10 09 2012

Old times were not necessarily any better than now, just different. Did you know that it was not common practice to use a hair brush to brush your hair?  We all used combs.  And the latest thing was the rat tail comb.  I very well remember those!  I had this frizzy, fine hair that after combing just frizzed right back up again. When I was in grammar school and before, my grandmother combed my hair every morning.  And then she braided it, although we called it plaiting it.  I hated that!

She would comb through my hair and of course it bounced right back into tangles again.  And she combed and combed until I was crying every morning and hitting her on the knees.  I sat in a small chair at her knee height and had to endure this torture every day.  She did the best she could as she was always, always a very kind sweet woman. But it still hurt.  My head ached from the pulling of my hair.  But it had to be combed and so that is what she did.  

Hair brushes came into popularity much later than that. After I was at least 15 or older.  Of course we always got a machine permanent before we started school each year.  This was a big deal, too.  Another day of enduring sheer torture while my hair was washed, combed, rolled up on machine rollers, and then cooked. Afterwards my hair was even more frizzed.  In fact, I looked like Orphan Annie and that was definitely not the look I was wishing for.  Hated that!  I wanted to look beautiful like the movie stars with their pageboy long sleek hair.  And mine was a frizzed mop standing straight up on top of my head.  

Then it was combed and combed again so I looked even worse.  But everyone in the know talked about how beautiful I was.  Bull!  I didn’t think so at all.  But getting back to the hairbrushes:  Every time I see a rat tail comb, I want to scream at someone for the many times that comb hurt my head. But somehow I survived and I got a new hairbrush when I was old enough to warrant one and after that, I never, ever had to endure that torture of having my hair combed by anyone.  

In fact, If you want to know a cure for all that, just fix up a spray bottle of half apple cider vinegar and half water and spray your hair before combing or brushing.  It makes all the tangles come right out and the hair will be nice and smooth.  Also, it will keep your hair in its natural color and not let it turn gray.  And that is real plus.  

You can read all about those old times in my books, you know.  Just order from BET  P.O. Box 2249, Benton,AR  72018.  They are all well worth the cost of $10 each plus $2 postage.   Or you can buy any 3 for $25 including postage.  Really great books and full of humor and living history.

#2503 is all about the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.  In The 1940’s is obviously all about the 1940’s and the World War II years and how different our life was.  The Wonderful 1950’s is about the changing times during those truly wonderful years.  And then I have a great cookbook that leads you through cooking for a family.  If you want good, nutritious, crowd pleasing recipes, they are in this book.  They are also quick and very easy with lots of tips to help you along the way. And I also have a newer book entitled The Real Story which tells of my father who was born into terrible poverty and his rise to be quite successful.  My husband’s story is also there about how he conquered his alcoholism and became very successful.  Give any of my books a try.  

The books also make wonderful gifts for ages 8 through 85.  Anyone on your Christmas list would love one!


19 06 2012

I was making my usual run around town today trying to get all those errands done and happened to notice how pretty the yards looked.  Most were very green with lots and lots of flowers.  That got me to thinking as usual.

Not too long ago, no one had a pretty yard.  You cut the grass if it needed it.  No one ever trimmed.  Bushes were cut when absolutely necessary.  But most people had to borrow tools to do this.  Flowers were planted, but usually just the same old things such as bulbs that would outlast everything else.  There was not much choice.  Few greenhouses to buy from anyway.  Most of the flowers were either given to you or were already in the yard.  

And the grass was usually almost brown as soon as hot weather set in.  No one and I do mean no one ever watered their grass.  That was mostly unheard of.  You had to be rich to even think of such a thing.  What a waste.  Besides, there were no sprinklers and a lot of people did not even have a water hose. If they did, they would have just used it to wash their car.  Or wash off the porch once or twice a year.   You just had to wait until it rained and if the grass and flowers were not already dead, they might come back out after a good rain.  

No one fertilized their yard either.  That didn’t come along until even much later.  These were just expenses simply not heard of before.  It was not something necessary anyway.  So no one thought much about it.  

Now we all take those things for granted.  We expect to have a nice thick green yard.  And lots of flowers if we want them. And fertilize at least a couple of times a year.  

