Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Third Time's A Charm!

The Third Time's A Charm!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I don't know how to begin... we hired a guy to level out the pool area.  The soft sand was there.... and all one had to do was to pull the sand to make one side level... and cut down a couple inches on the other side... and use a level.  Simple as that...

He said he knew how to make the ground level... I can say this, once 'finished'... it wasn't.  He had convinced us he knew exactly how to do it.

We paid $40.00 more dollars ... to still have an uneven pool space.  He was in a hurry to go... I felt he wanted to go, had other things he wanted to do.

I just handed him his money... he left.  I was disappointed.  Other than that... he is a nice fellow.  I won't forget.  Twice, the guy came back in the next day or so... he never mentioned the pool... though I could see him look toward 'his work'...

I tried my best to 'bring up the sand' to make it higher in the area one could see... needed extra sand.  I don't have the muscle, nor brawn to do it.  Skip wasn't here.... nor could he do that; he could have another stroke, or worse...

Now... this is what happened...

The water truck came for the second time... another $225.00 paid for water to go in the pool, plus the extra $40.00........

In all... this is what all has cost to put a little 12 x 15 above the ground pool:

Pool:    $300.00
Sand:   $150.00
Water: $225.00
Guy:     $40.00
Water:  $225.00
Total:    $940.00

This is what a little cheap pool cost to get it set up once more with water... that might not stay.  We could have almost bought, paid for... a really nice pool to put above ground... like we would have rather had.

The water truck came for the second time... I could see the doubt in the guy's eyes .... the pool didn't look level at all.  He set up his hose to begin pumping water into the pool... he filled it half-full, and the unthinkable happened!

The pool collapsed, I ran... thinking I could simply pull the wall back up... the force of the water was too strong.  It nearly washed me off my feet.  I can't describe the pain that went through the surgical areas on my body... it was just awful, just... awful.

I wanted to cry... we had paid someone who said they knew how to level a pool area... and this happened.  I'm still ... I hate to say it... but, I can't forget this... I do feel upset over it... but, I don't want to hurt someone's feelings.

I just don't like to feel hard at anyone... now, this is the second person in a matter of days... a tattoo artist, and a ... pool-leveling guy.  Now, I harbor 'hard' feelings toward two people... at least, for just 'a little while'... until I can 'get over it'... :)))

I asked the water guy if he had just a few minutes; I knew it was 'going to kill me'.... but, I wanted to put more sand where it was needed.

Do you know, I think he saw how much I needed, wanted my pool... he watched me a few minutes... The next thing I knew... he was helping me... then, taking the rake from my hands... he put more sand where it was needed.

We both were perspiring ... it was such hot work.  I'm not used to doing things like that... but, desperation will make one do things they might not should; especially when it means something to them.

You see... this pool is important to me.  I need it for my body... the terrible pain that I live with every day of my life.  I was going to add more pain... and did, as I took the rake and began pulling more sand to the 'low' area.  All the time, I was thinking ... 'I need this pool, and the warm water.. I need it'!

Finally, we decided that the pool was as level as we could make it.  I could hard stand up for the pain, and the combination of the pain, heat had weakened me.  I actually felt like I wanted to faint...

He began to pump water again... I'm happy to say that so far... the pool is full.  It might not be quite level... I don't care, as long as it doesn't collapse again.

I put the floats... hot pink, neon green... into the pool.  I put the happy-colored beach ball in, also.  Happy-colored 'toys' floated around on top of the sparkling, clean water... beautiful!

NOW... I'm 'gun-shy'... I am finding myself sitting, looking at the water in my swimming pool.  I am afraid to get in... it 'could' collapse again!

I found myself waking up through the night ...thinking about it.  I have come to the conclusion that... IF IT DOES...  I am going to have the pool taken up, put up or... given away.

Then... have the sand raked down even... to look nice... and enjoy walking on the sandy yard.

I'm just so sorry it cost so much... this is the 'third' time... and I've always heard... 'the third time's a charm'!


Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee... A Poem I wrote just for my Special Friend, Mezza (Mary)... You are very special, and mean the world to me.  Words from my very Heart, my Gift to you.  Happy Birthday, Mezza!!!


Happy Birthday, Mezza (Mary)...  Happy Birthday To You!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today I would like to honor a friend
Not just any friend, but... a special one
Who has been there for three years
For me, even when I didn't know she was there

Mezza, my wonderful friend
I would like to wish you Happy Birthday
Many more to come in your life
All your wishes to come true

You were there for me when Tommy died
Your words were like a quiet whisper
That reached into the darkness in my soul
I found myself holding on to them, to you

You are my forever friend, Mezza
You mean the world to me, you cared about me
In ways I've never known, I'll never forget
Thank-you, my special friend

Happy Birthday to you, Mezza
I give this poem to you from my very heart
I send it with lots of love, caring
That will last a lifetime, forever... always

Happy Birthday to you!  Love, Gloria

Saturday, June 29, 2013

He Tried To Shield Me From The Pain... But, It Was Inside Me

TOMMY...My Very Real Child

He Tried To Shield Me From The Pain... But, It Was Inside Me
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Yesterday evening, I became overwhelmed by such deep grief.  I was in the kitchen when it happened.  I felt it happening inside myself... the familiar 'fluttering of butterflies' in my stomach... I tried to pretend it 'wasn't there'.  

Then... the sensation became like birds trapped in a cage, desperate to escape.  Their wings fluttered wildly as I... began to feel that 'panicky' feeling.  I put my hands to cover my eyes as tears began to fall... my heart felt like it was breaking.  

I began to cry softly... I felt Skip's arms go around me... trying to shield me from the pain... but, the pain was 'inside me'.

For a few moments... all the protection I had built around myself 'slipped away'.  I stood there in the middle of the floor with nothing to buffer the pain... I cried quietly... like a child, while Skip held me.  I never do this in front of Skip... nor anyone else.  

My grief is very private... something I try not to let touch other people's lives.  I didn't mean to let Skip see me... I 'shut it off' as quickly as I could... he can't bear to see me hurting... and I can't bear to cause him pain.

The trigger for this was earlier when we were in Walmart... a young father was pushing a child in the shopping cart, and trying to keep his young daughter from running off.  He was scolding her, trying to get her to follow him.

During all this, I could see just his back... that blonde hair, and as he turned his head, I could 'see Tommy'.  The shape of his head... his skin...

When this happens to me... it's when I realize that all I do is 'pretend everything's alright'... when the pain is still there; will be there always.  I walk around like a 'happy-colored' bottle of bubbly champagne, tightly corked.... always happy, no sadness... doing just fine.  

No one knows how fragile I am... the only thing that separates me from my pain, grief... is the cork.  All it has to do is to pop out from the pressure... there the grief comes bubbling, pouring out... but, not in a happy way... it hurts so bad.  I forget what's around me; I don't see, hear anyone around me.

It's like 'for a little while' I can be alright... until the next time... deal with it until the next time.... pretend again that it's alright again.  I will do this repeatedly until the day I die... if you've never lost a child... there's no way you can possibly understand.

This is one of the games of Life... when a loved one dies... see how long you can go before you break down again.  Hey, world... see how good I'm taking the death of my child... everything is going to be alright.  Hey... look at me, I am the model of a grieving mother who is taking the death of her son... so good!  It's not so...

Then, it happens again.... and yet... again.  I keep trying to cope with it... this is a never-ending cycle.  Pain, grief... cry, panic... to finally reach the point of accepting 'all over again' that I won't ever see my 'very real' child again.  

I have to 'find that damn cork' again... 'fight like hell' to seal the bottle of bubbly champagne back up.  Hold that pain, grief back before it destroys me.  Sometimes, I feel like crying to the heavens, and just say 'I give up, it hurts too bad; I just can't accept Tommy's death'...  

I don't go around screaming, weeping, making a scene, it's never been 'my way'.  But... I feel like it... I don't.  I feel like it... I just don't.  

I become so weary, tired from my burden of pain... the only thing to help it is to go to sleep... wake up to a new day.  I'm always much better when I wake up... I'm stronger.  I can ...begin again.

Reaching the point knowing everything is going to be alright... until the next time... only to come to this point again... and again... again.  Over and over... over and over... the pure grief never ends.

Skip happened to be close by when it happened this time... he tried to shield me from the pain... but, it was 'inside' me.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Dragonfly Tattoo That Wasn't Meant To Be...

This is the dragonfly picture that 'found me'... I wrote about it.  It hangs in my bathroom.

The Dragonfly Tattoo That Wasn't Meant To Be...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Well... today will be the day I go to get my ... dragonfly tattoo.  The only way I won't get it will be because I can't get there... the shop closes unexpectedly... or the shop/tools aren't what I expect it to be; or 'something like that'.  :)))

Two weeks ago ... we talked to Jason, the tattoo artist.  He is just opening a new shop.  He said he wanted his shop to be 'high-end'... and told us about it.  

My tattoo won't look like the one above... I want something more delicate... soft 'happy-colored'.  If I can't see 'just the right picture'... that will be another reason 'why' I wouldn't get it today.  Jason suggested I draw/design my own dragonfly... it isn't something I 'felt inside' I should do.... so, I haven't.  I don't draw a lot lately... anyway.

I want to mention a 'strange' thing that's been happening since we first talked to Jason, the tattoo artist.  My right shoulder has begun itching... it never itched before... but, has ever since.

I've been careful not to scratch, or break the skin... so, I rub it.  It's strange... 'why has it been itching since I'm close to having my tattoo done'?

I want the delicate little dragonfly that I keep imagining .... to be placed on my right shoulder.  I want it to look like it 'just stopped there for a moment'.

