Stocking shelves

Finding the larder lacking…

Now thar’s an ol’ saying ye don’ hear tell much anymawr!

I just finished listening to a “Dandy Gilbert Mystery” and the English and Scotch brogue has stuck to me better then the clear tape I was using on the gift wrap. That thick and lazy tongue of language had me listening at top volume just to get the jist of it all. Uffdah. And there’s the Viking tongue to visit me this time of year.

Why do all the best mysteries have to have a flare of Sherlock and Holmes to them? Even the characters here are two detectives in the books. Ah, well, it ne’er make sense to anyone if they ha’n’t read the book also. On with the days

Today I am suppose to get my shelf stocking list made. The Menu for the meals written, and the last of the shopping items on a piece of paper. Yet, it feels like what I really need to do is keep cleaning the corners of my nest up. How come if we are empty nesters, do the corners of my nest keep getting filled with so much something?

Around about fourteen months ago, I decided to clean the tea cupboard and ended up breaking my foot. It’s amazing how little attention we all get for any little thing that happens. In that whole time, I only remember one person ever asking me how it was healing up. Getting a crooked back from the boot was the next most miserable thing to the break itself. Nevertheless, my foot did heal and I was able to wear the shoes that I bought for my daughter’s wedding. I am not mentioning this simply for the lack of attention, it’s just that whether we want to or not, we all take stock in the niceties that others lend us. And if other’s aren’t lending much thought… well, take stock in how much thought we ourselves offer.

Enough of the soap boxes…

Stocking shelves with whatever it is that we have this time of year is different than it use to be. I remember as a child going to the Prairie Market and getting enough boxed goods to last us four to six weeks. My dad still does the same thing. My mom does that quite a bit also. And we here can get by nearly a month sometimes with no more to purchase but milk and cheese or a bag of apples. Storing up the goods for the winter has become a lost art with the grocer just on the next convenient block over. Gas for the car, milk for the kid.

It seems the dog and cats run out of food more frequently that we do.

Back to the season at hand…

The most enjoyable stocking of shelves that I witnessed this shopping experience was a great wall of puzzles and games at the newest shopping center. It was actually very pleasant to me to see such a stock of items that required interaction amongst the purchaser or the recipient. While my eyes don’t allow me much joy for a game or even the ability to puzzle out 500 pieces, I remember the fun that we use to have and purchasing some of the stock for our own gift giving was a blast. Well, hope the kids don’t read this. Now they know what’s under the wrapping.

The shelf already stocked…

Back to the tea cabinet, I went this morning and decided the green tea that was purchased last year had finally aged enough to use. I had a cup of peach green tea, and then later a cup of ginger green tea. I do like my ginger root. It’s still my favorite. I also pulled out past Christmas tea cups and hot mugs to use this time of year. I don’t know why, but we become such creatures of habit that I use my D handled mugs the most and forget about those old gifts from such thoughtful others.

The presents are not all wrapped. The three lists have been avoided long enough. My cup of tea is nearly empty. And Christmas is less than a week away. It will be a busy week and half and then the new year upon us. I started some writing plans for the new year. Why we do this kind of planning is sometimes a mystery to me. But I still do it nonetheless.

So this years work has been established, next years plans about to be made. And the delivery man just placed four boxes on the front deck for me to take care of. The larder in this situation is “things to write about.” The lacking at this moment is “thoughts of any substantial benefit to others.” And the shelves are all stacked in someone elses’ favor, i am sure. Oh, well.

There is actual work to be be had. Writing will keep until the next free time I have to sit in this chair.

Merry Christmas to all! And thanks for the noticing, Haha!

Sometimes writing

Looks like this

There are days the catchy title of a blog comes easily to my thoughts. Other days I think my mind acts like the pieces of this little writing table before we put it back together. Sanding down the surfaces of thoughts is not easy. Blurt might be a good game when speaking what’s on the tip of the tongue, but filtering our words before we say them should be a common practice. So this blog has been filtered through sand, and rocks. Hopefully what lies beneath the surface will be as beautiful as this little writing table when it is done.

Father’s day is one of those days that holds many mixed emotions for me. I love that my husband and his family want to treat their dad special on the day. And I see my kids wanting to do the same for him. But I argue with myself all day about the best time to call my dad. While he is still living, I hear a few voices say. So I call.

