Monday, October 24, 2016

Almone Bankly.........cellmates

After several days of just sitting and waiting for what happened next, Almone's group had talked about everything with each other. Family, towns, jobs, what they did for fun, what was the worst thing that ever happened to them, not counting being captured and more.

The door flew open and one of the pinks came in and took Brell, the winged creature, first. She was gone for hours. Korman and Almone didn't speak each other's languages but both were very concerned for their cell mate. They shared their concern by their looks at each other and the door.

When Brell was thrown back into the cell, they were even more concerned. Her normally purple skin was covered with welts and was much more magenta than purple. She had labored breathing and looked so very weak.

The pinks turned towards Korman, he was next. He screamed and kicked and tried to bite the pink one. His actions were met with a blow from a prod which rendered him unconscious. The pinks dragged Korman away without any more drama.

Almone sat down next to Brell and smoothed her wild hair. After only a few moments, Brell looked up at him and smiled. She was so glad to awaken in a friendly place. She told him of the torture and the questions that were asked of her. "Was she a magickal being?" "Did she have extraordinary powers?" "Did she know why she had been taken?" Brell told Almone that all these questions were very confusing because of course she was a magickal being, she had wings. And no she didn't have extraordinary powers for someone from The Forgotten Forest. Then she asked her captures why she had been taken and that's when they had used the prod on her.

Brell asked Almone if he was a magickal creature? Almone answered, no. And he certainly had no special abilities except he could make his ears move. They both laughed at that and then settled on the bench waiting for their captures, thinking that Almone would be taken next. But that never happened. Their cellmate Korman never returned.
artwork by GK
Instead the days marched on and turned into weeks. By now the two knew everything there was to know about each other. The two were so tired of this place, the terrible rations they were being fed and the worst part was not knowing what was coming next. Their lives were nothing more than the more in depth conversations about their lives, small metal benches, semi darkness day in and day out, and having nothing to do. They did try to exercise every day and that seemed to make the time pass.

The two were doing some exercising when the door opened, the pinks came in and took Brell away again but it wasn't long before Brell and the pink one came back into the cell and Almone was taken away.

He was strapped to a chair, and a rag with that same awful smelling chemical was forced over his face. The next thing he knew he was on the floor of the cell and Brell was excitedly whispering to him. "They've decided to let us go. Get up and let's get out of here before they change their minds." Almone couldn't even gather his thoughts but stumbled after Brell as she flew towards the end of the corridor. It wasn't long before they were out of doors. The air was clean and cool. The sun was much lower in the sky now with the weeks of being held captive it would be getting on to autumn.

She flew, he stumbled and they made their way away from this horrible nightmare and into the forest. Almone had no idea where they were going but Brell was making him stride on, even though he didn't have the strength.

It would be nightfall soon and he insisted that they stop and make some sort of camp before it became pitch black. They could wait for the moonrise and then he could chart his way back to his home by the stars. Brell said she would love to see where Almone lived and they made a plan to go there as quickly as they could.

Brell found a branch on which to rest. Almone lay on the ground waiting for stars in the night to come and rescue him. Before the night stars revealed themselves Almone fell into a peaceful sleep for the first time in weeks. Or at least that is how it was perceived.

As soon as he heard her flutter away, Almone opened his eyes. He had a bad feeling about his new friend. All the while they were incarcerated she kept asking him about his master's house, where things were kept, how many other servants there were. Why would that be considered idle conversation, he wondered? Also Brell and the white, Korman would communicate, all the while staring in Almone's direction. That seemed odd too. But the thing that convinced him not to completely trust her was the welts she had come back with on her body. They disappeared after only a few moments. That just didn't quite make sense to him.

Almone just didn't believe Brell's actions. They never really added up to what was happening around them. Now she had left him in the middle of the night. This was his chance to get away from her as well.

He looked up into the sky, got his bearings and then a shudder of panic ran through him, just like a cold wind had blown, what if she was watching him? What if she was planning on following him? He would have to be careful and wary as he made his way home. He also decided to make a little stop along the way to make sure he wasn't being followed.

Almone set off on the path to home by way of an old friend, in a manner of speaking.

Almone will return in some additional chapters after the 2nd of November. 
I'll share the fun we are having here at Casa de Cuckoo in preparation for Hallowoonie and Dia de Los Muertos.
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Veil Keeper and a spell.........WiF 2016

This is my entry for Witches in Fiction for 2016. Click on the link to get to all of the entries and enjoy the reads.

As a youngster this type of collection doll was everywhere in the 5 and 10 cent stores. I found some new old stock at an estate sale and it made me happy and sad.

Happy because it gave me a great deal of inspiration to find 3 "naked babies" waiting to be assigned their tasks in life and sad because this person was "going to get around to finishing this project" but either never did or worse ran out of time.

All the way home I kept thinking how we all wait until the last minute to get projects done, hopes achieved, dreams attained until we have the time. But sometimes, we run out of time. Must be because I am in the later part of my life that I ponder such things. So I knew this little lady was going to be the Keeper of the Veil. I've always believed that the Keeper doesn't let the spirits into the world of the living, but makes sure they can find their way back to the other side. She is their guide to return to what should be their place.

The lantern is a small copy of a spirit lantern used in the 1920's as a Halloween decoration and would serve as the beacon to those spirits.

Lots of tales have been written about spirits coming back into the world of the living to do what they deem undone. Whether that is to haunt, to observe, to correct or to mourn their own lacking in this life. I think that is magickal. The chance to be back among the living.

We welcome a visit from our ancestors not for our own comfort but for theirs. It should be that we also combine our magickal abilities to bring about a change in this world for the same reason. Not for our own comfort but for the comfort and well being of all that are, have been and will be in this world. The circle requires that our working together and alongside one another in magick will take this mell of a hess that exists and turn it into a life worth living and sharing.

My little Veil Keeper reminds us that we don't have all the time required but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't make an effort to be a part of each others plan to rid the life we are living from the ugliness that pulls all of us down.

Celebrate the possibilites of what magick we spell crafters, we magickal beings can work. Whether you pray, chant, paint, create, grow, mix, blend or just ponder the question, join in to combine the hope for our world.

Name the Veil Keeper in your comment and get another chance to win her in Magaly's drawings. Read all the reads and enter the other contributors giveaways. Have fun.

Thank you for coming by to see my spell, cast for all of us, to live in a beautiful, peacefilled world by working together. So mote it be my lovelies.

xoxo Oma Linda (ps, I know there are some of you who are saying to yourselves.....she really is an old hippy. And you'd be so right. Stick a flower in the gun of this worlds ugliness and know it is a good thing to do. Peace)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Almone Bankly, the cages.................

Almone couldn't quite open his eyes. There seemed to be something keeping him from doing so. He would have felt what it was but his hands were tied behind his back. And he was laying face down so that made getting his bearings even more difficult. But he could smell the dirt in front of his face and also felt how warm it was on his backside. Must be in the sunlight, he thought. Then he drifted back into that chemical sleep.

Next when Almone awoke, he was able to see and what he saw was not like anything he had seen before. He was way above the ground now, in a cage with other beings. Some he recognized as his countrymen but some of these creatures were nothing like Almone. Their skin, facial configurations and speech were unrecognizable to him. The ones on the outside of the cage, with prods in hand, were pink and much larger than the captives. The creature right next to him was whiter than any snow he had ever seen. Where in the world was he? Who were all of these creatures? And how did he get here? The last he remembered, he was at the crossroads waiting for the tailor.

