Sunday, August 31, 2008

Time to Leave

The Totally Optional Prompt for this week is: Time to Leave.

Time to Leave

Goodbye my dears,
The time has come;
So many years,
So many tears.

The time to leave,
Is a personal one;
You must cleave,
Or forever interweave.

So now it is time,
The choice has been made;
You can drop the dime,
Or make it rhyme.

It's time to leave,
Don't feel sorry for me;
Even though you may grieve,
I have made my decree.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunday Scribblings #126 - Somewhere

Sunday Scribblings
The prompt this week is: Somewhere...

What do you make of that?

Somewhere, over the rainbow - bluebirds fly ...

There are some days when I wish I was somewhere, anywhere but where I am. Since the death of my baby sister 3 years ago, I have been battling depression, and most days it seems like it is winning.

Some days, I wish I was somewhere in the past. Some place where my sister is still around and we spend our weekends watching vampire movies and talking of the future. Somewhere in those memories, my life is tangled up in the happiness that was and the bitterness that is.

Somewhere, I lost myself in the pain of grief. Unable to move forward, longing to move backwards. Shunning a social life because it is too damn hard! Hiding away in the comfort zone that is my home, refusing to come out for days ... sometimes weeks on end.

Somewhere in all that grief, I have to force myself to work my parttime job, leaving my haven to enter the House of God where I spend my mornings. But with the noon hour, my day is done and I race for home like the devil is on my tail.

Somewhere I lost myself, and I haven't a clue how to find my way home. The love and support of my family keeps me going, but still the darkness invades, zapping my strength and weakening my resolve.

Somewhere, there is an answer to my problems, an answer to the strife that has filled my waking hours. Sleepless nights bleed into manic filled days, each one scarily similar to the last.

Somewhere, my future awaits, bright and shiny and full of hope. It will come to me as sure as the sun sets and the moon rises, the fog in my head will clear and I will see my old self smiling back in the mirror. Until that day, struggle forth, determined to win the battle, but fearful I'll lose the war.

Somewhere, my heart will be free and will finally bond with my head. Life will be grand again. Love will abound. Hope will flutter in the very air that I breath. Somewhere, somehow, my suffering will be over and I will rise above this monster of depression. Healthy, whole - scathed from battle, but not scarred for life.

Somewhere my future awaits.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Write On Wednesday

This week's promt from Becca at Write On Wednesday concerns writing practice

"How about you? Do you have a writing practice? What’s it like? How has it helped you become a better writer? If you’re thinking about starting a writing practice, how do you envision it? What would work for you?"

Occasionally, Write On Wednesday will offer a writing activity to use in your writing practice notebook, or as an idea to blog about. Here’s one to start you off…

"Writing Practice Idea: Write about a time in your life when you were learning a new activity - a musical instrument, a sport, a language - and how you went about practicing it."

I typically write for 15 to 20 minutes every morning before work, but the bulk of my writing comes in the afternoons. I work parttime, so when I come home for lunch every day, I start writing. I consider this my second "job", though, right now, I'm not getting paid for it. Sometimes I will work on short (1200 words) articles for my monthly column, other times I may be working on one of my books.

For anyone who reads my blogs, you are probably aware of the fact I have ADD, so I have trouble concentrating on one project at a time. It is easier for me to work chapter by chapter. This week, I'm trying to work on my young adult book ("Charlie" is the working title), but I keep getting sidetracked when something reminds me of another book I'm working on ("Deep Creek"). I keep separate notebooks for each of my larger writing projects, so sometimes I'll have several notebooks spread out in front of my, jotting down notes in each one. I try to write at least 4 pages every day - that is the minimum I allow myself. Of course, this is only Monday through Friday; anything I write on the weekend is free pages!

The practice of have separate notebooks for each project has helped keep me on task. I used to worry about the fact my attention span was all over the place, but the separate notebooks have brought a calm peace to my writing world. Now I don't feel like I'm shortchanging one thing for another. I'm also a list making, so the separate notebooks are like a big list for me!

The greatest writing advice I have learned came from Stephen King's book On Writing. He says that writers write, every day, no matter what. When I was younger, I didn't think of myself as a writer because I couldn't stick to one topic. Now, I've learned how to channel that energy to improve all my writing. It may take me longer to finish a project because of the ADD, but when I am finished, I know it's the best I can do.

Of course, blogging is also a way to practice writing. I have become obsessed with blogging and it is helping me to hone my focus. Hence the reason I have so many blogs! Just like my separate writing notebooks, I have separate blogs for my different interests. Now it's a juggling act to keep up with all of them, but it makes me happy!

In addition to the notebooks I keep for each project, I also have a general journal that I write in daily. This usually has ideas, quotes, observations or anything else that catches my fancy. I will start using this journal as my practice notebook, so for today's assignment, I'm going to write about learning how to knit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Musings

Today's Monday Musings from Should Be Reading asks the following questions:

"So, what do you do when you find yourself in a reading slump? How doyou get out of it? do you keep trying different books until you find one that draws you in? Do you just give in to the slump until it passes, and do something other than reading for a time? Do you ask for help? And, if you ask for help, what great (or, not so great) advice have you been given on how to get out of a slump?

Typically, when I'm in a reading slump, I will pick up an old friend - that one book that always makes me happy and I can read it over and over again. Many times I will return to Laurell K. Hamilton, either her Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series or Merry Gentry series. She is my favorite paranormal writer and her books always make me feel like reading. Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga has the same effect on me. Two other authors I usually fall back on are Barbara Kingsolver and Bobbie Ann Mason.

Ocassionally, I will just keep trying different books, but when I'm in a slump, this doesn't always help. I have a huge TBR pile and many are waiting on book reviews, so I'll try reading through the pile. There are many, many times when I am reading 3 or 4 books at a time, taking notes or jotting down thoughts.

Usually, it takes that one great book to jar you out of a slump. It may be in the TBR pile or it may be at the library. It may be a recommendation from a friend or just a recommendation from Amazon.

My reading slumps don't last as long as my writing slumps, so that's a good thing. And I agree, there is nothing worse for a reading than not being able to read.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sunday Scribblings #125

Sunday Scribblings #125 -- How I met my significant other, best friend, dog, cat, nemesis or (fill in the blank)?

1.)How did you meet your significant other?
Believe it or not, I met my hubby at Church. I was going through a rather traumatic divorce and I had two little girls, ages 3 and 4. For years I had gone to the couples class for Sunday School, even though my first husband (asshole) never went with me. During the divorce, I continued attending the couples class, even though it felt a little wierd. One day I sucked up the courage and attended the singles class and lo and behold, there he was.

It was instant attraction at first sight, although I was in no way ready to start a new relationship. We started going to the movies and the amusement park - as friends - but within six months my feelings toward him had changed and I realized I was in love!

We dated for four years - four very loooooong years. I was only 23 when we met - yeah, I know, I got married at 17, big mistake - and I had been a stay at home mom, so I had no marketable skills. I decided to go to nursing school because I knew I couldn't raise my girls by continuing to work at the Pizza Hut.

It took me three years to finish the nursing program and my current hubby helped me all the way. He was always there to help with the kids so I could study, or to bring supper over so I didn't have to cook. After the first year we were dating, he started asking me to marry him, but I kept turning him down. I had already graduated high school with someone else's name, so I wanted to graduate college with my own name (I took back my maiden name).

After four years of dating,three years of nursing school, and ten years of no work experience, everything happened for me during May of 1990. I graduated nursing school during the second weekend (12th), got married the next weekend (19th), and by the fourth week (30th) I was working my first full-time job.

We have been going strong for 22 years now, with no end in sight! Life truly does work in mysterious ways!

2.)On the flip side of that, are there any people in your life you have lost touch with who you wonder about?
My best friend from childhood, Damon Young, drifted out of my life when he graduated from high school - he was a year ahead of me. We used to do everything together when we were growing up. He is the one who tried desparately to talk me out of marrying my first husband - why oh why did I not listen to him???? Or anyone else for that matter. But I digress.

I've caught up with Damon twice since his graduation. Once when he visited immediately after my divorce - he was happily married and living in another state. The second time was when I was pregnant with my youngest (she's 16 now); he came to the hospital where I worked to visit a family member. We didn't have much time together and I miss him terribly. We didn't exchange contact info because I was too wrapped up in my own drama at the time.

Now that I think about it, his mother still lives in town. I think I'll call her and get his info.

Last Chance for Book Give-Away

Just a reminder to all those interested, tonight at midnight is the deadline for entering my contest to win a copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. To be eligible, click here and leave a comment. Good luck to everyone!

3 Angry Stool Pigeons

Just a quick post to tell everyone about my daughter's AP English Literature class. The class has been divided into small groups that will work together for the entire school year. Once the groups were formed, they had to decide what to call their groups. Collectively, my daughter's group came up with the name:

3 Angry Stool Pigeons

What a great name! As soon as my daughter told me, I thought, "What a great title for a blog!" So, I've registered 3 Angry Stool Pigeons as a blog. The three girls will be posting stories, comments and other writing projects through out the school year.

As soon as the blog is up and running, I'll notify everyone on this blog.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Booking Thru Thursday

Today's Booking Thru Thursday from Should Be Reading asks the questions:

What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?

