Friday, February 29, 2008
My jobs have never been what I had in mind.
I went to Catholic schools for 12 years. I spent the last 4 of those years at a College Prep High School. It was assumed by everyone, including me, that I would go to college and then either become a teacher, biding time until I got married and raised the requisite 2 to 4 kids in the nice little house in the suburb with the white picket fence, or join the convent.
2 weeks after High School graduation, with my choice of scholarships to use at one of the two universities between which I was still wavering, while my mom and sister were back in Iowa visiting relatives, I met my first husband.
By the time Mom got back, I was in LUV! I didn't need to go to college. I just needed to get married and voila! the nice little house in the suburbs with the white picket fence was mine. After a lot of fit throwing (mine) and screaming (my parents') and fit throwing (mine), I WON!
We were married in November. We were separated by the following June up until the part where I found out I was pregnant. We reconciled and celebrated our first anniversary in November, 1 week before my oldest daughter was born.
The following April, when my baby was 4 months old and I had been married for almost a year and a half, we were in a horrendous traffic accident. My husband died the next day (Easter Sunday) as a result of his injuries and my daughter had 11 skull fractures. I received relatively minor injuries and was treated and released. The people in the other car, the driver of which was found totally at fault, walked away.
All of this is in preface to my first job. I had no job skills. I had no college degree. I had nothing but a ton of bills, a sick baby, and a need to work.
I applied at the Police Department in a neighboring town to be a "Community Service Officer". The job description sounded like something I could do - hold burglary prevention seminars, talk to school kids about safety and not talking to strangers, doing home inspections and suggesting ways to make homes safer and more secure. No previous training needed. Hurray.
This was in the early 1970s and I was hired for many reasons, not the least of which was womens' lib. I have never been a strident womens' libber but the Department needed to up their quota of women. I was, as a 20 year old widow with a baby, a very sympathetic person to put on public display.
This job was a gift from God. From CSO, I became the Department's first female Cadet, their first female Reserve Officer, and one of their first female Dispatchers. Oh sure, when I first started working there, some of the officers, who are notorious flirts, thought they had struck pay dirt. All they knew was that I was a single mom. This was back when divorce was not common and divorcees also had a certain reputation, whether deserved or not. As soon as the guys found out that I was a widow, though, I had 67 big brothers.
I was exposed to a lot that I had never learned in Catholic school! However, I was exposed to it in as sheltered an atmosphere as possible. This was back when women, all women, were protected from most of the unpleasantries of life. I learned a lot, too. I learned everything! how to answer a multi-line phone, how to use a two-way radio, how to use the teletype machine, how to speak to people in crisis, how to prioritize calls, how to handle the front-counter traffic, how to testify in court, etc.
The most important things that I learned were these. I like to help people. I am capable of taking care of myself and my child(ren). I had terrific reaction times and handled stress well. I like my job and I was good at it.
This job, although not always at the same Department, stood me in good stead through two failed marriages, another child and a move across state. It is what I was doing when I met, and didn't fall in love with, my current husband. I was never gonna fall in love again.
Coming soon - you wanna move where?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Jenni made Ree's Bread Pudding, For Those Who Think They Don't Like Bread Pudding. And Whiskey Cream Sauce to Boot.
To illustrate exactly how wonderful this bread pudding was, Jenni included this YouTube video, along with the disclaimer that she (Jenni) wasn't faking it.
I recognized this still. I love this movie. I love this scene. I played it just for grins.
Buddy loved it, too.
Note: the older lady customer was played by Estelle Reiner, the director's (Rob Reiner) mom.
Monday, February 25, 2008
1. Why is your blog named the name it is?
2. Your favorite dish
The first one if pretty easy. In my family, it has always been a joke, whenever one of us messed up the pronounciation of a word, that it was OK. That it was now just your own word. If you were ever called to testify in court and the attorney said, "in your own words", you would have some. The problem is that we seldom remember our own words.
