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Saturday, November 14, 2015

The ghosts of the past are alive and well!

I woke up at 4:15 this morning and was very surprised that I had a guy on my mind from my distant past.  Now I mean my way back there distant past.  My first boyfriend.  I was 17 years old and I thought the sun rose and set in that boy.  He took me to Joyland in Wichita one sunny afternoon.  We rode all the rides and when we got on the Roundup, my stomach had it's limit.  His name was Corky and he was so sweet and concerned about my welfare.  Throwing up on the Roundup was the high point of the day and we left soon after that.  We continued to for a while and then sort of drifted apart.  It was never a big romance, just a very comfortable relationship with some one with whom I could share my  hopes and dreams.

Years passed and I married and had a family.  I ended up in Garden City, Kansas.  When that marriage went south, I returned to Hutchinson.  There I met the second man in my life who would offer me comfort in a storm and ask nothing in return.  His name was Gib.  We never really dated so much as sort of hung out together.  He was a friend of my mom's.  He was also a cook and I was a waitress until I became a cook also.  He helped shop for Christmas Santa Claus gifts and helped put the things together on Christmas Eve.  He was engaged to a girl named Cheri, but though they lived together, they never married.  I never understood their relationship.  He and I were friends, but he and Cheri had something, and yet nothing.

The one thing both these guys and I had in common was that the relationships were purely platonic.  I never expected more and they never asked for more.  I can search the world over and never find 2 men that made such an impact on my life!  Ah, but hindsight is always clearer then foresight, isn't it?

Years passed and the AIDS epidemic reared it's ugly head.  Gib moved to California.  He died there.   I was in Pueblo by then.  Mother called and said Gib wanted to get together over Thanksgiving that year, but she was afraid.  I told her I could  and would love to come and see Gib.  I was not afraid.  I just wanted to see my old friend.  Plans were made, but he did not make it.  I know there was no funeral and he is in an unmarked grave.  I still miss him.  The very first panel on my AIDS Memorial Quilt is for Gilbert Fields.

I learned later that Corky had also passed.  He was also a statistic in the early stages of the epidemic.  Jimmy came later.  And Mark.  And Mike.  And a list that goes on and on and on.  I have always had a rapport with the gay community, even before I knew there was a gay community!  They have been my friends when I had no friends.  They held me up when I could have sunk beneath the waves.

I have no idea why these two guys are on my mind today, but there they are.  I just wanted to share with you, my readers, a small glimpse into my past so you can maybe understand why I am who I am today and why I do the things I do.  I guess I am trying to give back to the community that cared for me when I did not care for myself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wouldn't it be nice if it was this easy?

I believe in Jesus Christ and accepted him as my PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR . One Facebooker has challenged all believers to put this on their wall. In The Bible it says, if you deny me in front of your peers, I'll deny you in front my father at the Gates of Heaven. This is simple. If you love God, and you are not afraid to show it re-post. Just copy and paste this.

Found this on facebook.  Well, I actually find one like this on facebook every time I scroll through.  Actually I find several of these daily and I have now come to the conclusion that this is why my church, and many like it, are down in the attendance area.  If I love Jesus all I have to do is copy and paste this, because Jesus has a facebook account and he reads this stuff.  It works much like the letter to Santa.  If I be good and send a letter to Santa and tell him I have been good, he will bring me lots of presents.  I can ask for whatever and I will get it.  I do not even need to have a witness that I have been good, because by simply writing that letter I qualify.

And I know facebook is a venue for God, because so many people post these, but let me tell you a secret.  I have gone to their "friend list" and I can not find Jesus on there!  That troubles me.  If Jesus is not on their friend list, how can they claim him for their friend and better yet, how can they offer me salvation by me just clicking a button?   Since I am such a sceptic in this area, I think I will just skim over those posts.  

I am going to take my chances out in the real world and in my church on Sunday morning.  I like to commune with God when walking up a trail in Beulah, or around Runyon Lake.  I like to visit my friends in Hospice and smile at people in the grocery store.  I like to gather things for Los Pobres, and the Goodwill and sad little people on the corner.  With a little luck God may look down when I am playing with a puppy and say,  "Hey, she looks like she would make a good addition to my kingdom!"  

Sure hoping so any way.  So you go ahead and try it your way, but please do not try to make be beleive  that I have to share your post or I am going to hell.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Rest in Peace always.

Delbert Leroy Bartholomew
October 4, 1937-October 31, 1965

Frozen forever in time.

