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Monday, December 31, 2007

Fun Monday - My favorite joke

Fun Monday is hosted today by Peter at Holties House. No Worries, Peter. I had help with my joke video while I'm visiting my daughter's family. It's been a rainy rainy visit. It's the kind of weather that frogs love. So I had to repeat my silliest joke, my wide-mouthed frog joke. When my daughters were very young, they were always embarrassed when the wide-mouthed frog came out to play.

Wide-Mouthed Frog from Karmyn R on Vimeo.

Make sure to check out the other comedians that are signed up down under the big pond!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

100 years ago…. Well almost.

We arrived to have dinner with Auntie Fern and to celebrate the holiday. Auntie Fern will be 99 in April.

“I’m feeling punk.” She said. “I’m worried.”

Her 71-year old son who lives 2 hours away wasn’t answering his phone on Christmas Day.

The hubby spent some time on the phone searching, and located him in the hospital. He was experiencing shortness of breath, but would be going home after some treatments.

I feel so much better,” she exclaimed, “and I’m hungry now.

Our subsequent dinner conversations lead to the celebration of Christmas and how it had changed in her lifetime.

I remember getting an orange in my stocking! That was something! We never got oranges any other time of year. It was a special treat to get that.

My brothers would shoot a wild goose for Christmas dinner. Sometimes we would have wild rabbit instead. Wild rabbits were really good. But we had to quit eating them because they got spots. It was Tularemia, and it was fatal to people.

We decorated by stringing cranberries and popcorn.

I don’t really remember much about the gifts, but I’m sure we must have gotten a small one.

I encouraged her to share some of the other important events in her life.

Bill and I got married in a little Presbyterian church that was next door to the courthouse where we got our marriage license. It was just us and Bill’s mom and brother. We had to have a parent because Bill wasn’t 21 yet. Then we drove to his aunt’s house in Kelso.

Our faces must have reflected our excitement because she said, “I bet you two just got married.”

We said, “Yes we did!!”

So she crawled up in the attic and pulled out a bottle of Dandelion Wine. (This was during prohibition) Bill drank it, but I was only 18 so I don’t think I did. Then she fixed us a wedding celebration lunch.

We moved to Pullman (the home of Washington State University) so that Bill could finish his college degree. I was so lonesome. He would go to the library to study, so I went along and read books. I read so many books.

Two weeks before he finished, he sent me home to visit with my sisters. That was my chance to say goodbye. We were moving to Payette Idaho, and I wouldn’t see them for a very long time.

Bill taught school there for 6 years. Then they returned to Pullman for 1 year where Bill completed his advanced degree.

It was during the depression so money was very tight. I got a job cooking for 10 young men. Five dollars a month. The boys were going to school and working their way through the School of Agriculture. They were such gentlemen. ..Always so polite and well mannered. They were easy to work for. At Christmas they bought me candy.

They said they liked everything but rabbit. So, on my final week of employment I tricked them. I cut up a rabbit and cooked it just like chicken. They told me that was “the best” meat they’d ever eaten. Then I told them it was rabbit. So, I pulled one over on them!

While she was talking with us an elderly gentlemen walked up and greeted us with the sentiments of the season.

Oh, that fellow thinks he knows everything. There is a woman that lives here who is 100 years old. She tells people that I am her daughter.

Several staff members came by to wish her Merry Christmas.

Oh you know you are my favorite, don’t you?

Auntie Fern punctuates her conversation with giggles and guffaws. She is a positive and happy person. But, she also says she is tired and ready to go home.

I hope she waits awhile. There are more stories we need to hear.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

No Room in The Inn

Allow me to introduce Little Girl. She belongs to our daughter Amanda, who, along with all the others who lived in their apartment complex, received eviction notices for Christmas. You can read about it here.

She and her family raced the clock to find an available apartment - and moved in just five days before Christmas.

But - NO ROOM IN THE INN for pets at the new apartment. Strictly forbidden by the management.

So, she adopted her two cats out; Baby went to Karmyn's house, and Little Girl arrived here late last night.

