Stories of life's twists and turns as you go down the many roads/paths. Funny moments, stories, events, happenings, opinions, dreams, hopes. Hopefully, this will bring you some smiles and some laughter. Maybe some stories will make you think. Mostly, I hope you enjoy this.
The things I love best in life are family, friends and laughter.
I thought that I would share an article about my niece, Angela. She was featured as NC Amateur Sports’ Athlete of the Month! You can read the article if you click here… Angela
This article ends with the statement, “She is looking forward to competing in the Adult Silver Freestyle event at this year’s Powerade State Games Figure Skating Competition taking place on March 30th at Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, NC.”
Well, guess what….. SHE WON!!!
She is pictured here, on the right. So very, very proud of you Angela!!!!
Apple pie is my favorite fruit pie. Well, sometimes it is a toss up with cherry, but mostly I will choose apple pie. As mentioned, my mother, in my opinion, made the very best apple pies. Even her crust was the best. When she would make pies, with the leftover dough, she would just bake the strips of the crust and we could not eat them fast enough. They were so flavorful and flaky. (This is the part where everyone starts thinking about baking them with a little cinnamon and sugar. We never used the left over for that, we would just make pie crust cinnamon rolls. We loved the crust strips the best.) I guess that I failed to post her pie crust recipe when I posted the pie recipe. I will have to remedy that soon.
I often made her apple pie recipe. As life became more hectic with the babies, I would buy pre-made crusts instead of taking the time to make her recipe. This obviously drastically changed the taste of the recipe and it was no longer even close to mom’s recipe. I say close, because no matter what I did, hers always tasted better. I found a cheat, though, that seemed to help. I started making her apple crisp recipe! Wes and the children loved it. They even at times asked if I could just make a pan of the “crisp”. Haha. I did make them a small pan once and they found that it is not good without at least a bit of the fruit, though.
I would always store whatever desserts that I made in the oven. I did not refrigerate them and I did not just leave them on the counter. There is probably some “gasping” now at the thought of not refrigerating them. If I made them today, I would refrigerate them but I did not then. They usually did not last long enough to worry about refrigerating them anyway so that is why I never did.
My husband worked for a trucking company initially. This was before he started his construction company. I had made an apple crisp along with supper before he left one night. When he returned home he was so excited because he “found” it in the oven. He had figured we finished it off, but checked the oven anyway and to his delight there was some left! He grabbed a plate and fork and served himself a huge plate. He was pleasantly surprised that the pie was warm! How exciting for him! He had no idea how I had done that but he grabbed a second huge piece. He figured that I had recently served it and had warmed it up.
Suddenly, he was not so excited any longer. As he was eating this second, huge, warm piece, and was all smiles, he noticed something. He started picking at it. There appeared to be this white, fuzzy stuff on the pie. He was not happy at all. Mold had grown on the crisp. He wondered when I had made it and why this had happened. He began to feel a bit nauseated but just because he was thinking about it, not because it actually made him ill.
Well, after some investigating he solved the mystery. Someone, possibly me, who knows, had left the oven light on. Wes made a point to tell me all about his “warm, apple pie” and to explain to me that I had left the crisp in the oven and with the light on. He stated that with the light bulb on, I had created a thing like an Easy Bake Oven. He said that this had created an environment to grow mold. He was a bit upset. We all found it funny. He seems to be getting a bit irritated with the fact that we find him and the things that happen to him to be so humurous but that just makes us laugh more. We just cannot help ourselves. He is so funny! He was sort of gloating saying that he was getting to eat the rest of it and we were not going to have any. Was that some sort of justice? Also, we all were very happy. We were happy because he had the bad crisp and saved us from it. Haha.
That was the day that I stopped keeping desserts in the oven and started refrigerating them.
As I mentioned about my mother earlier, she was a wonderful cook in all areas of cooking! I had mentioned that she opened a restaurant, Granny’s Kitchen and Bakery. She also published a cookbook with some of her recipes and some of her recipes that she served at the restaurant.
I would like to share her apple pie recipe with you here because I am going to follow another day with a story about warm apple pie. When she published the cookbook, she decided to name her apple pie recipe, John’s Apple Pie. She did this because my boss at the time of this publishing absolutely LOVED her apple pie. Obviously, his name was John. Lol.
Every so often, she would make an apple pie for him for no reason other than that he loved it. She did that a lot for people. Someone would come to mind and she would remember that a person liked her banana pie and she would make them one. She would remember that someone liked her raisin creme pie and she would make them one. She just was a very sweet, thoughtful woman. Everyone LOVED her pies. The smells of the pies baking were just as wonderful as the taste of the pies! Anyway, following is a picture of the recipe that I took from her cookbook.
When I would tell my mother how great her pies tasted, I would ask her why hers were always better even though we would follow the recipe perfectly. She would smile and pat my face and say that it was all of her love that she put in it. I would smile and then she sort of paused and thought for a minute. She would smile again and say that her mother would always tell her that some people just had a touch for certain things. She said maybe she had that touch. I am positive she did and I am sure that others who have had her pies feel the same way.
Let me know if you try this recipe and how much you love it!
It is so very hard. You gave birth to them, you watched over every move they ever made. You loved them with more than you ever knew you had to give. You still love them with more than you knew you could. You still try to watch over their every move, but they no longer live with you and they are grown! Haha.
I recently had to replace a windshield wiper. When it was snowy, I was using a broom to sweep the snow off of the windshield because I could not reach it with the scraper and the wiper blade fell off. It broke and could not be reattached. I must be more powerful than I knew!! Go me! Consequently, I had to have a new wiper. Obviously I had started to write this awhile back because it is 58 degrees today, April, and it has not snowed for awhile. I promised to post on each Thursday, so I found this one and thought I would finish it up and post it. I have several drafts of things that I intend to post at some point as I write them as I think of them.
Back to the wiper, the auto shop person told me they were relatively new appearing to him and that I should just buy the one that I needed. I had no idea what type to get so I took his suggestion. It cost me $31.00. This is stupid, but I LOVE that wiper. I feel sort of silly loving a wiper, but it is really, really nice. It is a Rainx if any of you know what that is, but I am impressed with them. At a later date, my other wiper was not cooperating. My husband suggested that I go get the other blade. It was cold and I did not want to stop to get it and I figured perhaps it had some ice on it and was dragging. Sure enough, that is what it was and it works fine.
What does this have to do with my children? Well, I was standing at the stove frying some cheerios and my thoughts were running away with me. I thought of the ability to just go buy that other wiper blade. I remembered a time when we may not have been able to afford a wiper blade right away. These things were the unexpected bills. I was remembering the hard times and how we made do so that we could do the things the children needed. Anyway, the point of this story….I was thinking of them and I was wondering if they had the money to just go buy a wiper blade if they needed to. I figure that they may be struggling at times as we were due to the times. Sure, they do not have 5 children living with them but times are so tough. My husband and I always discuss how could someone starting out alone, with one income, make it these days. There are so, so many taxes, fees, charges and things. Prices fluctuate and become so high for food and gasoline at times.
Anyway, I was thinking about this and was hoping that my children will have enough. They have great jobs and I am sure they will be fine, but this thought did occur to me. I just want so much for my babies. My husband and I have both said that we do not know how anyone starting out can afford an apartment and all of the bills and then a car. We thought maybe one or the other, but not both. Sure they do not automatically have children to take care of, but it seems that you make the decision to go to college and then there are no career positions available and the student loans begin to eat you alive. There are so, so many taxes, fees, charges and more and more being added.
Anyway, I hope they have enough. Better yet, I pray they have enough.
We were in the bedroom one night getting ready to go to bed. I had just gotten into bed and my husband was getting ready to get in to bed. All of a sudden we heard an explosion . . . A loud explosion. Instantaneous to that someone started loudly banging on our front door.
I was so startled and my husband and I both started excitedly talking about what the explosion was and who was at the door. The banging on the door was getting louder and louder. Haha! We both realized we had better get to the door. Well, now that you all know Wes, I am certain that you know that he, in reality, was a big chicken and wanted me to go see who was at the door! All of this was probably just a minute or so. It was a bit scary to go to the door, however, because we had no idea if the knocking was from the explosion or two different incidents.
We half jog/half creep down the hallway to the door with some uncertainty. As we draw closer (I am sure I am in the lead) we could hear a familiar voice. It was my brother at the door. He is pounding with both hands exclaiming, “Let me in! Let me in!” I then rushed to do the door because I did not know if he was injured or just what was going on! He also was scared and probably more so since he was out there with that explosion! He said that he was walking up the sidewalk to visit and heard the explosion. He then, of course, broke into a run to the door and started banging, wanting inside as he did not know what happened. Since we did not get to the door for a minute or so, he started scoping out the situation. There would be no way that he would keep his back to an explosion. He would naturally have to turn around. It was then that he noticed that our mailbox had just exploded!
We called the police and they stated that it was it was a prank by children. They said it has been a happening thing lately. They went on to say that it was, of course, a stupid prank, as they said what the children mixed to blow up the mailbox could have exploded in their hands. That would have been such a tragedy.
What a freaky thing to happen at the precise moment my brother was walking up the sidewalk. We teased and teased him. Honestly, everyone else that that could have happened to would have been just as scared! We were scared and we were inside of the house! There is no way that we were not going to forever tease him about it, though! It was just too much fun. He is no longer with us, but he never forgot this incident and we never will. I am not too sure that he appreciated all of the laughter we were having with it, though. Again, where was that camera?!
So, I intentionally left out a small part of this story. We did, in fact, have a suspect. We were very wrong about that suspect which we found out some time later. It was, however, two other acquaintances of our daughter. Obviously, not close or friendly acquaintances. Haha.
Also, I had forgotten that our daughter was also at the door with her Uncle. Her curfew was up and she was home. My brother was hollering, “Let us in! Let us in!” They were both scared.
Interesting thing about the suspect that we were wrong about . . . the family ended up loving him so much!
There was a prior blog, Tooth Fairy? Yes? Or No? In that blog, Cody totally blew me out of the water for playing along with the tooth fairy idea. If you have not read that, please go back and read it. It will go along with this story. Haha.
Today is April 1, 2019. Also known as April Fools’ Day. The day to prank people. I have such fun memories of my mother always, always “getting” us with a prank. We totally enjoyed it and then we would spend the entire day trying to “get” everyone else. They were usually simple little things. Mom would wake us saying get up you have overslept. We would sprint out of bed and she would smile and say “April Fools’ Day”. Sometimes she would wake us saying we missed the bus. Some of her other jokes were that we had to change our clothes, we had a big rip in the dress, there was a spider on you, just fun little innocent things.
Naturally, since I enjoyed that so much, I wanted my children to have the same fun. I would do the same thing, tell them there was a bug, they overslept, they had a rip in their clothes. I could not tell them that they missed the bus because we schooled them at home. Shelby would giggle and then try to get us all day with some sort of joke. Cody never much did anything and I finally found out why.
You have read about Cody in the tooth fairy so you will understand how he is. He has this way of bringing out the truth, or you might say that he will let you know exactly how he feels. I am guessing that he played along with the jokes until he had the understanding of the language to tell me exactly how it is.
So…. here I am thinking I am this great mother and devising plans to play with and “get” the children on this day. I think Cody was in 3rd grade on this particular incident. I ran in and “got” Shelby. Of course, she was full of giggles and hugs. Then it was on to Cody. I go in to “get” him and I probably say something like get up we have to do blah, blah, we are late.
