Category: Family


Hello ♥웃 ……
This weekend I resurrected my FaceBook page to share my love of art, crafts, music…also shared ‘my brain tumor story’ at the urging of a few SoundCloud artist friends, and their music… I mention some of you by first name in my story…(not an all inclusive list I am sure)…in an attempt to say I am sorry to have been somewhat silent for awhile… Just wanted you to know it is not because of anything you said or did… It is/was all me.   I then realized you may not be on FB… Hence this note.
Thank you for your love and support.   I invite you to my FB page to poke around, and to my SoundCloud profile as well… I cannot say enough good things about the warmth of the SoundCloud community…lots of great music & fun ahead!
  ⠀ ßÏG HÛGŠ            °\(ッ)/°
ℒℴvℯ,  ♥웃 Sue
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Note:  The videos below are not for sissies.. Even though it is just a couple of guys talking…at one point one gives you the opportunity to look away or stop the video before he shows his staples & stitches… Nothing gory in any of these clips (other videos on YouTube cover that)
Hey…. I was chatting with a clouder and somehow my AN tumor subject came up…the best way to describe it is thru  highlighting a few YouTube videos… I’ve gotta lot of explainin to do….here goes…
•My bio in a nutshell…
As for me…my nature is creative, friendly &active with interests spanning ….ChE&Biochem …Pham&VaccineR&D…scuba-rescue diver…art (drawing,painting,needlework)…music…photography…..language&culture….gardening&landscape design, interior decorating, cooking………..”work hard – play hard” …….that’s me…Until 2009.
In Oct 2009,  I thought I needed a hearing aid since I noticed difficulty hearing voices on the phone.  Also noticed a tendency to ‘trip over my own feet’ more than usual…Ah, that prompted me to see a doctor.   My thoughts were…  balance = inner ear, hearing loss  = hearing aid …in my future.
Doctor discovered a large benign tumor (Acoustic Neuroma) between my ear & brain that was pressing, bending my brain stem…required immediate life saving skull surgery… Very scary.  Tumor took hearing & balance nerve in right ear…and post-op  neurological issues persist. I went from a fast paced life to very slow homebound pace….  Radical change.  Daily coping required with balance & neurological issues.  Luckily, my left ear was unaffected by tumor/surgery. Am house bound.  Have not been able to connect with some dear friends due to other demands…[ please forgive me for that…you are always nearby.. in my heart… you know who you are 🙂  …my dear Deb, Shigeko, MaryJo,Connie, Lois, Shannyn,Chip, Suzanne, Robin, Kathy,Ev,Chap,Terry, Jeanne,Louise&others..even Kenny  ]   To my delight, I  discovered SoundCloud in Dec-2012 which brings music to my ear… and thus pointed my attention to my FaceBook page… to make it a welcome mat for SoundCloud….check out my cloud profile at  

 https://soundcloud.com/sksskh

Also…. https://soundcloud.com/sks-8

•sksskh
Here is a video of a brave, well spoken soul…
His experience was similar to mine (2.5cm large tumor, 12hr op, 9 days in hospital)… he keeps saying thru out he had no idea… I do…and he is describing it very well…. I have the head tightness stll, unsteady walk, numb foot (his is leg). My facial nerve was damaged like his …But my surgeon reattached mine…his did not…so he has the droopy face & eye blink problem…I had the double vision but that has cleared… When he talks about other options… There are none… My surgeon said that without the surgery …eventually…you would not be able to breathe.
There is another guy ,Rufus, who does daily videos… Also brave.
•sksskh
Check out this video on YouTube:
2.5 cm Acoustic Neuroma – Postop 10 days
Another good video…
He had sigmoid surgery… I had labyrinth surgery which does take the hearing nerve , I had only ~20% hearing in right ear prior to the op… 0% post op in right ear. My situation was like his in that I went to doc twice with that pressure feeling and was told it was just from a cold…returned in summer with same …MRI revealed tumor.
ACOUSTIC NEUROMA (2.5 cm.) 4TH DAY AFTER SURGERY
•sksskh          Proggress report… Love this guy’s honesty…
I had the same neck pain as he describes
Sorry about his facial nerve & eye
I have none of that but do have trouble with taste not being normal…and difficulty with the neck is intermittent…sounds like his was crushing the brain stem like mine….
No doubt we would not be alive today without the surgery…despite daily struggles…needless to say…this surgery was well worth it.
Check out this video on YouTube:
2.5 cm Acoustic Neuroma – Postop 87 days
“Sorry I have not provided updates since my first video until now. It has really been difficult learning to deal with the facial paralysis and deafness. I was hoping for more improvement before I made a new video, but at least I feel better than when I did the first one. Hopefully in about two more months, I can do another video and will be able to show some movement in my face. I cannot tell you how tired I am of having to use only one eye. Without any depth perception, I have had a tough time adapting. Anyway, step by step, day by day, I look forward to a good recovery”
•sksskh
Best report yet… The guy is great… Can kiss his  wife again… His wife is an angel…. His boss is an angel…
I have the pain thing he mentions and have tried simiar drugs from my doc… It is as he described….trial & error process …He even does a cute little jig near the end…sounds really happy….cool to watch…so matter of fact….LOVE THIS VIDEO!!!!
Check out this video on YouTube:
2.5 cm Acoustic Neuroma – Postop 16 months
•BTW… My surgery was almost immediate so I did not have time to research it…my surgeon told me not to look at web video stuff cause it would be frightening… I took his advice and did not see any videos until afterwards…a very kind surgeon, well both were so kind & brilliant..was so lucky to have them both… If you ever know someone that has this… I highly recommend my surgical team… World famous Dr Fukushima (neurosurgeon “artist” that did tumor removal & delicate microsurgery to reconnect my facial nerve) & Dr Cal Cunningham(ENT surgeon that opened & closed)
Thanks for listening…
Love,
Sue

