Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday, work, work, work

       Hubs and I went to the church to help clean as it was our week and no one else showed up so we got to clean the whole church by ourselves.  It was not too bad as we are used to cleaning a big bank and we just divided it up like we do the bank.   We are going to work on Nutcracker set pieces today.  I am going to do a little sewing and some cleaning.  The refrigerator desperately needs a go through. Laundry could be done.

     Hubs is going to Home depot to get some supplies for the props. I have a couple of customers coming over so I need to stay home and wait for them. I am a little bit cold.  I think I worked up a sweat cleaning the church and now I am sitting and freezing.  See what hard work does to you?  I just have so much to do, I cannot even face the list.  I simply have to get my books done for both the house and the studio.  I cannot put it off any longer.  Blah!  I really want a nap, waaaaaahhh...


     Alcohol was abused on both sides of our family.  Dad's family had alcohol and crazy which was worse than just plain old alcohol.  Things were always really volatile with dad's family.  I loved them, I loved my cousins family, but they were scary in a way as you never knew when there was going to be a blow and you did not want to be around when things got ugly.  There just was not a lot of stability.  My mother had no help or support from his family and they did not want him back.  I remember having lots of laughs with my cousins but always waiting in trepidation for the other foot to fall.  Mom felt she was rescuing us when she left the Dakotas and I have to see now that she was.

     I remember the night before we left everything was packed in a Uhaul truck except for 3 mattresses we were sleeping on.  My pet dog Sparky was big pregnant with her 2nd litter of pups.  We were worried about her traveling, but what could we do?  We had dinner down the street at the neighbors and the whole neighborhood was there.  We all ate out under a huge mosquito shelter in the Butcher's back yard.  I remember we had fried chicken gizzards my favorite.  I was such a gourmand.   Mom and dad put us to bed early as we were leaving town very early.  I remember the neighborhood kids coming to the bedroom window to say goodbye.  They were on their bikes and wanted Sis and I to sneak out the bedroom window and go for one last ride around the block.  I do not know why I who was always the timid good girl would be convinced that this was okay.  But I climbed out the window and got on the handle bars of my friend Marvels bike.  We were riding and laughing in the twilight.  I was wearing light baby doll pj's seersucker with little pink flowers.  We rode around and said goodbye to a lot of our friends.  I felt so scandalous.  On the way home Marvel hit a large bump and my foot went down into the spokes of her front wheel.  It stopped us instantly.

     I can still remember the pain.  We were a couple blocks from home and a strange man came out of his house because he heard me screaming.  What a mess.  I had done a really good job and spokes had to be cut away to release my ankle.  There was blood everywhere.  I remember the man's hands being very slippery, I did not realize it was my own blood.  I must have been in shock.  He carried me to my house and Mom and Dad came to the door.  I remember Mom in a nightgown and dad in his shorts.  They were very upset, but I was badly hurt so I did not get a beating.  My ankle was not broken but sliced clear to the bone.  I had a piece of skin sliced off to the cartilage on the outside of my ankle.   I remember Dad cutting the end of his sheet off into strips to bind my leg.  It took forever for the bleeding to stop.  Neighbors came everyone loudly offering advice.  Sis was jealous as I was getting all the attention, but I would have gladly changed places with her.  When we had finally all gotten back to bed and the house was quite, I could not sleep.  My ankle throbbed, and throbbed, but I could hear something funny in the hall way, when I looked out I thought I could see a blob in the middle of the floor.  It just looked like a blob but it was moving.  I remember calling out for Mom as the blob scared me and she got up and I saw her stop by the blob.  She shouted out to Dad, " Sparky is having her puppies!"  There was a trail of puppies leading into the bathroom.

     Dad started to cut more off the sheet to clean up the floor.  He then folded the remainder to make a bed to Sparky and her 5 pups.  We took off the next morning.  My bandages were changed and I could not walk at all.  Dad carried me to the moving Van. I had to ride in there as Mom thought the kids would bump my foot.  There was no air conditioning back in those days.  We put Sparky on the floor in front of me and I was seated next to dad with my foot propped up.  It was so hot.  Even with the windows open it was hot.  Poor Sparky really suffered with the heat.  My ankle was oozing and we had to keep stopping to change the dressing and let Sparky cool off.  When we got to the Montana broader we looked down and all the puppies were gone!  Dad pulled over and we realized that the puppies had wormed their way into a cool air shaft in the front of the truck.  Mom and Dad were beside themselves.  There was no way to get to them and Sparky started to go nuts.  Luckily we were at a truck stop and a trucker was able to take the dash board apart enough to get to the puppies.  Dad then blocked the entrance. 

     We were a sorry sight pulling into Grandma's house with 7 sweaty dirty people, me unable to walk and oozing blood and crap out of my ankle, and dog with 5 brand new puppies.  Sis and my siblings were excited to see cousins and I had to go soak my foot in hot water.  I was blooming hot and here I was sitting in a tub full of hot water.  I had to do that several times a day.  It was at least two weeks before I could put weight on the foot.  I still have the scar today, it took over 3 months to close up.  I wore a bandage over that ankle bone until almost Halloween.  I never rode double on a bike again.

       Mom and Dad found a small house immediately and Dad found a really good job at a lumber mill.  He never missed a day of work.  His last day at the newspaper Union was Friday.  We drove out over the weekend and Dad went to the mill Monday morning and they gave him a push broom.  Mom went to work in an office.  We were all very happy, it was like things were working out so well.  Our house was very small.  All of us kids were in one room.  Even bro's crib could not fit in mom and dad's room.  Their mattress just fit on the floor without the bed frame.  You walked into their room and stepped on a mattress.  Now that I really think of it, I believe they were sleeping in the lean to pantry of the kitchen.

     Sis and I were enrolled at Emma Dickenson grade school for the beginning of 2nd grade.  We went out to buy new school shoes and I got red and black patten leather saddle shoes.  Sis wanted white and black.  Mom tried to talk us into getting shoes that were a like but I insisted. It was the first time I would insist on something different.  Those shoes were put away in Grandmas closet and every time I would  go there I would visit my shoes.  I thought they were the most beautiful shoes I had ever seen.  We were not at the school for very long, maybe 6 weeks, when grandma started to build another house, so she rented a really nice big house and we went to live with her.  Sis and I were enrolled at Cold Springs Elementary and we were put in the same room.  This was to prove to be a real mess.


Well I had better get busy, hubs is out there sanding and he will be in shortly to see what I am doing.

Out My Window:  Cold, rainy, overcast, typical, Idaho Winter.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday evening, I have eaten crow!

     Well either my relatives are reading my blog or we have all grown up.  The food was hot, the table settings were gorgeous, there was enough food and all was great.  I even got my own bed.  I mean my own bed.  Not that I needed my own bed but it sure was nice.  I about died when Mom brought out the ham she was going to cook and it was a bone in sliced spiral ham.  Delicious is all I can say.  When I got out to my sister in laws house here were tables set up and all the adults had chargers, a plate, silverware all set up on elegant tablecloths and a place for each adult.  It was decorated with large pieces of cut wood used as platter holders.  Antlers and elkhorns were used as a country rustic theme.  Cloth napkins and little burlap wrapped treats full of trail mix for each plate.  Just so cute and so much thought and work put into it.  I was really impressed and I am now eating crow.  The turkey was small but their were two of them and we did not need to cook the second one at all. Plenty of food and when we were running low on mashed potatoes. low and behold there was another bowl hot and ready.  So I take back all my hateful, snide comments.  We have grown up and I think I have to grow up, or throw up as I ate at least 6 pieces of pie.

     Hubby made a great meat and cheese and cracker tray that was gobbled up before dinner.  I made the stuffing and an extra pan of oyster stuffing for hubs, his sister's loved it.   One of his sister's and I made 8 pies the night before and I made an olive and pickled relish tray.  Everything was delicious.  The great nieces and nephews were darling.  Hubs got to hold babies to his hearts content. He always had a baby on his shoulder.  I came in after the bon fire and played through a Christmas carol book.  I had my great nephew Donovan (18 mo.) on one side of the piano bench and my great niece Rylie(2 yrs.) on the other.  They helped me play all the way through the book.  Donovan has bright red hair and is such a nut.  They both thought they were great on the piano.  It was so funny when I would stop playing Donovan would turn the page and wait until I would start and then they would both start pounding away.  Too cute.

     We got home this afternoon about 3 and I had several customers pick up and drop off.  It will be a busy next couple of weeks.  I did no shopping to speak of except a few groceries tonight.  Things are pretty lean here and I will be watching my money carefully for the next couple of weeks.  Not that I don't always watch it carefully but Christmas is coming if you guys don't know that yet.

     I am not a fan of Black Friday.  I just don't need anything bad enough that I will go fight the crowds to save  a few dollars.  I am going to cut back on Christmas again this year.  Last year I felt like I cut back and no one complained.  After all the kids are 21, 26, and 33 I think they can handle this.  We need to concentrate on what is really important which is Christmas itself.  Family and tradition will not be altered just the useless gift area.  I have a several yards of dietcoke polar fleece so the girls will all get a pair of pj. pants out of this and I will buy 3 red t-shirts for Christmas pj's.  Then something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need.  That is it.  Stocking stuffers and I am done.

