Sunday Seven Shopping

NaBloPoMo's theme for June 2013 is "Roots."It’s the last day of NaBloPoMo June 2013.  I made it!  ~⚛throws confetti⚛~  It’s also Sunday, and that means another Sunday Seven.

After my successful 4 week shopping embargo, I realized I hadn’t bought myself anything for my birthday.  So I lifted the embargo.  (Wouldn’t you, too, for a birthday?)  Here’s what I bought electronically.

Seven Birthday Gifts
(from me to me)

I’ve posted pictures on Pinterest and Springpad.  (I’m not sure if it was less work than posting them here, or more.)

  1. A pair of slide sandals from Zappos.  I live in slide-on shoes—sandals in the summer, clogs in the winter.
  2. A New Yorker artwork beach towel from QVC., as homage to a beach towel I received for my birthday years ago.  It was a sailboat with red sails at sunset.  I loved it!  It’s worn and threadbare, but I don’t have the heart to throw it out.  This new towel has lots of sentimental value, too, because my favorite uncle gave me a subscription to the New Yorker magazine from many years.
  3. A “painter stripe” tunic t-shirt from QVC.  Because you can never have too many t-shirts (in retirement).  Plus, it matches a turquoise pair of shorts I have.
  4. Two pairs of Bermuda shorts from QVC, one in dark denim, and one white.  But they’re too big, even though I ordered a size smaller than usual.  So they’re going back.  😦  (I’m sure I’ll find something to replace them.  😉 )
  5. A Randy Jackson timepiece (watch) from HSN.  He has some beautiful watches, and I’ve been wanting one with a white watch strap for a couple years.  And it was on sale.
  6. Those moonstone & amethyst Nicky Butler earrings I longed for at the beginning of my embargo.  They were still in my HSN “cart” when I ordered the watch.  It was meant to be:  moonstone is my birthstone, and amethyst is my mother’s.
  7. A summer weight cotton blanket and throw from HSN.  (Check the second picture for colors.)  The throw is for when I nap on the sofa (my acrylic “fluffy” being way too warm), and the blanket will be cooler than the quilt currently on the bed.

Home Again, Home Again…

…Hippity Hop

NaBloPoMo June 2013 is coming to an end.  Today’s prompt is the last for this month, since Saturday and Sunday fall on a weekend, and are thus saved for “free-writing.”  Of course, I’ve spent most of the month free-writing, so why should it matter?  It doesn’t.

Anyway, heeere’s the prompt:

Are you still living in the town where you were born? Tell us about why you did or didn’t move.

The Dairy Mart in Glidden, IA, is a local landmark

Dairy Mart: hometown landmark and site of my first job. Which I sucked at.

Actually, I never lived in the town where I was born—because the town doesn’t have a hospital.  😉 However, the house in which my family lived when I was born was the same house we lived in when my mother died and my father went into a nursing home some 38 years later.  You’d think it was a magnificent house.  It wasn’t.

Perhaps my preference for staying in one place is inherited.

I’ve thought about returning to my hometown in my golden years, but growing up there really wasn’t a happy experience.  And besides, there’s those damn winters.

To Move, or Not to Move

That is today’s NaBloPoMo question.  (Sort of.)

Do you like to stay in one place for a long period of time, or do you like to move around?

As with nearly all things in life, moving has its ups and downs.  The upside:  you’re forced to pare down your belongings, eliminating those extraneous items that tend to accumulate over the years.  The downside?  Moving is stressful.

For the first 11 years after college, I never spent more the two years in one job, and the longest I stayed in one place was 3½ years.  Moving every few years is a part of military life; and for most of those 11 years, I was in the U.S. Navy.

A picture of snow drifts on my car from the "Snowmageddon" of 2009.

Snowmaggedon: If summer gets too hot, I just gaze at this photo of my car.

All things considered, though, I prefer to stay in one place.  Which is why I’ve lived in the same place for the past 25 years.  It’s a nice, largish condo with two drawbacks.  No elevators (and I live on the top floor), and no covered parking.  (See photo)

Where will I live next?  I’ve thought about moving back to Iowa.  I like the slower pace of life there, but the winters can be a bitch.  Plus my liberal self is torn.  While Iowa recognizes gay marriage (a hot topic currently in the news), it doesn’t recognize the Health Plan for America (i.e., Obama care).  Yeah, that’s right.  I support Obama Care.  Don’t worry, none of my friends do.

A beach umbrella, pink inner tube, and beach towel are set near the water.

Running on Empty

The day is drawing nigh and I still haven’t fulfilled my NaBloPoMo duty yet. I started to write about today’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage,* but quickly realized that to do the topic justice would take more brain power than I currently have.

So, how about a photo?  I searched through my pictures and found that Paint Shop Pro has provided me with several.  The one chosen totally at random seems to fit the month and mood perfectly.

*If the Washington Post link works, be sure to play the video if you haven’t seen it.  It’s a fascinating look at how news of Supreme Court rulings reaches the masses.

Summer Blankets

NaBloPoMo prompt for the day:

What are your favourite family dishes?

Pillsbury's Pigs in a blanket call for crescent rolls.

Not my mothers Pigs in a Blanket.

Yesterday I made—for the very first time—what is possibly my ultimate favorite family dish, my mother’s famous Pigs in a Blanket  Famous because the recipe was published in Good Housekeeping magazine many years ago.  I’m not sure why I’d never made them before.  Probably because I hadn’t discovered Bob Evans mashed potatoes, and am too lazy to make them from scratch.