Then... underneath it will be..... 'In Memory Of My Son, Tommy'.  A delicate, little 'happy-colored' dragonfly in memory of my only child who died May 29, 2010....


We went to the tattoo shop ... to get the tattoo.  The guy named Jason took people in front of me; put a stack of new books in my hands, told me to pick out a dragonfly.
Skip and I felt bad, when he did that to me.  It was like he'd forgotten I was there; we had already talked to him a week before.

I stood there with the books... as I looked, I 'knew' I could never let him put the special tattoo of the dragonfly on me.  Hard feelings... I felt hard feelings toward him.

It was wrong of him to take the two women who arrived after I did... we sat 30 minutes waiting for his shop to open.  The reason he did that was because one of the women was about his age, cute.  I could hear them talking as I stood there with the books; he was just broken up with someone.... that said it all.  They were flirting with each other, laughing and talking.

I walked over, handed him the books, told him I was leaving.  He asked did I want a consultation.... I looked at him, told him I didn't want him to do the tattoo.  We left.  He had forgotten we already talked to him.

I left thinking about all the new books of tattoos; I didn't see a book of tattoos he'd done... I had looked forward to seeing his work.  If he does other people like he did me... his business will fail before it starts.  We liked him... now, we are very disappointed in him.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

They Had Better Hurry Up And Enjoy Their Food Before They Are Turned Into Crackers!

They Had Better Hurry Up And Enjoy Their Food Before They Are Turned Into Crackers!
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Skip and I spent a nice day together.  We had things to do, places to go.  :)))

We decided to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken to have lunch.  Skip likes to go there on Monday, Tuesday... so, he can get the 'senior citizen's discount'.

We went to the buffet bar, got our meals; sat down to eat.  I sat there, people-watched.  I noticed all the 'old-timers' were coming in for the 'senior citizen discount'... it was very noticeable.  Only a few people were young in there.  :)))

I was enjoying my lunch when Skip said something that made me almost choke in laughter.   It hit me as so funny.  You see, I've been telling Skip that one day probably before we die... 'we old people' are probably going to be turned into crackers, wafers to be a food source for the world.

I am reading so much lately about things happening in the world that was in books to read for entertainment when I was a young person.  Now... these 'crazy' things are becoming reality!  For example, the drones.... they'll be everywhere spying on people... and no one will notice them... they will look like little insects.  

In some restaurants... drones can be used to 'fly' food to the seated customer at their tables!   I read that one day 'soon', drones will be used to deliver pizza ... after obtaining permission to fly over people's property... permission to use their 'air-space'.  Isn't it amazing?

Some things I've read... concern me.  It brings back to me, a memory of a movie I watched as a young person.  Lately, it's been on my mind... the name of the movie is Soylent Green (Thank-you, my friend, Prenin, in England... for helping me to remember the name of the movie).  I just received the movie in the mail; I ordered it from

I haven't seen this movie since being very young... it made an impression on me.  It's about feeding the masses of people, and the food source used.  Old people.... if I remember right... were turned into crackers/wafers for people to eat.  

Yeah... they were eating their grandmas, grandpas.... right and left!  I don't have to worry about that... I don't have either one left in this world... and I have no desire to eat your grandma, grandpa... so, they are safe with me!

I'm going to take time to watch this movie soon.  I can't wait to see it again... to see if I remember right.

Anyway... I've been getting Skip interested in watching this movie.  I told him about the food source in the movie... he agreed there's no telling what will 'happen one day'.  

I saw a group of 'old' people come into Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I watched as they walked up to the counter to order.  They were given their trays, cups... everyone walked to the buffet bar to get their food.  

I was watching as they began walking to their table... I was in my own world, deep in thought, thinking about that movie... when I heard Skip say...

"They better hurry up and enjoy their food before they are turned into crackers!"  

Monday, June 24, 2013

WHOOOOO_OOOOOO! Guess Who Isn't Possessed?

WHOOO_OOOOOOO!  Guess Who Isn't Possessed?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I know by now, everyone is siding with Skip, in thinking 'Gloria is for-real possessed'.  :)))

So, many of you have seen my 'moving' photos.  Some of you even thought I had somehow.... made them move, made them animated.

Prenin, a friend of mine told me what was going on.  It seems that the camera that took these photos, has the ability to turn photos into 'gifs'... and they became animated.

Therefore... 'Gloria became possessed' in those photos!!!  Now... my photos don't... scare me!!!  Ha!  I couldn't imagine why in the world some of my photos were moving... and the rest weren't moving!

I wanted to let everyone know... honest, I'm not possessed at all... only my photos 'are'!!! No, they aren't... it's me being silly!

It's been fun talking with everyone on my blogs, and Facebook ... trying to figure this thing out.  A special 'Thanks' goes to my friend, Prenin!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Strangest Experience: "It's Because You Are Possessed"...

Strangest Experience:       "It's Because You Are Possessed"...

I have been having the strangest experience for the past several weeks.

I've went back over, and over to my photos... my 'still' photos only to find the same thing. I called Skip to come look... just to see if it's my imagination!

Some of them move! I am going to put one of the photos on here that is moving... to see if it will move. If it does... let me know!

The photo changes position just as if I'm changing position... my smile will stop smiling... then, smile again. It repeats itself over and over...

So, this is a test... to 'see if it'll do it for you'... like it continuously does for me! Let me know!


Photos Below:

Now... I have put 3 of the photos that keep moving... like I'm a 'puppet'... 'I move this
way, that way'.  If someone 'knows why these still photos move while the others stay still'.... please tell me.

Skip said, "It's because you are possessed".  :)))

Friday, June 21, 2013

Another Imaginary Walk On The Sand By The Ocean...

Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.... I loved doing this piece of artwork... I painted, cut out pieces of artwork I had already painted, drawn... put together.

Another Imaginary Walk On The Sand By The Ocean...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Aka Granny Gee

I walk in the soft sand, happy to be at the ocean
The wind blows my hair away from my face
Tendrils tickle my cheeks, I push them away

My long, flowing skirt billows out like a ship's sail
Hugging my legs, defining their shape
Beautiful, soft, pink material caresses my skin

I close my eyes, inhale deeply... listen to the sounds of the sea
Sea gulls sing their songs...  the sound of waves join in
Making the most beautiful music to my ears

I stop to feel the wind blowing, play, tug at me
Sleep... how I would love to lay on a soft bed that sits on the sand
On white, silken sheets... fluffy pillows to lay my head on

I feel I could find peace of mind, my soul be soothed by
Sand, sea, songs sung by the sea gulls, blended waves...
I'm sad, I feel bittersweet... gray

My colors aren't bright at the moment, I'm the color of sand
Blue as the sky... you know my son died on the beach
Listening to the sounds his mother hears on her walk

I wonder if he lay facing the sky as his spirit left his body
Looking past the sun to Heaven, with a far away look in his eyes
I don't know this, I just try to 'feel' my son's last moments

These are secret thoughts no one knows I think about
Thoughts I share with no one; thoughts that come to my mind
Thoughts that haunt, hurt me deep inside in a 'deep-quiet' way

I try to imagine his last moments as I take my imaginary walk by the sea
In my mind, I am walking, seeing a tall, muscular, handsome guy
He's running, laughing with a little boy who looks just like him

I stop for a moment to watch... both are blonde-headed, blue-eyed
I reach out to touch them... they don't know I'm there
They continue to run, play, squeal with delight, play by the ocean

I begin to walk, but... stop again, look back... I see the big guy
Has collapsed to the sand... I feel alarm as I watch, hear
The little guy say, 'daddy, get up... come play with me'!

I walk closer to both of them... no one knows I'm there
I kneel there on the sand, lean over to look into my son's face
Calling his name, trying to wake him up; he doesn't hear me

I hold his head in my lap, my tears fall onto his face
I reach out, pull my little grandson close to me
I feel his fear of not knowing, understanding that something's wrong

People appear, reach through me to speak to my son, shake him
Someone's gentle hand reaches out to my grandson to comfort him
I stand to the side to watch... I'm not really here

I'm in my mind as I take my imaginary walk to that fateful day
The day my son died, my grandson lost his daddy... his life changed
I walked there trying to see my son's last moments, as I've done so many times

My mind becomes so weary with the load of pain, grief I carry
In my mind, heart, a heavy load...  I imagine a bed with silken sheets
Sitting on the sand, big... fluffy pillows to lay my head on

As I end my imaginary walk, I am closing my eyes as my head snuggles into a pillow
Tears fall on the silken pillow case, feeling cool to my skin
I fall asleep to the music of the sea gulls, waves washing to shore

I imagine as I fall asleep, that my son's death was as gentle as this
I imagine he didn't feel any pain, felt at peace just as I do
Lying here on my bed by the sea, feeling the ocean breeze caress my skin

I'm too weary to cry anymore, tears still fall on their own
How many times have I been here to seek peace of mind
Going into myself, taking my imaginary walk by the ocean

Trying to see, sense... know that my son didn't suffer
When his body collapsed, falling onto the sand
Please Lord, I hope he didn't feel any pain... fear

Thank-you, for having your angels nearby to come, protect
The little boy who stood there, not knowing yet... his life changed
Forever... only knowing his daddy lay there, when he wanted him to play

My prayers for this little boy, my precious grandson
Is that he grows up knowing he was the apple of his daddy's eye
No one could have been prouder of him... than his daddy was

Grow up, be ready for the world... he is someone special
I can see, sense it even now... big personality, confidence, laughter
Sense of humor in his eyes... that's my son's son... Big Daddy's Boy

I'm going to close my eyes in my mind, I've completed once again
Another imaginary walk on the sand by the ocean, I'm so weary
I lay my head down on my fluffy pillow, I've found peace of mind



So many times I do this... I used to cry all the time.  I'm too weary to cry now.  Tears fall, my sobs are silent now... I go to this place in my mind now... to seek peace of mind.