My earliest memories of the Mercer County Public Library in Harrodsburg, Kentucky is that the entire building used to be housed in the Historical Society. It still amazes me - when I visit the Historical Society - how tiny this building is! My mom would always take me to the library, which, when I look back, was kind of strange, because my mom is not much of a reader.

When I started Elementary School, I fell in love with the school library. So many books! By the time I was in the 4th grade I was a library assistant for Miss Joy, the librarian. I really thought I was hot stuff!

By the time I reached High School, I was still visiting the library often, but I was getting a lot of flack from my peers for reading so much. Looking back now, I shouldn't have let that bother me, but you know how peer pressure can be when you're a teenager.

Now, as an adult, I visit the Public Library two or three times a week. We got a brand new public library while I was still in elementary school, and it has already been expanded once since then.

Currently, the public library is working on plans for another expansion of the library. I'm so excited! I have been asked to set in with the planning committee to give input on the changes that will be made. It really is a wonderful time when a library has outgrown it's space. This tells me there are many, many people in our community that call the library home.

Blog Award

Kathleen from Diary of A Heretic has nominated me for an Excellent blog award. I'm an truly touched because this blog is so new.

I started My Muse and Me as a writing exercise, but it is turning into much more than that. I love getting feedback form other bloggers!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:
"According to Cyberspace rules in the eUniverse of eAwards, acceptance of this Excellent Blog Award requires me to tag nominate 10 virtual victims excellent Bloggers."

Here are my nominees:

Write on Wednesday - this blog is the reason I started my writing blog; she offers so many great writing prompts!

Secret ... Secret.. I've Got A Secret

The Red Umbrella

The Alien Next Door

Miss Meliss

The Marmelade Gypsy

Mimi Writes

Totally Optional Prompts

Writing to Survive

Why Paisley???

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Write-On Wednesday

Here are this week's writing prompts from Write On Wednesday:

1.) Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Or both? I typically write both. I do memoir writing for my column in the monthly Mercer's Magazine - memories from my childhood and from my daughters' childhoods. But I also enjoy writing fiction and historical fiction. I'm currently working on a book called Deep Creek - a historical fiction book about a grandmother with Alzheimer's Disease. The grandmother is based on my own grandmother, with some of her real life adventures thrown in.

2.) Do you keep a journal or a writing notebook? I keep a daily journal that I use to write long-hand notes or draw sketches. I also keep a writing notebook on my laptop.

3.) If you write fiction, do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing? Do you find books on plotting useful or harmful? Usually when I start writing a fiction story, I have the seed of an idea already planted in my muse. Usually this seed is in the form of a question: who is it? what happened? where are we? when will this be over? how to I reach the end?

4.) Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work? For some things, I am a procrastinator, especially if it's something I have a deadline for. Otherwise, I normally write when the urge hits me.

5.) Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time? I used to be an all or nothing kind of writing, finishing everything in one sitting. But as I've gotten older, my muse is coming in shorter bursts, so I work with what I have.

6.) Are you a morning or afternoon writer? Although I do write some in the mornings - normally in my journal - I get the bulk of my writing done in the afternoon. It just fits in with my schedule better.

7.) Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate? After raising 3 daughters, I can write through anything! Cats, dogs, snakes, music, television, slumber parties - you name it and I've written around it!

8.) Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?) Both! I still jot out outlines and quotes longhand, but the bulk of my writing is done on the laptop.

9.) Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One? Or do you let the story evolve as you write? Sometimes I know the ending of a story, but for the most part, I like when the story evolves on its own.

10.)Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write? Ocassionally this happens. I'm currently working on a book I've tenatively called Charlie, which will be a young adult book about a young girl who sees ghosts. For some reason paranormal is big in young adult fiction right now.

11.) Editing/Revision - love it or hate it? Editing and revisions are the bane of my existence. I love pounding out the first draft, but then I usually drag my feet when it comes time for revisions.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Carolyn Marie

The Frog Princess

There once was a little jumping frog,
We trained to come and go.
She 'joyed being in my company,
And often told me so.
She lived behind the potted fern,
In a sea of green;
And bugs and insects she would eat,
Saving them from me.

She was busy all day long,
a hoppin' and a jumpin'.
She helped me keep my gardens clean,
The pests she kept a gulpin'.

But when the sun would rise too high,
She would always hop for home;
And snuggle deep down in her bed,
Until the evenin' again would come.

And when the evening stars came out,
She'd be up to roam about;
A hoppin' here and jumpin' there,
She'd croak a little song.
A beautiful God creation,
In a garden full of life;
Of fruits and veggies and buggies delight,
A world not filled with strife.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Sunday Scribblings #124

This week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings:


--The moon is full.
--The air has turned cool.
--Autumn is in the air.
--The drought drags on.
--My muse is rejoicing; her cup runnth over.
--Last night's sunset was beautiful
--My family was home.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Amber Dawn is fair and golden,
The oldest of the princesses.
Crystal blue her eyes did sparkle,
Swirling flecks of gray.

Though Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Along traditional lines you flow.
You stole my heart and never looked back,
Though the aching of my heart.

So now engaged in love's deep pool,
A child you are no more.
Through laughter, grief and bitter tears,
We lash against the rules;
Never taunting each other with the harsh silly tales,
Our temperments entwine ever after.

So fly away home, little butterfly mine,
Show me how you will live.
Give life to the breath of the next light's glow,
And overfill my heart evermore.

© Bobbi Rightmyer


I sometimes feel down and lonely, too,
Why do I feel so crappy?
When I was young I used to run,
Myself into the ground,
But I look around and now I see,
A healthier person staring back at me.

So when did things change?
I can't seem to remember.
One day I could care less,
The next I'm a sinner.

Recycle, reduce and now reuse,
That's the drumming motto beat.
Gather your paper, your plastic, your waste all around,
There's now a new guru, the sheriff's in town.

So come one and come all,
To the best show in town.
Thirty lashes a pittance,
Paid to sullen your views.
I once cared for my cause,
But the now the vision is lost.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Maybe Romance Isn't Dead

I just received this email:

Dear Bobbi,
Here is your couple's love horoscope
for Saturday, August 16:

Try something a little -- or a lot -- different tonight with your honey, and add a new dimension to your love life. A racy movie can provide inspiration. Or just let your imagination run wild.

How interesting that I would get this email just moments after I publish a poem entitled, Romance is Dead ...

What's Wrong with This Picture?

Rich Copley - pop culture bloggist for the Lexington Herald-Leader - made the following statement in a recent blog:

" ...some people get on TV and sound off or write letters to the editor. These folks make art — and some pretty powerful statements."

Wow, what a way to look at life! I have always been a "letter to the editor" kinda gal! Have a complaint? Well, if you do, you need to do something about it before you start complaining. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I don't want to hear you complaining unless you've taken the first step in doing something about the complaint. Don't leave it up to the other guy.

Case in point, the recent scandal at a Berea, Kentucky McDonalds. A young, nursing mother was kicked out of a Berea McDonalds for trying to breastfeed her 4-month-old son. Other customers and employees of the fast food restaurant, hasseled and discriminated against this young family.

According to Kentucky State Law, a mother has the right to breastfeed a child in any private or public place. Yet, this young mother was made to feel inferior and criminal because she was trying to feed her child.

Once in the parking lot, the mother called local police, who sent a car to investigate - at least I guess it was the car because, surely a REAL police officer would have defended the young mother from the law breaking restaurant? Wouldn't they?

Well the answer is, HELL NO! The police threatened to have this young mother arrested for trespassing. Trespassing for trying to feed a baby! Now I ask you, how stupid does Kentucky have to look to the rest of the nation before we wake up and smell the coffee - or to'bacca, since were the number one "smoking" state.

When I first heard about this incident - I took my complaints to the local and corporate McDonalds, Berea Police and city government, the governor of Kentucky, both our US and KY Senators and all the Representatives.

What have I received back so far?

1.) A Letter from Governor Beshear - stating he has to remain neutral and is not responsible for law enforcement or local government - please send a letter to your congressmen or represenatives (see #2,3, and 4).

2.) A Letter from Rep. Ben Chandler - stating he is not responsible for private citizens compaints and I should report this to my local represenative, Milwood Dedman (see #1).

3.) A Letter from Rep. Geoff Davis - stating he was not MY representative, but he would pass my letter on to Rep. Ben Chandler (see #1, 2 and 4).

4.) A Letter from Sen. Mitchell McConnell (asshole) - stating he was not responsible for local or state issues, only national issues, but he would pass my letter on to Rep. Ben Chandler and Governor Beshear; also that the victim had a right to bring forth a lawsuit (see #1, 2 and 3).

Do we see a pattern forming here? Apparently no one representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky wants to take responsibility for our stupidity as a state. Local government blames the state government who, in turn, blames the national government; the national government then blames the local government who blames the state government - and the vicious circle continues and the entire state comes off looking like a bunch of red-neck hicks.


When I was a little younger,
Just a cute, petite girl;
There dwelled deep in my hunger,
A dangerous curl.

It twisted and turned,
Down deep into my soul;
Tattered and burned,
From life to living coal.

I once had a dream,
To be giddily in love;
The center of your team,
To the back I've now been shoved.

Long ago we kissed,
We laughed and still we cried;
Now love has gone amiss,
And romance has gone to hid.