Amanda hopes the cat move is temporary and that she will be able to reclaim her family sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, Little Girl has only wandered out of her hiding place to use the cat box and Meow very loudly. I'm going to move Little Girl into my bedroom tonight and lock The Contessa in the family room.

Our Contessa is spittin' and fluff-tailed over the new arrival.

Linking for Dollars - Give to St Jude


Kelly, Passing the Torch, is one of my very first blogging friends. Last year, her company, Empowering Youth, Inc, sponsored a successful effort, Linking for Dollars, and raised $500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

She's going to do it again!

You can help.

Empowering Youth will pay one dollar to St. Jude, just for posting this announcement.

Want something easier? She will accept your comments until Christmas Day, up to a maximum donation of $500 — one dollar per comment. Details are here.

Kelly says: Our hope is that during the season of giving, you’ll inspire others to give as well - either from their own wallets, or by linking to us so we reach our $500 goal. How many dollars will you inspire? Please spread the word!

It doesn't get any better than this! Thanks Kelly, for letting us be a part of your Christmas giving.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pensieve's Poetic License - Cinquain Celebration

Robin at Pensieve has challenged our creative juices this month. I wrote this, in a burst of catch up, last Sunday evening, thinking that the assignment was due last week.

When I realized my mistake, I set it aside with the idea that I would write more, make it wonderful, and just be on it with a joyful vengeance.

Didn't happen.

So without further ado, I present my Cinquain - which celebrates my daughters. Happy birthday (December 17th) Karmyn and (December 30th) Jennifer. And,our Goddaughter, Beckie (the 22nd).

I am blessed.

in December
Highlight the Calendar
through tear smudged Memories
of Daughters

Robin will have Mr. Linky up tomorrow before the sun rises - I'm going to be there or be square.
(Fun Monday is Below)

Fun Monday 46, On the Street where I live.....

Kitten (Kitten's homeschool) is today's lovely hostess for Fun Monday. She wants to know about our house and the street on which we live. A prize will be awarded to the person living in the oldest house. That won't be me. However, the original homestead in the area sits on our back fence. I hope she enjoys the picture I included of it.

* * * *

We live on a quiet street - except in the afternoon when the high school kids decide to use it as a short cut.

When we moved in there were many open fields with cows and horses, but there were also many new homes.

When our neighbor Bill moved in over forty years ago, there were only two other houses nearby. He and his late wife raised their five children in a 1923 era home with an unfinished cellar, unfinished dormer style upstairs, and only two bedrooms on the main floor.

It sat on a dirt lane in the 60’s. Barbed wire fences contained the horses and cows. The chickens, however, wandered wherever they pleased. His kids rode their horse through the fields and up the slopes of Stubblefield Hill where the old Boys Ranch was abandoned and crumbling. Bill spent time up there gathering square nails from the old structure. The hill provided local kids with the best sledding for miles around. Now the hill and the farmland are covered with houses and asphalt. Several of the original creeks that babbled through were directed into culverts and disappear underground. I hear babblings now and then of returning some of those back to the surface. The south side of the distinct hill and the creek valley remained untouched for many years after we moved in. In the past ten years developments sprawled across the area.

Further north on our street stands the second house built in the 20s. The old couple that lived there passed away; now their son and his family have been slowly renovating it.

The third one, an old farm house that is adjacent to our back yard on the East, was built in 1902. The original owners never sold. After their deaths the house belonged to three different families prior to the 3 M’s purchasing it in 1978. That was the same year we bought this tract home from the original owners. Our and M’s daughters became fast friends, so the hubby added a special gate just for them when he built the fence. Our girls spent many hours catching frogs in the creek.

(pictures from this summer)

A red barn that belonged to the original homestead still stands. It was built sometime in the 1890s. M's started a winery in the 80’s which originally featured the old barn on the label. (They have since moved their successful vintner activities into a wonderful facility that attracts many wine connoisseurs.)

In the early part of the century the old farm was self sufficient, and the dairy provided the main source of income.

I’ve read some of the written accounts from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and other early explorers and settlers. The native grasses were so tall that a horse and rider were easily hidden from view. That all changed with the Oregon Trail and the influx of ranchers, farmers, and settlements. Now the farmland is changing with the incursion of sprawling homes, vineyards, and commercial ventures.