As a little girl, the one thing that stands out is the story of our trips through town and the little voice my dad heard in his ear. It is a story that he often embellishes. Standing on the seat of the pickup with my feet planted in the cushion, and one arm around his neck, I would whisper these words, “Daddy, I think the Dairy Queen is open.” I have no memory of those days before my younger brother came along. (And before you get all fussed up about no carseats, remember there was no such thing back then.)

While visiting with the family over lunch on Sunday, it pleased me to hear that my nephew’s little girl loves her ice cream. And that her daddy takes her on ice cream dates every Sunday afternoon while brother takes a nap and mommy reads her book. What a special memory. Even if she is unable to recall these dates, others will tell her about them. And somehow these shared moments will solidify a good daddy-daughter bond that is better than gorilla glue.

The writing table found in our basement or in the old corn crib at our house in Iowa. I used it for 20 years. Gradually the weight of the sewing machine and the vibration wore the joints loose. So my dear husband took it all too pieces, and put it back together again. He used gorilla glue on the joints that needed it and we put a new slide on the slide out writing board. It accepted the first coat of poly-stain on father’s day.

Accepting the many colors of our dad’s personalities can be a challenge. Sometimes I struggle with how to handle some of the things that he cares to talk about. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl. Maybe, it’s because there is a void when it comes to talk about our family life growing up. Realizing that for years, that his only identity was work helps some.

While listening to his talk about he grandkids last evening, it was difficult to pay attention to his words. The radio/television was on rather loudly in the background. So I went along with the conversations with a few “uh-huh’s” while I tried to figure out who was talking. I nearly laughed out loud when I realized it was the gospel television network on cable. I forgot how much he likes the Gathers Gospel music.

He must have asked me a question, because I gave up trying to listen to the “Jesus Preacher” and came back to listening to my dad. Then it occurred to me that I knew exactly why and when he had stopped going to church. And in reality, I had wanted to quit too. That might be a whole different blog, but it boils down to hypocrisy and male leadership that was very ungodly. Not surprised he quit. Just sad that his identity and reason for going to church was not in Jesus back then.

Putting faith in people will always disappoint us. But that does not mean that we should not believe in people. I am glad that through the difficult years, I did not give up on the dad that use to take me to dairy queen. It took a lot of work, but eventually we got back to that. Every conversation that we share, I can glean some tidbit of wisdom. Whether it is for me for for someone else, I try to pick it up and mull over it for a time.

This week it was this… “Every day a man goes fishing, he adds one day to his life.” This statistic is real. I looked it up. What they found, is that people who learn to relax and be patient while fishing, find carry through into their lives. That patience and ability to let go of worries is key to better behavior. No, my husband does not want to take up fishing even though so many in the family love it. We do enjoy our motorcycle rides to no where. Just putt-sing along and watching the scenery roll by. It’s relaxing. Fishing of a different sort.

We put the table together and then I was able to get one coat of poly/stain on before the day was done. The next coat will be applied after a light sanding of steel wool. Relationships aften get rough steel wool in the communication gaps. Rinsing the surface with a quick wash of vinegar water can help. I tell myself that just before I call my dad these days. Rinse our the unfiltered thinking with a bit of dish soap. Let my past grievances go. If there is anything not worth our time, It’s dredging up the pond’s settled muck and throwing out bad bait. Don’t go fishing for old tires, I tell myself. Get out the gorilla glue and go back to restoring furniture, if the bugs at thewater are too annoying.

Psalm 23: 3-

“He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness.

For His name’s sake.”

Resolve

In a minor key

Today I chose to resolve the minor key concerto. The instruments in their conservative style will play the piece in it’s minor chord progressions until at last after nearly an hour of development the key will resolve into it’s major key counterpart. The undertone of sad repose will finally resolve into a final note that no longer holds the grief and mourning that accompanies a downcast spirit. The sun is finally shining.

This lovely little doily measures only eleven inches in diameter. Thank goodness that making it with no. 10 thread is the smallest that I have done. The pattern is made with washcloth cotton and measure about 19 inches.

Perhaps a dozen of these doilies have made their way into wedding gifts. I never kept track of how many I made. And did not take pictures of each either. This one marks that Saturday is our 28th Anniversary.

And so many years ago, it was on a Saturday that we married in the era of church weddings and basement receptions. The day holds no regrets. Happy memories and the feeling of stiff cheeks from smiling all day. We were young, and in love, and with no thought for the morrow whether it be difficult or well traveled.

