EATING WITH KIDS

28 09 2011

I saw an advertisement today that pictured a child refusing to eat his vegetables.  This brought up memories in my mind from times long ago.  Fancy that!  Anyway, in my family when I was growing up, there were several picky and I do mean picky eaters.  Too bad as far as I was concerned.  I was in the middle of my family and got to see all sides because of that position.

My mother had cooked a good meal every day for many, many years.  No matter the temperature nor the temperaments, she still hung in there and we had a great 3 meals per day.  My father worked nights so we ate a nice breakfast every morning while he was asleep.  Then we had a big lunch because he would be going to work at 3.  Then we had a nice supper because we had good leftovers from that big lunch.  So I knew all the food was very good.  I was never a big eater, but I enjoyed all that we had.

We would sit down to eat and one of those picky eaters would say, ‘what are we having that for?’  or ‘you know I don’t like this or that’.  Or  maybe it would be ‘do we have to eat that?’.  I got sick and tired of hearing that when I was growing up and told myself I would never have that at my house whenever I had a family.  And sure enough I never did.

I raised a big family and cooked all those meals, too.  And I never, ever had anyone sit down at the table and say they didn’t like anything that was offered to them.  They were good eaters and although some of them might not like something, they never complained.  I made it quite clear early in their lives that we did not complain about our food.  And so we did not complain about our food.

Just as I had done, they learned to eat turnips and squash and pickles and tomatoes, and different kinds of breads and meats.  Never hurt them one single bit just like it had never hurt me.  Sometimes, they would even say, ‘boy this is really good, mom’.  And their father taught them to say, ‘that was a good meal,’ or ‘thanks for the dinner, mom.’

Just like money, nice dinners don’t grow on trees.  Your children should be taught to be open to trying all sorts of foods and you should be making a decent meal every night or every day or whenever you can.  Teach them to appreciate whatever they have.  And that brings up all sorts of issues for another blog sometime.  Like clothes and furniture and cars, etc.  Just teach them to appreciate you and what you do for them and all the other blessings in their lives.





BIRTHDAYS AT MY HOUSE

20 09 2011

Hi again:  We have a lot of fun with birthdays at my house.  We also have a good time celebrating Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and all other necessary celebrations.  There are a lot of people in my family and so we really enjoy the visits with one another.  Everyone has such a good time just laughing and teasing and talking and visiting about everything from politics to old times.

We only celebrate birthdays every 3 months.  And it doesn’t have to be any particular time during that three months.  We might have it on the first weekend or the last weekend.  Never know.  We just try to do it when the most of us can come.  And then comes the presents.  And those are some presents, too.  We trade gifts back and forth.  I usually give the kids some money, but it isn’t much.  Then everyone usually gets some candy or treats of some kind.  After that, it is ‘hold the buggy, betsy!’  You just never know what might be in that sack.

For instance, one of my daughters and I trade a cheap, ugly statue back and forth, so we are going to get that if it is our turn.  That’s for sure!  Another child and I have been trading an ugly puzzle that no one could possibly work.  It is all in shades of black and gray and not even a good picture.  He originally got it at the dollar store, but we trade it every birthday.  Then, one son gave me a bag of plastic balls and said, ‘have a ball’.  Another time, I got a gold brick.  I have also received a stimulus check in the amount of $2 million.  I am still trying to cash that.  It came from one of my grandsons.

So, as you can see, presents are just for fun.   There is no great expense to this.  No one has to spend much money.  Sometimes they even make their own birthday cards with cutouts from magazines.  Always fun stuff.   We don’t usually put a limit on the money for birthdays.  No need to.  No one is going to spend much anyway.  And it is well known that not everyone has to get a gift for everyone.  Sometimes we have a lot of birthdays and there is no reason for anyone to be obligated.  It is all just for fun anyway.

I buy a cake at WalMart and put everyone’s name on it  Then we all sing, Happy Birthday to Everyone.  After that, we enjoy visiting some more and have our ice cream and cake or ice cream cones or whatever all those kids want at the time.  We have colas or tea or coffee to drink.  And a great time is had by all.