Even in my mind, in my imagination... I'm so weary that I imagine the bed on the sand, so... I can rest my mind, my body... my very soul.

Tommy... my son, died May 29, 2010... running, playing, laughing with his little 3 year old son... listening to sea gulls sing, the waves rushing up to the shore... at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

He was so happy to be at the beach to play for his first time with his little son.  The evening before, he stopped me as we were walking out of our home... he grinned, said... "Mama, I'm going to get to play with my son for the first time at the ocean!"  He barely made it there... just in time.  He safely arrived there... only to leave again on a... trip he can never come back from.

I never forgot that moment when he told me, his eyes sparkling with excitement...  I never forgot my son... I will always write to remember my only child, Tommy.  I hope you will remember him, too.

If you want me to remember your child, tell me... I won't forget them.  If you want to tell me their name, date of birth, day they passed away... I will put them on my blog, to remember them always.  You might want to add one special thing about them.

Love, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Anything Could Happen...

Artwork by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee... For now... the water, air is free... here.

Anything Could Happen...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today, I read something disturbing.  It was an article about euthanizing... autistic children, Alzheimer patients.  This is in another country; I forget which country... doesn't matter, because 'it's out there now'... it makes me wonder how many countries will think about it.

I've had a worry in the back of my mind about such as this.  I actually... read it today.  It may become reality now.  This is how the world can 'rid itself' of people who 'don't matter'... make room for the strong.

Kill grandma, grandpa off.  Get rid of the children that have special needs.  We know they are just taking up room the stronger people need... no one wants to take care of these people.  They drain our resources, take up our time, worry us to death... too much work.

Too many people in the world today.  Think of how much room there would be... if just these people were taken out of it.  Do you ever fear, worry about such things?

Homeless people, stray dogs, cats, animals... anything that moves, isn't an important part of our society.  Only wildlife would be left... people 'who mattered'... and their current pets.

I worry, wonder, think constantly.  It's my nature... I study constantly, the things around me.  I think things others say they never thought of.  I don't know why, but, I do.

I remember watching a movie when very young.  It was to do with feeding the masses of people.  Too many people, not enough food.  They came up with crackers, 'wafers'... for people to eat.  They were made from the people that weren't needed in the world.  They became food for the strong.

I wish I could remember the name of the movie ... I wish I could see that movie again.  I remember thinking many years ago... that it could really happen one day.  Isn't it amazing how people predict the future?

Sometimes... I've felt I could... things happen 'now'... that I thought years ago ... 'could happen'.  I didn't want to keep thinking about them... I didn't want them to happen.  I know the little I've thought about... in no way compare with people who study, predict in a sophisticated way.  

When I have 'crazy' ideas regarding the future... I think to myself that ... 'that's bound to happen one day'... it can't help but, to.  I remember being very young... thinking that one day 'air might be sold'.... wouldn't it be something if water would be sold?

Sure enough... we buy tons of water, lots of air.  There are some who remember how 'shocking' it was when water, air were first sold.  We knew when that happened... 'anything could happen'.

Remember when people thought, 'there's no way I'm going to buy bottled water'.  Now ... it's a status symbol... 'you are somebody' when you walk, drive around with a pretty labeled bottle of water.  The prettier the label... the 'better the water'.  Our minds are amazing.....

These are some thoughts I had on my mind today.  I thought I would share them with you.  I'm thinking ... anything could happen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

There's Sand In Hell... Too

There's Sand In Hell... Too
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

$225.00 for water
$150.00 for sand
$300.00 for swimming pool (on the ground)
Inexperienced person to rake, level sand
Inexperienced person to put up swimming pool
Inexperienced person did best they could

The sand was put over the fence, where all was raked down to make a soft, level place to put a swimming pool up.  A 15 x 3 ft. above the ground pool... what one hears called a 'poor man's swimming pool'.

Who cares what someone calls it.... it's wonderful to have when it's hot... in my situation, it's a place to help the pain in my body.  So, the pool meant a lot to me.

When, finally time for the water truck to come, I knew soon, I would enjoy getting into the pool.  I felt excitement... I am a big kid inside... I looked forward.

Oh, how pretty that swimming pool... was!  It was full of pure, clean, soft water.  I put the chlorine into it, turned the pump on... let it circulate.

The pool didn't fill to its full capacity... as one side was a little lower.  It wasn't noticeable... but, it 'was'.... a little lower on the side that 'goes downhill'..... the water guy thought it'd be alright.  So, did several people, including myself.... didn't look like that would hurt a thing.  Didn't look like it would make any difference...

For two days, I watched the thermometer... the water was 85 degrees... it was time to get in.  I had been imagining warm water over the areas I've had major surgery, warm water soothing the 'forever' pain I have in my body from these surgeries... I was ready to get in.  I found myself thinking, almost feeling the warmth of the wonderful water.

Happy colors filled the pool.  A big, hot pink... white... blue... yellow beach ball floated, rolled on the water.  A nice breeze pushed the hot pink float... neon green float all around on the surface of the water.  Not only that... there were happy-colored 'noodles' floating all around, plus... 2 more little happy-colored 'floats.

There's nothing like standing, looking at a beautiful pool of clear water... full of happy-colors!  I know; I stood there breathing that wonderful air, feeling that wind blow on my skin.  I felt warmth from the sun kissing my skin.... it was like in a movie.  You know how all slows down to that 'special moment'....

I could hear the sounds of birds; I even heard a woodpecker off in the distance.... peck, peck, peck!  I smiled... I love woodpeckers, and I love their sounds.

I could hear the soothing drone of an airplane so high above the clouds that I couldn't see it.  Nevertheless... the sound is what I love to hear.  I heard dogs barking in the distance... I love that sound.  Even an occasional voice, the slam of a door in the distance made my 'special moment' ...all the more special.

I took a deep, happy breath full of all the happiness of colors, sounds I'd just been experiencing.... in.  What a happy breath of air that was!  With that inside my body, I got into that wonderful pool of warm water.... I knew it would get warmer as the summer days went by...

My happy self began moving in the water... I looked up at the clouds.  Oh, now... I could watch the very thing I loved to watch... clouds!  I love big, forever-changing shapes of clouds.  Changing constantly... I never get bored watching them!  In this pool... it was going to be wonderful... out in the sunshine shining down on my happy pool of water.  My mind was in the future, feeling... knowing how wonderful... it all was going to be.

One little pool of water that meant nothing to anyone else... after all, who would want it... it wasn't even in the ground.  When one rents a home... this type of pool is perfect.  Also... we are 'poor men'... and we let some things go... to pay for it.

Skip wanted me to have the pool to exercise in... he knows the 'forever pain' I live with every day of my life.  I don't complain... but, he still knows.  Skip was very happy that finally... he had the pool for me to make me feel better...

I closed my eyes, floated around on that water.  Oh, God... thank-you for this wonderful pool of water around me, I thought.  It might not mean anything to anyone else... but, to me... it was heaven for my body.

If I opened my eyes... it was heaven for them to see all the happy colors around me.  If I looked above... there were the big, fluffy clouds high in the sky.  If I closed my eyes, I could feel the sun, wind caressing my skin with its warmth... I could hear the drone of the airplane as it made its journey across the sky.

I could hear barks of dogs, slamming of a door, a voice in the distance... sounds of wonderful life close by... I was in ... heaven.  I floated around with the softest, silliest smile on my face.  Heaven... heaven, that's where I was... and I would spend a lot of days... in heaven this summer.

As I floated around on that water with my silly, happy smile, eyes closed... listening to the happy sounds around me... all HELL broke loose!

It happened so fast... in front of the world up on that hill, in front of God, in front of everyone.  The next thing I knew was that... I was fighting for my life!

I was drowning, I tried to open my eyes!  That beautiful, clear water was trying to kill me!  My mind registered that it was pouring over me as it swept me along with it... I became the water!

We swept right across the wall of that wonderful pool.... so fast that my mind couldn't take it all in.  I thought faster than I could register what I was thinking... but, somehow... I still understood myself!

I'm going to drown right here... oh Hell!  That sand is burning my ......, and my knees, tops of my feet!  When is it going to stop!  I was fighting to survive the flood I was in... somehow, getting up through it all.... glancing all around, hoping no one saw me... feeling like the dumbest fool in the world.  I grabbed my wrap, walked quickly into the house... my body hurting more than ever... my pride hurting even more.

Once inside, I looked back out to the pool, saw where I'd pulled up on the wall... that the pool sat still... so innocent... just like all hell never broke loose.  I stood there, noticing that the pool still had most of its water.

The pain was stinging my body where I was thrown with the water as it began its rush to get out of the pool... where my body met sand 'here, there'.  I hoped that I hadn't suffered an injury.  I had so much sand on me... and when I showered, I had to shampoo my hair several times to get it all out.

When I got out of the shower... finally... my cellphone rang.  It was Skip.  He'd just gotten a call ... water was flooding down the hill across the driveway, toward the neighbors!  They'd tried to call the house phone... I never heard it!

The house phone is turned down to low... I never answer it and, everyone who knows me... knows that phone doesn't mean anything to me... since Tommy died.  No need to call me on 'that' phone...  the phone to me... is only good to fax on, use in an emergency when I can't use my cellphone.  Even the Pups howl... when that phone rings... even on the lowest setting.  I never heard them howl that time, so intent on what I'd just experienced.

