The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Me

September-2014-0071.  I have a fear of lightening when I am outside and I hear thunder.  Seriously, I become immobilized with fear.

2.  I do not like to do crafts, especially if it involves reading directions. Those cute little American Girl crafts at Michaels…I take one look at those and the “how to” manual and close it up and put it back in the drawer.

3.  I don’t like coconut.  It’s a texture thing.  I like the smell, but I feel like I am eating grass.

4.  My two celebrity crushes — Adele — I want to sing like her and learn how to apply her eyeliner; and Reese Witherspoon because I love her style and new clothing line.

5.  My favorite outfit to wear — my pajamas.  As soon as I get home from work I change into my pjs.

6.  My favorite movie is “You’ve Got Mail.”

7.  I have a slight obsession with the Hallmark Channel.  I find myself pretending I’m not watching it when my family walks into the room because they make fun of me watching it.  And HGTV.

8.  My favorite drink at Sonic is a Route 44 Coke Zero with lime and vanilla.

9.  I love the smell of Playdoh and church.  Church smells like kool-aid.

10.  I don’t like to blow dry my hair, which is one of the reasons I am growing out my hair.  I can go almost 6 days without washing my hair thanks to dry shampoo.  I do shower everyday, though.  Wink.

A Twist in the Tale

I began my first blog, Buzz In Around the Hive, about six years ago as a way to journal my experience as a caregiver to my parents, Earnie and Ray. Sprinkled in between stories of the joys and challenges of caring for aging parents, I shared recipes, ideas for home decor and entertaining, the milestones of being Miss Bee’s mother and a few stories including, Mr. Bee, my husband.

My mother, Earnie, was a big inspiration for my blog material.  With her permission, I would share comical things she said or did.  She always laughed and found the funny in most everything, even heartache. When Earnie died very suddenly in 2013 from a brain aneurysm, my world stopped turning.  I missed her daily presence in my home where we lived together as a family for six wonderful years.  She was my zip, which I wrote about here.  It took me a LONG time to find any reason to write. I had no motivation.  My muse was gone.  I’d post something and then weeks later people would ask me if I was going to write anything because they were tired of seeing the story about scented wipes. About two years later, I slowly found the desire to write.  But, even then, it didn’t seem like anything I was sharing was interesting.

2015: Mary, Kathy, Julie and me on the way to Orcas Island, Washington

When I was with my three best friends last fall on our mid-year retreat, I shared all these feelings I had and, with their help, I realized that my blog had revolved around a life I didn’t have anymore.  I had moved on to the next chapter of my life – a life yet to be lived with infinite opportunities to redefine who Melissa is and will be next.  However, it is really important to me that I stay close to those ties I had with Mother and the inspiration she gave me throughout her lifetime.

Hence, Home with a Twist.  A daughter’s twist on her mother’s traditions. I will still share the same ideas with you on cooking, home keeping, entertaining, my spiritual growth and whatever else I may find interesting.  It’s my twist in the tale.  I hope you will stay with me to enjoy what’s ahead.  It will be sweet, because my mother said so.


The House That Love Built

4617 Meadowbrook Drive

This is where it all began for me. 4617 Meadowbrook Drive.  Everything that I am started in this house.   Two parents and three siblings that loved me beyond measure.  My love of God, family and friends is all rooted from this place.  I am so blessed that I had such a magical childhood of playing in the backyard, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, yummy meals every night around the table, a Daddy and Mother that worked as partners to provide for our family, and siblings that geniunely loved me and wanted to spend time with me.

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” Winston Churchill

Daddy Hung the Moon

It has been almost a year since Daddy went to live in heaven and oh, the new mischief heaven must have going on with him there.  I think of all the saints he has greeted since then, some have been his friends in the last year from church.  And the famous people…I wonder if Daddy was involved in the planning of Elizabeth Taylor’s welcome to heaven party.

Anyway, I have been thinking about him alot lately.  More so than usual.  Earnie happened to share with me that she’d been thinking about Daddy alot and I told her I had too.  We got to thinking it was because he was probably doing something big in heaven like planning a festival or parade.

daddy moonThen, last night on the way home, we saw the Moon.  A big, fat glorious Moon. Look back at my blog entry on March 19 from 2011 and you’ll see that Daddy passed away on the day of the Perigree Moon.  Ever since that night our family looks into the sky to “visit” with Daddy.  It has been our constant sign that he’s always with us.  When I go out in the evenings to take Ruthie the wienerful for her nightly constitutional, there Daddy is.  Big as life, shining down.  While I miss him dearly, I wouldn’t trade his Moon for anything.