I still think raking the leaves in the Fall was the most fun thing of all.  It was such fun to rake all day so that all the leaves were in one big pile.  Then all the kids in the neighborhood came over to jump in the pile of leaves.  That in itself was a real luxury.   Those were really fun times.  Then, if you were old enough, you could help burn those leaves. We had so many leaves that they had to be burned in stages over the next few days.  If we were lucky, our mother would let us cook potatoes down in the bottom of the pile of burning leaves.  These were absolutely terrible to eat, but we all smiled a lot and thoroughly enjoyed them.  All the kids wanted a potato.  

Life really wasn’t too bad when we didn’t have as much.  It was pretty nice – sometimes. But I wouldn’t want to go backward to another time.  Think I’ll keep my green grass.  


18 06 2012

A bit of advice – always stay close to all your relatives.  This does not mean you have to see them often or even think of them often.  But do make a point of contacting them once in awhile.  An email or a simple phone call or even a card in the mail would suffice.  Just enough to say, ‘Hey, remember me.  I am your sister or your brother or your cousin or your aunt.  I am still alive and I just wanted to say Hi.  Hope you are doing o.k.  I am.

That is all you have to do in order to remain a real family.  Sometimes words have been said or situations have been stretched too far.  But write that off and make amends that you need to make if you need to at all.  If all that happened is someone else’s fault, then just write that off, too and act like nothing has happened to your relationship.  I know that is hard to do sometimes, but it will work if you want it to.  Just remember that nothing is worth the problems.  So smile nicely and make amends even if you are not at fault.

If you don’t keep up with family and them keep up with you, sometimes there is no one left who remembers you way back when.  I want someone to remember me as a skinny, long legged kid who was always messing things up.  I want to be remembered for what I was way back when.

My mother was one of nine children and I watched as they died, one by one until the only other sibling she had was her youngest brother.  She hardly even knew him as she was gone from home while he was still a child.  But she was so happy to hear from him and to talk with him and to visit with him as they both got older.  There was no one else who remembered all those family members and all those situations.  And the only other person who remembered their parents and how much life meant to them as they grew up.  Eventually my mother was the only one left and she was always so sorry that everyone else in her early life was gone.  She missed them all a lot.

So keep in touch no matter what it costs you.  Even if you get no response to your tries, keep in touch anyway.  As you get older, you will be glad you did.  For you may find that you and one other person from the family are all that is left.  Who else knew you when. Who else remembers all those things in your life.

And remember to always Thank God For All Your Family, no matter what or where they may be.  Keep in touch!


7 06 2012

I hear the phrase, Have a Nice Day at least once or twice each day.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all really did Have a Nice Day.  I’m talking about if we all were really, really, really nice for a whole day.  Just think what that would do to this worn out old world.  I’m sure if you are like me, you are just simply sick and tired of all the stuff on the television and all the stuff in the newspapers and all that other stuff about how awful this whole world is.

People are killing each other wholesale across on the other side of the world.  Even in this area of the country, there are numerous killings every day.  And they are reported on the television constantly.   And right after that one is the story about the pornographic problems with grown people abusing children.  That is also on the television and in the newspapers constantly.  What is the matter with people.  Something most certainly is.  I mean, this is not really normal behavior.  Period.  And everyone knows this.  

So, to get back to the nice day, wouldn’t it be nice if we as individuals tried just for one whole day to be nice. All day.  To everyone we meet.  No matter who or where.  If you think this is a good idea, make a point of smiling at the people you pass in the grocery store and in the post office and even in the local WalMart.  And besides that, hold the door for the person behind you as they come in or out.  And then, speak nicely to the clerk.  You don’t have to carry on a big conversation, just simply smile and act NICE.  

And then in your own home, try really hard to be extra nice for one whole day.  When the kids drive you crazy, smile or laugh at their jokes, or you might even have to sing to overcome the noise.  But do it!  When you drive, make a point of letting that car turn in front of you or allowing someone to pass you when they need to.  Just pay attention and let those little niceties cover you up for just one whole day.  

If there is someone at work that drives you nuts, try to be extra nice on that one day.  When you pay the parking attendant, smile and say thanks.  It doesn’t take a whole lot just to be nice for a whole day.  

Just make a point of being extra nice to everyone for one whole day.  Then you can really smile and say HAVE A NICE DAY! because you mean it.  

Might even do that again some day.  It might be sort of fun.  


