29 12 2011

Well, I warned you that I would give my opinionated opinions just as soon as I got around to it.  So here I am.

Went to the post office this morning to get my mail.  Ha!  3 letters, more advertisement than letter.  Almost no one working at my local station and lucky if we get any mail on some days.  Never on Saturday anymore.

I see on the television and in the newspapers that this is due to the internet. Not so!!!  The internet may have cut down some on the volume but not much.  Instead, the reason why the post office is in such bad financial shape is because of all those many, many benefits they promised to the workers many, many years ago.  For instance, when I was a younger person, the only way to go was to get a job with the government or the post office.  Both are in financial straits now as a result.

The post office was a prime job.  Took a long time to get a steady job there.  Had to be bumped and bumped over and over again, but if you kept at it, you would eventually land that prime job.  Then you were set for life – and I do mean life.  You could retire after 20 years and still be a young person and have a whole new life while you were  being paid that grand and glorious retirement stipend.  Many, many people did just that and are still collecting.

Not only did they get the retirement pay, but while still working, they got the vacation pay, the sick pay, the long vacations, (longer each year).  This was long before everyone else even dreamed of having all these benefits, but after all, the postman was the link to the world for a lot of people.  So they were glad their postman had such a good life.

The postal union raised its head all these years and made sure the employees got ever more and more benefits.  After all, no one ever goes down in pay or benefits.  Instead,  when contract time comes up, it is always time to ask for more and more salary and benefits.

Meanwhile, there were lots of people working for the post office.  Took a lot of hands to sort and deliver that mail.  After awhile, there was a post office on every corner and the mail was guaranteed to be delivered by early in the morning  My husband ran his business for years, always having his mail in his postal box by 9:30 in the morning.  Just watch and see what time you get it delivered nowadays.  It sure isn’t 9:30 in the morning anymorel

One of the employees told me recently that they are so slow because people are retiring or quitting and are not being replaced – anywhere.  So, guess what.  The taxpayer pays and pays again.   The stamp costs more and there is less service to everyone.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t think it is my fault that the postal workers got so many benefits and salary raises over the years.  I really thought that was o.k. at the time.  But now – in this financial crisis – be assured that the reason is NOT the internet.  It is because they bit off more than they could chew many years ago and promised what they could not deliver.

They should have known better.  They were the delivery experts.


28 12 2011

When I was a senior in high school, my father had great plans for me.  At that time, being a secretary was a prime profession.  And I was already a great one.  In the 9th grade, I could type 120 words per minute on an old time typewriter.  And I could take shorthand very well and transcribe with the best of them.  So I was going to make a great secretary no matter what.  My father decided that I should go to Washington and work for the government.  That would be the ultimate job as far as he was concerned.  He had talked to a couple of career government secretaries  in our hometown and they had told him for me to take the civil service test for stenographers and then apply for a job in Washington.

So I was on my way.  He even made arrangements for me to rent the typewriter for the test and drove me to the federal building where the test was to be held.

Well, I was a great secretary alright, except that when they gave the test, the lady was on a stage in front of us and I was on about row 24 or so.  There were two people sitting next to me with those new fangled machines that clacked all the time.   So when we began, I could barely hear the lady up front who was dictating the test.  As a result, I failed the test.  But then, I could take it another time if I pleased.

This one time sort of deflated my dreams of being a great secretary in Washington D.C. anyway.  I was sort of scared about going away from home when I was so young and being on my own and all that great stuff that teens dream of.  Of course I never said that out loud and I would have gone if I was supposed to.

But it seems that God had other plans for me.  Those plans were certainly not in my mind at the time.  I was still planning on being a great secretary and becoming important somehow and having a good career over the coming years.  The word ‘career’ had not even been invented yet, but I was all for it anyway.

But then, this young man came along and I worked another couple of years and then became a stay at home mom with is the only kind to be as far as I am concerned.  I gave up the dreams of career as I now had a greater career raising my many children.  I had a wonderful life and would never have wished for anything better.  But it still remains a surprise to me that I enjoyed being a mother so much.  I didn’t even like children when I was young.  They just always got in my way.  And now, here I was with all these wonderful little ones running in every direction and the house being full of laughter and fun every single day.

