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  • The Indian School by: Abby Adams

    December 15, 2014, 10:43

    As you may remember if you have been reading the blog, my mother enjoyed supporting a number of rather dubious charities.  All any charity had to do to…

  • Getting a Cold Drink by: Abby Adams

    November 9, 2014, 12:25

    After shopping for several hours today, I felt myself in need of a rest for my feet and legs. I decided to employ one of my mother's favorite respites. She…

  • Hard as Nails by: Lindy Riverside

    November 3, 2014, 10:57

    One of Mother's many eccentricities was Knox Gelatin. She bought boxes of it when she went to the grocery store and made sure that, unlike Old Mother Hubbard's…

  • "Sma" Explained by: Lindy Riverside

    October 22, 2014, 12:51

    As you have read, when I was very young, I called my dear sister Abby by the name of "Sma". At the time, and for years after, no one really knew what it…

  • Honky Tonk Amnesia by: Lindy Riverside

    October 3, 2014, 10:55

    Great news! While listening to the radio, I finally heard the diagnosis for what was ailing our mother, Mary Jo! The ailment is named, "Honky Tonk Amnesia". I…

  • Beatrice: The Stay at Home Mom by: Abby Adams

    September 9, 2014, 11:01

    My sisters Lindy and Sissy, along with my brother Kevin and I have had to stick together because our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice were not always…

  • Calling All Spirits by: Lindy Riverside

    August 4, 2014, 11:11

    Mother had a propensity to give money to many questionable charities. Remember the Chinese Bibles? She was never as generous as when she could pull out her…

  • Cleaning out the Refrigerator by: Abby Adams

    July 26, 2014, 11:14

    Today, I was cleaning out my refrigerator and I was carefully checking all the expiration dates.  As you may remember from reading the blog, Mary (my mother)…

  • Never Forgotten Stories by: Abby Adams

    July 14, 2014, 09:31

    Prior to his death, Dad used to say The stories I have told will die with me. No one will ever tell them again. My sister Lindy and I did everything we could…

  • Mickey Mouse Blues Part Two by: Abby Adams

    July 8, 2014, 11:32

    Yes, we attended the wedding and yes, we had a two day pass to the Disney attractions; however, let me tell you right now that a good time was not had by all.…

  • Mickey Mouse Blues by: Abby Adams

    July 2, 2014, 12:46

    Okay, I know that the premise of this blog is that my sister Lindy and I grew up "Far From Normal" and that we will be sharing lots of strange memories of our…

  • Disciplined in a good way and a not so good way by: Lindy Riverside

    June 11, 2014, 08:11

    Dad was very disciplined in his life. He loved his work as an attorney and was not only diligent but also excelled at his profession. He was up early, off to…

  • Career Choices by: Abby Adams

    May 30, 2014, 07:42

    As you already know, my dad completed college and law school after I was born. Once he started practicing law, I observed what he did and decided (at age 7)…

  • High School Jobs by: Abby Adams

    May 21, 2014, 09:46

    Although I never worked during the school year, both my sister Lindy and I had summer jobs. My first summer job was working for my dad.  He was a bankruptcy…

  • Circling the wagon with a broken spoke by: Lindy Riverside

    May 15, 2014, 10:38

    When our beloved sister Sissy passed, on an early November evening, the telephone tree lit up with disbelief. Yes, we knew she had cancer and had recently…

  • They lead such boring lives.... by: Lindy Riverside

    May 12, 2014, 10:17

    Dad used to tell us that one of the nice things about having such colorful characters (code words for insane whackos) in our lives was that it was not boring.…

  • It's a Little Too Late To Do the Right Thing Now by: Lindy Riverside

    May 9, 2014, 06:28

    Listening to tunes on the radio often brings inspiration for story telling. After all, isn't that what most songs are? A particular title has been hovering and…

  • Write the Little Story by: Lindy Riverside

    May 6, 2014, 09:05

    As my dear sister Abby and I have been sharing our memories, each one seems to spark another story. And so it seems that although each vignette may be just a…

  • Wishy Washy? by: Lindy Riverside

    April 29, 2014, 19:03

    One of the things about our mother was you would never say she was wishy washy. No way! You knew exactly what she was thinking because she was born without a…

  • Chocolate Coke by: Abby Adams

    April 24, 2014, 08:52

    When my sister and I write about our mother Mary or our stepmother Beatrice, you probably think they were both horrible, selfish women. And you would thikn…

  • It's Complicated by: Lindy Riverside

    April 21, 2014, 09:06

    Life is complicated. An understatement when you have been through the wringer of dysfunction in your family. First came our mother Mary with her myriad of…

  • What Is A Family? by: Lindy Riverside

    April 17, 2014, 09:28

    After finding a wonderful definition of family, it caused me to ponder exactly what connects us. Is it just blood that makes us a family? Or is it something…

  • Turning Up the Dial On Crazy by: Lindy Riverside

    April 14, 2014, 10:04

    Crazy is not just a song made famous by the wonderfully talented, Patsy Cline. It is also a place where some families reside. Our mother inhabited the land…

  • "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink" by: Lindy Riverside

    April 11, 2014, 11:04

    I don't think Merle Haggard ever knew our mother. Although his song I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink seems to have been written with her in mind. In fact…

  • Playing Games With No Winners by: Lindy Riverside

    April 8, 2014, 09:59

    One of the funniest things our stepmother Beatrice says is that she doesn't play games. As Bobby Fischer was to chess, Beatrice is to mind games. She is truly…

  • Too Pretty to Work by: Abby Adams

    January 30, 2014, 09:38

    When my sister and I were growing up, there was a TV show called "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." This show starred Dwayne Hickman as Dobie Gillis and Tuesday…

  • Superficial mostly selfishattitudeatrocious - Mary Poppins she was not by: Lindy Riverside

    January 28, 2014, 09:32

    Mary Poppins, the beloved nanny, who has seen a resurgence due to the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" was such a delightful character and everyone hoped for someone…

  • Minnesota Winters: Past and Present by: Abby Adams

    January 25, 2014, 11:19

      Today when I drove through what appeared to be a sandstorm, sand swirling on the highway and in front of my car, I see the sand as what it…

  • Oh no! A Cheesepocalypse? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 23, 2014, 08:50

    Mother loved cheese. In fact it was one of her favorite food groups. Her palate was not very sophisticated so if you asked what her favorite cheese was, she…

  • "August: Osage County" or "July: Macon County"? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 13, 2014, 09:50

    After attending the movie "August: Osage County", I knew in my heart of hearts that I must call my sister Abby and warn her. Although I enjoyed the fine acting…

  • "It's Coming at Me From All Directions" by: Abby Adams

    January 9, 2014, 12:39

    To say our stepmother Beatrice was an enigma would be an understatement. The first time my sister and I met her was in a restaurant prior to her marriage to…

  • Terms of Endearment by: Lindy Riverside

    January 1, 2014, 21:00

    Our Dad was not only a talented attorney and a fabulous Dad, he often used pet names for people. From the time I was a little girl, he often called me "Babe".…

  • Caution: May Contain Nuts, Dead Rodents by: Abby Adams

    December 23, 2013, 08:32

    If you decided to read this post hoping that something wonderful was going to happen to myself, or my sisters Lindy and Sissy, prepare to be disappointed.…

  • How about a lovely revolving red light for Christmas? by: Lindy Riverside

    December 17, 2013, 08:01

    After Charles and I had officially become a couple, he came to our family Christmas bearing gifts. Now, our family always enjoyed every aspect of Christmas.…

  • The Red Christmas Dishes by: Abby Adams

    December 12, 2013, 22:40

    The other day I mentioned to my sister Lindy how sad I was that we did not have some of the Christmas things from our childhood that I liked. When Lindy and I…

  • Northern Exposure by: Abby Adams

    December 10, 2013, 20:37

    Today when I left my house it was 12 degrees below zero. That got me thinking about our dad's mother (my grandmother) and her life out on the Minnesota…

  • Have a Multitasking Holiday by: Abby Adams

    December 5, 2013, 10:47

    Children from dysfunctional families spend a lot of time trying to fit in. And just because one is grown up, those feelings do not disappear. I am still trying…

  • Mama Drama and the Holidays by: Lindy Riverside

    December 3, 2013, 09:21

    In perusing all our tales of poor mental health (especially Mary, our mother, and Beatrice, our stepmother) it seems it might be a good idea to suggest a few…

  • "Sorry don't feed the bulldog!" by: Lindy Riverside

    December 1, 2013, 11:02

    While I was cruising through the television channels this morning, I heard a funny quote from Andy Griffith of 'Matlock' fame. When a character apologized to…

  • Puttin' on the Ritz by: Abby Adams

    November 26, 2013, 11:42

    Today I stopped at the Walmart and as I was exiting my car, I noticed a couple from my church. I rushed up to say hello and the man said: Oh! I didn't think…

  • A Second Look at the Animals' Merry Christmas by: Abby Adams

    November 25, 2013, 08:28

    Last year I wrote about a favorite childhood book called "The Animals' Merry Christmas." Unfortunately, I did not write about this wonderful book in time for…

  • Another Holiday Cooking Disaster by: Abby Adams

    November 23, 2013, 13:18

    You already know that we have had several holiday cooking disasters. Last year on Thanksgiving, while Cousin Beverly was visiting, I made the famous (or…

  • The Best Sister in the World by: Abby Adams

    November 21, 2013, 09:50

    You already  know that my sister Lindy and I have a special bond, much more than most sisters. People who are from so-called normal families will tell me that…

  • The Rainbow Connection by: Abby Adams

    November 20, 2013, 07:45

    Last week our sister Sissy went to heaven, and we will miss her so much. When you live in a dysfunctional family, you tend to bond even tighter with your…

  • Crazy Good or Crazy Bad? by: Lindy Riverside

    November 18, 2013, 09:32

    Crazy can be good when describing someone or it can be bad when describing someone else...like our mother. I like the crazy good fun that my sister Abby and I…

  • I Think It Was About A Week Ago by: Abby Adams

    November 16, 2013, 10:31

    Aunt Marty's phone calls were a source of frustration to my sister Lindy and me. The entire time that she worked at Alcoa Aluminum on the switchboard, she…

  • Beatrice "Fixes" a Meal by: Lindy Riverside

    November 14, 2013, 09:10

    Our stepmother Beatrice had a knack for making hamburgers that could double for hockey pucks. They were gray in color, very thick and difficult to eat.…

  • Dancing with the Angels by: Lindy Riverside

    November 11, 2013, 14:25

    Our dear sister Sissy went to Heaven after a long and courageous battle with an ugly disease called pancreatic cancer. We had been praying for a miracle for…

  • Looking Cheap (And I Don't Mean Like A Bargain) by: Lindy Riverside

    November 7, 2013, 09:10

    Mother had a way with words. She had an arsenal of put downs and was never shy about sharing them with whoever the audience was around her at the time. One of…

  • Sit Down and Take Your Coat Off by: Abby Adams

    October 31, 2013, 10:45

    The words "Sit down and take your coat off" are ones I heard very often growing up and later when I would visit my mother at her home either in Indiana or…

  • Being "That Person" by: Abby Adams

    October 25, 2013, 10:56

    Whenever my mother went anywhere, she assumed she would have no responsibility for anything. She also assumed that she would be welcomed with open arms. You…

  • It Is What It Is by: Lindy Riverside

    October 23, 2013, 08:54

    One of my stepmother Beatrice's favorite quotes is: It is what it is. This was her refrain when she didn't know what else to say or if she thought you…

  • I Love You To The Moon And Back by: Lindy Riverside

    October 21, 2013, 08:45

    One of that favorite sayings in our family is: I love you to the moon and back. It is that special, unconditional love that a parent has for their children…

  • Being Less Than Perfect by: Abby Adams

    October 19, 2013, 09:32

    When I moved to Arizona for the second time (the first was when I was still married to my son's father), I found a job selling printing equipment. The machines…

  • Security Blanket or Security Thumb? by: Lindy Riverside

    October 17, 2013, 09:39

    As a participant in the "Far From Normal" world, I needed a source of security. Since I had no special blanket and since Mother wasn't known for providing a…

  • Poison Pen Letters  by: Lindy Riverside

    October 16, 2013, 09:20

    Mother loved to write. Mainly she enjoyed writing fantasy letters to her pen-pals and yes, she was an adult. She would wax on and on about her life as the…

  • Dysfunctional Benefits (Do Not Try This At Home) by: Lindy Riverside

    October 14, 2013, 09:38

    Believe it or not, there are several benefits to being part of a dysfunctional family. The main benefit came to me when I was listening to a so called "normal"…

  • Chocolate Milk Meltdown by: Lindy Riverside

    October 11, 2013, 16:16

    In elementary school, my sister and I had milk breaks every day, as did the rest of the children. On Mondays, each child was expected to bring their milk money…

  • Never Establish Eye Contact by: Lindy Riverside

    October 10, 2013, 07:37

    Our stepmother had some kind of funny pieces of advice that she shared whenever the mood hit her. If you happened to be out in public and there were strangers…

  • Layaway Plans: Not Really Plans At All by: Lindy Riverside

    October 8, 2013, 13:42

    Our mother loved, loved, loved layaway plans. For those of you not familiar with this term, when my sister and I were growing up, large department stores like…

  • Wrestling: The Real Thing by: Abby Adams

    October 6, 2013, 13:16

    As children my sister and I spent a considerable amount of time in Chicago visiting Aunt Marty and Uncle Larry. They, of course, had a daughter named Kathy…

  • A Memory from Dad's Other Life by: Lindy Riverside

    October 5, 2013, 09:57

    As I reminisced about Dad's other life, especially the part involving Virginia, it brought to mind a childhood experience where I learned a valuable lesson.…

  • Ain't Nobody Got Time For That! by: Lindy Riverside

    October 3, 2013, 17:33

    While pondering our memories and reliving each and every one my sister Abby and I share, it gives me pause to imagine how we turned out so mentally healthy.…

  • Dad's Other Life by: Abby Adams

    October 2, 2013, 10:24

    While Dad was the most phenomenal father in the world, he was not the most phenomenal husband in the world. No, actually Dad was always on the prowl and…

  • Keep Your Mitts off My Pinking Shears! by: Lindy Riverside

    September 27, 2013, 13:04

    Our mother had a very special pair of scissors called pinking shears. I guess they were for seamstresses who made lots of beautiful dresses for their daughters.…

  • Parenting Tip # 173 - Throwing water in the face of your toddler is fun and exciting by: Lindy Riverside

    September 25, 2013, 07:42

    When I was quite young and very frustrated with Mother's parenting skills or lack thereof, I would hold my breath. Now, as you might guess, sometimes she did…

  • Ding Dong the Witch is Dead by: Abby Adams

    September 23, 2013, 10:45

    Recently I read about a brother and sister who published a fairly unflattering obituary when their mother died. Here is an excerpt of it: Marianne Theresa…

  • More to the story... by: Lindy Riverside

    September 21, 2013, 09:19

    In any lifetime of memories, there is almost always more to the story than that which is shared. My sister and I have shared many chapters in our far from…

  • The Circle of Trust by: Lindy Riverside

    September 19, 2013, 12:21

    In the movie, "Meet The Parents" with Robert DeNiro, his character talked incessantly about the circle of trust. Since it is considered to be an honor to be…

  • Do You Believe in Magic? by: Lindy Riverside

    September 17, 2013, 17:30

    There is something quite magical about memories. They can conjure up beautiful visions of the past and make you believe that you are reliving those special…

  • Cracker Jacks or Cracker Craps? by: Lindy Riverside

    September 16, 2013, 16:12

    I love sugar and as a child I also loved little trinkets, no matter how junky they might be. Imagine my face when I found out about Cracker Jacks. I could…