Much to my dismay, Cody strikes again. He asks me to come to him and sit on the bed. I am thinking he must not be feeling well today. He proceeds to tell me that I am his mother and he thought that he could always trust me. He tells me that he knows that I will never lie to him. I tell him that is true. He can trust me. Now for the huge let down. He asks me why I lie to him and try to prank him. He said that is telling him a lie and he does not like it because he never thought I would tell him a lie. He added that he did not like to think of me as a liar and would I please not do that any longer. Well, that ended that I have not pranked him since. Boy did I feel like a horrible person. At the same time, I was glad that he could trust me and knew that I would not lie to him. He, at times, makes perfect sense although it can be unpleasant to hear.
However, Shelby, you look out!!! I will still have fun with you! I will not lie to you either, Shelby. You can trust me, but, I can play with you! I will attempt to “get” any other one that I can too!
Here is a short little blog that I should not share because then you will really know just how weird my family and I are. You that know us are probably thinking, wait, we already know! I am referring not to just my family created with Wes, but my family created by my mother and father as well. Yesterday while eating lunch with my husband, a topic that my family and friends use to have came up accidentally. It makes me wonder if anyone else is the same. I know that my cousins from my mother’s side are because we use to speak of these issues.
So, when you are eating, do you find that when you are finished eating that you need to end with a certain thing? For instance, do you need to stop eating with something salty as the last bite? Or do you need to end with something sweet as your last bite? I always, always, had to end on salty. If we went to dairy queen and had ice cream as a treat after the meal, I always had to save back a couple of french fries in order to “end on salt.” I still have to end on salt. Do any of you have this same quirk?
I learned from my mother and absolutely love to have sauerkraut with pork chops. My husband wants nothing to do with sauerkraut and does not even want to allow me to cook it. Haha. Since we were a family of 7, she had to cook a couple of skillets of pork chops…cast iron skillets, of course! When the pork chops were finished, one skillet was reserved to make the gravy in and the other skillet was reserved to cook the sauerkraut in. The sauerkraut was browned in the drippings and it is the very best!! The point of this bonus story is that that was what was for lunch yesterday.
This leads to another quirk I have and I am sure I am not alone because my nieces, nephews, cousins and I share this as well. Maybe not all of them, but some of them because we have talked about it. Yesterday we were eating lunch and my plate was almost empty and I had a dilemma. I said to my husband that I was not sure which food I wanted to end on to have that as my last taste. All bites were of course salty but I had to end on a particular taste. Of course, he just looked at me and said nothing. I waited and then he said, “For sure it should not be that sauerkraut!” Funny he should say that, because that is exactly what I saved for my last bite….A bite of pork chop with that sauerkraut! Does anyone else like to end with their last bite with the best part of the meal?
I realize that these may not be all that quirky because I had heard that there were studies done by the food industry on how to dress buns, layer desserts, salads, etc. because they stated that it was in what order tastes hit your palate/taste buds to make the taste the most pleasing.
I do know of some who eat a certain way that I do not understand at all, but each to their own. They probably do not understand me either. Some people will eat all of a certain food at once before they move on to the next food. For instance, they will first eat every single french fry. Next they will eat the sandwich. They do this with their other meals as well. I prefer to have a bite of each rather than to have nothing of one food left. I even save my salad that is served at the beginning so that I can have a bite here and there with my meal.
This brings up the hibachi grill…. first you get salad and soup, then you get your rice and veggies and last is the meat. People start eating immediately. I take a few bites because I am hungry, but I save most all of the food until it is all cooked so that I can have a bite here and there of each item. Besides, if I ate all of that I would have no room for my steak!
One of my nieces or nephews use to use a french fry or they would tear strips of bread and divide their food so it would not touch. Perhaps this is why they came up with divided plates. Anyway, to each their own. As my mother said, it all ends up in the same place … all mixed up anyway.
Feel free to comment and share your agreement or disagreement with anything mentioned here or to share your different eating habits!
Thinking of what to plant in my garden this year makes me think of my mother’s fantastic garden! Having a garden prompted some very wonderful foods that may have otherwise been left undiscovered. At least that is my opinion. I feel like we ate some of the things we did because of the abundance of garden foods that only last so long. My mother’s garden was huge and I mean huge. Where her garden was is where three houses are now!
It was great being able to play outside all day and just grab a snack when you were hungry without going in for lunch. Just pluck off a tomato and eat away. Rhubarb was always fun. We use to all get a stalk and on the count of three take a bite and see who could go the longest without puckering up. We loved it, but that first bite was always a challenge. My mouth is watering just thinking of that sour first bite.
Mom was very creative with vegetables…. cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, green beans, corn, carrots, potatoes, green onions, only the tops of the green onions, zucchini, and more and even pumpkin blossoms! Mom would make cucumber slices and onions in a vinegar, water, sugar combination. I still make that today, but sometimes I add sliced green, yellow and orange peppers. It just depends on which way I feel like having it. We would have fried cucumbers and even cucumber sandwiches. My favorite was cucumber on toast with butter and salt. The very best, however was a toast and tomato sandwich. Before I had all of the food allergies, I would still have that for lunch. So good with butter and salt. So many things we would eat on toast or just plain bread and butter….. radishes, green onion tops, cucumbers and tomatoes.
The salads were awesome. Sometimes we just had vegetables with salad dressing and no lettuce. Mom canned a lot and froze a lot of things. We had the best vegetables year round. She kept the potatoes and perhaps some other things in the basement that was accessed from outside so that kept them fresh longer. She was even creative with that. She kept her canned goods in the basement, too. The tomato juice and canned tomatoes were bountiful. There was something she canned that I would love to have but I do not have any idea how she made it. Perhaps I can google that and find it somewhere but it was green peppers with cabbage in the jar and some sort of liquid. I think it was a vinegar concoction. It was delicious whatever it was. It may have been picked cabbage if there is such a thing. Speaking of that, she even made pickles, both dill and sweet pickles. When she canned, I remember her saying that she loved the sound of the lids popping because that meant the seal took and the food would be good and last long. We would be watching television when she had finished and you would hear pop….pop….pop. You could look over at mom and just see her beautiful smile. Dad would look over at her and smile back and wink at her.
My mother made fried green onion tops. They were so good! She used the recipe for wilted letttuce, I believe. I am not sure, but they were so good. They were totally gross looking though. We called them frogs. Haha.
Then, there were the fried goodies. She would either batter them and fry them or just fry or saute them. Fried green tomatoes and fried cucumbers were my favorites. She also fried zucchini and pumpkin blossoms, just about anything you could think of. As the garden neared the end of the season and everything we could use had been used, there was always the final use. The rotten tomato fight is what we called it. It was not just tomatoes, though. It was whatever vegetable we could find to use for a weapon! The neighbors, of course, joined in. People were all over the garden tossing vegetables at each other. (Well, not exactly everything! You weren’t allowed to throw something dangerous such as a potato, cucumber or pumpkin.) Tossing is putting mildly. Haha. Such a great time. When you think about, it we made fun with everything back then. Such creativity and imaginations. They truly were the good old times!
We had a peach orchard, blackberry, gooseberry and raspberry bushes and we grew strawberries. The fresh fruit and pies and desserts were the best. There were plenty of these to freeze as well. My mother worked so very hard. I plant a small garden here in town, but nothing will compare with my mother’s garden and her fantastic cooking!
The children were young and we were camping when we had our encounter with the tree frog in the prior blog. The children are grown and have since moved out and the tree frog was just a memory that we spoke of and laughed about often. WAS is the key word. I have heard that history repeats itself and sometimes in a much bigger fashion.
Here I am alone in the house sleeping peacefully and here comes the loud scream that I remember from the past. OMG! Well, I will just go back to sleep and have Wes find the little fellow and relocate him when he gets back home on Saturday. Nope! Silly girl, think again. There are two frogs…one at each end of the yard and they are screaming back and forth all night! It is only Monday… I have the whole week to go. I am so annoyed. There is no way that I cannot not hear these frogs.
I post on facebook that I cannot sleep and all of my friends make comments about how they love to hear frogs, crickets, and all of the night noises, etc. So do I. These are not your little frogs that you normally hear in the night. These are horror movie screams. Each frog makes that noise, they do not know how to just talk.
My husband and my sister-in-law get the brunt of my issue with the frogs. I complain to my husband about his being gone again and I complain about being sleepy. My sister-in-law has to listen to me on the phone. Okay, so Tuesday night I am tired and I think I can sleep through those two. I swear, they have doubled and there are four! I whine again to my husband, Wes, and my sister-in-law, Georgia. Wednesday night it is even worse. I try to get sympathy from my facebook friends, but they do not understand this is NOT a soothe you to sleep type of noise the frogs in my yard are making. Apparently they are screaming because they are calling the entire town over to my yard! There must be 20 or more it seems. Every night, I discuss this with Georgia and continue to feel a little angry at Wes for not being home to relocating these. I even went out on the deck and recorded them and played them to Wes. He could not believe they were so loud and said there must be a lot!
Georgia calls one night and says that her son, Seth and his fiance, Kathleen, are coming to town and they may come visit me. I quickly say please do!!! You and I can get these frogs and Seth will be even better, because I am not fond of them at all and do not want to be close to them. They are gross, remember? Yay!!! I can barely wait!!
So, we are sitting on the deck and I had told Georgia, Seth and Kathleen that we should be hearing them soon. Nope! Not going to happen. Sure, everyone will just think I am the nutty old lady! Well, I finally remember that I had a recording! I play it for them to hear and guess what?? Those frogs started answering!
I have these containers that I buy by the case to send Wes meals in for the week. I went in and got several. It was unbelievable!! They started coming out like crazy. I think Seth and Kathleen were having fun catching them and were sort of in disbelief as to how many there were. We had mentioned how it reminded us of reading about the plague of frogs in the Bible. We thought they would never stop appearing! So many people get on me when I say we “relocate” things. They hope that we are not relocating them to Heaven. Lol. They think the circle of life ends with me. I can reassure you that it does not, I just want their circle of life continued someplace else.
Beautiful Kathleen and wonderful Seth relocate these frogs to the lake. They drove clear out there and delivered them. I am so glad they did this for me and I think they were so sweet to care and deliver them clear to the lake that late. Just to give you an idea, here are two pictures of the frogs they relocated.
Proof that these were so very many and all screaming, how could it be that soothing night time noise? I cannot remember if Seth and Kathleen said they were quiet on the ride to the lake or not.
My brother called me yesterday and told me he wanted me to hear something. He was down in his wooded area by his pool. He held the phone for me to hear. He came back on and asked if I heard the noise. It was frogs. He was excited because the spring noises, insects, and varmints are coming out. Any one that follows me on facebook knows how I LOVE these things! NOT! I have mentioned a few in my prior blogs as well…camel crickets, bats, etc. Well, I do love some summer things, but there are so many that seem to single me out and harass me. A friend sent me a message today about another creature I do not care for and I have a blog all ready for that one! You will have to stay tuned.
The tree frog saga began with this……Picture a nice quiet night, the smell of campfire in the air, the stars were nice and bright, the moon overhead was beautiful, people’s voices in hushed tones in the distance and now you are peacefully sleeping in your tent with your small children. Nice thought isn’t it?