Where are my hugs and kisses?
My kind word and my smiles?
Romance is gone, it's missing;
With all it's lyes and trails.

© Bobbi Rightmyer


Full moon fever,
On a Friday night;
Brings the crazies,
into the light.

Blinding light,
in the darkness prey;
Will steal the sight,
And light of day.

Be still my heart,
Locked away in love,
You're not so smart,
With powers' glove.

Give me a pass,
Just once would you please;
Leave me still on the grass,
And down low on my knees.

So werewolf in kind,
Gathered 'round in the wood;
Will each link their minds,
As they draw up their hoods.

© Bobbi Rightmyer


Suddenly a crashing noise came from the door downstairs,
Leading them into a room,
Where boys and girls are changed.
I think it used to be a jail,
Or binding cage somehow,
Something cold like iron and steel,
Makes the change seem real.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Am The Dragon

I am the fire,
The center of all,
The stout heroic heart.

I am the light and the way,
Through the night and the day,
Hear the power of my roar.

I am the dark clouds above the horizon,
The chosen among the few,
I am immortality
With my quest to renew.

I am the dragon.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Write on Wednesday

Today on Write on Wednesday, Becca's topic is writer's groups.

"Are they better writers and better people because of their work with each other? What could be a better goal for a writing group - or any group for that matter?

How about you? Have you ever belonged to a writer’s group? Did it work? Why (or why not?) What would be your criteria for the perfect writer’s group?"

At one point I did belong to a writer's group, but all the participants were so much older than me and they never talked about any topics that interested me. I also had the same problem as Becca, every time a cell phone would ring, someone would answer it and then proceed to have a conversation. How rude! After 6 weeks of meeting once a week, I gave the group up. I was finding that I accomplished more by myself.

Of course, I think writer's groups are very important. It's great to have like minded people to share works in progress and to bounce ideas off of. My favorite fictional author is Laurell K. Hamilton, who writes the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series and the Merry Gentry series. She belongs to a writer's group called the Alternate Historians and they meet regularly to discuss each other's works. She is always blogging about the importance of her writing group and she typically gives them a mention in the acknowledgements of her books.

I really wish I had a small group of writers I could meet with, but I want to work on writing, not discuss personal issues. I love critiquing other people's works and I love getting feedback on my own.

I have found lots of writing inspiration from my bloggy friends, especially Becca, but I agree that ocassional face to face meetings would be great. But until I can find that perfect group, I'll keep writing and surfing the blogging world, picking up inspiration along the way.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Zombie Zoo

One of my favorite songs by Tom Petty - from his solo Full Moon Fever album - is Zombie Zoo, co-written byTom and Jeff Lynne. Jeff is the brains behind ELO and the Traveling Wilburys, as well as co-producer of George Harrison's Cloud Nine album. For some reason, this song just fits my mood today.

Zombie Zoo

All down the street they're standin' in line
With white lipstick and one thing on their mind
Hey little freak with the lunch pail purse
Underneath the paint you're just a little girl

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo, dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted in a corner and all you wanna do
Is dance down at the Zombie Zoo

Cute little dropout, how come you pack a rod
Is your mother in a clinic? has your father got no job?
Sometimes you're so impulsive,
You shaved off all your hair
You look like Boris Karloff and you don't even care

You're dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted in a corner and all you wanna do is dance down at the
Zombie Zoo

She disappears at sunrise, I wonder where
She goes until
The night comes fallin' down again she shows
Up with her friends half-alive

You can make a big impression or
Go through life unseen
You might wind up restricted and over seventeen
It's so hard to be careful, so easy to be led
Somewhere beyond the pavement

Dancin' at the Zombie Zoo, dancin' at the Zombie Zoo
Painted in a corner and all you wanna do
Is dance down at the Zombie Zoo

© Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Pity-Me Party Is Over

Okay, I finally redeemed myself on Sunday. After spending part of the weekend throwing a "pity me party", my muse rallied and I was able to get 6 more pages on the book I'm writing. Yeah for me!

The main problem with my writing is the fact I have so much going on at one time. I'm not content to just be working on one project - I get bored working on the same thing all the time. So I usually have several things going at once:

--my column for the paper
--my blog enteries
--updating my journals and the journals of my 3 girls
--2 short stories I'm working on
--3 books I'm trying to finish

I realize, if I would just put my nose to the grind, I could finish some of these projects faster - but what's the fun in that?

I write for me - not to get published or draw attention to myself. So, if I want to work on several projects at once, that's what I'm going to do. I'll eventually get everything finished.

Another new project that is swimming around in my crowded head - wedding books for my oldest 2 daughters. Both my oldest daughters have weddings planned for next year - one in June and the other in September. I really want to put together a photo album/journal to give them as a wedding present. I'm jotting down notes and collecting photos, but I haven't done much beyond that. Hopefully this winter I can get started on this in earnest.

Till next time ...

The Beginnings of a Shaker Story

This is the beginning seed of a short story I would like to write about the Shakers of Pleasant hill.

"Today has been such a cold and miserable day. The Indian summer we were experiencing this past week is like a distant memory now that the cold, dampness of winter has set in. Sister Harriett has sent me to the Sister’s Shop today to help with the winter spinning, and I am thankful to be situated in front of the open fireplace. My toes have finally thawed from the short walk to the shop.

My name is Rachel Harris and I am twelve years old. I came to live in the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill during the winter of 1838; I was only five. My father, Colonel Nathan Harris was killed during the battle at Perryville. My mother became ill with tuberculosis after my father’s death. Fearing that her only child would be left to fend for herself, my mother did the only thing she could. She brought me to the Shakers because she knew I would be well cared for. My mother died three months after leaving me in the hands of the Shakers.

The United Society of Believers in the Second Coming, or Shakers as they became known, came to Kentucky in 1806. They established a colony in Mercer County—Pleasant Hill."

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bobbi Ann

Here's another story idea:


"Bobbi Ann is 57 years old and the proud owner of Paradise, a 53 square mile island off the coast of Nantucket. Looking around at her new surroundings, it is hard to believe how far she has come in life.

For the past 20 years, Bobbi Ann has been the biggest name in chilren’s fiction, writing over 50 bestselling titles, such as The Posies Oppossum Series and the Fairy Books. Merchandising alone has allowed Bobbi Ann to finally lead the kind of life she has always dreamed of.

Married for the first time at age 17, the short marriage ended in 1986 leaving Bobbi Ann a single mother of two young girls under the age of four. A sessession of minimum wage jobs finally lead her to persue a teaching degree from the prestiages Midway College.

During her four year college education, Bobbi Ann began dating her second husband. He was a tremendous help to Bobbi Ann while she studied for exams and wrote term papers. When Bobbi Ann graduated with her Bachelor’s in Education, she was 28 years old and had married her new sweetheart the week before.

For the next ten years, Bobbi Ann taught five grade English at the local elementary school. Although she loved teaching her small pupils, Bobbi Ann’s true passion was writing. She became interested in writing children’s fiction while taking a creative writing class at Midway. With the help of her young students, Bobbi Ann worked on a story that would turn into the Posie Opposum Series. Each day, after lunch, the class would hold a 15 minute impromptu lesson on what young adults would like to read.

Bobbi Ann’s first book was entitled, Posie Opposum Goes To School. It was about a young opossum named Posie and all the problems she had with going to a new school. With the help of her classroom students, Bobbi Ann became an almost overnight success in the realm of young adult fiction.

Bobbi Ann’s family expanded to include another daughter during the couples third year of marriage. By now, Bobbi Ann’s oldest daughters were nine and eleven years old.

With the publication of the fourth book in the Posie Opossum Series, Bobbi had retired from her teaching job and was writing fulltime. Her husband had also been able to quit his job and he had started a video service which also included their youngest daughter. Bobbi Ann’s oldest two daughter were out on their own, and Bobbi Ann was proud to be able to buy the girls their first homes.

When Bobbi Ann turned 55, she lost the love of her life, her wonderful husband of almost 28 years, to a heart attack. For an entire year, Bobbi Ann secluded herself in her home. She refused to go shopping or out to eat or even to the movies. Her three girls were scattered across the state and she only got to see them on holidays.

During the second year after her husband’s death, Bobbi Ann decided her life needed a change. Thanks to her successful writing career, she had more than enough money in the bank and she decided it was time to give back to her community.

She bought Paradise Island for 17.3 million dollars. She spent another three million constructing her private compound on the island. Several large windmills help generate electricity, as do several dozen solar panels. The two thousand square foot house is not huge, but it is much larger than her old home. The house is heated with geothermal and radiant heat. There is a natural spring near the creek for fresh water, but because she wanted to be self sufficient, Bobbi Ann had two additional wells drilled to provide clean water.

The house is situated in a large plateau near the creek with thick, dense woods anchoring the back and both sides of the house. There is a small stable for her two horses, a goat house for her five goats, a turkey house and a chicken coup. There is a vegetable plot, as well as a fruit plot, and a brand new “root cellar” for Bobbi Ann to store vegetables and canned goods."

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Delusions of Mary Jane

Candles. . .the smell of those candles burning was almost intoxicating. What was that? Lemons?

. . .Lemon cake?

