Friday Fluff And A Bit Of Beep

"Above my desk"

“Above my desk”

In The Haislip Family, “You know”, are words we would say so many times during our conversations. We’d begin a line with “You know …”, insert them in the most unlikely places and sometimes end our thoughts with them. Mother became so aggravated with us kids and Daddy, that she created a game, in order for us to become aware just how many times we uttered those two words. The game was simply called “Beep”. Our parents were a lot of fun. She explained to us the rules were easy to learn. Anytime one of us spoke aloud these forbidden words, “You know”, the race was on to be the first one to say “Beep”.

"My art table now in Joe's studio ... it's our studio"

“My art table now in Joe’s studio … it’s our studio”

For an entire weekend we cried out the word “Beep” until we were soon laughing hysterically. I would say the words just to see who would say “Beep” first. It was a fun way to bring a matter to our attention, whilst teaching us a lesson. Through the years if one of us tends to slip back into old habits, it isn’t long before we hear our sibling utter “Beep”. It’s enough to make us consider what we are saying, plus no one else knows what the heck is going on. A shared chuckle is always nice to have in the family.

Fridays are the best day of the week because pretty soon it’s the weekend. I hope yours is relaxing and fun. Play a board or word game with the family. Do something together … without electronics.

Copyright © 2013 “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!” All rights reserved.

Missing Janet

"Flower by Lorenzo Herrera    2004"

“Flower by Lorenzo Herrera 2004”

Missing Janet


I miss talking

On the phone

I miss the warmth

Of your embrace

The way you’d listen

To my day

While praying for

My safety and happiness

You were my go-to friend

Again and again and again


I think about you


The way you’d

Brighten up my day

With such sweetness

You shared my joy

And helped me chase

My fears away

You made me feel okay

Again and again and again


I want to breach the barriers

Keeping us apart

Friendship so good

Stored treasure in my heart

Because it’s something

I cannot replace

No one can ever

Fill that space

And time will not erase

Just what you mean to me

What you were to me

Missing Janet


Theresa H Hall

September 16, 2013 @8:19 PM

Note: My beautiful sister-in-law, Janet Hall Fullen, left this world two years ago, on July 30, 2011. She fought the good fight, battling breast cancer for five-long years. I never once heard her complain. She was lovely … loved by her family, her friends and people from around the globe. We celebrate her life because she touched us with love, practical advice, and presented herself as the lady she was, a dignified woman who loved God, trusted in Him and shared her faith with the rest of us.

 I find myself reaching for the telephone to call her several times a week. I felt her presence Monday evening, so I wrote this down. She was a true friend and my family … Missing Janet.


Copyright © 2013 “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!” All rights reserved.

You Know Darling …

One of the things my husband does to tease a laugh from me, is to change the sound of his voice and imitate the late, Fernando Lamas. Joe gets a twinkle in his eye, does something comical with his eyebrows and delivers … “You know darling … you look marvelous”. If you haven’t heard this phrase repeated with a thick accent then you’ve missed something.

Life’s an everyday turn of events beginning with normal routines, mundane chores, platitudes, and a robotic-feel to scheduled agendas. What to do to make it seem fresh and without contempt? Believe me and most would agree, that what we once thought was quirky can suddenly become irritating. I have heard this message three times in the last two days: “Men marry women thinking she’ll never change and women marry men thinking they will change”. What a terrible recipe for marriage. Understandably, from where I sit, I recognize the absolute truth. Add in close proximity and that long ago honeymoon, after twenty years or so (many times much sooner), it’s a wonder anyone stays married at all. It surely takes commitment.

Marriage is a contract of promises, vows, hopes and dreams. During the wedding itself, we get hints about later on. Lines like … till death do us partin sickness and in healthand obey (what?)! I had to obey my parents for two decades, why in the world would I want to have to do this all over again? But marriage is like this and soon after the honeymoon bliss is done, we find ourselves falling into everyday patterns, carving out plausible rituals of washing clothes, washing dishes, taking out the trash, having to juggle budgets and learning to do without some of those items we shopped for before combining lives.

