I was in high school as my sixteenth birthday arrived.
I was enrolled in a program to become a secretary though the other choices for me were culinary arts, technical illustrating and electronics. I had made my choice and began to learn how to type and take shorthand, both of which I loved.
Mom and Dad had gone out and bought me a beautiful, electric typewriter, for my Sweet Sixteen birthday gift. We did not have money for expensive things like that and I felt so loved to see they had got me something I could use while doing my homework.
Now the day got even better as we had a cake my Mom made and since she was a baker and fantastic cake decorator it was not only gorgeous but delicious too! When all the hugs and kisses were done with Dad handed me a small box. I could see by the look on my Mom’s face this would also be a surprise for her as well. I kissed Daddy and said thank you as I began to open this “extra” present. It was a gorgeous watch, white gold in fact with diamonds inside or something like that. Not sure how Mom felt but Dad was so happy to see how much I loved the watch. He said I was growing up and would need one to be home for curfew. I loved my Dad! My sixteenth birthday was AWESOME!
I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and for those who do not celebrate the birth of our Christ a very Happy Holiday Season to you as well.
I remember the days of our family home on Christmas morning. We, the three of us children, were so very lucky to have what was waiting under our tree, be it real or the metal one with that colorful wheel. We never knew of the struggle or the monies spent for months to follow, to pay for it all. Life is simple through the eyes of a child or that is how it seemed when I was a kid. I was blessed with a Mom and Dad. A roof over our heads and a wonderful feast laid out on the kitchen table.
For many years Thanksgiving was spent up here in New Hampshire with my Mother’s side of the family where all would come together as one and give thanks for what we had. Back then I never gave thought of what others went through to pull it off. They worked hard each and every day and lived within their means. We had mini Christmas that weekend as well because usually Dad would take us to his parents house for Christmas school break.
Dad worked all day and then worked on the car he would load up with presents which we never knew were ours, see what I mean about simple times. We were children who spent the days outside playing after school never giving a thought as too what the parents had going on. No wonder they were stressed, I see that now. The car was packed with gifts for grandparents and us then in went all the clothes we would all need for a road trip to Nana and Grandpa’s. You see I have since learned by trucking it was 660 miles each way. With three rambunctious children and our dog Teddy. We made this journey from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania most Christmas holidays. Maybe that is where I found the love for the road. Staying awake with Daddy driving in the middle of what I now know was blizzards, helping him keep track of the white line on the edge of the road. He had his whole family with him in our old car with a piece of plywood on the folded down seat for us all to sleep. Daddy never did and I am sure Mom tried to always stay awake so Daddy could as she was his company, on this journey. So today with the saved tree from the dump with no gifts under it, I remain thankful for all I have ever had for it is more than many others never did.
With Daddy gone and grandparents too as well as all but two Aunts and 2 Uncles my family now three brothers and my Mom, we no longer have those times together. That is what I miss the most as this holiday nears FAMILY.
Today I am thankful and grateful for all of you I follow and to those who follow me, for we are a family of sorts. Sharing joy and happiness. Wonderful things to bake and make. We are there as well when sadness hurts so bad. Thanks everyone for yet another year spent with you.
We have had a few beautiful days here in New England but changes are coming. So as I watched the Boston Red Sox play their way into another World’s Series I made lists of things that needed to be done around here. I worked at planting my two huge Mums from the garden club sale, they are the hardy type so with any luck they will rest in the winter and be in bloom for next fall. Lawn mower was placed in the barn and snow blower brought up to the shed. You know regular stuff all homeowner must do unless they have a handyman yes my man is handy but you know the kind I am taking about.
So as I checked off each item I had on my list, I came to my Monstrous Spider Plant. There was no way I could bring it in for another year like it was. It is in full bloom, mid October in New Hampshire, oh how she loves the outdoors. Well I am sure it will go into shock and I also hope they all make it. There is nothing like having a living plant in each and every room.
So JT and I headed over to our local Wal-Mart so I could by some potting soil. I picked up six bags, yes it would take at least that to begin the task at hand. We headed home and I played with her for 15 minutes and then I began.