24 05 2012

I grew up in this really great typical family.  There was a mother, father, grandmother, sister and brother.  We lived a perfectly normal life in the decade of the 1940’s.  Everyone was treated fairly, both in praise and in reprimands.  And I am so glad I was placed there by Almighty God because it couldn’t have been any better.

My father was always the last word on anything.  He was very fair and very kind and very strict.  But he always was striving to make people happy and to feel better about themselves.  We had this neighbor who was always talking about his ‘hogs head cheese’ that his family ate when he was growing up. My father had eaten some of that before, too, down in the country where it was made.  So he talked with the neighbor and they both agreed that cheese was just simply great.

Next month or so, the neighbor family invited us over for Sunday dinner. And guess what!  They served hogs head cheese, the real kind, made out of real hog’s heads. The neighbor had made a trip to the country just to get that for us.  We had been taught all our lives to be nice and complimentary and kind to anyone, so when it came time to eat that hogs head cheese, all us kids smiled and swallowed – really, really hard.  I remember my brother looked a little green, but he didn’t say so.  And it was all I could do to eat mine, especially thinking about those hog’s heads.  But we ate it and raved over how good it was.  My father was raving over it, too, complimenting the neighbor for such a wonderful treat.  But, oh boy, we were really glad to get back home so we could brush our teeth and say what we really thought about that hogs head cheese.

Another time, our Great Aunt Mary was coming for a visit.  I had never seen her before as it had been so long since she had visited.  She and her husband were driving from California just to see us.  She had helped in raising my father and so he was really excited about her visit.  He kept talking about how he wanted her to make some of that great chili she had made for him as a kid.  He kept saying it had big chunks of garlic in it and we would just love it.  Well, after visiting for a couple of days, Aunt Mary decided to make some of that chili that my father was just raving about.  You know, the one with the big chunks of garlic in it.

My father watched while she cooked and he was so anxious to taste.  That night  at dinner, we had garlic chili with a little meat thrown in for flavor.  It had so much garlic in it that it was all we could do to swallow it.  But we did.  And we all complimented Aunt Mary for such wonderful chili.  I can still taste that garlic every time I think about it.  But we were kind and thoughtful and smiled a lot even if we did smell sort of funny that evening.

It was truly a great family full of all the things that families did back then.  And lots of fun and happiness.  You might like to read a little more about this family of mine along with living history about what was really going on in the world around us.  My book IN THE 1940’S  tells all that.  The War was raging all over the world and we were living with the rationing and the allotment checks since my father went to War and the air raids and everything else that was going on.  It was a very interesting time and if you like my writing, you will really enjoy this book.

Each book only $10 plus $2 postage.  Send check or money order to BET   P.O. Box 2249   Benton, AR  72018    Thanks, Bet



6 04 2012

I have read so much and heard so much lately about our rights that are being affected by the mandates with the insurance plans directed at us, that it makes me wonder just how everyone must feel.  As I have stated before, women have been targets for a good long while now.  My mother and grandmother were able to stay at home and do their primary job of taking care of family.  They also took care of neighbors if necessary and other families if necessary and all their relatives if necessary.  My father and grandfather and all uncles and other male relatives expected to go to work every day and make a living for all those at home.

Those at home might have included mothers, fathers, aunts, cousins, wives and children.  No matter, it was a way of life.  Women stayed home and took care of their primary jobs and men went out into the world and took care of their primary jobs.  And for the most part, everyone was pretty happy.

I have always blamed part of women’s problems on the automatic washer.  When that came out, women were no longer expected to spend a whole day a week doing the family wash.  And after the permanent press fabrics arrived, she didn’t have to spend another whole day a week ironing all those clothes for the family.  This left her with enough free time to actually watch that new fangled television set or to take her children for a walk or even to visit with a neighbor down the street.  This was a new freedom for most women.  And it was truly wonderful. Because, you see, the woman in the home is her absolute and positive own boss.  She can decide every facet of her life just to suit herself.  She might not decide to get dressed until noon if she wants.  And she might not have to wash dishes until she wants to.  And she can make up her own mind as to when and what she needs to do that day or the next or the next.   The results are all that matter.  As long as her home is clean and her children are clean and everyone is well fed and happy, then she is doing a great, grand and wonderful job as the wife and mother in her particular family.  She is free to cook what she wants to when she wants to.  And she can grocery shop when she wants to also.