Suddenly out of nowhere is a blood curdling scream sounding like a female in distress. Everyone bolts straight up! The kids are quietly sitting wide eyed and waiting for us to instruct them. I think fear had them paralyzed. Wes is jumping around doing his panic dance waving his flashlight and barking off questions to me. What was that? Where is that? After a period of mass hysteria, I calm everyone down and we sit and wait. We are about to just go back to sleep. The scream again! It sounds like it is coming from overhead.
Wes is doing his dance and investigating the tent, wildly waving the flashlight. Really, I should video him sometime it is the funniest thing to see! You that know him and how tall he is…. big hands, big feet…can probably picture it better. But, he sort of has his legs spread and he is lifting each leg individually like he is rapidly stomping grapes and his hands are flying around like Herman Munster. The screaming is more frequent now and obviously it is on our tent! Somewhere! Hopefully not in it! We all are grabbing our shoes and flashlights in case it is inside and we do not want it on us! Whatever it is! The children are hovering closer to me and Wes is in the middle of the tent doing his dance.
The night before we heard something like an owl hooting weirdly and something screaming. Other campers told us it was probably an owl attacking a rabbit, so we had no idea what this was but we really did not want any part of it. Wes finally found the culprit. He/She/It was between the screen roof and the cover of the tent and it was a frog of sorts. Wes went and removed it. I have to be truthful, he was a bit fearful of it. (Maybe more than he wanted us to know, haha!) He cannot keep anything from us, his dances give it away! This was not just a regular toad or frog that we had known of. We had never heard of or seen anything like it. It was so very small! He used something to remove it and was hoping it would not jump on him. Of course we were all scared, but we were having great fun laughing at Wes and his “dance” that he does when he is excited or scared.
Later, after research, we found it was particular kind of tree frog. Man! Can they scream! Loud! It is rather nice to go to bed with the summer sounds of insects and animals, but not sounds like a women in a murder mystery! That could give someone a heart attack by waking up to that!
Just look at it! Of course the ones we have found are not this bright green and bright orange, but they have the very same features. So little! How in the world can it have a scream that loud! Why do things with buggy ugly eyes seem to find me! Look at those feet and the clubbing on his toes! I would never want anything like that to get on me! I cannot stand them, forgive me, but I cannot. I know, why do I continue to love camping and outdoor stuff and am so bothered by the “critters”? I was in their territory I know that. They have a right to be there. I just think they should find their own tents!
Tomorrow will be part two of tree frogs and a new incident!
When I was telling the story on here about Shelby’s “surprise” at the wedding shower, I was reminded of a “surprise” story that my friend, Dorothy told me. This surprise was on Dorothy! As I was not at this surprise, I only know what I was told and I am relying upon my memory. I did speak with some of her children to gather some more information, Barbara, Brenda and Gary. I may leave something out and get something wrong, but the story is still a great one! I am piecing together what they told me along with what I remember Dorothy telling me.
First of all, some background. This family, from the short time I have known them seem to be a family full of adventures. I struggle with words, but they are creative, fun loving and somewhat pranksters. They love to have fun and they love to surprise. Dorothy was such a fun friend. If there was something to do, she was right in the middle of it. She loved a laugh and was lots of laughs. At times, (okay, maybe a lot of times) Dorothy was even an instigator. A lot of the fun times we had were her idea! Her children, of course, are a lot like her as you will read below.
So, this leads us to a dinner, I am pretty sure it was for Dorothy’s birthday. They were going to eat at an Amish restaurant in Arcola, Arthur or someplace. Gary, her son, lives in California so he had called her a little before the dinner to speak with her.
Brenda, her daughter, was taking Dorothy to the restaurant. Dorothy kept wanting to go shopping. Brenda told her maybe after they ate. Dorothy wanted to shop first. All of these people were going to be meeting at the restaurant to eat with Dorothy and Brenda needed to get her there. Brenda won. They went to the restaurant and Dorothy was very excited to see everyone.
There was this waiter who must have known it was Dorothy’s special day because he was giving her such great treatment. Perhaps her children had forewarned the waiter and he was helping to make her day special. I remember Dorothy thinking he was so worried about her order and she thought he needed to be concerned with what other people wanted to eat as well. She said he was very attentive to her.
She was giggling and laughing so much telling this story to me. The waiter began flirting with her so! He was even asking her for a kiss. She just would not even look at this man. She said he was a nice looking man, but she was ignoring him now to get him to go away. He had on an apron and a hat and he had a really long beard. The waiter was behind Dorothy and was asking for a kiss. She was giggling and getting a little flirty back. Probably you would not call it flirty, but she was playing along. She was just such a friendly person.
The waiter was trying his best to get her to look at him but she would not turn around. I remember that she went on and on telling me how nice he was but she just wanted him to leave her alone. She did not want any part of a kiss to this stranger, even if it was only on his cheek, but she did not want to hurt his feelings or embarrass him in front of everyone. So, she eventually said, “Here I will just pat your face.” She told me that it embarrassed her to even do that. But she thought it would make him go away. So she patted his face quickly. All the while, she kept her good humor and was smiling and laughing.
The waiter got her to talk about her son. The waiter then told her he was her son. She said that her son was in California. They argued and the waiter said he WAS her son. Dorothy informed the man that she had just talked to her son on the phone and he was definitely in California!
The waiter would not give up. He wanted her to turn around for that kiss. He finally did get her to turn around and he had pulled his beard down. Keep in mind, that Gary, in Dorothy’s mind, was in California. Gary said it took her about a full 10 seconds to believe that it was actually Gary that was the waiter!!! She just could not believe her eyes! I know for a fact that she then kissed that waiter’s cheek! What a fun, fun surprise for Dorothy. Gary said he had on this really ridiculous beard but in Dorothy’s mind he was in California, so she never made the connection. He said that when he made the call to her he was either on the highway on the way there or sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant.
Dorothy has another son, John, who is a Pastor. We all attend the church. Just before Pastor started Sunday’s sermon, he shared the story. Dorothy’s face was so cute as Pastor was telling this, she was just sitting there laughing and smiling. These children and this family have such fun times. They all were such good children to Dorothy. They always were doing nice things like this for her and sharing such fun times. What one did not think of another one did! The children are still carrying on this way.
Our daughter will be getting married soon. Yesterday was her bridal shower hosted by her Aunt Georgia and Cousin Megan. They did such a beautiful job decorating, making decorations, hosting, arranging, everything! A huge thank you to them for making this very special for our daughter and her fiance.
Above are photos of the cake and cookies that were served. The cake is made totally from cupcakes! They are both so cute! The hostesses arranged everything. In addition to the cake and cookies showed above, they provided food and beverages and games along with the standard bridal shower fanfare. The bride-to-be, however, had a plan of her own. She shared this plan with a few people who were to be involved in her plan. She asked that her father and mother (Wes and myself) speak after the shower games were finished. Her father gave a great speech, both heartfelt and humorous. My turn was next. As planned, I attempted to give my speech but collapsed and died at the table! My daughter was shaking me and calling out, “Mom! Mom!” My son, Cody, quickly approached. Cody lifted me and carried me out of the room. People were so shocked and surprised and some were starting to call 911. Suddenly murder music started to play and my daughter yelled….”She’s been murdered! No one leave the room!” Shelby is turning the shower in to a murder mystery!!!
She went out to get props and her and Aunt Georgia put on detective hats. They were the investigators. What a great idea of Shelby’s! Shelby wrote the play and had several suspects with motives. Shelby and Georgia investigated each and every one. There were even evidence bags found on the suspects filled with the item they used to kill me.
After the suspects, evidence and motives were revealed, Shelby handed out a “Suspect List” for the guests to try to guess the murderer.
She read each and every one’s guess and then she revealed the real motive and the murderer. The murderer was actually Aunt Georgia! My husband, Wes and son, Cody, escorted Aunt Georgia out of the room. What a great time! I think this was a really great idea that Shelby had! It was such fun! I think the guests enjoyed it too and were all surprised. People actually believed I had passed out or something and were beginning to get concerned. It was great!
Thank you again, Georgia and Megan for the wonderful Bridal Shower that you gave to Shelby and Jerry!
At church last night, they sang, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” To me it sounds like just the exact tune as Said The Robin To The Sparrow. I guess it probably sounds that way to everyone and IS probably the same tune. Haha. **I was just mentioning this fact to my daughter, Shelby, and asked her if she knew these were the same tunes. She said, yes, Dorothy told us that!** Anyway, they were singing the song and it was just sounding so very pretty. My mind went straight to Dorothy as when the song reached my ears, it was Dorothy’s voice singing it to me. She always sang both songs to me and the children. She would say she could not sing, but to us, her voice was beautiful. How nice to be able to still hear her sing!
I had nothing to write today as I have been sick so I am behind. I apologize for skipping my two days, Sunday and Thursday, but I will try to get back on schedule. Anyway, I had planned to skip tonight but it popped into my mind that I should share this and the lyrics to both, so here goes…..
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS….
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
What a great song this is. This is something we all need to remember, perhaps that is why I was prompted to share it. Following are the other set of lyrics.
Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”
This is another great reminder. I am so thankful that our family had Dorothy for a friend. While I was finishing this Shelby messaged me again and said they were Dorothy’s favorites. I know that she had other favorites, but she always sang these to us.
Off of the kitchen is our back door which opens to a deck. We have a hot tub, pool and a fire pit. With the fire pit, of course, you need a wood pile. I do not know which would attract wood roaches, but one or all of them do attract them. I would say that the wood attracted them and hence the name, but when the wood is gone, the roaches are not. It is a little frightening to have one of those large things fly on you while sitting on the deck. We all HATE them. It seems like they are 1.5″ to 2″ in length. Nasty, scary looking things with long legs and huge antenna. I was going to post a photo, but I do not even want to see it on here even if it is just a photo!
Unbelievable with all of my “invaders” that I even like to camp, but I love camping! That is why we tried to make our backyard like a campground. To turn our yard into that was my sister’s idea. We could not camp one year and she said make your backyard your campground. It is much nicer to have clean water rather than a lake. It is nice to see the bottom and nothing is swimming in there. Well, the occasional bug does until it drowns. Haha. It is even better to enjoy the fire and retire in a nice comfortable bed rather than the floor of a tent. It is harder to get up off the ground these days.
Anyway, sometimes these nasty creatures travel in to the house with you (meaning they hitch a ride) or they just sneak in while the door is open. We were very close with a family and their three girls would often spend the night with us. We loved all of them! One of the girls is named Sidney. She spent many a night and day with us. Sidney and Shelby were in the kitchen and I walked into the room for something. Sidney was whispering to Shelby as they always do and were giggling like they always do. I was sort of ignoring them and going about my business because this was their standard behavior. They always had such fun together. In fact, all of us had fun.
Finally I noticed that all of their giggling was while they were staring at me. As I would get closer to them they would back up. Sidney was looking a bit worried and they were backing away. I asked what was going on. Shelby started stammering around that there was a bug on my shoulder. I did not believe them and they were laughing more and more. Shelby said that Sidney whispered to her that there was a bug on her mom’s shoulder. I sort of am telling them, yeah, right, he is just sitting there like a little pet. They are cracking up even more. Shelby told me that he really was. She went on to say that he actually had his little legs on my shoulder like he was hanging on and his little face was peeking over my shoulder at them.