     I had a great Thanksgiving, I hope all of you did too.

Have a nice evening.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Early Happy Thanksgiving!

    Well I am packed and ready to go.  We will leave early tomorrow.  Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  May your day be full of good food, even better family and the best yet love for all mankind.  I will be thinking of all of you and how grateful I am that you are part of my life.  We all have struggles and pain, whether it be personal, loss of loved ones, illness, worry, KIDS.  But we also have each other.  Our needs will always be met through faith God and other people.  Well and maybe hard work.

     I thought I would catch up this week, but I probably got in about $500.00 worth of work today and it will be busy next week.  I will be back on Friday afternoon as I have a few military uniforms to get out.

     I finally picked up my wedding ring that had been at the jewelers since last January.   It is beautiful.  I could not wear it as my arthritis was so bad and then with steroids I puffed up.  But my hands are finally down enough to wear it. 

Have a great holiday and don't eat too much!


Tuesday, Kids are home!

     Okay how do I know the kids are home?  Because last night I went through the house and every light in the house was on!  The wash machine has not quit running and my laundry was done early this afternoon.  They both desperately need me to do things.  I have been told at least 70 times there is no food in this house.  You mean there is no junk food in the house.  But I stayed up late listening to them pack and laughed and laughed.  They are so funny together when they are getting along.

      I sewed hard yesterday.  I still have 3 dresses to alter and  2 pairs of jeans to hem and then I am done. I have to pay a few bills today and get packed to leave.  I'd like to get a little house work done, but that may wait.  I am going to have my daughter touch up my roots when she gets up, and I also want to go get my nails done.  So I have a busy day ahead.

     Hub's mom called yesterday and said that she was bringing a ham.  Surprise, surprise, one of those processed hot dog hams that she has sliced.  Not a bone in or a spiral with some flavor.  Also sister-in-law will make apple pies, so in other words which am I going to do?  She will not do cream pies.  Yes I know because you would have to put sugar or lard in those and we know you won't do that.   I asked how big is the turkey?  Well not too large, uhm mom we are feeding over 35 people?  This is why we quit going down.  Often there was not enough food. I don't think we should have to go down and make an entire Thanksgiving dinner.  It would be different but these are all people who have way more financial ability than hubs and I.  They are just cheap and selfish about many things.  Hubs said last night that he can see that this is going to be a weekend of "I told you so".  Yep, yep it is!

     Heard from mom and both sisters yesterday.  Mom is doing well and having a good time. This makes me happy.  I am also happy that her house is shut up and her car is secured.  No more allowing the bums to trash the place and use the car.

     Sis and I were very mouthy.  We were also opinionated and very adult in our views.  We thought we were important and had a lot to say.  This was an accepted practice in our own home.  Dad and mom were both interested in world events, dad read constantly we just talked about very adult subjects and understood things beyond our years.  We really had never been treated like children and we certainly had learned to take care of ourselves. All of these are good and bad qualities in children.  Our cousins were not like us.  We loved them and played hard but when the adults were involved things got ugly quick.

     All of us were very small children.  We were not big eaters.  Mom could get one hamburger and fries and split it four ways and there would still be food left over.  Our cousins knew how to eat and cleaned their plates.  One set had a mom who was very frugal and they were going to eat anything and everything given them because who knew what they would get next time.  The other set were all on their way to childhood and adult obesity.  Plates were filled by uncles and we wouldn't eat and couldn't possibly eat what was put on our plates.  I remember being force fed and throwing up and getting slapped.  So many fights over food.  I dreaded meal times.  I would actually start to get sick before dinner and go lay down just to avoid eating.  I think my grandmother knew this as she would let me eat later when I felt better.  My Uncles drank heavily and the were loud mean drunks.  I knew they loved my mom, I could tell by the way they treated her, but I was sure they did not like me very much.

     I don't know how many times Sis and I were slapped because we came into a room and started talking.  Our opinion and need for attention were promptly squashed.  I think we were slow learners in this respect, or we were very stubborn. Probably both, now that I think of it.   This was a large Scandinavian family with the tradition of getting together daily for coffee and talk.  We wanted to talk, we wanted to be included we thought we were cute and clever.  Well we were not.  Mom was so non confrontational and really had not taught us very good manners.  We had very high opinions of ourselves and they just (the Uncles ) could not break us.  They certainly tried.  We started to really miss our Dad.

     He would call and we would talk to him and he would cry and beg mom to come back.  After a month of watching Sis and I getting slapped and yelled at mom was ready to go back and get Dad.  He had agreed to leave his family and move to Montana.  It was pretty obvious that Mom would need Dad to stand up for us kids because she could not.  Dad would fit in well with the Uncles, but they would not discipline us when he was there.  That was his job.   So much macho in that family, it always surprised me.

     We traveled back to North Dakota and spent the rest of the summer saying good by to friends and getting ready to move.  It was a great summer, mom and dad seemed happy.  Dad was on good behavior.  No one is funnier or more fun than dad, he was such a kind person, he just had so many bad habits and faults.

       When the neighbors gas would get turned off, dad would take over the electric skillet and fry pan so they could cook.  Mom and Dad were both very generous and helpful people. When they found out a young women was being abused in the apartments, Dad rallied the men to get her husband out of the way so she could escape.  There were no women's shelters back then.  I know the plot they used to get the women out of her apartment was very elaborate and involved the super.  When the husband woke up from his three day drunk with his new buddies he was sleeping on a mattress on the floor and the apartment had been cleaned out.  He also had on only his shorts.  His wife was long gone.  The whole neighborhood was in on it.

     Dad's relatives in ND were not too excited about the move.  Dad's sister and her husband wanted him to stay.  His mom wanted him to stay.  Mom was insistent and she had good reason to be.


     Well I need to get busy I have so much to get done today before we leave.  Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday, catch up!

     I have two goals today, Laundry and sewing that is it!  I am so behind in both areas.  Daughter is coming home today to help clean up a little, but I am going to sew and do laundry . The phone rang 7 times before 9 this morning so it will be a busy day.

     We are going to go to Nampa for Thanksgiving.  Hubs understands why I am upset and if I really put my foot down he would stay here.  However they are his parents and they are in their later 80's so who am I to say he should not spend the Holiday with them?  We will go and I will be happy.  Thanks for all the sympathy, from my pals but I am going to go and then you will have to listen to me complain later.  Hee, Hee!  I am such a good blogging buddy.

     We had the Lighting of the Christmas Park Saturday and it went off splendidly. Such a lot of work. It is like a mini recital.  Costuming everyone and rehearsing so it goes over flawlessly.  It was cold and the kids were shivering but they smiled and did a great job. So proud of them. Glad it is over.  Now in my mind the holiday's really start.

     I need to make a deposit and pay bills sometime before we go.  Like when is that going to happen?  In my dreams probably.


     Sis and I walked home from school everyday.  It was about 10 city blocks but a strait shot from the school.  Sis was so much fun.  We could not step on a crack or we would break each others back. I had an Asian boy in my first grade class room.  Sis was in love.  We would always switch to the opposite side of the road when we saw him walking home, sometimes sis would swoon and pass out she was so taken over by rapture.  I would try to haul her limp body up but is was just too much for me.  I should have known then that she would enter the theater.  This little boys name was Jack.  I wonder what he thought of two little twin girls following him and one of them falling down all the time? 

     I had a dog named Sparky.  Dad brought a puppy home in his coat pocket.  I had been diagnosed with an ulcer and was on a very limited diet.  I saw Dad's stomach moving under his coat and I asked him what it was and he said it was his Ulcer.  Then he pulled out this little tiny black and white puppy.  I wanted to name her Carol after our parents best friends and my God mother, but mom and dad explained that this would not be an honor for her.  I could think of no better name than Carol.  I loved Carol and thought she was the neatest person in the world.  But Sparky it was.  She was my own special dog.  A little black and white terrier no bigger than a teacup. She was a very good dog.  She would tolerate sis, but I remember feeling like she was just mine.   Mom decided to go blond because blondes have more fun and Sparky would not let her in the house.  Mom finally went back to brunette to keep Sparky from having a heart attack.

     Grandma came to visit that fall. She helped us make cookies and taught us to knit.  We learned to knit doll out fits for our Barbies, it was much more fun than the mittens we would knit later on. I had been sick for what seemed like months.  I just remember laying on the sofa.  The apartment complex across the street caught on fire and it was a 5 alarm fire.  There were lights flashing and noise.  The fire hydrant was in our front yard so everything was very close to the house.  I had the hard German measles and my eyes were affected.  I remember screaming in pain as the bright lights of the fire trucks shown even through the heavy drapes.  Dad put his old army blanket over the window to keep out the light.  It was the first time I remember hallucinating from a fever. Such awful dreams, and the noises from the fire were so scary.  Dad held me all night long. I was soaking wet and so was he.  Even though they changed my clothes and his I would sweat through them again. 
     Doctors came to the house back then and I remember a stranger coming, he said let her sweat the fever will turn.  So I turned and turned all night long.  In my mind I was falling and turning and Dad would catch me and we would laugh.  Then it would happen again, but this time I fell for a long time and I was not sure Dad was there to catch me, but I would alight in his arms soft as a pillow.  Such safety and relief and then it would happen again.  It was a frightening and very long night.  Family's were displaced by the fire  but the funny thing was is they all still lived in different parts of the same two block radius.  It was like if your house or apartment burned in that neighborhood, you would find another house or apartment across the street.  It was a vortex of poverty one could not escape.  The nice thing about being a child is that you don't realize that things are bad.

