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Squirrels In The Belfry

You have been reading my recent posts, hit and miss, just like they have been posted and now you think I have totally lost it. You are saying to me right now, ” It’s BATS in the Belfry,  Bats. BATS.  Geeze lady, have you totally flipped now?”

I assure you I have not and it is Squirrels namely, Dougie and Trouble, just as I

DSCN7033 Dougie

Dougie heard me laugh. Looks like he is ready to take off.

promised. The “Belfry” being the rafters in the garage. Actually, Trouble has a home just outside the back window of the garage and usually goes over the rooftops to get to the feeding station out front of the house. I guess I should check on that since the rains set in today. The boys (my grand sons) and I made the feeding tray drainable  to help keep their food dry but it wasn’t meant to be out when we are getting almost two inches in a day. Those sunflower seeds will be growing without the help of Dougie and Trouble planting them.t As for my comment about the squirrels in the rafters, Trouble makes a quick trip overhead any time Steve is working out there and has left the doors open as an invitation to come see what he is doing for any one or any little squirrel passing by. However, with the weather turning colder Steve could have a renter for the winter if he’s not careful. I’m sure Trouble has eyed up the living situation and compared it to his own as he has made those trips through. Now  Dougie has a place out front. Maybe even two or three of them as we haven’t been able to track an exact spot down for him. He’s probably got one place full of his winter stash and sticks mostly to it by now. I used to think that the squirrels hibernate in the winter but they don’t. They just don’t like to go out much so they stash plenty of food and stack themselves into their living quarters like core blocks to stay warm. Just the same, now that I know they aren’t hibernating I will make sure there is food out for the winter this year.  The sunflowers Dougie and Trouble planted aren’t going to hang around for them to collect seeds from them. We have the flowers in almost every planter or everything that might hold a bit of dirt. In the horse trough that wasn’t being used so we planted some watermelons and squash for the kids to grow in it and out in the potato boxes where we got very few potatoes but plenty of the sunflowers and in most of my flower pots on the porch. It was quite a hoot to watch these squirrely fellows going at it. Little Dougie had to have made three hundred trips across that front yard if he made one.

Now back to “Bat’s in the Belfry” which implies just what you think it would mean like you have gone totally mad, off in the head, crazy, nuts, and just lost your mind. Actually, a Belfry is the bell tower usually of a church and yes, bat’s would hang out there, in the darkness, until the bell was rung that is. As far as the usual understanding of the phrase though, no I have not finally gone mad, crazy, etc but many days I feel like I have. I have kept it together for many years and will through this period of loss and grief I’m going through right now too. I may not be quite the same person afterwards but then, who could be. There are too many lives at stake here for me to not hold on. My strength will get me through and  my husband will help me keep my strength. I will stop crying for most of the time, eventually. Get over it? No. Understand it all?  No, never. Have reoccurring  attacks of grief pop back into my mind and my heart? Yes, probably often. Continue to need to have an outlet for my grief? Always. You will too if you are suffering from PTSD, due to a tremendous shock, or a terrible incident in your life such as a death.  Now is the time to think about that, before it happens. Could you keep it together?

 

 

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Just When You Thought You Knew

I thought I was there at the height of all grief. First my dad, my mom and now such a horrible death he had, my brother. As I cried and thought I was at the worst of it and now the pain would surly ease up a bit I came home from the Doctor visit that day and found my dear beloved little dog Rosie had laid down while I was gone and died. I grabbed her up in my arms pleading with that belief of mine that there is a God, to not let her be gone. Oh God please, not my Rosie. Please, please, not Rosie. As I write this, only two days later I am crying all the hurtful tears trying to get them all out. I think the tears have been waiting for me. I held it in with Dad, I had to make arrangements, and I kept it together the best I could for mom, and Jerry, well there just aren’t enough tears but I usually shed them in private. But with Rosie, I can’t stop. I write this more hoping that when I get done, it will have been just one of those horrible nightmares. One of those things when you suddenly awake and everything is fine.