Note – SOME LINKS LOOK FADED FOR UNKNOWN REASONS, BUT STILL WORK.

COUNTRY LIFESTYLE INFLUENCES ON MY MIND
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1970 Photo of me in Liberty High School varsity football cheerleader uniform was taken in our front yard in the country,. . . .located close to Rt-122S Sign Rock, just off Dickerson Mill Road.
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I like the white wagon wheels in background,… Used by Mom to support a red rambling rose. Our 0.1-mile drive way off Dickerson Mill Road is behind me …That driveway had a circular drive loop before continuing to the back of our house (where we parked), and to the house next door (where Aunt Nancy & Uncle Joe lived w/cousins Ginger & Joey), & on to end at the barn gate & yard. Guests parked in that circular drive behind me. Back behind the barn, as the crow flies about 0.5-miles just off Fiddler’s Creek Road is Mrs. Royalty’s home place,…where I once saw a telegraph for water (as described in my sksskh story “H2O x Change” on Sound Cloud).

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The front yard entrance was flanked by dual red maple trees and twin lamp posts covered in ivy. Mother said the lanterns were from a carriage of horse & buggy days. The walkway, consisting of large, flat river rocks embedded flush with the ground, started at the twin lamp posts and lead to our front door, I’m sitting on, or very nearly on, on our country sidewalk in this photo. Speaking of horse & buggy rides, Dad his mother packed biscuits in her purse for long rides… Which reminded me of my self packing pockets/backpacks with nabs (packs of peanut butter crackers) for trips into NYC. She must’ve had low blood sugar aka fast metabolism issues too. Mine were borderline hypoglycemic (tested negative for hypoglycemia though). My NJ & NY friends teased me saying “don’t yous guys know we’ve got food in the city”… & I’d say “yeah, but not always where you need it, & when you need it…if I pack it, it’s guaranteed.” 🙂
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Visitors were greeted at the screened front porch entrance of a >200-yo 2-story tin roofed farmhouse , complete with a floppy screen door. The kind secured with a small metal hook & eye closure. Inside the front door was the coolest living room with hardwood floor covered with a green oval braided rug, hardwood open beam ceiling, & a gorgeous rock fireplace & chunky dark wood mantel. Those ceiling beams looked like walnut and were/are at least 15-feet long & 3-inches wide. A huge tree(s) supplied those beams. The unique rock fireplace was constructed of field stone by Walker Leftwich (the grandfather of Jennings Leftwich LHS ’72 Class.).
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Our approx. 40-acre “hobby” farm was/is referred to as the “Walker Leftwich home place” since it belonged to that family for many years. It had a spring, creek, pond, barn, dog kennel, grey wood shed garage, small 4-room house used for storage, garden, pastures, hayfield, garden & honey bee stands. Our “Smith home place” for many years… approx. 1966 to 1983.
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Dad raised black angus & put one in the freezer every year…. Ugh, involved the dreaded task of wrapping the cuts of meat in freezer paper & labeling for storage. Dad also kept a milk cow many years. So, we never bought milk at the store when I was a kid. Instead we drank unprocessed, filtered whole-milk, homemade buttermilk & churned our butter too (made those 3″tall x 4″diameter butter rounds with a metal mold)…. The home made, hand cranked peach custard-style ice cream was the best ice cream anywhere…better than any store bought stuff. Dad kept an old industrial milk chiller in the coal shed. the fresh milk from that chiller was the very best tasting milk ever. Dad worked at the Sealtest Dairy processing plant until it closed. His brother Benuce worked there as well as a man named Buster and their boss Fred. Dad, Buster & Benuce did everything from butter fat testing to mowing the lawn. They wore white uniforms. I used to love hanging out at this plant watching the farmers load their milk cans on a conveyor belt that took them through swinging doors into the plant. I’d go inside to watch Dad et al dump the milk into a large tank, run tests & process it… Tracing lines of process flow and quizzing them all as to what each step /tank was for… I now realize that this was my first encounter with an industrial process & traced pipe & understood that process as if I was already a chemical engineer. Dad went to work at Rubatex when the Sealtest plant closed. I heard much about Rubatex operations from Dad, but never toured that plant.My ‘job’ at home was to make ‘scratch’ buttermilk biscuits daily for supper (dinner = lunch in the country). As a teenager I sewed most of my own clothes since most suited me better than off-the rack commercial pieces… Plus it was a bargain… More clothes for the money, yeah! Nowadays it’s the opposite cost-wise.

