Monthly Archives: September 2010

Colorado Aspens in September

Up Slumgulion Pass

Ascending the Pass

Higher

Eagle's Nest

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Filed under America, Autumn, Colorado

Texas, New Mexico, Colorado

Please excuse my absence. Last Monday, Joe and I left for a quick trip to Colorado to pick up our grandsons. I’ve been to New Mexico and Colorado, but never on this route. Even though most states have a unique look (and some more than one, ahem), it’s amazing how much the terrain changes around the states’ borders.

West Texas

Windmill at Texas Panhandle Sunset

Texas Panhandle Sunset

Approaching the New Mexico Mesas

New Mexico Mesa

New Mexico Lava Field

Colorado - just over the New Mexico Border

Raton Pass, Colorado

Colorado

Typically, I’m not a mountain person. It seems that most people are drawn to either mountains, water (specifically the ocean) or deserts. I’m an ocean girl. Living on Galveston Island is one of my favorite daydreams.

However, I must say – Colorado was stunningly beautiful.

Colorado

Colorado

And then we got into the Aspens.

First Glimpse of the Aspens

Lots more on this tomorrow.

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Filed under America, Autumn, Colorado, Family, New Mexico, Texas

Cereal Stories

Cocoa Krispies, Ladies Home Journal, October 1968

Kim at Daisy Cottage has a new post called Morning Musings with a focus on breakfast cereal.

My Special K story is from England. In the late 1990s, my husband and I were there for several months due to his job assignment. I’m not a huge fan of cooked breakfasts, and they certainly didn’t have grits or biscuits and gravy so while we were at the Sir Christopher Wren House Hotel in Windsor, I always ate at the cereal buffet.

There was one particular cereal there that I just loved. One day I asked the waiter what it was. He must have thought I was crazy. He said “Special K”.

Here was an American, in England, asking a Balkan waiter to identify an American cereal for her.

Which reminds me of another cereal story. When I was a child, we usually had a cooked breakfast, but also had cold cereal on hand. Now I can’t remember which kind it was (probably Wheaties or Cheerios), but they always had really neat toys and things to cut out on the back panel. Well, my brother and sister and I didn’t like that cereal but we always wanted the “free” stuff. We’d talk my mother into buying it, dig the toy out, then we wouldn’t eat it. She probably ended up eating it herself or putting it in meatloaf or something, but it was a real sore spot with her and understandably so.

By the time I was about 10, I wouldn’t eat hardly anything. It drove my mother to distraction trying to figure out something that I would eat besides potatoes, Campbell’s Vegetable Soup and sunflower seeds. Oh, occasionally I’d eat one of her hamburgers (but never at a hamburger stand), or canned chow mein or a peanut butter sandwich or a grilled cheese (my mother called them “toasted cheese”). And vegetables – I’d eat most of them. And I was pretty skinny. Even my 8th grade teacher, Mr. Lewis, called me “Crane”.

Anyway, by then, Mama would buy about anything she thought I’d eat. So I had CocoPuffs and Sugar Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms (are you getting the sugar drift here?) and Toast ‘Em Pop Ups, etc. Sadly for her, by the time I was in high school, I’d stop at my dad’s store every morning and get a bottle of 7-Up; a half bottle was my breakfast. I don’t think I ever told her that I’d go to a doughnut store for lunch. This could explain all those silver fillings in my mouth.

Skip ahead a few years to when our sons were small. I made my own granola and if I bought any cereal it was not sugary; it had to be healthy and cheap – which severely limits the field. Once when my parents were visiting, we went to the grocery store. Our older son asked me to get… I don’t know… Count Chocula or something… and I said that I wasn’t going to buy that sugary cereal.

My mother almost fell on the floor in shock. She said “Well, I always bought it for you!”

And it’s true – she did buy it for me.

This posted linked to Food on Fridays @annkroeker

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Filed under 1960's, 1968, Children, England, Family, Food, Humor, Vintage Magazines

Dog Rules

And now for something completely different…

DOG RULES

1. The dog is not allowed in the house.

2. Okay, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.

3. The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.

4. The dog can get on the old furniture only.

5. Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.

6. Okay, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.

7. The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.

8. The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only

9. The dog can sleep under the covers every night.

10. Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.

(Back in the 1990s, someone had sent this to me by email; the author is unknown. I forwarded it to my sister and she printed it off. I’d forgotten all about it until she found it last weekend and read it to me. It’s still funny, it’s still true and it applies to cats also, only more so.)

