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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just Call Me Pumpkin Girl...

Since this is Halloween I thought I would share a little pumpkin story with you.



When I was a kid my dad planted a garden every year. He was very meticulous about his garden....he measured out just the right length and width that he needed, and he used a hand tiller to plow up the ground. He measured how many rows he would have and then pounded stakes into the ground, strung string from stake to stake and made sure all the rows he planted were precisely straight and true.

He took great pride in the veggies he grew. He weeded and hoed and raked and was always making sure everything was just so.

I was not particularly interested in gardening but at some point I discovered that those pesky seeds that were in some things were the very thing that made veggies grow. It seemed rather magical to me.

One year as my mom cleaned out a pumpkin for carving I casually asked her if I could have the seeds. She said yes and I took them all and put them in a container.

The next Spring when my dad got his garden spot all planted, I decided to see if my pumpkin seeds would grow. I sneaked them out to the garden and just began putting them in the dirt....just anyplace, all willy nilly.

Well, how they did it I'll never know but somehow those seeds had survived and when I put them in the ground they took hold. Before too long there were little plants popping up all over the garden. My dad was confused and couldn't figure out what was happening.

Soon the vines were going every which way all through the nice straight lines of veggies. At some point my dad was able to recognize what was growing in his garden and was even more confused as he knew he had not planted pumpkins!




Finally everyone figured out what had happened and asked me if I had planted anything. Yes, I replied. I planted pumpkins! My dad was not amused!! That year we had some huge pumpkins mixed in with all the other veggies. And that was my last attempt at growing pumpkins.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Monday, October 30, 2006

For the First Time....

I've had a lot of firsts in my life....63 years worth of them. So when Deb recently did a meme about firsts I thought I would try it, too. Some of these are going to be difficult for me to remember!! But I'll do my best.

1. Who was your first love?
Billy Bond in first grade! I had such a crush on him. I got in trouble because I pushed him behind the stage curtain and kissed him!

2. Who was your first kiss and when?
I just told you! But I guess my first real kiss was at the free movies in my neighborhood and I think his name was Michael.

3. Who was your first prom date?
Never attended a prom....no one ever asked me!

4. Who was your first room mate?
My best friend, Gail and I shared an apartment once.

5. What was your first job?
Babysitting, and then telephone operator. Remember, I told you about that.

6. What was your first car?
The first car that I chose and paid for was a Fiat convertible....and it was in 1987! I think the Fiat was about a 1974 model. I loved that car! The only time the top was up was if it was raining.



My first husband and I had a green Corvair. But I didn't consider it "mine."



7. When did you go to your first funeral?
I think it was my grandma's youngest brother. I was just a kid so I don't remember it too well.

8. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?
Probably in my early twenties. My (first) husband got a job in Centralia, IL. I think our son was less than a year old so that would have been 1963/64.

9. Who was your first grade teacher?
Miss Nellie Dale Grissom and I loved her!

10. Where did you go on your first ride in an airplane?
There was a farmer who lived nearby when I was a kid, and his son had a small plane. One day the son came to visit and my dad asked him if he would give us a ride in the plane. He took me and my dad and we flew around the local countryside. I was maybe about 7 or 8 years old. Then in 1976 I flew from Decatur, Il to L.A. to visit my Aunt Dotti. That was my first commercial plane trip.

11. Where did you go for your first date and who was it with?
I actually don't remember!!

12. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
A jerk!!

13.Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?
My first real best friend was Gail and yes, we're still friends!

14. Who was the first person to send you flowers?
I think it was my first husband, when I was in the hospital after our son was born.

15. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house?
I moved to my grandparent's house for a short time and then got my first apartment.

16. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My daughter, Molly.

17. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen?
After that Gary Sinise thing I guess I could have been a groomsman (!) but I was a flower girl in my uncle's wedding when I was about six years old. I was never a bridesmaid.



And you should know me by now....here is a photo I just took this morning, of the dress I wore!! I even have the little fingerless gloves but couldn't figure out how to get them in this photo!!



18. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Open my eyes!! Then I stretch, put on my glasses, and get out of bed. I usually wake up before HB so I try to be very quiet.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why I'm So Weird!!!

