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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ah, the innocence of youth, or Santa Claus is coming to town.

Do you remember the innocence of youth?  I mean your youth?  Remember when the world was fresh and new and every discovery was a miracle like a flower opening before you.?  Growing up was fun and each day taught us something new.  I think I was probably in the third or Fourth grade when I discovered there was a world outside of Nickerson, Kansas.  Back then life was dirt roads, playing in the creek and waiting for Momma to get home and feed us.  There was no television to watch at our house.  The radio was for listening to the stock market report so dad would know how much the wheat would bring.  At some point in time I recall the President of the United States talking to us in what was known as "a fireside chat."  That was fun and we always set around the pot bellied stove and listened.  Made it seem like we were right there with him.  And we always slept better after he reassured us that the nation was in good shape and better days were coming.  Seems he promised us a chicken in every pot, or something like that.
It seems in my mind that I can remember Roosevelt talking.  I also clearly remember hearing the words "The war is over!"  I can clearly see us setting around the radio in the last home we owned in Nickerson.  I know looking back, that this is not the case.  Roosevelt gave his last fireside chat in 1944.  I would have been 3 years old.  World War II ended in 1945 when I would have been 4 years old.  We did not leave the Ailmore place until I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.  So I think we no doubt listened to Roosevelt while on the Ailmore place and I transferred that in my little brain to the house we owned.  When I heard the war ended we had to be the same place.  The memories are there, just not quite like they really happened.  Or maybe I heard a re-enactment and took it as a memory.
And what does all this have to do with Santa Claus, you may ask!  Well, I have a little friend and her name is Madison.  We call her Madi.  She is 9 years old and she is beautiful.  Remember the Breck girl?  Madi has huge blue eyes, a Madonna face and a smile that is like a glimpse into heaven.  The best part of it is she has a pure innocence that almost brings me to tears.  She always hugs me and asks how I am.  Just an honest to goodness little angel that cares about all the people in her world.  And today she explained to me about Santa Claus.  Did you know he lives at the North Pole?  He spends all year making toys.  The conversation was two sided.
"Well, yeah Madi, but there is a recession going on so things aren't looking so good for you this year.  How is he going to get toys?"
"Well, he will make them."
"Well, he can't make them if he does not have money for the raw materials!"
"Well, he has money!  He has more money than anyone in the world."
"Ok, but he is old and fat, so how can he make toys for everyone in the whole world?"
"Well, Lou, he has helpers.  Do you know he can hear everything you are saying and he probably will not give you any toys.  Nothing!  Because he knows everything!  And he sees everything!"
Well, when I found out that he could hear and see everything, I acquiesced and recanted so I could get back on the good side of Santa Clause.  This made Madi happy and she thinks I may get something this year.  I sure hope she is right.  And I do so hope she maintains her beliefs as long as possible because all too soon she will be walking across the stage to get her diploma and heading out to take her place in the world.  A world that will no doubt get bigger every day for her.
Love you, Madi!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My thoughts on the election.

To say that I am disappointed in the way the vote went would be an understatement.  Oh, I am not talking about the candidates and the Republicans triumphing over the Democrats.  That goes on all the time and will continue long after I am gone.  What bothers me is the refusal of people to make the food companies lable our food. We are herded together like so many cattle and told it does not matter.  GMO's are the way to go.  Less water.  Better yield.
I am not going to spew facts at you on this.  What I AM going to ask you to do is to use your search engine and type in words like:
Highest cancer rates world wide.
countries that do not allow GMO
agent orange monsanto

Read this stuff for yourself.  Make up your own mind.  Remember Jim Jones back in the 70's?  He made a big vat of grape Koolaid laced with poison and made his followers drink it.  If he had labled it poison, no one would have drunk it.  Now our government refuses to lable our food.  What does that tell you?  If it was safe they would paste big signs all over it, but by thier refusal to require that GMO lable they are, in essence pulling a Jim Jones on us and we are letting them.  Seeds that were once saved from crops are no longer allowed to be sold.  Seed that was sold by the pound is now sold at a per seed price.  No more heritage crops are being planted.  You have an Iternet, PLEASE use it!

