I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Celebrating Halloween

Courtesy - Wikipedia

Halloween started back in the 1500’s as a day to honor the dead. There was much merry making with costumes, food and “trick-or-treating.” Back then, people used to build huge bonfires to scare the spirits that walked the Earth when the veil between the living and the dead became very thin. In parts of the world, and in some religions, people still do this today.

Nowadays, Halloween is still celebrated with getting dressed in consumes and lots of revelry, including “trick-or-treating,” which is mainly for the kids. Today we still tell scary stories and carve pumpkins like those that they did hundreds of years ago.

When I was growing up, I can only remember going into town once to take part in “trick-or-treating.” For one, we couldn’t afford costumes, so usually Daddy would take us up the road to his parent’s house and Mamaw would give us all treats. These treats consisted of home baked goods mostly and very little, if any, candy, which was probably a good thing. I’ve only had four small cavities in my life so far, so after six decades that isn’t too bad.

Anyway, when we arrived at Rosenberg Mamaw’s (what we called daddy’s mama) house, she would have small brown lunch bags lined up for us on her little, white Formica table in the kitchen. They all had our names on them and she would hand them out. We would eat our goodies and visit awhile and of course, it was another occasion to “oooh” and “aaah” over what we had in our sack.

The only time we went out to “trick-or-treat” in a regular neighborhood (remember we lived on a farm in the country), we all made up costumes out of farm clothes, stuffing them with hay and whatever else we could find because of course they were way too big for us kids. We used pillowcases or feed sacks as our “trick-or-treat” bags and Daddy took us to a new neighborhood where they had built a bunch of little box houses, all just alike, on a cul-de-sac.

We had fun going from house to house and the night flew by. There were many other kids out, all in fancy costumes, and we were a little embarrassed with our homemade ones, but we still had a good time and all sat around on the floor, once home, and emptied out our sacks to rummage through our goodies and compare what we all got. I’m sure a bit of trading went on as well.

Since I’ve been grown and have my own house now, I get dressed every year to hand out candy to the little kids. For the last fifteen years or so, the parents come along with the kids. When we lived in CA, they would take pictures of me giving candy to their little ones, who at first were afraid to approach the witch. I used to go all out with the decorations, spooky music, dry ice, and jack-o-lanterns with candles inside.

Since I moved to the desert, I don’t do that anymore, but I still dress up to hand candy out. We don’t get near as many kids here, but they sure do decorate the houses, which is a bit of a surprise in this overly religious area of the country.

My cats are scared to death of me in my witch’s hat, all except my little daredevil Koki who is always my shadow.
Sunni's Photo Album

I made my dress and cape years ago and it, along with the hat, hangs in the back of my closet until it is time to drag it out every Halloween. How do you celebrate Halloween?

If you’re into ghost stories, now is the time for me to give a plug for my first book Haversham Hill. It’s a clean book, no profanity, or X-rated material. If you want to “search inside” this book, you can go to Amazon at this link:

Or read the first chapter on my website here: http://www.faeriemoundbooks.com/

Monday, October 29, 2012

Black Cats and Halloween

Royalty Free Clip Art

For years, black cats have gotten a bad rap. There are many superstitions circulating around that are associated with them.

1. They are bad luck

2. They are a symbol of evil omens

3. Black cats are familiars of witches, going out to spy and do evil deeds

4. They symbolize death or misfortune

5. They have supernatural powers

This list couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the Middle Ages, the superstitions of people led to the killing of many black cats. Some people believed them to be “satanic” cats, burning them in large-scale massacres, usually in bonfires throughout Europe. They became sacrifices in rituals at Halloween and on Hallows Eve. This had the unintended consequence of increasing the rat population and the spread of the Black Death and other diseases carried by rodents. There weren’t as many cats to keep the rodents under control, so unbeknownst to the people; their own irrational beliefs brought this plague upon themselves.

There is a lower adoption rate for black cats that end up in animal shelters because of all the superstition surrounding them. Many shelters suspend adoption of black cats around the Halloween holiday because they are symbols of Halloween, along with witches and ghosts associated with the season. Some nuts roam around out there who may wish to use them in rituals, or to cause them harm.