We do this same thing on other holidays.  Only we usually have a limit of $5 for gifts.  When my own children were younger, there was a limit of $1 for presents for Mother’s Day.  No reason to spend more.  I didn’t want anything anyway.  I usually got typing paper or envelopes or something in that range.  One year, my daughter who had grown up and was working went to get me a present for $1.  She saw a mirror that stood up in the bathroom.  It said, ‘Hi Gorgeous’ so that was what she wanted to buy for me.  When the clerk took her money, my daughter was laughing and saying that she was buying it for her mother for Mother’s Day.  This made the clerk mad and she said my daughter had no respect for her mother and made my daughter feel really bad.  I thought that was truly ridiculous.  Since when did the amount of money spent for a gift have anything to do with respect.  I treasured that mirror for many years.  It was always one of my favorite gifts.

So, next time you are thinking of giving a family party, you might want to bring out some of these ideas and use them.  Makes for a lot of fun and a very close family.  Have a Happy Birthday and make it fun this year.





SALADS

17 09 2011

As usual thinking about times long ago.  Although to me, it isn’t long ago at all.  People just assume that everyone ate salads forever.  That is not true.  It was the early fifties before salads became popular.  It was then a popular thing to say about salads,  ‘I’m not a rabbit, you know.’    There might be a mixture of lettuce and tomato on the table now and then, but usually it was just sliced or cubed tomatoes as a side dish – and that’s a new phrase, too.  But there were no salads at all.  Then someone came up with the bright idea that we could combine some of those greens and lettuce and tomatoes and all that other good stuff and we would call it a salad.

My mother had been cooking for a good many years by that time.   So she gave this salad business a try.  Worked out pretty well, too.  Almost everyone seemed to like having a salad with our dinner.  Then it became the thing to do to have the salad before the meal.  So we did that for awhile.  There were only two kinds of dressing.  We could either have white – which was mayonnaise or white salad dressing sold in the grocery store.  Or we could have the yellow which was the only kind of salad dressing available to buy at the grocery store that was actually a salad dressing for actual salads. I really think it was a form of french dressing or perhaps thousand island.  There were a couple of off brand type salad dressings but we ate this on crackers or bread as a snack before salads came along.

We ate a lot of tomatoes that were locally grown and they were really really good.  Not like the ones of today.   Someone told me that all the acid has been taken out of the tomatoes of today and that is why the taste is gone.  Don’t know that is true, but it makes sense to me because the tomatoes definitely do not taste like they used to.  That someone also said that is why the tomatoes don’t rot as fast.  And also why if you are canning today, you have to add some sort of acid to the tomatoes you are canning or they will not can properly.   I didn’t know that one either.  Things sure have changed since my canning days.  Oh, I hate canning.  That was such a chore and kept me in the kitchen for days at a time. (You might enjoy reading my blog about jars, jars everywhere) My mother-in-law grew vegetables for me.  Then it was up to me to come get them, prepare them and can them.  And I always said very nicely ‘thank you’.  She was a wonderful gardener and could grow absolutely anything.  But I sometimes wished she hadn’t been so good at it.  I had all those babies to take care of and canning was not exactly what I wanted to do every day during the summer months.   But you should always be grateful for anything you have, so I was properly grateful and meant it properly too.

But getting back to whatever I was writing about before the tomatoes came along, I think it was salads.  It is very nice nowadays to go to the local store and pick up a package of salad to have for dinner or lunch.  I have never found any problem with any of the packages yet.  Just grateful and properly so for them also.  Glad someone else is doing the picking and the washing and the preparing these days.  And also glad there is such a good variety of salad dressings in the grocery store.  Whole shelves full of them.  How fortunate we are in this country.

Well, that brings up something else to write about another day.  I went to Russia one time and we are so very fortunate every day wherever we live in this marvelous country.  Will write about that one.  Also will write about dieting before diets became popular.  Have a good evening.





