About Country Bumpkin

I am an independent thinker. I write about my life, my thoughts and people that I know; I may love those that I write about too. I have grown up kids and an ornery cat - I may write about them or not. No promises on this blog. I write how I feel and I am one who does not sugar coat reality.

It’s Time

It is finally time to share about my Mimi.

She has been my adopted Grandma, my adopted Mom and also one of my very bestest friends; on any given day she had been any or all of them.  We agreed about 17 years ago that it was time to drop the adopted label.  Since then she would sometimes introduce me as her “kid.”  Those who knew that her own two children had passed away would question her, thinking she was getting senile, and either one of us would reply that I was her “red haired step child”; which got us some of the strangest looks.  (Probably because my hair is a very, very, dark red)

When I met her at the very tender age of 21, it was more like I was a 16 year old in a 21 year old’s body.  I had a ton of growing up to do, had had horrible role models in my own parents while growing up; and then along came Mimi.

To hear Mimi tell it, I was a mouthy brat who needed her firm hand.  Roughly translated, I was a street-wise city kid who had a chip on her shoulder that needed to be knocked off and some humility and gentleness learned in the process.  So she called me on my bullshit. She talked to me about the way my words had an effect on people and gave me many lessons on how to treat people and how to be a better person.

I may not have always liked her advice or agreed with it at the time(many times I went home in tears) but I always listened to what she had to say.

The most important thing that Mimi taught me was the value of having someone give you unconditional love.  I didn’t have many folks doling that out when I was growing up.  (When I lived at home it was in a scary world of hyper judgmental and often cruel adults.)

Mimi taught me that being a truly loving mother, one that practices unconditional love, is the best way to raise a child. Did it make me a better mom myself? Yes, it did, as she was a far better example to follow than I was raised with. Mimi was tough on me when it was needed, yet, at the same time, I knew that her love for me was still there, that she was really helping me to grow even when it seemed that she was oh so angry with me.  It was great to always be confident that she loved me no matter what, the type of love that a kid should feel from her mom.  The best part of it was that I wasn’t her biological kid, just one she had adopted into her heart and loved as much as if she had given birth to me.

Even though I have always known that Mimi loved me, it was never clearer than on these occasions:

One was when my first husband was sent to jail (for a non-violent crime), my mommy dearest had moved to Florida with her latest boyfriend, and I was left with my baby girl and no job.  It was Mimi who sat with me while I cried, and it was Mimi who talked me through all the decisions that I had to make.  She also made sure that I had food to eat and that I knew her door was always open to me. It was then that she started calling me her kid and making me feel like I had “real” family nearby.  Mimi even told her husband that she didn’t care what other people thought about what was going on with me, she was sticking with me, and I was welcome in their home.

The second one was many years later when my first marriage was over (for numerous reasons), and I was having a hard time dealing with all the decisions one has to deal with when getting a divorce and small children are involved. It was a very rough time for me and one where I often felt very alone.

One day it became too much for me, and I headed over to Mimi’s for some much needed advice and comfort.  We were talking. I was sitting at her feet resting my head on her knees and I just couldn’t stop crying.  Mimi told me to stand up, and then she pulled me down into her lap and held me until I couldn’t cry anymore.  (I realize now that she really had to love me to do that as she stands about 5 foot and I am over 5 foot 10 inches, and if it wasn’t for the arms on her chair I would’ve about crushed her). She wiped away my tears, kissed my forehead and told me that she would always be there for me, and she always has been.

The third time was when I had just gotten engaged to sweet hubby. Mimi wasn’t sure she liked this man from New York.  She really didn’t like his mom interfering in all our plans, or how she didn’t really seem to like me much, or how his little sister was always causing trouble, or how she thought it was too soon after getting out of a bad marriage (4 yrs) – we literally fought for days about it.  Silly me, I even went over to her house so we could keep “discussing it”!!  Yeah, I married him anyway and over the years she came to care for him and love him; though this was definitely one of those instances where “Mom” did still really love me best.

The last month of Mimi’s life I had spent just about as much time with her as I used to when we first met, back before kids, careers, spouses and just general nonsense got in the way.  In fact, when they first called and said that she had hours to live I raced over to the nursing home to be with her, and I was staying till she died.  She didn’t go that night, and she made me promise that I would be there and wouldn’t leave her alone.  So I stayed from Monday afternoon till early Saturday morning, and I only left because she was strong enough to tell me to go home.

