Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bobbi's Portfolio


There are times when death rushes by silently,
but there are times when we invite them deliberately,
for one who has sought this meeting it could be a
            fatal encounter.

There are those who wear no masks
who they are and what they are doing may depend
            on the dark of night
                        or from the light of day,
for there is no time when evil sleeps, soon to be
there at all times, even the dead can still be dead

There is a feeling as if time has been suspended
that the past and future exist as one – for there is one
from long ago who has returned to live again – he is
            destined to live and sow the seeds of terror
in the dark hours of the night.

We have mourned and wept for those who have passed on
            our tears have dried, but our hearts are scarred indelibly;
life continues, although
our memories stir to refreshen the wound.
We are therefore vulnerable to the sudden shock.

It will soon be dawn, soon faint waves of light
            will appear on the horizon,
            dispelling the darkness;
and families know of what is happening in the darkness,
            what it is to find a moment of light, only to be
            plunged into darkness again.
For those who seem to be their friends have
hypnotized them and the moment of truth that could be
has been denied them.


Rumbling down
            scream of agony and pain,
the mountain is failing down.

What of the creatures who
            make their home inside the
beautiful Appalachian?

Is more oil more precious
            than ruining the Appalachian Mountains?
Is it worth the raping and scaring of the land?
            Was it legal to ask home owners
To sell mineral rights?

Drinking water contaminated,
            mudslides galore
and poverty continues to grow

Ground is ruined and grows
            strange veggies
the air stinks of smoke and slug ponds
            that has nowhere to go

Schools in the way of mud
            homes that crack and turn black
and only the citizens are left behind.


A great storm rages
            all elements of nature seem to be at war
clashing …
the storm has broken and
it will soon be dawn;
            faint rays of light will appear on the horizon
dispelling the darkness,
a moment of light,
only to be plunged into darkness again,
            into the sanctuary of the past
the moment of truth, that could be salvation, is gone forever
and even the landscape has changed.

Quiet afternoons are timeless,
            moments when the past intermingles
            with the present,
thoughts move about unseen;
            the quiet nights are longer,
                        deep within the dark as
opposing forces collide.
Times when death rushes by silently, unnoticed;
            but there are times we invite those memories deliberately.
For one who has sought these memories
it can be a fatal encounter.


The dark dragon has me again,
clasped tightly in his steely claws.
Why does he invade my life at this festive time of year,
dragging me down to the depths of hell
where my life passes before my eyes
in a neverending stream of sorrow?
I've known the good and joyous
and my heart beats daily for my cherished loves.
I know my life is rich and blessed
and there is so much more to come,
but the dragon has other plans
and although he only owns a tiny piece of my soul,
this tiny piece can grab and hold
with determination and perseverance.
I try to be strong,
but I'm oh so weak,
so I end up in the mire,
wallowing in self-pity,
too may locked doors to escape.
I want to be free to smell the clean air
and absorb the love of my family,
but the dragon's thick hide has been transferred to me
as I sink ever deep to the pit below.


I picked up the phone today to call my Momma,
before I realized she was no longer with us.
Why do I do things like this?
Why do I hear the wind chimes and
feel like my Momma or sister are right outside the door?

Grief and despair are sliding in again
like the sludge of mud rolling down
the scalped mountains of Appalachia.

Will this pain never end? Or am
I left with these holes in my heart
never to be healed again? I know
time is supposed to heal all wounds,
but these wounds still gape and weep.

Occasionally, a ray of sunshine and optimism
will enter, blowing cool hope and
wetting my mouth like an orange creamsicle.

Then like the tinkle of the wind chimes
or the rippling of a cool forest stream,
the feelings slowly ooze away, only
leaving hints of an unexpected return.


Darkness hangs like a shroud,
            sooner or later we'll be together again.
Our love is all we need.

All is silent, ominously silent,
            violence will continue,
an event setting off a chain of events.

A blaze of flame at the top of the cliff,
            begging, pleading - then burst into flames;
he is gone, never to return.

