Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Special Place

My kids’ dad used to say, “if you want to see Lu happy just hand her a can of Pledge and a dusting rag. She will sing and hum and just be a happy little camper.”

Before I had a baby I used to spend a lot of time tossing throw pillows for just the right look.

After I had a baby I spent a lot of time picking up the sofa pillows and mumbling under my breath. I can remember calling my mother telling her how frustrated I was because my eight or nine month old had pulled Kleenex out of the box and scattered them all over the floor. My mother laughed at me and told me that someday that day would seem so silly. Well of course, it does.

Then I had two babies. Oh, what a difference that makes in housekeeping duties. I would pick up after one and the other one would make a mess.

Then I had three babies. My only saving grace was that the first baby was about eleven or twelve and helped me “pick up” after the little one.

After three little ones, my furniture was lucky to get dusted once a month. My sofa pillows were thrown away stiff with spills of juice and spit up and on and on.

I had hard wood floors when my little one was about a year old. I was still in the polishing mode. We used cloth diapers then. I saved the old ones for polishing cloths. I would put those on my oldest little guy with several layers of diapers. Then I would pour some liquid wax on the floor. He would giggle because he knew what was coming. I would grab his hands and away we would go! His little bottom made an absolutely wonderful “buffer.” What fun we had. I just loved being a mama.

Well, now forty years later, I could care less about dusting. Here is a cute quote from Fran. I was dusting the piano and he said, “Who is coming?” And of course, I said, “Hey I dust in-between visitors." He is so laid back and easy going he could care less. I wish he cared a little bit more then he could do the dusting. You know it is bad around here because I lost my Swiffer so of course, I could not dust. Ahem! We both looked and looked so I bought another one. I do throw away things  that I shouldn’t. About two or three days later I found the old one. They both have a very special place in my pantry. I just have to put the scheduled day to use them on my calendar. Not!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Day Were You Born?

I started working for Sears in 1974. I became floor manager of hard goods like calculators and cameras etc. about three years later.

Calculators that we sold were made by Texas Instruments. They were huge! They were about fourteen inches long and ten inches wide. In this day and age we would call them a fancy adding machine. I can remember perfectly that they sold for seventy four dollars. For every three I sold, I got one back. They had some problems with them. As time went by they got smaller and better.

My mother was a whiz with numbers. She went to college for accounting when she was sixty eight years old and got an A+. For some reason one day I asked her what day I asked her what day of the week I was born. (She was in her seventies) She quickly answered Wednesday. Until today I never questioned her. I started thinking about my own children and what day they were born on. I remembered my daughter’s day, hours of labor and the depression that followed two days later. It was because all my company had gone home and nobody cared, or so I thought. Lol

I always remember my oldest son’s day because he ruined my Thanksgiving that year and had a forty five minute labor. Yippee! Also I never ever remember my youngest son’s birthday and sometimes not how old he is. Poor guy, In the month of his birth I put a card on the table with some money in it and pretend I remember his birthday. He has gotten so used to this trick he just teases me about it and grabs the money and gives me a hug.

On the Kathie Lee and Hoda show this morning they had a guy called the Human Calculator. This is what got me wondering what day I was born. Really what I was doing is checking out my mom. They have a calculator on the computer that calculates the day if you give them your birthday. Mom was right! Of course, I never doubted her. Lol Try it, it is fun.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Say Aww If You Can

First comes the sore throat, then the extremely sore throat, then laryngitis the next day. This little schedule of a cold has been all mine for years. I have tried to change this over and over. Once I almost did it with a four dollar generic medicine I got at a convenience store. I couldn’t believe how good I felt in just two days. Then bingo! I had my sore throat back. My sore throat is not a sore throat, it is a sore larynx. Warm salt water gargles, lots of ibuprofen, cold medicine all to no avail.

The whole problem with this sore throat is that it leads to a chest cold and a head cold; the whole ball of wax. Since I have M.S. my immune system does not do a good job of fighting off all those little bugs that really bug me. Lol

Well last night at supper time I told Fran I thought I was getting a cold. He more or less pooh poohed me. We were just married less than two years ago, so he really doesn’t know me very well.

I went to bed at seven o’clock plied with medicine and conked out until seven o’clock this morning. So I had lots of sleep however, I have a very sore throat.

I have a very bad case of laryngitis which means I cannot speak a word. The reason I am telling you this story is that I have been blessed with two very good husbands, but both of which zone into television when there are shows on that they are interested in. My youngest son is that way too.