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We had hogs & chickens (fryers & laying)..even a mule used to plough the garden… Before Dad got a tiller & tractor. We canned vegetables & beef, made 14-day pickles, etc too. Hence, we didn’t buy much from the grocery store. He also kept a kennel full of beagles & foxhounds… Probably 30-40 max. I believe his kennel license limit was 60. I was his “surgeon” for ” doctoring on the dogs while he held them steady. . . During minor removal procedures to address splinters, thorns, & fishhooks.
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At which time the farmhouse & out-buildings & ~15-acres were sold & my parents built a brick ranch style home on the remaining 25-acres with pond, vegetable & rose garden, spring, creek, pasture, woods & honeybee strands…also with new barn & new metal sky-lighted garage, designed & constructed by Dad. Garaged his tractor, workbench, & tools since his truck & car were parked on the carport.
BTW, I often helped with those smokin’ beekeeping tasks off-bee-veil… I got the rag smoking in the smoker… While Dad wore the coveralls & bee hat with veil netting… He brought the wood hive section to the back porch or picnic table… Where I’d put the new strip of honeycomb in each rack.. Filing each rack a third of the way with new “starter” honeycomb. Not sure if he wanted it that way to save money on honeycomb or if it’s a best for the bees technique … He only said “it’s all the bees need to get started”. Personally, I would have preferred to fill each rack with and entire sheet of honeycomb starter cause it was a pain to cut the stuff in those smaller strips & secure in the wooden rack.
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Thus, our present day Smith hobby farm (approx. 30-yo) still sports angus cattle grazing the pasture… Courtesy of cousin Nathan, & Ronnie/Pete too… I forget which.
So when I say… I grew up in a different era… I truly did. At least it seems that way to me. As did my Dad. He used to think longingly back to the days of his youth. . . & described it as a time when a guy could walk for many miles though woods & fields and not have to cross a fence… Let alone see a house. There were no cars or emissions from vehicles.. . . Only horses & buggies. So whenever I feel like we had a country frontier ‘ Mother Earth News’ lifestyle, I think about how it must have been for him, ..,back in the day of “open land” unbounded by many fences or developments…feeling truly free. No wonder Dad, & I loathe crowds, traffic & manmade plastic fake garbage…
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I feel re my hand made clothes, paintings, baskets, pillows, art, etc just as Dad did…. as he once said about a gate he’d made:
“It ain’t pretty, but it serves the purpose. Its better built than store-bought, & will last longer too. I’m happy with it & that’s all that matters.” Much like me, he didn’t care about appearances, only functionality.
It’s no wonder people nowadays are ” out of touch ” with the earth, self-sufficiency, environmental sustainability & themselves. Seems to me the so called “civilized man” has much to learn. . . .as he has failed to understand the wisdom of Native American words in regard to respecting & taking proper care of our earth.
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Music Memories…. Thought back of music heard over 40-50 years in an attempt to make a review of fave influences in many genres. A Sound Cloud friend suggested the review project that would result in a SC track. I made a list of live shows & vacations to help recollect. Interesting…. but have to report an unfinished “project” to date (FEB2014)… In hindsight, perhaps an impossible music review project.

Raised on 1950s-60s music enjoyed by my parents: bluegrass & country, Hee Haw TV show, Lawrence Welk TV show, gospel songs…. Plus my Saturday cartoons of classical & jazz, Soul Train TV show, & FM radio pop, rock & Motown songs, & Broadway shows.