PURTY

15 09 2011

Remember:  Purty is as Purty does!  My Nanma told me that almost every time I left the house when I was growing up.  This was her way of telling me to behave myself, be kind, be nice, and make everyone like me.  I have always appreciated that Purty advice.  It has held in good stead many a day when I wanted to bite someone’s head off.

After all, I am human just like everyone else.  And I get so tired of all the same old, same old bites in this world of today.  For instance, as I have already written in one of my blogs, I got so tired of teachers always telling me at the teacher’s conferences that ‘He could do better if he would just try.’. As far as I was concerned, she was the one who was supposed to make him want to try and if her classsroom was interesting, he definitely would have tried.  But then, I  had to hold my tongue and be Purty once again.  Or else be sent to the principal’s office.

And then the latest instance.  I ordered a medication from the drugstore this past week.  I had an infection come up on my leg and it was a real dilly, so had to have some pretty strong stuff to get rid of it.  I went by the drugstore and the doctor’s office had not called it in yet.  But the druggist wanted to know my date of birth so they would be looking for the prescription when it came in.   I ran some errands and then stopped by at the window once again.  The lady had never heard of any of this and she wanted to know my date of birth.  Then she disappeared from the window and I’m sure took her friends and relatives to lunch before coming back.  Then she informed me that if I wanted to wait, I would have to park in another parking lot and they would let me know when the meds were ready.  I said no thanks and went home to fume for awhile.

Next I called to ask if the medication was ready yet.   That lady had never heard of me either.  She wanted to know my date of birth.  Then she put me on hold and I heard all the advertisements at least once and was going around the second time when she finally came back to the phone.  Then she put me in touch with someone else who might know what I was talking about.  By this time, my leg could have fallen off.  But the lady assured me that they would have the medication ready soon.  So I started up the car once again and made another trip to the drugstore.  Then I had to wait in line behind four other cars.  When the front car didn’t move for a long time, I pulled around and parked and walked into the drug store.  There were about 40 people in front of me, but I guess I looked pitiful so the lady motioned for me to come forward.  By this time, I was ashamed of the way my leg looked and was pretty sure that was the reason I was summoned forward – so they could get rid of me.

After the lady went back into the pharmacy and evidently talked to everyone there, she finally came back and asked me my date of birth once again.  By this time, I was ready to lunge over the counter and tell her my date of birth in case she had not heard it before.  But then a pharmacist appeared with the bottle of pills and I just smiled and acted purty once again.

Then the medication made me feel really bad for the nest 8 days.  Think I’ll just give up, take to my rocking chair and try to be purty for the next 20 years.  Maybe then, someone else will take care of me.  Especially if I’m purty every day.  They might even ask me my date of birth.





FALLING ASLEEP

12 09 2011

I am told pretty often about how I fall asleep in the chair in the evening.  The way I feel about that is that I have earned the right to fall asleep in the chair if I wish to do so.  So there!

I am a pretty old person and just today, I mopped the kitchen, and 2-1/2 bathrooms.  I also cleaned a couple of those bathrooms.  I made 2 trips out to the drug store, one to the post office and one to the cleaners.  I also played bingo with some other old ladies today for an hour.  Won too!  We play for nickels and it is a lot of fun.  The coverall which I also won is played for a quarter.  Fun, fun, fun all around.  Lots of laughter and good natured kidding.

Then I raced home, ran the dishwasher, changed the sheets on a bed, washed a load of clothes and dried and folded them up.  Then I paid a couple of bills, started dinner, provided a snack for the afternoon and watched the evening news.  And that in itself is quite a chore.  Some of that news is horrible!

During this day, I also prepared breakfast, emptied the dishwasher which had been forgotten the evening before, put away all those dishes, filled it up again, and spent an hour in Adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist at our local parish chapel.  I also made a couple of important phone calls, tried to remember my name, and probably tried to remember a couple of other things during the day.  But I can’t remember what.

And that brings up another point.  Do you know where the word Senile comes from?  It means you go into a room and then say to yourself, ‘Let’s see now, what did I come in here for.’

