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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 1966

We were both still young and very in love.  We were to attended a party at the home of an equally young married couple.  He was Boyfriend at the beginning of the evening.  Shortly before the stroke of midnight he pulled me aside.  He pulled my into his arms, turned me around so I was facing his hands.  And there was a small box.  He opened it while saying, "Will you spend the rest of you life with me?"  We were joined in marriage the next summer on a warm June evening.

What God joined together that long ago night has to date not been put asunder.  It has not been an easy journey at times.  Over the decades hundreds, possibly thousands, of things and situations pulled and tugged at the relationship . Sure there was the usual toilet roll dispensing and toothpaste tube squeeze point "discussions".  Other discussions were brought on by differences in upbringing, differences in child rearing styles, work, bankruptcy, temptations and even when to turn on a turn signal.  Forty seven years gives lots of opportunities for discussions of differences.  Together we have fought through these challenges.

Without Husband's patience it would probably been done in the first year or so.  Forgiveness has been essential for the marriage to survive.  Understanding has been another part of the glue to keep us together.  Developing coping skills with changing dynamics that aging brings about has proven important.  And just being there during dark times.  Learning to appreciate the special gifts that are inherent in each other.

Husband's special gift is his attention to the small, seemingly insignificant things in life.  During one especially rough summer, I would not have given you two cents for our marriage to continue.  We went on a float trip with friends.  Nothing Husband did pleased me that day.  "Why do I want to stay with this man", ran through my mind as we brought the canoe onto the pebble covered river's edge.  It was the end of the float trip.  Husband bent over and picked up a rock with a shell fossil on it.  I would have stomped on by the rock but he took time to notice God's creation.  That is when it came to me that Husband was in my life to help me see the small things.  I still do not know what I bring  to Husband.

Tonight we await the new year in a new home with a new lifestyle.  It has been 47 years since he slipped the ring on my finger.  I still wear the same ring.  Never wanted anything different.  It is not big, showy nor flashy.  It is exactly us, simple.   Several years ago I noticed the stone was so loose in the setting it could completely rotate.  The jeweler who replaced the worn prongs joined the wedding band and engagement ring together permanently.  The rings are old and are worn thinner.  We are old and much thicker!  But we are all still together and loving it.

Happy New Year to my best decision ever!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Football, Vinyl Records and A Little More Christmas

I made the mistake of turning on the TV this morning.  I then failed to turn it off once we located the indoor antenna in the "best reception" spot.  Locating the optimal spot could be a complete blog post.  But how many people need to or even want to know how many places we have put the antenna?  How many weird positions we stood in or weird places we taped the paper thin antenna?

I wonder how many people are really interested in our getting sucked into watching NFL football?  Living in Missouri football watching had diminished considerably.  Now that we are living in football Utopia, the bug has grabbed Husband again.  Sundays and holidays will not become football days, again.  With Son and Oldest Grandson both being huge sports fans, well, I do not stand a chance.  Thank goodness for Netflix on my computer and earphones!

Before the footballs began flying on the TV screen, Husband unloaded the box of vinyl records.  We kept his circa 1965 portable stereo.  It sits on a stand with rollers and has storage for the records on the cart.  Husband hooked the system up complete with the two speakers and played some classic Chet Atkins.  This is the first time the system had been played in at least 15 to 20 years.  And it worked pretty darned good for a 48 year old piece of technology.  Husband who grew up on a radio and television repair bench wants to work on the turntable and needle arm.  He thinks he can restore the unit to its original smooth operation.

The vinyl record albums were a trip in themselves.  Albums from my early teen years, albums from early married years. The albums stretch into our son's early teen years.  Sesame Street, The Art of Belly Dancing, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Elvis, Dan Fogelberg, Ernie Ford, Paul McCartney, Pink Panther, Michael Jackson and the list goes continues.  A different time in this world of technology.  I just went on line and grabbed this Dan Fogleberg favorite.  Listening to it on my computer with earphones to block our the Denver Oakland noise.

My niece posted a couple of the pictures from the Santa visit during our family gathering.  Thought I would share these with the blog friends.

This is only about half of my Mom's great and great great grandchildren.  Yes, that is a set of twins in the back row.  Can you figure out the family groups?