General LaFayette

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Filed under Dogs, Humor

The party vs. the people

Five O'Clock Tea, by Mary Cassatt


Christine O’Donnell has my admiration and my empathy. I fought the country club Republicans on a much lower level and I lost. She persevered and won.

Most of us want people to like us and it’s hard to stand up and make yourself a target. It’s even difficult to stand up at a meeting of our own kind – whatever that is, i.e. social club, church, P.T.A., or in this instance my own political party, – and speak what’s on our heart, if we think it will go against the grain. It’s rough to look at disapproving faces and hear your words twisted and demonized.

The powers-that-be want to keep it an exclusive club. The Good Old Boy network was designed to keep us (the riffraff) out.

Hooray for Christine!

After September 11, 2001, I dipped my toe in the political pool. The uncertainty of our nation’s future concerned me and I believed that it was time to get involved. Joe and I began attending the Republican meetings for our county. A women’s group was forming and I attended and got involved. One year I served as secretary of the group, then as vice-president. I attended district meetings, workshops and ran a fund-raiser. We were a small but active group. Our president couldn’t run again because our constitution limited service to 2 terms. So I decided to run for president for the next year. I had some good ideas, was enthusiastic and seemed to have the support of some of the members.

Then we had an informal officers meeting and the husband of one of our other board members not only attended, and not only entered into the discussion – he tried to choose the next president for us. I don’t know why he felt entitled to try to call the shots. Perhaps because he was one of the movers and shakers in the county party. Maybe because he thought a lot of himself. I don’t know.

As a women’s club, the men were allowed to join, but never to voice opinions or try to control anything in any way.

Needless to say, I was not his choice for the next president of the club. He preferred a rather pushy woman who had only recently joined.

She was country club. I was trailer house.

Even if it hadn’t been me that was running, I would’ve felt that it was too early for anyone to become president after only 6 months of membership.

Now bear in mind that there are lots and lots of trailers and very few people who qualify for country club membership in our rural county. That I had worked hard for the party, and had even become an election precinct chairman didn’t matter.

The group decided to ignore the man’s preference and elected me and things went sort-of-okay for awhile.

The woman, who shall henceforth be referred to as C.C.W. (Country Club Woman), was elected to another board position and she proceeded to make things difficult for me from the word go. Very difficult. She rode me like a harpy. In fact, it was so stressful dealing with her that I broke out in hives.

Then I had a debilitating health problem and I couldn’t cope with her constant haranguing and my health problem, so I quit taking her calls for a week or two. She went berserk.

In hindsight, I can see that it wasn’t a wise thing to do, but I had about reached the end of my rope with her. I recuperated some and got back into the swing of things, but she grew even more and more difficult to deal with.

She was in charge of the fund raiser and absolutely refused to abide by the state law concerning donations. Had we been cited by the state for violations, the treasurer (not C.C.W) would’ve been in serious trouble. It was a jail-able offense. Time and time again I told her to stay within the confines of the law and she flat-out refused. She said that the club she’d belonged to in the state she used to live in did it that way and that she couldn’t raise money if she followed the Texas law.

I consulted officers from the state level as well as state officials. They all said that she couldn’t do what she was doing. But she wouldn’t stop. I was told that at a fund-raiser committee meeting, Carla-bashing was a favorite topic.

Then it came to a head at a board meeting. I said flat out that she had to stop. She got upset and said in that case, she would resign. I asked if there was a motion to accept her resignation, which there was, it was seconded and accepted.

The next day she changed her mind but it was too late. I’d had enough. She denied that she had resigned but I had (legally) tape-recorded the meeting (at the beginning of the tape I announced that it was being taped and then did a roll call).

Then I did something stupid. We had arranged for a workshop in our county and I tried to cancel it – only one of our officers was going to attend; our club was in tatters. C.C.W. was going to attend and it was going to get ugly. The state officers wouldn’t allow us to cancel.

C.C.W. got busy. If I was Davy Crockett (this is for the sake of analogy only and to illustrate that she had the big guns on her side; no way do I think I’m on a par with Davy Crockett), she was Santa Ana. She worked and got the good-old-boy network behind her. The county judge really let me have it. If he yelled at other people the way he yelled at me, then I understand why he was defeated in the following primary.

The organization’s state officials all supported her. Our district representative to the state organization backed her. It got worse before it got better. Except for the vice-president (who sided with C.C.W) all of the board members dropped out of the club and county politics.

When I failed to get any visible support from the county party officials, I resigned as precinct chairman. They appointed a RINO (Republican in Name Only) to run our precinct election, which meant that the Democrats once more ran the polling place the way they wanted. I had made them do it by the book and they probably hated me.