[[[ Ongoing Project Notes ]]]

🙂 MUSIC NOTIONS—PAST •  PRESENT • FUTURE
•—PREFACE: MUSIC • PRESENT
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Music Playlists in SoundCloud Profile:
https://soundcloud.com/sksskh

Impossible to be  real time…
Never all  inclusive.

Also many sets.
& on cloud at https://soundcloud.com/sks-8

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🙂   PROJECT MEMORY•—• PAST
•—LIVE MUSIC performances I’ve seen,….not inclusive list as yet.
Gathering memories for SoundCloud project covering music influences & perceptions of my many fave genres….music & art is ever present in my day, since i was born…most significant being the many emotive cartoons adsorbed as a child in the ‘language’ of classical music….piano & strings…  So,  in attempting to make a simple list,…. I’m finding there is more live music than I realized to list…and that’s not counting church choir or small venues w/local performers…. seems like music  & art were a  basis for many destination choices as well…  This music time line of years & artists are subject to change, as project memory progresses.
😀 MUSIC CURIOUSITY!? !! ?? !!!…if you missed the 1969 Woodstock festival, as I did …then check out the 2 videos of this Woodstock-like weekend jam festival held at Charlotte NC speedway in 1974….see link below..
…smashing guitars, piano en flight via helicopter lift, fence trampled… All seemed perfectly  ‘normal’ at the time…and, no, I did not have help from any friends’ as Beatles did in describing Lucy….  Disturbing though that I was horrified at the piano slipping when lifted, but did not notice what happened to the piano player.  🙂
oh, they smashed guitars too…. But that didn’t bother me as much as destroying a piano.  I guess I thought a guitar is easier  and/ or cheaper to replace.  🙂
1973.VA—Chicago (UVA Charlottesville VA)
1974.NC—Charlotte Speedway JamFest Weekend
…Allman Brothers, …Emerson Lake & Palmer, …Black Oak Arkansas,
…Marshall Tucker Band,…Foghatt, Ozark Mtn Daredevils….others,
… Eagles (cancelled)
….Video & Pics in Blog at bottom, scroll down :
1975.VA—James Taylor (VA Tech, Blacksburg VA)
1975-present.VA—Take5 & Coffee at Midnight CDs by NSA,
… No Stings Attached Band link:
…Wes & Deb Chappell,  my neighbors in Blacksburg VA…kindly taught me to play a few hammer dulcimer tunes, while Deb &I were potluck dinner buddies:)…many great family meals shared, vegetarian, sugarless, etc.
…Wes Chappell on FB & SC
1986.NY—John Hiatt (Beacon Theatre, NYC)
1989.NY—Blue Man Group (NYC)
1989.NY—Eric Clapton (Madison Square Garden, most memorable was his speaking & singing about his 4-yo son, lost to fall from NYC skyscraper)
1990.NJ—Chrissie Hynde & Pretenders (Stone Pony, NJ)
1990.NJ—John Eddie (many venues rock@shore &acoustic @Jersey City)
1990.PA—Bela Fleck & Flecktones  (venue in Philly PA )
1991.PA—Alan Jackson (Allentown PA, Faith Hill opened)
1991.PA—Faith Hill (Allentown PA, opened for Alan Jackson)
1996.VA—Saffire • Uppity Blues Women (Georgetown, VA)
1997.VA—Jimmy Buffett (northern VA, twice)
1998.VA—Hootie & The Blowfish (northern VA)
1999.VA—Aaron Neville (northern VA)
1999.VA—CJ Chenneire & Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Zydeco band
              ( Charlottesville VA)
Note: Theatre & Art timelines are  related, but separate lists to help jog project memory….
•—[[[[[ Theatre ]]]]]
1972.Paris—Opera House, …opera name?
1979 Los Angeles, CA—Disney Land Theme/Music Park
1985.NJ—Bob Hope @ Meadowlands (cannot recall opening act band)
1985.NY—The Sunshine Boys with Jack Klugman & Tony Randall
1988.NY—Musical: took parents to see SHOWBOAT

