Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Three Generations of Aprons

When I was a child I can remember my mother criticising my grandma for patching the "stomach" of her apron. Then my grandma made beautiful crosstich aprons that just went around her waist and she embroidered the tiny blocks every other one with white thread. I still have one or two.
Then my mother wore aprons to keep her housedress clean, so she could tear it off when she heard a car on the gravel driveway. Good grief, no one should see her in an  apron. Aprons were the first things that little girls learned how to sew; they were decorated with bias tape or rickrack.Organdy aprons were given to "waitresses" at weddings with the bride's colors on the pockets. I am sure they were thrown away shortly after the wedding. They seved no purpose whatsoever.
Most of you know, I worked in long term care facilities.for almost twenty years. All of us were always concerned about our folks's dignity.
Now I am concerned about my dignity. Fran and I have had a lot of company this summer which has been a lot of fun. Fran's daughter and my daughter have helped make and serve meals while they were here. Therefore, the work part for me was minimal. My hands shake a lot!
Last night I read a true story about two friends that took his father and mother across country on a trip that was expressly his father's last wish. He had terminal cancer, and his mother had alzheimers disease.
The author was explicit in details which made my reading her book a delight because it took me back in time.
When she got to meal time in the home she was told that the folks did not wear "bibs" they wore aprons. We never said "bibs" either, we called them clothing protectors.
This morning we went to a local craft shop and YES she made aprons. No more spill spots on my clothes. A lot less Shout to get my stains out. PLUS she puts a strips of cloth about 6" across that holds my hand towel. Well, I suppose you know my dignity is now up a notch or two. Thank you Unique Boutique  Stockton, Mo.  She even had an apron for my very favorite football team the K.C. Chiefs. Yay!!!  I will always make sure my KC Chiefs apron is clean on Sundays.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


1974 was an interesting year. I started working at Sears. I had not worked outside of my home for many years. I enjoyed being a mom, but when they started school, there was only so much dusting to do.
I interviewed on the phone to be a switchboard operator. Soon there was this deep voice with a smile that told me they had no need for a switchboard operator, but they sure did need a female applicance technician.  He asked me if I had an aptitude for repairing things. I told him that once I had taken my vacuum apart and couldn't get it put back together again. He laughed and said, "Come on in and fill out your paperwork.!"
I knew nothing about the need to have some females in the traditional jobs that men did.
He was slick. He got me by sending me to Chicago for schooling for six weeks. So I apprenticed for about three months with supervision. Loved it!!
Along with learning something new, I got a discount on everything from gasoline, to appliances, to furniture. Gasoline was 74 cents a gallon that year.
In that year Sears started carrying microwaves. Oh, I wanted one so bad I could taste it.  I bought one, read the instruction book. I made a hamburger, when it was done it looked like a black hockey Puck,
completely unedible; short story made very long.
The other day I made some precooked sausage for breakfast  39 years later than the hamburger story. The sausages were slated to cook for 40 seconds. I put them in for 4 minutes. I put them in front of Fran, turned around to fix my eggs and sat down to a face that was not a happy one. He could not chew them.
Later he told me that he had given them to our big outside dog and he couldn't chew them either.
My pat excuse is, "But Fran. I have a condition!"  lol

Happy Mother's Day, ladies.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Do It!!!

I was reading a blog this morning written by a mom of two boys who live on the west coast. No snow = can't use Christmas sleds. That post again, jogged my memory of when my oldest children were small. We lived in South Dakota so we always had snow and cold weather.
The memories I have though, are of my little ones screaming and laughing and after about two or three minutes wanting to go back in. They were so cute with their apple red cheeks and "outdoor" voices when they came in to warm up.
They always wanted hot chocolate to warm up and maybe a cookie or two. Once they were warm, the proclamations  began that they were ready to go back outside. My thoughts" What?" In the winter, the majority of my time I spent changing, snowsuits, mittens, stocking caps and,oh don't forget snowboots and stockings!
The snow that came out and or off mittens and hats didn't always land on the scatter rug, but on the floor, very cold to step in. Ick.
My oldest, was very independent and insisted on doing for herself regardless if it drove me nuts. She wasn't very tall at four years old, but invariable when I went to open the door for her to go out, she said in a very loud voice, "I do it!"  My answer for her would be "but with your mittens on you can't turn the door knob." I wanted to growl and stomp my feet, but for the most part, I kept my cool. It wasn't worth the effort as far as I was concerned. I hated temper tantrums.  However, if I didn't help her then she yelled for me to help her. How is a mom supposed to win?  Maybe dream of daughter having children of her own?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Julie Anne