Santa hugging my 95 year old Mom while Aunt Opal holds her great grandson, the youngest family member at our family Christmas party.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Another Day

Saturday is just another day this week.  It is 3 days after Christmas and 4 days to the new year.  Guess that is almost a hump day or maybe that is tomorrow.  I awoke yesterday knowing I was coming down with a cold or something like that.  Coughing and sneezing a little were about the only symptoms.  Husband, my hero, went to short distance to the drug store and picked up cough syrup, cough drops and lemon drops, the last just for fun.

My penguin slippers keep me company on a sick day.  Thanks, Kathy

I went ahead cleaned the apartment floors, showered and dressed while he was gone to the store.  Like I said it is a small place and does not take long to vacuum and mop.  I did a little more laundry.  Dinner was a minestrone soup from a mix.  I added ground beef and some other stuff the mix suggested.  It worked for a meal.  Not as good as the rosemary potatoes and chicken with a side of strawberry, walnut and romaine salad we had the previous night.  But Babe Ruth did not hit a home run every time at bat, either.

Like I said all that was yesterday.  I slept okay.  It was 11 before I woke up and I had gone to bed at 10:30 PM or so.  The cough syrup and a cough drop by the bedside made for the long sleep.  When I finally woke up I opened my mouth to say good morning and no sound.  I cleared my throat and got a drink of water.  At last a sound came out of my throat.  It sounded like a talking motorcycle, probably a Harley.  I answered a call from our son about 3 hours later.  He thought I had just awakened.  I assured him this was better than when I first tried to speak.  He called back about an hour later and again I answered.  He simply broke up on the other end of the connection.  He managed to stop laughing long enough to say he did not expect to speak to a frog.  I guess this is a froggy Saturday.

It has been a few weeks since I had run a computer check.  I started Spybot.  It found a few things and could not remove all of them.  Then I started a Malwares complete scan.  Twenty plus infections.  I had never had infections before today.  As several of the infections were in the registry, I did not feel secure in attempting to use stuff I had to remove from the computer.  So I contacted online help and 6 1/2 hours later my computer is virus free.  Sure enough the registry was in critical condition.  Caught it just before life support was necessary.  Now I have expanded security for the computer.

Feeling fine tonight, still talking several octaves below my normal range.  Computer is up and running pretty good.  No change in its tones. Husband managed to get the trailer emptied today so we can begin filling it again as we clear more stuff from the storage rooms.  Footstools for living area are in shipment.  Teapot and new jeans for Husband are being prepared for shipment.  It has been just another day in paradise fighting human and software viruses!

And for those friends who have been wondering about how the settling in is going here are a few pictures of the place.
The Husband in the usual position.
Need one more candle.

Penguins taking a nap.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Whad'ch Git?

This week on the Spin Cycle we are doing Christmas Recap.  Gifts given and received, parties and gatherings attended are encouraged to be shared.  For me this could be a short list this year.  With the recent move there was not a lot of the things we previously did available now.  No shopping trip with friends to Evergreen's in Lake of the Ozarks area.  Neither a sorority cookie exchange nor Christmas cantata at Wesley to attend.   There was no Mom Edna to visit, no Aunt Martha to call.  There was no cinnamon goodie delivery to the neighbors.

This year we began reinventing how Christmas will look for us.  It was shopping for gifts with my sister after the Thanksgiving weekend.  There were Duck Dynasty items for the Dirty Santa exchange at the Rogers' family Christmas.  A My Pony in a purse for Great Niece and a Dark Knight play set for Great Nephew.  A bowl for Mom to have filled with candy for her visitors.  A scarf to Oldest Sister from my Mom who can no longer shop for her daughters was purchased from a home based crafter.  I cannot tell the gifts purchased for the Grandsons as that exchange will not take place until January 4th.  Shoes for Husband were found, purchased and hidden in a corner of our closet.  Wusthof knife online sale at William Sonoma was used to purchase Son's gift.

Cards were sent before the middle of the month.  We are still receiving cards from our Wesley friends as well as others after they received our new address.  The cards received were placed in a basket.  One card at a time will be drawn each day and prayed for during the coming year.  A dear friend and her husband did that.  I adopted the practice.

