Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birthday Beach Bash

Saturday afternoon on the 25th we gathered to celebrate my birthday.    Me, the Pulsiphers, the Rasimas families (two) plus Michelle and son James and friend, and eventually the Hardys. the children enjoyed the sand and surf--adults enjoyed basking in the the late afternoon sun (until it goes down)...but so beautifully it goes down, a joy to watch and I get it on camera..

Sue and childen

Maria, Johnny's Mom Sue, Johnny, Johnny's sister Michelle

Maria, Linda, Gary and Bob

Maria and Michelle..

Sue--we had a baby shower at my PB house before she had Michelle in the 60's!


Doesn't get nicer than that--California Dreamin...

Gary and Sarah enjoying Linda's yummy food.

Sarah looks up!


Birthday girl at 81--I look like my Mom!  Beautiful daughters.

The sun is almost gone--it's gonna get cold...

How many birthdays ahead?  Who cares--seize the day!


The Hardys arrive just in time to eat what is left...

Camber and Michelle,,,

Brrrr--time to go home--Good Night!

Happy Birthday Cupcakes

Wow, I have not been feeling well. Last week I stayed at James and Camber's house while they were gone and little Jimmy was sick with a fever, headache, etc.  By Thursday when I came home I had the same thing but I am finally over it!!!  I also decided I can't handle being a nanny anymore--my feet and legs get too tired especially in such a big house.  I enjoyed the children though, all so very sweet and helpful,  but didn't see too much of Lea and Jacob.  Since I will not drive them to their schools anymore, they find alternative housing when rides are needed.  The first two days Kelsi and I were there alone and we spent most of the time watching "Hannah Montana" on Netflix.  At the end of the second day, Kelsi said, "This has been the best two days of my life, just watching TV."  Sometimes we need days like that.

While I was there Meagan and Keira came over with gluten free cupcakes and presents on my birthday. Keira didn't miss a beat, when her mother told her to give me the presents she handed one to me and said, "This one is for you and this one is for me."  Her mother had to remind her that, "No, both of the presents are for Grandma."  She found a couple of fishing poles on the deck though and they were more fun than any old present anyway.

Meagan used the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Mix and they were really good--I will have to stock up on that before I go home. Meagan added to my Paper Doll collection with Beyonce (who I really admire by the way) so that was fun.  So surprised paper dolls are still being made!!!  I also received a darling note pad with my name on it--and I really need to make lists now, so very apropos!  Gorgeus day on the deck.

Camber has some great sofa table books and Keira enjoyed one before she left.  It was a fun birthday party.  Can hardly wait till the end of February when Keira will have a new sister!

Sadie and Bear also enjoyed a sleep on the deck on my birthday.  It was a beautiful sunny California day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Janet

Written early in the morning from the RSF home of James and Camber.

It is just about 81 years to the exact moment I was born.  My mother wrote it was early on a Sunday morning and Dad had to shovel the snow away from the driveway before they could go to the hospital.  It was the depression, everyone was poor.  It cost my parents $25 for my birth.  What a great investment!!!

I don't feel 81, sometimes I feel 6, sometimes 16, rarely do I feel 80 although I often feel like an old lady as my knees hurt when I have to stand from a low chair, or my back aches as I get out of bed or my legs ache as I walk a little ways.

What ponderous thoughts do I have as I face this new year, this morning it was Which is the right side of the bed?  Is it your right side as you are laying in the bed or your right side as you are at the foot of the bed looking at the bed?  I was wanting to tell Camber what side of the bed I slept on--actually which edge of the bed I slept on as one or two dogs got as close as they could to where I was supposed to be sleeping.

And where is the most perfect place in the world?  I finally decided it was when you were sleeping in your own bed.  What is it that is so wonderful about your own bed, even if it is not as luxurious as a grand hotel?  I don't know but it surely is the most perfect place in the world for me.  My bed is actually probably over 40 years old  because I remember we bought the electric mattresses at the San Diego Fair in the 70's because we thought it would help my back problem.  It was actually a godsend to both of us as Richard needed his head up because of his throat problem and I needed my feet up.  I should probably write a testament to the mattress company for the great longevity of their mattresses . Of course, I have since covered the duo with the thick foam pad from Costco which makes it more comfy, too.

It seems we made some of our best purchases at the San Diego Fair, we were both together, relaxed and had time to hear the sales pitch.  We bought my Singer Sewing Machine that served me well for so many years and we bought the first large, large, projected screen TV for our play room.   They always had fabulous prices at the Fair for big items like that.  For some reason we never bought the expensive blender that we watched the demonstration on so often.  Now all the children have them for their smoothies it seems.