I started to believe them and Shelby said it was a wood roach. I started panicking for them to get him off. They refused!!!! Unbelievable, after all those years of me saving them and nothing! They were backing away from me more and more and I am approaching them more and more. Enter Cody, my son. I start hurriedly, maybe screaming, to Cody that there is supposedly a bug on my shoulder and for him to get him off. Cody also said no and backed away. I told you we all hate those bugs! I keep demanding that someone get the bug off of me. Fearless (dripping with sarcasm) Cody takes his leg and tries to step on the bug while he is on my shoulder which means that he actually kicked me in the shoulder. That kick took my breath away. Of course, Sidney and Shelby burst into harder laughter and Cody joins right along. I am failing to see the humor here. I am not like a possum carrying my baby along with me and I want him gone!
There seems to be no help available for me so I do the only thing I can. I quickly remove my shirt and throw it out. There is a lot more laughter and I feel my upper hip getting a swift, hard kick to it. Cody again! I guess the movement of the shirt knocked the bug to my behind! I am hysterically asking if he is off of me and they can only laugh. I loudly say I am not taking my jeans off and ask again if he is gone. They tell me that they think he flew off of me. I am sorry to offend anyone here, but I spotted him on the floor and stepped on him. He was out of my misery now. Shelby said that I turned to them and said, “Gee thanks, guys!”
They had great fun retelling the story and had many laughs about it. Shelby said it was funny to watch me dance around. We all know that I love to dance, but I prefer it with music and a different dance partner!
Grandpa had a Blacksmith shop behind their home at 310 N. Sixth Street in Charleston, Illinois. The address of the shop behind their house was 309 N. Fifth Street, Charleston, Illinois. It was a smaller green building. The following pictures are of his shop that he had before that one. He had to build the new one after a fire destroyed the one pictured below. I do not know if this shop was located at the same place (behind their home) or not. I have been told that it was not. I have heard that many people knew my grandfather and remember spending time with him there and talking with him. I wish I had those memories. I was too young.
Below is one of my grandfather’s invoices. As you can see, it was dated 194___. Their phone number was the same then as the one I remember. On the invoice is says 1003. I do not know if that is all that you had to dial, but when I called her to talk in the 60’s or 70’s, their phone number was 345-1003.
The shop that I remember him having is still standing or was last summer at 309 N. Fifth Street, Charleston, Illinois. They were tearing down some of the building when we drove by but left the part that I remember. It may not be there today, though but it was last year. Grandma later rented that shop to a guy named Scottie. I do not remember what he used the shop for but I feel like it was something to do with automobile repair, but I actually have no idea. I remember one night I was spending the night with Grandma and she bolted out of bed because there was an orange glow at the shop. It was a fire. She called Scottie and he called the fire department. I do not know what damage it did and I do not remember if he continued to use the shop or not after that. Do any of you have any knowledge about this?
I have pictures of the shop that was behind their home but I have not located them as of yet.
This article about the swimming pool must have been around about this time of year as the first thing mentioned is about changing the time and losing an hour of sleep. I am pretty sure it is from 1954.
What I like about this article is the part where it states that P. B. Hutton, my grandfather, suggested an addition of a park and the grassy area west of the pool fenced in along with the pool. In fact, I love that he did! When I use to go to the pool, I thought that this was great because you could take your snack in that area and stay out of the sun for awhile to help prevent burn. You could dry off and visit with friends and get rid of some of the shriveling due to being waterlogged. Haha.
My very best memories and greatest times were when they booked bands to play in that area in the evenings. You could go there with your friends, listen to music, dance, just talk or whatever. It was a great opportunity for young people to hang out. So, to me, that makes it very neat that my grandfather suggested the idea for the grassy area! There was not much in town in the way of entertainment for the young people and music and dancing was my favorite thing. I have shared those memories with my children when they were young and bored and my wishes that they had that same opportunity but the city did not offer much for the young people.
Wow. I found this interesting. All employees of Charleston received a 10% wage increase. All except for the employees of the swimming pool. These employees felt they should receive an increase too so the pool was closed until further notice.
I also noticed in the article that employees is continually spelled as employes. I had mentioned this in one prior article in a previous blog that the spelling of employee was incorrect. They did spell it correctly in the title, however. I question why they keep spelling this incorrectly.
Do you think that perhaps this was the first strike in Charleston? Haha.
I hope you enjoyed reading these articles. Please feel free to post your memories of the swimming pool or whatever else you would like to!
I do not know about other people who have a gluten intolerance, but for me it is a real issue. Not only do I have a gluten intolerance, there are other sensitivities as well and that makes it a real challenge. There is not much that I can eat without feeling some sort of swelling and various other painful issues that I will not go into. Even though they are coming out with tons of gluten free foods, that does not mean that I can eat them due to my other issues. Sometimes, I think it would be nice to be gluten intolerant only, as there would be more that I could eat.
Eating in a restaurant is a real issue for me. You also have to take care to not have cross contamination. You cannot have any fried foods, such as french fries because they fry them in grease with other foods that do contain gluten. I cannot have salicylates or night shades which leaves about everything else out, even down to spices and sauces on foods. One final complication is diverticulitis. This means no seeds, nuts or items with skins. I do not want this to sound complaining here, it has been this way for 6 years or more and I am use to it. An even worse part is that I feel like sometimes just the smells or the particles in the air can cause a reaction for me as well as the dishes and silverware. Some people may disagree with this, but everyone knows their own bodies.
However, I will complain about people. Some say things like they think they have decided to go gluten free or that they are thinking about trying gluten free or they say they have tried that once. Sadly, it is not a fad. It is a REAL issue. I feel like, at least in my opinion, that it is not taken seriously by some people, particularly the servers at restaurants. I am not including everyone here as we have had some absolutely wonderful servers. I was a server as well many times when I was younger and later in life, too, so I have great respect for servers. I do understand that you do not know people’s situations and that they may have had a tragedy in their life or a bad day. Any given circumstance could also affect your personality. I understand that completely, so do not get me wrong, I know that it is hard. It is hard dealing with the public in any field. Mostly, the general public can change a server’s attitude as the public can be cruel at times as well.
You can, however, watch servers and see that their entire face and attitudes change when you have to ask questions. I always apologize first for my issues and then ask questions so that I can order what is right for me. I think I have come to realize that a person with allergies should just stay home but it is so hard when your family wants to go out for someone’s birthday or other reason. You do not really want to say well you guys go on I will just stay here. You can try to eat beforehand and then go with them and just sit there, which is hard to do. Eating has more and more become a social event. I try to order the simplest of things so there will not be much of a problem for the server or anyone. I need to add that there are so many servers who really care and go out of their way to help you. They even, at times, think of things you didn’t think of and make suggestions. Mostly, though, there are the ones that just feel that you are a pain to them.
I will have to add here without sounding like boasting, but we consider ourselves nice customers. (You are thinking the key words here are that “we consider ourselves” but we can tell when they reciprocate the kindness. Haha. Believe it or not, people actually do like us.) When the server comes to our table and gives his/her name, we make conversation with them and ask them questions about themselves. We actually have them laughing and smiling. We are friendly and when we leave, we always know things about our server as in where they are from, if they are in school and other tidbits. We actually take the time to show that we care about them.
So ,,, our daughter wanted to take us out for her father’s upcoming birthday. We went to a well known steakhouse in Champaign, Illinois, one that we have been to several times since we can get the specific foods for me. Sadly, that restaurant is off of our list of favorites. From the minute I told the server I had a gluten issue along with other problems, we never received another smile from her and her visits to our table were infrequent. I ordered a salad and a baked potato. I told her I could only have lettuce and cheese for the salad and just a plain baked potato with sour cream and butter on the side. The salad came out first with the appetizer the others ordered.
I guess I just sort of knew the minute that she sat the salad down that something was wrong. I seem to be the one that no matter what I order, the order comes out wrong. I just could tell by looking that something was not right with the salad. I did not want to say anything. I did ask the server when she came back around if there were croutons and other items (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc) on the salad and that they just removed them. She all too quickly made a strange face and said nervously, “NO!” I had barely finished the sentence before she responded. That, in itself, was concerning. Her disappearance was sudden. Sometimes I feel like I am a pain to my family as well, so I decided to keep quiet. I know my family loves me and they probably feel just as concerned, but it seems to take away from the celebration so I kept quiet … but just for awhile. It was becoming more obvious that there were croutons on the salad and that someone in the kitchen just “picked” picked them off. There were crumbs and bits and pieces throughout the salad. I had to stop eating it and was praying that what I had eaten would not cause a problem. I gave it to my daughter’s fiance, Jerry, and he said they definitely were crouton bits. They seemed to adhere mostly to the cheese so he wondered if the cheese was near the croutons and there was the cross contamination. We did actually feel pretty confident that they did in fact, just pick them off of the salad. Everyone at the table then wanted to look and we were all in agreement. I do not think they realize the serious implications an allergy can cause a person or they would not have been so negligent.
Jerry explained the situation to the server and explained that if they did not in fact just remove the items off of the salad then the cheese must be cross-contaminated with the croutons. She really had nothing to say in return and actually made faces. We opted to just have her return it and not replace it. I had only had a few bites anyway. This only made her attitude worse even though we were all being as polite and kind as we could when we were not in the wrong. The entrees were delivered much later along with my baked potato. The entire top of the potato was covered with sour cream. In addition, there was a side of butter and a side of sour cream. This is unbelievable, but in the middle of the scoop of butter was some cheese!
It was so very obviously situated in the middle of the scoop, that we all laughed and said it looked like it was purposely placed as to “get back at us”. I know people say that that does not happen, but how in the world did that cheese get into the middle of a scoop of butter? Maybe you have read the book, The Help, or have seen the movie…. There was a “special pie”. Minny made the best chocolate-custard pies and everyone loved her cooking. Miss Hilly jeopardized Minny’s chances of finding work so Minny made a chocolate pie including a “special ingredient” of her own. Minny would only let Miss Hilly eat the pie. After and only after Miss Hilly ate the pie, did Minny tell her what the secret ingredient was and what she had just consumed! Anyway, it would be so easy to accidentally spit or something and it go totally unnoticed. We all have heard stories and I have actually witnessed some things similar (dropping something on the floor and picking it up and using it, wiping a wrong ingredient off of a bun, taking pickles off of a sandwich and serving it, tasting from a spoon used to stir food and stirring again, people carrying items to your table with their thumb or finger in your food, so many other wrong and gross things). Therefore, it does make you wonder.
Jerry reached for the butter from me and waited for the server to come back. There was quite awhile before she even came near so they started looking for her as the potato was getting cold. Jerry very politely and thoroughly explained to her that we were initially concerned with the cheese to begin with and now it is in our butter. She just angrily and sort of rudely snatched it away and came back with another. There was never an, “I am sorry” or any type of acknowledgment to us of a mistake or anything. A simple, “I am sorry” or “Oh no” or “Here, let me fix that” would have made things immensely better. Instead, she was angry with us for the mistakes the restaurant made. Shelby, incidentally, had ordered the loaded mashed potatoes but only received plain mashed potatoes. She did not say anything either because she thought maybe she did not actually order it. However, when the ticket came, we were charged for loaded mashed potatoes. Shelby politely informed the server of this and she had happened to take a picture of her plate in case it was needed. The server took the ticket rapidly from her and made a point to stand and crumble up/wad the ticket in front of us with great effect and stormed off. We eventually received our corrected ticket, without comment from her, we paid and left.