I usually make up my own mix but this will have to do, with shoulder pain there will be no stirring dirt for me .
This is worse than I thought, as this is a huge flower-pot.
See what I mean.
I really do not know how it could be so gorgeous with so many flowers and babies, this is crazy look at those roots!
They must love being root bound like this.
Much different tools used in this mayhem.
OH yes it was bad.
Lots of the Mother plants babies came of the plant
and would need to go into water or straight into new soil.
The last of them are potted up. I extra-large pot, two large ones and three medium ones.
So my yard and home plants have been cared for, tools put away that I use spring, summer and fall.
I said a little prayer for them to all make it through till spring, when they will be placed outside to soak in the sunshine and drink in the rains.
Let this be a reminder to knock your plants from their pots loosen up the old soil if you can get away with new soil added and you will not have Botany Mayhem occur at your place.
LOVE YOUR LIVING THINGS as much as you do your silly things.
I started out early one morning yes before the sun came up, as do most truckers. I had delivered one load of water, with my tanker, a few hours south of Boston. I stopped for coffee, for the ride back up to the mountains for my second load of the day. I walked around my rig kicking each tire as I do after hauling a load for few hours, all was good they were all still up and lights all were working properly so I made my way back into the driver’s seat.
I made the trip up into the mountains of New Hampshire for another tanker full of Spring Water. I took three or four loads a day, six to seven days a week into the bottling plants as we prepared for Y2K, do you remember that in 1999, as the world worried about life as the calendar turned to the year 2000? Well I had hauled rubbish, household waste for years then switched to hauling a nice clean load, one I never got my hands dirty or truck for that matter.
It was a gorgeous day out on the highways and back roads of New England. I reached the top of the mountain where the water came from the spring and backed up to test the water and load the tanker, all 8100 gallons. When it was over flowing I shut off the pump and closed the hatch on the top climbed down and went around to get back in the truck for load number two. I was grossing out at 103,000 pounds. Yes I had a reducible load permit, I was a Heavy Hauler.
I was always tense as I maneuvered my rig off the mountain, overlooking the Big Lake. See there was a stop sign at the bottom, silly engineers, and I don’t SWIM!
The ride through New Hampshire was once again beautiful and then I entered the highway where my speed increased and I was hammer down to get the load of water to the plant before they ran out yes that is how fast they were filling one gallon jugs.
As I made it to the tolls on Route 95 South I went through with my easy pass soon I would be in Massachusetts. This is where things went bad real bad and in a hurry. I had just gone over the nasty metal bridge in Newburyport when I saw a tire, yes a huge semi tire ready to cut in front of me. I had never felt anything at the moment it came off but now I looked to my left in the mirror and saw a school bus I blew the air horn very loudly turned on my emergency flashes to get everyone’s attention praying for myself to not hit this large tire and lose control of my rig and it’s load on board. I already had my foot off the accelerator trying to let it slow down so I could start dropping gears and make my way to the breakdown lane. Holding tightly to the wheel not knowing how this would play out I held my breath for what seemed like forever. This tire crossed in front of me and the bus and then headed for the median strip never loosing speed or falling over to stop the nightmare and then popped up beside a Black Saab, yes it has been 13 years plus and I remember vividly. The car thankfully was being driven by someone not texting or talking on their phone and they yanked the wheel to miss my tire it then went off the highway. totally.
Now as this was happening another tire came up beside me as I was trying to move over one lane at a time scared to death wondering if I could hold onto her as this had never happened to me not even in a car. This tire ran straight up beside me and then off to the right and over the embankment. You see I had 22 wheels on my rig and except for the two steering axle tires the rest of them were paired up.
I made it over to the breakdown lane and was happy my boyfriend was in the passenger seat for this trip not that he could do anything to stop the nightmare but I was shaking when I stopped and as he hugged me he said “I swear I do not know how you stay THAT COOL as you are at highway speeds and loose two tires and could have killed someone.” Who was COOL?