Today’s prayer requests: those saying goodbye to mothers, young mothers with difficult pregnancies, those saying goodbye to cousins, those fighting for the life of a spouse, and those cleaning up from flood waters-again. This day the continued need for prayer warriors greeted me with brotherly kindness. Having someone call me just for an immediate prayer need was special. Gratefulness to those who understand my hearts need to minister overwhelmed me.

This anniversary marks a new moment in our lives. Both of our children are married and both of them happen to be off the mainland USA at the same time. While an anniversary is not necessarily a day one thinks automatically of the children that came from such union, having both girls so far away at the same time, draws us back to the togetherness that we have both before them, and with them, and after them. Grateful that our children had the advantage of parents who stayed together, I hope we will continue to be an example for them throughout the years.

I John 4:7, “Beloved let us love one another, for love is of God, and everone wholoves is bornof God and knows God.”

I am eternally grateful for a husband who continues to teach me what God’s love is like. Throughout the years getting to know my beloved has helped me get to know God and His unconditional love to me. When the music of life rings true and the melody resolves itself into a major key, I am reminded that though life strikes chords of loneliness or mourning, having someone to play the tune with means that in the end the song resolves itself into a major key of happiness and joy. Though there might be seasons of sadness or discord, keep playing the piece. The instrument that marriage teaches us to play is the heart of love.

No, neither of us play the beautiful music that we had the joy of listening to all those years with our girls. But somehow, the duets that they played together were an echo to the love that their father and mother were sharing every day. I am grateful for our two daughters and the lives of those they now share with another family through marriage. May the love that we all show teach others about God’s love. Through this love may they know eternal love that is reborn every time it touches another heart.

Mrs. Rust

Florence after Wilfred, maybe?

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Mrs. Rust came to my mind. All through the years there was always some neighbor lady that taught us respect, honor, and good behavior. This neighbor lady was one of them.

Here is the story of the stout little neighbor lady whose first name we never knew. Was it Florence (the nightingale)? Or maybe it was Freda or Minnie? And what was her husband’s name? Mr. Rust of course, though we never knew him, even if his name was Wilfred or Albert.

At the age of ten, our family moved from one end of the state to ther other. From the cold Siberian northland to the southern spring prairie lands. It did not take us long to get acquainted with our new neighbors. From learning about the school, to the 4-H leaders, to the local dairy supplier we soon had the new sand hills learned well.

The most difficult part was that sand involves sand burs. And sand burs means a lot of flat tires. Thank goodness for our father, their was still a local filling station at the time. But I am sure he patched a fair share of tubes during those days. Bike tires were not the durable mountain bike options that we have today. I remember well the banana seat, two girls, one gallon milk jars and someone always walking one or the other bicycle.

During those days my little brother was not in school yet. So my mother had her hands full with three daughters, stomachs to fill, my little brother, and in the winter a wood stove to fill. During the summer the garden was a top priority along with about fifty chickens to butcher.

And across the dirt expanse we called a street, lived Mrs. Rust. For some reason my mind thinks of her as the bird lady. I don’t know if she fed the birds or not. My memory fails me on that one. But knowing how much our family all looks forward to the return of the Robin Redbreast, putting her in the framework of that spring search seems appropriate. The bird with is rusty shirt would be a great symbol of who Mrs. Rust was for me.

We all have the memory of looking for my brother Wade during those days. One of us girls would search the sandbox, the toy box, the bedrooms, or the strawberry patch. The winner was the one who went over to Mrs. Rust’s house to find him sleeping on her sofa after sharing a snack with her. “Well, that was easy,” my mother would say after Mrs. Rust would say, “Yes, he’s here.” I wonder if he found her house an escape from three older sisters that were all too bossy.

In those days, we did not have a television. My mother and father were both avid readers. And there was the radio of course. Who needed to watch tv when you could read it in a book. I remember getting lost in books. We read books or we found some way to entertain ourselves with real live play!

All of my growing up years, we had to find a neighbor to go to if some school assignment was to watch some television show. While we lived across the street from Mrs. Rust, I was too young for such homework assignments. Though we also had friends homes to attend to such television viewing, it was easiest to just walk over to Florence’s house after school for a little tv time.

