The Book of Me – Prompt 9 : Halloween

(* This is from last week’s The Book of Me prompt. Trying to play catch up and get to blogging about other things soon. I’ve been adjusting and life’s just been busy the past few weeks…our daughter came back home for a bit and one of my husband’s daughters moved in to help with him.*)

The prompt for week 9 : Halloween
Have you ever participated in a Halloween event?
When was it?
Where was it?
What did you dress as?
Trick or treat?

Once my mama took my sister and I to a Halloween event at the movie theater. I don’t remember what the movie was, she often liked horror movies, but I didn’t usually watch scary movies anyway. During the very scary parts I’d cover my ears with my hands and close my eyes. At the movie theater there was a coffin filled with prizes that we dug through with our hands. I don’t remember what I was dressed as, but we did dress up. We got candy too. We’d each get a bag and share, so we could have different types.

My sister and I always dressed up for Halloween, but for some reason I can’t remember any of our costumes at all. I do remember one of mama’s costumes. She always enjoyed Halloween and one year dressed up as a witch, complete with green face and black hat, before we woke up. She scared us really good.

Some years we’d go to the Halloween Fair at the school. It was fun and there were plenty of games to play. The only bad thing was my taste in candy. It seemed every year for several years in a row, I would lose a tooth to a Sugar Daddy or Sugar Babies, those very sweet sticky molasses type candies. Thankfully the teeth I lost were ones heading that way already, none of my permanent teeth.

Besides those types of Halloween fun, My sister and I were not allowed to go trick-or-treating. Our mother worked on the police force for a while and had seen too many dangerous things like people putting razor blades in apples and drugs in candy, so she considered it unsafe for us. I don’t remember really feeling as if I missed out by not going trick-or-treating. I just remember fun as a family.

The Book of Me – Prompt 7 : Grandparents

The prompt for week 7 : Grandparents
What were their names?
Where were they from?
Were they related? – Cousins perhaps
Where were they born, another Country or state/area
What did they do?
Did you know them?
What was your relationship with them?
If you didn’t know them have you researched about them?

(*If you’re new here…you can find out more about The Book of Me prompts here.)

(*This turned out way longer than I thought and it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Just did a little digging in my baby book, which my mother did a good job of filling out.)

(*Out of respect I’ve always called my grandparents…grandma or grandpa followed by their last name. I thought for privacy sake it might be better to just use first names here.)

I’ve never been real close to my grandparents on either side of our family. The main barrier I think has been distance. They lived in Virginia and we moved to North Carolina after our parents divorced. I was going into third grade and my sister was going into kindergarten. Even though we didn’t see our grandparents as much as we would’ve like, we saw them way more than our father, who was in the air force.

My paternal Grandpa Linwood was born in Thaxton, Virgina. I don’t know where my grandmothers on my father’s side were born though. Grandpa married my first grandma, Grandma Betty Jean and I don’t know how long they were together. I was never close to my first grandma and can only remember getting to meet her once as a child. I still remember she had dark hair that fell a little past her shoulders and she was wearing a bright red turtleneck I’ve been told she was an alcoholic, so I guess that’s why there were never close family ties with her.

My Grandpa Linwood remarried with my second grandma, Grandma Jane. She and Grandpa were the two grandparents my sister and I spent the most time with as children. We would always stay with them for several weeks during the summers. Sometimes we’d get to see Grandma Rachel while we were there too. I remember my grandparents ran a thrift store for a time and I’d get to ride around with grandma to yard sales as she scouted out things to buy to resale in the store. I remember it was in a big brick building with glass windows.

Summers were fun! Two of our cousins were being raised by our grandparents, so there was always someone to play with and we’d make up games. I remember Grandpa’s garden and Grandma’s blackberry cobbler best, she would always drizzle a little milk around the cobbler in the bowl. Grandpa had lost one of his legs many years prior in a railroad accident, but still did pretty much anything he wanted to do. Two not so good things I remember about Grandma were her dry cornbread and getting a switching if you were bad, which only took once for me.

