Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bobby Joe and Me

When I first met him we were in a honky tonk western bar and dance hall. I saw him dancing with some girl and thought, “Boy would I like to dance with him!” He was dancing the jitter- bug, or swing, as some people call it, but there he was, dancing with, probably his girl friend. Anyway I was with someone also and that fixes that! Then the dance ended and he took her back to her seat and he returned to his table where two other guys sat. Oh! He was not with a date. How great is that? But wait, I am with a date, so how do I get around this? Well happy days! My date excused himself to go to the restroom. As soon as the music started again, up I got and trotted over to his table and boldly said, “Would you dance with me?” He looked up, rather surprised and said, “I don’t know if you can follow me or not. I am from New York and I do the “Eastern Swing.” “So?” I thought to myself, but sweetly said, I think I can, but do you want to try? He did not look too happy, but obliged me and we got on the floor to dance. When it ended he said, “that was great, you surprised me. A lot of girls can’t do New York.” Well, I am not a lot of girls, but I did not tell him that. My date came back and said, ”I see you were dancing with Lucky.” I said, “Oh, do you know him?” It was a small place and I guess most everybody knew everyone else. Days later I went back there with a girl friend after work and he was sitting at the end of the bar with some guy. We acknowledge each other, and the jukebox was playing so I again asked him to dance. He declined, saying, “I just got off work and my clothes are dirty and I probably do not smell so good, but can I take a rain check?” That was that until quite some time later. I had talked my two sisters and their husbands into taking me there. This time it was he who came and asked me to dance. It was a slow piece titled “The Twelfth of Never.” This later became “our song” through many years. I was working as a waitress at the Santa Rosa Hotel. One day he just shows up for a cup of coffee. He was excited to show me a Christmas present he had received from the bar. It was a small thin wallet type thing with the bar’s advertisement on it. Oh my gosh, I felt so awful that this was all he was going to get for Christmas and he was so tickled with it. His family was back East and I guess they were not givers or else they did not know his address or whatever. Anyway he was happy so I went along with it and said it was great. He asked for my phone number and also if I would accept a date with him, which I did. He never showed up! After a reasonable time I received a call from someone else I knew wanting to know if I wanted to go to dinner. Yep! I did! We had finished dinner and were back at my house, just sitting and chatting when the phone rang. Good golly miss Molly, it was him. He was all upset and apologetic saying he had lost my phone number and it took him forever to find what he had done with it. He was wondering if I could meet him uptown at a very nice place to have a drink. I cannot remember what kind of an excuse I made to get rid of this guy who owned a flower shop and had brought me a lovely bouquet and dined with me in a very lovely place, but I did it, and when he left I ran and got into my car and was off to have a drink with Lucky! I forgot to tell you that he had this nickname attached to him during World War II when he was supposed to go out on a ship that was sunk by the Japanese, but his last name began with a “Y” and he was too far down the list to get called. Anyway, we met and snuggled ourselves into a booth to talk. He was thirty-one and had never been married. He said he had never met the right girl. I was thirty-five and had been married and had two children. He seemed to be so smitten with me that I said to him, “I bet you would marry me right now if you could.” He said, “Yes, I would. Let’s go get married tonight.” Well we both were excited and headed for home to make plans. It was late at night so we decided to start in the morning and go to Reno. He insisted on sleeping on the couch while I went to my bedroom and bed…alone. I later asked him how come he had not made a pass at me and he said, ”Because I was afraid you would change your mind if I did.” What a guy! Well next morning arrived and a new day dawned and my head became screwed on correctly. Good sense started replacing all that excitement and thoughtless planning that had entered my head last night. I cuddled up next to him on the couch and said, “I can’t marry you, not like this. I do not even know if I love you!” He hates it when I tell this, but tears came to his eyes and he said, ”I knew it. All my life, I have never gotten anything I really wanted.” Well, I tried talking sense to him, but he was so hurt and I am such a ninny to feel sorry for people that I said, “O.K. we’ll do it.” I got a sitter for my boys, and in my old Buick convertible, which we filled up with gas and put anti freeze in,(it was January and snowing in Reno) we took off. Of all the dumb, absolutely, ridiculous decisions I have ever made, this was at the top of the list! One date, and I marry the guy?? Turned out to be one of the smartest moves I ever made. This guy was a jewel, and I was married to him for forty-two years. He adopted both my boys and they adored him. In all those forty-two years, he never missed a day saying he loved me. On our first Christmas I wanted to make it something special for him. I found the old wallet from the bar that he had tucked away in his dresser drawer. I wrapped it up so beautifully and put a note in it telling him this Christmas was going to be different for him.
He said he would like it if I worked three more months and then quit my job to stay home and be a mom to my boys and a wife waiting for him to come home. No problem there. I never worked outside the home again except for doing home parties with a girl friend. I am a hobby person so I did a lot of homemade items and held garage sales for myself and six to eight other girls. I got up every morning at 5:A.M. to fix his breakfast and get him off to work. I did this until he said I should not get up anymore, as he was not hungry that early. By the time he got to the town where he worked he would stop and have a bite with some of the guys before going on in. At the lumber yard where he worked, his job was on the green chain. That is one of the hardest jobs in the mill. They refer to it as pulling the green chain. He was always telling me he wished he could get promoted to one of the big saws. I asked him why he did not try to get one of those jobs. His answer was that in order to do that you had to know arithmetic. Fractions to be exact, and he did not know how to do fractions. He had not finished school. I told him if he would bring home some pieces of lumber and the paper work that went with it, I would teach him fractions. Well, he did just exactly that and we set up a work table in the garage and went to work learning. He explained to me what the order forms meant and I taught him how to do fractions. He was a very quick learner. Long story short, he ended up being one of the top saw operators, and guys would sometime come to him for answers to their orders. He got so he could figure things in his head without pencil and paper. When Bob retired from his job at the lumber mill, I always had my coffee and paper waiting for me in the morning, and he always wiped down my shower walls for me after I had had my shower. Then he would get a little stool we had, and bring it in front of me where I sat in my chair, put my feet up on his lap, and give me the greatest foot massage. This he did every time. In return I fixed his cocktail for him before dinner and brought his coffee and ice cream to him after dinner. We were a team. If we had a difference of opinion at any time we went to sit on the sofa and without raising our voices or becoming angry, we discussed it until it was settled agreeably. I am so blessed to have had those forty-two wonderful years with my Bobby Joe! What we did was not very smart and I would not advise it for anyone else, but it was a blessing for me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ghost or No Ghost!

My new T.V. Guide arrived in the mail today, and I was browsing through it when I came to a page concerning the program "The Ghost Whisperer." While reading it I found out the television program is based on a real life ghost whisperer. Well, the subject has always fascinated me and I don't know if I believe in them or not, but I do have strange things going on in my home that makes me take a second look or thought as to whether I do or not. Before I tell you about a very convincing story that give credence to it all, I must first tell you this. When I first purchased my home some thirty seven years ago, My husband and I would hear someone walking in our hallway at night. There was never anyone there. On getting acquainted with new neighbors the subject came up and they said they had the same experience in their homes as well. They told me they had heard the rumor that many, many years ago , Indians had their homes along this stretch of land. It could possibly be true as this land on which our town sits, was indeed home to an Indian reservation. Well, we learned to live with this nightly walking and it became so familiar that we did not notice it anymore. In fact maybe the ghosts did not come around as often. Recently though, they are back. My husband has passed on and my son came to live with me. He did not hear much of anything at first and then one night he became so upset with what he perceived to be walking up and down the hall that he got out of bed, opened his bedroom door and shouted, "Go away! Go bother someone else and let me get some sleep!" He went back to bed and the walking ceased. He chuckles now about it, but I wonder if he believes in them. Lots of nights, while sitting in my special chair and watching television, I hear footsteps behind me, and I look thinking it is my son going into the garage to his work space. No! No one is there. Just two nights ago when I heard it, I looked, and just in a flash I saw a half see-through figure dart quickly, and then was gone. I am sure it was a figment of my imagination or an unexplained something or other, but I told my son about it anyway. Now here are two very convincing stories that make me think maybe ghosts really do exist. We had just recently lost our beloved dog "Cissy," who always slept on our bed at the foot. One night after we had been in bed for quite some time and were sound asleep, my husband and I felt something jump up on our bed. We both awakened at the same time and came to an upright position together in wonderment. My husband exclaimed in a rather loud voice, "What the heck was that?" After a moment of getting my thoughts together, I calmly said,"That was Cissy jumping up on the bed to be near us." We both looked at each other, accepted the thought and laid back down to go to sleep. True story! Here is the one that really boggles my mind and makes me think long and hard on what is the truth and what is not. It is very hard to try and think up something to justify what it actually was other than a ghost coming to visit. My very dear lady friend was lying in the hospital dying. I was there sitting by her bedside, talking to her,(even though she was in a coma) and brushing her hair back from her face. I could not help but putting my hand on her and lightly brushing my hand back and forth on her forehead. After a while her daughter came in and because it was getting late at night said I should go home and she would call me if there was any change. I felt that she may need some private time with her mom and so I went home. At 2:10 A.M. I was awakened by a soft breeze across my forehead. I sat up in bed, and my husband woke also to ask me what the matter was. I said, "Marilyn just died and came to say goodbye to me." He said, "Are you sure?" (I guess at 2: A.M. you can ask a dumb question like that!). I said, "Yes, she just brushed the hair out of my eyes." It was a soft breeze across my forehead and there were no windows open it the house! The next morning her daughter called to say her mom had passed on and I asked if she knew what time she left and she said, "Yes, a little after two in the morning." Do I believe in ghosts? I still do not know, but I ponder on this a lot and wonder if we will ever know. So many fakers out there that it makes you doubt, but these stories I tell are absolutely the truth and it leaves me wondering.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just a Suggestion!