Mrs. Rust always accommodated our need for a little screen time. Those days of watching Flipper and Gilligan’s Island were good memories for me. I do not remember any other thing about her house. I do not even remember the snacks or what the house smelled like. I remember our home well, and the view of her house from our porch swing.

Wade’s memories of Mrs. Rust are vague. At age six going towards eight, memories are not as strong. My mother had few memories also. Except that in the seventies, no first name was necessary.

We never knew her first name. While today children are taught to preclude a first name with Ms. or Mister, back then it was always Mister or Misses followed by the surname. Out of respect and honor, we always answered with a “Yes, ma’am” or “no, sir.”

We only lived across from Mrs. Rust for two years. It never occurred to me at my tender age that she may have been lonely. Considering the absence of her Mister was not a thought of mine either. Today my heart is more in tune to such thoughts.

Why would I think of her as a bird lady? So many older people take to watching the birds. I think it’s because the birds come and go alot like visitors, family, or the sunshine. While they look forward to family time and coffee with others, the birds are there at the feeders almost year round. Except for the robins.

Robin redbreast is somewhat of a common bird. In our area it signals the season change quite pleasantly. Our family has an unspoken challenge of who sees the robin first. It seems the volley is between my mother and my second daughter most. It is the pride of the observation that prompts the phone call “I saw a Robin today!”

Many elderly couples take to going south like the robins through the winter. While I was contemplating our families remembrances of Mrs. Rust, how we had moved from north to south to become her neighbor, Robin Redbreast would not leave my mind.

So many elderly women live alone, watching the birds feed at their tubes filled with seed. One time a bird in the nest outside our window cooed for days to get the male to come back to the nest. That lonely call, made me think of the widow who has lost her love of many years.

Then I found this song. It really does speak for itself. Hopefully this is the saddest story I have to tell. Many of the other women on my list, led fulfilled lives in their days alone. And some were quite funny.

Song by Sonya Kitchell. “Robin in the Snow.”

Of paper and boxes

The well runs dry…

The well runs dry…

The last blog for the year is just going to have to be a bit off kilter. I have half-a-dozen in the draft box, and this is the one that is getting my attention.

I learned it is very difficult to concentrate while my husband took the last of this year’s vacation days to stay home from work. Two weeks with him was very nice but my writing suffered a dry ink well. Not to mention that there was two holidays, our daughter’s wedding and all the shopping, cooking, baking, dishes and presents, and people to fill up the days also. Writing is generally something done in solace. Not much for solo coffee moments with other bright cheery souls around me all of the day.

Here is a brief recap of the last few weeks.

Paper wrappings and boxes…

We celebrated the Christ child’s birthday with the great-grandparents. Most of Gavin’s family was present. The sadness of our nephew’s families absence due to feeling “under the weather” didn’t seem to keep us down too much. But the commotion sure kept our little grand-daughter up past her nap times. When this little bundle decided that taking a nap in a strange place was not her choice, we came up with the next best option.

I remember well, her great-grandpa pulling my wee ones around in a similar sled back when they were tuckered up from all the people. It’s a fond memory and glad it could be repeated, even though he did not have the strength to do the pulling, at least he got to watch her little eyelids droop shut as she passed by his chair.

Then we were on to the wedding celebrations.

Boxes galore…

Boxes, baskets, cooler, suitcases, bags, plastic bags, more boxes, presents, cartons, and carriers of all kinds. Wow! I wish I had taken some pictures of all of the stacks. Stacks of paper-ware, napkins, containers of goodies for the “cider hour,” stacks of boxes with lights for the decorating. Boxes with flowers, tablecloths, greenery, candles, and other items to make the day be beautiful and festive filled our closets, then our vehicles, then the entryways, and then began the reverse. It was such a busy time.

The best part was being all in one location for the three days. The weather proved to be a bit of a damper on the numbers of who could attend, but we all enjoyed the time at our “Winter Retreat” camp wedding experience. Our daughter had worked at the camp many summers and for two whole years, so having the event in the building that was such a part of her life was perfect.

More boxes with paper…

We ended our time with the two newlyweds with breakfast and gift opening. While it was hectic to get the place all packed up and cleaned out. We enjoyed all the goings on nevertheless. We took only a few short hours to find all the belongings. My husband packed the vehicle with strategic planning and we went straight to the rental center with those items first.