Both of my paternal grandparents are deceased now. Grandpa Linwood died at home from lung cancer when I was 17 years old. I went and stayed with my Grandma for a little while to help take care of him. I had been really close to my Grandpa, he was like a father to me. My Grandma Jane died many years later. I loved her, but we’d never been as close as I had been to Grandpa. He was like a father to me.

My maternal grandparents lived in Virginia as well, for as long as I can remember. Grandma Rachel was born in Tennessee and Grandpa Earl was born in Florida. I never met my Grandpa Earl. He was an alcoholic and died before I was born. He was an abusive man as well from stories I’ve heard. In a way, it doesn’t make me regret that I never got to meet him or have a miss for him.

Grandma Rachel remarried a nice man, my Grandpa Robbie. My sister and I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as our other grandparents, but I have memories of going to the beach…Nag’s Head and the Wright Brother’s memorials…sand crabs, seagulls, body surfing, and sand dunes. Grandma Rachel and Grandpa Robbie both loved to go scuba diving. Grandpa Robbie died in a scuba diving accident, which stories I’ve heard say was a questionable death.

I don’t remember when Grandpa Robbie died, but it must have been when we were young. I remember Grandma Rachel would come to visit us by herself in North Carolina sometimes, but we always referred to the visits as “grandma visits” and it wasn’t as a term of endearment. It stung a little, because we didn’t understand why she’d drive two and a half hours to see us for about an hour and then head back to Virginia. We always wished she’d stay longer, but we were still glad she came.

She never remarried again, but met another man. He was a great love in her life until he died from cancer. Everyone in the family considered him family and included him in holidays without hesitation. He enjoyed woodworking and made many frames for Grandma’s photographs she liked to take. They never lived together, but they spent a lot of time together. Often he would come over, Grandma would fix him lunch or sometimes they would go out to eat. His cancer came as a surprise and took him away too quickly.

I was never really close to my Grandma Rachel as a child, but as an adult, she is the Grandma I am closest to and I’ve had opportunities to get to know better. She is the only living grandparent I have left as well. I love my Grandma Rachel and am glad my daughter has had a chance to get to know her Great Grandma Rachel. She is a vibrant grandmother full of the spice of life. She loves photography, making crafts, and going places. She’s in her 80’s and keeps going. She even still cuts her grass. My mother recently visited her. It was nice when I called and found out they were both busy making beaded jewelry. I can only hope to be as active when I’m in my 80’s.

The Book of Me – Prompt 6 : Journals and Diaries

(Yes, Prompts 4 & 5 are missing. If I catch up I’ll post them, but I decided to pick up where I was for now. If you’re new here, see this post for more about The Book of Me prompts.)

This week’s prompt is :Journals and Diaries :
Do you keep a journal or diary?
How far back do they go? What do you record?
Where do you keep them?
Do you always buy the same one or vary them?
Have you inherited any?
Do you intend to pass along your journals or destroy them?
Do you have a favourite?
What do you use to write with – biro, pencil, ink or fountain pen?

This prompt was right up my alley as I’ve officially become in love with journaling. I tried on and off to journal for years, but have nothing more than a few pages to show for it. Last year is the first time I’ve actually journaled for any significant amount of time and kept with it. I really believe giving myself freedom to journal as little or as much as I wanted to is the key. I don’t have to journal daily. It helped banish any guilt associated with not journaling enough, so I’ve kept it up and enjoy journaling now.

My journal entries vary. Sometimes I write about the day-to-day stuff like what I fixed for supper or planted in the garden or did that day. Sometimes I write random thoughts, including questions I ponder or quotes I like. Occasionally I’ll even let loose a rant, venting about all the things I’m tired of in life. Randomness would sum up my journal entries and a few journal entries are vague on purpose. On the back page of my current journal, I’ve started a “Bliss List”…things that make me absolutely happy!