A couple of things have come to my attention to explain why I am the way I am! Which in many cases is just plain weird! My usual daily visit to Deb's blog gave me my first clue. Here are the results of that....

You Are From Uranus

You shine with brilliant creativity, and you're more than a little eccentric.
You love everything unusual and shocking. You're one far-out chick or dude.
Anything unconventional excites you - and you have genius potential.
Just don't let your rebel side get the best of you, or else you'll alienate everyone.
Your original thinking and funky attitude is all you need to be you.


OK....no wise cracks!!

Then since I've never been thrilled with my looks, I decided to see what famous person I look like, never dreaming that my almost perfect match would be a guy!! Who knew??



OK, I like Gary Sinise but I don't want to look like him! And Bruce Willis!! Come on! Now I'm really feelin' low....but think how Gary Sinise must feel! He looks like a 63 year old grandma!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Do You Believe in Signs??

Daisy Lupin has asked people to write a scary story for Halloween. I'm not much of a writer and this isn't scary but I thought I would share it with you anyway.



My mom was a very private, reserved person. She seldom, if ever, talked about anything that was actually personal. Maybe she talked with other people but certainly not with me. I used to joke that after we covered what was happening with my kids and the weather, there wasn't much left to discuss!

She even kept her illness from everyone, including her sisters. No one knew that she had lupus. We all thought she had a bad heart....and I guess she did but it was most likely caused by the lupus. At least that's what the doctor told me after my mom died.

Because she was such a private person she had always told me she wanted to be cremated. She said she didn't want people looking at her when she was dead. That if people couldn't be bothered to come see her when she was alive, then they weren't going to get to see her after she died!

I learned about the lupus the last time my mom was hospitalized. A nurse told me my mom's feet were turning black because of the lupus....I guess I had a dumb look on my face because she said "you did know, didn't you?"....to which I had to reply "no."

The nurse walked down to the nurse's station, got a book, came back and let me read a brief description of lupus. That was my first knowledge of the disease.

My mom died a few days later. I was with her at the time. That was in 1978. I am an only child so everything was up to me now. I had to make all the arrangements. I followed my mom's wishes to a "T"....telling the mortuary that NO ONE was to be allowed to see my mom. That made some people in my family very mad at me but that was the way my mom wanted it.

Knowing how private she was, when it came time to talk about the cremation, they asked me if I wanted my mom to be dressed or to be left nude. Well, that was a no-brainer! I could just imagine what my mom would do if I sent her off in the buff!!

So I went shopping and bought her a lovely negligee outfit. She always loved pretty lingerie. I provided the mortuary with the negligee set, plus a bra and panties. I know this may sound gruesome but it is leading to something very important.

My mom was cremated and the remains were turned over to me. I remember driving home with the urn beside me thinking that my mom was with me. I set the container on the mantle when I got home and it remained there for several months. Then one day I got curious! I had seen movies where they scatter the ashes of someone and it always looked like fine powder.

I sat with the container for quite sometime and talked to my mom. Finally I opened the container and looked inside. Right there on top was a scorched hook from a bra! And the remains were not powdery dust but more like little chips of bone. I closed the container and never opened it again.

In 1979 I moved myself and my kids from IL to CA and my mom came along. She always had a prominent spot in my home and I usually surrounded her with books on a bookshelf because she loved to read. Must be where I get it from.

The transition to CA was anything but easy. There were many drastic things that happened to me when we moved here and I had a pretty hard time of it for several years. One particularly bad stretch came along and I was almost at the end of my rope. I was renting a little house, was several months behind in the rent, didn't have a job, and was trying to keep my family together. On one particular day I was sitting in the little bedroom of my house....sitting on the bed....and I was crying and trying to think of some way to pull myself together.

I began talking to my mom. I remember just spilling my guts and asking her why I couldn't seem to make things work. I asked her to help me....to give me some kind of sign. Something to let me know she was looking out for me.

As I sat there on the bed I felt something hit the top of my head. Not hard but something that just barely got my attention. I looked up and the ceiling was just as it always was. I shook my head a bit and with my hand felt the top of my head. I felt something very small in my hair. I pulled it out and looked down at my hand. There lay a small scorched bra hook!