A second shopping trip yielded more Grandson gifts.  My Mom received a Guideposts yearly devotional book, another online find.  Sisters' exchange gift was a "SLUTS" (Southern Ladies Under Terrific Stress) cup for each of us.  Those were picked up back in March.   Husband had an early gift of a slide for the coffeepot to sit on.  My early gift was a dual shower head with a hand held sprayer that he placed at my 5'3" height instead of the 7+ feet of the one installed in the apartment.

Our last shopping trip was just before the Rogers' Christmas on Dec. 21.  Purchases included youngest sister a Longhorn Tervis cup and her husband 2 hot plum jellies in high ball glasses.  You remember jelly glasses with the pop top instead of the screw top jars?  Or maybe you are too young for that.  At World Market we picked up a yard of cookies for my Aunt Opal and reusable maple grilling planks for an additional gift for son.  The last stop was at Kohl's for the "girlie gift" of hand sanitizer, sparkly emery boards, a bracelet and travel makeup kit for the Rogers' dirty Santa.

I cooked a pork shoulder per Youngest Sister's recipe.  That meat along with fudge and cranberry cake were taken to the Rogers gathering on Dec. 21.  The hot and spicy pork sandwiches were served with potato salad, chips, dips, Cole slaw, veggie trays and sliced smoked sausages.  The main course was followed by generous stories about our parents.  Antics we sisters and brothers in law had pulled as well as tell alls from the grown nieces and nephews were shared.  Laughter filled the house along with the noise of children at play.  Dessert plates were filled and more stories followed.

Santa payed a visit to the younger ones.  That event was followed by the Dirty Santa swap and steal game.  The rules were set that the third owner keeps the gift.  And the first person has the opportunity to steal a gift at the end of the game.  I drew # 8 and did not want a big package as I live in a limited space.  I had my first 3 picks which were iTune cards stolen by the teens that followed.  I ended up with a navy colored scarf.

Gene whose number was in the high teens managed to steal as the final owner a box of hot sauces.  He gave them to our god daughter's husband.  I am donating the scarf to the Salvation army just cause.  The Duck Dynasty bag was the last to be opened.  #1 stole it so #26 had to pick something else, so she stole from someone else.  The game lasted another 10 minutes with Duck Dynasty changing hands several time.

Christmas morning was spent at our son's home.  He had mimosa's, bloody marys and breakfast casserole that he made.  It was delicious!  I contributed a poppy seed dressed fruit salad and home made yeast sweet breads.  After the brunch we opened the gifts from and to our son.  Sister and Her Husband had sent speciality beer for Son and Husband to enjoy.  We received a wine class gift certificate and a Jack Allen gift card from Son.  In addition Son gave me a beautiful scarf and his dad a new coffee press.  I opened the gift from Husband to find the sweater I requested and a bottle of perfume.  We then played a rousing game of chicken foot.

Today we started a new tradition, eating our Christmas tree.  Do not freak out, please.  We had bought a rosemary tree and I snipped part of it for cooking dinner tonight.  In a year of transitions the tradition of gift exchanges with family continued.  This year we were present and not on Skype.  It will be interesting to see how the remainder of the Holiday season will unfold.  I do know we will be attending the Alamo Bowl to watch Youngest Nephew march with the Longhorn Band.  That is on the 30th.  As senior citizens New Year's Eve evening will be spent resting, most likely.  That will not be much different than years past.

The recap was longer than anticipated.  That is what I gave and received, prepared, partied and ate.  If you are curious about how others spent their holiday time join Gretchen or Ginny Marie.  And may ya'll have a Happy New Year!

Second Blooming

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

According to Christian's Christmas traditions this would be the night of the birth of Jesus.  The date and time are not what is important.  It is the the event of the birth that is of the most significance for me.  The birth of Jesus, the son of God.  The person that embodied all the goodness of the Creator.

As a child this was the night of the family gathering including my Mom and Dad's sisters and their families.  Granny Chandler and Grandma Rogers would be at our home, too.  Food would be eaten.  Suzie, Margaret or Aunt Billie would sit at the old Gulbransen upright piano and begin to play.  All would gather round to sing Christmas music and carols.  Next it would be time for the kids to pile in the car and go looking for Santa.  Every child would pile in the car with not a seat belt or child seat in sight.