He taught me to love conutry music.
He taught me to fish.
He taught me patience.

He was my brother.
Brothers never die.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Saurkraut time? Oh, yeah!

Fall is in the air and I kicked the furnace on last night.  This morning I am setting here freezing with shoes, flannel pajamas, and a sweater.  Course a hot cup of coffee rounds out the picture.  I used to have a cigarette and an ashtray, but those days are long gone.  So what am I planning for today?  Going to be a busy one!

First I am off to breakfast with Kay and Frank who are getting ready to leave soon for the balmy breezes in Southern Texas.  As soon as breakfast is over I am headed for the produce stand up the road.  I think I am good on green chile's, but I will check that.  My goal for today is to find the good white cabbage and dig the crock out of the tin shed.  Yep!  You guessed it!  It is time to make sauerkraut!  I shall tote my cabbage home and begin the process.

I will wash and scald the 5 gallon crock.  Then I will dig out the mandolin that I inherited from Sherman.   With everything now in place I will begin by cutting each head in 6-8 wedges, depending on the size of the head, and begin the slicing process.  I want the slices uniform and very thin.  I have a big white plastic Tupperware container and when there is about 6 inches of cabbage in it I will sprinkle it with a heaping tablespoon of canning salt.  Next comes the tedious part.  I take my fist and work and mash the salt into the cabbage, bruising it and causing it to release juice.  When I have worked it enough that it starts to be a tad bit soupy (no way to tell you, just got to feel it) I will put it in the crock.

Now, I don't know it you have ever done this, but after a while my knuckles begin to get very tender and by the time the crock is half full I begin to wonder what in the hell I was thinking, so I take a break.  And then I remember what this is all about.  I love sauerkraut!  I do not love the stuff at the store in cans.  I do not love the stuff at the store in the refrigerated part either.  I love sauerkraut that is made with cabbage and salt and covered with a clean cheese cloth that is weighted down with a brick in my basement.

Oh, trust me, in about 2 weeks this big old house is going to stink to high heaven of rotten cabbage.  I will have to check it daily and remove anything that looks like it does not belong there, but in about 2 - 3 months, I will have the best sauerkraut in the world!  It is a lot of work, but worth every minute of it.  My knuckles will heal in due time and by then it will have stopped "working" and it will be time to process it.  This entails bagging it in my "seal a meal" bags and freezing it for future use.

I do not ever remember mother or anyone else making saurekraut, but somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I know what has to be done.  When Bret and Shelley were little I was fixing lunch for them and I made hot dogs.  I asked if they wanted the hotdogs cooked in with the saurkraut.  When Shelley asked what saurekraut was, Bret replied, "It is rotten cabbage."  As I recall that was the end of the discussion, but they did eat it.

Now, those of you who know me, know how many people live in my house and of all those people, only one eats saurekraut and that is me!  I may be considered an eccentric old woman going to all this work, but the way I got it figured is this:  I am only going around once.  Just once.  I am going to dance naked when I feel like it, howl at the moon, and eat what I want, which at this time of year is sauerkraut!  So if you want to smell rotten cabbage, come on over!  If not then don't, but it is Fall here in Pueblo, Colorado and Spring is a long way in the future, so I am going to be a little squirrley and put away my food for the Winter!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The ruler of the roost is now bringing this old lady to her knees!

If you wonder who this is, it is Icarus.  I have had her for 4+ years.  She was named by Sherman and I told him Icarus was the little fellow in Greek (?) Mythology that flew too close to the sun and melted HIS wings, but she was name Icarus nonetheless!  As you can see, she makes herself right at home wherever she is.  It is quite alright with her if I have to set on the hard chair as long as her hairy little self if comfy!

She is very much at ease with the dogs, as you can see!  She likes to go out in the evening when I close the goose house.  She hides behind the trash barrel and leaps out at the dogs when they go past headed for the house.
This is bedtime.  5 kitty treats on the dresser for Icarus and a milkbone for each dog.  Old picture since I still  had carpet, but the routine is still the same. 
Looks like Daisy might have started smoking in this picture.
Elvira is just naturally a lady.
But back to the subject at hand.

Happy Birthday to me!

