Monday, December 29, 2008

Farkle Sparkles OR "Biddy" Birthday

Guess who had a Birthday on Sunday? Ms Farkle for sure....ain't she gorgeous!!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Horsey Gal, here.. snowed in but feeling Blessed

Jack and Chris sharing blog
space with Horsey Gal and
just happy to be anywhere.
Picture was taken Summer
2008 at the Lake.

While putting up my artificial Christmas tree my
cat, Jake, kept climbing it and taking my orna-
ments off. I only put up unbreakable ones such
as metal horses and resin nativity scenes and
wooden ornaments which I dearly love anyway.
I also included one that Mark had made for me
when he was a little guy and the two Santa's
that my brother, Bobby, and I had made as kids.

The week before friends came over and we had
our celebration together and then there were
several Christmas programs and concerts at
different Churches. Knowing Christ as the center
of my
Christmas, along with friends and family
and singing
Christmas carols (I still have my
Christmas carol book that I had as a child)
has made Christmas for me. Christmas Eve
my brother,Wolfe, his wife Julie, and two kids,
Ldub and Shae were here and then
I went to their house and I got both practical
and fun gifts.

With all the snow we have had, I have tunnels
going everywhere - out to the barn, to the goat
shed, the chicken coop and the mailbox (don't
know why because we have not had mail
delivery for so many days now.)

Wolfe has cleared my driveway and the neigh-
bors and the roadways in the back several
times with the backhoe.
Christmas morning I opened the door to go out
to do my chores and my dogs (Chris, a golden
retriever, and Jack, a black lab) went out first.
The snow came crashing off my garage roof and
Jack missed it but Chris was buried about 3 feet
down by . I grabbed a shovel and dug and prayed
and cried and looked and saw some golden hair
and then movement and finally dug him out with
no injuries at all. At Christmas dinner that after-
noon, Wolfe prayed and thanked the Lord that
we still have him and I did too. I so love my
Chris dog.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year
Happy Trails.

How was your Christmas?

Did you go
out and
buy a tree
or did you
put up an

Who decorated the tree? You or the whole
family. Was it a themed tree or did it have old
family favorites on it?

Did you get your shopping done early or
were you out Christmas Eve for some last
minute gifts? Did you grab a quick bite to
eat somewhere or did you go home and
fix a special dinner?

Do you have
any special
Christmas music
that you listen
to year after
year ? Did you
play it this

Did you open your gifts
on Christmas Eve or
wait until Christmas
Day? Did you just open
one on Christmas

Were your gifts practical?

Or were
they fun
that you

Did you have visions of Sugar
Plums dancing in your head
or did you just fall, worn out
and exhausted, into bed?

Did Santa leave your stocking

full of wonderful

Did you spend Christmas
day cooking, and enjoying
your family and friends?

If the answer is yes then
I would say you had a
very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Attebetty has a Frederick and Nelson moment

In 1952 the Seattle, Frederick & Nelson had 'Uncle Mistletoe at Cozy Cottage' instead of Santa. Uncle M. was a puppet show on t.v. and we had the first t.v. in the neighborhood. I seem to be the only person in the entire world that remembers him and the photo of my sister and I with him. I was going through Mom's photos tonight and found the photo! I looked up Uncle Mistletoe and found he was a Christmas staple in the Chicago Marshall Fields at Christmas for years. If you ever have a place to show the Santa pictures; I'll donate one from the dark ages. Here's the info I found.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shopping the escalator and a history lesson

Some one mentioned recently that they were going into Seattle for the day and it brought to mind something I always did with my pals around Christmas time. One night a year the stores in Downtown Seattle stay open until midnight. There was a fantastic store. Here are some actual facts about the store for the history buffs and then on with my story......

Frederick & Nelson Department Store (Fredericks as the locals called it) Frederick & Nelson was for many years Seattle's premier department store. In 1890, they began selling used furniture during the rebuilding of Seattle after the Great Fire of 1889. The business expanded to include home delivery of goods, a tea room, and ready-to-wear men's and women's fashions. The owners built a reputation for elegance and customer service.