Now some people may not believe this but I telling you it actually happened to me. I never opened the container to see if the hook was still there. Somehow I know it isn't!! And I took that as a very clear sign that my mom was looking after me. Things did improve and I've never found myself in that low of a spot since.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Clothes....do they make the woman??

I'm not a fashion plate. I have a lot of difficulty finding clothes I like and ones that actually fit me. In my younger days I loved clothes. I had to have everything match, and it had to be the latest style. If I bought a new dress, then I also bought shoes and a purse and jewelry to go with it. I was a very slim person "back in the day" and seldom had any trouble finding clothes I liked.

Now I'm older and all the clothes today seem to be made for someone 16 years old who is a size 0!! Do manufacturers just not realize that everyone is not the same?! I think most clothes are boring, and no matter how many stores you go to they all have the same thing....just at different prices.

The other thing that confuses me is how everyone is always talking about how much bigger people are getting, and how many obese people there are and yet the clothes keep getting smaller! Am I the only one who thinks this is odd??

And clothes that are made for "larger" people usually are styled to emphasize all the wrong things! They will have horizontal stripes, or sleeves that puff or fall at the heaviest part of the arm. I just don't get it!

I still like to look at beautiful clothes and I've always liked unusual things. If I were a younger person today I would probably dress really weird! I have never wanted to look like everyone else. One catalog I get in the mail always has the kind of things I like even though I would never wear them at my age!

Here are some boots and shoes from Anthropologie that I think are cool....



I especially like the green crocheted boots and the purple leather ones. I think the pixie shoes are adorable. I told you I like odd things!!

The sweater below is another item I would wear but not with that yukky gray tee shirt underneath! I like the sweater with all the embellishments on the shoulder and the big scoop neckline. And the little flared sleeve is very nice.



Most of the time I wear jeans and either a tee shirt or a sweatshirt. That's about as fashionable as I get these days but I still love to look at clothes. I love long swishy skirts, filmy little shawls, lots of jewelry, and boots (that's how I used to dress)....I think I should have been a gypsy!! What kind of things do you like? And do you actually wear them or are you like me and just dream about them??

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Very Special Day....

Today is one of the most important days in my life. My beautiful daughter, Molly (SWHP) was born at 9:40 PM 38 years ago. She is such an inspiration for me. She has such a good heart, is very creative and talented, never fails to reach for her dreams, and is the best mother ever to her son, Ryder.

She was such a little bundle of joy when she was born....this is her birth photo



From the very beginning her older brother considered her "his" baby. He was enthralled with her and wanted to do everything for her. The photo below shows him watching over her when she was only a few months old. The other photo shows Molly learning to crawl. From very early on she has loved hats.



I have very few photos of me and Molly together when she was little....that's because I was usually taking the photos! I wish I had been in the following photo because it shows my grandma, my mom, and Molly. If I had been able to include myself in this photo it would have been four generations.



There are certain photos that always bring a smile to my face and the next one is one of my favorite photos of Molly when she was little. It isn't anything special....no event....nothing happening....just sweet little Molly in her nightie.



And this is another of my favorites....again in her nightie!! This time she is about five years old. Yes, she has always been a very petite person....unlike her mom!! (Gail, if you're reading this look closely at the room!)



Molly was always a tomboy. Her brother is five years older than she is and she looked up to him. She tried just about anything he tried. She played soccer. She skateboarded. She played "Kung Fu" in the basement. She did all kinds of athletic things and she never played with dolls until she was older and had a Barbie. She didn't take much crap off anyone either. One day at the local park some boy was hassling her and she put a couple of Kung Fu moves on him! Nothing too bad but enough that he didn't mess with her anymore. Her dad began calling her Muhammad Mol-lee. I think he still calls her that from time to time!

For two years Molly played baseball on an all boys team. And most of that time she had the highest batting average of any of them! When we decided to move to CA her coach almost cried. He didn't want to lose her on his team. Here is one of her baseball photos....