Everyone was here for Christmas this year and it was still a house full of laughter and fun.  There are almost 30 of us now and we thoroughly enjoy our visits and jokes and just plain being together.  What a wonderful career I have had.  What a wonderful life I have had.  I look around at all of them and thank Dear God for all that He has done for me.

He knew exactly what I needed in my life and I am Grateful Forever that He showed me His ways.  I wouldn’t have liked it in Washington, D.C. anyway.


28 03 2011

Another friend died this weekend.  I attended her Funeral Mass this morning.  We were not really close friends or anything like that.  We just saw each other now and then if there was a wedding shower or a baby shower at the Church.  Or maybe we passed at Mass or sat near each other in the pews.  But she was still a friend as far as I was concerned.  I talked to her a couple of times on the phone over the years.  Sometimes we passed going in or out of the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.  She was always nice and acted as though she was glad to see me or hear from me.  It was a good relationship.  One that you think about now and then.

Her husband died several years ago.  I had seen him and talked with him from time to time over the years.  His slow death was one of those in and out of the hospital type of wearing down until he could go no longer.   It wore her down, too.  I would still see her but not as much.  But I  heard about her from time to time and knew she was doing o.k.

When my husband died a couple of years later, she made a point of looking me up.  As she held my hand and told me how sorry she was,  she said,  ‘Whatever you do, don’t sign anything.  Never sign any papers.  Just don’t sign anything.’   And then she was gone.

I thought about all that while the Mass was going on this morning.  I appreciated her concern for me, thinking that I might be confused and might just sign something I would be sorry for.  I didn’t plan on signing anything anyway, but I still knew that she worried about that for me.  And I thanked her once again in my mind.

Sometimes, it is the little things you remember about someone.  She was concerned enough to make a point of talking to me and warning me in case I might be in some sort of danger.  I still appreciate all that.  That is what a friend does.  A friend cares.  A friend looks you up and tells you that they care.  A friend doesn’t have to be around all the time in order to be a real friend.

So, this morning I told another friend goodbye.   May she rest in peace.



25 03 2011

I just read an interview  with Donald Trump that was printed in Human Events.  And I have to tell you, I am very impressed.  I laughed to myself when he said he was going to run or thinking about running, but after reading his statements, I am going to look very closely at him.

He made statements such as Russia shouldn’t be telling us  how to run our military and how many missiles we can make, etc.  He said we won the cold war, not them.  True.   He also said all those countries that owe us money should be made to pay us back and then we wouldn’t have any economic problems.   Said everyone in the world uses us and doesn’t pay us one single cent for all our ships, planes, men, etc.  True.  Also said we need to bring our troops home and rebuild our military and then no one would cross us again.  We would not have to fight anywhere, just let them know where we stand – and he would definitely do that – and no more trouble from anyone.  I’m all for that one, too.  He said OPEC should back down and quit acting like they own us.  Agree with that.

He also said he cannot believe the pirates taking the huge ships with only a rowboat.  Said it wouldn’t take him long to get rid of all that.  Hooray!

He also said he is definitely pro-life.  And I am definitely for that one.  Says health care plan must go and would be gone within a short time if he were elected.  I am for that one, too.

He said China is using us every day and I agree with that.  He said he would put a 25% tax on all imported goods from China and that would solve that problem.  I agree with that one, too.   Then many of our jobs would open up again and we would be seeing Made in U.S.A. on most of our goods we buy.  Hooray!

He also said he knows how to work with the unions and has no problem with all that.  If he can work out fair agreements with them, then I would be for that one, too.  It’s those unfair things I don’t like.  Not the unions themselves.

He said a lot of other things, too.  But I was very impressed with most of his ideas and will be watching him over the next several months to see what happens.  I think Huckabee makes a good Tv host.  Palin has sort of fizzled.  At one time, I thought they would make a great team, but do not see that anymore.  I never have liked Romney and don’t even know who Pawlenty is and don’t care.  Newt killed his chances years ago as far as I am concerned.  And the younger people are not going to vote for him anyway.  Don’t know who the Congresswoman is that they keep trying to push, but am not impressed enough to find out either.  That is not a good sign.

Donald Trump seems to have what it takes to attract the younger people and I think his conservative ideas will go a long way with the older crowd.  So who knows.  It may just be President Trump.  And who can resist that hair anyway.