No, I have it, lemon meringue pie. . .yeah, that was it lemon meringue pie.

But. . ?

What was that sound? A motor of some kind. . or a broken fan? No. . , wait. There’s a clanging sound. Glass. . ? What would make that kind of sound in a bedroom? With the slight breeze I’m feeling, it must be some type of ceiling fan. The candle doesn’t cast enough light for me to be able to see.

My mouth is so dry. . .’full of cotton’ as we used to say. Really wish I had a big old slug of Coke right now, but I’m afraid to get up. I don’t remember where I am.

How did I get here. . ? Where is here?

God! My heart is beating so fast! Why do I feel this way?

This way. . .? I’m not sure what I mean by this way. I mean, I’m lying her on a. . .
waterbed?. .

and I writing in a notebook while my mind is racing along at a hundred miles an hour. I mean, shit--I have to work in the morning and here it is 11:01 by my clock, of course my clock is set 13 minutes faster than all the rest because I’m always afraid I’ll be late.

And why do I obsess about being late? I mean fuck it, who really gives a shit if I’m late? Huh? Who really gives a shit? It’s no skin off nobody but me. I’m the one who’ll catch the flack--not anybody but me. Nobody else really gives a shit!

Nobody else really gives a shit. . .nobody else really gives a shit--nobody else really gives a shit.

Who gives a shit?


I’m in my own bedroom; the ceiling fan is whirring gently overhead. My favorite lemon meringue candle is burning. I am wide-awake, unable to sleep, on a work night. Life is too short.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Oh, Woe is Me

It's days like today that I wonder why I want to be a writer. I'm full of stress and frustration, but I can't put my finger on the problem.

Is it the heat and humidity? Maybe ... I can't stand heat and humidity; it makes me feel like I want to melt into the pavement. My brain feels fuzzy and I get more cranky than a hungry mama bear.

It is the under-appreciation that others have for me work? Maybe ... with the exception of my hubby and my youngest daughter, no one seems to care that I write. I've had a monthly column in our local paper for the past 12 years and I rarely get any feedback. I know that I'm writing because it's what I love to do, and I say I don't care what others think; but every once in a while it would be nice to have my Mom and Dad or my brother or my aunts and uncles say something encouraging.

Is it frustration from getting rejection slip after rejection slip? Maybe ... this one really does hurt. I know that I can probably go the self-publication route, but I just don't want to until I've explored all my options. So I keep slugging away. I've probably got enough rejection slips to wallpaper my writing room.

Okay, enough whining! I've got to pull my self-esteem up by the boot straps and carry on with life. It's Saturday and this is usually a day when I can write for several hours - uninterrupted. So, I'm leaving the desktop computer and heading for my favorite reading chair with my laptop, my notebook and my imagination. Maybe something productive will come from this moment of self-pity. We'll see ...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Book Give-Away

If you would like to win a copy of Stephenie Meyer's first book, Twilight, then visit my book review blog: Bobbi's Book Nook. The contest is open until August 22, 2008. Good Luck!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grasshopper Holler

Aunt Butter strutted down the dusty ruts into Grasshopper Holler with her oversized shopping bag over one hand and a straining leash in the other. Her rumpled red hair was flying in all directions; she actually looked like those comic book pictures of someone who put their finger in a light socket. The only thing holding back the tangled mess of hair was an old fisherman’s hat which had once belonged to her Pappy.

The dog tugging at the leash was an old coon dog that didn’t have a real name. Aunt Butter just always called him, “That dog.”

“That dog howled again all night long”

“That dog couldn’t tree a coon if his life depended on it.”

“That dog will be the death of me.”

The residents of Grasshopper Holler just called the mangy mutt, Dog, and when they saw Aunt Butter and Dog coming down the street, old folks would suddenly be busy with other activities.

Aunt Butter is not the most cordial person and her manners are downright atrocious. She was the youngest of the eleven Foster kids that lived on Ridge Top Knob with their parents, Orville and Earnestine. Being form the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, Aunt Butter was raised like all country folk, working long hard hours on the family farm and attending school until the eighth grade.

Butter got her unusual name from her Pappy who used to love to watch the way she would eat the homemade butter Momma made every week. Her official name was Joanna Marie, but from the time she was two, everyone had started calling her Butterball. Later in her childhood, the nickname was shortened to Butter and she had been called that every since.

Her Momma tried her best to teach her the best she could, but Butter was too much of a tomboy to take an interest in cooking and cleaning. She would rather be out in the fields working with the draft horses as the fields were plowed, or helping Pappy haul hay into the barn for winter storage. She loved to be in the woods and she could name all the plants and wildlife that grew around Grasshopper Holler. Nine times out of ten, Butter could be seen with her dress tucked into her underpants as she would run after her older brothers.

Butter was fearless and she could fight just as hard as the boys. Momma was always saying, “Lord, help this child before she kills herself”. Because Butter was known to come home with scraps and cuts all over her body. Her clothes would be tattered and torn, but there was always a smile on her face. She was a child born to be in the outdoors.

By the time Butter was five, she began spending much of her time with the old widow, Flora Bottom who lived a mile up river from the foster farm. Mrs. Flora was a healer and she knew all about using herbs and other plants to make medicines for all types of illnesses. Butter loved to help Mrs. Flora mix and brew the various concoctions used in making the medicinal potions. This was as close to cooking as Butter wanted to be.

Mrs. Flora was the person who taught Butter all about the herbs and wildlife living in and around Grasshopper Holler. She taught her the names and uses of each plant and how to harvest the valuable flowers, leaves and roots at the peak time. Over the next ten years, Butter would learn all the ins and outs of healing, not knowing that this would be her calling life.

Momma and Pappy were proud of the skills Butter was learning, even if they were considered untraditional, and her talents had come in handy the time Jim Bob, her oldest brother, was attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets. Or when Ethel Mae, the middle sister, came down with a cause of the dropsy and couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks. Butter was good at making potions and poultices for any type of illness or injury.

Aunt Butter was married off at the tender age of 15, to a young farmer from Tater Knob. They lived with his family until they could build a little cabin for themselves. Butter did not make a good first impression with her new in-laws, because spoilt as she was, if Butter didn’t want to do something, by god, she wouldn’t do it. Her stubborn streak ran through her body lie the raging Kentucky River after a flash flood.

Jo Don Keller was born on Tater Knob and he was the typical farm boy, Even though he was nine years older than Butter, her parents thought it was a good match. At last Butter could talk to him for five minutes without hitting or shouting at him. Earnestine Foster thought Butter was too young to get married, but Orville reminded her that Janice Sue, one of their six daughters, had married at the age of 13.

“But Janice Sue was more grown up than Butter is now. What’s she gonna do when she starts popping out babies.” Momma worried herself into a state, but Pappy just shook his head and said, “Maybe it’ll shake her up a bit, turn her into a woman.’

So, durning the blackberry winter of 1938, Butter and Joe Don were married in a small ceremony at the Mt. Zion Church just outside of Grasshopper Holler, immediately after the service, they loaded a wagon with Butter’s meager belongings and headed for their new life on Tater Knob.

Within the first year, Susie was born and James followed along ten months later; Irish twins. Butter was beside herself with new challenges. Being the baby of the family, she had never known how to take care of a baby. Her Momma came to stay with her for a month after Susie was born to try and taeach Butter how to make diapers and feed and clean the baby. Butter remained stubborn, but she realized that she had to learn these skills; and she was a quick learner. When James was born, Momma only had to stay with Butter for one week.

Butter and Joe Don lived happily until one stormy day in the spring of 1942. They had been watching the storm brew all day, so there was a hustle in their movements as they went about the day’s chores. At three that afternoon, only minutes before the storm started, Joe Don realized that their milk cow, Daisy, had wandered off from the farm lot into the woods behind the house. Normally, Joe Don wouldn’t worry, but daisy was due to calf any day. He set out through the howling wind and stinging rain to find Daisy before she dropped her calf somewhere out in the storm.

By dusk that night, Butter knew something was wrong. Joe Don had not returned home. The worst of the storm was over leaving a gentle rain and the fresh smell of spring. When Daisy moseyed into the back lot without Joe Don, Butter scooped up her two young ones and ran to the Keller house. By the time she had run the half mile to the half mile to the house, through the woods with two small kids, Butter was hysterical.

After calming her down and settling the two kids on to a pallet in front of the fire, the Keller men went out to search for Joe Don. Mrs. Keller brewed chicory coffee and tried to sooth Butter as the two women waited for the men to return. Four hours later, they heard a ruckus coming from the barn and by the time they ran to the door, one of the younger Keller boys was heading back out with the hay wagon.

Why did they need the hay wagon? What has happened to Joe Don? All the women could do was wait and worry. At dawn, the sounds of the wagon could again be heard heading toward the house. When Butter opened the door, her mind flew into a panic. Joe Don was laying on the hay wagon, lifeless. His hair was singed near his left temple and one of his boots was missing. Butter threw herself onto the dead body of her husband and sobbed. There was nothing to be done. Joe Don had been struck by lightening and died on the spot. The bolt of electricity entered through his temple and exited through his foot.