In 1916, Donald Frederick astonished the Seattle business community by planning his six-story store at 5th Avenue and Pine Street, then outside the city's retail core. "Frederick's Folly," as detractors called it, proved to be an instant success when it opened its doors on September 3, 1918.The store featured unique amenities such as a candy factory, a children's hairdressing salon, a kindergarten, and a lounge for mothers with infants.

The mail order department shipped distinctive merchandise around the world.
During World War II, the store embraced the war effort by becoming a center for the sales of war bonds and by opening a branch store at the Boeing Airplane Company's Plant No. 2. This allowed shift workers, many of whom were women, to shop. When the war ended, Fredericks helped feed the demand for consumer goods and it established a reputation for the best in fashion.

As people began moving to the suburbs, Fredericks opened its first major branch in the Bellevue Shopping Square in 1949. In 1951, the downtown store was expanded by three floors up and two floors down.

This video is so fun to watch. It was done in 1953 and the fashion, the cars, etc it so interesting to watch. It is 29 minutes long so make sure you have time to watch the whole thing as it is worth if.

The good times did not last for Fredericks. Shoppers began to move to discount retailers. Service to customers succumbed to volume sales. In 1982, another company bought Marshall Field and Fredericks was absorbed into a national chain. Losses mounted. Fredericks was sold off in 1986 to Seattle area investors. In 1989, developer David Sabey bought the Fredericks stores and sought to restore their reputation for elegance. In 1991, however, debts exceeded assets, and Fredericks filed for bankruptcy.
On May 31, 1992, Frederick & Nelson went out of business.

The building at 5th Avenue and Pine Street was sold to Nordstrom (which was a shoe store only when I was a child) which remodeled and reopened it as that company’s flagship retail store in 1998.

We would meet on the 8th floor in the Tea Room for dinner and a gift exchange. The restaurant was beautiful. White linens on everything and beautiful views of the city lights out the windows, strolling Victorian costumed carolers, good food and the promise of a lot of shopping before nights end. It originally started out with just the core group of friends but over the years sisters, co-workers, new friends, daughters, were added and the numbers varied year by year.
Often we would have prime rib for our wonderful dinner, Kathy would pull her annual joke, we would exchange gifts and head for the escalator.

Rule # 1; you couldn't venture into the store on each floor further than you could be seen from the escalator. Than many ladies trying to stay together was like trying to herd cats, hence the rule.

We would then go over to the Bon Marche and do the same. When it got close to store closing time or we just wore out we would head for the Olympic Hotel (old name) and go to the Ballroom there. We would sit on the couch and chair arrangements and watch the "old folks" (watch it Lady) dance. There is something special about couples that have obviously danced together for years. We would order from the mobile dessert cart and have coffee and something wonderfully sweet. It had an atrium type ceiling and outside wall and you had a marvelous view of the city lights as a back drop.

Just very recently it has been brought to my attention that many of us, including several age groups, from that area have memories of that old store that go back to our child hoods. The Frederick and Nelson Santa was legendary and a lot of us have pictures sitting his lap. They had live reindeer one year and always had the most beautiful store windows. The Christmas decorations in the store were really something to see. Unfortunately I have some pictures but no scanner so I have used some I found online.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some of my "Old Biddies"

Judi, known each other since 1949

Carole, Trudy, Joy, Kathy
known most of these gals since the early 60's

The beach storm....and crashing P-dots blog!

The storm was intense, so intense they named it Storm Judith!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We loved those Sailors.....

Lew got a call from his best friend Al today. He travels a lot in his Sheet Metal job. He's in Minnesota until the end of the week and then he'll go home to Austin Texas for Christmas and his next assignment. Al was in a small town Minnesota grocery store yesterday. He was wearing his leather flight jacket. It has patches referring to his Navy stint, the fact that he's a Vietnam Vet and one from Hatron Two, the squadron he and Lew were in at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in the 60s (......remember when Trudy mentioned 'chasing sailors??'.....).
Al heard someone behind him in the store yell, "Hatron Two!! Were you in Hatron Two?" Al turned and the guy spotted his name on the jacket. He said, "Al! Remember me? I'm Tom (can't remember the last name...)". Al remembered him! Then Tom asked about Lew! Al told him how Lew was and where we live. Tom laughed and reminded Al of when Lew was working as a Baker one year, when they went T.D.Y. to Vietnam on the U.S.S. Ranger. He recalled how Lew used to bring them all fresh baked, hot bread with butter and strawberry jam. They all loved the top crust so, they tore off the bottoms and threw them away. Then he brought up the times when the cooks would find cockroaches in the bread mix. They'd just add raisins and cinnamon, call it raisin bread and keep going!!! Tom laughed about how Lew would come in and warn them, "Don't eat the Raisin bread...."
They had a good reunion and exchanged email addresses. Lew expects to hear from Tom soon. So.....Trudy and Penni.....What do you think??? Matching leather flight jackets with patches that say, "I ran around with (U.S.N.) V.P. One, V.P. Two, Heavy (Hatron) Two , Heavy Four and (U.S.A.F.) 57th Cameron.???" Maybe
we could have a few 'reunions'........