When we moved to CA Molly started 6th grade and it turned out to be a very stressful year for all of us. Luckily she had a fantastic teacher who made things a little easier for Molly. She even got to be a tutor for other kids in her class. This is her 6th grade graduation photo taken with that teacher, Mrs Greenfield.



Molly loves anything outdoors. She is adventurous and level-headed. This is another of my favorite photos. It was hanging in the office beside my desk until just recently. This photo was taken at Vasquez Rocks. If you have never heard of Vasquez Rocks the link above will tell you a little about it....and I'm sure if you watch movies you've seen parts of it in some of them.



During the 80's we didn't spend as much time together as before. Molly was growing up and I was busy working. This next photo is special because it's me on the left, Molly on the right and my special Aunt Dotti in front. Don't you love those shoulder pads!!



In the 90's Molly became a mommy. And I must say she is a fantastic mom. She has so much patience and understanding. I love this photo (even though it's a bit dark) because it shows such tenderness....she's holding Ryder....



And this is me, Molly and Ryder taken a few years ago at my cousin's house. Note that Molly is wearing a knit hat. She wears a hat much of the time because her head is always cold!! At least she isn't a hot head!



The most recent photo I could find was one from last Christmas. This is "Rapper" Molly being silly. She's wearing a scarf I made for her....and she's also wearing a crocheted hat I was experimenting with at the time. It's quite the colorful outfit but it shows her playful side.



I guess you can see how much I love her and how special she is to me. She is the best thing I've ever accomplished in my whole life.

Happy Birthday, sweet Molly!! You are so special and so loved....even if you won't eat your peas!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Isn't it Fall Yet??

I'm really in the mood for fall even though the temperature is still nearly 80º today. So I got out all my decorations and decided to at least make the house look like fall.

Welcome to our home....



I love wreaths with fruit on them....like the Della Robia wreaths at Christmas....so when I saw these last year I knew I had to get them.

As you walk in the front door the living room is to the left and the dining room is straight ahead. There is a big squared off arch between the entrance and the dining room and it has a shelf section above it. I usually decorate that shelf for the different seasons.

Here it is all ready for fall....



It's a bit difficult to get a good photo of it and I'm sure it just looks like a big ol' mess in the photo but on the left is a scarecrow and a small bale of hay. The pumpkin on the right side has a light inside and is visible at night through the window over the front door. It's sitting on a couple of boxes draped with some old black velvet. There's another pumpkin in the middle and some Indian corn, and scattered all around are fall leaves and little bits of raffia and straw.

Happy Fall, everyone......

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More roses from my yard....and a little more



You know how I love memes! So when I saw this one on Daisy Lupin's blog I knew I had to do it. So here goes....


What was your first childhood pet?
I had a kitten named "Boots"....a black kitty with white feet.

What was your favourite comic?
Katy Keene....she was a fashion model and her boyfriend was a boxer (can't remember his name though)....and I also like "Archie and Veronica" and "Little Lottie" (I think that was her name! It's been awhile!!)

What was your favourite childhood book?
I loved "Black Beauty" and all the Trixie Belden books

Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a child?
No

Did you play an instrument as a child?
No....I desperately wanted to play the piano but my dad didn't think it was necessary.

What was the first hit single record you bought?
It was a 78 RPM of Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel

What tune sums up teenage summers?
"Only the Lonely"

What was first pop concert you went to?
I was an adult before I ever saw a concert of any kind. I lived in an area that was pretty much devoid of anything like that.

Fave teenage TV programme?
American Bandstand

Were you a naughty or a good girl at school?
Good! I was always told that if I got into trouble at school I would be in even bigger trouble at home.

Miss Popularity, Artsy Pants, weirdo or geek, which of these groups classify you at secondary[high] school?
Probably weirdo! None of those actually fit. I was terribly shy.

Girl most likely to [as in year book]?
I don't remember anything in particular but I was voted one of the best dressed in my class and also one of the biggest flirts! I guess I got over that shyness by senior year!!

What colour did you paint your bedroom as a teenager?
Two walls were pink with gray trim and two walls were gray with pink trim. I had a gray cotton shag rug on the floor and the curtains were pink on the gray wall and gray on the pink wall.