He didn't have to wait long for an answer of sorts. He saw the most amazing and frightening thing. A box on wheels that was self propelled and it was moving towards where he and the others were being held in cages. The pink ones where pointing in his cage's direction. Soon his cage was being lifted into the belly of this miraculous box along with other cages. When the last cage fit into the box, the huge silver doors closed and all went black around them. That's when the cries and screams began. Then a horrible sensation, Almone knew they must be moving.

Time went by slowly and the crying did eventually die down. But that was replaced with the sound of beings being unwell and retching. It was all Almone could do to not do what others where doing. Crowded in on one another, the heat, the smell, the sound were almost more than he could endure.

Suddenly the movement stopped and the doors opened. The fresh air was whooshing past him and he was glad of it. Then the moving of the cages began in reverse of the loading process. At this time, the cages were lined up in a huge building, the likes of which Almone had never seen. Wherever he was, it seemed to him that all things were made of metal, even this huge building.

Almone noticed his cagemate was on the floor of the cage and was not moving. He bent over to see if there was anything that he could do to help but just as he reached out to touch the white being, a searing pain went through his shoulder. One of the pink ones in blue clothing used his prod on
Almone and the electrical shock immobilized him. He too dropped to the bottom of the cage. That's when he noticed a small, scared looking creature with wings up at the top of the cage, trying not to be seen.

She was about the size of small child, slightly watery purple in color with sparkly wings and every time she shuddered from fear, he would hear a slight ringing of an invisible bell. She was so fragile and beautiful looking. He wished he could make her not feel so afraid, but he really didn't want to encounter the prod again so instead he winked at her and she shyly giggled at him. Almone felt like he had made a new friend and was very glad of it.

Their cage was tossed about as it moved down a big moving ribbon attached to the floor. They sped along until another group of pinks grabbed their cage with a metal hook and pulled them off the ribbon. There he, his winged friend and the white creature were taken out of the cage, moved through a door and into a small room with a window on the door and small benches along the walls. It was small, also metal, but at least there was somewhere to sit until?

The white creature had regained consciousness and was crying and moaning as it made it's way to a bench on the other wall. The winged creature had taken up a spot not too far from where Almone had decided to sit. Almone now had some time to wonder why he had been taken from the crossroad and who these other creatures were?

His thoughts were interrupted by the winged creature when she spoke. "Who are you, what are you called, why are we here"? All of these words sounded like music not someone speaking but he understood the words. The white creature started to speak to the winged creature. But it was not in a language that Almone understood. How could that be? He understood what the winged creature had said in his language but how could this white being be speaking to her? It appeared as though the she understood him as well. At least he thought the winged creature was a female and the white being a male. At this point, Almone wasn't sure of anything.

The winged creature told him that her name was Brell and that the white being was call Kormon. She was from The Forgotten Forest and that Kormon was from a place called Sconmat which lay over the mountains from her forest to the north.

Almone introduced himself and told them where he was from, The Kingdom of Neg. Neither of them had ever heard of Neg. Brell did the interpreting for the group and they all soon realized that each of them had been alone and far from home when they were taken. And none of them could answer the last question as to why they had been kidnapped and brought here. Wherever, here was.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A new story..........Almone Bankly at the Crossroads

Almone Bankly saw the signs of the ancient crossroads before he ever got to the site. The surrounding trees and outcroppings were all worn down from the massive long ago traffic of this trade and travel route. His master courtiers tole him all of the stories they knew about this area before he was assigned this task. The tall trees were parted as though showing reverence to a long ago time.. There was a sense of wonder that came upon Almone as he finally eased his horse down to a trot after 4 hours of galloping to this destination.
artwork by the lovely and talented GereaKaye
He certainly would not have chosen this trip through the back roads and thickets if he had his way but as an apprentice to his master, he had little choice as to the way in which his days were spent. Only 1 year, 2 months, 3 days left on his apprenticeship and then he would break out on his own, down a road of his own choosing.

But he had to admit, that this visage was certainly one of wonder and awe. No one had used the "road to eternity" for at least 40 years. New roads had been commissioned by the King and the law which included travelling passes were enforced by the magistrate. The new crossroad was more that a days ride from where he was right now and none, save those with special permits, were allowed to travel this way. Not since the youngest prince of the realm and his all 23 of his men had disappeared on this very spot, without a trace, except for one sword twisted beyond the strength of 10 men into what could only be described as a puzzle piece and a note saying, "there will come a time for payment". But not one word had been heard in 40 years, and so here Almone was in the exact middle of the ancient crossroad with a permit, waiting for a man, he had never met.

The hair on the back of Almone's neck prickled and he saw goose flesh fall down his arms as he dismounted his horse and tethered her to a rein ring, one of several at the side of the crossing on a tall tree that had been felled for that very purpose. Then a thought came to his mind. Why would a place that hasn't been used in decades not have the kind of overgrowth he had experienced on the trails along his path to this crossroads? This was more than odd. The area for 50 meters on each side of the exact crossing was well manicured, as though someone had taken the care to make it look well used but beyond that 50 meters the area was overgrown with flowers, herbs, bushes as well as small trees.

He looked at the sun and realized he had at least and hour before he was to meet the person he had been tasked to fetch. So ignoring the mounting uneasiness in his chest, he got some bread and a jug of wine from his saddle bag and found a shady spot, created by his horses shadow and took advantage of the down time.

Almone sat on the ground, tore the bread in half, and began pondering. This was just his luck to have been in the house kitchen when the master had come looking for someone to go on this journey. If only he had gone to the stables first, then someone else would be out here in the middle of nowhere. Of course he was always in the wrong place at the wrong time according to his shrew of a mother. She took any and all opportunities as he was growing up to tell him that he was the worthless third child of a no good gambler. That statement, as he grew to be a man, didn't make him feel bad for himself as it had when he was a child, but for his father because he couldn't have been a very lucky man to have gotten that shrew pregnant not just 3 but 5 times. He laughed out loud and startled the horse. She voiced her objection to his interruption of her grazing with a stomping of her hooves.

As he looked at her he saw what could only be explained as little lights flashing in the woods. He slowly drew his blade and held very still. As he watched, the lights one by one faded away. The woods were dark and the birds were still singing, so he thought himself just a reactionary giving into some of the tales of hauntings and strange happenings that he had heard back at his masters manor. Almone dismissed the lights as nothing more than his vivid imagination. He would go on a walk as soon as he finished his food and drink, head in the direction of the flashes of light and investigate.

Once again he became distracted and pondered. Why would his master need a tailor from the other side of the kingdom? There was no event or ball in the coming months that would require any new clothing, at least not to his knowledge. Maybe his master's daughter had finally accepted a marriage proposal. But that would only require a dressmaker, not a tailor. And not just any tailor was expected shortly but the finest one in the kingdom, except that of the the Kings staff of course.