  • They can't drive you crazy if you don't give them the keys by: Lindy Riverside

    September 14, 2013, 13:33

    They can't drive you crazy if you don't give them the keys... What a great title for a book! I saw this when I was browsing through the book selection while…

  • Finding Love in the Psych Ward by: Abby Adams

    September 13, 2013, 09:18

    Mental illness does not run in our family, it gallops. One case in point is Aunt Marty's daughter Kathy Ann. Kathy Ann stayed with us one time when she was…

  • The Cost Of Doing Business by: Lindy Riverside

    September 12, 2013, 09:32

    After completing some business errands today, I had to laugh about how different my sister and I are when taking care of business compared to our mother. If…

  • Down the Rabbit Hole by: Lindy Riverside

    September 10, 2013, 10:27

    Mother had a way of trying to explain her illogical logic that was difficult to accept. It was a very Alice in Wonderland sort of experience. The first time a…

  • Whole Lotta Hurling Goin' On by: Lindy Riverside

    September 9, 2013, 09:25

    On one of the (thankfully) rare occasions that Mother graced our state with her presence, she made quite an impression. And as always with Mother, the…

  • Dead...Dead Drunk, That Is by: Abby Adams

    September 8, 2013, 11:40

    When I was in college, one Sunday afternoon Dad and our stepmother Beatrice had left for the evening to see a movie and have a nice dinner out after the movie.…

  • South of Hell's Gate  by: Lindy Riverside

    September 7, 2013, 11:29

    In writing about the long and winding road that my sister and I traveled every summer to Indiana, I failed to mention our mother's extreme hatred of air…

  • The Long And Winding Road by: Lindy Riverside

    September 6, 2013, 09:12

    Once our mother had returned to southern Indiana, every summer my sister Abby and I would make the long and difficult trip to see her. We dreaded these trips,…

  • "Joey Good Times" by: Abby Adams

    September 5, 2013, 10:45

    After getting a divorce from my son's father, I met a few men that I wanted to date. My son's favorite, far and away, was a man he nicknamed "Joey Good Times."…

  • Long Distance Operator by: Lindy Riverside

    September 4, 2013, 09:15

    When my sweet little daughter Fiona was born, my mother was still living the high life of the Pretender in California. I called Mother the day after my…

  • Weapons of Mouth Destruction by: Lindy Riverside

    September 3, 2013, 10:26

    Our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice had several things in common. One of the main attributes they shared was their weapon of choice. No, I'm not…

  • The Fabric of Our Lives by: Lindy Riverside

    September 2, 2013, 10:04

    I heard a great quote while watching the television show 'The Waltons': The family fabric gave from time to time but the mending always made it stronger. As…

  • Pure Joy by: Lindy Riverside

    September 1, 2013, 07:40

    There are times in our lives when we are truly living in the moment. And in those moments it is that we are reminded of the pure joy in life. Children always…

  • The Postman Didn't Need to Ring Twice by: Lindy Riverside

    August 31, 2013, 10:24

    When Mother moved to southern Indiana, she became best friends with the mailman. While living in southern California, Mother had easy access to a number of…

  • Mother, May I? by: Lindy Riverside

    August 30, 2013, 10:21

    In our case, not so much In reflecting on our 'Far From Normal' upbringing, it seems little bits and pieces come into our shared memories. One of the many…

  • Martha Stewart, Den Mother by: Abby Adams

    August 29, 2013, 09:02

    My dad and I were both "lucky" enough to have the genetic disorder called Polycystic Kidney Disease. Dad died of this malady in 1997 after spending seven years…

  • "Vernster" by: Lindy Riverside

    August 28, 2013, 08:55

    When I was teaching at a notorious middle school known for problem students, one of the juvenile delinquents-to-be in my class was a student named Vernon. Now,…

  • Another Shocker from Mother by: Abby Adams

    August 27, 2013, 10:58

    One September afternoon, when my sister and I got home from school, our mother had a big announcement for us: I'm going to be teaching Parent Education…

  • High School Confidential by: Abby Adams

    August 26, 2013, 09:10

    After my earlier article about school, I was reminded of some more teachers I had not mentioned. I wanted to write about my experiences with some of them as…

  • Me, Myself and I Trump You and Your Sister by: Lindy Riverside

    August 25, 2013, 13:06

    Mother never minced words when it came to the pecking order in her life. She was the top dog and we were nothing more than her minions. Mother expected us to…

  • Coupon Queen by: Lindy Riverside

    August 24, 2013, 10:51

    Our mother loved nothing more than cutting out coupons and trying to use them long after their expiration date. Imagine the fighting that ensued at the…

  • School Is Cool - But Not In A Wool Skirt by: Lindy Riverside

    August 23, 2013, 09:30

    When I had graduated to junior high, Mother insisted I get two wool skirts and sweaters for my new school clothes. She insisted that since it was fall, the…

  • Random Access Memories by: Abby Adams

    August 22, 2013, 11:38

    In our writings here, my sister and I are all over the place in terms of time. You may have asked yourself: Why don't they have the stories in chronological…

  • Be True To Your School by: Abby Adams

    August 21, 2013, 10:06

    As the school year begins around the country, I was thinking about my years in the public school system and the many interesting and enlightening experiences I…

  • "I don't think God meant for any of us not to have a family." by: Lindy Riverside

    August 20, 2013, 10:06

    I don't think God meant for any of us not to have a family. I heard this quote from the movie 'The Butler' yesterday and I find it so powerful. It touched my…

  • Swivel Hip Sisters by: Lindy Riverside

    August 19, 2013, 09:41

    Mother and her sister Martha were the Queens of Swivel Hips. From the behind, you could hardly tell who was who. Unfortunately they carried their weight in the…

  • Dancing Queen by: Lindy Riverside

    August 18, 2013, 12:01

    Remember the Abba song "Dancing Queen"? Well, I do too, but for a different reason. Once in awhile our mother would give us a little glimpse into her…

  • Pizza Boats Ahoy! by: Abby Adams

    August 17, 2013, 11:22

    You may be thinking that the earlier visit from Aunt Marty in which she and my mother ended up staying at a local motel would have been quite enough for my…

  • Calling Their Bluff by: Abby Adams

    August 16, 2013, 09:08

    Aunt Marty had visited me in Iowa once, and I pretty much thought that would be it. My optimistic side was showing again, obviously, in that thought. Unfortunat…

  • A Slap In The Face by: Abby Adams

    August 15, 2013, 10:20

    My mother's sister Marty was ten years younger than my mother and that meant that she was a teenager when I was born. As a child, I thought she was absolutely…

  • Lessons From A Life Well Lived by: Abby Adams

    August 14, 2013, 11:01

    Unlike our mother, who pontificated most of her advice from the comfort of her large brown recliner, Dad taught most of his lessons by the way he lived his…

  • There are moments..... by: Lindy Riverside

    August 13, 2013, 09:14

    Sometimes in the deepness of a dream, my sister and I have the most amazing experiences with our dad. Of course, Dad passed away sixteen years ago. But our…

  • The Shining Star and the Dedicated Daughter by: Lindy Riverside

    August 12, 2013, 09:54

    As you have read, my dear sister Abby spent her summers in Illinois taking care of our dad when he got sick. She embodies what it means to be compassionate.…

  • An Attitude of Gratitude by: Abby Adams

    August 8, 2013, 09:18

    My sister Sissy and I were speaking on the phone this morning, and she said something about Dad that made me stop and think. She remarked on how grateful he…

  • Don't Peak Too Soon by: Lindy Riverside

    August 7, 2013, 10:02

    Looking back at advice I have heard over my life, I think not peaking too soon was some of the best. Although I had lots of friends when growing up, my social…

  • The Water Torture and the Through Ticket by: Abby Adams

    August 6, 2013, 10:15

    When my sister and I were learning to read, the Dick and Jane books were popular in schools. Dick and Jane had several relatives like their baby sister Sally…

  • But Did You Have Fun? by: Lindy Riverside

    August 5, 2013, 10:39

    Almost sixteen years ago at our dad's memorial service, among all the other flowers and tributes, there was a beautiful bouquet of roses on display. They were…

  • Dad's Advice on Friends by: Abby Adams

    August 4, 2013, 10:51

    Since both our mother and stepmother were pretty much out of the loop when it came to my sister and me, our dad had to supply all the information and advice…

  • I'm Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. Demille by: Lindy Riverside

    August 3, 2013, 10:28

    It seems that while volunteering at our local VA Hospital, something memorable always happens. This week was no different. I was greeting veterans and their…

  • A Banquet Or A Prison Cell? by: Lindy Riverside

    August 2, 2013, 10:07

    It seems that in life there are people who love being in a family and there are those who wish they were orphans. Families are a funny thing. We all bring our…

  • The Race Is On by: Abby Adams

    August 1, 2013, 12:11

    Every year in August, a huge party is held in our hometown called the Decatur Celebration. This year the Decatur Celebration is August 2-4. It is a street fair…

  • A Job Record Like No Other by: Lindy Riverside

    July 31, 2013, 09:39

    Mother had a sordid past in oh so many ways. One of them was her employment record, a record which was scratched and mostly broken. She stayed at jobs less…

  • Durnk Srcabbel by: Lindy Riverside

    July 30, 2013, 10:30

    Mother had a long time friend by the name of Marge. You have read about her if you treated yourself to the story about the great Scrabble contests shared by…

  • Every Picture Tells A Story by: Lindy Riverside

    July 29, 2013, 10:19

    While cleaning/dejunking/organizing our basement, I found several boxes of old photos. As I looked through them all, I was amazed when looking at several…

  • 1000 Ways to Die (Our Stepmother Picks The Worst One) by: Abby Adams

    July 27, 2013, 12:29

    Every summer Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) had a steak fry. It was something of a tradition in our part of the state, a giant gathering with steaks and political…

  • Our Very Own Prince George by: Lindy Riverside

    July 26, 2013, 10:50

    After watching all the coverage of the royal birth and finally the naming of the baby prince, I am reminded of a very special day long ago that our family…

  • Valley of the Dolls by: Abby Adams

    July 25, 2013, 11:00

    When Dad moved to Decatur, he had to have realized he was moving into a territory with lots of relatives. Dad's father (the notorious Charles) was from the…

  • Ice Cream and Tears by: Abby Adams

    July 24, 2013, 10:31

    Ice cream played a significant role at various points in Mother's life. Not as significant as alcohol, but really what did? Whenever my sister and I heard…

  • Bleak House by: Lindy Riverside

    July 23, 2013, 17:56

    One of Charles Dickens’ novels, Bleak House, was alive and well in Illinois. After our parents divorced, our mother certainly made sure that time spent at…

  • High Anxiety by: Abby Adams

    July 23, 2013, 08:34

    You may think my sister and I had a lot of things to be afraid of, but you would be wrong. We were both two of the most fearless little girls around. We would…

  • Lunch With a Hillbilly by: Abby Adams

    July 22, 2013, 17:48

    One time when my sister and I were in Southern Indiana, we made arrangements to meet one of our cousins for dinner. His name is Sammy, and my sister Lindy and…

  • We Are Family, I Got All My Sisters With Me by: Lindy Riverside

    July 22, 2013, 10:30

    I am the lucky sister, sandwiched between two of the best sisters ever. It reminds me of the Sister Sledge song "We Are Family": We are family, I got all my…

  • Ralph's Pub Burger Recipe by: Lindy Riverside

    July 21, 2013, 15:01

    After the famous Christmas Eve when Dad and my sister's soon-to-be ex-husband took over the under-staffed Ralph's Pub, we had a new tradition: making Ralph's…

  • Very Unmerry Mary by: Lindy Riverside

    July 21, 2013, 08:12

    Mother loved… her life in California, sans children. Mother loved…attending college, sans family. Mother loved…no-one holding her accountable. She…

  • The Staples of Life by: Lindy Riverside

    July 20, 2013, 16:51

    Whenever our dad stopped at the grocery store he always made sure to pick up bread, eggs and milk. I guess he thought that if nothing else we could always have…

  • Charles Manson and Lizzie Borden by: Lindy Riverside

    July 20, 2013, 09:37

    Although the phrase "keeping your own counsel" may be a bit formal, it simply means to keep some aspects of your life private. Mother and our stepmother…

  • You can lead an ass to water..... by: Lindy Riverside

    July 19, 2013, 15:27

    Mother absolutely, positively hated technology. She talked incessantly about her need to purchase a typewriter and wondered why my sister and I went into…

  • Happy Birthday, Mother by: Abby Adams

    July 19, 2013, 07:14

    My sister and I have already written about some of our adventures with Mother on her birthday. There was the year we bought Neapolitan ice cream...which turned…

  • No Man Is An Island by: Lindy Riverside

    July 18, 2013, 19:41

    My sister Abby and I have always had a close relationship. Our dad taught us from an early age the importance of family. He always said that if we made…

  • Secret Agent Mom by: Lindy Riverside

    July 18, 2013, 08:37

    Mother did not work outside the home for many years although she always said she was busy. Too busy to clean. Too busy to do the laundry. Too busy to…

  • Notorious Nicknames by: Lindy Riverside

    July 17, 2013, 16:16

    Dad and his band of brothers liked to make up nicknames for people they encountered in life. Old Dan Fiddler was quite a character who frequented our Grandmothe…

  • A New Bathing Suit by: Abby Adams

    July 17, 2013, 07:07

    This morning when I got to the Y, I looked at my bathing suit and thought, "Boy! Do I need a new one!" Usually it is my friend Kelly who examines all suits at…

  • Parking On The Odd Side Of The Street by: Lindy Riverside

    July 16, 2013, 16:32

    Our mother was not known for her superior driving skills. In fact, she was a menace on the road. Her parking skills were legend and no doubt she was used by…

  • Impersonations by: Lindy Riverside

    July 16, 2013, 07:21

    Dad loved to laugh and was always seeking unique ways to share his sense of humor. One of his favorite things to do was to use funny voices when calling us on…

  • Putting On Airs by: Lindy Riverside

    July 15, 2013, 17:44

    One of the behaviors that our dad did not encourage was 'putting on airs'. The phrase is a bit old-fashioned, but it simply means to act as if you are better…

  • The Last Garage Sale by: Abby Adams

    July 15, 2013, 08:24

    Once upon a time (okay, it was several years ago), my sister and I decided to have a garage sale using her garage. Thanks to the events that unfolded, it was…

  • Dr. Spock: The Sequel by: Lindy Riverside

    July 14, 2013, 12:45

    If you read about Mother's aversion to most parenting advice from Dr. Spock and her frequent confusion of child-rearing expert Dr. Spock and Star Trek's…

  • Dad's Wild Ride by: Abby Adams

    July 13, 2013, 17:04

    You already know that my sister and I loved and respected Dad with all our hearts. We listened to his stories and followed his instructions as much as we…

  • Cooties by: Lindy Riverside

    July 13, 2013, 09:59

    When my sister and I were in elementary school, the biggest insult was for a classmate to say you had "cooties." Now I thought it was hilarious but my sister…

  • Have You Ever Been 86'd From A Bar? by: Lindy Riverside

    July 12, 2013, 18:49

    On one of our visits to southern California to see Mother and husband number three, Tom, we learned about a new term. It happened apparently when mother and…

  • Happy Anniversary Lindy and Charles! by: Abby Adams

    July 12, 2013, 09:13

    When my sister Lindy got married, our mother was nowhere to be found. She was living in California and pretending to be a carefree single girl. During her…

  • The Last and Worst Family Reunion by: Abby Adams

    July 11, 2013, 18:14

    Many families have one or more horror stories to tell about attending a family reunion. Sometimes one of the crazy relatives acts even crazier than usual and…

  • No Filters by: Lindy Riverside

    July 11, 2013, 10:52

    Our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice were both like faulty coffee makers. They each were missing their filters. They always shared their opinions and…