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas is different now....

For years and years we had our family traditions. Christmas Eve was a big deal in my home. My Mom would make either clam chowder or oyster stew and she would serve it on the tea wagon in the living room. The tea wagon had collapsible sides and when it was open it was like a small round table. She would decorate the table with lace and the good china.
After dinner we would open gifts. Some one played Santa, (usually me) and handed out the gifts. One gift at a time, one person at a time. So each person could enjoy their moment in the spotlight as well as the giver could enjoy seeing their gift opened.
There would be egg nog made by my Great Aunt Ethel and we would have home made fruitcake. I love fruitcake, always have so if you get one and don't like it, send it to me.

When I had my own family I followed the same tradition as closely as possible. See, I was an only child and I had four rambunctious boys so it didn't always go as smoothly as my childhood ones did with only one child. But that was our tradition and we did it.
Fast forward to the early 90's and I found myself at my first single lady Christmas Eve, with only two of my grown sons dropping in for a little while to see me. Not the same and hasn't been since. I tried to get some of my married children to do it the way we always had but they have wives with their own traditions. Going to Vegas even became a consideration but since I don't gamble or drink, what was the point?
I have had a few Christmas Eve's that have been close to the old days but it has been kind of hit and miss. It seems to me that this sort of thing is really personal and how do we let go of the past. How do we deal with the fact that things change and we can't even control our traditions? Make some new ones? Just remember the old ones as a fond memory?
Any suggestions????

AND.....on a lighter note here is something I enjoyed doing.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy it onto your blog and change the answers where necessary.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? A couple of weeks before Christmas

4. When do you take the tree down? January 6 th (also known as 12th Night)

5. Do you like eggnog? I like eggnog, with a little 7-Up in it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Toni doll

7. Hardest person to buy for? Mark, he already has everything

8. Easiest person to buy for? Todd

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas Cards? Both

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Dishes from my 'wasband' and I didn't have the courage or the sense to tell him I didn't like them so I got add on pieces for the next 10 years. Blech....

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a toss up between It's a Wonderful Life (like I want life to be) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (more like my life is)

13 When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop all year long and more recently I added online shopping

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Those little round cookies with all the powdered sugar on them and Hollie's home made fudge and Clam Chowder or Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve

16. Lights on the tree? Pre-lit tree.

17. Favorite Christmas Song? Aaron Neville Christmas Album

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay Home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sure. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner, that it?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel on a star (new this year) before a tall spiky thing

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People saying Happy Holidays instead of Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love white lights and the crystal, silver, pale, ice look on a tree

24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner? Prime Rib and mashed potatoes, and other trimmings.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A fruitcake

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Long Way Home

I watched a good movie recently on DVD from Netflix. It was a 1998 made for TV movie and it had one of my favorite actors, Jack Lemmon, who I miss seeing since he passed away in June 2001.
As the movie opens we see an Estate sale in progress. Tom Garrin (Jack Lemmon) looks on with melancholy while his home and his belongings are sold. He keeps just a little wood plane as a souvenir.
A widower for three years, he has two daughters, two sons, seven grandchildren. "They clipped my wings" he says when asked about living with his son. He is not sent to a home for the aged as one son wants but moves in with his other son and daughter-in-law instead.
His daughter-in-law dutifully administers his medicine to him and remains always polite despite the fact that she would have preferred to have her house to herself after her children left. Toms habit of speaking to himself appears strange to her.When he isn't at home on time she always suspects the worst. Toms reaction to her and his sons patronizing attitude is equally childish: Let them worry!