His brother Amos worked in the King's palace as an assistant pastry chef. Almone himself hoped he would be able to find work in the city of the palace after his apprenticeship had ended so that he and Amos could at least see each other. The rest of the family had scattered after the latest raid on their coastal home. Inland was the only safe place to live now. Almone had no idea where his older sister, and younger brother were. He assumed they were with his mother but no one knew. His oldest brother Alphonso had been killed in the last war. That's how his mother and siblings managed to live on their own, because they received his brothers soldier's pension. As far as his father, he hadn't seen him since he was 12. Just as well, he really was just as his mother had railed, a no good, nare do well, with a bad temper when he drank, which was all the time.

Almone finished what he wanted of his provisions, wrapped them up, stood and put them back into the saddle bag.

As he turned towards the crossroad, he saw a huge cloud of dust appear on the horizon in the direction from which he expected the tailor to arrive and then suddenly a burlap bag was yanked over his head, a strange acrid smell met his nostrils and then blackness.

Yes, it is that time of year when I start thinking of spookiness and mysterious happenings. So I have written a short story and hope you will enjoy it as it plays out over the next few weeks.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Zombie Luau.................

First, the party didn't go quite as planned. What does, right?

GK had invited 20 friends. Ry invited 5 friends. Shelley and I asked them to find out from their friends if they were coming because apparently RSVP is not a code for anything in this day and age.

Anyhoo, on the Weds before the party all of Ry's friends had said they were coming. Only 2 of GK's friends were coming because they thought with a name like Zombie Luau, it would be in October. Yes, they could have read the correct date on the invitation, what's that?

GK was so disappointed. She was glad that her friend and fellow soccer player was still coming. The other two were no shows. Needless to say, the party was not a hit with her. However, since this was the first time that Ry has ever showed interest in having friends over, Shelley lost her mind and went out and bought Nerf ammunition and the boys played war in the front yard.

The boys ate the food we fixed, sweet and sour meatballs, Hawaiian pizza, fruit salad, zombie pretzels, zombie boogers and aloha cupcakes. Washed that all down with AB+ zombie punch.

I have never been so glad to see 4 little boys go home in my life. Now remember I used to work with teenagers and prepubescent teens for 20 years. But I guess the emphasis should be on "used to". I was gonna strangle a couple of them. No manners, not even a glimmer and loud, it was apparent that no parent has ever explained "inside voice". But we all lived through it and Ry was a happy boy.

It will be awhile before we will have another party here, sad to say.  Win some/lose some and sometimes a soccer buddy is more fun anyway.

All the pictures are of GK and Stephen because Ry was off shooting up the neighborhood, his sister, his Oma, his Mom with nerd artillery and then Papa went out and joined the other madmen (boys) and he had a blast getting shot and ambushing the kids.

So there's the whole of the take on Zombie Luau.

AB positive punch

Zombie booger and zombies on a stick
As I told the grands, see my sorority time paid off, lookee at those napkins, TaDah

our favorite sweet and sour meatballs

yum, fruit salad

these zombies on a stick were so much fun to make

Pina colada cupcakes
Here's a ps to an earlier blog I wrote. I got a check for the full amount of my purchase for the Lantern Fest. I am a happy camper indeed.

Smooches and Squoozes lovelies,

Oma Linda

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

just letting you know............

okay sports fans. It's a done deal. The bite I encountered this summer was in fact a Black Widow Spider bite. Did you know that the BW bite is more venomous than that of a rattlesnake? Who knew?
As much as I hate spraying for "bugs", we did have an exterminator come and spray the front yard for these critters
Did you know they can administer a blood test that checks the level of venom titer in your blood? Neither did I. If the titer is high after a prolonged period since the bite, then your body hasn't been able to get rid of the venom. That is exactly my deal.  Lucky ducky me.

I mean that sincerely, because I now know that I have a severe magnesium deficiency initiated by the poison from the bite (and the compilation of all the other bites as well as my diminished immune function) and that may be the cause of my body's lymph system not being able to process the poison out of my system and explains my brain fog, lethargy, swelling and pain. Ta dah.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you had a belly ache and your mom gave you Milk of Magnesia. It always cleaned out your plumbing, right? Well magnesium taken orally will do the same thing and that's not a good thing. It actually strips your bowels of the good fauna from "cleaning the plumbing". I found this out the hard way a few months back when I was researching and read my symptoms in an article about magnesium deficiency. So I took OTC pills. Not a good idea.

But do you see that my mind/body thinking were in line with what was/is wrong with me? My body was telling me what I needed. I may have mistakenly gone about curing myself with the wrong type of magnesium but none the less, I'm not such a goofy old broad after all.

Now it's probiotics, magnesium oil (which can be rubbed on or sprayed on my skin), massage and a combination of essential oils that help reduce the swelling and help me heal from this misadventure. My lymph system needs a boost. I was also told I needed to be on steroids to help my body heal but that in and of itself has caused so many other difficulties when I have ingested steroids in the past that I am not following that advice. But then I have always been and will always be a rebel without a clue.

I'm hopeful and see some changes to my difficulties already. Within 24 hours of using the magnesium spray I have reduced swelling and decreased pain in my joints. Within 2 hours of the lavender, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, and ginger in coconut oil rub, my "cankles" where reduced and my feet looked almost like human feet instead of elephant feet.

I found out that I am allergic to black widow spider bites, wasp stings, red ant bites and mosquito bites as well. A bee sting might just do me in as well.

I never really thought about it very much. When I was younger I got bitten by a black widow and it knocked me on my butt. I remember my Mom saying she thought I was having a heart attack.Took a benadryl and I was better. When I was stung by wasps while sweeping on our back porch when Shelley was in high school, I was very sick with what I thought was the flu afterwards. Mosquitos bites have always produced huge welts on my body compared to my families "bug bite" size sites of puncture. And a couple of years ago I got bit while standing nearby a hill of red ants while we were out to an event and then I couldn't walk for a few days because of the swelling in my ankles and feet. But I never put all of those incidences together as a whole or as a cause for concern when combined.

With the help of the blood test, I know know that I need to be careful not to put myself into a situation where the creepy crawlers might have access to me. My immune system is already so compromised because of my Mother's fascination with our family physician and all the antibiotic shots that I received as a child, and my unlucky encounters with many poisonous critters (I never thought of spiders, bugs and flying things as more than just an annoyance) that another one of these events and I could be in even more trouble, health wise.

So here's to fast action next time, taking care of me right now and not just thinking that I am invincible anymore and must be careful. Not only that but I need to pay attention to my surroundings.

Thanks so much for the well wishes, advice and love sent my way.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, September 19, 2016

What a spider bite can do to ya.............

Back in late June, I was putting up some 4th of July decorations in my front yard. I had finished most of the inside decos, got antsy and wanted to put the flower arrangements in the holders on the house. So I finished the one under my bedroom window and took the other to the matching panel and shutters on the other "leg" of my ranch house, which is under the garage window.

As I finished messing with the flowers and bows, to my satisfaction, I felt a sting on my right outer, lower leg. Didn't stop to swat anything away. I just put the box for the 4th of July decos back in the garage, looked through some other stuff  and then finally came inside.

By the time I got in the house my leg was burning and I felt sick to my stomach. I sat down on the couch and inspected my leg. Sure enough there was a bulls eye blister and swelling that accompanies a spider bite. I suspect it was a black widow because I have seen them around the side of the house but I only touched the Mexican Horsetail grass to get to the flower holders.