What a great invention the computer is and its access to so many things. We can connect with people, we can learn things, we can ask questions and get answers, and the list goes on and on. However, there are people out there who take advantage of this wonderful invention. You can so easily be scammed if you are not aware, and if you do not question some things that come on your screen. You can also be given false information and believe it if you do not take the time and trouble to verify it. Anything that comes up on my screen that does not just sound right or is accusatory of something or someone, or gives me a sad sob story of someone in need, or is angry at the government or politician or anything about our soldiers oversees, I will not accept as truth until I have checked it out on Snopes. I feel it is a terrible injustice to pass on information unless you know beyond a shadow of doubt that it is true. I understand the shock value that comes with these emails and the first inclination to be angry and wanting everyone to know and be warned, but how sad, if it is not true, and that it is being spread through this great newspaper of the world. People are being maligned and scare tactics are being spread and none of it is true. Oh, I know, some facts that arrive are truthful, but the majority are nothing more than hate mail, or someone getting their big laugh over all of us so gullible. Please, folks, just take a moment to verify it before you put someone on a list where they do not belong. Also be careful and aware that you do not fall into a trap yourself where it could cost you financially, or emotionally. Be alert and concerned before clicking on forward. Just something to think about and strictly my own opinion!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

School Daze

The year was 1936 and I was thirteen years old and in Junior High School. One of the fads for girls was to own an autograph book and have all your fellow classmates write something in it, and sign their name. Well, today I came across mine when looking for a recipe book. Oh my, what memories that brought back and it also gave me a few laughs. I thought I might share some of the things that were written in my autograph book. One girl wrote on a slant on the page and this is her contribution;
In years to come, as come they will,
Please remember the girl who wrote uphill!
Another; I'm not a Northern beauty, I'm not a Southern rose,
I'm just a little country girl, With freckles on her nose!
And; I write on white to be polite
And save the yellow for your fellow.
This one I really liked and chose it to write in another person's book. However, one of my teachers did not like the idea of autograph books and collected them all from this particular class, to take home with her to read. The next day she brought them back and gave us all wholly heck for wasting our time on such drivel. She read several aloud and commented on them. She read mine and said she was most disappointed and shocked to read this one from a very special student whom she never would have believed would write such a thing. I was almost brought to tears and to this day I cannot understand why she did not see in it what I had seen. I thought it was so very nice. Here it is;
May your friendship ever spread
Like butter on hot gingerbread!
I laugh now, but I was terribly hurt back then to think she was so cruel to me! Oh well! On to some more.
I thought and thought and thought in vain
Until I thought I'd sign my name!
Yours till the statue of Liberty has twins!
Most all of the other teachers signed our books with a smile and were very gracious. here is one:
Trouble will vanish from you like a bubble
And from you depart
Unless you nurse it and oft times rehearse it
And hold it close to your heart.
Again; When your days on earth are ended and your path no longer trod
May your name in gold be written in the autograph of God
More; Of all the ships that sail the sea
Friendship is the ship for me!
And; I love you big, I love you mighty
I wish your pajamas were next to my nightie.
On the clothes line, that is!
And this; I never went to college
I never went to school
But when it comes to loving, I'm an educated fool!
How about this; I write on pink because I think
You are sweet!
When you see a monkey up a tree,
Pull its tail and think of me. (Groan)
Here is a good one! Love is like an onion, you taste it with delight
But afterward you wonder, whatever made you bite!
And from my very first boyfriend we have this;
Last in your album,
Last in your thoughts,
Last to be remembered,
And first to be forgot.
I have never forgotten Marcel Bartholomew. He drew a heart with our initials in it. How sweet!
There are more, but I just picked out a few for my blog I thought you might enjoy. Do kids today have autograph books? I don't think so! I think they have gone with the jump rope, the kite, hop scotch, hide and seek, kick the can, and all the other games that kept us outside playing. Today's kids don't know what fun is in the great outdoors. Oh well, hope you enjoyed these. It was a nice trip down memory lane for me!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Call The Police!

Nostalgia comes with old age, and it often brings smiles to your face which has happened to me this day. Many years ago I worked at an ice cream parlor that served food along with all the wonderful ice cream concoctions you do not see today. The place was called Bordens and the man and his wife who owned the place were probably the best bosses in any business around. They were absolutely wonderful people and working for them was such a pleasure. The place was very popular and full most of the time. Not only did the locals visit, but so did the soldiers who were stationed here during world war two. However my story is about the police officers who came on a regular basis. Both the city police and the highway patrol. We knew them all by name. Crime was not very rampant in those times and they were always offering rides to any of the waitresses who were stuck without their car to get them home. One night a girl from Windsor had no way home and they volunteered to take her, but that she had to know if they got a call she would be dropped off on the side of the road while they answered the call. That might have been scary, but not so as there just was not that much to worry about back then. Myself and my sister, who also worked there, walked home by ourselves many a night at midnight without any worries whatsoever. I am probably the biggest scardy cat ever, but I did not have fears back then, of walking home at midnight in Santa Rosa. Well, maybe I am not the biggest scardy cat, as my boss's wife would often fear going home when she had to take the cash from the restaurant with her. Therefore, these gallant officers would volunteer to drive behind her until she was safely to where she had to go. I am not sure if she took the cash home or deposited in in the night slot, but whichever they followed her to make sure she was safe. We (my sister and I) lived in the bottom apartment of a two story. One night two of the city police gave us a ride home and parked the patrol car and came in for refreshments. (Yes, that is all!!) It was after midnight and we happened to get a little loud in our conversation and laughing. All of a sudden they heard the speaker in their patrol car and one of them ran out to take the call. He came hurrying back in and said they had to leave as the people in the upstairs apartment had called in and said there was a noisy party going on in the downstairs apartment. OMG that was us! Out the door they went laughing all the way and telling us to, "Quiet down!" I do not believe anything like that would happen in this day and age. It was all pure innocence, but today it might not be so easy to convince anyone of that. While thinking of it today, I could not help smiling and thinking how those guys were always there to protect us gals when we needed them, and even though it was not the right thing to do it has given me a lot of pleasure to recall it all again and make me smile.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Tasy Test!

Yesterday I received an email that told about a lot of unusual foods at fairs around the United States. Some of them were: chicken fried bacon, fried avocados, (yum! they were coated in corn dog batter and deep fried) Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, (Yuk! All mashed together)fried frog legs, hot beef sundae, ( sliced beef covered with mashed potatoes and cheese, topped with a cherry tomato) Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich, ( OMG. chicken patty with cheese between a Krispy Creme donut) pizza cones, (wrapped pizza put into a paper cone container for handling) Key lime on a stick, and deep fried coca cola. This last was not bad. It was a batter, flavored with cola and deep fried. That was just some, and when I read about the frog legs it reminded me of a story my mom had told us kids about something she did as a young woman that made us laugh. I guess my grandmother did not think it funny, but you can judge for yourself. My grandmother had let my mom do the cooking for that evening and they had agreed on having chicken for dinner. Back in those good old days, they just went out to the chicken coop and chose a chicken, wrung its neck, put it in boiling water to strip the feathers off more easily, and did whatever they did to prepare and cook the chicken for dinner. Oh boy! I am so glad we do not do that anymore. We would never have chicken in our house if that was the way I had to do it! Some, I guess did use an axe and chopped the head off, but even that leaves me queasy and gives me loss of appetite. Well, any way, instead of chicken, my mom caught a few large frogs. For the life of me, and after consulting with my ninety one year old sister, we could not remember how she was able to get the frogs. We believe there was some kind of water or swamp near their house. Well, anyway, this story is true and on we go! Now my grand mother did not mind the torture given the chickens, or mind eating them, but she had a weak stomach where frogs were concerned, so mom did not tell grandma that instead of chicken for dinner, it would be frog legs. I am told frog legs taste just like chicken. I will never know!! At dinner my grandmother said the chicken was delicious tonight, but she said, "How many chicken did you kill? There are so many legs." About then it dawned on her what had happened, and she flew from the table to wherever they went in those days to upchuck the whole jumping mess! There were no bathrooms, just outhouses, so I assume she just retreated to outdoors. Poor grandma. I feel for her and know exactly how she felt, and my mom deserved the punishment, whatever it was. I do remember my mother saying grandma was very upset with her and checked dinner out from then on. I am also checking out our fair food before I go. I don't think we have anything too unusual at our fair this year. The local paper gave an accounting of what booths there were and the only new thing I could see was deep fried zucchini sticks. I might try them when I go. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Fair Affair!

