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Prompt Stomp’s prompt for the Day: “SWEET”

Since most people spent the day yesterday indulging in candy and other sweets, the prompt for the day wants is to explain what is sweet to us exactly.  Having strange tastes since I was little, not a good person to get food suggestions from.

When I attended a baby shower when I was three years old with my mom, they were serving lots of food.  I chose a piece of chocolate cake and a dill pickle.  Had the women joking about who was the pregnant one!  Loved dill pickles and the sight of chocolate always made me hungry.  Still do not see what the big deal was.

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Today, I eat three Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate pieces every single day.  Other than that, I do not eat sweets.  Hate most pies, except a small piece of home made pumpkin.  That pie does not make me feel ill.  My father-in-law makes wonderful pumpkin cookies.  Like to snack on those when they are available.

Do not turn down the chance for a Silk chocolate cheesecake slice when offered to me (have to have two dairy digestive tablets with me to take while devouring that treat).  Am sort of lactose intolerant.  The humorous part of this fact is I grew up on a dairy farm.  My father couldn’t understand why I didn’t like drinking milk.  It sort of made me sick to my stomach.  Not a very sweet thing at all for me!

If you are looking for some really good hot chocolate, visit the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory located in Estes Park, Colorado.  It is the best hot chocolate I ever had the pleasure of tasting!  Even drug my mom up to get a cup while they were visiting while we lived in that state.  Have not been able to replicate their drink’s mixture at home.



Final COSTUMES post

In my junior year of high school, my friend/ second cousin and I passed out candy from my grandparents’ front porch in Marissa.  We were both dressed as scare crows.

Forget what she actually had on her face, but I had one of those cheap monster masks on my head (tilted so it looked like it was falling off).  One brave little boy (maybe 3 or 4 years old tried to get my mask) then I stood up!  Scared the poor child to death.  I took my mask completely off and offered him a handful of candy.

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We both apologized to the adult that was with the kid.  Hadn’t meant to scare him at all.  We were just doing the job of giving out candy to the neighborhood kids, so my grandparents could enjoy a peaceful evening of cards with their friends.  The noise drew my grandma out to the front porch to make sure nothing serious was going on.  (She was losing at the card game anyway.)  So much for giving them a quiet Halloween with their friends!  At least we tried.

Don’t think the kid will bother my grandparents again.  Was not our intent to scare the kids away, but the way the neighborhood was heading down hill, may have been a blessing in disguise!  The town has literally gone to pot since I left for college.  Went to school out of state to put miles between me and my father.

Had to retreat back to the disgusting Illinois town one more time after we tried living in Wisconsin.  Lasted in WI less than a year.  Came crawling back with our tails between our legs to find my grandparent’s house in a shambles of filth.  If my grandma saw the state my aunt had let the house sink to, she would be haunting her for the rest of her life!

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May be the final COSTUMES installment, who knows?

My favorite costume in high school was because it had the tenancy to make one of my least favorite teachers literally sick to her stomach!  Come on, vampires are supposed to have blood dripping from their mouths, aren’t they?

Yeah, so some of it was actually real from the stitches that came out after having my wisdom teeth removed.  Still needed to go get a drink of water to wash the real blood out of my mouth!  It’s not my fault she had a weak stomach, after all.

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Played on that weakness as long as she remained teaching at our high school (which wasn’t too many more years, thank God!).  She literally resulted to relying on the incorrect examples from the text books, even when I proved to her their inaccuracies!  Got to the point, that I had to have another math teacher confirm I was right by restating the proofs I had given her repeatedly.  Talk about having a slow thinking process for a high school teacher!

Just liked wearing the cape while I marched in the kid’s parade during school down the main street of the little town.  Being the drum major has some perks after all!  At least I didn’t trip over the rail road tracks in any of the Halloween parades.  That was during my last parade at the city’s annual Coal Festival.  Ended up not even getting out of step in my marching!