Now out of the truck and not wanting her to be destroyed by the weight and airbags and springs taking a beating I had him crank the landing gears on the tanker down and we unhooked the airlines and electrical plug and I pulled ahead. I then got out of the truck and I was so angry you see I had spent over $1,000.00 for two tires and new rims and all new wheel studs that weekend, I called my tire man from the side of the road and I can not say here what I said to him but I had him send a tow truck at HIS EXPENSE to come get me. I called the plant up in the mountains to send another driver for my tanker of water.
I then climbed back in the truck and then and only then did I EXHALE.
Life on the road is tough on drivers of rigs for they get no respect from other drivers but that day I earned their respect, for had I been a yahoo with no common sense they would not be here and you never would have lived a few moments in the rig with me. Yes I am a female trucker but a damn good one! Do you know the whole time this took place and then the wait that ensued I never saw one State Trooper you see they know me and I am responsible and courteous though at times going over the speed limit back in my trucking days, which is why I always put money back into my business equipment, my RIG, as I asked a lot of her. Now for the rest of the story some day I will finish it and title it THE TIRE MAN, as it is a good one!
A woman was just killed by a tire coming off a rig here in NH and I re-lived this event all over again bet you everyone on the road with me that day just over 13 years ago did too.
PAY ATTENTION not all things are within our power to PREVENT as I sadly learned.
You know I love my wildlife and you know I feed my birds and I have spoken about this Bear before and since I moved my computer out into the quiet kitchen area of the house and am no longer set up overlooking the lower yard and river. I miss a lot.
This morning I slept in till 6 AM as I went to bed real late. I put the coffee pot on and filled up my containers with fresh sunflower Seed to take out to fill the feeders so they could have breakfast while I read your blogs. I have been leaving the feeders empty to not entice this big black bear and any others with it from destroying the set up my darling made for me to feed them all. We recycled and used an old umbrella fabric removed and holes drilled in ends to hang feeders and suet from oh and a BELL since he destroyed it a couple of weeks ago so I can tell when he is out they’re messing with it so I can get PHOTOS after all it is what I DO right.
Well it was raining and JT grabbed her Frisbee and me the seed and off we went out to less than 100 feet from the back door maybe 60. I toss her the toy off she goes to catch then go potty and right back she comes to me for another throw. All the feeders full and us wet after 20 more throws we head back in. My coffee smelt great poured a cup and brought up the new reader to find all of you.
I am enjoying the coffee and reading and laughing and crying as some were real touching when the dog starts going NUTS!
Barking and carrying on. He was still asleep but he yelled BEAR. I go to grab my camera and both are plugged in and charging. I grabbed the Easy Share and I get into the living room where there was only a screen between us and the bag of seed and him and the feeders full of seed. He broke one arm but when JT scared him and our human voices he started to beat feet out of here. Thankfully. Then he stopped and start to turn to look our way and I screamed “Get out of Here” all the while JT going nuts and the poor cat who was outside took off and was not seen for 6 hours.
So here is the only shot I got.
Not sure if you can make him out but this is when he stopped and turned and looked at me and the dog seeming to not be worried about us much. I may end up not feeding the birds there goes my Dragonflies 😦
I swear I was just saying life was so CHILL lol then heart beating what would I do if he came through the screen wanting the whole bag of seed 😦
I shall load the shotgun and have it ready with the camera and fire over its head with hopes of making him change his address.
It was 1963 and I was seven. We had moved to the suburbs from the city as so many did but I was just a little over four then.
I swear I can remember walking down the street we would be moving to and looking at the few homes that were already up for buyers to pick from.
We went up to the house on the hill and it had a HUGE frog inside we wanted THAT HOUSE, me and my little brother.
Mom and Dad decided up by the busy road was not the house for us so we were going to live in the first house as you started down the dead-end road. It was a dirt road still with 4 homes ready for families and we got number ONE!
The woods behind the house were off-limits to a 4-year-old and a two-year old and Mom was going to have number 3 soon, so she could not run after us.