The kids’ dad was that way, my Fran is that way and when I have to bang my fists on the table to get their attention, They laugh and think it is so funny. Please hope and pray that I get over this quickly so I can tell Fran and Mike just what I think. At least I can “talk” on the computer all I want to, thanks for visiting with me!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mama Will Never Know

That is what my little five year old daughter thought one day. That memoraable day was the day that the school was giving TB tests. My little one was terrified of anything that she thought might hurt her. My boys weren’t really friendly with a sharp needle, but both of them were little “men” about getting their shots. Not the little blonde haired, turquoise eyed girl. She figured her skin did not need to be punctured at all! Many a time did I have to deal with her screaming on shot day.

I told her that today was the day that the school nurse would be testing all the kids, not just her, for a disease called tuberculosis. It was just going to be a little stick and would not hurt her. The look she gave me worried me a little bit, but she assured me that she would be a big girl and get the test.

When she got home from school I asked her if the test hurt her. She was grinning from ear to ear and attested to the fact that indeed it did not hurt her at all. She even showed me a little red spot on her arm where she got her test.

I was proud of my little one, thinking maybe the worst was over with the “shot” thing.

We were eating supper that evening when the phone rang. It was my little girl’s teacher. She wanted to know what time she got home. I told her right on time and I wanted to know why she asked. The teacher informed me that my precious little angel ducked out of school to avoid getting a “shot.”

When we were through visiting, all I had to do was look at my little girl to understand that she knew who had been on the phone. I explained to her that all she had done was to delay the inevitable. I would go to school with her the next day to make sure she had been tested.

The next thing we visited about was telling fibs, white lies, regular lies and all of these to mama. That was so intricately done. If my memory serves me right, I think she even mixed in with children on the playground and when school was dismissed she went home.

She and I have talked about that day many times she just thought her mama would never never know.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Weekly Shopping Trips

Good morning! I read/follow a lot of blogs that are written by young mothers. The posts take me back to my own experiences of course, but they also make me miss my grown up children. My daughter only lives five hours away which doesn't seem very far to people that can drive easily, but I cannot.
So what my daughter and I are doing now on Saturdays is imaginary grocery shopping together. She will call and say okay mom, get your coat on, I am ready to go. So of course, I get my coat on and after telling me repeatedly to hurry up, we laugh and I get in the car.
The next thing that happens is that I ask her where we are going. She tells me the names of the stores where we are going. Inevitably I tell her they are too expensive she should shop some where else and she tells me to be quiet or she doesn't think so, or she is not going to go to four different stores; she has six children and a husband at home that want her to hurry up. We laugh and laugh and she tells me funny stories about what her kids said or did. It really helps me keep up with her and the children.
We can't forget her husband either. He is funny and says and does funny things. He is an excellent father and takes and participates in activities with the children.
My daughter home schools her children. Yes, she has a doctorate degree, but she says that the degree is not important. There are many parents that home school, men and women that do not have degrees. The kids get the individual help that they need and excell in their studies.
You have no idea how I look forward to our "shopping" trips. Oh, sometimes we squeeze in some clothes shopping too. The other day she bought a top at Walmart along with her groceries. I said, "Oh what will Mark say?" She answered me with a smart alec remark and we both laughed.
Our shopping trips last about an hour and are stimulating for me. I wonder if she realizes how much she helps keep me not only informed, but keeps me physically and mentally refreshed. She is still my little girl and I love her a whole big bunch.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Tooth Fairy Gets Fussy

My daughter has six children. It seems that if one gets sick six get sick etc. Well my daughter received a letter that I would like to share with you. She posted it on her blog Psycho with 6. I think it will start your day off with a chuckle.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Wii Strikes Again!

We generally play the power bowling on the Wii that we got for Christmas every day. We have had some difficulty that is associated with older people that are obsessed with something. We were playing thirty or forty games a day if not more. We yelled at each other and laughed and had a ball. I got tendonitis from playing so much, so I had to slow down.

If you have followed my posts you are aware that I did not have the safety strap on and took a big swing and let loose of the remote and it flew up about ten feet, knocked a picture off the shelf and fell down on the entertainment center. Fran gave me a gentle reminder to wear the strap. Ever after I have done that.

