Welcome to Dee's Pad

My life as a writer, and as a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

chaos at our house

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Christmas 2011

I love the holidays. Seeing the Christmas lights at night makes everything seem so pretty. Until they come down and everything looks bleaker than it did before.

Then comes all the cookies and fudge and all the other goodies we eat at Christmas. I think it was Santa’s idea. He just wants us all to be fat like him. Blah! I gained six pounds munching out.

The children are fun at this time of the year. You tell them Santa is watching them and it shuts them up—temporarily. But then you watch them opening their gifts, one after another after another, and they don’t seem a bit grateful. They throw it aside with that look of “I guess this is okay,” and move on.

Except for five-year-old Autumn. She’d open a gift and say, “I always wanted a watch. Or, “This book is great.” She actually read one whole book immediately upon opening her presents at our house. Yes, I did say she READ the entire book. She knew all the words and numbers and was happy she got several books.
This year we had to be happy seeing Autumn on Christmas Eve. It’s that new thing were parents split and one year one parent has the child on Christmas Eve and the next Christmas Day. Her Aunt Emma was not happy that she didn’t get to see her niece who is six months older than she is on Christmas Day.

Three-year-old Noah was happy as could be with the various trucks he got, while younger brother Sterling played with his toys as well as his brother’s. 

One of our 13-year-old grandsons was happy with his new toy—an IPod! Who wouldn’t like one of those? And the other 13-year-old grandson wasn’t so happy when he got his DSS or whatever that game thing is taken away from him. Why? Because he didn’t wait until Christmas to get into it, just took it and tried to hide it. Santa takes things away when you don’t play by the rules. Guess he has a lesson to learn.
Our 12-year-old grandson is almost always happy. He, like the other two boys, got gift cards so they could shop for themselves.

The older girls are easy to shop for—they like Bath and Body stuff.

Our family has grown immensely over the years. The house was filled with lots of food, lots of laughs, and presents. I am happy to know Christmas is a year away. That gives me plenty of time to shop—again!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Home Sweet Home chapter 2

Several of you said you'd like to read chapter 2 of Home Sweet Home, so I'm posting it. Please le me know what you think. I'm hoping someone will be interested enough to publish it.