When Ry got his spider bite back last spring, which I realize now wasn't like mine, I immediately milked the area, washed it down with benadryl liquid and gave him a benadryl orally and applied ice. He didn't even have a reaction to the poison. Me on the other hand, well, if I wasn't such a stubborn old batt, I'd have gone to the emergency room right then but nooooooooooooooooooooooo, I took care of it myself. It took six weeks for the "wound" to heal. The skin just sort of peeled away, bit by bit.

Little did I realize that I would be affected in other ways from something so simple. My whole immune system went kinda loopy. I developed a rash in several places all over my body. Then my face looked like I was having an attack of roscasea and I looked like the walking dead. I even scared a poor little kid in the grocery store. My energy level bottomed out and I was a mess for part of the summer.

And last Friday, 11 weeks later, I had severe muscle atrophy in my right leg and couldn't raise my leg to get in the car while GK and I were out shopping. I did feel some better on Sat but Sunday I returned to the same lethargy that I had last summer.

I went to the chiropractor this morning because I thought maybe he could help my leg function with an adjustment of my spine.

As we were talking, he asked if I had been in an accident, had food poisoning or had gotten stung by a bee or wasp. I said no and then told him about the spider bite. He pulls out this medical journal that talked about the long term affects of bee, wasp or spider bites. And wouldn't ya know that I have all the signs and symptoms, even the prolonged affects. He suggested several things I can do until I get in to see my Dr.

I called the Dr's office as soon as I got home. Yep, her next available is Jan 5. So I am going to a private urgent care facility as soon as someone gets home that can raise their feet up to use the brake and accelerator pedals in the car. I really should not have driven myself earlier because I had to back myself into the car to begin with and then couldn't have slammed on the brakes if a situation were to have arisen because that function does not happen with my inability to raise my right foot.

Oh hell's bells ya'll. I'm home safe and able to lift my foot a whopping 2 inches off the floor now. Can't go to bed, can't raise my leg to get in there so I'll just sit and see what the computer has to offer.

See, you knew I couldn't go a week without some sort of complaint. Sheesh. But I'm not in a bad mood...............................yet.

Smooches and Squoozes,

Oma Linda

Friday, September 16, 2016

I'll sneak this one in on you...................

Tonight is the Harvest Moon. There will also be an eclipse of the moon as the Earth's shadow falls across the face of the moon. This is a harbinger of changes in all our lives.

photo by Dan Bush
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we call the closest full moon to the autumn equinox the Harvest Moon. In 2016, the September equinox comes on September 22. So this hemisphere’s Harvest Moon is the full moon of September 16. It happens to be an especially close and large full moon … a supermoon? There’s disagreement on that, but we can all agree that this particular Harvest Moon looks especially bright. Plus this Harvest Moon stages a subtle penumbral eclipse on the night of September 16-17, visible from half of Earth, but unfortunately not North America.

Last night we went outside as a troop of Cuckoos to celebrate the full moon, just a little bit early, because the younger Cuckoos have another engagement. We didn't want to miss out on singing down the moon as is our custom and ritual every full moon.

As we finished up our song to the moon and greeting to a new turn of the wheel. Sweet Man who is usually the very epitome of a man in his early 60's and a bit stoic, proceeded to bring change into our ritual by giving the Cuckoos a view of his full moon.

I haven't been surprised by that old coot in a very long time, but I laughed until my sides hurt. Ry and GK were in shock and awed by his full moon antics. Shelley just said she hoped that the neighbors weren't looking out their windows at the nutz that live at our house.

Smooches and Squoozes,

and they danced by the light of the moon, tee hee

Oma Linda

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The summer catch up..............

So much to tell you.

The time from early May, GK's birthday to mid September just zipped past me so fast. Not that I wasn't happy to see them off to school, because I am a real person, after all. I can't believe another summer has come and gone. I hate the heat but I love my time with my grands. This summer was no different......but it was.

I should talk about the grands individually here so that you can see the agony and the ecstasy individually.

Ry has had a very eventful summer. He went to his last year of Therapeutic Recreation through the city of Albuq. Next year if he decides to go he will have to join the teen program. He didn't not have a good time but his hormones and ego (thank the Goddess he finally has one) got the better of him.

We spent lots of lazy days just enjoying the air conditioning and talking about life. His, mine, other people's, I learned a lot, I hope he did too. His mental age has almost caught up with his chronological age and he is feeling the "becoming a teenager" (damn it), with all it's accompanying hurts and bruises. Actually played outside with the neighborhood kids without having to have one of us adult Cuckoos out there to watch and make sure nothing bad happened. Had a trail of little girls calling his name as he strutted by and a covey of boys to become cohorts and chums. His best friend's sister was his kinda summer crush and she liked him back. Summer was good for him, mostly.

He once again was a spokesperson for a charity that benefits children with autism, the Holman Foundation. Gave a speech at the golf tournament and again at the gala for the charity. He is getting to be quite the ambassador for autism. The confidence he has gained from having this opportunity is enormous in his daily life. It's a win/win situation. The folks at Holman love to have him be a spokesperson for them so that they can raise money to provide electronic aids for classrooms for autistic and other special needs children and Ry gets to have the knowledge that he is helping someone else.

GK is 16, is driving, gorgeous, smart as a whip (which I know she would use on someone if we had one) and always a hoot. I could just stop there but that wouldn't be anything new for me to share with you.

Her face changed so much this summer and so did her lovely physique. If I had looked like her when I was her age............oh my.

It took hours of sleep to get through the grueling Oma jobs I had she and her best friend do for me this summer, so our days didn't start until noon. I remember at that age being that tired and a tad bit lazy too. But what the hell people, what's an Oma for if not to let you be a bum and have no one fussing at you, right?

They moved entire rooms around for me. Made my craft area into the pantry and brought all the groceries and dry goods into the house from the former pantry in the garage. Of course now all of my crafting crapee is in the garage wondering, why it is that I don't love it anymore but that is a whole other story.

She and her friend were so much fun to be with, listen to and laugh at. Teenagers, you can't shoot them and there is no cure for their insanity. The house was filled with laughter and bizarre conversations. I truly think Ry and I both were healed by some of the discussions. Family sometimes can be the best medicine when applied by the younger members of the tribe.

GK also was part of the Holman events, was moral support for her brother as always and also spoke eloquently about being a sibling of a child with autism. The folks at Holman are looking into helping her with some of her college expenses because of her dedication.

The worst part of the summer was watching both the grands maneuver through personal issues with friends. Also both have had some pretty intense flashbacks from when they were very young. That king of thing just never goes away. It can only be made less powerful. GK lost 2 long time friends, a girlfriend who dropped out of high school and her boy best friend date to all of those dances, who she never thought would change and Ry finally found some friends but then lost them. Life is so hard when you have had a limited number heartaches or heartbreaks. Both learned things they wish they hadn't had to learn.

Both grands have a better vision of what is fair, cuz life isn't. Both are more knowledgeable about the less than trustworthiness or believability of other humans, even if they have sworn friendship. But the flip side of that ugliness is that they both trusted me enough to share those things with me. They also went through a healing process and are on the good side of that. We cried together and found comfort under the air conditioning with scary movies and hugs.