I remember peering out the window of the car to catch a glimpse of the sleigh.  Maybe that red light was Rudolph leading the other reindeer to our house!  Other nights I knew it was a plane heading toward Love Field in Dallas.  But that really does not matter to a child in the throes of Santa Watch on Christmas Eve.  Eventually Daddy would turn the car back to our house.  Sure enough, Santa had stopped by and we just missed seeing him.

As a mother Christmas Eve many a year was spent driving to Texas.  Our business would stay open to late afternoon on Christmas Eve.  We would go to Husband's parents for a meal of salmon soup.  Christmas music would be on the huge stereo in the living room.  After opening the gifts under the cedar Christmas tree we would load into another car.  Off we would go with a trunk full of gifts and Christmas music blaring from the radio.

Tonight I am sitting watching "It's A Wonderful Life" while the dough is rising for Christmas morning cinnamon rolls.  Only a single recipe as there are no new neighbors that we have met with whom to share the flavors and love.  I have done very little decorating.  I did not want to have to drag it all out after having unpacked so many boxes already.

There will be no car ride to look for Santa.  No salmon soup at the folks home.  No jumping in the car to head for my folks house in Texas.   There are just two people who are the Grandpa and Grandma sitting in comfortable chairs.  Watching an old black and white movie.  Keeping it simple this year.  As we should so the focus stays on the celebration of The Birth.

May we each have a Blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Past, Present and Future

This is a  year of transitions for our little family.  Husband and I agreeing to sell the house put the transitions in motion.  We did all sorts of modifications to the yard and the inside of our house.  Next was the elimination of two trailer loads of stuff from that house.  And still more was sold after a contract was accepted.

A transition from full blown home ownership of 3 bedrooms and garages to apartment life is still in the works.  I mean we had been home owners for 44 years.  The transition from a life of acquiring to a life of letting go is still a daily challenge.  I am still working on how I want seating to work.  You see there really is not room for more than 2 dining chairs to be in the room.  The remainder will have to be folded or stacked in a storage room.  But I keep looking at sets of 4.  No can do.

These transitions are about things.  The bigger transition is realizing how very different Christmas Present is this year.  My Mom no longer has extra bedrooms or a fold out sofa for guests.  She does have the ability to walk again which is amazing.  We no longer have Husband's Mom with us.  Her passing is still catching us off guard.  Husband awoke yesterday wondering what to get her for Christmas.

Saturday while at my family's Christmas gathering word came of the passing of Husbands last aunt.  She was Uncle Ray's wife.    Aunt Martha was an in law only in name.  Aunt Martha was the kindest person I think I ever met.  A cruel turn of fate did not allow this woman to have children.  The nieces that grew up in the same town where Aunt Martha lived agreed she would have been the perfect mother. She was a nurse, a wonderful cook, a deeply compassionate woman and devout Catholic.  When Uncle Ray asked for her hand in marriage her father had one demand.  Ray who was not a churched person had to have Martha in church every weekend.  Uncle Ray promised and he did the best he could to fulfill that promise till the day he passed.

Transitioning from Christmas Past and all the memories of grandparents, aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers to Christmas Present is melancholy.  One corner of my consciousness is filled with the longing for one more hug, one more call, one more chance to exchange 'love you'.  I know both Aunt Martha and Edna are both in a better place.  Neither are in pain of body or heart.

This leaves us still here with Christmas Futures without these two wonderful women.  Two women that lived through the Great Depression and world wars.  They both were working outside the home before it was fashionable.  These type of women paved the way for young women of all ages to be more that ever before.  It is now up to those still here to carry on the work of women like these into the Christmases of the Future.

Rest in Peace, Aunt Martha.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Sending Christmas greetings far and near.
Receiving greetings from friends so dear.
Today brought a homemade penguin card
And a group of snow folks in a snowy yard.

Small and grand homes decorated inside and out
Make kids of all ages point and shout.
With smiles spread across their small faces
Excited children visit Santa in all sorts of places.

Not all celebrate a Christmas covered in snow.
For half the earth is in the middle of summer's glow.
Believers and non believers both join in the glee.
As Buddhist and atheists will put up a tree.

Watching Christmas movies all day long.
Having the stereo blasting a Christmas song.
All this is done while making Christmas goodies.
These will be given to friends who are foodies.

Sure, there is shopping, traffic and short tempers.
But it is all worth it as a believer remembers.
This is a celebration of a gift from above
A Creator the sent us humans a perfect gift of love.