Two days later, Rev. Sharp came to Tater Knob to lay Joe Don to rest in the family cemetery. Butter was in shock and had not spoken a word since the Keller men brought the body back to the house. Momma and Pappy came for the wake and to stay with Butter for a few days. They ended up taking Butter and the two kids back to Grasshopper Holler because she appeared to be retreating from the world.

Three years later, when Butter was 24, she got remarried to a family friend, Buck McCoy was 30 years her senior and a hard worker. He lost his wife and baby during childbirth well before Butter was ever born, and he had never remarried. Watching Butter grew from an awkward child into a sturdy mother, Buck decided to take his chances again for a family. When he asked Pappy for her hand in marriage, Butter ran out of the house and into the woods. As she sobbed her heart out, all she could think about was how old Buck seemed in comparison to Joe Don.

After a stern talking to by Pappy, Butter agreed to marry Buck because she realized she could no longer go on living with her parents. Her little girl Susie was 6 years old and little Joe was 5—they really needed a daddy in their lives and Buck appeared more than willing to accept a ready made family.

On Easter Sunday, 1945, Butter and her children left Grasshopper Holler to move to Posey Ridge—35 miles away. During the next ten years, Butter and Buck had three children; two boys and a girl. Raising five children without the help of her mother, Butter was overwhelmed, but she managed the best she could. Buck was not a loving man, but he did provide a decent life for Butter and the kids; he even treated his step-children like his own.

But tradedy was not done with Butter. In the summer of 1955, Buck was trying to repair the gate to the corral when a horse kicked him in the head. The blow to the head left Buck in a coma for six days before he finally died. Butter was alone again, this time with five children to care for.

She wrote a letter home to Momma and Pappy, but they were unable to come and help her. Pappy’s “Arthur” was acting up again and he couldn’t make the 35 mile trip to her house. So Butter managed to survive. Little Joe was a big help with the farming chores and Susie helped with the young ones.

Less than a month after Buck’s passing, Ray Adams came knocking at the door with a proposal for Butter. Ray was interested in the farmland left by Buck, but Butter didn’t want to sell. She still owed the bank not for the farm, but she didn’t want to be put out on the street with her children. Ray wanted this land badly and he began to terrorize Butter and threaten her with bankruptcy if she didn’t sell.

Finally, Butter came up with a plan. She didn’t much care for Ray, but she had already lost two husbands and she knew she couldn’t go on much longer without help. She agreed to sell Ray the farm if he would marry her and help raise the children. Ray jumped at the offer and two days later they were married by the Justice of the Peace in Posey Ridge. One week later, Butter realized she had made a big mistake.

Ray Adams turned out to be the town drunk and grade A Bully. He began to beat Butter and the children on a regular basis. He never lifted a finger to do anything around the farm, but he took all the credit for the work Butter and the kids did. He spent long hours up on the mountain top, tending his still and sampling the liquor.

Moonshine, pure grade alcohol with a kick that could throw you into the next county. Buck spent his day tending t he still and he spend his nights drinking the product When he was drunk, he would force himself on Butter and claim his marital rights. Over the next five years, Butter added two more children to her brood.

With seven children and a drunk for a husband, Butter felt like she was living hell on earth. She was too ashamed to tell anything about the beatings for fear that the law would try to take her kids away; or worse, Ray would hurt her worse than he already had. She was afraid of him and all the children learned to fear him as well.

Again, tragedy hit Butter, but this time, it was for the good. In the fall of 1962, Ray was tending one of his stills, when the entire contraption blew up, killing him instantly. When Ray didn’t come home that night, Butter was relieved. It was not uncommon for Ray to stay away from home for two or three days at a time.

After one week, Butter sent little Joe—who was now married with a wife and family of his own—and her sixteen year old son, David up into the mountains to look for Ray. They returned two days later with the decomposing body of Ray adams. No one in the family shed a tear at the death, not even his own five and two year old.

Butter and the kids managed to make it through the winter of 1962, and when the forsythia was starting to bloom the next spring, she loaded up all her belongings and her children and moved back to Grasshopper Holler. She sold the land to little Joe and his wife, and she said her goodbyes to Susie and David—Susie was married with children of her own and David wanted to remain on Posey Ridge with his brother—and headed home.

Momma and Pappy were in poor health and they had agreed to allow Butter to return home to help with the running of the farm. All Butter’s siblings were married and had moved away from the Holler, so there was no one else to care for Momma and Pappy.

As Butter settled into life back home at her birth place, her four remaining children were a blessing and a joy. 14 year old Jason and 10 year old Matthew were a big help on the farm and the five year old twins—Mary and Carey—were not much trouble. The next few years went by smoothly and everyone grew strong and healthy.

Momma died in 1973 of heart failure and Pappy never recovered. He grieved himself to death and joined his wife in 1974. Butter was 52 years old. Her children were all grown and married and she was left with the farm on Tater Knob. Most of Butter’s brothers and sisters had moved far away from Grasshopper Holler—her oldest sister even moved to New York City. Butter was the last of the Fosters living in the Holler and she turned her life back to her first true love—herbs and medicine.

She had managed to remember most of the things Mrs. Flora had taught her as a child, and soon, Butter was treating the aches and pains of some of her neighbors. However, most of the population of Grasshopper Holler was going to the big city doctor’s in Lexington.

Truthfully, the residents of Grasshopper Holler were afraid of Butter. After all, she had lost three husbands and most people thought she was cursed and just a tad bit daft. Butter had the odd habit of talking to herself and she tried to avoid people as much as possible. When she would make her trips into town, people would watch her and stare, thinking her an oddity in today’s environment.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! Today is the 17th anniversary of my 29th birthday!

Rainy Days

I love dark, damp rainy days. Most people thrive in bright sunny, but not me. My creativity always seems to peak on days that appear dreary. I don’t know what the fascination is with these kinds of day, but since I was a little girl I have always been drawn to them. When I was in grade school, I would come home on rainy days and Mom would either be cooking or doing the laundry. Either one of these activities would leave our home with delicious smells and steamy windows. I always felt so warm and safe on those types of days.

Rainy days are wonderful for curling up with your favorite book or magazine. As a child I would love to curl up in a recliner, bury under a warm blanket and get lost in Trixie Belden or Betsy or Planet of the Apes. My imagination was free to roam at will, leaving me with many story ideas that I later transferred into my notebooks. I enjoyed writing stories almost as much and I did reading them; and I also liked illustrating my words, even though I am no artist. Christmas was always my favorite subject to write about. I would love trying to draw the things from my stories, or even items from my real life.

Dark spring and summer days make me want to reminisce into my past, dig out scrapbooks and review old journals. I find great romance in things from my past. Sometimes I will review my girls’ baby books. I enjoy reading about their accomplishments and growth. I love looking at pictures in scrapbooks and remembering how I felt at those times.

I always enjoyed being at my Granny Devine’s house when it was rainy or cold. Her house was so tiny, but it felt so homey. Granny was always cooking or baking something and her house was warm and cozy ...

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Write On Wednesday

Becca at Write On Wednesday had the following writing prompts for this Wednesday:
How about you? Do you consider yourself a writer? Do you think blogging is “real writing?” What does it take to be a “real writer”?

I have just recently started calling myself a writer. I written articles for the local paper for 12 years, but always considered my "main" job as an RN my "real job". However, writing has started to consume more and more of my life - and I don't consider it work. Writing is what I do for a living - it's what makes me, me.

Yes, I do consider blogging as writing! Blogging is the main reason I now call myself a writer. If it wasn't for the hours I spend at my keyboard updating several blogs, I'd probably lose my mind!

To me, a writer writes - and that's what I do! So I think a writer should spend part of the day honing their craft and then trying to get it out into the world for others to read. At least, that's my hope with the writing I do. I don't write to be famous or publish lots of books (although I can't wait to get that first one published), I write because if I didn't, I think my mind would explode.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Deep Creek - Chapter Three

Thursday, the day before Halloween

I know it’s not Tuesday, but I’m sitting with Granny anyway. Aunt Birdie and Miller have gone on a long-needed vacation to the Smokies; they should be back on Sunday. I volunteered Eddie and me to take over total care of Granny for the extended weekend. Three of those days were good days; one was not—Halloween night. I should have known that the dark costumes associated with Halloween, are the worst shade of color for an Alzheimer’s patient.

Most Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty when it comes to large expansives of dark space—black and white checkered floors, dark brown doors or walls—they perceive these spaces as holes in their environment and they try to figure out how to get around or avoid the big holes. So, when trick-or-treaters started to arrive at the farm, Granny began to get more and more disoriented.

Nicole was having a Halloween party and had invited her entire 6th grade class. Of course, the most logical place to gather this large number of kids was the farm. Every day for the past two weeks, Nicole and I have headed to the farm to work on the haunted house, the flying brooms, and the mad scientist’s laboratory, not to mention other creepy, spooky surprises. Nicole was so excited; she had been wanting to have a party for several years and I kept putting her off, because I didn’t think our place was big enough. If it turned off cold the night of the party, then we could move all the kids into the barn to stay warm. Our house is just big enough for the three of us; there is no room for more people. Down on the farm, we had room for more people.