We understand that she may have had a horrible day and may have been bothered by who knows what in her life. We also noticed the kind and attentive service that she gave to her other booths right beside us and across from us. I am in no means knocking servers, but her conduct was out of line, very out of line. As I said, I have “been there done that” on her side of the table and I understand how hard her job is. People on the other side, the customer, have hard jobs too. I should be able to go out and eat just like everyone else does. I should not be mistreated because I have issues.
The result, we will not eat there again and just the thought of eating out makes me think twice. I have repeatedly been rudely treated and there is just no point in trying any longer. That is the part that is sad.
So, back to spending the night with Grandma! Houses and perfumes and foods have certain smells and they remind you of things. I have certain smells that remind me of Grandma … good ones… and I love it! It brings back all of the memories.
My grandma’s name was Dora Mae Elizabeth Pearcy Stites Hutton, “if you want to get technical” she said. My grandma’s mother was Elizabeth Pearcy and I believe that she married Abner Edgar Stites. Therefore, Grandma was Dora Mae Elizabeth Pearcy Stites Hutton. I am sure this was not her legal name, it was Dora Mae Elizabeth Hutton after she married. Grandma was just being “technical”. Grandma also went by the name of Dodie or DoDo. All of us grandchildren were told to call her DoDo. Somehow, that felt sort of disrespectful and insulting, but I guess it never reminded her of the bird.
Speaking of birds, she raised parakeets! I guess she had a lot of them. I was told there was even a special place where she put the nesting ones and she allowed us to watch the eggs hatching, if we were around. If I ever witnessed this, I do not remember.
To me, they were absolutely beautiful and I love the color! She had two or three that I can remember and eventually there was only one blue one. She trained him to do a “wolf whistle” and to say, “Pretty Boy” and “Hello”. There were more words he said and she kept a list by his cage, but these are what I remember. He just went crazy when she talked to him. He danced back and forth on his perch and just talked and talked back to her. He really loved her! She had mirrors on the cage and he would look in there and talk to himself. She had little toys for them to play with, little plastic balls with bells inside that they could spin and other stuff. When I spent the night I helped her clean the cages and she would let them come out and sit on her arm for awhile. Of course, I was always somewhat scared. Okay, maybe a lot scared. Haha. She would have me go outside and find a special seeded type plant that grew wild in the grass and give one to the birds. They loved it. She said it would make them sing more. I do not remember what it was called and I could not find an image as there are so many. When I see it in the yard this summer, I will post a picture. Every time that I see it, I remember Grandma and her parakeet.
Grandma also had a little plastic tree on a stand with little branches that she put gumdrops on! We were allowed only one or two and my favorites were the whitish ones. They tasted like licorice. One time, I got to fill the tree. I thought it was the neatest thing ever. In thinking about it, I am not too crazy about the idea of eating candy that has been sticking on a tree collecting dust (among other things) for who knows how long. Also, it did sit on the counter near the bird cage. It was a nice memory, though!
Since we lived in the country, it was a real treat to hear the bells chiming on an ice cream truck! Grandma always had her money ready and we would run out and have a treat. What a cheerful noise that ice cream truck made, perhaps in part to knowing that the sound brought a treat! We would sit on her front porch and eat it. Sometimes neighbors would come and sit on the porch as well. When I finished my treat, she would let me walk up and down the street, but only as far as she could see me.
Some evenings we would walk out of her back yard and cross the street to the park – North Park. She would just sit on the stoop of what use to be her grocery store and watch me play. Somehow I did not much enjoy it since Grandma was over there sitting by herself. I would swing or go down the slide and turn to wave at her. I would rather play bunco or rummy with her or just sit and watch television with her. I never played over there for long.
They had a house built on 310 North Sixth Street while they lived in the house to the north right beside their lot. This is all in Charleston, Illinois. I do not know the number of that house, but it is still there as well. Grandpa’s blacksmith shop was at the back of the lot of 310 North Sixth and it had an address of 309 North Fifth. To the south of the blacksmith shop was their store right beside the shop. I do not know the address of that either. The store was torn down not too long ago and the blacksmith shop is still there. He had a blacksmith shop prior to that location but it burned. I have photos of that to post later. The house at 310 North Sixth still has the same green shake shingles! They owned another house a few streets over, maybe 7th or 10th? I am not sure. They had a store there in the front or back of the house and some lady ran it for them.
Well, I certainly was mistaken! There will have to be more than a part 1 and part 2 of Staying the Night With Grandma Hutton. There are just too many memories and stories to tell. What great memories!!! Stay tuned for part 3 on one of the next blogs!
This article was in my grandfather’s scrapbook as well. I thought I would share it with you.
I am not certain why my grandfather had this photograph saved other than he liked it or knew the people. Perhaps there is a relative here. It is really neat, I think. I like their uniforms. Notice that they are wearing belts! This was probably in the 1953 or 1954 paper as I am sure that Ben F. Anderson was not a judge while he was playing for the Charleston High School. Haha.
I have heard of a lot of these names, I wonder if any of you are related to any of these people and have a comment to make below?
Today, at my bird feeder, I had a male and female Eastern bluebird and what I call the true woodpecker, a red headed woodpecker. It was totally black and white with the most brilliant red head. I took a picture but it was through the window and screen and not so great, So I will post this picture that I googled.
When I was a little girl in school, the teacher would read us a book and then show us the pictures. There was a story about an old lady who was bitter and mean and if I remember correctly, she was stingy. She was, I think, what I would call an old bitty. It has been a long time, maybe third grade, so my story may be inaccurate, but this is how I remember it. The little lady was short and round and had on a black dress with a white apron and a red scarf/hat covering her hair. This woman was not kind and I guess she was warned to be nice and did not change. Her punishment was that eventually, she was turned into a woodpecker. That is about all that I remember other than the woodpecker was exactly the old woman. Her black dress, white apron and red head made up the exact look of the woodpecker! I tried to find this book for the children when they were little and could not. I told them about it, but they thought it was a crazy story. Haha. I can still see the picture of the woman in my head so when I see a woodpecker I think of that woman spending her life pecking away.
When we lived in the country, we thought it would be a neat thing to try to feed the birds, especially the hummingbirds, squirrels and chipmunks. We thought this would delight the children and we wanted to teach them the various animals/birds. We bought a huge book about birds to help us identify them. It was a very good book and showed male and female of each.
We had one of our feeders on the tree right outside of our sliding glass door off of the dining room. This was filled with sunflower seeds and corn. One night, I was sure that I spotted a mouse in there! We were all watching it and we all know that I absolutely hate mice! I have to say that this was the cutest one I had ever seen! He had such neat looking hair (he looked very soft) and his eyes were so big and dark. His ears were really cute as well. I told my husband to go get rid of it. He said it was not a mouse. We disagreed and he went out there to investigate. He walked right up to it and it did not budge. He poked at it and it still just sat there eating. He said it had a really strange tail and that it definitely was not a mouse. He would not relocate it. I was a bit angry and said if I had a mouse in the house, we were moving!
An evening or two later we had a large snow storm and my husband and brother were out clearing snow from his home and ours. Even though it had snowed quite a bit, it was actually really warm feeling outside. I opened the sliding door and let the children play in the back yard. As I was watching them, out of the corner of my eye, I saw this fluttering thing coming off of the garage and into the tree. I quickly turned and that “mouse” was in my feeder! I called everyone over to the feeder! Of course, no one believed me about it “fluttering” into the feeder. We took several pictures and did some research. We finally realized that we had a flying squirrel! What an exciting time. The kids were so excited! I am glad that, at this one time, my husband did not listen to me and relocate this little cutie.
Another really neat bird that we had was an oriole. What a beautiful bird all the way around! Wonderful colors and what a voice! The prettiest I have heard. He was at our hummingbird feeder. We immediately went in and grabbed our book and read up on the oriole. We went straight to town, to Rural King, to get the food that the book said the oriole would really love. Sadly, that was the one and only time we saw the oriole as he was just passing through.
The hummingbirds were the other exciting birds. We learned so much about them and they were our favorites. We could watch them forever. They were territorial and would stand guard and chase the others away. Even if we had three feeders, that one would try to guard them all! We would have to bring the feeders in to refill them. They were so use to us that when when we would carry it out, they would swarm all around us trying to get a drink while it was in our hands. It was awesome!
The hummingbirds also remind me of our friend, Dorothy. We purchased her home and when we were at the closing, Dorothy and I started talking about the house and our old house. I mentioned that I was going to miss the birds we had in the country and especially the hummingbirds. I asked her if she ever had hummingbirds. She laughed and told me yes and that she even had a “hummingbird vine”! Then we laughed and hugged. She laughed even more and asked if it was ever heard of for two strangers to hug at a closing! She said she knew that the right family was moving in to her house. We became good friends immediately and remained so. She was right, we did have hummingbirds and still do.
We even have the “true woodpecker” and eastern bluebirds. We have the morning doves with their beautiful song, the geese flying by and honking and all of the other colorful birds. I even have the crows outside when I leave for work yelling, “Caw, Caw.” Silly birds, they do not know I have a van! How fortunate can you be??!!
These clippings are in my grandfather’s scrapbook. This article is about his mother-in-law’s brother. These articles are from December 31, 1953. Too bad the pictures are not better. I googled McCormick-Deering Fodder Shredder. It is quite a contraption. Eb Pearcy was my Great Grandmother’s brother. I remember my father took us to visit him often as well as Alvey. They lived near where we lived in the country.
On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, people actually went visiting and this was great fun. You never needed an invitation, you just showed up. Most times you sat in their yard and talked and sometimes you visited on the porch. People just showed up to sit in our yard as well! I remember that some of our relatives who lived in town would come out and sit in our yard on a hot day. They always commented on how much cooler it was at our home. There were no buildings blocking the nice breeze! Visiting was wonderful! We should do more of this today!
I have been posting items from my grandfather’s memories and that led me to thinking that I really was too young to have many memories of him at all. I remember that he was sick and in bed when we visited. I remember him being on the couch one time but leaning to one side trying to rest. The lack of memories makes me sad. However, it brought to mind the many memories I have of my grandmother.
For as long as I can remember, I spent Saturday nights at my grandmother’s house. I do not think any of the other siblings did, just me. There is a recollection of my little brother attempting to spend the night once, but then our great grandmother came to visit grandma and he scooted right home with dad! Haha. He was a bit frightened. He visited on Saturdays too, but would go home for bedtime. People would have a hard time believing this, but we are both shy. It may be more unbelievable about me, but even though I talk through a situation and seem to be outgoing, inside I am dying. Anyway, I have such great memories of these times! I will have to write later about the times together as families with taffy pulls and other great gatherings.
I always wanted to be there in time for supper because she gave the choice of some of the foods. Without fail, I chose fried potatoes as a side dish. She, too, had a garden in the back yard as well as a cherry tree! While the meat was cooking, we would go out and pick the salad ingredients. Everything, of course, was made in cast iron skillets and pans that I call guardian ware. They were pans with sort of bumps on the outside. I still cook with both, cast iron and guardian ware. She made the very best wilted lettuce ever! The smells of the food were also good, it was like you could taste the food! She would have a 6 pack of Coke, which only came in bottles, and she would split one with me. My mother was a fantastic cook too but I loved the attention at grandma’s as well.