It's fair time and the Sonoma County Fair has opened in our town of Santa Rosa, California. I have not been yet, but I heard its theme is "The Fair Before Time." That means there are lots of prehistoric things to see and lots of dinosaurs. The fair is a time for fun, rides, yummy food, flower show, racing, rodeos, destruction derby and a lot more than I can name. Lots of fun activities for the kids, and lots of entertainment with big names. I like to go for two things. That is the flower show and the horse racing. I used to enter craft things and the poetry contest, but do not anymore as the standing in line to enter is too much for me. I have won a few ribbons and I treasure them, but I just cannot do it anymore. Back many years ago, there was a lady who was in charge, and ran the big flower show in the back of the building, where garden clubs had their spaces. The front of the building was for florists and nurseries from all over the county. Well, one year when my young son had a job working in the flower building, and before the fair opened that year, he approached the lady in charge, (Mrs. Fletcher) and asked her why there were no spaces allotted to young people who were interested in flowers. She asked him if he was interested, and if she provided such a space, would he be willing and able to do it. Of course he was ecstatic and said absolutely. She told him she would have to run it by the fair manager (Mr. James Lyttle) first before she could let him have a space. Oh my gosh, it happened, and there he was, my young son, the very first junior to have an entry in the Sonoma County Fairs Hall Of Flowers! They even gave him a ribbon for his entry. How proud he was. The following year, Mrs Fletcher found two others who were interested. Then there were three. The next year as word had gotten around, there were more until today, the spaces allotted, are all filled up. It is a joy and pleasing to the eye to go to the fair and see all the gardens of the young people and to know it all started with my son. It is called the junior division. Have you been to a fair lately? It is a lot of fun! Tomorrow I will talk about fair food and a funny story of the past. See you then! ( The above picture was taken of a display in the hall of flowers a couple of years ago)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Honest To Goodness!

Once in a great while when I come home from grocery shopping, There will be something I bought and paid for, but did not get home with. I am telling you that for sure I tell them about it on my next trip and want it to show up in my grocery bag this time without charge. So, last Saturday when I went shopping there were two ladies in line ahead of me. They had not one, but two baskets loaded with groceries and several cases of drinks. They were pleasant ladies and smiled and acknowledged me. I am sure their bill must have been $300.00 or at least near that. My turn came and I visited with the nice guy at the check out stand, gave him my coupons and my Safeway card(which cuts down the price considerably) and said, "No thanks" to the "Do you want help out?" question. When I got home, I sat for a minute, (that's because grocery shopping poops me at my age) then proceeded to put my things away. Out of one shopping bag came one of those green net bags with about 6 or 7 ( I did not count) avocados in it. Wow! Do I love avocados! But hey! I did not buy avocados. Did I mention I love avocados? Oh, yes, I did. Well that is a nice surprise and gift to me. I am sure I could manage to eat all of them over a period of time without them going bad. Then I said to myself, "Do you remember how upset you get when you get home and something is missing? Do you really think these are now yours? Can you eat them with a good conscience? Prices in the store go up because of dishonesty and theft, so if you keep them, you are contributing. O.K! I will take them back, and I did. The guy at the customer service counter was flabbergasted and praised me for being so honest. He did not have to do that, but I guess his surprise made him say it. He was almost sure the owners of the avocados had come back to reclaim them and was given another bag. Well, maybe they had and maybe they had not, but one thing I know for sure is that I felt like a helium balloon floating on air. I had forgotten what a great feeling it is to be honest! Now I love avocados, but even better I like the feeling being honest gives you. It is hard to explain and this is really a small act of honesty, but it still feels good. Can you imagine how I would have felt if it had been a bigger deal. Love that feeling! Try it, you will love it!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I feel like I must write about her. Perhaps if I do it will ease some of the pain I feel. I know it will not help my son, and I so wish I could help him. She belonged to him and she was so in love with him it was a joy to see. Oh, she loved me too, but it was more of a tolerated love because I was her caretaker so very many times when her guy had to make a trip for a few days. The first day or two she did not want to share herself with me, because she just knew he would be coming back through the door any minute and she stood faithfully there waiting for it to happen. When it did not, she then knew it was time to accept my lap and wait patiently for his return. I was the one feeding her now and taking her outside so she accepted the fact he was gone for a while. At bedtime she cuddled up on her pillow and lay quietly by my side. During the next few days she was fine, but would go occasionally to take a sniff at the door. When he did return it was a joyous reunion. It was bouncing and face licking all over the place. It was crouching down and jumping. It was whining to say, "I knew you would come back!" She was five years old when he got her and he had her for thirteen and a half years. What a smart little girl she was. We know she understood every word we said and reacted accordingly. I have to laugh when I look back and remember some of the things she did. When my husband was alive, he sat quite often is his recliner chair. We would put her in his lap when we were running errands and say to her, "You stay with grandpa now!" It got so when we left we would just say to her, "Go see grandpa." Well that little girl was just so upset. She knew we were leaving and she had to wait for us to return. Her head would go down and she walked slowly over to grandpa's chair, turn to look at us, then hop up on his lap and put her head down so she would not look at us. I know the things she did were not much different than anyone elses dog, but don't we all feel that our dog is the smartest? Little Missy was a toy poodle and everywhere we went she attracted attention. Everyone wanted to pet Missy. Her groomers loved her because she was so good and behaved so well. Her veterinarian called her sweet names and hugged her when she had to go in. Yesterday my son had to make a choice of whether to put her to sleep or keep her for a while, just so he could have her for a while longer. He unselfishly chose to let her go. She was blind, deaf, had heart and kidney problems, and had doggy Alzheimer's. She did not know where she was and got lost inside the house. She bumped into walls and stood still just facing furniture and not moving. When she did move she roamed aimlessly throughout the house and would either bump into things or get stuck where she could not get out. Most of the time she slept and slept. We had to pick her up and show her where her food and water were. She would go outside to potty and start to scratch herself and would fall down. A couple of times before we could get to her to grab her she fell off the steps. All this frightened her as we could feel her little heart beating so very fast. Our Missy is gone now, but she still remains with us and will for a while. She will always be in our hearts. If you have ever owned and loved a dog, then you know how we feel. Dogs give you unconditional love and they are forgiving and loyal. They make you feel like you are someone special and if you love your pet, then you will treat it special also. It will return your love a thousand fold!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Going Sailing

Susan’s going sailing
A sailing on the sea
I am going to miss her
And her emails sent to me.
Everyday she sends one
It starts my day off right,
I even get one sometimes
Before bedding down at night.
Oh I have other email friends,
Who always keep in touch
But Susan gives a daily fix
Which I really need so much.
We tell each other secrets
And I ask her for advice
She always answers truthfully
Because she is so nice.
Sometimes she asks me also,
Just what I might think
I tell her very honestly
From truth I do not shrink.
Although I’ll miss her emails
And the closeness that we share
I know that she’s my friend
And always will be there.
Oh Susan’s going sailing
On the great big ocean blue
Smooth sailing I do wish her
And bid a fond adieu.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just My Opinion Again!

I told this young lady, who is encouraging me to write, that I would like to write about progress. I was hesitant though as I did not want younger people to believe I was out of touch and that my ideas were ancient. She, however, thought I should pen them anyway as she did not believe that some things should ever go out of style. For one thing, how can we as sensible people, disregard propriety, decency, and humility? How can one believe that by openly exposing your body that this is going to make you more popular, look sexy, and somehow make you a better person. What happened to modesty? Why are parents not putting down rules like my parents did? Are you afraid of losing your child's love by teaching them respect of themselves? Do you really accept this? Don't you mind that when they bend over, or stoop down that the crack of their buttocks is exposed? Boys whistle, others giggle, some cringe, and this does not bother anybody? I think the human body is beautiful, but I also think it is personal. You should respect your self and treat yourself with dignity instead of being a conversation piece. A part of my young friends email was especially poignant, and I am going to put it into this blog for it is so good. She wrote: "Some call it progression...I call it regression!" I don't know where this world is headed but I do not like the direction it has taken. Our rights being taken away left and right and the young folks not caring. Education has been so bad in the USA...perhaps they don't even realize what we as a nation are losing. Heck, children of today don't know what it is like to run through fields, climb apple trees or play in the hills. I don't even see the young kids playing hop-scotch, jacks, tag or hide and seek these days, or roller skating up and down the sidewalk. Everyone seems to be connected to something electronic these days. Kids have no imagination anymore. When was the last time you saw a kid with a Yo-Yo?" What she wrote was so true. I could not say it better. Television, electronic games, and cell phones have taken over our young peoples lives. They do not really know the fun of living as a youth. Playing "kick the can" is just one of the joys of playing outside with friends, not sitting on their back side punching a machine or having one implanted in their ear. You might want to buy stock in the hearing aid companies as it will be big business when these kids are old and the machines fall out of their ears because they are deaf! No one works in the fruit anymore, or sets up a lemonade stand, or mows a lawn, or washes the neighbor's car for a few bucks. She is right, imagination has flown out the window. Here is another thing. The big wigs behind the television industry have told us what we like to watch. Gone are the family programs and the Laugh-ins" that were so fun to watch as a family. Now we see crime and more crime. Killings are not enough! We have to watch so much sex that it boggles the mind. I know you people out there don't like what you are hearing and seeing also as I read comments all the time in the paper and magazines. Yet no one takes the initiative to turn off their sets for a day or two in protest, or write the stations, and so on it goes. They are pulling in big money at your expense. If a petition was put out there or a protest march started they would get the idea. I read somewhere where these actors making these film would not let their children watch them, yet they act in them because it means money in their pockets. All the bad things in the world no matter how you hate them are going to remain because someone is getting rich because of it. Call me whatever you want, BUT if you think about it long enough, you might just see the light and agree!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chocolate and Vanilla