  • Dr. Spock or Mr. Spock? by: Lindy Riverside

    July 10, 2013, 17:09

    Our mother loved to quote Dr. Spock, the child-rearing expert, when we were growing up. Often it was done to make fun of his advice and how totally stupid and…

  • Following In Mother's Footsteps by: Abby Adams

    July 10, 2013, 08:49

    It's pretty evident that there are quite a few things our mother was not good at. Mother was not Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker. She was not very well…

  • Our Family Tree by: Lindy Riverside

    July 9, 2013, 18:31

    Our family tree is filled with nuts and characters. Having a regular old oak tree for a heritage was not in the cards for us. From hillbillies to rednecks to…

  • The Candy Fairy by: Lindy Riverside

    July 9, 2013, 08:15

    When my sister Abby and I were little girls, since Abby was older, she figured out ways to outsmart me. One of her favorite games was playing "The Candy…

  • A Far From Normal Vacation by: Abby Adams

    July 8, 2013, 16:18

    Every year in June, my beloved John has a trip to some fabulous place. I always look forward to these opportunities and this year was no exception. We were…

  • You're Smothering Me! by: Lindy Riverside

    July 8, 2013, 06:29

    One of our mother's problems with having children was that she didn't like to have us invading her space. Long before it was considered part of our culture to…

  • Mother's Vacation Trip To Iowa by: Lindy Riverside

    July 7, 2013, 15:55

    Although Mother did not attend either my wedding or my sister's wedding, for some reason she felt a strong urge to fly to Chicago for the wedding of one of her…

  • Joanna's Healthy Cowboy Steaks by: Abby Adams

    July 7, 2013, 09:32

    I make this recipe for Healthy Cowboy Steaks quite often. John likes the recipe as much as I do (which is to say that we both enjoy it a great deal). Do not be…

  • I'll Do It My Way! by: Lindy Riverside

    July 6, 2013, 18:04

    If you have been one of our faithful readers, first we want to say thank you! Also, if you have been following our 'Far from Normal' story, then you know we…

  • Leftovers? No Way! by: Lindy Riverside

    July 6, 2013, 07:55

    Mother was somehow able to make meals that were the absolute right amount of food, as there were never leftovers. Since she rarely sat down with her family to…

  • Alone Time? Fat Chance! by: Lindy Riverside

    July 5, 2013, 16:41

    Mother, not being known for her empathy, never ceased to surprise my sister Abby and me. When husband number three Tom was battling cancer, Mother kept a…

  • Lucky by: Abby Adams

    July 5, 2013, 07:34

    Our dad considered himself a lucky person. Oh yes, he had gone through the Great Depression, and he had fought in the Second World War. He was married to my…

  • These are a few of my favorite things... by: Lindy Riverside

    July 4, 2013, 16:16

    Who can forget Julie Andrews singing this song, 'These are a few of my favorite things' in The Sound of Music? When I was teaching, I was asked one year to…

  • You couldn't pay me to.... by: Lindy Riverside

    July 4, 2013, 08:29

    Whenever Mother believed she had been mistreated, snubbed, or suffered some other form injustice (whether true or imagined, and in her case it was more often…

  • Kinky Boots by: Lindy Riverside

    July 3, 2013, 16:39

    My sister and I seldom had a pair of boots to wear to school during the winter. Since we did not live in the tropics, it might seem reasonable that boots were…

  • Stormy Weather by: Lindy Riverside

    July 3, 2013, 09:04

    Our stepmother Beatrice was known for her obsession with weather. Our local channels would strategically put a big 'W' in the corner of the screen as a warning…

  • The Weight Loss Journey by: Abby Adams

    June 30, 2013, 18:16

    Our mother was always on a perpetual weight loss journey. She would read about a special diet (for example, the grapefruit diet) and the next thing we knew the…

  • The Far From Normal Tom by: Abby Adams

    June 30, 2013, 08:56

    We have written quite a bit about my mother's third husband Tom. At one point he wanted my sister and I to become magicians and make her disappear. Dad…

  • Save the Adoration for The Holy Mother by: Lindy Riverside

    June 29, 2013, 18:55

    From Drama Llamas to Prima Donnas, our family had all the bases covered. In fact, we have an abundance of characters who wish to be adored and glorified. Since…

  • Making Chicken Salad Out Of... by: Abby Adams

    June 29, 2013, 10:37

    When my sister Lindy and I were young children, we would play "school" for hours. I loved to be the teacher and have Lindy be my student. I would mark her…

  • As Far as Anyone Knows, We Are A Normal Family by: Abby Adams

    June 28, 2013, 19:35

    The person in our lives who most wanted to pretend we were a normal family was my dad. Dad totally refused to acknowledge any drinking problem at all with our…

  • All I Really Need To Know I Learned From My Family by: Lindy Riverside

    June 28, 2013, 09:16

    A famous poem was written called 'All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten'. It made quite an impact on its readers and I loved some of the lessons.…

  • There'll Be Hell To Pay! by: Lindy Riverside

    June 27, 2013, 18:15

    Mother found that when they were handing out patience, she was not in the right line. In fact, she wasn't even in line. I like to say to my daughter Fiona that…

  • A Bit of Levity by: Lindy Riverside

    June 27, 2013, 09:51

    OK. All you hardcore readers who believe my sister Abby and I have lived a tragic life with a very damaged mother, please remember we had a Dad who protected…

  • Free as a Bird by: Lindy Riverside

    June 26, 2013, 17:39

    One of the benefits to having a mother who was more interested in her next drink, meal, or pill to pop than she was in parenting was that Mother never kept an…

  • We Don't Play Games by: Lindy Riverside

    June 26, 2013, 10:07

    Our stepmother Beatrice was famous for always spouting off that she and Dad never played games. This was meant as an insult to us kids because she thought we…

  • Time For Some Lighthearted Comic Relief by: Lindy Riverside

    June 25, 2013, 18:49

    When I was a little girl, I loved telling riddles and jokes. Comedy was a coping skill I learned at a very young age. However, one of the problems I had was I…

  • Mother's Metamorphosis by: Lindy Riverside

    June 25, 2013, 09:48

    When our mother arrived in California, she quickly did what any slightly off-kilter person would do and that was to reinvent herself. No longer a desperate…

  • Two Real Firecrackers by: Lindy Riverside

    June 24, 2013, 17:46

    With the 4th of July upon us, it is time to explain a bit more about a couple of real live firecrackers, our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice. Our…

  • Is that a fly in my sausage and biscuits? by: Lindy Riverside

    June 24, 2013, 07:25

    When our mother left California for her southern roots, she lived in the teeny tiny town of her birth. They only had one restaurant by the time she moved there…

  • An Inconvenient Family by: Lindy Riverside

    June 23, 2013, 19:26

    My sister and I attended the church of convenience for many years. When we joined our new family, it became a family of inconvenience. It seemed that not only…

  • A Far From Normal College Experience by: Lindy Riverside

    June 23, 2013, 11:11

    I decided to attend a college in Minnesota after reading a lovely brochure about all the amenities. It was located on a beautiful lake, very liberal and…

  • Sisters by: Abby Adams

    June 22, 2013, 17:03

    You already know that my sister Lindy and I are the closest of biological sisters. Add our stepsister Sissy into the mix and we are all three the closest of…

  • The Lord Helps Them That Help Themselves by: Lindy Riverside

    June 22, 2013, 09:36

    Our paternal grandmother, Vera, who lived in Minnesota and raised eight children had a good friend who we have written about before by the name of Dora Wiese.…

  • Tornado by: Abby Adams

    June 21, 2013, 18:48

    The weekend of Memorial Day in 2004, we were all at home for a surprise birthday party for my stepbrother Kevin. That morning my sister and I were eating…

  • Another Far From Normal Phone Call by: Abby Adams

    June 21, 2013, 11:25

    Awhile ago, my sister Lindy received a far from normal phone call from the area of the United States that John calls Mayberry RFD. Yes, it was a call that…

  • A Far From Normal Phone Call by: Abby Adams

    June 20, 2013, 17:44

    The morning our mother died, my sister Lindy and I went to Starbucks to re-group. We had no one to comfort us, and the truth was that we wanted to be together…

  • Saving Your Good Clothes by: Abby Adams

    June 20, 2013, 09:46

    It was very rare for my sister and I to shop for clothes when we were children. The joy we too in looking at clothes and finding just the right item was…

  • The Twilight Zone by: Lindy Riverside

    June 19, 2013, 18:03

    We have written about Mother's love of reading, which mainly consisted of soft core porn paperbacks. She loved the trashy and sordid details and no doubt…

  • If I Ruled The World by: Lindy Riverside

    June 19, 2013, 07:34

    Listening to Tony Bennett sing one of my favorite songs, "If I Ruled The World" reminds me of certain things I would do if I were in charge. First of all, I…

  • Another Wonderful Visit from My Mother by: Abby Adams

    June 18, 2013, 16:38

    Every time my mother announced she could visit me in Phoenix, my stomach tightened up into a ball. On one occasion, she arrived with something very much…

  • Reverence for Books by: Lindy Riverside

    June 18, 2013, 08:18

    As I was driving down the road yesterday, much to my dismay, I saw a hardback book in the middle of the street being run over by several passing vehicles.…

  • Gambling in High School by: Abby Adams

    June 17, 2013, 16:55

    Dad had four older brothers: Gerald, Kenny (the one who was instrumental in spiriting my mother to California), Harley, and Wayne (my dad's favorite brother). …

  • Hot Enough For You? by: Lindy Riverside

    June 17, 2013, 10:20

    Whenever anyone asks me if it is hot enough for me, I find myself wishing to come back with a smart ass retort like: Hell no!  I like to watch my skin…

  • The Best Is Yet To Come by: Lindy Riverside

    June 16, 2013, 11:51

    How fitting that the famous crooner, Frank Sinatra, would have the words, 'The Best Is Yet To Come' on his tombstone. During our trials and tribulations, my…

  • Mr. Ferris AKA Mr. Bully by: Lindy Riverside

    June 15, 2013, 16:53

    When I was in tenth grade, I had the unfortunate luck of having Mr. Ferris for geometry. He had a nasty attitude and didn't much care for teaching. He was a…

  • Soap Opera Expert by: Lindy Riverside

    June 15, 2013, 08:50

    Mother never watched soap operas because she thought she was too good for them. They were way beneath her and her intellectual ability. Whenever anyone brought…

  • Dad Learns He Has PKD by: Abby Adams

    June 14, 2013, 16:35

    You may be asking yourself: What in the world is PKD? Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disease that causes problems only once the many cysts (present…

  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels by: Lindy Riverside

    June 14, 2013, 11:11

    One of the things about our dad was he had a huge vocabulary. He was a voracious reader even as a young child, and reading was a habit he enjoyed all of his…

  • The Ice Man Cometh by: Lindy Riverside

    June 13, 2013, 17:01

    As I was reaching for my full glass of ice water this afternoon, I was reminded of another incident involving ice cubes that was far from normal. Mother loved…

  • The 80th Birthday Party from Hell by: Abby Adams

    June 13, 2013, 11:28

    In my family, I am known for having a sunny, optimistic personality. I am the person who always looks for the best, and I truly enjoy creating lovely events…

  • A Tribute to A Good Old Dad! by: Lindy Riverside

    June 12, 2013, 16:28

    The following tribute  appeared in our hometown paper, The Herald & Review, on March 4, 1997. Our dad had just retired from a very successful career as an…

  • Neutering Can Save Your Life by: Lindy Riverside

    June 12, 2013, 12:05

    One thing my sister and I have learned from having a parent without coping skills is that when you are able to do so, it is a good idea to neuter them. Coping…

  • The Bitch from The Cloak Room by: Lindy Riverside

    June 11, 2013, 16:57

    When I began first grade, after being a kindergarten drop-out, I had an old, mean, worn out giant of a woman for a teacher named Mrs. Jones. She could easily…

  • Hitting the "Delete" Button by: Abby Adams

    June 11, 2013, 11:28

    I once heard Joel Osteen talk about hitting the "Delete" button whenever you received bad news that you didn't want to accept. He suggested that doctors' tests…

  • Skills APlenty by: Abby Adams

    June 10, 2013, 16:42

    When Mother moved to Decatur, she decided to find some new hobbies. Oh, she had always enjoyed reading, watching movies and any other form of escape from her…

  • Comedy or Tragedy? by: Lindy Riverside

    June 10, 2013, 11:48

    As my sister Abby and I have perused our writing, we see that more often than not we choose to see the humor in our situations. Some may argue that our 'Far…

  • Unabashed Welcome by: Lindy Riverside

    June 9, 2013, 16:16

    Mother was proud of her front door mat that said "Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here". She believed keeping house was beneath her so did not bother with everyday…

  • Five Minute Friends by: Abby Adams

    June 9, 2013, 10:39

    If you have been reading "Far From Normal," you may already be familiar with the term "Five Minute Friend." It was first coined by our stepsister Sissy to…

  • Fifty Shades of Mary and Beatrice Part 1 by: Lindy Riverside

    June 8, 2013, 22:28

    Now our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice had several similarities that were not to be admired. They each loved to talk non-stop, said they didn’t play…

  • Beatrice Welcomes Me To "The Museum" by: Lindy Riverside

    June 7, 2013, 08:53

    After Dad remarried, things were quite different in our household. Our stepmother Beatrice maintained her house like a museum, full of relics and items not to…

  • The Parental Bar Was Set Low For Mother by: Lindy Riverside

    June 6, 2013, 17:11

    Mother never had high standards for house cleaning, meal planning or most other chores. Her motto was: There's always tomorrow...or next week...or next…

  • Mother Hates Mediacom by: Lindy Riverside

    June 6, 2013, 10:44

    When Mother arrived in Iowa, she decided she wanted to buy a television so she could "keep up with what was going on in the world" (whatever that meant). My…

  • Our New Family by: Abby Adams

    June 5, 2013, 16:22

    Despite having been on a two week vacation with them, I had no understanding of my new family or how I was going to fit into it. The first thing I noticed is…

  • The First Blended Family Vacation by: Lindy Riverside

    June 5, 2013, 05:14

    A few months after marrying our stepmother, Beatrice, Dad thought it would be a good idea for our blended family to go on a family vacation. I think he…

  • Mother's Bucket List by: Lindy Riverside

    June 4, 2013, 15:04

    One day after her move to Iowa, Mother mentioned that she wanted to sky dive before she left this earth. My sister Abby and I were so overtaken by surprise and…

  • Familiarity Breeds Contempt by: Lindy Riverside

    June 4, 2013, 05:50

    One of Mother's signature sayings was: Familiarity breeds contempt. This often quoted threesome of words has been around apparently since Chaucer's time in…

  • Lighten Up, Francis by: Lindy Riverside

    June 3, 2013, 21:53

    There is a great line in the movie, 'Stripes' with a character whose name is Francis but calls himself, Psycho. When he tells the others in his group that if…

  • Damaged by: Abby Adams

    June 3, 2013, 10:21

    After reading just a few articles here about our mother, you probably have a pretty good idea of the sort of damage she inflicted on her family and herself. As…

  • Heartbreak Hotel by: Lindy Riverside

    June 2, 2013, 11:43

    Mother was not necessarily known for her empathy. Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional…

  • Walking to the Library by: Abby Adams

    May 31, 2013, 19:03

    As you may remember, when I was in second and third grade we lived in Taylorville. During that time, Mother amused herself by sitting on a tall bar stool and…

  • Over-sharing (or Don't Know When It's Time To Shut Up) by: Lindy Riverside

    May 31, 2013, 12:52

    Our mother was famous for over-sharing. She told so many things about herself, her family and her life that you could see some people trying their best to get…

  • Inheriting a Small Fortune or Two by: Abby Adams

    May 30, 2013, 17:01

    Dad always told my sister Lindy and me to save any money we inherited. He said: You may spend the interest, but please don't ever touch the principal. Unfortu…