I remember hearing an actress in a movie admonish the normally bright young girl, who was thinking of marrying the romantic good-looking man who’d swept her off her feet. “Honey, you’d better have something to talk about when the romance wears off”. These words dismayed the girl who didn’t believe her older and wiser relative. But knowing in her heart that this feeling will last forever, she runs off and marries the rogue anyway. Soon after she wakes up. Take to heart this old adage, “Marry in haste … repent at leisure”. They might have something there. Perhaps getting to know a potential spouse a whole lot better is prudent, even wise. Gee Whiz! Just try telling present-day kids this. They seem to want to do everything fast … who has time to contemplate logic when romance is in the air?

Long courtship’s have been known to be a big help to many married couples. You had time to discover how the other reacted to things, gained insight by hearing their opinions, figured out if you liked their character traits and saw if they had strange habits that might not sit well with you. Having said this, there are those few men and women who have agendas. They intentionally hide their faults or schemes (beware of deceivers), but for the most part, people are honest and taking time to learn the nature of a potential mate is pretty sound advice.

Now … back to the reason I began this. Getting along with a partner is exciting and thrilling and mundane and sometimes boorish. It’s work. There are good days and not so good days. It is a give-and-take relationship requiring constant compromise. We must also be vigilant, protective of our happiness against threat from outsiders. Couples must learn to balance it all. Including in-laws, pets, kids, their activities, the world economy with global warming thrown in, not to mention the political campaign to think about, it can drive even the most reliable and sane, loving couples to have arguments.

My best advice is to have something to fall back on … like a sense of humor, dining together, respect, compassion, truthfulness and love. Humor brings levity and balance better than most anything I know. Joe makes me laugh. And yes, we still hold hands, just as we did from the beginning. After all … we had friendship with the benefit of a long courtship, and it has really paid off.

Subjective Ramblings

During my childhood, I was sometimes tortured by having to go to bed, even when I didn’t want to go to bed. It was frightfully hard for me to go to sleep sometimes. Lying there all tucked in, my eyes would roam the walls of the room, and I would huff and sigh, turn over, and sometimes creep out of my bed to tiptoe to the door that had been left a little ajar. From here I had a view of the hallway leading in to the living room. The television was usually turned down low and turning my ear toward the opening, I would catch waves of dialogue or some muffled audience laughter, or perhaps hear snippets of Johnny Carson while he was doing his nighttime monologue. As I stood there, I tried to make sure I was not breathing too hard for fear of being discovered.

Some evenings instead of the television set being on, I would hear music playing on my Daddy’s Hi-Fi Stereo, musical clinks of glasses being toasted and see the shadows of my parents as they danced near the hallway. I liked it when they danced, and I imagined Daddy picking me up to dance me about the room, while Mother watched delightedly. I was known for squiggling in-between their legs, until I forced them to let me enter their inner circle. From this vantage point, it wasn’t long before I was lifted up and held between these two people I loved so dearly. They did pamper me a lot because I was their last child. There would be no more after little Theresa. Four was the total amount of children in our family. Back then four children was considered small.

When we lived in Miami, our next door neighbors had eight children and their pretty young mother was carrying another sibling by the time we moved to the Washington, DC area. The parents decided on Bethesda, MD and we lived in a townhouse, way up at the very top of Pook’s Hill. I’ve always loved that name. There is a book titled “The Puck of Pook’s Hill”, which I told myself I would one day read (I was nine when I decided this), but I never have. Could be I’ll find a copy of it one day and do just that. You never know. But while we lived here I would do my best to be allowed to fall asleep on the sofa while the television played, and they either carried me to bed, or shook me awake and walked this stumbling girl to her bedroom. I just wanted to be close to my parents, because with the two of them working and school and playing and pretending to do the homework I hated, I just wanted to feel that tremendous love they showered upon me.

Whenever I hear certain old television clips or movie snippets or a familiar jazz song, it takes me back to the times when bedtime was a necessary routine, proper for a young child. And also back to those times when I peered through the crack in the doorway just to catch a glimpse of two people in love.