I was asked why I have not written a blog lately and I told the person asking that I did not think anyone would want to hear something from and old lady. She showered me with compliments, (which I fell for) so here I am back again. I have been wondering about a lot of things lately (that is what you do when you get to be this age) and asked myself some questions, but could not answer any. I am sure you have heard the one about stores putting their pharmacies clear to the back of the store which makes all the sick people have to take the long walk back there to get their prescription filled so they can feel better. Maybe someone in their infinite intelligence has thought the walk would do them good. I see a lot of people, young AND old with canes and walkers hiking back there to get what they desperately need. Whose idea was this anyway? Then, I also observed when entering a department store’s front entrance, all the cute and attractive clothes are up front for the little people of the world. Actually, I am talking about the anorexic, skinny as beanpole people. I know! Don’t go off on me! Not all small size people are anorexic or bean poles, but according to what I see on the television set more are than not. Why do the producers of these shows think we enjoy seeing emaciated people? I was skinny (yes that is the word) all my growing up years and into adulthood, but no one thought I looked good. I was made fun of and called names. I was once asked if I could sing because I had canary legs. Oh yes! Skinny was definitely not in. In high school I had to take “rest” because the gym teacher thought I was too thin. That went on until my dad intervened and got me back on the basketball court where I belonged! Well, I got off track there for a minute! Back to the department store. Where are the plus sizes? To the rear of the store! Are they cute and attractive? NO! Some even look like they need ironing. Not all plus sizes are fat either, but some are older and walking clear to the back of a store can be difficult. I guess if I was able to pay top dollar, I could go to a store that was more fashionable and considerate, but I am a K Mart, Wal Mart, J.C. Penney type of women so I will have to make the trek on back to where we won’t be noticed! If you think I am through venting, you are wrong. I will be back with more gripes, maybe tomorrow. It is all right with me if you disagree and have a comment, but don’t get mad. This is all good therapy to get things off your chest and as you young people say, “vent” You know the old saying when there is a difference of opinion, don’t you? It goes “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion! That is why there is chocolate and vanilla!”

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Her Name Is Lisa

She was only two years old when I first met her. A precocious little blond girl who marched into my kitchen and the first thing she did was try and open my refrigerator. I quickly put my hand on the door to prevent it from opening. She looked up at me with a quizzical look on her face, so I explained right away that such a thing was not acceptable in my house. "If you want something you may ask, and if I have it I will decide if I want to give it to you or not." I told her that when I was her age, my mother would not allow any of her children to ask for anything in someone else's house. She was sure if they wanted to offer us something, they would. Then if they did, we had to get our mother's permission as to whether we could have it or not. Otherwise we were to be polite, sit down in a chair, and be quiet. From then on we were the best of buddies and she never tried to open the refrigerator again. This little girl named Lisa, was the daughter of a young girl my son married. She was now my step-granddaughter. I had no blood grandchildren at the time so she was a special gift to me. As she grew, so did our relationship. When she was old enough to use the phone she would call "Gram" several times a week. She was on the phone quite often when doing her homework to ask me how to spell a word or to ask if I knew the answer to one of her homework problems. We would work on it together so she could figure it out for herself. She came often to our house and we romped in our backyard dough boy pool. We played a game on our raft floaters called "Horsie" We bounced up and down holding on to each other until one or both of us fell off. I love that memory! When she became a teenager, she called for advice. I do not think she ever took it , but she often asked for it. After her mother and my son divorced, she still remained in my life as did her mother. They were so dear to me and still are. When she married for the first time, I was no longer legally related to her, but to her I would always be her "Gram." She insisted I be in her wedding picture, saying, "You have to be in it, you are family, and you are my grandma." I am not too sure her blood grandmother was happy about it, but she did not say anything. Over the years Lisa has not adhered to what is right and what is wrong. She is still outgoing, rebellious, stubborn, and lives by her own rules. When you talk with her she makes you think that she knows a lot more than you do and no matter what you say, she has a correction or a different opinion. She is still that little girl marching into my house determined to open the frig. However, she and I are still the greatest of friends. She still calls me often and she emails me now and then. I can be critical of her and give unwanted advice and she never gets mad at me. We talk about it and discuss it, but she handles it very good. If I was to say anything like I say to her, to my blood grandchildren, they would cry and fly out of the room and put me on their silent list. During their growing up time they rarely came for visits and never ever called on the phone just to talk to me. One time I asked my grandson when he entered the room and ignored me," Well J...aren't you going to say hello?" He said, "What? I was talking to my dad." Then he asked if I wanted a hug and I said, "Yes and I love you J..." He then would not come into a room where I had gone as he said he was uncomfortable around me. That is the way they always are. I have to walk on eggs when I am around them. Lisa's children call me grandma also, and often when I see them, the boy (the oldest) always says,"I love you grandma!" How good that feels. Lisa was in town last week and I took her for a burger and a visit. We had a good time and did our back and forth thing. She is still such a "brat", but I love her unconditionally. She is my granddaughter!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Good Old Daze

The Good Old Daze
When you get to be my age, you start reminiscing. So many things race through your mind; most of the time your thoughts go back to remembering bygone days. Just the other day I was thinking about what we did before we had television. Of course in those simpler times we listened to the radio. Going back to my youth I recall my father's favorite radio program was One Man's Family. When it came on, we had to decide what we were going to do, get it done, and then sit silently and listen. Two of his other favorites were Fibber McGee and Molly, a funny married couple, and Amos and Andy, a comedy team of two white men portraying two African American men. They were extremely funny and loved by the radio audience. My mom liked to listen, in the day- time, to Stella Dallas and Ma Perkins. Those programs aimed at women were sponsored by companies like Proctor & Gamble, and hence became known as “soap operas.” Listening to radio was better than today, as you could move around, do your housework and still listen to your soaps. Creepy and scary were programs like the Inner Sanctum and The Shadow. They even started off with eerie openings. The Inner Sanctum had a loud chord played on an organ followed by the sound of a doorknob turn and a creaking door opening. Oooooh! The Shadow opened with a man’s low scary voice saying, "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow knows!" Death Valley Days was another program that gathered the family together. For the Western lovers there were Hopalong Cassidy, and Gunsmoke. For more humor we had George Burns and Gracie Allen, Baby Snooks with Fanny Brice, and The Goldbergs. For mystery there were The Whistler, Sherlock Holmes, The Green Hornet, The Saint and the Adventures of Phillip Marlowe. There were so many more, but I had to really reach to remember these. Radio was great though and was not nearly as profane or as blatant as television is today. It left so much more to one’s imagination, and as the stories unfolded, they created visual images in our mind, unlike today’s television which rarely leaves anything to the imagination! It also brought the family together. Not only did families gather around the dinner table, but also the radio. Those were the good times and the good old days that people talk about. I guess my mother had her good old days to talk about also, and my grandchildren will have their good old days too. And on and on it goes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Tile Tale