When I swing at the pins I go way back with my arm and then do a mighty swing forwards for a ear shattering  pin action. (I do have the record of 697). Any way today I was not doing well, so I went way back with the remote doing my best to knock those pins down, when all of a sudden I felt like I had hit a brick wall with my hand. Fran let out a yelp. I looked back and to my amusement there he sat with his ball cap completely cocked to the side and his brand new glasses askew. I laughed until I cried. I am still laughing as I write this. You have to understand I actually hurt him. He looked like he had tears in his eyes. His glasses are brand new and just a tad bit bent. (sigh) Actually he said this was all my fault because he had stooped over to get Maggie her ball. Hmm I think that someone’s priorities are all messed up.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Awesome is one of the new words on the little candy hearts that fly around every Valentine’s Day. Awesome is in the new found hearts since the “new age” kids like that kind of language. Ten billion, yes I said billion of these little powdery hearts will be sold this year. They started manufacturing these little gifts in 1902.
They even make crafts out of these little sweets, like wreaths and lots of creative ideas.
I can remember when I was a little kid how we would exchange these little hearts. Sometimes we would make little Valentine’s baskets out of muffin papers. We would put those little hearts, nuts, and other candies in them and give them to our friends and maybe our sweetie. Of course, no one knew. We would take a lot of time decorating a mailbox with hearts and construction paper. How fun. I read on Facebook the other day that Fran’s daughter-in-law was helping her son decorate a mailbox for her son. The tradition lives on.
Some of the famous people like Jerry Seinfield even contribute words or phrases for these little hearts. They are pastel colors and usually pink lettering. Oh are they sweet!
They are not my favorite candy, but they sure do bring back memories of giggling and having such fun on the bus on our way to and from school giving each other silly little hearts.
Have a fun Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Year Anniversay

Anniversaries can be for anything. One usually thinks of an anniversary marks years of marriage. Anniversaries, however can mark anything that is extremely significant to a person. I knew someone that was an alcoholic that had received a coin celebrating his one year of sobriety; hence an anniversary.
This month is a one year anniversary for Fran and I to celebrate our quitting smoking. I had smoked for fifty years and I think Fran was a little more. I think, personally that people that smoke as long as that have very little chance of being successful in the fight against nicotine. Fran and I made a pact when we first quit that we would talk to each other when we were really wanting a cigarette. We were each other sponsors. It worked so well that way. I can remember telling Fran that I could commit a crime for a cigarette. He would laugh and say he knew just how I felt.
I have told you about Fran and I going to a karaoke club on weekends; we did not skip. Oh yeah, that was the worst night of our lives. We both wanted to scream we wanted a cigarette so bad, and to make matters worse we had a friend that went with us that night that had quit just the week before. He kept saying he wanted a cigarette, a cigar, anything that he could smoke.
Sad to say, he didn’t make it more than a few weeks, but we did. We are so proud of ourselves and so are our kids. Some of our kids smoke and some don’t. We raised our kids to think for themselves, but we did say once you start it is so addictive, that it is extremely hard to quit the habit. Let’s talk a little about habit. It is not just nicotine. Cigarettes become a part of you like another limb actually. The phone would ring and I would not answer it until I had picked up my cigarettes and lighter. I can remember the feeling of not being able to find a lighter or a book of matches. That was about as horrible as running out of cigarettes. I can remember dumping out my purse to find enough change to buy a pack of cigarettes. I can remember actually budgeting cigarettes. The column for cigarettes was four hundred dollars a month for the two of us. I think that was the final straw. When I married Fran and saw the amount of money that we were spending and what we could buy or use that money for I decided that I was going to quit. I told Fran about my plan and that he did not have to quit just because I did. In two weeks he had quit smoking.
The next thing I did a few weeks ago was to have my heart and lungs checked. I am one of the lucky ones. I don’t cough, my heart is very healthy, and I have a young person’s blood pressure. Smoking as long as I did could have been a disaster for me and my family, but I was like a lot of people especially young people, I just wouldn’t listen. So celebrate February as heart month and quit like we did and have a healthier heart and more money in the bank!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Spinoza Is My Name, Comfort Is My Game

When I was in my younger forties I started working in nursing homes. I lost ten pounds in one week. The stress was unimaginable. I had no idea that “old” people could be in such dire straits. Some people had “frozen” joints. This presented in horrific pain when they were given showers. I would hear the screaming and I thought I would have to quit and find something else to do. A frozen shoulder would mean that they could not lift an arm to be washed underneath. If it was not washed and cleaned then skin irritation could lead to infection etc. But to me hearing all the screaming I would just get sick.

The folks that would get out of their wheelchairs and were at risk of falling would be tied to their wheelchairs and then to the hall railing. They looked like they were in straitjackets. The date of this terror for people was in 1986. “They” said they were mentally ill. “They” were wrong. They either had Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of dementia. In the eighties they closed down the mental health institutes and bus by bus they shipped them to nursing homes. The nursing homes were not equipped to handle the admission numbers. They were happy to fill their beds, but not equipped to fill the physical and emotional needs of their new people. I am making this sound like these poor little folks are animals by saying “shipped”, but that is what happened to them.

