apologized to God for acting like an angry brat.) 

   While Cappy was inside eating his supper, I looked at my few pitiful strands of spaghetti and remembered the "crazy lady." And, knowing that regardless of everything, I'm confident that I'm still God's child, so I began stirring the pan of water, with the few spaghetti strings around in it and sang "Fishes and Loaves, Lord, please" and in my Heavenly language. Silly me, I also love dancing around in the kitchen, so I did that too, dancing and dancing and easily managing not to grab my crotch, not even once, like everybody seems to be doing these days, leastwise on television, anyhow. Then I drained the dismal little pile of limp noodles, put some sauce and grated cheese on it, dumped it into my bowl and began eating it with gratitude that I had anything at all for supper. As I ate, I watched the breezes rustle through the tree branches and listened to the birds singing and flitting about. It was really pleasant. BeauxBear came and joined me, wanting some of whatever I was having, so I fed him strand after strand after strand, thinking what a lovely day it was outside since the weather had cooled a little.

  Presently, I noticed that I was full. I only had a little more in the bowl, so I kept eating to finish it off, but after a bit, I realized that I was positively stuffed and that I couldn't eat another bite! I had to give the rest of it to BeauxBear and after a while he even left a few noodles of it in his bowl!

   I'm still amazed, thinking about this. God's Words are sure powerful!

   So, now, a month and a half or so later, what with the Christmas Season upon us, as Cappy said the other day over the phone, "As gorgeous as the lovely black garbage bags are that y'all put us up for ceilings, we are wondering when your guys are gonna come back and finish the repairs."  The man does have a way with words.

    We are hunkered in this tiny house with the insides looking much like a hoarder's den, but we know...we TRUST, like Cappy's beloved, cantankerous, wonderful "Aint (aunt) Gussy" (God rest her sweet ol' soul) used to quote, "This, too, shall pass." And so, our Faith and Joy intact, we are believing that these are Words to live by. And Lord Willing, so we shall.   


Christmas Cards Past Two Years; Where Have They Been?

We profusely apologize that we neglected to post our Christmas cards for the last two years. While starting this year's card, I, Peggy, was shocked to realize that fact. In fact, if you would like us to mail you one of this year's cards, please let us know. Since we have also been lax in checking our listed email here, please send your request to Cappy at: captainrayr@yahoo.com  (He checks his email daily)

  Here are the Christmas cards from 2 years past: 


Cappy Lowers the Doom

   I'll tell you, it wasn't easy when Cappy was out on the boat and I had to learn to be the "man" of the house until he got back home to resume that role. I had to deal with mechanics who didn't care one whit that I had gone online and thoroughly researched the problem I was having with our SUV, and what part I thought they should repair.  
   "Uh yeah, (little lady) we'll take a look at it for ya," with exchanged looks and eye rolls at one another, they hoisted their britches and clipboard in hand, headed back into the dark recesses of the mechanic's garage where a sign boldly forbade any customers from entering. A couple of times, I happened to be right, much to their chagrin. They had one of the "gals" who worked in the office come and tell me so, and that they were going to replace that particular part...and when they did "voila!" it worked great. Still, it was always a daunting process, dealing with those guys.
  Plumbers coming to the house, same thing. I might investigate the problem, but it didn't always work; they always seemed to talk over my head, "Well, yeah, I'll have to get a double-whirrled purple slath-branger ratchet to finish the job...might cost you a li'l extra, but if yer wantin' the thing to work, an' all...we can fix it."

  Yeah, well, so "I" managed to get the job done, dealing with them.
  I don't even want to talk about electricians or A/C installers or yard workers, etc., etc., etcetera...sigh...it was rough. It got to the point that I'd rather let things hang,'til Cappy got off the boat, which was not always a pleasant "surprise" for him to come home to, when all he wanted to do was relax. So I'd muster up my courage to muddle through the doom and gloom and try it again, sometimes with success and sometimes, not.
  Well, now he's home for good and I'll tell ya, he has really lowered my stress level when it comes to home repairs, etc. Presently, we (he) is handling the bathroom plumbing situation, talking with people who know he means business...and we are planning a trip to Lowe's.
  AHA! Going to Lowe's now is a fun experience...not the dreaded groveling forages into the cavernous aisles I had to endure. With Cappy it's always a fun adventure.
   That reminds me of a couple of stories we had posted here on our blog about just this very thing. Enjoy!