Well, these last days have been like a nightmare. My former daughter-in-law, whom I love dearly, asked me to consider hiring her former son-in-law to lay tile on my kitchen floor. She said he had just done a bathroom for somebody and he had done a very good job as she herself had gone to inspect it. She said he was a tile layer and that he needed the money and could do it cheaply for us. We had considered hiring my son’s boss’s husband as he is a contractor, but he like a lot of contractors, was remiss in getting back to us in a reasonable time. We were tired of waiting and wanted to get the job done so we said O.K. They both came over and looked and measured and D…. said he would get back to us also about what his price would be. The first fellow said he worked for $20.00 an hour and it would take about 3 to 4 days. D…finally called with his estimate, which was $1000.00. So long to D…. We are both low-income people so that absurd bid was out of the question. We pondered a couple of days on what we were going to do when D…. called back and said he was a little high on the price and would do it for $400.00. He made some excuse as to why the change, but my son did not relay that to me and we said all right to him doing the job. Well, D…is a hard worker (when he works) and he does a good job (when he works) but this job stretched out into eight days. Eight horrible days. Not only that, but my son told him not to come back for the finishing things that needed to be done as he would do it himself. Our stove has been sitting on the deck all this time and the refrigerator is in the living room and the kitchen table in the garage. We have been living like campers, only worse, as we could not get to stove or microwave to heat anything. We either had to eat cold or go out which was not a good thing for our budget. The first day I offered to fix a sandwich for D…. At that point I could do it, but was told by the d-in-law he did not eat breakfast or lunch. He had told me he ate a big breakfast before coming over so did not need lunch. Who the heck is telling the truth here? Turns out my son had to go daily to Mc Donald’s to get him a burger, fries, and coke. I footed the bill one day. He was offered a cream sickle once and devoured the rest at his own pace each day without so much of a “May I?” Also he asked once for a bottled drink of my son’s and was told sure. Never asked again, but just took and drank them all except a couple. He never worked past 3:00P.M except the last couple of days when he was told he could not leave until certain things had been done for the day. The first day he came at 9:00 A.M. The second day it was 10:00A.M. and the third day it was 11:00 A. M. That day we had to call and ask where he was and why he was not here. Two days he put in a full 8 hours. The rest was 5 or 6 hours. In those hours he probably worked 4 hours, as he was so busy talking on his cell phone. The phone seemed to ring constantly. He would cut the conversation short when I would go look at what he was doing. He took breaks very, very often also. He claimed the guy he last worked for kept his tools and would not return them so my daughter-in-law purchased him a saw, and we had to buy some tools for him also. If she expects to get her money back when he got paid from us she has a surprise coming when she returns from a trip she is on. He took a $150.00 draw before the end and he has a girl staying at the house with him. My d-in-law is letting him stay at her house to dog sit, and I don’t think she knows about the girl. Maybe she does, but he is very secretive about it. While he is working, he makes all sorts of groaning sounds and he also has music plugged into his ears and every now and then shouts out something I assume is some form of the song. He never says goodbye, I am leaving. He just takes off. Most days we have picked him up in the morning after we straightened out his being late, and taken him home, when he quit early, but there has been a fellow come in a car to talk to him and we think he knows the time the guy will arrive and just takes off before we can object. I believe he has gone through my pantry while I was off getting him more grout as we found empty packages of my low calorie snacks empty and discarded on the deck. He sometimes brought his own drinks, but needed more obviously. I do not mind sharing my food or drinks, but would appreciate him asking. The first two days were hard as there was more underlay to be removed than we thought and it was hard to get up so we give him credit for the hard work he did, but again he only put in 6 hours. The day he laid tile should have been done in a day, but it took him two. His constant talking on the cell phone drove us crazy and when his company shut his phone down due to non payment, he used my wall phone walking all over the kitchen stretching the cord and only hanging up when I caught him. Then one day a friend of his called on my phone asking for him. Not a good idea. This last day I went to pick him up he no sooner got in the car than he dialed someone on a cell phone he had. I asked if his was turned back on and he said no it belonged to someone else. I said, well what is that person going to do? He said, “Sleep.” So I assume it belonged to the girl who is staying with him at the house. He proceeded to make another call before we got back to my house. The calls continued. I told him he was addicted and he said, “Not really.” He asked what time my son would be home so he could get paid and said the grout would only take him about an hour to do. It took him three. Another thing that was irritating about him is that he wanted no suggestions, or questions, or to be corrected in any way. If you said anything at all, he sat back on his butt, gave a big sigh and looked away from you. He then became silent and would not talk at all. He has never cleaned up after himself and my deck and some of the flowers are covered with powder from his mixing. The bricks in the yard have an abundance of stuff on them from his mixing. Inside, my cupboards have either grout or that stuff he puts under each tile smeared on them, and some on my hallway floors. Oh so sloppy he was and never ever thought of laying paper or a tarp down. The biggest and most disgusting thing of all is he did not raise the seat on my commode and dripped his last drops on my toilet seat and I had to clean that up.
Here it is five o’clock and my son is on his hands and knees filling in spaces where not enough grout has been applied and discovered one tile is raised above its neighbor, just enough where I might trip, but it is too late to pull it up now. What a lesson we have learned. You get what you pay for my daddy always used to say and he was so right.
I am now writing the day after D... has left. My son and I are scraping the tile glue off the walls, the dishwasher, the windows, (at least three feet above the floor), the door exiting the kitchen,(both inside and out) and the kitchen cabinets. I do not know how this stuff got there, and some so high up on the walls, but I am assuming that when I seen him get mad at himself he would sling his tools. So this is evidently how it got there, but so much of it? Also, the grout has to be washed at least twice and dried, and all the base boards have to be put back in place This was our choice to do as eight days of him was enough. It was, at the very most, a four day job for any other person to do. And even though putting back the baseboards and washing down the finished tile was his job, that would have run into nine days. We still have to apply the sealer ,but we will do that also. Strolling out into our patio area we find he thought that area was the garbage dump. We have picked up wrappers from all the food he took from my pantry and just wadded the wrappers up and tossed them on the ground. There are two waste cans out there. Good riddance to him!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Is That Your Phone Ringing?

Well, it does not take much to get me started on voicing my opinion when I think something is entirely out of line. I did not read Dear Abby today, but I was told what it was about and I literally came off my rocker. Now I am in favor of progress and the invention of new things, especially when it makes life better. I don't think so much of it making life easier because I think we should all put a little effort into anything we do which is worth while. Sometimes making life easier makes us lazy in the process and that is no good in so many ways. Abby had someone write in about the cell phone user who does not respect other people around them. She complained about the use of it on her commute. So many people were talking away loudly, not caring who was listening or if they were annoying anyone. Abby suggested she get up and move. Well shame on you Abby! How many times can you move on a bus, and how many seats are available when so many people are talking on their phones? Slow down now before you jump on me. I am not opposed to cell phones! I have one myself, but you know what? There is nothing so important that it can't wait until I get home to gab with you. I am not going to impolitely talk to you in a restaurant where other people can hear me and where I neglect the company I am with, or intrude on the people in the next booth, and I am not going to walk down the street yakking away with that instrument stuck in my ear looking like an idiot talking to myself. I am not going to turn it on in the grocery store and have people thinking I am talking to them or that I am a bit senile talking to myself. What is wrong with these people? Is their life so uneventful that this is their only outlet? Do they not think they are being rude and inconsiderate? Do they think they were put on this planet to be special? Do they ever say they are sorry for disturbing the space of someone else? Have people become so thoughtless and uncaring, and into themselves that they just do not care? If so, I find that so sad. They have an addiction and do not even know it. There are some people out there that actually need to have their phones on and take messages wherever they are, but the general public is not in that category. Now go ahead. Jump on the wagon and tell me off. I know you are dying to do it. You have your opinion the same as me and are entitled to give it. Maybe you can even change my mind, but how did you get along when you could not take the phone with you and it was just hanging on the wall at home?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mine Eyes Have Seen No Glory!

I live on a busy street where I can look out my kitchen window and watch traffic going by on a four-lane street. I see accidents quite often and I see people walking down the sidewalk daily to the little shopping center on the next corner. I am not a busy body, but my kitchen table sits facing a window looking out onto the street. When I eat any meal I am facing that window. There is no way to change it. I have seen many strange things going on outside that window. When we moved here back in 1970 there was a vacant lot across from me and some goats and a frisky donkey. Every now and again the donkey would try to start a romance with the great big Billy goat who was never in the mood to giving in to his advances. After all he did have his Nanny there and several of his children running around. The kids were a joy to watch as they climbed atop the small old sheds that were laying in disrepair and would jump around on the top of them and then they bounded off to the ground. Often times they also played head butting. The big Billy would play catch with his owner who came down to the field often bringing a big ball with him to play catch with old Billy. He would throw the ball to the goat that would lower his head, give the ball a good butt with his horns sending it back to the guy who would catch it and the process started all over again. It was so neat to watch. Then one Easter morning when I looked out the window all the babies were gone. I thought maybe the guy had moved, but he later came down to ask if we had seen anyone around. Someone had stolen them all and he suspected it was some Asians who had done the deed, as the babies were a delicacy and a tradition to eat at this particular time of year. That is what he told me and I later had the same story repeated to me by others. This is part of the Asian culture they said, but it devastated all of us! Now everything is gone and a huge apartment complex takes its place. I hardly ever see anything that makes me smile, but a lot that makes me sad. There are many homeless that go walking by and some are developmentally deprived. One woman with a back pack strapped across her back stoops to inspect things she finds on the sidewalk. She scratches the walk, then picks something up and looks it over carefully. Another has a shopping cart loaded with all her belongings. She often stops in front and goes through it all, sorts it all out then puts it all back together and goes on down the street. One day she stopped at the flood control ditch behind my house, took everything out of the cart until she found a large water bottle, poured part of it over her head and began washing her head. She then poured the remaining water over her head for a rinse. She picked up some kind of cloth and dried her hair, put everything back in the cart and off she went. I have not seen her for a long time now and I suspect she was the girl I read about in the paper that was found under a bridge somewhere. Other people have not seen her either and suspect the same thing. I have seen drugs being exchanged across the street near the bridge, a man attack another man until he was pulled off by some other men, a girl jump out of a car and run down the street in fear, police cars pull a guy over, hand cuff him and take him away, a tow truck comes for the car. The most frightening thing was someone missing the street corner on which I live and their car plowing through my fence. This has happened twice! The first time they missed the huge rock in my yard by inches. This morning a young man pushing a child in a stroller stopped to take a drink out of some kind of bottle he had tucked away in a bag sitting on top of the stroller. He put the bottle back, then walked around in front to look at the child, handed it something he took out of his pocket, and he then brushed what seemed to be crumbs from off the child’s tummy. He went back and retrieved the bottle and shared his drink with, I think it was a little boy, before again tucking it away. The man then went again in front of the kid, inspected him all over, looking satisfied he rearranged his bags on top of the stroller and proceeded down the street. People are always just stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and doing something. It is so weird. Yesterday two girls were walking down the street and one was supporting the other as it looked as though the one girl had injured her foot in some way. There was no shoe on it and she was hopping on one foot as the other girl supported her. Down the street they went. About an hour later here they come again and this time she is walking on the foot, but limping and two guys coming from the other direction stop right in front of my window for conversation with them. It looked as though they all knew each other. After a few minutes one of the fellows takes off down the street by himself, never looking back, but the other one stays with the girls and gives the one a kiss on the cheek as they all go on down the street out of sight. There are three fellows that come out daily from the apartments across the street and walk to the shopping center. They are so interesting to watch. They come down the street single file. One behind the other they go. They never smile and one walks without swinging his arms at all. He looks so mechanical. The one in the lead swings his arms a bit, but never looks around to see if the other two are coming. The third one trudges a bit with his head down. Sometimes there are only two and I sadly suspect they are handicapped also. Poor, poor people! I wish I could remember every thing I have seen, but it would fill this page and a few more. These are just some of the things I have seen since moving in. Traffic accidents happen on a regular basis and fire engines and police sirens scream by daily. I am not always sitting at my table, but besides eating there three times a day, I also do a lot of my hobby work from there. What these eyes have seen! This is another day 6/2/09. I just have to add what I saw a few minutes ago while preparing supper. A man and a woman came walking down the flood control ditch pathway, ( a lot of people do) and stopped at the end where a sidewalk begins. He handed her a jacket and she handed it back. They stood talking for a few seconds then stepped over the pipe that separates it from the sidewalk and she started walking on down the street. He turned and watched the traffic going by, leaned out across the curb and wavered a bit. I thought he was going to fall into the traffic, but he caught himself and waved at a yellow convertible driving by. Then he waved at a truck and again at another car and another. He then started jumping up and down and waving his arms. Finally, he decided to walk on down the street in the direction she had gone, but he was obviously under the influence of something for he could not walk straight. He kept veering toward the traffic and back again until he was out of sight. Just about ten minutes later, here they come back again. He was walking behind her or rather trying to walk while she ignored him and kept going. He finally made a great stretch of his hand and tried to reach out to her. He must have said something to her for she turned around and gave him a good swat on his back. he stumbled a bit, but on they went down the street, out of sight. I also forgot to mention how many people I see passing by with grocery carts filled with empty bottles. Grocery carts are not for stealing, but people do, and so up go our grocery prices. This is enough and I have seen enough, but like they say,"The show must go on!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Here's What I Like