I transferred from the first nursing home to a much nicer home with well trained staff. I had learned a lot at the first home, so I was armed with knowledge and compassion for the folks that needed me. As time went on I was able to distinguish between Alzheimer’s Disease and stroke, and other kinds of dementia. I was an Activity Director. I was very much like a school teacher and made lesson plans for “my” residents.

I learned that there was so many different kinds of illnesses that older people were afflicted with and many different ways to deal with them.

Many folks that find themselves in a nursing home are so lonely and depressed. Reasons for this are so varied that it keeps staff on their toes to help them. Some people decided not to get married or to have children. Many of these folks had no visitors. If you looked closely you could see tears in their eyes when others had visitors. It was my responsibility to divert these feelings with activities or tricks of the trade. One of these tricks was Spinoza. Spinoza is a little brown teddy bear that is so soft, you would swear that he is real. You almost always want to hug him when he says, “Hello, my name is Spinoza and I need a friend.” He sings and he says little sentences that are easy to respond to. “Will you be my friend?

Spinoza has cassettes that fit into a zippered fold. He has a little red heart if I remember right, that you press and he starts to sing or talk. I can remember I probably would get into trouble for spending one hundred twenty dollars on him. I didn’t and he was handed to resident after resident that needed the comfort that he had in his little heart.

I think that Spinoza is also used for little folks that may be in the need for a calming influence too.

If any of you have spare time there are so many folks that need volunteers just for visiting, or to send them cards, just some personal attention.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

As I Get Older

As I get older one thing reminds me of another. Example: the other day we had a ninety nine cent pizza. It was a saltine cracker crust, had about four pieces of pepperoni that were the size of chopped pimentos, and just a sprinkling of cheese. Oh, I forgot to tell you, it was six inch by four inch in size. The box, however, was the normal size for a medium pizza. Needless to say, we had to get another one out of the freezer. While we were crunching the pizza (I should put that in quotes) a wave of memory over took me and I saw a pizza parlor in South Dakota. In the town I lived in there were only two pizza parlors. One was thick crust and one was thin crust. One was Godfather’s and one was Shakeys. Shakey’s had the crunchy crust and Godfather’s was the thicker one. The kids’ dad loved Godfather’s because he could get a bushel basket full of meat and vegetables on one pizza platter. The crust was thick on the sides and thin in the middle. You could get this huge pizza and a pitcher of coke for ten dollars in 1980.

I liked Shakey’s because it crunched and I have always liked crunchy things like celery.

I figured that Shakey’s had disappeared like other franchises like Woolworth’s. We were at friends’ for coffee the other day, and I mentioned the Shakey thing and he said they are still in business. When I got home the computer says there are still 400 Shakey’s still operating. You will be in for a treat if you can find one!

It was over thirty years since I have had one of their wonderful pizza’s, I am sure by now that they have thick, thin, meatlovers and on and on with choices just like any other pizza parlors.

Godfather pizza parlors that are still around get four and five stars. There are not as many as there used to be, but they have survived all the “newcomers.” Hmm, just like their namesake!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simon Cowell Doesn't Know Everything!

Sometime before I met Fran I had sung a couple of karaoke songs. I even had gotten a karaoke machine for Christmas, but it had a tiny little screen about five inches big. I used to have to sit on the floor in front of it so I could see the words.

Karaoke has both printed words and music to help you sing. It is not easy, especially if you don’t know the verse part of the song. Usually the chorus is much easier to sing because that is the popular part that is usually on the radio. I know I can sing along with the chorus on the radio with no problem.

Three years ago my friends took me out for dinner and then to a karaoke club. I looked through the karaoke book and found a song that I really liked. It was called “Could I have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life.” Anne Murray sang this song and made it very popular. Some time after that Fran got up to sing. I thought he had a very pretty voice, but more than that, I just knew that we could sing duets that people would enjoy.

We sang several songs together and he came to our table and visited with my friends and me. He agreed that we harmonized well together.

Two years ago we were married. We sang karaoke at our reception. At one point a couple that we enjoy being with was telling us that there was karaoke software that you could use to download karaoke songs. I just never thought about where the C.D.’s came from. They showed us how to do it and for about forty dollars we had about a year’s worth of fun. Fran, especially became obsessed with making C.D.’s and labels for them. He had a lot of karaoke equipment so now we can sing almost any song we want to without having to buy a C.D. over the counter. It is legal by the way.

We hear Simon Cowell making fun of karaoke and we both make sour comments about him. There are some excellent singers that sing at karaoke clubs.

One year ago we made our own C.D. We laughed and laughed. Our cockatiel was chirping in the background, Fran was coughing, and I talked and didn’t even think about my voice being picked up by the microphone. We mailed them out to our family and friends and we got so many comments on our bird, Mert, I thought she got the “Emmy” instead of us!