Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Why do we say Happy Halloween? It is such a goofy holiday. Is it a holiday? My son thinks so. He has won the costume contest two years in a row. This year he was two face, Bat Man’s enemy. I have never heard of him. I was never a fan of Bat Man. Mike stirred up caulking, glue, and make up and textured it to make himself look terrible. But the clincher is, only on half of his face. He had his head shaved on one side, his beard shaved on one side, and his clothes were sewn together to make him look half and half. He even wore two different shoes, a sport jacket that had been bleached on one side. Mike wanted me to email pictures of him in full costume to some of his friends and mine. One of my friends called early this morning. She loves the real Mike. She just wanted to know if in fact, I had given birth to that monster.
I much prefer the sarcastic old woman, Maxine. I received a bunch of them from the man that does our class newsletter this morning. I had difficulty choosing the one I liked the best. Keep safe on this beautiful day, the little ones will have beautiful weather, and the grownups will probably eat some of the candy the little ones collected.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Through The Years

When I was young my mother wasn’t big on Halloween. She thought it was against religious beliefs. Once again, I did not and still do not believe her. I do not like the grim reaper and the sexy costumes for little girls and a multitude of costumes I don’t like. However, I have donned some cute, scary and stupid costumes through the years.
Forty two years ago I dressed as Aunt Jamima with the help of my neighbor. It seems to me that it took days to get my facial make up off.
The next costume I remember was the scary one. My children whined because for some reason they couldn’t go trick or treating or go to a party or something. I am sure when my children read this, they will remember that it was all my fault! I also think that when they read this they will remember this house party with fond memories. We had our own party at home, with a huge angel food cake with a skeleton candle in the middle of it. It was such fun!
Through the years I have dressed up as clowns for the residents of nursing homes. They tend to get scared of costumes other than clowns and other costumes like hobos etc. You see the picture of me in a black leather jacket, I was dressed as the Fonz, the jacket must have weighed 50 lbs.
I remember going to house parties dressed up. I remember year before last going to a Halloween party at a club that Fran and I belong to. It was to be held the day after Halloween for some reason. So I dressed up as a deer hunter in Fran’s hunting clothes. I was the only one dressed up when I walked in the club!! I was so embarrassed, I wanted the floor to open up for me, hunting outfit and all. It seems that my life has been periodically quite full of these little experiences that are quite memorable. After that I have periodically wondered if that was just a little "joke" on Lu Anne!
Last year I wore an orange T-shirt with a pumpkin on it. I wasn’t about to take any chances. The picture is of my friend who absolutely loves Maxine the cartoon character and me. Didn’t she do a great job dressing like her? Right down to the slippers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

There Is A Mouse In The House

When I was a little girl we had mice because I remember my dad taking tin cans and tin snips and cutting circles out of them. Dad then took the tin circles put a fold in them and nailed them to the floor and wall to prevent those little critters from creeping out to get any crumbs available. We lived in a very old house that was not insulated and a person could see outside in some places that provided a perfect place for mice to get in where it was warm.
I lived out on a farm a few years ago. That house was almost impossible to keep the mice at bay. It just drove me crazy with traps and poison. I would have to wash and rewash everything. All the other houses except one were mouse free.
When I decided to write this post I thought what I would do was write a poem instead of a post. I asked the computer how many words rhyme with mouse. My goodness there was a bunch so a regular post it is.
The season is fall and chilly outside, this is the season for pumpkins, cornstalks, and mums and beautiful leaves. It is also the season for mice. A few posts ago I mentioned that this house that I live in has never had a mouse in it until three days ago. I sit in my recliner with my laptop on my lap and watch tv, write my stories and occasionally look out into the kitchen. Well there was this little rodent actually taking his time WALKING across the scatter rug. The one thing that saved me was that Fran saw it too.
This time there was no argument about what I saw. My vision problems at times make me see things that are not there. How to get rid of our little guest took a lengthy discussion. Fran thinks that they are cute. I think they are disgusting. Then Maggie came into the picture as far as keeping her safe from poison and poisoned mice, traps, sticky pads and on and on. Fran finally came up with something that should be satisfactory with all three of us. I did not see the house guest that trotted on the same scatter rug three nights running, and the same time of night last night, so hopefully we now have a No Vacancy in our Mouse Hotel that will never be changed to Vacancy.
A house with a mouse is a house that does not have a happy spouse. I just couldn’t resist.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Forwards are things that about five years ago I had no idea what they were except the opposite of reverse.
I get all kinds of forwards, good and bad. Some are religious, some are for good luck, some are warning you of bad things that could happen to you if you don’t forward it on to a dozen other people. This year is the first year I have gotten Halloween ones that scare me to death! I absolutely love Maxeen, the sarcastic cartoon character. She slays me and almost always makes me laugh probably because she says what I think nine times out of ten. I have a friend in South Dakota that sends me a lot of government ones and military ones. Those often make me stop and think. I have a friend in Texas that frequently sends those that are beautiful to look at and listen to. But the one I got this afternoon was one of the most precious that I have ever gotten. I guess I think it was Art Linkletter, “Kids say the darndest things” type style and memorable because it gave me mental images from the past especially #1. The title of it is very simple; Grandparents. Hope you enjoy even if you are not a grandparent you will see the simple enjoyment of eight year olds and their grandparents. Thanks, Kiddo.

