It’s Not Safe Here!

If you have more than one child, you realize they are all different with different needs. Well, my daughters taught me this.  At the time, it wasn’t funny, but years later I can look back on it and laugh. My daughter was about six years old, a time when kids enjoyed spending the night over a friends’ house. I didn’t always let her spend the night with friends, but this night, I decided to let her go. I made sure the parents were home, and that I could reach them in case of an emergency.

Anyway, my house phone rang about midnight. Phone calls this late can be really scary. I wondered if it was my Mom telling me someone was ill, or worse yet, someone had died. I was almost afraid to answer the phone since it was so late.

“Hello?” I said with both fear and guarded anticipation.

“Mom? It’s me”, my daughter whispered in a soft, fearful voice.

Now I was really starting to get concerned. “What’s wrong? Are you ok?”, I asked concerned.

“Can you come and get me?”, she asked.

“What’s going on?” I couldn’t imagine why she needed me to come get her now. Why couldn’t it wait until the morning?

“Its’s not safe here. I want to go home.”

Well I didn’t expect that comment, but I couldn’t ignore my daughter. She sounded scared which concerned me. I asked my daughter why she thought it wasn’t safe, and she kept saying please come get me, and that she would tell me when she got home. All the mystery made me even more worried!  I knew I needed to protect my child so I asked to speak to her Friend’s Mom.  My daughter told me she was not near her.  This was my signal to leave as soon as possible to go save my daughter!

I rushed to get dressed, and drove to the house.  Fortunately, the house was in the neighborhood, just a couple blocks up the road.  When I arrived, I rang the doorbell and waited for someone to answer.

“Hello, I’m so sorry to wake you,” as I watched a very sleepy Mom trying to figure out why I was at her door.

“Hey Deb, is something wrong?  Come on in.”

I walked across the threshold into my friend’s home. “I’m sorry but my daughter called and said she wanted to come home.  I don’t think she’s feeling well.”

I looked around and noticed my daughter was peering around the corner, already dressed with her bags in her hand.  She was ready to go!

“Let me go get her.  I didn’t realize she wasn’t feeling well”.  As the Mom turned, my daughter quietly came from around the corner in full dress ready to go.  She didn’t utter a word.  It was as if she was being released from captivity.

“Again, I’m sorry for the late intrusion.  I’ll call you later today and let you know how she is doing.”  I reached for my daugher’s arms to comfort her when I noticed she was halfway to my car!  “Bye! Talk to you soon”, I waved as I rushed to the car to let my daughter in.

It was as if my daughter was under a spell.  Her arms held her bags tightly.  Her body was tense and motionless.  I put the back of my hand across her forehead to see if she had a temperature.  She felt normal, so I started the car and headed home.

When we arrived, my daughter scurried out of the car and ran to the door waiting impatiently for me to open it.  I responded by quickly coming to my daughter’s side and opening the door to our home.  She rushed in and went to her room, quickly yet gently closing the door behind her.

“Are you ok?”  I asked trying to hold back all the other questions I wanted so desperately to ask.

“Can we talk in the morning?  I just want to go to sleep.  I’m tired.  Thanks for coming to get me.  Love you!”

I took my concern and my questions to my bedroom and tried my best to fall back asleep.

I could see the sun shinning through my bedroom window as I gradually awakened. When I opened my eyes, my daughter was in my bedroom looking down at me with a smile.

“Are you feeling better?” I asked looking hopeful.  “Please tell me what happened last night.  I could barely go to sleep last night worrying about it.”

My daughter took a deep breadth while gaining enough courage to tell me what happened.  She lifted her head and looked directly into my eyes.

“Thanks so much for coming to get me.  Casey and I were about to go to bed when her brother knocked on the bedroom door.  Jason came in and said there were flying worms in the house!  I was so scared!  Mom, I can’t stay in a house with flying worms!”

I did my best to hold back the laughter!  I suppose I would be afraid of flying worms too!!


Between The Dashes

2018 – Celebrating Family

As we get older, we realize just how precious life is, and how short it can be. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives that we don’t take the time to let our family know how much we love them.

When my Mom and her sister married, they moved to different areas within the United States for various reasons; however, every year they met at the same time at their parents home during the summer in Mobile, AL. This not only gave everyone an opportunity to meet other family members, but also spend time with my first cousins. Over the years, we felt like we were raised together even though it was for a short time during the summer months. As we got older, the summer rendezvous stopped, and we grew apart with the exception of attending family reunions every two years. The reunions stopped, and our lives convened only during funerals. Then everything stopped when our ancestors were no more.

As the first cousins’ children got married, we started to come together again. Before we knew it, my Mom was 80 years old, and her sister was 83 years old! Time waits for no one!

So, here we are this year, celebrating 60th birthdays and 55th birthdays! Not all of us that grew up together made it this far. We lost a few in our generation along the way, but this month we celebrate.

