This morning, our granddaughter posted on Facebook the picture and the following conversation. We are living in dark times. Scary times. Confusing times. If only we could all see the world through Lucas’s eyes . . .
Lucas: mama, l love you SO MUCH! Lucas: mama, come see me. I wanna give hugs. Lucas: mama give me kiss Lucas: mama, l so happy Lucas: I SO EXCITED Lucas: literally loving life and everything in it! Everyone needs a Lucas in their life!
This is an earwig. I was attacked (pinched) by one a few years ago. It was horrible. Like a zillion bee stings. The pain lasted all day.
I never knew such a bug existed so I didn’t know what it was until I looked it up.
It’s harmless, they said. It doesn’t even bite, they said. They pinch, that’s all.
The next day my arm was swollen but that’s a usual reaction for me after an insect bite, so I wasn’t concerned.
Day three my entire arm was red and swollen. And by day four, it was red hot with streaks running up and down and it looked more like a tree trunk than an arm. That’s when I realized the internet lied to me and went to the doctor.
He was quite alarmed when he saw it and thought I should go to the hospital. I had a bacterial infection. But, I had to go to work. So he prescribed a strong does of Amoxicillin and said if that didn’t work I’d have to go to the hospital. Thankfully, my arm got back to normal within a few days.
So, in spite of how harmless these guys are supposed to be, I murdered one on my back porch this morning. With the big rubber chainsaw blade my youngest grandson outgrew, I whacked and whacked the poor little guy till there was nothing left of him.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really getting sick and tired of being stuck inside. I miss being with my family and friends. I miss eating out and shopping. I miss seeing real-live people in real-live places. Netflix can only do so much to keep me entertained. It’s a good thing I love to create!
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This is my first attempt at digital drawing. I don’t draw using a pencil and paper let alone using a mouse and a computer screen. I create most of my designs using picture tubes or photos. Sometimes, I create them using shapes and the warp tool in PaintShop Pro. That’s a lot of fun. But, today, I actually drew a face using the pallet knife tool. Several times I thought of trashing it. But, I kept working with it till I was finally satisfied.
I had the most trouble with the eyes. I’m still not 100% happy with them, but they’re better than they were before I changed them a million times.
I used to draw as a kid, but I never thought I was good at it, so I took up other interests, like playing the accordion, organ, and piano. And I enjoyed singing, too. So, what drawing skills I may have had are full of spiders and cobwebs, now.
Talon, my great-grandson is six going on twenty. He is smart and quirky and extremely perceptive for his age. When he looks at you it’s as if he can see into your soul. I love this little boy. He is truly a gift!
With my granddaughter’s permission, I’ve posted Talon’s written school assignment. It is just too darned cute not to share.
Lucas, our great-grandson, had a rough start in this world, from being born with an enlarged head, a hole in his heart, and respiratory and swallowing problems. Later he developed muscular weakness, preventing him from walking. Just weeks following his birth came a battery of tests ruling out fluid on the brain, autism, and downs syndrome. He’s had physical therapists, speech therapists, and chewing and swallowing therapists. And through it all, he has never lost his beautiful, contagious smile. Lucas will be three next month. He is walking and talking and knows how to spell his name. He may be delayed in some things, but smiling isn’t one of them. He is truly a ray of sunshine wherever he goes and teaches us many, many things about life. We love you, Lucas!
I’d rather have eaten a can of worms than have my hair washed. And my parents would have gladly fed them to me rather than wrestled with me to wash it.
We didn’t have modern conveniences like indoor plumbing, walk-in showers, and bathtubs. We had electricity, though, thanks to one of my dad’s many skills.
And speaking of daddy, he rarely ever raised his voice, never lost his cool and never liked whipping us kids. Mom did, though. She liked law and order and didn’t hesitate to exercise her militant authority when needed. You’d have thought she was the one that served in the army instead of my dad.
But to keep peace with mom, during Saturday’s hair-washing night, daddy reluctantly sat beside the galvanized tub with a long, skinny switch; the kind that wrapped around your legs several times like a leather strap. Mom picked it out.
Like a stern-faced Sargeant, mom sat me down on the stool and leaned my head back, allowing my long red hair to cascade into the metal tub. Then the waterboarding began.
As if being electrocuted, I kicked and screamed and wriggled my slippery, half-naked body free from daddy’s firm grip and flew out the door, across the porch, down the steps, and down the dirt lane. If we had had any neighbors, they would have been standing on their porches with shotguns thinking a mass murderer was on the loose.
We lived in the heart of the woods where the only light we had was the moon and the stars. For a little six-year-old with a big imagination and afraid of the dark, that was just a tiny spark in a cave. Every tree was a leaping bear; every sound a prowling monster looking for children to eat.
Suddenly, I came to my senses and decided I’d rather be drowned than eaten alive and shot like a bullet back into the house.
And there they were, mom standing triumphantly with the pitcher of water in her hand and daddy sitting, seemingly amused, still holding the switch.
There were other Saturday night hair washings. But, remembering the monsters lurking outside in the pitch dark, I stayed glued to the stool. That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry and kick and scream and make it easy for my mother to torture me. Oh, no! She always had to pay for her evil crimes!
I’ll never forget that day.My brother, Kenny, and I were left alone while mom and daddy went to the grocery store. Because my youngest brother, Leonard, was too young to stay with us, he always got to go and Kenny and I always had to stay home.