There are exceptions. My daughter, when she was little, and my mom was teaching her to play poker, would take her cards and go behind the couch. Mom would ask her what she was doing and Juls would say that she was "suitagorizing" her cards. We still suitagorize our cards.
The name of my blog is one of my own words. It is the meanderings of my own mind. Hence myanderings.
Now, for my favorite dish. Those of you who read me often can just quit now. I have written about this pasta dish more than once. Just as a side note, however, I made this again on Saturday. I did not have chicken broth so I used beef. It turned out great again.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I live in the Texas Panhandle, in the midst of some of the flattest land you've ever seen, with very few trees (and those we have are stunted), in what is commonly known as Tornado Alley.
Why? you ask.
It is all my mother-in-law's fault. Mind you, my mother-in-law died more than 10 years ago. She and my husband had been estranged longer than that.
My husband went to over 30 schools before he finally quit school in his sophomore year of high school. His dad, a former Navy cook, was a dairy milker. He milked for various dairies in California, mainly in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. He also milked for a time in the Lone Pine/Bishop area.
He would go to work for a dairy. Back in the day, the milkers lived onsite in a provided house. They were paid and also given 1 gallon of milk a day and part of a steer at butchering time.
They would stay wherever until the next dairy farmer offered 1 1/2 gallons of milk a day, or an extra quarter of beef a year or a dime more an hour. The family, by now consisting of Mom, Dad, my husband and his two sisters (another son died in infancy) would move again.
At one point, my father-in-law had a chance to manage some property in Oregon state for a dairy farmer, with an option to buy. It was a great deal. This was on the eastern side of the coastal mountains, in the agricultural area of Oregon. My mother-in-law did not like it. She really did not like it. She made no real attempt to like it.
They moved back to California and back to what was, for them, normal.
And forever after, whenever things got tough, and they did, it was always...
"Gee, if only we could have stayed in Oregon" or "Gee, if Dad had just stuck to his guns in Oregon, it sure would be different" or "We almost had it all, once".
So, when my husband moved us from California to Nevada, I was good. After all, how bad can Tahoe be?
When my husband moved us from Tahoe to New Mexico (and that's a whole 'nother story!), I was good. Mind you, I cried the first two weeks I was there, but I was good.
When my husband moved us from New Mexico (hallelujah!) to Texas, I was good because I would be danged if, anywhere down the road, I was gonna be the subject of one of those, "Gee......" sentences.
So, long story short, I am in Texas because my mother-in-law, probably before I was born, would not move to Oregon.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
These are not my favorite slippers. My favorite slippers died a terrible death after only 4 years. I thought I would be economical this time. Not next time. Next time, I am buying my favorite slippers again. I did not take the picture below but if you run across these - Sandra by Hush Puppies in a 10 for less than $50, please call me immediately. Thank you very much.
Note: for all you lovely people who are posting utilizing AOL, I have tried to retrieve my password, I have tried to set up a new account, I have tried to leave comments for you. I have failed and I am sorry.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
A couple of days ago, ChrisB presented me with the "Rocking Grandmas" award, which she and Pamela designed. I have seldom been so delighted. Lisa, at Lisa's Chaos, was another recipient. In my comment to her, I mentioned that "we will, we will rock you".
I do not have official approval from the other Rocking Grandmas but I'm thinking this could be an awesome official theme song.
Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list! Cut and paste the entire list in your blog, links follow automatically.
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Linky Love Tag
The Strategist NotebookLink
Ardor of the Heart
When Life Becomes a Book
The Malaysian Life
What goes under the sun
Roshidan’s Cyber Station
Arts of Physics
And the legend lives
My View, My Life
A Simple Life
Mom Knows Everything
Beth & Cory’s Mom
A Mind Forever Voyaging
enjoying the ride
Mom of 3 Girls
Don’t Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys
Nuttier Than You
Laura Williams Musings
Melissa’s Idea Garden
Eve at Confessions of an Everyday Housewife
ChristiS of the Blah Blah Blog
Stephanie at Stop the Ride!
