Getting Ready For Christmas 2012

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Posted on December 18th, 2012 by Cindy. Filed in Personal.
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“Gotta run Mom,” said my youngest.  It was 9 pm, and he wanted to be home when his girlfriend arrived home from work.

“Guess I’ll be leaving, too, Mom,” chimed my oldest son who’s still single.

I ruefully looked around the disheveled house. My dining room table was covered with the collection of Christmas wrapping paper storage bins – all opened and contents spewed everywhere over the table, chair and floor. Empty cardboard boxes joined the mix.  Every floor of every level of my house needed sweeping/vacuuming. Wrapping paper bits floated around with the breeze of the heater. My kitchen sink was filled with dirty pans.

My husband was due home at 10 pm from bowling. When he arrives, we have about 4 more hours of work to prep to ship the orders that came in today.

“But,” I started to say to my children.

“If you want, Mom, I’ll take the trash out as I go,” offered my oldest son.

“Do you want me to move the wrapping paper?” asked my youngest.

Although the labor ahead of me was daunting, I accepted my oldest son’s offer, and declined my youngest.

Then I smiled, thankful for such great men.

You see, today we again had a big shipping day. It was such a busy day that the dishes were left in the sink after breakfast, and we jumped on the work right away.

My youngest son showed up early in the day on his day off. His original plan was to get his Christmas wrapping done since he knows I have all the fixings. Youngest son postponed his plan and helped us worked all day. Then he went to the store, bought some chicken, came back here, and cooked Bourbon Chicken and stir-fried rice, all from scratch.

My oldest son arrived as my youngest was cooking. Earl and I ran out the door to take the shipments to the post office before it closed. Oldest son started helping youngest son by washing the dishes left over from breakfast and the dishes used in cooking.

When we came back from the post office run, my children had dinner ready to eat.

Over the delicious meal, my oldest son told of his day spent helping a car-less person transport the toys they were able to receive from Toys For Tots to the person’s house. Because of my son, and of course the Toys for Tots, two little children are going to get a Christmas this year.

After supper, Earl left to go bowling. My oldest son walked the dog with me. We had a nice conversation about love and family bonds. Back at the house, my youngest son carried in the Christmas presents from the car to the basement office/packing area. Upon returning, I decided to use the time to wrap a few presents myself. So I gathered up the collection of stuff I’ve accumulated over the year just for this event, and carried everything to my bedroom.

Every few minutes, one of us would make a run to the living room with a newly wrapped gift to place in the stockings and under the tree. Then there was another dash to the dining room to get different Christmas paper, ribbons, etc. After a couple of hours, my children were finished. They were ready to go to their own homes.

I, however, was not done wrapping presents. But time had run out. As I said goodbye to my boys, I felt a great amount of love for them.

Then I ran for the vacuum.

I’d gotten the presents I’d not finished wrapping sorted out, and put away for later. I’d vacuumed and picked up. I’d cleaned the dishes in the sink. I had not cleaned the basement office area yet, but Earl is home now. There’s always later. Now I have to get every thing prepared to ship again tomorrow.

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Steampunked Badass Elephant -Work in Progress

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Posted on October 12th, 2012 by Cindy. Filed in Art, Pottery.
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Ok, I may be stretching things a bit, but I think it is pretty Badass-ed. Maybe I’ve been watching my husband play Borderlands 2 a little too much.

Created by throwing 4 cylinders, one pot, and one spout. Putting them together, altering them, adding some hand building, sculpting a bit, and using the technique of “pulling handles” for the tusks.  Without further ado,  my Steampunked, Badass Elephant.

 

     Steampunk badass elephant

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Phone Call From Beyond The Grave

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Posted on October 10th, 2012 by Cindy. Filed in Personal.
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Dad and me, 1961

It’s that time of year when ghost stories make the rounds. Many of them are made up.  Here’s a true story that happened to me.  I’ve told only a few close friends until now. But today I feel I’m well enough to tell this story.

My father loved music and computers. His job was generally called “computer engineer”. Dad also enjoyed music and was especially enamored of horns in big band music. When I was a small child, my father was enjoying listening to some music and I told him it was terrible sounding. My music loving father took me to the hearing doctor’s office to have my hearing tested. After the tests, Dad had the doctor give him tapes of the sounds I could hear. Dad somehow engineered a sound board where he could play a song he liked, then applied a mask over it so that only the sounds I could hear would come through. At playback, he could hear what I was hearing. The results, he told me years later, made him cry. He thought I was missing so much.

Me, I didn’t really care. I could hear what I heard, and I didn’t seem to missing out on anything really good. I still enjoyed music, and after my hearing test, most of the music my Dad played around the house seemed to be better sounding to me.

Life moved on, I grew up while Dad grew more mature. We talked one evening about the probability of life after death (this was before my own near death experience). I said it would be nice to know for sure. After all, it wasn’t as if we could call to ask. He laughed and then said, when he died, if he could – he would call me (on the phone) and let me know.

Time moved forward. My brother had a heart surgery, and then went into a coma. All tests said he was brain dead, but the doctors would not pull the plug until the entire family agreed. I told my father he HAD to sign the papers; my SIL was drowning in debt, and my brother had told both his wife and me that he did not want to be hooked up to machines to live. My father was devastated that we had given up hope after 6 months. He lashed out, calling me a murderer. Dad signed the papers because I insisted, then went on a drinking binge. He sold the land that he’d always said was our inheritance, took a out a mortgage on his house which had been free and clear of debt, and went off to Las Vegas.

I suspected Dad was in the hands of con artists, but he insisted they were his friends. There was really nothing I could do legally. He put his friends on his new bank account. It only took them about 4 weeks to drain the account of every penny. When Dad discovered he was penniless he had a heart attack.  The con artists he had been with in Las Vegas then stepped over his dying body to rob him of his wallet and the keys to his car and truck.

I woke up one morning in January an angry mood. I felt as irritable as if a nest of wasps were flying around my head. This was not my normal mood. I am rarely irritable. This went on for three days.  Then I received a phone call from the Las Vegas police  informing me of my father’s passing. It had taken the police 3 days to track me down even though my number was listed in the phone book.

Upon getting the notice that my father had died, I was no longer irritable.
I was devastated and extremely angry! I was furious and heartbroken that my super smart father had rejected me in favor of those heartless thieves. I loved my father dearly. Until the argument about my brother, I’d have said we were close. I was too angry to cry and felt broken inside.

That evening, I got another phone call. The line was dead. I hung up.

A minute later, the phone rang a second time. Again, the line was dead when I answered. Again, I hung up.

The phone rang a third time. Angrily, I picked up the phone. The most hauntingly beautiful lullaby sounding music (played on a horn) I have ever heard started playing. At first, I waited to see if this was just a prelude to an announcement for a company so I could complain about being bothered by their calls.

Something happened to me though, as I stood there listening to this wonderfully moving music. I felt my father’s love like a hug around my shoulders and heart. When the music ended, the line went dead again. The hug dissipated.

I finally started crying.  I knew in my heart that my deceased Dad had called me to tell me that he loved me.

My husband, ever the pragmatist, quickly got the phone number of the last incoming call. He tried calling that number and it would not ring through. We looked it up on the Internet, and the result returned was,
” That number does not exist. “

 

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