Skip was concerned about me, about the pool... what happened?  I told him what happened to me.... and he told me he'd just gotten a call that water was flooding from our pool, down the hill, driveway.

I ran to the window... there was that swimming pool sitting there so pretty, so calm ... the sun shining down on it... my happy colors all washed down to the chain link fence... sand washed down, through the fence...

That pool looked so innocent... it still had clean, clear water in it... not much... but, some.  So clean, so beautiful...

I stood there... it was a feeling like someone just died.  I was feeling the shock of what happened to me in the pool... somehow, I must have touched the 'point' on the 'low side'... to make all hell break loose.

I couldn't believe it.  My pool of water was gone... what I had left of it ... no one could see it.  My pride was hurt, and my body hurt... hurt from the burning of the sand when I came in violent contact with it... that's when I realized .... there's sand in hell, too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Just To Let You Know...

Just To Let You Know...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I am at present waiting for battery to go in my mobile hotspot.  I can't stay online very long... the charge in the battery goes quickly from 100% to 15%... then, the alarm sounds and unit shuts down.

So, I'll be right here writing just as soon as this is resolved in the next several days.  This is the only way I can get internet here where we live.

I will connect long enough to hopefully put this on my blogs.  Love,
Gloria/aka Granny Gee :)))

Monday, June 10, 2013

I'm Guilty As Sin... Food Porn

I'm Guilty As Sin... Food Porn
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Doesn't this look good... mmmm-mm, the flavors are wonderful.  I make this now after being 'seduced' by photos on the computer!  

Diced tomatoes, diced onion, half of a lemon to squeeze juice from, red and yellow bell pepper, cucumber... avocado, saltines...  I was seduced yet, once again... I just can't seem to resist... Food Porn.

Is your food better 'naked or dressed'?  I just heard one of the doctors say that on the TV Doctors.  I really like to watch them, they talk about any, everything.  That's why I like to watch, listen.

They tell things like they really are... everyone can learn.  I wish they'd been around when I was a child... I would have never grown up learning everything the hard way... because of being too embarrassed to ask.

Truthfully, I can tell you now... I'm old enough.  I made the 'darnest mistakes', learning things as I grew up.  Some... I will never, never-ever tell you.  I can't bear to think of them... I know I'm not going to tell you!  I mean it, now!  :)))

I like dressed food, myself.  I like 'good stuff' on my food.  It makes me really want it... put it in my mouth, eat it... 'pure savor' the 'deliciousness' of it.

The TV Doctors are talking about Food Porn... I know sometimes, we see food being ugly.  I try not to look at it.  :)))  Sometimes, I have to act like I'm not looking... but, I am!  I really try to be good.

You know.... the fresh, crisp, green lettuce all up on that hamburger, hugged as tight as tight can be.  Not only that, the cheese is stuck, pure melted... all over it!

Slices of red-red tomato, and white rings of onion laying on top of each other, on top of the yellow cheese... it ought to be a sin to see food like this.

To top it off... all that yellow mustard, white mayonnaise dressing it to the max... if your mouth waters... then, you aren't any more innocent than I.  I know you like it, too!  You bad girl... you bad boy!

 To top the 'whole' thing off... there may be sesame seeds adorning the bun 'holding it all'.  You know you want it... if you are even grinning the slightest... I bet you get one before the day is out.

I try to be as good as good can be... but, when I see that... I want it, too!  Seductive food... I want a hamburger, now!  So, I'm guilty without meaning to be... I like porn... Food Porn.  The 'good thing' is that... I like dressed foods.  Not all bare, naked.... ugh!  :)))  So... I'm not ... all bad.

I can see it now... all the wonderful fresh colors of tomato, onion, mushrooms, bell pepper... both red, yellow, orange; cucumber ... all on a bed... of lettuce.  Next, the creamy Blue Cheese dressing with chunks of blue cheese... poured slowly on top.... on the side of the plate are two boiled eggs, cut in half... with deviled egg yolks inside each.

I mean those yolks have been mashed up good with mayonnaise, seasoned... gently folded back into each half of egg white... looking better than it did when it came out.  Sprinkle that with just the right amount of paprika... just beautiful.

Top it off with a big, dark-green dill pickle, and some white saltines... oh my.  Don't forget to put the pine nuts, green edamame peas on top.  Do you see 'why' I love dressed foods?

So, naked foods... don't tempt me.... it's the dressed-up stuff that does.  I should get some credit... since I don't pay attention to naked foods.  Dressing does make all things... better.

I just realized as I'm writing.  I have been committing Food Adultery.  I have to tell Skip... I've heard talking, thinking about something is almost like actually doing it.  I'm just before... lusting after a good hamburger.  Squeeze extra mustard on it, please... yeah, put an extra slice of onion on it... that's right.

While you are at it, give me a cup of that fine... crushed ice, tea to wash all that goodness down my throat.  If that's Food Porn... I'm guilty as sin.

The way they describe Food Porn is how it's posed to be seductive to our taste buds.  When we look at it, our mouths drool, saliva flowing down our chins.

Oh, how we want that food more than anything in this world.  I notice if I would just close my eyes... look away... I'm not tempted.  We should all look away, so ... we aren't tempted to taste the delights of the world.

All that wonderful green, healthy, nutritious food!  I can feel it as it slides down my throat.  I'm thinking of something one of the TV Doctors suggested... think about healthy Food Porn.

At this moment, I was thinking about celery.  Dressing it with pimento cheese... orange-colored with beautiful flecks of red pimento cheese!  Crisp, cold, fresh-green celery... so crunchy-good when chewing it; the flavors of celery, pimento perfectly blending perfectly.

Anyway, I like dressed ...everything.  I don't want to see naked people, animals... much less... plain food.  I love the eye appeal... colors, textures, design.  Same way with clothes... I pay attention to detail.  That's what seduces me...

Food Porn... well... in my 'Gloria opinion'... that is why there's obesity in a lot of cases.  It's Food Porn... where beautiful foods are posed in their very best light; to tempt, tease us with... colors, textures, scents, aromas tempting us all.

I think if we didn't look... or allow our noses to smell... we'd never be seduced by foods.  I 'try to be as good as good can be'... but, I like Food Porn... I love to look at posed foods with all the colors, textures, smells.  I'm guilty as sin!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I Sold My Mama Out For A Quarter... Childhood Memories

Gloria Faye Brown Bates as the little girl who tried to be good, not get into trouble.  I didn't want to go to hell, because my 'little tail would surely burn', if I did.  When the world came to the end... I didn't want things from the sky to fall on my head...

I Sold My Mama Out For A Quarter... Childhood Memories
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

I opened the bottom drawer to peek inside.  I was very young, no older than six years old.  I was a very curious little girl.  I was mischievous; I got into everything.  I saw things I shouldn't... I knew things I shouldn't... but, at that time... I didn't know that I shouldn't.  

I would watch, study things trying to understand all going on around me.  Of course, I would be a big girl to understand one day the images, memories I had as that little girl.  If I had a little girl, I would protect her, never just trust everyone to be what they 'seemed' to be.

Sometimes... fine, up-standing citizens of the community are the ones people need to keep a secret eye on... when around their children.  Pretend to trust them... all the while watching how your child acts around them.

You all know how a lot of 'good citizens, and Christians are'... they are the ones who can do 'bad' things, get by with it.  Why?  Because, everyone knows 'they'd never do such a thing!  That's 'why' they do.

Want to know my answer to that?  Yes, they will... oh yes, they will.  They'll do everything you think they 'would never do'.  Going to church, preaching at a church... being a banker, business-owner, barber, doctor... millionaire.... doesn't automatically mean they are 'good' people.  They are good at what they do... to little girls.  No one ever knows 'they will do that'...

I promise you, I met some of those people as a child... they can touch, hurt little girls all the while smiling, being 'good people'.  No adult ever knows the difference.

If a little girl doesn't know that a good person will do 'bad' things... when they do them... she doesn't know the difference.  She just knows... she becomes afraid... but, 'why?'

Back then... grown ups were different.  They didn't let children 'be themselves, be educated, learn to tell on someone who tried to touch, molest them.  Grown ups told children that .... 'children should be seen, not heard'.  That meant 'you'd better shut up'......

So many things happened... I don't think things were ever still around me.  The calmest times were when Josephine came each day to care for my little brother, and I.  I loved her dearly.  I wish I could have found her when older, before she died.  I would tell her how much she meant to me 'back then'.

She would sing to us, hold us, tell us about Jesus.  The only time she made me afraid was when she told me about the 'end of the world'.  The end of the world was coming soon.  I couldn't understand, felt fear.  I didn't want things to fall from the sky, hit me on the head.  I didn't want my little tail to burn in hell.  She said if I wasn't good, that's exactly what would happen.  I tried to be good... I did try.

I was scared; sometimes, while drinking 'tea' in my little tea cup outside, I would look up at the sky.  The sun seemed to always be shining when I did.  Things she would talk about, tell us were things only grown-ups could understand.

I'd think about them when I played.  She'd tell us about Cuba, and Castro... I'd feel fear.  Not only was the world coming to the end, someone was coming here that hated us; he was going to get us, too.

This was the time, also... I would hear the song about the 'Streets of Laredo'... and I 'felt the lonely' from the words.  I didn't know then, what it meant... I just felt sad.

The sandman would come every night to put sand in my eyes, so... I'd go to sleep.  Strange, I never worried about 'sand' being put in my eyes... then.  I did love for my mama to tuck me into bed... how loved I felt... then.

Later in life when I became deathly ill, after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer)... I would imagine my mama coming to gently tuck my blanket around my ears so, they'd stay warm.  I didn't know I was in the world, but... I felt my mama doing that.  I felt such comfort; I was dying... I didn't know to be afraid.  I was the darkness with only fleeting thoughts... I 'just was'...