A great storm rages over the heaven,
            a rainless storm
for vengeance has become an obsession;
and he takes advantage of the opportunity for revenge,
            by killing the girl his enemy loves;
turning her into a grotesque skeleton of his lost love.

Darkness hangs like a shroud,
            as the stormy night draws closer to dawn.
A young man broods over a decision;
            an era gone by,
the threshold between past and future.
Torn between the woman he once loved and the one he now loves.

Morning, a morning that should be a happy one,
            love that lasted through time,
            haunting adventure,
            mysterious and terrifying
stands in majestic isolation.

Under the brightness of a full moon,
            but no one knows that under this full moon
means something it has never meant before.
It is the sign of a new and evil power
            that prowls the woods in search of a victim.

First night with strange and weird discoveries -
            faint voices from the past
            over an ancient phone with on wire connections.
There is a storm raging, a storm that can't block out
            the wails of the past, the wails legends say
come when there is someone to die, the wails of the dead.

Darkness envelopes the world tonight for an incantation has been performed to rid            the house of strange spirits roaming the halls -
there is danger in this night -
a mysterious voice from beyond the grave and a new terror
will take over the feelings of the frightened family.

The great halls echo, with the rumble of thunder illuminated
            by light flashes of the angry storm, as two angry
            spirits battle in conflict - spirits long since dead,
as the rain finally starts to fall.


You caused so much heartache and pain,
you ripped my family apart.
Your lies and manipulation
were things we never understood.
You could never be trusted
or depended on
you really were no man,
but when you pulled her into your life,
nothing was ever the same again.
From booze to drugs to all the things you stole,
you dragged her down into your world,
into that angry pit of deception.
There was a time I prayed for your death
when the drunken crash almost took you away,
but she nursed you back to health,
thou you were never again quiet whole.
She was finally able to escape and turn her life around,
but the hand of fate had other plans,
and the grief remains today.
Not even a prison term
could change your shoddy character,
and you emerged just the same,
not worse, but no hell of a lot better.
I tired very hard to avoid your presence,
but whenever I'd least expect it,
there you were in my face
triggering the volatile emotions
I couldn't wrap my head around.
But now you've taken the coward's way out,
thrown away the life she gave you back,
and I wish I could feel compassion for you -
I am sorry your family must suffer and
I am sorry your momma had to find you -
but now I don't have to worry anymore
about the affect you have had on my family.
I know she may be feeling sadness,
as she looks down from above,
but she'll never see you again
because if there is a God up in Heaven,
then your elevator went down.


Under the lovely
            full moon,
the fire begins to glow …
            up in crackling swirls.
The embers seem to glow
            and fly
around the surrounding area.
            of the embers,
burn themselves out,
but one or two
            slip into the sky to

The original “fire flies”,
            good luck pieces
of fire that,
when past a certain time,
            become alive
and seek out
a true soul
            who needs occasional
magical help.


Tension seems endless,
            torn with concern,
                        steep and winding,
            and it twists and turns
                        like hidden secrets from the past.
Early morning memories are like mist,
            raising vague memories of a forgotten dream.
Mysteries echo and reach out,
            mysteries of a past unturned;
                        on the surface calm and serene,
                                    but heavy with undercurrents
            a web of confusion draws the anxiety deeper into the core
                        like a raised specter of yesteryear,
                                    intruding on the future.
Unreasonable hatred can unlock
            the dark corridors and musty corners,
                        turning the tension into a symbol of strength
                                    to unlock the secrets of the future.

Care and Feeding of a Nightmare

dark and twisted
mixed up and down
fear of falling
black and white
loss of teeth
knife to throat
running, running, running
never fast enough
visions of past become entwined
no smells, no taste, no touch
but sights and sounds acute
worries blend and weave a path
into a hell of our own making
when morning comes
only shadows remain
tiny bits of illumination
washed away with the passing day
only rearing again at night
gruesome ghouls, flesh eating zombies
true blood drinking vampires
nightmares feed on thoughts that dwell
in the deep subconscious mind
poking and prodding the vulnerable point
like a picture show in dreams
and dreams may start with fluffy bunnies
or other cute little totems
but soon they grow and mutate on
vast unimaginable sights
anxiety and strife can nurture and care
morphing the nightmares full bloom