I did  like this little read.  Underground Health

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I hate the time change, but guess what I found!

I woke up this morning at 4:15 AM.  That is because I usually wake up around 5:00 AM or so.  I laid there for a while and had a little talk with God.  Then I planned my day.  I tried to sleep and may have dozed off for a bit after cussing the government for the stupid time change anyway.  I am sorry, I just do not get it.  I know they are trying to save daylight hours, but come on people, are you really buying that?  My days are 16 hours long and I am going to be in the dark on both ends of it.  I have been closing up the geese at 7:00 PM when it starts to get dusk and letting them out about 7:00 AM.  Now it will be 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM.  It will be the same degree of darkness and they do not know the time has changed.  Only I know now that the time schedule has been altered thus screwing up my whole schedule.  Like I did not have my mind in enough different places.  Hell, it was yesterday that I finally put my shorts away because I thought August was now over and I know we don't wear shorts after Labor Day.  I completely missed Columbus Day,  The State Fair, Beulah Art Sale, the turning of the Aspens,  3 of the kids birthdays and God only knows what else!
And now I set here with my muddled little mind wondering where in the hell Summer went!  Seems like only last week I was bent over tending the tender little plants and digging out the lawnmower to chop the weeds into submission.  I tried to do my "year in review" and thought it was 1997!  Ever hear that old saying, "When you are over the hill, you pick up speed?"  That is sure going on around here.  Point is I have a hard enough time with out Uncle Sam messing with my bedside clock when my internal clock has already thrown most of it's springs!
So, now I bet you are wondering what I found this morning, aren't you?  I found my shadow!  I have spent a lot of the past week flat on my back on a heating pad feeling very sorry for myself.  Must interject here that the little talk with God this morning clarified the fact that he had me down so I could think about some things that were a tad bit awry in my mind.  So after I told him I was pretty sure he was right about that, I got up and as one is wont to do first thing every morning, I headed for the bathroom.  The first switch I hit every morning is the one for the office lights.  That leaves the bathroom dark.  I opened the door and there was my shadow, waiting for me!  Funny how we forget the little things in life, isn't it?
I had probably seen that little fellow a million times over the years, but I had forgotten about it!  The poem we used to say years and years ago sprang into my mind.  It goes something like this:

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947),

Well, it goes exactly like that because I went to the Internet and stole it!  The thoughts that spring to my mind with this poem are always of Nickerson, Kansas.  I remember walking the dusty roads around the old home place in my bare feet.  My shadow was always with me and as my shadow grew longer it was closer to time to "go in".  Funny, we never called it going home, but always going in.  Always liked Friday and Saturday night because we could stay up late and play "Kick the can!".   Does anyone remember that?  We always had a can from some where and that was home base.  It was basically hide and go seek and when whoever was "it" found one of the hidden kids, they drug them back to jail.  Then when the "it" person went off searching for more kids someone could run to home base and kick the can, thus freeing the prisoners.  Ah, the good old days.  And for the record, I am sure mother always made us wash our feet when we came in from playing all day barefooted.  I know to this day, my feet are the one part of my body that is always clean.  Always without fail.
So here I set at the computer and I can not see my shadow.  I see my hands are making a shadow, but I must be setting on that little guy, cause he is now where to be seen.  And if I am a female, why is my shadow a "he"?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I think I will have a Vanilla Phosphate!

Does this look familiar?  Maybe not to some of you younger people, but my generation recognizes this immediately as the soda fountain at the corner drug store.  I got this off the Internet, but trust me, they all looked alike.  Best part was you could set there on that stool as long as you liked.  Vanilla Phosphate, Cherry Coke, Plain Coke; it was your choice.  And if you had a friend you could ask for 2 straws and share. We knew how to make good use of a nickle back in those days.

Our drug store set right on the corner and next door was the Berrington's  IGA  Grocery store.  Flemings grocery was on the other corner.  So you walked in the front door of the drug store and right inside the door was the magazine section.  They do not do that anymore because some one will "grab and run", but back then all the thieves were locked up!  Nothing but good people in our town.