The Purple Beep-O-Leter, or some silly song played all the time, then.  Puff The Magic Dragon... whenever I lost a tooth, the tooth fairy would bring me lots of bubble gum balls... happy colors.  She would bring me lots of coins, also.  I'd chew all the bubble gum I could get in my little mouth... until I'd become sick, throw up.

Josephine was a kind soul, her eyes soft when she looked into my little face.  I loved her; I just didn't want her to talk about those bad things.  I think she just wanted everyone to go to heaven with her when she went.

She decided one day that she would take both my little brother, and I ... to her church to a funeral.  A black funeral.  I'd never seen black people excepting Josephine... her daughter, Maxine... at that time.

The church was within view from where we lived on the corner of Elm Street.  She pointed it out to me.  I wanted to go!  I loved to ride in the car, lay on the soft carpet on the 'hump', fall asleep.  When I would wake up, we'd be at the drive-in show.

We didn't ride in the car to the funeral.  We walked hand in hand with Josephine in the middle. We just walked as far as I could see... the church was 'right there'...

We walked up the steps, I heard music!  I loved music.  She took us into the church where I saw many dark faces looking down at me... their faces full of kindness, their eyes were soft.

People sat down, a man began to talk; as he talked... he got louder.  I felt nervous... loud meant someone would be hurt.  Josephine put her hand on mine, smiled.  I trusted Josephine, I leaned into her for comfort.

She stood up, took my hand... I'm sure she had my little brother's hand, too.  I can't see him in my memory... what I do see, hear in my memory is singing.  I saw dark faces smiling happy smiles, singing; clapping their hands.  I placed my hands together, smiled.

We were in a line walking to the front of the church... there was someone lying there... there was a man sleeping there on white pillows.  He was dead.  Josephine said he was going to heaven to meet his maker.  He was a good man. I stood on tiptoes... I wanted to see, too.  The man lay there, his face was so kind.

I could tell that people liked him... glad he was going to heaven.  He never woke up while we were there... I watched closely.

Where was heaven?  Whatever it was, it sure was a good place to go.  Josephine had already told me to be good, so... I could go there, too.  She said I sure didn't want to go to hell... my little tail would burn!

Sometimes, after the funeral... I would be worried.  I was becoming aware of life around me... sometimes, I was afraid.  Especially about when the world came to the end... things were going to fall on my head, people would cry, scream.  If I wasn't a good girl, my little tail was going to burn in hell.  I tried to be good...

I had begun watching tv... and that's when I first saw Popeye the Sailor man, Olive Oil, Brutus, Wimpy, Sweet Pea.  I was most familiar with Popeye, and Olive Oil... and 'that' mean Brutus.

My little brother and I were always told to eat our spinach, so we'd grow up to be strong like Popeye.  I wanted to be strong; I don't remember if my brother wanted to be, too.  One would have to ask him.

Well, I do remember my mind was on Popeye the Sailor man... I saw something in the bottom drawer that looked like him.  I wanted to look in that drawer again.  Somehow, I knew to not make a noise.  I eased the drawer open.... how does a little girl know... to sneak?  How does she know the meaning of 'sneaking'?

Sneak, I did.  I reached for the 'comic book' in that bottom drawer.  There he was!  Popeye the Sailor man, and Olive Oil!  I liked them, and disliked Brutus.

The only thing was... even at that young age... I knew somehow Popeye the Sailor man was doing something.... something.  You know.  Mmmmm-mmm.... well, I was older before I knew what 'it' was... and the name for it.

I heard a sound, and hurriedly put that comic book back in the drawer, closed it quickly!  I don't know if I ever looked at it again.  I didn't see on the tv cartoons those things he was doing to Olive Oil... that he was doing in the comic book.

One day, I was walking through the hall.  The wooden floor was so shiny, glowing with a soft light.  I loved my home.  My little brother and I would chase each other through the hall into the kitchen, living room, back into the hall, bypassing the bedrooms, and bathroom.

My 'daddy', at least at that age I was told he was my daddy, had a huge wooden chest in the hall near the back door.  So many times the corner of it would cut my knee as I turned to run into the kitchen.  It left a permanent scar there.

I had been outside playing in the white sand in the front yard under the huge, old Oak tree.  I had been entertaining my friends no one could see... we drank 'tea' from my tea cups.

I walked over to the bank, where the sweet peas grew, sat down.  I watched the cars go by.  As a grown up now... when I see that little bank... I was too close to the street.

I looked to my right, and thought about climbing up the huge hill, to walk on the railroad track.  I didn't.  There was a man who would see me every time when I sneaked up there... he'd come tell on me, all the while looking down at me.  He said he just didn't want to see me get killed.

The screen door made a sound as I pulled it open.  I was going to go find my mama, my 'daddy'.  My little brother was taking a nap.  We had to take naps everyday.  I can't remember 'why' I wasn't napping.

I tiptoed down the hall to my mama's bedroom.  The door was open, I turned to the left, stepped through the doorway; something stopped me.

I put my little hand to my mouth, and began to snicker.  I couldn't believe what I saw... I didn't want to make a noise.  I kept my hand on my mouth, and I raised up on tiptoes.  I held my head up, looking down my nose to see what I could see...

I'd never seen my mama, 'daddy' ... naked.  I was fascinated.  I did accidentally see my 'daddy' one time; I went to the bathroom, he was in there.  How does a child always look where they shouldn't?  I guess maybe ... because when little, 'everything'.... is at 'eye-level'.

I vaguely remember not knowing 'what that thing was'.... now, I was seeing it again.  I was seeing my mama and 'daddy with no clothes on!  They both were on their backs, asleep.  No one would believe this!  I was giggling through my hands...

I tiptoed back through the hall quickly.  I opened, closed the screen door, and ran lightly across the porch, down the steps.  I was going up the street to my friends' house... they wasn't going to believe it!

"If you give me a quarter, I'll show you something you won't believe"!  I told my friends, Connie and Rhonda, that I could show them something they wouldn't believe.  They gave me a quarter, and I told them to hurry, come on!

We all three ran back down the street, I was giggling.  I couldn't wait for them to see what I had to show them.  We all three got to the porch, I told them to be quiet.

We began tiptoeing, holding our little shoulders tight, being ever so quiet.  I put my hand over my mouth, I was getting hysterical.  I wanted to giggle out loud!  They put their hands over their mouths, they knew it was going to be worth the quarter they gave me.

I got to the bedroom door, stood there looking... motioning for them to come on!  I pointed my finger, whispered, "look"!  They both came to the doorway, I watched their faces.

Their mouths fell open, making me begin to overflow with laughter.  I had to run down the hallway, to get out of the house before someone heard me.  I would get into a lot of trouble!  They followed me, holding their mouths... I could hear them giggling!

We made it outside... no one was ever the wiser.  I never told my mama about 'selling her out' for a quarter!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Photos Of My Straw Bale Garden...

Photos Of My Straw Bale Garden...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Today, I took photos of my straw bale garden.  There are little tomatoes on some of the plants.

I saw one bell pepper growing, and I see yellow blooms on the squash vines.

This is the week we get our grass cut, so... please excuse the 'tall' grass.  Our yard doesn't normally look like this.  It is mowed every two weeks.

We got lots of heavy rain off Andrea, the tropical storm. Today, it seemed like the grass grew much higher.  :)))

You can see my 'makeshift' fence that will be easily taken down at the end of summer.  This is to keep the deer out.  I didn't make a big straw bale garden, as this is an experiment.  I wanted to see how it does.

I like the idea of using the bales.  So, next year... Skip will get more bales for me to play in.  I was thinking I'd like to have like two rows stacked, one row along side of that... or maybe just 3 rows stacked... with plants growing out from the sides.  :)))

The fence is a portable dog fence... that is stretched out, connected to the gate (with the orange garden hose).  The gate is connected to the Baker's Rack that I use for gardening.  All can be taken down in a matter of minutes... no one the wiser.  How simple is that?

Oh, I have containers, experimenting with them.  I read about using different containers like people do in big cities on their balconies... to garden.  I cut in half 2 liter bottles, and the gallon water jugs from water we purchase, to recycle them.  They work rather well, for a small garden like I have. I can throw them away easily at the end of summer, also.

This is my update on my straw bale garden.  A lot of people have been asking.  I'm sure some of you who did plant one... have beautiful plants in yours.  Happy gardening!

Everything A Child Does Is Right... Until He Knows It's Wrong

Everything A Child Does Is Right... Until He Knows It's Wrong
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

She lay there on the ground.  Her skin felt as if she'd been beaten.  Felt like hands, fingers had pressed too hard into her skin.  Pain... she couldn't breathe; she felt faint.  Her hair had been pulled; her scalp burned.

She struggled to get to her feet.  She didn't know she was crying; but... she did know she was mad.  Mad at the son of b____ for doing that to her.  She'd fix their asses.

The anger began to disappear; when it did, her heart began to hurt.  Why, why did they do that to her?!  Why?!  She began to visualize in her young mind what they did to her... tears fell harder from her eyes.  Angry tears, tears of pain.  They hurt her!  They were going to pay!

She lay on the ground, her arms and legs were trapped.  Her two best friends held her down.  One friend, who was a very young girl, held her arms.  The other friend, a young boy, held her legs apart.  Someone had pulled her dress up over her hips... and... she could feel the wind on her naked skin.  No!  No! No!  They could... see her down there!

She struggled, fighting to free herself.  She'd kill them when she got her hands on them.  She felt the pure, white fire of hate flow through her body... someone was going to get hurt when she got loose.

