Saturday, February 25, 2017

Just a Dream?

     Dreams disturb me – especially since, lately, mine have become increasingly tumultuous. In them, I always seem to be frantically searching for something I never find. I occasionally get so agitated that Mr. H. has to shake me awake to stop the screams.

In last night’s vision, I was homeless. And to make matters worse, none of my friends or family would take me in. Just as Scarlett O’Hara often said, “I’ll go home to Tara,” I kept saying, “I’ll go back to my home by the river,” which I finally did. But, alas! my mother was cool, giving the distinct impression that she didn’t want me to stay and even my dad, totally out of character, didn’t seem overjoyed at the thought of my moving in with them.

I was devastated! Lost, homeless, and unwanted. What to do? I turned to leave with tears running down my face and was rudely awakened.

Mr. H. was kicking me. Hard! With both feet! It seemed he was trying to kick me out of bed. I hit him on the shoulder and screamed, “What are you doing?”

“Huh,” he mumbled – then turned over and immediately started snoring.

The next day, at some point, he said, “Do you remember screaming at me last night?”

“I sure do,” I said. “You were kicking me – hard!”

Chuckling, he told me why. “I was dreaming,” he said. “A dog was biting my legs and I was trying to kick it away.”

We had a good laugh and settled that mystery, but I’d still like to know why, in my dream, I was homeless and nobody would take me in.

If I were paranoid, I might think the two dreams were linked and, since nobody else cared about me, Mr. H. was making it unanimous by kicking me out!

Nah!  “It was just a dream."

Wasn't it?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Another Broken Shoe Heel

It was very cold today. 17 degrees, I think.
When Mr. H. and I went out to run some errands, I dressed warmly. Jeans, flannel shirt, heavy jacket, knee socks and a pair of red boots lined with fur that I haven’t worn for several years. They're not stylish, but warm was all that mattered. I really love these boots, but we don’t have that much cold weather so I don’t wear them often.
Nevertheless, I extracted them from the closet today, yanked them on, zipped them up and enjoyed warm, toasty feet and legs all day.
With heavy socks on, the boots fit very tight, and when we got home, I sat down on a step and asked Mr. H. in my most persuasive voice, “Would you mind pulling my boots off? They’re hard to get off and you’re so much stronger than I am.”
And so... Mr. H. pulled and tugged for a few seconds and off came the first boot. Then he grabbed the other one, tugged and pulled and it resisted, but finally came – in two pieces! The heel broke off in his hand. It didn’t just break loose from the boot – it actually broke into two pieces.
“Oh, darn!” I said. “I’ll bet I haven’t worn these boots more than three times and I love them!” Mr. H. doesn’t think it can be fixed so I’m out a perfectly good pair of boots except for a missing heel. Why do we never break or stain something we don’t care about? It’s always something we love.
Life is like that.
Later this evening, I started thinking about the fact that I seem to have more trouble with shoe heels than most people. Sitting alone in my family room, I laughed aloud remembering the time I wrote a newspaper column about getting my heel stuck in an elevator track and the note my friend, Carol, wrote me when she read the column.
If you’d like to read her note and the column, they're here.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Alien Ornament - 2016

Here it is! This year’s alien ornament! The picture doesn't do her justice. This little angel is beautiful - white, gold and glittery! I love it!
Number ten! 
If you haven’t been keeping up with my alien ornament collection, here’s the skinny: each year for the past ten years, when Mr. H. and I take our Christmas tree down – on or about January 3rd, we find an ornament that we didn’t put on the tree when we decorated it – on or about the 10th of December. From the very first one, we’ve never been sure how it got there, although we have our suspicions.
A family member has been playing this little prank on us each year for the past decade and we enjoy being the recipients of these unusual new ornaments as much as they apparently enjoy secretly placing them on our tree – probably while we’re sleeping or otherwise engaged. 
I have written a blog post and shown a picture of each of them. Hope you enjoy the stories and pictures of our alien ornaments. 
You can see last year’s ornament here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year - from Bickford Family and Friends

Found this on the Internet right after New Year's Day. It's flattering, but I wonder how they find all this stuff.  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Don't Cut That Cake!