Do you know what I like? No? let me tell you.I like the sound of a soft rain falling on a tin roof. I like to hear from my open bedroom window, the chirping of the birds. I like to watch the humming birds as they zoom here and there before settling on an open flower. I like the way they fly right up close to inspect me, linger for a moment and then back track to their destination. I like to see a flower show its first bud, then watch daily as it begins to open up a tiny bit at a time. I like to see it when it is in full bloom and smell its lovely aroma. I like to watch the sun setting in the West and watch the sky turning to crimson from the sun's glow. I like to listen to a baby's laughter, and hear the roar of an ocean wave heading for shore, and listen to it calmly retracting back to whence it came, then burst forth again to repeat the same pattern. I like how a dog is so happy to see its master or mistress and almost twists in half with joy at seeing them. I love to watch the joy between the two of them. I love it even more when it is me. I like the smell of bacon frying in a pan, and the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread, or homemade cookies. I like anything that makes me laugh. I absolutely love to laugh. I like seeing a dolphin rise from below the water and burst like a rocket into the air, turn its huge body and head back down into the deep. That is a gorgeous sight to see. I like to see a pregnant woman and her husband holding hands and smiling. I love my family and my friends, and the fact they all stay in touch with me. There is so much to like I can't name them all. What I would like most is a peaceful loving world where everyone could get along without wanting what the other guy has, and be thankful for what they have themselves. I would like people not being predjudiced against anyone who is different than themselves. I would like people coming into a foreign country to be respectful of their new country's ways and adopt the new countries laws and rules. I would like them to carry their new adopted country's flag instead of flaunty their own where they chose to leave. Now that they have decided this is where they now want to live I would like it if they acted like they meant it. I really would like it if you enjoy reading this and get some pleasure out of the same things I do. I would like it if you make a list of what you yourself like. It is fun and interesting to find out about yourself. Go ahead! I would like that!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Have You Ever Noticed?

Have you ever noticed when you go to the beauty parlor to get your hair done that none of the beauticians have had theirs done? Look at those ladies! Their hair is a mess. What kind of message does that send? Are we not paying them enough, or are we working them too hard that they haven’t the time to look good for us? Should we feel guilty as we walk out the door? Come on ladies get a hair do and spruce up the environment.
Have you ever noticed that since the new law went in that it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving that nobody cares. They still have that device glued to their heads. Just get behind a pokey driver and you can bet they are on the cell. What happened before we had the darn thing, and you had to wait until you got home to get a message or call someone? Did your world fall apart? How meaningless is your life that you have to have a phone to your ear constantly to survive? Don’t you have a hobby, or a child to take care of, or a book to read, or a job to go to, or a family who needs your attention, or a friend who needs you to run an errand or just anything important in your life that does not require an attachment to your ear? I see you walking down the street with that thing up to your head. It looks like you are talking to yourself. You cannot even enjoy the outdoors without it. You may not think so, but it is very sad that nothing is more important to you than that.
Have you noticed that we are now told what we like on television? What were once considered family programs are now still billed as that, but they have just decided that we, the public, wish it to be sprinkled with a bit of sex. I don’t know about you, but I always thought sex was a private matter between two consenting adults. I am not saying I disapprove of sex, only that I do not enjoy watching someone else having it. I have always been under the assumption that modesty, self-respect, and decency were still in style and would forever remain so. Soap operas are filled with it and in the daytime also when children can watch whenever they want. Oh yes, and did you know we also want a lot of crime on our television. There is not enough of it filling our newspapers everyday with what is going on in our own hometown; we now have it on our TVs. If that is not enough, you can find out how to break out of prison or what is going on in the criminal mind. All subjects we have been clamoring for because a calm serene life was not good enough. And the best of all is, just look at yourself!! Have you noticed? You just are not thin enough. To be perfect you have to have your skinny arms and legs hanging down like canary bird legs. Your bones have to protrude through your neck and across your upper chest like a skeleton. Turn around so you can show you have sprouted wings on the back of you, but you still can’t fly. You once had shoulder blades, but they have now turned into wings. Now that you have done that wear your pants down to where we can see where the crack in your back starts and your modesty in front begins. You are embarrassed if your nipples show, but not the rest of your bosom. Why is that?
I know you are going to say I can turn the television off and look the other way from all the exposure, but why should I have to? Does my opinion not count? Has decency and self- respect been trampled on so badly that people really enjoy this? If that is so, then I am glad I am 86 and leaving all this mess for them to clean up. They made it. The day will come when someone out there will want to do it and bring back a clean and respectful world. What goes around comes around!
I am not through yet. Again on television is a program where people send in their funniest home videos. I have to admit there are some funny ones, and I have chuckled at a few, but there are some that are downright awful that people just crack up over. I am sitting there saying, “Oh no!” while the audience is in hysterics. These people were actually hurt. Little kids are crying and animals are running off scared to death. How can you laugh at someone else’s pain? I know they are paid for sending in their videos, but when they took them they were not expecting someone to get hurt. I have seen tears and excruciating pain happen and I cannot laugh. Sorry! Before I sign off I have one more thing that I have noticed. The bicycle rider. I realize there are a lot of responsible ones out there, but there are more that are not. I live on a busy street and see it every day. They ride on the wrong side of the street, they ignore red lights, and they disobey every traffic law in the book and still want the same considerations that motorist have. So here is what I think. Let them get a license just like we drivers have to do. Starting at a certain age, a bicyclist should have to take a test and apply for a license just like the rest of us on the road. Now I am finished and you can disagree with me on any or all. I really do not care. This is just my opinion to which I am entitled. Have you ever noticed?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Growing Older