She had the neatest kitchen and I would love to have that today! There was the huge double sink with side drainboards, is I guess how I would describe it. That is called porcelain or cast iron ceramic I think. The counters went clear across the wall except for where the stove was. There were no cabinets. She had floor to ceiling cabinets on the opposite wall to store everything in, the dishes and the pantry were both on that side. We would eat and clean up the dishes in time for Lawrence Welk. That was her very favorite show. I remember the bubbles from the show and Bobby and Cissy! I remember other stuff on the show but those two things come to mind first. Sometimes we would go to the table and play bunco or rummy after the show and other times we would just sit and watch the next shows that were on. Grandma was crocheting every time she was sitting. She made the most beautiful doilies for table tops and backs and arms of chairs. She made those hangings that looked like bunches of grapes. They were crocheted over pop bottle caps. Her crocheted items were so dainty and beautiful. I crochet, but there is no way I could crochet with that tiny needle and thin yarn! I have tried but by now I probably could not even see the stitches! I would love for my house to look like my grandmother’s! Again, I searched for a photo of what she made and hers was smaller and much nicer looking in my opinion, but below is a photo. She used the thread stuff to make hers with, not yarn, so it was finer.
Here are some photos of the types of doilies she made.
Sometimes, in the evenings, her friends would stop by and visit. That was always fun to me. They would just sit in the chairs and talk and laugh about their stories. My great grandmother, her mother, would visit and she had the longest white hair. She always wore it braided and then wrapped those braids around her head. I have always said I would have long white hair and wrap it around my head in braids when I was old. I am growing it now! She lived to be 99!
At bedtime, we would pray together and then just lay and talk. She would tell stories about her life or just talk about what happened the week before. Those were the best times. The next morning, she would fix me breakfast and then we would wait for her friend. She had a friend that lived the next street over and every morning she would walk across the street and down the alley to grandma’s house. Grandma could see out the window from her kitchen table and see when she was coming. She would jump up and pour her a cup of coffee. I loved sitting at the table and listening to them talk! My grandmother had a diary that she kept at the table and wrote in. I asked her once to say that I spent the night. Guess what? I have those diaries and one time it says that I spent the night! What a treasure to have!
Dad would pick me up mid-morning. One time, the minute, I got into the car I told him I was starving. He said, “What? Are you saying Mom did not feed you?” I told him that she offered but I did not want it. I went on to tell him that she asked me if I wanted french toast and I told her that I did not like it! Dad quickly turned and looked at me and asked, “You did not want it?” I told him No! I told her I do not like french toast. He laughed and I was sort of starting to get angry at him for laughing but he quickly went on to ask if I knew what french toast was. Of course, I did not, I told him no. He laughed even harder and I was getting angry. He told me in between laughs that french toast was what we called “egg bread”. He said, “It is your favorite! Why didn’t you ask her what it was?” I have no idea why I did not ask her and just told her no and that I did not like it. I was no longer angry at dad for laughing, I was very angry at me!!! I really missed out!
My grandmother had the most amazing bathroom! Off of the kitchen was a bathroom that was like a really small hallway. There was a door from the kitchen and on the other side was a door to her bedroom. It was really, really tiny. To the right was the toilet. That was practically all there was room for with a toilet paper holder on the wall. At the other end was some sort of closet type thing. It was weird looking though. I assume the toilet paper and supplies were in there. I could be mistaken but I think this was a shelf with a curtain in front of it, but not sure. I really did not like the looks of it and did not feel comfortable opening that curtain because it was so odd looking to me.
BUT!!!!!, the bathtub!!! The bathtub was off of the bedroom and was all that was in the room, a bathing room! I would LOVE to have this room and I remember so many details about it! The bathtub was a clawfoot tub. Totally wonderful! I had to have a bath every time that I was there! The towels were on a shelf and you could pick your own fluffy towel in whatever color. She had a slender shelf that went along the walls that contained bath salts and bubble baths of every type. You could open the jars and smell each one and take your pick and they came in different colors. They looked so pretty lining the shelves! There was a window with the cutest curtains with a view of her side yard and you could see her cherry tree. There was a nice chair to sit in and some cabinets and counter top to put your stuff on. I felt like a princess being able to have this luxurious bath in the special bathing room. The back of the tub was sloped so that you had an awesome back rest. I absolutely loved it. I am not certain on the flooring, but it was just off of her bedroom and her bedroom had a beautiful linoleum with roses on it and I think the bathing room was the same. I loved everything about it. Sometimes when we were just visiting, we would go into the room just to look at it. The baths lasted much longer than they needed to because it was just that enjoyable! With your imaginations and dreams, you could spend so much time in there. I searched images but could find none exactly like it, but it was something like this. The feet were white as well, though.
I was telling my husband about this room that just had a tub in it and he said, oh, like ours? I said no, ours is a tub first and then the toilet. See, with ours you walk in a door that has a tub and then there is another door and the toilet. The room where the toilet is has a small sink and a window and then a door to our bedroom. Uh Oh! He should not have told me this. I processed that awhile and called him back and told him, you know, we need to remodel our bathroom, get a clawfoot tub and flip flop the room and put the toilet first. He said he did not think so! I may work on him and see.
I just realized that I am going on and on and have so much more to tell! I am going to write a Part 2! Join me Thursday for that!
This article is the very first page of my grandfather’s scrapbook. In fact, it is glued to the front cover on the inside. I think this must have been in 1954 as there is also a receipt on this page dated March 4, 1954 from my grandfather. It is for receipt of money from him to the Hospital Building Fund and it is signed by a Laura L. Winter, Sec’y.
As you can see, these are from 1954 so I am pretty positive that the above articles are, in fact, from 1954.
Above and below the following articles in the scrapbook are lots of notes made by Grandpa. He may have just been sharing his opinions. I will not share them as I do not know the situation. Nothing bad is written, I just decided not to share, but I have no problem sharing the articles. The water situation was of a great importance to him and to the city as I have so, so many items on this, including an entire book, green in color, that has map after map and many more things. Well, the water situation was of great importance to everyone.
I have heard of a Bob Black, but I am pretty certain it is not this Bob Black as the age would not match. Perhaps, his father?
I remember when I worked at EIU in 1974 a story was told of Eastern looking for a place to settle. They had a few towns to consider. I remember the story that water was an issue. When the people determining just where to build Eastern, the committee or whatever, were to come through town, even though there was a water issue, they wanted everyone in town to stand outside along the route and water their lawns or wash their cars and smile and wave to the committee as they passed through. This was to show that we had plenty of water! I think the offer made to the committee was free water and they would not be billed for 50 years or something like that. I am not stating this as a fact. It is just what I remember being told. In fact, we repeated it to students and their parents visiting EIU. If you would like, you are welcome to make your own comments correcting me. I did not go into all of the detail that I was told regarding this story, but it is a shortened version of what I was told. I thought it was a delightful story and it made me smile to hear it. I loved how they planned this to “win” the home of EIU.
My grandfather, Phillip B. Hutton, was commissioner of the City of Charleston. At the time of his service, there must have been some issues with the lake and the water supply. There is a huge book with plats and maps that he has and he kept a scrapbook of articles concerning the water/lake and other matters. He also kept a diary and there are some notes in there concerning the lake and reservoir. I thought that I would start to post some of these articles for anyone interested in the City of Charleston.
I will be posting more articles from this scrapbook soon. There are several newspaper articles regarding the lake and worries of silt. I will post them soon.
Sorry that the pictures are not that good, but they are old articles.
I have some more work to do on the blog that I was going to publish today. I know that I have been posting more than I said I would, but I do want to remain consistent with the Thursday and Sunday posts, so here I go. I received a comment on one of my prior blogs from my sweet, little cousin, who happens to share my birthday! To clear that up, she is much younger than me. Her comment led me to write this one which will not require as much work as the one I was working on, as I am still looking for photos for that one. She commented on the amazing fudge that her Grandmother made as well as the church windows that she made. There were three sisters, Wanda, Alta and my mother. They all were the best cooks ever! I replied to her comment, that I think they got it from their mother, Lena.
This prompted me to look up the recipe for church windows. I made them one time, or should I say I attempted them one time. I have said before that desserts were not my specialty. Haha. I guess I did not do what the recipe said and my church windows all melted. I did explain to the children how pretty they looked when they were done right, but… I don’t think they were pleased with me as I had went on and on about how neat these church windows were going to be. Let me just say that they were not impressed.
I was so fortunate. When these sisters got together and cooked a huge meal, no one could outcook them. There was a sister-in-law too, Aunt Eileen. These meals were frequent. In the good old days, families got together often. It is true that our first and best friends were our cousins. How well I remember those days and the fantastic food! How nice it would be to still have those days! Not only the food, but the fun times with them all! Yes, I was so very fortunate.
Anyway, I am going to post the church window recipe below. When I went to get my mother’s cookbook, I was thinking about the comment that I made to my cousin about them getting it from their mother and I remembered my mother’s dedication in the front of the book. I will quote part of it…. “I dedicate this cookbook to my mother, Lena Calhoun. Her cooking inspired my recipes, but I will never be the cook that she was.” There is more printed in the dedication, but she ends it with this, “With Love To Mom, Rene Hutton. ” Typing that almost made me cry.
Michele, I do not know if this was the recipe that your grandmother, my Aunt Wanda, used, but here is the one in my mother’s cookbook. You are right, Michele, they were so pretty with the colored marshmallows. My children will never know since I melted mine. Haha.
My daughter called me this morning on the way to work and asked me if I had Alexa plugged in. I told her no and she said if you tell her Good Morning, she says that it is Hoodie-Hoo day or something like that. She said she could not remember exactly the day. She told me that Alexa said to yell and she suggested that you wave your arms like you just don’t care! I explained the day to Shelby.
I reminded Shelby that Judy Frazier of Channel 3 news always made a big deal about that. Shelby did not remember, but I always had to go outside with Shelby and Cody on this day at noon and raise our arms and yell Hoodie Hoo! Judy Frazier said that this was to scare winter away. I am a tad bit sad that Shelby does not remember because they were always so excited and watched the clock until noon and then we had to run out and yell! At least now, she knows that she did, though. Maybe Shelby can pause at work today and run out and yell! Haha. This day means that Spring is exactly one month away.
When I mentioned Judy Frazier to Shelby I said that I missed her. She was funny. She made up words for the weather by combining them. If I am not mistaken, one day she said it was muggid. Then she laughed and laughed at herself and said that was muggy and humid. I thought my brother, Pete, and I were going to die laughing. Anyway, as soon as I said the name, Judy Frazier, Shelby said, “I am who you think I am.” We both laughed. Shelby said she remembered Judy but not Hoodie Hoo day.
Later, as I was talking to Wes and telling him this story, he said, “I am who you think I am.” Haha. We were all at Sam’s Club in Champaign one Saturday. As we were leaving, a lady was standing right outside of the door, just standing there. She said hello to everyone. I was the last to leave and she said hello to me. I turned to see her and said, “Hey!” Her response….. she said, “I am who you think I am.” We all laughed about that as well, too. We thought it was funny she said that. Haha. We miss her on the news. She was a fun woman. We all loved her!
Anyway, at noon….. go outside, wave your arms and yell loudly, HOODIE HOO!!!!
My father was a conductor for the New York Central Railroad. We lived in the country in Charleston, Illinois on 10 acres. Dad was gone a lot of the time due to his job. We looked so forward to when he would come home. Of course, we loved seeing him, but we also looked forward to going places with him.