She was in the bathroom, putting on her
> > makeup,
under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter,
> > as she'd
done many times before. After she applied her
> >
lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, 'But
> > Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper
> > good-bye!' I will probably never put lipstick on
> > again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper
> > good-bye...
> >
> >
> >
> > 2. My young grandson called the other day to
> > wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and
> > I told him, '62..' He was quiet for a moment,
> > and then he asked, 'Did you start at
> > 1?'
> >
> >
> >
> > 3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a
> > grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and
> > proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children
> > getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew
> > thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and
> > stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern
> > warnings. As she left the room, she heard the
> > three-year-old say with a trembling voice, 'Who was
> > THAT?'
> >
> >
> >
> > 4. A grandmother was telling her little
> > granddaughter what her own childhood was like: 'We used
> > to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire;
> > it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our
> > pony. We picked wild raspberries in the
> > woods.' The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this
> > all in. At last she said, 'I sure wish I'd
> > gotten to know you sooner!'
> >
> >
> >
> > 5. My grandson was visiting one day when he
> > asked, 'Grandma, do you know how you and God are
> > alike?' I mentally polished my halo and I said,
> > 'No, how are we alike?'' You're both
> > old,' he replied.
> >
> >
> >
> > 6. A little girl was diligently pounding away
> > on her grandfather's word processor. She told him
> > she was writing a story. 'What's it
> > about?' he asked. 'I don't know,' she
> > replied. 'I can't read.
> >
> >
> >
> > 7. I didn't know if my granddaughter had
> > learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I
> > would point out something and ask what color it was.
> > She would tell me and was always correct.. It was fun
> > for me, so I continued.. At last she headed for the
> > door, saying, 'Grandma, I think you should try to figure
> > out some of these yourself!'
> >
> >
> >
> > 8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our
> > vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside
> > to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few
> > fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did,
> > Billy whispered, 'It's no use Grandpa. Now the
> > mosquitoes are coming after us with
> > flashlights.'
> >
> >
> >
> > 9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I
> > teasingly replied, 'I'm not sure.'
> > 'Look in your underwear, Grandpa,' he
> > advised.. 'Mine says I'm four to
> > six.'
> >
> >
> >
> > 10. A second grader came home from school and
> > said to her grandmother, 'Grandma, guess what? We
> > learned how to make babies today.' The
> > grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her
> > cool. 'That's interesting,' she said, 'how
> > do you make babies? ''It's simple,' replied
> > the girl. 'You just change 'y' to 'I and add
> > 'es'.'
> >
> >
> >
> > 11. Children's Logic: 'Give me a
> > sentence about a public servant,' said a teacher.
> > The small boy wrote: 'The fireman came down the ladder
> > pregnant.' The teacher took the lad aside to
> > correct him. 'Don't you know what pregnant
> > means?' she asked.. 'Sure,' said the young
> > boy confidently. 'It means carrying a
> > child.'
> >
> >
> >
> > 12. A nursery school teacher was delivering a
> > station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck
> > zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the truck
> > was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing
> > the dog's duties. 'They use him to keep crowds
> > back,' said one child. 'No,' said another,
> > 'He's just for good luck.' A third child
> > brought the argument to a close. 'They use the
> > dogs,' she said firmly, 'to find the fire
> > hydrants.'
> >
> >
> >
> > (Taken from papers written by a class of
> > 8-year-olds)
> >
> >
> >
> > Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no
> > little children of their own. They like other people's..
> > A grandfather is a man and a grandmother is a
> > lady!
> >
> >
> >
> > Grandparents don't have to do anything
> > except be there when
we come to see them. They are so
> > old they shouldn't play hard or run. It is good if
> > they drive us to the shops and give us money. When
> > they take us for walks, they slow down past things like
> > pretty leaves and caterpillars. They show us and talk to us
> > about the colors of the flowers and also why we
> > shouldn't step on
cracks and don't
> > say, 'Hurry up.'
> >
> >
> >
> > Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to
> > tie your shoes. They wear glasses and funny underwear.
> > They can take their teeth and gums out.
> >
> >
> >
> > Grandparents don't have to be smart.
> > They have to answer questions like 'Why isn't God
> > married?' and 'How come dogs chase cats?'
> > When they read to us, they don't skip. They
> > don't mind if we ask for the same story over
> > again.
> >
> >
> >
> > Everybody should try to have a grandmother,
> > especially if you don't have television because they are
> > the only grownups who like to spend time with
> > us.
> >
> >
> >
> > They know we should have snack time before bed
> > time, and they say prayers with us and kiss us even when
> > we've acted bad.
> >
> >
> >
> > AIRPORT.''
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > > It's funny when they bend over; you hear
gas noises and they blame their dog.
> >
> >
> >
> > Send this to other grandparents, almost
> > grandparents, or heck, send it to everyone. It will make
> > their day.

This forward said that it was copywrited I am not sure, but it said to send it to everyone and that is what I am doing and it will make your day.