Growing older is not easy. It is not easy either to be a caretaker of an older person. Since I have done both I believe I am qualified to talk, or I should say write, on the subject. Growing old is something no one can avoid. You start it the minute you are born. Have you ever thought about that? Well, it is not so bad until you reach about sixty. That is when things start becoming noticeable. Of course there are a lot of people who freak out about their age at thirty and some at forty. Those numbers seem to bother a lot of people. But do not worry about it too much. Those are just numbers and you still look pretty good, so relax! It is when first one pain and then another start letting you know you are getting there. Also when your doctor starts sending you for this test and that test, “But not to worry,” he says, “We are just being safe”, or cautious or whatever it is he knows, but you don’t. Suddenly you are aware that yes, you are getting older. Try real hard to say, “I am just fine,” when someone asks, “How are you?” Trust me! It is only a social greeting and they really do not want to know, so don’t dive into all the things of which you are suddenly aware. They have their own to worry about, and if you talk about yours they are going to reciprocate by telling all the things that are wrong with them also, and there you both are stuck in a conversation neither one wanted to know about. Just keep smiling.
Smiles cure so much and they are not painful to take. Now some old folks are not easy to take care of. In fact some can be downright mean. Those that still have all their faculties are usually pretty nice and feel badly because you have to wait on them. Others think it is your duty to wait on them and are always in need of something. They can be very critical of everything you do. Please, let me be the nice one. I try so hard to be that way because I know what a caretaker faces. I am not qualified to tell you how to handle the ones who no longer have their faculties, because I have never had to take care of them. I can however tell you how to handle the rest. In my cases, at least, I have found out that communication is the best answer, and it solves a lot of misunderstandings. When they become angry or upset over something, for heaven's sake, do not quarrel with them. That solves nothing and leaves you both angry and it is very hard to repair. I know when their minds are as alert as yours that it is not easy to hold your temper, but you can do it. Just ask them, ”What is wrong? Let’s talk about it.” Ask if you did something wrong and if so what can you do to fix it. If they are the ones who have caused the problem, then say, “Let’s talk about this. You need to know why you have upset me.” Get a good conversation going without anger and usually any problem can be solved. Also listen to them and make them listen to you. All with understanding and most importantly with a great big smile. Remember me saying a smile can fix a lot of things. Most people can’t stay mad when you are smiling. YOU can’t stay mad when you are smiling. It is not easy growing old and it is not easy to be a caretaker of us oldies. Sometimes you drove us crazy when you were children, and now the whole situation has turned around. The parent becomes the child and the child becomes the parent. Life is so confusing, isn't it? In closing I want to tell you when I was taking care of my ninety five year old mother, she became upset when my husband and I were going out for the evening. We hired a sitter just like you do for your children because at her age we did not want to leaver her alone. I knew something was wrong as she looked like she was pouting. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I just wished I could go out and go dancing too instead of sitting here in this rocking chair.” Right away I stopped on my way out, sat down on the floor by her feet and told her, “I know of course that is what you would like to do. I also wish you could do that, but mom, you have had your day and you have had a lot of fun in your day, but it is now my turn. Soon, I will be the one in the chair and my children will be going out and leaving me wishing the same thing you are wishing now. We all have to take our turns.” She patted my hands and said, “I know, have a good time”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Change Of Pace

My Teddy Bear

Maybe my second childhood is here
Or maybe it just feels good,
But I like hugging my teddy bear
And I think that everyone should.

A child hugs its new stuffed toy
For comfort, joy, and sleep.
And when it’s old and raggedy
It’s the one thing that they keep.

It’s a friend, a pal, a plaything,
It’s loyal and always there.
It listens when you need to talk
Or you’re crying in despair.

You take that great big teddy bear
You hold it in your arms.
It feels as though it hugs you back
That teddy has such charms.

I know you think that I’ve gone daft
But really that’s not so
The only time I hug my teddy
Is when I’m feeling low.

It’s a very soft and cuddly bear
I can bury my face and cry.
There’s no one else to comfort me
So I love my teddy, that’s why!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Crafty Crew!

I guess it is the age that makes you think of things gone by. Sometimes it brings a smile to my face and other times I say to myself, "Why are you thinking about that?" Working out in the garage the other day, brought up some very dear memories and things I like to think about. Also my son's new girlfriend made the statement that we were sure a talented family. At least we are crafty. I do not know so much about talent, but crafty we are. It is no wonder my two boys like making things also. When they were young I put them to work helping me do my craft work. Way back, I used to buy molds and boxes of plaster of paris and mix and pour my own figurines. I mostly did ladies of the 1800s. Oh they were so pretty and fashionable, and what fun to paint and make them come alive. Then I started looking for people's discarded 78 records. I used an old roasting pan of my mom's in which I heated water to just below the boiling point. I borrowed a piece of wood, actually it was a block of wood, from my dad. It was about three inches thick and about twelve inches long.I dipped one half of the record in the hot water until it was pliable. I then pulled it out of the water, and working quickly, laid the block of wood on it in the middle. I pulled the side I had just heated up to form whatever I was making and held it in place until it cooled and was set. I then did the same on the other side. Voila! I had a letter holder. I also made trays and wall hangings. The possibilities were endless. I could paint them solid or with designs or just leave them plain for a conversation piece.
When I first married Bob, he became a hobby guy also, whether he wanted to or not. My sister Barbra and I took our children with us out on the country roads where we picked thistles. Lots and lots of thistles. Of course we had to wear gloves as those things have no respect for your hands. Next we purchased a roll of chicken wire, cans of spray paint and simple decorations and ribbon. Using wire cutters, and again using gloves, we rolled and formed a cone shaped piece about fifteen to twenty inches tall. We then very carefully cut the thistle's stem to about two inches and started punching them into the chicken wire. When all the spaces were filled, we had what looked like a tree. They were then sprayed with silver or gold paint and a wee bit of decoration and ribbon. Now they looked like a Christmas tree. Our husbands and kids were sent out house to house to sell them. We did really well and that is how we earned our Christmas money. My oldest son was given some spindles from a friend who worked at the shoe factory and he used a bowl and mixer of mine to whip up some water and Ivory Soap Flakes until they formed peaks and were stiff. First he used electrical wire and wired the spindles to hold one Christmas tree light. Lights back then were big like your night lights today. He finished it off by covering it with the soap stuff which when left overnight hardened up nicely and made a lovely Christmas candle. He did well selling those also. My youngest son had to help me with beer cans. Not the aluminum ones as they are too pliable, but we used the old fashioned hard can which I don't believe is used today for beer. I learned to make rocking chairs, straight chairs, foot stools, and beds. The seam was used for the rocking chair's base, bent to form a rocker. The lid was used for the cushion which we padded and covered in velvet. Again, we spray painted the finished product. The fish factory workers and the Gravenstein Apple Plant workers kept me in business for quit q while. My young son, Brent, was thrilled when production slowed down and I no longer needed him to help cut and bend. Poor kid!
When we moved to the house we are in now, my dearest Bobby Joe became a very important helper to me. In fact, in his retirement, I was determined he was not going to be a couch potato and sit and stagnate, soooo we bought him a new saw, and a new sander, and whatever else he needed to go in business with me. Since he had just retired from working in a lumber yard, he was just the right guy that I needed for my new project. I drew the patterns for him, he cut them out, and I drew in whatever was needed and painted them There were so many things we made the list is too long to try and remember, but our big sellers were the whirly birds for the yard and some wonderful animal plaques for the wall. My son Brent lived with us then and he put the whirlys together for us. He also made animal planter boxes. The people at the Moose Lodge loved our animal bouquets in pots. My favorite memory is when Bob finished a piece and I was not satisfied with its finish, I would send it back to him to sand or cut smoother, whichever was needed. I always remember the two of us laughing when he said to me, "Boy you are tough to work for. I am glad I did not work for you all these years. You're a tough boss!" He said it lovingly and we both got a chuckle out of it. He took it back willingly and learned to double check it before it came to me. I still do hobby work, but mostly by myself. I also do a lot of poetry writing. I have written nine children's books in poetry. I also help my oldest son Cary out when he needs me on his miniatures. He is into that for a hobby and extremely talented. He is an officer in the miniature club's national association called "NAME." Occasionally I have to ask him to help me sometimes also. My youngest is a handy man. He does all kinds of fixing and repairing and holds down a job doing just that. Yep we are all talented, OOOPS! I mean crafty! I think everyone should have a hobby. It keeps the mind young! That is worth it all to be sure. I do pretty good for eighty six.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Was Just Thinking!

I was just thinking! Everyone should have a Susan, a Michele, and a Nelda in their lives. They are three of the most delightful ladies I know. The best part is that they like me. They have told me so. In fact they have said they love me. How great is that? I know they mean it also because they have nothing to gain by telling me how they feel. What is funny about it is that they all have used the same words in telling me how they see me, and two of them do not even know each other. They make me feel so important and special. Me, Blanche, liked and loved by these three great ladies!! To the right are pictures of Susan and her Emil and then Nelda with me. I do not have a picture of Michele. That is sad, but I will get one and add later.
I was just thinking! Do you know what makes me happy? Giving something to someone. That makes me happy. I love to see a smile come on their face, or get a hug, or even sometimes a very small tear of love trickle down their cheek. Some people do not understand givers, and they feel they have to give something back in return. Nothing is farther from the truth. Others think it is selfish to give and get so much joy from it when they have not given to you. It is not selfish. It is just the way we are and please, be a gracious receiver by enjoying it with us. Your acceptance is gift enough for us. If you want to give us something back, make it a smile, or a hug, or just plain be happy.
I was just thinking! Do you know what makes me sad? Animal abuse! That is what really makes me sad. I do not like to see pictures or witness animal abuse. I cannot even watch shows that portray survival of the fittest. I know that is nature’s way, but it cuts into my very soul. Child abuse! That is abominable. Abusing people or things that cannot defend themselves hurts me to the quick.
I was just thinking! Do you know what I dislike? People who think they know everything and interrupt you while you are talking. I dislike liars, cheats, dishonesty, and thieves. I dislike that I cannot clean my house anymore myself, or work in my garden like I used to, or having to ask someone to do something for me that I once could do for myself.
I was just thinking! Do you know what I enjoy? I enjoy my Mickey Mouse collection and my dolphin collection. I enjoy writing poetry and writing my blogs, and just writing period. I enjoy doing my hobby work, which is creative, and that is a joy in itself, to be able to create. I enjoy my family, and I enjoy Susan, Michele, and Nelda! Sometimes, I even enjoy myself. That is when I am creating and writing.
I was just thinking! Maybe I will write more next time!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Walk In His Shoes!