When he was home, on payday, we always went to the neighboring town, Mattoon and picked up his paycheck from the “yard”. The Big Four railroad yard was in Mattoon and that is where he worked out of. We sometimes would shop at Warehouse Sales. It was like the Walmart of today and we would have such fun exploring the toys. I remember that we always got our tennis shoes from there. It is where Kull Lumber is today. We would stop at the original “Burger King” in town and get a bag of tomato burgers – I remember when they were 6 for $1.00 so they may have been even less then! Yummy! What a treat. To this day, they still have the best hamburgers.
We would visit our cousins who lived in Mattoon and get to play with them as well. We use to all live on the same street and one family lived across the street until we moved to Charleston. When we were at our cousin’s house, we would play under a great big weeping willow tree. It was so full that we could get underneath it and sit and talk and not be seen by others, or so we thought. They also had a garage filled with toys that we would play with! We always played some sort of action game that my cousins would think up. They were both boys and my little brother made up three boys that I had to play with. There was a show on television, Route 66. My cousins each would play the part of one of them, Buz Murdock and Tod Stiles. I do not remember what part my brother and I would play, but that was their role. I say I had to play with them but I did not “have” to. It was either that or the older girl cousins would play with my hair as they played hairdresser. My uncle would tell us that if we picked up the cigarette butts out of the yard, we could have a penny for each one we found and threw away. Of course, we did this!
There was a little grocery store right beside their back yard there named Llewellyn’s. We would take our hard earned money and go get some candy! We could get a small bag of candy each. My favorites candies were sixlets and the hot dog gum, it was red and shaped like a little hot dog. I loved the flavor of that gum! I also liked the sheets of paper with colored candy dots on it. Sometimes I would get the six pack of paraffin pop bottles with flavored kool-aid inside. The bottles could serve as flavorless chewing gum later. Of course, my all time favorite candy, and still to this day, was tootsie rolls. We would all get different candies and then share. There was lik-m-aid which was like a kool-aid powder that you ate with a stick or a plastic spoon. Today, the spoon to dip with is edible too! Share below in the comments what your favorite candy was. I had several but this was just a few to name. Peanut butter bars were delicious too, they were a hard candy with a sort of softer filling inside and bit-o-honey came in close after that.
I guess that the store was owned by two sisters, Florence and Katherine. I do not know which one was which, but one of the sisters was always behind the counter and one was on a stool in the corner when you walked in. They both would smile and say hello. They were so nice that it was such fun to go there. That is my memory, some may differ with their opinion, but that is what I remember. Later in life, I heard about a story about The Mad Gasser, their brother, Farley. He was “gassing” people in Mattoon.
On the way home from our day out, Dad would stop and get some beverages. Us three children were allowed our choice of soda. The sodas came in glass bottles then. I always got a chocolate soda, Chocola. The bottom of the bottle was darker brown from the settlement of the chocolate and you had to shake it up before you drank it. I think I always got this due to the fun in shaking the bottle. Haha!
The road we took home from Mattoon to Charleston had a very small hill. Dad would say hold your bottles and we all would stick our fingers in our bottles to plug them up and he would speed up a bit over the hill. It always took our stomachs away! We could not wait to get to this part in the road. I can so vividly remember the three of us with our fingers in our bottles, laughing and saying “Wheeeeee!!!!” What fun times we had!
These postcards are all addressed to my grandfather except for one. The one not addressed to him is from my grandmother to her uncle. The addresses for my grandfather are while he was stationed apparently. Some are addressed to the USS Washington, %P.M, New York City, NY. There are no zip codes on any of these. Some are addressed to the USS Washington, %Postmaster, via Pacific Station, San Francisco, California. The one to my Grandmother’s uncle is addressed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I wonder if he were stationed somewhere as well? It is %C.M.E.R.R. Co.
I wonder what the side spillway thing is that looks like stairs? Anyone know? Also, wouldn’t the person at the top be sitting in water? I could google it, but it is more fun to ask and read your comments! I am not sure a search would result with “side spillway thing that looks like stairs” anyway. Haha.
Just thought you may want to see some of these postcards. I may have shared these on the You Know You Are From Charleston, Illinois page already.
There were so, so many nice, funny, clean, television shows when we were children. There were weekly variety shows, comedy, drama, westerns, cartoons and more.
I remember being so fascinated with the television. It was a huge box on legs and others were in a console. My little brother and I, as many others probably did, wondered how the people were inside of there and how the salesman knew what people to put in there. We wondered if the actors had to stay in that box all week or if people came to the house and changed them. We worried about how they ate and everything else. We finally questioned our mother about it. Rather than ruining our fantasy, she told us they came weekly. This was a mistake because then my brother and I were going to take the back off and take out those people and play with them. Who would not want to have The Lone Ranger ride around in your living room!?
We were really excited about this, we were going to get them out and play with them! Well, my mother figured out what we were trying to do before we even got started. She told us that if we messed with the television and a screwdriver, we may cause an explosion or a fire. This would not only harm or kill the people inside, we would probably be injured as well. We decided to just let the people come get them when it was time to change them and be content with just watching them when they were on.
We can start with Westerns I guess, the others will be discussed at a different time. First off I will mention Gunsmoke. When I knew this was going to be on, I had to run and get my six shooters and strap them on! Matt Dillon, the star, always walked out and came up to the screen and shot at us. I always had to fight back. He never got me and I never got him, so we continued this weekly.
There were so many good ones. My sister loved Sugarfoot. There was Roy Rogers who had the neatest horse, Trigger. Trigger was so good and did so many tricks. He also had a jeep he called Nellybelle. My little brother had a fire truck that was metal, some called them kiddie cars, or maybe a pedal car. It had pedals to make it go. It was red, sleek, had a shiny bell on it and a little white ladder. He sped all around in that thing. He affectionately named it Nellybelle.
The Rifleman was another good one featuring Lucas McCain and his son, Mark. The Rifleman always came down the road, rifle at his hip and firing his rifle repeatedly. For some reason, I never felt the need to shoot back at him. Perhaps I did not think six shooters should shoot back at a rifle. I imagine that if I had a rifle, I would have fought back.
My mother’s favorite was Rawhide. This featured Gil Favor and Rowdy Yates. Rowdy Yates was a very young Clint Eastwood. This show was about cattle drivers and situations would arise along the trail that they had to deal with.
Hopalong Cassidy was another favorite. We had this show for our movie projector too. Dad had several of these on reels and we would watch them from time to time. Dad would set up the projector and we would watch them on a sheet hung on the wall. Our favorite part of this was when someone would fall off of the horse and dad would rewind the projector and they would hop right back on. We laughed so hard at this. Dad would repeat it a few times for us and then continue on with the movie. Someone would get shot and die and he would rewind and they would hop right back up alive. We never knew when he would do this, but we always had great fun watching when he would rewind and laugh so hard.
Gene Autry was the singing cowboy and my mother and aunts loved that! To name a few more, there was Annie Oakley and Maverick. There was Paladin – Have Gun Will travel. We made up different words to the Paladin theme song. There was Sky King which we LOVED hearing…”Out of the blue of the western sky”…. There was also Sergeant Preston of the Yukon with his dog, Yukon King.
I am sure that I am missing some, but you can comment your favorites below. I know that later on there were many more westerns, but these are the ones from when I was a child, the ones in black and white. Another great thing that was a result of these shows were the things you could purchase. You could buy lunch boxes and you could get a matching thermos with something depicted from the show on them. There were little toy guitars and cowboy hats with the same depiction and do not forget my six shooters! I took them everywhere I went. Those were great times. The cartoons were the best back then too and you could purchase even more items relating to those. We will do cartoons and other shows at a later date. Please feel free to comment your favorite show or to comment on one I mentioned. Tell me your memories?
I do not know why most of these are only addressed to my grandfather. I have no idea if they were from my grandmother or what. Lots of Valentine post cards, though. Some are so detailed and are what I could call embossed. Most seem to be from 1910 through 1914. What very neat cards!!!!
On the message side of the post card some say “Correspondence”, some say “Correspondence Space” and some say “Space for Writing Messages”.
On the address side, some say “Address”, some say “Space for the address” and some say “This Space For Address Only”. One says “The address is to be written on this side.”
I have not looked, but what a neat idea to send valentine postcards. I may have to check it out!
Going back to my grade school days, I remember making the construction paper “envelopes” and decorating them for Valentines Day. This was done during class time. We hung them on our desk and the classmates went around and put a card in it that they got for you. I remember it being fun and I liked making the envelopes with hearts and lacy borders.
As far as the short time my children were in school, I remember them making a box and I feel like we made those at home rather than at school and then took the box to school the day we took their cards for their friends. We also had a party for them. We made treat bags with candy and small trinket gifts such as pencils, stickers and such. They had either cupcakes or cookies or something like that. We parents could attend the party and that was great fun to watch the children’s excitement.
I feel like I like for the children to have fun on Valentines Day more than the romantic concept of the day. I did, however, receive a nice bouquet from my husband today and I LOVE that! Thank you Wes! We would go all out with the children. They got gifts from us and had a special dinner at home. These ranged from heart shaped pizzas, heart shaped cakes, etc. I think one of the most remembered gifts was one large item that we gave to them all as a group gift. It was a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) with the game The Lion King. That happens to be one of our favorite movies and a very, very good game. We played that for hours even after we beat the game. (Cody is the best in the family at video games now.) I would love to play it again with them!
One time while my husband was with Cody coaching basketball practice, Shelby and I prepared a wonderful valentines meal. We used icing to attach conversation hearts around the edge of the plate. We made cherry kool-aid and dipped the rim of the glass in sugar that we colored red. I think we may have had steak and we colored the macaroni and cheese red. Shelby had such fun helping make all of this and it was such a pretty display. The boys really loved it! It was such fun to see their faces. (Shelby is a fantastic cook to this day and always plates her meals like a professional!) I miss my babies not being around for the fun today. Happy Valentines Day to my babies!
NOW —- to the old days. Following is a Valentines Card that my Grandmother, Dora, sent to my Grandfather. The back of the card just has his name and address on it.
The following is a card that my grandfather’s sister, Leda, sent to my grandmother.
The print on the card is rather light. It reads in part… as some of it is now missing, “Would that I could ——–to my heart” and then I cannot read the next lines but at the end it says, “word can impart” and then I cannot read more and then it says “you.” I wish I could still read it. I did google cards from 1913 but I did not find one like this. The stamp on the back is green was one cent!
Again, Happy Valentines Day to you all. Spend time with your loved ones, they are so precious!
These adorable babies! Two completely different and opposite tooth fairy stories. The children went to public school for a short period of time. They went to a small school in Lerna, Illinois, through second grade for Cody and kindergarten for Shelby. We moved to town and they attended Carl Sandburg for third and first grade. After that, we taught them at home.
Let’s start with Shelby. This was while she was attending Lerna school When a student lost a tooth, they got to keep it in a “tooth necklace”. This was a plastic tooth on a necklace that opened and closed. The tooth was placed inside and the date of loss was written in marker by the teacher. Shelby witnessed many people receive these and wanted one more than anything! It was so important for her!