Diane at Soap, Blings & Girly Things
Amanda at Amanda:Mama’s Musings
Kristin at An Ordinary Life
Mama Zen at The Zen of Motherhood
The Sassy Southerner
A Room of Mama’s Own
Immoral Matriarch: Catechizer
Living and loving every minute of it
The Daily Rhythm
The Rocky Mountain Retreat
Peace is Every Step
Life According to Lizzy
Boys Rule My Life
A Quest for Relevance
Not Trying for a Boy
My Life with Boys
The Truest Thing
The Potter’s Hand
Permission to Peruse
Live Laugh Blog
Heather’s Hot Mess
Kevin and Paula
Guidance for Victory
Pensieve The Home Team Wins
Sisters of a Different Order
Chased by Children
A Frog in My Soup
Alex, The Roaming Southerner
Jeanie, Musings From Left Field
Peculiar, How Do We Get There From Here?
Tracey, Just Another Mommy Blog
Kim, Rainy Day Diamonds
Julie, Ooh a Shiny Pen
Irish Coffee House
-Ann, For the Long Run
Aoj, the Lurchers
Angie, Many Little Blessings
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
And, evidently, hurray for me. ChrisB, at MsCellania (I love that title) designed this awesome award and I am one of the first recipients! Thank you, ChrisB.
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and live without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then You Are Probably
The Family Dog!
Monday, February 18, 2008
"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear."
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Very interesting questions. How well would you do if you took the citizenship test? Try this out - educational and fun. 24 out of 30 is considered a passing grade. Supposedly 96% of all High School seniors FAILED this test... AND if that's not bad enough, 50+% of all individuals over 50 did too!! and we WONDER why America's in the shape she's in?
Go to the link below. Take the test and be surprised at what you don't know.
I apologize to my many reader(s) abroad and north (chuckle, chuckle) but I am sick and lazy and found this WAY back in my drafts. I appreciate your understanding.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I love these cookbooks; the Junior League, Women's Club, Chamber of Commerce fundraisers. They are always full of the best of the ladies' recipes.
So, thank you, Robin, for SSD and for this prize.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
What's the first thing you do when your truck breaks down?
Buy yourself a steak dinner because it's the last one you're gonna get for a while.
Tonight, I got in a hot bath about 5:00. It started getting tepid, so I let some water out and then turned on the hot water. And waited for the water to get hot. And waited for the water to get hot. And realized the water was not going to get hot.
I got out of the tub and checked the circuit breakers. They were fine. I checked the hot water heater. It is not leaking. I left the warm water in the tub so Shorty could get at least a little warmer than he was working outside all day.
I had decided, for Valentine's Day, to make this lovely steak and these wonderful mashed potatoes from recipes I found at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Thank you, Ree.
Shorty came in, looked at the steaks resting at room temp, waiting to be cooked and said, "What broke?"
Happy St. Valentine's Day all y'all.
Want this button?
This month, our assignment was an English Sonnet for something we love.
I have traveled to the Hudson Valley
And ridden with my friends.
I have sat with the O’Malley
To discuss political trends.
I have nestled in the arms of God
Safe and warm and hidden.
I have strolled through Yale, across the quad
With thoughts and dreams unbidden.
I have sailed on seas and through the stars
On pirate ships and dragon’s wings.
I’ve had tea with czars and shopped bazaars
In Rangoon and Persia and Beijing.
My refuge has always been a book
Whether fiction or prose or even cook.
and, in the kind of irony that I adore, at the Post Office today was the cook book that I won from Robin! I love God's sense of humor. Thanks, Robin, and I will post about it later.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This week's Fun Monday is hosted by my daughter, Julie, at Ooh, A Shiny Pen! This is her request:
Music plays a vital role in most of our lives. It is everywhere. I want to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file. However you want to post it is great.
