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Archive for October, 2009

Adorable great nephew with pumpkin carved by his dad.

I love Halloween.  What’s not to love about a holiday that lets you run around after dark, eat chocolate and dress in a costume, and I just had to ask permission to post this picture, from my nephew, because it is just the cutest picture on earth  today.

Beside the adorable baby, in the picture above, we have an awesomely carved pumpkin eating a pumpkin.  That should win an award somewhere. Obviously, I am proud of my great nephew and lovely significant other, sorry I did not mention you earlier.  You are a dear and should not be forgotten.

Since I am totally messed up as far as my photos (Yes, rubbermaids full that I am sorting), I am posting a couple of Halloween pictures that are not of the best quality but at least new to this blog.  I would like to post the one of my Master’s Daughter, who I first took trick or treating when she was eight months old, but who knows which Rubbermaid it is in?

joe josh in costume small

EMT Dragon and Gaffer Knight

You have seen this dragon costume last year when it was a photo of my oldest grandson and his mother, my Master’s Daughter, who created some fantastic costumes for her boys and let her nephews borrow them.

EMT, Jake and Gaffer when little

And, even when their aunt did not supply costumes, they found a way to create them.  This is EMT, Jake in the middle and Gaffer to the right.  The goal was to create armor out of blue jeans. 

joe in jeans costume small

EMT, many years ago, in full body “blue jean” armor

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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 donna tiger

This cuties name is Donna and the date is 10-31-58 and she is a mystery to me, as I have some of her photos and would love to return them to someone who might have a personal connection with them.

If I had “life” to do over again, one of my choices would have been to be a photo journalist, possibly even before I would have been a classical violinist.  I love faces and I love photographs.   In fact, I grew up with a camera in my face and a red sweatshirt on.

My parents loved to take pictures.  Dad loved to take movies and they both loved to take 3D photos.  This extended to other family members and even when I went to my grandmother’s house for the holidays, we would get out of the car and my aunt would be standing out in a blizzard to capture every moment of the holiday, on celluloid.

I worked for law offices for years and occasionally, we would be told to go through boxes and take out anything we wanted.  This usually was the result of a marital break up or an estate case.  For some reason, no one wanted the stuff in the box and the lawyers were stuck with it.  One time there was a photo album in one of the boxes and, not being able to abandon photos, I took it home.

Eventually, I quit carting that photo album around in my many moves, but I could not throw away the photos.  I saved those photos and they are like owning a mystery to me. 

Most seem to feature a girl named Donna or Bobbie.  I am thinking she went to West Technical High School in Cleveland 2, Ohio. (That is not a typo, that is an address from the 50s.).  The reason I say that is this photo is stamped on the back: DEPARTMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHY, West Technical High School.  Not too dumb, am I?

bobbie donna

I believe the girl’s name is Donna or Bobbie as she resembles the girl on the left in this photo titled, “Winding up For The Take Off” and is dated Oct. 8, 1951.

donna bobbie

And, I think that Miss Vanek must have been one of her teachers.  This photo was dated December 1954 and identified by the teacher’s name on the back.  Doesn’t the girl on the left resemble Donna or Bobbie, but then the girl on the right could be one of them too?

donna and miss vanek

Finally, and there are other photos without any identification, we know that somehow they know “THE SKIPPER FAMILY.”  Season’s Greetings to all was included in their album.

donna the skipper family

I have to tell you.  This is such an iconic photo.  I love it.  It is obviously for Christmas but I gather, by the foliage, that they are in the south?  And, here stands Mrs in a fur hat, scarf, coat and gloves, while daughter is just in a sweater and he is in a suit. 

So, if anyone out there in the blogosphere, knows Donna or Bobbie or the Skipper Family, maybe we can get these pictures back to their family.  Just email or comment and let me know.

Oh, and the red sweatshirt reference??  Mom thought red showed up really well in color photographs.  So, for vacation, every year, she bought me a new red sweatshirt.  If you find any photos of a girl in a red sweatshirt, standing by the sign for entering every state in the country, or by every statue, landmark and waterfall ever seen on vacation, you know who to send them to.

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It is in the high 60′s today, in Indiana.  I understand that in Casper, Wyoming, where we lived for ten years before moving back home to Indiana, they have had four good snow storms and are expecting ten more inches this weekend. 

I am still not used to the warmth and nicer weather we have by living less than fifty miles south of Indianapolis.  It is gorgeous today and I saw my first Christmas advertisement.  Good Grief!

