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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Best Sunday

This was the best Sunday after Thanksgiving in my whole life. All of my children and two of my grandchildren were here plus my son's girfriend and her three boys. There was lots of laughter and pictures, so the best way for me to do it was with a collage.
We heated the porch so the poor kitchen wouldn't explode!
We deep fat fried a turkey had homemade apple and pumpkin pie. Yum! Those were made by Mike's girlfriend. My granddaughter lives in South Dakota and I haven't seen her for years Needlessto say she got lots of hugs.My daughter and her daughter came on Saturday and we played Wii the bowling game but I didn't know if I could do it now, but I held onto my walker and did pretty good. Fran's Mom is living with us now and my family treated her just like another grandma. Her meal schedule was not like it usually is, but she was good natured about it.
I hope and pray that our family gets together more often from now on. If for some reason, we can't, I will always be thankful for this wonderful day!
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Have Never......

Well, if you add a lot of water to cream of wheat, it turns a whitesh gray color and leaves a bit of little texture pieces on your tongue. That was our gravy  jelly.
If you have a husband that is in a hurry to eat, he takes broccoli off the burner early and by the time the rest of us eat it is ice cold.
He served us only white meat, (not my favorite, but it is his and his mother's, hmm).
Our cranberry sauce, cheese, and pickles were absolutely wonderful. The mashed potatoes weren't bad either. Covered with gruel or not, My mother-in-law said, "maybe you should put more thickining in it."  You think?
I told my daughter this and she said," there is always next year."
I certainly hope so because this one will go down in history for the absolute worst. Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

He Will Always Be There

I think it is interesting how a lot of us take our friends and family for granted as far as they will always be there. I also think that is why death takes us for a shock and a surprise for those that know, and love them.
Even though folks are sick, have grey hair, and start losing weight, we often think that that is part of the aging process. And then one day they are gone.
My husband's brother passed away very suddenly this week, and we knew he was sick, but his death was a shock nonetheless.
Rest, Roland and be at peace.
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Friday, November 4, 2011

The Sound Of The Drums Again

Every so often, I go to the hospital to hear the sound of the drums and horns and simulated car crashes. Weird? Yes, it is. M.R. I. tests for multiple sclerosis are at times  done in this tomb that is almost essential for this test as well as spinal taps etc.
Plus those noises, they put head phones on you that are playing the music of your choice from a radio station. When the noise from the M.R.I is deafening it seems that the music is even louder at the point where you want to scream.
This year I had more difficulty than I ever have had before. I am much shakier and had trouble keeping my head and body still. My mind wandered (a mechanism I have, to leave my body behind while I think of something nicer.) Only this time it didn't work. When my daughter was a teenager she had either a M.R.I or CT Scan and was allergic to the contrast. I didn't recognize her when she came out. Her face was so distorted. I will never forget her father's reaction.To avoid the situation he told me he had to move the car. In my mind, I wanted to move the car. I don't ever want to live that over again, but I did yesterday. The reason was the contrast gave me a cool feeling going through my vein and it smelled like formaldahyde.  I thought for sure I was even being imbalmed.
Needless to say, I survived the test and shouldn't have to have another one for two or three years.
I am increasingly more forgetful. I could have done without those memories yesterday!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

What We Did Years Ago


Before sick-o's ruined my fun, my mother, my sister and I would make all kinds of popcorn balls. I mean tons of popcorn balls. Popcorn balls were my mother's thing for Christmas and Halloween. Orange syrup for Halloween, of course, and red and green for Christmas.
Mother made home made syrup, but I didn't. My syrup got to "hard ball" quickly so you ended up scraping on a cement block for your treat. About  a century ago a syrup made of marshmellows came to save me. The popcorn balls remained soft and delicious.
We gave out apples, candy, and my favorite Milky Way.
The kids's dad always wanted the little ones to give him their candy so that he could "check" it to make sure it was good for them. lol
So every year they would fall for it and willingly give him their little pumpkins. And then the squeals would begin with dad and children fun fighting over the candy.  I was telling Fran about that and he laughed. I could almost see him thinking, "smart man." Towards the later years, the treats ended up being nickels. Where did the fun go?  I handed out nickels a few years ago, and a little boy said, "but don't you have any candy?"  Hmm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Would If I Could But I Can't!