They were holding her down so, another boy could get on top of her.  As he began to cover her body, she began screaming.  She screamed as loud as she could.  No one could shut her up... her cousins let go of her arms, legs.  They jumped up, stepped back... eyes wide in shock.  They had never expected such a reaction... hell was in the young girl's eyes... somebody was going to die.

The young girl began getting up, trying to cover her nakedness.  She was so angry, ashamed.  The boy had seen her naked, he was going to....  She was pissed off; they were going to be sorry they hurt her!

Tears flowed down her cheeks.  Oh God, please help me!  She got to her feet, glaring angrily at her friends.  How could they do this to me, she thought.  Just how could they?  She loved, trusted them so much ... now, they had almost helped her to be ...... what was the boy going to do to her?  She didn't know the words for it... only that he was going 'to do it'...

All four young children stood there in silence, looking at each other.  Neither one of them were over the age of thirteen, if that.  She could see their faces... her face began to contort in pain with the new knowledge that her two friends, whom she loved dearly... would have let that boy do that to her.   Her heart hurt, knowing they would hurt her like that.

The girl hung her head down, her skin stung from being held down on the ground... their hands hurting her.  The boy looked at her, said he was sorry.  That was the last time she ever spoke to him.  She saw him almost every day... he was in her class at school.  She quit looking at him.

Just three days before her friends held her down, she'd been climbing up a fence post... the boy had been nearby... he came over, began looking up her dress.  She hurt her stomach, inside of her legs trying to slide down to keep him from looking up her dress.

She looked at each friend, saying ... "I hate you!  I hate you"!  She walked off, knowing she didn't hate them... she was hurting because they betrayed, hurt her.  They were going to let the boy do 'that' to her... while they held her down.  She didn't even try to kill them for hurting her... the anger melted away like ice does in hot tea.  All she felt was pain, shame.

No one ever spoke about what happened, not once through time.  The older woman still thinks about it periodically... she forgave them, then.  She never went through life hating, or remembering what they did.  There, in Hell... many things she didn't understand, happened.  It was just one of those things... that 'just was'...

Looking back with sadness... she knows probably the little boy didn't know any better either... children 'just do'.  Unless a child is aware of right, wrong... everything he/she does is right until... someone lets them know... it's wrong.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cleaned The Dirty Clean...

Cleaned The Dirty Clean...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Scrub, scrub, scrub.  The little hand took the butter knife, stuck it in the corner to pry matter that had accumulated there... out.  It must have been there for a million years... it didn't let go easily.

The little hand pushed, pried...put the knife underneath the black, hard dirt.  She began stabbing the knife at it... the 'damn' mess was going to come out.  

'Damn'!  The little girl thought that word often.  She'd learn it prior to coming here... to Hell; being thrown into Hell.  In fact, she'd learn this one word while visiting... here... in Hell.  

She was trapped in Hell, now.  Only... she didn't know she was trapped... she didn't know it... yet.  She was just a little girl... her eyes hadn't even begun to open ...

She didn't know a lot of things... yet. She did know she said the word 'damn' more often... out of fear, pain.  She was in a scary world like she'd never known.  She didn't know it, but... 'it was fixing to get worse'. 

Mama had tried to wash that word out of her mouth with Ivory soap... she didn't know that Faye had hidden it... so, it wouldn't be found.  Now... she used that word whenever she wanted to say it.  

'Damn' was her word... her mama had almost 'killed' her, choking her on the white, Ivory soap bubbles.  Her throat had burned from the stinging, soapy water as some went down her throat.  Coughing, gagging, crying as she struggled to get away.  Her mama had held her until she thought, she'd 'cleaned the dirty' out of her mouth.

Grandma Alma was wishing the kitchen floor was clean.  The floor had white tiles.  Faye didn't say anything as she listened to Grandma Alma... she walked to the kitchen door, looked down.

Grandma Alma couldn't clean the kitchen floor.  But... she used to keep her floors clean.  She was saying so, in the background as Faye stood there.  Grandma Alma had tears in her eyes... that's what reached out, touched Faye.  

Tears... tears that meant pain from something.  Grandma Alma couldn't walk anymore... she was paralyzed.  Faye didn't understand exactly, wasn't old enough to understand how horrible it was to have a stroke, wake up from a coma, paralyzed.

The one thing Faye was learning in her young life was... tears meant something was wrong.  Pain.  When she cried... it was the end of the world, until it was alright again.  

She decided she would try to clean Grandma Alma's kitchen floor.  She was just a little girl... she'd seen how it was done... Faye was the sort of little girl who watched, learned... then, she'd do the best she could.  

Sometimes, it wasn't the best... but, it didn't seem to be the worst, either.  She always learned the hard way... doing it wrong until it was right.  Learning the hard way was bad... she kept on ...until she learned right.

Sometimes, when she heard someone wish something... if at all in her little girl power... she'd try to do without saying anything... then, call someone to look, so... they'd be surprised; happy.  

Truthfully, sometimes, the surprise would be on her... someone wouldn't care at all... it made no difference.  What she went to such trouble to do, just wasn't appreciated at all.  She'd just hold her little head down in disappointment, go her way.  No one would know how hard she'd tried... to please... them.

Finally, the mess loosened, let go.  The little hand took an old rag, wiped it away.  She got up, went to the trash can, shook the hardened, black material in.  She'd heard her mama say, 'if you are going to clean something, then... clean it good'. 

She had a bucket full of very warm water, sudsy water.  The scent from the water was... CLEAN.  Lots of stuff was in the water to make it smell good... a lot... was needed.

The little girl had been taught to mix Clorox, Pine Sol and whatever else was needed... into the cleaning water.  Never mind one should never do that.  This little girl didn't know the difference.  She just remembered... watching.  She did the best she knew how.

One thing this little girl, and her first cousins who were around the same age, knew how to do... was to try to clean the dirty clean.

They were taught, made to do it.  Each would grow up to be a good housekeeper... dirty things would drive each... crazy, until it was scrubbed clean... until the dirty was clean.

In Hell, things were very dirty... as each person came through there, it was up to them to... clean the dirty... if anyone ever did.  It looked like no one... ever did.  Maybe because many were small children who had no concept of how to clean the dirty. 

She stopped for a moment, began looking around, while she sat cross-legged on the old, white, tile floor.  The tile felt cool to the backs of her legs.  She wore a dress... she always wore dresses.  

The only difference was... now... her dresses were worn, not the cleanest, old.  Her clothes was washed by ... a blind man.  George.

He was the only grandfather she ever knew... she loved him.  He was loud; as loud as his voice was, his hand was just as gentle to a little child.  She loved George.  She loved George, and Grandma Alma.  She didn't know they didn't have anything; were poor; lived in Hell.  Everything in her young mind... 'just was'.

George cleaned all the time.  He washed dishes.  George cooked, made biscuits, baked.  He made coffee in the percolator.  George used an old wringer-type washing machine to wash clothes... run the clothes through the wringer, piece by piece.  He'd rinse them the same way; gather them up in a basket, go to the clothesline outside, hang them up.  He would put clothes pins in his mouth as he used one by one.

She would watch him, wonder how he did that.  Could he really see, and just not tell anyone he could see.  She swore he could see everything... he knew everything.  He never knew it... sometimes, when she was held by him on his lap... she'd put her little hand up to his face.  He never saw it... he never blinked.

Her little hands scrubbed the corner clean... it wasn't perfect, but... at least... she'd cleaned the dirty clean.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Came From Such Ugliness... I Could Have Looked Like A Monster If I Had Become What I Lived As A Little Girl...

Monster... Monster... Monster... Monster... Monster... Monster... Monster... Monster... Monster...
I Could Have Become A Monster From The Ugliness I Lived In As A Child... A Monster... Monster

Gloria Faye Brown Bates... yes, I loved 'me'... I loved being me.  I loved being pretty... and being a good person at the same time.  I was fortunate... I looked like anything at all... I could not have been a 'Gloria' at all.

Now... I am 'this me'... below.  No longer so young, beautiful... full of life, as healthy.  I live with pain every day of my life.  That's okay... my pain threshold has grown more, since Tommy died.  Both physically, mentally.  There's not a day pain doesn't reside in my body.  It's a part of my life; it will be always.

I 'didn't go crazy' like I heard some people say.  'Something didn't  happen to my mind' like some of you thought; said without any empathy that my child had died.  If it was your child... I just laughed to myself... something would happen to you... because to you... your child is more important.  'You would go crazy'.  I feel I am stronger... so, no matter who you are... I don't wish that for you.  You just don't know... so, how could you know better?

This me... who has permanent sadness, grief etched in her eyes that began when she became a grieving mother.  No matter how much I smile, laugh... I can run, look in the mirror... it's always there.  Tommy, I love you.  I miss you.  My only child... is gone.  My eyes are... bittersweet... good and bad, happy and sad... all mixed together; pain and grief... all with a bittersweet smile.

Yes, grief and sadness have found a permanent home in my eyes.  That's okay... when someone looks into my eyes... and remembers they never knew that expression 'before'... they will know they are witnessing love for a child who is now gone.  They will remember Tommy.  My eyes will never forget Tommy... the day when my eyes are closed in death... grief will already be in them... for the sadness of it all.  For the sadness that Tommy died, the sadness that any of us die after making it through the obstacles of life, after the knowledge learned from life's lessons.  It 'seems' like our lives are... wasted, in that respect.

If you think I look 'ugly' now... I don't care... I'm thankful to 'look like anything at all now'.  I've found my love for living again... I don't focus on what you think.  I don't have time... life isn't about that.  I'm not a little girl any longer... I don't have to put up with negativity... I have the choice to turn my back on you.  You got your pleasure from seeing me 'down'... I don't have to put up with you... now.  I'm old enough, now.