    Mom always tried to make Christmas special.  We would have a beautiful Christmas eve meal.  China, silver, crystal.  So special.  We always had oyster stew, with the little crackers.  Sis called them doll crackers.  Dad's folks would come.  We were allowed to open one present and our Christmas p.j.s on Christmas eve.  That year Sis and I had asked for a beautiful baby brother doll.  It was the first boy doll to come out and heavily advertized.   I remember Christmas morning getting up and I was so excited.  There sitting by the fake cardboard fire place were two dolls.  Beautiful Baby Brother, with his little blue cap, and blue and white striped sleeper.  My doll had a note attached and I read it before I picked him up.  It said that Santa was running late and when he got to our chimney he was in a hurry and he had dropped my baby brother doll so his eyes were damaged, but he would be back to fix him just as soon as he could.  Sure enough my doll had the eyes poked out.  It was creepy, but after Christmas his eyes were fixed and I was happy.  I loved him anyway.  Dad said I held you when your eyes were not working during the measles and now you are fine.  You need to hold your baby so he will get better.  I did.  Sis's baby was perfect, I held him a few times, but I did not want my baby to be unhappy so I would sigh and go back to my eyeless infant.

     Grandma came again in the spring around our Birthday.  We would be turning 6.  Disney was advertising wrist watches for kids.  We wanted watches and we went down to the drug store to get a new watch with grandma.  We both  wanted the Cinderella watch with the blue band, but they only had one.  So I decided to get the Snow White watch with the red band.  Sis got the Cinderella watch.  This pattern of talking me into something different so Sis could have what she wanted was a very common occurrence.  But it never bothered me.  Either I was very complacent or stupid I am not sure which.  When you are twin, you are the same person, in my reality what she had, I had so it didn't make much difference.

     Over Memorial day weekend the end of our first grade year, mom woke sis and I up early and told us to put on the clothes at the end of our beds.  They were new black sweat shirts and sweat pants.  She fed us breakfast and hurried us into the car, Lil sis and baby bro were also in the car and were dressed just like us.  Mom had on the same color we were going on a trip.  Funny thing was we never talked about it.  Mom had planned and packed and we were on our way to Montana.  Sis who was a little brighter than me, asked Mom if we were leaving Dad and she said yes.  Sis was inconsolable.  I was upset, but also confused.  We were only 6 and I just looked forward to the adventure.

     Our grandmother was building houses in a very nice neighborhood. I remember pulling into her driveway.  All of Mom's brother's and sisters were there to greet us.  It was like a big family reunion.  I loved my grandma and had met all these people before.  But I was still very confused, I was also shy.  Sis was not shy and she soon had made friends with cousins our age.   We had a cousin that was 2 years older than us her name was Cindy and we thought her very knowledgeable and glamorous.  She was 8 after all and was a woman of the world.  Mom had 3 brothers and one sister.  Two brothers were close to her age, the other sister and brother were much younger.  In fact we were there for her youngest brother's high school graduation.

     Sis and I and our bro and lil sis had such a good time with our cousins.  Grandma was kind and she had a huge house and was building others.  But Sis and I ran into trouble right away with the Uncles.  My mothers two brothers were mean drunks.  They were mean in general.  Their kids all were cowed and disciplined.  We were not.  Our father was kind and nonexistent most of the time.  If he came home drunk(which he usually did) he was fun and friendly. Our Uncles were not fun and friendly.  Children were made to be seen and not heard.  Well, Sis and I were made to be heard.  This was a very painful experience for us and for my mother.  She knew she had to get us children away from the situation in the Dakotas, as Dad's family was not charming and very dysfunctional.  This threw us into a fiery pit of unwanted discipline and cruelty.

     If a parent refuses to discipline a child, society will do it for them in a much more cruel fashion.  We were about ready to enter society.


     Laundry is on it's way and I am going into the shop now to sew.  I may not emerge for a few days.  Just had a call from Hubb'y mom.  Let me see we have at least 35 people coming and sister-in-law has one small turkey and mom is bringing a ham ( I am sure a boneless structured ham with no flavor).  I said that is not enough food for 33 people.  Already I can see the hand writing on the wall.  She also is only making apple pies, mom does not do cream pies.  In other words, get here and get to work.  I love my life.

Out My Window:  Freezing, we are having to take fresh water to the chicken twice a day.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday, I'm a little put out....

     Since our eldest will be with her in-laws on Thanksgiving and the younger two have a booked a trip to Los Vegas, hubby and I have no kids.  So we decided to call his folks who are usually not included in anything until the last minute and see if we could drive there and celebrate with them.  Then his mom called a week ago and said one of his sisters called and all of her kids would be with in-laws so they were coming also.  Great!  I love my sister- in- law.  A nice quiet dinner 3 couples, we could cook and control the food as Mother-in-law is a terrible cook.  So I called yesterday to say we would be down Wednesday afternoon.  I am told we are all going out to another sister -in-laws place with a ton of people, lots of little kids.  We will eat buffet style on paper plates.

     I have refused to go down for Thanksgiving for years because, you get down there and there are so many people the food is cold or it runs out and they serve it on flimsy paper plates with crappy plastic silver.  Kids everywhere, crying, no place to sit.  No place to sleep.  No blankets, no pillows.  No toilet paper.  I mean just a Zoo.  We usually get a hotel and then we are left out and treated like we are snobs.  But when I have people at my home or know that they are coming, I prepare.
     I do not like to eat one of my two really nice meals of the year in rabble.  We would not have agreed to come down if this was the case.  Now if we back out I am a snot.  (I am a snot).  I love my sister-in-laws and I love their kids and grand kids and I would have loved to go out and visit everyone but just let me have a quite dinner with the in-laws. Realize that Hubby married late and we only had the three kids who were born very far apart.  Only one is married and she has one child.  Hub's brother, has 5 kids who have 13 kids. Hub's 2 sisters have a total of 12 kids all with husbands and they have 31 kids.  Do the math.  Chaos!  Now it is a lovely chaos, but not one I want at my Thanksgiving meal.  Okay, okay I am a Grinch I will get over it and quit being a Bit%^.

     Just know if you come to my place for a holiday meal, you will eat on China with crystal and silver.  If you stay I will ask you how many pillows you want on your bed.  Your bathroom will be fully stocked.  If I do put you on cots or airbeds, they will be made up with complete sets of blankets and pillows.  Yes I believe in linens.  Meals will be planned ahead.  You will always sit at a table with dishes.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Paper plates are for camping.  Plastic silver is for lunch boxes.

Okay, okay, okay I am done!

     ND Chic had her baby and I am so happy.  I just wish I could hold the little guy.  Well not so little he came out half grown.  We all need to do a single shower for Rhitter, when she moves out.  How fun!

     I sewed like a demon yesterday and I am still behind.  How can this be? 


     I am going to tell you right now that we were spoiled.  Mom was very non confrontational and Sis and I would push her to her limits.  Lil sis was very stubborn.  I think she had to be or Sis and I would have ran her over.  Birth order has a lot to do with personality development.  You can certainly see this in our family.  Sis was just first to do everything.  She was a little bigger and a little stronger.  I just almost always gave her her way.   Now we did fight and argue, but mom forbid arguing or fighting.  I really hated that.  If she would just let us duke it out it would have been so much better.  See how I thought as kid?

     My first grade teacher finally realized that I could read and she allowed me to choose my own books and sometimes she let me read those books to the class.  I don't know what Sis's teacher did.  I do know that Sis was in trouble a lot.  She was sent to the principals office.  She told him she did not want to do Mickey Mouse work.  Her exact words.  Mom was furious.  She was a teacher and she did not want bad kids.

     I think I spent most of my first grade year on the sofa sick.  I missed so much school.  So my frustration level was less than Sis's.   We both loved to sing and were very musical.  Sis had an exceptionally loud child's voice.  Mom sang with us constantly.  We both learned our notes on the piano.  F A C E and EGBDF every good boy does fine.  We had worked through the primer books and were into second grade music.  We were learning to cook, bake I should say.  Mom was and still is a famous pastry cook.  Sis and I just helped.  I think we were more independent than other kids our age because we had to be.