I am blessed to be experiencing this part of their lives with them, close up and personal. I am privileged to "know their hearts" and for them to trust me with those pieces of life that are a bit off colored and tear stained.

I went from being a sad old lady with too much of myself to worry about to Omie (new transmutation of my name) who is in the thick of their mess and have come out on the other side of my selfish, self centered mania to a really bright light, whose names are Ry and GK.

I'll say it once again, I am blessed.

The next chapter of life with the grands involves our end of summer soiree. We are having a Zombie Luau here at Casa de Cuckoo next Saturday. This idea was born by thinking about having a luau (leaving the sadness behind) and then doing research into luau's by looking at the tiki heads and totempoles and having the thought that they looked like polynesian zombies (thanks Ry). So there you have it, Zombies and a luau.........who would have thunked it. We did.

Celebrate whatever you can, it brings smiles and that is life's tonic for feeling better.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oh my stars......................

Hello lovelies. How are each of you? "Healthy, wealthy and wise", I trust.

photo by Aaron J. Grohn
It has been a while since I came to you, and gave you part of me. I have no excuses nor shall I invent any. I just am happy to be here with you and to wish you, Good Day.

I have had such a wonderfully educational past few months. I have learned some valuable lessons in so many different avenues of life. I have made strides to take charge of me. And I have had fun and some tears, along the way. My life isn't much different than yours, I would guess. We share that essences of life as humans, but as my favorite uncle Alfonso used to say, "why bitch about life when not one else has suffered more or less than you and just understands when you say, your hanging in there?" If you are noticing a marked lessening of the sarcastic edge to this old bagg, well then you see the rough edges have been polished down with some very intense elbow grease. Oh I still speak fluent sarcasm, it's just I am in such a happy place that the smart assiness seems out of place.

I am blessed. Now if you had told me a few months ago that I would once again be level headed and able to see reality for what it is, I would have probably spun my head around spewing green pea soup and said, oh hah, but I am back to being, knock on wood, okay.

This has truly been the hardest journey, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually,  I have ever been on. Lost the map a couple of times, mislaid my glasses and couldn't see where I was going, metaphorically, but here at this rest stop, at this blessed moment in time,
I am on the correct road and all is well with my soul.

I don't like to make promises and then not be able to keep them, but I would like to say that I am going to try to share what is happening here at Casa de Cuckoo, with the minor and major players in the lovely soap opera we call house and home. I hope you'll still be out there cheering us on and that you'll let us know how you are doing.

So until next time, later this week, road map willing and the creek don't rise,

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gerea the terror, the bipolar troll.....................................

So small, so vulnerable and my first grandchild. 16 years ago today GereaKaye came into this world and I instantly knew I had known her before. Up to that moment, I had never experienced anything like it. Her sweet, deep root beer colored eyes held for me a knowing of a before time.

That hasn't changed in the past 16 years. Our relationship really isn't fair to anyone else on the planet. We are a bonded pair of smart ass partners in crime separated by a mere 51 years (this time around).

She is becoming the woman I always suspected she would become. Kind, caring, fierce, challenging and captivating the hearts and minds of may other mere mortals. To say I admire her is a gross understatement. To say I envy her is the truth.

I truly do not love her more than any other member of the Cuckoos but I understand her better, relate to her easier and allow myself the luxury of complete and utter abandon when I am with her. She is one funny bunny, makes me laugh like no one else can, makes me cry deeper than anyone else can.

When she was little heathen, I would take her shopping so that I could do some walking and she could experience people. Folks would hear us conversing aisles away and come around and be flabbergasted that she was so young. They commented more than once that she looked like a faery or elfling. She always had something to say to everyone....albeit baby talk. She had good judgement about people even then.

On one occasion when she was about 14 months old, we visited our local "woo woo" shop to get some incense. The woman who ran the shoppe stopped what she was doing to come and greet GK and me. I began my search for "dirty dreaded hippie incense" when the woman and Gerea began a full fledged conversation indicating that they too had know each other before, the now. It was one of those goose flesh kinda moments. That has happened so many times in her short 16 years. Speaking to the dead, knowing when something is going to happen, not trusting something and leaving a situation and sure enough something ugly has always happened. The way in which she engages with animals, children, old people and the lonely.

Today is not only her birthday but her favorite school activity, the talent show. She will be singing At Last, the Etta James rendition. Talk about old school. She is so in love with the music from that era.

Compassion, conviction and cunning. Yep and she's only 16.

Happy Birthday dearest granddaughter, thank you for sharing yourself so effortlessly with the world.

Friday, April 8, 2016

getting down the road........step by step

Update of sorts.

I haven't blogged in 6 weeks. During that time life has been busy, interesting and I've traveled the road less traveled. Albeit in my head. I've done some soul searching, some introspective meditation, spent time with the family and not letting things get me down. It's not a perfect solution but what is really?

Many thanks for all the well wishes. I appreciate all your good thoughts and kind messages. I have come to a spot in the road that tells me I can choose to be happy or I can keep sitting and spinning. I choose to be happy. If I never meet someone else's expectations, so be it. I will keep true to me and be happy with my choices. Not to say I don't care, because I do care, but about me first at this time in my life. Gone are the days of mindlessly giving my time, joy and energy away. Here are the sunny days of feeling good and fulfilled.

"Bliss" the kitty has had a name change. Not that she isn't the sweetest kitten in the whole wide world to me, but "Bliss" was my hope, not her reality. She wouldn't even answer to that name. While watching a Netflix show I heart the name "Niamh". It made me shiver. And this old witch knows when something is knocking at my door with wisdom so I looked it up on our pal Google.

Niamh - Goddess of Beauty and Brightness.

Niamh is the Goddess of Beauty and Brightness. She is the daughter of Manannán mac Lir, one of the Queens of Tir na nóg, and the daughter of Fand. On her magical horse, Embarr, she crossed the Western Sea to ask Fionn mac Cumhail if his son Oisín would come with her to Tír na nóg (the Land of Youth).

She is my first real familiar. I know, better late than never, right? She goes everywhere I go, sleeps with me, comes and touches me at least once an hour and never fails to bring me to laughter many times a day. In other words, she is the best medicine for me. that I have ever had. She could care less about anyone else, or for that matter any thing else. She has gotten used to the dogs, likes Chandler the huge monster of a cat, terrifies Princess Toadstool (that's a whole other posting) and has at least two rows with Uma, the other black goddess cat in the house, every day. The noise is scary but they both are just being "bitches". Niamh is sleek with amber colored eyes to Uma's long silky hair and green eyes. I keep telling them to not fight they are both pretty girls but when have cats ever listened to a human. I'm in love.

Joe's job with the County is back up again, readying for the primary elections in June. He was on furlough for 3 weeks. It was nice to have him home. He is such a patient person with our life. And also has turned the funny up as of late. He was here during most of Spring break.

The grands never fail to add spice to my life. Their spring break was a quiet one, both of them slept late and we messed around with crafting, cooking and just enjoying each others company. GK is going to the prom with her best friend/partner in crime Johnny in a week, RyLeigh will be 12 tomorrow. He and I had a fun time with math sleuthing and he is always asking questions about our family history in one form or another. Such a huge curious mind. Sitting around with no agenda just shooting the breeze with the two of them is one of my very favorite guilty pleasures. They will be grown up and out on their own soon enough so I just let the other things I should be doing just gather cobwebs and luxuriate in that moment. It's good for all of us.

