Pearl Harbor Day

A day that has lived in infamy for over 75 years.  Since I really don’t want to do the math I’m not going to do it for the exact number of years, but it was December 8, 1941 (or was it 1942?).  I’ll admit to being very lax in my history lately, reviewing the exact dates, et al.  The one date I actually remember clearly is August 15, 1945 (I hope), VJ Day when the war that began on Dec. 8 was brought to its conclusion.  My two brothers and I were on the front lawn with Mother, the baby on a blanket she had spread out to keep the grass and bugs off him.  T and I were used  to them, since we played outside almost every waking hour.

By VJ day I had already been served a “chocolate” pie by my sweet older brother (mud was the main ingredient in this pie, with some small pebbles added to the recipe), received my first haircut under a street light, courtesy of the same brother and a neighbor boy, played Hansel and Gretel with the monthly sugar ration brought on by the war (T’s idea, not mine), run thru the house with a blanket over my head (also T’s idea), tripping over my doll bed and knocking out a couple of teeth by the roots.  (That one eye tooth came back in when I was a Junior in High School).  There were probably a few more incidents that were not as memorable as these, but time has made me mercifully forget.

But the main reason for my writing about this day in history is the family that served in that horrible war.  Three uncles, John R., Vird, and Leo, all gone now but forever remembered.  John and Vird served the entire time in Europe, both Mess Sargent’s, and both wonderful cooks till the day they passed from this life.  Leo was a machine gunner, beginning in Africa and fighting his way north until all of them ended up in Berlin.

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Above: Leo, Vird and John, left to right.  I’m not sure where this photo was taken because the writing on the back is so faded now it can’t be read.  I do remember a few stories told by Mom and my Aunt Marie.  From Aunt Marie I heard the latest:  Vird was in Paris and managed to check out a jeep for the day.  When he drove down one of the boulevards he glance to the right and noticed a familiar soldier leaning against a doorway, looking pretty exhausted, pulled over and yelled, “Hey Soldier, want a ride?”  It was Leo, finally that far north and on a much needed weekend pass.  Leo didn’t even look at the driver, just climbed in and leaned back.  They drove in silence for several blocks before Vird asked, “Well, Brother, aren’t you going to say anything after all these years?”  Leo turned then, broke into a huge smile, and uttered his usual epitaph, “Well, garden seed!”.  He used that remark for everything under the sun all his life.  So, the story is the two brothers had a wonderful reunion, at least as wonderful as possible under the conditions of the time.  They had to part after the weekend was up, but each happier to know the other was still alive, and to all intents and purposes still doing okay.  I think the next time they all met was Berlin after the Allies fought their way in.  11200633_105238233144960_1932706223543671071_n (1).jpgvird1.jpgLeo.jpg
Yay, I found them.  The studio photos of my Uncles!  Top is John R, next row is Leo then Vird!  Did I ever mention the fact that I come from a family of really good looking people?

I also want to mention my Aunt Trudy, an Army nurse who served in the Pacific front.  We never heard much about her time in the war, but one of my sisters said she half-remembers something she heard, but can’t remember the source.  When future President John Kennedy was rescued from his PT boat, he was taken to the hospital where Aunt Trudy was stationed and she had the dubious honor of giving him a shot.  Since she never lived in Kentucky again, coming home on rare occasions, married to a Canadian diplomat, her time as an Army nurse wasn’t spoken of much, so there is no way I know of to find out if this really was the case.  It makes a good, fun story though, and I hope she really met him during his time in her hospital.

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These are the two photos of my Aunt Trudy that I am most familiar with, the one in uniform the Trudy I knew first when I was a child.  I loved her rare visits, as I loved the visits from all of my paternal side of the family. My dad, his brother, and one sister were the ones I knew best, since they all lived in the area and I saw them more frequently.  His two oldest sisters both lived in Indiana, one other sister living in Covington, KY, northeast of Owensboro.  Just a side note here, I can see the old home-place from the window at the end of the hall, using the longest closeup setting on my camera.  A.

