The Mustard Seed Story and also my latest Shenanigans


I found this in one of my little drawers:

(not my grandson’s fingers; I mean I found this trinket)


It’s a mustard seed. I’m a border/hoarder… My mother; she was a full out hoarder (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but I’m just borderline hoarder (thus the term border/hoarder.) As such, I often come upon niches in the back of one of my closets; with cheap plastic shopping bags full of ‘treasures;’ hanging there on hooks behind well worn garments. Garments I will wear again when I lose more weight…

There are shoeboxes too, filled with treasures like sparkly rocks, cracked hollow geodes, and the odd sterling coin. But those drawers are a treasure unto themselves. Given my attachment to objects (which is gargantuan) I have a difficult time parting with such things as bureaus, end tables and the like.

To ease the mourning I often throw out the bureaus in the neighborhood free bulk pickup-and keep the drawers for a while. After maybe ten years, I either repurpose the drawers or I finally am able to throw them out. One bureau I had was acquired from my (!first male!) fifth grade teacher, and this is because my mother worked at a school and bought it from him…

Some of you may be familiar with that red bearded teacher of mine if you have read the Chapter called “Eraser Balls” in my memoir. For many years I’ve owned the very bureau he owned…I’m digressing.

Anyway, this bureau became shot to hell after 25 years of use. It was second hand when my mother bought it in 1980; after all. It had seven tiny drawers along the top under the big mirror which I just couldn’t part with. I have them lined up; one atop the other on a shelf in my room:


There are times I feel like snooping for treasures and Christmas time is usually one of the times I partake in this hunt. After all, if I find a tiny bell, a wee knit cap pilfered from a broken toy, or a round piece of styrofoam- (all are things I have ‘found’ stashed away) these can be repurposed into ornaments which I am compelled to make every year. Every treasure has a story and indeed I could fill blog entry after blog entry on just that topic alone!

It was on such a treasure hunt, that I found this little mustard seed suspended inside a cracked heart (pictured above) which once had a neck chain attached, I assume. I vaguely recognized it as being something my mother once owned. And so I looked up the story of the mustard seed. Turns out it is a religious parable:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

The mustard seed heart reminded me of long ago creations I used to preserve for eternity. Or so I thought, because none of these childhood creations actually do remain. They were thrown out years ago, even my mother did not hoard them!

In Girl Scouts my mother was the leader, it was her job as mother to immerse me in things that might socialize me (FAIL!)… Things like 4-H, Scouts, catechism, parade-marching, church art classes, etc. etc. As leader, it was also her job to think up crafts for us girls. Someone had the idea to put various baubles in pill bottles (with the labels removed of course) and then melt them in toaster ovens. When the plastic is still hot and pliable, a needle can be poked through in order to make it into a necklace. Apparently people still do this because I found this VERY craft on Pinterest:

Oh, how THAT hot plastic must’ve smelled.

I’m always doing something “crafty” and “artsy.” Every year I get a request ( from my son’s best friend) a few weeks before Christmas to do a painting for him… This year he challenged me to create a “Last Supper” painting, but instead of apostles and Jesus, he wanted super villains seated at the table. He also wanted his favorite character Scraggy in the painting along with my son, and my cat. Tall order! A painting like this needs many many months to do each figure proper justice. I only had a few weeks.

It started like this:



Anyway, this is the completed project:


Notice I signed it “Kimbelardo D Tuckerinci?” The fifth guy from the left is my son who I like to call “Gangsta thug Jeremy” because you see it’s a villain theme. My cat is in there too. It is what it is…He seemed to like it.

My daughter in law “H.“, (the mother of the boy whose thumbs are holding the mustard seed trinket above) likes cats. I ordered her this “Crazy Cat Lady” figurine to give her for Christmas:


But I was disappointed because she was blonde. So I requested a picture of H. wearing her bathrobe (which she thought was creepy, but she texted me this picture anyway):


And I commenced to repaint the figurine. This is how it turned out, in part… I forgot to take a picture of it when I finished it. The finished product had more details in the robe. But you get the idea. She turned out not as pretty as H. In fact she looks like Peg Bundy but H. got a good laugh on Christmas:


And speaking of crafts, THIS came in the mail. I have begun a new activity: tearing the pictures off puzzle pieces, putting them in containers according to color hues, and designing glued pictures from the paper pieces. I submitted my creation called “Aging” to a New Hampshire autism charity and they accepted it into their calendar for the month of June:


I rather LOVE the quote they chose. Soon, I will be having an update on a book I am SO thrilled to be part of. I worked with Carl Sutton and my great friend Judy on Carl’s book about selective mutism. I even designed the cover, which is designed from an old fourth grade picture of a child me… When I receive my publisher’s free copy, I will post the details. I don’t make money from promoting this book, but the message is important; at least to me it is. Like the mustard seed, it will grow with it’s message and hopefully when it branches out into the world, many readers will alight in them. Queen of corn.

And as a finishing parting dialogue to this particular summation of my past few weeks (alas I will probably not blog again until 2016) I want to share a delightful conversation from Christmas day.

Both my sons were here. One is 25. (We’ll call him J2) One is 34 (J1). They do not have a lot in common really and “sports” is definitely something neither of them have ever liked. In fact, they don’t do drugs, don’t drink and neither of them hang out with the other one. So I started a weird conversation to see where it would lead. They took the bait and ran with it!

ME: So…you two brothers are together again!

J1: Yup.

ME: Have you been spending your downtime carousing and talking sports and what-have-you with each other?

J1: Sure….

ME: Been having bro-time over discussions of football and the like?

J1: Been having the tailgating parties and discussing the teams. When we tire of discussing the football games with the touchdowns and the so forth; we start discussing the fantasy football leagues. Great fun, it is.

ME: I see. And do you paint your faces in your favorite team colors as well? Considering how much you love the game.

J2: I paint my face, yes. He likes to paint his chest.

ME: Oh, lovely! Great to see that you both have been getting together, bonding over the football.

J2: Yeah we do the whole thing. Wings are partaken in. Lots of the wings.

J1: And beer. We share the beer and the wings when we talk football.


And so, that’s a slice of the shenanigans I’ve gotten up to lately. And now I have to say I want to get back to routine. (ASAP)

I’m done with holidays for now! Oh, before I forget, here’s a picture of my father’s door handle/knobs collection I saw recently in a box at his place: I had no idea he collected them-indeed there are stories upon stories in his house’s crannies and nooks!


The link below is where my memoir is available for purchase. Not making a fortune on that either, but if you haven’t already read it, you should. It may give you a few good laughs. Besides I spent years writing it. As well as the years I spent living it!

bye for now

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