I Dream of My Past

I didn’t grow up in the country, but I also didn’t grow up in a big city.  My cozy hometown of Harrodsburg is basically a tourist town – the oldest settlement in Kentucky.  My first memories are of the home we lived in on the outskirts of town, the last house in a row of 15 or so that faced the major highway running through our county.  Highway 127 has its roots in several states and it is still the easiest route to take when visiting our historic town.
            My father is the son of a farmer, the baby from a brood of eight; although there were actually two babies because daddy has a twin sister; in total five girls and three boys.  I can remember my grandparent’s farm down in Bohon, a tiny subsection of Mercer County, as the hub of activity for family get togethers.  Our family raised tobacco on this farm, but I don’t remember much about it, although I have memories of hanging out in the tobacco fields during the summer and the stripping room in the winter.
            The barns were one of my favorite attractions on the farm because there were so many things to see.  There was hay to make nice cozy beds for catching a cat nap, stalls, doors and windows and all kinds of gadgets and gizmos, but I think the real appeal was being able to climb up into the rafters.  Inching up into the hayloft by way of the rickety ladder and then shimming up a support post by notching bare toes in wooden knots, I would walk across the rafters with arms stretched out wide, pretending to be an acrobat on a high wire.  You can bet, I got my fair share of spankings and scoldings because of my antics in the barn, but at the time it was worth it to feel as one with the farm.
            Granny was like most country farmwives and she kept a huge garden and canned and preserved food all during the growing season.  Although I loved all the outbuildings on the farm, the root cellar was one place I was a little afraid of.  Not only was it dark down under the ground, but the cold, musty air gave me an uncomfortable feeling and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  There was a light hanging from the ceiling, but you had to be all the way to the bottom of the steps to be able to pull the cotton string. 
Bathed in the light from the single, bare light bulb, the fruits of Granny’s labor lay before you.  Jar after glistening jar of green beans, corn, tomatoes and tomato juice, hominy, dill pickles, beet pickles and bread and butter pickles, all sat waiting for winter consumption.  Jellies, jams and preserves from blackberries, raspberries, and gooseberries and apples, pears and persimmons, all sweetened with Granny’s touch.  Potatoes were gently layered in shallow wooden crates and covered with old newspaper for a long winter’s nap.  Apples and pears were wrapped in butcher paper which would turn their skins translucent and super sweet by mid-winter.   Onion and garlic braids would hang from hooks, as well as herbs like sage, thyme and dill.  Every nook and cranny of Granny’s root cellar would be stocked with essentials for the family to eat throughout the coming cold months.
The smoke house was another outbuilding on the farm I enjoyed.  It was typically empty in the spring and early summer, but the smell of seasons and seasons ham and bacon hung heavily in the air.  The rich heavenly aroma of smoky meat not only penetrated the wood of the smoke house, but it penetrated the senses and sent you on a tumbling foray down memory lane.  I don’t actually remember my grandparents curing meats in the smoke house, but the lingering smell gave no doubt to what this building was used for.
The outbuildings on the farm were only props for my overly active imagination.  One of my greatest daydreams was of being a horse owner, and my grandparent’s farm made the perfect backdrop for my fantasies.  In my head, I had a stable full of pretty, prancing ponies, most of them emulating horses from my favorite television series, Fury.  I thought Fury was the best horse in the world, and I wanted one just like him.   While Granny’s flowerbeds were my horse corrals, the smoke house was my stable and the front yard was my race course.
I raced around the farm holding tightly to Fury’s reins and digging my knees into his pretend sides to make him gallop faster.  In actuality I was astride a well worn tobacco stick, clutching the top of the stick for the reins and trailing the bottom of the stick behind me.  Round and around the house we would go, circling the huge oak tree in the front yard, flying past the persimmon tree and galloping along the peony ridge.  Occasionally, I would use a jump rope tied to my stick as a rein or bridal, but this was not a necessity for my eager muse to work
Often times, I pretended to be crippled and would use two tobacco sticks to hobble around from one area of the farm to another.  I liked to think I was famous for being an excellent horseback rider, even though I couldn’t walk without crutches.  I have no idea where this fantasy came from, but on my grandparent’s farm, no daydreams were off limits.  I was always swooping in and saving the day at the last minute.  I was the answer to everyone’s prayers – at least in my imagination.
Back before there was thought about world-wide recycling, my grandparents burned all their garbage.  I used to enjoy standing beside Granny or Granddaddy as they would poke the embers in an old rusty barrel.  Paper boxes, milk cartons, tin cans and all other kitchen waste that couldn’t be composted was put in the barrel and set on fire.  As an adult, I have a fear of fire, but as I child I enjoyed watching the hungry flames devouring all the goodies with nothing else on its mind but total consumption.
Kitchen and garden waste was recycled in the form of a compost heap near the garden.  Granny kept an old galvanized bucket on her kitchen cabinet and every vegetable peel, fruit seed, egg shell, coffee ground or left over food scrap – with the exception of meat – was placed in the bucket and eventually emptied into the kitchen compost heap.  Granny’s vegetables and flowers always grew huge and beautiful and I think it is partly due to the fact she tended her plants well and smothered them in compost.
 Granddaddy loved to hunt and fish and he kept the farm deep freeze full of tasty meats.  There were also hogs to slaughter in the fall for crispy bacon and tangy sausage.  Chickens were an occasional meat treat, but most of the laying hens were just used for egg.
How have we come so far from the family farm?   Sadly, many children today think all their food comes from a grocery store.  They don’t know vegetables grow in the dirt or chicken lay eggs or cows produce milk.  Even a half century ago, most families were self-sufficient like my grandparents, so were did it all go wrong?
I long for the slower days of my past, the sparkling memories of my childhood.  I want to recapture a life my grandparents knew so well, to provide for my family with the fruits of my labor.  I crave a simpler pace, a slower time, a glance back full of cherished hopes, appreciated work and nurtured dreams.  I dream of my past.