Towards the back of the store was the pharmacy.  It had a little window that if you could reach that high, you knocked on and the druggist would ask you what you wanted.  He stayed behind a locked door and mixed your prescriptions when you handed him the slip.  I never really seen the druggist, but I know he was there because Mother told me so.

Scattered throughout the store was things you might need like crutches. gauze, heating pads, hot water bottles, mineral oil, epsom salts and other stuff to which a 10 year old girl pays no attention.  And the lady who held sway, kept order in the store, mixed the drinks at the soda fountain, and generally scared the living pee wadding out of us was a lady named Neva.  Dear Neva had been born with one eye that looked upward and to the right.  We were never sure if she could see out of this eye, but we were sure that we would do nothing wrong in case she could.

It used to be the greatest thing in the world to have the nickle and know we could go to the drug store.  I was not alone in my thirst for knowledge held by the magazines on the rack inside the door.  Back then there were a couple "rags" named Modern Romance and True Story.  Now inside these pages was some hot stuff.  It I was really fast, I could locate one of them and open to a paragraph and read about "married love" before Neva spotted me and asked "Are you gonna buy that?"  To which I always put the book back and headed for the soda fountain.

Back in those days places were clean and friendly.  I might be the only one in there and I could set for hours and dream away while twirling my straw in an empty glass.  If a customer came in, though, I knew they were getting busy and it was time to leave.  I wonder if that drug store is still there?  I may just take a trip back down memory lane some day.  It has only been 60 years, so I think it should still be there.  Probably Neva does not work there any more and I bet the new druggist does not even know what a "mortar and pestle" is. Not sure I have that right my own self!

I think I will stop by the magazine rack and see if they still have those romance magazines.  Pretty sure the price has gone up, but I would like to just peek inside and see what kind of "married" love is going on nowdays.  Until then
Keep your powder dry!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

You can run into about anybody over at Janet's house!

And, as promised, I wandered off to Janet Altman's  house.  Now I tried very hard to talk myself out of taking a day off with my busy schedule, but I lost that arguement.  Janet and I do not get together very often since we are both very busy women with full schedules and an opening has to be forged rather than taken for granted.    Since this time was her turn to cook, I knew I was in for a treat.  Janet cooks the actual German cuisine and it is to friggin' die for.  On the menu for today was Rouladen served over freshly made Spaetzle Dumplings.  This is one of those cases where a picture is worth a thousand words and one taste is a sky rocket trip to heaven.   But let me first explain the fork.  If you will notice it has 5 tines.  It is a German made fork, as is the nice.  The knife is not serated, but is sharp and balanced in your hand.  Germany knows how to make silver ware that not only is a joy to use, but lasts forever.  Of course it is nothing like the set I picked up at the garage sale last winter.  I am afraid that this is probably something I am going to want again.  But the story does not end here.
I had barely gotten in the door and Janet filled me in on the fundraiser she was attending tonight when the phone rang and the gentleman on the other  end of the phone told her he had some pictures to drop off for the fundraiser and could he drop by soonly?  Janet, being the ever gracious hostess invited him to lunch and he said OK, since it was lunch time, but that he would not be staying to o long and he had a friend with him.  Imagine my surprise when the drop in guest turned out to be none other then Ed Posa!  I have worshipped that man since I first saw his work. These are the two picutres he was dropping off for the fundraiser at the Senate and I can not remember who it was for.  Damn!  Why don't I ever listen?

For those of you who are new to the art world, Ed Posa is the local artist who does the Indian Paintings.  Here is a link so you can go read for yourself.  I am sure I could set here all night and not do the man justice.Click here to read about Ed.
So the quite little lunch with a friend blossomed into a lunch party with Ed Posa and his friend, Clem.  I do know Clem was a student of Ed's when he was a swimming coach.  Course I did not catch Clem's last name either.  Hope it was not Kadiddlehopper!  No, That was Red Skelton's alter ego.