Another thing I was pondering this morning is the great life we had as children and high schoolers in Glendive, Montana.  I think my childhood and youth was far superior to my children, grandchildren or great grandchildren.  Yes, they have the techy age with all the wonderful TV and games but nothing can be as wonderful as the freedom we had to explore and find joy in very long term friendships, hiking, imaginative play, swimming, sledding, ice skating, bowling, dancing, sports--just about everything all without needing to be transported by our parents, we just had to walk out the door and down the block or over the tracks to hills and creeks--all with little or no supervision.  We had wonderful home cooked meals on a regular basis and home made ice cream, cinnamon rolls, root beer, bread.  We wanted for nothing that we knew of...

As children we never had home work until we were in high school and we could usually do that in study hall. The afternoons were ours to do as we please and it was spent with friends, what a great life we had with nobody wanting us to do too much but keep our rooms clean, the lawn mowed, dishes, the living room dusted or vacuumed, etc. Life was simple.  School started at 9--we had 1 hr 20 minutes to go home for a big dinner and then could play from 4 to 6, usually outside with Annie I Over, tents, push cars, sledding, running and hiding games (can't remember the names) or maybe inside with jacks, paper dolls but we always had plenty of friends, could walk to each others houses or the pool or the ball fields or or or...what a great life with no TVs, computers, cell phones, tablets.

And, yes, our parents only had a general idea where we might be at any given time but nothing tragic happened to us with all our freedom.  Well, there was the train accident, and a few drownings, and car accidents but it was mostly to older kids who should have known better or were drinking...something I never chose to do.  Oh, yes, and the library was always a favorite of mine to go to anytime and take home books or sit and look at the photos.  What were those gadgets called we put up to our eyes?  I can't remember.   In high school our hours were more like 8 to 3 so more time for work or play in the afternoon.  We would always go to a gas station where a boyfriend was working or a the drugstore for sodas and ice cream or the bakery for apple turnovers or doughnuts. Oh, yes, but Mom made doughnuts, too, so good.  And later we did have the drive ins for movies, hot dogs, and eventually hamburger drive-ins, what good hamburgers they were, the real deal.  It was easy to find an after school job, too, for extra money for buying records and such.  I worked at our store Anderson's but I also caddied at the golf course, and worked as a soda jerk till they found I was only 15.

My Mom had six children to raise but she always had time for her golf, grey ladies, bridge, dancing at the Elks Club, fishing, going to Silver Gate.  My parents did not appear to be weighted down by life but really enjoying it.  They attended all the games and dances, etc at the school.  Dad was in the Chamber of Commerce, on the School Board, Elks, lots of activities besides running our little church meetings.  I think they had a very rich life...just wish Dad had lived longer and Mom not quite so long.

In high school we did a lot of driving around, gas was cheap, it was a part of our social life, dragging main or riding around town or out in the country.   We actually had a lot of exercise without jogging, too, we were all very fit I think.

Johnny Manning taught most of us to drive in his car.  I don't remember it ever being my parents job to do that, of course, we had the Drivers Training at school, too, and Auto Shop where the boys learned to take care of cars and Home Ec where we learned to sew and cook.

Oh, well, that is the nice thing about old age, the past always looks great but aren't we lucky to have such happy memories, even though we have been through depressions, wars, heartbreaks, and hard times, the happy memories or family and friends enjoying life together is what comes through.  Very little of our life was spent in singular pursuits on techy things.  We read alone, or listened to our music alone sometimes, though it was usually with others, too.  Our records, house parties, games, lots of talking, plenty of time to talk face to face.  There was a lot of face to face with lots of friends.

It seems I have had the best of all worlds in a small town till I turned 18 and in the city when I was a young adult, living on the plains, by the sea and then in the mountains.   And always having Church as a big part of my life with wonderful associates and leaders there.  Yes, it would have been nice if Richard had lived a little longer and I would not have been alone for so long, but I did have many different experiences, travels, living arrangements to mix my life up a little when I was alone.  Now I am just ready for a slow down, peaceful pace enjoying hearing about the pursuits and successes of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren but not actually in the day to day frey...I love that my children let me stay with them awhile in Southern California and the beach life and then off and way to the mountains and lake and quiet.   It's been a great life.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Friend Myrna

I wrote the following in 2007 about my childhood friend Myrna Graves Conner.  We met when I was in second grade and our family had moved from the south side to the Heights of Glendive, Montana.  She passed away Saturday, January 18th.  She was 81 years old.  I will miss talking to Myrna--we would sometimes chat for an hour about the old times and our current families.  Seems the end of an era for sure without her.