This week Spin Cycle bloggers give our spin
On our feelings of all this busy Holiday din.
Sleigh on over to Gretchen's or Ginny Marie's
To see who thinks Christmas is a pain or a breeze!

Now to close out this badly done rhyming yarn
And let you know I really was not raised in a barn.
I wish to all you folks out in the blogosphere
The Merriest of Christmases and Happy New Year!

Second Blooming

Milestones and Turning Points

There comes a time in one's life when there are turning points.  Sometimes these turning points happen at the time of a milestone accomplishment in a person's life.   Milestones for me include but are not limited to:

  • Riding a bicycle (achieved)
  • Driving a car (achieved)
  • First kiss (achieved)
  • High School Graduation (achieved)
  • Marriage (achieved)
  • Childbirth (achieved)
  • Child's graduation (he achieved)
  • Child's marriage (he achieved)
  • Grandchildren's births (they achieved)
  • Loss of parents, aunts and uncles (most are passed)
  • Retirement (in progress)
  • Downsizing of possessions (in progress)
  • Dying (we start the process at birth)
Tonight I watched the latest episode of NCIS on my computer.  The subject matter was about children being infected by an unknown disease.  Of course the cracker jack team solves the mystery.  The last three or so minutes of the program had a song that was written and performed by The Alternate Routes.  The song was inspired by and written for the Newtown Kindness project.  The name of the song is Nothing More.  It sounded like all the books of the Bible's teachings about human relationships rolled up into one song.  Buy the song on itunes and Newtown Kindness gets 50% of the proceeds.

I am not dead.  While I am getting closer to that part of the above list, hopefully there are some years left where I can be of value in the world.  I am alive because I was not a teacher nor a child at Sandy Hook nor at one of the other 27 schools where there were shootings in the last year.  I am alive cause the car on the icy overpass in 1984 was able to get straightened up just a few feet before hitting us.  I am alive cause no one has ever tried to stab me.

The turning point is that I can no longer just express my unwanted opinions about gun and other violence to unlucky friends and family.  I can no longer turn a blind eye to the needs for mental health care.  I must step up and put my commitment into kindness.  Here is a short video about the Newtown Kindness project.
I pray it will be a turning point for many other people.

If that one did not get you to thinking maybe this one will.  This group focuses more on demanding gun sense.
Often gun advocates cite that automobiles kill more people than guns.  That is what the government statistics show.  2012 had auto deaths per 100,000 at 10.8 up from an all time low in 2011 of 10.3.  Gun violence has an average death rate of 32,000 which tracks with the 2011 numbers for automobile deaths.  Gun sense must include mental health.  In 2011 63% of deaths with guns were suicide.  Gun sense.  Kindness.  No one answer but certainly worthy of dialogue to determine where is the common ground, not a battle ground.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gladys Knight, Pips, Christmas Decorating, Menu Planning, etc.

As I sat finishing up Christmas Cards, I had to get into the computer to get an address.  TV was tuned to Arsenio Hall.  And there was Gladys Knight.  Looking good.  I mean really good.  So what if Spanx is shaping the waist.  She is two years older than me, 69 years old.  Dang, no wrinkles.  It is the black complexion thing.  I did not know the fact about the black complexion till one of my friends in UMW laughed when I guessed her age.  I was off by almost 20 years.

So here is Gladys on an appearance on Soul Train October, 8, 1972.

Gladys Knight sometime this year.  Talk about aging well!

The neck will tell age on folks like me.  Look at that neck!

This is what I looked like in 1973:
Queen of Wrinkles
Why the heck call the backup singers Pips?  It was the nick name of Gladys' man around town cousin, James Woods.  The second definition that a Google search yields is "an excellent or very attractive person or thing."  The Pips were nice eye candy in 'the day' and great talent.

How is your Christmas decorating coming along?  I have as set of Santa and Snowman salt and pepper shakers, a Santa toothpick holder, Santa cups and a couple of votive holders shaped like Santa and a Snowman.  I want decorations up but really as late as it is, why even mess with it?  If you have good reasons for decorating, please, leave a note.  Or maybe quick, easy, not cost ideas.  I'll consider the options.  And I'll post pictures of any ideas I implement.

