Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Aunt Iva

Again, my talent at posting pictures in the right sequence is nil. In fact,  can't find some that I downloaded to include.

Anyway, this is my aunt Iva from maturity to youth in a family portrait. She is in the center in the back row. She lived in California leaving the small town of Halstead, KS, to live out there before I ever came on the scene. I loved to have her come and visit. We finally made it out there in 1949 and I just thought California smelled wonderful! (My mom is the girl with the big bow in her hair.)
Her husband was English. On our one and only visit my mom made the mistake of washing his tea pot. Oh my gosh! Maybe that's why we never went back. She told me once that she had a chance to invest in a new company that was to have fast hamburgers and would be called Big Boy. She declined not sure they would be a "good thing." They were a success and she said she could have been really rich if she had taken the offer!
I had to add this to compare with the early family photo above. Grandma with five of her six kids. Uncle Claude, Aunt Iva, Grandma, Pearl, Selma and Harlan. Only Lloyd had passed at the early age of fifty something. He was on the left front row in the early photo.

Sunday, December 29, 2019


I have thought that our newspaper was smaller in width. Yesterday I was looking for an old photo of red wood trees in California. I haven't found it yet but I did find this newspaper from 1979. The whiter sports page above is our current size paper. it is eleven inches wide. The one below is fifteen inches wide. This is such a silly thing to remember but when I was a kid, I couldn't open the paper and hold both sides. I had to put it on the floor and read it that way. Naturally it was the comics: Dick Tracy,  Maggie and Jiggs and the Katznjammer Kids. Maybe Tarzan the Buck Rogers?

By the way, the photo that I saved is my dad, Dewey Russell Brown painting his fence at the age of eighty one.

The caption below reads: "September Dry Spell continues which made perfect weather for painting a fence. Dewey Brown, 1601 N. Monroe, was busy Tuesday scraping old pint off his fence. The dry spell was forecast to continue through the week, which may be good news for Dewey but bad news for those who would like to see the dust settled down and the lawns watered with a good rain."

It feels like a human interest story told with kindness and interest in a hometown newspaper.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Paper Delay

On Christmas morning I checked the porch for our local paper. No delivery. I waited to call our carrier until afternoon. The last time we didn't get one, I called her about 10:00 a.m.  She had just received the papers from the truck!

So this time I called and she was so surprised we didn't have one. The rule now is that they have to put them on the porch. We even searched off the porch. She said she'd bring one by. I told her not to make a special trip. They live quite a way from our neighborhood. "Just bring it tomorrow with Thursday's."  She said they would.

This morning Lee got the paper. I usually do. There was only one paper with a rubber band around it. I said that I thought it would be a miracle if they remembered. He opened it up and behold! Both Wednesday and Thursday papers were there.

I don't call the news office because if they get complaints, it's not good for the carrier. When our oldest was thirteen, he got his first job delivering the same local paper. Then you didn't have to put it on the porch but you did have to collect door to door. That was the "not fun" part. Luckily he got the route that was our neighborhood so he could ride his bike with the big bag of papers hanging on the handle bars. When it was really cold or rainy we lowered the back door on the Buick station wagon and he threw them from there. His dad and I spent a lot of time on the living room floor helping him fold and bag papers when the weather was wet.

I don't remember how long he did this but when he quit, the younger guy got the job. Several times they missed the porch or hit a roof. Then it was another trip for them to get another paper delivered. It gave them some spending money and I'm glad they did it. I'm not sure what they think of the whole experience but they've been working ever since.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Eve

It will be quiet here. We had our Christmas the week-end of the 14th. We did go to the store yesterday. My, it was crowded. Everyone was very polite. Standing in line was a challenge because one needed to leave a lane for cross traffic.

I was doing that and saw a couple off to the side of the line I was in. I said, "Excuse me, are you inline?"  They said the were, so I told them I would hang out behind the passers-by!

Suddenly a clerk suggested I go to the next cashier over. I was happy where I was but she was insistent. The reason I hadn't chosen that line was the cart ahead of me was heaped with dozens of items. As it turned out, about $184.00 worth of stuff. I glanced over to my previous position and the couple was still there, no longer off to the side. Some completely unaware woman had stepped in front of them. I smiled at the couple and she grinned and shrugged her shoulders. About that time the man who sort of patrols the check-out lines stopped and spoke to them. (He doesn't miss much.) After a few moments he walked over to a shelf and brought them each a candy cane. It was so nice to see folks so cheerful. It was that way all over the store while navigating crowded aisles.  I'm glad I went to see the spirit was alive in the Marketplace!

Saturday, December 21, 2019


I have recovered from the breathing tests.

So today was the day to vacuum.  No nap so I may not be able to stay awake to see Eddie Murphy on SNL at 10:30.

The doctor told me these are the Golden Years. No gold here but thankful I'm still around. (By the way, he was kidding.)

Thursday, December 19, 2019


Today was the one day of the year that I go sit in a small glass box and breathe till I feel like I have no breath left. The first request is to breathe normally. How do you do that with a four inch mouth piece between your lips and your front teeth?

Then it's deep breath and blow it out as fast and as hard as you can.