Precious Cargo

She looks like sleeping beauty and it’s lovely to know that the gift we surprised her with today, is a success! Little Miss Rachael, our niece, is resting serenely on her brand new, “Total Body Pregnancy Pillow”, by, Boppy. It is shaped like a gigantic letter “C”, which has just the correct amount of puffiness for her head and her knees, plus provides good support for her back and cradles the baby, too.

We got her two of them so she can keep one at home and take one when she visits family and friends. It came with a nice plastic carrying bag, complete with handle. It is good to know she will be able to rest without tossing and turning. All mothers-to-be need lots of quality rest.

She was the flower girl at our wedding and she still looks like she did then, but all grown up. She’s carrying precious cargo and we want her to be as comfortable as possible. We love you Sweetie!

The Long Road Home

If I were able to close my eyes and wiggle my nose so I would be allowed to go back in time, I wouldn’t hesitate even for one minute.  The first place I would return to see would be my family around the swimming pool in Miami, Florida.  I would return to the summer when I turned seven and we were staying at the same motel as we had the year before.  SInce my birthday falls during the month of August, and we ended up taking family holidays then it usually was a good time had by all.  The reason I wouldn’t wish to return to the prior year, is due to the fact that as soon as we arrived I went with Daddy to the supermarket where I knocked out both of my front teeth.  OUCH!  So I return to the summer I celebrated number seven.

The motel had a kitchen and dining/sitting room area.  My Father was a marvelous cook and as soon as we had enjoyed another of his tasty meals, we had to wait for a whole hour before we were allowed to jump into the swimming pool.  We all sat around the pool enclosure enjoying being in Florida, basking in the sunshine and sipping juice from freshly squeezed oranges.  Even the air smelt tangy because the ocean was literally two miles to the east.  This was such a different aroma from the ocean and bay of NYC.  We would the beach the next day and then later, we would meet up with White and Ruth, our Grandparents.  They lived year-round in Miami and our Father was excited about seeing his parents again.  We all were because we would get to visit, eat fresh churned ice cream and bite into the loveliest sun kissed peaches.  But for the moment, we all sat on the pool’s edge with our feet and legs dangling into the refreshing blue water.

Because we had driven down from Staten Island, NY we got to visit our cousins, aunts and uncles in Richmond, VA.  We also dropped off my Mother’s Mother, Mama, so she could stay with her sister, my Aunt Myna.  One state down we always stopped at South of the Boarder, where they had such cool and inexpensive trinkets and souvenirs.  We usually got Mexican Jumping Beans and  by the time we reached Miami we couldn’t get them to jump any longer.  I still wonder what made them pop about.  There were the cotton fields where we would stop in Georgia and have photos taken with my sister’s Brownie Camera.  She won that on a game show called Haggas-Baggas.  In fact, she won all the prizes that day as she is very smart.  There were always oblong dark seeds in my cotton ball and we would pull the fibers of the plant off to investigate just how it grew.  We never made any clothes out of this cotton but it was memorable.  We loved looking at the Spanish Moss hanging on the trees.  This was a strong sign we most definitely were in the State of Georgia; and my Father said to never, never drive over the speed limit there because the troopers were known to do bad things to people that broke the law.  I never want to go to Georgia even to this day.

We talked about our trip down, the visit with relatives and I started toying with the idea of placing the bathing cap on my head.  These caps were made of soft rubbery materials and they sometimes pulled your hair, which would hurt a lot.  Sometimes I would become frustrated and shed a few tears.  Mother would get it to behave properly and then snap the chin strap shut.  Glad caps are no longer necessary.  I like the feel of the water against my skull and the streaming flow of my dancing hair.  It was time to jump in and I can almost feel the delight of plunging in and shooting to the surface to grab a fresh breath of air.  The glad expressions on everyone’s face told me we were truly happy to be together and we were ready to have some good clean fun.  Yes, I miss the good old days when everything was simply  yet perfect.