Shelley continues to be the hardest worker in the family. I admire her grit. Besides working, carting the grands and their friends hither and yon, she has taken on another "duty". A friend of hers had eye surgery and needs to be shuttled to work, to the doctor, shopping etc. She and the grands are such good hearted friends. Makes me proud of who they all are.

Hope all of you are doing well. I miss hearing from so many of you whose blogs have gone silent. I loved the fun we've had in the past. Wish I could turn the clock back and appreciate that time more but then isn't that the way of life?

Smooches and Squoozes my lovelies,
Oma Linda

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cat report............

It is with sadness that I have to report that Mommy Joy is not a part of our household any longer. I was so bummed, but I had to take her back to Animal Humane.

After trying all of the therapies suggested by the behaviorists, keeping her secluded so that she could get acclimated, and trying to settle her down, she just was too feral to live in a busy household filled with children, dogs, cats and her own baby. She never let any of us handle her, or for that matter touch her.

Come to find out, that she and her 3 kittens had just come onto the floor at the rescue after their spaying surgeries about 20 minutes before I saw them. They were still woozy from the anesthesia and appeared to be much more docile than they were.

Mommy Joy was miserable here. When I returned her, I cried the entire way, like a lunatic. They looked up the circumstances of how they got her and oops, she wasn't an owner surrender but a feral catch. Duh. Mommy Joy will make a fabulous barn kitty, or with the right foster home maybe she would change her feral ways. I was so sad to have to make the decision but I know it was the best one for her and for Baby Bliss.

Baby Bliss sitting in the copper bar sink. She's high enough she can see all the other animals pass by. And is silly enough to think they don't see her. BB may stand for many other things by the time she gets grown. She's so sweet (to me).

BB is now part of the community of cats and dogs. She loves Joe and I and when she is in our room at night is a real kitten. She sleeps with me every night and entertains me at a little after 4 every morning. When she is out in the main part of the house during most of the day, (she does have nap time in my room for about an hour), she is getting closer every day to the other beasties and even flirts with giant cat Chandler who gives her all the space she needs but doesn't stay too far away. He's a good big brother. Uma tolerates her. Princess Pudgy pretends that she does not exist but I can't say I blame her because the one time Mommy Joy was introduced to any of the animals she had Pudgy slapped nineteen different ways and took huge chunks of beautiful long white hair off her back. So Pudgy has an absolute right to be standoffish with the "spawn of Joy".

The dogs follow her everywhere wanting to play like they do with the other cats but, of course, BB has no idea what they are up to. She gets on top of the kitty tower and watches them with a confused look on her cute little black kitty face.

She has the sweetest, tiniest little mew, is a huge adventure kitty with the household and has her entourage Chandler and Jameson at her beck and call at all times. Funny that the boys like her and know how to stay out of paws reach.

Time will give them all a chance to learn to get along. Fingers crossed.

xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I won't apologize..................

I've spent a lifetime apologizing for things I have done, I haven't done, I forgot to do, I never knew I was to get done and for not being who others expected me to be. I am a dyed in the wool people pleaser.

I have in the past few weeks since my "episode" kept rather quiet and walked on egg shells, as they say, so as to not upset anyone or anything. It is very tedious work and I'm only adding to my burden of self-doubt by not speaking up or holding back when I should just say what I am feeling. Gawd, life is a hard one to travel correctly.

But then what exactly is correct? What is good for one is hell for another. I hope I am making sense. I'd hate to confuse yet another person. You see, I'm very good at that as well. I think. I speak., I sometimes have not thought through the complete result of how my words will be received. I say one thing and yet I'm really thinking something close to that thought but "no cigar".

I hurt some of you with my declaration of "I'm done". I never meant I wanted to die, I meant, I can't go on doing the same thing in my life over and over and not being understood, respected, listened to. I was running away. I really was. I was going.................I don't know where, but away for awhile so that I could get my thoughts all lined up and my words in the correct order so that I could tell those people that I live with and love just how I felt so that they could stop making me feel less than I should be made to feel.

I won't apologize for being really me because it's taken me more than 50 years to reach a spot in time when I feel I can be, should be, deserve to be. Now if I could just get the wording down so I don't scare the hell outta folks.

xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ah yes, February the twoth...................

Rodent watching day, Imbolc and the day I made up decorations just so I could say nanny, nanny boo boo to my husband.

Through 40 something years of being married, Joe and I have has several bouts of one up person ship. Sometimes our stubbornness knows no end. Of course each of us says it's the other who is more stubborn but if push comes to shove, which in our case, it never has, I'd have to say I will stick with something longer than he. He would tell you it's because he forgets easily. Whatever the case is. I won or at least I thought I did.

When we first married, lo those many Novembers ago, I told him that he would never have to buy me an anniversary present if he would just let me put up the Christmas tree whenever I wanted to. (Yep, I actually let him off the hook for presents which was the smartest thing I ever did. Considering all my friends and their tiffs about who forgot what and when, I think I did okay for myself.) Of course I must add that did not include no birthday, Christmas or Valentine's day gift which he has never gotten me either. But with that fact in mind, I have been known to decorate with a tree for Snowman day, Valentine's, Luck of the Irish, Fuzzy chicks and bunnies, birthdays, faeries, fourth of July, mermaids and beachy things, Sunflowers, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving. gnomes, Christmas and New Year's. Now these are not to be confused with my altar which is only changes 8 times a year.

Back when our marriage was only half as old as it is now, Joe had a boss who was an even bigger smart ass than either Joe or I. He remarked to Joe after knowing us for a few years that he had never seen a house that had as much "holiday crap" as ours. He went on to say that he bet that we even decorated for Groundhog's day. Joe assured him that he had never seen that one at our house, but because said smart ass was coming over to take us to dinner on February the Twoth, I decorated a tree with stumps and rodents which sorta looked like a cross between groundhogs and prairie dogs along with little snowy thingies and some spring bulb paths. And the topper was exactly that...............a top hat.

I thought that Joe and Jim were going to laugh their asses off when they came into the living room and there was my newest tree the February the twoth tree. I got um both.

When Joe woke up this morning he rolled over and said, "Hey cutie, gonna make some more little varmits to decorate the tree this year?"

I thought the idea of our couples therapy was to say something sweet and nice each day, not make me giggle so bad I wet my jammie bottoms.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's new Linda???????????/

Well let's see, because of last weekend's trip to the hospital, it was difficult to adopt the kittens from Animal Humane. I really had to do a song and dance. Funny thing is they didn't have any harsh judgement of my angry outburst but we will have to have visitations to see how we all are doing for three months. The cats are very shy and it is going very slowly with them. Bliss, the baby has warmed up to me and sleeps on my chest. Mama Joy secretly has a crush on Joe and sleeps right next to his feet. It is quite an interesting sleeping situation.

I have a record for dog bite case (no I didn't bite a dog, many years ago our St. Bernard bit a woman who walked in unannounced and scared all the dogs and people at my friend Verna's place. Murphy thought that she was attacking all of us and the St Bernard puppies that Verna had just acquired and he did what he thought he had to do). That along with the Humiliation on a plate of shut the hell up Linda last week will also be around to haunt me forever. That has taught me to keep my big mouth shut (unless speaking to a counselor) and announce to my family when I am pissed and need some space that I will be coming back when I get back.