Miller had donated lots of muscle and hard work, not to mention letting us set up a mad scientist’s laboratory in his beloved garage. We had managed to move all of Miller’s tools and accessories to one wall of the garage and we hung a dark curtain to hide the items. We were left with a large enough area to set-up three folding table end to end with plenty of room for children to walk around the table in a single file. We were setting up different areas for the children to use their hands and touch slimy things—large Concord grapes, skinned, make great eyeballs; cooked macaroni turns into brains; raw hamburger makes wonderful intestines. There are all types of everyday items that take on a scary texture, especially if the room is only lit with candles. Aunt Birdie loaned us a large black cauldron, that was actually a cast iron soup pot; but it made a wonderful cauldron when we used dried ice to make steam come out of it.

Eddie helped us get the haunted barn together over the weekend. Originally, we were going to use the garage as the haunted house, but, when Miller offered us the barn, we thought a haunted barn sounded better; vast areas to haunt. We hung ghosts from the rafters and nailed skeletons to the walls. In one of the horse stall, we hung a straw stuffed scarecrow—literally—hung him with a noose around his neck. Pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks and miniature orange lights set the mood for a spooky party.
We spent one afternoon stacking hay bales onto the large tobacco wagon. We turned the wagon into a coach for hayrides we were planning. Jake and Sally—Miller’s two favorite horses—were the animals you wanted when you needed to move a heavy load.

Miller bush hogged a trail that looped around by the old tobacco bed and turned around by the big catfish pond. From there it made its’ windy way thorough the woods behind the barn and on down into the creek before heading back to the house by way of the orchard. Because Miller wasn’t going to be home for the actual Halloween party, the Tuesday night before, he decided to show Eddie all his hard work, by taking him on a trial run of the hayride.

Since it was several hours until the sun was totally gone, Nicole and I decided to take Granny with us on the test run. Of course, she made a fuss that she was too tired, but we managed to convince her it was going to be fun. Once we got her on the wagon and settled onto a blanket-covered bale of hay, I think she finally relaxed.

“I remember my daddy hooking up our old mules on Sunday morning to take us to church. We were so proud to show up at church wearing our Sunday best.” Granny had that far away look in her eyes—thinking about the past that was her answer whenever you asked her where she went during those wistful times.

“What kind of clothes did you wear to church, Granny?” Nicole asked. Even though Nicole was only eleven, she was sensitive to everyone’s needs and she had honed in on the fact that we needed to keep Granny remembering her past. Nicole is keeping a notebook with all the stories that Granny tells. Whenever she learns something new about Granny, she writes it in her little red notebook, along with the date and the situation for the entry. Maybe she will publish a book one day on Granny’s life—those would be lovely memories to read about when I get older.

“Well, I only had one Sunday go-to-meetin’ outfit, so I wore the same dress every week. It was my accessories that I had to keep changing.” Granny turned and smiled at Nicole. “You had better believe that I would never have been allowed to wear pants to church like you kids now a days.”

“I just don’t like dresses, Granny. They are so uncomfortable. . .tell me about your ‘Sunday go-to-meeting’ clothes.” I could see the tape recorder turning on in Nicole’s brain; she can remember details better than anyone.

“Well, it was the color of cream that forms on top of butter—my mother had saved flour sacks all winter in order to have enough material to make me a dress. She worked on it. . .”

“Flour sacks. . .you mean flour like what you cook with, or flowers like mom has in her garden?” Nicole was a child of the twenty first century so she had only seen flour come in throw away paper bags.

“Lordy, child—flour, like the flour I make your biscuits out of. Only back when I was a child, flour was a staple for all country homes. Everything was homemade, cooking was woman’s work.”

Granny yammered on as we bumped along the curvy path that Miller made with the tractor and bush hog. Occasionally she would point out a shrub or tree or some other type of vegetation. I was amazed at the intensity that Nicole studied her grandmother. I could almost see her memorizing every line and crease of Granny’s leathery face. Special times-these are special times when memories are being made. The more often you revisit a memory, the more vivid it becomes etched in your brain. The brain is a powerful thing.

It is during special times like this that I miss my Granny the most. Simple memories of being on the farm with family and friends—these are the types of memories I cherish. I may never get to see Granny’s face light up again whenever she would see bittersweet growing up an old fencerow, but I had that memory etched in my mind, just waiting to be recalled. These stories have been passed on to my children, and I’m ready to start handing down more through grandchildren—not that I’m trying to hurry anyone along.

To be continued ...

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Deep Creek - Chapter Two

Tuesday, July 4

The whole family is getting together tonight—holiday celebration, the 4th of July. This is always my husband’s time to shine. Since before we were married, Eddie has been in charge of the family’s fireworks display. He started 20 years ago with a few Roman candles, but soon his show grew to be a spectacular display of flying, popping, sparking array of colored lights and sounds that could almost compete with the nightly fireworks display at the Kings Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Granny loved the 4th of July. She grew up during the depression and could appreciate the significance of 1776. My kids have only known the 4th of July as a time of fireworks, hamburgers and homemade ice cream. I’m sure they were educated on the history of July 4th while in elementary school, but learning about people who died over 225 years ago is just not as fun as running through the yard with a sparkler in each hand.

Granny like the arena size fireworks—the one’s that look like a diamond exploding into a gazillion pieces—the one’s that used to be seen during the opening of Sunday nights Walt Disney. There was just something about Tinkerbell exploding through a wall of sparkles—tiny gold wand in her hand—that takes you back to a calmer, quieter time. Granny was partial to the explosions of sparks that started out one color, but changed two or three times before finally disappearing in a spray of gold dust. Granny didn’t like the duds or the loud retorts—the loud boom resonated through her head and left the sound of “an angry hornet nest” buzzing to the core of her spine.

But the thing I think Granny enjoyed most about the 4th of July was the homemade ice cream—in particular, peppermint ice cream. If peppermint wasn’t available, then strawberries, peaches, or blackberries were a welcoming substitute—however, Granny always saved those large candy canes from Christmas. You know the ones I mean, they are about a foot long and as big around as a turnip—and everyone buys them to fill Christmas stockings, but nobody ever eats them. Granny managed to accumulate back all the candy cane logs she gave away as unique wrapping from gifts of Christmases past.

Granny would drop these sticks on the ground and then place the large chunks into a gallon size Ziploc baggie. Granny would then wrap the baggie into her sunbonnet and bang it against the house until the pulverized pieces resembled course crumbles. These sticky particles made the best peppermint ice cream in the world, better even than the bus station—which was the first place I ever tasted, or even heard of, peppermint ice cream.

Before Granny started making peppermint ice cream, the only other place you could get this flavor of ice cream was at the Greyhound Bus Stop in Harrodsburg. In the 1970’s, this was not only the place to get the best homemade ice cream; it was the only place to get homemade ice cream. Shortie—Eileen Lester; owner, cook and chief bottle washer—worked the counter, cleaned the grill and was in charge of making the famous frozen dessert. Shortie was a short woman, two inches under five foot, but she was feisty and could always make a person laugh. In fact, it was a rule—you couldn’t leave the Bus Stop unless you had a smile on your face.

I have snapshots in my head of me as a little girl sitting on a leather-capped chrome barstool at a worn wood counter—black patent leathers and lace trimmed socks dangles from my long skinny legs. Hard to imagine any part of me ever being skinny—under a summer dress of blue gingham, that I’m sure Granny had made for me. Beside me, Granny managed to remain propped on her bar stool, even with her silk stocking legs cross at the knees.

Peppermint was not even a regular item on the menu at Shortie’s, so I was always happy when my, once-a-month trips to the Bus Station fell on “Peppermint Patty” day. Shortie started calling me Peppermint Patty from the first time I ate the creamy concoction. I was 10 before I realized Peppermint Patty was a friend of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, the famous Peanuts’ characters. Just a few months ago, I learned that Granny called Shortie at the beginning of every month to find out when she would be freezing peppermint ice cream. Here, I always thought I was so lucky that every month was Peppermint Patty day—when in actuality Granny had arranged these monthly visits just to see my gleeful happy face every time I got to eat tasty cream.

“No, no—don’t use table sugar in that bar-b-que sauce! Use brown sugar—how many times do I have to tell you?”

Granny was sitting on a stool at the kitchen table scolding my mother when I arrived at Aunt Birdie’s. Mom was in charge of making the barbeque sauce this year. This was always Granny’s job, but Aunt Birdie had called this morning and announced that today was not going to be a good day.

Typically when Granny had a bad day, there were signs early in the morning—a gradual increase in confusion that hit a crescendo by three in the afternoon. Sundowners. As a nurse I realize that some elderly people with dementia usually get worse in the late afternoons, as the sun is getting ready to go down. It was my night to sit with Granny, which meant I wouldn’t be getting much sleep tonight.

“Ok, mother—I’m putting in the brown sugar. What’s next?”

Mom had the recipe right in front of her, but she continued to elicit Granny’s help. We have been trying to this because I feel that if we can keep Granny’s mind active—even on bad days—then we can slow the progression of her disease. I’m mot sure it is helping, but I know one thing—it is not hurting. So we try to keep hope alive and Granny’s mind active. Granny is also on a medication called Aricept, which is supposed to help with the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, but I feel that Granny is already easing into the secondary stages of her disease. Soon, this medication won’t work and we will be forced to try something new.