Chapter 2
Myrtle Sue

Two hours later, Zeus barked and I knew Michelle had arrived. But I wasn’t expecting Justin to be with her. Right now I didn’t like him too much, either. After all, Matt just up and left Michelle and now Justin was moving out.
I opened the door and they came inside looking like two walking zombies with their pale faces and red-rimmed eyes. Maybe these were the dead people my mother-in-law dreamed about.
“Soooo, what’s up?” I asked.
Sammy sniffed Zeus, then went to the kitchen table and hiked his leg.
My daughter stood two-inches taller than me. She had natural blond hair that fell below her shoulder blades. Her green eyes and long lashes made me envy her looks. I was never that pretty when I was young. And her figure—she watched what she ate, unlike her mother.
She promptly cleaned up after the dog.
“I’m so sorry about what’s happened, Mrs. Henderson.” I stared at the tall, thin young man, who looked ready to cry—again. He had beautiful blue eyes with long lashes. His thick brown hair fell over his eyes, making me want to brush it back like I had my son when he was little. He wore jeans and a polo shirt—always the fashion plate—always clean—giving him the look of a model.
“Yeah, well, we’re used to Sonny hiking his leg on everything.” I glared at the Yorkie.
“Oh. That’s not what I meant.”
“You mean about you moving out on Michelle, too?” Michelle had so many disappointments when it came to love. I felt angry with myself for not being a better mother in helping her deal with her insecurities. Often, I brushed them off as part of growing up.
Guilt swept over Justin’s face. “I know this isn’t a good time for me to move out. But, can I explain?”
“Of course.” I guided the two to the kitchen table and poured coffee for them, then sat down to listen.
           “I always suspected that I might be gay,” he said.
I choked on my coffee and it oozed out of my nose. Michelle handed me a napkin. “Sorry. Go on.”
          “So I thought for sure moving in and being Michelle’s roommate would make me realize that I was straight. I love Michelle and think of her as one of my best friends. I know she needs a roommate to help pay her mortgage, but then I met Lawrence and he’s so like the most perfect person in the world and then I just had to tell Michelle about it because I couldn’t be unfair to her because I actually do love her and…”
I raised my hand. I was out of breath just listening to him rattle. I wanted to yell, TMI—too much information! Instead, I decided to play the mother role—against my better judgment. I got up and brought the muffins and two cups of coffee to the table. Then I poured more coffee for me, too. I had a feeling I would need it—with perhaps a shot of something stronger in it. I always thought Justin was a bit feminine, but forgive me for my ignorance, I didn’t think he was gay.
“Thank you, Mrs. Henderson.” Justin gave me one of his deer in the headlight looks.
Michelle reached over and squeezed his hand. “Mom, this has been hard on Justin. He needs a mother to talk to and since he can’t confide in his, I told him you’d be happy to listen to him.”
Once more, I nearly choked on my coffee. Where was that bottle of bourbon Sam had hidden?
Michelle had always been kind and caring. Her eyes filled with sympathy for her friend.
“Now, let’s talk,” I said. “First off, Justin, I’m confused. Why do you both look like zombies? I mean, I know Michelle and Matt just broke up, but why do you look as if you’ve been crying, too?”
“Because, well, because, you see, my mother is going to be so pissed at me. I don’t know how to break the news to her. You know my mom’s a religious fanatic and she pulled me out of school when she heard I was hanging out with the gay crowd. Then she home schooled me. But then when she found out I was still hanging out with them at the Mall, she had me locked up.”
“She did what? But why?”
“Because she said I was sick in the head.” He took a bite of the muffin before going on. “Mother had a fit when they said they weren’t going to keep me and treat me for a mental illness. So then, to please her, I stopped hanging out with guys and started to date women.”
“And then his mom said he was cured,” Michelle said. “And Justin thought he was, too.” She hugged him and I thought he was going to cry again. Then he straightened up in the chair and had a guilty look on his face.
“I knew I was still gay, but when I moved into Michelle’s house, I let my mom think Michelle was my girlfriend.”
“Didn’t she think it was strange that Michelle had another boyfriend?” Sometimes I simply blurted out things that I didn’t mean to say. “I mean, Matt was at the house a lot.”
“I just told her he was a good friend of mine and Michelle’s,” he said.
“Oh, Justin, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I’m sure your mom will come to terms with this.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Henderson.” He picked up his coffee cup and held it away from his boyish face. “You don’t hate me, do you?”
“Of course not, Dear.”
“Thank you. I appreciate that.”
“Not to change the subject, but will you still come sit with Nana until I can get her into a home?”
“Of course I will! I love that woman.” He smiled for the first time since he arrived. At least I could say one thing for Hazel, she really did like Justin and never found fault with him.
Michelle’s eyes widened and she grinned at me.I thanked God that Justin was blind to Hazel’s faults.
“Thank you, Justin. You have no idea how glad I am to hear that.” And I really meant it.
 “Who’s here?” Hazel got out of her chair in front of the TV and came into the kitchen. “Oh my goodness! It’s my son Harold! How are you, Honey?” She walked to Justin and kissed his cheek. “And why don’t you ever visit your mommy, you bad boy?”
“Hazel, Harold’s been dead for twenty years,” I said. “This is Justin, Michelle’s friend from the hospital. Remember? He’s a nurse, too, and he sits with you while I work.” And I should’ve added that whatever we had to pay him was worth every penny. He really was good with her.
“Oh, yes, Justin, dear.” She turned to me. “I don’t know why you can’t be kind like Justin, Myrtle Sue. You’ve always been so mean to me.”
Michelle rolled her eyes. “Hi, Nana. How are you?”
“I’m fine.” She took a seat at the table and grabbed a muffin. “Who are you? Are you Violet’s daughter?”
“Nana! I’m Michelle, your granddaughter. Myrtle Sue and Sam’s daughter.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s right.” She laughed and pointed to her head. “You know how it is when you get old. Your mother will be just like me when she gets old.”
“God forbid,” I mumbled.
“I hope you made some roast beef for Father when he gets here,” Hazel said.
“Yes, of course, and I made garlic rolls, too,” I lied. Then I whispered, “Michelle, want some garlic to tie around your neck?”
“Good. And remember, he likes carrots and noodles with his roast beef,” Hazel said.
Justin stood up and smiled. “Well, I’ve got to go now. I’ll see you on Monday, Nana.”
“Okay, Honey.” She reached into her pocket and said, “Here’s a dollar. Get yourself something to eat. You’re rather skinny, you know.”
“Thanks,” he said, kissing her cheek.
I walked him to the door and he handed me back the money. “I’ve tried giving her the money back, but she gets mad at me. You take it.”
“No, that’s okay, Justin. Good luck with your new friend,” I said.
Justin couldn’t have been gone more than five minutes when Sammy Jr. came into the house. “What’s to eat, Ma?”
“Muffins,” I said. Sammy wasn’t pretty like Justin. Instead, he had a rugged look—more like a cowboy. He, too, had those fabulous blue eyes, but not the long lashes. His nose showed signs of his youthful fist fights, and his dimples added to his charm. I can’t tell you how many girls called the house for him when he was a teen. And yet at the age of 23, he still hadn’t found a special woman to love.
“Don’t you have any real food?”
“I’ll have real food once you start paying me back the $4,000 you owe me for the down payment on your truck,” I said.
He pulled out a ten-dollar bill and handed it to me. “How about I pay you ten dollars a week for now.”
“That’s a start. I’ll take it.” I knew by the look in his eyes that he’d expected me to say no, just wait until you can afford to pay it back. That’s what his father would’ve said. I’m not his father, and it’s time he grew up.
It was after four when Michelle and Sammy decided to go home and not stay for dinner. After listening to Michelle and Sammy bicker, I was happy to see them both decide to go home. Hazel sat glued to the TV while I made out bills.
When I finished, I found Hazel snoring loudly. I woke her and fed her dinner. Two hours later, I put her to bed.
Peace and quiet at last. I plopped into my chair in front of the TV.
“Where’s my pills?” Hazel’s piercing voice made me nearly jump out of my chair.
“I already gave them to you.”
“No, you didn’t give them to me! Steve gives me my pills, not you, you idiot!”
 “Steve’s dead. Steve used to give you pills.” I tried to remain calm.
“Well, I didn’t kill him. Bessie said I probably did, but I didn’t. And Mary thinks he’s in love with her. Imagine that! He’s twenty years younger than she is. If he’d be in love with anyone, it would be me.”
“Goodnight, Hazel.” She continued yelling and telling me how stupid I was.
I went into the kitchen to finish cleaning the pan I left soaking, hoping to block out Hazel’s voice. I swore I saw Sam smiling at me in the pan I picked up.
“I hate you Sam! You left me with your mother on purpose.” I threw the pan across the floor and then stopped.
“Oh, my God! I’m cracking up.” I picked up the pan, finished cleaning it, and put it into the cupboard. “Take a deep breath, Myrtle Sue. Tomorrow will be better.”