Those people... so, so many more than I could possibly count (this one blog in no way reflects all the people who have become special to me.... all these, and more), who care, have shown concern, gave encouragement... now, you are the people I've grown to love.  I love people I don't know the names of, people I have never met... yet, you all have touched a place in my heart.  You are the people who matter.

When I looked so bad... you still liked, cared about me.  People who knew me before Tommy died... saw me afterwards, quit liking me because I looked bad... I was no longer anyone.  Guess what?  They were right.

I really was the 'walking dead'.  So, I understand... I understand... I might would have walked past you, too... snubbed you, whispered behind my hand with a gossipy gleam in my eye, too... never simply walking up to you, say I sense something bad has happened, I'm so sorry.  I care.  I might would have been this kind of friend to you, too.  Or, I may have been glad your child died... so, you had nothing, anymore.  If you did this to me... you did... I can do it to you.  I might would have... In truth, I'm not like that, never want to be... I care too much.  But... I know who was like this to me... in my grief, I saw, heard you.  Just saying...

Things have a way of coming back full circle... it might be your ass 'it bites'...  I'll be watching... but, not with happiness because it did.  I have a big heart... a forgiving heart.  I just... remember.


I Came From Such Ugliness... I Could Have Looked Like A Monster If I Had Become What I Lived As A Little Girl...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

This morning I looked for a scar, but... couldn't see it.  I'm going to look closer; I know it's there.  As I think about what caused it... I could feel the sensation in that spot.  Strange, I can't see anything... I thought surely I would see the scar there.  It's there... I just didn't want to really see it.  I don't sit, dwell on the things I talk to you about.  So, don't think when I quit writing... I'm going to go back to thinking about them, stay depressed.  I'm okay.  I write about these things... it's okay.

Don't feel sorry for me, sad for me.  I'm here... I made it here.  :))) Everything is going to be alright.  I'm not looking for pity, sympathy... so, don't feel that for me.  Life prepared me to be 'this strong'...

I write; I'm a writer, this is what I write about... I have to pull these things out from the past, examine them, gently open them up... to take the story out.  Sort of the way you do an oyster... to retrieve the special pearl inside.

I don't mind you feeling sadness, anger, happiness... I do that when reading things others write.  We all have to feel things... if we are to read them.  We have to feel, see them in our minds.  It's how we understand things; it's how we entertain ourselves when we read.

Suppose I wrote about wonderful, beautiful things all the time... all a bunch of soft, white, pure, wonderful fluffy... lies.  You'd become sick of reading 'me'... you wouldn't be interested in reading 'me'.  It would be the same way with acting... someone would be thinking, 'hey, you have to put real feeling there' if you want someone to pay attention.

I'm the same way... give me real feelings any day!  The ones who don't want to know 'real life'... please go back to your soft, wonderful, safe life where everything comes to you on a silver platter... if anything painful comes toward you, you have someone to catch it just as a ball player catches a ball in his ball glove.. before it strikes you.  I've never known such... my life has always been full of struggles... even when... I had everything.

Sometimes, Skip will say to me... if you say a 'dirty' word... you'll take away from being 'Granny Gee'.  No, I won't.  I'm real... and I'm 'me' before anything else.  Granny Gee is the special name Tommy gave to me before he died... I don't claim to be a 'perfect Granny Gee'.  I don't pretend to be other than I am.

Just remember 'I'm not a perfect Granny Gee'... I am Granny Gee, because Tommy called me that for my grandson.  It's a special, magical name when one person ever says it... that's my grandson, Taban.  Only when he says it... does it begin to have meaning; I feel Tommy. When I hear it... I can hear the most special little boy... saying it.  That's 'what the name Granny Gee' is all about.  I don't hide behind it, pretending.  When I 'tell you like it is'... it's me... Gloria 'Faye' Brown Bates.

I don't use excessive 'bad' words... that's not me.  There will be several words from time to time... because I thought them.  I still think 'bad words', sometimes.  'Back then'... oh my, the whole world was full of ugly words.  I'm lucky I don't cuss every breath I take... I don't.  But... I will use several dirty words from time to time.  Life isn't all perfect... it might be for you... it honestly isn't for me.  I don't complain. If it bothers you... I know you'll go on from here... to your wonderful world.  I wish it to be only more wonderful for you.

Lately, as memories surface in my mind... my body 'feels pain' from the past where it was abused when being a little child.  Thankfully, as I became older... I could 'bluff my way'... scare anyone who thought they could walk over me.  I would somehow, project the illusion that I could be a force to reckon with... in my mind I became 'the force'.  It worked almost every time...

'If' I had to back up my position... I stood my ground.  I didn't look for situations... I only wanted peace in my life.  I could have held my ground... but, not against a strong man.  But... when it came to a... woman, it was different.  I began smiling, speaking softly... and if I raised my eyes to look directly into theirs...

Peace and quiet was all I wanted in life when I began to have a choice.  Sadly, I married too young; in a marriage with a young man who didn't know how to settle down.  He was always gone... always with other women.  My heart never knew peace; I cried a lot... I went so far as to end my life.  I was too young, too naive.

I had gone from all the screaming, gnashing of teeth, hatred,noise in my life... to what I wanted... 'peace and quiet'... only I had all the quiet I wanted... but, no peace.  Sometimes, I wanted to go back to Hell... where it was noisy, hell-raising.

I had lived in town all my life... now, I was fourteen miles from any town... living in the country in a nice home... but, I was alone all the time.  A teenage girl left alone for the first time in her life.  In an isolated place... in the countryside... away from the night lights, sounds she knew.  Away from people...

I cried in silence, all alone.  No one really knew... no one came around... excepting the friends of the young man I had eloped, married.  They knew when he was away... they knew, because they went with the same women.  They all did the same things.  They were all... friends.  Young men do those things whether a young wife likes it, or not.  It's a part of life... my life.

When the husband is away... their best friends want to come play... usually, young wives played.  Why I had to be different, I don't know... I kept hearing that little girl from the past calling me a 'whore'... I wasn't a whore.  I ... should have been.  I 'missed out on everything', not only that... being good brought me much... loneliness.  I can't say that I didn't... daydream... I would be lying.  I just had this 'damn' sense of right, and wrong.

The older I got, the more thankful I was I stayed 'true'... it felt good to have a good conscious; it felt good to know I didn't have to hide something... like that... should I say 'so much like that... that tried to come my way'?  I never told anyone... I never told my young husband that his friends wanted to keep me company, keep me from being lonely, play with me... while he was off playing.  Why would I?  I never told anything...

They came on pretense of looking for him.  I became afraid... I never told anyone.  I was a big-little girl now... I was used to keeping my fears to myself.  I had to watch out for myself...

Not only that... if I did tell someone... I 'knew' something bad would happen.  There would be flesh pounding flesh, cussing, blood... my stomach would shake thinking about it.  I couldn't cause trouble like that.

The little girl inside me, knew that much.  I had become a holder of many secrets... I never thought about telling anyone... anything.  Why would I?  If I saw things even being older, such as a wreck... or something unusual... I 'forget to tell it'.  Who cared... anyway?  :)))

No one wanted to beat, whip, hit me as I grew into a teenager.  Well... maybe twice, three times... when I became an adult it happened.  I became a tigress whenever I felt threatened... and fought like a bear.  Didn't matter if I lost... I didn't lose... the little girl learned to 'fight like hell' when she had to.  I'd forget... I was a person... I would become 'the fight'...  'I happened'... if, pushed.

I knew everywhere to strike... because as a child... I learned.  I was the victim.  I knew every place that would 'hurt like hell'... those were my targets... only if pushed.

Three times... I allowed 3 times, hoping someone would come to their senses, realize they needed to leave me alone, or just forget me.  When they crossed the line the second time... I would become upset.  I would know I was going to have to take action, I was going to make someone respect me; I wasn't going to take it.

I would become 'twice as angry'... because I never looked for hell-raising (I'd had enough growing up)... I never looked for trouble.  I minded my own business.  Sometimes... trouble came looking for me in form of 'always some big-ass, blonde-headed woman'.

Through the years, it was always a 'big-ass blonde-headed woman' who would be drawn to me... drawn to try to bully, dominate me.  I always recognized ... 'the one'.  I 'would know' somehow... it was going to happen.  It did.  Maybe they sensed I grew up 'hating women'... my life was full of dominating women who bent others to their will.  What these big-ass, blonde-headed women didn't know... my will wasn't going to be broken... by a 'damn' woman.

Usually it was a fat, blonde-headed woman, taller than me... sometimes, once in a while it'd be a tall, slender blonde-headed woman.  From the time I began to 'be out in the world'... as a teenager onto in my thirties, I 'met them' in my life.  Always... 'big, mean... wanting to find someone to pick on, verbally/physically abuse.

Now... how was it they 'knew to come for me through time'?  How?  I never figured that out... if someone has an opinion, I'm interested.  I didn't wear a sign saying 'hey blonde-headed woman ... come kick my ass'.  I never bothered 'them'.  So... I wonder 'why?'  They could be across a big room... their eyes like bees flitting here, there... until... they beamed in on me... like I was nectar, be drawn to me... naturally, wanting to be mean to me.

In my mind, I began to be taller... hoping they wouldn't do it.  Do it... they would begin ... I would try to keep my eyes hidden from them... to not cause them to be more aggressive.  Didn't work.