  • The Original Hoarder by: Lindy Riverside

    May 30, 2013, 11:22

    The cable channel A&E has a show called 'Hoarders' that airs in the evening. 'Hoarders' showcases people with severe hoarding disorders. Our mother was the…

  • Summer Camp by: Abby Adams

    May 29, 2013, 18:52

    When my sister Lindy and I were children, we were never allowed to participate in any type of summer camp. We couldn't go to Bible Camp since our mother…

  • We Don't Have Much Time, So Let's Talk About Me! by: Lindy Riverside

    May 29, 2013, 13:25

    Being from a family where several members find themselves on the far side of normal has made us appreciate the fine art of blending in. Sometimes, as small…

  • Cleaning Day by: Abby Adams

    May 28, 2013, 17:04

    Today, as I sit near my closet, trying to separate the junk from the valuables, I am reminded of the method my mother applied to cleaning out her closets. In…

  • Rioting Breaks Out As Mother Leaves LA by: Lindy Riverside

    May 28, 2013, 12:50

    When Mother and husband number three Tom decided to move to Indiana, they hired a moving van, at great expense, to cart all of their prized possessions (aka…

  • Mother's Made-Up Memories by: Lindy Riverside

    May 27, 2013, 15:45

    Mother always loved to tell anyone who would listen about the incoherent speech I had developed when I was a little girl. In fact she said that my first…

  • The Loyalty Gene by: Lindy Riverside

    May 27, 2013, 04:45

    One of the traits that my sister Abby and I share is what we refer to as the "loyalty gene." We are loyal to each other, our family, our friends, our pets and…

  • Held Hostage by: Lindy Riverside

    May 26, 2013, 14:14

    When my sister Abby and I were children, our ability to escape from our mother was rather limited. We could go outdoors and hide from her or go outdoors and…

  • Something in the Water! by: Lindy Riverside

    May 26, 2013, 08:01

    After a recent trip to our hometown where Abby, her son Taylor and I were hoping for a family reunion, we instead received a family rejection. Even now, as…

  • We Take a Back Seat to No One! by: Lindy Riverside

    May 25, 2013, 20:57

    My sister Abby and I learned at an early age to stand up for ourselves. When you have little or no mothering in your life, you learn to play that role for…

  • Recipe for Copyright Takedown Pie by: Lindy Riverside

    May 24, 2013, 16:50

    If our article about the Kentucky Derby made you interested in trying Copyright Takedown Pie, here is a recipe for a similar dish: Ingredients: 1/2 cup…

  • Kentucky Derby, You Bet! by: Lindy Riverside

    May 23, 2013, 12:42

    May 17th, 1875 was the first Kentucky Derby. Now, if you are from hillbilly royalty, like we are, you have heard about the "Derby" since you were just a…

  • North to Alaska: Part II by: Abby Adams

    May 12, 2013, 04:58

    Like Robert Frost, as a teenager I was eager to explore "The Road Not Taken." Dad was planning to move us to Alaska to live when I was less than two years old.…

  • Mary invites Beatrice on a picnic by: Lindy Riverside

    May 11, 2013, 21:48

    After our mother and father divorced, Dad remarried. And in turn, as only Mother could, our mother Mary was quickly dying to spend some "quality time" with our…

  • Walking on Egg Shells (The Sequel) by: Abby Adams

    May 10, 2013, 19:25

    In case it wasn't enough to have to deal very carefully with our mother Mary, we also had to walk on eggshells around our father's second wife Beatrice. We…

  • Chow Hounds on the Edge of the New Frontier by: Lindy Riverside

    May 10, 2013, 11:36

    As our family enlarged due to the marriage of our Dad and Beatrice, we gained our new brother (Kevin) and new sister (Sissy) from Beatrice's previous marriage.…

  • Happy Mother's Day: A Joanna Lund recipe by: Abby Adams

    May 9, 2013, 14:52

    As you already know, our mother did not particularly enjoy any of the holidays. She thought Thanksgiving was a great time to invite lonely spinster schoolteache…

  • Missing Pieces of the Puzzle by: Lindy Riverside

    May 9, 2013, 11:56

    Just like with a jigsaw puzzle that cannot be completed without all the pieces, that is how our mother's life was lived. No doubt everyone is familiar with the…

  • Just Another Day in Paradise by: Lindy Riverside

    May 8, 2013, 12:50

    Not knowing what to expect from a parent on any given day makes you realize that your life is going to be at various times: surprising exceptional whack…

  • Summertime Blues by: Abby Adams

    May 6, 2013, 12:28

    You already know about Mother getting her driver's license (which she did not do until after we had moved to Decatur when I was nine years old). You also know…

  • North to Alaska! by: Abby Adams

    April 30, 2013, 11:34

    When I was less than a year old, Dad began making plans to move his little family to Alaska. Dad had served in the Army in the Aleutian Islands, and he loved…

  • One Year Since Mother's Death by: Abby Adams

    April 24, 2013, 14:05

    When my sister Lindy called me and told me our mother had slipped into a coma, my first reaction was shock. Not shock that Mother was now unable to communicate,…

  • Eulogy for My Grandmother by: Taylor James

    April 24, 2013, 13:15

    Shortly after my grandmother Mary passed away, our family gathered on Mother's Day to remember her life and note her passing. I was honored to officiate at…

  • Passing On and Moving On by: Lindy Riverside

    April 23, 2013, 09:02

    As the first anniversary of our mother's death approaches, my sister Abby and I have mixed feelings about the event. I am grateful that Mother had a peaceful…

  • Every Day Was Independence Day by: Abby Adams

    April 17, 2013, 11:36

    Both Lindy and I are very independent women and I think some of our friends wonder how we became so self-sufficient when we lived in such a Far From Normal…

  • Grab Bags! by: Lindy Riverside

    April 11, 2013, 10:45

    When I was quite young, I was a sucker for grab bags from the dime stores that our mother enjoyed frequenting. These stores I frequented had a junk table where…

  • You scream, Mother screams, we all scream for ice cream! by: Lindy Riverside

    April 7, 2013, 12:59

    This Tuesday, April 9th, it is Free Cone Day (courtesy of Ben & Jerry's). This wonderful holiday reminded my of some childhood memories and my life-long…

  • Lord of the Rings by: Abby Adams

    April 4, 2013, 10:28

    When we visited my mother in Indiana, things always managed to take a dark turn. My sister and I had very low expectations going in and even with those lowered…

  • Happy Anniversary Kids! by: Lindy Riverside

    April 1, 2013, 08:09

    To my beloved siblings (my sister Abby, step-brother Kevin, and step-sister Sissy): This is a family love letter sent to all three of you from your sister…

  • Walking on Easter Egg Shells by: Abby Adams

    March 26, 2013, 22:40

    The entire time my sister Lindy and I were growing up we participated in a sport known as "walking on egg shells." This sport is not played in the Olympics,…

  • Bite Marks in My Tupperware by: Abby Adams

    March 25, 2013, 17:07

    Since my sister and I grew up with a mother who considered Christmastime a reason to get more drunk than usual, and who viewed Easter as the day that she got…

  • Cock-A-Leekie Soup Recipe by: Lindy Riverside

    March 21, 2013, 12:37

    Cock-A-Leekie Soup is a peasant dish with many regional variations, some which go back as far as the 16th century. Some cooks add chopped grilled bacon, some…

  • A Trip to the Dime Store by: Lindy Riverside

    March 20, 2013, 16:19

    One of Mother's favorite places to shop was  the dime store. She loved Kresge's and Woolworth because they were places filled with all kinds of junk for a…

  • Cock-A-Leekie Soup by: Lindy Riverside

    March 18, 2013, 10:04

    All her life, Mother was taken by certain things. Some times, those things were foreign cultures or peoples and their traditions and ways. Other times, she…

  • The Taxman by: Abby Adams

    March 14, 2013, 14:55

    Let me tell you how it will be There's one for you, nineteen for me 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman I have always believed that one should be…

  • Boundaries: Not Just for Countries by: Lindy Riverside

    March 11, 2013, 16:40

    Our mother never obeyed boundaries during her lifetime. While most people understand these parameters of society to at least some degree, this concept was…

  • JoAnna Lund's Healthy Macaroni Salad by: Abby Adams

    March 9, 2013, 07:51

    Growing up, my sister Lindy and I never had macaroni salad--guess who didn't like it? And of course if Mother didn't like something...well, you either know the…

  • A Surrogate Mother Unlike Any Other by: Abby Adams

    March 7, 2013, 17:35

    Growing up with Mary for a mother, I realized at a very young age that I was going to need some other role models. During the time we lived in Chicago, Aunt…

  • Christmas Eve Cooking @ Ralph's Pub by: Abby Adams

    March 4, 2013, 11:54

    Our family had many delightful Christmas Eve celebrations that occurred at our home once Mother had left for California and Dad and Beatrice were married. We…

  • Next Stop: Dysfunction Junction by: Lindy Riverside

    February 26, 2013, 21:58

    Mother never paid much attention to the names she used when applying what could be loosely called parental control or discipline. She reminded my sister Abby…

  • Mother and the Dewey Decimal System by: Lindy Riverside

    February 23, 2013, 10:42

    Having just returned from my public library, I am reminded once again how much Mother hated the idea of borrowing books. Ironic in a way. She loved to read,…

  • Serenity Now! by: Lindy Riverside

    February 19, 2013, 20:44

    Our mother loved, loved, loved The Serenity Prayer. The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by twentieth century American…

  • Can't Turn Around on a One Way Street by: Lindy Riverside

    February 15, 2013, 20:18

    Mother was a "my way or the highway kind" of person. It would seem she mentally lived on a one way street with no detours her entire life. If she said it was…

  • The Simple Pleasures on Valentine's Day and Every Day by: Lindy Riverside

    February 14, 2013, 10:39

    One of the most enchanting things about our dad was he knew how to treasure the simple pleasures in life. He loved nature and being outdoors and shared that…

  • The Hunger Games by: Lindy Riverside

    February 13, 2013, 13:46

    As a teenager, I enjoyed spending as much time as possible in the Bookmobile. Mother, on the other hand, loved window shopping. She could spend hours slowly…

  • I Wanna Get Physical by: Abby Adams

    February 12, 2013, 23:17

    Growing up, my sister and I were not encouraged to take part in any physical education. Mother considered it a total waste of time. She also believed that, in…

  • Herding Cats by: Lindy Riverside

    February 12, 2013, 16:57

    Our mother had a real aversion to cats. She always told my sister and me to steer clear of them because they "could not be trusted." Generally, Mother never…

  • Old School Is Cool by: Lindy Riverside

    February 12, 2013, 10:32

    You might say that Dad, my sister and I were definitely "old school". This term is thrown around today instead of using old fashioned. But we grew up to…

  • Let the TV Rest by: Abby Adams

    February 11, 2013, 14:43

    Dad considered TV a fad and refused to purchase one. One year, we received a television set as a gift from one of Dad's clients. Of course, our mother had no…

  • Recipe for SOS by: Lindy Riverside

    February 11, 2013, 04:18

    Mother's preparation methods for SOS rendered it a horrible, and often sickening, mess. As my sister and I learned in college, if made properly, Creamed…

  • Expiration Dates by: Lindy Riverside

    February 10, 2013, 19:11

    Our mother never paid much attention to expiration dates. Okay, well, truth be told she didn't pay any attention to them. The bread was always used, even if a…

  • SOS AKA Shit on a Shingle by: Lindy Riverside

    February 10, 2013, 12:56

    Mother was the queen of making meals that seriously looked like someone had upchucked a previous meal onto your plate. One of the items she made was commonly…

  • A Valentine to Our Stepmother by: Abby Adams

    February 9, 2013, 22:49

    Recently I was shopping with a friend and she said Why do you know all the good brands? I stopped for a moment, but I didn't come up with much of an answer.…

  • Doomed To Look Like A Dork by: Lindy Riverside

    February 9, 2013, 15:12

    When my sister Abby and I were in elementary school, most of the girls joined up with the Girl Scouts. Mother loved being involved in organizations, as long as…

  • Third Cousin By Marriage Twice Removed by: Abby Adams

    February 8, 2013, 23:05

    On one occasion when my sister Lindy and I were visiting Mother in Indiana, she made plans to visit with one of her distant cousins. And by distant cousin, I…

  • Valentine's Day in the Hospital by: Lindy Riverside

    February 8, 2013, 10:00

    When I was in fourth grade, on Valentine's Day, I woke up with a horrible stomachache. Mother knew it must be serious because when she mentioned missing out on…

  • The Next Generation by: Abby Adams

    February 8, 2013, 00:13

    You may think that we were and always will be a totally dysfunctional family--incapable of forging any loving bonds within the family, having "normal" family…

  • A Valentine's Day Shoebox Full Of Hopes and Dreams by: Abby Adams

    February 7, 2013, 11:44

    When we were in elementary school, each year as February approached, my sister Lindy and I started to get excited. We would begin looking at the boxes of…

  • The Velvet Hammer by: Lindy Riverside

    February 6, 2013, 20:57

    Mother not only enjoyed drinking, she also enjoyed hanging out in very seedy drinking establishments (aka dive bars). While she was between husbands and living…

  • Clodhoppers AKA Shitkickers by: Lindy Riverside

    February 6, 2013, 14:08

    Every fall, right before school started, Mother would take my sister Abby and me school shopping. We would get one pair of shoes that were supposed to last the…

  • A Long, Strange Trip by: Lindy Riverside

    February 6, 2013, 04:02

    After days of blood, sweat, and tears preparing for our mother's move from southern Indiana to be closer to where I lived, “Moving Mother” day had finally…

  • Bonfire of the Vanities by: Lindy Riverside

    February 5, 2013, 15:56

    To help prepare our mother for the transition into a senior living apartment in Iowa, one of the things my sister and I did out of necessity was to narrow down…

  • Fast Time or Slow Time? by: Abby Adams

    February 5, 2013, 08:36

    One of the frustrations for my sister about going to southern Indiana was the confusing nature of time. Yes, time itself. When we were children, there was no…

  • Just Stopped In To See What Condition Her Condition Was In by: Abby Adams

    February 4, 2013, 21:34

    My sister Lindy and I dreaded the periodic phone calls from Husband Number Three Tom relating to us that Mother was in the hospital. He usually had the details…

  • S.O.B...S.O.B...S.O.B... by: Lindy Riverside

    February 4, 2013, 09:56

    Once Mother settled in to her new home in Iowa, she had a myriad of appointments. Her former doctor in Indiana had sent a ton of medical records with us. When…

  • We're Getting Too Old For This Shit! by: Lindy Riverside

    February 3, 2013, 20:37

    On one of our annual trips to Indiana to visit our mother, I told my sister Abby that we needed to tell Mother we were just getting too old for this shit. It…

  • Super Bowl or Super Freak? by: Lindy Riverside

    February 2, 2013, 22:44

    When we were growing up, our mother often told my sister Abby and me how stupid she thought football was. She wondered what the point was of people chasing a…

  • The Shadow Knows! by: Lindy Riverside

    February 2, 2013, 04:21

    Groundhog Day always reminds me how confused Mother was about this legendary tale. She could not remember whether Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow meant…

  • Friday the Thirteenth by: Lindy Riverside

    February 1, 2013, 15:29

    After moving to Iowa and getting settled into her senior living apartment, our mother eventually settled into something of a routine (for her, anyway). The…

  • A Diller, A Dollar, What Crap Can I Buy For A Dollar? by: Lindy Riverside

    February 1, 2013, 05:12

    The unique marketing idea of a "dollar store" was one of our mother's many compulsions. She always favored for quantity over quality and loved nothing more…