I have a "thing" about wearing shoes and jackets. I feel trapped and very uncomfortable.
Today was cruddy outside. It was fifty degrees, too breezy, and drizzly. So of course, we chose today to go to WalMart. About fifteen miles down the highway I started to struggle with my jacket. The jacket was lined with flannel and my shirt was denim trimmed with corduroy. Hmm. There was nothing slippery going on. My brilliant husband let me huff and puff all to no avail. Finally he said, "give me your arm!"  So there was a discussion that lasted until we almost went into the ditch and with me not really screaming but with a very high pitched voice. "If I could get my arm out I wouldn't need your help!"  Needless to say, I walked into WalMart with no jacket and just cuddled up to hubbie.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Memory Jar

Years ago I received a really wonderful gift from my daughter. It looked like a big candle jar, but it was a frosty looking thing with "memories" going in diagonal  without the frosty on the jar.
The slips of paper were in three or four different shades of pastel paper with typed little memories and one by one put in the jar.
At the time I got that jar, I thought how cool. I have kept that jar all those years and have shown it to my friends, but for several years have actually forgotten about it.
I have it on display in my bookcase because it is pretty. I was "puttering" this morning while my computer was getting cleaned out and thought, "I think I will look at those pretty little slips of memories." Well, I got a surprise, most of her memories I had forgotten. What a shame! They sounded like such fun. I could have cried, however, I am so happy that I had made her life happy when she was a child and a young woman. There were some memories that I think her father made possible. I absolutely KNOW that I would never ever have permitted her to have a telephone in her room.
So my message to you folks, go through your "memory jars" your scrap books, and albums and anything that will jog your brain to make you smile, because if you don't someone will beat you to it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Seek And You Shall Find A Bunch Of Junk

Fran has been on a fall house cleaning jag this fall. Today he bought me some new hangers because we were out after we gave some to his mom when she was in the nursing home. After about fifteen minutes,he brought me two sacks of hangers. And gave me a sarcastic remark about the amount of hangers we had.
The search for hangers got him on a "clean out the closet two hour manic obsessive compulsive "bag up trash out" and a mumbling I think lecture for me." 
However, when I was allowed in there I did see three pairs of boots that he had been looking for, new shirts that hadn't been opened from last year. His turkey hunting mask, 9V batteries, Oh I could go on for hours.
I thought this was so fun. I think his next task should be cleaning out dresser drawers or I could clean out his "stuff" in the shed. That should go over really big.
I should have had the camera out when this was going on, but I don't think that would have been a good idea!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do You Have Any Regrets Along The Way?

For many years I worked with the elderly in long term care. I saw that many of them had no family that visited. It was especially noticed at holiday time. We made sure that all residents had gifts at Christmas time. We made sure that there were parties at Easter, St. Patricks Day, and most other holidays like Thanksgiving. I used to worry to some extent that the gifts were generic.  I have seen that in years gone by; gifts were tagged "boy" and "girl for little folks that parents didn't have funds to buy them gifts at holidays.
My brother lived in another state and couldn't come "home" very often. My sister by the time I am talking about had passed on. Before she died she kept my mom company while I was working with the residents.
I remember especially one Mother's Day that I was putting flowers on the tables, watching the families visiting with their folks and felt a pang almost of jealousy. I wanted to be home with my mother. However, if I wanted to keep my job, I had to be at the facility. I found myself looking over my shoulder at an especially large group and didn't see a large spill on the floor and fell very graciously in the coffee.
You all know that I am a very nostalgic person and I talk about my family a lot. Fran has a junk drawer that is sacred to him and I have a "top drawer" that is sacred to me.
Here is a birthday card to me from my mother when she was 82. Note her handwriting. She died when she was 90.  I hope you all have a drawer that is really special to you. In that same drawer I have a letter from my brother. I don't know how old that one is but I am sure it is old. None the less it is saved in the top drawer.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beautiful Day At The Lake

