7 09 2011

HI    When I was growing up – and here I go again – my Dad got paid in cash as almost everyone did.  There were no checks as such.  And certainly no checking accounts.  No one had even heard of such a thing.   Not even the banks.

Anyway, when Daddy got paid, he and my mother got all dressed up and went to town.  Daddy always said that was what he worked for – that paycheck – and it was his to do with as he pleased.  I think most people still feel that way.  But doing as you please usually involves a whole bunch of priorities.  But Daddy also always said, he paid himself first because he was the one who had worked for that money.  And that makes a lot of sense to me.  If you pay yourself first, then you at least get to accumulate a little bit of cash to call your own.

Daddy also said he had to pay the house payment the very first bill.  He said you always have to have a place to live.  Without that, you have nothing.  So he made a stop downtown and paid the house payment at the loan company.  Then he and mother drove over to the electric company and paid that bill.  Then it was down the street to the gas company.  After that one was paid, he then made other stops to catch up on all the bills they owed.

After they were through paying the monthly bills, they came home and changed their clothes back into their everyday things.  Then, they went through the cash to see how much they had left.  It was usually a fair amount.  But then mother had to have her allowance which was her grocery money.  And she had to have money in the house in case anyone needed to be paid during the month such as the newspaper boy and the milkman.  So she had a small stack of bills that were hers to do with as she pleased also.  She always had a pretty good grocery allowance and that allowed her to put those good meals on the table.  She was very stingy with that money and made it go just as far as it could possibly go.  For instance when margarine came out in the package, she insisted on scraping every bit of that margarine off the paper and using it.  And I agree with her.  I have done the same thing many a time in my life.

Of course she also had to pay the cleaning bill when she picked up the clothes from the cleaners.  And she paid for the gasoline for the car.  There was always someone or something that needed to be paid.  But first and foremost, Daddy paid himself.  This allowed them to accumulate enough money so that disasters did not happen at our house.  If someone got sick, there was enough money to pay the bill.  Might be tight for awhile, but it was possible.  And if there were any other unexpected expenses that popped up, it was not the end of their world.

Pay yourself first.  Always. No matter if it just $10 or even $5.  Put that money in an account somewhere and pay yourself first.  Then don’t touch it again unless it is really needed.  Not just for fun things.  But for real emergencies.  This is how you gradually accumulate enough money so that you, too, will not be faced with disasters in your life.  When you have accumulated as much as $100 or even $1,000.  you will feel much better about your life.  Give  it a try.

Pay yourself first!



6 09 2011

While growing up, my parents told me it was a great honor to get to help with the dishes.  So at the age of 7, on my birthday, I was presented with a dish rag and told this could be my job from now on.  I was so excited and so happy!  Could not believe I would get to do such a wonderful job.  And I got to do that job for about the next 100 years.   My grandmother and I washed the dishes three times a day for years and years and years.  Except when I was in school of course and then I don’t know who dried all that mound of dishes.  I was the official drier.  I got so proficient at the job that I could dry stacks of plates in a matter of seconds, sliding the top one under the bottom one and continuing to dry all the time.  Oh, I was really good!

By the time my children came along, we had what was supposed to be a dishwasher but I’m not sure exactly what it was.  It was installed in the corner of the kitchen cabinet and was small and round.  It supposedly ran on water pressure.  And it seemed to do a pretty good job.  We used that all the time we lived in that particular house.  The house was built in the late 40’s and I suppose this was a brand new invention at the time.  However, it never took off as I have never seen another one anywhere.  I guess all the houses in our subdivision had one, but I don’t remember discussing that with anyone.  Anyway, it washed the dishes and whizzed around and around after dinner each day.  We seemed to have more than our share of vomiting problems during those years, but then everyone did.  Those new viruses seemed to come around pretty often to everyone’s house.  But I have since then wondered if some of ours was because of that hot dog dishwasher.  Never will know of course.

After we moved away from that house, we bought a portable dishwasher which we rolled in and out of the kitchen.  However, the propellor piece that was in the bottom that made the whole machine work did not have a cover over it and soon, a fork was dropped down there and it broke and then it wouldn’t run at all – for awhile – until we scraped together enough money to get it fixed.  After awhile, the lock broke on it and it would not run until the top was locked.  So my two year old daughter was lifted up and sat on top of the dishwasher for us while it ran.  She was very smart for her age and I never worried about her falling off.  She was quite content to sit there and be in the middle of all the commotion in the kitchen and I can still see her sitting there on top of the dishwasher proud as punch with the good job she was doing for us.