     The weather that last year in the Dakotas was fierce.  We had snow that stopped the town.  Drifts were higher than cars and I remember a time when my dad had to go out the second story window onto the slant roof to get on  a snow bank and walk to work as he had to check the boiler.  He broke into a window there to get in.  People really did get snowed in that year. It did not matter how many clothes you put on you were still frozen when you got to school and got home.  We had to wear dresses, but we all wore long underwear, thick tights and snow pants under out dresses and coats.  We would put heavy wool socks over our mary janes and then these thin rubber snow shoes, but they did not keep your feet warm.  It was so cold your sinuses would run and your scarf would freeze to your face.  So cold the small of your back would ache.

     The summer was record hot, mosquitoes the size of small planes.  Wind blew all the time.  The tornado season was awful.  We were woke up night after night and taken to the cellar.  It was scary.  Fargo was hit 3 times and the dorm right down the street was cut in half.  It was Homecoming and all the floats were assembled.  They were made out of napkins pushed into chicken wire.  When we came out of the cellar the neighborhood looked like a fairy land of colored napkins.  We kids loved it!  The adults not so much.  Then it rained what a mess.  One of the tornadoes took out an apartment building and we kids walked over to see it.  There was a baby missing in the rubble and they were looking for it.  Dad came in after the search and he was very upset and shaken.  They had found the little girl and the searchers had ignored her for a while as they thought she was a doll in the rubble.  It was just so sad.   It was also scary.  Tornadoes sound like a freight train.  They are also mesmerizing.  I remember dad climbing out of the cellar to watch the one approach the college, we all crept up the steps, mom was shouting at dad to come in and shut the door, but it was like dad was frozen.  I actually think he was.  It took both mom and dad to pull down the doors and secure them.  Dad made us get clear back in the corner of the cellar in case the doors where sucked off.  It was just a bad year for weather.

     Funny that we kids would be playing on the swings at the playground down the street and the tornado horns would go off.  Everything would get really quiet.  No crickets, no birds, we would just silently stop our play and head home to our cellars.  We would listen to our short wave radio and then come out when it was over.  I think the weather and my dads behavior would entice my mom to leave the Dakotas.


     I really must get to work!

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday, at the computer sleeping....

     So tired.  I feel like going back to bed.  Just got out of the bath tub and have already had 2 people here and a third on the way.  Okay 3 people.  Even if I wanted to go back to bed I couldn't:)  When I get too much to do I often get sleepy.  I think it is my way of trying to avoid my responsibilities.  It also could be because I am just plain old tired?   Nah, that couldn't be it. (sarcasm)

     Took hubby to get his meds last night and bought a few groceries.  We are having Thanksgiving at his parents and when I saw the prices I was glad I won't have to be buying the fixings for dinner.  Everything is so high.  I don't think 99 cents a lb is a good price for turkey.  I also think 89 cents a lb for celery is ridiculous.   So gas down and back and adding a dish or too will be a cheap Thanksgiving. 

     I will be too busy to put up the tree until after the 14th of December and because we will be going to daughters in Twin Falls I thought well maybe I won't decorate this year.  We will see.  I can't imagine not putting up a tree, but if we are not celebrating here, why go to all the extra work.  I am turning into the Grinch.

     Okay 4, I mean 5  people have been here and I have only been open an hour.  Another thing to be Thankful for, my busy business.   I also just ran down the stairs, to me that is such a miracle.


     Sis and I had several friends in the neighborhood.  The Vons(for short)  had moved into the basement apartment next to us so we played a lot with Marty and Marvel.  I could not figure out why they moved and their apartment was so small and dark.  But we over heard adult conversations that both the Von parents drank.  I never saw Mr. Von he was always in bed.  I had heard of his terrible temper but his older kids were always getting into trouble.  It was kind of like Payton place living next to them.  I know my mom tried to help the kids and she tried to stay close to Mrs. Von. 

     We were also close friends with a couple down the street named Orville and Orlene.  They were both older big heavy set people.  They had two little girls one our age and one lil sis's age.  We all became fast friends.  Orville was a butcher.  Mom would go down to his shop and get chicken gizzards free.  I loved chicken gizzards.  Maybe that is why my cholesterol is so high now. Janelle was their daughter who was our age.  We did not walk to school with any of these children so I believe they all went to the Catholic Schools.  Janelle was mouthy and spoiled.  I remember her running from her dad and he could not catch her.  He was so big ad heavy and she could out run him.  We had so much fun at their house.  Orlene was always cooking something and she was so nice and friendly. Sis and I sometimes would stay the night at Janelle's house.  I don't remember her staying at ours.

     I made friends with a little girl who lived in the third story apartment behind out house.  Her name was Nora.  I was allowed to go into her apartment to play.  I believe her parents were students and worked.  She had a little sister and a full time sitter.  Her apartment was so clean and perfect.  Everything had a place and even her toys were put away in a specific order.  I found this amazing.  I really liked going over there.  I am sure after a few days Sis wanted to join us, but the rule was one friend at a time.  So Sis and lil sis stood outside the window down on the ground (2 stories) and cried at the top of their lungs.  I was asked to leave because the babysitter said the noise would wake up the baby.  Sis was not going to let me have a friend without her.  I remember being really irritated with her.

     We spent many hours down at the community center.  They had crafts and we learned to braid lanyards.  I think now of how young we were and how really hard it is to get a perfect braid, but we all could do it.  All the neighborhood kids were braiding lanyards to wear around our necks or as key chains.  We also swam in the summer.  Sometimes we would walk to the pool, but only with older kids.  We would wrap our swimsuits in a towel.  Sis and I had little blue two piece swim suits.  One time I got to the pool and my bottoms were gone .  So I just wore my under wear as a bottom.  I was so embarrassed.  I would not get out of the baby pool.  We just played in the kiddie pool, as we had not learned to swim yet and we were to short for the adult pool.  We would walk home and dad or mom would come to pick us up on the way.  We had to walk down a particular street so they could find us.

     We had so much freedom as a children.  I look back and we ran around all the time.  I remember checking in with the housekeeper and taking off again.  I know kids cannot do this today.  What happened?  We would make mud pies in the garage and dad would come home and pretend to eat them.  We spent hours swinging in the back yard.  I loved to swing clear up until I was married.  Sis also liked to swing we would do this and make up stories about our lives.  We had vivid imaginations.

     Now we would enter first grade.  I will never forget the first day and they divided up our group.  I did not want the old teacher, I wanted the new beautiful teacher with the beehive hairdo and the Jackie O dress.  But as luck would have it Sis got the pretty teacher.  I was so mad.  I would not let go of Sis.  I was determined to go with her to that class.  I remember my mom trying to reason with me and pulling me and finally the principal separated us and drug me to my classroom screaming all the way.  The adults thought is was because I did not want to be away from Sis and they all sympathized but really I wanted the pretty teacher and I was furious that Sis had beat me out.

     First grade was boring.  I went but I did not like school.  It was also the year that I had the hard German measles and almost died.  I had the chicken pox and I had the mumps on both sides at different times.  The weather was also particularly bad that year.  Record snow fall, cold, and record tornadoes.  Chaos all the time.  We also had to take our lunch to school and I constantly broke my thermos.  Life was just starting to get tough on me.  Sis was quite the drama queen and she was in trouble in school a lot.  I think actually I know it was because she was bored.  We both were reading way beyond our grade level and had memorized our math tables.  Dad would play games with us in mental math to see if he could stump us.  He also would bring home really hard words from the newspaper to see if we could pronounce them and then we would look up the meaning of the word.  When dad was around he was very hands on, always showing or doing or playing with us.  He would not tell you what a whirlpool was he would take you to the bathtub and fill it with water and have you watch and explain a whirlpool.  Always he would explain.  In the mean time we were sitting next to kids who were trying to sound out, " Oh see Dick", poorly and SLOWLY.  I thought I would explode I was so frustrated.  I think Sis really let her frustration show and this made her the naughty twin.


      Out My Window: It really froze last night.  I had to take the chicken out some water.

     Need to to call Mother-in-law and get to work!

Have a great and productive day.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday, moving a long.

     I have been trying to catch up in the shop and I think it is a worthless cause.  I am grateful for the work, and I keep wondering when it will slow down.  Just piles and piles of sewing every where I look.  My goal is to get the shop cleaned up, but that may be impossible.

     Hubby just got home from doctor.  He needs to have his eyelids tucked as they are pushing his lashes down and he can't see his instruments.  His esophagus is re-closing so he also will repeat that surgery.  Getting old is so fun and expensive.

     Talked to mom yesterday and she seems to be fine.  She will be leaving for my younger sisters house tomorrow and will stay there for about 3 weeks and then will go on to Sis's until after Christmas.  Her house will be locked and checked regularly by neighbors.  She will be leaving her car at a cousins house.  She has not seen my brother.

     I started to crochet a new table cloth for an antique library table I have upstairs.  It is oval and hard to find a good fit.  So I am going to make one.  I thought I could work on the cloth a little bit every night.  Well that is not working as I am sewing until midnight.  I thought perhaps I could have it done by Christmas.  Now just add 2020 to that date at this rate.  I am using tatting thread so it is very lacy.