                 But I Don't Wannnna Be a Cowboy
                                                    (originally posted 8/26/2006)
   Well, now that I've been feeling better, I've tried to get back on track with everything again. Since finishing the den, I've been camping out in the computer-"slash"-guest room, having torn the bedroom apart in preparation for 'de-constructing' and remodeling in a style totally different from Cappy's den, which I love, but want something more light in color and open in feeling, if not in fact. (We live in what Cappy refers to as a 'shoebox'.)
   One of the first things I had to do was purchase storage racks and baskets for the clothes in the closet, because the closet is the first thing on the list to be torn apart.
   Cappy and I usually go together when we shop at the big home improvement stores, but him being out on the boat, I put on my big girl overalls with a tape measure hung on my pocket, list in hand, and swaggered across the parking lot like John Wayne. Too bad there weren't swinging doors; I coulda barged into the place like I owned it, doors flapping behind me. I was gonna look those guys dead in the eye and let 'em know I mean business, not let them double-talk me about pneumatic explosive nail drivers or double hung stud finders....none of that stuff. I pretty much knew what I was looking for, all I hadda do was find it.
   I mosied to the back of the store and found what I needed, but dang if I didn't come up short and needed to ask for help.
   A tough-lookin' gal in a red 'get-up' said she could help, but then called a guy to come answer my questions.
   I steeled myself. I pushed back my shoulders, stuck out my chin and waited. Waited some more. Waited some more. Relaxing a little, I looked around wondering where everybody went...did all the mens dive behind the bar when I strode through those front door with a chip on my shoulder?
   Just when I was about to give up, some 'dandy' pranced down the aisle toward me, all smiles. (I think they hone their timing 'til they see the customer begin to wilt and are more vulnerable...then they pounce.) I've gotta say he was pretty witty and entertaining, but he couldn't answer my questions, so he called another dude on the phone to come help me. As he was flitting away, he turned back and said in a mock provocotive tone, "...Ya know...I could hang around here with you and wait til the other guy shows up?"
   I musta taken off my tough guy exterior when I wasn't looking. I clinked my spurs together, stiffened my spine again and said, "No, but thanks for offering."
   Just then a deep voice behind me said, "Well, I can hang    around with you and wait 'til the other guy gets here, too."

   I turned and saw an older man sitting on one of those motorized scooters, leaning back on one arm, his other arm extended over the steering wheel as though it were a hot red convertible, complete with a 'hubba-hubba' backseat.
   I smiled and was about to joke that his shirt had lost a few buttons, but then decided it might embarrass him. I told him the same thing I had told the 'dandy', "No, but thanks for offering."
   He drove on.
   While I was muttering to myself that I'd probably be waiting forever on this next store helper, a man looking to be in his 50's strode around the corner and jokingly asked me what it was I was looking for anyhow. (anyhow??) And this man had his pale green shirt unbuttoned almost halfway down his front, exposing his hairy grey chest like the guy on the scooter.....oh WAIT...it was the 'scooter guy'... walking around.
   He said, "I reallly will wait around with you 'til the guy shows up."
   Suddenly I got the feeling that this was his 'supermarket'...his 'bar'...and he was a 'lounge lizard', cruising the back aisles of the hardware section looking for gullible females.
   Well, by that time I was totally disarmed and disoriented. I humored him a few minutes with chit-chat about remodeling, etc., then high-tailed it outa there with the shelves and baskets I had already found, unanswered questions flying in the breeze behind me, quickly paid for my purchases and slinked back across the parking lot without what I'd really come for.
   Next time I'll up the ante; I'll go back as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

         And another post of how things are when Cappy lowers the doom (my stress level) at Lowes: click the link here and enjoy the fun...   http://cappyandpegody.blogspot.com/search?q=hummingbird+gumbo


Well, This is a New LOWE's, I Must Say!


