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Reminiscing the Good Ol’ Days!

A candy cane hanging on a Christmas tree

A candy cane hanging on a Christmas tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was Christmas Eve, 1979. Kara, Melissa and I, were enjoying the night at our grandparent‘s home. Every Christmas, we loved lying under the Christmas tree while looking up from the trunk, admiring the lights from an unusual angle in which only the smaller family members had the privilege to observe. Each year, our grandparents decorated their Christmas tree with several small candy canes, which would taunt us girls like ripened fruit, dangling from its branches. My siblings and I had a predictable habit of slinking around the inside of the tree and stealing the candy; therefore,  it was common for us to get into trouble for it. But this time it was the last straw and our grandmother told us we wouldn’t get Christmas if we had taken one more candy cane from the tree!

I decided to “be good” by lying on the living room floor and watching a Christmas special instead of tormenting myself under the tree, when Kara had approached me regarding our youngest sister Melissa, who was hiding in the stairwell. I was led to Melissa who was in tears, when Kara explained to me that they had gotten into the candy canes, and like greedy little squirrels preparing for a long winter, both of my sisters had shoved as many candy canes into their mouths as they could make off with; however, Melissa had gotten one of the candy canes stuck painfully across the roof of her mouth. In an effort to avoid having their shenanigans exposed to any older relatives who would enforce our grandmother’s threat of revoking our Christmas, I formed a hook with my fore finger and bravely risked being bitten by placing it into Melissa’s sticky, drooly, trap, then I pulled the candy from her face.
And that my friends, is one of the few memories I have of Melissa, and how I saved Christmas.

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The Tom's of Maine Logo

The Tom’s of Maine Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was early in the spring of 1999 when I realized my Tom’s of Maine deodorant wasn’t only expensive; but, it also wasn’t working very well. That was a time in my life when I began to understand the importance of making environmentally friendly decisions as well as have a better consciousnesses of whatever I chose to slather on my body.
In my exploration of better deodorant  products that would last longer as well as have antibacterial properties, I ran across a generic salt crystal in which I paid about $8.
Excited to try my newly acquired product, I rushed home and had a shower. I shaved my underarms as I normally would do, unscrewed the lid to the salt crystal, and proceeded to rub my pit in the same manner as I had done with other products in the past. Of course, I screamed at the dry salt crystal on my tender, raw skin and thought to myself “Is the salt crystal supposed to hurt THIS bad?”

Crystal Stick

Crystal Stick (Photo credit: greggoconnell)

Unfortunately, the packaging for the salt crystal didn’t have any instructions, it just touted how wonderful and responsible it was to use it!
A few days had passed and I was disappointed; however, I’m not one to give up easily. I thought I’d just have to get used to it while I winced at every application. I consulted my best friend and through her snickers and chuckles, she informed me that I was supposed to WET the salt crystal then apply it instead! I felt like such an idiot! Wetting the salt crystal helped a lot. I don’t use the salt crystal anymore; however, I was very relieved when Tom’s of Maine began to market their products with baking soda, it works so much better! Needless to say, I won’t likely buy a salt crystal for my underarms in the future. My point in posting this story is to hopefully encourage others to try using the salt crystal as a deodorant. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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It was early September 2007 when I drove to the bank while contemplating my divorce. My intent was  to open my own checking account in order to begin separating the funds so I could start saving money for a new place to live. My home of nine years was no longer my home anymore.

After parking, I exited my car and was ready to start my new life when I heard the most terrified, desperate cry. I looked down to see a skinny, little black kitten, whose pupils were so large that the color of his eyes couldn’t be determined. I bent down to pick him up; however, he was so scared that he ran and hid in a nearby bush. There was a very busy intersection uncomfortably close by,  and my main concern was that this kitten would be killed.

For that moment, my looming life changes meant nothing, even though for months my thoughts were overwhelmingly occupied with how disappointed and bitter I had felt over my failed marriage. Wearing my favorite dress, I got down on my hands and knees, crawled through spiderwebs to the kitten, then I scruffed the little guy. I carried him to my car, sat down, and closed the door. Realizing that I hadn’t accomplished what I had intended to, and utterly puzzled as to what had just happened, I scratched the kitten’s  chin and said to him, “Oh great, what am I going to do with you?”

I then moved through the drive up teller and while I was cashing my check, the kitten perched himself upon my shoulder, rubbed himself on my head  while purring loudly in my ear. I asked the teller,  “Would you like a kitten?”

But, the teller met me with an answer I neither expected nor understood; she simply stated,  “I hate cats.”

I drove the kitten home and have had him ever since. This kitten has grown to be a very important companion for me. I look forward to coming home after my long work days. No matter how my day has been he is always very warm, welcoming, and filled with love.  I must say I’m thankful that he came into my life and rescued me.

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Most little girls wanted to be a princess or a ballerina when they grew up. Of course, I was different from most little girls. I liked to wear a dress at all times, even if it meant I had to wear pants underneath it so that I could climb into bushes and play in the dirt. I also didn’t want to be a princess or a ballerina, I wanted to be a cat! I came to this realization when I was a toddler. I imagine it’s partly because my family had a tabby who was the friendliest, sweetest cat you could ever know. To this day, I don’t know what happened to Tabby; but, I’m sure it was the positive impression she left which has ultimately resulted in my  lifelong fondness of cats.

"Fishing": "Print shows a cat w...

As a little girl, I’d regularly spend my Saturday mornings wearing a dress over my pajamas and watching cartoons while my young parents would sleep in after a long week’s worth of working. Among my favorites were Felix the Cat, Tom and Jerry, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Rocky and Bullwinkle. I had admired cats so greatly and thought nothing of them terrorizing fish in cartoons, except I concluded fish had to be delicious or cats wouldn’t work so hard to eat them! One day, as I was watching  cartoons, I was reminded of how much cats were depicted as always trying to eat a fish and it just so happened that my mother had purchased a pair of goldfish for my sister and me.

I walked into the kitchen and I grabbed a fork, then I walked over to the fish tank. I reached into the water with my fingers gripping the fork’s handle, missing the confused fish as they wildly swam about. Realizing the fish weren’t going to comply with my efforts to spear them, I climbed on the arm chair placed next to the tank so I could reach in with both of my arms.

Black cat watching fish at the bowl-aquarium

Black cat watching fish at the bowl-aquarium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I caught one fish, but he slipped under the tank console and I couldn’t retrieve him. There was one more goldfish fish left, and I was very determined to catch it!  It took a while; but, I was finally able to grasp the remaining goldfish with one hand, and jab the tines of the fork firmly into its slippery little body with the other. I pulled the fish out of the water and with its tail flapping frantically, I slowly shoved the fish in my mouth. After I had secured it behind my teeth, I pulled out  the tines of the fork. The fish began to thrash around and to my surprise, it tasted horrible! I spit the goldfish out onto the floor and it continued to thrash and jump. I caught the fish and noticed the four little holes in its side. I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me that I had hurt the fish until then; however, I felt bad and after a few remorseful pets, I gently returned the poor thing back into the fish tank with the other fish, which were my mother’s Neons and Mollies. The goldfish swam pathetically sideways and when my mother awoke, she was surprised to discover one goldfish was completely missing, and the other goldfish murdered and floating among its iridescent, loose scales on the top of the water. Meanwhile, I worked very hard at scraping the nasty tasting scales off of my tongue, and picking the rest out of  my teeth that had stuck like popcorn hulls. I didn’t know better, but I probably deserved it.

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