Very first paid job ever?
Babysitting

Have you ever been really drunk?
Yes but not as a teenager. It came much later!

Did you smoke dope? and if so did you do a Bill Clinton [ smoking but not inhaling]?
No. I can truthfully say I have never done any drugs of any kind. I think it's a waste.

A stupid thing you did?
As a teenager I did so many I couldn't even begin to tell you all of them! Let's just say it involved a boy and let it go at that.

Left handed or right handed?
Right handed

Should you play a board game with me?
I don't know....should you? I like to play Scrabble and that's about it.

If you came to visit me what would we do?
If someone came to visit me right now I would be in big trouble! My guest room is full of boxes! But under normal circumstances we would probably have some tea and chat, maybe spend some time in my crafty room (if the visitor was interested in that sort of thing) but we would have to go out for dinner or get HB to cook 'cause I'm not good in the kitchen! I would like to take you to L.A. and show you all the sights and let you see some of the beauty and the weirdness that makes it such an unusual place.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Memories of my first home....

Recently several bloggers wrote about some of their early memories. I decided to try doing that. When I was born it was during WWII and my dad was in the navy so my mom had moved back to her parent's home. The doctor who delivered me (at the local hospital just a couple of blocks from the house) lived right across the street from my grandparents....and both the doctor and my grandparents were named Smith! (And now, that is my married name, too!!)

So the first home I remember was my grandparent's home. It was a bungalow style home with a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, bath, basement with a coal burning furnace and a porch across the front.

My mom and I had the front bedroom. There was a bed, chest of drawers, and vanity... the kind with a big round mirror and the little drawers on each side. On one of the side walls there was a picture of a baby....it was an illustration that was popular in that era. I've seen it before but can't remember the artist or anything about it. There were two windows, one that looked out to the front porch.

I'm sure there was a crib for me but at that age I don't remember! I have a lot of memories of my grandparent's house some I'm sure I actually remember and some that I've heard about so many times that they become my own memories, too. For instance, I've heard that when I had a wet diaper I would go sit on one of the heat registers in the floor! Now that's using the ol' noggin'!!

My grandpa worked for the Wabash Railroad and he worked many times at night. He would get me up when he came home in the early mornings, before anyone else was awake, and he would entertain me by making faces. Apparently I would imitate him. No one else knew about this hidden talent until one Sunday when my grandma had invited her minister for dinner. I'm told that I sat across from the minister, in my high chair, and made faces all through dinner! I still make faces! HB is always teasing me about it.

That house holds many memories for me because my grandparents lived there until my own children were small. They finally had to move to a smaller apartment because of their health. The last I knew the house was still there although I'm sure by now it isn't in the greatest of shape.

I remember hollyhocks behind the garage, bachelor buttons in the back yard, petunias along the side of the house and lily of the vally along the other side. I don't remember Grandma actually doing any gardening but there were always flowers. This is a photo of me walking along the side of the house....you can see some of the flowers. I wish it was in color.



Later, after we lived in our own home, when we visited grandma and grandpa we would always go straight through the house to the kitchen....in fact, I think most everyone else did the same thing. The kitchen wasn't huge. Grandma's stove sat on the wall that was to the right as you came through the door and the fridge sat opposite. The sink was an old-fashioned kind that was attached to the wall, no cabinet underneath, and with a sloped draining area on the side. There was a small pantry off to one side with shelves and a small cabinet that sat under a window. When Grandma made homemade noodles she would prop a broom handle between the shelves, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and drape the noodles over that to dry. For some reason that memory is very clear to me.

Grandma cooked everything from scratch and made basic, home-style food....nothing fancy. When she made fruit pies she would tear a strip of white cloth and put it around the edges so they wouldn't burn. It's funny what things stick in our minds. If I could have a piece of her blackberry cobbler right now I would be in heaven! I think her noodles and her cobbler are the things I remember the most.

