19 Things your mom did back in the day or ‘how I survived my childhood’

Let’s be nostalgic for a few minutes shall we? Mom.me originally posted this list of 19 items that instantly brought me back to my childhood (good, bad, or indifferent)…

  1. Ride in a car without a seat belt. Yup. The shoulder strap keeping you from slamming your head against the glove compartment was mom’s arm that instantly stretched across the car not unlike the Stretch Armstrong toy. No matter how large the vehicle was, mom’s arm shot across you shoulder to shoulder.
  2. Style your hair with her spit. Yup. She had every ‘dippity do’ and extra strong Aquanet eating the ozone but her spit to keep my bangs out of my eyes was good enough for me.
  3. Put coke in my lunch box. Nope. We were not the high fa-luting type to afford Coke and didn’t have soda in the house until I was much older. We had powered milk; just add water (while the milk dust fills your nasal cavity and lungs). On special occasions we had Zarex syrup. A school lunchtime drink was using the dime in the foil in the lunchbox or mitten to pay for the 4 oz container of milk that, when finally opened, lunch period was over. The milk struggle was real.
  4. Send you to the store for bread. More like a pack of butts from the corner market. Society now frowns on the 8 yr old walking in alone and purchasing Virginia Slims.
  5. Tell you to walk to your friends house. Yup. Your friend list extended as far as you could walk-before the streetlights came on of course. For me, my shifty brothers stole a bike for me, painted it another color, and my ‘neighborhood of friends’ instantly expanded a few more streets away.
  6. Meet your date when they picked you up. Yup. The nervous sweating was not about actually going on the date, it was the 100 questions that he would be asked without even setting a foot in the door.
  7. Send you to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar. Yup. If you switch sugar with egg its right on the money. Lots of baking from scratch went on and to keep the household fed, the last of something was used the day before payday and the neighbors always helped each other.
  8. Talk to your neighbors. Yup. Not only talked to them but we were encouraged to visit. Hmmm maybe this was my mother’s way of giving herself some alone time under the guise of ‘saying hello to’ that old neighbor who could never remember who you were to begin with.
  9. Let you walk near a glass table. Well this one is not really fair we didn’t own one. I can say, however, that we did have a coffee table that I slammed my head on while I toddled around like a drunken sailor. She was kind enough to share that story with me later in life.
  10. Not answer the phone when away from their kids.Yup. How many times would I call to get permission to eat over my friends house and curiously no one would pick up the damn rotary phone. I know she is there! its dinnertime and she is cooking. WTH.
  11. Go to the pool without sunscreen. Yup. Sunscreen? Try lather up with baby oil to get that dark shiney glow! and not the pool but walk to the lake (another thing kids wouldn’t do these days; a two mile hike alone).
  12. Let the neighborhood teenager babysit. Nope. I had no need. On the very rare occasion my parents left the house, I had the pleasure of one or two of my three older brothers to beat me um, make sure I was quiet and put to bed on time. I may have been safer with Son of Sam.
  13. Let you eat your Halloween candy as soon as you came home. Yes and no. Although I was allotted my share of the booty, the parents had first dibs on everything dumped on the floor. I like to think of it as the ‘vig’ – house gets their cut right? Mom was big on Squirrels and Mary Janes – two things to completely rip your teeth out of your head. Mom was living on the edge.
  14. Leave you in the car while she ran in real quick. Well, here is the thing about this one. My mom learned the hard way to never do that again. She ‘ran into the store real quick’ only to return and find her daughter screaming blue murder because she decided to put her finger on the hot coiled cigarette lighter. The skin quickly bubbled up and to much of my surprise, I didn’t lose any feeling in the tip of that finger. Lesson learned mom, right?
  15. Let your friends pierce your ears. Nope. We went to Cherry and Webb were I chickened out in the seat and my mom had her’s done instead. So not a completely wasted trip.
  16. Let you sit behind the wheel of the car and pretend you were driving. Yup. We felt all grown up sitting in their lap and ‘steering’. Brittany Spears can attest to the harsh reality that this is a big ‘no no’ these days.
  17. Ride your bike without a helmet. Yup. Not only did I not have a helmet I was self taught and wrist guards would probably have been more helpful. I do have to throw out there that where I live, flipping your bike over and using the pedals to spin the wheels and pretend you were an ice cream sales person was reality. It is surprising to hear that some kids never did that. Brienne F. –  I am looking in your direction.
  18. Let you use a pair of scissors on your own. I cannot truthfully answer this. I can only remember using the rounded scissors growing up. Maybe we didn’t have any real scissors as it was too much of a temptation for my mother bringing up those three boys. I, of course, was a saint.
  19. Buy you candy cigarettes. Yup. Smoke’em if you got’em. Although I will admit actually inhaling the candy cigarette and choking on all the powder that is used to create the ‘smoke’. Whoops. Blow out not in. I needed the remedial class on smoking candy cigs apparently.

And there you have it. Have more that you want to share? Please do. It’s nice to know of other people’s childhood horror.