It was about a month after I had received the call that she was dying that I received a call from my cousin saying that if I wanted to tell Mimi good-bye I should head over there because she was near the end.  I raced over to the nursing home and into her room, where I found her daughter-in-law and granddaughter sitting by her bed.  They told me that Mimi didn’t have long and that they had been waiting for me before leaving her as she shouldn’t be alone at the end.  They left and I sat in one on her bed and talked to her.  Her breathing was getting slower and slower and I knew it wouldn’t be much longer.  Out of the blue, sweet hubby appeared and bent to talk to Mimi.  We went and sat in the two chairs in her room to wait.  Well, we had barely sat down when Mimi gave a big sigh; that was it, her last breath.  I looked over at her and said to sweet hubby that Mimi was gone.  We both felt that she had waited for someone to come so that I wasn’t alone.

That night, the world lost one of the best people I know and oh, how I miss her!!

Love ya Mimi, forever and always!

 

 

 

 

I Love YOU

Three of some of the best or three of the worst words in the English language – it all depends on how you are feeling at the time; sometimes they can just be three words.

Remember the first time you told someone in your life, “I love you”?  For most of us it was probably one of our parents or a grandparent and we may not even remember that very first time.  Certainly the older most of us get, the harder it becomes to remember anything from when we were younger than about three – I definitely remember things that happened when I was three.

Since we’re doing “remember when”s let’s remember the first person of the opposite sex (not parent or sibling or any other relative) that you said it to – can you remember that person, anything about that person?  I can.  I can because it was the first time I felt that way about a person who wasn’t related to me; I can remember almost every thing about him.

How about friends? Have you ever said “I love you” to any of your friends (regardless of gender) because they were closer to you then some of your other friends or family? There a few of my friends that I have said I love you to.

Sometimes when I say it to a friend they aren’t quite sure what to say.  I remember one of my guy friends, the first time I said it on the phone to him. Now that was a moment that makes me smile to this day.  We both were just newly divorced and hung out with each other on the weekends we didn’t have our kids.  He fixed my vehicle, I cooked for him.  Sometimes we’d go out to the local bar and have their prime rib special, other times we’d sit at his place and watch hockey or NASCAR depending on the time of year.  Both of us were dating other people at the time, so it wasn’t anything more than friends. (Don’t get that look on your face) One day we were talking on the phone and he was reminding me that the next weekend I had to come over and get my oil changed, tires rotated. The call was coming to an end and I don’t know if it was out of habit from normally talking to my kids or what but I said (quite plainly) “Talk to you soon. Love ya. Bye” and hung up the phone.  It didn’t stay hung up for long, as it was ringing about 10 seconds later. The call was from him and the first thing that he said was, “Did you just say Love ya?”  Yes, yes I did – because you are one of my best friends and I will always love you.  (Yes, my hubby knows; knows him and understands it; his wife – well, let’s just say that she isn’t really a fan of mine.

If you’re married, can you remember when you started dating your spouse and the first time you said “I love you” and do you still feel the same way now, that you did then when it was first said?

“I love you” is just as, if not more, powerful to say to a person than saying “I hate you”. And really, wouldn’t you rather be telling someone that you love them than ever uttering that you hate them??

Think about that for awhile.  In the mean time, remember that someone loves you.

 

Hello…………

It has been a long while since I have sat down to write on here.  Had a few times of not being sure what to write, a few times of feeling like what I had to say was not good enough; I am sure some of you have had some of the same feelings.  And recently I haven’t been on here because I forgot my logon, forgot the logon to the email where I keep the logon information – sometimes I am just hopeless…….

Right now I am not at home – I am in a different state helping out a friend. Unfortunately my friend had to fly back home as her mother-in-law passed away, so here I sit.  I have made a new friend while I’m here – it is a friend of the friend who brought me here.  This woman opened her home to me yesterday and treated me to a nice homemade meal. I had pork chops for the first time in over 11 years – I don’t recall why we stopped eating them – it sure tasted really good though.  Today we went out to lunch and then out for frozen custard. Unlike our local shop in MI this place stays open all year around and offers more than just vanilla and chocolate custard.  I had a scoop of raspberry sitting on top of a scoop of chocolate, my new friend had a double scoop of chocolate all for the amazingly low price of $4.50!!!  At home that amount of custard would’ve been closer to $10.  Needless to say I was very happy with the whole custard experience.