Let Them Eat Cake

Today’s discussion includes two things:  First, my secret profession and secondly, wedding cake.

Mr. Bee and I attended a wedding of his co-worker’s last evening.  Saturday night big events, like a wedding, are not something I really look forward to because I covet having free weekends to do what I choose.  So, knowing I had to take a shower, do my hair, put on makeup, my Spanx and find something to wear was all going to be worth it because, in the end, my reward was wedding cake.

I am not a big fan of Groom’s cake.  It’s usually chocolate, which I like, but it’s also dry.  I will knock a line of women down for a big, thick, corner piece of Bride’s cake, which is usually white.  Mr. Bee has been married to me long enough now to know that white cake with white buttercream frosting is the way to make my heart sing.

Here’s a photo of the happy couple (that would be me and Mr. Bee) after we had a glass of wine and our appertifs…I am going to take a break from the cake talk and review the first point…my secret ultimate profession….wedding singer….

No, this isn’t me.  It’s the singer in the band from the reception.  I thought they did a nice job.  She sang on key, was dressed appropriately and they had a great mix of songs they played.  I wanted to be an actress and major in theatre when I went to university but Earnie said I had to actually earn a living.  I became a nurse, which in some way is like acting.  I think wedding singer would be the perfect jumping off point to re-visit the whole acting thing.

When I mentioned to Mr. Bee that I wish I were up there singing he said, “Yeah, but your version of a wedding singer would be more like Debbie Reynolds.”

I knew what he meant.  Debbie played Bobbi Adler, Grace’s mother on Will & Grace.  Everytime Grace would come home with Will, her mother would be laying on top of the piano singing.  Mr. Bee said that would be me when Miss Bee comes home from college.  He’s right.  Okay, back to cake.

As soon as we arrived at the reception, I made a bee-line for the cake to see what we had in store.  After all, it was the whole reason I was wearing Spanx.  I was working on my strategy of how I was going to score two pieces of bride’s cake without anyone noticing.  Here’s the bounty…

My world of cake came crashing down at 10 p.m. when the darned bride and groom still had NOT cut the cake.  They were happy as clams dancing the night away and since the bride weighs all of about 95 pounds cake was the last thing on her mind.  Mr. Bee turned to me and said, “we need to go.  I have an early flight”.  Cue sounds of old-timey records scratching.  “But, everyone is going to get to eat cake and we’re not.”

I completely understood his plight.  I didn’t really need the cake.  But I wanted it.  I have been thinking about it ever since.  I am thinking about staging a fake wedding and calling a bakery with a fake name to have a small cake made for myself.  Of, course my birthday is coming up and Mr. Bee already has the bakery’s number on speed dial.

On the fifth day…

We have a guest post today.  Sister Bee read my blog yesterday and offered up her side of the naming of the Queen.  I thought it was interesting that Earnie never shared the informational snack that it took her five days — in the hospital — to name me.  Here’s Sister Bee’s recollection….

Mrs. Bee,

What a nice little story about your name and the reflection on its meaning for you.  I am glad you like your name. Did Mama (my note:  it’s interesting how all the kids call Earnie something different — Mama for sister bee, Mom for the boys, and I prefer the more formal Queen speak — Mother) tell you that you did not have a name for 5 days?  The man who was in charge of filling out the birth certificate went to the hospital room every days for five days and Mama always said, “Come back tomorrow.”

At age 15, I had finally learned how to corral the boys so I bought a small paperback book with baby names and made them sit down at the kitchen table until we settled on a name.  I started with “A” and it was pretty funny all the comments I received from them.  They did, however, seem to like the idea of knowing what each name meant or stood for so by the time we got to the “M’s” they were really into it.  Day 5 and still we could not agree on anything but possibilities.  We knew we had to come up with something or you would be Mary Helen all your life.  We could not face it.

When we got to “Melissa — Honeybee” we knew we had found the perfect first name and so “on the fifth day” when the certificate man came to the hospital room he wrote “Melissa Kay Reeves.”  It was a good thing.  I am not responsible for “Kay.”  Mama did that one. 

I think I did a good job on your name and on finding Mr. Bee to pollinate your roses.  You have been our precious little bee ever since.


Sister Bee