Bandana quilts are quick and easy to make, even for the beginning sewer or quilter, and make wonderful gifts for birthdays or Christmas.

Items needed include:
·        12 bandanas of equal size – pick out the color or design you want, mixing and matching to make a beautiful quilt.
·        One twin size flat sheet in a color to coordinate with the bandanas
·        One bag twin size, low loft batting
·        Colored embroidery floss or cotton yarn to “tack” quilt
·        Thread for sewing
·        Sewing machine
Arrange the bandanas into a design you like; there are three bandanas to a row and four rows total.  With right sides together, sew the bandanas into strips and then sew the strips together.  Iron all the seams open.
To make the quilt:  lay bandana quilt top onto a flat surface, right side up.  Cover with the twin size sheet, right sides together.  Place the batting on top of the sheet, sandwiching the sheet between the bandanas and the batting.  Pin around the edges to hold all layers together.  Sew through all three layers, leaving an opening for turning the quilt.
After sewing, turn the quilt inside out – the right side of the bandana and the sheet will now be on the inside with the batting sandwiched in between.  Hand-stitch the opening to close the quilt.  With the embroidery floss or cotton yarn, tack the quilt at certain points along the quilt.  Tacking is simply taking a stitch, cutting the thread and tying a knot to hold the material together.  Bandanas make this easy because most will have natural places to tack the quilt.
Voila! Now you have a beautiful, soft quilt for use on a cold night.  These quilts are so easy to make, you can do several for gift giving and keep several for yourself.  With some online websites, you can find many assortments of bandanas in different designs and colors.
To make a full to queen size quilt, increase the bandanas to four across and five down for a total of 20 bandanas.  Increase to full or queen size sheet and low loft batting.