Halloween was a fun time growing up in a town full of drunks.  Carrying the lighted glow sticks didn’t necessarily keep you from being ran in to or ran over where I grew up.  Too many of my classmates would come to school after Halloween with unexplained bruising all over their bodies where a drunken person had used them for a punching bag.

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The prompt for the day from Prompt Stomp is “COSTUMES”

The best costumes I remember as a kid, were the ones I created myself!  Hated having to go out and purchase ready made costumes that had absolutely no individuality in them.  My best friend, when I was really little, was a girl that lived with her grandparents a couple of fields away from the farm house in which I grew up.  We decided that we did not want to buy our costumes from the store like everyone else, when we were in the fourth grade.

Personally took an empty paper towel box from my parent’s farm to use for my costume.  For her costume (she was much taller than my tiny frame) resorted to use an empty refrigerator box.  With black spray paint to cover the boxes as a base, we created  two domino costumes to enter into the town’s huge Halloween competition (mind you the town had a single stop light, our graduating high school’s class size was in the 30’s).  Used plain white paper cut outs for the needed dots to complete our domino’s faces.  Her domino was a representation of the number six, while mine was a single one.  She had the larger canvas to work with.

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Wearing black pants and long sleeved turtle neck shirts, we topped it all off with two matching top hats!  We both wore black face paint and black shoes and socks to complete the effect.  Don’t worry, we carried light sticks so that we would be visible by other people and cars.

Needless to say, we kinda won.  Just meant we would have to come up with something better for the next year!  Don’t worry, we did.  Wait for my next post tomorrow as the tale continuous!

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Visitation of Ghost or Spirit of Grandfather

My mother’s parents were both heavy smokers.  Grandma was hooked on cigarettes, grandpa’s demon was cigars.  He accidentally burned a hole in my terry cloth shirt when I was about 3 years old.  Fortunately I didn’t even notice, but it scared him really bad.  He suffered from emphysema, which was probably caused by working as a sailor with the United States Navy.

Used to help him at his last civilian job as a cemetery grounds keeper at the local cemetery in the town he lived with his wife.  He was very good at keeping the site clean and ready for funerals.  There was a wasp’s nest in the shed were they stored all the cleaning supplies and lawn mowers, etc.  He had asked the cities board to have the nests removed before a mourner got accidentally stung.  He was deathly allergic to their stings, too.  One day while my mom and grandma were away shopping an hour or so away, he was baby sitting me for the day.  We went out to the cemetery to clean up from the previous day’s funeral.  I was picking up the trash left in the grass when I felt a stinging pain, and my breathing throat started to choke off my air ways.  He was no where around, I felt faint.  Ended up unconscious on the grass where I had fallen!  Good thing he saw me go down.  He always kept an emergency supply of epinephrine on him, due to his allergies.  He injected me with the drug.  Then got me sitting up.  Told me to stay where I was while he shut off the machines in the area.

He came back to where he had left me.  Was starting to feel a little better.  He helped me walk over to his pickup truck.  We got in and he drove back to his house.  He made lunch for the two of us, while keeping an eye on me to make sure I didn’t have any bad reactions to the medicine he had given me.

Years later, I left home for college.  Went out of state, to get away from my parents.  His health unfortunately was deteriorating.  He made me promise not to get married until I graduated from college.  Dated a round in college, until I met a guy that reminded me of my grandpa.

Fell in love with the guy’s voice.  When we met for the first time, I was over the moon in love!  He looked just like the pictures I had seen of my grandpa when he was our age.  Both were 6 foot 3 inches tall with dark black hair.  Even the musculature was the same!

Got him to visit my home town with me once.  My mom approved of him.  My father hated him (plus in my opinion!).  Introduced him around town to the few friends I had left there.

My junior year in college, he moved into my apartment with me since my roommate was leaving.  My mom knew and approved of the decision.  Wasn’t too long and I asked him to marry me!  He flat out turned me down.