We were brok-er and brok-er during those years and could not buy anything new anyway.  We finally had to sell our  home and rent a house because we couldn’t keep our home.  Too much money going out and none coming in for awhile.  We drug that dishwasher with us of course and it ran for another couple of years.  After we got our feet back on the ground again, we moved to a better house which we eventually were able to buy.  There, we got another portable dishwasher and this one never had any problems.  And the lock actually worked too.  No more having someone sit on the top of it.

Next, we moved to a better house with a built in dishwasher.  This one worked beautifully until one of the kids sat on the door one afternoon and that was that.   After that, it was another dishwasher or else.  There were just too many dishes by that time for anyone to wash and dry.  Would have taken hours and hours.  And no one had hours and hours anymore.  Too busy driving cars and running all the time raising all those kids and driving those carpools and trying to prepare meals in between.

Next house had a new dishwasher and it got a run for its money for sure.  Then to this house and another new dishwasher.  So glad.  Just love those dishwashers.  Mine still runs twice a day. My daughter still empties it.  And we live a happy life ever after.



4 09 2011

Hi again:  when I was growing up which has of course been quite awhile ago, we did not have shampoos as such.  I guess there was something around because there were beauty shops but I don’t know what they used.  At our house, we used a bar of ivory soap and rubbed that in our hair and then scrubbed with our fingers until we were clean.  This was done in the kitchen sink.

Then we rinsed until we were sure all the ivory was gone.  After that, we rinsed our hair with a combination of vinegar and water.  Probably about 1/3 vinegar to a cup of water.  Then we rinsed more with water and we were through.  The vinegar worked like a combination  of conditioner and rinse.  Anyway, it worked beautifully.

To this day, I have used many a shampoo in my time and  some I liked and a lot I did not.  But in the last few years, I have gone back to the soap, using liquid dawn most of the time.  Then I scrub my head with my fingers just as I have always done.  Then I rinse with that same combination of vinegar and water.  Then I rinse again with plain water and I’m done.  Not expensive, not hard to do and my hair always turns out o.k.  Don’t have a lot of tangles and never have any oily or fine type problems.

When shampoos first became popular, it was advertised on the radio every Sunday night with the girl singing of the shampoo.  I am sure you have heard the jingle many times.  My grandmother who lived with us believed in all the commercials.  So she insisted my mother pick us up some of that new, wonderful shampoo.  But don’t think any of us liked it much.  My grandmother went to the beauty shop every week anyway, so didn’t matter to her.  When she went to the beauty shop, she usually came home with blue hair.  But we all told her how nice she looked so she was happy with blue hair.

I hated beauty shops because I only got to go there to get that terrible, awful permanent wave every year before school started.  The last one I got was so fuzzy that my date called me fuzzy bear when he picked me up to go to the movies.  After that, I was permanently through with fried permanent waves.  But then home permanents came out and that was a whole new story.

Meanwhile back at the shampoo story, earlier in the century, my husband’s grandmother lived in the country and she combed kerosene through her hair to make sure there were no bugs.  At that time, women washed their hair in soft rain water which was caught in a cistern.  Didn’t want to use that hard well water.  So, see, things really aren’t so bad after all in this world of today.  At least we don’t have to worry about having our hair catch on fire because we have just combed through it with kerosene.

If you like this sort of story, you will love my books.  #2503 (my address when I was growing up) tells of growing up in the 30’s & 40’s.   In The 1940’s is the name of the next one and tells all about those War years and living at that time and  The Wonderful 1950’s is all about that time.  Each book is $10 with no postage or order all three for $25.  Just send check or money order to BET   P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018    You will love them!



3 09 2011

Back in the 1950’s, there were no pantyhose.  In fact no one had even heard of such a thing.  Here I go back to old times.    But anyway, we women wore garters and they were truly awful.   Especially if you had skinny legs like I did.  Nothing was going to hold those baggy hose up anyway. But that ring of elastic was the best we had at the time.  And it was either too loose and the hose fell down or it was too tight and the veins in your legs quit working.  Take your choice.

And if it was hot weather and those hose stuck to your sweaty legs, then all was lost anyway because the wonderful marvelous hosiery probably had a run in it or maybe even two or three.  Then you had to start all over again, trying to pull those horrendous hose up your legs with that garter attached.  What a mess!  Of course you could pull on the hose first and then put the garter over them, but that was a massive operation in itself.  If you had a run, you could put nail polish on it and it wouldn’t run anymore, but then gossipy people might start talking about the red spot on your leg.  Have to watch out for all those kinds of people you know.