Her nephew Kent said there was probably not a day in her life that she didn't laugh and enjoy life.  I think that is true.  Always when we would talk and commiserate about being alone, she would always express thanks to God for all the many blessings in her life.  She will be missed.


The word "Heartaches" 
reminded me of my friend Myrna who I stay with when I travel back and forth to San Diego. She lives just off the freeway in a beautiful home in Manhattan Beach. This song
"Heartaches" was one of her favorites in high school when she was going through a heartbreak romance. She also loved "My Blue Heaven". Funny how songs remind you of people and places. Here she is with Eddie, a neighbor in Glendive, at our 2000 high school reunion. They were not a romantic couple but were the best jitter buggers in our high school!

Myrna had to work from an early age in Kaplan's, the dress shop next to our store Anderson's, so she missed out on a lot of the after school happenings. She was such a great clerk because she is a people person and took an interest in all of their customers. Myrna is such a people person that she had and still has friends of every age. She is everyone's best friend, with a very compassionate heart and kindness for all. She has a fantastic memory and knows all about each of us. We all think she is our best friend... and she is!

Myrna had some heartbreaking moments in her life but persevered over all. Unfortunately the "love of her life" passed away in 1993 and they did not have enough years but she was so happy those years together in Manhattan Beach. Now she lives alone with a daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters near and two stepsons and their wives and two grandsons a little further away.

Myrna had the smallest waist of all of us. We made these ballernina skirts that were a full circle and so fun to dance in. Myrna's mother worked but I remember her being so fun to be around, always laughing and joking. Myrna and her mother made this fabulous boiled white frosting and chocolate cake and the best divinity. Myrna is still a great chef today and it is always a pleasure to eat whatever she is dishing up. My favorite outing with Myrna at her church was Easter Sunrise Service and then to the basement of the church for scrambled eggs, sausage, hot cross buns and orange juice and then we would go wake up our Catholic friends...Even though we had our own church in our home on Sunday nights, I went to the Methodist Church with Myrna. Her aunt was our Sunday School teacher when we were in grade school.

A really fun adventure in junior high was to travel by open truck (We were all in the back--against the law today) all the way from Glendive across Montana to Livingston for a Church Camp.

It was really fun--here we are discussing the weighty things of the world, Raine, Myrna, Myself  and
 Eddie. On the way back to Glendive the back of my jeans came unstitched at the back seam and so I tied my fringe jacket around my waist and said I was too hot to wear it--actually it was freezing in the open truck!

We also joined LTL (Loyal Temperance League) and signed our names that we would not smoke or drink. I was probably one of the few who never did.

Written later...

Myrna called me to tell me that she never signed the LTL pledge to not smoke or drink! I didn't remember this. Mrs. Lowe, a church biddy, called and reported to Myrna's mother that Myrna had refused to sign the pledge. Her mother asked if Myrna had said why. "She said she didn't know what she was going to do when she grew up." "There's your answer!" her Mom said and that was that. And Mrs. Lowe never spoke to Myrna's mother again.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Sadie Gets Groomed for the City Life

All in the Family

Great picture after a great party--Happy 2014!  Missing is Mike in Baltimore, Matt in Tahoe, Tanner in Philippines, Craig in Santa Monica, Kristi, Mike, Kate, Ryan, Brynn and Molly in Henderson

Posing with Grandma Janet

Grandma and Amy

 Melissa, Amy, and Lea

 Peek a boo with Kelsi and Sadi--Sarah, Lea, and Keira and my childten Maria, Linda and James.

The Grandchildren and Keira

Having fun striking poses--

Some Pictures from Family Party

On Sunday January 5, 2014 we gathered at the home of Linda and Gary for supper.

Meagan, (wife, mom and Medical Journal Editor) and daughter Keira, (preschool)

Jacob, (surfer, soccer and football player at Torrey Pines High)

Amy, (Trauma Nurse at Sharp Hospital), Meagan

 Maria, (wife, mom and Budget Analyst at Cal St at San Marcos)

 Melissa, (Accounting Assistant and student at Chico State)  Kelly, Ortho Assistant and student at Mesa College

Sarah and Lea, California Surfing Girls as well as students, dance, cheer, etc. etc. 

 Gary,Orthodontist, and Linda, Office Manager

Kelsi, (dancer and cheer)

Jimmy, (golfer and tennis player)

Mitch and Hana, (met in Montana doing Conservation work last summer)
Geology student and Graduate
Pizza maker

James, (Insurance and Financial Services)

 Maria and Meagan

Keira and Kelsi

In other words, everybody has something important to be doing but me, I just walk the dog and read and read etc. and watch TV.

John Hardy Memorial Hike 2015

My Life So Far