  • Long Journey Back by: Abby Adams

    January 31, 2013, 13:54

    After moving to Indiana and getting into her seventies, Mother began to decline physically. My sister Lindy felt it was time our mother moved closer to us. I…

  • Strangely Estranged by: Lindy Riverside

    January 30, 2013, 03:11

    Our mother was not around for a lot of our lives. After our parents divorced, she moved to California, and that was that. For many, many years we rarely heard…

  • Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here by: Abby Adams

    January 29, 2013, 17:43

    Most people wish to select their own home for purchase, or at least to see the home before purchasing or moving into it. But not Mother. When she and Husband…

  • Fighting at a Funeral by: Abby Adams

    January 29, 2013, 11:07

    While Mother and Husband Number Three Tom were living in Indiana, I received a phone call from her to let me know that her brother-in-law had passed away.…

  • Crock Pot or Crack Pot? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 28, 2013, 19:04

    Once our mother arrived in southern Indiana, she quickly became acquainted with crock pot cooking. This kind of cooking was right up her alley, so to speak:…

  • Our Lives (As Told By Reader's Digest) by: Lindy Riverside

    January 28, 2013, 13:27

    Mother was never one to worry about the actual truth in most cases of her life.  She fancied herself quite the intellect since she was always reading (never…

  • Martha Stewart Junior She Was Not by: Lindy Riverside

    January 27, 2013, 19:03

    Mother had a very inflated opinion of herself.  She never suffered from low self esteem (just the opposite, actually), and would gladly share with you why she…

  • Mother Superior by: Lindy Riverside

    January 27, 2013, 11:22

    Mother had a penchant for anyone or anything that was foreign. Abby and I aren't quite sure where this quirk came from but she exhibited it throughout her…

  • The Original Spice Girl by: Lindy Riverside

    January 25, 2013, 15:56

    Our mother was no stranger to spicing things up. She fancied herself quite the gourmand.  She loved to eat, but did so without an audience. Thus the term…

  • Father Knew Best by: Abby Adams

    January 25, 2013, 01:04

    Dad had many funny sayings. Whenever he heard of someone having a messy house, he would say I could clean that house in ten minutes. He would say it to…

  • The Pomegranate Phase by: Lindy Riverside

    January 24, 2013, 20:40

    Mother had a fascination for certain things. One was new foods that she had never eaten or heard of; another was fad diets (usually of the "lose weight without…

  • Hello, Jello by: Abby Adams

    January 24, 2013, 14:37

    Mother rarely made Jello.  She didn't particularly care for it, and one of her rules of the road was if she didn't like something, nobody else would like or…

  • Neapolitan Meltdown by: Lindy Riverside

    January 23, 2013, 19:01

    One summer Abby and I paid a visit to Mother and Husband Number Three, Tom. At least we were pretty sure he was Husband Number Three. Mother was so…

  • Chicago Fire by: Abby Adams

    January 23, 2013, 12:20

    My son Taylor called me this morning and mentioned the massive, five-alarm warehouse fire in Chicago that occurred last night. Thankfully, this fire was not as…

  • MilkToast Recipe by: Lindy Riverside

    January 23, 2013, 05:57

    After the earlier article Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, I got to thinking about Mother's "famous" concoction to give us whenever either of us had a…

  • Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates by: Abby Adams

    January 22, 2013, 13:39

    From the time we were babies, Mother alternated between rewarding us and punishing us with food. One of my earliest memories is visiting at my grandparents'…

  • Miss Flora McFlimsey and her Life-Changing Words by: Abby Adams

    January 22, 2013, 07:01

    As a small child, Aunt Olive was my savior.  She was the one who made me new clothes, allowed me to travel and see the world (or at least Chicago and…

  • Martin Luther King Junior Day by: Abby Adams

    January 21, 2013, 13:22

    You already know that Mother had some pretty unusual preconceived notions about people.  If you were Jewish, she thought you were smart.  If you were…

  • Cast My Vote for O'Rock O'Rama by: Lindy Riverside

    January 21, 2013, 09:33

    Mother prided herself on being a lifelong Republican.  I’m not sure why exactly but think it may have something to do with the "smoker’s alliance." It…

  • A JoAnna Lund Healthy Recipe for the New Year by: Abby Adams

    January 21, 2013, 08:10

    The most frequently made New Year's resolution is to lose weight. To help get started on weight loss goals for the New Year, I decided to share one of my…

  • Lance Armstrong - Hero? or Zero? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 20, 2013, 10:37

    With Lance Armstrong's recent confession to Oprah, it seems there are many fans who feel he let them down.  I guess he was considered a hero by many in the…

  • Indiana Persimmon Pudding Recipe by: Taylor James

    January 19, 2013, 17:39

    If you happen to find yourself in the mood for a Southern delight of a dessert, here is a Persimmon Pudding recipe. We always enjoyed this treat when we…

  • What the Hell is Persimmon Pudding? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 19, 2013, 11:53

    Abby and I spent many summers in southern Indiana, aka Hillbilly Heaven. One of our relatives, actually a second cousin by marriage, twice removed, on our…

  • Shopping Trips from Hell by: Abby Adams

    January 18, 2013, 09:37

    One of the most disastrous experiences in my life was shopping with Mother. When my sister Lindy and I were young, Mother would take us to a department store…

  • OCD or DOC? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 17, 2013, 12:24

    Mother had so many compulsions that before obsessive compulsive disorder was a recognized diagnosis, she shared many of the traits. She would obsess about a…

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow by: Lindy Riverside

    January 16, 2013, 19:11

    One of the things about our dad was just how much he enjoyed life. He found pleasure in a beautiful sunrise, fresh fallen snow, a deer in the woods and being…

  • Resilience, Repentance and Regrets by: Lindy Riverside

    January 14, 2013, 22:00

    My sister Abby and I are very resilient women and were very resilient children. We’re sure that we inherited the resiliency gene from our dad. Unfortunate…

  • Toffee and the Terrible Ice Storm by: Abby Adams

    January 14, 2013, 09:23

      Even though the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and it seems like a good day to stay inside.  Although I cannot recall any days when Lindy…

  • PMS - Excuse or Exorcism? by: Lindy Riverside

    January 13, 2013, 09:20

    Our mother and our stepmother both claimed to suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It seemed to all of us kids that it happened more often than once a…

  • Life is Short: Eat Dessert First by: Abby Adams

    January 12, 2013, 12:36

    Sometimes in the summertime, Mother had had quite enough of her children, and Lindy and I would be packed up for a two week vacation in Chicago. This was not…

  • Boots and the Three Faces of Eve by: Abby Adams

    January 11, 2013, 13:10

    Whenever my mother came to visit me in Arizona, I knew something unusual would happen. On one particular occasion, Mary drove over with her friend Bernie.…

  • Happy Holidays Fat Ass! by: Lindy Riverside

    January 7, 2013, 22:47

    Mother was the queen of insults. She never kept her opinions, no matter how hurtful, to herself.  In a similar vein, you may understand the workings of her…

  • SADD: Seasonally Affective Drinking Disorder by: Lindy Riverside

    January 4, 2013, 09:11

    Mother suffered from SADD, commonly known as seasonally affective disorder. To my sister and I it seemed like Mother really had seasonally affective drinking…

  • The Know-It-All by: Lindy Riverside

    January 3, 2013, 19:02

    Mother never attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous to our knowledge. However, for one who did not attend, Mary certainly thought she knew all about…

  • A Far From Normal New Year's Eve by: Taylor James

    January 3, 2013, 12:11

    After my parents divorced, my holidays alternated between the two of them. On one New Year's Eve when I was still in elementary school,  it was my father's…

  • Joining Weight Watchers Again by: Abby Adams

    January 2, 2013, 10:10

    With the first of the year comes the promise to improve ourselves in all ways.  One of the most obvious is our desire to lose weight.  Like people all over…

  • Good Luck for the New Year: Black Eyed Peas by: Lindy Riverside

    December 31, 2012, 12:11

    Once our Mother had moved to Iowa, she had many strange requests and customs that my sister Abby and I found puzzling. Once winter hit, she began talking about…

  • Holiday Hopes, Dreams and Denial by: Abby Adams

    December 29, 2012, 23:37

    More than anything I have always wanted a "normal" family, and since I do not have one, I find myself at times pretending that things are better than they…

  • Keep Your Mitts Off the Oranges! by: Lindy Riverside

    December 29, 2012, 11:10

    Our mother loved to get new ideas for the holidays from Good Housekeeping and Better Homes & Garden magazines.  She never followed the directions, making…

  • New Year's Resolutions (One Day at a Time) by: Lindy Riverside

    December 28, 2012, 23:18

    Whenever the new year rolls around, I am reminded of the many, many times our mother would discuss her new year's resolutions.  It was almost always the same…

  • Common Sense Is Not So Common by: Abby Adams

    December 28, 2012, 11:46

    All of us have had the experience of running into a "far from normal" Christmas return policy at a store. However, have you ever experienced difficulty merely…

  • The Story of a Store by: Abby Adams

    December 27, 2012, 22:31

    During the holidays, I wanted to purchase something fun for Lindy.  She is such a good sister and does so many nice things for me.  This time I wanted to do…

  • Paging Ponce de Leon by: Abby Adams

    December 27, 2012, 10:28

    Once Mother moved to California and rid herself of husband number two (Uncle/Stepdad Kenny), she was ready to set sail for the fountain of youth. She was…

  • Ho Ho Ho Holiday Phone Calls by: Abby Adams

    December 24, 2012, 11:22

    Once Mother and Husband Number Three Tom moved to southern Indiana, every major holiday would have several moments of terror for my sister and I. Those moments…

  • Les Miserables or Les Magnifique? by: Lindy Riverside

    December 22, 2012, 16:31

    For those of you following our story, you may take pity on us or think how unlucky we have been. You might even be tempted to think of our lives as a…

  • The Exchange Queen by: Abby Adams

    December 22, 2012, 09:19

    Every year, prior to Christmas,  Dad would go out with Lindy and me and select something lovely that he thought Mary might condescend to wear.  We would…

  • The Santa Claus Gift by: Abby Adams

    December 21, 2012, 21:46

    There were not many holiday traditions for my sister Lindy and me while growing up in the Far From Normal world. Mother made fruitcake and candles, and she…

  • A Christmas Pageant by: Abby Adams

    December 21, 2012, 13:45

    As children, Lindy and I attended church at the Cleveland Avenue Methodist Church.  We were just about the only kids who showed up every week with no…

  • No Deposit, No Return by: Lindy Riverside

    December 20, 2012, 19:56

    One of the things about our mother was that she was about as disorganized as anyone you've ever known.  They say those with creative minds are often known as…

  • The Animals' Merry Christmas by: Abby Adams

    December 20, 2012, 14:55

    When you grow up in a dysfunctional family, your holiday traditions are few and far between. For my sister Lindy and I, one of our favorite traditions included…

  • 'Tis The Season by: Abby Adams

    December 19, 2012, 15:42

    You may have a vision of Lindy and I sitting around like two Pitiful Pearls on Christmas. I wouldn't be surprised that you might picture that based on some of…

  • Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama by: Lindy Riverside

    December 19, 2012, 06:04

    Our mother loved to be the center of attention, whether for good reason or not. Whatever the price or reason, she sought to find ways to make everything all…

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe (and a lesson in mini-miracles) by: Abby Adams

    December 18, 2012, 08:48

    Several years ago I discovered something called Sticky Toffee Pudding.  I was able to order this marvelous concoction and have it sent to my home which I did…

  • None of Your Business Bar and Grill by: Lindy Riverside

    December 16, 2012, 19:32

    As I was driving today, running Christmas errands, I noticed that a neighborhood bar has been renamed "None of Your Business Bar and Grill".  I smiled…

  • Christmas and the Path of Least Resistance by: Abby Adams

    December 16, 2012, 12:30

    At school, Lindy and I always looked forward to the annual Christmas party.  It was held on the last day before vacation and lasted all afternoon.  The "room…

  • Christmas Karma by: Lindy Riverside

    December 14, 2012, 19:08

    When Abby and I were little, our dad would give us each a five dollar bill to purchase Christmas presents for the family. This meant buying three different…

  • Hand-Written Hallmark Moments by: Lindy Riverside

    December 14, 2012, 16:17

    Our dad often waited until the last minute to shop for special occasion or holiday cards for all of us. When it was my birthday or Abby's, we might receive a…

  • Christmas Chocolate Crack Recipe by: Abby Adams

    December 14, 2012, 13:21

    If you use my article describing making chocolate crack and use that experience as a guide to what not to do, you might enjoy the results of this recipe for…

  • The Second Holiday Cooking Disaster by: Abby Adams

    December 14, 2012, 08:19

    I have a friend who says she misses her mother so much around the holidays because her mother made forty different kinds of cookies each year!  I can barely…

  • Christmas with the Black Widow by: Abby Adams

    December 14, 2012, 04:42

    When we first moved to Central Illinois, Dad's family wanted to include us in their Christmas festivities.  Each year we would draw names, shop carefully for…

  • Christmas Cookies and Treats - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by: Abby Adams

    December 13, 2012, 16:56

    Mother did not make any treats she did not enjoy herself.  That meant no Rice Krispie treats, no ice cream desserts, and definitely nothing with chocolate.…

  • The Sense of Wonder by: Lindy Riverside

    December 13, 2012, 09:43

    As I was sitting in church this morning listening to the rain that was turning into the first snow of this winter, and hearing the joyful noise of my daughter…

  • Fifty Shades of Mary by: Abby Adams

    December 12, 2012, 16:47

    Our mother loved to read.  As a child, she used reading to escape the sad reality of her life.  Her mother had died and she was shuffled around from one…

  • Christmas Eve Party by: Abby Adams

    December 12, 2012, 07:32

    Dad loved Christmas.  The very first thing he asked my husband-to-be was Will you be coming home for Christmas? Followed by Promise me you'll be at our…

  • Braces for My Birthday by: Lindy Riverside

    December 11, 2012, 17:18

    They say timing is everything and boy did Mother know that! On my thirteenth birthday, she decided that would be the perfect day for me to get braces on my…

  • The Beautiful Christmas Windows by: Abby Adams

    December 11, 2012, 05:47

    My sister Lindy and I attended Riverside School which was a neighborhood kindergarten through sixth grade school. Riverside was a small school and there were…

  • Denial in the Glass Menagerie by: Lindy Riverside

    December 10, 2012, 16:41

    Our mother had problems with addictive behavior - alcohol, food, pills - whatever the substance, she was not familiar with the concept of moderation.  Since…

  • A Tale of Two Santas by: Abby Adams

    December 10, 2012, 11:42

    Many people are unaware that Santa Claus does not reside at the North Pole all year round. No, in the summer, he moves to a more moderate climate and lives in…

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas by: Lindy Riverside

    December 9, 2012, 16:18

    On the first day of Christmas, Mary gave to us a tree filled with presents from the past (toys of ours that she had taken away and hidden months before,…

  • Stay Calm and Be Mary by: Abby Adams

    December 9, 2012, 09:20

    From the first year after I was born until I was about five or six, Mary had a twisted Christmas tradition she liked to call the Mary Switcheroo.  In…

  • Christmas and the Depressing Depression by: Abby Adams

    December 8, 2012, 19:26

    Dad grew up during the Great Depression. His grandmother lived with them and from everything he ever told me, she was a tyrant and very mean. Grandma walked…

  • Gandhi, Genghis Khan and The Grinch by: Lindy Riverside

    December 8, 2012, 10:00

    Our Dad was a peace loving man. He was like Gandhi in his temperament. And he always tried his best to keep things calm on the home front, especially at the…

  • A Christmas Story or Two by: Abby Adams

    December 7, 2012, 16:31

    One year when my son Taylor was about five or six, I took him to the mall at Christmas. Unbeknownst to me, a friend of ours was playing Santa Claus. As we were…