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Brain Freeze

101_5487How many of you know what this is?   I’m betting my cousins can identify it even though it is a poor imitation of the old bucket and crank ice cream freezer Papa used almost every Sunday during the summer while we were growing up.  Yes, here only three weeks before Christmas and I’m making ice cream.  Ya wouldn’t know it is December 4 by the weather we are having around here.  Went over to the grocery today to pick up a few things, and while the temperature was warm, we had a headwind outside the building.  I’m calling it a headwind because it blew the hat right off my head.  A potential disaster foiled by a handy concrete post located in our parking lot.  Disaster because it is one of my favorite hats, but some people out smoking near the dumpster saw it and gave chase, catching up to it only because of that post.  I made it to the grocery okay after that, with my right hand controlling the power chair and the left hand hanging onto my hat!

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Look good?  It is good, home made vanilla ice cream using home made vanilla extract.  It just doesn’t get any better than this — unless it should be following some of my home made brown ‘n’ serve rolls.  Think I’ll wait til tomorrow to make the rolls, though.  I give those as Christmas gifts to almost everyone in the family.  I now have a couple dozen new “family” members who have asked to be added to the list of cousins that was already pretty long.  The recipe is at least 75 years old, passed down thru the generations.  I’ve been making them for more years than I want to remember.  Until I began using the bread machine to do the job of mixing and kneading the dough I had more losing battles wit  It is a definite improvement for the shoulders.  All I really have to do is let the dough set a few minutes to relax, then roll it out and use my pizza cutter to form the rolls, bake a few minutes on very low, again to set the rolls before cooling  and freezing.

Gonna head toward my nest right now, after I get the dishes put in the dishwasher.  Tomorrow I’ll have some rolls before my ice cream.  A.

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Just a short note to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I have much to be thankful for this year, beginning with my new great-granddaughter, Victoria.  She’s a little beauty, the first girl in my part of the family since Anika came home.

I’m also thankful for my continued health, not of the greatest, but still able to get around on my own with the help of my trusty power chair. On my worst days I can still find something to laugh about, even if it is my pinched sciatic nerve.  I’m very thankful for the wonderful therapists who are working me over, um, I mean working with me to take care of this problem.  Amedysis has a wonderful group of people working for them and they don’t let me beg off on days I just feel plain lazy, but keep me going no matter what is going on.  I am so thankful for Kaye, Rodney, Anita and Kathy, plus all the rest of the crew who pitch in when one of the regulars is unable to come.  They won’t rest until I am as close to pain free as is possible.

For the smoked turkey I bought and stuck in my freezer before hurting myself, absolutely!  I had already invited my brother to come for dinner, and thanks to that turkey and the rolls I keep in my freezer for any occasion, I am thankful.   The only addition I’ll make will be some dumplings, but they almost make themselves, so we will sure feast this year.  And I’ll have leftovers to share with some of my friends who are not as lucky as I am when it comes to family and food.  I am very thankful for my family, a very large group of people living all over the world it seems like at times.  My Mom had 10 brothers and 2 sisters, and all but one of them had large families, giving me a boatload of cousins. I used to wish I was an only child until I met some people who are the only one.  Nope, not my style.  I love my large extended family and would be so lost without them.  My cousins who live near here, Diane, Peggie, Greg, Tim, Bill, Pat, Mark and all the rest, I love you all.  Also the ones in other states, much love to you — Leslie, Karen, John, Doug, Barbara, Patty, more and more names than I  can fit in here, I’m so glad we are cousins as well as friends.

And for my children, Gina, Don and Mike, with their spouses, Bill, Norita and Janette, my grandchildren, Alan, the brand new dad, and his sweet Maggie, Faleasha, now an OT (Occupational Therapist), Ethan, Caleb, Anika and Andrew, and Noah, I’m not forgetting you kid.  Several of them are University of Kentucky alums, a couple still going to UK, very bright move on their parts, Jayna and her family, my granddaughter courtesy of Norita, I am truly blessed.  My prayers this year, and every day since we learned of his diagnoses go out for Eli, Jayna’s oldest son, striking a blow against the leukemia he has been battling for a couple of years and his brothers, Camden and Kobie. 