Mashed potatoes!?!  For Pigs in a Blanket?!?  Yep.  Mom’s famous recipe called for mashed potatoes and not crescent rolls.

I made them not because I’d planned it, but because it’s what I had and didn’t have on hand.  Had:  two hot dogs left over from Memorial Day; a package of Bob Evans mashed potatoes I hadn’t cooked heated yet; and some single-sliced, individually wrapped processed cheese-like product.  Had not:  any buns or bread to make a sandwich.

Since I never paid attention when Mom made hem, I had to wing it.  Here’s what I did:

Heat up Bob Evans mashed potatoes in the microwave.
Partially cook hot dogs also in the microwave.  (As a hot dog connoisseur, I prefer Nathan’s).
Slice cheese (or cheese food) into thinnish strips.

Slit the hot dogs lengthwise down the middle.
Stuff the mashed potatoes into the slit.
Top with cheese strips.
Broil the entire concoction on a broiler pan.  (I placed the pan as close to the heating element as possible).
Cook until the cheese melts.  Or if you’re like me, until the cheese is burned.

They tasted pretty darned good!  So good, I wish I’d  had more than two hot dogs.  And taken a picture of them.

[Photo credit:  Pillsbury]

The Ides of June

NaBloPoMo Mid-Month Check-In

Cartoon William Shakespeare asks, "To blog, or not the blog.  That is the question."

Alas, I know not who created this; ergo credit cannot be forthcoming.

Wow, I’m 15 days into NaBloPoMo June 2013, and still going… maybe not strong, but going, nonetheless.  Fifteen consecutive blogging days has to be some kind of record for me. So, yay!

What have I gained from the experience?

  1. I found two photographs of my parents I’d been searching for.  One is their wedding photo.  (The other is a great story, too, which I’ll tell later. )
  2. I’m finally starting to scan pictures from old family photo albums into the computer, something I’d been thinking of doing for a very long time.
  3. Along the way, I’m sorting through some of my digital photos and trying to get them organized, as well.
  4. My “nibblings” (two nephews, one niece) now know about the blog and seem pleased to learn more about their paternal grandparents.
  5. And lastly, I’m not watching as much shopping television, which helps my self-imposed shopping embargo.

Anything else I hope to learn?  I’d like to find my passion.  What do I love writing about?  What do I love doing?  Is it enough to write a Greatest Generation memoir, or do I need something else to motivate me?  This can’t be answered in a month, but it’s a start.

Fallen Idol

My brother, home from college, poses for a picture with me and the family dog.

What a couple of sour pusses!

At a loss for what to write about today, I opened a photo album to a random page, scanned it, and planned to write about it.  The page I opened had six pictures on it.  I chose this one for a variety of reasons:  1) it was the “youngest” of the photos on the page, 2) I don’t look hideous, and 3) it accurately depicts life before digital photography, when you had to shoot a whole roll of film and get it developed to see whether the picture was centered or not.

The photo is dated November 1965, but I think it was taken earlier in the year.  Both our noses are sunburned and my arms are tan, so it may have been the end of summer.  If so, my brother was heading off to his sophomore year at Dartmouth.

Continue reading

Sunday Night TV Lights

NaBloPoMo Daily Prompt:

Tell us about a tradition passed through your family.

Timmy hugs his collie Lassie.

Have you hugged your collie today?

Researchers tell us traditions are easily established in children.  Meaning, you need to repeat an activity only a few times for it to become routine, or customary to child.

Case in point: my family’s Sunday night tradition of gathering in the living room for a supper of fried egg sandwiches and hot cocoa while watching Lassie.  In my memory, this went on for three years.  In reality?  It probably happened three times.

Thank You, NaBloPoMo

Mom and Aunt Marceille have a warm reunion on a cold day.

The Carter girls, home on the farm, c.1943

Thank you, NaBloPoMo for giving us our Daily PromptsWordPress.com also has one, but it usually entails more thinking than I’m willing to do today.  (Plus, I’m not crazy about today’s prompt:  Tell us about a thing you’ll never write about.  Um, no.  Then I’d be writing about it, right?)

From NaBloPoMo:  Are you interested in genealogy?  Do you have a family tree constructed?

Short answer:  No.  And no.

Long answer:  One of my father’s cousins was an genealogist.  He even wrote a book about it, but it was in “geneolo-eze” and I had a horrible time understanding it.  I’m not sure if I still have the book or threw it away.  Hopefully the latter.

My Uncle Rod also wrote a book about my grandfather.  (You may remember them both in word and picture from this post.)  In it, I discovered I could join the DAR, as one of my ancestors loaned his rifle to the Continental Army and followed it into the American Revolution.  I haven’t joined DAR.  Perhaps I will if I feel they’ve sufficiently atoned for not allowing Marion Anderson to sing at Constitution Hall.

I’m not sure about my mother’s side of the family.  I think her sister (Aunt Marceille, pictured above on the right) tried doing some research, but don’t know what became of it—or if she was even successful.  I think her family also dates back a few centuries in America, as she was a member of the DAR.  Or was she eligible by marriage?  Does DAR allow Daughters-in-Law of the American Revolution?   😀

My grandfather was a wonderful story-teller.  He always told of some incident from the past whenever the family gathered.  Unfortunately, being a kid and teen-ager, I didn’t listen very well.  I guess this means I need to do some research if I want to write a memoir of my parents.  I can think of worse pastimes.