  • The Naughty List by: Lindy Riverside

    December 7, 2012, 08:52

    As Christmas approaches, Santa Claus is making his list and checking it twice. History shows that old Santa has been keeping track of us for centuries. Unfor…

  • A Christmas Eve Memory by: Abby Adams

    December 6, 2012, 15:22

    Having read "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote, I wanted to salute him by titling my story about my dad "A Christmas Eve Memory." Dad loved Christmas and…

  • She's Crafty by: Abby Adams

    December 5, 2012, 18:40

    Once our mother moved to California and found Tom, she decided to get into sewing projects. After all, she was no longer working and had no intention of…

  • Tangents: They're Not Just For Math (Or Field Hockey) by: Lindy Riverside

    December 5, 2012, 11:39

    Mother was known for her tangents. Beginning one thing and then right in the middle of it switching to something entirely different. Usually it was when she…

  • There's Something About Mary by: Abby Adams

    December 4, 2012, 23:44

    A number of years ago there was a book called "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney."  It was a story about a cat that had died and the efforts of the family to…

  • Narcissism Is Not A Flower by: Lindy Riverside

    December 4, 2012, 11:43

    It seems narcissism is an epidemic in our country. If you are unfamiliar with that term, let me tell you, it is not a flower. So many people do believe it is…

  • A Tulip By Any Other Name... by: Lindy Riverside

    December 3, 2012, 21:10

    When our dear aunt was born, our grandma's friend, Dora, was there. She of course had to let everyone know what her favorite name was for the newborn baby, the…

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mother Hyde by: Abby Adams

    December 3, 2012, 14:09

    As we've already discussed, Mother was extremely difficult and downright unpleasant to her family. What you may not know is that she was just lovely to…

  • Paging Tammy Wynette by: Lindy Riverside

    December 2, 2012, 19:43

    Tammy Wynette made the song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" famous. In our house, Mother made the same word infamous. One year seemed to run into another and before you…

  • A Parent Denial by: Abby Adams

    December 1, 2012, 16:36

    My sister Lindy has written about Mother's drinking and my apparent denial of her troubles with alcohol (as well as her other addictions and compulsions). This…

  • A Tale of Two Parents by: Lindy Riverside

    November 30, 2012, 14:45

    It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Our best times always involved our dad. And you guessed it, our worst times always involved our mother. …

  • Lard Sandwiches (With Recipe!) by: Lindy Riverside

    November 29, 2012, 12:43

    When our dad attended grade school in Minnesota, along with his brothers, his mother packed lard sandwiches for their lunch. Now if you don't know what lard…

  • Far From Normal Cake by: Abby Adams

    November 24, 2012, 21:09

    Our mother was not the only Far From Normal person in the family. No, upon occasion, my sister Lindy and I manage to vacation in the Far From Normal world…

  • Far From Norman Rockwell by: Lindy Riverside

    November 22, 2012, 10:16

    As we approach Thanksgiving 2012, Abby and I have many blessings and find our hearts filled with gratefulness.  We will find ourselves together as we always…

  • Whipped Wax Candles by: Abby Adams

    November 20, 2012, 12:04

    Mother really enjoyed making candles and her particular specialty was the "whipped wax" candle. She made lots of these candles and I was happy to read that…

  • Dad and Barnum and Bailey by: Lindy Riverside

    November 19, 2012, 16:59

    Before Charles and I were married, he came to Illinois for the holidays.  My Dad and Charles began talking and pretty soon I heard the names Barnum &…

  • Wine, Like Water, Seeks Its Own Level by: Lindy Riverside

    November 19, 2012, 16:56

    My sister Abby and I have had many psycho-babble sessions where we have discussed Mother’s penchant for the almighty drink. Sometimes my sister wishes to…

  • Rice Krispies Treat Recipe by: Taylor James

    November 19, 2012, 08:52

    This classic, delicious snack has been making memories for kids and parents alike for generations. Ingredients: 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 1…

  • A Nightmare Ended: Back to California by: Abby Adams

    November 18, 2012, 18:36

      Mary was living with me, my husband and our adorable two year old.  She had somehow convinced me that being the babysitter would be a win-win for…

  • Greeting Cards by: Abby Adams

    November 18, 2012, 05:47

    Perhaps you saw us in these aisles looking for greeting cards.  We were the two, with worried looks on our faces, reading every Mother's Day card and…

  • What Are You Trying To Do, Kill Me? by: Lindy Riverside

    November 17, 2012, 09:08

    Once, after her then-husband was no longer in the picture, we paid a visit to our mother in California. Before leaving, our father sternly implored us that no…

  • You Know I Don't Eat Butter by: Abby Adams

    November 16, 2012, 15:09

    Several things happened after Mary and Uncle Stepdad Kenny moved to California.  I got married, had a baby, graduated from college, and started my first…

  • Thanksgiving and the Celery Appetizer by: Abby Adams

    November 16, 2012, 08:56

    With Thanksgiving coming up, I reminded Lindy of one of Mary's favorite things to make---stuffed celery.  Our mother thought that creating a special treat…

  • Hot Dogs by: Abby Adams

    November 13, 2012, 17:12

      A staple in Mary's repertoire of delightful meals was hot dogs and beans.  It sounds simple (and it was). However, it was also one of the few meals…

  • The Birth Certificate Fiasco by: Abby Adams

    November 13, 2012, 12:12

    Mary loved being in the hospital to give birth, and if she hadn't been required to take home a tiny helpless infant when she left, I think she would have…

  • Happy Veteran's Day, Dad! by: Lindy Riverside

    November 11, 2012, 20:15

    Our dad was a World War II veteran. He was proud of his service but more proud of the education he received because of the GI Bill. The GI Bill allowed him to…

  • Spam: A Love Affair by: Taylor James

    November 11, 2012, 16:45

    Mary had a love affair with processed meats. Spam was her favorite, though she went through a number of different "favorites" in her life. As mentioned…

  • Welcome to the Courtesy Van, Now Sit Down and Shut Up by: Lindy Riverside

    November 11, 2012, 10:43

    Abby and I were not “made of money” either, as Mary loved to tell us about herself.  After her request for money was made, we decided to send a list of…

  • Making Spaghetti Sauce by: Abby Adams

    November 10, 2012, 07:22

    Mother loved to make spaghetti. In fact she made it at least once a week. She cooked the sauce all day, and she seemed to enjoy the fact that she could put all…

  • Spamalot by: Abby Adams

    November 9, 2012, 14:20

    Mary was obsessed with processed meat.  Her "diets" always included bologna paired with tomatoes or peaches and cottage cheese.  No, she didn't lose weight;…

  • The Carnival's In Town by: Abby Adams

    November 8, 2012, 17:20

    When my son was about five years old, his dad and I thought it might be good to visit southern California and take our son to Disneyland. Of course, a visit to…

  • "Do Ahead" Mashed Potatoes by: Abby Adams

    November 6, 2012, 14:58

    As you may have gathered from other articles we have written, you know that Mary never made any food in advance. The woman just didn't plan ahead in that…

  • The Magic Kingdom by: Lindy Riverside

    November 5, 2012, 23:57

      Mary had only seen her granddaughter once before.  One year my sister and I decided to take Annie to Disneyland and also spend some time with her…

  • Pork Chops and Dressing Recipe by: Taylor James

    November 2, 2012, 19:00

    As you may recall from the article about a near death experience with Mother Mary Jo's cooking, her dressing was "to die for." It really wasn't the recipes…

  • A Day Late and a Dollar Short by: Lindy Riverside

    November 2, 2012, 07:35

    One of the many things Mary was entranced with was a plan called layaway.  It seems to be making a bit of a comeback these days. She would shop for the…

  • Avocado Salad Dressing Recipe by: Abby Adams

    November 1, 2012, 16:48

    Although Mary loved avocados, Lindy and I could not ever remember being allowed to taste one. They were only for her special salad dressing which is…

  • Parenting By Proxy by: Lindy Riverside

    November 1, 2012, 10:33

    Our mother missed many important, life-changing events when she moved to California. One particularly momentous occasion that stands out is when my sister Abby…

  • Happy Halloween: Martha Washington Balls by: Taylor James

    October 31, 2012, 14:03

    Once again by popular request, we present one of Mary Jo's favorite recipes for the holidays. As always, her culinary delights are best prepared while sipping…

  • La-La Land by: Lindy Riverside

    October 30, 2012, 19:40

    Los Angeles has many nicknames - the City of Angels, El Lay, the Big Orange. The nickname for Los Angeles that was most appropriate for our mother's period of…

  • Special Meatloaf by: Abby Adams

    October 30, 2012, 10:06

    Raw Ground beef (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mary made meatloaf about once a week.  She didn't use a recipe but put a little of each of the ingredients…

  • Southern Fruitcake by: Taylor James

    October 29, 2012, 22:57

    By "popular" request, here is the recipe for our mother Mary Jo's famous Southern Fruitcake. Southern Fruitcake - Note the heavy use of booze! Also note…

  • Near Death Experience Via Food by: Lindy Riverside

    October 29, 2012, 16:56

    When we were in California on our Magic Kingdom trip, we went to Mother’s humble abode later that evening. She wanted us to eat dinner with her but we made…

  • No Money Down by: Lindy Riverside

    October 29, 2012, 10:07

    Abby and I visited Mary several times after her move out west.  We did not stay long as there was usually a Mary-induced meltdown by someone. One particular…

  • Cantaloupe Pie by: Abby Adams

    October 28, 2012, 16:55

    While living in Phoenix, I would periodically receive a phone call from Mother announcing an impending visit. I wish I could say I looked forward to these…

  • Now You Too Can Make Squirrel Gravy by: Taylor James

    October 28, 2012, 15:49

    By popular request, here is a recipe for Squirrel Gravy, just the way Mary made it! Many a time while we were "Back Home Again In Indiana" Mary Jo and her…

  • California Dreamin' (or California Nightmare?) by: Lindy Riverside

    October 28, 2012, 09:28

    One year my husband and I decided to visit California. Charles had never been to Disneyland and I knew he would fall in love with the Magic Kingdom. To be…

  • An Unexpected Landing by: Lindy Riverside

    October 24, 2012, 10:01

    My sister and I returned to California one summer to visit Mother and Husband Number Three Tom. Since summertime also coincided with both of their birthdays,…

  • You Gotta Fight For Your Rights... by: Lindy Riverside

    October 23, 2012, 16:56

    Mother and Husband Number Three Tom loved to smoke. They woke up in the morning and could not wait to light up. The haze always hung over their habitat. It was…

  • It's Always Chili in Los Angeles by: Lindy Riverside

    October 23, 2012, 10:51

    Once our mother relocated to Southern California, our primary way of communicating with her was by phone. No matter what the season happened to be, whenever I…

  • Husband Number Three by: Lindy Riverside

    October 22, 2012, 21:43

    You may know the song, “It’s so nice to have a man around the house”; the song has been performed by Della Reese, Eartha Kitt, and Dinah Shore. Mother…

  • I Love LA! by: Lindy Riverside

    October 22, 2012, 09:41

    One summer, when my sister and I felt like it might be time to visit Mother in California, we decided to call her with the good news. We placed the call and…

  • A Brief Intermission by: Lindy Riverside

    October 18, 2012, 15:57

    In order to protect Abby and me from any liability that might be incurred, we have decided to postpone most of the tales of Beatrice. We would not want to…

  • Have You Never Been Mellow? by: Lindy Riverside

    October 18, 2012, 09:43

    When I was in fourth grade, I decided to paint my fingernails blue.  I’m not sure where I got the nail polish. Thinking it would look "deluxe," I painted my…

  • Emotional Baggage? Sorry, Suitcases Full! by: Lindy Riverside

    October 17, 2012, 10:31

    Everybody has emotional baggage. However, Mary had suitcases full: A rather far from normal upbringing of her own The death of her mother at a very young…

  • Drama Llamas by: Lindy Riverside

    October 16, 2012, 23:02

    Ever heard of a Drama Llama? It’s someone who spits out all of their drama at you, just like the llama spits at people. Our family actually was blessed or…

  • Normal Step-family by: Abby Adams

    October 16, 2012, 09:53

    Once Dad married our stepmother Beatrice, my sister Lindy and I thought we would have a normal step-family. We didn't actually know what exactly that would…

  • Sink or Swim by: Lindy Riverside

    October 15, 2012, 22:07

    Friday nights routinely found us participating in the family swim at the local YMCA. This tradition started before our parents divorced, and it continued with…

  • Before the Parade Passes By by: Lindy Riverside

    October 15, 2012, 11:58

    Dad always loved a parade. One fine day when we were in Chicago visiting the Art Institute, we came down the stairs to a parade going down Michigan Avenue.…

  • 19th Century Thinking by: Abby Adams

    October 14, 2012, 21:50

    While most of Dad's thinking was very good, he did occasionally make a mistake.  One of the big ones was the expectations he had for the futures of his…

  • Ducks and the Kindness of Strangers by: Lindy Riverside

    October 14, 2012, 13:27

    One of the unique qualities about Mother was that she took to strangers like a duck to water. The further removed they were from the family tree, the more she…

  • Pancake Palooza by: Lindy Riverside

    October 14, 2012, 11:52

    As mentioned earlier, after Dad's divorce from Mother and his new marriage to our stepmother Beatrice, my sister and I became part of a blended family with…

  • The Death of Sniffer by: Lindy Riverside

    October 13, 2012, 22:47

    Here I was ensconced in my new home with my little dog, Sniffer. He lived in my room upstairs and only went outside with me before and after school. He slept…

  • In The Club by: Lindy Riverside

    October 13, 2012, 11:43

    After our Dad married Beatrice, we still had opportunities to have him all to ourselves.  Dad would take me along when Abby was ready to head home for her…

  • See You At Thanksgiving by: Abby Adams

    October 12, 2012, 17:39

    By the time I graduated from high school, Dad was married to our stepmother Beatrice, and my mother and I had a less than cordial relationship. My dad had told…

  • Best Excuse For Missing School by: Lindy Riverside

    October 12, 2012, 07:31

    When Abby was attending college, Dad had a good friend who had a plane.  His friend offered to fly Dad and me out to pick Abby up for one of her college…

  • Shifty... by: Lindy Riverside

    October 11, 2012, 10:08

    One day Dad asked me if I knew how to drive a standard shift car.  I knew if I said no that it meant there would be no new car for me.  I embellished my…

  • The End of Business Classes by: Lindy Riverside

    October 10, 2012, 17:02

    When I was still in high school, my counselor advised me to take business classes because she was certain I would not be heading to college. I signed up for…

  • Playing Favorites (A Favorite Game) by: Lindy Riverside

    October 10, 2012, 06:40

    Mary had several nieces that she visited in Chicago.  She played favorites and absolutely adored one who she said looked exactly like Mary’s mother. Laure…

  • A Creative Teacher Pension Plan by: Lindy Riverside

    October 9, 2012, 15:37

    When I was in ninth grade, I had a geography teacher named Miss Fanti. She liked to make money on the backs of the freshmen by selling maps. If you lost your…

  • Party on! by: Abby Adams

    October 9, 2012, 09:37

    In most homes when Lindy and I were growing up, the basement referred to a dark, damp, cold place where one went only to check on the furnace.  However, when…

  • Up In Smoke by: Lindy Riverside

    October 4, 2012, 23:18

    Mother had no common sense when it came to finances. She allowed others to be in charge because she had no head for math. Not a good way to go through life in…

  • Drugstore Cowgirls by: Abby Adams

    October 4, 2012, 10:15

    For awhile our dad was a bankruptcy trustee attorney, which meant that when a business went bankrupt, Dad had to get the maximum amount of money out of it in…