The dining room had a big table and chairs, a buffet with a mirror hanging over it, and a small studio couch along one wall. The phone was located right next to that couch....it sat in the arch between the living/dining room....and when I think of Grandma it is always in that spot. She loved to sit there and talk on the phone. And she could talk for hours!! Each morning she called all her lady friends. I guess it's a bit like all of us reading each other's blogs each day! Grandma loved to talk on the phone, collect Green Stamps, go to every grocery store in town, and in later years she discovered yard sales!! This is my favorite photo of grandma....



The living room wasn't used much because we were always in the kitchen! But it had the usual couch, couple of big easy chairs, a small set of shelves, and end tables etc. There was a big window that looked out onto the front porch. In the summer there was a metal glider on the porch and a big concrete flower pot made by Grandma's brother....it had marbles embedded in the concrete and was always filled with petunias. When it was hot Grandma would leave a small pitcher of lemonade and a glass of ice on the porch for the mailman! Can you imagine anyone doing that today!!

This is a photo of my grandparents just outside the house. Grandpa usually dressed in overalls every day....



Grandpa loved to putter around in the basement. He liked to build things....little tables, storage boxes and such. I still have a little plant stand and a storage box that he made. The cabinet that holds my yarn in my craft room is from grandma's kitchen....he didn't build that but it did belong to them and I've held on to it all these years. (Photos of my craft room are on my flickr account. You can access it through that flickr rotating image on the right side of my blog.)

The last photo I have to share today is one of my mom and grandma taken in the dining room. Sorry it isn't a very clear photo. I think the flowers were for mother's day and I'm sure they were sent by Aunt Dotti.



So these are a few of my earliest memories....I guess it was more about the house than about me but that's what I remember.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Number, Please....

I mentioned this in the meme I just did, and I had planned to write about it at some time....I guess the time is now.

When I graduated from high school I wanted to go to art school in Chicago. My dad, being the warm fuzzy (not) that he was said there were cheaper ways of finding a husband than to send me to college!!

I decided to get a job and hoped that in the future I could save enough to pay my own way to school. My first job ever, other than a bit of babysitting, was with Illinois Bell Telephone Co. It was 1961 and I was a very innocent 18 year old....I never did get to art school.

Things have sure changed a lot since then! When I applied for a job at the phone company they came to my house to interview my mother!! They asked all sorts of questions of me that would be totally illegal today. One of which was, did I have any objection to working with Negroes....their word, not mine....and my answer was no. Can you imagine an employer asking that question today??!

Apparently I passed muster because I got the job. I began work in the downtown office of my hometown....and I thought I was just sooo grown up! I rented a small apartment just a few blocks from work and was out in the world on my own!



For those of you who are much younger, I worked before there was such a thing as picking up the phone and just dialing another city or state....or country. I worked at a time when you had to dial "O" to get an operator to complete your call!! We sat in front of a large bank of cords and blinking lights and we were the ones who connected you to your loved ones or whoever you were calling.

I got so used to answering "Operator" that even at home I would sometimes answer the phone that way without thinking. We worked in a big room with no windows. There was a lounge area with several telephones where we were allowed to make long distance calls anytime we wanted....well as long as we were on a break. When we worked later than 10:00 PM they provided a taxi (for any female who normally walked to work) to take us home at company expense!! Can you see that happening today?!!

New operators usually got all the crappy shifts which meant a lot of split shifts. I would go in for a few hours in the morning, have several hours off, and then go back in the evening for a few more hours. For a young single person it wasn't too bad. I could run home and take a nap if I needed to or I could just stay out and go shopping or whatever.

You usually had to work there a year or so before you got a regular schedule so every week you would be working different hours. It was bad for trying to plan anything ahead of time!



The pay phones were the ones I dreaded. And you knew which ones they were by the lights that blinked. I tried to catch any other call but those because they made me so nervous. If you answered a pay phone then you were responsible for collecting the right amount of money, then timing the call, and then going back in to tell them their three minutes were up and to please deposit XX amount of money to continue. Many times people would just leave the phone hanging and we weren't able to collect the additional money. Looked bad on your review!

Placing a long-distance call was a bit of a process. First, when we found out where you wanted to call, we had to look up the routing in a book we had at our position. Let's say you wanted to call some small town in Montana. I might have to call several larger towns and then get routing to a smaller town, and then finally to the town that you wanted. Each time, we had to connect with another operator and give them the information as to where we were trying to go. It was nothing like it is today! Calls out of the country were rare at that time but they did happen.