If you own a black cat and let them run loose, I suggest you keep them inside for their own safety until the holiday is over. There was a group of Goth kids when I lived in Ca. They would hunt down cats for sacrifices on Halloween. I know this is hard to believe, but nevertheless, is true. We used to hear cats screeching at night as their claws dug into the fences trying to get away from the running feet and whispered voices that pursued them.
Wizard - Sunni's Pictures

A black cat is like any other cat except for the misguided stigma associated with them. They are the most gentle of cats with mild and peaceful dispositions. I felt honored that my black cat let me share his life. He was a beautiful boy; I would never hesitate to own another black cat. I’m sure I will someday. He is gone now, but never forgotten.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Politics – Please Give me a Break!

Does anyone get tired of this besides me? It is on 24/7 at my house. I am so sick of the whole mess I could actually go out in the desert and scream! I’m not kidding! I will be so glad when the whole thing is over. However, of course we all know, it will never be over.

Personally, I don’t think any candidate is worth voting for so that is an issue for me. Politicians do not have any of our best interests in mind, don’t you forget it. They only say what you want to hear in order to get elected because then they have it made with a prestigious title, salary, benefits, retirement the rest of us don’t have. I will never change my mind about this, or it will take an awful lot of convincing.

But when you look at the world, I think its always been like this, it’s just more prevalent now with the TV, the internet and news able to travel everywhere almost at the same time its being made. Years ago, it took weeks, if not months, to get news from one place to another. The politicians haven’t changed in all that time, still having their own interests at heart.

They screw the people over, always have, and always will, to get the money for their own agendas. They have no idea what it is like to live in the real world because they don’t have to do it and make ends meet. I have no compassion for these people. There are no saviors to solve the world’s problems out there. For the ones who think so, you certainly have your head in the sand.

This is a subject where my husband is the eternal optimist, as long as a Republican is in office. I never have and refuse to vote by any party ticket. I think we should judge each person running on their own merits and none of them has any I can agree with. Politics is a hot topic at my house; I try to stay away from this if possible. My husband is about as passionate here as I am about writing. It is his whole world. We have to eat on TV trays every night so he can catch all the political talking heads he watches daily.

When these politicians talk it reminds me of the only time I was on a jury for a trial, don’t ask me why that flashes through my head. The thing that struck me most about that experience is that there was a definite difference in the lawyers, one was a little mouse, and the other was dynamic. I don’t need to tell you whose side won.

There are no dynamic, charismatic people this year, so nobody stands out from the herd, at least in my opinion. They all promise the same thing and we all know, or should know, from experience that they never deliver. This country is in desperate need of a third party, one that would be different and actually work for the people who elected them. Sadly, this will probably not happen anytime soon, if at all.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Royalty free pic

I read your blogs and I always get inspired to write something, so thank you for that you wonderful writers. I thought I’d write an extra post this week about my recent vacation. It sort of didn’t feel like a vacation to me, but I suppose anytime you’re visiting with people you don’t see often, perhaps you could call that a vacation, in a way. It all depends on what each of our definitions of a vacation is.

What comes to mind when you think of this word? Sailing the seas to some exotic locale, perhaps digging around ancient ruins, the majestic view offered at national parks, or exploring some place you’ve only read about over the years. The list could go on and on couldn’t it? Perhaps it’s just being lazy lying about the house and doing nothing at all except sipping tea, or wine, curling up with a good book, or watching nature and enjoying all the beauty around us.

When I hear the word vacation, I usually wonder what that is since I’ve had so few of them during my life. I guess because of that those times really stand out. We could never afford it growing up, but we did go three hundred miles away to visit our great grandmother twice, I think. It could have been once. Usually we just stayed home and played in the dirt, enjoying our time away from school. We made mud pies, played baseball in the pasture, made paper dolls, had chinaberry fights, and picked cotton, among other things around the farm.