I can see her little face just like it was yesterday. She was so adorable and all smiles! I would pick them up from school and we all three would chat all of the way home. When we got home, at some point, (always outside in the yard) Shelby would saunter up to me, all smiles, and say, “Mom.” I would bend down to her and she would shyly step side to side with her hands in her pocket and say, “I lost a tooth today.” I would exclaim excitedly and ask to see it. She would be so darn excited and reach in her pocket, giggling, and start to hand it to me, pausing to make sure we could take it to school and get one of those necklaces! When I reassured her we would take it the very next morning and get one, she would hand me her tooth. What a sweet, cute, little girl. She would hand it to me and wait. I so hated to disappoint her. Apparently, she could tell by the look on my face and I would look at her and she would look at the ground and back up at me and shake her little head side to side and ask, “No?” Evidently, she would search and search on the playground and find her “tooth”. She would take such care to not lose it and bring the tiniest little white rock home to me! Those little rocks do amazingly resemble a tiny little tooth. How heartbreaking for me but apparently more heartbreaking for her. She tried at least twice a week to show me those little rocks and hope they would pass for a tooth. Not only did I think she was so adorable, I thought how smart of her to try this. I felt so sorry for her. I wanted her to enjoy recess instead of looking for “teeth.” I would reassure her that they would come out when they were ready but she could hardly stand the wait. Of course, she did finally lose her tooth and get her necklace! She was so proud that I let her wear it for days. Haha. We did make a production of putting the tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy to take and, of course, to leave a nice little amount of money in return for the tooth. I sure do miss those days. I love her so very much and always see that beautiful little girl face when I look at her. It does not matter her age, she will always look like my little baby girl in my eyes.
Now for a whole different perspective with Cody. We moved to town which is why we had to switch schools. Cody was in third grade now. Shelby had lost another tooth and of course would not stop going on about it. When I was tucking Cody in to bed that night, he asked me to stay a little longer so we could talk. This was an enlightening and heartbreaking talk. I had never ever thought of what Cody told me.
He basically told me he knew there was no tooth fairy. He told me not to worry that he would not tell Shelby because she seemed to like the whole thing. This is what hurt me and I had never thought of before… He asked me why I would want my child to think that some “thing” would come into his room late at night and get under his pillow and take something away. He asked me if I had thought about how this might scare some child. Wow! I was speechless. Here I am feeling terrible, explaining to my son how I had never thought of that and telling him that my parents did it and I was fine with it. I told him that I only thought it would be fun for them and had not thought of all of that. Then I, of course, apologized to him. He told me that it was okay and he was not mad at me. Wow! I had no idea. He was, however, smart enough to mention that I still should be paying him so Shelby would not wonder about it and perhaps not believe. I had to be careful to not laugh at that part. I do not think I will ever forget this story and how he spoke to me. He was sort of chastising me but yet being gentle so as not to hurt me. Such a sweet little boy. I have yet to this day heard a child say something like that about the tooth fairy. I am still impressed that he even came up with that. What a thinker he was! He clearly had put a great deal of thought into this. When I think of this, sometimes I still wonder how long he dealt with his thoughts and how hard it probably was for him to come to me at such a young age. I still feel sorry sometimes and hope that I did not scare him. Who knew?
The second item he brought up was Santa. He, in a very matter-of-fact way, told me that he knew there was no Santa and to not worry, he would not ruin this for Shelby either. He then added his little sermon to me. (We all thought he would grow up and be a pastor, but….) He proceeded to tell me how Santa was not part of Christmas and God would not have some person be able to do all that Santa was suppose to do. He said that God would not give someone powers of that type. Only God can see all. He actually began asking me questions about it and expecting me to answer … Why would God want someone to have those powers? Why would I think that? Why would I want them to believe that? Thankfully, he let me off of the hook saying that he got that it was fun and he would not ruin it for Shelby, but he knew this was not true and could not possibly be true. To quote a movie here…..”I am filled with chagrin.” Haha. I sure do miss those days. I love him so very much and always see that beautiful little boy face when I look at him. It does not matter his age, he will always look like my little baby boy in my eyes.
Someone commented on yesterday’s blog that I should maybe research this a little. I did and here is what I found about Ration Book 1, pictured again below.
I found on a website, Department of History, Library, Duke University some of the following. I am in a way quoting them but without the quotation marks and not verbatim. I hope this does not get me into trouble. Haha.
Interestingly, the book I posted a picture of up above, was dated on the back May 4, 1942. I found that Ration Book 1 was issued to the public May 4 – May 7, 1942. They were initially used to ration sugar and later were designated for other products. For instance, it said that stamps 1-4 were for sugar. Each stamp was worth 1 pound and had to be used in a two week period. Stamps 5-6 were worth 2 pounds and each was valid for a 4 week period. Stamps 15-16 were for 5 pounds of sugar each, for home canning! This article went on stating the stamps and their values. It said Stamp #17 was for a pair of shoes. Stamps 19-28 were for 1 pound of coffee. This was a very interesting article. It even offers that you can print a copy of Ration Book 1. By the way, my family must not have wanted the coffee back then, as those were the stamps that were left in the book! I know they certainly drank it when I was alive.
The above is the back side of Ration Book 3 which I shared in my prior blog. The article I mentioned stated that this was distributed May 20, 1943. The coupons were used for food and other commodities. It contained 8 pages of stamps. Four were for meat and four for a clothing program. The article said that was never put into effect so some clothing stamps were eventually validated for shoes.
I encourage you to google the article and read it. It is very interesting. Here is the link Department of History
Following are some pictures of Ration Books that I found.
I only remember a few stories that my mother told about the rationing. I do not remember my father speaking of it much. Remember how you wish you would have listened to your parent’s stories more when you were younger?
I ran across these and just thought you might find them interesting.
My husband’s family lived about an hour away, in Sullivan, Illinois. We camped a lot and mostly at Shelbyville. Although there is a nice place in Sullivan, Bo Woods, we spent most of the time in Shelbyville.
One time, my husband, Wes, decided we should leave a day early and spend the night in his mother and father’s driveway and spend the next day with them. We thought this was a great idea. However, his parents practically go to bed at dark, which is way too early for us. Another downfall, was there was no firepit to sit around there, so we basically had to spend the time in the camper at a pretty early hour. The camper was right next to their bedroom window as well and we did not want to wake them by being in the yard.
This was actually not a problem as we decided to just play games in the camper. I told my husband that I wanted to pop some popcorn so he needed to turn on the propane tank. I still pop our popcorn on the stove in a kettle. Popcorn is just too good to be made in a microwave! Yuck!
The kids and I were getting things ready inside of the camper when all of a sudden we saw a very bright orangish, yellow light in front of the camper. A very bright light! We were sort of standing in amazement and wondering what it could be from. Suddenly, the camper door opened and Wes yelled, “Everybody out now!” We had no idea what was going on but I quickly shuffled the kids out of the door. As I got to the bottom of the steps, Wes pointed at me and said, “You are not getting any popcorn!” Haha. What a weird guy he is at times. The kids and I start laughing at him. He looks so shook up and why can’t we have popcorn? You would have laughed too. He has this way of “dancing” when he is upset.
Before we had a chance to find out more information from Wes, the bedroom window flew open and his mother and father were looking out and they said in unison, “What is going on?” The kids and I, of course began giggling at that site. Their little heads together and the questioning look on their faces was just too much. Wes quickly and perhaps a little embarrassed, said, “Nothing, go back to bed.” His parents are so sweet and cooperative. They said nothing more and down went the window. That little gesture set off our laughing again. Wes then said, “Everyone back in the camper!” We can be obedient at times too so in we went.
Okay, so what exactly happened? Well, first off, my husband is not a stupid man, but at times……… Haha. I guess that when he went to turn on the propane tank he discovered that it was empty so he needed to switch over to the full tank. There is some sort of lever to turn and he could not see the lever. Since the one tank was turned off and the other one was empty, he flipped out his lighter to see the lever. I guess this was not the brightest thing for him to do. Anyway, as he flipped the lever to switch tanks, the remaining fumes escaped the empty tank and BOOM! So, that is what the big light was, flames! There was no damage it extinguished itself. Well, I guess I left out one small detail. Apparently there was some damage. He did burn his hair which was not pleasant to smell and there were these little burned ends on his hair. His hair did not look the best. Another minor bit of damage was the loss of his eyebrows. This might have been why the children and I were laughing so much. If I remember right, we may have called him “Singe” for awhile.
This was not as bad as the time that his father saved him from a similar mistake. This one could have ended much worse. Before we were married, Wes worked with his father who had a trenching and backhoe business in Sullivan, Sanders Trenching. They were at a job and Wes was filling the trencher up with gas from a tank in the back of a pick up truck. Wes was standing there with the gas hose in the tank and was bored and just looking around when he noticed there was a spider on the gas tank. We all know that Wes is afraid of crawling things and he was going to fix that spider! Wes, without thinking, reached for his lighter and tried to kill the spider by igniting him. I am not sure if he got the spider but he definitely got the tank! This made a noise and then there was Wes screaming. His father heard both and ran around and quickly screwed the lid on the fuel tank of the trencher which extinguished the flame. All I can say is that it is a good thing his father was there and was thinking!
It is also a good thing that Wes quit smoking and no longer carries a lighter with him!
I was talking with a friend and we were both expressing our concerns over some problems or issues that we had. One thing led to another and we were chatting away. My friend stated that writing these blogs probably helped some with things. I replied yes and my friend said that they were helped by writing about things as well.
I started reflecting after that conversation. Although, I am not a writer at all, I realized that I have actually been writing my whole life. My grandmother kept a planner at one end of her kitchen table and when I would spend the night with her, I would notice that she wrote in it every morning while having breakfast. I now have those diaries and they are such a treat to read. My grandfather did the same thing. It is really neat, because on my birth date, there is an entry that states that my father has a little girl! I so love having that diary and better yet being mentioned in it!
When I was in 7th grade, my mother bought me a diary for Christmas. I still have it. It was navy blue and locked and had a tiny, little key. I was so happy with that! I rarely missed a day of an entry. I have not stopped writing since then. I have tablets, spiral bound notebooks and various types of journals that I have written in. I would record the date and jot down my thoughts of the day or write about an event. I go through spurts, sometimes I will do this for only a month, sometimes for several months, but I have lots of these around.
However, what prompted me to talk about this was a memory of my father. I do not remember what happened but I remember I was upset and probably even sad about something that had happened. I believe that I was unhappy for a couple of days. I cannot believe that I do not remember, but I have heard that you sometimes block painful memories. My father gave me a pad of paper, I even remember the pad. He worked for the New York Central Railroad and they had these pads of a very distinct pale yellow that was bound at the top by glue. It was unlined and about half the size of a sheet of typing paper. He brought me that pad and a pencil. He told me that he wanted me to write about the incident and why it was bothering me. I really did not want to do this and did not see the point. He insisted I did it, though.
I finished writing it and gave it to him. He told me that he was not going to read it, it was only for my eyes. He then had me go outside with him and we walked to the edge of the woods and told me to read it again. When I was finished reading it, he set it on the ground and told me to watch it closely. He then set it on fire and told me to watch my problems burn up and go away in the smoke and to not think about them any longer. What a special memory this is for me. What a smart, loving father! Not only did he know that writing must help with a problem, he taught me to know how to let go of it and he showed me how much he loved me! Perhaps he was the reason I started writing in that diary and have continued to do so.
Incidentally, I mentioned above that I cannot remember what I was upset about. I guess his plan worked! Thank you, Dad! I love you very much!
This is a photo of my dad when he was in Japan in the Army.
This is a photo of my father’s family. My father is in the middle! Left to right, my grandmother, my grandfather, my father and then his two brothers are next.