Now it was time to rest.

Last Sunday of the year…

We went to church just yesterday, and our pastor talked about the old tradition of “Boxing Day.” Many people have their own idea of what this means but the English tradition was the day the decorations for Christmas went back into the boxes. He challenged us last year not to box up the Nativity scene or the joy that Christ brings. The challenge to leave Christ out all year long and not bring out “Church manners” just on the holidays. We ought to keep that childish anticipation of the day’s newness and excitement of unwrapping presents in our daily lives.

There is a saying that goes something like “Today is a present, that’s why it is called the ‘present!'” Yesterday is already unwrapped, tomorrow is still in the box, but today is the present that I have right now.

I think my take-away from our retreat center wedding event is the blessing of being in the moment. I was not really thinking bout tomorrow (except for during our prayer times) and I was not looking back at yesterday. Every moment mattered as to what needed to be done for that moment. The photographer captured so many of those moments and kept us enjoying every minute as the clock moved forward.

Pictures in my mind, and on the camera testify to the beauty and serenity of the days we spent together.

Yes, I recommend having a “retreat wedding”. It may have been somewhat difficult to remember everything that we needed, but going forward, it was a relaxing event for most of us.

“Yesterday is already unwrapped. Tomorrow is still in the box. Today is the present that God has blessed me with. I will enjoy the anticipation of unwrapping each moment that He gives.”

Is today your boxing day?

What child is …

This…

This little hand has begun to do. The little sweet thing that only spent a few months being and being such a sweet thing at that, has now begun doing.

While someone watches…

Watching her take a little baby spoon in hand and practice holding it every which way-my eyes are just drinking it all in. I don’t seem to remember my own two girls doing this. Why was I so busy?

Grandchildren. Ahhh such blessings.

Meanwhile

I have fallen into the mud puddle

Today is one of those days. The one’s where nothing seems quite right. When I am having a bad hair day even after my favorite happenings of a haircut. When someone is celebrating a big birthday and I haven’t even bought a birthday card. Good thing i was feeling it yesterday, at least the blessings were there then. But today, I could just crawl into a hole, bury myself with grass clippings, and come out next spring.

Oh, Christmas Tree, Why hast thou planted thyself in the crevice of the front door step?

When I discovered that the “weed” I had fallen to pull at six inches had become a Caesar tree–my first thought was to save it. Oh, bother but that will be a new chore. It is now a foot tall. and that means the roots are two feet.

So what’s going on anyways?

These days have been busy and I haven’t been able to get anything done that I had planned. Well, okay, maybe I planned too much and then did not get to do any writing for a whole month.

Basically, life, like an unexpected cedar tree tree up out of the cracks of the front walk!

First, my daughter’s expected internship was postponed until January. Then my sister’s wedding came and went with much enjoyment. I have so many blessed memories form the weekend. Then, my husband’s vacation days came and while we had planned a trip to Virginia, now we were able to go on our motorcycle ride we had wanted to do the year before. My broken rib canceled that trip last September. So this year the five days of riding came and went with wind gusts and all.

Meanwhile…

Another prayer shawl entered my hands as crocheting “without” thinking is best when there are lots of prayer requests. This one had focus on my nephew.

An unexpected seizure and trip to the ER indicated a brain tumor in my nephew’s left frontal lobe. And today he is undergoing surgery to remove most of the turmour. And while I was discovering the rooted cedar tree during my morning prayer walks around the yard, my mother called with another serious accident report.

My Uncle was involved in an explosion that shattered bones in his face and will cause him to loose his right eye. I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to go visit him and my aunt. They are in a local hospital not far from me. The prayers will continue to be lifted throughout the day.

So, while the days haven’t been exactly what I had planned, they have flown by. Keeping busy is usually one of my challenges in the alone times. Lately, there has been no lack for my hands. With the weeding, vacation, fall harvest, greenhouse fall planting, cooler weather acreage upkeep’s, and the prayer shawls and petitions heavenward… I think my hands are quite full enough.

Finding time to get the writing plans back has been a challenge. I’ll just have to learn to get up earlier.

Or, Christmas will sneak up on me like that little cedar tree. Oh, no!

Strings of the Heart

When love plays it’s song

Love stories can be pretty sappy …

So if you aren’t a believer in things that make the heart sing then this post is not for you.