Hello, today I am going to tell you about my sister's little girl, Julie Anne, or as Rosie would sometimes call her, Jule. I believe that she was named after her dad's mother and of course me.
I can remember my sister just shaking her head and asking me, "How do you do it?"  Of course, I had no idea what she meant. She said, "I put Julie in bed after her bath and in the morning, she is dirty." We laughed like two normal moms in love with our children no matter, clean or dirty.
Julie was a very active little girl, again I am going to compare her to Melanie. Melanie would wake up and babble to herself waiting for me to go get her. Julie would wake up raring to go once the sun came up. She would "walk" her crib until her mother caught her on the run!
When Julie was little she had a love for horses. When she was small she had a severe accident with a horse that caused the whole family to pray for her to live through the night.  She did do that. That accident brought her  family together as a whole unit.
Julie grew up close to her grandmother, my mother. She and my sister lived close by her. Mom taught Julie some things she never accomplished with me; crocheting and knitting. Mom started to "try" with me when I was about eight and continued until I was about thirty four.
Mom kept telling me it was relaxing. She would crochet and watch television as I know a lot of people do. It made me so nervous;  the yarn got so tight on the hook I could hardly get it off. It didn't make me feel any better when she told me that she was doing it independently when she was eight; made her own clothes when she was eleven and on and on.
The hands on teaching "took" with Julie, because she continues to do those things for her children and I think I have heard she makes gifts for her friends and relatives.
Our whole family was blessed when Julie Anne came to be with our family.  Miss you, my dear.
                                                          Aunt Lu

Friday, January 25, 2013

Giggles At The Grocery Store

Well, I have never had so much fun buying groceries as I did this morning.
First of all I forgot my glasses on the table by my chair.
Second of all, I made a sharp turn towards the sun making it virtually impossible to see ANYTHING!!!
Third thing, unbeknownst to me, silly stocking folks had put up a very flimsy display of jello that jumped out in front of my shopping cart.
I, of course, made a big deal out of it, and Fran started laughing and told me to just let it go, so I did because I was laughing so hard I couldn't do anything else.
I remembered something else that we needed so I turned the cart around and proceeded to go back down that same aisle. Fran was in front of me and told the poor stocking boy, "woman driver on her way back down!"
I had to get my medicine  at this same store and I got the giggles so bad I couldn't stop. It has been years since that happened. It felt so good, stomach ache and all.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Daddy's Little Knife

It seems the older I get, things seem to jog my memory to the "old days." Most old days go back to the farm where I was raised until I was eleven years old. I suppose those days hold firm in my memory because I am like most older people the long term memory holds true unlike short term memory does. In my case I have very little of the short term stuff left.
When I was little my dad did a lot of different things with no help except with a small jackknife.  My mom used to laugh about that little knife. She used to say that dad did every thing from castrate animals to quarter apples with that little knife.
I have seen dad sharpen his knife and test it with the hair on his arms. Sharpening his small "hired hand" was very interesting to
watch for a little girl. He had several different ways to accomplish this. Sometimes he would put his knife in water on a wet stone. In,over and in over. Then the testing would begin on his arm. A small satisfied smile would appear on his face and I knew that he was a happy man.
I loved to "tail" my dad on his chores. I loved observing the smells and cobwebs in the buildings and listening to his chuckles when I asked him little girl questions.
I learned that mama sows didn't like little girls leaning over the pen. I learned not to open bags of feed. That was a bad yelling lesson. That feat was supposed to be just my dad's chore with his little knife; not his little girl's  tiny fingers that teased the string loose.
Dad's little knife tested the sweetcorn for juiciness, the soy beans for dryness, and the creepin jenny vines from choking out the flowers and vegetables. Dad used his knife for plugging a watermelon. I saw Dad clean his fingernails with his knife and pick out a splinter from his finger.
As a matter of fact, shortly before he left this world, he was still using his knife to cut cardboard to make a cover for his dictionary.
I wonder what ever happened to that beloved tool of my dad's.