1991.London —Cats
1991.NY— Phantom of the Opera (fave)
1992.NY—Miss Saigon
2003 Orlando, FL—Disney World Theme/Music Park
2004 Williamsburg VA—Busch Gardens Theme/Music Park
2004 north of Richmond VA—Kings Dominion Theme /Music Park
2005 south of Charlotte NC—Carrowinds Theme /Music Park
•—[[[[[ Art /Travel •Diving   ]]]]]
1972 to present—NYC,  Paris, London, Venice, Philadelphia PA,  Boston MA,  Baltimore, MD, Washington DC,  Richmond VA,  Williamsburg VA:    Nearly all major galleries & museums
1972.Paris— Louvre; & Loire Valley chateaux, Mont St.Michel, &   Normandy  ( 10-day high school trip)
1975-77  Two VaTech art courses as electives, beginning level portrait & landscape …prof recommended jump to more advanced  Life Drawing course.  I did fine,  but was inexperienced with some media.
1979 VA to CA Month long cross-country drive by car w/my husband Bob & colleague Dr. Noriyuki Morohoshi (following Japanese tour guide book of US): Opryland TN, New Orleans LA, Houston Space Center, Housten Japanese Garden Restaurant (my 1st sushi ever, geisha-fan dance performance, great atmosphere… DrNM felt he was almost back home in Tokyo or Kyoto ), Galveston, MesaVerde CO, Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Bryce & Zion Parks, Vegas, LA, Disneyland, Yosemite, Redwood Forrest, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Crater Lake Oregon, Old Faithful & Yellowstone, Pikes Peak @ Colorado Mtns, Kansas, St Louis, West VA, returning home to Blacksburg VA.
1982 Gatlinburg TN.  1st professional conf. attended w/ Dr. Dave Wallis
1985 Boston MA— MIT Fermentation Short Course with Merck colleagues, Aquarium, Faneuil Hall
1986 Bermuda
1987 New England by car: Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor Maine
1988 Nags Head NC with hubby Bob & immediate family, took wind surfing & sailing lessons
1990 New Paltz NY@Mohonk Mtn House Resort: Japanese  watercolor painting course
1991 New Paltz NY with Merck Ski Club, my first ski lesson 🙂 & tow rope  😦
1991 Paris.Clermont-Ferront. London. Hoddeston. Newcastle. Brussels. Haarlam.Milan.Pavia.Venice, Iland of Murano  (10-day business trip for Merck with weekend in London & weekend in Venice)
1991 Chicago, IL —Institute of Art & Notre Dame football game
          (AIChE conference with Merck colleagues )
1991 Salt Lake City Utah—Park City with Merck Ski Club
1992 Myrtle Beach SC with cousins Connie & Kathy & families
1993 Pocono Mtns PA skiing with friends
1995 Job change & Relocation w/ Merck  to VA
1995-2004 Massenutten Mtn VA season passes
1996 Belize Blackbird Caye & Altun Ha (with Texas dive group)
Note:  Dive trips with various dive shops…
*w/Kathy’s Scuba group (now Scuba Buddy’s) of Harrisonburg VA
**w/Chip’s Dive Connections of Charlottesville VA
1997* Freeport Bahamas
1997* Singer Island, Florida
1997  Belize Ambergis Caye & Xanatunich
1998 *Dutch Antilles Bonaire via Curaçao with overnight connection thru Caracas Venezuela
1998** Port Lucaya, Bahamas
1998* Roatan Honduras @ Fantasy Island
1999** Little Cayman Resort
1999 Baltimore MD aquarium, Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel, & Nags Head NC, Wright Brother’s First-n-Flight Memorial, watched friend hang gliding on sand dunes
1999* St Lucia @ Anse Chastenet
2000*Australia: Cairns, Port Douglas, Karuduna, Townsville, Bondi Beach, Blue Mtns, Sydney, Tasmania (Hobart, Port Arthur, Queenstown, Launceston), Aquariums @Townsville & Sydney
2001* Belize Nekton Pilot 2nd honeymoon
2002 Miami, FL with drive thru Keyes to Key West
2004 job change & relocation
2005 Nags Head NC +sailing around coast with hubby &crew of one ( me)
2006 Naussau Bahamas
2006 San Francisco CA —AICHE conference with Wyeth colleagues …chatted at length with former longtime boss, famous engineer, & legendary mixing expert Dr. Ed Paul of NJ….confessed I did not own his new mixing book… Purchased that book at the conference.
2007 **Belize Turneffe Island Lodge
2007 Pearl River NY—Wyeth R&D Diversity Team Business, attended as Sanford NC Vaccine R&D rep
2008 Andover MA—Wyeth TOPS Community of Practice Mfg Team, attended as Sanford NC Vaccine R&D rep
2008 ** Port Lucaya, Bahamas
2009 ** St Vincent Young Island Resort
2009 San Diego CA Biotech Disposable Technology Conference with Wyeth colleagues ..toured Genentech facility & an artist’s studio & gallery (name =?), attended very nice Nappa Valley wine tasting on the street near the Golden Gate Bridge on the north side of the water.
Project memory still under construction 🙂
….There are only a few other musicians & shows to add.
•—MUSIC •  FUTURE
I expect this will be the shortest segment on music perspectives since its the unpredictable, unknown realm. I feel that no matter what comes down the pike, there will be faves in my future.
~~~~~~Sue Hite~~~~~
ABOUT ME (aka “sksskh” on SoundCloud)
•Artist • Chemical Engineer •Biochemist
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INTRO
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 imageJUST IMAGINE equality for all…. without war, or rumors of war, & no hunger…. Truly beautiful vision of a gentler, kinder, more loving society….. God’s brotherhood of man sharing the world….. to live as one…. I may be a dreamer…. But believe this is God’s plan…John Lennon’s song about peace & love captures that lovely feeling…. In the depths of my mind, heart & soul….that is how I feel God prefers it to be,….”Imagine”