Next time we went back home, he wanted to ask my father for provision first before asking to marry me.  Told him if he did that, I wouldn’t marry him!  If he wanted to ask someone, then he should ask my grandfather!  Grandpa had finally given up his cigars.  So when we went for Sunday lunch at my grandparent’s like normal, I left him with grandpa at the kitchen table alone. Explained to my grandma what was going on in the kitchen.  Grandpa made him promise not to marry me until I had graduated and never to leave me heart broken.

He came back into the front room of my grandparent’s house smiling!  We drove the 6 hour drive back to out apartment with the left overs from my grandparent’s house safely packaged in a sealed container.

He proposed to me ring in hand,the day before a big physics exam.  Needless to say, I failed the test!  Had too much on my mind.  I wore my engagement ring to work the next day without telling anyone, to see who would notice.  My coworkers and my boss wanted to know when we were getting hitched.

We literally ended up getting married the day after I received my diploma!  Rehearsal was the day of graduation, since my godparents were going to be there anyway (my godmother was the organist for our wedding).  My grandparents from my father’s side were there.  Some of my coworkers attended.  My grandparent’s from my mother’s side were both in too bad of health to make the journey.

My grandmother from my mom’s side of the family ended up in the hospital for problems with her lungs again.  My mom had to take care of my grandpa while she was hospitalized.  Eventually, grandma was able to return home to her husband.  She told me I was not to visit my grandpa anymore, because he gets too worked up from seeing me.

I moved away to the Chicago metro area of Illinois, because I had gotten a new and better job.  Stayed there for 18 months, then moved to Colorado.  That was 1998.  We started purchasing a older home in Aurora, CO.  Grandpa was still not doing too well.  The terrorist attack on 9/11/2001, just about did my grandfather in!  His breathing was getting worse by the days.  He had real trouble talking on the phone, because of lack of breath.  Constantly hooked up to oxygen now, but grandma kept smoking away!

One day, got this really bad feeling something was wrong with my grandpa.  Tried calling my mom.  My father answered the phone telling me she was in at my grandparent’s house because grandpa was having real extreme breathing problems.  I was not supposed to be bothering them right now.

Found out he passed away that evening.  My father got mad at me for having these premonitions of my grandpa passing away.  Apparently, good  Christian people should not have these types of feelings.  Asked him  to let me know about the funeral arrangements.

Grandpa visited me in my house and told me not to let the local VFW get involved in his funeral and he was feeling much better now!  My husband and I made the trip back to IL for a final time.  For some reason I did not cry at the funeral.  Grandpa was finally at peace, but I still felt him with me.

The tears came later when we made it back to Colorado.  My grandma’s lung cancer landed her in the hospital a little after a year from her husband passing.  Grandpa visited me to get me to deliver a message to my mom to make sure grandma had roses on her casket from him at her funeral.

When I am feeling down he reminds me that I am his mother’s great-granddaughter.  She was an American Black Foot Indian.  He taught me all about her Indian beliefs.


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Friendly Ghost of former Older Coworker

My first job in networking was as an intern while I attended college.  Was required to man the help desk every other weekend.  The person who trained me on how to fulfill my responsibility of feeding the IBM mainframe the tapes it requested during my shift, was an older gentleman who reminded me of my grandfather.    He taught me the languages necessary to satisfy the mainframe’s requests.  You know, JCL (Job Control Language), TSO (Time Sharing Option), and the other ways the company kept the computer users happy.

As I settled into my position working at the company, he and I became great friends.  Because I was literally hours away from my ill grandfather, he filled in as my surrogate grandpa.  Would ask him for advice when I needed it.  Pitching pennies in the tape storage area was quite the competition between the employees.  He and the man in charge of the tapes were really good at beating the rest of us.