Mrs. Magoo

As most of you know I have M.S. Some of you know or may not know is tha t a side effect of M.S. is vision problems. I have totally lost my vision twice within the last few years. It did not last long, but it was enough to scare me that it might happen while I was driving, so I stopped driving. Not long after the last episode I started having trouble reading, playing the piano and using the computer. I would have to take someone with me to go shopping because I couldn’t see the prices. My disease had progressed so rapidly I couldn’t stoop over to see the tags on the shelves either. My friend saved my life by making me laugh about getting a seeing eye dog to take in the store with me. The reason that was funny was that for the most part I could see fine. I frequently had to leave my purchases in the cart because I couldn’t stand long enough to “check out”.
After some time had passed I had my eyes checked to see how much damage M.S. had done to the optic nerve. What the most problem was was cataracts. I had both eyes operated on. After the first eye was done, there was no change. I cried. I thought everything that I loved doing was to be no more. The depression weighed heavy on my shoulders. There was only one thing left to do. That was to give my problems to God. I did that frequently when I had a problem child when he was in his teens. I was not strong enough to do it on my own. That night at ten o’clock my vision returned. I cried and cried, and told God that it was okay if my vision did not return after surgery in the other eye. I was just so grateful that one eye worked. I called my friend and told her the good news. She cried as well. My other surgery turned out just fine. I was truly blessed.
As time has gone by, my episodes of M.S. have gotten better, gotten worse. At times I need to be reminded that I even have the dreaded disease. Then something happens like this morning, that tells me, “yup, I’ve got it!” Those of you that read my posts are aware that my brother and his wife visited a few weeks ago. I wanted every thing nice and clean, so I cleaned as best I could. Heavy cleaning is beyond me anymore.
This morning I cleaned the bathroom then took a shower. For some reason I looked up and discovered a cobweb that went from the ceiling to a housecoat that I had not worn for a long time. The first thing I thought of was “Oh no!” What ever did they think?’ The only thing I hope was that they didn’t look up and that they came to see me and not my house. I think the latter is true. Most times being Mrs. Magoo is fine but not when you are having company.
P.S. I came out to the kitchen and was ranting and raving about the cobweb and Fran just grinned and said, "Oh yeah, I saw that." There are times that you just wonder......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shopping Using A Railroad of Money Transports

AUSTIN, Min. J.C.Pennys. "I remember that JC Pennys and maybe Kresges had that cable system that shot those cups from the registers where the clerks were up to the cashier." Cecil Monson posting to antique-tractor list, 23 Dec. 02.
"As recently as the 1960s, the old Penney's store in downtown Austin, and the department store in Taylor, TX at the time, had the little cable-car money transporters. There was one cash register on the mezzanine level at the rear of the store with small diameter steel cables radiating out from it to the different sales departments on the street level. When you made a purchase, the clerk would place your money and the sales slip in a little cup and attach it to the carrier mounted on the cable. A mighty tug on a little cable hanging down would propel the carrier with the cup up the cable to the cash register. A little later, the carrier would come sliding back down the cable, bearing your change and receipt. The ceiling area of the store looked like a great spider web, and it was fun to be a kid watching the constant overhead traffic to and from all parts of the store." Jim Stinson posting to Dallas History Message Board, 20 Apr. 2005

The article above took me a long time to find. I especially wanted my children and grandchildren to know of one of the fun things about shopping when I was a child. The only way to pay for things was cash and writing a check. There were no credit or debit cards in those days. Some people that were well off or well known could have an "account" and be billed at the end of the month, but for the most part it was cash or check.The Penny store in my town was two story. The cashier was on the second floor. She would send down the bill or money which ever it would be. For instance if I bought something for three dollars and gave the lady a five dollar bill, the lady that was waiting on me would send my ticket and my money up to the cashier. She would make change and sling my change down to my clerk. It was so fun. Some really big stores in Kansas City for instance had an airway of more than thirty five of these "cashiers". These were invented by a Mr. Lamson and have been used since 1888 I believe. Anyway they were fun. The biggest store I was at was in South Dakota and I was twenty three. I found out that there are still some being used. Most were eliminated by 1960. It was an end of an era.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

My father loved poetry probably because of the love of the story telling that poems can give, but by the insistance of the teachers that the students memorize them. This is another poem by Lord Tenneson that dad loved and without provocation would all of a sudden come pouring out of his mouth with a twinkle in his eyes. I think he liked showing off a bit... I wonder if I could be just a little bit like him? Hmm
Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred."Forward, the Light Brigade!"Charge for the guns!" he said:Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"Was there a man dismay'd?Not tho' the soldier knew Someone had blunder'd:Theirs not to make reply,Theirs not to reason why,Theirs but to do and die:Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,Cannon to left of them,Cannon in front of them Volley'd and thunder'd;Storm'd at with shot and shell,Boldly they rode and well,Into the jaws of Death,Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,Flash'd as they turn'd in air,Sabring the gunners there,Charging an army, while All the world wonder'd:Plunged in the battery-smokeRight thro' the line they broke;Cossack and RussianReel'd from the sabre stroke Shatter'd and sunder'd.Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,Cannon to left of them,Cannon behind them Volley'd and thunder'd;Storm'd at with shot and shell,While horse and hero fell,They that had fought so wellCame thro' the jaws of DeathBack from the mouth of Hell,All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered.Honor the charge they made,Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred.

Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870
This poem is one of many published by the EServer, a non-profit collective of students and faculty at Iowa State University.