Finished Journal (on top)

Finished Journal (on top)

I completely finished filling a journal front to back last month. It took a little over a year. In a way I was sad to see the brilliantly fabric covered journal with beaded ribbon marker have to be put away, but I’ve moved on. I’m now journaling in a bright pink journal with an embossed design on the right edge and an elastic strap to hold it shut. The initial to my first name is on the front as well. It’s a journal my mother gave me last year. She gave me several blank lined journals as a gift, when she found out I was writing a lot.

Current Journal

Current Journal

As you can tell, I don’t always use the same type journal. I do prefer something nice(“pretty”) to write in and never plan to use regular old spiral notebooks for journaling. I want something sturdy that will hold up with time. I write in my journals with pen, because I want it to be permanent. I’ve tried several, but have not come upon the “perfect” pen yet. I don’t want too thick of a line and I don’t want a pen that skips or globs up. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and don’t like to have to scribble through things.

There are several things I learned from my first filled journal. As much as I like the thought of art journaling, for now, it’s not for me. I did do a few doodles and drawings, but that’s it. It’s simpler for me just to write my thoughts. My entries ranged from 1/3 of a page to 4 pages a few times. I did tape in random things occasionally like fortunes from fortune cookies from my favorite Chinese restaurant and sayings off of Yogi tea bag tags. Things that spoke to my heart :

Some Favorites –
*Fortunes : “Forget those things that aren’t worth remembering”, “In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.”

*Tea Bag Tag : “You must know that you can swim through every tide and change of time.”

I’ll never destroy my journals, though I do hide them, sometimes from myself by accident. I vary the location I hide them or it wouldn’t be such a problem. They are a part of me, part of the inner true me. One day, but only when I’m dead or dying, I’ll hope they wind up in my daughter’s hands. I wrote something in the front of the journal I just finished, in case someone finds and reads my journal without permission. It’s kind of a disclaimer :

“Should any prying eyes ever read this journal other than someone I’ve given permission. If you find something disagreeable, I’ll make no apologies. Right or wrong, these are my thoughts. I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life being quiet and putting aside how I feel about things. I’ve learned to speak up and in this place I give myself the freedom, the permission, and the right to speak freely.”

A few final things. I don’t include pictures in my journals, photo albums are enough I think. I’ve never inherited a journal either, but would love to read writings of the female ancestors in my family. One day whoever reads mine will know I’m very human, imperfect, yet hopefully I lived and loved fully. 🙂

The Book of Me – Prompt 3 : Describe Your Physical Self

I’m a little late posting this as the new prompt for The Book of Me is due to come out tomorrow, but here it is anyway. If you’re new to this blog and not heard about The Book of Me, then you can read my last post to find out more. I’ve been enjoying the prompts. Maybe you’ll give them a try.

This weeks prompt is:
Describe your physical self:
Your size – clothes size
Eye colour
Draw your hands
Finger Prints

I’ve always been very self conscious and shy, so this was not an easy prompt. Like age, my size is another thing I’ll keep to myself. Suffice it to say, I’m size “not perfect”, but reasonably healthy. I don’t believe in diets. I try to eat healthier, but love to savor food. I love doing yoga in my living room.

I’m about 5’8” with fair freckled skin. I have long dark brown, almost black, hair that’s usually wavy to curly. My eyes are hazel green and brown, one of my few features I really like. There are normally always a pair of dangly French hook earrings in my ears. I feel naked without them.

My fingernails and toenails are most often painted in a matching color of pink. I have many shades. It’s my happy place, like chocolate, magically makes all problems seem a little easier to handle. About as wild as I’ve ever gotten with nail polish is to paint them a sparkly scarlet red for a party. No blues or greens for me.

My Hand

My Hand

Now for scars and birthmarks. There is an upside down teardrop shaped scar on the finger beside my thumb. I consider it a reminder not to lose my temper, which I don’t do often anyway. I was angrily shoving things in the fridge and a glass drink jug fell on the floor shattering into pieces. I cut my finger while picking up the pieces with my bare hands. My birthmark is a light brown oval near my elbow.