   Well, this should be interesting: the new stove was supposed to be delivered the next morning between 8 A.M. and noon, so we set the cuss-ed broken down, cantankerous, not working, or worse BURNING while my back was turned old one out in the yard to have it out of the way, and for a friend, who gathers scrap metal and wanted it.

The next morning (Tuesday) no stove delivery. An empty cavern in the kitchen waiting for it.

"They" messaged that it would, instead, be delivered, not from the local store where we ordered it, but from one of their stores 20 miles further away, and to expect it next Friday, again, between 8 A.M. and noon. WHAT?! four days with no kitchen stove/oven?
Well, we made it.
   So today, Friday, we stayed put waiting, but no stove, again. We called several times, only to have to listen to horrible muzak, busy signals, then discovered we'd been dropped.
   FINALLY, at long last, Cappy listened to a very chirpy, happy lady recording, letting us know that our stove is expected (EXPECTED??) to be delivered, now, NEXT Friday. Another week from now.
   I've been cooking, using my Ninja pot and toaster oven, and I'm JUST THIS STUBBORN (ask my kids) I'm going to WAIT this whole next week, just to see what's going to happen,
   Oh we WILL get a new stove whenever. I know, I know, I should probably cancel the order, but I'm not! We'll just see what we get and see what "they" get for customer reviews.
   I'm thinking major discount, as well, for me/us, but darn it, I'm thinking that we should be "grate-FULL" by now, but I'm not!


We All Do It, Just Not in a Truck

 I was in standstill traffic all day, all day, all day out in the country and no gas stations or any place in sight...just sitting in the car for hours in a line of cars going nowhere on my way to Texas to escape Hurricane Ida.

   I hadn't seen a bathroom in about four hours, so by now I was desperate! (Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?)

   Finally we inched up to a wide area in the road, so I lost my place in line when I pulled over, got out, went around and opened the front and back passenger doors, (good thing I was wearing one of my long black baggy tunics to maintain some kind of modesty.) I leaned over, "dropped trou" half way down and used my brand new plastic purple discreet ladies emergency urinal.

   Ohh! It was the best "potty break" I can remember in a long time;....not since I peed about a gallon all over the insides of my daughter, Jennifer's husband, David's brand new so PROUD of big huge pickup truck; down the back of the driver's seat, poured down the back of my legs, filled my shoes, about an inch thick on his fancy carpet "protector" pads.  Sighhh...but it was SUCH an amazing relief. But then I was cold, waist down the rest of the ride back to their house. But I digress, that was about three years ago.

   Last year when I lost my place in line "running" from the hurricane, I inched back up to the road and somebody let me back in. I think they must have understood, 'cuz, about five minutes later, they pulled over and I think they did the same thing, but, maybe they didn't have a fancy purple plastic discreet ladies emergency urinal, so I don't know what they did.

    How is it, you ask that I flooded David's truck?

   About three years before this, Jennifer and David were living in Galveston, Texas on the island. They were going on a Christmas cruise, so Cappy and BeauxBear and I were staying at their place to babysit their two doggies.

  On the morning they were leaving to get to the cruise ship, David drove us all to the ferry, where we waited in a long line of traffic for the ferry to arrive.  As old as I am, this was a new and exciting experience for me!  

  We rode the wavy, swirly packed-jammed-with-trucks-and-cars ferry across the 20+ minute ride to the mainland of Galveston. 

   Once we got to the cruise ship docking area, there was a wait for the people...masses of them, to pull up to a certain area in a certain order, before Jen and David could get out of the truck with their luggage. 

   When they were finally able to get out of the truck to board the huge cruise ship, I took over the driving of his big fancy truck with him giving me all kinds of instructions in the care and driving of it.

 "You will LOVE driving it and the way it handles, you'll see." And patting the hood and smiling and waving, they were off. Five minutes or so, I was peeing in the front seat, eyes rolling back in my head, sighing with delirious relief.

   I had gone before we left the house, but the wait for the ferry, while David was driving was extra long and we ended up taking the second or third ferry.

   Then when they got out, I knew I could make it "home"...just hold it. BUT...the ferry we had to take back...the same problem...extra long wait in long lines with no place to hide in broad daylight with cars lined up on either side of us, all waiting to get onto the ferry. 

