Saturday, October 22, 2016

A piece of time

Some years ago, in order to avoid long distance phone charges, I introduced my Mom and Dad to Yahoo Messenger.  It was an easy way to keep in touch with out the calls.  I could send pictures of the kids and easily ask a quick question or send a message that I was on my way, etc.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that I had saved my Yahoo Messenger history.  It was two laptops ago, but I just knew I had the files somewhere.  I looked and looked, checking drive after drive.  I was beginning to think all was lost, until I stumbled upon some hidden files in a 'picture' folder of all places.  I tried installing an older version of Yahoo Messenger because newer versions do not support the old history.  No go.  I searched to see if there was something to unlock these files and ran across Yahoo Messenger Archive Decoder.  A download later and bit of copying and pasting, bingo.

There it was - a little over two years of daily back and forth conversations with my Dad.  Thousands of lines like a piece of him frozen in time.

It seems fitting today, the fifth anniversary of my Dad's death, to revisit those conversations.  Relive the moments when we used to chat every day about the kids, the weather, etc.   It's like I can "hear" him again.  As mundane as they are, they are treasures to me now.  His witty jokes are just as "funny" and I laughed through the hurt. Many jokes about Buddy (the dog) and lots of funnies from the kids.  I can just feel the memory of him sitting at the computer desk in the kitchen, typing away on the other side of the screen.  He's wearing a button down plaid shirt.  "Old man" flat front pants.  The shoes.  Definitely The Shoes.  And Buddy is whining at his feet.

The last messages are about his doctor's visit and blood work. Then came a Saturday and my Dad was feeling particularly tired.

melliemelo (10:44:01): how are you feeling today?
jack (10:57:38): Not good. Having trouble waking up so spending most of the time in bed.
melliemelo (10:59:04): do you want us to go over there today?
melliemelo (11:01:47): we'll go after i feed the kids. need me to bring anything? lunch?
jack (11:02:03): Guess not. Not anything you could do.
melliemelo (11:03:36): we can go for a little while & look after buddy if nothing else
jack (11:03:58): I've got some small frozen pezzas in the freezer and tv dinners. might eat one of those if I get hungry.
jack (11:04:13): OK.
melliemelo (11:36:59): almost ready. dont worry about the gate i'll open it when we get there

Then, nothing.  There were to be no more messages. The story of a life written via Yahoo Messenger ends with out an ending.  Just weeks later my Dad fell forever silent.

Thinking of you, Dad, today and always.

post signature

Friday, October 14, 2016

The horror of family photos

Today's Halloween post is about the frightening event of taking pictures.  Family pictures.  We recently returned from a long weekend get-away to the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  The scariest thing we did while there was make an attempt at family pictures.  I always take our pictures myself with a tripod and my camera's timer.  The camera will take ten shots back to back so it's just a matter of me pushing a button then dashing to pose with the family.  Part of the reasoning behind this is pictures are expensive and the point of having a Canon Rebel is to use it. The only problem is I cannot see what everyone else is doing until I look at the pictures later....

Hence, the other reason I do not wish to pay big bucks for photos is this:

What. are. you. doing?

Oh. that. 

My youngest is sweet, beautiful, and so smart.  Something about staring into a camera lens brings out the sillies in Veronica in worst possible way.  It took yelling and threats and bribing to get her to stand still and smile.   I took around 500 pictures - yes FIVE hundred - and a handful of them are decent.   For those, I am thankful.  The rest is pure entertainment.

The struggle is real, y'all.

This kid has spunk.  This kid has her own way of doing everything.  Her mind is made up and that is how things will be.  She is definitely colorful to say the least.  I wouldn't change a thing about my funny little firecracker.

post signature

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Killer Clowns from (insert town)

Apparently the states are crawling with killer clowns.

It's true, I saw it on Facebook.

There are groups of clowns going around trying to capture people.  Some clowns have machetes.  Some have knives, big knives. Some have baseball bats.  There'a tan SUV that drives around with no lights on and when it stops, it's dropping off a clown.  Before the cops get there, the SUV picks them all up and they drive away.  The clowns come out at 9pm every night, so you should stay inside.  Yes, random killer clown sightings are happening all over.  Yes, even where you live, even though I have no idea where that is, the clowns are coming for you.

 *rolls eyes*

Seriously, people?

I can't fathom that so many people believe there are gangs of clowns roaming the streets looking for victims.  From reading through the comments on FB, so many believe this and will shoot a clown on sight.  Um, it's a person in a clown mask.  A "clown" isn't a foreign species.  Putting on a clown getup doesn't turn you into a crazy, deranged killer.  If it were true, if anything, I'd think being in a CLOWN costume would make it that much more obvious and easier to catch.  It's the freaks in plain clothes that hide in plain sight that you need to worry about.  Not some kid in a Halloween costume.  I'm not saying it's not happening at all, but most likely it's a copy-cat trying to be funny....  like:

The cops here just picked up a couple of teenage boys for riding around in a truck with a clown mask.  They weren't doing a thing except riding down the street.  They weren't trespassing.  They weren't stealing or vandalizing anything.  Just kids being kids riding around.  Supposedly there's a law from the 1920s that was created in regards to the KKK that made it "illegal" to wear a mask except on Halloween and Mardi Gras.  I do not know of anyone ever picked up by the cops for wearing a Halloween mask.