I guess I was about seven when I first ventured into those woods, behind our family home,. There a stream that ran alongside our property out in the forest. Mom took us three out to pick wild Blueberries. High bush type so she picked the most and we carried the containers. It was so beautiful out back I never wanted to go back to the house.
Mom still lives in that home and when we lost Dad eight years ago to Cancer, I found out that when he was not there I didn’t want to be either, just wasn’t the same but I did go back because Mom is there and I once again stepped back into those woods and began to cut back the growth on the other side of her fenced property. See they had fenced it off to keep us in. Scary things can happen to children in the woods all alone, though somehow we never quite believed them. Boy that huge forest I remember so fondly as a little girl is really just a silly half-acre but it used to be HUGE!
I remember a day so long ago , running back to the house with an armful of Lady Slippers for Mom, oh how I loved these blooms that loved the dark, damp wooded areas. She saw how pretty they were but insisted I should NEVER pick them again as I would be ARRESTED! They had a law for that, can you imagine being so young and loving the woods as I did and being told to be good. My poor Mom had her hands full!
So yes I love the country as it is truly a part of me. I never pick the flowers instead I grow so many in my yard as I can and capture all the wild ones with a camera.
I never wear shoes from spring to fall ( well unless I leave the yard) just like when I was seven boy did that make Mom mad, she said it made her look like a BAD MOM.. I say it made her look like a Mom who loved to see her kids happy and free to experience all the wonders of the world, well until I stepped on that bee!
So my home here in New England has a stream for one side of my property line too and tons of deep woods( over a couple hundred acres) with many wildflowers and insects , wildlife too.
The city is Grand don’t get me wrong. I spent 27 years driving a big rig through each of our nations cities. Eighty feet long and at times longer and did it like it was second nature to me but come the end of a trip or the end of a sixteen hour day it was back to the woods for me, as I have always adored nature it seems, well for the last 50 years to be certain.
Here is my piece of the forest , well this year maybe closer to a JUNGLE with all this rain
Well yesterday, the 10th of May, our Hummingbirds finally made it back here to spend the summer with us.
As I sat playing frisbee with JT I had a female hummingbird sit upon the clothes line just to the left of where I was sitting. She looked healthy and I was glad to have just hung fresh sugar-water out for them. The Apple Tree is what I go by. As it had started to look as if it would burst forth in gorgeous blooms, I readied their feeders.
Up here in New Hampshire we have the Ruby Throat variety of Hummingbirds and an occasional Hummingbird Moth visit us. You know I love these little fighters though, I keep learning more amazing facts about them.
So did you know I had just one tattoo? It is in fact a life-size Hummingbird and this was also what I used for a CB Handle. Now the handle was used when traveling cross-country in the tractor-trailer we never used our own names? Did you have a CB and a Handle? I was trucking when Burt Reynolds made Breaker 1 9 pretty famous. Many songs, mostly country ones, have been done all about trucking, highways and roadie. I loved Convoy’s line “Crash the gate doing 98 and let them truckers roll!”
I had some wonderful times driving the night hours out there on the quiet roads of America. I usually drove after we had our evening meal and kept laying down the miles till it was time for breakfast, when the ex and I would switch. He did not want me, a greenhorn, in all the rush hour traffic he figured at night with just other rigs on the road what could happen.
Well let me tell you one of the stories from so long ago. I was heading west and in Kansas and had stopped to grab a coffee to help get me through my 12 hour shift. The road was dark and filled with many wild animals you had to not only watch for but to avoid as well. While filling the thermos for my evening run I was talking with fellow drivers who would be going the same way, WEST. So we followed each other out and got our trucks rolling down the interstate and chatting on our CB’s we all introduced ourselves and they thought Hummingbird was awesome! I told them it was because I was FAST! They loved it and off we went hammer down, (pressing the gas pedal). We gabbed for hours with each of us keeping our eyes peeled for the police as we were not doing 55. Then someone who had the lead suggested we try something he had all his lights on and if you have traveled the United States you know what I mean, LOTS OF LIGHTS on his rig. We truckers have a special name for ones like this, Chicken Hauler. Yes we have lots of nicknames like our CB Handel’s, like your personal car is called a 4 wheeler. So with truck out in front fully covered by tons of lights and the one in the rear of our convoy(a group of MANY RIGS) with its lights on, all of us in the middle had just our marker lights on NO HEADLIGHTS! Yes not to swift, were we night riders of our countries highways, mostly hell raisers and non conformists.