But I know, it is not. It is not. She is gone. My darling Rosie. Oh my dear God. I know she was old but there was no warning. No, no nothing. And he is gone, my brother. Why did he not share his pain with anyone?Why did he become such a recluse, so estranged from his family? How do we not know. But then, I did. When he looked at me as his bus pulled away  and he turned, looking at me and I saw and felt that feeling of one last look. Feeling that I wanted to make the bus stop and make him stay. How is it that I did not see that Rosie was leaving me. I don’t think this hurt will ever leave. I know, yes, it got easier after the passing of the others, mom, dad, Ruthie, and just when I though I might be able to explain what getting through the stages of grief meant, how one manages it, how you work your way back to normal, feeling okay with this world, feeling safe, at peace, whole, your heart is shattered into a million pieces again, for Rosie, for Jerry and now I have to ask you will I ever stop crying, what are these stages they write and talk about other than just something for you to read or hear to give you some kind of hope that life will be normal again. Life is never normal again.

Stages, stages, this pain, this feeling of loss, this emptyness  does not come in stages as if you can say one , two , three putting it all in order. There is no order, no normal, no whole being to your soul again. Grief is, it is a bite out of your being that can never be replaced. Grief is something you must talk to someone about because you cannot get through it alone, no matter how much you work at it and keep tucked safely away inside. Grief, stage one…..again…

We buried Rosie today……   I still don’t know when there can be a service for Jerry…….

Grief: The Next Installment

I am not sure tonight that my plan to go through and describe the stages of grief with everyone was exactly the thing to do. Just because you have been through it before doesn’t make you an expert. Another thing, every one is different, every heart is different, and in my case we are talking about a death and every death is different. I wrote a full-page on Anger last night and this morning. Throughout the day today I anguished over how another family member was going to take this news. It was just almost more than I could bear to know she would be told tonight. I love this child as if she is my own even though I have never even laid eyes upon her. She is my niece. I didn’t even know she existed six years ago. But since that time of finding out about her and talking to her regularly I’ve grown realize her as my blood.

One more thing I realized today. I’m not finished with Stage One. No, not finished with talking about it,and I must admit  I’m not finished  going through it either.  We started out with Denial. Think on that. You can deny your loved one is dead. You can make yourself not believe it. You can argue the point but when there is a body, doesn’t that pretty much end the denial part?  Seems there are no more threads there to hang on to now is there. But still that word nags at me. Denial, what else is one in denial about if not the death? How about the fact that one is doing okay, fine, pretty good. What ever words you use to tell others how you are  really. I came to the conclusion today as I went through my worries about other things and other people, that like I originally thought, I am not doing okay, fine, pretty good or any other descriptive word that means any thing close to those.  I was almost falling to pieces today. Steve was in the family room watching our football team take down their opponents. I was in and out, still in my pj’s and not really watching but more like just pacing the floor. I got a shower at about four p.m. and then dressed, put on a little make-up making a true appearance in the kitchen at about five. I finally, get the call that she will be told tonight. She’s too far away. I want to be there. I want to hug her but her mom had asked if it were alright for her to call me if she wanted to and of course that would be fine. I hung up the phone and cried. She at least would know tonight. Her parents must have handled it well. She was sounding fairly pulled together. There were some questions, some regrets, some worries but mostly she was sounding OKAY. We all know in private she will have her time to cry, to grieve, to start the process. Meanwhile, we talked and we both listened. That’s a  good thing.

Where do we both go from here?  I don’t know. It’s fine to say there are five steps but are they really in a cut and dry formula, or could they possibly be in a random bag of apples for us to come upon when we are least expecting? My day-to-day is up and down.  Some good days, a lot of barely here days. Yes, those who know say there are five steps and if you want to you can google that and you will come up with what I have told you. Me, I can’t tell you anything that has any studies behind it, or anything figured out by scholars. All I can tell you is what I have experienced, what I am experiencing and hope you get something out of it. I’m also hoping that by writing about this thing called “GRIEF” I too will have a better understanding and be able to put to rest some of the issues that have plagued me for a good part of my life.  To end tonight I have a short little story for you.