Then garter belts came along and they were a wonderful improvement if you could get the things to work right.  First you had to either pull it up over your body and make it fit right or clasp it in the front and turn it to the back.  By the time you were finished with that, you felt like you were playing in a band somewhere what with all the clacking and zinging going on.  But, when you once got all that straightened out, then and only then could you put the rest of our clothes on.  Then you attached the hosiery to that wonderful zinging garter belt and you were in business.  Of course by this time, the hose might have acquired a run or two considering all that you had been through.

Several years later, those wonderful pantyhose came onto the market.  At first of course they were just considered tights for little girls, but then someone – probably Mr. Swiffer- thought up the pantyhose using nylon hosiery and that was a marvelous invention – just like the Swiffer is today.  Not that you can compare the two of course, but I have written a blog you might like entitled Dear Mr. Swiffer.   and then another one about having a household blower to blow the rest of the dirt out of my house.

But back to the subject of the pantyhose – could get dressed in a zip and a zing and ready to go.  Great improvement over all those other massive problems.  And then, then, then came the knee hi’s.  Now that was a real step in the right direction.  But of course no one ever  owned pants or could wear pants even at home until the middle and late 50’s.  We all wore skirts before that so we had to wear the full length hose.  Period.   Was required.  Even in hot summertime,

But now with the pants suits and the ‘allowing’ of wearing pants outside the home, we were free to use the knee hi’s.  And today, I wear something called socks which I think I started out wearing when I was born.  But you know what they say – the more things change, the more they remain the same.

How about the no shampoo days.  Will tell you about that one next.  Meanwhile, you might really like my books about the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  Each of my books is $10 no postage.  Or 3 for $25.  Look them up on my website and order straight from me.  You will really like them.  Great reading, great fun and lots of living history.




2 09 2011

Our nation seems to be digging a deeper hole every day.  Of course we can all lay the blame where we wish, but the reality is that we are getting in deeper and deeper all the time.   And this hole doesn’t seem to have any bottom.  People are hurting in lots of ways.   Some are out of jobs.  Some are destitute for other reasons.  Many have family or health problems.  And nothing seems to be getting any better.

A friend of mine thought about this for awhile and came up with an idea that makes a lot of sense.   How about a bumper sticker for every car in the country.  How about one that says, PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing if every car on every street in America had this bumper sticker so we could all be reminded to pray and pray and pray some more for our nation.

If we all follow this example and PRAY FOR OUR NATION, God will hear us and grant our requests.  He is just waiting for us to turn to him anyway.  Why not now.

If you can, order a bumper sticker somewhere that says PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  Printers can all print up bumper stickers for a very nominal fee.  Or you can purchase them on the internet at a reasonable cost.  If you order one from a printer, how about ordering several and passing them out to your relatives and friends and anyone who has an automobile with a bumper.

Let’s inundate the country with this slogan.  PRAY FOR OUR NATION.  Then we will soon see Bumper stickers on every car in America!  Tell all your friends and relatives to do the same.  Pass this word along.  Tell your church friends and your Sunday School Class and your preachers and everyone else you can think of.  Let’s put this slogan on every car in America.  The quicker the better.  PRAY FOR OUR NATION!!!!



1 09 2011

I was driving into the neighborhood recently and noticed that a house near the entrance has been rented to a group of young men. The most important thing they do is wash their truck.  Each one, all the time.  What time they aren’t washing their trucks, they are parking them all over the place.  Nice boys.  Nice area.  And they keep it looking really nice around their house.

But I remember back when  the most important thing I did was ‘wash my truck.’  What fun!  No responsibility.  No problems.  Just make sure my bank account  was current.  Why, I might even have as much as $25.30 left after the month.  Rich! this month.   Meanwhile I’ll wash my truck again.  Needs it really bad.  Might have a spot or two on the top.

That windshield could use a little more wiping.  And around the gas cap  has finger prints  from when I filled  up the tank the other day.  Guess I’ll wash my truck!

Mom calls that dinner is ready now.  ‘Be right there as soon as I finish washing my truck.’    Or maybe I’ll wash my truck before I go in to work.  Or to school.  Or to anywhere else.

Mom might ask me to take my sister over to grandma’s.  ‘Sure, soon as I finish washing my truck.’

Or  – Mom might want me to run to the grocery and pick up a loaf of bread for dinner.  ‘Sure, just as soon as I finish washing my truck’.

What fun!  Think I’ll go wash my truck.  Probably needs it.  Been hauling trash and kids and groceries and all that good stuff all  week.

Need to wash my truck!!!