So mile after mile with our radar detectors working over time ever mindful of State Police we continued this way for miles and miles at a very good clip! Then we hear the bird dogs go off(radar detectors had names too) as a trooper was headed east and running his radar and capturing us all speeding but also us dummies in the middle of the convoy running without headlights. Now they run CB’s as well and had been listening to us talk and I was a very young female and they were all experienced truckers and who do you think the cop came for, yes ME! I saw him go into the medium strip and it was such a dip I saw his headlights shining on the sky above. He then came flying up the highway behind us and by now yes all of us had our lights on and speed to about 60 mph but he had locked on to me he said in the end.
So my trucking CB buddies were gone, I was alone except for ex in the bunk sleeping. I was in big trouble! This officer walked up to my driver’s door and told me to come back to his police car. As I opened the door and started down the ladder of our cab-over Freightliner he saw how young I was and ordered me to go back in and get all my PAPERWORK! License and registration book and my Log Book! OH NO I was really in trouble I hated doing logs as I could not do them the correct way as I had been taught to in tractor-trailer school not with the ex.
So with all of this placed on the floor of the cab I climbed down then reached up for all of this and headed back to the waiting officer. I am ordered to get into the back where upon he proceeds to read me the riot act about how I could have been killed. I told him if I had to pay a fine on the spot he would really see me die, at the hand of my ex-husband yes really young and dumb! I was not to speed or play around and I had a CB and Radar machine so there would be no fines! In the end this trooper was very nice and gave me a $20 fine I mailed to them from home. Sadly this was not the last time I drove FAST, like my little Hummingbirds! I too had places to go and people to see.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mom’s! I am going to have my best one yet! It is also JT’s birthday!
Well when tomorrow arrives, there will be just one more week in January to go. Between the loud crack in the roof on New Year’s Eve day and all that shoveling of the roof we did, we have had it pretty good, well till this weeks freezing temperatures rolled in. Wait below freezing and no rolling BLOWING in, on sustained winds here of 25 with gusts over 50 mph. Hard to believe Sunday we went walking the coastline, while he hunted for lost treasure, it was warm for January in New Hampshire. I think we hit 45+degrees but we had 45 MPH steady winds.
I have been so busy trying to put my Portfolio together on WordPress, thanks to all of you who have already stopped by. I did it here as it was offered and I like the idea of sending a link to a person interested and not just burning them onto a disk. It works for me So many of you I follow are professional photographers with years of work to show and since I am new at sharing, I like this fit.
In just eight months here in the blogging world I have come so far in so many ways. Thanks for welcoming me with open arms, you do a girl’s heart good. XO
So I have my blog, Living and Lovin and I also post on 20 Lines and a portfolio. I also made my own photography page for Folsom Mill Studio, you are welcome to come LIKE my page. I also Have the store on Zazzle and added some 100+ photographs to Fine Art America site to see if there is any interest in the kinds of things I see when I hold my little camera up to my eye.
That said I can now catch my breath and move into February. I can’t wait till I get in the swing of blogging for real again. I read blogs and re-blog but have backed off on mine some. I have some stories I am getting ready to share with you.
Photos too 🙂
I will have about 6 weeks to get it done then I will bow out and attend my 1st 10 day Silent Retreat in Western MA. After not talking, reading, writing and no kisses from my sweetheart and JT and the CAT, you know I will have lots to say.
It will be hard for me to do this but I am so much stronger than I was 8 months ago. I have been practicing sitting and being quiet too. Do not know a lot about meditation but I am ready to heal all the old hurts.
Stay warm or cool for those in the land down under