“Well . . .now you need to add…” The words came hastily out of my grandmother’s mouth. In that moment you could almost see the healthy part of her brain wrestling with the approaching dementia—each trying to gain control of her frail body.
“Peanuts. Add a half-cup . . .Birdie? Birdie—where are you, Birdie?” Granny began to look frantically around the kitchen.

“I’m right here, Mama—right here.” Birdie was walking into the kitchen from the backyard, her Thanksgiving turkey platter in her hands. She felt all our get togethers were a time of thanksgiving, so she used the platter on a regular bases—carrying raw meat to the grill, washing the it and then returning the finished meal to the table.

“Damnit, Birdie—don’t back talk me!” Granny slammed her fist on the table. It never gets any easier hearing foul words explode from my grandmother’s mouth—it was even harder to accept the fact that she would lose her temper. Granny was always a patient woman and rarely would her ever hear her raise her voice.

“Now, Granny—don’t say such words around the kids.” I scooted my chair closer to her and reached out to touch her small hand.

“Don’t—touch—me.” She jerked her hand away. “When is someone going to take me to Deep Creek? I’ve got to slop them hogs.” Granny began to get up from her stool, holding on to the table as she stood. “I’ve got to go—got to feed them kids—got to . . .Cecil? Cecil, where are you?” Granny’s husband—my grandfather—was named Cecil. My brother was named after him, Cecil Camden—Papa died when I was eighteen months old. As Granny’s dementia has progressed, she had begun to ask for Cecil on a daily bases.

“Now, mother, you know you can’t get up by yourself.” Birdie tried to distract Granny by getting her banged up wheelchair from the pantry. “Here, sit in your chair and Dawn will take you for a ride.” I helped my aunt get Granny settled into the chair.

“You’ll take me to Deep Creek?” Click; another subtle little change in Granny’s mind. “Yes, Granny—we’ll go to Deep Creek.” I released the brake on the wheels and started to push her toward the door. Granny turned and looked at me—tears glistening in her bright blue eyes. She reached up to touch my hand and as we headed into the backyard, she said, “Bless you dear—bless you. Cecil’s waiting for me in Deep Creek—he’s been so lonely without me.”

As I strolled with my fragile grandmother around the gardens that she had once loved so much, I was struck with the fact that life is a very frail thing. We should learn to take one day at a time—you never know when your life will be changed. Granny wasn’t going to be with us forever. The late stages of Alzheimer’s can last anywhere from two to five years—sometimes more, sometimes less. No one really knows the cause and reason behind this disease and there is no know cure, only medications to help slow done the progression. On Granny’s “good” days, she was a joy and a treasure to be with; on her “bad” days, she was still and joy and a treasure, but she was also very tiring and frustrating. Sometimes, nothing you did for Granny was right. Unfortunately, tonight would be one of those nights.

“This isn’t the way to Deep Creek.” Granny reached out to one of the nearest flowerpots. “Stop! Stop right now. Take me to Deep Creek—I’ve got to feed Cecil.” Granny was trying to stand up from her wheelchair.

“Now, Granny, sit back down. We’re going to have fireworks when it gets dark. Remember how you always love to watch the fireworks?” I reached out to take Granny’s left arm.

“No, No! Leave me alone. I’ve got to get to Deep Creek. Take me to Deep Creek!” She continued to smack at me with her hands. “Okay, Granny. Come on, sit down and we’ll go to Deep Creek. We’ve got to go eat supper first.”

“No, I’ve got to cook for Cecil. He’s going to be so hungry. He’s a good man, such a good man.” Granny’s eyes held that blank, lackluster look of someone dazed.

“Yes, Granny. Granddaddy was a good man. He was such a piggy back rider and he loved to pay hide and seek.” I continued to talk to Granny in a soothing tone and I urged her again to sit down in her chair. She slowly turned and with great effort and creaking of her knees, she finally sat down. She folded her hands in her lap, lifted her feet onto the foot pedals, and then quietly said, “Okay, take me on to Deep Creek.”

We finished our tour of the garden without another problem. When we got back to the house, Mom and Aunt Birdie were piling up food on the pick wooden picnic table under the large oak tree in Aunt Birdie’s back yard. The men were coming in from the pasture where they had been sitting up the launch pad for the fireworks; my brother, Cecil, and Miller looked like they were up to no good.

“What are you guys grinning like a fox for? You’re up to something, it’s written all over you.” Aunt Birdie had good reason to be suspicious because Miller was the family proclaimed “king” of practical jokes. If you haven’t been locked up in the outhouse at least once by the time you’re ten, then you don’t know Miller. If he thinks it will make someone laugh, he will do it.

“Oh, hush your mouth, woman! We’re getting ready for tonight. Let’s just say, ‘they sky will sing’.” Miller walked up to Aunt birdie and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “What smells so good? I’m hungry enough to eat a horse.”
“I just hope it’s not Jake or Sally,” said Nicole. “I’m planning on taking a ride before dark.”

Aunt Birdie had outdone herself again. The barbeque ribs were so yummy we were all licking our fingers and mouths like we had never seen food before. Fresh roasting ears of corn were dripping with butter and juicy slabs of heirloom tomato slices along with German potato salad—which, is what Granny called potato salad made with mustard—made with homegrown new potatoes; all filled the plates along side a platter that looked like it was holding a half a cow.

Granny was fairly calm during supper and even as we were clearing away the dirty dishes and wrapping up leftovers. Sometimes she would make an appropriate comment, but mostly she uttered fragments of sentences.

“That boy…get down here…all day long…they no good.” Occasionally she would answer yes or no if you asked a direct question, but then she would go on talking to no one in particular. “Now, get out of there…I’ve told’em…girls, my girls…get down here.”
When the first firework sounded, Granny jumped like she had been shot. I was sitting with Granny on Aunt Birdie’s glider, huddled under a blanket. Although it had reached a high of 84 today, once the sun went down there was a chill to the air that you only get when you’re down in a valley.

“Lordy, Cecil? Was that Cecil? Is he still hunting at this hour?” Granny’s eyes were sparkling with the burst of the next burst of fireworks.

“No, Granny. That’s Eddie and Miller. They’re shooting off the fireworks. Watch…see how pretty.” I scooted closer to Granny and wrapped her in the blanket with me. Whenever there would be a lull in the display, Granny would try to get up, but I kept bringing her attention back to the fireworks. It was going to be a long night.

Later, as I settled Granny in the bed, I kneeled on the floor beside her bed and we continued to talk about the fireworks and all the people who had been there. Granny’s eyes got heavy and slowly she drifted off to sleep, but—ah—I wasn’t going to be fooled. From experience I knew that Granny would not stay asleep. Ten, eleven, twelve…I lost count of the number of times that I patted Granny’s hand that night and said, ‘we’ll go to Deep Creek in the morning, Granny’.

“It’s dark outside, Granny. No, Cecil’s in the bed. Yes, Granny, I know—we’ll go to Deep Creek in the morning.” Over and over again, it was always the same. Whenever Granny had a bad day, the night would be the same. On those long lonely nights, all she can remember is Deep Creek. Her heart was in Deep Creek.

© Bobbi Rightmyer

Friday, August 1, 2008

Deep Creek - Chapter One

Granny died of lung cancer the spring of 1986. It’s actually kind of ironic—she lived in Central Kentucky—a hot tobacco state; growing up in rural Washington County, smack dab in the middle of the boundary with Mercer County. I remember Granny complaining about having to pay taxes in both counties.

“The government’s going to get you coming or going!”

I heard my Granny state this expletive so many times, and she always made it sound like the foulest curse words known to Man. I don’t think I ever remember Granny uttering an actual foul word—with the exception of the time she called my ex-mother-in-law “that whoring bitch from Cornishville!”—But, as Alzheimer’s disease began to claim more of her memory, the curse words became more frequent.

Harrodsburg—the home of Old Fort Harrod and a shrine to Daniel Boone—is the major city in Mercer County, and in addition to it's obvious tourist attractions, is also the home to acres and acres of rich, rolling farm land.

Granny was prim and proper, but by no means dainty. She was what you’d call “big-boned”; just like Aunt Birdie and me—Aunt Birdie is Granny’s oldest daughter. We were built like female football players; not really fat, but sturdy—pleasantly plump.
Considering she grew up in a tobacco culture, Granny never smoked, chewed or dipped a day in her life, yet the black hand of cancer claimed her at the end of her seventh decade. She knew for a long time that there was something wrong with her; she just didn’t want to go to the doctor and have him tell her she was really sick. So, she delayed treatment until there was no hope but a fool’s hope for survival.
This is her legacy—this is the special essence—and spirituality of the most wonderful woman I have ever known. She was a brave woman and she gave her family enough strength to deal with the end of her life. Some of us are still feeling the strength of Granny and some of us are just beginning to find the strength that Granny instilled in us.

By the end of her time, the whole family had settled into a nightly routine and rotation of caring for Granny. With her son in another state, she only had her two girls close to home. Some of us grandkids pitched in to help lessen the burden of the increasing care that our grandmother began to require.
My Aunt Birdie brought Granny home to live on the family farm. Birdie’s husband—Miller—is a carpenter, so he added a small separate apartment onto their house for Granny to putter around in, so she felt on her own, yet it was handy enough to be accessible to the rest of the house and instant help. If Granny were having a good day, she would clean her small apartment or work on mending we all left for her to do. She loved to work in her garden more than anything, so Miller built Granny her own garden around the perimeter of Aunt Birdie’s wildlife area.