My dad loved to put the fun accents and the loud and the soft words to make the poem really fun for us kids as well as when we were grownups.

One of the most famous lines of this poem" theirs was not to reason why theirs but to do or die" Isn't it interesting that those old old poems have lessons that last for centuries. I wanted a picture to add a little sparkle to this poem. There are hundreds to choose from, so I chose a picture of one of the soldiers of the brigade.

The Life Of Riley Or Retirement

The life of Riley and Retirement generally go hand and hand in my case. The Life of Riley was a television show I can remember watching in the fifties. Riley was a cab driver and he was forever saying, “What a revolting development this is.” He was a short, chubby little man that seemed to forever get into trouble without even trying. He loved his chair and television and really enjoyed relaxing more than anything else. Me too! Riley was portrayed by actor William Bendix
Yesterday we got an Instant Messenger message to go to some friends for coffee. So, of course, we did go. We arrived at nine thirty in the morning, which is a nice time for coffee. The hostess asked if we would like to play cards. I looked at her kind of strangely. I had never played cards in the morning before. Well we played cards, had lunch which was delicious chili, and then we played cards some more. We arrived home at twenty minutes until two in the afternoon. Hmm is this retirement or the Life of Riley. Whatever it is I love it. The only thing is I would love a lot of money to go along with it.
Rileys are coins in Ireland I am told, so see that would help me out a lot. Being lazy and rich. Perfect combination.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Dad And Casey At The Bat

The one thing my dad was very proud of, was his education. It took him until he was in his late twenties to graduate from high school. He had to quit and work and quit and work until he finally had his diploma.
When Dad went to school they did things different than when I went to school. Memorization was one of those things. It seemed that teachers in those days thought that memorization was the key to discover whether a child was astute at not only arithmetic but English as well. I think that to some extent they were right. When I was a child until I was an adult my father could recite “Casey At The Bat” by heart. When he got older he would tilt his head to one side while he ran the poem through his mind, then he would start, with a slight grin on his face that not only let you know that he thought the poem was fun, but that he could remember that poem that was pages long.
Enjoy Mr. Thayer’s poem, I know I did throughout the years.

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer (background)

It all started in 1885 when George Hearst decided to run for state senator in California. To self-promote his brand of politics, Hearst purchased the San Francisco Examiner. At the completion of the election, Hearst gave the newspaper to his son, William Randolph Hearst.
William, who had experience editing the Harvard Lampoon while at Harvard College, took to California three Lampoon staff members. One of those three was Ernest L. Thayer who signed his humorous Lampoon articles with the pen name Phin.
In the June 3, 1888 issue of The Examiner, Phin appeared as the author of the poem we all know as Casey at the Bat. The poem received very little attention and a few weeks later it was partially republished in the New York Sun, though the author was now known as Anon.
A New Yorker named Archibald Gunter clipped out the poem and saved it as a reference item for a future novel. Weeks later Gunter found another interesting article describing an upcoming performance at the Wallack Theatre by comedian De Wolf Hopper - who was also his personal friend. The August 1888 show (exact date is unknown) had members from the New York and Chicago ball clubs in the audience and the clipping now had a clear and obvious use.
Gunter shared Casey at the Bat with Hopper and the perfomance was nothing short of legendary. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present the single most famous baseball poem ever written.

"Love has its sonnets galore. War has its epics in heroic verse.
tragedy its sombre story in measured lines. Baseball has Casey at the Bat." - Albert Spalding
Casey at the Bat
by Ernest Lawrence Thayer ©
Published: The Examiner (06-03-1888

'The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The restClung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore."Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."
"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.
Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer © Stockings were guests in the auditorium.
Ernest Lawrence Thayer actually wrote three versions of Casey at the Bat — the first printing, a self-corrupted version, and the revised version.

I hope you enjoyed this poem, I know my dad and I did.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lady Autumn Dressing Up For The Neighborhood

I think that the Ozarks are always pretty because the hills and miniature mountains have so much foliage and trees, wildflowers in the summer and one could go on and on.
The real show, however, is in the fall. There are some trite phrases like “a patchwork quilt; some words try to describe the display as lovely, colorful, but none of them do the trick.
I was so upset this morning because I had forgotten my camera. Today was what the weathermen call the peak of the color before the hard freeze and the heavy rain. Those two things destroy the beauty and strip the majority of the trees to bare branches or just the remaining “stick tights” to brown ugly sparse reminders of what used to be. The approaching winter months go through our minds when we see those leaves. I told Fran there were no words to describe this miracle right before us. I just wanted to put my arms around the trees and smell the color and touch the color and use all my senses instead of just looking at it.
When I got home from the errands I had run, I went home got my camera and drove through the division we live in and down to the lake. The whole trip did not take up a mile. Fran and I are very fortunate to live so close to a beautiful lake, fishing for him and daydreaming for me.
I forgot to caption the pictures for you. I will start with the bottom picture being our front yard, then the next one will be the yard of one of our friends with the red bushes. From there I turned down a gravel road and thought that someday I hope there will be an artist to catch the glory of this old abandoned farm with the windmills. The road to the lake was very pretty, but when I got to the launching pad, I took a picture for you of our island and dam . The final picture is of the wild grasses and gorgeous trees waving goodbye to me, because I probably won’t see them again until next fall.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fran's Little Car