Mom and Me (high school) rocking the hair

Mom and Me (high school) rocking the hair

I have a Rendezvous with Death

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

BY ALAN SEEGER

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows ’twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear …
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
Source: A Treasury of War Poetry (1917) via PoetryFoundation.org
I read this on the train coming home last night. It rings just as tragically beautiful as when Seeger first wrote it about a year -/+ before he entered WWI.

The love-hate relationship with October

philip

I love Halloween, it is my favorite holiday EVER, period. However, it is also the most painful month too.

Gone too soon, only 21 years old for a few months… I am reposting this because of the 33 yrs anniversary:

It is with great displeasure that I write this post. What I wouldn’t give to have my brother back these 30+ years. To see whom he would have married, his children, his choices in life. But instead he chose one of the most unselfish ways to spend his short time here among us, he joined the Army and became an elite Ranger. Consequently he was killed during the second wave in a very small town, on a very small Caribbean island called Grenada, giving coverage to many American medical students forced to return home during a hostile political event.

A devastating time for my parents; to be told you will never see your child again, to never say good bye one last time, to say I Love You one last time. It’s one of those things we take for granted I think, saying I love you, taking for granted you will see or talk to the person tomorrow and remember ‘next time we talk’. Even saying it in passing is great to hear, but not quite the same as if you knew it would be the very last time…the very last time… heart breaking, devastating, it goes beyond that. There is just no word for the amount of empty left behind.

He was just a great person, not because he is no longer here and fond memories can sometimes overshadow the bad times, he was truly one of those people who would go out of his way for you to make sure you were happy, to help if he could, a kind and gentle soul and so very funny. He loved music, was artistic, and put up with his kid sister always tagging along when he just wanted to hang with his friends.

Ah, his friends, they were bountiful and from so many different crowds; neighborhood, school, church, sports, he fit into all the groups with ease because there were so many different levels of him to love. I could go on for pages giving him accolades, and all would be true, but I won’t.

Recently I have been given the opportunity to have him, and his unit, honored for years to come as I have been requested to submit his picture (shown above) to the National Museum, United States Army for a permanent exhibit in their halls. How proud we of him, how much we miss him every day, how I would give anything to change that day and have him back.

Operation Urgent Fury

Operation Urgent Fury

#MemorialDay

Happy Birthday Cake (?!)

HappyBirthday?

I would love to give credit to the person with the creativity, wit, and imagination who made this grim laugh for me, but alas I cannot.

The big 5-0 is upon me and at the moment it is a double edged sword. I can look back with pride and many smiles to all my accomplishments, travels, and an amazing daughter, but at the same time, count the days/months/years that I have left to enjoy those that remain.

No longer am I ‘middle aged’ – I am clearly on the downward side of that hill without the appropriate gear to keep me from breaking bones and living far longer than I could (and should!).

bubble

Maybe I should invest in a plastic bubble like Jake G!! It has potential, right? anyone? ::crickets::

(this post is in response to the Daily Post prompt)

How to clean jewelry a.k.a. Are you bored too

sparklies

jewelry olympics

I have been given some beautiful bracelets over the years and used to wear them every day. This past year or two I have not worn them once – too tarnished and very embarrassing!

Although the photo should be a before-and-after shot, you will just have to trust me when I say they were downright gross and in some cases just black.

After watching some videos online and articles on how to clean them (every suggestion was to bathe them in ketchup and then rinse) I thought to revert back to how I clean my rings; with toothpaste and an old toothbrush. I use the white pasty stuff so it is abrasive (you would think my teeth should be whiter WTH) and so I mixed in a bit of water to keep the scratching down to a minimum and you can see the amazing results. I strongly recommend not doing this every day or every month for that matter. It is not a daily routine maintenance for cleaning jewelry.

Inside the actual charms should stay dark – it is purposely created this way by the company to create some depth to the piece, but the tarnish came right off in minutes.

Looking forward to showing them off tomorrow at work!

Apology for one

An apology is mainly for yourself…

All of us screw up; some days more badly than others. So we apologize and ask for forgiveness. But who is the apology really for? It isn’t so much for the person you hurt as much as it is for yourself. You are only acknowledging the screw up to the recipient. You want them to realize that you know you were a jerk and agree with them.

When you apologize, whether it is accepted or not, you have released the burden from your heart.

So really… isn’t an apology just a selfish act? (on top of being a jerk in the first place?!)

Free the Mead

meadery bottle

Goose and I went to a wine tasting today and we both fell in love with Mead.

Now, if you are a virgin to mead as she and I were, you may be asking yourself, what the hell is mead? So let me give you the quick version: it is fermented honey and water and many times fruit or spices will be added for different tastes. It doesn’t actually taste like honey at all really, at least I did not get any of that sweet very distinctive flavor.

Mead is known to be the world’s oldest alcohol libation as far back as 3000 BC (as stated in a few articles).

1634 Meadery in Ipswich MA had several flavors but the one I enjoyed most had the raspberries infused. The women representing the company were top notched; knowledgeable and friendly (I most definitely cannot say that about all the companies represented!)

So now Goose and I have to make another road trip to Ipswich; for more fried clams, the wolf sanctuary, and a tour/tasting of their other flavors. This will be an all day event I am sure!  Because, really…. who doesn’t want to be a Viking for a little while.

meadry viking