   I was moaning by the time I drove up onto the bouncing ferry.

  Up and down,  up and down on the waves...will this ferry ever get moving?? Besides up and down, rubbing against the dock? Finally...FINALLY we started to move but the current was slower going back than coming across.

  I bawled to Cappy, "I'm hurting myself....I can't take this."

  He carries an empty plastic Purex laundry detergent jug on road trips, so he was good to go, hunkered down below the door frame and high up in that truck so nobody could see him. 

   I blathered and blatted, "There's no place to GOooooo! I've never had to go this badly in my whole life...ever!"

  He said, "Well, ya caint just sit there and hurt yerself like that....PEE!"

  Me---> "Huh?"

  "GO! We'll clean it  up when we get back...GO!"

    So, I already filled you in on how it went...or how I went. (Just now I let out another deep breath of relief, remembering how holy/sinful/wonderful and warm it felt at the time.)

  But, then I sat there sopping wet and it started to get cold with the engine off in the December Texas winter bobbing up and down in David's brand new so PROUD of his really nice truck on this ferry, and we were only halfway across to the other landing. (At that point, I didn't dare turn on the engine for fear I'd somehow nudge it out of gear and slam into the vehicle ahead of us...or behind us.)

  I was afraid the attendants who were walking back and forth would see the pee flowing out beneath the truck, bang on the window to tell us we had sprung a leak of some kind, but I knew if I opened the window, a warm stream of hot urine vapors would rush up and out into their face as they stood leaning in looking all concerned for the truck.

  I sat there with my hands gripped frozen to the steering wheel mentally trying to move the bouncy-bouncy ferry across the darned water and GET US THERE! 

   We FINALLY did get back to David and Jen's in time for David to call as we were pulling into the driveway to see how much I had loved the driving of his baby.

  They were still sitting there waiting to get on the ship.

  "Fine-fine, it drives like a dream, David," I tried sounding upbeat.

   I ran in and grabbed a roll of paper towels and went out to try to sop up my mess, but....whatna? I couldn't find anything wet...I dabbed at the carpet, but nothing came up.

"Did I dream I peed in here???"  I tried sopping some more.  I was thinking I'd have to invest in Arm & Hammer to get enough baking soda to sprinkle all over to get the stink out...when it started to smell, because we all knew it would.

  It didn't that afternoon. It was Christmas-day-before-eve. 

  The next day, it still didn't smell. It was like nothing had happened. We went to the store...shrug...no smell, no wet, no nothing.


The whole week...nothing. Cappy and I just looked at each other. Maybe we were nose blind.

  Some close friends of ours came to spend a day with us, Doxie and Mavis. We had Doxie fetch something out of the truck...we told him how much David was proud of his new truck. Doxie said, "Nice...it still has that new leather car smell."

  (You kidding?!)

   So, we never did get the baking soda, I cringed when it was time to go pick Jen and David up from the cruise ship because I knew he would know for sure, the minute he sat in his driver's seat again.

  Nope...like nothing different at all. So, Cappy, BeauxBear and I came back home here, like nothing had happened at all, but I felt so GUILTY...I knew I should have told him...I knew I should have.

   Well....forward again to this last year and the hurricane I was telling you about and the long ride to Texas to get away. I ended up staying with Jen and David for a month because the damage from the hurricane was so bad back here at home.

   So, now Jen has David's truck and David has another brand new even bigger pickup RAM truck.  I thought I could finally confess...I did. I was bawling.

  He kept soothing, "Don't worry about it, it's nothing."

  I sobbed, "It wasssss, I'm so sorry...I should have told  you way back then!" (but I didn't tell him how much I had enjoyed it)

   Finally, He said in his wonderful Kentucky voice, "That aint NOTHIN"...worse than that has been done it it....I've had flyin' hot molten dah-reer in 'er...a couple a times"

  Jennifer--->"WHAT??? In MY truck??? WHY didn't you tell me? And THAT's why you gave me that truck!!!"