  • More Secrets (And A Thought About Why We Keep Them) by: Lindy Riverside

    October 3, 2012, 15:56

    After reading about our mother’s lack of problem solving skills, you may wonder where my Good Old Dad was and why he was not involved. The reason is that…

  • Character Building And Hunger Pains by: Lindy Riverside

    October 3, 2012, 09:53

    Mother had very poor problem solving abilities. She took most problems as a personal affront. Her usual way of dealing with a problem was to wonder: Why…

  • The Pretender by: Lindy Riverside

    September 30, 2012, 08:02

    Living in California without children was very freeing to our mother. Being unencumbered was apparently just what she wanted. It meant that she could focus on…

  • Candyland (An Interesting Experiment) by: Lindy Riverside

    September 28, 2012, 22:07

      Candy continued to reign as our favorite food. Dad had watched us from afar hoping he could change our eating habits. He decided to try a candy bar…

  • Abandoned by: Lindy Riverside

    September 28, 2012, 03:58

    After returning back home "unexpectedly" from Des Moines (but still Far from Normal), my sister and I were in a state of shock. Attempting to assimilate the…

  • Hemorrhoids or a Real Pain in the Ass! by: Lindy Riverside

    September 27, 2012, 16:47

    Having a parent with problems helps children become very self-reliant.  Abby and I learned that lesson early on in our lives.  Mary was in pain, and in turn…

  • School Lunches From Hell by: Lindy Riverside

    September 27, 2012, 10:47

    Once in a great while, my sister Abby and I would have to take our lunch to school. Usually this unfortunate event occurred when Mother had an "appointment" of…

  • Manners or lack thereof by: Lindy Riverside

    September 26, 2012, 17:48

    Common courtesy was anything but common when it came to Mary.  She had a certain level of expectation and since she had such a high opinion of herself, she…

  • Life in the Past Lane by: Lindy Riverside

    September 26, 2012, 07:38

    Living in the moment was a foreign concept to our mother. She talked constantly about her past experiences, mostly negative. My sister Abby and I were little…

  • Painting the Back Seat Purple by: Lindy Riverside

    September 25, 2012, 18:18

    On one of our road trips to Minnesota, Mary had decided to join us.  I was cursed with motion sickness as a young child and did not hesitate to empty the…

  • I love Girl Scout Cookies! by: Lindy Riverside

    September 25, 2012, 11:31

    My experience selling Girl Scout Cookies varies quite a bit from my sister Abby’s. She took the job very seriously and had made a commitment so didn’t want…

  • Preferring Penpals to the "Real World" by: Lindy Riverside

    September 23, 2012, 17:13

    Mother loved writing letters to strangers. In fact, she enjoyed communicating more with people she never met (and never would) much more than she enjoyed…

  • Mental Health or Mental Sick? by: Lindy Riverside

    September 23, 2012, 09:17

    Not to make light of anyone with mental problems but Mother was sitting on the throne of mental illness. Between depression, emotional rages, anger management…

  • Also known as...an alias by: Lindy Riverside

    September 22, 2012, 15:55

    When I was in elementary school, I brought home a paper for Mother to sign. It had her name properly listed as Mary and to say there were fireworks when she…

  • The First Step by: Lindy Riverside

    September 22, 2012, 06:14

    Admitting you are powerless over your addiction is not something Mother would ever readily admit. She was addicted to food, cigarettes, alcohol, pills and…

  • Tick Tock by: Lindy Riverside

    September 20, 2012, 15:29

    Mary had a problem with the clock.  Although Abby and I had the same hours in high school every day with no exceptions, our mother could not, would not get us…

  • The "Change of Life" by: Lindy Riverside

    September 20, 2012, 07:43

    When Mother acted over the top crazy (for her, this was way over the top), she always said Well, I can’t help it.  I’m going through “the change”. My…

  • Strangers In The Night by: Lindy Riverside

    September 19, 2012, 16:38

    Liquor & Guns Drive Thru (Photo credit: roy.luck) Once Mary was divorced, she was on the lookout for a man.  Her criteria wasn’t too difficult to…

  • Going Postal! by: Lindy Riverside

    September 19, 2012, 06:38

    Mother loved the post office. It never mattered where she lived, she always spent lots of time at her nearby post office. Between sending packages filled with…

  • We're Only As Sick As Our Secrets by: Lindy Riverside

    September 18, 2012, 15:56

    Drinking alcohol in aluminum glasses was one of Mother's favorite "tricks." You could not see through it so didn’t know for sure what was in the glass. She…

  • Christmas and the Poor, Pitiful Pearls by: Lindy Riverside

    September 18, 2012, 07:39

    One of the nice things about our childhood was that we never knew we were poor. There were lots of other people in the same boat we were in, albeit our boats…

  • Perception Versus Reality by: Abby Adams

    September 17, 2012, 08:25

    In case you are wondering how our mother lived with herself and the less than stellar way she took care of her family, she had no problem. She thought she was…

  • A Blended Family...To Say The Least by: Lindy Riverside

    September 16, 2012, 17:47

    After my sister’s successful completion of her summer classes, we decided to return home earlier than expected. We finished our final day of work, packed up…

  • The Supperclub Job by: Lindy Riverside

    September 16, 2012, 10:54

    The blended family continued to be more fractured than happily engaged. Our mother was busy dating men she met in rather unsavory bars. She was apparently…

  • Strays by: Lindy Riverside

    September 15, 2012, 16:46

    Abby and I sometimes drifted far enough away from home that we felt like no one was watching.  That was, sadly, actually true. Our dad was at work and Mother…

  • Over My Dead Body! by: Lindy Riverside

    September 15, 2012, 10:40

    Mary had many special sayings that she enjoyed belting out, usually at the most inopportune times.  One of her favorites was, “Over my dead body!” She…

  • Post-Divorce: Going Out West Where She Belongs by: Lindy Riverside

    September 14, 2012, 07:14

    After our parents' divorce, Mother and Kenny (who had become “Uncle Stepdaddy”) decided to stop by our dad’s law office before heading west. To say it…

  • Mommy Drunkest by: Lindy Riverside

    September 13, 2012, 16:29

    Our mother always loved an audience when she conducted her auditions for the Maniac of the Year. She usually did not throw fits of rage unless there was more…

  • What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger by: Lindy Riverside

    September 13, 2012, 07:13

    This is a letter to all of you who may be freaking out at our life experiences.  We have tried to use humor while also being realistic and unflinchingly…

  • Liquor-Filled Fruitcakes and Martha Washington Balls by: Lindy Riverside

    September 12, 2012, 23:08

    Christmas time always meant our mother would be baking and making candy (all while drinking covertly from a glass of brown liquid). Paints a pretty picture…

  • Thanksgiving: Thankful for Not Dying of Food Poisoning by: Abby Adams

    September 11, 2012, 16:12

    One of the best things about school vacations was no teachers; however, our mother of course did not feel that way. School vacations meant the trouble of…

  • How to Win Friends and Clear Out a Drinking Establishment by: Lindy Riverside

    September 11, 2012, 09:30

    Have you ever been to a bar that was so crowded that you were unable to sit down for a nice, cold, refreshing drink?  Our Dad told the story about a man named…

  • Crisis or Comedy? by: Lindy Riverside

    September 10, 2012, 23:24

    My sister and I endured lots of experiences in our daily lives with Mother. Some of these experiences were negative and some of them were nasty. However, we…

  • Charity Did Not Begin At Home by: Abby Adams

    September 10, 2012, 14:33

    I have already mentioned how much our mother enjoyed the company of others (aka complete strangers). And she took great pleasure in doing things for those…

  • A Calm Before the Storm by: Lindy Riverside

    September 10, 2012, 07:03

    One summer my Dad and sister Abby decided it would be a great idea for me to spend the summer with Abby in Des Moines. I had just completed my junior year of…

  • "You are from a broken home." Like Hell I am! by: Lindy Riverside

    September 9, 2012, 17:05

    Shortly after the divorce bomb was dropped on Abby and me, I was called into the Dean Of Girls office.  Her name was Miss Binney and she was what was commonly…

  • New House, New School, New Bullies by: Lindy Riverside

    September 9, 2012, 09:09

    When we had moved to our new house on Indiana Court, I attended a new elementary school. There were two ways to get there. Either you ran down a steep hill,…

  • "Diets" AKA Eating Disorders by: Abby Adams

    September 8, 2012, 15:59

    Despite gaining lots of weight, Mother was always on a "diet." She tried a variety of diets--grapefruit diet, hot dog diet, whatever the latest fad diet was,…

  • Cooking with Gas (and Whiskey?) by: Abby Adams

    September 8, 2012, 06:51

    Mother liked to find new recipes, but if she found one she liked, watch out.  She would make it over and over again until we were ready to scream.  Most of…

  • An Attitude of Gratitude by: Lindy Riverside

    September 7, 2012, 18:55

    Abby and I never used our circumstance as reasons for others to take pity on us.  Nor do we today.  Mary was a victim plain and simple and could not overcome…

  • So...my Uncle is now also my Stepfather? by: Abby Adams

    September 7, 2012, 09:59

    I was a college sophomore when I begged my dad to allow my sister Lindy and me to stay in Des Moines, Iowa, for the summer. He agreed only because he wanted my…

  • You're no Picasso by: Lindy Riverside

    September 5, 2012, 16:14

    Mary had a way with words that did not instill confidence in her children.  When Abby and I would bring our art projects home, she would tell us not to waste…

  • The Iron Lady by: Lindy Riverside

    September 5, 2012, 07:59

    In her way, our mother was The Iron Lady (and I am not talking about Margaret Thatcher). One of Mary’s ideas on how to ruin Abby’s and my mornings was…

  • I Fought The Law... by: Abby Adams

    September 4, 2012, 15:58

    I learned to drive at age 11, and I was allowed to drive a car all over town prior to my sixteenth birthday. Part of the reason for this may have been that my…

  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by: Lindy Riverside

    September 4, 2012, 09:54

    As you have read, our dad was a fabulous storyteller. He used different voices, engaged us in the story and was very animated with his delivery. One of…

  • Who Doesn't Love a Good Family Fight? by: Lindy Riverside

    September 3, 2012, 15:28

    Mother loved nothing more than a good fight. She would lay in wait for my sister and I, trying to find something to pick at us about. It might be after school…

  • The Staples by: Lindy Riverside

    September 3, 2012, 09:49

    When Dad went shopping for groceries, he always made sure to buy the staples. Eggs, bread and milk were all necessities and he knew that they were ingredients…

  • Quarantined by: Lindy Riverside

    September 2, 2012, 12:39

    When I was in second grade, a plague came down on our house.  I got the chickenpox.  In those days, a public health nurse came to your house and put up a big…

  • Back to Black by: Lindy Riverside

    September 1, 2012, 18:51

    Mother was heavy throughout most of her life. She would say that she battled her weight every day. And it truly was a battle! When it was a special occasion…

  • Baby Aspirin and Candy Cigarettes by: Abby Adams

    September 1, 2012, 11:29

    When Lindy and I were small children, we were not allowed to have much candy at all.  Mary thought if she kept us away from candy, we would not develop a…

  • Uncle/Stepdad by: Lindy Riverside

    August 31, 2012, 22:49

    Heading over to our former home to see our Uncle/Stepfather Kenny was a bit surreal. We had not seen him for many years and the strangeness of the reacquainting…

  • What's Poppin'? by: Abby Adams

    August 31, 2012, 07:29

    By now you realize that Mary spent 90% of her life on a diet; however, she never seemed to lose much weight.  That mystery was solved by my sister on those…

  • Who Says There's No Free Lunch? by: Lindy Riverside

    August 30, 2012, 19:59

    After Mary and our Dad were divorced, we did not have a lot of extra funds.  Mary came up with all kinds of plans to get a free lunch.  Our Dad had an…

  • Road Rage by: Lindy Riverside

    August 30, 2012, 09:48

    While living with my mother, one day I came home to find out the bad news that our car had died. I mean truly and forever passed on. Mary being a person who…

  • Bismark Puffs? More Like Titanic Puffs! by: Lindy Riverside

    August 29, 2012, 23:22

    After our parents were divorced, Mary received alimony and child support each month.   She never learned the art of budgeting and would spend wildly at the…

  • Girl or Goat? by: Lindy Riverside

    August 29, 2012, 14:44

    Mother's family was made up of some real characters, many hillbillies from southern Indiana where she grew up.  They were very clannish and did not take…

  • Another Near Death Experience by: Abby Adams

    August 29, 2012, 08:55

    The last December our little family of four was together, we decided to go out to celebrate my fifteenth birthday.  We had a lovely meal and when we returned…

  • The Life and Death of Brownie by: Abby Adams

    August 28, 2012, 21:26

      After my parents' divorce, a brown Irish setter started hanging around our house.  Lindy and I enjoyed him somewhat, but my mother adored that…

  • Mother's Moods by: Lindy Riverside

    August 28, 2012, 05:05

    Our mother was a heavy (and somewhat secret) drinker all of her life. But she was not only a drinker. She at one time found out about a little pill called…

  • Quantity Over Quality by: Lindy Riverside

    August 27, 2012, 16:55

    The concepts of big, bigger, and biggest always entranced Mother. She loved buying massive amounts of potatoes, oatmeal, onions and other items at the grocery…

  • Mary's big imagination by: Lindy Riverside

    August 26, 2012, 21:21

    Mary loved to spin tales about how idyllic parts of her childhood were, when in truth they were far from it.  One of her tales she would tell was about…

  • Piggy, Piggy, Sma by: Lindy Riverside

    August 26, 2012, 09:48

    When Abby and I were little girls, she spoke clearly from an early age and I spoke my own language.  It was difficult, if not impossible, for people to…

  • The Best Pencil In The World by: Lindy Riverside

    August 25, 2012, 22:47

    When we went school supply shopping with Mother it was never much fun. I remember one year, preparing for the new school year, that I longed for this special…

  • Love that laugh by: Lindy Riverside

    August 25, 2012, 05:46

    Our dad had the absolute, bar none, best laugh in the world! He had a hearty laugh that just made you laugh too. He laughed with his whole body and enjoyed a…

  • Mother Makes the Divorce News Worse by: Abby Adams

    August 24, 2012, 21:40

    All fall of my Sophomore year of high school, my sister Lindy and I noticed strange things going on. One time Mother was gone for a long weekend to Chicago,…

  • Returning to the Habitat by: Lindy Riverside

    August 24, 2012, 06:05

      The shock we felt after her less than dramatic getaway was palpable.  We explained the mess to our Dad and he insisted we return to gather up some…

  • The Contest by: Abby Adams

    August 23, 2012, 22:01

    In the fall of my Sophomore year, there was a Voice of Democracy contest at my high school.  I decided to enter and with that in mind, came home and started…

  • Mary makes Jello by: Lindy Riverside

    August 23, 2012, 11:10

    When Mary decided to make Jello, it became a major production.  Abby and I were banned from the kitchen as she slammed and banged all over the place.  There…

  • Dad's Stories by: Abby Adams

    August 22, 2012, 20:29

    For many years growing up, we did not have a TV. Dad thought television was "just a fad" and in lieu of TV, he would tell us wonderful and amazing stories…

  • The Book of Mary by: Lindy Riverside

    August 22, 2012, 10:28

    Mother had a love of books.  She would spend all her spare time reading mysteries, science fiction, or tawdry dime store novels when she was not busy yelling…

  • Colorful Characters by: Abby Adams

    August 21, 2012, 23:25

    Whenever my sister Lindy or I wondered out loud why our family was so different from other families, our dad would say You are lucky. Other people have…

  • The Bookmobile by: Lindy Riverside

    August 21, 2012, 12:24

    When my sister and I were growing up, an amazing service was provided to our neighborhood. Every week in the summer time, a large vehicle would arrive at the…