Little things mean a lot as we get older. The way little babies smell works it's way into our mind and as that happens we remember...
A young child's hug is worth it's weight in gold, the funny things they say are worth writing down.
It seems like last year I wrote a story about Lady Autumn showing off her new finery before Mrs. Winter ruined it. (October 22, 2009) I went to Fran's mom's house and asked her if she would like to go to the lake and see the pretty leaves. She said she would. However, when we got there, we were a bit diasappointed. She only got to see one red tree and one yellow tree. That was interesting because we have several trees that have turned here in this area.
The one thing we did get to see was white caps caused by the thirty mile an hour winds. Kind of fun to sit by the dock and watch.
The air was clean and crisp. We wish you all could have been with us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They Called Her Aunt Lu

My grandma's name was Lulu. All of  her nieces and nephews called her Aunt Lu. I was just a little girl thinking, "why do they all call her that, she's grandma."  At that stage of my life, my mom and dad 's name were their given name to everyone but me etc.
Most often people that are really close to me call me Lu, except Fran. He always calls me, "she, her etc."  he uses LuAnne also once in awhile.
One thing I am so grateful for is that my parents did not name me Lulu.
The main reason is that when I was little there was a cartoon character named Lulu. She was a crazy looking little girl . She had a
little knot on top of her head. And....she was always getting into trouble. Nothing like me.... especially the knot on top of my head.lol

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fifteen Pounds of Potatoes

Fall is upon us thus, being time like spring, to clean out closets and under the bed etc.. I have no basement or I would clean it too. I was cheerfully folding clothes to go to Goodwill and then there it was....
My favorite pair of jeans from years gone by. I was going to fold them and put them in the bag too. I longingly held them up to me and in my imagination pictured myself still wearing them. They are so pretty.
My daughter asked me the other day how my diet was coming. I told her I had lost one more pound. I explained to her that when you're over sixty an unwanted pound attatched to the waist, hips, legs, face, etc. does NOT want to come off. In the last six months I have lost almost fifteen pounds. No carbs (much).
Anyway, I put the jeans up to my waist and I just knew they wouldn't fit, but I thought, "what the heck" and then they slipped right on. Believe it or not my husband noticed. His remark was, "a new pair of jeans?"  I'll take what I can get. lol
Some times it pays to clean and sometimes to cut back on the carbs a little.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cell Phones vs. Landlines

I hate bills. I hate unneeded bills. You know, a long time ago, there were no cell phones. First crank type telephones with an operator to dial for you, then the first land line phones were sometimes called princess phones. They still work in this day and age when the power goes out. Mobile phones do not. I don't think that a lot of cell phones do either. I have a princess phone that is at least forty years old. Princess phones were pink, blue, white, yellow anything that would match the decor of the room it would be in.
It always rings out or in when it is needed. I had one that was mother's and bought another at a flea market so I had an extra one. Forty years is a long time.
This little article started when I wanted to call a farmer about some apples that he usually has for sale. Well, I know where he lives. On Hwy M. So I got out the phone book. There was a person by the last name and an address. I couldn't be sure if the person that sold apples or not and I wasn't about to get embarrassed at this time of night.
I told my husband , "you know what? it won't be too far in the future that there will not be any telephone books, because there will not be any landlines."
Well I will tell you what, there will always be a landline in my house. The cellphone company told me the other day I need to use my cell phone more because I only used 7 minutes last month and 27 minutes the month before.
I always forget my phone at home, or I forget to charge it. My family and friends are always yelling at me. Their favorite saying is, "Mom why do you have a cell phone when you never carry it, or let it go dead."
This is not a new complaint, I may renew my contract and I may not. I don't like bills, but I will never, ever get rid of my land lines.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Lost Is Found!!!