Normally, the only vacations I ever get as an adult is going to funerals, if you can call that a vacation. Mainly this is because I work all the time and can’t afford to go anywhere, but when it concerns family, you have come up with the funds to go and be supportive and pay your final respects. Once the funeral is out of the way, it is fun getting together with everyone, even on sad occasions. It’s a shame that this is how my life seems to go, but it is what it is.

There have been times when twenty years have gone by between family visits, as much as I hate to admit that, but when you live in different areas of the country, it isn’t always easy to get there when no one ever has any money to visit, or any extra time either, for that matter. Not all of us can coordinate things to coincide at the same time, so once we can all meet up we realize we’ve changed so much during that time that we don’t even recognize our own family members. Anyway, that’s a whole other story for another time perhaps...

In my mind, a vacation should be all about fun, excitement, and seeing places you’ve never been before, certainly no cooking and cleaning, or alarm clocks. I think the best vacation I’ve ever had in my life was going to Hawaii when I lived in Alaska. I’ll never forget that as long as I live. You see it was February in Alaska and for those of you who have never been there – it can be one dark, cold, desolate place in the winter.

Alaska in the winter - Courtesy of Creative Commons

Arriving in Hawaii astounded me. I’d never seen such a gorgeous place! It was like arriving in heaven. It was February and in the 80’s, birds were chirping. All the warmth and all the beauty, blue skies, flowers, palm trees swaying in the breeze were amazing! It was about 20 degrees the day I flew out of Alaska, everything was gray, the sky, and ground. The only birds in Alaska are ravens, even in summer.

Hawaii Beaches - Courtesy of Creative Commons

Another thing that stood out about Hawaii is the way they arrange food in restaurants and sidewalk cafes. The food is so beautifully prepared and they put orchids on the plate. Imagine that? I wanted to stay there and never go back home. But, that’s another story too...

Hibiscus Flowers Bloom Everywhere in Hawaii - Courtesy of Creative Commons

Plumerias Bloom Everywhere in Hawaii - Courtesy of Sunni's Pictures

Anyway, as you know, I just went on vacation with my husband to visit his dad in Oregon. Now I can’t say this was a horrible vacation, the weather was fantastic for Oregon in October – in the 70’s everyday we were there, it only rained twice, and that was overnight. A few trees had turned, but not many, so I didn’t get many fall color shots with my camera. However, that’s okay, I’m glad it wasn’t freezing and dreary the whole time as Oregon gets in the winter. I’m a sun worshipper, as you may have guessed by now. Many dreary days in a row really get to me.
Fall color from the trip - Medford Oregon - Courtesy Sunni's Pictures

Fall color from the trip - Medford Oregon - Courtesy Sunni's Pictures

My husband’s father will be 94 in December, so it was important to visit him and his wife. They both get along fairly well considering their ages, but it seemed all I did was repair things, wash dishes, and eat. We sat around a lot when not in the kitchen. The mother-in-law loves to cook and bake. My husband watched politics and sports with his dad and we found ourselves in front of the TV, along with the men on many of the evenings, so we would bring our books to the couch and read while it was on. The whole situation was a lot like staying home, except for all the cooking and cleaning to do, but I was glad to help. They did need it, and I’d rather stay busy doing something most of the time anyway. My husband usually goes alone on these trips, so it was time for me to go along this time.

One thing remarkable about his dad is that he gets around by himself, no walker, or cane, still drives, and still loves tinkering in the garage.

Internet access was a problem, but I did get to B and N one afternoon for a couple of hours to use the wifi there and I was able to get it at the motels coming and going. I could check a bit of email at least.

We were able to escape a couple of hours too to visit some of my husband’s old friends and their wives. I was hoping to get to the Oregon coast one day, but it’s an all day affair, so we didn’t do that this trip. The Oregon coast is beautiful with all the driftwood on the beaches, the misty air, and big rocks jutting from the ocean. I always get in the mood for a steaming hot bowl of clam chowder when I get in that atmosphere.