What is for dinner?
I really get tired of that question.  Guess I should subscribe to one of the many online menu planning services.  But I'm too cheap to pay for the service.  We are left with abysmal menus that I have recycled for the last 46, that is  forty six, yes, forty and six years.  Getting a little boring.  Suggestions anyone?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Side effects: Dizziness

I am sitting still but the room revolves.
I stand to walk and 
The room spins as if I am the axis.

I turn to see what Husband has said and
Suddenly there is no right side up.
Just bending to unload the dryer
Gives the sensation of a roller coaster ride.

It feels as if I am living in a snow globe
In the hands of a quizzical child.
It is TBD if this is a side effect 

Just looking at this makes me dizzy and nauseous.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Santa, Baby

See the resemblance to Santa?
Some Spinners may think I am being too personal with Santa in my spin on this weeks subject, Letter to Santa.  Truth is my jolly, elf of a husband with his white beard is frequently called Santa by children.  And not just during the Christmas season.  More than once we would sit behind a small child at church and watch the child's eyes light up in delight.  Then the child would turn to the Mom or Dad noting Santa was sitting right behind them.  We loved it.  Husband volunteered at a school in an underprivileged neighborhood as a greeter.  Usually he would wear a 'Santa' hat around the Christmas season.  Younger children were thrilled to have Santa greeting them at school.

This year we have not been in a setting for that to happen.  All the small children we have been around know Husband and that he is not Santa.  Husband is wearing his beard shorter, almost just a goatee which helps not look so much like Santa.  But I miss the light in the eyes of the children and his,too.

This year, Santa Baby, I want
  • To see joy in Husband's eyes again.  You can leave the sables alive, well and running around making more baby sables.  I do not want an expensive coat.  I just want that twinkle back again in Husband's blue eyes.
  • To see grandsons actually open our gifts in front of us, not just hear about it in a phone call.  For the second time ever.
  • To see a Nelson Mandela mentality in more leaders instead of Hitleresque leaders.
  • To see my Mom celebrate daily the joys of life instead of the losses in her life.
  • That sweater I saw at the store today that I told Husband about and had the lady lay aside for him.  Just a little help for the Jolly, old elf.
To gauge how successful a letter to Santa can be let's review last year's wish list:
  • A new car.  This year I have no car by choice.  We chose to donate my car that was 18 years old with 212,000 plus miles.  I hope that car continues to run for two more years for the ministry that received it.
  • I wished for new shoes with arch supports.  They were received and have made a huge difference in my walking comfort.  
  • While I will not see the grandsons on Christmas morning, we now live 5 miles from them.  I have seen them every four or five days over the last 2 weeks.  Beats Christmas morning once every decade or so.
  • Gene's mom will never eat at my table again.  She is feasting in heaven and maybe eating some of Granny's rolls.  And that makes me happy for her.  And I sold my table before the move.
  • Turns out I did not need a cap for my teeth, just sensitive teeth toothpaste.  Even better!  Husband did get a new tooth cap.  
  • Living in a loft apartment with a slightly higher commode is working out good for me, too.
  • Bought pj's myself.
  • Put the decorations up ourselves.  Turned out to be the last time.  Glad we did the whole 9 yards last year.  You know, one last time.
So, thanks, Santa Baby, for all the good stuff.  I have high hopes for this year's list.  All those things I asked for that are more under the heading of 'things to pray for', well, could you pray, too?  Us mortals need all the prayers we can get. As for the whole naughty/nice thing, I am taking my pills regularly to not be so naughty.  Do not forget Husband and I have moved.  I'll private message the new address.  And, Santa, please, go to Gretchen's Second Blooming or Ginny's Lemon Drop Pie to read more letters to you.   These bloggers have all been really nice this year!

Second Blooming

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mopping And Memories

I started mopping when I was ten, maybe twelve.  The mop was a string mop.  Sometimes it was a rag mop, worn clothing or towels clamped into the mop handle.   The same mop would be used week in and week out without ever being laundered.  One was expected to rinse the mop 'real good' after the mopping was done.  Before mopping could be done one had to sweep the floors.  A straw broom was used for the task.  Dirt was simply swept outside as I do not recall a dustpan in the house.  

