Daily Prompt; The Outsiders


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Tel us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us OUTSIDE.

I look down at my body and what I see I don’t like. But do I really do anything about it? No, well I can say yes if I am not caring for Al, or the weather is nice. If it is warm, or if the sun is shining, or if I have nothing better to do. If no one is stopping by. If I don’t have any laundry or house to attend to. Depends on how I feel. If I get up in time. If I have no errands to run.

I stand looking down at my body. I glance at Al laying there in his bed. Four steel sets of bars holding him so he doesn’t fall out. A cheap, hard, plastic mattress is what he lies on, while I have a pillow top mattress at the other end of the house.

I look down at my body and I see my worn out slippers and my house coat I am standing in. I should get dressed but geesh, who really cares. Then I glance up at Al and he is clothed in a cloth brief, a cut up the back T-shirt. His toes are shoeless. He has a cotton sheet draped over him. Pillows stuffed under, beside every direction to keep him from getting bedsores.

I look down at my body and I wish I could find the time to take a nice, long, hot bubble bath. Soaking in my favorite scent, splashing hot water down my back. Listening to my favorite music while I watch the glow from the lit candles surrounding me. Then I glance up at Al and I can’t remember the last time he felt water splash over his body. Each day he receives at least one bed bath. We all know there is no better feeling than climbing out of a nice shower or bath.

I look down at my body and I glance up at Al.

A sister I know I am

A stranger I do feel

There is no worse feeling

When you know this is very real

Doing all I can

But never quite enough

His illness makes him weak

But I am growing tough.

It isn’t cool looking outside, in

I can not find one word to say

But I know he is my brother I love

And maybe Jesus will come here today.

Terry Shepherd

01/09/2014

 

 

geese

Daily Prompt; The Daily Post


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When you look back at your blog on January 2, 2015, what would you like to see?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PROGRESS.

This is really chancing it. Taking time and putting a stamp on it. But for a blog’s make-believe prompt, I will play the game.

In January and in February, I continued to write about Al’s condition with MSA. One morning though when I went to wake him up, there was a note left behind from him. It said he was sorry he had to go, but he was invited by the angels and decided to fly off with them.

I remember writing to all of my friends about my broken heart and yet could manage to add a line or two about how happy I was that he was no longer in pain.

March and April I could see that Spring was coming. I was able to open the windows off and on to clear  the staleness of winter. I usually made my daily trip to Al’s room where it was left untouched from the day he left.

With the sun shining and the window open a crack I looked around at his huge collection and it came to me it was time to box up his possessions. It took me a few weeks to do it as this task always made me sad and weepy.

Once this was done I had a clear room if you didn’t check the closets. I slowly began to take pieces of my antiques into his room to fill up the empty spaces and within a couple of weeks I had a  new room to look at.

By the end of April Spring was definitely in the air and I noticed one day that I was smiling when I looked into my mirror. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about my dear brother, but I had by now caught up on all those lost hours of sleep.

My birthday had come and my children had all surprised me with a big birthday party since I turned 60. I had pondered on whether to sell my home and move to where my daughter was or to stay here in the frigid winters.

What I decided on was to stay here but go visit her for a few weeks in the winters. A few more weeks I spent with my best girlfriend, catching up on so many lost chats. I made arrangements with different friends I had made on here. I drove or flew out to see these friends in the next several months.

Getting to meet the people who had supported me throughout Al’s illness was a dream come true. We each had our tears and yet there was plenty of laughter and sight-seeing. I came home from each visit with a new-found life. The last visit I made I brought home with me a name and a phone number of an awesome guy whom I had met.

By the time that December had rolled around I was almost back to normal. Al never left my mind for even one day. I could always see him standing hand in hand with Mom and Dad. All of them were smiling down on me and this warmed my heart.

This Christmas was going to be super special. Not only was I going to be able to see my children, the man who I had met was coming here for a visit.

On January 2, 2015, I got the proposal of my life and I said yes. Wow, life was full of sorrow the past seven years. But I was a good sister and daughter. I took care of my family as long as they needed me. Now things are beginning to turn and I find myself waking up smiling every day. Life is good, and getting better. Al, you would be proud of me. I told you I would be alright if you left. See? I wasn’t lying.

woman and sun

Daily Prompt; The New School


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You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SKILLED.

Unfortunately in the ending year of 2013, I would have to take away the basics that we learned as a child from being long courses of all year to cutting them in half. The reason being is there is too many other things that youngsters need to be learning.

You see, there are many brilliant and outstanding youth today, but there are also many lost souls, tossed from house to house. Some have never been taught manners, respect or how to love another human being for just simply being human.

Today when we mention love, somewhere sex has been connected to that, and what was once a beautiful way to show someone special how much you loved them; now it has turned into a nasty, pornographic, giggling at the computer screen side-show.