Oregon Beaches - Courtesy of Creative Commons

Oregon Coast - Courtsy of Creative Commons

I really felt like I needed some exercise after being so sedentary and eating too much, so we stopped at a couple of places in NV on the way home. We got out and hiked around to look at some old petroglyphs and then again at a mini grand canyon. Those pics are below.
Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area - NV - Courtesy Sunni's Pictures

Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area - NV - Courtesy Sunni's Pictures

Cathedral Gorge Park - NV - Courtesy Sunni's Pictures

Cathedral Gorge Park - NV - Courtesy Sunni's Pictures

Of course, now I feel way behind on everything. I was out of my element there, so it is good to be home even though I know it will be many years before I go again. My cats really missed me a lot and won’t let me out of their sight now.

Koki, my little daredevil, has been up to a lot of mischief, chewing a hole in the newspaper I was trying to read because she wanted my attention at that moment, also getting the drainer out of the kitchen sink again and packing it around the house. At least she didn’t break anything valuable while we were gone. However, she hasn’t let me get a decent night’s sleep since we’ve been back. She wakes me up three times a night to love all over my face. Of course once I’m wake awake, she goes back to sleep awhile, but just until I fall asleep again. Maybe she is punishing me for leaving her behind.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Check out this Beautiful Fall Foliage

Lithia Park - Ashland OR - Sunni's Pictures

Lithia Park - Ashland OR - Sunni's Pictures

Lithia Park - Ashland OR - Sunni's Pictures

We took these pictures in Oregon when we were visiting there a few years ago. Fall color is abundant there, as it is in many of the northern states, much more so than the south.

I'll be posting soon about my latest trip to Oregon.  We just got back about four days ago.  Thank goodnesss winter up there is running behind this year.

In the desert we get very little fall color, you seldom see oranges and reds here. Most of it is in shades of yellow and gold, unless you go up in the mountains.

These pictures are lovely; unfortunately, it’s too bad fall doesn’t last longer because I know what’s next. We’ll be in the icy grip of winter before we know it. In the desert, we’re not able to open the windows much for some good old-fashioned air. The moment is so fleeting, it seems like we go from A/C to heat and back again.

Winter is definitely the season I hate the most because I’m always cold and can never warm up. It’s a time to hibernate for me, only going out if I absolutely have to have something. Therefore, I try to stock up on supplies in the fall, usually, much to my husband’s disgust. He will never understand this because the cold doesn’t affect him as much.

However, you would think that I’d be looking forward to it after the triple digit heat we get around here for a solid month every summer, with temperatures in the nineties for the other three-four months. I’d still rather have that because I like my shorts, tank tops, and sandals. I really hate having to put on three-four layers of clothes, plus two pairs of socks, and gloves so I can type in comfort. I know some of you are probably saying, “Are you serious?” Let me assure you I am. I have gloves with the fingertips cut out that I use in the wintertime for things I do inside, except cooking and cleaning when you can’t really do that.

So right now, I’m enjoying the short time we have with the nice breeze flowing in through my window. Usually by Halloween, it gets chilly at night, but things are still do-able until about Thanksgiving.

But, I know the trees and bushes have to take a rest and besides, this is beyond my control anyway, unless I move to that tropical isle I dream about all winter.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pool Time – For the Birds

These desert birds are the craziest things I’ve ever seen. They move around constantly, from the bush to the ground, to the wall, out into the desert, and back again, all day long. I would be so tired at the end of the day from beating my wings so much. The only thing I can figure out is that it must be a survival instinct and this constant movement makes them a harder target for the birds of prey that swoop in unannounced.

They use the birdbath as the neighborhood pool, usually in spring and fall. I have no idea why they don’t do it much when it’s 105+ degrees outside. You would think they would need to cool off then. Instead, they stand around with open beaks and spread out wings trying to endure the hot days. I caught this picture a few days ago, the mystery of what was happening to water in the birdbath solved.
Sunni's Photo Album

The word spreads around the neighborhood and that birdbath is like the public swimming pool with birds in there shoulder-to-shoulder splashing their hearts out, water flying everywhere.