So here it is. Please note in the chorus, where it references "stoned rock and rollers", stoned also used to mean drunk. And I was.
80's Ladies: Words and Music by K.T. Oslin
We were three little girls from school.
One was pretty, one was smart
And one was a borderline fool.
Well she's still good lookin'
That woman hadn't slipped a bit.
The smart one used her head
She made her fortune.
And me, I cross the border every chance I get.
We were the girls of the 50's.
Stoned rock and rollers in the 60's.
And more than our names got changed
As the 70's slipped on by.
Now we're 80's ladies.
There ain't been much these ladies ain't tried.
We've been educated.
We got liberated.
And had complicating matters with men.
Oh, we've said "I do"
And we've signed "I don't"
And we've sworn we'd never do that again.
Oh, we burned our bras,
And we burned our dinners
And we burned our candles at both ends.
And we've had some children
Who look just like the way we did back then.
Oh, but we're all grown up now.
All grown up,
But none of us could tell you quite how.
We were the girls of the 50's.
Stoned rock and rollers in the 60's.
Honey, more than our names got changed,
As the 70's slipped on by.
Now we're 80's ladies.
There ain't been much these ladies ain't tried.
A- my name is Alice.
I'm gonna marry Artie.
We're gonna sell apples
And live in Arkansas.
I saw this over at the Rotten Correspondent's and just had to try. I am NOT this normal I am NOT! I am NOT!
|You Are Very Normal|
You are normal in practically every way. Yes, you're average.But average definitely doesn't boring. You just fit in well with the mainstream.
Why You Are Normal:
If you had to, you rather live without music and still have laughter
You prefer the sun to the moon
When you're in a car, you prefer to be the driver
You think fishnet stockings are trashy
You'd rather have rats than cockroaches in your home
How long have you been blogging?
Actually since april 20, 2007. I started a blog once upon a time in 2005 but I only posted once and cannot remember the name and/or the password so I am only counting this one.
Are you trying to make money online or are you in it just for fun?
Money, you can make money? Actually, (wow, two actuallies in a row) I am probably going to have ads added to my sidebar next week. Fair warning, guys.
What inspired you to blog and who are your mentors?
I am not sure that anyone inspired me to blog. I just wanted a space to write. I had been reading MamaDrama in the Houston Chronicle. I am, or was, an online newspaper junkie. I used to read 19 papers daily. Jenny and Min made me laugh and still do. I started clicking on their commenters links and before you knew it, I was all over the world. I don't know that I count them as mentors but The Dingo's Got My Barbie; Pensieve; Anecdotes, Antidotes and Anodes; the Three Dog Blog; and the Anglophile Football Fanatic among others have amused me, inspired me, made me laugh, made me think, and made me grateful for new friends.
What 3 things do you love about being on line?
I love meeting new people and hearing other opinions.
I love sharing the joys and frustrations of everyday life with everyday people.
I love learning new things about the world and about myself.
from Lisa at Lisa's Chaos AND
from Laurie at Three Dog Blog
from Robin at Robinella AND
from ~Ann at For The Long Run
Thanks to one and all. Your generosity and kindness continue to amaze me. Thanks again.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
Open the book to page 123. Find the fifth sentence.
Post the next three sentences.
Post the title and author.
Tag five people and ask them to do the same.
"Working cows couldn't be sharing their milk with their own offspring. It all had to go to the farm. At least the other new calves were outdoors."
Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky
I am going to pull a Sayre here and tell you to just tag yourselves if you want. I can tell you that the book I am reading is not nearly as agricultural or as creepy as those three lines would lead you to believe.
If you are here for Round Robin Photo Challenge, please just scroll down.
I was overtaken by life.
Ash Wednesday rolled around and I began to think of what to cook for dinner, meatless of course. I used to make vegetarian chili on the truck when my husband and I were cross-country truck drivers. I made this, not because we are vegetarians, but because of refrigeration issues.