It used to be that you had Halloween, the next day you saw adds for Thanksgiving and then, right around Thanksgiving the Christmas adds started.  Now, the folks at Hobby Lobby tell me they have already condensed the ornaments, since they have sold so many, and the Christmas television ads have started.

Just like Crazy Aunt Purl, and her fight against buying more Christmas decorations, I am a Christmas nut.  I have ornaments from both of my grandmother’s trees.  I love the season and I love the lights, smells, sounds and ornamentation of it.  However, it just does not last as long as it used to.

I remember coming home from school with crayon Christmas drawings, through huge drifts of snow , and how long it seemed before Christmas Eve.   I remember sneaking into the kitchen, while the others decorated the tree, and eating the whole package of chocolate covered wafer cookies.  I do not remember the throwing up which I did.

But, snow or no snow, and even though Christmas comes and goes in the blink of an eye, it is a warm and cozy holiday to spend with loved ones.  With or without sixteen rubbermaids of decorations.

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  1. We are almost having summer here. Summer, with golden red leaves in the trees and brown ones on the ground. 
  2. I let Irritating Little Chihuahua out the front door the other night, and both of us got a bit freaked out by the sound of footsteps in the deep crinkling leaves at the back of the house.  She came right back in and I went to face the unknown out the back door, where my flashlight highlighted a possum.  Just how does a possum walk in leaves and make footstep sounds?  Gaffer said it was a hoppin’ possum.
  3. It has been raining in Indiana, which means I have problems getting on line and can, yet again, listen in on my neighbors phone calls and they, mine.  Gotta love Indiana.
  4. Twenty-three year old, Gaffer, is working now.  In the last months, he has applied for a job in every city within a fifty mile radius.  He got, exactly, one call back.  After two interviews, he began working as a cashier at a Cracker Barrel and is now up for his first raise.  He is delighted.  He is a good worker and in January, he begins his training to take his Master’s Electrician license. 
  5. The twenty year old, EMT, was looking for a job.  He has signed his enlistment papers to join the Army and goes to basic in January so thought he would not be able to find a job to fill-in for a couple of months.  He was happy to find a job with NTN in Columbus, IN.  They make drive shafts, I believe.  He starts on Monday.  We have thought, for some time, that would be a good fit for the military.  Will I worry?  Yes!  But, no more than when he was a volunteer fireman or getting his woodland fire fighter certificate. 
  6. And, the games continue.  Tonight they are playing Trivial Pursuit.  It is as noisy as Risk.  I do believe they have all realized that life, as it tends to do, will be evolving very soon and are making memories and enjoying each other’s company. 

Gaffer may be here for a year, or more, but once he has his Master’s Electrician License, he will be off to points where there are sets and stages that need electricians.  EMT will be in the Army for four years and Jake, formerly known as JRock and less formerly known as JCountry, will be off to Nashville, TN in a couple of years.  His choice is either Diesel Mechanic and/or guitar/singer. 

Right now, the little ladies who shop in Nashville, Indiana love Jake and are overwhelmed by the depth of his voice, with their claps and a few tips too.

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One of my all time favorite blogs is Crazy Aunt Purl. Her new book is in the hands of her editor and all is well in her world; other than her roof has a waterfall coming through it.   I cannot wait to read her new book and, I promise, I will buy my own copy this time and not just borrow my daughter’s. 

Her October 14th post, has a hilarious section about the summer she was smited three times.  She is from bayou country and down there they refer to acts of God as being “smited.”  I am from the midwest where those same “acts of God” are usually lectured as, “God has his reasons.” 

Those reasons were never explained but the inference were that either you had done some awful, evil thing or, even more esoteric, your band director was a jerk and you had to leave band (your chosen vocation) because this would ‘some day in the future’ save you from dying in childbirth. 

Obviously, I never died in childbirth so perhaps that was the reason I had to endure some stuff, but I had to wonder, even as a child, just exactly what evil, thing I,  an eleven/twelve/etc. year old child could have possibly done that brought God’s wrath down on me, repeatedly.

To preface my story, for my non-daily readers (which is everyone since I have been very lax in posting lately), husband is on Social Security Disability, and after twenty years of that, you have very old, junky cars. 

We have been very fortunate in that several times, relatives/friends have given us cars they were done with.  Then, I came into a very small sum of money a year ago and was able to purchase a 2000 Chrysler Voyager.