My mom died in January 2013. The reason being, she simply didn’t want to go on. She was eighty-one years and had spent fifty-six of those years with dad. He passed in 2009, She fell  in 2012. We found her on the floor of her little house next door to us and after that she lost about six years of her life, the six that she and dad had been living there. She had full-blown dementia. After a couple more things and a surgery on her toe she got worse. We had tried to keep her at home but I couldn’t pick her up if she fell. I couldn’t take care of her. But when she was still well, she and I would go putter around her yard look at her plants and flowers. We talked of many things. We sat on the porch and talked to the birds and drank our morning coffee. One morning in 2015, I took my cup of coffee to the family room and as I started to sit down I looked up and out the window. The sun was shining so beautifully and without thinking I said out loud, “Oh, I think I’ll call mom and we can ……..”   That day all the pain, all the memories, all the days and nights sitting with her in the nursing home as she slowly withered away because she refused to eat anymore, all the grief that I thought I had dealt with came rushing back into my life for more than just a moment. I was totally pulled back into the clutches of dispare and sadness and held hostage there for the next several months. Yes, grief is a funny thing. Don’t take it lightly and please don’t try to get through yours alone no matter what stage you classify it in.

Take Their Words To Heart

I’m sitting here in limbo. I need information.I can’t write the obit without information. I can’t plan a memorial without information. What can I do to move things along? Am I just in too big a hurry? Am I rushing everyone? I know Zach is doing his best to find out what we need to know. I know the sheriffs assistant has put the papers I need in the mail.

My best friend called today. I told her and we cried. She’s about five hours away and told me to hang on, she’s hugging me. We do that…hug each other over the distance. Just saying it gives us warmth and the sense that someone out there cares. I love her to pieces. It helps to have someone you love, someone you can trust no matter what. Besides my husband, she’s that person. I hope you all have someone in your life just like that. When you are going through the stages of grief you will need them. Let’s see what stage was I again? I don’t think I am quite sure. Stage One: Denial, no, I’ve got past that. I think I understand now that, yes, he is gone. Stage Two: no wait. Stage one also included isolation and yes, I can see that I am doing some of that. I don’t get dressed so I won’t have to go with Steve places. I don’t brush my teeth, comb my hair so I can tell him it would take me too long to get ready. He won’t let me keep this up too long. We’ve been down this road before. Do you have that person that is always there for you. Be it your best friend or your husband, your mom and dad, a sibling, have some one. Make sure you talk to them. Keep them up to date with your feelings. Talk. You will need to talk but then, be prepared to listen too and take their words to heart.

I wonder how many days it will take for the info from the sheriff’s office to get here. This is crazy. Everything just takes so long.

It’s 4:30 am. I haven’t been to bed again. But I have so much to do. I’m trying to clean the house in case we have company. Steve is cleaning the garage to get my little car back in before the rain comes again. He brought me a huge box of my shoes I haven’t seen for twelve years. Dress heels. I have to find somewhere to put them. I can’t even wear them right now with my back so bad. Papers and pictures. He brought me those too. Things that weren’t stored right and now must be.

I still have plants to get in the ground before winter sets in along with the many bulbs I just purchased. I have an obituary to write.  Maybe there will be some family pictures in all of this stuff Steve brought me that I can use at the memorial. My mind just doesn’t want to stop. My friend, Mary, said for me to be sure to rest some. Steve tells me everyday. I’m going to go to bed for just a little while before the sun comes up. Maybe the paperwork will come today.

Stage Two: Anger

Stage One

Stage One of Grief: Denial and Isolation;  Stage Two: Anger;   Stage Three: Bargaining; Stage Four: Depression;  Stage Five: Acceptance.

That’s what the specialists tell you. Stages of Grief. I’m past that. Waiting took so long. It’s just get through each day doing what I need to do. I do know these stages and I think you should pay attention to that in the event you may need something to revert back to. People die every day. You never know when it is going to be someone you love. I’m tired. I’m not sleeping. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t really want to eat. I don’t think I brushed my hair today.

If you are following my posts then you know what is going on. I’m afraid this has left me in complete shock. The next thing to do is to notify family members That is, the ones I know where they are. Oh my gosh, I just feel sick inside but I must carry on.  You, all of you out there  can get a first hand story of what to do in a case like this. We are trying to get my brothers remains home and we are looking to the military to help us with that.  My husband just, a few days ago, read an article where the service person was a marine and they pony Expressed the remains across the United States to get them home with the family. I don’t have the papers or information yet myself but both my nephew and the Sheriffs office reach out person are telling me that my brother was a hero and that he received many medals. They are sending me the information. I have to start thinking of writing an obituary. I wrote my mom’s and my dad’s but I’m not sure here. I need more information to write about him. No one in the family has seen or heard from him since 1998. I think I knew at that time, as he looked out the bus window at the station in Seattle back at me, that he would never return again. I told Steve it would be our last visit with him. I had forgotten that but not the feelings it gave me to think it. It’s 2:34 am, Tuesday morning. I haven’t been to bed yet, again.