Some youth go strictly after the weak, fragile and lonely ones. They never learned that word respect. Just because they know how to possibly spell it, doesn’t mean they know the definition of it.

Then there is youth who are working so very hard with one or even more part-time jobs, striving to help pay their college education fees. But then there are others who don’t understand the dollar. Some never get that the real way to get money is to work. There are those who believe the cheating way to get money is to rob.

I guess drugs have been around for years. I know they were present when I was in high school. But for me, there was pretty much the fear of God placed in me by my parents  that I better never get into drugs.

Now it seems the key is to continually keep finding cheap ways to get  thrills. But this has a price included, which may have the word death in it.

So for me, there would still be reading, writing and arithmetic, but I would include at least half the year if not a little more balancing checkbooks. Budgeting classes would be almost as high of a priority as reading. Learning what percentages to save back from a paycheck in order to buy groceries, pay rents, gas, food and clothing. Training for work would not only include college prep classes. It would also include the regular jobs, how to look and represent yourself for a check-out job, or maybe a restaurant job. How to act and work in order to move up in the job.

Another class would be called, The You Inside. This class would be all about how to respect yourself. Teaching youth that they are worthy of existing here on earth. This classroom would have many mirrors in it, full length mirrors. Students would have to stand in front of them and look at themselves repeating positive and motivational sentences that refer to themselves as a person.

I feel today there is much lacking in the learning department. A lot of this is learned in the very young years, but when the home life is not the best or even suitable, many children are not taught that they have the right to be who they want.

In my area, schools are taught to preach about college. Not everyone is going to college. So many youth don’t even know what they want, but it pays the bills for these colleges getting all types in. But the drop out rates are pretty staggering.

So let’s get involved with each and every student. Let’s make sure that the poor as well as the wealthy kids are receiving a chance to be someone they are proud of, no matter what or where they came from. After all, we all started with nothing in the beginning. We all came here the same way. We all arrived with a clean slate. I say, let’s help every single human get the best chance in school to be the best they can be, no matter what.fancy rabbitFox-animals-5370160-620-476ANIMAL RACOON

Daily Prompt; A Bird, A Plane, You


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You get to choose one superpower. Pick one of these, and explain your choice:

  • the ability to speak and understand any language
  • the ability to travel through time
  • the ability to make any two people agree with each other

Photographers, artists, poets: show us POWER.

The ability to speak and understand any language is the one that I choose.

The language of love and compassion and understanding are all formed in one area and that area is in each of us. In between our rib cage right under your left upper breast is a heart.

The heart is where most feelings start.grains-of-sand-990x500hands I don’t need to know Spanish, German, Italian, French, African and so many other languages to feel love.

I can look at you whether you are white, brown, black or polka-dot and see and feel your love. The pain will be seen through your eyes and felt within my heart. I can reach out my hand and lock it in between yours and there is an understanding. A peace that gently surrounds the two of us like a gentle rain falling around our souls.rain

A good example is our blogs, I have some of the best friendships and it is due to hearts, not so much the words. I can be here in Indiana and you can reside in England, and we connect through our hearts.

Yes, this is my choice. For what ever human being my path crosses in life, there is a chance to connect. A chance to love, feel, and touch through our heart and soul.

Daily Prompt; Food For The Soul


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Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FOOD.

When I was a young mom I cooked and baked a lot. But after my divorce and taking care of so many patients I have faded from the kitchen. EASY is my thought. Never stay too  long in the kitchen.

Even the foods I make for Al are easy. I have a page on Facebook called It may not be healthy, but it’s darn easy. https://www.facebook.com/pages/It-May-Not-Be-Healthy-But-Its-Darn-Good-n-Easy/347995258619883

If you look on there you will see I like recipes that are really good with few ingredients. I make a lot of home-made soups here at home. I also use my crock pot quite a bit. Partly because it is easy, partly because Al has trouble chewing meat. The crock pot makes meats very tender.

I make BBQ chicken a lot here. Here is the recipe I use. I use this recipe for chicken, chops and ribs. I absolutely love it!

Crock-Pot BBQ Ribs Recipe
The meat falls off the bone as you take them out of the crock pot!
Ingredients:
4 pounds Ribs of your choice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle of sweet baby rays BBQ
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoons oregano
Directions:
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the ribs themselves.
Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.
Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender.

Here is another recipe I use, and one that is on the link I gave you.

 

No Bake Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1-18 oz. jar of smooth or chunky peanut butter – I prefer smooth
1 – 16 oz. bag of confectioners sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
chocolate almond bark
or
chocolate candy melts
or
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips & 2 tsp. shortening

In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, confectioners sugar and melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. For the next step, the best way that I’ve found to make a smooth filling is to use your hands to mix everything together.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Roll the peanut butter filling into 1 inch balls and line the baking sheet with rows of the balls. Set the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-7 minutes to chill the peanut butter balls for easier dipping.