By Bobbi Rightmyer

Friday and Saturday nights were always roller skating night in Harrodsburg during the 1970s.  The Mercer Roller Rink was located in the rectangular building right inside the fair grounds, which is currently used for the Mercer County Fair Floral Hall.  The door way would always be clogged with kids coming and going, waiting to pay the entrance fee, or getting a hand stamp to be able to reenter the building.
            Once inside the door, the entryway opened into a large room that was the roller rink proper and the sitting area.  On the left side of the sitting area, plain folding chairs were lined in rows two deep, turned to face the rink.  Coat racks were along the south facing wall, and the bathrooms were behind the chairs.  On the right side of the sitting area, benches lined the partition between the skating areas.  The ticket booth opened into a concession stand on this side of the building.  Pepsi, potato chips, and candy bars were a few of the refreshments available to satisfy cravings during a long night of skating.  The Pepsis came in glass bottles and there was a bottle stand located down the center of the concession stand.  The floor of the skating rink was concrete, so you can imagine the number of broken bottles that accumulated over the weekend.
            As I mentioned, the floor was concrete and this included the skating area itself.  Not only was it concrete, but there was a huge crack in the floor that ran north to south on the lower portion of the rink.  This crack had been filled in, but it left a little hump that you could feel through your legs as you skated over it.  Everyone grew up learning to adjust their skating style to accommodate the hump in the floor.
            Records played all night:  the Jackson Five, the Osmond Brothers, Chicago, the Eagles, and John Denver, just to list a few.  There was always a song to skate to, from the fast ones to the slow ones.  Normally, the slow ones were limited to the couple’s skate, when the lights were lowered and the disco ball was shining.  I loved skating during a couples skate and I would try to skate with Duane or Steve Flora, Mike Grubbs, or one of the other boys who I had grown up with.  There would also be all girl and all boy skates, backward skates, and three-ways.  Occasionally, we would start a train, and I would love to be at the end of the train because you got slung around the rink really fast at each turn.  These types of trains didn’t happen often, because we would usually get called down for reckless skating.  I also liked to skate circles in the center of the rink.
            I can remember my daddy taking me skating at the Mercer Rink when I was very young.  He started out working at Corning Glass Works when he and mom went to housekeeping, so every summer we would go to the Corning’s Outing.  Several years it was held at the Mercer Fairgrounds, right after the fair when there were still rides available for entertainment.  The skating rink would also be open, and daddy would take me and Brent inside to skate.  I think I loved skating so much because I could tell how much my dad loved skating. 
As my skating ability improved, we started going to the roller rink more often.  After I got my first pair of skates, I was able to practice at home.  I think I was eleven the year I got my skates for Christmas; I couldn’t wait to go skating with them.  That first night skating, I used some of my Christmas money to buy green pom-poms for my skates.  I thought I was hot stuff.  Within a few weeks, I would have five different color pom-poms on each skate.  I kept my skates clean and polished, and I would oil them regularly, especially after skating in our basement.  I learned to skate in circles by using a support pole in our basement, holding on with one hand and skating myself in circles.  I had many crashes because of dizziness, but I eventually mastered the skills enough not to make a fool out of myself in front of my friend.
When I started dating, my trips to the skating rink started to decrease.  My boyfriend didn’t know how to skate, and he didn’t want to lean.  He had no desire to spend the weekend skating and listening to music, and he would get jealous if I went without him.  So to please him, I backed off from skating until I was no longer going.  I don’t remember when I eventually stopped going, but I had not been for a while when the Mercer Roller Rink closed its’ doors for good.
All three of my children like to skate, but most modern roller rinks have wooden floors.  I have tried to become adjusted to wooden floors, but I missed that old cracked concrete floor at the Mercer Roller Rink.  The wooden floor makes me fill like I’m running over hundreds of cracks in the floor, instead of one big crack.  Hindsight being 20-20, I wish I had taken advantage of the last few weeks the roller rink was open to store up memories of the place.  Instead, I keep the memories I have locked up in my heart and I occasionally let them out to tell my children about the fun I used to have.


We learned about love from you, Momma,
by watching your caring ways.
You let us know your endless love
in so many different ways.

We learned all we know about living
because you always gave life your all.
Your unfailing love was without limit,
as was your ability to soothe our hurts.