Squirrels and, When The Wait Is Over

Hello my fellow bloggers. I, in my last post told you I would make an honest to goodness effort to keep this blog active. So here goes, and in that effort I mentioned a couple of little squirrelly fellers named “Dougie and Trouble.”  Now Dougie has been around our place for about two years but this summer we noticed a new guy on the block. Not knowing what his name was it soon became apparent to us what it would be and it looked like he would surely be baptized soon.  This was back about June when we realized Dougie had been active in our yard again. “Better get out your squirrel food again, Steve,” I said to my husband as he joined me on the front patio with our two cups of coffee. He had helped me get seated with a blanket across my lap in a rocking chair that would allow me about thirty minutes of sitting time before the morning sun came around the trees blinding me, knowing I would have to retire to the house again when it did.

“You think so,” he said smiling.

“Oh you already knew he was here didn’t you,” I laughed. He knew I would be delighted to see Dougie back.

“Yes, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise once I found out they were really going to let you come home from the hospital this time. I’m so glad to have you  back again, by the way.”

“Yes, me too,” I replied as he leaned down to give me a kiss, then pulled his own rocker just a little closer to mine. We spoke in soft quiet voices so we could hear the morning waking up all around us. Then, I saw him. Hop and a Hop, hop, hop, as much up on his toes as he could get. Under the potted Hydrangea that didn’t get in the ground last year and was still waiting. Then quickly out behind the two empty pots I had picked up for some of this years plants. Up the porch rail onto the table. I laughed which sent him quickly back down the table leg. Slowly, he approached, then with about a dozen quick little darts and jumps he was back on the table, the far side of it still, looking at me. Steve laid him down two sunflower seeds in the middle of the table. Dougie came closer but still cautiously. Steve said, ‘You better come get them. Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?” I asked.

“Just wait, you’ll see.”  He pushed two more seeds out of his hand onto the table. Dougie came a little closer. All of a sudden I heard a bunch of chattering behind me, saw a swoosh out of my left eye and something was on the table and off again, gone before I could even tell what it was.  “Here you go Dougie, here’s you a couple more.” Dougie grabbed his bounty and was off back across the front yard and up his tree.

“What was that?” I asked trying to shield the sun with my arm. Steve got up, helped me up and we headed for the front door. “That my dear, was Trouble.” he said laughingly. Once completely in the house, I stopped him, “Trouble?”  Taking my arm and moving forward to the kitchen he repeated himself ,  “Yep, Trouble. Now let’s get breakfast.”

That began our summer with the two of them. Steve hadn’t really given the second squirrel a name up to that point and hadn’t really meant for it to stick., but as we watched his antics for about a week we decided it was time to “dub” him “Trouble” and so it was and is. So there you have it. My first post about Dougie and Trouble. I’ve done my best trying to remember and to write this, to keep things together, keep me together and now,  I’m going to call it an evening. but first,  Many of you have read some of my previous posts and are aware of the one posted on my front page entitled, “Waiting.” Up until the middle of this week, well whatever day it was I posted, ” Squirrels Don’t Hibernate,” you were aware that I was still waiting. But the new’s has come. All those months of waiting, of trying to act normal in front of family and friends, of not saying anything, and of knowing otherwise, because you do sometime, you know, yes exactly, “You know”. Trying to say “this will have prepared me, I’ll be ready , when or if I get the news. All the things you tell yourself about how brave you will be, it’s been so many years since I saw him, why, I thought he must have died years ago and who would know., but you would. You are his sister. You were there with him the night your mother was murdered,  You were the one that worried the most when too much time had gone by between visits. It was your heart that ached each time “mom” would say something mean about him.  You were the one that stood frozen yesterday when you retrieved your cell phone out of your vest pocket and saw the name, ”

Detective Marc” then dropped it while fumbling trying to get it turned on. Finally, you answered,  Hello, Marc? Is there? do you?………   Sandy, it’s me…… Detective Marc…………

I have an answer, and yes, I knew, but why do I have to be so right all the time. Why must I be the one who always see’s before anyone else can or knows before anyone else knows.  However, I do have one question that I don’t know the answer to…….

what do I do now,…where do I go from here?