This is pretty much what I look like. I will add I am not a t-shirt or sneaker gal. I prefer running around barefoot and wearing “cute” shoes if I have to wear shoes. I so don’t like wearing shoes and love going barefoot that I’ve actually forgot my shoes at a friend’s house once and forgot to wear them to town once.

(**Going to try to post something other than The Book of Me soon. Just finished reading two books and submitting some of my writing.**) 🙂

The Book of Me – Prompt 2: Your Birth

If you missed the last post about The Book of Me writing prompts you can read more here. This week’s prompt was about Your Birth and you can find out more about The Book of Me at Anglers Rest.

My Baby Picture

My Baby Picture

(Skimpier version with some things like year I was born omitted for a reason… confidentiality and the wise saying a lady doesn’t reveal her age. 🙂 )

Back when I was born, dads were not allowed in the room, so my dad was in the waiting room while my mother had me. I was born in the wee hours of the night, after midnight and before 6:00am, weighing in at 8 pounds 4 ounces. My mother assures me I had hair, though from the pictures it doesn’t look like much. She says I wasn’t a baldy till I did what newborns sometimes do and rubbed some of it off.

An unusual thing, at least to me, is I was born in an army hospital over in Germany. My dad was in the Air Force. My mother actually had been too, until she became pregnant with me. It was customary in those days for women to leave the military when they had children. Mothers stayed at the hospital longer back then too. She says she was there about 5 days before we were released to go home. She took me home in a white and yellow bunting set as the first snow was falling.

A funny story about my birthday is that most of my life I grew up believing I was born on one day and always celebrated my birthday on that day. It was the day my mother told me I was born. Years later, I think it was in my teen years, I finally saw my birth certificate and found out I was born a day earlier. My mother still swears it was the day she told me and doesn’t know why the discrepancy. It wasn’t even one of those things like being born close to midnight or international time that could account for it. Oh well. 🙂


The Book of Me – Prompt 1: Who am I?

The Book of Me, Written by You is a series of weekly writing prompts to embark on a journal of self discovery, which was created by Julie Goucher at Angler’s Rest. I just found out about it today when I read a post about it by Vikki over at The View Outside blog. I went right away and signed up. Today is the first day of it! 🙂

I’ve had a lot of time on my hands for contemplation, so this sounds right up my alley. I don’t know that I’ll share everything I write, but I’ll share at least some of it. Today’s prompt was : “Who am I?” and it was supposed to be asked 20 times. Here’s my list. It led to a more detailed version of this, but I’m weighing sharing it or not.

  1. I am Sabrina.
  2. I am a strong woman in a line of strong women.
  3. I am a daughter, mother, wife, sister, aunt, granddaughter, and sister-in-law.
  4. I am a caregiver to my husband.
  5. I am a nurse.
  6. I am a crochet fanatic.
  7. I am a creative crafty person.
  8. I am a cook, who loves to dabble with recipes.
  9. I am a budding herbalist and aromatherapist.
  10. I am a reader, reading endlessly at times.
  11. I am a poet and writer.
  12. I am a lover of bluegrass and country music.
  13. I am a barefoot country girl.
  14. I am a homesteader.
  15. I am a romantic and passionate being.
  16. I am a dreamer, who’s temporarily lost the way to dream.
  17. I am a believer with mustard seed size faith right now, but it’s there.
  18. I am finding my voice after having lost it for years.
  19. I am an unfinished being.
  20. I am myself.

A Caregiver’s Heart

Here’s a poem using some of the words from Wordle 105 over at The Sunday Whirl blog.  Poetry is where my melancholy heart has been drawn to as of late.