     Now mom's life became very difficult.  Sis and I were taken to the pre school, Lil sis was taken to Lou's and bro was taken to another day care that took infants.  We remained in the upper apartment next to the Dormitories.  It seemed like this place was always full of people.  Aunts and Uncles, neighbors, cousins.  Mom was plucking chickens, or hanging out the wash.  Canning, and cleaning fish, putting away food in the basement storage.  Basements were important in the Dakotas, as everyone had a tornado cellar that could be accessed form inside and outside.  We would play on the tornado cellar doors.  It was fun jumping up and down and making them rattle.  I don't remember any tornadoes in this house.  The apartment was too small for a family of 6 so we moved down to the end of the block to another house that was larger.  We now had the main floor and the basement and a double detached garage.

     It was a funny move.  Mom would fill a wagon with things and sis and I would pull it down to the new house.  Mom always said it was the easiest move she ever made.  She moved one wagon load and one armload at a time and put it away.  By the time people arrived to move the big furniture that was all that was left.  This house had room for a piano!  We had a large old upright piano.  Sis and I had a room and lil sis had her own room off of ours.  We also had the basement.  Mom had put really old overstuffed horse hair furniture down stairs with and old braid rug.  This was our play area.  We also had a huge food storage area and the wash machine. This is where sis and I learned to iron.  We started out with handkerchiefs and pillow cases.  When we would burn our fingers we would open up the freezer and put them on some frozen meat.  Mom would not let us touch the ringer wash machine, which seemed to come alive and walk itself across the floor.  I was rather scared of that machine.

     It is in this house that I really start to remember Sis and I developing different personalities.  We were close but Sis's temperament was much stronger than mine.  She was just more dominant. I know Mom and Dad were not getting on well and they had terrible fights.  I just think that it would have been better for all of us kids if they had split at this time.  Dad was just too immature to be a father and Mom resented always having to hold things together.  As sis and I grew older we had more responsibility.  Chores became part of our life and I hated chores.  We had a full time nanny and housekeeper most of the time during these years.  I know that helped mom a lot.  Sis and I entered kindergarten.

   We were not in the same room at school and I don't remember this bothering me.  I loved my kindergarten teacher.  I only got into trouble when I was messy.  I seemed to be messier than other students at my table.  My paste was all over and I would scrape it onto the edge of the table.  I just was not neat about my work.  Sis and I were often dropped off late for school.  We would walk hand in had into the building and sis would take me to my room first, we were usually dressed alike and this would cause a big stir.  These two identical figures walking into a class room.  We liked the attention and after doing this a few times sis was told sternly by my teacher that she was to go directly to her room and not stop by mine.  Darn the show was over!

     Sis and I walked home together everyday and during the winter it was so cold.  No matter how well we were dressed I would be in tears by the time I hit the honeysuckle hedge by the neighbors house.  I just could not stand the pain in my feet for one more second.  I would rush up the front steps into the foyer of the house where we hung our coats and hats and took off our boots.  Mom would take her finger and pull a frozen tear off each of our faces tell us to quit crying we were home.  This always made me laugh  I don't know if I cried from relief or pain.

     Every fall mom would buy a huge skein of black wool and navy blue wool.  She would knit mittens.  Each skein would make 21 mittens.  People would ask her why she would knit just one extra mitten out of each color and mom would say with 4 kids we were always losing a mitten and by the end of winter we were in miss matched mittens and eventually there would not be enough to go around.  We usually took two pairs as wool got wet and you had a dry pair in your pocket.  The front entry way always smelled like wet wool.  Sis and I learned to knit in kindergarten and we had to help knit mittens.  It was fun at first, but soon became a chore.  Knit 2, purl 2  repeat.  Mom always did the thumbs and if our work was not good she would pull it out.  I soon learned to be fast a thorough about my knitting.  We had a community play center about 2 blocks from our house.  It had a big ice rink and a warming house.  We spent a lot of time skating.  It was so fun.  I loved it when Mom and Dad would come down with us.  Dad came more than mom and sis and I would have races.  We did most of our skating at night under bright lights.  When you got cold you went into the warming house and sat around a big old stove.  I think we skated almost every night.

     There was a big apartment building behind our house.  It was a three story stucco building with a full basement and cellar.  It had garages behind.  We became friends with many of the people in this building.  Dad had erected a large swing set behind our house and he also put in a large sand box for bro. This became the neighborhood headquarters for play unless you went down to the park.  The old warming house became a recreation center in the summer.  It was this summer between kindergarten and first grade that sis and I would separate a bit.


     Well I have so much to do.Tomorrow I have to pay the rest of the months bills and I can post my totals for the month.

Have a great and productive day. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday, Back to Busy mode

     Just too much to do, I don't even want to make a list as I know it will scare me and I am the Queen of lists.  The shop was crazy busy yesterday.  I am trying to catch up but that may not be possible.  I did get all of my parents contacted for costume switching and I have my Jr. Company outfitted but still have three small girls in Company with no dresses.  Ugh!  I also started to list out my books which I have let slide from September.  I need to get them updated in the computer.  So I am trying to work on that every day a little.  Just a lot to do, but one day at a time and keep moving, it will get done.

     Last night when I got home from cleaning the bank, I remembered I had 8 pairs of golf shorts that needed to be hemmed so I stayed up late to get those done.  I have a great pile of things in the shop to finish today.  The pressure is on and will stay on until the Nutcracker is over.  I am trying to not let it overwhelm me.  I need to call and see how mom is doing this morning.  I really have not had a good talk with her for several days.

     Hubs is car pooling this week so we won't have a big gas bill and that is nice.  Gas is going down here very slowly, so aggravating as it is below $3 a gallon all around us and we creep at about $3.35.  I find that gas is our biggest expense next to our house payment.  When it drops it makes a big difference in the bottom line.  How much is gas in you part of the country?


     I have such clear memories of this school but so few of sis, I assume they were trying to separate us.  Twins especially identical twins form very close bonds.  When we were born the doctor told my mother she would know if she did a good job raising us if we looked and acted nothing alike when we were older.  I learned to adjust to the schedule at school.  I learned the rules but I did not like them.  For instance you cannot use the entire stack of scrap paper to write a big K on so no one else had a chance to use the paper, that is wasteful.  You will eat your spinach and it tastes much better hot than cold.  You cannot slide down the slide backwards or you will sit in your locker during recess.  You cannot play with your fingers high above your head during nap time but must keep them next to your sides so as not to disturb other children.

     There was one little girl at this school that sticks out in my mind.  Her name was Suzie.  She was very small and as sis and I were small for our age this made her unusual.   She hardly had any hair.  I remember that she wanted this pony tail in the back of her head and she had a rubber band to hold three little frog hairs together.  It was constantly falling out and she would cry until one of us would put it back in.  I thought she looked stupid.  Suzy seemed to be in trouble a lot.  I do not know why, but she cried all the time, or maybe I should say whined.  She has to stick in my mind for some reason.  So if she irritated me she had to have irritated the higher ups.  I know that she wet the bed.  This must have been a grievous sin.

      We had bathrooms and I hated them as they had two toilets just out in the open no privacy.  You had to stand in line and just go to the bathroom in front of everybody before nap time, recess, whatever.  I don't know where I got my sense of modesty but I hated those bathrooms.  I wanted stalls around those toilets. I remember one particular late afternoon, we were getting ready to go home and we were downstairs where our lockers were.  Parents were coming to pick us up.  I could hear Suzy crying, as usual.  She was getting in trouble for wetting the bed. There was an anti room next to the bathroom that connected to our locker room.  This room could be closed off with sliding accordion doors.  The doors were not closed tightly and I went up to peek through, other kids did the same thing.  I was small so was on the bottom of the stack of peekers and the last to be moved away from the opening.  I saw Suzy getting a very hard spanking from the red headed matron.  What startled me the most is that Suzy was stark naked.  I was horrified.  But we were shooed away from the door, I tried to creep back and was grabbed by the arm, like we were not supposed to see this, but we could certainly hear it.

     Our little sister was being moved into our room.  The baby must have been coming because the crib was put up in mom and dad's bedroom.  I remember mom bringing home my little brother.  I was fascinated by his nether region.  I asked what is that thing was and my Aunt who was called on to take care of us said that was his little peanut, so my remark was that dad must have a pickle.  I did not see what was so funny about that. Mom tells about bro being born and there was a terrible snow storm.  Dad was out on a bender and mom was beside herself.  She needed help and now.  She called her mother crying and her mom put her younger sister on the train immediately.   My aunt came into a wrecked apartment and lil sis was standing in her crib with a diaper that was loaded to the ground.  She lifted her arms to my Aunt like save me!  Auntie did not think those pants had been changed since mom went to the hospital. Mom now had 4 children and sis and I were just a month short of 4 years old.