I am sure that I am more nostalgic than most folks.  Forty years ago there were no video cameras etc. However, there were cassette recorders. In those days, it was much too expensive to use the telephone to call my parents and my sister, so we would have the recorder sitting on the dining room table or even on the kitchen counter, so if I thought of something, I would stop and add to the "tape" that I would send through the mail probably for just a few cents.
My father, especially was the recorder in our family. Mother recorded her organ music that she played for her patients. She said that the music soothed the patients that were either agitated, or in horific pain.
Some time ago I found several of these tapes and put them on cd's for my brother and my children that would be interested. Then one day I wanted to play one and  it was gone. I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I called my daughter and she said she was sure she had it, but couldn't remember where.
Yesterday Fran and I decided to sing all afternoon getting in some practice for Saturday night karaoke. I asked him if he knew where the BREAD karaoke cd was and he said, "no", so I started looking and sneezing. Oh my goodness. The dust was so thick and at this point I didn't care. There was my little girl in the poncho that my mom  had made her, there was the cd with my four year old and my two year old at the zoo. At one point my two year old said,"mama is it going to eat me?!"  I really didn't need the cd but, oh what a warm and fuzzy it was for me to listen to and have in my hand.
I went to see my mother-in-law this afternoon and told her about it. Now she is ninety-six and she said, "Oh, I would give anything to hear my mom and father's voice again."
Nostalgia is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Twenty Five Dollar Savings Bonds

Every once in a while something or someone kicks my brain on "on" and I start thinking about something from years ago. This time it was savings bonds. When I was sixteen I wanted a piano. Of course, I had no money, but mother went into her dresser drawer and brought out an envelope with a twenty five dollar savings bond. I cannot remember if my parents bought that for me in 1944 or my grandparents did. The bonds were called War bonds and good citizens bought them to help the government find funds to fight the Germans.They really only cost about twelve dollars, but when they matured in a few years they were worth twenty-five dollars. Well, that was enough to buy me a beautiful upright piano. Oh, I was so happy!!
I continued to buy those bonds as I grew older. I would save them and go on a mommy vacation once a year. In those days it didn't take much money. I would take a bus to go to Missouri to see friends or go see my mom. (In those days we were a one car family) My husband knew that the mommie vacations were well worth letting me go and tending to the children himself. I came back like a whirlwind and ready to do dishes, laundry, cleaning and changing diapers. I was usually only gone about a day or two. Amazing, like a shot in the arm of high priced vitamins. I can still feel the refreshing savings bond blood rushing through my veins!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Young Son Points Out Aging

There are many different ways that  just jump out at you to tell you that perhaps you ARE getting older; forgetting things, losing things, having trouble problem solving, and word finding just to name a few.
My youngest son asked to use our camper last weekend because he had to get up in the middle of the night. He had to get up at one o'clock in the morning and didn't want to wake us up. I gave him a new about a year or so old digital alarm clock so he would wake up.
Yesterday he stopped by and he had a fun time with us teasing us about being able to read the clock. I said, "yes, it is very hard to read. I always have to tilt my head to get the numbers right."
He just laughed and said, "Mom, you have to peel the celephane sticker off then you can read it."
Softly I said, "Oh."
I am sure other people have had the same thing happen to them. I am also sure the directions didn't tell us to do that. ;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Mirror With The Perfumes

I have an oval mirror in the bathroom with perfume and fingernail polish on it. It looks really pretty with all the different colors. I love perfume, but Fran doesn't, it makes him sneeze, so the lovely bottles stay on the mirror.
As I was dusting the mirror the other day, I remembered the first bottle perfume I received as a gift when I was a child. It was called Blue Waltz. I had no clue how to put it on so I practically took a bath in it. My family seemed to object to my smelly self, so I had to wash it off. I secretly agreed with them. That perfume was very inexpensive, so I repeatedly received it as a gift for a few years.
The jars were quite pretty, so I would put them on my dresser on doilies and they looked very nice.
As I grew older, probably a teenager, I thought I would make room for something else like knickknacks etc. I opened up a bottle of the perfume and it had turned to vinegar. Oh,  what a horrible smelling concoction I had been saving. Oh well, the bottles were pretty.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Renter