Moral of the story: I'm going to hang onto that fancy plastic purple ladies emergency urinal; one just never knows. And, as I always tell other people who find themselves in unholy situations that have unmercifully befallen them, "Don't worry, you'll get your dignity back." I dunno...I hope I have.

     Another lesson learned: You know what? Ferries have bathrooms. 



In the Pink, So Far

   Well, Cappy got a good report from the doctor's office today, so YAY!! That's the good news...the GREAT news. 

   The other news is: Looking around our "kingdom;" is not so pretty. For the last couple of years, with Cappy's health in a downward spiral, as he describes it, and my not able to handle working outside in the HEAT, Cappy and Pegody's World has become a weed jungle. The yard is in desperate need of care. 

   Our neighbors, whose yards are showcases, have stepped in with their riding lawn mowers and made quick work of the grass. Now, with Cappy's health improving, we are hoping to make inroads on the yard's upkeep.

   Presently, and for the last while, to seek solace, we sit in what we refer to as our "courtyard" area in the back. Here we spend time dreaming about what steps, tho' minor, we can take to begin the tasks at hand. Since this is our place of reverie, we find ourselves snipping at this odd branch or picking that weed there...little things, as we recuperate. (I got socked with another bout of celiac distress...accidentally, at a very nice restaurant got served a dish with wheat in it, GAH!!) 

   While perusing FaceBook's local pages, we noticed that there is a flurry of activity surrounding a particular climbing rose named the Peggy Martin. It gained popularity in our area due to the fact that it had survived a long bout of saltwater in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

   Some people are saying that this beautiful little rose has no thorns, while other folks say it does have small thorns. Some say the rose is pink, others say it is white, others insist it is red. Nonetheless, wherever the truth lies, it seems everyone is rushing to snap them up. In light of the fact that we've not been able to persuade anything to climb up the two trellises on our shed, we thought that maybe this resilient Peggy Martin might do the trick, so we hopped in the SUV and drove to a local nursery to "get while the gettin' was good," if they still had any left. They did, so we got two of them.

   Now, I'm thinking that while our 'courtyard' area isn't a priority, (what with the rest of the yard looking so awful...and believe me it does, especially our driveway area!) just this little bit of pretty has inspired us to get up off our thrones and go step-by-step (baby steps, even) to try to make our "realm" more presentable. We plan on making "VLOGs" along the way of our progress. Come join us; we could use your company and encouragement. 

   (Presently, the newly planted Peggys do have small thorns and the flowers are pink. I hope they manage to survive this Peggy's yard, because I'd hate to add 'crinkley brown' to the list as one of Peggy Martin's descriptions.)

Link to our VLOG about the Peggy Martin roses is in the picture below. 

(Lord Help us, it was hard making this video using  YouTube's music, after trial and error and error and error, I still managed to cut Cappy off a li'l at the end there. Hope you like it anyhow!) 



Where Have We Been!?

  As y'all know, too, the last few years have been tough on all of us.  As for Pegody and me, we are hoping that today's post will mark the beginning of a new era, as we plan to return here to our blog and YouTube channel.(Search: https://www.youtube.com/user/cappyandpegody where, so far, we have 94 videos) We plan to begin telling about our world again through what we think are called "V-logs" or somethinglikethatthere.    The short ~4 minute video below will let you know how things have been going here with us.

   We did miss y'all, thought about y'all, and we hope y'all come along with us as we relearn and start on over on Cappy and Pegody's World.  