I guess it's easier to believe something absurd than to think rational.

In the mean time, Homie don't play dat!

post signature

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bayou Blue Dancing Lights

We've had our Halloween show up for a few weeks now.  We purchased a second Light-o-rama controller and some RGB floodlights months ago.  Clint re-made the singing pumpkin face with rope lights and built dancing pumpkin arches out of trick or treat buckets.  Last year was a much smaller show as a test run to see how it all worked.  This year, it's bigger and better!  Clint tweaked the sequences a bit and he hopes to add a few more songs before Halloween.  Time is everything because CHRISTMAS is right around the corner, and in just a few weeks, it's time to start setting it up.  He has to basically re-do all of our sequences to include the new channels. I have a general understanding of how to build a sequence, but I've never sat down and tried to figure out how to do one.  We definitely have no shortage of lights. Last year we shopped the clearance sales and OH the lights we bought.  I happened upon Target's 90% off sale, and I got nearly $400 of stuff for $40.

Anyway, here a few pics and video clips of our Halloween handiwork.  You can find us on Facebook as well :  Bayou Blue Dancing Lights

post signature

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Welcome, foolish mortals!

Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.  I am your host, your GHOST host.  Kindly step all the way in please and make room for everyone.  There's no turning back now....

If you've been around for a while, you know that we are Disney vacation fans.  We try to go almost every year, and usually right when we get home, we tentatively plan for the next trip.  My favorite ride of all is the Haunted Mansion.  I just love how it is spooky but not scary.  It's so detailed that you notice something different each time you ride it.  Online there are all sorts of stories and webpages devoted to the Haunted Mansion.  Even through it's very dark, there are cameras everywhere so everything you do is on surveillance. People have even sprinkled their loved ones' ashes in there, which is probably not a good idea since they are just vacuumed up!

I first rode it back in 1974 when I was just four years old.  I loved scary things - movies especially.  The Haunted Mansion was scary to little me, and I hid my face on my Dad's shoulder almost the entire ride!  The only scene I remember looking up for was the Ballroom.  I don't recall riding it on my next two visits at ages 10 and 17, but I'm sure we did.  When I went to Disney with a boyfriend and another couple in the mid 90s, I wanted to ride it so bad.  I remember saying a few times I couldn't wait to go in the haunted house.  We got in the Haunted Mansion line and the other girl said the line was too long to wait, so we didn't ride it at all.  I was bummed.  It's a must do on our trips and I try to ride it several times!  Veronica still thinks it is too dark and scary, but Valerie happily tags along and it's one of her favorites now too.

Happy October aka Halloween month!  Today is also the first day of Horrordailies, so welcome new visitors!
post signature

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Test the Waters, Baby Bird

This Momma bird isn't used to baby bird leaving the nest!

Valerie went on her first trip with out us over Labor Day weekend.  Her BFF invited her to go camping all the way in Mississippi!  Ok, so it's only a little over 2 hours away.  I know it's good for her to go off with out us to learn to be independent.  She is almost twelve and I can't keep her in a bubble forever.  The family is nice and I knew Val would be fine, but this Momma bird still worried a bit about my baby going off with out us.  Even if Val got a little homesick, I figured it would make for great memories, so we said yes she could go.

They left on Friday after school and returned late Monday afternoon.  (Longest. 3. days. ever!! BTW)

Val returned a little sunburned, with a pile of dirty laundry, and all smiles.  I'd say that's signs of a great trip!  They went to the beach, a water park, and ate junk food all weekend.  It was HOT she complained, and the rest was just jumbled up bits and pieces of fun.

One thing's for sure, I do believe it is time for Val to get a phone.  She has an iPod Touch, but with no wi-fi at the campground, there wasn't any way to contact her directly.  The mom kept in touch and Val called home to check in, but I would have felt much better if she had her own phone.  Isn't it odd how dependent we have become on instant communication?!  I was older than twelve, but I went on many school related trips.  I'm sure I must have called home via payphone, but it was no big deal if I didn't talk to Mom several times a day.  Val will be 12 in December, so I'm thinking it would be a perfect time for a phone.

post signature

Saturday, September 03, 2016


My birthday quietly came and went.  I spent most of the day alone doing a whole lot of nothing.  I thought about going catch a movie, but there wasn't anything worthwhile playing at a time I could go.  Both kids forgot until I reminded them.  Valerie said, "Oh yeah! Happy Birthday!"  In usual fashion, Veronica cried because she didn't have anything for me and it was Daddy's fault for not taking her shopping. That made me feel terrible for my kind-hearted girl.  This may come across as shallow, but truly I'm not worried about getting presents and I certainly don't need any more random stuff.  I've even told him to stop sending expensive flowers.  It' just puts a big damper on my day to have my kids forget.  Clint could have reminded them or taken them to the dollar store to pick out a card, but no.  It's not about getting a gift.  Not at all....    It goes much deeper.  It's about being remembered and appreciated.   Everybody wants to feel valued.  It's the acknowledgement that you mean something.  It's about your family saying they are glad you are still here.  It's being thought of as worthy enough for the time and effort.  Not doing anything subconsciously sends the message I'm too busy or it's too much of an inconvenience to do something nice for you.....   