     Dad was so handsome.  He bowled several nights a week and was very good at it.  If he not had a weakness for drink he probably could have gone some place with his skill.  He had slicked back black Elvis Presley hair that he would comb into a duck tail.  He was constantly combing back his hair. I loved when he came home and got cleaned up.  The bathroom would be steamy and smell like aftershave and Brill Cream.  "A little dab will do ya"  he used to say, I think that was their slogan.  He wore tight black dress pants and black polished beetle boots.  He was gorgeous and fun.  He would always play for a short time.  He made us feel happy and special.  Sis and I were very jealous of each other and extremely jealous of little sis.  Dad went out of his way to make sure that lil sis was not neglected.  In fact I am sure she was his favorite.  She needed to be someones favorite because sis and I had each other.


     Well the shop has already had several customers here and I had a ton to do today, so I am off to the races.

     Out My Window:  Turning very cold here.  Like in the 20's at night.  Time to start dressing for winter.

Have a great a productive day.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday, I hit over 200,000 views?

     Wow when did that happen?  I just don't really pay attention.  It took over 2 years to hit 100,00 and then less than 1 year to hit 200,00?  Who reads this crap?  Get a life, I tell you!  Well except sissie as you are my life.  You can check on me 100,00 times a day;)

    Mom is doing much better.  In fact every time I call her she is out doing something.  Even her voice is better.  I am told by a neighbor that she looks great!  I hope this will buy her more time as her health is bad and also tat she will have happiness at the end of her life.  She certainly deserves it.  Just the fact that she is getting out and doing things is good, it means she feels good enough to go and do.

     Sissie and I will be going home after Christmas to get the house ship shape.  We will take a week and just clean and organize.  It will be fun to be together.

     The phone has rung off the hook this morning.  I have so much to do as we have a performance this weekend at the lighting of the Christmas park.  This is when the holidays really start for me.  So much to do for Nutcracker.  I just don't even want to think about it as it becomes over whelming.

     I took a 4 hour nap yesterday afternoon.  It was lovely.  Hubby woke me up at 5 p.m. or I think I would have slept through the night.  Leaves had blown into the drive way and were about 4 feet deep almost blocking the way into the garage and shop so we had to pick them up.  We did 18 bags of leaves to empty the tunnel.  It was dark outside, but we got it done.  Now it will fill up again, this will go on for the next couple of weeks.  We have not even started on the back yard.


     We moved into an old home next to the University.  I remember the dormitories were right next to us down the block.  Most of the older houses were split into duplexes.  If you rented the upstairs you got the attic and if you rented the downstairs you got the basement.  We rented the upstairs.  We had these huge wide old fashioned wooden stairs that turned and curved up onto a large landing.  I loved that apartment and I remember being very happy there.  There was a long hall all around the staircase banister and rooms were off the hall.  We had a small kitchen like a galley with a dining room.  There were two good size bedrooms and an front room.  Also a bathroom which I really appreciated.  But the best part about the house was the attic!  Long narrow stairs that led up to a steep pitched attic.  Boards were place along the rafters to walk on and you could not get really close to the edge as you would walk into insulation.  The attic had two windows one at each end of the peak.  One end was a finished play room.  It had a linoleum floor and was painted all white.  It was so bright and cheery up there.  You could hear the rain on the roof and the wind blow.  The wind ever stops blowing in North Dakota.  Sis and I had all of our toys up there and we played all the time.

     The downstairs was occupied by a large family called the Von Barks(name change)  Mr and Mrs. Van Bark were older than my parents.  They had 7 children.  I do not know what Mr. Von Bark did but Mrs. Von Bark stayed home.  They had two little girls our age and 4 older siblings plus a little brother.  The oldest boy was in the army.  I did not meet him until much later in my life, I just remember his picture.  They were very proud of him.  The two older teenage girls must have been pretty wild as I remember they were always in trouble.  I was fascinated by them.  They had a basement bedroom and were always sneaking out and getting caught.  Mom was working somewhere and I don't remember what she was doing but she was not teaching as she was pregnant and you could not teach and be showing in the state of North Dakota.  You know all those farm kids did not know where babies come from and had to be sheltered. (sarcasm)

     Sis and I went to a pre school and I believe mom took lil sis to Lou's house.  Lou had been our land lady when we lived in the basement apartment before lil sis was born.  I loved Lou and I was jealous that lil sis was watched by her.  The school was scary.  It was a large building, actually an old Nunnery.  It had a huge yard surrounded by chain link fence and a honeysuckle hedge.  This was sis and my first taste of discipline or rules out side of home.  I think we rebelled. 

     Everything was regimented.  You had a locker with a picture of a animal above it.   Everything was pint sized.  You had a hook up stairs for your coat with that same animal.  In the bathroom you had a hook with a comb and a wash cloth with the animal.  My animal was a panda bear.  There were bells and a strict schedule.  The teachers were very strict.  We had a big play room with tables and books.  We also ate in that room. Each of us had a chair and you guessed it, it was marked with our animal decal.  This was the first time I remember not being right next to my sister.  It bothered me.  I wanted the locker next to her's.  I wanted to sit by her at meal time, I wanted to be in her group and I was not.  After lunch we were sent up stairs to a huge attic.  It was full of small cots.  We were required to undress, fold our clothes and put them neatly at the bottom of the cot.  We had a thin flannel blanket and no pillow.  We were to take an afternoon nap on this cot.  I really hated this.  I did not like to take naps, I did not like to undress in front of people and I was cold!  I wanted a thicker blanket and we did not have pillows.  The attic was always so dark and gloomy and there was a matron who sat in a rocking chair by the stairs with a small light.  She enforced the rules.  I did not like to sleep without my sister.

     We were in this school for about two years.  I felt like I was in a military school.  I played and had fun but there was always this menacing feeling that I would be in trouble soon.  So many rules, and of course I thought I should be exempt, because I was so special. One particular matron was tall and thin and she had Auburn red hair that she wore in a ratted up flip.  She always had on a straight wool skirt and a sweater set.  I thought she was a glamorous witch.  I avoided her as much as possible.  But she seemed to catch me almost daily in and infraction.  We had many play rooms.  One was full of doll things.  It had a small little kitchen and doll beds and you could play house.  You could go into the room with tables and books and look at picture books and put together puzzles and draw on scratch paper. There was a big back room with huge blocks and it ran the width of the house.  This room led to the outdoor garage where there were tricycles and wagons.  We had a nice playground, with a big slide.  The slide alone had about 10 different rules, so many rules.  I think I spent most of my time seeing how much I could get away with, the red headed matron and I would do a dance almost every day.


     I have to go round up costumes which I hate.  Calling parents and trying to get them to bring in old costumes.  Also making sure everyone is ready to go for Saturday.  There is also plenty to do in the shop.  My goal this week is to totally catch up so I can get busy on the Nutcracker.

     Have a great and productive day!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday, We did it for now!

     Well the bro is gone.  It was a mess but he has been served papers.  The house locks have been changed and all the windows secured.  It was ugly and bro was very awful, he did his normal run, climb out on the roof and hide from police and then call back and abuse mother verbally on the phone, because he has to be abusive in some way, but mom had people there.  Her lawyer, a woman from adult protective services and the sheriffs deputies, they all got an earful of how bro talks to mom. f%^& bomb this and that and you are a stupid f%$#ing this and that, you have seen it in the movies.  Mom was told he could return and get his things with a police man.  But for now they are gone!  Of course I am being blamed, because I was with mom the last two weeks and mom cannot carry anything out on her own.  SO be it.  At this point I don't care.  Now if we can just make it stick.

     I need to be at the church today at 2 for a service and then we are not sure if we are going to go out to dinner or invite people here for Pizza.  I am trying to decide which is cheaper.  Also which is less work.  If children are involved I do not allow sugar soda in the house and I really don't want the mess.  Also at the restaurant you can control the amount of time you must celebrate.  At home people may over stay and I would like some of the day to myself.  Selfish beast that I am.  Sigh.

   What I really want to do is go back to bed, I was up until after 5, just could not sleep. I think this whole thing with mom has me on a emotional edge.  I am tired and a we bit cranky, guess I had better get to work, because no one is going to take care of this day for me.

     Out My Window:  Hubby has been out raking leaves all morning.  The large oak tree has finally dropped.

Have a great and productive day.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday, time to catch up

     Shop was crazy busy yesterday.  I did not call mom yesterday as I heard from sisters that she was better.  I will call her today but I am a little scared.  She is down and feels like she was pushed into getting rid of the boys.  My daughter(the attorney) says, "Yes she was pushed, too bad, it was long over do.  When you don't do what is good for you and you complain eventually things are taken out of your hands, this has now been taken out of her hands."  My daughter is heartless I tell you, but I love it!  So I will call her later and get an update, but I have to be very careful not to crow with delight.

     I paid the rent at the studio yesterday and also the house payment.  I had to take $350.00 out of savings to do it.  So now I have to get that $350.00 back in, blah!  I have plenty of work in the shop so it will be okay.  I am a little tired today, sleepy actually, I am sure it is medication caused.  The one main side affect of Orencia is tiredness.  But I will take that side affect over intense pain any day.

     I still have checks coming in for tuition so I should be able to pay the little bills later this month.  Now I need to get sewing.