We even have a yellow parakeet that has joined the group now and become part of the wild pack of birds. It must have escaped from someone’s house; I don’t know where it came from, just showing up one day this last July. We did attempt to catch it at first, but that was a lost cause, so I’m hoping it won’t freeze to death this winter. So far, it’s managed to evade the birds of prey too. I think it must be learning the ropes from its new pals because it does the same thing they do and flies in a flock.
Sunni's Photo Album

When the birds do take off on these erratic flights all day long, it sounds like an airplane, there are so many beating wings out there. Besides the normal sparrows and finches there are doves, pigeons, and quail along with other various birds from time to time.

They are ready to squabble over the birdbath come sunset because everyone wants in there.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Use for Cast Iron

Who Would Have Ever Thought You Could Do This?

Now I have to admit this is something new I recently learned and it’s so useful and clever I wanted to pass it on. Some of you may know this already and to tell the truth, I’m surprised I’ve never heard about this before.

A cast iron skillet was probably the first piece of cookware I ever owned and I still have that same skillet today. I won’t tell you how many years of use this pan has had. One thing about cast iron is nothing ever sticks in it after the pan reaches a certain state with age.

Anyway, on to the something new – you can thaw food in this pan! It works terrific for stuff right out of the freezer, just set the package in the pan, and put the pan on the cold stove. Within two hours just about anything thaws, including meat, which is safe to leave out at room temperature for two hours. It usually takes far less time than that. You can speed the process up by lining the iron skillet with foil. Of course, this probably wouldn’t work with a turkey because it’s too thick.

This is how it works: Iron skillets conduct heat, even when they are cold. It’s incredible to think that this can happen, but try it and you’ll be amazed.

I usually thaw things out in the microwave, which is not very desirable because it is a science as to which power level to use and for how much time. All this is necessary to begin with because, as I said, I hate to cook and usually cooking and eating are the last things on my mind, since writing and thinking about writing fills up my brain capacity. Therefore, I seldom leave things out ahead of time so they can thaw out to cook later.

I was happy to discover this little trick.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Schedules – How Rigid Should They Be?

Royalty Free Clip Art

This is a constant issue at my house, even though my husband is retired. I would like to know if anyone out there still keeps a tight schedule even after retirement. I know if you are working all day, you have to get to work on time, etc., or if you have a particular appointment that day, you have to be on time for it. Otherwise, how important is a schedule?

It seems I can never keep one, or am not that good at it. In my mind, unless there is something going on, what difference does it make to do things at a particular time? I think once retired, you can make your own schedule and things can be more flexible, but I am beginning to think I am in the minority of thinkers.

A couple of years ago I met a police officer who said he hosted a party at retirement to smash his alarm clock to smithereens. I had never heard about anyone going that far, but I loved that story and thought ‘what a great idea’.

I do freelance so I do set the alarm to get up early everyday, but you can bet the alarm clock would get lost if I were totally retired like my husband. After keeping schedules all your life, wouldn’t it be nice to have a more relaxed existence?

Why do you have to be up by such-in-such time daily? Will the schedule police come around to issue a reprimand? This clock watching gets to be all too much for me. An ideal way of life would be to sleep when you’re sleepy and eat when you’re hungry. I can still accomplish as much on any given day regardless of what schedule I keep. Am I alone here?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Haircut

When we were kids, Houston Mamaw (Mama’s mother) would always come every summer to visit.

On these summer trips, she would drag all of us girls out for a haircut. I always hated those visits because, I decided at a very early age, I wanted my hair long. Everything else about her visits were doable, even if we were thrown totally out of our normal routine.

When I was six-years-old, Mama and Rosenberg Mamaw (Daddy's mother) decided I should have a haircut and a perm for the first grade. They took me to Mamaw’s house, down the road, and had me sit in a chair in the kitchen.

Mamaw then proceeded to cut my hair to about three-inches long all over my head. After my haircut, assisted by Mama, she gave me a home pemanent. I absolutely hated that and I protested the whole time, but the complaints of a child of six fell on deaf ears. Needless to say, after this experience, nobody ever touched my hair again. I was determined and would do whatever it took to keep myself from encountering that scenario for a second time.

I remember telling them that was the last time someone was getting me in a chair and cutting my hair unless I wanted it done, which I didn't. I learned you just couldn’t trust adults and after that I managed to evade the scissors.