Well, it’s time to set the alarm and prepare for another busy day tomorrow.  That alarm rings pretty early in the morning.  Then it will be time to rise and shine porcupine.





9/11 AND GOD

11 09 2011

I noticed this past week that all the news  carried the story that the New York Remembrance of 9/11 would not allow clergy to pray during the service.  I, like many others in this country, was appalled at that.  But then, there was really nothing we could do about it anyway.

And we can all say all those remarks that we have heard a million times about how this country was founded on Christian principles and how we all should pray at a time like this.  But then, like I said, we couldn’t do anything about this anyway.  But we still have our own thoughts.

But then, this morning I was watching the service in New York and I, like many others, was very impressed with the marching Scottish band, and the sound of the drum.  And then, the young choir that sang the Star Spangled Banner the way it should be sung.  That was wonderful!  And then, the unfurling of the flag that had been at the World Trade Center.  All of that was just marvelous.  I was very impressed with the whole service.  And that young man who talked about his father not being there when he graduated from high school and how he had helped his younger brother to learn all those things his father would have taught him.  That was a truly grand speech.

But then former President George  Bush stepped up to the microphone.  And he read from a letter by President Abraham Lincoln that told of a death in the Civil War and how he was writing to comfort the survivors of the lost one.  In that letter, President George Bush quoted that Abraham Lincoln PRAYED TO GOD  that the survivor would indeed be comforted.     Thank you, George Bush.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  By doing this, George Bush injected GOD right where he should have been all along, right in the middle of that service honoring all the dead from the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial.  What a marvelous thing he did for all of us since we couldn’t  do anything about it anyway.

And Thank You, Dear God, for all the things you have done for all those survivors.

 





TELEVISION

10 09 2011

When the television stations first came on the air in my area of the country, it was probably late 40’s, early 50’s.  I am sure everyone has heard of the dancing toothpaste images with the jingle that went with them.   It was really something to see.  In fact, we were invited to my brother’s boss’ house so we could see television for the first time.  No one had a set then.  Just those privileged few who had dared to purchase one of those ‘things’.  And it was considered a real folly to do so.

The television set was very small, probably a 9″ size.  It was on top of a cabinet and all their family and all my family sat in the dark room in order to see it because with the light it generated, it was possible to see the images through all the snow.  And there was definitely a lot of snow.  It was very hard to see through it all sometimes.  And then the television set might start with those diagonal lines that were all too frequent and we might just miss seeing anything at all.

But this night at my brother’s boss’ house, we could see well enough to make out the dancing toothpaste images.  And we were all properly impressed.  I think we were probably watching the Ed Sullivan Show at the time.  Of course I had no idea who Ed Sullivan was nor what the show was all about.   But I was very impressed with those dancing tubes of toothpaste.   I had never seen anything quite like that!

Later on, my husband and I, being newly married and without any children on the way, bought our first television set.  Ours was small, too, but it was larger than what we had seen before.  And there was not quite as much snow anymore.  Besides that, you could actually make out most of the people on the shows and actually keep up with what was going on.  That was a big plus at the time.

We had so much company then that we almost had to make appointments for people.  It got so we couldn’t even go to bed on time at night because someone was watching the Dave Garroway Show in our living room.  But it was o.k.   We were young enough to take all that and still keep going.  And we were both working and making enough money to afford all the popcorn and colas and other snacks that we were serving every night.

After that ‘new’ phase passed though, we had less company.  Most of the people decided that this new fangled thing wasn’t so bad after all and they were buying their own sets.

I went to work for a firm of accountants in the early fifties.  None of my bosses had a television set.  But that Christmas, they all got one.  It was the happiest bunch of people I had ever seen.  They were all talking about having the sets delivered to surprise their families and how exciting it was watching their first shows and how the kids were enjoying all the kiddie shows.

At that time, we only had television during the evening hours.  So we all turned on our sets in the late afternoon and watched the test pattern until the shows came on.  Oh, we were really hip at that time!  But it was all a lot of fun.  And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

And speaking of the world.  Our world was never quite the same after that.  Such is life.  Progress, you know.