     I clearly remember dad bringing home a TV set.  It was blonde wood and it had a cabinet.  I remember the rabbit ears and the tinfoil.  But we really did not get reception out at the farm.  We had a big garden on the other side of the wind break. There was a path that led to the garden it forked and one fork went to the slough, which was a steep dump area where we threw garbage.  It was like a dump(can you imagine? People were so stupid with the world's resources.)  The other fork led to the garden. I did not like to be sent to the garden as it passed the slough and that was so smelly, it also was a little creepy to me.  This steep slope covered with old cans and waste. The garden went on forever, just black plowed field as far as the eye could see.  It was a fallow field that we were allowed to plant our garden in for the season.  I remember going out to the garden to get mom and onion and I saw a deer eating.  I was so excited I went in the house to tell mom.  Dad went right out with his rifle, but the deer was gone.  He saw tracks all over. 

     Sis not to be out done wanted to go to the garden the next time something was needed.  She came back in and told dad to get his gun the deer were in the garden but not to shoot Santa Claus that was with them.  Sis always had a great imagination.  What I really find ironic about this is that we were not 4 yet.  Our younger brother was born in February and we turned 4 in March.  So my mother was sending a 3 1/2 year old out to a garden for vegetables and we were able to do that.

     We often went over to a neighboring farm for coffee and to play with a little boy our age.  This was the Kragness farm.  I loved that farm.  We would put lil sis in an big old buggy and walk between long rows of corn across the fields.  It was like being in another world.  I asked dad what would happen if you got lost in the corn and he said, just stay in the row and eventually you will come out to a road.  I remember him walking along in the next row and we walked and walked forever.  I could see him through the tall green corn and eventually we hit a dirt road.  He was right, this was a comfort to me.  I would never get lost in the corn, of course he gave me no instructions on what to do if  and when I hit the road.

     The Kragness house was your typical two story white farm house with a back lean to porch and a front porch.  It was much more modern that ours. There were many barns and corals around the house.  Mr. Kragness had a beautiful smile.  His skin was tanned and weathered and his eyes had deep cut lines around them from squinting in the sun.  He had the bluest eyes I have ever seen.  My dad had dark blue eyes and sis and I have dads eyes, but Mr. Kragness was just so handsome.  He was soft spoken and slow of speech.  I worshiped him.  Mrs. Kragness was a short round woman with dark curly hair.  I never saw her without an apron.  We always came in the back door.   In the Dakotas one uses the back door.  Why do they have front doors I wonder?  There were such interesting things on the Kragness's back lean to.  Old machine parts, bum baby lambs, a baby calf, or maybe a sick chicken.  Old boots, and coats and an egg basket usually full of eggs to be cleaned.  The cream separator was always running.

     The lean to went right into the kitchen.  Mrs. Kragness baked every day.  Her rolls and butter were so good.  I don't ever think I will ever forget the taste of her warm rolls with butter and peanut butter.  Mr. Kragness said you needed the butter to get the peanut butter to slide down.  Coffee was an important part of the Swedish/ Norwegian life.  People met for coffee almost everyday.  Mom would visit with Mrs. Kragness and we would play with Gordy.  Gordy was a boy and we loved him.  There was a pea patch down in the burrow next to the house.  Sweet peas grow better in a frost pocket.  When the peas would come on we would all three pick and eat peas.  We were supposed to be picking, but I think we did more eating. 

     There was an old derelict house down the road from the Kragness farm. It had a front porch that was sagging, the steps were broken and it only had screens for windows.  Mexicans lived there in the summer.  I was fascinated by how these children lived.  They did not seem to ever have to comb their hair or wash.  They got to go barefoot, something that was strictly forbidden by my parents.  I wanted so badly to talk to the girl who always had a naked baby on her hip.  I wanted to hold my baby sister like that but I was too small.  We were not allowed to play with them, but we would sneak up and watch them.  I thought they were so mysterious.  When we went home we always had fresh milk, eggs, rolls, butter and we would pick sweet corn and fill the buggy.  Mom would laugh and say, I hope the baby is under all that and we haven't left her.  Then sis and I would frantically look for the baby.  It was a game we played often.

     Although mom loved the farm, she was also pregnant with my brother.  We did have a phone but she had no car and my dad was not really good about coming home.  I remember one time dad came walking up the road into the yard and he asked me to go on the back porch and get his gun.  I did and he went out and shot a couple of rabbits.  He skinned them and cleaned up at the pump in the yard.  I just remember I was playing with sis.  We had swings and a teeter totter.  Dad asked me to go quietly up stairs and get his bowling shirt and I did.  He hung the rabbits on the back porch.  Then he walked down the road.  Mom came out and found the rabbits and asked how they got there. I told her dad had been home.  She said, " I have been waiting for him, I need to go to town to the doctor, where is he I did not hear the car come up the road?"  I remember feeling very funny, she was obviously upset. I then realized that dad had been trying to get to and from the house without mom knowing.  He needed his bowling shirt and he had left meat for dinner.  I had helped him.  I felt awful.  Before the age of four I would be a pawn in my father's ridiculous behavior.

     As winter approached and the roads turned to gumbo we were very isolated.  Mom was afraid that the baby would come and she would not be able to get help.  Even though she did not want to leave the farm we had to move into town.  She could not afford to have the piano moved and sold it to the woman who would be renting the farm house.  It was such a sad day.  She was big pregnant and she told the lady that she would rather give her what was in her belly than give up her piano.  She really did not mean it, but losing that piano was terribly hard.
      I remember moving day.  Mr Kragness came with a big farm truck to help dad move the heavy things.  Dad was in a bad mood.  The last two things loaded on the truck were mom's sewing machine in it's cabinet and the large mangler, mom used to press linens and things.  Dad hated moving the mangler, it was very heavy.  He was throwing one of his tantrums and I saw him kick the mangle with his foot, he shoved it very hard and put his back up against whatever else was in the truck and the mangle toppled off the back and broke into several pieces.  He then went to push the sewing machine off and he saw that I was watching him.  He stopped.  Thank goodness.  The mangler was very expensive, but the sewing machine was a necessity.  I never told my mother.


  I could not get blogger to work and publish this morning, so here is a late post.

I am off to bed!



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday, we might have lift off?

     Mom was feeling better yesterday, she certainly sounded better on the phone.  My youngest brother was in town and he took her to the police station to file a restraining order on the boys.  Bless his heart.  There are still problems as the order will only last for 20 days and mom will be gone by the court date.  Mom also feel like she is being forced into this and she is so to speak.  She wanted to put all this off until January and allow the boys to live at the house while she is in St. Louis and D.C. for the next 6 weeks.  I see this as a ploy to put it off yet again.  When she got home it would have been dead winter and she would have used that as an excuse to put it off again.  She is a master manipulator and enabler.  It is still a sad situation.  I can't believe how fast this all happened as we have been trying to get my brother removed from that house for 10 years.

     As usual we are all playing our separate roles in the situation. I am the ramrod, Sissie has to write the check, lil sis is the sympathizer, and baby bro picks up the pieces.  We are the quintessential dysfunctional family.  Unfortunately our problems do not solve them selves in a 1/2 hour sitcom.

  Came home from teaching last night and hubby was sitting under the master bathroom heat blower next to his shower.  He was reading a book.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he was cold.  He had worked in the woods and had gotten wet and cold so he wanted to really dry out and warm up.  What a goof.  He is going to be 63 soon and the cold gets to him.  How about changing clothes and putting on dry ones?  To each his own.

     I paid most of the bills yesterday still do not have enough for the house payment and will have to figure that out.  Having mom here was not good for my bottom line.  But I have until Friday and we will scrape enough together to get 'er done.  Then it is just the car and the little bills as I call them.  I feel sometimes that I live my life for my bills.  This is what debt does to you.  They are going down and that is so nice.


     Mom taught school at several one room school houses in the Dakota, Minnesota area around Fargo.  She was a beloved teacher.  One of her schools had a family that had an old farm house that was not being lived in.  They offered it to mom at a very reduced rent to keep it lived in.  Houses that are not lived in tend to be broken into and just ruined.  It was a grand old house.  It did not have indoor plumbing, and there was an old fashioned pump in the kitchen to pump water.  There were 3 stories plus a basement.  Houses in the Dakotas are almost always built with a wind block. These people knew how to build a wind block.

     Trees and low growing shrubs were planted around a house on three sides to form a square.  The house was protected from the wind most of the time.  The closest shrubs to the house were usually flowering.  We were surrounded on three sides by Lilacs.  I have always loved lilac.  I remember this big fence of lilacs and the smell.  I knew there were other trees that were bigger outside the lilacs, we were not allowed to go beyond the lilacs.  Sis and I called it the forest and made many tales up about what was out in the forest.  I suspect my love of trees came from my childhood love of the forest and I married a forester.  Who knew?
There must have been oak trees, because when dad was home he would take us out for walks and we would pick up acorns.  He would draw little faces on the acorns and they would be elves with little hats.  We played many games under the lilacs with our elves.