When Houston Mamaw came to take us all to the salon every summer, I would hide and refuse to come out. I advised my sisters to do the same, but that’s one time they didn't listen to me. Mamaw even told me I could just go along with everyone and sit in a chair and wait while they all got their hair cut. I knew this was a trick and once they got me in the car and in the salon, I would have to get a haircut as well, so I decided to stay home.

I tired to tell my sisters not to get in the car, but they wouldn't listen. I think they were afraid to assert themselves when they knew the adults were in charge of our lives. So when they all came back, later in the day,with those sad, tearful faces and those pixie haircuts, all I could say was I told you so.

Naturally, they would be very upset at having their hair cut an inch long all over their heads. “How could that even be possible?” they exclaimed!

They wanted to hide until it grew out some, but of course that wasn’t going to happen. We had to work in the fields and go about all the other adventures we had as kids and then of course there was school to think about, once fall arrrived.

This happened every year and I suppose, being the oldest, I should have raised more of a fuss and made more of an effort to keep them from being shuffled off to the salon. But of course adults have their own ideas about things and you can only do so much while still being respectful.

I told my sisters they just had to put their foot down, on that kind of thing, unless they really wanted the haircut. Mama sympathized with me and I never had to go. She knew how bad I hated that home permanent and even she had to admit it wasn’t the best job around. I was pretty sad looking until it grew out.

Those poor girls came back looking so pathetic every time with sad, puppy dog faces. They may as well have been the little elves from my stories. They never seemed to learn, or muster the courage to protest.

Mama tried to talk her mother out of it, but Mamaw had a mind of her own and Mama knew it was no use to argue, so, in the end, she would just say, “yes ma’am,” and let the girls be put into the car for the trip.

As the years passed by, they got used to the dreaded trip to the beauty parlor and I don't think they minded as much. I do think they would have preferred to pick their own hairstyle instead of getting that pixie haircut, which went on until they became teens.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Adventures of Quincy O’Quail

This is just a crazy short story I wrote awhile back.  I like to sit out and watch the wildlife here in the desert and make up crazy tales, spurred on by the interaction between all the critters. You may think I've had too much desert heat.  My imagination can get carried away at times.

Sunni's Pictures

What a nice little quail he was with striking feathers and a black face topped by a crown that had just the right amount of tilt.

Quincy grew up in a large household and loved the fact he finally was old enough to go out on his own and not be under his parent’s constant supervision. He would venture down to Mr. Anderson’s garden because he knew the old man put fresh seed out for the birds several times everyday. So Quincy had a good time in the green grass and surrounding rocky areas. Of course, he learned to do the “chicken dance” from his parents when he was a tiny quail. Scratch, scratch, scratch, peck, peck, scratch, scratch, scratch, peck, peck… life went on day after day with Sergeant O’Quail keeping watch on the garden fence.

One day, Herbert decided he wanted to accompany his worldly brother, so he tagged along. Quincy told him to stay with Sergeant O’Quail because it wasn’t safe, but did he listen? No, of course not! Soon he was pecking on the lawn beside his brother.

“He doesn’t know of the dangers I face out here everyday,” thought Quincy. He couldn’t enjoy his feasting because he was very worried about Herbert. Even with Sergeant O’Quail on duty, it wasn’t always safe. The birds of prey liked to swoop in and catch them unaware and then there was always the roadrunner with his cunning smile and sharp teeth.

Bird of Prey
Sunni's Pictures

Herbert was happily eating away as he did the “chicken dance,” very unaware of any lurking dangers. Quincy found he couldn’t indulge in any pleasure at all because he was always watching for predators and keeping an eye out on his brother. He made up his mind he would talk to his parents that very evening after they got home.