  • Dad teaches science by: Lindy Riverside

    August 20, 2012, 07:24

    Our Dad was always teaching Abby and me special lessons on a variety of subjects.  He never sat us down and said, “Now I am going to teach you a science…

  • Talking Cows by: Lindy Riverside

    August 19, 2012, 22:23

    Have you ever driven down the highway and noticed talking animals? If you were lucky enough to be in the car with our dad, you would have heard them talking.…

  • Mary's Menus by: Abby Adams

    August 19, 2012, 10:37

      I have already explained Mary’s desire for us to attend the “Church of Convenience.” We went to the closest church to our home regardless of…

  • If She Didn't Like It, We Didn't Get To Have It by: Lindy Riverside

    August 18, 2012, 17:16

    Mother had several quirks that stood out like sore thumbs. For some unknown reason, she always held those close to her in contempt and strangers in high…

  • Dad Goes to College by: Abby Adams

    August 18, 2012, 04:13

    After Dad returned from World War II, he married my mother and in short order, they had me. Dad was an eighth grade drop-out with time on the GI Bill. He tried…

  • Mother and The Wizard of Oz by: Lindy Riverside

    August 17, 2012, 20:09

    Throughout her life, Mother had a connection with “The Wizard of Oz”. It began when she took her brother and sister to the movie and treated them to…

  • Mother's Many Sayings by: Abby Adams

    August 17, 2012, 10:04

    To say my mother had a lot of special sayings is like saying the ocean has a lot of water. Mother had quite a few sharp words she would pull out whenever they…

  • Lost in the Supermarket by: Lindy Riverside

    August 16, 2012, 23:57

    Mother went to the grocery store just once a week with .00. She did not know how to budget and never had a list so this meant at checkout time it could be…

  • Live Bait and Clothing for Sale by: Abby Adams

    August 16, 2012, 17:01

    Mother loved a bargain, and once she heard about the clothing sale taking place every few months on Cantrell Street she was psyched. The fact that the clothing…

  • Dad and the Easter Eggs by: Lindy Riverside

    August 15, 2012, 22:02

    Mother did not enjoy the holidays in a normal fashion. She thought Easter meant she could count on Abby and me being gone from home for an extra long church…

  • Making candles by: Abby Adams

    August 15, 2012, 08:33

    Around Christmas time, my sister Lindy and I came home from school to once again find the kitchen table loaded with cooking equipment. There was a large…

  • Fourth grade by: Abby Adams

    August 14, 2012, 23:02

    The town we grew up in was only 48 miles from Normal, Illinois; however, our lives were still Far From Normal. I loved our new house in an old, established…

  • Here's some good news! by: Lindy Riverside

    August 14, 2012, 14:48

    As promised in the title, here’s some good news.  During all these trials and tribulations, Abby and I stuck together like glue.  Our bond was so strong…

  • Dad Takes Us to Minnesota by: Abby Adams

    August 14, 2012, 06:26

    Every summer after Lindy and I returned from Indiana, it was time for our annual trip with Dad to Minnesota.  Now it may seem somewhat peculiar to other…

  • Kathy Ann gets sick by: Abby Adams

    August 13, 2012, 20:23

    Our mother Mary's younger sister was named Martha and just like the two in the Bible, they were very different. Well, to be honest, their first names were…

  • Mother's Lackluster Energy by: Lindy Riverside

    August 13, 2012, 09:23

    Mother seemed to never have enough energy to complete much of anything. It seemed she was always going to get around to completing something, clean her house,…

  • New House on Indiana Court by: Abby Adams

    August 12, 2012, 23:23

      Lindy and I were visiting my mother’s sister and her husband in Chicago when my mother called with fabulous news. She had found a house and she and…

  • Mother's "Special Dishes" by: Lindy Riverside

    August 12, 2012, 09:20

    Mother never liked to plan for anything. When we had company coming she always waited until the last minute to do what would loosely be called cleaning. Then…

  • Throwing Fits by: Abby Adams

    August 11, 2012, 22:45

    This subject needed its own post because my mother threw so many fits.  She was a bit unhinged and her mood could change on a dime.  When I walked in the…

  • Death by: Abby Adams

    August 11, 2012, 04:07

    Dad loved his children and wanted to protect them from every harm. When the subject of death came up, Dad decided to keep it out of our lives. When our puppy…

  • Dad and the TV by: Abby Adams

    August 10, 2012, 19:02

    At the time my sister and I were living in Decatur, most families had a television set. But not us. We would go to the neighbors and watch the Mickey Mouse…

  • Mary's Insomnia by: Lindy Riverside

    August 10, 2012, 08:06

    Mary always said she suffered from insomnia and blamed that for her moods, her inability to ever get anything done, lack of energy and all around nasty…

  • Aunt Olive by: Abby Adams

    August 9, 2012, 19:56

    Aunt Olive was my mother's aunt and she lived in Chicago at the same time we did. Aunt Olive was very partial to me and she made almost all my clothes. She…

  • It's All About Me! by: Lindy Riverside

    August 9, 2012, 06:54

    Mary always told us that since she was the parent (according to her definition, but certainly not Webster’s!) it was her way or the highway.  She was in…

  • Mary Again Teaches Independence by: Lindy Riverside

    August 8, 2012, 20:16

    Mother knew how to teach independence better than most parents. Although it is an important lesson to learn, it should not be at the expense of your children.…

  • Dad's Early Life Part 3 by: Abby Adams

    August 8, 2012, 09:18

    Dad enjoyed most of  the people who managed to find their way into his life; however, one person he did not enjoy was his step-father.  This man was a…

  • Mary and The Avon Lady by: Lindy Riverside

    August 7, 2012, 23:58

    Mother always loved door to door salespeople. She invited them into our home and made them feel like honored guests. She bought vanilla from The Watkins man…

  • Going to the Dentist by: Abby Adams

    August 7, 2012, 11:10

    Luckily I had good teeth.  My visits to the dentist involved the usual checking for cavities and cleaning the teeth.  Poor Lindy!  She had all sorts of…

  • Mother Joins Great Books by: Abby Adams

    August 6, 2012, 21:12

    After we moved to Decatur, Mother was looking for an outlet. She selected the Great Books program that met on Tuesday night at the library as her opportunity…

  • Mother's Early Life - Part II by: Lindy Riverside

    August 6, 2012, 09:04

    Mother had a rather rough start in her early life and it seemed her continued history was not too promising either. She left school before graduating from high…

  • Sunday morning comics by: Lindy Riverside

    August 5, 2012, 22:02

    Our Dad started lots of wonderful family traditions that continued with the grandchildren.  Abby and I loved Sunday morning because it meant a day spent with…

  • Mother's Diets by: Lindy Riverside

    August 5, 2012, 10:26

    Mother struggled with her weight and would try any new diet plan she heard about.  One of her favorites was cottage cheese, baloney and a tomato.  We’re…

  • Cake Decorating by: Abby Adams

    August 4, 2012, 21:15

    While we were living on Indiana Court, Mother became very interested in cake baking and decorating. Many times my sister and I would return from school to find…

  • Mother's Ill Fitting Career Choice by: Lindy Riverside

    August 4, 2012, 10:14

    Unfortunately Mother’s career choice of being a stay at home mom was not a good fit for her. She resented our need for supervision (which she ignored), hated…

  • Halloween by: Abby Adams

    August 3, 2012, 23:22

    You may be familiar with Halloween as a holiday that occurs on October 31st, or perhaps you are more familiar with the Beggar's Night from 6PM to 8PM that…

  • Mother Plays Scrabble by: Lindy Riverside

    August 3, 2012, 08:11

    Mother and her very good friend Marge enjoyed board games. Once Mother had gotten rid of my sister and me at school, she would hightail it over to Marge’s.…

  • Dad's Early Life Part 2 by: Abby Adams

    August 2, 2012, 19:32

    Trapping animals and sending their hides away to a fur company provided extra income for Dad and his brothers. Many mornings they would check their traps on…

  • Mother and the Olympics by: Lindy Riverside

    August 2, 2012, 08:07

    Mother did not enjoy physical activity at all. She was unable to see the advantage in being able to walk around the block without being out of breath. The…

  • Dad's Early Life by: Abby Adams

    August 1, 2012, 21:03

    Dad was a one in a million person. He was born on a farm in Southwest Minnesota and was the fifth boy child to be born to his parents. They didn't have…

  • Mother's Beginning Part 1 by: Lindy Riverside

    August 1, 2012, 03:12

    Some might say that it is good to begin at the beginning. Our mother’s history certainly had some bumps in the road. However,  it is what you do with that…

  • Shopping with Dad by: Abby Adams

    July 31, 2012, 21:49

    When I was in fifth grade and Lindy was in second, my dad took me to the store and allowed me to buy a record by Elvis Presley.  (You remember records, don't…

  • In Case You Hadn't Noticed - The Kids Are Alright! by: Lindy Riverside

    July 31, 2012, 04:42

    In case you hadn't noticed, my sister and I have always used humor to explain what otherwise might be thought of as tragic. We graduated from high school and…

  • Mother Cleans House by: Lindy Riverside

    July 30, 2012, 20:39

    Our mother loved to smoke. It was one of her favorite hobbies. She usually had a cloud of smoke around her head and looked pretty scary. It was never a good…

  • Mother Fixes Lunch by: Lindy Riverside

    July 30, 2012, 11:35

    After a year in tiny Taylorville, our family moved to the big city of Decatur, Illinois. We had a house again which meant we had actual families with children…

  • On the bus to Marengo by: Abby Adams

    July 29, 2012, 19:49

    Many times we took the bus to Marengo. On one particular occasion, my mother became acquainted with a man also traveling on the bus. He and Mother sat as far…

  • Squirrel Gravy by: Lindy Riverside

    July 29, 2012, 09:30

    When we ever we visited southern Indiana, our Mother’s accent would change. She could put on quite a show with her southern twang. It was puzzling to us but…

  • Mary learns to drive a car by: Abby Adams

    July 28, 2012, 22:44

    Cover of Driving Lessons Mary had never learned to drive a car and when we moved to Henderson Street, she began to see the need to drive. Dad would take…

  • In the Rainbow by: Abby Adams

    July 28, 2012, 02:21

    Once Dad graduated from law school, we were on our way to what I imagined would be a normal life. We moved to a small town in a lovely sub-division called…

  • After Law School by: Abby Adams

    July 27, 2012, 22:47

      Unfortunately, the law business was not very good at first—certainly not enough money coming in to sustain the life-style at the little white…

  • School clothes shopping by: Lindy Riverside

    July 27, 2012, 09:45

    Once we returned from Indiana, it seemed the beginning of school was right around the corner. One of our fall rituals was shopping for new school clothes and…

  • Selling Poppies by: Lindy Riverside

    July 26, 2012, 18:43

    When we were living in Taylorville, before my sister and I were old enough to work, we found a job that proved to be quite lucrative. We happened to be walking…

  • Peggy and Violet by: Abby Adams

    July 26, 2012, 07:05

    When I entered fourth grade at Riverside School, I immediately made two enemies--Peggy and Violet. They were in my class and lived in the same direction I did.…

  • Home permanents by: Lindy Riverside

    July 25, 2012, 22:57

    Whenever Mother found out it was picture day at school, she would buy two home permanents for my sister and I. The night before, she would make us sit for…

  • Playing at Department Stores by: Abby Adams

    July 25, 2012, 14:46

    The Macy's flagship department store with the famous brownstone at 34th and Broadway. Français : Façade du magasin principal à New York Svenska: Macy's…

  • Uncle Emery by: Abby Adams

    July 24, 2012, 17:32

    Lindy neglected to mention that Uncle Emery had a unique way to measure our growth from year to year. He marked it on a wall in his living room. Each…

  • Swimming lessons by: Abby Adams

    July 23, 2012, 12:38

    One Saturday in the childhood of my sister Lindy and me, my mother ceremoniously announced: I have purchased 12 sessions of swimming lessons for you,…

  • Marengo and Uncle Emery by: Lindy Riverside

    July 23, 2012, 03:48

    Our mother was born in a tiny southern Indiana town named Marengo. Every summer we would go with her on a Greyhound bus for a trip down memory lane. Our…

  • Road Trips by: Lindy Riverside

    July 22, 2012, 23:12

    Once Mother learned to drive (well, she sort of learned; her driving was pretty scary) she was off to see her family in Chicago. My sister and I would go…

  • Saturdays in Taylorville by: Abby Adams

    July 22, 2012, 11:17

    While living on Henderson Street, my dad apparently missed his Taylorville pals. They consisted of his law school friend Dan and Dan’s assorted relatives and…

  • The Closet Eater by: Lindy Riverside

    July 21, 2012, 07:48

    Anyone who knew our mother knew she struggled with her weight. She would fix some kind of dinner for us (that’s another story) and seldom if ever joined us…

  • Marge by: Abby Adams

    July 20, 2012, 21:34

    Marge Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My mother had a friend in the Rainbow, and this woman had a sister living only three blocks from us in Decatur. …

  • Potlucks at School by: Abby Adams

    July 20, 2012, 10:06

    Whenever we went to a potluck at the school, Mary took the same dish—a peanut, banana, and mayonnaise salad. (Those are the only ingredients and you can…

  • Santa Claus by: Abby Adams

    July 19, 2012, 09:50

    Since I was the older sister, you would have thought I would have been the first one to realize there was no Santa Claus. Unfortunately, Lindy was paying…

  • Peanut Brittle Part 2 by: Lindy Riverside

    July 19, 2012, 01:44

    When we were children, our mother was involved in a local Girl Scouts group as an assistant leader. The people in the troop were virtual strangers to all of…

  • Bible School by: Lindy Riverside

    July 18, 2012, 22:02

    As a child, having visited many churches over the years, I never felt comfortable in most of them. I did not enjoy listening to preachers who told us we…

  • Where Everybody Knows Your Name by: Lindy Riverside

    July 18, 2012, 04:41

    Small towns are made for children. When we lived in the small town of Taylorville, It was relatively safe for a five year old to go wandering around with no…

  • Peanut Brittle Part 1 by: Lindy Riverside

    July 17, 2012, 16:39

    I have always loved candy. As a small child, we never had sweet treats. Money was tight and Mother didn’t care for candy, so we had to follow her example.…

  • The Church of Convenience by: Abby Adams

    July 17, 2012, 11:55

    Living in the small town made my mother aware of something missing in her children’s lives—religion. She began looking around and settled on the…

  • Before starting school by: Lindy Riverside

    July 15, 2012, 09:53

    When my mother’s bellowing finally broke through my alternative universe, I would run like the wind in the hopes of escaping her wrath and the wrath of the…

  • Living On a Leash by: Lindy Riverside

    July 14, 2012, 23:48

    It seems I went from one controlled contraption, the baby strait jacket, to another one, a little dog harness. My mother, who usually was not known for her…

  • First Trip to California (A Real Trip) by: Lindy Riverside

    July 14, 2012, 15:22

    After graduating from high school, my dad and I decided that a trip to California to see my mother would be a nice graduation present.  I flew to Los Angeles…

  • Mary Helps Out by: Abby Adams

    July 14, 2012, 12:44

    English: Christmas fruitcake (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As my father worked 40 hours a week and attended Law School, my mother decided she would help out.…

  • Visiting Chinatown by: Abby Adams

    July 13, 2012, 19:57

    Not only did Dad take me to all of my emergency room appointments, he also tried to fill in the gaps left by my mother’s erratic parenting style. I…

  • Baby Strait Jacket by: Lindy Riverside

    July 13, 2012, 08:16

    As an adult, I always wondered why I have such an aversion to having my feet covered at night. Could it be the use of a baby strait jacket by my “needs…

  • The Beginning by: Abby Adams

    July 12, 2012, 22:51

    Sitting across from my sister, I heard her say This is a day we have both been looking forward to for a long time. It was the morning of our mother’s…