We live in a subdivision of a small town about five miles from the square. To city people “the square” is difficult to take directions from, because the little town really has no square. It was blown down with the help of a tornado about five years ago. It does have four way stop signs, not even lights, but signs do the trick.
In our subdivision there are no fences except for blackberries to crawl up or cucumbers, whatever the season. The yards are sprawling and large. There are a lot of shrubs like ours that are used for boundary lines but most of all color. Rose of Sharon, Forsythia and a sundry of other bushes are used. The tall grasses are planted for corner beauty and lots of large rocks. From our porch we can see rose bushes and the large grasses and small and large bushes. It is so pleasing to the eye. Some people call that eye candy. But as the title implies there has to be transportation. Fran has a great big pickup. I have a little bitty car, but most important, Fran has a riding lawn mower. All the people that live in this area have riding lawn mowers. All the people that live in this area call their mowers their “Little Cars” That was the first thing I learned. You don’t walk anywhere (retirement community) you take your “little car.”
Fran and I have had discussions about the sedentary life that we live and the need for more exercise so what I thought that I would need to do is to put opportunity in front of us and to actually hear it knocking. I found it!
We went to my rental house a few miles away and much to my chagrin, I found it needed a lot of repairs. Repairs that on my walk through I did not see. Repairs that good old Fran had to do. The weather was wonderful, sunshine, albeit a bit breezy. It was a little difficult to handle yards and yards of plastic to wrap the back porch, but he did a good job. When the renter suggested that they could do it, his eyes just lit up. He put on new locks and door knobs and tomorrow he will finish doing things that are too heavy for me to do. However, he is riding his “Little Car” today with a big grin on his face. Today is his day to have fun.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Books For Dummies

First of all I don’t buy those books. Second of all I choose to let only my closest friends and family members know that I am dumb, not the clerks at the store. I have touched one of those Computers for Dummies books at the store and I saw, out of the corner of my eye a customer look at me with “that look.” That look made me feel the same way I felt when I was called to the front of the class to demonstrate a long division problem and I couldn’t do it. That look made me feel the same way when I thought that “litigates” was the last name of people that were going to court. That was probably THE most embarrassing moment! Can you even imagine how NOT dumb the guy is that started writing the Dumb books? Oh yeah I sure wish I had been that dumb!
Well, on with this morning. I have told you about the local flea market and even showed you pictures of the crowd. Today we bought several bales of hay, a scooper for ice cream that will NEVER bend or break and the buy of the century, a cast iron skillet. I used to have a little one and a great big one. When I got sick I couldn’t lift the big one, so I sold it. The little one just disappeared some how. The last year I have wanted another skillet so bad, but they are very expensive. This is catfish country and fried chicken is a staple in most weekly diets; there is nothing better to fry these two things in than a 15” cast iron skillet. Of course, since I found it at a flea market, it had been seasoned, so it was ready to go. Seasoned means it has been preheated and oiled. If you don’t do that the food sticks and just doesn’t cook well at all.
Well to make a short story extremely long, I didn’t feel like taking a picture of my skillet, so I got one from the computer, well, right above it for $14.95 was a “Cooking With Cast Iron Skillets for Dummies” book. And another thing, I bought my “new skillet” for $10.00 after some haggling which is really fun by the way, and Amazon wanted $48.95. I didn’t check shipping, can you imagine?
I am so excited to try out my new pan, that after we go to the lake and take some pictures of our gorgeous leaves for tomorrow’s story, I just might make my man some catfish! Talk to you tomorrow.

Naughty, Not Me.......

There have been times in my life that I have been accused of being naughty, but childhood pranks don’t count, right?
This morning I was going through some pictures I have saved on the computer and deleting a few hundred that I have duplicates of etc, and I did find one that prompted my memory bank into motion.
On our wedding day I made Fran promise promise promise not to smush the wedding cake all over my face. He finally promised, however, there was a twinkle in his eyes so I didn’t believe him. Before he could smush me I did it to him good. He said, “You made me promise, how could you?”
Oh that was such fun! You may notice the lack of "wedding" clothes, it was close to 100 degrees that day, so as soon as the ceremony was over we put on shorts and t-shirts.
Over the years I have provided myself with great pleasure being “naughty” with my jokes on other people. They don’t get mad they do, however, seem to get even.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is generally a disorder that makes a person like me not motivated, eat more, and sleep more. Generally depressed because the sun isn’t shining especially in the late fall or winter. Regular sad is something that I seldom am. However, this business of no sunshine for 85 days and rain and wind for at least that long, makes a person depressed. I may have exaggerated a bit, but good grief I would like a day or two of Indian Summer. I can remember Indian Summer. The weather is warm, sunshiny, the mums and other fall flowers are gorgeous, and I am a happy camper. Even the scarecrows are happy and allow the crows to come and eat to their fill of the leftover crops in the farmer’s gardens.
Fran and I went to get some mums to plant yesterday. We waited as long as we could to get the best possible price. We got huge ones for $2.50 a piece. I was thrilled, Fran was less thrilled because he has to plant them in the cold, wet weather. Well the least I could do was to carry some of the plants to the car. When I picked up the first one it was so heavy and wet, I said, “Oh my goodness, you must have just watered these.” The owner and Fran both looked at me like I had lost my mind. It had been raining for days. No need for the owner to water, I laughed a sick little laugh and continued to load flowers.
Well, I still look out the window sometimes when I write stories. I see the huge timber across the road, the fall leaves falling so fast that Fran will never get them raked up. The acorns are making a carpet on the lawn. When I take Maggie out they crunch even in the wet weather. I can hear them fall on Fran’s mother’s roof. They sound like gun shots in the distance. The squirrels are busy gathering for the winter, and the raccoons and possums doing the same. The mice would like to get in where it is warm, but for some reason, this house is built so that they have to find somewhere else to live.
I looked up S.A.D. on the computer and it confirms what I had thought it was with one exception. I already do it, but it said that doctors say to turn on artificial lights to simulate the sunshine and you will feel better. My addition to this is to decorate with sunflowers and fall flowers in the house. I decorate with sunflowers in old crocks, on an old pitcher that has sunflowers on it, a spoon holder that is a big sunflower, and it goes on and on. A friend was here for dinner one evening and she asked me why I had so many sunflowers. I answered very simply, “Because they make me happy.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mr. Fixit