When our girls come back for a visit, they are always surprised at how their home town has grown and changed.

Although I think of it as quiet, our street is a microcosm of the world around us.

I invite you to click on Kitten, and read other participants take on this Fun Monday assignment.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

B.S. (A Meme)

Several weeks ago Tiggerlane tagged me with the education meme. The rules: Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It's more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you'd also like to take. Tag five.

(1)The amount of time that has passed since I was given this assignment proves that I already have a degree in procrastination. However, a refresher course in time management might be helpful. I would probably call it Personal Time Space Continuum 365. (yeah, my own little universe) This class would provide an overview of the students one year journey around the sun. I just don't know if I can fit it in my schedule.

(2) Especially at this time of year, Making Payday Last Forever $101 is highly recommended. We've all heard the saying "So much month left at the end of the money," or "So long between Paydays, so short between Bills." Well, this class would apply the theories from Space Time Continuum so the financially challenged could change money for month and long for the short of it. If you understood that sentence you already have it figured out. Tiggerlane might appreciate this class because she is in the final stages of building, furnishing, and decorating a new house.

(3) Life Bucks. Often. Therefore Bumps & Dumps 1Õ1 is also in my required curriculum. The student in this class would learn how to climb on, hang on, and survive the ride. Unfortunately, most will have to repeat this class. Over and Over and Over.
Several mandatory field trips .

(4) Diet and Exercise While You Sleep €¿
. All my friends would join me in this class. It would be such a success story that students would have to bring their own blankets and pillows. You say, "in your dreams!" I say, "e x a c t l y."

(5) After graduating from Washington State University some years ago, Karmyn acknowledge that something was missing from her education.
"Mom," she asked, "You know how schools teach the three R's: Readin', Ritin', and 'Rithmatic?"
"Yes, dear."
"Well, they need to teach the fourth R: Real World."
So my final class offered, in my daughter's honor, is Real World 1©1. Basics would include how to read between the lines, decipher labels, be wary of signing the dotted line, differentiate between what is good and what is too good to be true, and talk with the animals. I just threw "talking to the animals" in for the heck of it.

All are welcome to create and post your life fixer courses. Let me know, so I can enroll as soon as possible.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fun Monday #45- A Christmas Tree Ornament

Katabug is hosting today's Fun Monday. She's being very seasonable with her choice of topics. I look forward to some wonderful posts today.

The rules were: In the spirit of the season I would like to see your favorite Christmas tree ornament. Not to be confused with the WHOLE tree. I want you to zoom in and show me one or a few(you know I can't choose just one!) of your favorite ornaments. If you don't decorate a tree, show me your menorah or dreidel, Kinara, or Yule Log. I want to see your favorite decoration for this holiday season.

When I was a little girl (in the 50's) my favorite Christmas Tree ornament was a blown glass raspberry. My mom had a special attachment to it. Every year she packed it away with much care and concern.

When she died 14 years ago, my eldest brother claimed it and keeps it wrapped securely with his Christmas decorations. (They were still in storage at his house in North Central California and I was unable to get a picture of it in time for this post.)

This picture was downloaded from Elizabethan Christmas. There are many more blown glass unique and exquisite Christmas ornaments on the website. The raspberry in this picture is of similar quality to Mom's, but with leaves. After speaking with siblings today, I still don't know the origin of mom's glass ornament. A sister remembers a blown glass pineapple that once dangled from the home grown fir tree that the two eldest brothers cut down in the "woods." A brother remembered a golden ornament that could have been the pineapple, or maybe an orange or an apple. It must have broken as any others were that may have one time completed the set. The raspberry is very fragile.

I don't know why I never asked mom how she came to own them. There never was much money for luxuries and dad opposed spending it on Christmas. I think he may have been one of the original Bah Hum Buggers.

In my growing years, the little glass raspberry was a special tradition in our simple and frugal holiday celebration.

(Having discovered the web site linked above, I may just decide to do some shopping. Did I mention that I already have a glass pickle ornament?)

Click here to see who else signed up with Lady K to share their ornament memories or dreams.