Hope everyone is having a great time in your own corner of the world.

 

 

Jingle

elf on the shelf

The last few years this little elf doll that is now known as “Elf on a Shelf” has been in just about every store and someone is making BIG bucks for the book they created and put with this horrible creation.

To me, it is a thing that nightmares are made of; from Thanksgiving till Christmas this little elf moved from room to room and even when he couldn’t be seen, the jingle bell on his cap would ring to let you know that he was nearby. Mommy Dearest had decided that the best way to get her somewhat willful child to behave, at least between Thanksgiving and Christmas, was to have this elf doll move into our house.  Our elf had a jingle bell on his cap and so was named Jingle; he reported all bad behavior directly to Santa.  I feared him the first year and hated him till he disappeared sometime around 4th grade.

I remember the first year that he appeared, I was in kindergarten and couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving because that meant going to Grammy’s and seeing all my cousins and playing in the snow, snow forts, snow ball fights, sledding, hot chocolate and sleeping in a sleeping bag.  We came home on Saturday and that was when Jingle appeared.

I woke up on Sunday and he was sitting next to my cereal bowl.   I thought that he was a cute little doll and started to play with him instead of eating my breakfast.  Of course that got me a little verbal correction and then Mommy Dearest launched into the tale of “Jingle”, who was Santa’s helper, and suddenly my little shadow.

Even when I couldn’t see Jingle, if I did something wrong I would hear his little bell and was swiftly told that he was reporting my bad behavior to Santa and with any luck I would at least get a candy cane in my stocking instead of a lump of coal.

My older siblings took advantage of the fact that they were tall enough to reach the place where Mommy Dearest had hidden his bell and if I didn’t obey one of their commands or wouldn’t do exactly as they said I would hear Jingle’s bell and I just knew that he was reporting me directly to Santa.

The appearance of the little elf had me frequently looking over my shoulder and constantly trying to be good; which for a little kid isn’t always the easiest thing to do.   Christmas time means Christmas cookies; cut-out iced ones, Russian tea cakes, date bars and gingerbread men.  My sweet tooth is well known in my family so it was a constant internal battle with myself to stay out of the cookie tins.  I would constantly get in trouble for sneaking cookies, especially when I thought that no one was looking.   One night, or should I say early morning, I popped out of the bed that I shared with my oldest sister when she came home from college and quietly snuck into the kitchen to get a cookie or two to munch. I no sooner had the lid off the cookie tin and had taken a hearty bite of a very delicious iced snowman with sprinkles than I heard that bell.  I froze!  Didn’t that elf ever sleep???  I quickly brushed the crumbs off of my face and hands and headed back to bed.  Busted by Jingle!!

The next morning Jingle was once again sitting by my cereal bowl.  I stared at him and wondered how something that looked like a doll could actually talk to Santa.  When I was done I took my bowl to the sink and when I came back Jingle was off the table and sitting at my father’s desk.  I was a firm believer that he was really able to move about on his own and had no doubt that the little rat fink could actually report to Santa.

Fast forward many years later when Mommy Dearest decided that Jingle was no longer working to make me behave for a few weeks of the year and he was gone, never to be seen again.  Jingle never visited my children and when “Elf on a Shelf” started appearing in stores as a “cute” thing at Christmas, I could hardly believe that someone would want to make a profit on something that was a terror to small children.

This is my favorite picture of what to do with an elf on the shelf.  (I really hate those things!!)

Much later they made a movie about a horrible doll named Chucky who could walk around and was known for killing people with his knife.  Part of me thought that he was really Jingle’s evil big brother and I never could watch the movies.

September 11

Another 9/11 has come and gone.  It is only the second one in 15 years that I have been out of my house for almost the whole day.  I have many memories of the worst 9/11 that our country has ever seen, not too many of them are cheerful.  I can remember everything about that day; where we were; what was happening around us the whole day.  I can remember where I would’ve been had I not cancelled an interview for that morning.  Cancelling that interview has haunted me for many, many years.