Nowadays, some women are so cramped for time that they have very little choice about their lives.  They MUST cook this because of the time element.  They MUST grocery shop when they can squeeze in the time.  They MUST get up and at it early every morning, having no real time for themselves.  But then, they have been told and trained to be career women.  And someone forgot to tell them that they really had a primary job at home that should have and would have come first if they didn’t have to have a career.

But then, that is the way the world turned back then.  And now all young women think they have to  have a college degree in order to run out and get that all important job.  Then they can hurry to work every day and do whatever and whenever someone else tells them what to do.  At home, they could have done whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it.  But then, they wouldn’t have had that all important career.  Oh Darn!   Who cares anyway.

Except that the women of today think they must have that self -esteem packed away all safe and sound.  They have to have that competing language and that all important position in life.  I just wonder to myself how many young women would really rather stay at home and do their primary job.  How many of them would really rather just be a wife and mother if they had the chance.  I just wonder if the truth were known how many of them would gladly choose that primary job of caring for their husband and children over and above all that career choice.

Wouldn’t it be fun to  get up every morning and just be yourself every day all day long.   Wouldn’t it be fun to watch your children grow up instead of hustling them off to a daycare so that someone else can have this great lasting joy.  It would not be necessary to have a field trip every day.  Nor to be constantly hovering over your children.  It would be so wonderful just to let them be children and you be a mother and a friend and a wife to your husband.  Oh, that would be just great.

If only the truth were known.


28 03 2012

I was proofing my book In The 1940’s again today.  As I said before, I am going to put it on a flashdrive so my children can have it when I become famous.  Today, I was reading about the end of World War II.  So many people nowadays think we were wrong to drop the atomic bomb.  They don’t realize the situation as it was at that time.

Roosevelt had died and Truman  became President.  The War in Europe was now over and everyone was waiting for Japan to surrender.  My father was in the Philippines and  had written that the men were  being trained for an assault on Japan.  Now, my father had sight problems and was 40 years old.  He said he was being trained for hand to hand combat including weapons such as a  bayonet.  He couldn’t have found the enemy without his glasses.  So obviously they were planning to use all the men on an all out assault. He also said there was talk that the men from the European conflict were going to be sent directly to the Pacific Front as they would also be a part of this massive drive into Japan.

The United States asked Japan to surrender.  The answer came back an emphatic NO.  They would fight until the last man was dead.  They were then asked once again.  Again they refused.  So the first atomic bomb was dropped.  It was a horrible thing, no doubt about that.  And one which no one who remembers anything about any of that time would ever want to happen to mankind again.

After the bomb, the  United States asked once again for Japan to surrender.  This time, the answer was another emphatic NO.  So the second bomb was then dropped.  And that was the end of the War.

We have wars now and the reports are in the papers every day about 3 or 6 or possibly 10 people killed.  At the time of World War II, the numbers were in the hundreds every day and sometimes in the thousands.  The Okinawan invasion had just occurred and it was reported that the Ocean was turned blood red from the conflict.  So no one wanted to see anymore men die.  Not from the United States nor from Japan.  The world was through with that War. It was time for it to be over.  And it finally was – but only because those bombs were dropped.  If it had not been for those bombs, we might have had thousands and thousands more men killed.  And for what- to prove how important someone was.  Or how important they could become if they could just conquer the world.  Same things are going on today.  There are always people like that out there, just waiting to cause more trouble for everyone else.

But with today’s technologies, things are not quite the same and hopefully never will be again.  Instead of blaming the United States for dropping those bombs, everyone should be grateful that we had such a weapon in order to put an end to that terrible, horrible carnage.  As Americans, we all still pray to Almighty God to Grant Us His Peace, Please.  We all long for that peace in our lives.

This book of mine is very good and tells a lot of the history of the War working it into everyday life.  It is also full of humor as all my books are.  Remember, my books are only $10 each plus $2 postage or a grand total of $25 for 3.  Look them up on booksbybet.com or on Amazon.  #2503 tells of growing up in the 1930’s and 40’s.  In The 1940’s tells of the life at that time in an ordinary family including father goes to War and all the ramifications of that.  Then The Wonderful 1950’s tells of the challenges of this changing world.  All of these books are suitable for anyone from 8 years old to 100.  Very enjoyable and fun to read.