I’ve had to add several of these names to my dictionary tonight.  I love the way they are all spelled, different but still the same.

To everyone who takes the time to read this, I am thankful.  I love you all.  A.

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A Pain in the B**t

100_4573I really mean it!  I have a pain in the bottom of my top.  I’m not sure of the scientific name for it, but I think the doctor told us the common name is “Weaver’s Butt”.  Hmm, okay, I guess now I’ll have to learn how to weave just to live up to this condition.  Always wanted to learn that art, just not the part where it attacks the way I sit.  Some things should remain without names, ya know?  Kinda like the mental pictures you get about any strange words.

Consider the word “pea”.  Had a discussion with one of my brothers about that word.  He was agreeing with me about not really liking them and we were talking about them when I suddenly felt that urge to go. I told him to just say the word again and think about the connotations implied;  “PEA”.  Think about it for a while and see if you can figure it out.  My brother is coming here for Thanksgiving dinner and I was going over the menu for that special day.  You can bet there will not be any peas on my table, in my lap, or on my face that day.

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Just a little bit more here.  I now have a great-granddaughter, born almost 2 weeks ago.  I’m still working on the fact that I have 3 great-grandsons, but now, with the birth of  Victoria, it is all way too real.  Ya see, her dad is my very first grandson, Alan.   I might some day post a photo of them, but not this time.  Suffice to say she is  beautiful and that Alan and Maggie are going to be wonderful parents.

Okay, now I’m gonna try to find a less painful way to sit back and do something creative — anything to keep me from having to look at the huge mess I’ve made of this apartment while trying to find an easy way to walk.  Anyone who has ever had a pinched nerve know  about the pain, now just think about the sciatic nerve — you know, the one that starts at the hip and goes down the leg.  Nothing ever hurt this much in my entire lifetime.  Well, almost nothing.  During my last pregnancy the sweet little girl gave me a few kicks in the nerve each time she woke up and stretched.  That’s one I’ll never forget, but just doesn’t seem like it was as severe as this time.  Ah, well, this too shall pass.  Sure wish I knew when though.  So, everyone have a good day/week/month, whatever floats your boat.  I’ll be back later — if I actually survive the ordeal of picking up the 75,001,795 beads I knocked over on the floor.  Funny though, I can’t remember purchasing more than 50 beads to begin with.  Not sure how they keep multiplying down there.   My pencils do the same thing when I drop them.  Drop one and end up picking a dozen off the floor.

Frustration First Class

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What’s that old Murphy’s Law saying?  If things can go wrong they will go wrong?  Whatever it is, today was my day to live thru Murphy’s Law.  First thing that went wrong was waking up at 2:15 a.m, looking at the clock, dropping the clock while attempting to pull it closer to my face, breaking the clock, getting up to find another clock I could check before remembering to grab my glasses — well the list could go on and on, but in the interest of trying to forget it all I’m gonna close this subject now.

Second problem arrived when I actually got out of my nest.  Stood up too fast and hit the floor even faster. Aren’t things supposed to go into suspended animation when ya fall?  Life passing in slow motion, an hour spent falling before hitting a part of the body that was never built to take that kind of punishment?  Can’t remember how many times I’ve fallen and nothing like that actually happens to me, I just stand and then I’m no longer standing. Nothing passing before my eye (almost blind in one, so yes, singular eye,) but frequently a very sharp word or two when I finally hit the floor, not to mention a few practice breaths to make sure the lungs are still inflated.  Of course once I hit the floor I try to finish out my sleep for the night.  A very stunning situation.

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My orchids are looking pretty good lately, especially since I added some artificial stems to a few pots that are still dormant.  They look almost lifelike now and keep the illusion of having the blooms around forever — or until they deteriorate, whichever comes first.

Okay, still just trying to see what this blog will look like if I ever decide to make it fly.  Have a good one, if anyone is out there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My train wrecked life