24 03 2011

I understand Congress is supposedly going to vote out the law about having to change our light bulbs.  I hate these new bulbs.  They are a pain in the neck to me.  So far, they do not last nearly as long as the others did.  I have a lot of light bulbs in my house that are unreachable for me.  So that means that I have to depend on someone else to change them.  That is why I know how long the bulbs last.  And it ain’t very long most of the time.

One night, I turned off the hall light outside my bedroom and the light started flashing.   The switch was turned off, but the bulb kept right on flashing.  Well, to make a long story short, including a trip to the electric box to make sure a circuit had not blown, I had to go to bed with that light flashing all night.   Not a good night for sure.   Next morning, I contacted the electrician and he came to check it out.  By this time, I was just grateful my house had not burned down.  He was also confused  for a few minutes.  And then he realized that particular light bulb was on a dimmer switch.  So that is why it was flashing all night.  You cannot use those kind of light bulbs on a dimmer switch.  And it says so right there in fine print on the box of light bulbs I had just purchased.  But of course I am not in the habit of reading the light bulb boxes, so I had not seen that.

I have been using light bulbs all my life just like everyone else.  I never knew I had to read the box.  I didn’t know there were light bulbs you cannot use on a dimmer switch.  Another reason to not like the newer light bulbs.  Another reason is that I think they are ugly.  They don’t seem to enhance any area at all.  And I simply do not like them.

And then recently, I heard of an autistic woman speaking at a workshop and she said the newer light bulbs are terrible for an autistic person.  She said they see things differently than everyone else does and those light bulbs make things ever more difficult for them.

I don’t know why we have to have this change crammed down our throats anyway.  If someone want to buy those kind of light bulbs, then so be it.  But we should have any kind of light bulbs we want to buy.  After all, we are the United States of America.  We have had light bulbs for a long, long time.  Who is suddenly in charge that we can be told we cannot buy the light bulbs we prefer.  What has happened here in this country?  Why is someone else suddenly telling us how we have to live and what we have to do every day.  Never happened before.

Think about that.  A lot.


23 03 2011

I am writing another book.  Nothing unusual about that. The first part tells the story of my husband’s alcoholism and his recovery and rise to success.  Have not decided for sure what to name the book yet.  Am calling it Success, but don’t think that has much of a ring to it.

And then the next part of my book will be about my father and his rise in life from living in abject poverty to being the state governor’s secretary.  And will include some of the true story about the 1957 crisis at Little Rock High School.  The media never told the true story about that.   Most of their story  was just a lot of noise.

So, I am through writing the part about my husband and it is reasonably good reading.  Have had a lot of nice comments about it from those who have read the manuscript.  Started on the second part about my father and wrote for about an hour and a half one day last week.  I was so pleased with what I had written and it was just right – perfect.  Then, then, then, I erased all of it.

Just pushed the wrong button and off it went, straight out into never, never land.  Tried to retrieve it, but the computer didn’t know what I was talking about.  I’m sure it was the computer’s fault as I would never dare to make such a stupid mistake.  I thought those buttons were there to be pushed and so that’s what I did.  Just pushed a few buttons.   Oh, well, never too late to start again.

You might look at some of my books.   They are listed on Amazon.com as booksbybet.com.  You would definitely enjoy them.  All about life as it used to be.  #2503 tells about growing up in the 30’s and 40’s.  In The 1940’s tells the story of the War and living through it.  The Wonderful 1950’s is all about that time when the whole world changed.  I also have a cookbook called Bet’s Cookbook, (novel title) and it is really great, telling tips about how to save money while filling up all those kids.  And that is one great challenge for sure.

And then, have one based on the Ten Commandments called A Better World.  Short and to the point.

Check them all out.  You might just like one or two.  Thanks, Bet


22 03 2011

When I was a young person, I always thought it would be nice to be ‘somebody.’  However, I never figured out who that ‘somebody’ was.  I went to all the nice parties and did all the right things, but never felt like I was really ‘somebody’.  So I finally decided that wasn’t the ‘somebody’ I wanted to be anyway.    I was happier just being me.

After I was married and had small children, I would see all the ‘somebody’ ladies going to lunch with their silk blouses on and their flashy rings.  This was it!  I could be one of them.  Only I couldn’t.  I didn’t have the money for lunch and I didn’t own a silk blouse and had no flashy rings either.  So that must not be the ‘somebody’ I want to be.