As most of you know, we live outside a small town. The little towns most usually have free papers that come in the mailbox. They have grocery store advertisement flyers and a freebie paper that has real estate ads, yard sale notices, and a sundry of things including ads for people that do odd jobs. These include cleaning out basements, painting, doing yard work etc. I am proud to say that I have my own person to do odd jobs for me. I am sure the tools that he owns to do these little jobs cost several thousand dollars.
Last night he was in the kitchen, I was in the living room watching television He opened a cupboard door. The most awful squawk came out and Fran didn’t even notice. I said, “Oh my goodness what in the world is wrong with that cupboard door?” He said, “What cupboard door?” “The one that just squawked it’s head off,” I replied.
After I gave him a sarcastic reply he tried each and every door until he found the culprit. He decided to agree with me. I ignored the situation and went back to my television program. After awhile I looked in the kitchen and saw Fran wiping down the kitchen cupboard. Of course, I asked him what he was doing. He explained that it was cold, raining and dark outside, he didn’t have his shoes on, so instead of going to his tool shed to get the WD40 he used some cooking spray. Those of you that know me, must realize that I had a lot to say to him after I got done laughing. He did grin when I told him he was going to be the feature story in my post the next day. The cupboard door did not squawk anymore and he once again was king of the castle and fixed everything that I ask him to. Long live the cooking spray!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank Goodness For Fran's Stuff

Notice I didn’t say junk. The day that Keith and Linda were going to be leaving Linda noticed a flat tire on their car. It was quite flat. Fran had taken Maggie to town because she had an appointment to have a bath and get her nails done. (Sigh) otherwise he would have been home. Keith asked if Fran had a compressor. That was about the only thing I could have found for him, other than a lawn mower and a snow blower. Fran has shelf after shelf of “stuff.” He has Folgers and Maxwell House coffee containers, and wooden boxes and tool boxes galore. Although out of all those tools the other day he couldn’t find something and I told him what shelf and what WalMart sack it was in!
The weather was the pits; cold, rainy, and windy. The perfect day for changing a tire on a brand new car. Yup, brand new less than a year.
Linda and I decided that it was perfect picture taking weather, however, I think I did hear Keith saying something under his breath about women and cameras. Something like that anyway.
Keith changed the tire with warnings from me to stop at gas stations to check the air, get a new tire, etc, etc. He thought it would be just fine. He emailed me when they got to Illinois with their brand new tire. He had nothing else to say, so either Linda convinced him to buy a new one, or the air was leaking. Not only do women like to take pictures in icky weather, but evidently they don’t know anything about tires that leak air. Sorry, couldn’t resist!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maggie Goes Shopping

Maggie went to the groomer on Friday, through flooded roads, detours etc. Remember we live in the country. When she came home we decided that she needed a new sweater for the fall and winter. Maggie didn’t exactly go shopping, WalMart has a rule that only special dogs can go in the store. Maggie thinks she is special and so do we, but we had to follow the rule. She looked so cute when she came home from her bath, we thought that she needed something cute to wear. So we got her a pink and blue turtle neck sweater. She just loved it. She did not object at all to having me put it on her. In fact, she kind of pranced around and enjoyed having her picture taken in it. Of course, it didn’t hurt having Fran telling her how cute she looked in it. I may have told her the same thing!
Fran cannot go to WalMart without getting Maggie a new toy or two. This last trip he bought her a squeaky toy in the shape of a pizza along with the fake pieces of pepperoni on top ect. After about ten minutes I looked at her while I was watching television, and here she is actually chewing a piece of pizza. That toy had to go in the trash that quick. Maggie, as well as children can destroy these cheap little toys that the stores put on the endcaps to get your attention. I think from now on when Maggie goes shopping, Fran will do the supervising!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A New Version Of "31"