We celebrate God and how far He has brought us.

We celebrate family and how just getting together takes us back to where we left off during our childhood with so many amazing memories!


Between The Dashes

9 Oct 2016 – Answers to Interview Questions 21-25 (Mother)

IMG_2924 (1)

Alice’s 80th Birthday (front row, center) – Tampa, FL in August 2015


It’s been a long time since I published Mom’s interview questions so you can find the prior ones at the end of this post.  I learn so much about my family history by doing the interviews.  For now, lets focus on the last five questions.  Enjoy!

  • Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?
    • Not really other than when I got married, divorced and purchased a home. LoL
    • I was not mentioned, but my boyfriend, and ultimately, father of my children, was in the Mobile Register all the time while playing football.
  • Who were your friends when you were growing up?
    • Sugar (real name was Hermine) and her sister, Punch – These friends lived across the street from my Grandma Laura’s house.  Sugar and Punch had tuberculosis, which was highly contagious at the time, so I was told not to go over to their house.  In spite of her illness, I continued to visit until Sugar called me and told me not to come over.  Tuberculosis almost wiped out their immediate family.
    • Alice (friend in college).  When Alice came to our home during a college break, I was 16 years old at the time and in my first year of college.  All my friends, even Yanetta who was younger, went to the Elk’s Club.  However, I could not attend.  My mother was very strict, and she told me if I went to the Elk’s Club, I would not be able to be a Debutante.  I told her I did not want to be a Debutante, but it didn’t matter.  I could not go.  I thought my mom was the meanest person alive!
    • Yanetta (pictured above, front row, right) – We went everywhere together.  The movies, parties, and fights…yes I said fights!  Check out this story 10 Aug 2015 – The Ditch for details on how we became fighting buddies.
    • Francis – He was a friend and a relative.  See my post on Francis at 23 Nov 2015 – Cousin Francis 
  • What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
    • Brookley Air Force base would periodically have air drills.  This was in preparation for an attack on the United States.  During the drills, all the lights, both inside and outside the home, were required to be turned out.  The siren generally started about 11 pm.  The thought process was that the enemy could not see it’s target in the dark.
    • My mother worked at Brookley; however, she lost her job because someone went to the foreman and told him that she did not need a job because her husband worked.  Mom was fired shortly after that incident.

Continue reading

Jun 2016 Western Caribbean Cruise – Oasis of the Seas

The girls (Mom, Daughter and I) cruised 4-11 Jun 2016 to Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.   This was our first cruise.   Lessons learned:

1.  Don’t start your cruise on your travel day.  We discovered that even with insurance, if your flight is delayed or anything happens that makes you miss your ship, the best the insurance can do is fly you to the next port.  This will shorten your cruise, and in our case by 2 days.  I don’t know what other compensations are available, but the cruise ship waits for no one!  So this time we flew a day early, spent the night in a hotel that provided travel to the port as well as pick you up when you return.   You have a choice of going directly to the airport or do more excursions before boarding your plane.

2.  Remember to pack sundries because they cost lots of money while on the cruise.  Examples of things to bring are:

  • Sea bands or motion sickness meds
  • Over the counter meds for tummy issues, colds, pain, etc
  • Your favorite snacks unless you know you can get them on the cruise.  Examples includes nuts, chips or your favorite treat.
  • Sunscreen, insect repellant

Continue reading

4 Feb 2016 – Update On The Historic Barnes House


historic barnes house 4 feb 2016 - front


February is Black History month.  It’s a great time to provide an update on the Historic Barnes House – see initial post here.

The Barnes House, home of Eppa and Amanda (Lambert) Barnes, was built in 1797, and originally owned by Moses Copen, a slave owner at the time.  Mr. Copen owned Eppa (born in 1852), his siblings and his mother (Jane).  By the end of the Civil War, Eppa was freed and Mr. Copen had passed.  After Mr. Copen’s death, his daughter Permilia Copen, gave the house to Jane (Eppa’s mother) along with seven acres.  Eppa married Amanda “Mandy” Lambert in July 1875.  Over the years they purchased approximately 160 acres of land, raised 11 children and expanded their home as their family expanded.

Continue reading

28 Dec 2015 – Healthy Chicken Salad With Apples & Cranberries

Chicken Salad

This is so easy to make and so satisfying.  It’s also a treat for those who do not like mayo.  Serving size is one cup, and 3 Weight Watchers smart points!


  • 2 large fresh apples – pick your favorite – about 2 cups
  • 4 cups of cooked, skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
  • 8 oz Dannon Oikos plain greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tsp lemon juice, bottled


  • Place cooked chicken breast*, apple, and cranberries in a bowl and stir to combine
  • In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and lemon juice
  • Add to chicken mixture and stir to mix well
  • Stir in parsley if desired
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*Note:  I season my chicken breast and boil in crock pot until done.  Makes 8, 1 cup, servings.  You can serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish to your heart’s desires!