Being the parents of daughters can be a heart wrenching, night watching , prayer vigilante experience. When the day comes that some young man calls for a supper date with Dad or a breakfast outing, well, it makes mom both excited and nervous.

A few years ago we had the joy of adding a ‘son’ to our family when our oldest daughter was tearfully marched down the aisle on her fathers arm. The joy on those two young faces as they swept out of the sanctuary some forty minutes later was oblivious to the pain of a sister saying goodbye to her playmate. And now another joy has come. That sister who felt so abandoned by the other is now experiencing her own incredible joy.

‘That boy ‘ called for a breakfast date with her father… and so we are blessed now with the hope of another ‘son’ to add to our family. The funny part is that this second daughter time, my heart is not aching for a sister left behind, so to speak. My mother’s heart is not torn by ones joy and another’s sadness. This time I able to feel the full joy of my daughter being engaged. Her excitement over God’s design to their love story is so contagious. And yes, Dad is now able to be excited about another son.

Years ago Dad would often be heard saying- “Girls are nice.” And now he gets to add and “son in laws are pretty nice too.”

The funniest thing in the whole evening of the proposal might was… watching her dad, his son in law and the nervous young man decorating the ‘proposal sight.’ The phone call from the soon to be fiancée with a desperate “I could use a little support here” plea was responded to with laughter and the tender love of a father. Watching the mean get into their romantic” nature was so sweet. I nearly cried just watching them prepare for this special moment.

Strings of the heart…

Both of my daughter’s play stringed instruments, so when I think of the old saying “love plays on the strings of the heart” I often wonder how it sounds. Yet I know from my own experience, it’s not really a song as it is a feeling. Then it’s not just a feeling, it’s a choice. Tugging on the strings of the heart, love pulls people together like the invisible force of magnetism. How this happens is such a mystery. Hearts do not really have strings, do they?

Yet maybe… Because three days back at work, my first daughter could hardly handle the way her heart was being tugged at by her beautiful baby girl. “Stay home” was the song that it was playing. Stay home with your baby girl and enjoy these growing up years. Indeed… She listened to the song and is now staying home with her lovely baby.

The burning flame…

Our daughter’s fiancée was so thoughtful in every detail. From the candles, to the roses, to the symphony tickets on the table, he provided an atmosphere that reflected his heart. Love is like that. Later in the evening, much later as the event happened after the scavenger hunt he sent her on, I took time to read “their verse” from the Song of songs.

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Loves flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.” –The Song of Solomon‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬. http://bible.com/59/sng.8.6.esv

Of course, my old brain came up with a bunch of old country western “burning flame” songs to meditate on as I fell asleep. The Lord’s love as a burning flame is not something my soul settled on until later.

The first of the Ten Commandments uses the phrase ‘”God is a jealous god.” Jealousy is something I always thought of as bad. When it applies to the negative actions of the spurned lover to his betrayed one, yes, there are often some very bad actions that follow the jealous heart. But what about the positive jealous of love that insists on serving the needs of the loved one first?

Now, this is a completely new thought to the idea of jealous love. Perhaps it really fits best into the passage from I Corinthians 13 verse five —

“Love is not rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.”

This is a completely different way of thinking about jealous love. Love for another that demands a focus on the one we choose to love. Insists on the abandonment of selfish wants and desires and consistently desires the best for the ones we love.

Wow!

I am so thankful that after 28 years of knowing my sweet husband, I can honestly say that the love we share is one of jealous, fierce, burning love that will last until the grave. I hope that like my elderly friend who lost her dear one of 69 years, our love for each other will last past the grave. And be just as strong as when the candle was first lit so many years earlier.

My prayer for my daughters and sons is that same burning flame. Strong and sure, jealous and fierce, never ending flame.

No sugar substitute

Molasses, or black treacle, is a viscous product resulting from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses varies by amount of sugar, method of extraction, and age of plant. Wikipedia

And here goes the story of Mol, Molasses the black cat with a white belly button. Who by the way is absolutely no substitute for holding a grandchild. After being send back outside, his soft fuzzy and cuddly self still welcomes me home. There is competition however.

Once upon a time there was a pumpkin shell house with a pumpkin shell husband and his little pumpkin seed wife. In the house there lived a pumpkin colored retriever that cared for nothing but frisbee. While the wife had hoped for a companion dog that would want to sit with her and cuddle much of the day, they instead were blessed with.a high energy golden doodle that wanted nothing but to run, chase cats, and chase frisbees. Bother but the little pumpkin seed found herself lonely, alone, and a little like a slime wet unhappy pumpkin seed that missed the drying rack.