While the peanut butter balls are chilling, melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl that is deep enough for dipping. I melted 6 blocks of chocolate almond bark at a time, stirring at 45 second intervals until smooth.

Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into a peanut butter ball and then dip it into the chocolate, turning quickly to cover the entire candy. Place onto a second baking tray that has also been lined with foil. Swirl the chocolate on the top of each candy for a pretty design. Refrigerate until the chocolate had completely dried.

Store the candies in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

So you can see that I make home-made foods, I just don’t spend all day in the kitchen.Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpegthanksgiving table

 

Daily Prompt; The Perfect Game


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You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COMPETITION.

The air was filled with haze. Cigars being lipped and inhaled. Eyes narrowed, all eyes on red and black. The bartender wiping glasses. Girls lined up on the stairs; ready to take your money.

Big Buck walks in through the swinging doors. Eyes raise, brows come together. Everyone hated Big Buck.

He had a reputation of being a low-down dirty dog. Didn’t give a hoot about anyone but himself. Usually everyone took off when they saw him coming he stunk so bad. Scraggly beard, rumor was he didn’t bathe but once a month. Even then I heard it said he took his bath in the pig trough.

Big Buck walked over behind one of the players. Scratching his beard and rubbing his nose, he squinted as he looked at the player’s hand. Slowly he made it past each player, checking out who had what.

Then he saw it. He saw one of the players had a card peeking out from his sleeve.

” Cheater. You all got a cheater playing here. I seen it. He has a card hidden up his sleeve. What ya all gonna do about it? I say kick him out and kick him down.”

The one being accused scooted down in his chair. Pulling his hat down to cover his eyes, the other players stood up. Putting down their cigars one of them walked over to the accused. ” Are you trying to cheat us Morty? Roll up those sleeves and show us that hidden card.”

All but one gal quit bringing in the bait and scurried up the stairs. She wanted a piece of the action.  One by one you could hear the doors slam. The bartender stopped wiping and reached for his gun on the shelf below.

” I said it once and I ain’t a saying it again. Roll those sleeves up. No one here wants to play with a cheater.”

Cheater didn’t say a word, he just pulled his hat farther down and kept quiet. One of the other players got up and snarled, ” Yeah boss, he must be cheating. Look at the coward. He can’t even prove himself. I say let’s get him.”

Everyone took cover as the cheater was picked up by the back of the neck. A punch to the right jaw and then the left. The nose was instantly swelling and blood was dripping but not a word came from  his mouth.

Another player was getting down right pissed at his lack of words and picked up a chair and cold-cocked him right over the head. Down went Cheater,  hit the floor hard. The other players started using their grubby boots and kicked him in the ribs.

The bartender let out a thunder of bullets. Everyone stopped in their tracks and looked at him. ” Not in my bar, you all get out of here and take that mongrel with you. You gonna fight, take it outside.”

Old, Big Buck let out the biggest god awful sound. He was laughing so hard he started choking on his own spit. ” You fools, you listen to everything. If I told you the chief was coming would you believe it? You all just give me some good entertainment. I was bored and you all filled the bill.” Laughing so hard he didn’t see the chair coming at him.

Knocked him to the ground and started beating him up. Didn’t even bother taking it outside. Just let him have a dose of his own medicine right here and now. By the time the players got done with him blood was everywhere. Chairs were busted. The ladies came down to see what was happening when all got quiet.

” Get out of here you old ornery cuss. We don’t like the likes of your kind here. Don’t you ever show your ass back here again, you hear?”

They drug him to his feet and kicked him all the way to the door. Big Buck staggered outside the saloon. ” I’ll be back, you’ll see. I’ll be back, just you wait and see. You can’t keep me a way. This is a free country.”

The guys turned their back on him and went in to tend to the innocent Cheater, still knocked out cold.

lady in red

 

Daily Prompt; Cheering Section


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Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SUPPORT.

I am a mentor for someone else, in fact three others. My children. Ever since I had my first child I put a way any stupid things I knew I was doing. Put them in a metal box, locked it and tucked it way back in the dark corner of my closet.

My first child I taught to be very independent. I knew that she watched her Mom all the time. It was important that I helped her grow up to learn life isn’t easy, and not always fair, but she could have what she wanted and she didn’t have to lean on anyone else to attain it.

When my second child arrived, he had the biggest heart I had ever seen for a boy. He always had the biggest smiles for me and he was never a trouble maker. He was Mom’s big helper and even today, he still has the biggest heart and always tells me he loves me when he and I talk.

I went through some real personal shit after my third child was born. I was dealing with the fact I had learned of where my real mother was and trying to make something happen between her and me that wasn’t meant to be. I also was dealing with the fact that my last child was born with bone cancer, so life was definitely living in a fog.