John Lennon – Imagine
Note… John Lennon was controversial for sure, and I don’t agree with some of his thinking …but I do share his dream of peace, it is beautiful!
•As 59-yo heterosexual white female, I support marriage & racial equality
•“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone”—John 8:7
♥Peace & love be with you.
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♥Quotes||| Original ART |||HANDMADE CRAFTS
[[[ Under construction… evolving content ]]]

“The soul would have no rainbow
if the eyes had no tears.”—Laurel Burch

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Quotes…. “When injustice becomes Law resistance becomes Duty”—Thomas Jefferson

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Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. ~ Bob Marley

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Beauty is that which attracts the soul, and that which loves to give and not to receive. ~ Kahlil Gibran

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“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw

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“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees – very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life* of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” ― Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings *fear and anger.

FYI: Relevant to me because the ‘life of the old man’ I took was actually the life of the fear my father had of my academic education in relation to his dropping out of school after 7th grade to work his father’s farm. He was a smart man. He had no reason to feel insecure around me. However, he did. And for that reason, he made my life a nightmare until I turned 18-yo and legally left home on my own for college.

The eye in this verse is speaking of my father’s icy blue eye of anger & rage. . . just as he verbally unleashed unpleasantries accompanying the switch dance punishment. I made up my mind to invoke a verbal plan to push him over the edge… Irregardless of the potentially dangerous outcome for me. I’d been to that edge a few times where as a child I thought I might not be alive much longer.. . Real or not, that is how it seemed…. but that only happened 2-3 times maybe…. Where I could no longer stand, or cry, or run in circles cause it hurt too much… Probably hurt the same emotionally as physically…. He would drag me around the floor, hitting me & yelling for me to stand up… I don’t know what happened exactly,… But I couldn’t stand up or say anything…. Almost like I had shut down…that’s when I felt only one thing…. My own rage at him for being a big person hitting a little person, I’d curl up in a fetal position to protect my face/head (same exact thing happened with my 1st husband, so sad… but is why we divorced)… I only know I decided I would prevent my father (& years later my husband) from doing it again… whether I survived or not was irrelevant… It was the escape or relief I was seeking. So, my plan involved verbal banter by design to push him into that rage and beyond…. so that either he’d realize he needed to stop or he’d stop,…. cause I’d not be here to beat up… either way, he’d stop. I recall my third, fourth, & fifth grade teachers inquiring about the bruises/marks I had. And, I recall lying to them saying I fell out of the apple tree or crashed my bike into the shed… true stories I always told, but those accidents did not cause my injuries. Best I can remember, I was 12-13 years old when I came up with a plan. I recall thinking I’ll soon be in high school, this crap has to stop. Plus, I don’t recall being at school embarrassed by all the questions from kids /teachers during 6th-7th grades.

Lucky for me the plan worked both times. My father was so angry at me over something, he came at me with a switch from the back door while I was standing in the kitchen… and with the iciest look in his blue eyes. . . that in just a few seconds I knew I would either succeed or fail instantly…. So I reached out to him…. Um, lashed out really… in my sharpest name-calling lingo I could muster…. and he stopped walking toward me, paused in disbelief and said “say WHAT?”. . . A good sign, but no turning back now. . . And out of my mouth came the lowest opinion of him that any person could ever tell another… I called him an idiot for being so dumb as to have to hit a smaller person in order to make himself feel important… how he was a liar to ever tell me he loved me, cause no one treats a person they love this way… I don’t recall everything said, but it was a pile of dirt on him, because…. I felt it might be the last words I ever said to anyone ….in a desperate attempt to “fix” my father. Now, I never said it was the best plan or a smart plan. . . . It was just the one I came up with.