It's been hard to form sentences, or thoughts since then. First I was embarrassed and ashamed, then I was irked and annoyed and now, well I'm stewing in my own juices. I am the cause of my own feelings with a side order of other things thrown in.

I don't blame anyone who took my "cry for help" seriously, as a matter of fact I am humbled.

I made a mistake. I said what I was thinking which has always gotten me into trouble but I am still an adult, and I can manage to not drool on myself, wipe my own bottom and apologize when I have gone around the bend. I am truly sorry for hurting anyone else but I am the most sorry for hurting me. Making me feel ever stupider than I needed to.

I will never feel clean again after being in the back of a squad car and the looney bin. That's my problem. I will need to get over all of this on my own. Luckily the one person with whom I was the angriest and I have made amends with each other. Joe has been very kind to me and does understand. The rest of the world will need to give me some time to get my shit all in one pile again. I make no guarantees that I will ever be the same and hoping in many ways that I will not be ever again.

The kittens, I have since realized, are feral. They may have been "surrendered by the owner" but I think the owner was probably an apartment manager or some such that found them and took them to the Animal Humane. This only means a little longer to socialize them. We made the mistake of trying to introduce the most docile of our other cats and YIKES. Momma Joy was gonna kick some serious kitty butt. So for now they live in our bedroom and the rest of the house belongs to the others. Nothing like a new set of circumstances to take your mind off of yourself.

Smooches and Squoozes,
Oma Linda

Saturday, January 23, 2016

When you peel the layers of the onion back and find out there is a hidden kumquat inside.........................

or something like that.

I've spent most of my life playing referee to person tennis. You know the person who is in charge of keeping the peace between rival gangs of family members. And the rest of my life being the one in the middle of the circle with everyone else being disgusted with my calls of the ball being out, or someone being out of control.

I have made happiness and being okay my main occupation. The pay sometimes has been pretty good but for the most part it has been slim pickin's. I have been happy on the outside and rotting on the inside.

In our family, I was raised to keep the bad things in our lives inside home and never let on that anything was wrong or less than perfect. When my parents died, I let the icky goo start oozing out of the cracks of my personality. The icky goo is toxic and eats away at the outside happiness to such an extent that there were huge holes with my bare self starting to lay open to view. As hard as I tried to mend those holes they became wider, deeper and more open.

That's how last weeks breakdown finally happened. I couldn't keep all the balls in the air, the secrets in check, my happiness surrounds broke down completely and I just couldn't take it anymore.

Funny how once the dam breaks, there are no means to keep all the icky goo from covering everything.

My husband, daughter and grands all are okay. I don't think they will ever really trust that it won't happen again, and I can't blame them. But they all understood the reasons why. They love me, broken or whole.

I burdened some FB friends with the statement that I had just had it and couldn't go on. That wasn't fair to them to put that pressure on them. Some of them called the police here because they felt my cry for help and with no great effort I was taken into custody (in front of a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop) with Cherries Jubilee on my breath. I stayed in a mental health lock down for several hours until the medicos were satisfied that I had just blown a circuit not the whole brain and needed to talk to someone about my icky goo.

So for the past week, I have endeavored to learn how to live down the humiliation I caused myself, apologize for my behavior and try to find a therapist that will take my insurance. I haven't talked much because....there isn't much to say. I haven't done much because...nothing sounds interesting. But I did something good for me.

Momma Joy is the one in the front. Baby Bliss is behind.

They always are together.
I went to Animal Humane, and adopted a Momma cat I named Joy and her one remaining kitten, who I named Bliss. They need me. They need my loving attention and soft voice and easy approach to get them to be comfortable in their new surroundings. The other animals in the house need my reassurance that they are still important and loved by me. I'm standing in a circle that I can handle right now.


Princess Chubs

Uma (queen of the castle)

Most of you will forgive my humanity and flaws, some of you will think how stupid it is for me to post about this and yes there are those of you who have been waiting for this icky goo to finally do me in, but you lose, this has only made me sharper and more aware that your kind lose everytime. Thanks for being my lovelies.

So, friends, I am only 1 cat short of a crazy lady six pack.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Planning what to do next.............................

Nope this will not be the giveaway post because I've had no time to invent, construct, or create anything to give away. I've been otherwise engaged in planning how to deal with yet another Ernie and Bert cooperation endeavor.

If you are not familiar with Sesame Street and the cuties of Ernie and Bert. This is how we settle problems at our house......for reals.
Here's the clip:

When my parents had this house built back in the early 60's, my Dad, true to his nature to be the cheapest man on the face of the planet, cut corners on all items. The worst example is the back porch cover. Instead of having the builder do the porch......he had someone who didn't have the foggiest idea in hell just slap that mess onto the back of the house. It has always leaked. It has always had electrical problems and with the recent blizzard and cold temps it has begun to buckle and bow. I guess I am just as guilty putting off the inevitable for so many years.

So we have to finish the garage redo (in colder than hell temps) in order to save the backporch furniure. The old spanish style patio couch, the 104 year old porch swing, my red and dotty collection of mess and the new planting table. So that all these items don't have to stand out in the weather as we deconstruct the leaking, leaning and gross mess hanging over our heads. I've had nightmares about letting the dogs out to go potty and all of us going squish.

So the garage move around, the backporch move around, the deconstruct, the hauling off of the deconstruct, the measuring and figuring out how much wood, metal roofing and paint we will need, and while we have the whole patio cleaned off we can treat the concrete so we can stain it too and the safety of everyone as we put the dogs out the side of the house and walk halfway around the house to have them go potty are all major issues at this point in time.

We are gonna be having so much fun. At least our fish are still in their fish tank and Sweet Man still has his cowboy hat to use when he plays cowboy. Hehehehehehehehe. Can you tell I'm Ernie and the rest of the family are all Berts????

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

La Befana and all the other things going on.............

The grands are back in school. I'm always a little sad and a little relieved on days like this. This holiday break was like most winter breaks only this time we had snow that stayed and stayed. And the temps have been colder than usual. So, we spent most of our days sleeping late and staying warm. Not bad work if you can get it.

Our New Year's ritual afforded us the opportunity to open up a dialog to clear the air in our intra family communications. Always a great way to start the new year. And this time we must have all been holding our mouths just right because there was no irk, ire or much irritation that came up from our 5 way conversation. I kinda feel sorry for the fellas most years because they just sit through the event and say very little but both of them had "things" to discuss and it made for a great talk.

I must say that I am still surprised at how unlike me, emotionally, my family is and in the same breath how "Pete and Repeat" they are as well. As I have said in the past, we don't hide the crazy in our family. We offer it a drink, take it on the front porch and let the world see us, as is. I think that's healthy, but then look who's putting the stamp of approval on sane. Bwahahahaha.

Shelley was awarded her company's Got Getter award at their holiday party. She was so proud and pleased as were we. She also got a substantial raise in pay (that is always nice as well). This must be the year of The Scales though because the very next day, she saw her old employer and he bitched her out about what a traitor she is and how she tried to undermine him and ................ When she was telling me I had no words. That was 8 months ago dude, shut up. But I believe it has allowed her to shut the door and lock that sucker on the past employment foreva.