Here it is; beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, corn, bell peppers, green chili peppers and chili powder.
Here it is finished, served with, you guessed it - corn bread! We did not get to have the cornbread on the truck, though.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Later, just before lunch, we were at the school to take him his swim trunks. He had forgotten them at my house and spent last night at his mom's house. No, I did not make him a PB&J. It just did not occur to me at the time. I had blinked or something since Juls and I had talked about lunch.
Mrs. M, the school secretary was amused.
Today is the day the kids get burgers for lunch from a local hamburger joint. Lil man, who evidently is much brighter than either his mom or his grandma, said that he could not have a burger because it is Friday and it is Lent. The school tried to call us but could not reach either of us by phone. Lil man said not to worry about it and that he would just have 2 milks instead.
The burger joint, when told of the problem, said that it was not a problem. They would make a grilled cheese just for him.
I love this town. I love that the non-Catholic school he is attending tried to make it right. I love that the burger joint made it right.
I especially love that this child, this child of my heart, is so very grounded in his faith and so determined to do good. I am so proud of him today.
The black words are the original beginnings. The red words are his endings.
1. Don't change horses...use the same one
2. Strike while the...pens
3. It's always darkest before...morning
4. Never underestimate the power of...God
5. No news is...news
6. A miss is as good as a ...sir. (can you tell he's being raised in the south?)
7. You can't teach an old dog new...tricks
8. If you lie down with the dogs, you'll...get up with fleas
9. Love all, trust...God
10. The pen is mightier than the...paper
11. An idle mind is...false god
12. Happy the bride who...is getting married
13. A penny saved is...a penny earned
14. Don't put off till tomorrow what...work
15. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and...the whole world cries with you
16. There are none so blind as...a shark ‘cause sharks are blind
17. Children should be seen and not...mean, it rhymes
18. You get out of something only what you...do
19. When the blind lead the blind...the blind lead the blind
20. Better late than...never
21. Where's there's smoke there's...a grill
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Up until yesterday, he had been cracking them into smaller bowls and then sliding the salvageable eggs into the larger mixing bowl. Yesterday, being there was nothing else in the bowl, he got to do a "direct crack". Voila! His first perfect cracking of the egg.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Having said that, if I found out that I was terminally ill, and money was no object, I would:
- Live on my sailboat. Summers in Monterey, CA and winters in Corpus Christi, TX
- Like almost everyone else that I know, have my novel published. You know, the one I haven't written yet.
- Endow a library.
- Travel abroad, to Tuscany, the south of France, Scotland, and the Black Forest in particular.
- Last but not least. I know this is not Christian. I know it is not kind. I know it would not put me on God's short list. I would break into San Quentin State Prison (where California's death row inmates live out their very long, government subsidized lives) and kill everyone on Death Row. It's California. What are they gonna do? Sentence me to death? I know, I know. I'm also pretty sure that as soon as I did this, they would find a cure for whatever disease I was dying of.
So there you have it. Proof that I am not nearly as nice, as kind, or as morally sound as I know I ought to be. #5 has been on my list since the two murderers who killed my uncle and were sentenced to die were released - yes, released! - when the California Supreme Court overturned the death penalty in 1972. In 1977, the death penalty was reinstated in California, although it would be 15 years before they actually executed anyone in 1992. The murderers who were released in 1972 were never rearrested nor resentenced - that whole double jeopardy thing, you know? Anyway, I just thought I would make sure that some other family did not have to go through what my aunt and my cousins did.
These are terrific! I must confess that I have never seeded a tomato before, prior to dicing it. It is yucky and gross and the perfect task for an 8 year old little boy. He also had great fun shredding the cheese (our store did not have preshredded swiss).
I can HIGHLY recommend this recipe. Thanks, Robin.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.
At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:
The first worm in alcohol - Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead
So the Minister asked the congregation -What can you learn from this demonstration?