As good as heart can wish

As good as heart can wish (Photo credit: harold.lloyd)







Losing my resilience
Like a spring
Wound a bit much
Harder to bounce back
Feeling out of touch
Hanging onto promises
With thread bare hope
Searching for shelter
Needing a way to cope
Seeking some solace
Against this torrential rain
A life flowing too fast
Yet remaining
Too much the same
A caregiver’s heart
Travels a difficult road
Trying to prevent
Burnout and overload
Must endure till the end
Many are the pieces
To this heavy load
Tasks breed like rabbits
Sleep is interrupted again
Unable to dream
There are days with no end
Yet consider all of this
Time well spent
Compassion and love
Worth much more
Than mountains of gold
To comfort another
Offer a hand to hold
To stay the course
And reach our goal
There is many a thing
Helpful to be remembered
Not often enough told
Always grasp for hope
So big for four small letters
Take care of yourself
Or how can you give to others
Keep singing your heart’s song
Don’t let it fly away
Life’s a whirlwind dance
Take part at every chance
There will be an after
This journey will end
Time will yet reveal
Now is in moments
Feelings much too real

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Raining Again

Here’s a poem I wrote using many of the words from  the wordle 98 prompt over at The Sunday Whirl blog.

Rainy Day

Rainy Day









Some days it hits
Somber feelings
With no warning
Just in an instant
Magically appearing
My heart trapped
An unavoidable snare
Seeing but not
Wearing glasses
No rose tinting
Clouds and rain
Only visible sight
No rainbows after
No heart skipping
No joyful delight
I try escaping
Know I am blessed
Yet in everything
There is unbalance
There is not rest
Trying in earnest
Despite all my might
Cannot find wings
To free my heart
Let it take flight

Snowy Inspiration

Right now I’m sitting at the computer and enjoying the view of snow falling through the kitchen windows. It’s absolutely beautiful. The flakes are smaller, but not long ago, the biggest fluffiest snowflakes I’ve ever seen were falling. It’s been such a great day…including getting to eat a bowl of snow cream! 🙂


Snowy Woods

Light Shining Through

Light Shining Through

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing…other than I have found my way out of the writing impasse I was at, which I refuse to call writer’s block. I had plenty to write about. I was just not in the mood and was being resistant to writing.

The truth comes out when I write and sometimes I just plain and simply don’t want to face it. It’s not always pretty and at times downright painful. Instead, I’ll do absolutely anything to put off writing. I’ve been baking, cooking, crocheting…anything except writing. (On the plus side…I can make a really good loaf of homemade bread from scratch now. 🙂 )

Snow Covered Benches

Snow Covered Benches

The past several days have been wonderful writing days. It feels incredible to be able to really write again. It began with writing in my journal. Who knows, maybe I worked through something in it. Journals are great for processing stuff. No matter how I got there, I did. I’m back to working on personal essays and writing poetry.

I’ve been so inspired, I just wanted to share and thought I’d share some inspiration with you too. Here are some pictures of the snow I took from around the yard…just enjoy or get creative and write something. I have nothing fancy set up for you to leave your links on(maybe one day I’ll figure out Mr. Linky), but you are welcome to leave a link in your comment below if you’d like. Happy writing… : )

Letting Go

* This is a poem I wrote from the prompting post over at dverse Poets Pub on the art of letting go. *

Let live and let be
Easy enough motto it seems
Letting go is much harder
Yet, I’ve let go of so many things …
Love drifted away
Floating on a sea of tears
Bright lives faded to dim
Those I once held so dear
Motherhood snuck away in a blink
Daughter turned woman
In less time than you’d think
Life like the leaves
Swirling away in the wind
Took dreams and hopes
Thought would never end
I’ve let go of so many things
Releasing freely, unable to hold
Bending to natural forces
Learning to let go
A most difficult lesson
Trial by fire it quite seems
Letting go without losing myself
Forgetting how to dream
An ember escaped the ashes
Kindling to ignite my heart
Letting go doesn’t mean
Letting everything depart

Dandelion wind

Dandelion wind (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

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