I am sure that those of you that have had children may have heard phrases like, "I didn't do it, she did it!"
When you had children, you stubbed your toe, remember? The chair had not been put under the kitchen table like it was supposed to be. It was one of the children's fault, or "they."
Then the children grew up. There was no one to blame. Oh wait....yes there was..the spouse. Ha Ha. How easy is that?
Yesterday I asked Fran if he had rented out the front bedroom. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. He said,"Whaaaaaaat???" Well, that has been carrying on for two days now. I think that we are starting to realize that we may have been blaming the children all of those years for things we  did may have done ,but probably not.
Fran is really getting into the game today so now it is called a two way street. Until now I was the leader of this little game!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You Can Wait 'til Tomorrow

How do you tell the difference between a cold and allergies?  I have never had allergies. The television says that ragweed is high and mold is high. I have been sneezing and now coughing all day.
I asked Fran if we could go get me some Kleenex and he said,"Do you think you could wait 'til tomorrow?"  I couldn't believe the sympathy he gave me. lol On twitter, I said," I walk so slow, how in the world can I catch a cold."
Any way, I am sure you all will have a lot of sympathy for me, so thank you in advance!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Can't See Black

There are some odd things that come along with Multiple Sclerosis for some folks. Vison oddities are especially troublesome. Just one of the vision "things" is that I cannot see black. Odd isn't it?  If I drop a black remote on a dark carpet I can't see it unless the buttons are on the top.
This week I got the cutest walker, it is pink and black. The seat is black with a pink insignia for breast cancer research. The front rod is black with the same insignia. My therapist laughed today when I told her I kept trying to pick up the pink ribbon and flick off the little one on the front rod. I have to laugh, but I continue to do it, I just can't help it.
I want to tell you also, that half of the money for the walker was donated to breast cancer research. Every little bit helps, I am sure.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mama's Helper

When I was little, about four or five, my goal in life was to be just like my mama. My mom must have had the patience of Job. I constantly chattered and asked hundreds of questions.
However, mom loved having children spaced four or five years apart so she always had a child at home with her.
She taught me how to iron when I was about four, she taught me how to stomp clothes when I was about five. She taught me how to set a nice table when I was also about five years old. The ironing was of pillowcases and dad's handerkerchiefs. The stomping was probably something quite delicate compared to sheets and overhalls etc. She taught me how to stem and snap beans, shells peas and make cookies.
The cookies she taught me how to make were very special just for a little girl to make  her dad smile.
Mom did a lot of baking to pay for my sister's nursing training. So inevitably there was frosting left over from cakes, cinnamon rolls etc. Nothing was wasted at our house, but I knew nothing of that. I just knew mama made things that tasted wonderful.
One day she said,"Lu Anne, would you like to make some cookies?"What child in their right mind wouldn't say, "Yes!"
She got out a small dish of left over frosting and a package of graham crackers. She taught me how to hold the cracker in my left hand just so, so that the frosting wouldn't break it. She gave me a small spoon to spread the frosting. Then put another cracker on the top, so it ended up being a cookie like an oreo without the chocolate. Oh, how delicious! Some days the cookies were pink, some were white, some chocolate etc.
Today I was eating a graham cracker. Of course, I thought about my five year old housewife days!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Big Chief