This is one of those days where you get to hear from someone you love and are so very happy to hear from them, but the news they bring takes some of the joy away from the call. After saying ,"Hello", the familiar voice brought a big smile to my face. It was one of my nephews from the state of Florida. I told you some time back that my nieces and nephews love me, and this one in particular keeps in very good contact with me. After the usual how are you, and small talk, he informed me my niece, his sister, was back in the hospital. She had just been out of the hospital for about a week now from brain surgery. Even though the tumor was much larger than had been thought, the operation went well and she was doing very good. I talked to her on the phone and her spirits were up and everything was going along better than expected. This came as a complete surprise to me and I called her in her hospital room as soon as I hung up from my nephew Phil. She explained that there was a leakage which had caused and infection and they had placed a drain in her back. I did not ask where it went from there as it was more than I wanted to hear. I am so squeamish and she is the one going through it. Shame on me!! Anyway they are keeping a good eye on it and if everything does as it should do and the infection subsides, then she can come home on Monday. This is Thursday today. I am so upset that she has no family near to be with her, but she says all her friends are so good to watch out for her so that makes me feel a little better. Her niece is hoping to move to Ridgecrest to be near her soon. If I could travel, I would go. Back on the phone with my nephew I asked how his brother was doing. I had thought that he was doing well from having Leukemia. I heard last that it was not that much to worry about as he would probably die of something else before Leukemia took him. However things have taken a turn for the worse for him also. He is now taking chemotherapy. Phil was a little miffed at his brother because he referred to him as, "The most obnoxious person I have ever known and he is mean!" Wow! I was surprised at that as those boys (men now) have been very close all their lives. I could not help chuckling a bit as I said to him,"Are you just now becoming aware of that?" Let me explain. This one, Gary, has always been like his mom, "Queenie," only more so. He believed he was the handsomest guy walking, and he was insulting, verbally abusive, and a bit sadistic. He found what he said and did very humorous and usually laughed after he has closed his mouth. Phil, as a youngster and into his teens used to think his brother was funny also. He would get a big charge out of Gary's antics. Gary was always in charge of things and Phil adored his brother. In fact doing what he was told to do by his bro got him in trouble often times. They both have been to visit me a couple of times in the past couple of years and I was delighted by them both. They finally grew up. Gary was still bit Gary, but he was not obnoxious. However this new turn of events with Phil being so upset with his bro, made me ask what the problem was. It seems Gary had reverted back to being mean and obnoxious recently when the two visited. In fact he was downright hateful. Well, this is what I told Phil about his brother. "All his life, Gary has been in control. He made the demands on people and if they did not like it they were gone. He treated his wife like a child, demanding that she do as he said. I saw her in tears at one of those sessions and he was a cold unfeeling person. Even though he softened in his aging, he has now met an enemy that he has no control over. Leukemia will do as it will and Gary has nothing to say. So Gary is mad, Gary is frightened! Gary is mean again because he is frightened and scared. Can you find it in your heart to have a little compassion for him?" Phil replied, "It will do no good ." There was no excuse for the way he acted when he was growing up and even the way he did into his adult life, but now after he had calmed down this has flared him up again. He knows no other way to fight. Now I am asking you out there, can you have compassion for those fighting an enemy that they can't conquer? Can you understand their fear and desperation? Can you forgive them for their mistakes and unkindness? You know, you may walk in their shoes someday! Ask any care taker how those fighting the unknown act and behave! It is rare to find the person who accepts the inevitable.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Blue Birds Of Happiness!

There was a shadow darting back and forth across my bedroom wall this morning as I was getting dressed. Curious, I walked to the window to see what was making the shadow sway back and forth like that. On the deck there are some hanging planter baskets filled with some kind of mossy stuff waiting to be filled with soil and flowers. It was raining trickles, so it was not hard enough to make the movement. The rain was nice and much needed for the spring flowers to show themselves. Aha! There was a large creature, blue in color, and keeping a watchful eye out on me as it saw me move towards the window. Wait! There are two of them. Each on a seperate basket and each swinging back and forth. Two parents of the Blue Jay family getting ready to start a family of their own. I was careful not to make too much movement so as not to frighten them away. They did not trust me though and as their beaks plunged into the mossy stuff, their heads were cocked to the side watching what I might be doing next. I froze so as not to scare them away, for their activity was fascinating. Down went their beaks into the stuff, up came their heads and a shake upwards made the moss slip to the back of their bills. That enabled them to take another big bite of the stuff and fill their bills to the maximum. I moved just a smidge and one of them shot a quick glance my way. It must have warned the other one that someone was too close for comfort, because quickly they both took flight with their booty in tact. Hey, I shouted at them through the closed window. You are welcome to come back anytime. I don't mind sharing my mossy stuff, and if you need it all, I can always get more. They were out of sight though, but I hope they know I do not mind sharing and will come back so I can feel I was a part of their building a home for their little ones.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Do You See What I See?

Well, I have criticized, praised, cried, and laughed through all my writings of my four siblings, and three half sisters. It is now time to take a look at me through my own eyes. Some will be surprised at how I perceive myself and find it hard to believe because of how they see me, but this is the honest to goodness truth of a look into myself. To everyone I come in contact with, I come across as a confident, strong, outgoing, fun loving person. That is good as I have them all fooled. In actuality I am not confident at all and most often feel inferior to people I meet. I am shy about going places by myself. I find it hard to walk into a room without someone by my side. I say,"I am sorry" a lot because I feel responsible for whatever is happening at the time.I often say that I am sorry whether it is my fault or not. In grocery and department stores or just walking down the street, I am the one who moves aside for the other person or if we bump into each other I say, "I am sorry.' It is rare to have someone say that to me. I make friends easily because I want people to like me. I am so afraid I won't be liked. Despite all this inward feeling I do not back down to someone who is not being nice to me. I am not afraid to speak up and if I have something to say, I usually say it. I have a friend who tells me I can say what is on my mind, but that I do it very tactfully. I am true to the water sign Aquarius and get my feelings hurt very easily. I will cry at the drop of a hat if I feel picked on. I say O.K. to some things I do not want to do just so that the person asking won't dislike me. I am getting better though. One of my bad faults is trying to change the world. I think I can make everyone see that what I think is the correct way of thinking. It upsets me if I can't change a mind. People's bad habits and manners upset me. My dad was a stickler for good manners so I guess his teachings have stuck with me. My worst fault is I am a scardy cat. I hate being alone. I imagine all sorts of things when I am. It may have come from that "boogey man" experience, I do not know. Can we blame everything on the past? My good points are that I have many talents. When in school I was in many plays, and I entertained at many school rallies, (always writing my own scripts) and I was on our local radio station in a program called "Us Kids Of Seventeen." On the radio station I wrote my own scripts also. Always humorous. I guess I was a stand up comedian. HA! If you find this strange that I did this when I said I am shy and inward, I can explain by telling you it is a lot different being in front of a whole crowd of people than meeting with them one on one. Strange, but true. I entertained at local lodges, which was harder because of the smaller group of people and I usually performed directly in front of them rather than on a stage. That made me very nervous, but I did enjoy entertaining them. I was in the girls drum and bugle corps which marched in a few parades. I belonged to the "Saddle Club" and rode horses in parades while belonging to that also. Never at the same time though if you were wondering about that. I belonged to the saddle club first. I also write poetry and have many hobbies. I can cut something out of wood, paint it, and create a wall hanging, yard work, or a functional piece. I paint ceramics, and sometimes sew something if it is simple. I did punch embroidery for years, creating pictures on clothing. I can repair a lot of things in chalk ware and sometimes ceramics. I love to create. I am very fortunate to have a lot of friends who really like me. In school I had many girlfriends. One girl was my best friend, but I was really close to all of them. I still keep in contact with some to this day! My nieces and nephews all love me and keep in contact with me all the time. Even those out of state. However my two grandchildren do not like me. I don't really know why not except their mom (who is long divorced from my son) has bad mouthed me to them so much I think they believe it. I have been nothing but nice to her, but she does not like her own mother either so I do not worry any more about that. I asked my granddaughter if we could not start over from whatever was wrong and have a relationship like we should. She responded saying we could if I would follow the rules she set down on paper as to what I could and could not do. I do not follow rules well and do not like walking on thin ice, so we have no relationship at all. My grandson is distanced from me also. I love him very much though, but he is mad at me because we were in a crowd of people one time when he entered and ignored me completely. I waited a bit before saying,"Well Joe, aren't you going to say hello to me?" He barked at me that he was talking to his dad. He thought for a minute and then said,"Do you want a hug?" Of course I said ,"Yes." He later would not enter a room where I was as he said he felt uncomfortable. I have not seen him since. My grandson has cystic fibrosis and his life expectancy is not good so I worry, but will not force him to do what he does not want. My step granddaughter adores me and is very much a part of my life. I can be a grandmother to her, and she loves me all the more for it! I don't know if it is a good or bad trait, but if you are good to me I will give you the world. (well almost) I am sure there is a lot more if I dug deeper, but that's all for now folks!