I made eight dozen chocolate chip cookies this evening. Mr. H. assisted. While we worked, we reminisced about all the past years that cookies and other goodies were made in this kitchen, not only at Christmastime, but year around. These are the times we enjoy. They make us feel warm and grateful and happy.
And they make us smile.
Two of our girls began at a young age hanging around the kitchen watching me cook – asking questions, wanting to stir this or that, chop something or create their own concoction. This was not always a good idea.
The eldest took a cooking class at school and often brought home a recipe that she just had to try on the family. I was lenient, not wanting to quash her zest for the culinary arts. So I’d leave the kitchen and let her make dinner, thus, our family ate some things we weren’t crazy about – with all the good humor we could muster.
However, I’m afraid her older brothers didn’t muster so well. When they learned their sis was trying out a new recipe, they’d whisper and laugh behind their hands – and sometimes blatantly whine, “Oh, no! Do we have to eat that?”
But Christmastime was different. They never once shunned the goodies their two sisters made then. The girls baked dozens and dozens of cookies of all kinds, working every day until the numerous tins we owned were full of delightful treats. One year, the largest tin we had was filled to the brim – and then some – with decorated sugar cookies. Oh, how they loved cutting out the dough with Santa, snowman, christmas tree, wreath, and star cookie cutters, spreading creamy icing on them and then sprinkling each with colored sugars and other decorations. They tried to outdo each other with their designs and I’m pretty sure, when my back was turned, some were consumed, too.
Our son once brought a friend for a visit when the cookie making was in progress and the two of them ate so many warm, decorated sugar cookies, I had to make them stop for fear they’d be sick.
The years passed quickly and, suddenly, our son was married. His wife fit right in. She liked to bake, too. One Saturday, just before Christmas, my young daughter-in-law and I spent the whole day in the kitchen making two Santa cakes – one for my family and another for her to take home. My kitchen was a mind-boggling mess when we finished. Red and green icing somehow managed to stick to everything – table, stove, refrigerator, counter tops, the floor, and yes, our hands and faces had a few speckles, too. Clean-up was a major task, but we did it together, laughing and admiring our creations.
On Christmas Eve, mine was the centerpiece on my table. Everyone oohed and aahed over it, but no one wanted to cut it. “It’s too pretty to cut!” was the agreed-upon rationale. We enjoyed looking at it for several days, but still, even after the holiday was over, nobody wanted to be the first to cut into the beautiful Santa cake.
When the uncut cake finally began to show signs of deterioration – and mold, I was forced to pitched it in the trash can. Even so, making it was an enjoyable experience I’ll never forget!
All of the girls became excellent cooks. I suppose letting them mess up my kitchen and eating a few less than perfect concoctions over the years paid off.
This year, while I make cookies and fudge and other goodies, it’s nice to revisit those years when my young children were just learning how wonderful the holidays can be when you share the love with everyone around you.
And I learned – You can’t have your Santa cake and eat it, too! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It Won't Be Long Now!

When we’re young and our parents are responsible for all the shopping, baking, and decorating, it’s easy to love this time of year, but as we get older, everything becomes more difficult. Some grandparents, finding it too exhausting to get out and shop, start giving money in cute little gift cards instead. The tree that once stood tall enough to touch the ceiling in your grandparents’ living room has, in many cases, become only a treasured memory, and a small table tree is now the reality.

Grandma still finds time to bake cookies though! That’s always one of the nicest treats about Christmas Eve. Kids can usually eat as many cookies as they want without mothers scolding them – unless they’re really going overboard, of course.

As I think back to years past – way back to my childhood – I remember nothing but happy times. I can’t recall even one time that my mother was too tired to fix a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. And I have not one shred of memory of anything but happy times throughout the holiday season! 

Nothing but wonderful memories!

Fast forward to the years when our children were small. We did it all, too: the Thanksgiving dinner, the Christmas shopping, decorating, and baking. And we did it with a smile. I like to think our children have the same happy memories of the holidays that I do.

It’s odd, I think – now that we’re nearing the autumn of our years, we do less and yet, it seems so much more difficult than it used to be. Perhaps it’s supposed to be that way. We had our years of doing for everyone else and now it’s our turn to sit back and enjoy it without having to do all the work.

 I wonder, though... why isn’t it as much fun as it once was?