We went to Wal Mart the other day and as we walked in there was a huge crayon, red of course, and all the way around there were slits in it filled with pages of supplies needed for each area school and each grade.
I was the old fashioned mom who loved the thought of the kids going back to school except for the cost of all the supplies and clothes, and of course pictures and school lunch tickets and on and on. It seemed if I didn't have a check book I would not have been able to send my  children to school at all!
My boys were so easy to clothe. They actually liked Penny's plain pocket jeans and different t-shirts and shoes that fit. That was it!
However, they absolutely loved their new tennies. They would say, "Hey mom, look how high they can jump!" I always smiled and told them I thought they could jump higher than the ones they got last year. Big smiles for the year. My daughter by that time was able to pick out her own clothes. For a while, I had lost out with the fashion with the other girls, so I needed "help" from her. Then all was well.
Then there was me when I was school age, elementary. I was such a strange child, I didn't like change at all. I had a pair of sandels that were beautiful. I have written about them before. They were, red, yellow, and green. It was all that mom could do to not let me wear them when they were about 4 sizes too small!  My dresses wouldn't fit me at some point. I would stand in front of my closet and cry because my mean ol' mom wouldn't let me wear them.
School supplies were so simple: 2 number 2 pencils, an eraser, a ruler, and a small package of Kleenex. However, the main thing was a huge tablet called The Big Chief. Many of you may remember this thing. It was perfect for penmanship. The paper was so soft that if you erased the paper would tear and your teacher was sure to see that you had a messy paper and had made a mistake.
The paper had solid lines on the top, then lines with - - - - - - -
then solid below the hyphens. This was supposed to create perfect writing to please even the most critical teachers.
The Big Chief was so heavy that if I had to guess it had about 200 pages in it. My favorite thing to do was to use my ink pen (another story) on this paper. If a little girl would do this unthinkable thing to amuse herself, the ink would act like a blotter and the ink would make almost a picture by itself. It so sad to see that that company is out of business.
There were no checks for my parents to send to school for pictures however, mom would send thirty five cents occasionally for my hot lunch or send me a cold lunch, which ever was most convenient for her. Mother always made my dresses so no shopping.
Good luck parents as you do your shopping for your children to attend the free school that our government makes sure is provided for our children.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Broken Window

One hot summer afternoon Marie got home from work. She told the kids that for once she would like them to stay out of trouble while she went outside and sat underneath a shade tree.
This story began while Fran and I were visiting her during a break from her therapy. When she was through telling the story I asked her if I could put it on the internet and she said she didn't care.
Okay, back to the story, so she had just sat down to relax and crash a sound alerted her that one of her children had not heard her to stay out of trouble!
Of course, screaming and scrambling occured when she found the youngest child with blood running down his arm. He innocently had been playing basketball and went to catch it and ran his arm through the window!  Well, another trip to the hospital.
She did smile when I said, "Boy, I bet you are glad you didn't have ten children!. She agreed, and said, "but you know I am one of a very large family. And there are a lot more stories, I am sure.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name

William Shakespear made many quotations that stayed with us for generations. Interesting that his quotations made so much sense that all of us could really have made those same remarks. Do you think that if we said that "A Rose By Any Name Would Still Smell The Same." would go down in history for all children to study and would be famous for generations if John Doe had said them?
I was listening to television commercials this morning. (They are my favorite.) When a youngster was playing chopsticks. Someone in the background said "don't you know any other song?"
I told Fran that my mother never said a word about me playing chopsticks over and over again. In fact, at times she would sit with me and play fancy chopsticks while I was playing the melody. Oh what memories. Not, perhaps like Shakespear, but nonetheless remembered for generations.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Have An Appointment At 11:00

Every time we visit Marie, she says they keep her very busy at the facility. Today we took her a picture of her granddaughter with her brand new twins. Oh, she loved it. She sat there and looked, and talked and smiled. We propped it up so she could see it from her wheelchair or bed.
She is keeping busy with her word finding books, in her spare time which is not so much.
She was telling us that she had a bath and beauty shop appointment at 10:00, a therapy appointment at 11:00 then lunch, then therapy at 1:00.
The pain is much less, the smiles more frequent. She told us that there is not much sense in getting into bed they just get me up again. Fran and I both laughed. It was so much fun seeing those eyes sparkle with amusement.
She has a hummingbird feeder with a zillion hummingbirds and butterflys feeding on all the pretty flowers right outside her big window.  We can just see her getting better every day!