Noticed that he was a hunt-and-peck sort of typist.  Gave him a few lessons on the basics of typing, like my mom had taught me when I was in fourth grade.  (My handwriting always cost too many points on documents I wrote, so she got tired of me asking her to type my homework for me.  We had an old manual type writer.  No automatic anything back then!  I miss that machine now.)  As our company moved slowly into the 19th century, we started getting personal computers to place at remote sites.  Slowly the help desk followed suite.  As the machines at the desk were replaced with modern PC terminals, put my knowledge of repairing PC’s to work.

Since the older gentleman had been practicing (or was supposed to have been) proper typing, removed the actual caps from the keys so there were no visual indicators of what the key actually was!  Took him a few hours longer to generate his daily reports that day.  (Filled his boss in on why, since I was the cause!)  He manged to successfully type with out any help from his sight!  Taught him how to do it the next day, in case he wanted to try it on someone else.

We were the terror of the company’s computer operations.  Between him putting fake insects on people’s workstations and him dropping what was affectionately referred to as the “Clanger” on the raised floor of the data center everyone gave us our personal space!  He would drop the clanger and then laugh historically as I jumped several feet away!  He had to be careful who he did that to, since not everyone had a safe heart to try scaring to death.  Had a few close calls with some of the females in the building who freaked out when the clanger was dropped around them!

After several years there, I noticed his walking was not his normal springy step.  He started seeing  a doctor about the constant back aches he was experiencing.  He was sent to have an M.R.I. performed to see what was causing his spinal problems.  They found out the hard way, that he was deathly allergic to certain sea foods.  He never fully came to from the coma that was caused by the M.R.I.

Got the call from his wife while I was covering the help desk because he was out that day.  Had to go down to let his boss know that he was dead.  Was NOT a good day!

He was the first person that I really cared for to pass away.  Went to his funeral with the rest of my coworkers. The man in charge of the computer tapes was actually the one who had been left his will.  The tape man let me know that the guy who passed away knew how much he meant to me.  He had left me a copy of his beliefs on life.  (Turned out to basically come in a slightly edited form of “How to win friends and influence people”.)  Know that because I already had a copy.

As I moved on to my first real networking job up in the Chicago-metro area of Illinois, saw him in passing sometimes.  A stranger would remind me of him by appearance or actions.  Still miss him, but don’t see him that much anymore.  Wish I did!

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Ghosts currently haunting (or not) my Life

My husband and I adopted two kittens from the Downers Grove Humane Society in Illinois.  Mine was jet black with 5 single white hairs.  His cat looked a lot like Sylvester from the Looney Toons cartoons.  We learned after a while, his animal was also cross eyed.

When my husband and I moved into our house in Colorado with our two adopted cats, never expected them to meet and befriend a ghost cat in the house!  My black cat would play with it for hours on end.

They would gang up on our other cat.  Then ignore him!  Guess even the ghost community has their own bullies!  The ghost cat and our black one would thunder up and down the stairs from the upper level down to the garage level.  Stopping to jump on and off the 6 foot cat tower to annoy our other cat, who ended up running into everything, because of his sight problems.

After 7 years of living in the house we relocated to a home in WI.  The ghost cat unfortunately did not join us.

Had a couple more moves before settling here in Minnesota for good.  We lost the cross eyed cat back in 2006 because it had be put to sleep due to its illness.  The black one held on and arrived in MN with us alone in 2008 still missing his brother.  He survived two lonely years brother-less.  In 2010, he was euthanized because of continuous vomiting.  Still see him out of the corner of my eyes when I am feeling sad.  My husband says he sees both of the two brothers, the one with sight trouble following my black one faithfully.

We adopted another animal from the humane society to help me get settled into the apartment with out an animal.  My ghost cat does not like our new pet!  Now if I could only convince my ghost cat to knock the crap out of our current cat, who’s favorite past time is biting me!

The two ghost cats followed us to reside in our house here in Saint Paul, MN.  See my black one whenever I am feeling lonely or depressed.  My husband sees the other one following it faithfully, just like when they were kittens!

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