Next comes breathe in and out as fast as you can (after breathing normally for a few minutes.)

In between these exercises there are rest periods to recover from possible dizziness.

Then comes a quick inhaling of a medication. Wait some more and then do it all again. I may have left out some steps. This takes about forty-five minutes. It was nice to have a pleasant technician. All of them in this department have been so nice every time I have done this routine!

Later that morning, the results were reported. No worse than last year. Good news.

And then, home for lunch and a nap.  It's tiring to do breathing exercises.

Monday, December 16, 2019


Last night I couldn't find my cell phone. This happens from time to time - but not EVERY day.

No luck. So I decided to call it from the house phone that is a bundle with out internet and cable tv. The phone in the bedroom gave me the message, "Too far from the base." So went to the base. No light. Dead. Went to the phone in the kitchen. Dead. Hmmm.

I have never liked the phone service. Every time it rains, we lose the service and hear only static.  If it didn't cost more money per month, I would cancel it. That is not good public relations for a business, in my opinion. The company brags about saving you money but that is not their main concern.

Back to the lost  phone. No way to call it from the house phone. Luckily, Lee has a cell phone that he seldom uses. We called the number and could hear it ringing in the bedroom. There it was hidden in the blanket on the bed!

Now to see why the house phone was not working. I checked the base and guess what! It was unplugged!

I'm thinking someone needed to charge their cell phone.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

No Excuses

No blogging since Wednesday - no reason.

Our southern family arrived Friday afternoon and we had a wonderful (almost) two days!  We have a new holiday. It falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas when things work out that we can't be together on the actual dates. It's called Thanksmas. ( I wish the northern family could have been here too - that would have made it perfect.) But we missed them and thought good thoughts about them while eating the peppernuts they made!

We had a wonderful dinner made by one MLN. We have three with those initials in our family and this is the youngest one. An artist and great cook and one of four of the best granddaughters anybody could ever hope for. She and her sister, TAN, created the new holiday. When LTN worked shifts, we usually celebrated those big days on his day off to have more time to enjoy. Maybe that's where their idea came from - through osmosis.

I hope everyone who reads this excuse for a blog, had a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas. We will enjoy Christmas, but have already had a blessed Thanksmas.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mom's Sayings

I was thinking about things my mom used to say.

They were "fresh out" meant there were none there.

He's not "dry behind the ears" meant he's too young to be doing that or he doesn't know what he's talking about.

That is a "tow headed boy." I thought this meant his head was shaped like a toe.

And when I was very young: "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about."

Second part.  How to embarrass mother without meaning to.

She had a bridge club who occasionally had a luncheon. I came home one day, looked at the table and announced, "Real Butter." We usually had oleo margarine which looked like white lard. A little packet was thoughtfully provided to mix in with the white stuff to make it yellow - like Real Butter.

A couple who they played bridge with always served a dessert after they played the game. I went with them because we had never heard of a baby sitter. The delicious treat was ice cream, chocolate syrup and nuts. It was a very large serving. The older daughter of the hosts declined her portion. I piped up with "I'll eat it!" There was an admonishment from my mom at that time. . . "Mary Lou!"

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pearl Harbor Day

I  believe this is The radio that my folks and I were listening to when we heard the news about Pearl Harbor.
It was a Zenith with short wave included. Push buttons to the right of the circular display could be set to favorite stations to find them quickly. On the back was a toggle switch marked TV. The delivery guy told us that when television was available we would only have to be a screen (!) and put it on top of the radio and we would have pictures. The buttons to the left were for more treble or base tones.

I think this was around 1939. I thought the wood was beautiful and almost like a piece of furniture.

When we heard of the attack, my parents looked very serious and worried. My dad was forty-three so I think he was too old for the draft. He was also an electrician for the Kansas Power and Light and this may have been on the list of essential jobs.

I remember collecting newspapers, metal and saving grease; buying War Savings stamps. $18.95 would get a bond. In ten years the bond could be cashed in for $20.

Gasoline and sugar were rationed. I'm sure there were other things but I think there were rationing books with coupons in them.

We were all glad when it was over.     So many served. So many lost.


We had to have the van serviced yesterday which involved a time in their waiting room with the TV tuned to the HGTV channel. I learned about the Turks and Caicos Islands.

When it was time to pay, the cashier got a Scrubbie.

On to the bank. The cashier got a Scrubbie.

On the to grocery section. The cashier got a Scrubbie.

It was give out Scrubbies Day.

P.S. They were all surprised and very appreciative.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Say What?

Early today at the grocery store there were many employees in the aisles stocking the shelves. One must navigate carefully to reach something that may be blocked.

As I went down the card aisle, a lovely woman working there commented on my hat. It is crocheted and made of several granny squares. She said, "I like your hat." Thanks, I answered - "Granny squares."  She then said a nice thing that made me smile but doubt her eyesight. "It makes you look adorable."

Here is our family. Each has a crazy hat but I am the only one wearing a home made one.  Christmas, 2010.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Evening Call

We just received a call from a store's information taker about some work we had done here at the house. (8:30 p.m.)

Very high marks were given.

If only the person taking the survey could have spoken a tad more slowly. We out here in the boonies drawl and are used to less rapid fire speech!