Later on, I had more money, a nice car and my children were in school.  Now I could be ‘somebody’.  But – couldn’t do that after all.   I was too busy driving carpools and shopping and cooking and cleaning and washing and ironing.  Couldn’t be ‘somebody’ doing all that.  Never did get that silk blouse either.  If I had it, I probably couldn’t have found it during those years.

Then, when all my children were grown, I knew I could be ‘somebody’ now.  I had the time, the lunch money, the silk blouse, and I was just sure this was the time in my life to be ‘somebody’.  Only it wasn’t.  I really didn’t want to be that ‘somebody’ anymore.  I had found there were better things to be in this life.

Now, I only want to be pleasing to God in whatever it is that I do each day.  Couldn’t care less for the silk blouse or the flashy rings or the perfect house or the ‘somebody place’ in social life.  I still just want to be me.  I am very happy with me and my relationship with God.  For that, I am most grateful.  Thank You, Dear God.  And Thank You for not letting me be ‘somebody’ ever.


28 02 2011

I have watched with much interest the demonstrations in Wisconsin.  Isn’t this ridiculous.  Reminds me of the hippy movement of the 60’s where everyone ran around protesting something.  Most didn’t even know what it was they were protesting.  They were just having a party.  Walking the highways, hitching everywhere, running in groups here and there.  Demonstrating as long as there was free food, music, and sometimes a bonfire.  Sheer morality no doubt!

Wisconsin looks almost the same to me today.  Everyone out screaming, shouting, a bonfire or two, and a big, big party.  Everyone is off work, not bothering to teach, and the senators have even left the state in order not to do their job.  Isn’t this the same scenario?  Sounds like it to me.  And I notice today that they are camping out in the state capitol although they have been asked to leave so the building could be cleaned.  Sounds like  hippy time to me.  They did the same things.  And I don’t know about you, but once around that block was quite enough for me.  Time to grow up, shut up, and get on with your job.

Democrats are spending money they do not have.  Republicans are saying that we don’t have the money to spend so you cannot spend what you do not have.  And the crowd is hollering ‘hell no!’  Makes sense to me.  Maybe all these people who are demonstrating can use their credit cards to pay Wisconsin’s bills with.  Why are they not willing to pay their fair share of insurance coverage and pensions.  Most people in this country do.  What makes them so different.

Oh, I forgot, it is their Union.  I know just a little bit about unions and their problems.  My father was a die-hard union man from the time I was born.  He never allowed anything to be bought or used in our home unless it had a union label on it.  As he got older, he became ever more union man.  Everything the union did was wonderful to him.  Yessir!  He supported them all the way every day.  He became the president of his particular union and that made him even more union oriented.  I went to many a union get together.  And there was always lots of rhetoric about how wonderful the union was for the working man.  My father was proud to say he was one of those working men.  

In his particular union, they had a retirement home out west.  All the men contributed some of their wages to this home because some day they were going to live there, sit on the porch, and enjoy the beautiful sunsets.  My parents even drove out to see this wonderful place.  And as president of his union, my father promoted this retirement home and urged the men to donate to it over and over again.  Of course I’m sure they probably had to donate.  Most unions make sure of that.  But each man still had to earn that money before he could donate it.  Wonder how many hours of work their donations took. 

Then the union had a big regional meeting.  My father made lots of speeches.  They showed a film all about this retirement home to all the people there.  And everyone dreamed that retirement dream of going to that wonderful place – because they had all helped pay for it.  One of the big union bosses even came  from up east to attend this regional meeting.  After my father made a talk, this man also made a talk and he, too, promoted this retirement home and all its many benefits and again urged the men to donate their wages to this wonderful place.

Then, later on, I heard some talk that the big bosses from up east had somehow gotten their hands on the money for that retirement home and it wasn’t going to be there anymore.  This really upset my father because he had urged his men to support this with their hard earned money.  And they had because they always followed my father and his union promotions.  

After that, I never heard about the retirement home again.  And I never knew of anyone being punished for taking all that hard earned saved up money either.  