I absolutely love that car.  It is my favorite ever car and has the best visibility in the world.   It was really nice to have a reliable car, with a muffler, so that I did not have to sneak into places where I had to go to meetings, so I would be heard before I arrived.  Our other car, inherited, had no muffler, a cracked windshield, no heater or air, and a wierd thunk in the transmission since before I inherited it, but it just keeps plugging along.

So Gaffer called the other night and said he was let off work early as the restaurant was not busy enough.  Husband left to pick son up from work, and on our windy, after dusk roads, he stopped at a stop sign, looked, and was 3/4 way through the intersection when he noticed another car’s headlamps were embedded into, well, just about into his head.  Amazingly, he has one tiny injury from the padded arm rest.   The car is not so lucky!

I do have to wonder why no one has ever hit the car with no muffler, cracked windshield, no heater or air and a wierd thunk in the transmission?

Say goodbye to my Chrysler Voyager!

wreck

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cake
I am convinced that everything is addicting:  sugar, fat, caffeine, frosting.  It is all addictive.

And, there is no substitute for frosting!

Occasionally, I dream about eating cake, with frosting of course.

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We were playing dominoes last night, about the only game they can get me to join them at the game table, and there was a light knock on the door. I think it startled all of us because we had not heard neither a car pull in, nor footsteps on the wooden porch, nor the screen door open and shut. Irritating Little Chihuahua had not even barked.

It was a dear old friend. A Viet Nam vet who grew up in my husband’s neighborhood and has become a best friend to me too.

For many years, the three of us were like the three musketeers. We spent evenings together; at our home, or at his home, at the pizza parlor, movies, or mutual friend’s homes. We built decks together, got drunk together, and mainly just spent a lot of hours in each other’s company, talking. We lost touch when we moved to Wyoming. Now, we live about four hours away and here he was, knocking on our door.

He loved history, and enlisted for Viet Nam. He said he “wanted to be a part of history.” He got more than he bargained for, and has three purple hearts and his own demons. He is a rather slightly built fellow and was a natural to go into the tunnels. I will not tell his story here. He is still dealing with it, but he wanted to pay us back for what he perceived as a favor we did for him long ago. At the time and still, I called it ‘helping a friend.’ What did we do? We forced him to go into Chicago with us to see the traveling ‘Wall.’ A simple thing, but what he needed.

Now, with two grandsons in the Army, I hope they have friends who will help them also. They will all need friends, who do simple things for them, who will listen to them and then, as we did, perhaps go to see what is the right thing to do at a Vet center, and be there for them.

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My “Master’s Daughter” lives in South Bend, Indiana, approximately 125 miles north of us. We only stayed one night but wanted to see her Army son, who was home on leave.

We visited her from our home, which is about thirty miles south of Indianapolis, a couple of weeks ago. My mother is experiencing some memory loss, especially when she is really tired and nothing tires her out more than a road trip. By the second day of being away from mom’s home, our drive conversation went like this.

Five minutes after leaving daughter’s home, and with another 3 hours plus to go, mom apparently recognized something and said, “Oh, that drive was shorter than I thought, we’re almost home.”

Then, this was the discussion just outside of Indianapolis.
Mom: “Someone’s barbecuing. Can you smell it? Which house is it?”
Five heads crane around looking at a field and a gas station, and wondering why anyone really cares which house is barbecuing. But, a minute later there is a house with smoke coming from the yard. The woman has a super sniffer.

Mom: “What’s that noise? What’s wrong with the car?”
Me: “It’s the road, Mom. The surface is different.”
Five minutes later: Mom: “What’s wrong with the car? There’s that noise, again.”
Me: “No, it’s just the road mom. They had to repair the surface.”
Next time we go over a different surface.
Mom: “There it is again. They do it at every intersection. It’s for safety.”
Needless to say, the surfaces were random.

As we are beginning to enter the Indianapolis area:
Mom, “Oh, there is the Hardees. I wondered where it was.”
Me, “Ah, mom, that is the Hardees in Indianapolis. The one where you live is across from the Arby’s, which is by CVS, right around from your apartment.”
Mom, “We have an Arbys?”

Mom, “This road is like the Dan Ryan.”
Me, “It is an expressway, so, it is a lot like the Dan Ryan only with less traffic. There are empty spaces.”
Mom, “Who was Dan Ryan. Don’t you wonder who Dan Ryan was?”
Me, Silence. I have never once wondered who Dan Ryan was. I have sworn at him a couple of times, but I have never wondered who he was.

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