 

 

 

Generations

Oh how I long for the olden day

when you always considered what you’d say

took into your heart what others would feel

told of only feelings real.

no arguing about what was right or wrong

you knew it already, your upbringing strong

your parents taught you morals and how to love

and you learned about and believed in God above

yes that is how I was brought up

but for me that was not enough

I taught all  my children the very same

and they teach theirs not in vain

it will be passed along for generations to come

all because of just one

many years ago in the family line

I’m glad that family was, is, and will be mine.

 

Kezzah 1776-1860

 

From my Grandmother Kezziah of many greats back,

to  my youngest grandchild          20170808_135525 Black and White Jaden for WP

 Love, patience, family, & God

has been our way of life.

Squirrels Don’t Hibernate

I’m not sure I have anything to write about here today. Days go by one right after the other, each day the same as the other, and nothing really inspires me at this point.Oh yes, Dougie still hangs around out in the tree just as he did last year and he has a friend we call Trouble, both of which are just that, a little bit of mischief and trouble. Squirrels are like that, you know.  They are both so cute as they scamper ,stealing sunflower  seeds out of their feed bowl, then off to one of my flower pots to plant them.  Every plant I have has the dirt dug up, shoveled about and all over the place and at least one sunflower growing in it.

My flowers are starting to fade out now with the beginning of September. We still have some seventy and eighty degree weather ahead of us but as I walked from our little hole in the wall where Steve and I watch TV, I shivered, feeling a chill go right through me. The front door was still open and the night had welcomed its way into our home like an unwanted guest bringing with it the coldness and dampness of early fall. I must start remembering to close things up sooner. I can’t seem to get used to it getting dark earlier as we creep our way into fall.

Steve and the dogs had gone to bed long ago. I doubt I will ever change my ways and learn to retire at a decent hour. Steve says I am ruining my health but this is my way and always has been. I taught myself to stay awake at a very early age. In the beginning it was the nightmares but as I got older I did my best to stay awake so as not to have the blessed things. They scared me and made me cry. I didn’t tell anyone. I just did the best I could do. Now, another night, soon drawing to and end and I must get some pajamas on and go crawl into bed next to Steve, hoping not to disturb him, and then maybe sleep will come for a couple of hours before the alarm goes off.

I really don’t care for this time of year. Now it seems there may be more reason than ever for my not liking it coming forth. I’m still waiting for the lab reports about whether or not a body found at the beginning of the year is that of my older brother, Jerry. If the report ever comes back from the National Forensic Laboratories (DNA testing) down in Texas, if the coroner’s office ever has something to report to Sheriff Marc*, if the body found so many months ago turns out to be that of my brother, again the grief will stir all the sadness, all the loneliness, the emptiness one can possible have inside. Yes, I am still waiting for the reports to come back and to go from the coroner back to the sheriff. At that time he will finish his investigation and write a report of closure on the case.Then and only then will I get the answers I’ve waited so long to know.

I’ve tried to use these months to adjust to the idea that this body is his and he is gone. I try to tell my self I am ready to hear the results of the testing and the investigation, I’m not sure I’ve succeeded. So, I’ve carried on my life normally, while again, other than my immediate family, Steve, the girls, and my youngest brother, no one knows about this, disallowing you, my readers, because at this point in time you don’t know me. For now, I’ll just keep it this way because there is no need upsetting anyone else. I’ve even brought it up too much about it in my writing  so from here on out, I’m going it alone, until there is something to report.

I go for weeks without publishing anything so once more I’m going to openly say to you all how I’m going to try this time. What better way to keep my mind busy. When I started this blog several days ago I didn’t think there was anything to write about, however, I think maybe I may have just hit on the right thing to start back with……….maybe, just maybe ………..