GK and her friends have had a great time talking until forever in the a.m. during break and I'm sure it was hard for her to get up today at o'dark thirty to get ready for school. She learned some valuable people lessons during the break though. I wouldn't be a teenager today for any amount of money. So hard, so ruthless, so ugly. But on the other side of those scales is the truth that good friends don't come along every day and treasuring the ones you have is a job worth working at.

GK also had a house sitting job which brought her some spending money. Just before Halloween we found a precious tortoiseshell kitten in our front yard. GK instantly fell in love (as she does) with this beastie. She found where the kitten lived and took Andy home. Well Andy likes the attention she gets from all of us so much that about twice a day she comes to visit. GK took care of Andy's Dad's house and Andy for two weeks. Good experience for her to be resonsible for someone else's things. She reminded me of a guard dog on alert.

Ry is such a love. His people and communication skills are astounding in rapid growth right now. I used to say to Shelley, I just wish he could be a "real boy". You know, with friends and feelings and attitude. Be careful what you wish for Oma. He is for sure a "real 6th grade boy", stinky, snarky, charming and engaging. He has a friend with whom he spends the night and they are 1000% deserving of each other's company. They remind me very much of Shelton and Leonard on Big Bang Theory. Ry made good use of his break and conquered many worlds in which he dissolves into in gaming. He also shared some of those games with GK. I left them to the bickering and jibbing but did enjoy the time they spent together from afar.

My Sweet Man is miserable in his new job. That's all I can say. Somehow he will find his way to a new one or conform to doing nothing. He's not good at that. This job is a lot of  sitting and doing nothing.

And now to the woman whose word for this year is Live. Sorta like asking for patience and then getting a healthy dose of situations where one is required to be patient. I have fallen twice since Christmas. I suppose my colors for 2016 are the retro black, blue and purple of years gone by. My knees are a mess and my left side is not working properly but I'm living the dream ya'll in that I'm living without broken bones, just bruising. So if I extrapolate the current theory that the year of The Scales will balance years end maybe I'll be more sure footed. Fingers cross. It's probably because I haven't been getting to the gym and my musculature is not flexible. Did that convince you?

Now to La Befana. If you don't know in Italy she is the gift giver at this time of year more so than Santa Claus. Her story (many, many versions) goes Befana put up the Wise Men at her place while they were looking for the Christ Child. When they left she put all of her recently deceased infant son's belongings into a sack and followed the star and also came upon the Christ Child in a lowly manger. She gave the child her son's things and has continued to gift children on the evening of Epiphany since then. She gives fruit and candy. She knows all children are both good and bad and so leaves "carbone" a black candy that looks like coal as well as the wonderful good sweets and fruit.

The grands read about her and found the young mother's aging into the old crone because of grief image of Befana intriguing. We have incorporated her into our winter celebrations. So tonight they will don their crone masks and leave fruit and candy for chosen neighbor children front porches. It's kinda a play on a "pay it forward" but it sure is fun to see them all bundled up and taking a basket of goodies to other kids and them getting such a kick out of it.

BTW this is my 1000th post on this blog. Perhaps a witchy give away for my 1001 post is in order. Hmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The quiet time of the year...............

I know the older I get the more the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve takes on a remembering kind of flavor. Most of the time stirring up some "best forgotten" times. I tend to lean towards melancholia more rapidly at this time of year.

This year I've pondered what my word of the year might be. The other night we did tarot and tea. Shelley, GK and I all had spotty results (pun intended) with the Santa tea pot and cup set, but the tarot could not have been more spot on for the three of us. GK's focused on friendship and love. Shelley's on goals and looking at things more insightfully, mine leaving the past to tend to itself and the present to unfold and the future to treasure.

Then we drew one card and mine was the devil. I was so thrilled I whooped and hollared. Scared the beejesus out of the cat's and SM came in to see what was going on. For far too long, I have tried to live a controlled life so that I kept all the oars in the water in sync, as they say. But the wild, willful, wacky and wonderful me has been repressed for far too long.

After the health scare of the last year, the depression of the last few years and the horrible holding of grudges against my family members for allowing things to happen to me as a child for most of the last decade, I needed to do a good space clearing of my mind. When I turned over the devil, I knew that the next chapter of my life had begun and I am looking forward with a new set of hopes and dreams.

And this last week watching all the quiet snow fall gave me pause to contemplate the word that would sum up my new found attitude. It was so very simple when it came right down to choosing.......LIVE. I choose to live life, not let one more moment be wasted in negative thoughts, self doubt, or anything that will rob me of one more second, letting life run me instead of me living life.

I hope that whatever epiphanies come your way knock your socks off. I hope any resolutions you make are the kind that can be achieved and I hope you spend the next part of your the fullest.
Much love,
      Happy New Year,
           Smooches and Squoozes,

                   Oma Linda

Friday, December 25, 2015

Finally, it's over already.....................

lookie, Mommy's the shortest.
It's not that I don't love the presents, the special food, the time spent with family & friends, it just that I am like my grands.........I have so little patience when it comes to some impending event that it is always a relief when the stress is gone. I used to view it as "let down" but not anymore. I'm just a happy camper that that bit is done and we can move on.

looks like an eye sharing down at us all
Christmas eve at the Cuckoos was a fun affair. We had red and green chili, pinto beans and green chili chicken and red chili beef tamales, with homemade biscochitos for supper. Then we hit the road to see the farolitos and lumiarias (trying to stay PC with my New Mexico homies by not calling them one or the other but both). We opted out of the usual Country Club and Old Town tours and cut out like the rebels we are in search of new and different.

obviously a UNM Lobo fan

There is a great little enclave of adobe houses off of Old Coors Blvd, deep in the South Valley and the neighborhood association opted out of the famous City Bus tours. So that's where we went. It is so magickal and quiet. Peaceful and gives you a sense of awe. No Christmas lights, just candles in sand inside brown paper bags. With the charm of the full moon, it was an awesome show of beauty.

Then not too far from home is a neighborhood that has had tons of lights ever since I was a kid, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. This is the best lighted house of the bunch.

live Santa on the rooftop on the right throwing candy canes to the kids
Here is Casa de Cuckoo, simple not too overstated, I think.

The gnomes who greet our visitors
The grands were not up too early and we had a very subdued present opening, with not a budget breaking array of I love you presents. GK now knows she is a grown up because she got underwear for Christmas, but is was Victoria Secret. Ry got more DS games and Papa got a cool T shirt and a Kindle Fire. I was gifted with Wizard of Oz thingies and Shelley got jewelry and a pretty mirrored jewelry box. No national debt holidays for the Cuckoos but so much more than we even needed.

This has been a holiday of new recipes and new ways to celebrate. Last night was my Hispanic heritage foods, this morning it was my southern roots. We had biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. Tonight Christmas dinner will be a standing crown roast, twice backed potato casserole, broccoli pea casserole and southern Jam Cake. That's for the Irish, Scottish and English parts of my heritage. RyLeigh said he was glad that it was "free range" lunch, where everyone would feed themselves, because he could make it All American by eating hot dogs. Gotta give it to him, he does have a point.

Merry Christmas my friends, hope the holiday season only brings good things and happiness.

xoxo Oma Linda