Hi Mom ~ Bliss is being Blessed with a great Mom

White flowers.

In Memory of my Mom: White flowers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michelle says: Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. Wherever in the world you are, write your mother a letter.

Well, Michelle, it is Mother’s Day in Canada too—and I am going to take you up on your prompt—more for me than anything else.

Hi Mom!

Well, to start, I miss you. It has been 21 years now, and not a day goes by that I do not think of the creak in the stairs. An odd memory you might think—but it is one of my most vivid.

When I would come to visit you after I was  married, with toddler Adam firmly held by one hand, and baby Tyler balanced ever so precariously in my other arm, (precarious because he was always moving) I would knock on the front door after climbing the four steps to your covered front porch. Then, I would wait to hear the creak on the stairway which led from the upstairs of our house (it was still “our” house even though I did not live there anymore) to the main floor. That creak meant you were walking down the stairs and had hit the step that produced a loud raspy groan that announced any trip down (or up) the stairs (I remember avoiding it when I came in late as a kid and young adult). That squeak meant you were making your way from your sitting room upstairs (my old bedroom) to the front door to let me in—and I knew it was my invitation to just come in.

You would take Tyler from my arms and cuddle him with one arm, and hug Adam with the other. You were always, ALWAYS, glad to see us. You would shepherd us into the middle living room (an odd house—we had a front living room and middle living room that was once a dining room perhaps?) and offer us drinks and food and good conversation. And you would play with the boys—being a grandma was an interactive activity for you. I remember my grandmas were wonderful but they never, ever played with me or took me for walks or taught me things. You did all those things with your grandchildren.

You helped keep me sane as a young mom—and when you left this world for another, I was equipped to handle it.  Equipped but not happy to handle it without you—but as there was no choice I did the best I could.

Life has been good and bad, wonderful and awful over the last two decades. Lots has happened, but suffice to tell you the most important thing: the boys have grown up into fine young men (an odd clichéd thing to say—but true.)

This letter is more for me than you, because I think from where I imagine you to be, you are helping me out along the way and are aware of what is going on in my life and that of your other kids. You know our heartaches and our triumphs and I am sure you laugh and cry for us. I will always think of you as my personal cheerleader, someone who believed (and believes) in me and my brothers and sister. You are our guardian angel—we know that for sure.

There is no proper ending to a letter like this except: I love you mom ~ Lou

Published in: on May 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm  Comments (47)  
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Garlic on Your Feet?

Image of a container of Vicks VapoRub

Image of a container of Vicks VapoRub (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that if you rub garlic on your feet that within 20 minutes you can taste it? This I learned from an email sent by a friend who passes on all kinds of vital and indispensable information to me. In the same email, she shared some very interesting information regarding  VICKS Vapo Rub. I remember Vicks being applied to my neck and chest area quite generously by my mom when I  had a cold and cough as a  kid. Then she would put a warm towel on the area, and I would fall into a blissful sleep (giving her some much needed rest too.)

Little did I know that the Vicks should have been applied to the soles of my feet for the utmost relief. At least that is what this fellow who attended a lecture on Essential Oils claims (and then posted it on the Internet for all to see). Apparently our soles absorb oils. (Makes you want to be careful about walking barefoot doesn’t it?)

The fellow who wrote up this “essential” advice, (let’s call him Sam so we do not have to keep calling him “fellow”) says that you can stop night time coughing by applying Vicks Vapo Rub to the soles of your feet, then cover them with socks, and within about five minutes the coughing stops.  Sam swears by this and says it works 100% of the time. And the bonus is you get soft feet.  A medicine that multi-tasks—who knew? The dual promise of no coughing and soft feet is just something I cannot resist. I do refuse to put garlic on my feet though, unless there is word of a vampire breakout (which may not be all that far-fetched, given all the books and movies dedicated to the fanged warriors.)

Sam says that his wife tried this when she had a deep and persistent cough and it worked. He learned of this method himself after listening to a radio morning talk show, which featured a chap talking about cough medicines and why they often do more harm to children than good because of all the chemicals in them. Sam does not say who the “chap” was, but for the sake of argument, let us believe he was doctor (and not just one who played a doctor on TV.)

While I am dispensing a little advice on colds, I will share with you a little recipe guaranteed to soothe a cold that I ran across in the book, “How to Sew a Button and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew” by Erin Bried. (I just cannot resist a book that has the word nifty in the title.) It is called “How to Make a Hot Tea Toddy”, and the Grandma who came up with it obviously had a bit of a sense of humour.

Step 1: Brew a cup of tea by pouring boiling water over a tea bag, preferably decaffeinated so you don’t get jittery. Let steep for a few minutes. (I have it on good authority that you should steep it for exactly three minutes.)

Step 2: Add a swirl of honey to taste. (Not a dollop, not a teaspoon, a swirl—this is very important). Honey apparently not only tastes good but coats your throat and relieves soreness and coughing.

Step 3: Quarter a lemon and squeeze over your cup to add “lip-smacking tartness” (you can’t make this stuff up). 

Okay, Step 4 gets to the heart of the matter: Add a shot of whiskey or bourbon to the tea. Depending on how bad you feel, add a shot of whiskey or bourbon to your mouth too (there’s that sense of humour I was talking about).

Step 5: Hold cup to your face, breathing in the hot steam to clear up your schnoz.

Step 6: Climb under your covers, and sip until you get drowsy.

Step 7: Set the cup down first. Very important! Then fall asleep.

Step 8: Dream good dreams. Snoring is optional.

Now, I am betting that if you don’t drink alcohol, the honey and lemon by themselves will probably do the trick, but I would put a little Vapo-rub on the soles of your feet if you want to leave out the whiskey. In the book, Grandma adds three more “nifty” tips for nursing a cold: Sit by the fireside to stay toasty as feeling chilled can suppress your immune system; gargle with warm water three times a day to wash away germs; and wash your hands often with soap, and “for goodness sake keep them away from your face.”

So with Sam and Grandma’s advice under your belt, you have a few more ways to combat any cold that invades your personal space. Just remember don’t tea toddy and drive.

Published in: on September 12, 2011 at 12:14 am  Comments (20)  
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