Hotels and motels were a whole other thing, too. When a guest wanted to place a long distance call, the desk clerk would call us and identify themselves, tell us which room was making the call, and then we would complete the call for them. We also timed these calls and then had to call the desk clerk back and give them the amount to charge the room.

Many years later, after I moved to CA I once again worked as an operator. It was all new and different. Most of my problems there centered around learning to understand all those accents. But that's another story! I have several funny stories about being a telephone operator. I might share some of them at another time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Four Things from Crazy Aunt Purl

One of my favorite blogs to read is Crazy Aunt Purl. She just did this meme. I thought it looked like a fun one to do so here goes. Yea, I know....more useless information about me! But sometimes I just don't have a lot of time to create something new and exciting for the blog and these sort of fill in for me.

NOTE: Before I give you the meme, I thought I would share a couple of things with you. First, my two granddaughters live on the big island near Pahoa, Hawaii. When I heard that an earthquake had hit the island I was naturally very concerned. Happily I had an email from the oldest and everything is ok where they live. I know there are others with connections to Hawaii and I hope all your loved ones and friends are ok, too.

Second, I actually got out yesterday and went to Michael's. They had a big yarn event....just what I need, right??!! More yarn! I was good and only bought three skeins and a crochet magazine. But the best part was getting to see my friend, Kathy, who teaches knitting, crochet, and beading at the store. She is very talented. You might enjoy visiting her blog and if you do be sure to check out her patterns for the knitting loom. There's also a link to her blog over there on the right side....it's Knitting Muse.

Now on to the meme....

Four jobs I’ve had:
telephone operator
bartender
data entry for an optical lab
office manager for a coffee importer

Four movies I can watch over and over:
Gone With the Wind
The Princess Bride
Casablanca
Imitation of Life (corny, I know....but I cry every time!!)

Four places I have lived:
Oakridge, OR
Albuquerque, NM
Edmonds, WA
Boise, ID (I could go on for a lot more but I won't!)

Four television shows I love to watch:
LOST!!!! My favorite!
The Daily Show
Dancing With the Stars
Just about anything on HGTV

Four places I have been on vacation:
British Columbia
Mexico
Colorado Springs, CO (when I was a kid)
Grand Canyon

Four of my favorite dishes:
Guacamole
Veggie stew
Tortellini (aka turtle weinies!)
Oatmeal with brown sugar, pecans, and raisins

Four websites I visit daily:
Yahoo
Google
Bloglines
Annie's Attic

Four places I would rather be right now:
Yosemite
Along the central coast of CA
Visiting with my friend, Gail who lives in FL
Visiting with my friend, Kathy who lives in northern IL

Four bloggers I am tagging:
Anyone who wants to do it!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fall Festival

I promised photos of the Fall Festival, and I should have kept my big mouth shut!! I took my camera with me but most of the craft vendors wouldn't let me photograph their things. I'm not sure why because most of it was stuff you see everywhere!

I was sadly disappointed with the festival. When HB and I first moved here, the festival was held in a smaller park on the other side of town. We went every year and always found lots of interesting things to buy at the craft tents. Last year they moved the festival to the bigger park and we thought it wasn't nearly as good. But we gave them the benefit of the doubt that maybe the first year in the bigger park was just a period of adjustment and that this year it would be back to its usual quality. WRONG!!

First of all, we walked down to the corner where there is an entrance to the park (and where we entered last year) but it was fenced off. And there were no signs or anything to tell you where to go to get in! We finally found it....HB, me and several other people who had also walked down!

This first photo is kind of an overview of the tents in the craft area....



It was still a bit overcast but luckily the rain had stopped....



The craft section was a big disappointment. Most of it was like this....kinda out-of-date stuff....



There was also a lot of jewelry....stuff you see everywhere! Nothing really unusual or creative. There was even a tent with crocheted ponchos! Those are really not "in" anymore. A few tents with bath bombs, candles, etc....but once again, nothing really unusual.