I understood as a child the 'why?'... but, as I grew older... 'these women' would be strangers; I'd never have any contact with them.  The anger, hatred inside me... would rise to the surface... they would back off from me.  My eyes lit up from inside, with a fire from Hell.  I didn't dare to let them see my eyes.  I didn't want to challenge anyone. If I looked up, and they saw my eyes... it was time... and I was ready to live... or to die.  At that point, it would no longer matter.  Time stood still...


When they saw my eyes... 'when I finally had to lift them to look directly... in theirs'... I think, they 'saw the Hell' in them.  They saw 'I had nothing to lose'... they'd underestimated the little, short girl who seemed so nice, so... easy to use as a scapegoat.

The young girl who wanted to be good, go through life smoothly without Hell constantly nipping at her heels.  I think they knew they'd get more than they bargained for... they wanted a 'simple ass' to intimidate, to use as a whipping post... nothing as ... complicated as, I.  My question was 'why'... I was always 'the one' ...they singled out?

This is not saying I'm a 'bad-ass'... I was all 'girl'; I didn't like bad things... I had a horror of blood (you wouldn't believe how I had to become 'strong' when I first began working at the emergency room!).  I sure didn't have a death wish, nor did I 'want my ass beaten'... I'm sure any of them through time could have crushed me.  It was simply... 'I wasn't going down without a 'helluva' fight'.

I didn't live in Hell for nothing.  I wasn't a survivor from... not surviving anything.  I wasn't a fighter for not... fighting to just get to grow up.  I fought for the right to just exist... not bother anybody, mind my own business.  People through my young life heaped any, everything on me... to hurt, crush me... until I became old enough.

Does this photo show you anything about me... that would make people be that way to a little girl.  I've sat, looked at the few photos that survived the house fire... trying 'to see' something about me as a child... that would make people mistreat a little, innocent girl.  Look at it again, below...

Through our married years, Skip, will mention my eyes when I feel angry.  He says he has never seen anything like it... he knows it's the Hell in them... I came from Hell... my eyes reflect it.  It doesn't mean I became a 'devil' or evil person... I could have been, I was taught well.  I do have a bad temper... I am a positive person... thank-God.  

They must have seen that I was 'willing to die, than to let them run over me'... and that, I wasn't going to run from nobody.  They forced the 'ugliness' to come out of me, when I always tried to never feel it again.  I never wanted to be mean... never.  I'm not... but, I'm going to hold my ground... I will give 3 chances first, before doing so.  Sometimes, I ... might not.

I never felt good after inflicting physical, verbal pain on anyone... strangely enough... I never found the pleasure others found when inflicting pain on me.  I was ...different.  I 'felt' the pain of other people.  I sensed, saw what no one else saw, chose to ignore.  Why did I have to be different?  Why couldn't I have been a 'full-blown hell-raiser who thrived on the blood ripped from another's skin?'  I could have been... there have been times I remembered 'wishing someone would get their ass tore up... glad that they did'.

Whenever someone inflicted pain on me... I never felt it from that moment on.  I became a whirlwind... when the whirlwind slowed down... so, did I.  I would look around... and see evidence that 'all hell broke loose'... then, I'd remember.  I became... I 'was the whirlwind'... I was 'the Hell that broke loose'.  I wasn't proud of it.

The only times in my life I couldn't win.... was when my father slapped me with all his might, in my face... when my stepmother began hitting me in the face after he walked out of the bathroom.  Respect for both... loving them... stopped me.  The shock they created in me... paralyzed me.  I'd never seen, suspected they hated me... that much.

Another time I couldn't win was as a young girl... I told a lie.  The guy had been seeing other girls... telling me what he, and the girls did.  The details were in depth...  I sat, smiled .... with all my being, I pretended it didn't hurt me.  It was devastating me, my insides.  He turned to look at me, asked me if I'd ever cheated on him... anger made me lie, and say quietly, "Yes, I did".

I was in instant shock when he began slapping me, then... choking me.  I was shoved on my back, he jumped on top of me, hitting me in my face, my head.  He was killing me, he was choking me, I struggled to breathe; the pain... I went unconscious.  When I come to, I heard crying... who was crying?

The guy was holding me close, crying.  He knew I was dead... I began to remember; I felt hatred toward him.  With all my strength, I began to get away.  I was hurt too badly to cry... I made it to the bathroom... where in the mirror I saw a monster staring back at me.

I didn't know 'me' anymore.  I looked like the ugliness I lived in as a child... I was the ugliness, now.  My eyes, my face were swollen beyond recognition... my hair was all out of place.  My throat had marks on it... I cried inside.  I was battered, beaten the worst I'd ever known in my life.  I slid to the floor, I could no longer stand up for the pain in my body... my heart. He came to help me up... I kicked weakly at him, I tried to tell him how I... hated him.  He couldn't hear my cries... they were deep in my soul.  The pain...

The next day, both my eyes were black, blue.  I'd never had a black eye, even in Hell.  I did that time.  My throat was bruised... my thoughts were... 'I'm too embarrassed to let anyone see me, they'll think bad of me.  I have too much pride for someone to know that he would dare to hurt me. They'll think I did something really bad for this to have happened to me... I'm ashamed.'  I never told anyone what happened to me... my mother saw me.

My mother's eyes, oh... my mother's eyes.  Her voice... when she saw me she spoke softly... though her voice was soft... it sounded like a scream to me, like... "what happened to you, what happened to you!!!"

Tears filled her eyes... as I looked her in the eyes, reminded her of the rails around the deck of where I lived.... "mama, I climbed up on those rails to walk around on them, you know how high that deck is!"  She never asked me again what happened... I never told her until twenty five years later... what happened.  She looked at me, told me, "Faye, I knew".

The secret is to 'become what you want to be' in a good way.  Whenever I did, life was wonderful.  Sadly, as I became older... it became harder to hold onto the vision/image in my mind to 'stay what I wanted to be'.  When young, it's easy to pretend, to see your dreams... fun things happen.  As life, illnesses, deaths, bad things happen in abundance... it weakens a person... this person.

Life... the pain, grief of life made me forget; took me on many paths farther from what I wanted to be... most.  Look at me... you can see the difference.  So much has happened in my life... I'm so fortunate to be here, today.  I'm happy with 'what I have left of me'... I could have not had... anything.  I wouldn't have known life anymore... I would have become... death.

I'm proof... that if you don't hold onto your dreams, let life pry your mind off your vision to be... you will be a shell of yourself... just as I am.  That's why I'm always chasing myself in the mirror.  My long-time readers know about this... new readers have to go back in my blog to ... know.

Your thoughts, words will reflect what you wanted most in life... but, 'you won't be'... like me, you'll just be 'chasing a dream you let go of'.

If you are young, reading this... dig those heels deep into the ground... hold onto your dreams, never lose sight of them... don't let life pry your mind off them... stay determined to accomplish what you want in life.

This is my advice to a young person... one of the secrets to making your dreams come true.  I can only hope for a comfortable life, hope life won't be harder as I grow older, hope I stay at least as healthy as I am.  It's almost ... too late for me.

Sometimes... you 'can see me'... just as I do.  You will maybe see I was once a very attractive woman.  When I 'see me' in my mirror... I run for my camera.  I try to capture 'me'... I smile if ever I do.  It means the world to me.

I recognize 'myself' when I can find me; I love 'me'.  :)))  Skip laughs, calls it 'vanity'.  He always thought me beautiful... he even says that 'now'.  I think because he is biased because I'm his wife, loves me.  I don't nod now, agreeing with him, ha!  I do smile at hearing love in his voice, though.

After all... that's the main secret to life... love, caring... not one's looks, or material things.  I won't lie and say they aren't important... truthfully, they are... they do help one in life to go places, have comfort.  I treasure anything in my life that brings me comfort, happiness.  I'm always thankful, grateful.  I think that's another secret to life... be very grateful.

I was never vain... maybe I was at one time... but, I honestly was a 'good vain'.  I did fall in love with myself, thought I was the prettiest girl 'I ever saw'.  I was thankful everyday... because I came from such ugliness.

I was fortunate, I could have looked like a monster if I had become... what I lived as a little girl.  When all is ugly in our environment... if we see something pretty... we all focus on it.  I did... and I was pretty.  :))) I loved to look at me, dress me, hear me.  It was a good vanity... I finally had something special that was 'mine' in my life... 'me'.

Yes, I could have looked like a monster if I had become the ugliness I lived, come from... as a little girl.

If all unseen scars were to pop up to the surface on my skin from all inflicted on me... yes, I would look like a monster from the ugliness people 'who loved me'... inflicted on me.

That's okay... I'm completely opposite.  I love, care... though, I can still 'hate'.  Remember ... I told you I'm not perfect at all.  I can still be mean, ugly ... I never mean to be.  It's in me... I lived it, it was taught to me.  It's something I have to battle all my life... and I do.  :)))  I'm still a very good person... and I mean to stay that way!

The monster below... is what I could have been!  :)))

 Instead... I'm a 'good monster'...

Ha! Ha! Ha!  See, I told you I'm not perfect... I can be silly, mean... too!  I forgot to tell you all through time, that Skip has a nickname for me.... he calls me 'Monst'.... I wonder why I forgot to tell you?  :)))  :)))  :)))

Smug... a smug monster... :)))

Oh, where did my pride go?  I would have never let anyone see my face 'looking ugly'!!!  I'm old, senile now... that's the only excuse I have now.  When I do these 'silly things'... you can know I miss Tommy.  I used to send 'goofy' photos to him while on the road... to make him laugh.  It almost guaranteed a phone call from him... every time.  Now... it doesn't... work anymore.

So... 'you all are here'... :)))

You all mean the world to me...
I hope you like the 'monster' that I am; that... I have become.  I could have been a 'real-scary monster'... I couldn't... I would have scared myself!