As for Wisconsin.  I think the teachers should pay their fair share of their pensions and health care and get back to work.  The ones who are suffering are the children who are not being taught.  But then, I don’t think any of the teachers have bothered to think about that.  They are too busy shouting and screaming and camping out in the state capitol and probably singing around a campfire somewhere.  Enough!  Get real.  Pay your fair share and get on with your life so everyone else can do the same.  It is time everyone owned up to their individual responsibilities including the teachers in Wisconsin.  

As for the Democratic Senators, what else can you expect.  Just look around at the Democrat’s track record and you will see easily what they are and how they try to monopolize all situations.  Another junior high, yukkity yuk stupid joke.  Wake up.  Smell the flowers.  Get to work and do your job.  It’s past time!


7 02 2011

I read in the paper last week about a lady who was having her eyelashes glued on.  It was going to cost almost $200 to do this, plus another $65 periodically to make sure they still look good.  Now, I know I am  old fashioned, but I think that is probably the silliest spending of good hard earned money that I ever heard of.  Hope she didn’t also charge it to her credit card and then have to pay interest on the bill.  

I still remember when $200 was a big house payment or a car payment or a month’s groceries.  Maybe this explains some of the credit problems in this country today.  I know the housing problems were caused because people bought houses  they could not afford and the banks and credit companies were encouraging this.  

First house we bought cost $10,000. We could have bought one nearby for $10,500 but we had our limit and $10,000 was it.  Period.  We had an FHA loan and that required $1,500 down.  My husband was a salesman and he had worked his heart out to save up that $1500.  There was no way we were ever going to lose that house.  Our payments were $66 a month.  I remember that years later,  we were required to pay a dollar more a month.  It was almost devastating to us.  A whole dollar month more!  But we managed and had a very good life there.  In fact, we lived there for several years.  Until we outgrew the house because we now had three children and were afraid we might all get stuck in the hall.  

We sold the house for $11,500 so we didn’t come out too bad.

Years later, we had another house, much larger  and more expensive.  The phone rang one afternoon and a real estate agent wanted to know if we wanted to sell it for $195,000.  I turned and asked my husband.  His answer was ‘No, because then we would just have to find another one for ourselves.’  End of subject.

A little common sense goes a long ways.  Wish more people would try using some of it.  And not be spending so much on false eyelashes.  Oh My!!!


5 02 2011

I was thinking again today about those cold nights back in the 1940’s when I was just a kid.  We had a very nice house, nothing fancy, but o.k.  Houses were not insulated like they are today, though, and it was very cold on some of those nights.  We had what was available to keep us warm, by that I mean gas stoves that had to be lit.  Before Daddy went to the War, he bought a big heater for the dining room.  It sat over in the corner and we all sat in front of it.  Except for when my brother, sister and I were doing our homework at the dining table.  We all listened to the radio.  Had to be quiet to hear it.  Lux Theatre was a favorite of course.  Never missed a word of that.  My grandmother loved Gene Autry on Sunday nights.  

To help keep the house as warm as possible for living, we shut off the living room and my brother’s bedroom.  Mother’s room was also shut off.  And on very cold days, my sister and I had our room shut off, too.  This just meant we had to heat up the dining room and kitchen.  Mother crocheted every evening and my grandmother did tatting.  It was a very simple, happy life.  

Daddy also put a sheeting over the windows in my brother’s bedroom because the wind literally whistled through there.  We could hear those  sheets rattling in the wind all night most nights.  But it was a comforting sound.  When it came time for my brother to go to bed, he would quickly tell us goodnight and then run to his bed and jump under the covers.  Didn’t dare stand around in that room or you would freeze where you stood.  

I don’t ever remember having a warm coat.  All the coats I had were the best at the time, but they were still cold, cold.  All that was available was wool and a lining.  And when that lining got cold, believe me, you were really cold.  And not everyone had gloves.  Most of the time, I couldn’t find mine or one was missing.  A hat might just mess up my hair, so didn’t wear hats a lot and hoods were not invented yet.  

But we were happy in our ignorance and blessed beyond belief.  What a nice life to look back on.  

If you haven’t read my book, In The 1940’s yet, you need to.  I tell of life like it really was in the family and how we helped each other and lived that good life.  For instance, we all saved up our ration stamps so my grandmother could get a new pair of shoes because she needed them more than any of us did.  Nice life.  My books are on Amazon.  Look me up.  Thanks, Bet