We learned about joy from you
in many fun-filled yesterdays.
You made us feel important
with endless encouragement and praise.

From you we learned forgiveness,
of faults both big and small.
With open arms and open heart,
you were gentle and yet so strong.

From you we learned to comfort and care,
but your lessons stopped not with family.
You loved your patients and loved your friends
and never said "No" to any calls for help.

Momma, we look at you and see a walking miracle;
you were our teacher and our comforter,
our cheerleader and our rock.
Your unselfishness kept us anchored,
every hour of every day.
You were dependable and full of comfort,
our cushion when we'd fall.

You helped in times of trouble,
though we sometimes caused you pain;
it mattered not what we did,
you supported us all the same.

How did you find the energy, Momma,
to do all the things you did;
to be teacher, nurse and counselor,
and full of inexhaustible love?

Nobody's quite like you, Momma;
you were special in every way.
You cheered us up, you filled our cups
with tenderness, come what may.

Nobody loved us more than you,
no matter what we did;
good or bad, happy or sad,
you were full of unconditional love.

Nobody's equal to you, Momma,
you truly blessed our lives.
We love you so and want you to know,
you were the absolute best.

We know we were all in your thoughts,
your love followed us everyday.
Thank you for all you've done
and given so generously.

We love you, our wonderful Momma,
you will be our blessing from above.
You set us free and steered us straight.
We'll  miss you come what may.
The examples you have shown us
and the lessons we have learned
will remain in all our  hearts
until we see you again one day.

We see God’s face today,
peaking from behind the clouds,
golden rays of happiness beams,
glittering to the ground.

We watch in awe
from our earthly bounds,
as the sunshine washes our faces,
and dream of a time
when he will take us home
to his palace far away.


                        Rainy days                              Rocks not jewel
            Not summer                                                    Reading a book
Family night not night on the town                                        not watching TV
Yellow daisies not red roses                           Freshly mown grass not fancy perfume
            Blowing wind not standing still                                 Moonlight not sunshine
                        Winter, fall and spring                                                Not summer
                                    Kisses not screams                              You and me
                                                            not me without you.


Sadness seeps into all the walls
Settling into creaks and crevices
Only to be freshly illuminated
By the holy glow of prayers

What wonder awaits us after death
Will we cease to exist
Or will heaven greet with open arms
To cuddle us close and deep

Sitting in the atmosphere
Of prophets young and old
Do you hear our whispered prayers
As the candles begin to glow
Our deepest sympathy

You Will Always Be Unique

You have always been a person who wasn’t afraid to be yourself.
You are very honest and you don’t like when people mistake your honesty as being a liar or an ass kisser; just kick ass and take names later.
You are a great friend and you don’t believe relationships should ruin friendships.  You want to sit back and laugh when karma punches you in the face.  And yes, you are quiet around certain people, but they should see you with your friends.
Your life is a blank canvas and we are all anxious to see how the painting of your life turns out.  You have worked and studied hard all your life, and you will do great things in this world.  You may stay with us in the States, but many years from now, I know you will be going across “the big water” – and even though it scares me to death, I am excited because you will have the potential and the desire.
Keep true to your roots and don’t change for anyone.  Never swim upstream just because everyone else is swimming upstream and don’t jump off that bridge just because they do.  You are unique.  You are one of a kind.  The mold was broken when you came along.

Happy Birthday


Time to eat
It's breakfast time
"No, you can't have chocolate cake"
The whines, the cries, the very fake pouting
Will not change my mind
Oh, please be good
Or at least be quiet
I can't stand to see you unhappy
I stop and think
Will it matter in 10 years
"Okay, let us both have cake"

Happy Birthday!


The unconditional love of family and friends
My wonderful homemade chicken soup
Quiet evenings spent with my honey
A refreshing 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep
Man's best friend curled up at my feet
A lap full of purring cats
Knowing my children are healthy and happy
A mental health day watching episodes of Dark Shadows
Laying in the middle of the backyard enjoying nature's beauty
An apple a day, a spoonful of sugar and everything covered in chocolate

Hope you get better soon!