I do have to say those two boys did justice to the meal.   The first thing that went wrong for me was the battery in my camera went on vacation.  So I borrowed Janets camera and used my card.  Lucky me.  I failed miserably at getting a picture of her dogs, but finally managed it!

When lunch was over the Ed and Clem left and Janet and I headed out for our walk.  

We just took a short one by Minnequa Lake, but the day was beautiful.  What more could I ask for?  I got to spend time with my dear friend and fellow activist, Janet Altmann and I got to meet Ed Posa, one of my heroes.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Memories are just that.

I have been promising a friend that I would bring him some Choke Cherry Jelly for over a week and once more forgot to deliver the goods.  So I was setting on the deck visiting and the subject of canning and jelly making came up which immediately turned to the good old days when we damn near starved to death.  See, back in those times it was a daily challenge to keep our rib cage seperated from our spine.  It took food to make that happen.  Course when two old people get together their main goal is to prove that thier poverty was worse then the other persons.  I usually win!  And I must confess, I have been known to lie.
We made jelly and preserves out of any kind of fruit that happened to fall from the tree.  Ever eat peach pit jelly?  Peaches were canned and peach preserves were made and then the peach pits were boiled and ended up as jelly.  Did you know peach pits contain a trace of arsenic?  I think that is right.  I am sure it is some sort of poison.  Know what to do with watermelon rinds?  Those were turned into perserves.  Apple sauce was a staple.  Apple cider was a luxury.  Ever eat carp?  Those were nasty, but after they were canned there were ways to stretch even those.  Carp is very strong, coarse and gives a whole new meaning to the word "fishy".

Brother Jake was very adept at bringing home a rabbit on occasion.  Now, I trust you know that we were always happy when it as a bunny rabbit as opposed to a Jack rabbit.  Jack rabbits are the males and are very tough and stringy and have a wild taste.  A nice little bunny is tender and actually pretty good eating.  Or at least they were back when we were growing kids.  Have not eaten one in years and the memory of what season he hunted in has dimmed so  I will bypass that fare on my table.
October 5 was my brother Jake's birthday.  He would have been 77 years old.  The one good thing about losing him is that we will forever live in my memory as a man of 28 years.  That is how I remember him.  He always wore  khaki pants and a tee shirt.  I close my eyes and see  his lopsided grin and the big scar on his cheek.  He had a habit of sucking air through a gap in his teeth.  Sometimes it was irritating, but mostly it was just Jake.
I guess it is only natural  when I think back on the growing up years  that I think of him first.  We were 4 years and 4 days apart.  When he went to the Army we wrote every week.  He introduced me to my first husband.  They were friends and stayed so until the day he died.  He did tell me once that he would understand if I did not stay with my husband, but back in those days when the wedding vows were taken they ended with "till death us do part." and were sacred vows.  But sometimes there are things worse then breaking a vow.
Jake was in a car wreck on October 30, 1965  and passed away on October 31.  October 30 was my wedding anniversary to the kids dad and my middle daughter, Dona, was born on that day in 1964.  Needless to say, this time of year is a little sad around here so I work way harder then I should and try not to put pen to paper.  Seems that when I see it in black and white, it is overwhelming.
So that having been said, I will stick my head back in the sand and head off for church.  Teresa and I are off to the Broadmoor on church business, so that should take my mind off life for a while.
I will be back soon though, to fill pages with my drivel.  Chin up!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Goodbye to a wonderful woman

September 28, 2014
Goodbye to dear Sammie Cody
Hard working hands to heaven borne.
And left us here to mourn.
A saint  among our saviour's best
Hard working hands have gone to rest.

I shall miss my friend.   I met Sammie a couple months ago, but she had a tremendous impact on my life.  Her faith was so simple, so kind and so all encompassing that I was immediately drawn into a family filled with love.  Through her our church has grown.  We prayed for her and she for us.  She has opened my eyes in a new way to know that I just need to turn it over to God, assume it is taken care of and prepare to reap the benefits.  
I will write more about Sammie later.