Sweet hubby has a hard time with this day.  He knew a few people who worked in the towers of the World Trade Center.  He doesn’t know what happened to some of them as, with people you know during college, you don’t always keep in touch like you wish you would.  Here is a tribute to one; it is the only one I can find on the internet Ron Hoerner.   He was the husband of one of hubby’s supervisors and hubby had spent time with him, gotten to know him, considered him a friend.

This date will always be a day that I stop and think about the many lives lost that day.

Good bye to our fur baby

As many of you know we had to adopt our daughter’s cat when she moved out.  She had named the cat Zonia; Zo for short and couldn’t take her with her when she moved in with her cousin.

So, Zo became our cat; our little fur baby and the best friend of sweet hubby.

According to our vet, Zo was one of the cleanest cats he had ever seen.  I said she could shed a whole other cat in two days.  She was constantly grooming herself.  Pet her and as soon as you stopped she would groom that whole area as if you were petting her with dirty hands.

Unfortunately all that grooming led to the biggest hairball in her stomach that the vet had ever seen.  We had the vet remove the hairball and brought her home.  She was supposed to start eating, but she never really ate well again.  She would pick at her food, sniff it and walk away.  We fed her with a syringe because we were trying to save her life, we did that till it looked like she was having a seizure while we were trying to get her to eat.  We went back to the vet only to be told that they would have to put a feeding tube in and that the risk of infection was very high.  Choices were offered and after a lot of thought we made the ultimate decision to be compassionate and let her go.

That was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make to date.  It hurt to make it and it was hard to say good bye to our fur baby; it was just the best choice.

Rest in Peace  dear Zo.

Zo  last pic 10 24 2015

“New” Beginning

I have been reading Momma’s blog and Cindyism’s and then I looked at mine – yup, once again I suck at keeping up with it daily. I think I will work on updating it once a week – with either what is going on with me, my thoughts or a memory.  Let’s see how I do at that.

Today started out alright, and now it isn’t.  I had to send sweet hubby to the store for me because some how I got some flu-ish type of bug.  It isn’t pleasant. I had to stay home from a meeting tonight as there was no way I could do my duties as “President” with the way I was feeling.  The secretary was oh so happy to take over for me.  Tomorrow is a big luncheon at church and of course I am supposed to be there doing many things.  I sincerely hope that I can make it.

So here is one of my thoughts – if you feel like you are coming down with something or you definitely know that you are ill; please for the love of all that is holy – STAY HOME!!  I already came down with a sinus infection which the offender tried to pass off as a seasonal allergy and I wasn’t happy.  Not sure who or how I got this latest “bug”; pretty sure it came from someone who needed to stay home.

Over the summer I got back in touch with an old friend and we have been enjoying speaking with each other and catching up on the 15 years that we hadn’t seen each other.  I do have some trouble keeping our “phone dates”. I don’t always like to chat on the phone and sometimes I just plain forget.  The other day I decided I needed a short nap first and ended up sleeping much longer then intended; yup, missed the phone date.

So this is some of what is going on with me – what is going on with you?

 

 

A little of this, a little of that, and a memory

I know it has been a long while since I have posted – I apologize for that – life has just been busy.

The little one (I need to find another way to include her in our conversations) is going to make me a grandmother by the end of Oct this year.  I keep telling her that “she” will be a Halloween baby.

The oldest (and only other child of mine) got engaged the end of June; the wedding will be Aug 2016.

A couple of days ago I went back to the area I grew up in and visited my little “Sis”.  As we drove around after lunch (killing time before a movie) we went through an area that I hadn’t been in in many decades.  I wondered if it was the same intersection near where I had a curious encounter when I was barely in my 20’s.

It was a summer night and I had been watching friends play baseball at one of the many parks in the area. Afterwards we hit one of the many little bars that we usually hung out at – you know the ones that aren’t really busy, no bouncers and tend to overlook the fact that even though you were legally an adult you weren’t supposed to be in there indulging in “adult” beverages because for that you weren’t legally an adult. It helped if you wore “Daisy dukes” (shorty shorts) and a t-shirt that had a bare midriff.   (No, I wasn’t “like that”; it was more to fit in with the crowd I ran with)

Well after a couple of drinks and many dances, it was time to head for home.  I jumped in my trusty, but rusty ’63 “heavy Chevy” Bel Air and drove for home.  Not long after, I was right outside the gates for one of the many GM plants in the area, the Bel Air came to a stop.