Birdie Camden married Miller Rainey more than 25 years ago, after meeting at a wildlife retreat in Pineville, Kentucky during the early 70’s. Miller is a retired Fish and Wildlife officer—giving the government more than 50 years of service—fighting fires, maintaining forestry concerns, and developing expansion projects to allow for community growth, but maintain the native habitat. He serviced a seventeen county area around Central Kentucky, and in addition to day-to-day government operations, he gave lectures and workshops occasionally to stimulate “buzz” around the subject of reforestation. These intimate workshops were his passion; he had so much enthusiasm for teaching a country farmer how to manage their shrinking farm lands, but at the same time maintain the native wildlife—both vegetative and living.

Birdie loved birds—Cardinals, Chick-a-Dee, finches, woodpeckers, blue birds—all feathered friends were welcome to forage, nest and patrol the 125 acre farm that Granny and Papa worked. She was a really plain, mousy young lady growing up, and because of her flat affect, most people saw her as cold, unfeeling. What most people didn’t see was the way my aunt was transformed when she left the harsh reality of her ordinary life and entered the raw wilderness of the “back forty”. The back forty is what we have always called the controversial area of the farm that straddles Mercer and Washington county—75 acres on the former, 50 on the latter, thus causing Granny and Papa to have to pay the double tax for one piece of property.
When Birdie comes in sight of the back forty, her face begins to melt and years of reserved behavior crackles away, just like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. Where once there was a plain, uninviting persona, now there is a beautiful miracle of God’s hand in this world. Facial muscles relax and a dime size dimple appears in her right check. Her eyes brighten and her soul takes a huge deep breath of genuine relaxation. It was this incredible creature that Miller met that summer in Pineville. Love at first sight? I’m not sure I really believe in that, but I guess Birdie and Miller are as close to that miracle as I’ll ever be.

So, on good days Granny would tinker in her garden—cutting bouquets of zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers. Clip, clip, snip. . .Granny was apt at deadheading flowers and pruning dead or diseased branches. Gardening was her passion, just like nature workshops were Miller’s, and she embraced every aspect of this passion just like a lover attending a mate. Kitchen scraps were sorted from kitchen trash on a daily basis, and after the supper dishes were washed, Granny would make her last nightly patrol of the garden and deposit the potential fertilizer into the mounded compost heap near the south side of the garden. The south side always got full sun on a daily basis and Granny always said this would cook the compost faster so the wonderful new soil could be used quicker.

She gave individual attention to all the mundane tasks involved in gardening, but her favorite children in the garden were her dahlias.

“The dailies are going to be beautiful this year.”

This was a common theme every spring, as Granny would work the soil of her dahlia bed to a fluffy rich consistency that arboretums would be envious of. Every spring on the Monday after Easter, Granny would start to plant the dahlia tubers lovingly into the soil. She carefully excavated a hole, amended the backfill dirt with blood meal, and then tucked the fat swollen tubers into there warm cozy home for the summer.

Dahlias aren’t winter hardy in Deep Creek—the tubers will freeze and die if the ground temperature drops below 30 degrees—because the weather in Kentucky is just as unpredictable as the old saying “you can tell how bad the winter will be by the stripes on the wooly worms”. A common saying in Kentucky is if you don’t like the weather then just wait a day and it will change. I can remember a winter when we still had roses blooming on Christmas Eve, but I also remember the winter of 1977—there was so much snow, we were out of school from Christmas break until after Valentines’ day. At the tender age of 14, I didn’t realize the significance of the deep freeze, but as my own garden knowledge grows, I now know this meant that all perennials in too cold of a zone were frozen out, never to return.

So, just as the dahlias start going into the ground after Easter, Halloween is the hailing sign of harvest season. November first was the day Granny would begin the arduous task of digging her prized dahlia tubers. Just as she pampered the plants into the ground, she used the same tender care to lift the amazing root systems from the ground. She would leave the tubers lying on top of the soil for several days, allowing the sun to dry the membranes slightly and prevent rot during the winter. After the tubers were cured, they were packed away, in shallow layers, inside old wooden vegetable crates—sand and wood chips from Miller’s construction projects were packed around the tubers to provide insulation and constant temperatures.
Granny was a semi celebrity for many years in both Washington and Mercer counties. For 15 years, Granny was the grand prize winning at both county fairs for her marvelous dahlias. Her babies were so spoilt during the summer, us grandkids were almost jealous. Watering, staking, and primping . . .these were daily tasks, with more attention given to prizewinning contenders. Obvious prizewinning contenders were isolated down to one bloom per plant because this helped the remaining flower to grow bigger and healthier. The day before each county fair, Granny would be out in the garden before the dew dried, tying ribbons around blossoms she planned to enter in the competitions.

Because of the rural location of the county fairs, competition was always furious between die-hard dahlia growers. The contests were divided into categories for each certain types of plants, so in the dahlia category alone, there were 10 different categories. Largest and smallest were a given, but there was also classes for different colors, multiple blooms, and arrangements. The Best of Show was the dahlia that was the healthiest and most gorgeous overall the dahlias at the show. Granny was the Best of Show winner for so many years, there is now a sweepstakes named after her—the Ellie Myrtle Camden Award. This honor is awarded to the person who ends up with the most blue ribbons in the dahlia category.

As Granny’s disease progressed, she began to have difficulty breathing, especially when she would bend over to weed or work in the soil. So Miller built her some raised planter beds with seat edging all the way around. The beds were only four feet wide, so Granny could sit on any edge and reach the center of each bed. This was the summer I was pregnant with Dawn, my oldest daughter. I was huge and miserable, having gained 60 pounds—my brother said I looked like I was going to have a small calf! It really upset me then, but I’ve had my revenge because he, and his perfect wife, are now much larger in size than I am. Everybody has a little vain edge to his or her personality—mine has always been my weight.
Miller worked on the planter bed boxes in his barn the winter before, so when the first signs of spring arrived, we had a garden raising—kind of like a barn raising, only with dirt and plants. My mom, Aunt Birdie, and my uncle John from Pennsylvania all bought Granny dump truck loads of dirt for an early Mother’s day present. The day of the raising, Aunt Birdie fired up her outdoor grill and we slow cooked one of her young hogs on a spit over the coals. She had killed and drained the hog the day before, and by the time everyone arrived, the meat was skinned and already taken on a tan color from the coals, and frequent bastings with homemade apple cider. As we all labored happily on Granny’s new garden, the succulent smell of roasting pig keep us motivated to finish our tasks.

Once the men—Miller; my dad, Gene Sallee; my brother, Cecil; and my husband, Eddie—had the boxes secured into the ground in the exact locations that Granny pointed out, we women began the task of helping haul soil from the dump site near the front of the house, to the back yard where the garden was. That morning, I had grumbled about the cold 40 degree weather, but as I began to sweat and labor under the loads of soil, I stripped out of my double layer of sweats shirts, rolled up the sleeves to my denim button down, and silently praised God for the cool temperature.
By lunchtime, we were all starving, but Aunt Birdie only gave us cold bologna sandwiches with icy bottles of Pepsi-Cola.

“What about that hog out there? When do we eat that?” The men folk all grumble under their breath.

“You haven’t worked up an appetite yet! When the job is finished, that’s when we feast.” Aunt Birdie liked to prolong the anticipation as long as possible; although she may have sounded gruff, I had no doubt that the supper table would be laden down with so much food we would need our wheelbarrows just to roll ourselves to our cars. But not before a sense of accomplishment. The job had to be finished—and to her satisfaction.

By four o’clock the sun had started its downward spiral—there was still two hours of daylight left, but we had finished filling the planter beds and raking the soil smooth. Tomorrow we would help Granny to amend the soil with her fertilizer concoctions and compost. Within three weeks, she would start to plant her precious tubers. But for today, we had finished our task. The men were sent to the small summerhouse to shower and clean up—us women took turns with Aunt Birdie’s bathroom, while Granny used her own bathroom. As I predicated, by five, we were all seated around Birdie’s big harvest table, which creaked with heaviness each time a platter was added to the growing spread.

These types of activities occurred on a frequent basis; sometimes we would work on a project at my house, or my sister’s house, but we came together most often when it concerned Granny. The next summer, we all laid a flagstone path around garden to accommodate Granny’s growing need of her wheelchair. We dug a small pond that same winter, so Granny could listen to the nightly opera of frogs. The last two years of Granny’s life were filled with Saturday afternoon gatherings and Sunday dinners, everyone making a concentrated effort to see Granny several times a week. During the last year of her life, we were deeply devoted to our nightly companionship with Granny, working together to make sure she was never alone, and to help with the constant burden of her care.

Tuesday was my night—every Tuesday I left my loving husband and young pre-teen daughter, Nicole, to fend for themselves while I took my turn “sitting a spell” with my wonderful grandmother.

Some nights, Granny would be too tired to do anything more than lay in her bed and watch the television. Other nights she would be energetic enough to take a moonlight stroll in the garden. We would read, we played cards, we drew sketches of wildlife, and we bonded in a special way that will live in my heart for eternity. These are but a few of the loving memories of an amazing lady.

© Bobbi Rightmyer