25 Dec 2015 – Cannoli Shells With Filling

Images may be subject to copyright - from

Images may be subject to copyright – from


Joanne, my sister-in-law, provided me the following recipe.  She is a fantastic cook!  Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Ingredients for Cannoli Shells:

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp shortening
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg white slightly beaten (for sealing)
  • vegetable oil for frying


Directions for Cannoli Shells:

  • Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt
  • Cut shortening in with a pastry blender until the size of small peas
  • Stir in eggs
  • Blend in vinegar and water
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic about 5 minutes
  • Add additional flour, if needed, to get a smooth dough
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Set out 6 cannoli tubes
  • Heat oil to 360 degrees
  • Cut an oval-shaped pattern out of cardboard about 6 x 4 inches or you may use a cookie cutter of this size
  • Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 thickness
  • Place the pattern on dough and cut out as many as will fit on the dough
  • Wrap dough loosely around tubes, slightly overlapping opposite ends
  • Seal ends by brushing with egg whites and pressing together
  • Fry only as many shells as will float uncrowded in the hot oil
  • Fry until golden brown 3-4 minutes
  • Remove shells to paper towels to drain
  • Cool slightly and remove tubes, then cool shells completely
  • Fill shells with ricotta filling (see recipe below) either a small spoon or pastry bag from both ends no more than one hour before serving.  Otherwise, the shell will become soggy
  • Sprinkle the ends with nuts and powdered sugar.


Ricotta Filling (or you may use custard filling in lieu of ricotta):

  • 4 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, candied fruit or maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup nuts coarsely chopped
  • After filling cannoli shells, dust with powered sugar on top.  Sprinkle the nuts on each end.

18 Dec 2015 – Teddy Takes a Tumble


Grand Baby Taylor, Chicago – minus “Teddy”

This is a true story written by my husband.  The story is about my mother Alice (Great Grandma) and Taylor (Grand baby) when she young.  Taylor had a stuffed animal that she carried with her all the time.  It was actually a cow called “Mooey”.  For simplicity purposes, we called it a teddy bear.  Enjoy!

Great Grandma was taking her nearly two-year old great Grand Baby, our “Grand Baby”, to the Laundromat.  Grand baby had her favorite teddy bear with her, THE teddy bear.  No other teddy bear or toy, or form of comfort would do when Grand Baby was crying or sad, only this, exact, teddy.  So this teddy went everywhere with Grand Baby: in the crib, out of the crib, in the high chair, out of the high chair. Teddy was Grand Baby’s nearly constant companion: inside and outside, dragged behind on floors, sidewalks, and parking lots, in cars and out of cars, on lawns, in shopping carts, everywhere. Teddy started out white and yellow and had developed a deep (and lovely to Grand Baby), gray patina, like that of a dust mop. Teddy was covered from the top of her frazzled head to the bottom of her frayed feet with nearly two years of love and grime.   Grand Baby was not selfish about Teddy, she was generous.  Grand Baby would offer her precious, precious Teddy to you: as a sign of trust, as a gesture of affection, or just to hold. It might be your honor to hold Teddy for Grand Baby at those times when Grand Baby’s own little arms were too tired to hold her dear Teddy, anymore… though… you might have to give Teddy back immediately if, filled with second thoughts, Grand Baby stretched a single arm back out at you..

Continue reading

10 Dec 2015 – Celebrity Appearances – Billy Dee Williams

Between The Dashes focuses on the stories in my families’ lives from birth until death. This story is about the time I met Billy Dee Williams!  If someone asked me prior to meeting Billy Dee, if this was even possible, I would have told you “know way!”  But it did happen, and I am going to share proof of that moment.

Billy Dee Williams was one of my favorite African-American actors. He was handsome, …very handsome, and just down right awesome!  He seemed to “glow” on camera, and he looked even better the larger the screen!  He’s played in a lot of movies highlighted below:

Continue reading

6 Dec 2015 – What I Learned From My Ancestors

I had a dream this morning about Ms. Rose, my grandmother on my father’s side of the family.  She was really special to me.  She was tall, resourceful, strikingly beautiful, and one of the best cooks I know.  I learned so much from her!  Following is a picture in her youth (I don’t know the age).

Ms. Rose (Davis) Kennedy

Ms. Rose (Davis) Kennedy

In my dream, I was trying to figure out how to fix the elastic waist on my pants.  I was at a loss of what to do so I asked Ms. Rose.  She told me to fold the waistline, stitch it, and feed the elastic through the opening with a safety pen on one end. Once she told me that, it was so clear.  I was thinking, “That makes sense!”

Continue reading