On the up side, I baked myself a cake.  And we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse, which was good as always.  

I can remember when 44 seemed old... not so much now!  

post signature

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

44 times around the sun

Just throwing this out there .... Random thoughts as my 44th trip around the sun draws to a close:

Nothing in life is always easy
Some days are more difficult than others
And harder when your health goes awry
Your mind says yes, your body says no
The sickly, chubby girl inside me sees these pics
That IS me?

I have strikes against me - Hashimotos, vein disease, then had a total thyroidectomy... I need a pill a day to keep me alive.
You read that right.
I do not feel as terrible as I once did but I often do not feel well and had to adjust
I'm tired.  I hurt.
I will never beat anyone in a race, never run a marathon or even walk a 5k. 
I make the most of days when I feel my best
While I make the best of days I do not 

If I focused on what I can't do, I'd never do anything 
Instead, I focus on what I CAN do
I could make excuses...I could blame the illnesses.... Instead I made changes 

I may not be rail thin .. Never will be. I will keep my 32DD mommy curves, thank you
I don't need wraps or shakes or pills
I do not spend hours at the gym every day 
Or starve or go to bed hungry
I do not do hours of sweaty cardio, either 
It IS a constant work in progress
It IS mind over matter
It IS a choice and deciding what you want to be
It IS how badly do you wish to feel better... and live better
It IS worth it

WHAT do I do?  I lift weights.  Heavy weights, a few times a week.  

Here's to me - age 44- au natural with no starvation diet and no MLM gimmicks:

....   Now I have a year to work on being a better 45.

post signature

Friday, August 26, 2016

1,000 Cats with Disney Hats

This youngest child of mine has quite the imagination.  She's always full of ideas and will rattle on and on about everything that pops into her head.  I can't even follow what she's talking about half the time - Youtube, people on Youtube,  inventing things, how her life is going to be, how her boyfriend/husband (!!) will be, etc...  She's got big plans.

Veronica had an assignment at school to write a story about her best day ever.  This is just too good not to share.....

(I typed it as written)

Best Day Ever
by Veronica Galliano
Age 9

This was the best day ever!  When I woke up I saw a check for infinent money.  I went to the kitchen, and whoh.  Do you want to know what I saw?  I saw one thousand cats wearing Disney hats and headbands, so I guessed we were going to Disney World.  I packed my bags and we went to the airport.  When we got on the plane it was completely empty.  When we got to Orlando, Florida my mom told me that we were staying in a Disney suite.  We went to the Magic Kingdom first.  While walking to a ride, we saw Aphamau!  I got her autograph and everything.  I looked very close at the people and they were all my favorite Youtubers.  We went to every Disney park and rode all the rides.  We also went to Universal and we rode the Harry Potter rides with the cats.  Keep reading Harry Potter it is so good.  After we did that, we went to the Disney suite and I saw all the Harry Potter books on the table.  I read a little bit of each book.  Then I went to sleep.

P.S.  I became a Youtuber!!  :)
P.P.S.  I got tons of Robux and I got things more of my style (Undertale, FNAF, DanTDM, EGTV, Tons of T-shirts, and purple) and I also got a computer.
P.P.P.S.  Brooklyn and my family was there.
P.P.P.P.S.  I got cupcakes and I went to one of the best bakeries in the world.

post signature

Sunday, August 14, 2016

And the rains came....

We are safe.

No rising water here.  We just had heavy rain for a few days and minor street flooding.

Nothing like what Lafayette and Baton Rouge are experiencing.  All of Denham Springs is underwater.

It's bad y'all.  Really bad.  Unimaginably bad.

So many people are stranded either in their homes, attics, rooftops, and on the interstate.  Surrounded by floodwater with no way out.  No food, no water.  Elderly, sick, children, and babies.  I'm seeing post after post on FB of people needing help or rescue.  People worried sick about their pets that had to be left behind.  People asking about specific neighborhoods to find they are underwater.  People who need medicine and can't get it...  it goes on and on.  No power.  No running water.  Spotty cell service.

It looks like helicopters are gearing up to make supply drops to the people stranded along the interstate.

You might think we are used to natural disasters with hurricanes and all....  but no one had any warning.  We can prepare for a storm.  We can stock up on food and water.  We can evacuate if necessary.  No one knew this was coming.  The water came up fast and places that never flooded, did.  Water up to the rooftops....   all you can do is grab an axe and retreat to the attic to chop a hole in your roof to get out.

It brings back Katrina memories, but in some ways this is worse.  Much worse.

post signature