One day he's late again. He watched a circus, fell asleep and stumbled over a log. He tries to make up lame excuses ("They kidnapped me"). He is nearly run over by a car and engages in a conversation with the young driver Leanne (Sarah Paulson). When some rednecks in a saloon try to hit on her he comes to her help. In the following chase, her car is smashed up. She plans to hitch hike to Carmel, California. Tom, who has just cashed his pension-check impulsively decides to join her and visit an old girl-friend in Monterey. His efforts to inform his family are half-hearted, to say the least, and while his son is so worried that he alarms the police and tries to trace his father via radio, he enjoys his trip.

In the company of this merry, optimistic and energetic young woman Tom realizes that his own approach to life is perhaps the wrong one. "What are you doing?" she asks him. "I used to be a cabinet-maker." he answers. "No. I mean: what are you doing NOW?" "Nothing." Why did he retire, she wonders.

Arriving in California , Tom is confronted with people whose way of looking at life is the opposite of his own. Leanne's father, a man not much older than his own son, is confined to a wheelchair, slowly dying - and still working. The idea of retiring never crossed his mind. He wants to lead a useful life to the last. Tom calls on his old sweetheart, Veronica (Betty Garrett, Lemmon's partner in "My sister Eileen").

"The Long Way Home" is a superior TV-film, a little bit patronizing, but redeemed by two outstanding performances. The lesson in this movie for senior citizens is pretty much this: Don't be one of those living-dead who sleep their life away before a television-set. Go out and live!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Be careful what you say....

I have been, jokingly, talking about living in the 'old folks home' and someone overheard me and sent me this. I guess I need to be a little more careful about how I address my living quarters.....
It's not the 'home', really!!!

A Senior Christmas Poem….

'Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest,
And all of us seniors were looking our best.
Our glasses, how sparkly, our wrinkles, how merry;
Our punch bowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.

A bedsock was taped to each walker in hope,
That Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.
We surely were lucky to be there with friends,
Secure in this residence and in our Depends.

Our grandkids had sent us some Christmasy crafts,
Like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.
The dental assistant had borrowed our teeth,
And from them she'd crafted a holiday wreath.

The bed pans, so shiny, all stood in a row,
Reflecting our candle's magnificent glow.
Our supper so festive — the joy wouldn't stop –
Was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.

Our salad was Jell-O, so jiggly and great,
Then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.
The social director then had us play games,
Like 'Where Are You Living?' and 'What Are Your Names?'

Old Grandfather Looper was feeling his oats,
Proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats.
Our resident wand'rer was tied to her chair,
In hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.

Security lights on the new fallen snow
Made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.
Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter
(But we are so deaf that it just didn't matter).

A strange little fellow flew in through the door,
Then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.
'Twas just our director, all togged out in red.
He jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.

We knew from the way that he strutted and jived
Our social security checks had arrived.

We sang — how we sang — in our monotone croak,
Till the clock tinkled out its soft eight-p.m. stroke.

And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds.
While nurses distributed nocturnal meds.
And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.
Before long you'll be with us. We wish you the best.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

There is still time.....

Here is a pre-Christmas Meme for you.
You may copy and paste in your own blog if you wish to, and bold or color (mine are in red) all of the things you have done.


1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

While some of these experiences are more positive than others, all of our experiences contribute to our lives in some way. Some experiences are just glorious - others teach us a lesson (for instance, bouncing checks is expensive...or you shouldn't eat warm cole slaw...). But they all make us what we are today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Horsey Gal's joke about old people and food..

The elderly couple were sitting in the living room and he says "why don't you get us a bowl of ice cream?" She says, "ok" and he says, "now wait a minute cause I want chocolate syrup and nuts on it too." She says, "ok" and he says, "well you had better write it down." She says, "oh don't be silly - surely I can remember that when I get to the kitchen." He says, "alrighty then, let's just see how this goes." She is gone a long time and when she comes back she has a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon. He hollers at her, "see, I knew you would forget it by the time you got to the kitchen." She says "so smarty pants, what did I forget?" He says, "WHERE'S MY TOAST?"