Bush in the desert behind my house 
Sunni's Pictures

They arrived at the family hovel, just before dark. They were lucky to find this large sagebrush, big enough to accommodate everybody. The adults stood outside and made the evening call "wooo haa haa...wooo haa haa..." Similar calls could be heard all across the vast expanse of sand. Everything was quiet except the quail calls bouncing off the jagged rocks and rugged cliffs, a slight breeze rustling leaves nearby. Eventually everyone showed up as evening was falling on the desert. They shuffled inside and tried to find a place to tuck in for the night. The bush was overflowing with the family and visiting relatives who lost their sagebrush during a windstorm. Life in the desert could be treacherous. Besides the predators, there was always nature to put up with and it wasn’t always kind.

“Mama, I have to talk to you,” Quincy tried to barge in, pushing his brothers and sisters out of the way. “It’s important Mama,” he said.
“Will you younguns’ go and find a place to roost?” She shooed them off and then turned to Quincy. “Okay, what is so important son?”

“Mama you have to keep Herbert with you. He wants to follow me and I can’t scrounge for food and watch after him at the same time. As you know there are lots of dangers we face here in the desert.”

“That is quite true Quincy, but he has to learn the same way you did.”

“Well Mama, I barely escaped with my life that time. You know the roadrunner almost got me when I was a child.”

Sunni's Pictures

“Yes that is true, but you survived and you’re the wiser for it now. Isn’t that right Quincy?”

“Yes Mama.”

“Well I think Herbert needs to learn as well.”

“But Mama, I don’t know if he can escape the attack the way I did. In fact, I wonder how I even did it when I go over it in my mind. I could very well not even be here today you know.”

“Yes I know that, but you got away and you are here. It’s your responsibility to teach the others; after all you were the first to hatch.”

“Well I refuse to be held accountable for the outcome of Herbert, if he tags along,” Quincy stamped his foot for emphasis.

“Try to get some rest Quincy. It’s a big job to be the older brother and a lot of responsibility.” His mother ruffled his feathers and gave him a peck on the cheek.

He found a spot in the corner under the sagebrush, finding it hard to squeeze into a place that another relative didn’t occupy. He tucked in to brood.

In the desert, night came on fast and it was getting quite dark already. Quincy could hardly make out his relatives. They were only silhouettes, soon he was fast asleep. He began to dream...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Creative Commons

My sisters and I are always reminiscing about our childhood. We share a lot of laughs in the process. As you can imagine there was never a dull moment with seven kids nine years apart.

I talked to my little sister yesterday and to one of my other sisters today and it got me to thinking about all the times we shared growing up.

I was born smack dab in the middle of Houston, but we were all raised on a cotton farm south of there so we didn’t see the city very often growing up. Looking back on things, I often wonder how mama stood things on the farm, being a city girl. I do know one thing; she has far more patience than anyone I know. And you’d have to have an endless supply of patience when you hear all the stories we don’t even remember.

I can’t imagine standing outside washing diapers and everything else on a scrub board while visiting with my aunt who found herself in the same boat. I can’t even fathom what must have gone through her head at the time.

I envision her getting much more than she signed up for or expected when she married daddy, but she never complained one time. It couldn’t have been easy with all of us little kids.

Mama was always scared for our safety, but of course, kids are kids, storms were an exciting time for us. The rain that pounded the windows and left big mud puddles everywhere was fantastic. We couldn’t wait to race out and wade in the ditches. It was wonderful to stand out on the porch and watch the thunderstorms roll in. The breeze was cool and refreshing, drying up all the muggy sweat. Of course, once the shower subsided, it was worse than ever and the ground would steam, our clothes sticking to our backs once again and sweat beading up on our faces.

Even when a bull escaped the fence, it was exciting and all eyes peered from the door or window while we watched for it to come running down the road. We knew if we valued our lives, to stay indoors while the men rounded him up and mended the fence. Only one time my sister and I were out in the field when the Brahma bull got out of the fence. He was the meanest one we ever had and we were both scared of him. That’s a story for another post.

All of us kids could take pleasure in the least little thing out of the ordinary because nothing much happened on the farm. The thrilling moments offered a great diversion from ordinary life.

We laughed, cried, and generally made the best of all situations, whether it was games, watching the clouds roll by, or eating watermelon and then standing in line waiting for the bathroom, making each other laugh to see who would wet their pants.