Another part of preparation for mopping would be drawing water from the well outside the back door.  Some water would be poured into a teakettle on the kitchen stove and started to heat.  A bucket used for mopping would be partially filled with the remaining well water.  Pine-Sol was Momma's cleaner of choice so a couple of large 'glugs' went into the mop bucket.  The Pine-Sol made the water a skim milk white.  Last came the piping hot water.  The heat really released the PineSol smell.

The mop was doused into the bucket of water then wrung out by hand.  A section of the wood and linoleum covered floor would be mopped.  The mop would be rinsed in the water and the same area re-mopped to get up any tough spots and remaining soil.  These steps were repeated until the floor was clean, Mary Helen approved clean.  Once the room was finished, the water would be tossed outside.  Sometimes the water was used to scrub with the straw broom the porches and bridge plank walks.  Sometimes if the floor was especially dirty, water would be changed during the process.  Or fresh water was used to rinse the entire room.

Once I swept and mopped it was time for dusting.  Old English furniture polish was Momma's polish of choice at that time.  An pair of worn out women's underwear would be soaked with Old English and I would dust the tops of everything.  Later I learned about dusting the legs and sides of furniture.  Mom had a pair of white painted wooden book shelves.  They were part of what would be dusted.  Between the PineSol and Old English polish my mind believes clean smells like that combination of aromas. 

Today I am 6.7 times as old as I was when I first started house cleaning.  I vacuumed the stained concrete, carpet and vinyl covered floors of this apartment with a Dyson City DC26.  Next was a Euro-steam cleaner with pads that are laundered after each use.  I only dusted the heat and air delivery pipes in the loft type apartment.  One of the white shelves has remained in use for all these years.  Somewhere along the way Momma antiqued the finish.  I steam mopped around that shelf today as I cleaned my "trendy loft apartment."  I had Swiffered the shelf a couple of days ago.

I cannot use Pine-Sol in the steam cleaner.  The furniture repairmen I worked with at Haverty's told me Old English was bad for wood.  I am tired from vacuuming walls, ceilings and floors.  I am tired from dusting pipes ten feet off the floor.  I know my home is clean, just wish my memory believed it!

Bookshelves and linoleum, circa 1959, and it smelled clean.

Contributed to:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday, Like You Did Not Know That

Yes, it is Sunday and I still have not left the apartment.  Since Wednesday.  And I am still in my PJ's from last night.  I will need to shower and change PJ's before bed.  But the china cabinet is now full of stuff and the temporary home is empty.  There were two containers that will not fit in the china cabinet.  Will they be in the for sell stack or in the store room?  One is cups that match the dessert sets, the other is crystal and little crystal dessert dishes that were Gene's Grandma Harness.  So probably no on the sell stack.

Yesterday was the first day for all three grandsons to drop by the new place.  They seemed to make themselves at home.  I could get accustomed to this.  Kiddos we get to see every few days instead of once or twice a year.  Tomorrow night we get to see Youngest perform in a play as he is in a drama club or something like that.  Works perfectly for his personality.  And, of course, he is just incredibly cute!  All three of them are cute moving toward handsome.

My mom is calling every day cause I am so much closer.  Still a couple hundred miles away but a couple hundred miles closer.  Mom is doing okay.  She is not happy that she is not still in independent living.  Not really something we can change.  Aging is not something over which we have control.  maybe some influence but no real control.  Mom was determined to get her Christmas cards done.  She is half way through.  Which means either her hand and wrist are better than she lets on or she will be in pain for a few days.

Mom is ahead of me.  Guess I spend too much time blogging.  Or maybe unpacking.  Or shopping.  Or just plainly avoiding doing the cards.  I did get one (1) thank you typed today.  An email thank you.  Hope that counts.  So it is Sunday, Dec. 8.  It has been 30 days since we arrived at the new place.  There is a Christmas wreath hanging on the door.  On the floor next to the door is a penguin welcoming folks to come on in and chill out.  And inside is a 67 year old woman in a pair of candy cane PJ's.  Time to go to bed.  After all, tomorrow is Monday.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Spin Cycle and California Dreamin'

So as I sit in Round Rock, TX, I find it ironic that the December weather is colder than it has been in several years.  It is 27 degrees here, 12 degrees in our former home area.  No snow here but about 7 inches in Springfield.  I will miss the beautiful snowfall and the cleanness of the fresh snow.  I do not want snow here.  The main reason is logistics and equipment.  There is no reason for an area to invest in all the equipment it takes to keep roads and streets plowed when it snows so seldom.