Dad went beyond rage that day… I could see something in his face, some thought… Where he realizes something… Not sure what he realized, but whatever it was his eyes changed colors from icy blue to soft pale blue, and his face went blank… He looked either gone into a blind rage or gone elsewhere….. So a few seconds passed where I could not read the change, only knew there was a change or something new on his mind. Next, instead of being hit when his arm raised…. He threw down the switch from his hand, turned to go out the back door, and said “gotta go, I’ll be back” and he took off for the woods for an hour or two. When he returned, we did not speak of it… Not then, or ever. And he never, ever whipped me again. . . Nor my younger brother & sister.

My first husband Bob, I’ve written about in a private journaling. One day I may post it here. I’ve lost contact with him after my second marriage. Prior to that we kept in email contact for nearly ten years after our divorce. I’m still not sure divorce was the correct resolution to our issues. Please do not be misled, Bob is a wonderful person,…. kind, thoughtful, deep, loving, brilliant…. only after many years did issues arise…. Not sure what caused his anger issues … I think something changed w/rt him and/or my big opinionated mouth/mind led him to temper outbursts to cause him to push me down/up stairs, hit me with a floor lamp, etc…. Given my childhood experience, & after failed marriage counseling (he refused to go more than once because he said there was nothing wrong with him)…. I felt I could not bear the same as an adult and opted out of the 16-year marriage to the love of my life. I never stopped loving him despite our our divorce and I never will. The same goes for my father. I never stopped loving Daddy ever, despite my fat mouth & his anger management issues… And, he knew it too. I made sure of that.

I spent many (~10) years single before remarrying cause I thought I was better off single… unlucky in love… Also felt maybe the common denominator was me (with Dad & Bob)…. Yet I worked just fine with many men every day as minority female in various engineering departments/ companies. So, I thought maybe its just where ” heart” is involved…. since the logic side of life worked fine.

I did fall in love again, eventually remarried… And that marriage ended after about 8 years…. due to either his inability to accept his infidelity or the infidelity was just his way to exit to the marriage. I was on an accelerated work project that required 80 hours/wk from me for nearly a year… So my workaholic self can be blamed in part… He was very angry that I discovered his GF on his cell phone and said I’d never forgive him thus proceeding with separation is appropriate… Meanwhile she called to apologize profusely, saying he told her he was divorced, and as a policewoman she would never ever go out with a married man… Said she was gonna dump him…and she did. So, that is why I feel he may have just been looking for an exit and for whatever reason not admitting to himself or me that’s what he wanted… His reasoning was I’d never ‘forgive’ him thus parting is best. I had forgiven him & told him so. So, sounds to me like he either didn’t ‘forgive’ himself or just wanted an out. I dunno. I gave up.

I give up. I’m too old to be concerned about such matters. The good times of marriage are a blessing. Unfortunately, mine didn’t last as long as I’d have liked.

Well now, seems this art @ quote page has morphed into a dirty laundry page. . . LOL. Most likely I will move this quote & text to a separate “life lessons in love” page and add a few new quotes to this page. . .as soon as I get the chance…. When I said this was a “rough” page I meant visually unkempt 🙂

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“The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.”—Laurel Burch

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image ♥”PeeWee”♥

Once upon a time, this aunt & uncle were hiking in the Virginia woods near our house and witnessed a tiny baby squirrel fall from its nest high above…when they examined it…’twas still alive!…and picking it up found it was nearly hairless…they knew it would not survive…so in the coat pocket it went.

After the hike, they brought this baby squirrel to our house and gave it to me. The first thing I did was name this teensy-tiny baby squirrel… PeeWee. He was smaller than my pinky finger! So small in fact, that they warned me he may not live… Weak from that huge fall, practically hairless, so tiny… I knew the odds were not in his favor…. Just the same, ….fixed a shoe box nest for PeeWee with scraps of fabric, old socks… Whatever I found in Mom’s “rag bag” of sewing leftovers. Fed PeeWee warm milk….. one-drop-at-a-time from an old eye dropper…. As many times a day as he would eat…. I kept his nest in my room… He eventually grew hair and I tried feeding him all sorts of things.

PeeWee was cute, cuddly, but not very trainable… plus he had sharp claws that dug in when you let him sit on your shoulder (or head, only tried that once…ouch!)…… The shoulder sitting was a more tolerable perch for PeeWee. As he grew, I was thinking of keeping him on the back porch instead of in my room… Cause he’d long outgrown that shoebox. Looking back I’m surprised that I kept him in my room as long as I did… Must’ve been attached to him…well, who wouldn’t be…