I tried turning the key to start it, you didn’t really need the key to start it, but I used it anyway.  No luck.  I got out of the car and raised the hood, checked battery cables, the carburetor, and any other wiring that I could see using a well placed street light; everything was fine.  So I then did what any “damsel in distress” would do; I shut the hood and climbed on top of the car to await rescue.  (No cell phones in those days and no pay phones outside of the plant’s fence.)

I didn’t have long to wait as the afternoon shift was ending and vehicles were exiting the gates.  One problem – no one was stopping.  I waved at a few vehicles and their drivers would wave back, but did not stop.  Finally there were very few vehicles left and I was beginning to think that I would be walking a few miles to where Momma lived and waking someone up to drive me home; when a young man (older than me though) stopped his vehicle and got out.

He asked what was wrong with my vehicle and I said it wouldn’t start.  He then asked if I would open the hood so he could look and perhaps find out what was wrong. Being smart enough to not say that I had done that already I let him look under the hood.  He couldn’t find anything wrong either, so he shut the hood and asked if I needed a ride to the nearest pay phone.  The nearest pay phone put me right where the hookers usually trolled at that hour and I didn’t particularly want to wait for my Pops to come pick me up in that area.  I quickly asked him where he had been going before he stopped.  He said he was going home. I asked where was home; I mean perhaps with any luck he would be going near to my house on the other side of town.  I was in luck!! He was going home to the other end of my neighborhood.  I promptly asked if he would drop me off at my house.  He looked me over, decided I wasn’t a threat and said he would.

Mr. Nice-guy waited till I was settled in his car – no seat belts for us as this was before that was mandatory  – and away towards home we went.  On the way he asked how old I was, I asked him the same (25); where was I going to school and just general questions.  We talked about current movies, books and the like; then he started asking more personal questions.  Did I have a steady boyfriend, what did I like to do on weekends, where had I been that night and so on.  Being younger and a bit naive, I answered everything and even managed to ask a few questions back; which he didn’t always answer.

In a little while we were pulling up in my driveway.  I climbed out of his car and then leaned in his open window to thank him and let him know how much I appreciated his help. The next thing I knew he was  grabbing my wrists and getting very close to my face. He proceeded to tell me that young girls like me should never climb in a car with a stranger no matter how nice he seemed as you never could tell what could happen.  He said the guy could take you to your home like you asked or he could take you anywhere else and you would be in a world of hurt.  Then he let go of me and backed out of my driveway.

I let myself into my house and woke up my Pops who was very angry that I had gotten into a stranger’s car in the middle of the night.  He took me to where my car was and we towed it home.  The next day I walked all over my entire neighborhood trying to to find Mr. Nice-guy’s car, I did that for over a week, every morning and could never find out where he lived even though I checked every driveway on the street he said he lived on.

Was I with a truly nasty piece of work that night who wasn’t up for it after work or was I just with a guy who wanted to help out a damsel in distress and then decided to warn me about the dangers I could of been in?  I will never know.

I know I hadn’t thought about that in a long time and it didn’t come back to me till we went by that GM plant and it set the memories in motion.

Happy New Year!!

It is with high hopes that I sit here waiting for it to become 2015.  The past 6 months have been rough, so I am hoping that this coming year will be much better.

Already the calendar is showing activity.  January shows us travelling to visit long time family friends up near Lansing, February and again in April we will be journeying down to Virginia for family events; first the bridal shower and the wedding of my youngest niece.  We will also be visiting sweet hubby’s extended family of whom, in our 14+ years of marriage, I have only met 4.

Still struggling with my sister’s incompetence in handling my father’s estate & trust; I told him she was trouble and she has exceeded my expectations. So even though he has been gone for almost 2 years things are not completed and she is making many decisions on her own (the paperwork filed in court should prevent it) and with the attorney. If I was a bit better off financially I would definitely be able to hire an attorney and fight this stuff.

I am so glad to see 2015 coming, as it has to be better than 2014!!

Happy New Year Dear Readers – may it be so much better than 2014!!

 

Merry Christmas!!

merry christmas

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

I hope all my dear readers are able to enjoy this holiday with their families and friends.