And there was a lot of stuff like this!! I don't consider this to be craft items. I can go to any mall or pick up any home decor catalog and find this kind of stuff.



There were a few tents with Halloween/Autumn crafts like these but not like you would think....Sorry for the angle but I kinda had to sneak this photo!



This tent had bird houses....They seemed to be hand made. The only reason I was able to get this photo was I zoomed in and they weren't aware of it!



Here is another view of the craft tents....there were quite a few of them but they didn't have much content!



Lots of these little food stands scattered around throughout the area....HB had some kind of polish sausage but I refrained!! Most of the food at these kind of events is just NOT what I can eat!



I think this little guy wanted to go home!



After walking all around this little bench looked very inviting!



Lastly, I took this photo because I love the grape-themed jacket this woman is wearing!



We heard some good music though. That's one thing they had plenty of. They have several really large tents scattered around and each one has some different kind of music. One of the most popular acts is Nuns for Fun. They are a group of women dressed as nuns and they sing mostly rock 'n' roll tunes but they change the lyrics to have a somewhat religious tone. The first time I saw them I wasn't sure what was going on!!

We stopped to listen to some jazz and then walked on to find the Cadillac Angels who did rockabilly music. They were good!!!

Sadly, we walked all over and not once did I see the stilt walkers! They were the one thing I really wanted to see! They always have outrageous costumes and makeup and look very theatrical. But if they were there I didn't see them.

It was an ok day but not the best. I'm sorry the photos are so bland. I had high hopes for lots of fun, interesting photos to share with you.

Fun on a rainy day

Last night we had a bit of thunder and lightening and some rain! It actually feels like fall today. In fact, we're planning to have a fire in the fireplace tonight. The first one of the season. If I had my way, there would be a fire going almost all the time once it gets chilly. I can just mesmerize myself staring into a fire.

Today is the first day of our big Fall Festival and it's held at the park just down the street from us. We can walk there just as we did for the hot air balloons. All morning it has been drizzly and I was wondering if I would be able to go but it has finally started to clear up. I'm hoping to get lots of photos and share them with you.

Here is the cover of the leaflet/magazine that was mailed out with all the information about the entertainment. It might be a little difficult to make out but this is a stilt walker. It is made to look as if a person is riding on a fantasy bird/animal of some kind....all feathers and such. They're really quite amazing to see in person.



More after I get back.

Friday, October 13, 2006

More old postcards from England....

I'm going to drag out more of my old postcards from England. I just love looking at these and wondering about my family. I believe these cards were sent by a couple of men who eventually moved to this country. I can vaguely remember them being at my grandparent's home at holiday dinners and such. One of them was blind, as I recall. I don't think they were related to us but I'm not completely sure about that part.

The first two cards actually have writing on the backs although they didn't go through the mail as postcards....they must have been included in an envelope or a package as there is no address or postage on them. Most of the postcards I have do not have writing on them so these two are special.

This is the front and it says Wilmslow Road, Cheadle



I'm not sure you can read the back of Wilmslow Rd....



I'll try to decipher the writing just as it is: "Is their anything as you would like use to send you if their is send word Arthur is a damned good pal. I only wish you was with us and then we would be 3 Jolly Good Fellows. Never get Married then you will be alright. Father and Mother send their best love to you and Jack. Write back as soon as possible. Good Luck from Arthur and Bill"

This next one just says Cheadle on the front....



The back of Cheadle has this writing....



And once again I'll try to copy the message: "Excuse me not writing sooner as I have had it written since the 11 July and now it is the 1st of August. Sunday we went to the Cheadle (I can't make out the next word. It could be something like Heath T) show. Had a damned good do come home in a cab. 6 in all Have you forgot coming in a hansom from their with Percy and them tarts. I did not see Annie Holt their Good Bye Old Pal"

Sounds as if whoever this was sent to used to have some good ol' times drinking with "tarts"....

The next postcard just says Chapel Street, Flambro (there's that different spelling again)...and no writing on this one....



I wonder what this street looks like today? I would love to see it....look how wide it is!!

I have quite a few of these old postcards. Plus I also have many from places around the US. I'll try to post some of those next time.