I never knew anyone with a pet squirrel.
Never heard of such a thing!
PeeWee was a curiosity for sure. So….

I asked my Dad what he suggested as a cage & place for me to keep PeeWee…. Dad offered to build PeeWee a cage attached to the front of the coal shed at the edge of our yard. He did just that….and it was awesome!…. The shed door had a small roof over it that also covered PeeWee’s new cage… Protecting from sun, rain, etc. …the cage itself was divided into 2 sections…the all wood nest section for sleeping & the open air other half …which was simply a wood frame with chicken wire…. A much better squirrel bathroom than me scooping pellets from a shoebox…that’s a fact. WOW, it was the perfect living space for PeeWee.

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By now PeeWee is full grown…

I’d visit his cage at the shed on a daily basis…he’d sit on my shoulder & we’d play squirrel stuff… He like playing tickle with weeds & perching on my shoulder…but at full grown size those gripping feet/ claws were a bit too strong for my comfort.

One day PeeWee jumped off my shoulder and onto the ground…. And ran around a bit… Then a few beagles appeared outta nowhere … I’d forgotten Dad has a few dogs out running… I’d heard them barking as they do when running, but they were way away in the field and I clean forgot.

I panicked. Just knew they’d catch PeeWee… He’d only ever known a shoebox & that chicken wire cage…

He had no idea as to his danger….. I could not help him…

I could not outrun a beagle…..

Luckily PeeWee’s instincts took over & he headed for the nearest tree….and as quick as he could, climbed to the very top! I was both relieved and proud…. Ha, as happy as any squirrel mom, I reckon 😉 Unfortunately though, PeeWee must’ve been traumatized by the beagle chase… Cause no amount of coaxing with treats or anything would make him budge from that tree… The tree wasn’t very tall…a fairly young tree that had limbs too small for me to climb….so now that the beagles were put back in their lot… I had to figure out a way to get PeeWee down from that tree &back in his cage. I felt sorry for PeeWee always living in a cage …and knew at some point he belonged back in the woods. However, the narrow escape I’d just witnessed convinced me he wasn’t ready for the wild… I wasn’t ready for him to take that step just yet. I knew PeeWee hated water… found that out when I tried to give him a bath as a baby…..thus, I retrieved PeeWee from the tree by using the garden hose with the nozzle on full force….

Poor PeeWee… He looked like a drowning rat …totally drenched as he climbed down that tree…

If I took the stream off him, then he started to climb upwards …so feeling like a mean jerk I had to hold that stream in such a way to keep him moving down the tree… When he reached the lowest branch,….he just sat there dripping, & staring at me …looked like he was thinking “how could you?” I’ll never forget that look on his face… I know I was thinking the exact same thing…. geez, what did I expect? Did I expect him to jump on me …on my shoulder…with his happy face like he does when I open his cage door? It was that look on his face that convinced me that PeeWee was ready to live in the woods on his own…. Plus, his jumping off my shoulder could have been his signal that he’s ready to leave the nest. I felt we’d both had enough excitement for one day… So I took PeeWee to his shed-cage for a good night’s rest.

I don’t recall how many day’s rest I figured would give him the best chance…but it was only a few days after the beagle incident when I took PeeWee out of his cage for the last time…. Took him thru the pasture gate at the shed…

Down the hill… past the apple trees, to the edge of the woods… way away from the dog kennel… so they’d not get a single whiff of PeeWee….

I kissed PeeWee good-bye and placed him on the ground ….
He looked at me knowingly with his happy face & scampered into the woods.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said I was not sad to see him go….I knew I’d miss him…. BUT….

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I was so very happy for PeeWee.

Happy that he was off to new adventures, to live his life as a squirrel should. Felt so thankful that I was a part of PeeWee’s journey. My aunt & uncle saved his life that day.

I was forever grateful that they brought PeeWee to me. He was a challenging pet at times but overall a truly wonderful creature to befriend. And so, ….As you might imagine….

At every squirrel sighting, I cringe every time I hear someone say, in that stupid tone…

“A squirrel is just a rat with a bigger tail.”

Luckily, to offset that statement my Aussie husband would say, in delight…..

“Aren’t squirrels just the cutest, most fascinating little creatures?!”

…because he’d never seen a squirrel before… Apparently his home country is without native squirrels! Naturally, I replied to my husband…. Man, you are not gonna believe this… but I’ve got a pet squirrel story for you! 🙂 ☁♫♪☼☾☆

⠀    °\(ッ)/°
⠀ ßÏG HÛGŠ
      ♥웃 Sue
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Squirrel Diet