My brother and his wife came to visit last week. I had so much fun. It reminded me of days gone by. However, I was a bit surprised that we didn’t talk of the old days that much. After I thought about it for awhile, we didn’t need to because of all the posting I have been doing for the last ten months. The times we talked of the old days was when I served food in dishes that mom had served food in. We talked about cereal bowls, cut glass bowl that she always served cranberry sauce in etc. It is interesting what sparks a person’s memory bank and makes you smile.
Well, one night we all (except Keith) sang karaoke. I’m sure he didn’t want to show off. Linda sang beautifully and seemed to really enjoy it. She went through Fran’s case with a multitude of cd’s in it and picked out songs she wanted to sing. It was so fun.
On Thursday night we played a game called thirty one. This game is similar to Black Jack. You have to have to have an Ace and two face cards to add up to thirty one. Well, Linda won the practice game, and lost the next two games. Hmm, she looked quite discouraged. All of a sudden she started winning. Mike had won the first game, Fran won the second game, and Linda won all the rest. The game has no ante, but for every time you lose a game you throw in a quarter. Linda won seven dollars. She was grinning from ear to ear. Are you wondering how many games Keith and I won? None, we financed Linda and Mike and Fran. I just don’t think that is right, it was my house. Notice a pile of discarded cards. This drove Linda nuts if they weren't straightened so you could see the top card, so Mike helped her keep that nice and neat with some teasing comments.
Keith spent the majority of one day updating my computer, hooking up my new printer to my laptop, so I can be extraordinarily lazy and continue to sit in my chair in the living room and print something out. He also taught me how to send documents back and forth to my desktop computer to my laptop and vise versa. Very difficult for me to grasp but I finally mastered it yesterday when the house was quiet and could read all the directions Keith had left me. However, you must understand I wrote the directions down so they lacked some tiny little things that I had to figure out on my own.
Keith wanted to do the same thing for my friend, but it rained over seven inches and flooded the roads so we had to stay home.
Then there was Linda teaching me how to use my camera to take pictures of a group without missing one of the people that has to take the picture. I was so impressed that I could do that, so I went to my friend to teach her. The first one I took was perfect. Couldn’t do it after that. I guess if all else fails read the instruction book!
I did have to laugh while they were here, I heard Linda say every once in awhile, “Be careful, Keith, this will probably be published!
My brother is the spitting image of my father. I found myself looking for things in his face that my dad didn’t have; I couldn’t find any.
I wish my mother and father could have been here to hear us teasing and yelling like we used to when we were about thirty years younger. You know, that really is a different version of “31.” There are no losers at that game, only winners.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Brother Is Coming To Visit!

I am so excited. My brother is coming to visit after several years. He’s had off and on serious illnesses and so have I. We are both feeling pretty darn good now, so he will stop on his way to see his grandson daughter and son-in-law.It will be so good to see him. We laugh and tease each other. My mother would come and peek out and watch and listen to the two of us when we were in our thirties and playing a board game called Aggravation. We yelled and had fits about who was cheating etc. She would smile and shake her head. I sneaked a peek at her too. I could tell she was remembering her two little kids that just had different bodies. It is wonderful being a mom and a sister. Talk to you in a few days!

Grease and Bridges

The bridge swayed and shook, the bridge was narrow, and the sign said, “ remove accident debris to the side.” Perhaps you can tell I hate both bridges and that I had never been to Louisiana before. One sign was a little nerve shattering, but when I saw one every mile for several miles I was ready to turn around. Fran did not help matters any. He created all these wonderful stories about how many men lost their lives by alligators while building that huge bridge. The bridge was the one that went extremely high like a one eighty over the river that goes by Lake Charles. I thought that was a contradiction. A river? That goes by Lake Charles. Oh well, it was a lot of water and Really far down.
While we were in Louisiana I got to taste my first Cajun food. Surprisingly enough I loved it. It burned on the way down, but the flavor was wonderful. The second night we were there, we decided to eat in the motel. We were tired and decided to have a pizza delivered. I had asked the prices, the pizza was $12.99 and the 2 liter coke was $2.99. I thought, “oh well, what the heck.” About forty five minutes later we were starving to death. I looked out the window. This tiny little lady was driving a huge boat of a car and pulled up in front of our door. The pizza box she pulled out of the back seat was heavy and awkward for her to carry. I opened the door right away and helped her carry in the pizza and the soda. She gave me the bill and needless to say I was very surprised when she said it was over twenty two dollars. The delivery fee was outrageous. Especially when the pizza place was two blocks away! That’s what we got for being lazy. After she left we opened up the pizza. We had ordered sausage and pepperoni combo. They had not cooked the sausage before they baked it. The pizza was so greasy we could not eat it. We choked down one piece and drank some soda, and went to bed.
The next morning we so hungry we had headaches. We had not eaten for almost twenty four hours. We went to a breakfast buffet and ate until we were uncomfortable, but it was so good.
The pizza was lousy but the people were so nice and friendly. We were looking for a casino to make a “donation” to. We looked and looked and couldn’t find it. We stopped to ask someone at another little casino. The lady smiled and said, “the hurricane took that casino quite some time ago.” Fran had to apologize to me. He said that the reason we couldn’t find the casino is because I had my eyes closed. (Remember I said I hate bridges.)
It was fun to visit Texas and Louisiana, but I am really glad to be home to our bedtime at nine o’clock that everyone teased us about when we were in Texas. Sorry, that’s what happens when you get to a certain age and for that I am not apologizing!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Two Hundred Stories Later.....