     Sis and I did not like the Cow potty as we called it.  In the front of the house there was a pasture that held cows behind a barbwire fence.  Anyone who knows cows knows that they walk the fence line once a day.  The outdoor toilet smelled bad and was scary.  We would only use it when mom was with us.  We must have had a potty chair on the back lean to porch, but I don't remember.  I think my mom was very happy on the farm.  I know sis and I loved it.  The rooms to me were huge.  Old linoleum floors in bright colors nailed all the way around with tacks.  It had a big old screen porch.  I loved the huge kitchen with it's big stove.  There was a narrow stair case that led up to the upper bedrooms.  It was dark and then you came into a light hall.  My parents had a room with a servants room off the side.  I remember the big bed covered in a white chenille spread and mom and dad's bedroom suite.  I love chenille bedspreads and someday I will have one.  Lil sis must have been born as she had a room across the hall.  I do not remember her at all except she was called baby and had this funny changing table that turned into a bathtub.  Mom would hall water up the stairs from the stove and put it in this rubber liner under the changing table.  She would bath the baby and then a long rubber hose would drain out into a bucket and she would empty it.

     What a stupid contraption now that I think of it.  Why not just bath the bay downstairs?  Everyone had one of these baby bath tables.  It must have been the must have item at that time.  Sis and I had a room at the end of the hall.  It had out twin beds and our dressers.  I remember rock wood maple furniture.  I still have a my dresser it has been painted and repainted and finally stripped by me and the drawers rebuilt.  It now sits in my grandsons room.  My favorite room upstairs was the piano room.  Mom's baby grand piano with the mirrored keys sat in that room.  I do not remember this, but the farmer took out the window frame on that side of the house and lifted the piano in with a crane. Mom had her piano and we had music.

     The house was very bare and plain, I loved it.  Mom would practice the piano and we would watch her fingers go up and down the keys.  I had to stand on tip toe to see her fingers so we had to have been very small. We took a nap every afternoon and I hated naps.  Mom would let us try on her wedding veil that she kept hanging on the side of her dresser mirror.  We put is on our heads and would  walk across the chenille bed spread. Step, touch, step, touch slowly like a bride.  I would watch sis and she would watch me. Then we would have to go down to our room and nap.  One day when mom thought we were sleeping we crept from room to room and poked holes in all the plastic curtains that were hanging in every room.  When you could not afford drapes you could buy these long thin plastic curtains much like a shower curtain.  They came in different patterns and colors.  Sis and I had a grand old time shredding the bottoms of every curtain upstairs.  We took a beating for that one.  Mom had to cut every curtain shorter than the window.  I am sure I did not do it, that is was all sis's fault.  I got spanked anyway.

     Mom would play music while we napped.  She would ask each of us for our favorite song.  I remember her calling from the piano room.  We would call back and she would play.  I would go to sleep to her music.  It was so peaceful.  Sometimes I would stare at the flowered linoleum floor and count the pattern, my eyes would grow heavy.  Mom did a lot of needle work back then and I have a needle point she did in my front room, that has a piece of the linoleum from that house as its back.  People saved bits and scraps of that kind of thing for patching and mom must have found it in the basement.


     I am growing sleepy with all this nap talk and I have work to do.  The shop has been very busy this morning.

Out My Window:  Wet, rainy and cool. Typical fall day.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday, Mysti come back

     I seem to be coming,out of the fog a little. Mom called yesterday and she is really sick with a kidney and bladder infection.  I was ready to hop in the car and drive back to Missoula.  She is such a worry.  I called my uncle and sent him over and he went and got her prescriptions.  I just talked to her and she sounds better, but not great.

     I really miss Mysti and I think she needs to come back to us.  Mysti, Mysti, Mysti.  Where are you?  I need you.  I am unhappy and you made me happy.  Please?  Pretty please?  Don't make me beg any more just come back.

     In my delusional state yesterday, I went upstairs and cleaned out 2 kitchen drawers.  The junk drawer and the large silver drawer.  I think I just need to remind myself that my house will never look like my mothers.  Mom has a beautiful home, just too much stuff and now with her health and the boys it is a wreck and needs love.  If we could ever get the boys out and I think we may this time, I would go over and sissy would come and we would whip that place into shape so fast.  It would glow.

     I decided to clean out a couple of drawers or cupboards a day on a whim. Just get rid of things I don't use or need.  It is so easy to let clutter creep out and ensnare your domain.  I have to laugh because when I look around my house most of the things I see, like nick nacks and things were all given to me by my mother.  This may not be a good sign.  It is traveling from her house to mine so she can buy more for her house.  Yikes! 

       Talking about whipping things into shape, I am going to pay my bills today, at least most of the large ones.  Of course that will leave me flat broke for a while, but what is new in my life?  Hubby was itching to go to the store last night and I said NO!  I need to pay the house payment and he needed to wait until that was done and I had a little more money in the shop.  He listened it was so amazing.  Either that or he did not hear me:)


     My very first memory was of my mother stirring a pot of something on the stove.  What I really remember was the smell.  She was making chocolate fudge frosting.  I asked her what she was doing and she said she was baking a birthday cake for my Uncle Virgil.  Deep dark chocolate wacky cake, with fudge frosting, so good.

     Mom would come to our crib every morning and say, "Good morning darlings."  To her surprise one of us replied back, "Good morning darling."  She was so shocked she was not sure which of us said it, but she thinks it might have been sis.  We were 7 months old.  Dad worked at a newspaper print shop and he would come home every day with a new word he was sure we could not say.  We would rattle it back to him like a parrot.  Grandpa was always on the sofa, he had slippers and old hat and a cane.  Our job was to make sure he never had any of these things and we took great pride in running or crawling off with whatever we could get away with.

       Our first Christmas was a nightmare for our parents.  We would not leave the tree alone.  Mom tried to put us in a play pen with toys we bawled.  So grandpa put the tree in the play pen.  People would come over and ask, why the tree was in the play pen and mom would tell them the tree did not cry.

     I have no real memories of my sister as a real young child, just that she was there.  She was a partner in all crimes and someone to play with.  We used to fight and she usually got the upper hand, she was stronger, but I soon caught up.  Mom always looked back at Grandpa as a god send.  Even though they lived in a little one bedroom basement apartment he was an extra pair of hands. He could hold a baby and feed a baby.  He would get up at night and cover us up.  He also had a pension and he would help supplement the house income.  Every time he got a check he would say do my babies need new shoes?  Needless to say we were adored and I still love shoes.

     Mom became pregnant with our younger sister when we were about 18 months old.  We would have to move to a larger apartment.  I do remember moving day.  It was right before Lil sis was born.  Mom and her friend Mary were moving furniture.  Now to make this story funnier, Mom was big Pregnant with lil sis and Mary was bigger pregnant with twins. (again she did not know she was carrying twins)  Her first born son David was our age.  I just remember these two ungainly women grunting and groaning and moving furniture.  I do not remember my dad or Jim (Mary's husband).  I asked mom about this and she said they were out drinking.  While mom was emptying dresser drawers I climbed up on the lowest drawer and looked at myself in the huge mirror.  My comment was that sis was in the mirror.  Mom laughed and said no that is you.  I looked again and saw my sister.  Mom said again no that is you.  I looked one more time and I started to cry, I could not figure out where I was, I could only see my sister.  I just remember the confusion.  Did I exist?

     Shortly before lil sis was born grandpa started to do strange things.  He would go back in time and think that mom was her mother.  Or he would get up in the middle of the night and look for his long boots so he could go out logging.  The doctors said hardening of the arteries.  These spells would come and go.  Mom put grandpa in a rest home and paid for two weeks.  By that time she would have the baby and they would be moved to a farm house big enough for grandpa and the rest of us.  Grandpa understood and he was happy to be moving out to a farm.

     Mom had fallen asleep on the sofa.  We girls were taking a nap.  She remembers the clock striking 3 and she needed to get up, but was so tired and in that deep rem sleep that makes you think you are awake but you are not.  She said the door to the apartment opened and in walked grandpa.  Now this would not have been unusual, because if grandpa did not like where he was he could easily change and walk or taxi, or bus, where ever he wanted to go.  Mom said he came toward her and laid his hand over hers.  That was grandpas way of showing love.  He would lay his hand over yours and squeeze.  My mom does this today.  She looked at his hand squeezing hers but she could not feel it and then he was gone.  The phone was ringing and she woke up to answer it.  It was a nurse from the home grandpa was in, she said that they had come into his room and he was gone.  He passed sitting up in the chair in his room.  

     One thing I can say for my father who was a scoundrel in most ways is that he was very good to older people and very generous.  He had a cantankerous old man live with him for over 3 years and never complained.  He would take grandpa to the live fights every other weekend even though grandpa would embarrass dad to death with his antics. Most men would have been selfish, but dad although very selfish himself was also very giving.  He was sweet that way

     I do not remember lil sis's birth but I do have very fond memories of my sister and I at the old farm house.  I often dream I am back there.


     I need to go clean up and do a quick run through of the house.  Go to the bank and pay bills and then get some sewing done.

     Out My Window:  Cooler, leaves every where, so beautiful.  I love fall.

Have a great and productive day.