I changed, not that I wanted to but because the biggest bubble of hope I carried all through my life had been burst.bubbles I made a lot of mistakes. I knew my kids were watching but I didn’t seem to have enough control over my feelings to help myself. I know I hurt my kids by not being there for them. I finally went and got some professional help so I didn’t lose my kids respect or my mind.

I learned that just because someone gave birth to me, doesn’t make them a mother, and that it wasn’t my fault she was like she was. I also learned that I am worthy and it was her loss and not mine.

Today I am much better but there always seems to be a visible trail that still follows me letting my insecurities show.walking trail

I have never been the kind of person who acts out intentionally to hurt another soul,  and I am pretty sure for the most part my kids love me today.

Life isn’t easy, just like I taught my daughter, but through love and support I look back and think I did a pretty good job. My kids are good-looking, smart. I know I am racist but I can’t help myself, they are my kids. I mentored my children the best I could, and when they grew up and went on their own I always hoped  they realize they will make mistakes with their mentors too.my kids when they were young These are my children when they were small. This is me, their Mom.

book4Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

beating heartHPIM0308

Daily Prompt; Reading Material


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How do you pick what blogs or books to read? What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CHOICES.

Reality, give me anything to read that is real, and I will do it. reality Happy, sad, tearful, laughter, history, culture, romance(sometimes) and I will read it.child-eating-bad-mannerslionold housetouchballoons 2ice cream wallpaperempty_house_by_scarlettletters-d3fenj7victorian_couple_dancingroofbaby dollindianvintage_rhinestone_costume_jewelrysad-facesaintangel-looking-down-from-heaven-534tears  Yep, these photos are all things that interest me. If I see it, I will read it. I am pretty simple aren’t I?

Daily Prompt; I Am a Rock


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Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SELF.

This is a complex issue for me. There is a large part of me who believes I can pull anything off. Superwoman in disguise, LOL.wind_serenity

Then there is another side of me who is probably the biggest chicken ever. Afraid of rejection, afraid of the word no. This can stop me in my tracks. I can be as a speeding train doing multiple tracks at the same time, and then boom, the train horns signal and the engine stops.train

I will hint at what  help I need. When this doesn’t work, I get frustrated and then come out with the words.

Sometimes I get the answer I need. Sometimes I get a brush off, and other times I get no reply.

That’s when I curse myself for my age. Weakening joints and muscles prevent me from doing the things I need to do. An example is my bedroom. It is the heaviest darn furniture to me. It needs to be changed so I can sweep the cat hair that is piling up like big cotton balls under my bed.cotton balls

It will most likely remain like it is because I can not afford to pay for everything I need done.

So in the end I am somewhere between a rooster and a chicken and end up doing without or killing myself trying.rooster 1chicken

Daily Prompt; Flip Flop


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Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSITION.

I used to be a woman who wanted to be noticed. I loved my antiques and sparkled when auctioneers would come up to talk to me about this or that. When people bid on things I was bidding on it made me feel worthy.

When I think back to that time I realize that I could have comments and looks galore but the real issue wasn’t being fixed. I surfaced through life. I wanted everyone that touched my life to like me.

Of course we can’t have lives like that. We are not made to get along with everyone else. auctions

When I see who I was I realize I was so insecure. It is embarrassing to me now a days for I am no longer like this.

Today I am more mellow. Maybe it is because I have grown up even more.

Maybe it is because I have realized that I am who I am. That trying to be like someone I wasn’t only brought failure to my life.

Today what is important is that I like myself. I am not overly confident, but I feel that I am doing what God gave me the talent to do. I am not a big antique business owner. I still love antiques and I would be happy to have a small business in my own home town.

I care for people who can’t care for themselves. I believe this is a gift from God. Today a person I saw mentioned that she could not work with so many mentally challenged people. I could understand this. I don’t think everyone can. I am not even sure if I can.

I can take care of elderly. I can care for my own brother who is mentally challenged, but to teach in a classroom, I am not sure if I would have that much patience. I think I enjoy the more one on one type of care.

I have realized that I do like being a homebody. I know without a doubt that God knows I am that type of person also or he would not have made it possible for me to get paid taking care of Al right here in our own home.

I am content. Content with smelling the flowers. To walk out to get the mail. To be in my house for a couple of days at a time without seeing a soul. I get lonely, sure, but when that happens I just write here at WP, or a friend will sense it and the phone rings at the exact moment.

I like cleaning the house. I enjoy making Al meals. I like getting him dressed, and helping him to eat. I like brushing his hair. I like taking lots of photographs of him. I like being sentimental and mushy. It is who I am. I am a caregiver who loves taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves and I am proud of myself for having this beautiful talent, a true gift from God.caregiver