As I was writing another post yesterday morning, I noticed that it was number two hundred. I just can’t believe that I had that many stories locked up in my mind. I started rereading some of them, and if I do say so myself, they were pretty darn good. Lol
Stories from my childhood were especially good, as I reread those, I could actually see the characters, how we were dressed, the inside of the houses where we lived, and especially our voices, soft, yelling, crying and many other emotions such as laughing. There was a lot of laughing, very little anger or crying. There was anger when my uncle’s sheep ate up all of my mother’s peas that she had planted in the garden. They ended up being the best crop she ever had. The same way when dad cut down her climbing rose bush. She had more roses that year than she ever had had, however, she really let him have it when she discovered what he had done. He told me, “I’m in the dog house again, Annie.” That was his favorite name for me.
There was smacking of lips when I was little when we would stop at Mc Williams Drug Store for an ice cream cone after delivering Mother’s baked goods to her customers. We always ate them in the car, always the same flavor so it was easier to order and carry out. The flavor of the night was orange sherbet. While we ate our cones, our parents would say “Oh there goes so and so” sometimes they would say “Oh she looks like she has gained weight.” That was my mother’s favorite thing to say even to her family. My daughter and I were talking about that the other day.
After we finished our cones and tired of “people watching”, we would go home. Saturday brought it’s own work. There was shoes to polish for church the next day. Baths to take so we would all be clean for church also. As I have mentioned, the water would all have to be heated, etc.
I don’t remember all the other things that my parents did, but I do remember that the cows all needed milked twice a day no matter what day of the week it was, they had no calendar.
One thing my mother did not do was give my dad a hair cut. In those days each barber had a revolving sign outside their door that signified that they were a barber for men only. The hair cut was generally gotten on a Saturday unless it rained. If it rained, dad couldn’t work in the field so he got a hair cut and the rest of us went to Grandpa and Grandma’s. Hopefully she had baked her gigantic cookies that I can still see and smell. Yes, those were wonderful days, and unbeknown to me at that time would make wonderful memories.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

American Indian Movement

When I first started writing my blog, it was to be full of stories for my children and my grandchildren. It also may possibly be read by great grandchildren some day.
When my daughter was about eighteen or nineteen months old, my husband and I decided to move to his hometown. This little town was built upon an Indian Reservation. The town had about two thousand people living there. Since his family had lived there for years and years, he had lots of friends there. It wasn’t long before I made a lot of friends too and usually had a morning coffee for my friends at my kitchen table. After my second child was born, it seemed that even more friends arrived even in the afternoons. I could tell that in order to get my housework done, I needed to delegate it to my friends. It didn’t stop them from coming at all. We all had a very good time, folding diapers and towels, polishing my hardwood floors painting etc. I could go on for ever with the canning, and freezing vegetables that we did together. In those days we were all so poor that that was all we knew. We didn’t lament the fact that we were poor, we most often laughed about it. We went to the grocery store on Saturdays and after that, we went to the bakery. The bakery in that little town had the very best long johns in the nation. I can still smell and taste them.
On the outskirts of town we had a school for American Indian teenagers that had histories of being delinquents, and being in so much trouble that their parents had given up on them. This school was a campus. It had their own fields where they raised their own vegetables, milk cows, raised crops to feed their cattle, horses, etc. The campus had an industrial arts building, barns, stables, educational and office buildings. The purpose of this school was to teach them an occupation so they could support themselves someday. The school also had a beautiful landscape with many acres of trees and flowers.
When my children were very small one day, we were on our way to the bakery. Some of these teenagers attempted to force us off the sidewalk. I would not allow them to do this, and held on tight to my children’s hands and held my ground. There was no reason for this behavior from any race or creed. The expression on their face was one of anger, but I didn’t care. My little girl asked me why we didn’t go in the street and let them pass. I told her that we were there first and they should have waited for us to go before they did.
One day the rumor was that one of these teenagers stole some things from one of the grocery stores in town. The manager told him not to return. He was not welcome there anymore. Shortly after that the American Indian Movement came into town with rifles out of each window and shooting into the air. This was an activist group that was started in 1973 I believe. They were angry because the white men were not living up to the treaties that they had signed. I rushed my children into the house and bolted the doors. I was scared to death. Shortly before this incident they had started the prison on fire in a nearby town, so I knew that they were angry and out of control. I hid my children under blankets and pillows and soon the car with the angry people left town. My husband called to see if we were safe and told me that they had shot out windows of cars and buildings as a warning to townspeople that they meant business. I guess after that there was not as much laughter in my house for our coffee clutches, but when we did get together we did discuss politics more often than we ever had before.
You seldom hear about AIM any more, hopefully that means that they think that they are being treated better or that they are. If you want to know more about this organization, you can look up The Siege of Wounded Knee 1973. This is a place in South Dakota where some murders took place long ago. The trials have been delayed for years because the witnesses did not want to testify and they are very old and probably not competent to testify.
The Oglala Indians lived on a reservation called Pine Ridge. From what I remember, they were held hostage. There was no food, except what was smuggled in to them. It was a sad, but modern day war between the Indians and the White people, which neither one won. It is so difficult to imagine murder and mayhem being part of this beautiful Reservation.