Well, I survived another year.  But is that good or bad?  Yesterday marked 74 years that I have been riding this big blue ball around.  I know I have good company in the form or Stephen Smalley, my cousin and my friend Mary Lou Abernathy, who I never see, and countless others that slip my mind.  All the kids checked in along with a mailbox full of cards from the dentist, insurance company, and the hearing aid place who recognizes every important moment of my life and assures me they are there to help me hear all the best wishes anytime I am ready to fork over the $4,000!  Ah, life!
I do like to look back at how far I have come from that little shack on the outskirts of Nickerson, Kansas.  That is where a mother and father made a home for 6 little Bartholomew kids.  Now there are 3 of us left.

Here I am on probably the last day that I was purely innocent.  The last day that I was completely helpless and I wonder where that blanket went!  I bet one of the younger kids got it as a handmedown, because back in those days, everything was handed down to the next kid.  Now do you realize that I got the handmedowns from my brother!

Doesn't look like he is wearing dresses, does it?  As a young girl I remember worshipping him my whole life.  We listened to the Grand Ole' Opry from Nashville, Tennesee on a car radio hooked up to a battery out on the porch on Saturday nights.  He is the one who taught me how to bait a hook and catch a fish.  He taught me how to choose the hardest clod of dirt in a plowed field and how to aim so I could hit someone in our clod fights.  He built me stilts which I fell off of and damn near broke my neck!  He dreamed of leaving Nickerson and coming back rich.  When he was 16 years old he forged his birth certificate and joined the Army.  Of course, he got caught and sent back home.

His name was Delbert Leroy Bartholomew, but in the 7th grade he became known as Shakey Jake.  That was later shortened to Jake because he did not shake.  He wore overalls and was befriended by a man in town named Roy Hasten.  Roy was an older man who had no kids and loved to fish.  I can remember him bringing Jake home and they always had catfish laid out in the back.  Some of them were really big, or at least big to my little memory.  When I hear the song "Bimbo" by Hank Williams, I think of Jake.

There is not enough paper in this world to hold all my memories of Jake.  I told you how he got that scar.  He did go away to the Army and he came home from Germany.  He married and had a son, divorced and had another son.  His second son and mine are almost the same age.  My father died in February of 1965 and Jake was killed that October.  My son was 1 month old.

This was Mother.  I wonder if she remembered that dog?  Seems when we were growing up there was always an old cat hanging around outside, but never a dog.  Not sure I ever wanted one, but I am sure we never had one.  Dad did not like dogs.  I was always afraid of them.  There were always stories of "dogs running in packs on the outskirts of town, so be sure and keep the kids inside."  Never saw them, but like the Gypsy's (who I also never seen), we knew they were there and had to be ever vigilant.   Oh, yeah, and the cougars!  We could hear them scream down on the river and trust me, that scared the living shit right out of us.  Sure made me appreciate a home with doors.  Not that we ever locked them.  Doors had to remain unlocked in case a hobo or some homeless person needed to get in to get a drink of water or a bite to eat.  Times have sure changed.

So now I am rambling again!  I had one birthday party when I was growing up.  It was for my 8th or 9th birthday.  Mother was cleaning houses for my cousin Paralee Morris who was a teacher and was married to a teacher, so they were rich.  Paralee was the daughter of Frank and Helen Wocknitz.  Frank was the one who made Tony's Bologna and took the recipe to his grave.  She let mother make me a little party at her house and gave me a red Cinderella cookie cutter.  Birthday parties are just not a biggie with me.

(You must understand that all this stuff that I remember from 65 years ago may or may not be accurate and may change every time I remember it as well as every time you read it.  So it is best if you just read what I write and enjoy it and not try to make any sense whatsoever out of my poor befuddled mind!)

Enough about the birthday!  Fall is in the air this morning and I want to check the garden.  For some reason I would sure like to have a cigarette this morning, but I am always grateful when I realize that I gave those up.  That was a good change.  And change is what life is all about, isn't it?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Continued from yesterday.

Here is Icarus looking all innocent.  Such a joy to behold.  But think again!
This is where she was just about 10 minutes ago.  This is the cover over my deck and I do not know how she got up there.  Nor do I know why!  Pretty sure there are no mice on top of that thing.
So just walking around looking for lord only knows what.
Oh, hi there mom!  What are you doing down there.  Come on up and let's try to figure out how to get down.  Oh, you could just trot on out to the garage and bring the ladder and then carry me down.

Enjoy me while you can because I am getting ready to go hide in the sunflowers.
Told you so!

Oh, well, one thing nice is if she is hiding or up on the roof she is not batting vernin around the kitchen.  Don't you wish you had a cat like this?  If you have a cat, it probably IS like this!