   I told Cappy, "I'm sorry, I just can't do it anymore; he drives me crazy". 
    I know a lot of people love John Madden, Cappy being one of them. It was rough enough suffering through years of Howard Cosell. That guy would get on my nerves as a sports broadcaster. If somebody on the field made a mistake early on in a game, he'd excoriate them saying something like,"That guy is a bum, he'll never go anywhere in this field of sports", then later on in the game when things had turned around for that particular player, Cosell, would 'swagger' something like, "I told you all along this guy was one great player, he's really going to go far in his career as a football player; remember, you heard it here first". Still, I was sad to see ol' Howard go; you know how it is. Although he aggravated me, others loved him, and he was a part of the 'watching sports experience' for years and years.
   Then it became John Madden's turn 'at bat', so to speak. Well, as I said, the guy just drives me nuts. He's a likeable ol' fella, but when I'm in the big fat old middle of an intense game, I get so angry when he's busily showing replays and drawing all over the board, when in the background the tv viewers can hear the roar of the crowd in the stadium because another play is going on...but we can't see it...nooooo...we are watching John draw X's and O's and lines all over the screen.
   Well, I love watching football games with Cappy because it's just a lot of fun, being on the same side, most every time, curled up together, snacking on good stuff, shouting for our team, or gnashing our teeth when they mess up. 
   When he's out on the boat, and too far out of range for television reception, it's okay if he's still in range to pick up a good radio reception. When he can get neither, it's rough for him. At those times he's asked me to turn it up a little so maybe he can hear it over the phone, but that usually doesn't work either. So I usually used to just tell him, disdainfully, some of the stuff John was dispensing, as part of his expertise as a broadcast analyst. Stuff, like, "Hey, the offensive linemen are the biggest guys on the field, they're bigger than anybody else, and that's what makes them the biggest guys on the field". I guess that would stand to reason...and so does, "Here's a guy, when he runs, he moves faster". I know I'm blonde and all, and not familiar with all the nuances of the game, but at least this next one, I, too, have to agree with, "To get more yards, it's best to move the ball from the line of scrimmage down the field".
   But,I got so I just couldn't take it anymore, nice guy that he is.
   Now just put yourself in poor Cappy's shoes, tho. He's in a blackout area, and really, REALLY wants to hear how the New Orleans Saints are doing. They've gotten pretty darned good in the last few years, so we are having a blast watching and rooting for them. So there he is; no television...no radio...and I have both.
    At first he'd ask me, "What's going on??? I can hear yelling and cheering...tell me". So I thought I'd turn John Madden's sound off, so I couldn't hear it and tell Cappy what I saw going on, on the field. I'd really get into the game and start yelling, "OH!!!! He's got the ball!! He's GOT the ball and he's running down the field with it!!!"
   Cappy would yell back, "WHO's got the ball??"
   I'd be saying, "I can't see his number but he's ....OH NOOOO!!!!" 
   Cappy:"What?!? What happened?"
   Pegody: "I don't know, I'm trying to find out, he's laying on the ground all curled up in pain holding his leg, and now they are bringing out a stretcher". 
   Cappy: "WHO??? Our guy? One of ours?"
   Pegody: "Oh, they've gone to a commercial". OR. Pegody:"Oh, one of our guys is running down the field and they tackled him". 
   Cappy: "Where did they tackle him?" 
   Pegody:"On the field". 
   Cappy:"$#!+!!...WHERE on the field??" 
   Pegody:"Oh, I can't see his number, or the number on the ground where he fell down".         Cappy:"He fell down? I thought you said they tackled him." 
  Pegody: "Oh, they've gone to another commercial; no, they're back already and now they're gonna kick it".
   Cappy: "For a field goal??"
   Pegody:"No, it's for one of those long kicks".
   Pegody:"Okay...the Bengals are running with it, and now one of the Colts tackled him...yay!"     Cappy:"Peg....what is a COLT doing suited up and running onto the field to tackle anybody for...this is a game between the Saints and the Bengals". 
   So I tried to concentrate a little more to make the game a little more accurate for him. (Okay...concentrate on who is doing what and what the numbers are on the lines. Pegody:"Okay, there's the snap...one of our guys is running....Wow! He's really running...he's ahead of the pack....he's at the 20...the 30! the 40! the 50! the 55! the 60! Oh no!!! They tackled him at the 65 yard line". 
   At which point Cappy said, "Uh, Dear, I think I'm going to let my co-pilot take over, so I can go take a nap...I love you, Dear". 
   He didn't even want to hear the rest of the game, to see who won! I think I'll tell Cappy in the morning he can have ol' John back, or whoever it is now. 
   I'll tell him, "I just can't do it anymore; I drive you crazy".
   I didn't even watch the rest of the game, so I don't even know who won, so therefore, I'm going to quote good old John Madden, who apparently does a better job than I do, and he says, "Usually the team with the most points wins the game". 
 That's it, and there ya go.