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! My how the days fly by fast.

Hurricane Emma turned 4 years old on December 18. Sophie, her niece, was born on December 20. How's that to mess up Christmas? Both girls will be getting all their stuff at one time and then nothing the rest of the year!

Anyhow, Sophie is fine. She was breach and Ashley had to have emergency C-section.
I got Emma a cute dress for her birthday, long sleeves, little necklace attached. On Christmas Day she wanted to wear it. Autumn had her cute dress and cowboy boots on and was proud of her cute little self and didn't want to get dirty. The kids went outside and were jumping off the deck into the sand. Larry has slowly been disassembling the deck since we sold the pool to our neighbor. But his shoulder is giving fits and it isn't done yet.

That's when I realized I should've bought Emma bib overalls and a flannel shirt. Emma jumped off the deck and rolled around in the sand. Her cute little necklace was ripped off her dress--she said her older brother did it, but who knows.

Autumn is out on the deck talking about her pretty dress and her new boots and how she didn't want to get dirty. Both girls are 4 years old. So she steps on a board at the end of the deck and like an old movie, the board comes up and hits her and knocks her into the sand. She cried, so worried about ruining her dress. And then she said, "It's all Emma's fault! She cut off those screws and made me fall."

Including the kids we had 25 here. That week I cooked and baked and cleaned and baked and was happy when things were back to normal--or as normal as anything in our household can be.

Noah is two years old now. We have an old metal yellow school bus that I bought 11 years ago for Carson to play with. Noah loves that beat up old toy. The week after Christmas and even on Christmas Day with all the trucks he got he still wanted the bus. He lost it and we looked everywhere for it. Where he found it we don't know! Somewhere where he hid it, I guess!

Sterling is army crawling and except when he has a tummy ache, he's a good baby. 

The boys are all hooked on those game things. Give them money and that and they are happy.

The older girls and grown girls in the family got stuff from Bath and Body so they should all smell really good!

Shelby and her boyfriend, Josh, spent the afternoon here. They stuffed the teddy bears Autumn and Emma got from someone. The kids all had a good time. The adults all ate and ate and took a lot of the fattening desserts home for which I was glad.

Now it's back to work and back to writing. Home Sweet Home is finished with the exception of getting the recipes in the right spots of the family gatherings. I'll post another chapter of HSH next week. Please let me know what you think of the story-well unless you really hate it!