Kenny, who was eight at the time, is four-teen months younger than I and a hundred years wiser. He never sassed, never questioned, and never ran out the door kicking and screaming like a lunatic. He was made of moonbeams and stardust and placed delicately in my mother’s arms.
Me, I was made of cowhide and hurled like a football in her lap.
Long before video games and iPhones and five-hundred TV channels, we actually had to sit and talk to each other or play pick-up sticks or ball and jacks or tinker toys or build little log cabins out of Lincoln Logs.
Well, that day we got bored with all that. We needed some adventure. The kind of adventure we had before moving into that stupid cramped, cinder block apartment, far away from the woods and trickling streams and giant bullfrogs. The bottom line was we didn’t like living there.
While pacing the tiny living room floor,I glanced out the window and saw the landlord working in her flowerbed. For whatever reason, mom, and daddy didn’t like the landlords, so I didn’t like them either.
Suddenly, as if being poked with the devil’s pitchfork,I coaxed Kenny into doing something totally out of character for both of us. We raised the window, stuck out our pea-brain heads and yelled, “Hey, old lady Brummel! Hey, old lady Brummel!”
We lived quite a distance away, so I didn’t think she even heard us until she threw down her garden tools and stormed toward the apartment huffing and puffing and smoke pouring out of her ears.
Oh, no! She’s coming to chop off our arms and legs!
Like a cat with its tail on fire, Kenny ran downstairs and locked the door just in the nick of time before she started pounding on it and screaming like the big bad wolf, “Let me in! Let me in! I’m telling your parents when they get home!”
True to her word and to my horror, as soon as the car pulled into the driveway, the phone started ringing.
My mother was the warden at our house.A strict, religious warden that didn’t put up with nonsense and expected her brood to follow the rules or else. And that day “or else” meant that we march our little impudent behinds over to the landlord and apologize!
I’d rather have shoveled a pile of manure in the freezing cold stark naked.
Yes, she made me go, but I made her pay!
Like a bloody battle between the North and the South, I bawled and kicked and screamed as mom nearly yanked my arm out of the socket, pulling and dragging me across the field. By the time we got to the landlord’s house, mom needed a long nap and I needed a straight jacket.
I thought that if I danced around bawling and screaming long and hard enough, mom would give up and take me home. But, oh no! If it meant waiting for the rapture to take place, I was going to straighten up and apologize before I could even think about going home.
Like swallowing a ton of bricks, I finally choked up the words everyone was waiting to hear and never talked my brother into doing anything that stupid again.
I love trees. And when we moved here, there were none except for a mighty few. So we planted trees. Lots of trees. Everywhere.
Thirty years ago they were just little twigs. Today, they are monsters . . . especially the one planted right beside the house. A Bradford. With giant limbs stretching across our roof and the neighbor’s house and driveway. It’s a nuisance to us and to them. It’s got to come down. In the meantime, Buck is going to cut off as many limbs as he can. But it’s going to take a skilled professional to take it all the way down.
We didn’t plant trees to cut them down. But we were young and dumb and thought all trees were created equal. They’re not. Some trees are better left in the forest, like the Bradford. It may or may not grow in the forest but if it does, that’s where it should stay.
So, my advice to anyone wanting to plant trees, do your research and find out what to plant and what not to plant. and trust me, a Bradford is one tree you do not want to plant!
So, my plan was to help Buck pick up all the limbs in the yard . . . lots and lots of limbs. Big limbs. Little limbs. Way too many limbs for a young person, let alone a shriveled up bag of bones. After thirty minutes of bending and stooping and sweat burning my eyes, I quit!
Not my thing anymore!
Will never be my thing again!
I feel like crying.
NO! I feel like cutting down every blasted tree, pulling up every blade of grass and pouring cement!
Then I’ll cry.
A deep, overflowing river.
Long gone are the days of working in the yard from sun up till sundown, jogging twenty miles a week, cleaning the house from top to bottom, and working five days a week. Never again will I run up a flight of stairs, bend over and touch my toes, and press a hundred pounds.
Wait. When did I ever press a hundred pounds?
I’ve never been weak and helpless. I’ve always been able to pull my weight and somebody else’s too. Even as a kid I was strong as an ox. Stubborn as a mule, too. But we won’t go there.
I think you get my drift, especially if you’re where I am at the moment . . . old and tired and frustrated and discouraged and weak and puny and . . .
Stop! The list is getting too long!
When did it happen? When did old age wrap its bony fingers around my neck and choke the life out of me? When did it break my back? When did it chop off my arms and legs?
When I started jogging at thirty-six, I assured myself and everyone that I’d keep on jogging even in my seventies. I stopped at fifty-eight.
One of my many regrets.
I did take it back up when I was seventy-one. But it was never the same and after my back injury, I had to stop. Even walking makes my back scream. But, occasionally I tell it to shut up and I do it anyway.
So, here I am. Wishing I could do the things I did five years ago and reality laughing like a crazed hyena in my face.
So, back to picking up limbs. Buck finished my job and is mowing, now. He likes to mow. And I’m happy he likes to mow. No. I’m ecstatic he likes to mow. Now, if he just liked doing laundry. And cleaning the house. And taking out the trash . . .
Using Paint Shop Pro 2019, I turn ordinary photos into works of art. I also create picture tubes, bookmarks, Facebook Covers, cards, tags, and more. I don't sell my art, therefore, all my creations are free for your own personal use.