I’ll write a post on Dougie and Trouble. They did bring an awful lot of joy and laughter to me over the summer as I watched their antics and drank my morning coffee on the front patio. Perhaps, these two little charmers can continue, even as we draw closer into the colder months, even as I wait for my answers, maybe they can bring joy to my heart and  yours too, who knows. I’ll have to mull that one over for a bit and see what comes of it. Oh, and did you know Squirrels don’t hibernate? I always thought they did, but no, they don’t. I had to Google that one to find out.

 

DSCN7033 Dougie

 

Above is a picture of Dougie atop his feed bowl. He’s about ready to take off in a run, well rather a jump and a hop, all the way across the yard to his tree because I think I have startled him.

 

 

 

 

*I make reference here to a post I wrote and posted on February 16. 2016.

 

 

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Ruby Was a Redneck Beauty

Those are some of the words to a song by Conway Twitty that my husband is trying to learn to play on his guitar. I’ve heard them many, many, times now. Don’t get me wrong, I like the song too. Matter of fact, I was teasing him because he hadn’t picked a name for the new puppy we are getting and I told him, “We are calling her little red dog because she wears a red collar, so Rubies are red….why not call her Ruby!”

“Can’t you guys just leave me alone? I’ll pick her name when I get ready. First, I want her to open her eyes and I want to see her walk and stuff and how she reacts to things.”

Steve, my husband, has been a little put out at us for bugging him about it because this is his dog. The only other dog we had that was truly his was Blossom. Blossom was a Rottweiler that he worked hard to get by doing ranch work for the breeders. He loved Blossom dearly and he hasn’t wanted another dog since she passed away over twelve years ago. We’ve had dogs but always because I wanted them and I mostly chose their names. He would offer his opinion but the choice was ultimately mine. But then,  we kept our Grandson, Jaden’s, dog ,Lollie, for them for her first two years because they lived in town where they couldn’t have a big dog and we both fell fast in love with her too. There is one thing about that which took us both by surprise which was, on many occasions one or the other of us would call her “Blossom.” She had the same sweetness about her that Blossom had and many of the same mannerisms. It was hard for us to let Lollie go back to live with Jaden but she was his dog, and they were moving into our rental house, which, by the way, is right next door to us. So we can see her anytime we want to. Now how great is that?

That was several years ago. About a year ago my daugher, Em, told us she was getting a puppy. He was a pit bull and so darn cute. Now let’s shorten this story up here. That meant they had Lollie, a girl and Titan, a boy. So when Titan was about nine months old, the family was rushed getting out the door for school one morning, Lollie was in heat, and her crate door didn’t get closed properly. Titan was loose in the house. Need I say anymore about that? …… I didn’t think so.

Ahhh, as you may have guessed, about three weeks ago, Lollie gave birth to a litter of nine puppies, all averaging about one pound each. In the middle of everything she had to be taken to an emergency veterinarian. They refused to do anything without Four Thousand dollars up front. So the kids called every veterinary office in the area until they finally found one that would take her in and not charge an arm and a leg. In the process of all this three puppies were lost. So Lollie was actually carrying a litter of twelve pups.

Oh, back to the short version. Yes, Steve wants a puppy and he wants the one that looks the most like Lollie. We got lucky. There is one little black and white that looks almost just like Lollie, minus the white tip on the tail and now she is ours. Yes, and her name is Ruby.

Titan and Lollie 2 Titan and Lollie

 

And this,  is Ruby!                 (two weeks, just opened her eyes)

 

DSCN6997

 

You guessed it…..This is Steve with Little Ruby.  I’d call that a picture of a happy man now wouldn’t you………

DSCN7098

 

 

Grandkids, How I Love Them!

Checking into my site tonight I noticed I had a draft sitting there that I’m not sure how I forgot to post it. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Jaden before but if not here’s just one more little funny bit about him.

Our nine-year old grandson was over to  visit yesterday. He’s an awesome child and has always amazed me with the things he does and says. He informed his Grampa and I  that he is planning on letting his hair grow all summer so that by the time school starts again in September he can have his “desired Mohawk.”  Not only did it surprise me that he was planning on a Mohawk, but also, since when did nine-year old’s start desiring  anything? I thought it was all just wants and needs at that age.