The pumpkin shell woman soon grew exhausted from the energy drain and the pain of broken-ness collisions, and desired that once hoped for cuddles. So the search began to fill the shell with comfort of soft fur once again. The pumpkin shell husband wanted only to keep his wife happy. So he endured the wanton woman and let her tame the dreaded cat.

For many days the shell became a temptation of warm milk for the little black kitten. He soon learned to accept pets and purred in response. Then one day the kitten melted like molasses in the woman’s touch. His natural reaction to petting is to flop over on the floor and just take it, thus giving a full view of his little white patch on the belly. With all of the black cats on our acreage, at least recognition of him is easier by that simple character trait. Some of the cats are so skittish that they flee at first sight. Others can be touched during feeding, and still others are friendly only to a point or the need for food.

Choosing to bring a cat into the house was a temporary plan from the beginning. Knowing that my puppy was only focused on frisbee, made me decide a smaller cuddle factor was a good stress relief. Coming up with the name was easy. First Honey, then Sugar, now Molasses. Refinement for a cat is done in stages. Just like how you make the liquid molasses, a cat is tamed in stages.

From a confined room to another and finally to a room where there are few choices for naughty, busy kitten activities. I only lost one plant in the process! I forgot how tempting window sills are for a cat within a shell (house),

After the surgery, Mol was very fearful for about a week. Any new person or noise sent him scurrying back to ‘his room.’ We contained his things to the library for the time. He wasn’t allowed on furniture or beds. Which actually wasn’t that difficult. Turns out Molasses has a genetic disposition to cave dwelling. So his naturally flight fright action is to dive under something.

It has been stated that a dog calls you master, but a cat thinks you are staff. Indeed, within just a short time, I became the butler, the maid, the cook, the entertainment and the comfort zone for Molasses. When my hubby came home, Mol immediately retreated to his room. This behavior was acceptable as we didn’t want to rush allergy problems.

Molasses is no sugar substitute. Literally speaking, Suga was attached to her person. Going anywhere that I went and sitting on my lap. Her fondness for affection is what got her into trouble with Honey. Honey buried her in a snow drift several times. When they told me to quit coffee for a time, the thought of decaffeinated coffee was unacceptable to me. I have never really liked the taste of cheap decaf coffee. I’d rather have the most bitter coffee available, then they decaf. It just doesn’t seem a good substitute

Pets are no substitute for people either. So when my second daughter decided to come home for the summer, I knew the cat would have to go back out. Besides the fact that I do not enjoy cleaning. So being the cat’s maid and butler wasn’t my top priority. I would much rather have my daughter around for a few months.

Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and healing to the body.”

Heave you ever had those times when “the cat got your tongue?” Well, for myself there are those days, and then there are the days when it seems I am constantly putting my foot in my mouth. Some people are constant honeycomb never making blunders with their lips. Well, I am definitely not a honeycomb person. While I may have learned a thing or tow about the tongue being capable of a forest fire, I am not easily prone to gracious words. There are days when my mouth fills full of molasses and nothing comes out right. I use find it easier to blunder than to be sweet.

“Enough of this nonsensical treacle- let’s get back to business.” A British saying that means you have spent too much time on flattery and sentimental, feel-good, puffing up another’s ego and there is work to be done. Maybe I should go back to sugar in my coffee rather than cream. Perhaps the cream I added on those blubber-lip days was more like sour cream! This cat often makes me feel like I am just paying home some unescorted flattery and there must be something better to do, like chase a mouse perhaps?

His favorite mouse was an old wooden spool with shoe string for a tail. It was fun to watch him chaie the oddest things. Like the tub plug from the bathroom. Honestly though, watching my new grand=baby fill her diaper is far more entertaining. Sweet little Isabelle!

No Molasses is no substitute for anything. I love my family and would rather have them than a silly cat. But on those days when I am left alone for hours on end, please pardon me if I digress into my childhood for a moment or two. Molasses satisfies my desire for a snuggly hug. Someday maybe Honey will come back to her sweet puppy cuddly=ness. Until then, I will just have settle on the cat. Yeah, not so much.