Have a Fun Monday!!!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gram's Story, Part 3

In Part 1, the family arrived in the Touchet Valley during the late 1800s. Jennie, our Gram, was born in 1902 and grew up on a wheat farm. At age 10 she faced the death of her mother and the challenges of being the family cook and caretaker. In the final paragraph of Part 2, the young farm hand and neighbor asks, "Jennie, will you marry me?" Her response was "Yes!" Here is Part 3 of Gram's Story.

Jennie wanted to complete Normal School before she returned to the valley and into the arms of her betrothed. As always, with the best laid plans - things did not go according to hers.

The first problem arose immediately following their winter engagement: John, her father, became contrary about the tuition expense. He did not want to pay for her remaining education and asked to be reimbursed for the amount he'd already covered. Jennie was penniless until she received her teaching certificate and a position. Raleigh's job as a farm hand was subject to season, weather, and crop fruition.

Unfortunately, there was more trouble brewing for the young couple in love.

Her eldest brother, Floyd, was enamored with Raleigh's only sister, Blanche. She was very attractive and the four had often double dated.

Apparently, Blanche accepted a casual dance invitation from a fellow student while completing her Teaching Certificate at Normal School. When the gossip reached Floyd, he was jealous and angry.

Floyd's emotions boiled over and spread towards all of Raleigh's family. He couldn't say enough bad things about them to anyone who would listen. He told John that he had witnessed Raleigh urinating on the outside wall of the local church and that Raleigh and his brothers were "hooligans."

That was all the encouragement John needed to present Jennie with an ultimatum.

"Call of your engagement," John told Jennie. He declared that the two were not meant for each other and the relationship would never last.

"No! I am going to marry Raleigh," was her emphatic reply.

Those were the final words that passed between father and daughter that day and forever.

On May 31, 1923, Raleigh and Jennie eloped. One of their siblings probably had a Motel-T Ford that they borrowed for the hour drive to the Justice of The Peace.

Jennie wore a navy blue suit with a matching hat. Her most vivid memory of the day was "how handsome my new husband looked" and how her hat "was ruined" in the pouring rain as they dashed from the courthouse to their hotel.

There was no honeymoon as "we didn't have a car or much money."

Her handwritten notes mention a wedding shower and a gift of $50 that her sisters had collected between them.

John disowned his daughter Jennie on that day.

(Comments from her sister Fern who will be 99 in April, 2008: I never understood why Floyd and Dad were so ornery with Jennie. They didn't treat me that way. Jennie cooked and did the laundry and worked so hard. I tried to help her but I was seven years younger. I remember one Saturday night when Floyd arrived home late from a date. He went into the kitchen and ate a whole pie that Jennie baked for Sunday Dinner. He did stuff like that. I think Floyd was dad's favorite because he was the son born after the first three were daughters. Dad was on his death bed in December of 1949. He eyes seemed to turn constantly towards to the door of his hospital room. I think he was waiting for Jennie to come and say goodbye. But, she didn't.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Snow. Wind. Rain. Wind. Snow

Many distractions the past few week; not exclusive to computer problems and illness. The weather in our "neck of the woods" has garnered attention.

Fortunately we are not in an area that had noticeable floods. First we had a cold front with snow. Within 24 hours of a beautiful snowfall, the wind blew in with a vengeance. It stayed 3 days. However, the worst of the storm hit the west side. Then it blew right over the top of us and tore through northeastern Oregon.

We have returned to a beautiful snow covered morning on December 7.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

November's Perfect Post

Take four little men, a big dog, and a tree, then mix it up with mom and her camera to get an early bowel full of Christmas.

I invite you to get your spoonful of early holiday delight by viewing Try It If You Dare, posted by Nan over at Life is Like a Lunch Box

She and her family make me smile on the inside and giggle on the outside. I always expect to be entertained and have my spirits lifted when I click on her blog. I'm never disappointed.

Nan, I've nominated you for November's Perfect Post. The Original Perfect Post Awards

Thank you for letting us share your joy!

To see other Perfect Post nominees click on over to Lindsay at www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com and Kimberly at www.petroville.com .