So, all this is to say that, like Christine O’Donnell, I brought along my own baggage. I wasn’t perfect but I wanted to serve and make a difference, and maybe I did for about 3 years. Until I hit the snob wall.

My sincere wish is that more ordinary people run for every kind of office. I hope they’ll be tougher than I was and thicker-skinned.

Phooey on Party-approved candidates over People-approved candidates.

Again, yea grass-roots candidates!

Now, let’s all have a cup of tea to celebrate.

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Filed under Politics

September 11, 2010

It was 9 years ago today that 19 Islamic terrorists attacked our country and murdered 2,977 innocent people on American soil.

There had been many attacks before: the Marine barracks in Beirut, the U.S.S. Cole, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. For a more complete list, go here.

But on September 11 it looked like a declaration of war on American soil.

Or so we thought.

Our lousy leaders do not act as if we’re at war. George W. Bush talked about it as the War on Terror until his advisors (probably Karen Hughes, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell) wielded their influence. The current administration doesn’t even seem to think there’s a problem.

I’m tempted to say that I cannot believe what has happened to our country in the time since. But I can. In fact, my thoughts on September 12, 2001 were focused on how the liberal left was going to spin this vicious attack to their advantage. They have accomplished a lot.

I well remember the media’s sneering disdain for the outpouring of patriotism during those first few weeks. They “protected” us by restricting the images of the attacks.

Here’s what we now have:

The attacks are commonly referred to as a “tragedy” (misfortune). They were not tragedies. They were abominations.

A man elected president who was not even raised in this country and has an Islamic background and affection.

A man elected as president who bowed to the king of Saudia Arabia but purposely insulted our friends, the British (and not merely once). President Bush was very little better concerning the Saudis, but at least he didn’t actively try to offend our friends. Obama is also alienating our friends in Israel with his horrible treatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

A man elected as president who has ordered NASA director Charles Bolden to pursue 3 new objectives: to “re-inspire children” to study science and math, to “expand our international relationships,” and to “reach out to the Muslim world.” No longer will the National Aeronautical and Space Administration concentrate on aeronautics and space.

A man elected as president, who on Aug. 14, 2010 backed the plans (according to Reuters) to build a mosque in the shadow of the missing Twin Towers – which were the target of the Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001.

Shanksville, Pennsylvania is the place where the Americans on Flight 93 took control of their own fate. The title of the “memorial” there? The Crescent of Embrace. I am not making this up. This was approved by the National Park Service during the George W. Bush administration. You can also read about it here at creepingsharia. Since the memorial is a red crescent, is it a memorial to the killers? Because it is certainly NOT honoring the brave Americans who knowingly sacrificed their lives to save those at the intended target.

These things are just the tip of the iceberg.

I do not understand the past or present “leadership” in this country.

I do not understand the apologists for terrorism.

As a nation, we are going to “tolerate” ourselves into submission to an ideology devoted to conquering us and everyone else.

Sometimes I wonder if America even has the will to survive.

Will we wake up before it’s too late?

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Filed under Politics, September 11

Maternity Clothes, 1960 – 1972

1960 Fall Winter Sears

1965 Fall Winter MW

1965 Fall Winter MW

1966 Montgomery Ward

1966 Montgomery Ward

1972 Montgomery Ward

It was 1975 when I was expecting our first child; I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy. All the books encouraged women to try and look their prettiest. They advised that it would help boost confidence, and I think the writers were correct.

My mother started sewing maternity clothes for me; I had the prettiest clothes of my life and more of them (she did the same thing again 5 years later when I was expecting our younger son; this time I needed winter clothes. She even made me a cape so I wouldn’t have to wear a coat that was gaping open in the front). I think it was important to her to do that for me because when she was expecting my older sister, she and my dad didn’t have much money. She said she only had two maternity dresses. She’d wear one and wash the other. Knowing my mother, I imagine she ironed them, too.

When I was choosing the tags for this post, it seemed right to check the Femininity box because that goes to the heart of why I’ve been thinking about maternity clothes. Rarely do I see expectant mothers wearing maternity clothes anymore, and even more rarely are they pretty ones. Before our first grandson was born Joe and I went to buy Anne a maternity dress and we went to about 3 stores before we found one, and even in 2003 the selection was very poor. It may be almost non-existent now.

I don’t understand this. Many of the current fashions are just plain ugly and extremely unflattering to women. However, some of the dresses I’ve seen this summer were quite pretty. So why not pretty maternity clothes?

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Filed under 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970s, Fashion, Femininity, Maternity, Montgomery Ward, Vintage catalogs