Another reason I do not want it to snow here is driving.  One must know how to drive in snow and ice.  That takes practice.  Even the first snowfall each year where we lived had more accidents cause we humans forget.  I fishtailed more than once on slick spots.  Never bumped anything, though.  Well, except my rear.  I fell a few times on ice or packed snow.  Like I said us humans forget how to move on slick surfaces.

Gretchen at Second Blooming is wishing for a Currier and Ives Christmas.  I had several while living in Missouri.  They are a beautiful thing to see.  The snow gives a wonderful effect to Christmas lights.  While I recall the beauty, that is not what I am dreaming for right now.  I am so anal that I am dreaming of organization in our life again.

Simple stuff is what I am dreaming of this year:

  • Frozen chicken breasts,  We always kept a supply of chicken breasts in our freezer.  Many of our go to meals involve chicken breasts.  I am dreaming of chicken breasts so meal planning can be easier.  Husband was able to get some additional storage shelves hung today.  Now we can get into the freezer without moving piles of stuff.  At last I can buy the frozen chicken breasts!  
  • Light Timers.  Finding just one of the small light timers seems like a dream tonight.  I spent probably one hour looking for the two I know are hiding in this small apartment.  Where is the question.
  • Ketchup.  We went to the grocery store to 'stock up' for the first time since the move.  Ketchup was not on the list.  I miss ketchup.  Think I'll pick some up once I figure out where it is in the new grocery stores.
  • Two working brain cells firing together.  I cannot seem to get anything accomplished in a timely manner as I am easily derailed.  Or I just plainly forget what the heck I was doing.  I cannot seem to get it together to get cards written.
  • No more boxes to be unpacked.  The apartment has only the pictures for hanging still to be unboxed.  But the storage room is a totally different story.  We have actually rented a second storage room just to have room to do the unpacking and sorting in.  Sure wish Husband had said only one bedroom forever originally!
  • Good sales on the consignment items.  Show me the money!
  • Last but by far the most important, a joyous and safe Holiday Season for all my friends, family and bloggers!
Lay your head back, click here and see what others are dreaming about during these days in December.
I am going to just hang here a bit longer as I am needing me some Mamas and Papas about now.

Second Blooming

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Skywatch Is Colored Bleak

The day is bleak and cold on the southern end of a winter storm that has snow and ice widely spread across the US.  No snow for us but that is an icicle hanging off the leaf.  For brighter skys around the world click on over to Skywatch Friday.

Today was a good day to stay in and assemble some new pieces for the apartment.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Peaceful for Thursday Challenge

Thursday's Photo Theme is Peaceful.  This is a picture of a 2010 snowfall that just quietly piled high on everything.

Awesome Husband

With all the changes in lifestyle recently, blah, blah, blah.  We had to buy three different furniture pieces to fit the smaller, much smaller space.  One is a TV stand that will hold some of the family albums in addition to TV stuff.  The second item is a tall, narrow china cabinet.  The final piece is a sewing cabinet that folds down to an 18 in. x 18 in. footprint.

After shopping around for a few days, I settled on three items I found on line.  The first was due later this week, another was due next week.  The last one was due some time in January.  They all came last week.  None are assembled.  I am not thrilled with this development.  Husband is to the rescue.  And he considered it sort of a fun challenge.  Or so he said.  Tonight we are actually watching our own TV for the first time in weeks.

Tomorrow he plans on tackling the buffet part of the china cabinet.  Sure hope Husband does not decide all these piles of unassembled objects are not a fun sort of challenge.  When the china is done, I just want to put the sewing cabinet on hold for a couple of weeks to put up some Christmas stuff.  But then maybe not as there are several boxes to be sorted to find Christmas up in the storage room.  And it will be cold for the next few days

Or maybe this year, just this year I will be content to just hang a couple of wreaths that we still have not put 'away', hang the three angels and spread around the penguins and snowmen.  That should do a pretty good job of giving the festive treatment to the room.  That and a picture of a flame playing on the TV.  I am pretty sure Awesome Husband will be all over the new, low key Christmas.  This is just our back yard last year.

And the Living Room

And entry way full of the penguin collection

The kitchen and some closeups of other penguins.

Tree and mantel

And a single mouse.

Happy decorating, ya'll!